Nope, even that didn't work. Either there are still some undeleted lingering files from previous versions roaming on my harddrive messing it up, or something else is a foot. Shame, as I liked this game. I'll try again in future in the hope this issue will be resolved. For now I'll uninstall and leave it as it is.
Edit: Even tried the steam version, even that one crashes. Guess I'm just screwed. Oh, well... sometimes you win, sometimes you lose.