Sunday, 14 April 2013

Man cave update - Gaming rig returns!

Oh happy day! Yesterday I popped in to see how my poorly gaming PC was getting on, and I was over the moon to find out that my friendly computer techie - Nigel - had got it running again. He also confirmed that the problem wasn't either my power pack or - thank the Lord! - my graphics card. These are the two most expensive components on my rig so I was much relieved.

He disconnected and reconnected everything and had it on the test bench for a couple for days and seems pretty certain that eh power glitch is to do with the mother board. Ironically, replacing the motherboard - while a pain in the ass - is relatively cheap to do. But I am running it as is to see if I can postpone any purchase til next pay day (I may not even bother at all if it keeps running).

So, I now have my main gaming rig back up in my man cave. I still have plenty to do, but the computer desk section of my hideaway now looks quite tidy.

Retro gaming fun - BF2 returns
While things looked bad for my games machine I decided to cheer myself up by buying the full Battlefield 2 collection from STEAM, as part of my enforced retro gaming kick. While I did have my original BF2 CD it was very scratched and the add-on expansion CDs were missing (I particularly liked BF2: Special Forces). So I re bought the whole thing for £14 on STEAM.

Sniping from the top of a building in Karkand, overlooking the Hotel flag. I had,
of course, already left a couple of Claymores near the flag. It would be rude
not to! The graphic setting are all on 'High' with a resolution of just 1024x768
as I didn't want to push it in an online game. Still not bad (BF3 fans might not
think so, but then the gameplay is crap in BF3 so it's swings and roundabouts)!
The obligatory knife fight!

Now this seemed to be a bit of an extravagance and unnecessary when I found my main PC was back up and going, particularly because BF2 is notoriously fickle about running on Windows 7. In fact, when I have tried to install this game from my CD on my Win7 machine it flatly refused to run.

I followed all the tutorials and tips online while supposedly get BF2 to run on Win7 but nothing ever worked for me. But having bought the BF2 collection I decided 'what the heck' and downloaded it from STEAM onto my newly repaired machine...And guess what?

For some reason having the pre-updated (v1.50) version and it's add-ons install from STEAM somehow 'fixed' whatever had stopped BF2 from working on my Win7 rig in the past. I now have a fully working version of BF2 on my monster gaming machine! Whoo-hoo!

The legendary Karkand map (16 player, small map). I don't want to think about
 how many hours I have spent on this map. It was brought back in BF3 but
never felt the same.
Relaxing Sunday in Karkand
This morning I had the sort of laid-back lazy gaming Sunday morning that I haven't enjoyed for a long, long time. I have had a terrific time in my half-completed man cave enjoying a hit of nostalgia as I played through my favorite old BF2 maps like Dragon Valley and the legendary Karkand.

I also took the opportunity to set-up my Belkin Nostramo N52-TE game control pad with the BF2 key configs. It's amazing how, after so long, one muscle memory has you reaching instinctively for keys for a particular game, so I had to reset my controller to reflect this preferred layout.

Pen and paper at the ready I customize my Nostramo controller for BF2. If you
have never tried a specialist game controller like this then you really should,
I have found that they really speed up your response time in FPS games and
I find playing with the keyboard a chore now.

So there we have it. A happy Sunday morning pratting about in lovely peace and quiet (aside from the booming sounds of BF2). I enjoyed this mornings session so much I may have to look about to see which game clans still play BF2 competitively - for example, I know that my old clan - RiP (Rusty in Places) - still have a BF2 Project Reality mod section on the go. It would be nice to participate online in some good old fashions BF2 multiplayer fun.

I was amazed to find one of my old BF2 player profiles still available. This one
was my BIG clan profile, unfortunately I could not remember my old RiP
profile which was more advanced than this one. (Click to enlarge.)
I used the BF2 account manager to locate one of my old player profiles, after many attempts I managed to remember the username and password of one of them, my old BIG clan profile. Amazingly this still had the date of the last time I played on this account - 26th October 2009!


A special 'thank you goes to Nigel Marsay who got my rig working again. His small computer repair business just round the corner from me has gotten me out of sticky computer situations quite a few times. PC World cannot provide his sort of personalized service and his prices are very good indeed. Thanks Nigel!

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