Because I like beautiful girls.

Monday, February 23, 2009

CrossOver Mac : Promising but One Fatal Flaw [updated]

Note: Some kind folk who sleep the proper number of hours per night pointed out you can launch programs from Finder (Open With) to run non-installer programs from CrossOver. I'm still sticking with Darwine but this is an important feature I missed. Bold text is new.

CrossOver is a commercial Wine implementation. Its designed to make installing and running Windows programs easy.

Installing Windows programs. NOT running them, installing them so crossover can run them. This is CrossOver's biggest issue..... it needs an installer. So all those fun doujin games: no installer no luck. That cool app from the internet? No installer no luck. Or so I thought until others told me you can use the Finder Open-With -> Choose (However, CO did not appear in the normal open-with menu for me). A menu item for this IN CrossOver would do wonders since that's where I looked first.

For installers, InstallShield seems to work great with it. Font support is practically non existent however. I have no idea how to add fonts. I could only get one application to install... a LabQuest emulator I had for science class. It would not run because it couldn't preform hardware check. I had issues with the InstallShield installer for ONE however, it might same issue that occurs when attempting to install on EN Windows or it might not; I localize my Windows for games.

Now its a slick program, supported apps like Steam, Office, Quicken... they probably work great. But its so limited by its pre-set boundries making Japanese programs or hobby programs run is flat out impossible. Window management is handled by X11/Quartz it seems and no complains there.

I was able to make Casual Romance Club run by telling CO it was an installer. Not an ideal setup and sorely in need of fonts. According to Libido, CRC doesn't need Japanese fonts unless translation is turned on. Even so, the english should display without issues but...

English text in loading screen: Squares. I quit it at this point.

Restarted: It remembered the name I gave it seems. Still no text.
Music was fine. Images were fine. No lag.

Attack of the squares. The soundtrack squeaked when I advanced the text quickly. This game only has key lines voiced. Notice, its running as in installer in CrossOver. Not ideal.

Everything works perfectly except text.

Voices are fine. If it would just let me run the program as a program (and I then I would tweak the fonts) I imagine the game would run perfectly. (see note)

Don't even look for the Japanese version of CrossOver... its 11550 yen if you can find it. Thats almost twice as much as the English version!

Obviously WINE has great potential, the CrossOver interface to it just doesn't work for these sorts of games at this point.


Anonymous said...

Hi Jyuichi,

You can also run a Windows executable under CrossOver as well, as long as there's an .exe or .bat file to point CrossOver to. So, one doesn't have to have an installer, necessarily, to run a program. As for the disappearing fonts, I'm pretty sure that we have Japanese character support for the English product as well--we have a developer here who speaks nihongo and is very interested in Japanese input methods and so forth. So there may be something simple that would fix that problem for you. You might want to contact our support folks for that--even though this is an unsupported application, there might be a quick fix.

Also, CrossOver Japanese is available from our Japanese distribution partners, NetJapan. They are at

Thanks for mentioning CrossOver--we appreciate it.

Best Wishes,

-jon parshall-

Jyuichi said...

Thanks for checking out this site!

I pointed CrossOver to the exe's but it only wanted installers as I could tell (obviously the software runs). I actually found a Darwine build after seeing that the core WINE technologies were solid enough to run some games. Now, I enjoy playing technology and figuring stuff out a lot more than the average user so CrossOver is a great solution for someone who doesn't want to wade through the WINE Wiki for an hours.

I'm working on another post about WINE technologies :

Anonymous said...

Glad I found this post--I was very confused how to run an application that doesn't have an installer [Kobo Deluxe]. Turns out you can just double-click the .exe in Finder and it runs reasonably well.

Jyuichi said...

Ah, My exe preferences were already set to WINEHelper and CrossOver did not "take over" the file preferences or come up in the Open With menu. :) I didn't think to just point the file to CrossOver ^^; Glad this blog could be of help.