Time to go retro
Things have been a little dry on the gaming front. If you’re currently a little bored, waiting for a few releases later this year and are starting to show a little grey hair – I may just have a solution for you.
Haul out your old original games (yes, I realise some of them may be on 5 1/4″ or 3 1/2″ disks) pop them into your CD-ROM drive, drag them onto the Boxer import screen and you’re good to go.
If you’ve lost your original disks, you can always head over to abandonware and download a copy. They’ve been good enough to keep a backup for you, for just such an eventuality.
There is just so much to choose from. Over the past few weeks I started and completed classics like: Space Quest 1, Monkey Island 1, Monkey Island 2, Police Quest 1, Prince of Persia, Rogue, Montezuma’s Revenge, The Lost Vikings, Dune 2, the list goes on. If I’m totally honest, I haven’t really finished them all yet. Games were hard back then !
The cherry on top for me was finding an original Roland MT-32 sound module on Gumtree.
I’d heard about these when I was playing these games on my old 286/386/486 back in the day, but no-one that I knew owned one. In fact in the USA they were selling for $550. I vaguely recall what the games sounded like on the PC speaker and later on my Creative Labs Sound Blaster Pro, but the first time I fired up Monkey Island 2 on the Roland, I was blown away. This is what the games were supposed to sound like back then. It’s almost worth playing all these games just to listen to the soundtracks you were missing out on.
I realise that finding one of these babies is easier said than done, so our good friend Alun Bestor (the developer of Boxer) has included MT-32 emulation into the app. All you need to do is download the MT-32 ROM’s (which some kind folks out on the Intertubes have made available) and you’re like 90% there. I have told myself that there is no way that emulation can be as good as the well aged black box on my desk.
As the ARS review says, “the only ugly thing about Boxer is not using it.”