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Thursday, July 9, 2009

Tales of My Crappy Notebook Computer

It seems that my proud return to PC gaming will not be as grand as I'd envisioned. I failed to take into account the difficulties that sometimes prevent otherwise computer-savvy users (like me) from playing awesome games (like Tales of Monkey Island). I checked the system requirements for Tales of Monkey Island before making my purchase. My super-duper, online-poker-ready laptop was more than able to handle the game: dual-core 2.8 GHz Intel processors, 384 MB Intel video card, 160 GB hard drive, and 3D audio card. Of course, I failed to take into account the curse of gaming on a notebook computer...

For those of you looking to play Tales of Monkey Island, there are a couple things you'll need to know.

Most importantly, here are the required and recommended system requirements for running Tales of Monkey Island:

  • Operating system: Windows XP / Vista
  • Processor: 2.0 GHz + (3 GHz Pentium 4 or equivalent rec.)
  • Memory: 512MB (1GB rec.)
  • Sound: DirectX 8.1 sound device
  • Video: 64MB DirectX 8.1-compliant video card (128MB rec.)
  • DirectX: Version 9.0c or better
For those of you with cheaper, non-gaming computers, you'll also need to be aware of two important potential-stoppers in your quest for some great Guybrush Threepwood action. If you're computer uses shared memory or if you happen to have an Intel-based graphics adapter (such as on this list right here), Tales of Monkey Island may not work well (or at all) on your machine. Here's what Telltale Games writes on their support site:
How can I tell if my video card will work with your games?

Our games require 3D video cards that are new enough to run under DirectX 9. If you have a Geforce or Radeon card purchased within the last five years, our games will probably work! (To find out what video card you have, right-click the desktop and select Properties, then go to the Settings tab. Your video card should be listed here under "Display".)

If you have integrated graphics or an older 3D card, our games might not work for you. A good way to find out is to download the demo version of the game you're interested in buying. If the demo runs okay for you, the game probably will too.

(Special note for people with Intel graphics: If your video is included on this list, you probably won't be able to run our games. Sorry about that.)

My notebook computer uses a 384 MB shared-memory Mobile Intel® 965 Express Chipset Family graphics card. When I launched the game, I was barely able to get past the main menu due to the incredible chunkiness of the on-screen action (i.e. moving the cursor around).

However, all is not lost. I contacted Telltale Games about my problem and they were quick to refund my purchase and offer their condolences. And when I asked if Tales of Monkey Island would come to Xbox Live Arcade or the Playstation Network, I was told that once all five episodes of TOMI had been released for PC and Wii users, XBLA would likely be the next platform targetted for release of this episodic gem of a game!

So no tears for me. I've got Ghostbusters, Wheelman, and PROTOTYPE to play. I've got the Grand Theft Auto Trilogy calling out my name. And when the dust settles, I hope to be able to play Tales of Monkey Island on my 360.

And let's not forget that Secret of Monkey Island hits XBLA next week!

I've got a whole lot of gaming goodness ahead of me!