Going Digital

They say that nowadays most PC games are sold as digital copies. I buy latest games today for PS4 and I am not so keen on latest PC games. I had to face this problem as I was planning to buy a laptop computer back in this years July. I assumed that my new laptop would have an optical drive of some kind. At least I was hoping it would have one. Finally it didn’t.

I have a large, well okay, huge, collection of games as physical copies. This includes lots of PC games. I find my retro kinds of games mainly from flee markets or from game shops bargain sales. I know there is these kinds of shops on the internet that you can buy a huge collection of games and they can be old, new, classic or not so known. I know there are lots of people doing this. This could be a way for me too to collect and buy games.

So this issue was current when I had a new, fresh, laptop computer, that had latest Windows operating system on it. But there were no games. There were no software applications. If I wanted to play something I would have to install it from somewhere. And I didn’t have an opportunity, this time, to install from CD-ROM or DVD. I actually went and spent (nice rhyming there) about 45 euros for an external DVD drive, but lets explain my next point first…

The way I remember Steam was mainly as irritating obstacle for me as I was trying to install a game to my own PC. It didn’t allow me to install a game that was registered by another user. I have bought all-in-all about ten games from flee market that I wasn’t able to install or eventually play. And I blamed Steam for it. I became more cautious. If a game had “Steam” on its back side I didn’t buy the used game. This was my view.

As I installed and activated Steam on my new computer I suddenly noticed that Steam enabled me to import all the games that were synchronized to my Steam account. I mean I was able to play any game that I had bought and that were supporting Steam. That’s very good. I think that’s amazing! I don’t have to depend on the physical copy of a game. I can pay for it and register so I can play it on any PC. I say this once more – this is very nice.

Are we going to see more this kind of movement towards digital markets when we are talking about purchasing latest games for latest gaming consoles and computer? The time will tell. I might not be ready for my PlayStation to be only digital but maybe I will buy someday in the future a PC that doesn’t have an optical drive.

History Of Optical Drive (inside gaming)

Optical drives have existed in gaming consoles for tens of years. The technology existed way before it was used in mainstream game devices. Back in the 90s there were several consoles that were equipped with optical disc drive. One of the earliest was the expansion to Segas Mega Drive called Mega-CD.

As Compact Disc technology gained ground there was a strong change coming in the form of 3D technology. Sega maybe was one the firsts to make use of new technology but it made a slight mistake. It didn’t have a gaming console capable to produce 3D models and/or graphics. Later Sony made its entry to gaming business with PlayStation and claimed its spot as the developer of the most popular gaming system.

During this period there were several devices released from Philips, Atari and Panasonic just to name a few. The competition was tough. We can compare the amount of data that game cartridges had to what was possible through CD technology. An average CD-R disc holds 700 MB. Nintendo 64s cartridges hold only about 35 MB. This meant that there was 20 times more space for any game to be developed.

First CD-ROM made its way and later came DVDs in the form of Sonys PlayStation 2. This was back in the beginning of 2000s. DVDs offer about 4,7 GB of space. This format was followed by Blurays that hold data from 25 GB up to 100 GB depending on which technology it uses or to say more precisely how many layers the disc has. Blurays are used in the latest generation of gaming consoles but this is about to change as PS5 and Xbox Series X are making their way to the markets later this year.

Todays games can take up so much space that you have to download a large update during the installation of the game. As speeds of internet connections keep developing it is today possible to produce gaming consoles and computers that don’t have, or don’t need to have, any optical drives. This gives the consumer an ability to just pay the game and install it directly to the hard drive. Of course this makes it easier to manage game collections but maybe something is lost as there is no physical material to collect or showcase. All in all digital gaming makes manufacturing gaming devices cheaper and it also shows this way to the consumer. PS5 will be released as all-digital version and a version that has an optical drive just to mention an example.

First touches of Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 + 2 on PS4

I’m a big fan of THPS. I have been that way since the very first game that was released on PlayStation 1. So it’s not a big surprise I have been waiting for this remake to drop. I bought this remake two days ago. In this blog post I’m going through my feelings on this release. I have played only completed 50% of the first THPS so I have a lot to play. It’s been nice to find out that the game is basically a lot like it used to be. Oh the nostalgia!

When first THPS was released on PS1 you couldn’t do manuals. This feature has been added to the game. It’s not a bad thing. This game, or collection, if you want to say so, is a good remake. It doesn’t stand up as a full new game. It is, to me anyways, a very good remake. There are some limitations that were probably there when the original game was released. Those slight flaws are also ones that make the game what it is and what it always was. There could be another very good skateboarding game to be made. This is a very good remake of a very good original game. And I’m happy I got this for about 45 euros instead of, say, 65 euros.

I can recommend this collection even if you haven’t played original THPS one or two. It would be a nice introduction to this genre and maybe even an introduction to how gaming used to be in the days when THPS 1 and 2 were the newest games ever released. Three dimensional modelling has advanced greatly since the release of these original games. Back then it was easier to spot an object just because there were so few of them. I particularly noticed this one as I was trying to trash all the “no skating signs”. It was much more difficult to spot these signs.

All in all I am very pleased in this gaming product that was brought to us by Activision. I haven’t found anything that would disappoint me or make me unable to enjoy this experience. It’s nice to have a good PlayStation gamepad to play this game. I think DualShock 4 is way better to play this game than some earlier PlayStation controllers. I hope I find some time to play this game a lot more.

Connecting gamepad of PS4 to your PC

I have for a long time used Xbox Ones Elite gamepad for playing games on my PC. This is fine when dealing with PC games but when it comes to PCSX2, the emulator for PS2 games, I would like to play with a good gamepad that has buttons layed out correctly. What I mean is I would like to play with a PlayStation controller. It is kind of stupid for me to play PS2 with Xbox gamepad.

This is where a program called DS4Windows comes in to play. It is very simple to use. You just run the application and connect your DualShock 4 gamepad to your computer. You can use USB or Bluetooth connection. That’s right – you don’t need to connect your controller necessarily with Bluetooth since a USB cable works just fine. You can download this application from http://ds4windows.com/ .

I am planning on buying another DualShock 4 gamepad to use for this particular purpose. I currently only have one of these controllers. They are in my opinion a great way to somewhat make PS2 games more playble and modern. So the player can concentrate to the game instead of loosing interest as the gamepad is too bad. This can be a great improvement considering FPS games like Call Of Duty series’s games that were hardly as nice to play with older gmaepad like DualShock 2.

As PS5 will be released, I think it’s going to be sometime in November this year, there is a new controller introduced to large audience. It is called DualSense. I don’t have any experience, which in this case is understandable, of this new gamepad. I am a bit excited about it and I am curious of what kind of quality and playability it will have inside. There are some great differences between Xbox and PlayStation gamepads. One of the biggest is the layout of thumb sticks on these gamepads. I hope the new PS5 pad gives us many new improvements in technology of gaming controllers.

Making games is big business

Right now video games are more popular than ever. PlayStation 4 has now sold more than 110 million copies. Nintendo Switch has sold more copies than Nintendo Entertainment System. Switch and PS4 haven’t been around so long. Switch was released in 2017 and PS4 in 2013. Let’s think about this. NES was released in 1983 and the most popular and the most sold gaming console ever PS2 was released in 2000. So PS4 has been around only 7 years and Switch only 3 years. What will these figures be after 15 years? You don’t have to be any genius to figure out what’s going on. Games are popular. Making games, and selling them, is big business.

I sincerely hope that big game companies keep bringing more quality in form of good games to growing group of gamers. Making a HD remake is sometimes okay but where are the new innovations? I don’t meen big changes, such as virtual reality, but those small things that made video games of late 90s and early 2000s so great. Game developers would have to take time to experiment with a gaming console and find its limitations and opportunities. That would be a way to win my hearth back.

I have already said this. I don’t care how excited you are about PS5. I am not going to be one of the first ones to buy it. I bought PS4 back in 2014 and I was a bit disappointed in it. That just tells about me as a person a lot. It tells us about my history in gaming. I started messing around with video games well before I even bought my first console. That’s just where I’m form and that also tells a lot about in which direction I’m headed.

I am a bit worried. At the same time I am hoping the best. I keep buying PS4 titles for twenty euros and I have now about five or so games that I haven’t even opened up. I haven’t played them. I haven’t even installed them. Why did I buy them? I don’t know the right answer. I just hope we get some very good games in the future. I have to also get to my retro games at times to get the idea of what a perfect, or at least good, game is and why. And what gaming means to me…Well, there’s a lot to think about there…

The picture is a screenshot that I took from Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_best-selling_game_consoles

Burnout 3: Takedown – An Action Packed Racing Game For PS2 (and original Xbox)

I fell in love with this game. Well, maybe not in love but it had me spend hours playing. I have to tell you that I first bought this game for my original Xbox. Then I was many years away from Xbox and my gaming centered more around newer PC games and PS3. I got back to it some years ago as I found it from a local flee market. The price was maybe three or four euros.

So, what is this game about? Racing is the first thing that comes to mind. But that isn’t all. There is this “boost” feature that forces you to gather sort of fuel. You get more fuel for boost from taking risks when driving. For example you can drive almost hitting another vehicles. You can also sort of drift with your car. The most fuel you get from slamming your opponents to the wall, another car or a train. It also makes your opponents to lose important time and you can have a huge advantage by taking out your opponent or opponents. That’s what “Takedown” stands for in this games title.

“Why do you love this game?”, you might ask. It’s like having a break from these very realistic racing games. It is more approachable than some more realistic driving games like Richard Burns Rally for example. There is a nice mixture of skill and randomness needed to play Burnout 3: Takedown successfully. So it’s good entertainment. But like with almost all video or computer games you have to understand that this content is purely fictional. One day I was thinking about this as I was playing this game. You really have to take down your opponents. I mean you have to make a push to eliminate your competition. Driving like this in real life would be disastrous. Would someone be so influenced by this game that he or she would actually try these tricks while actually driving? I mean you have to have a reason to understand that this not real. You have to separate this game from reality.

Original Xbox vs PlayStation 2

Xbox

+ Better controller and better feel for FPS games like Halo

+ Hard drive included so saving games is smoother

– There is actually no working emulators for PC

PS2

+ Good support for PC emulation

+ USB connectivity

+ Lots of used games available because of huge popularity

– Need for memory cards (though nowadays you can buy for example 128 MB card that holds all your saves)

There are many differences between these game consoles that had to battle against each other in the beginning of 2000s. Above I have made some pros and cons for these two devices. We can start from controllers. Xbox had a different layout for buttons in its controller. While PS2 laid out the analog buttons side by side Xbox placed them quite differently. I don’t know technically how Xbox managed to be more playable when discussion turns to FPS games.

These consoles had many games that were only released for Xbox or PS2. Xbox had Halo. PS2 had God of War games and Gran Turismo. Xbox sold 24 million units as PS2 sold amazing 159 million units. That should explain why there were more games released for PS2 and why there is now lots of used games on sale right now for PS2. I remember that players had back then an attitude against Microsoft. It was entering gaming industry and Xbox was its first gaming console. It already dominated PC operating systems markets. Many thought it to be too large company and now it entered the world of gaming.

In my humble opinion you really can’t tell which one is better. They are different consoles and have different abilities. They both reflect the time and situation that gaming was in as it was the beginning of 2000s. I like to play both of these systems. It takes me back to this time and brings up a lot of nostalgia inside my mind. There were also many identical games that were released for these systems. So I really can’t tell which one is better – you have to figure it out yourself. If you have any comments or something to add feel free to comment below.

Recommendation From A Friend – Carmageddon (PS1)

My friend messaged me that he had a good subject for an article for my blog. He had an opportunity to send me a picture of his favorite PlayStation game. The game is Carmageddon. It wasn’t so familiar to me but it was a cool idea to feature him on this article. So the guy you see in the featured image is the friend. His name is Pauli. We are actually from the same street and we lived close by as childs.

Carmageddon is kind of a racing game. You race against time but you get more time and points for crashing to opponents and hitting people that are watching the race. This game was popular in the 90s. It was considered to be a bit violent and I somehow remember that it was even banned in some countries because of that. Why haven’t I played it? I think this game was more popular as a PC game and I didn’t play. It obviously had a port to PlayStation but it never got to my hands as I was actually playing my PS1. I played racing games like Gran Turismo or Colin McRae Rally.

So who is this Pauli and why did you let him on the cover of your new blog post? To answer to this question I would have to say that I just had make a blog post about this game. Maybe the idea just gave me kicks and it was cool idea also. And I think this blog could be more to some social sides of gaming also. And a little bit less about me writing stories about my somehow and somewhat interesting stories where I play alone my game consoles. Yeah, you must get it. I play single player games, alone, in my room, with dimmed lights? I know that’s not the case. So this story was about Paulis favourite PS1 game. Thanks for reading…

And if you want to hear Paulis music you can head to his SoundCloud page

How Did I Get Started With Call Of Duty

I first got into playing Call Of Duty games back in 2006 when I first bought then already a bit old gaming console – the original Xbox. So it was fourteen years ago. I started to look for games, mainly used ones, that were of good quality. I ended up buying maybe three games that I thought were interesting and CoD was one of them.

So there have been many games released inside this game series. I might not have played all of them but I can tell you that some good ones are the first Black Ops and also Modern Warfare Three. I liked the first CoD but I don’t think it’s the best. We had already seen games like Halo on Xbox. It wasn’t anymore so special to have a first person shooter on a console. I am talking about the situtation that we had in the end of 90s when players were thinking that you couldn’t really play FPS’s on gaming consoles and they would have to be played solely on PCs. So the first CoD wasn’t the first FPS on a console.

I have really enjoyed playing CoD series’s games. After getting into the first two of these games on Xbox I went on to buy some CoDs for my PS3. I even have played some CoD games on my PC. I think the newest game in this series is Ghosts for PS4. I recently grabbed CoD Black Ops 1 for PS3. I really enjoyed it. I also bought WWII for PS4 but haven’t yet played it.

I just liked very much how you move inside the game and how you can aim and move. This playing style combines realism and play ability and I think that was finally the thing that got me hooked. Action inside the game is supported with many different options of weapons and historical facts that are at least somewhat correct.

Still this series of games isn’t perfect. I was disappointed in one game of this series that I bought for PS4. It was Advanced Warfare. I just couldn’t enjoy it. The weapons that were used brought to my mind some clips I had then just watched that described how soldiers shot civilians in the Middle East. So I really couldn’t enjoy the game. I’ve heard some bad criticism on Infinite Warfare also and I do have witnessed as it was sold for 10 euros in many gaming stores.

So I hope this post gave you something. Whether it was a new point of view, a nice recommendation or review of a game you was thinking to buy or any other type of reason that you liked this article. It’s nice if you liked it. Keep playing them games!

What in the world was (or is) DOS?

DOS stands for “Disk Operating System”. It has to be mentioned also that it was developed by Microsoft. It was the most popular and most used operating system before Windows, and even Linux, started to dominate. Windows brought graphics to user interfaces of operating systems. MS-DOS required users to type commands to for example list files in a folder, move from one folder to another and to start a program or launch a game.

It has to be mentioned that while DOS was the most popular main stream operating system it wasn’t the only one. In academic world there existed an operating system called UNIX. I have stumbled on UNIX as I have studied computer science. In UNIX you have to write commands also.

This article deals more with the use of DOS and games that you could play on it. I am not going to explain more about technological views of DOS. I remember playing many games. Some games were clearly made for children to learn new skills. My dad even programmed a tool for me to learn multiplication table.

I remember times when I tried to program a simple game with QBasic. This is crazy. I remember the kinds of floppy disks that were used back in the day. I can hardly translate the names in Finnish that these were called. If you want to know the bigger and flat one that had less space on it was called “lerppu” and the newer, smaller and one that had more capacity was called “korppu”. So remember this words if you ever have a chat with a Finnish nerd.

I have written earlier another post about this topic. You can read it here.

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