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Crossing Over: The Blackwell Series
September 3, 2012 | Justin Ancheta
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Teenagers are always shifty. Especially ones which look like James Dean.
The next two games in the Blackwell Series, Convergence and Deception, further build and expand on the relationship between Rosa and her companion, Joey, and how their experiences have come to shape and change her. By the time we see her at the beginning of the most recent installment, The Blackwell Deception, we see a confident and more assertive Rosa, albeit one who still hasn't completely shed all of the qualities we saw in her at the start of The Blackwell Legacy. Her notepad has been replaced with a shiny new smartphone which looks like it could have been presented in evidence for the Apple vs. Samsung lawsuit a further symbol of her newfound willingness to accept the changes and the connections she has experienced in her life with Joey.

What ultimately makes The Blackwell Series stand out in my mind is that it's one of those rare games which begs to be shared, a game which has something both for hardcore gamers looking for depth and substance in their games, and casual gamers. You can play it with a significant other or family member (older or younger), and actually have discussions afterward on the themes upon which the writing, plot, and dialogue try to address. It is a universal quality for humankind to think about the prospect of life after death, both in the supernatural sense, and in terms of the impacts we've made on the people around us. Furthermore, it does all this while introducing an example of a female protagonist in the game who doesn't need big guns, big breasts or big bottoms to captivate and engage us. In the face of this, I think it's fair to excuse the at times cringe-inducing voice acting (especially from the people playing secondary or supporting characters in the plot), or the short length of the gameplay of the first two games. According to Gilbert, we've not yet seen the last of Rosa and Joey yet, as at least two more games are planned for the Blackwell Series before he returns his focus back to The Shivah, which he apparently plans to turn into a full trilogy. When taken with the other two outstanding games that Wadjet Eye have released in cooperation with xiii - Gemini Rue and Resonance the future looks bright indeed for both Wadjet Eye's growing fanbase, and point-and-click adventure fans as a whole.

Installation

Installation is straight-forward; run the installer within the CrossOver Software Installer (Be sure to mark it as an "Other Application" under the "Unsupported Applications" heading). As with many other games, it's best to put it into its own Windows XP-based bottle. Once installation is finished, the game bundle should be available in the Programs menu, under "GOG". I'd also recommend disabling "Allow Window Manager to Control the Windows" and "Allow Window Manager to Decorate the Windows" in winecfg, as well, though it may not be necessary.

Each of the four episodes within GOG's bundle have a setup application to configure graphics options; you can find them within each of their respective episode folders, the four of which are themselves found within <~/Library/Application Support/CrossOver/Bottles//drive_c/Program Files/GOG.com/Blackwell Bundle>. To run them, use the "Run Command..." option in the Programs Menu.

To avoid rendering errors, in particular on my configuration, I found that leaving the default settings as they were worked best; your hardware may support higher resolutions through the 2x or 3x graphics modes, but be warned that they may cause errors when the game starts up. Even in standard resolution 640 x 480 though, the game looked and played quite well, given it's clear retro aesthetic.

Disclaimer: Justin Ancheta is a beta tester and volunteer advocate for Codeweavers, and maintains both a tutorial for getting GOG games to run on Mac OS X, and a list of games he has personally tested to work on Mac OS X through CrossOver, Wineskin, and open source ports.



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