The Ultimate Incompatibility (of Old Windows Games)

I have games. I mean, I have lots of games. Old games, new games, interesting games, rare games, big box games, err…PC games? Yes.  I have lots of PC games. How can you play old PC games? With a PC? Yes. But what is your operating system? What is your graphics card? Processor? Do you actually have today a SSD instead of HDD and does it really matter?

The point here is that you were, earlier, playing these games with a computer that had maybe Windows 98, Windows XP or MS-DOS. Now it is 2021. The standard in Windows is Windows 10. It was only while ago when Windows 7 lost its support from Microsoft. Hardware does evolve. Operating systems keep developing. There are many changes. PC is a strong standard but its weakness is that old games that you were able to play earlier don’t necessarily work anymore.

You can have an old PlayStation or NES. You can then play these games with this device. And the strength of consoles compared to PC is just that. They can deliver games and playing them is reliable. This might have something to do with the traditional mentality of computer gamers. It used to be a good thing that your PC was fast. So basically we are having games as physical copies lying around in corners. I have made tens or maybe even hundreds of purchases from flee markets. Many times the game finally ended up not working on my Windows 10.

One solution for this is setting up an old computer that is running some old operating system. I haven’t tried this trick. Some games are so popular that there are fan-made patches that enable you to play the game. If your game is compatible with DOS you can always download DOSBox. You can also try to run your games on some virtual machine that has the right operating system. Steam is full of old games that are available for purchase. They work. That’s what you pay for.

So operating systems change. So does the hardware. So drivers play a big role in this game of games. We are forced to update our devices. You have to buy a new phone in say two to three years. Computers might last a bit longer but you can’t play latest games with a pc that is five years old. At least if you don’t update it anyhow. This problem is also visible on PlayStation and even Xbox. Basically the problem is that some old games are just so good that some gamers still want to play them.

Why aren’t there better emulators for old PC games? And this applies most to Windows 98 and XP era. There would even be some commercially interesting ideas about this subject. Would you pay for a retro console or software that you could play your old retro style games?

My Story

Oh. Where do I begin. I was born in 1984. Two years later my little brother was born. As any parent my parents noticed how clever I was. Or so they thought about it. They thought I was special. We lived in Helsinki for the first four years of my life. We moved to Vantaa in 1988 as my father got a job in high-tech electronics factory. He ended up having a thirty-year career in that company. Later I got to solder some components together but that’s another story.

So it was about 1987 when my father bought our family our first personal computer. I was very interested in it. I started to figure out some characters from the keyboard and I even wrote something with a keyboard before I learned to read. Our family didn’t teach me or my brother to read until we went to school and we learned to read and write actually there.

I was about nine years old when I got my Sega Mega Drive. I really liked Sonic The Hedgehog, Streets of Rage II and NHL 94. I had already played some Sierras games, some casual games, like Space Commander and many others. Space Quest, Larry, King’s Quest, Indiana Jones, Operation Wolf, Bubble Bobble, Sim City and so on.

This was only an introduction to the world I said Hello to as I got a PlayStation. Playing Mega Drive was fun. But the cartridges didn’t bring so much content. You can think about it. A Mega Drive game is about 1 MB. There is about 650 MB on a CD-ROM. So you can figure out how the games would be more longer and they also had more to offer as more and more people and even adults became aware of this situation.

PlayStation really sparked things for me. I played. I enjoyed. Other things in my life were playing basketball and going to junior high as I was studying here in Finland. I really enjoyed life. I even got myself a skateboard and actually also a snowboard. We hang around in Helsinki or Vantaa at parks and had really fun time. It was a fun period in my life.

I played so many games. I had about forty titles and I was eager to loan any games that my friends had. I didn’t get to modding then. I played Metal Gear Solid, Resident Evil, Gran Turismo, Oddworld, Colin McRae Rally, Medievil, Fear Effect, Final Fantasy, Silent Hill and Diablo.

I finally sold my PlayStation for so little money. I don’t recall the actual sum but it was about 120 euros. Damn. For all those 40 games, memory cards, two controllers, cables and everything else included. I would have liked to save them for me to use later. But I didn’t think about it then.

I went to Finnish Army in 2003. I had just graduated from high school and I had a place to study in a university. So things were looking up to me. I was not home playing games. I was shooting targets in the woods. So there were some years that I was, lets say, “lost in the woods” with my plans and my life. I believe this is not uncommon at all. I was then 20 years old.

Then in 2006 my mother found an original Xbox in sale. She bought it for me. The first game was Need For Speed Most Wanted. I was back in the game. Later I got to know my wife. She had a PS3. So I bought Final Fantasy XIII to it. I started really getting into gaming again. I started a school in programming. It was a school of applied university from which I graduated in 2016 at last.

So this brought me to my roots again. I started collecting retro in 2017 when I got a PS2 for me. Today I have a bit tens of devices and hundreds of games for them. I enjoy playing. It is my work, hobby and the thing I get most out of.

What is your story? I would like to hear something from you, my readers. Please leave a comment here or contact me some other way.

Studying Physics in Colin Mc Rae Rally 2.0

Colin Mc Rae Rally 2.0 is a very interesting game in many ways. I wrote recently about different strategies you can have in this game. Now I would like to return to the physics and how this part of the game is handled. I think this game was the first rally game and also among some first racing games that I really liked (Gran Turismo was also great) and got into. It was released for PC and PS1. I played both of them.

There is no doubt that the way CMR 2.0 handles the part of physical modeling was in its time revolutionary. I know lots about games but I also have studied a bit of physics. I have learned physics mainly through school and by studying it in a school of applied sciences. However I am not a physicist. I am more of a software designer. So I know about some coding stuff also. This might open this fact a bit of how I find thinking about these subjects extremely interesting.

I haven’t seen any source code from this game. This is a commercial game and its code isn’t open source. I think for many of the fans of this game this doesn’t come as a surprise. The game was hugely popular. Releasing it as a freeware would be, well, stupid, you might say. However there are some very interesting details that open up for me as I play this rally game.

Let’s think about friction. It deals with surfaces. In a car you can have different tires that behave differently on different surfaces of road. So this is one thing. While driving on icy or snowy road you might want to use chains with tires. While driving on tarmac you want to use soft tires. And on wet surface you use special tires that perform nice on for example wet tarmac. Same goes for muddy surfaces or roads that are of gravel. You have to have a good grip on the road you are driving and friction can give you this.

There is a force that is effective on any road that you can drive on the whole planet Earth. It is called gravity. You have to have good and sufficient suspension in your car. On roads that are bumpy you have to have more suspension for overcoming the differences of altitude. Too much suspension is not good either if you drive on flat road.

You can also break and accelerate. You turn the wheel in right direction at a right time. The key is to try to steer correctly or at least keep the car moving as fast as possible. If you don’t break at a correct time you get to grass or some other surface that slows you down. Crashing also slows you down. This has everything to do with a thing called momentum. If an object doesn’t receive any push to any direction it keeps moving with the speed it has to the direction it is moving. At different time there is different amount of push to the vehicle. If nothing gets pushed the car keeps moving. Bigger objects take more power to get moving and are slower to stop moving. So the more mass you have the slower you are.

I think this is enough physics. I repeat what I said earlier. This is not so precise of a study. I haven’t seen any source code and I didn’t describe my theory so thoroughly. I hope this motivates you to learn more about physics. You can find more information using your favorite search engine. I definitely feel that you will get more excited about this particular rally game.

Some Really Big Games Released By Finnish Companies

You might not know that I am from Finland. As a person from this northern land that has only about 5,5 million people living in it I am very proud of our game companies and our game development scene. We have here a strong ground for developing games. People that live here are always interested in latest technology and computers are a hobby for lots of people. Do you know Nokia? It’s from Finland also.

Back in the 1980s Commodore 64 computers were a very big thing in Finland. Many hobbyists were driven into electronics and programming by these Commodores devices. Some people learned programming with BASIC and some people that were really into this kind of stuff were learning how to program in assembly language. There was also people making demos, composing music and creating visual art with these computers.

Game development really lifted its head here in the 1990s. Remedy managed to make a great game called Death Rally. They later released more games. There were also companies like Housemarque and Bugbear, which developed some really nice racing games, like Rally Trophy and Flatout series. Housemarque released a game about snowboarding called Supreme Snowboarding. All these companies had their roots in Finnish demo scene called “demo skene” in our native language. Finnish game companies include also Rovio, Supercell and Redlynx and Frozenbyte.

The ability to adapt technical skills is the base of this kind of progress in game development in Finland. We are a small country after all. We have been the northern most country that is actually farming and it was like this for a long time. You can study game development and even electronic sports here. I hope this post didn’t include too much. It was supposed to be just a post about how gaming and culture has evolved here. And also to promote my home country a bit.

Let’s mention some famous games here that haven’t been already mentioned. Max Payne series, Flatout series, Rally Trophy, Alan Wake, Angry Birds and … I think this is enough. Check out the latest games from your favorite game store which might be Steam for example. And I am not going to forget to mention a game called Noita. It is also a game that has been developed in Finland.

Getting to Know Nintendo

I have played a lot of Sega Mega Drive, various PlayStation consoles, PC and even Xbox. I started thinking about what have I to this day missed. What would be something for me to get to know next? I figured I hadn’t played Nintendo so much and seriously. What were the titles I would like to get into and could I maybe purchase a new console. Could I learn something new about gaming?

I thought about this for some days. I had some plans about first getting some NES games. I figured also that I haven’t played any games in the Zelda series. It would be expensive to buy first or second game for NES. It was almost 50 euros and I would have only old retro game. It wouldn’t be a great experience.

I was thinking about this. I thought that I could buy Nintendo Switch. This would however cost over 300 euros and I would have to think about games and spend even more money to get them. I finally made my decision. I would get my hands on Nintendo Wii.

My Nintendo Wii came with one game that was Super Mario Galaxy. The price tag was 80 euros. Shipping didn’t cost anything since the purchase was expensive enough which was a nice deal for me. I was a bit surprised of the size of the console – it was definitely small and light.

I haven’t played any Wii games before. I have barely seen it. I knew the controls were very different if compared to PlayStation or Xbox. I had ordered a gamepad with my Wii. It was a bit of an surprise that I had to plug the gamepad to this other controller called “Wii Remote”. And I didn’t get the gamepad to work. What to do next? I started the device. I even had to go to the store to buy some batteries for this new and exciting thing I had just added to my gaming collections.

So it was soon getting late and I just had this thing called Wii in my hands. I knew also that I could play GameCube games with it. I had ordered also one game for GameCube. I found out that I would need at least an original GameCube controller and maybe even a memory card. So I had to order them also. I did that next morning.

Nintendo Wii is a very nice product. I connected it with my television through SCART. There was a HDMI adapter also available but I haven’t, at least yet, ordered one. That would surely make the display more detailed and sharp. I found out that playing a bit of Super Mario Galaxy introduces this system for a complete beginner. The controls aren’t so difficult once you get the hang of it. You have to be a bit careful not to slash your friend or drop a bottle of lemonade from your table while playing. But after all it works great. You are playing with both of your hands and not only with your thumbs and index fingers. You have several buttons and sometimes you have to shake your Wii Remote for Mario to spin fast around for couple of times.

I am going to play my Wii some more. I already have three games and one GameCube game. Those three are Zelda – The Twilight Princess, Resident Evil 4 and, the one I already mentioned, Super Mario Galaxy. The GameCube game I got is Resident Evil and it’s a remake of the original one that was released for PS1. If you want to get yourself a Wii just remember to check if it does run also GameCube games. Newer versions of the console don’t support this feature. And remember that you have to have yourself at least a controller of GameCube and preferably also a memory card. I might write a post or a few about Nintendo Wii games in the future so stay tuned.

Spending some time with Gran Turismo 4

As I may have mentioned earlier I kind of missed PlayStation 2. So it’s finally time for me to pick up Gran Turismo 4 and start getting in to playing it. The game was released in 2005. With over 700 cars and almost endless possibilities to race and tune your vehicle to it’s maximum performance it brings a huge game for the player to enjoy for a long time.

My history with Gran Turismo begins as I picked up the first game of the series. It was end of the 90s. Graphics were beginning to become more realistic. The capacity of CD-ROM brought more details and content to be used by game developers. Gran Turismo was also good for promoting PlayStation. It soon became clear that PlayStation would see some very nice driving games. The second Gran Turismo game was also released for PS1. The third one started the era of PS2s racing games.

There are lots of games that are dealing with driving a car or some another vehicle.
Gran Turismo made a difference. It delivered almost pure racing. Almost nothing else included. It had real cars and not only some but hundreds of cars that actually existed also in real life. It’s amazing to understand how the attributes of these cars tell you exactly how they behave while being handled on the road. These include mass, suspensions, tire selections, engines capability and so on. There are lots of things to mess with. You can modify the settings while testing the car. Upgrades to your car are essential. You have to win to get money for the upgrades.

I really enjoyed the first Gran Turismo. I hope my experiences with the fourth game of this series are enjoyable. I have to bring this fact up. The graphics aren’t too smooth or nice. It has been 15 years since the release. What could you expect? As the sixth game was released for PS3 there haven’t been a release of this series for a while now. Gran Turismo Sport did appear to the gaming stores but I think it was more of a eSports type of game.

We are expecting Gran Turismo 7 to be released for the newest PlayStation. I have to Google this one. And yes, the release is scheduled to quarter 1 / qurter 2 of 2021. As Gran Turismo 4 is even today a very enjoyable game with many interesting features you have to wonder a while what could there be inside the seventh Gran Turismo game.

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.

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!

Some of my experiences with Gran Turismo

I first played Gran Turismo on Sony PlayStation. It was my first full game that came with the used console I had bought. My PS1 had also some demo discs included. I didn’t really get in to using racing wheel. And the game didn’t in my opinion necessarily need one. PS1 had many great driving games. I definitely enjoyed also Colin McRae Rally series as its first two games were released on Sonys first gaming console.

Gran Turismo was something amazing. It was released in 1998. It brought realistic graphics and gameplay to console gaming systems racing games. You could also test and upgrade your vehicles. You could buy new cars and tune them and buy more parts. It had over 150 different cars. You got money from completing races and finishing on top positions. There just were so many goals you could try to achieve. Think for example collecting all the cars the game offers.

You can see the second Gran Turismo game on this posts image. I never really played that. I didn’t play GT3 or GT4. But the game I did play some years after getting into the first game was the fifth game of this series. Racing gamers have seen many good games that were developed after the first Gran Turismo. I can name for example Richard Burns Rally and Dirt 3. In my humble opinion GT5 doesn’t come close to these. It is named as Gran Turismo 5 and it is a good game. But…do you have to play it just because it has a strong brand and some earlier games in this series were good? Is that good enough reason? I don’t think so…

Gran Turismo 3 and 4 were great games. I broke my PS2 a while ago so I couldn’t play these on it. And I don’t know if these games have aged well. Racing fans just have so many alternatives to turn to. Dirt Rally 1 and 2.0 have been released and also we can add Dirt 4 to this list. There is already one new Gran Turismo (Sport) that was released for PS4. There does exist some good racing games available only for Xbox 360 and Xbox One. We are not going to go there…

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