domenica 17 luglio 2011

Let's play: Black & White 2

I'm here again. Since the beginning of my UGP gameplay videos series on youtube (Youtube UGP channel), i never did a comparison between Ubuntu, Windows and another linux distro. So i decided, now, to do this. The reason of the long time between this and the last post, is that i had to install also Windows 7 (such a weird experience...) and Chakra (Arch Linux). Why Chakra? Simple. Because Chakra seems to perform better in playing games. Thanks to Jeff for his benchmarks that made me do this choice! ( Are you ready? Let's start with a beautiful game from Lionhead Studios... Black & White 2!

A hard choice!

The first thing to ask yourself is: which program should i use for this game? I have the answer. Let's take a look to all the differences between Crossover Games, PlayOnLinux and GameTree Linux.

Black & White 2 on GameTree Linux:

Unfortunately (really?) our game will never install using Gametree Linux, neither you can install it with another program and try to run it under GameTree Linux. Don't waste your time, the game just doesn't work on it (shame on Transgaming!).

Black & White 2 on Crossover Games (10.1 version):

Now we're talking seriously. The game works very well with Crossover Games, either the installation and the running. It can be also patched to the latest official patch (v1.2), but it needs a noDVD crack. There's only a little mouse lag bug, which is a bit annoying. To avoid this, follow the steps described below. So:

- Can be patched to 1.2 version (and it's also suggested).
- Needs a noDVD crack.
- Mouse lag bug (to avoid this, open Crossover Games, go into Black & White 2 bottle, run command, type "regedit" and click ok. Then, go to HKEY_CURRENT_USER -> Software -> Wine -> DirectInput (if it doesn't exists, create it) -> Create new string "MouseWarpOverride" and set it to "disable").

As this said, i played about six maps and i never encountered a crash, a problem... Nothing! The game just runs well!

Black & White 2 on PlayOnLinux (1.3.24 wine version):

Alright. It's almost the same as Crossover Games, but there's no mouse lag bug. Cool, huh? Check your wine version because with older versions of wine you could encounter several graphical glitches. The newest versions of wine (use 1.3.24 to be sure) do not show those graphical glitches. So:

- Can be patched to 1.2 version (and it's also suggested).
- Needs a noDVD crack.

The game works better than Crossover, because of a little FPS boost (continue reading for further details).

Talking about performances...

First of all, my hardware:

agp_aperture_size: 256
cpu: AMD Athlon(tm) 64 X2 Dual Core Processor 4600+
cpu_ghz: 2.40
distro: Ubuntu 11.04 natty
kernel: 2.6.38-10-generic
machine_bitness: 64
memory: 2007
soundcard: NVidia CK804 with ALC850 at irq 22
soundcard_driver: ALSA Version 1.0.23
videocard_direct: True
videocard_driver_version: 3.3.0 NVIDIA 275.09.07
videocard_manufacturer: NVIDIA Corporation
videocard_ram: 256
videocard_type: GeForce 8600 GTS/PCI/SSE2
x_version: X.Org X Server 1.10.1

I think i made a great job for you all. I installed three operative systems on my PC only for making some performance comparisons. I used a loooooooot of my free time, but the results are, honestly, very good. What did i do? I played the game with various combinations of graphic options, in various operative systems, in various in-game situations, tracking the FPS (Frames Per Second). So i took each result and i put it in a graph. The game has been tested on Ubuntu 11.04 64-bit (with no Compiz), on Chakra 2011.04-r2 (with no graphical effects) and on Windows 7 64-bit. Let's go:

Free Image Hosting at

Free Image Hosting at

Analyzing these results, my conclusions are that in every single situation (max details-min load, min details-min load, max details-max load, min details-max load), Windows can handle the game better than the other 2 OS, and that's obvious. But, there are 2 relevant things: the first one is that at the highest load (blue and red in the graph), even Windows does low FPS (still playable, though) so i suppose it's caused by a combination of my hardware and a bad scalability of the game; the second thing is that, talking about linux, Chakra does always better than Ubuntu, especially at mininum details (red and green).
It seems that the game works better on wine, providing 15-20% more FPS than Crossover.

Conclusion: use PlayOnLinux/Wine.


The following process works with both Crossover and PlayOnLinux. It works like a simple installation process:

Now type your cd-key, then:

The installation process takes about 5 minutes. The next step is to install patch 1.1 and patch 1.2 (in this order):

Be careful: apply the patches BEFORE playing the game for the first time, since savegames with the original version of the game do not work with newest patches (1.1 and 1.2).

This process takes about 30-40 seconds. And so it is for the second patch.
Now, you have to do 2 things before running the game:

1) Apply a noDVD crack (obviously for 1.2 version).
2) Download this DLL (d3dx9_25.dll) from this link ( and extract it to the main folder of the game.

Now just run the shortcut in your PlayOnLinux GUI or just run white.exe!


Well... I suppose pictures speak better than words.

Feel free to send me an email or leave a comment if you got some problems or if you just wanna ask me a question. I will always answer you!