Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Byte: Fringe Benefits

One thing I'd forgotten about with Windows 95 was that rather than the godawful Windows Media Player, you actually had a proper CD player program. The reason this is significant to me is because Grand Theft Auto and and GTA: London both had CD ISO format music soundtracks that play all sorts of havoc with Media Player and refuse to rip to MP3 properly. However, now I've got a Win95 virtual machine up and running, not only can I play the games again (at something approximating a manageable frame rate), I can listen to the whole soundtracks again, rather than the rips I'd made that had some tracks bizarrely cut off in the middle.

Result! Finding out about Virtual PC 2004 coming out as freeware has pretty much made my month. Cheers, Rich.

Getting back to the games themselves, I'd long since abandoned hope of ever being able to play GTA: London again, so it's a little like a long-lost friend suddenly turning up on your doorstep. GTA: London almost rivals Vice City as my favourite GTA game, if only for the classier insults that the Londonites hurl at you... "Simpleton!", "Twat!" and my favourite of all... "Bar-stard-slag!" And if you listen to the police radio carefully, you'll also hear a report of a "rogue film crew" outside Sun Hill Police Station (a sly reference to The Bill).

Plus the range of cars is so much better in GTA: London than in GTA. The Myni, the Locust, the James Bomb and the truly Ferocious GTO... Being able to blow up Harrods is a bonus, as well. Fantastic game, though sadly under-rated on the whole. I'd love to see a spiritual remake, rather than another USA-based GTA game. Come on Rockstar... what are you waiting for?
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