Playing Xbox One Exclusive from Remedy Entertainment

I sort of missed Quantum Break when it was originally released back in 2016. I surely didn’t have Xbox One then. I actually had only PS4 connected to my main screen that was Full HD 32 inch television. It also had SCART-connectivity. PS4 was my only gaming console that was connected to my television. It would have been possible for me to purchase this game  from Steam and install it for my PC. So there was a possibility that I didn’t choose to follow for some reason or other.

I am a huge fan of Remedy Entertainment. I have been that way since early games like Death Rally and Max Payne series. I did play Alan Wake and I have also played Control. Being a fan of Remedy can partly be explained with the fact that this game company is based in Finland. Sami Järvi actually was the person that gave Max Payne his face and he is also currently the Creative Director of the company.

If you have followed what I’ve been lately writing about you surely know that I recently got myself Xbox Series X. I actually removed Xbox Series S from my setup and replaced it with Series X. This more expensive model of the latest Xbox has an optical drive and two times more disk space for installing games. I also get to enjoy the backwards compatibility. I get to play Xbox One games also with the latest Xbox model Series X.

There are some really nice games that have been only released for Microsoft’s devices mainly being PC and Xbox. Some titles worth mentioning are Gears of War 4 and 5, Dead Rising 3 and 4, Forza Horizon series and Halo series. As I was ordering WRC10 and Back 4 Blood for Series X I decided to go also with copies of Fallout 4, which was sold for only 4 euros, and this Xbox One exclusive, Quantum Break.

It was about a week ago that I received the order from post. I have played lots of WRC10. I started playing Quantum Break just this morning. I have already completed 11 percentage of the game. It isn’t a long game and that is perfectly fine with me. Based on a fact that I found while browsing the web it takes about ten hours to complete Quantum Break. It is a nice game. It includes nice graphics, as you can see from the screenshot related to this blog post. It also has elements from action and shooting games. It also has already offered me some puzzles to be solved. It reminds a bit about Max Payne but at the same time it is a completely own kind of a game.

This far I have very much enjoyed this game. Remedy has once again done a great job. While it’s not the latest of latest it still offers a solid experience. If I would have played this back in 2016 when this title was released I probably would have enjoyed it maybe even more as it is always exciting to play some game that has just been released and is using the latest so to say tricks. I don’t want to give it a grade. The Metacritic has given it a score of 77 out of 100.

 

Having a Break From a Game?

This week I have spent almost five hours playing only Darksiders Warmastered Edition. It’s not actually a new game anymore. It was released in 2019. It is a good game and there is no argument. And to back this up I can say that it has a score of 77/100 on metacritic at the moment. You must also take in consideration that it is a remaster of a game that was originally released in 2010.

Playing Darksiders is fun. But sometimes a gamer needs a break. Some of this games puzzles had me almost sweating. When I first started playing it was Thursday. I took a break and continued to play it again today for almost three hours. There are things like meeting other people and working so I cannot play every day. So I have to take breaks. But how long of a break can you have from a game and still come back to it to finish it eventually?

I don’t have any data to back up my opinions and thoughts. As with almost any of my experiments the greatest source that I have is my experience. So I have had long breaks while playing a game. I think the longest break was maybe two years. It happened when I played Silent Hill Homecoming. Well, I didn’t finish this game. Finishing a game has become for me a rare occasion today. I have a big backlog and the time I can spend on a game is decreasing all the time. I didn’t have that problem when I was younger.

Sometimes it really helps if you are honest with yourself and just give up and start playing a game all over again. There must be some sort of recommendation for how long you can play one game, right? If we think about concentration I guess you can keep yourself concentrated for from 45 minutes to about three hours. That comes from my experience. It actually comes from playing games but you can also think about how long can you concentrate for a lesson while you are studying.

So, there’s a limited time that you can spend playing a video game. Why are games so long then after all? This has everything to do with the medium in which games are released. The amount of disk space that games take is increasing all the time and this has happened for a long time already. First there were CDs, then DVDs. Today we are seeing games that take over 30 hours to beat common.

There are things you can consider when thinking about how long of a break you can have and do you actually have time for playing. One important thing is how long does it take for a game to be beaten. You can find this out as there are websites that can tell you how long a certain game takes to beat. You can choose the kinds of games that you like and that you do have time to play and also finish. Driving games don’t take so much time while some RPGs can take hundreds of hours. I hope you have enjoyed these thoughts. Just remember that there is lots of information that you can find online.

I am Keeping my Xbox 360 (and here are the reasons)

Some days ago I got myself a Xbox Series X. I finally managed to purchase one. It wasn’t easy. The availability of this new Xbox console was poor and it was so for over a year until this week as I noticed that it was actually finally possible for me to actually just buy it.

Xbox Series X is a great console. It can play a lot of these older or so to say retro titles. So it can play games of original Xbox, Xbox 360 and Xbox One. But all of them aren’t playable. You can probably just check this from your favorite search engine. If you type in the search field something like “original xbox games compatible with xbox series x” you will get a list that can tell you actually which of original Xbox’s or Xbox 360’s games can you play with the latest Xbox.

So we now have this information. It turns out that only 63 of all original Xbox’s and 632 out of all Xbox 360 titles are playable on Xbox Series X. I have also this older gaming console that is Xbox 360. It, of course, can play all of Xbox 360’s games. Also, it can handle 464 out of all almost 1000 officially released original Xbox games.

Of course, if you have original Xbox, you don’t have this issue of owning some games that you just cannot play on any device. Since my original Xbox broke down about two years ago I am going to have to rely on my Xbox 360 and I am still not able to play all these games I own. Actually, also my PlayStation 2 broke down about the same time. I don’t think I have so much trouble playing it’s about 60 games that I own since I have reliable emulators available on my computer. Xbox however doesn’t have so solid emulation on a PC.

I actually removed from my own game shelf all of the titles that I currently am not able to play today. There were several games I liked involved. Sadly I only have a limited amount of space in my gaming setup. So, I could have bought a new used original Xbox that would have fixed my issue. But  decided not to. Also what might disappoint a real game collector and game hobbyist is that I at least currently lack the skill to repair my original Xbox. If you actually want to try to repair your game console there are instructions for you in internet.

I had to give up on some of these Xbox titles. But at least there are tens of games in y game library that can be played with my Xbox 360. And that’s one reason for me to keep it and try my best to maintain it’s condition. Xbox 360 was first released back in 2005. So it is an old gaming console. The original Xbox was released in 2001.

Some of my favorite games of original Xbox that I can still play utilizing my Xbox 360’s backward compatibility include Forza Motorsport, Halo 1 and 2, Colin McRae Rally 04, Black and Shadow the Hedgehog. Titles like Second Sight and Silent Hill 3 and also Colin McRae Rally 3 aren’t playable on Xbox 360.

As there are lots of popular titles in all of the released title library of all Xbox consoles that may not be playable on these more recent devices I wouldn’t be so much surprised if there would some day be some kind of Xbox mini classic console released for all of these retro gamers and fans of classic Xbox titles. There is also an ongoing and huge effort on bringing PC emulation for Xbox to be the reality.

Maybe these were all the reasons for me to stick to my Xbox 360. I am currently playing Forza Motorsport 3. After I have completed it I am planning on starting to play Colin McRae Dirt 2 which is a very good game in this Colin McRae Rally series of rally games that I haven’t yet had the opportunity to play a lot. I am hoping to complete it also. You can find today a Xbox 360 game console from any gaming store online and it doesn’t cost you a lot. You can probably get one for around 100 euros.

My Relationship to NBA 2K Series

I have played NBA 2K basketball games for a long time. The game I have played the most to this day is NBA 2K14. Since I have a background in playing real basketball I wanted to have a little fantasy on being a professional basketball player playing in NBA. I played in my youth six years in a competitive level and continued to play weekly for about a year after that. In NBA 2K14 I managed to max my abilities to a level of 99 and eventually won the championship with my team. I remember immediately stopping playing after I won the championship. I had played this game a lot. And that means also a lot in today’s standards. We are talking over 60 hours of playing here.

I have played NBA 2K with Switch Lite, PC, PS3 and PS4. When I first created a character from my fantasies I made it a point guard that was also able to shoot some three pointers. I definitely wanted the character to have good ball handling and passing skills and also to have some common cleverness on the court. I decided to make the player the same height as I am. That means he is six feet tall. So it’s just enough to play as a shooting guard or point guard.

As a sport game series NBA 2K has had a long run in releasing these games that have had a good quality. The game has evolved as the series has progressed. There has been a game released every year. I am a fan of this game series. That is definitely true. But I haven’t had the interest to buy this almost same game every year. So that’s why I don’t have every game that has been released in this series.

The latest NBA 2K game is a very good one. As I have read some reviews also I think other journalists or reviewers have had some issues with other content in this game besides the actual part of playing intensive basketball. Does the latest game try too much to be a game that has all kinds of features that aren’t actually needed? The players and teams are the current ones but that solely hardly is a good reason to buy the game. NBA has a solid and huge fan base even outside of North America. I mean that I’m from Finland and I still very much enjoy this game. And it’s good to see our own Lauri Markkanen in this game.

I have currently NBA 2K22 installed to my PC. My overall is now 92. I am playing the third season with Indiana Pacers. We have won 47 games this year already and we are strongly heading towards the playoffs. I think we have an opportunity to win the championship this season. I am currently at the top position inside the game when it comes to discussion about the Most Valuable Player or shortly MVP. I have enjoyed the game very much. I even ended up competing in the All-Stars slam dunk competition. This current character I am playing with is 6 feet and 5 inches tall. So I am playing as a small forward this time.

We are very likely going to see NBA 2K23 somewhere in the future. How long does this last? Will it be a good game also? Will you and I buy it? So many questions and so little time. We will find the answer some day. See you then!

Grand Theft Auto

Do you find the mindset of Grand Theft Auto a bit weird? You go around driving a car and you accidentally drive over a person. Oops. The next thing that goes on is police starting to chase you. So what do you do? It wouldn’t be GTA if you wouldn’t shoot all the cops coming after you. Next thing you know is military coming after you. Maybe you end up driving a tank.

This is all a reality in Grand Theft Auto. But did you know that this game wasn’t at first meant to be as violent and somewhat absurd? That is the case. They were developing something and as they were working they got the idea of how the game actually could turn out to be. This of course was something that was never done before.

The first GTA game was released in 1997. At this time gangsta rap was dominating musical entertainment. Games like Fallout were released. This harsh realism seemed to be the trend. Hopes for better technology were rising. And there was also a hope for better tomorrow through using latest technology.

GTA series definitely wasn’t a one hit wonder. The sequel was released in the end of 1990s. What really pushed the gaming industry forward was the release of GTA III for PlayStation 2. It provided the player a full open world experience of violence and stealing cars in the midst of completing different kinds of missions for gangster bosses. At its time this was something revolutionary.

This wasn’t however the end for this game series. It wasn’t the end. It was only the beginning. There were more games released. The first of them was GTA IV. It was a deep experience in this dark criminal world. This was followed some years after as GTA V was released. There were several remakes done for the fifth game. Now we are hearing some talk that there would be a sixth game coming to stores soon.

Grand Theft Auto manages to bring different aspects of gaming together. It has an open world to explore. The driving in this game has an important role. It takes influences from shooters also. So this game brings you a solid experince for almost any gamer not depending on what kinds of games you like to play. It is a very diverse experience in overall.

I have enjoyed playing GTA. I remember seeing it the first time back in 1997 being played on a PC. It has remained at its spot as one of the most popular games though the history of playing games. And I am hoping to see the sixth game also soon.

Some Thoughts About PS3

What PS3 means to me as a gamer? It was originally released as early as 2006. It’s toughest competitor was Xbox 360. It was released in 2005. PS3 isn’t the newest gaming console today but you can only admire how long it has been a proper gaming system for many gamers around the world. It has been here for so long time. And it seems it has still something to give.

I first got introduced to PS3 in 2008. I remember that one of the first games I got for it was Final Fantasy XIII. I was already a big fan of this RPG series. It was only natural to get the latest Final Fantasy game. I soon got to play many different games. I really enjoyed all the racing games on PS3. I remember the summer of 2011. I played every day. I had a long holiday as I was studying in School of Applied Sciences. I definitely enjoyed Need For Speed Shift one and two.

Controllers of PS3 were wireless but I had to get a cable for them that was three meters long. I didn’t like using gamepads wireless since they ran out of current too fast. PS3 was my only gaming console back then. I mean I had still somewhere in storage my Sega Mega Drive but I wasn’t going to play it for a long period of time. It was years later, maybe in 2017, that I started to sketch my plans for my current corner in our house that would be dedicated for gaming.

I got a PS4 in 2014. Back the I was excited about the new system. I had to realize a bit later that I wanted also to play older consoles. First I got an original Xbox and after some time I got a PS2 also. That was also when I decided to connect also my Mega Drive to my television again. When we moved to our current home I bought a small bookshelf for all the gaming systems I then had. I have to write about that also someday. But PS3 was there for me for a long time. And it’s lifetime inside my small gaming corner isn’t about to end any time soon.

So PS3 had some awesome driving games. Colin McRae Dirt and its sequels and all of the Need For Speed games were among those games. You could enjoy NBA 2K. This posts featured picture captured some of my games from my collection for PS3. You can check almost any of these games and you wouldn’t be disappointed. I do have also some more games. It’s not hard to find a good game to play on a PS3.

PS3 today doesn’t cost a much. The price depends a bit of the model you are going to buy. Some PS3s are even backwards compatible with PS2. I think all PS3s are compatible with PS1 games. Technology althought has advanced. You won’t get the latest graphics out of this system. But you have to think that it has been 16 years since this console was released.

The meaning of PS3 is significant. I encourage you to get into some PS3 games. Also, today it is possible to run a PS3 emulator if you have a powerful enough computer that you can use for this. Okay. Maybe I’ll end this post by listing some of more of my favorite games for PS3. Here they are. Max Payne 3, Hitman Absolution, Alice – Madness Returns, Splatterhouse, Call of Duty – Modern Warfare 3 and F3AR, NBA 2K14, just to name a few.

About NVIDIA Shield TV

Some years ago I had a situation with my television. It wasn’t a smart TV. I wanted to watch more content that I liked from it. I tried to make this possible in several ways. First I tried connecting my old Raspberry Pi, the first model, to it. I found out that it wasn’t powerful enough.

What I tried next was to install a Linux distro to a computer and then hook it up to the television. So I got my hands on an old computer that was not used anymore actively. I installed many distros. I was most successful with first Lakka OS and then I also tried LibreELEC. I wasn’t satisfied.

I started thinking if there would be some other solution. My thoughts were first centering around Google Chromecast. It was cheap. Then I found this perfect solution. It would cost a bit but it would cost even more to get a smart TV. This solution was Nvidia Shield TV.

I have now written already three paragraphs in this blog post and we haven’t really touched the main subject yet. The subject of course is the device that allows you to run any Android app and in that way allow you to play games, new and also retro, and see any television programs that you like. The image related to this post displays the remote controller of Nvidia Shield TV.

There are two models of this device available. One has a price tag of about 150 euros and the other, Nvidia Shield TV Pro, has a price of about 230 euros. I have the cheaper one of these two. I also bought a 128 GB memory card with the device. IT connects to your network only with a cable. So that is a small minus. Otherwise I have been happy to use my Shield TV.

It connects to your television with a regular HDMI cable. So, as I said, you can install any Android app. You can hook up your favorite game controller through Bluetooth. I used Dual Shock 4, which is PS4s controller, and I also made sure that my controller had power for it. In this case Dual Shock 4 takes its power from a smart phones charging cable. It uses micro-USB.

There is an app for retro gaming and it is Retroarch. You have to copy your rom files through your local network which is very easy actually. I wasn’t able to play any PS2 games but I found that I could run any PS1 and Dreamcast games. So it is more powerful than your Raspberry Pi would be. And I think there isn’t any decently working Android emulator to be found at the moment (please correct me if I’m wrong).

I can recommend NVIDIA Shield TV to someone that needs a bit more power than the newest Raspberry Pi provides and wants to watch TV programs provided by any Android app. There are also features that let you mirror the games from some other device like a PC.

What to Expect from Alan Wake 2

Remedy made it’s way to many gamer’s hearths with Max Payne trilogy. One good game by this company also is Alan Wake that was released in 2010 for Xbox 360 and PC. I managed to purchase this game for PC and it was some sort of collectors edition. I remember I bought it, as I have a habit to do, from clearance. It didn’t cost so much and I was very happy as this release came with some bonuses like soundtrack of the game and stickers and some fictive post cards that were supposedly sent from the location the game took place. I also bought for much less a used game for Xbox 360. I have also played this game through.

It is a good game. I enjoyed it. So it’s not surprising that Remedy has announced that it is working on a sequel. While survival horror keeps being popular the gamer’s are waiting for this new game now. Only a few months ago Alan Wake Remastered was released. So the product is a bit hyped already. There isn’t a release day announced yet. It might take until year 2023 for it to make its way to game shops and then to the hands of paying customers.

I have played many Remedy’s games and Max Payne one and two are my favorite ones. Alan Wake itself is something a bit different. While Max Payne brought you a shooting experience with “bullet time” and all this action and also it had a scheme inside it. And what makes me a fan of this game company is that it’s coming from Finland that happens to be my home country also.

Alan Wake is somewhat a horror game. A big part of the game is about using your flash light and surviving in this forest type of environment that reminds a bit of the forests here in Finland. The main character is a writer. You have to survive and get rid of these enemies that keep hunting you. These monsters hide in shadows and you can slow them down with some light. It took me over an hour to play it through. It was about two years ago that I finished Alan Wake. It would’ve been possible to play it again with a harder difficulty level or try to collect all items that are hidden in the game.

All in all Alan Wake is a steady and fresh brand of Remedy. You have to wait a bit more to see some game play video but there is a trailer somewhere in YouTube. I have heard some players talk about the new Alan Wake game and how it definitely needed a sequel. It took over ten years. We have to wait a bit to see exactly what kind of a game will it be. Will it be like the first game or will Remedy take to be more like traditional survival horror game like Silent Hill or Resident Evil.

About Crysis 2

I have hyped some games that I really enjoyed in this blog. So I guess it’s time to say something about a game I didn’t get so much in to. I’m not saying it is a bad game. Also I’m not saying I haven’t played FPS games at all because I somewhat have played them. Actually I’m currently playing Call of Duty Vanguard. There are lots of differences between these two considering that they are both in a same genre. In this text I would like to write about these differences and explain why I didn’t play Crysis 2 so much.

Crysis 2 is a good game. But my point here is that it is really difficult. What makes this game hard? At first it looks like your regular FPS experience. When you get to action you suddenly notice that the enemies are all over the place. When you fire a shot lots of enemies notice you and start shooting at you from different angles. You can dodge and take cover but because there are enemies behind you and in front of you…the game forces you to shoot accurately. If you miss a shot you get punished. There’s not lots of ammo also.

If we compare Crysis 2 to some Call of Duty, lets mention Vanguard here, we can see a clear difference. Call of Duty is easier. You can play it even if you are a casual shooter game fan. The enemies appear mainly in front of you. You can take cover easily. You just have to remember to reload your weapon and if there are lots of enemies you have to take cover if they fire at you heavily and if you get also wounded badly.

Weapons are a bit different also between these two games. Crysis 2 brings you some futuristic weapons while in Vanguard you get to use old weapons used in World War 2. But basically in Crysis 2 you get a shot gun or a sub machine gun with a bit limited aiming. In Vanguard you get to shoot with a sniper rifle a lot and also with some basic rifles and you can effectively use sub machine gun at close combat. Vanguard also features some stealth action and it may have more of it than Crysis 2.

So all I wanted to say about Crysis 2 is that it is basically a very good game. It’s just that it’s in my opinion just too hard. I know there are lots of fans of Crysis series all over internet. So please don’t be offended. Crysis 2 was originally released in 2011 for Xbox 360 and I think there is currently available a trilogy of HD remakes that includes all three Crysis games remade with todays graphics.

Waiting for Diablo II Resurrected

In the middle of all retro games I have had a chance to play I have also been waiting eagerly for the next purchase I have planned for my shiny and new Xbox Series S. And it is going to be after all Diablo II – Resurrected. How have I prepared for what there is to come? Of course I got my copy of Diablo III and installed it again to my newest personal computer. It’s been a while since I played this one the last time. It was actually released back in 2012.

Do you remember Diablo III? This game got the whole internet stuck world wide. It is required as you install the game for you to connect to the server for a moment. This is actually true. I am not telling lies here. There were actually so much weight on the whole internet that it made it a bit slow for us for a moment. Although after a while things were normal again. This happened at the moment when game was released and this didn’t repeat.

After I installed the game I noticed that I would also need to login to my Battle.net account. It still held my hero that I had previously played as. I am aware that it is a bit different to play this game with a controller but not so much different after all. I decided to start a new game and this time I chose to be a Wizard.

I played for some hours and got my player to level up to all most to level 20. After that I increased the difficulty level up from normal to first hard and then to expert. I found out that I am not so good at playing this game as I could be. I do enjoy casting different spells and trying to kill as many monsters as I can to gain more experience points. This game is still lots of fun. I have also bought the t-shirt when it still was available from one Finnish webshop. And I remember travelling to another city to get it. That was probably back in 2013 or so.

Why not introduce the game a bit for those of you that haven’t heard or played it? Diablo III is probably where you want to start if you want to get into some playing modern Diablo games. I don’t exactly know how Diablo II Resurrected will be. I haven’t yet played it. But here we will start from the third game of this series. So Diablo is an action role playing game. There is lots of things going on. The main activity is to kill monsters. Your health goes down when monsters hit you. Sometimes they hit you with some magic. There is different kinds of magic spells that you can use and also that your enemies in this fictive world can use. In earlier Diablo games you had quite strictly mana that you could use for your spells. This is a bit comlplivated in the third game. But you can for now think this power to be almost like mana. So you spend it on spells and it keeps coming back when time progresses (or you have to drink a mana potion or something like that).

There are different kinds of weapons and armor that keep your character to not to take so much damage. Better weapons give you better damage against monsters and other enemies. You can use a teleport to get back to the village. There you can heal yourself to your current maximum health and repair your weapons and armor. A big part of this game is searching through different maps and doing some kinds of tasks. There is a plot but it isn’t the main reason for someone to play this game a lot. There is a lot of fantasy involved. This is a role playing game after all. It takes it’s roots and it is considered to be (or so I heard a speaker at one years “Games Now!” lectures to say) three out of five (3/5) of a “roguelike”. Roguelike is just a term that is used of a game that reminds of an ancient role playing game that was actually named “Rogue”. Maybe that’s enough about these Games Now lectures and it might be a story for another post, maybe, some day.

If you like Blizzards games such as Warcraft and Starcraft which are real time strategy games you will definitely like Diablo games also. They rely a bit more on the combination of fantasy and action mixed with these role playing features. And when I am mentioning Blizzard I have to mention World of Warcraft. It is actually very dependent on online players as it is an online game. I am not after all such an expert nor have I even played it.

Anyways, let’s hope this new Diablo game would be a good one. It will be released next week. The actual release date is 23rd September. So I will get my hands on it the next Thursday. The graphics must be something to see. We are still waiting, of course, also for Diablo 4. And please don’t mind me posting this screenshot. It isn’t the sharpest of all the Diablo screenshots possible but it is a good one from a game nine years old.

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