Category: "Gaming"

Yeovil aircraft make it into Flight Simulator Acceleration pack

I've recently got my hands on a copy of the Acceleration expansion pack for Flight Simulator X. One of the new aircraft is the AgustaWestland EH101 helicopter. Manufactured here in Yeovil.


Details page about it, it comes with 13 liveries, covering things like the US Coast Guard, RAF, and the Tokyo Police.

Me trying to fly an EH101 over Yeovil

This is me trying to fly the thing over Yeovil, quite an easy helicopter to handle; it doesn't fly all over the place seemingly uncontrollable like the light weight Jet Ranger which came with Flight Simulator X. Saying that though, I still crash-landed on my first attempt.

Another notable addition is the Boeing F/A-18, which as far as I can remember is Flight Simulator's first (at least in over a decade) high-performance military aircraft. But no you can't actually shoot down the civilian air traffic with it, but you can try and land on an aircraft carrier.

Halo 3 Wikipedia entry edited by Sony

Seems like somebody at Sony's Liverpool studios couldn't resist making some modifications to the Halo 3 entry on Wikipedia.

Seems they wanted to include an extra little bit onto...

Halo 3, the third game in the best-selling Xbox game franchise, is a highly anticipated first person shooter video game under development by Bungie Studios for the Xbox 360 and is expected to "set a new high water mark" for next generation games, Although it wont look any better than Halo 2.


d3dx9.dll is missing or not found or installed

So this error message has been doing the rounds lately.

This application has failed to start because d3dx9_32.dll was not found.

Or other error messages around d3dx9.dll, dxdx9d.dll, d3dx10.dll, xinput.dll, xact.dll, d3dx10_33.dll, d3dx9_40.dll and other variations being missing, not being found or installed.

These are all optional components to DirectX that may not be installed with the version of DirectX you already have on your system.

Typically these will be installed when the game installs DirectX, however for historical reasons a lot of gamers, knowing they had the latest version of DirectX didn't bother (I never do either). Microsoft a couple of years back provided these optional components in the SDK, and as such may not be installed with the version of DirectX present on your system.

Games I've come across with this happening range from

Age of Empires III (3).
Battlefield 2.
Battlefield 2142.
BioShock (unconfirmed)?
Caesar IV (4).
Civilization IV (4).
The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion.
Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter.
Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter 2.
Hitman Blood Money.
The Lord of the Rings: The Battle for Middle-Earth
The Lord of the Rings: The Battle for Middle-Earth 2.
Lost Planet.
Need For Speed Most Wanted.
Virtual Skipper.

I'm sure there's probably a couple of dozen more games, feel free to list any additions in the comments below.

The solution is to either install the version of DirectX on the game's disc, or download the latest DirectX End-User Runtime from Microsoft (at the moment this is being redirected to the Games for Windows website), or from the Download Center.

Halo 2 for Windows Vista fact check

I'm finding more and more nonsense about this release, this stuff from the forums.

Check this guy out:

Unless you get a Gold Windows Live account, you're basically playing a demo of Halo 2. Microsoft wants you to pay for stuff that is free in virtually every other PC FPS.

Wrong, there's just so much wrong with this statement. Firstly, what on Earth is a Gold Windows Live account? There's no such thing. OK let's throw the facts out:

1) You can play Halo 2 online for free, you get a typical PC-style server browser.
2) Those who have an Xbox Live Gold account, get matchmaking features like TrueSkill (or whatever its called) and can earn multiplayer achievements.
3) I wouldn't call being able to play the whole single player without an Xbox Live Gold account a demo, you don't even need a silver account.

If you buy Halo 2 Vista, you're supporting this blatant rip-off that Microsoft is trying to pull. If Windows Live becomes popular, in the future, a lot of games might be like Halo 2 Vista.

What's Windows Live got to do with Halo 2? Windows Live is a rehashed semi-rebranding of MSN. Games for Windows is unrelated, and is really just a logo program for games, like Certified for Windows logos etc.

A lot of games might be like Halo 2 Vista? Great, I want to earn achievements in PC games, and be able to voice chat with people on their Xboxes. I've got an Xbox Live Gold account, I won't say no to some extra features for PC games.

The only reason Halo 2 Vista is Vista exclusive is to promote Vista. There is absolutely no reason why Halo 2 couldn't be done on XP.

Sure Halo 2 could be done on Windows XP. But it wouldn't have all the Live features, which are only for Windows Vista. Microsoft don't need a little game to promote Windows Vista, which is selling twice as fast as any previous Windows release, and in only five weeks eclipsed the entire Macintosh platform. Microsoft made a business decision to only release on Windows Vista so they could use Halo 2 to show off some of their new technologies.

My point is that Microsoft wants you to pay for stuff when it's free in other games

Other PC games don't have the fancy Xbox matchmaking thing nor achievements, so you are wrong. Halo 2 has the standard PC multiplayer stuff for free.

Halo 2 for Windows Vista resolutions

I spotted the first review claiming Halo 2 on Windows Vista would only go up to 1680x1050 a few weeks back now. I've seen that number spread to a number of other reviews on much more popular websites which should know better.

Halo 2 on Windows Vista screen resolution

Halo 2 will go up to *at least* 1920x1200.

Halo 3 release date and countdown sidebar gadget

Microsoft have announced that Halo 3 will start shipping on Tuesday the 25th of September, the European release will be Wesnesday the 26th of September. So I've released a Vista sidebar gadget for Halo 3.

Halo 3 countdown sidebar gadget

It's pretty simple, it countdowns to the release date. There's two versions for each region North America and Europe (126KB), download from Microsoft's gadget gallery North America and Europe.

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