Posts Tagged ‘Bethesda Softworks’

Secret of Monkey Island is buggy. Lucasarts, please fix it!

July 25, 2009

I was excited to download the redo of Secret of Monkey Island: Special Edition from Lucasarts for the PC. I downloaded it from Steam onto my grandson’s computer and we went to fire it up — and it didn’t work.

It crashed every time with a message saying MISE.exe could not execute. Searching the crash on the Internet, I found lots of other folks with the same problem. There were numerous fixes to try, ranging from reloading DirectX to manually creating a Settings.ini file to change the resolutions to ones that could be supported in your monitor.

I tried them one after another, with failure at each turn. Finally, I found a fix at the Steam forums that let the game operate.

Here is what allowed the game to run:

“It may cause some Problems if you are using a SoundBlaster X-Fi Xtreme Audio or Audigy and not start with the “MISE.exe has stopped working” Message e.g. Sound Problems or if the Game hangs during the Credits:

– Try going to Control Panel –> Sound –> Click on Speaker, Navigate to your “Sound Blaster” Tab and Check “Disable Enhancements”.
– If that doesn’t work trying to Change the Default Sound Device to OnBoard Sound or Disabling the Driver might help.
– Muting all Sounds in the Audio Options might prevent the game from getting Stuck during the Intro Credits”

As soon as I checked the “Disable Enhancements”, the game would run. I didn’t need to do any of the other steps past checking one box in the Soundblaster tab on my speaker properties.

However, this latest episode illustrates once again why my favorite gaming platform (PC) is giving away ground to consoles. My grandson just wanted to play his new game. He didn’t want to wait while I spent hours going over tech support web sites trying to find a fix. With his various consoles, he pops in a game and they work.

I can’t count how many times I have had to play “Internet detective” to try to troubleshoot problems with PC games. It is a sad commentary when the users of a product tend to be the ones actually supplying the fixes and workarounds via forums.

The sheer number of posts indicating a crash at startup problem indicate to me that Lucasarts released the game before sufficient bug testing. Seriously, how many people use Audigy or X-FI Soundblaster sound cards? The answer is a whole lot of us! A game that won’t start if you have a Soundblaster installed with the default configuration is a game that has problems.

It also unsettling that the Lucasarts tech support web page didn’t have the solution present (or I couldn’t find it), but the Steam user forum did. Steam is a distributor of the game, not the studio that created it.

Lucasarts needs to get a patch out the door and fast. They are sitting on a gold pile with their stellar back catalog of games that could be redone using modern graphics and sound. I would love to see Full Throttle or Grim Fandango redone to run smoothly on modern PCs and operating systems at high resolutions. Full Throttle was a game I loved upon its initial release. Grim Fandango is a game I wanted to try a few years after its release, but I never could get it to work right.

However, if the first relaunch of a classic title turns into a frustrating experience for gamers, they may be soured on doing it again. A few more days spent bug-testing might be a lot better than a pile of complaints (and refund requests) from gamers who can’t get the game to work and refuse to spend hours hunting for a solution.

They will simply look favorably at the consoles that play their games reliably with minimal hassle — and PC games will have to fight to lure them back.

While on the topic of buggy games, I wish Bethesda would take a break from cranking out new add-ons for Fallout 3 and deal with the still-present crash problems. I love Fallout 3, but it is still as unstable as the San Andreas fault on my system. You just get in the habit of saving frequently to deal with the random crashes to desktop.

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