I Picked Up Something Good to Play

So I started playing Resident Evil Village. I was a bit frustrated because NHL 97. It clearly was a disappointment for me. Resident Evil Village was released some time ago. It isn’t the newest game that would have been available. It just happens that I like very much the whole huge series of Resident Evil games. I have always simple loved these horror survival games. This has been the case since I first picked up Resident Evil 2 on PlayStation back in 1998.

What I really like to do before getting into a game is to take a look at how long will it take for me to finish the game. I like many types of games. It’s just that if I start a new game that takes 60 hours to finish I have to make a sort of commitment in playing it. That’s why I like to play shorter type of games that take about 10 to 20 hours to beat. That’s one reason I don’t play so many role-playing-games today. I mainly like racing, sports and shooting games but if there is a good game that I’ve heard good things about I might just go and play that.

It was maybe two weeks ago that I got myself these two Max Payne games. I got the first one and the second one released in this series. They weren’t in sale in Xbox store. I did find the latest Resident Evil game for about 20 euros. So I went and bought that also. I have been curious about this game for a while. Although I didn’t immediately start playing it the matter stuck to my mind. I had to play it when I would have some time.

It is one thing to try to find time for playing video games. It is also a thing to find something reasonable and that has a good quality. Today I had the joy to have time and also interest in this game. The graphics are amazing. After playing a graphically poor ice hockey game on SNES this definitely was a blast for me. The graphics come as sharp as my 4K television can display them. The game looks really neat.

What it comes to story the game doesn’t deal with huge multinational company this time. I am talking about the Umbrella Corporation. Instead the story starts developing from the end of the last Resident Evil game. This is definitely a horror game. You get a gun, a knife and also a shotgun. There are some bullets left for you but you must use them wisely. There are typewriters but there is also an automatic saving feature.

I haven’t found anything to complain here. At least not yet. I have played only for about two hours. It is said on “How Long to Beat” website that it will take about 9 and a half hours to finish this game. So there is a good feel to the game. The game has as I mentioned good graphics, interesting characters and a nice story that keeps developing forward. This game is definitely worth my twenty euros. It is also nice to see in what direction Capcom keeps moving with this series of survival horror games.

Setting Up C++ Programming Environment in Windows 10 Is a Pain

Yesterday I was excited and ready to start getting to programming with C++. I thought that it would be nice to learn and to refresh my memory. I have some years ago completed a programming basics course in C++. The idea of having an executable that could be run on a wide range of devices was the idea that was so fascinating to me. I use Windows 10 a lot. So I decided that it would be easiest to just install some IDE and also a compiler.

I was so wrong with my decision. I tried to install Cygwin. During the installation you would have to select all the components that you definitely need for C++ development. There are hundreds of them. If you would like to install all of them that would take days to download and install. So that basically wasn’t an option.

I have been around Java from 2010. I am very familiar with setting up programming environment for it. It is just way easier than with C++. I wanted to code in C++. I just think there are so many options if you learn and use this programming language. What was my solution?

While I was going through the material I found online I figured that it might be easier if I would start with Linux instead of keep hitting my forehead to Windows 10. I know that Microsoft has been trying to make it a bit easier to use Linux’s software on Windows. That however wasn’t the solution for me. So I swithched to my laptop that has a dualboot install of Windows 10 and Ubuntu.

I had already Visual Studio Code installed. All I had to do was to install the extension inside VS Code. That was almost it. I had to look up how to run build inside the IDE but that wasn’t a hard thing to do. So I got to programming quickly.

It was my goal to just write something that would work and refresh my memory on the programming language. As I got my programming environment to work I got to the actual programming. I had to look up some tips on how to present text and read it in online. I am serious as I say that any programming experience in any language makes it way easier to switch to a language that you aren’t already familiar.

C++ is used widely and still in 2022 for programming games and other software. Aside it being a tough to install in Windows it really is a dynamic programming language. There basically aren’t many limitations in what it can be used for. Even websites and desktop applications with a GUI can be build.

What I build yesterday was just a tiny application. Actually it is a personality test with a lot of humourous edges on it. You answer in five questions which give you points for a type of a person you are. There are three types. The personality type that you are is the one that gets most points based on your answers. Yes. And the types are (translated since the application is in Finnish) “a talented model citizen”, “an alcoholic” and “loser”. So you are one of these. I know, there aren’t much of a choice.

Anyways, I had fun all of the about three hours I spend developing this funny or stupid app.  I had fun. It was nice. The program managed to fit into about 150 lines of code. So you can imagine that it wasn’t so complex. It had some basic text that was read in and also printed out. It used different variable types, some loops and decision making with if-else structures and that was basically it.

If you would like to program with C++ yourself I highly recommend using a computer that has Linux installed. I also like Visual Studio Code which is a free text editor or even an IDE (which stands for Integrated Development Environment).

Silent Hill 2 Remake

So there is a new remake of Silent Hill 2 in the makings. I was thinking that in this post I wouldn’t go so deeply into what is coming for us gamers but I thought I should write something I feel about this series of survival horror magnifiency that Silent Hill has delivered and what is my relationship with it.

My first memories are about the first game of this series. I think I never owned the game. I did play a short demo of it. I liked it. Later I have played it but I never completely finished it. The latest connections between me and Silent Hill are made by playing PS3. I own the HD collection and also Silent Hill Homecoming. I had Downpour but I decided some years back to sell it. I also have Silent Hill 3 for PS2.

There is always a comparison between Silent Hill and Resident Evil. Both of them are survival horror games. They do differ a lot. While Resident Evil offers a constant feel of anxiety, Silent Hill does take you deeper into characters and how they feel and how the story keeps forming. I wouldn’t like to say that Silent Hill is in some way better or worse. Instead I would like to think that they are just different games. And they are good series of games all in all.

My history with Resident Evil is a lot closer. I started with Resident Evil 2 on PS1. I have completed also RE 1, RE 3 and RE 5. I almost completed RE Revelations and I am talking about the first in the series of two games. So I have some experience but I am not the master that has completed every game and every game in the whole world. There are lots of games in these series’s.

Silent Hill 2 is definitely a legendary game. Currently we know that it will be released for PS5 and PC. There will be no Xbox or Switch versions. There has been also some conversation about the game’s system requirements. They are going to be high. What is there to be for us? I think the time will show us. I am waiting to see something more out of this game.

A Recent Purchase

Yesterday I went to a large local mall. Well, actually it’s in Vantaa and it’s called Jumbo. It’s near the airport and there is lots of stores of different kinds. There is also a hotel, spa and everything. It has also many restaurants. So, you probably get that it’s a huge and complex building that we have here in my home city. I went there by bus. Yeah, I don’t have a car. I don’t need a car.

As I told you in some earlier post, there is also a shopping center in Myyrmäki called Myyrmanni. I told you earlier that there was only one game title for Xbox Series X. As I went to Jumbo I realized that there was, in a shop, a huge shelf of games. And there were tens of titles available. So this made me realize and think again about my opinions about general stores that sell games even today. There was a nice collection. Prices were also low in general.

So I bought one 4K movie, a game pad for my Nintendo Switch, a USB hub and this cool title, Turtles – The Cowabunga Collection, for Xbox Series X. This time I didn’t buy any gift cards. I also didn’t buy more PS4 games. This shopping experience was somewhat refreshing. I was a bit tired. I also got one book from a book store.

If you don’t know anything, yet, about Cowabunga Collection I can tell you that it features thirteen retro titles that were released back in the day for NES, SNES and Sega Mega Drive. I think there is also a title from Game Boy. This might be actually very interesting. There are also some titles that were released only in arcades.

The original price of this compilation was 40 euros, but it was on sale, so I got it for 20 euros. They did have some difficulties at cash register about removing the alarm device from around the packing. Heh, I don’t know if this was important or not, but it’s my gaming diary, so it doesn’t matter. I like to tell these thought quite openly. And if the cashier or anybody from the store might be reading this, well, let’s say hello to you. I think they don’t actually read my blog. But you read, so thank you about that.

There actually weren’t so many 4K movie titles available and the ones I was at least a bit interested in were pricey. They were sold for like 30 euros a piece. I picked up a Star Wars title that was released originally in 2002. It was 20 euros. Later that evening I watched that new movie about Queen and Freddie Mercury form telly. It was a good day and refreshed me as I had also a work day yesterday.

I’d like to spend this last paragraph of this blog post to tell you about my plannings of releasing a book from around the topics that I have written about in this blog. I am currently trying to find time to write this book. I have already written almost 30 pages. The book is still heavily in the making. But if you’re interested about this I can tell you that I am planning to release it as a digital book. If I get to releasing it, it is my aim that the book as it is in English would be available for anyone anywhere in the world. So, stay tuned for that, also.

WRC Series (8, 9 and 10)

I don’t remember, at least clearly, why I didn’t get into WRC series earlier. I do remember that one if this game series’s game flopped very badly. This kept me from starting to play a game in this series. It was back in late 2020 when I got my newest PC and I wanted to buy a game for it. So, I read some reviews and soon I was on my way to order a physical copy of WRC 9.

This was my introduction to the series. I am a big fan of Colin McRae Rally games and also racing and rally games in general. Driving games might be my favorite genre of games. I enjoyed WRC 9. It was a good game. Maybe a bit over half of a year after this positive experience I saw WRC 8 for PS4 in my favorite super market that has a section for gaming products. It’s price was about 20 euros. I decided to purchase it. And I wasn’t disappointed.

What about WRC 10? I recently got my Xbox Series X. WRC 10 was actually the second game that I bought for Xbox Series X. I had bought many digital copies of some games but my first and second games were GTA Trilogy and after that WRC 10.

WRC 10 had received some bad reviews. Finnish Gamereactor gave it 5/10. This score made me really consider about my purchase seriously. I find Gamereactor to usually be a realiable source when I think about buying a new game. Some other reviews, I am not right now mentioning these two blogs names, said, actually something like, “this game isn’t perfect but if you are a true rally game fan, you should definitely buy it”.

One other factor that made think about not to buy WRC 10 was that I already know that there is a new game, WRC Generation, going to be released soon. After all I went and bought WRC 10. I thought that since it was available and I would have at least some weeks to play it before starting to plan on playing WRC Generations I made this decision. Also the price was in my opinion right. I only had to pay about 35 euros for this game.

Just yesterday I got my WRC 10 from mail. The installation process was a bit slow, but it is the same with every new game. They seem to take up some space and more than some years earlier. So the process of installing a game today can take a long time. I have played it only for like two or three hours. At this moment it seems to be a good and solid rally game. I have to adjust my driving style for this game since I have played recently a lot of Forza Motorsport 3. I think WRC 10 is more of a simulation game than FM3.

There are some comments on those reviews that I wrote above. The driving seems more comfortable if you have a wheel and pedals. It might be more difficult to play with a game pad. I can say that graphics, being 4K and displayed from a 4K screen, are absolutely amazing. And you must also consider that this game has a license so you are going to experience all real cars, drivers and teams. Also, this license is going next year (2023) to Codemasters so we are also waiting for a rally game from them.

I really have to get more into WRC 10 and soon. As I am an adult and I have responsibilities, I don’t have all day every day, twenty-four-seven three-six-five for gaming, you know? To summarize, I have some experience of latest games in WRC series and I can recommend them. Especially if you are a rally game fan.

Things Are Going Digital

Some days ago I got a new gaming console, Xbox Series X, that has an optical disk drive. I was excited about it’s new features. I was thinking already, dreaming actually, about going to our local super market. I thought there would be at least a game or two for my new Xbox. And of course some 4K movies.

I was disappointed as I actually got to the market. I found one game available. I wouldn’t have bought this game but I was thinking that at least I am not going back home empty handed. So I went and bought Grand Theft Auto Trilogy. There were no movies available. Every movie that I saw was DVD or Blu-ray.

What I understood about my trip to the market was that there actually were lots of gift cards available to both PS and Xbox stores. And when I think about it, I actually saw some PS5 games being sold as physichal copies. Of course you might have a credit card and so you don’t have to necesssarily buy gift cards. There are also web stores that sell  gift card codes and it is easy to order them.

It seems that there are plenty of downloadable games available today. There are also subscription services that let you play a huge library of games and you have to pay montlhy fee to keep playing them. This way you actually don’t own these games. There are these kinds of subscriptions for movies as well as you might already know.

There are different possibilities. Some like to buy their movies and games and actually own them. It is possible to own a digital movie. In Xbox store for example you can pay to be able to watch a movie for two weeks or you can pay a bit more to actually keep the movie in your service and watch it as many times as you want.

Going towards digital subscription services when it comes to modern entertainment seems to be the trend today. I have tried to get my hands on to some 4K movies from some online stores, but it seems that there are only few movies available and those that are available aren’t as interesting as they could be. But it helps me a bit that I now have a gaming console that can play also Xbox One games which are widely available as used copies.

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.

The Xbox Experience

I have a history with Microsoft’s game console, Xbox. Sony had already entered the field back when they released their first console, PlayStation. Back then I remember some of us, players, felt that Microsoft was only after big profits. They had already shown their somewhat greediness in operating system business. Why do they have to enter the gaming field?

PlayStation 2 was released before original Xbox. In next years it sold a lot and  it sold over 100 million units as Xbox sold “only” about 30 million units. This figures aren’t as accurate as could be but I think they give a tip about how the markets were formed. As Sega retreated their efforts to bring new gaming to markets, Sony and Microsoft kept competing against each other. And of course there was also Nintendo.

Today we can compare the most powerful home gaming consoles and we can talk about PlayStation 5 versus Xbox Series X. Actually, I just got my Series X yesterday. I have been using Xbox Series S for over one and a half years. I do have PS4 but I don’t really have any experience from PS5 be it digital or a device with an optical drive in it. Of course I have experience from latest games of Nintendo Switch and PC also. But it seems to me that I could compare PS5 and Xbox Series X, since they are, in my opinion, really close to each other.

I have very good experiences of Xbox. The thing that I have liked the most is the Android app that I can use to share my screenshots, see the time that I have spent on a Series S/X game and also to see what trophies I have achieved. It has been really easy to work with my account. It was really easy to move all my data, like saved games, to a new gaming console as I made the transition from Series S to Series S. I can also see how my player points look like. The account and the app also can show how many points I have gathered playing Xbox 360 games. I currently have 76 percentage of all of the trophies of Forza Motorsport 3.

My experiences with PS4 aren’t as convincing. I got my PS4 back in 2014. So I have used it for several years. Today, I find that if we compare this experience in overall to the new generations experiences that I’ve had I would like to tell you that…I actually like Xbox Series consoles more. PS4 has some kind of Android application also. But, for sharing a screenshot, you have to plug in a USB stick. That’s a bit wack. Also I didn’t like the overall feel of most games. I think they went after eSports players and made many games too difficult for an average gamer. In my opinion these games also lacked some playability.

Don’t get me wrong. I think PS4 is a great console. Although when compared to Series X/S it cannot compete. There are many really good games on PS4. I especially have enjoyed NBA 2K14, Dirt Rally (1 and 2.0), Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1+2 and many others that I really don’t recall as I am writing this.

What I mainly wanted to say in this blog post is that I have enjoyed Xbox Series S/X very much. I don’t know if you should think that Series X is better than PS5. I think you should make up your own mind and maybe have a conversation with a friend about this. Xbox is nice but I have some very meaningful history with PlayStation. And of course – don’t forget Nintendo and if you are a bit of a retro type don’t forget Sega…and maybe even Atari.

Collecting, Buying but not Playing

I am happy that I am currently employed. I work and I also have some freetime. Although I don’t have the amount of time I had as a teenager. I propably wouldn’t even want it to be that way anymore. I guess I have less time for playing today.

As I have less time for gaming I do have more income. That gets me to buy more collectable items, games, that I couldn’t afford some time ago. I am finding myself buying interesting, nostalgic and exciting games. Some of them, the retro ones, I have owned or played during my childhood. Some games just are plain intersting. I think I cannot fully explain this.

There seems be a lot of items for me to get to my hands. I might buy an interesting game and just leave it for a month or two and then get into playing it. I can picture myself buying even things like CRT television, light gun or another retro game console. Those are very interesting things inside my mind.

There are of course limitations. I don’t have so much room in my house. So, what’s next? Moving to a bigger house to collect more games, systems, televisions and what more? There gots to be a limit somewhere.

Instead of just spending all my time playing every retro title I have for two to three hours a day I am actually also finding myself in improving my personal skills. This is somewhat the fact even when I am playing something but I also am spending my free time for learning something new in programming, technology, making my own games and writing texts and making music. So there are lots of things going on and this is just one way that reflects me as an individual.

Everything depends on everything. As I keep spending more time alone or with my wife I find myself quite content in my current situation. I am a developing individual but of course I am not a software developer…at least not at this moment. But who knows what future just might bring!

What Have I Been Playing Recently

I realized yesterday that it has been already a bit over two weeks from my latest post to this blog. I have been busy with work, game designing and I have also met some friends. I have also played. Actually I have played a lot. I just haven’t had time to sit down and write about it.

Yesterday I also for the first time checked from Steam how many hours I have put in NBA 2K22. I am playing it with PC as you probably figured out from that last sentence where I mentioned Steam. I have played this game for 90 hours.  already described my progression in this game in the last post to this blog.

A while ago I stopped playing Gran Turismo 7. I played it maybe 40 hours. As you can figure I have played a lot this year already. After this I figured I should get into some driving games for PS4. I saw a nice discount so I bought Wreckfest and Need for Speed Hot Pursuit Remastered. I also got F1 2021.

Hot Pursuit is a remasterd version of the game that was released in 2010. There were also some NFS games published earlier and they were also called Hot Pursuit. The comncept here is clear. You decide which side of the law you are on. So you can choose to be a police or a racer.

I have already enjoyed playing this racing game for about 30 hours. At first I was a bit disappointed. I thought the game wasn’t realistic. Driving the same circuit for 50 times seemed very repetitive to me. And you didn’t progress much. I had played as a racer so I decided to try playing as a police.

Playing Need For Speed Hot Pursuit Remastered as a police is very fun. You basically try to drive as fast as you can, bust some racers and utilize means like using a spike strip, helicopter or road block to capture some racers. This play mode saves my experience. As NFS Hot Pursuit Remastered is not a realistic or enjoyable as a racing game it can be a nice experience as a game.

As it figures there’s too few hours for me to play every good game, be it a racing one or not. So I haven’t even opened Wreckfest or F1 2021. I have just been too busy lately. These games aren’t even the newest ones. As my dreams of getting myself a Xbox Series X seem to fade I have started to think about expanding my Series S’s memory. I just don’t know if there’s anything good and new to play.

Picking up what to play next is very common issue for me as a gamer. Thank you for reading. I try to write some more. I have a holiday of two weeks coming soon so maybe I catch you then. Maybe a bit earlier. Let’s find out!

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