The Pursuit Of Retro Heaven

Written by Phil on . Posted in Retro

I built a PC a few months ago so that I can run old simulations without the headache of trying to get them to work on current systems and modern operating systems. It can be done but it is an involved process and and can be hit and miss. It’s great having a PC that can run these games but getting hardware to work on them takes me back to the early 90’s when this was normal. It has taken me months and quite bit of cash to find something that simply works with the old simulations.

The picture below only tells half the story. At one point I was rewiring USB connections and I am useless at this sort of thing. Today I found something that works and that’s the Microsoft Sidewinder 2. It is supported by a lot of games from back in the day and I just wish I had tried this first.

So far it works really well with Janes F/A-18 and Janes F-15. All the frustration has gone and I am no able to fly these great games/simulations with a massive grin on my face.

Tornado Digital Integration

Written by Phil on . Posted in Retro, Tornado

Yep, just look at those glorious pixels! I recently got in touch with a chap called Frankie who has built a website all about Tornado after working on the source code for over a year to produce mods and many changes. If you want to download it and fly for free you can get it here. It is so easy to get running. This just adds to the overall joy of flying it. Tornado was released in 1993. I had very little money (nothing changes)in the British Army serving abroad, and not  have a PC. Not a great position to be in to take the time to fly this remarkable study sim. I was aware that it was out and I remember reading great reviews inside PC gaming magazines of that time. When I was on leave I would go into a shop where you could buy games off the shelf in those large boxes which I collect now and I would hold Tornado in my hands and marvel at the weight of it all.
25 years later I am now flying it on my Windows 10 OS without any problems. You soon get over the shock of the graphics and realise how spoilt we have all become now days.
Flying fast and low into a hostile area is what it’s all about with this simulation. However the real gem the actual real heart of this is the mission planning. It is complex without being hard to use and a simply superb part of the game. You can coordinate strike packages to arrive at a target with precision and it works better than any modern mission planner.    

Gunship 1999

Written by Phil on . Posted in Gunship 1999, Retro

Another retro title that I missed because I was to poor to afford a computer back then. I installed this on my purpose built retro PC. The first thing that struck me was how good the graphics were. Even by today’s standards they are not to shabby and I even said out loud “Wow!”.  It’s far from a study simulation such as Janes Longbow 2. One really nice feature that I am having great fun in trying is just playing as the weapons officer. The optics are really good to use and switching from thermal imaging to the day sight and zooming in on a target is so satisfying.

Longbow 2 – Retro Heaven

Written by Phil on . Posted in Latest, Longbow 2, Retro

Continuing my hate love affair with retro simulations I have recently set-up Janes AH-64D Longbow 2 on my purpose built old hardware PC and managed to get Longbow 2 to work really well. It took me a long time to do because XP is no longer supported, because of that  I don’t have it connected to the internet. So every patch/update/driver I need is all done by relaying a USB pen drive between my two machines. Nevertheless it was all worth it.

I have spent many hours over the last couple of weeks learning this simulation and I can honestly say, hand on heart this has been the most enjoyable time I have had flying and learning in years. The thing is I have never played this up until now. It was released in 1997. I was in my 20’s back then and had a full head of hair. I didn’t have the money to own a PC but I was well aware of Longbow 2 and desperately wanted to try it out as I did with most combat flight simulations. I would go into a shop (we had to go outside to get games back then) and lift the hefty box up and marvel at all the potential complexity of it all.

I am unable to capture in game footage with the old PC and taking screenshots crashes the system. So I have find a way to run Longbow 2 on my more modern Windows 10 system. It’s not an ideal setup because of tedious technical issues but it’s enough for me to get some screenshots and I plan on making a video of a mission or a “how to set it up” tutorial.  I don’t know yet.

In the mean time this love affair goes on.



Retro Simulations

Written by Phil on . Posted in Retro

A few weeks back I spent a long time trying to get really old games and simulations to run on a modern Windows 10 system. It was all hit and miss, frustrating and inconsistent. I could get some simulations such as Janes F-15 to run but this process was long, fiddly and required lots of patience, which at my age is a rare resource.

So a good friend of mine at work asked me if I wanted his old XP system. I nearly bit his hand off and I now have it up and running in my computer room with all those classics running sweetly. Some of these games I never got to play back in the day due to my job and other factors. If you look past the obviously aged graphics the reward is depth and longevity because a lot of these really have stood the test of time.

Apart from Falcon 4.0 which I have been using for about 20 years now non stop my favorite so far is Janes Longbow 2. I have just completed the tutorial sessions and they are so well written I did them again. I am going to open up another branch to the site dedicated to this old school stuff.

If you have any old games/ simulations you think I should try then please let me know.