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.
How do you make a decision about what new game to buy? There are many things that can be considered. Sometimes cheap price is something that triggers this process. The game might be a sequel to some other great game that you have some pleasant experiences with. It might be your favorite game of your childhood if you are thinking about getting your hands on a retro game. Sometimes this leads to thoughts about buying some retro gaming console or even a brand new PS5 or Xbox Series X. But we are talking here about how to make good choices when buying a new game.
You can buy the game as a physical copy or as a download. When I am making my choice I usually check out some video with some gameplay. Then I check what other customers that have already bought and played the game are saying about it. I usually also skim through some reviews. Good places to find these are Metacritic and/or Gamereactor. I somewhat follow two Finnish gaming magazines that are called “Pelaaja” and “Pelit”. Some of the most important web shops that you can buy your game as a digital copy are Steam and GOG (“Good Old Games”).
Usually I also take to consideration how long will it take to finish the game. There is a reliable website for that purpose. It is called “How Long To Beat”. You can find the time for beating a game that can be an old retro game or a new game. Members of the site can add the time that took to beat a game. There is also an estimation of how long would it take to complete the game in all of its content (“completionist”).
I like flee markets because you don’t have to make so sharp decisions on what game are you going to buy. The price is usually low. If I’m going to spend 60 euros to a game I have to make a smart decision. I want to know if the game is worth the money. If I really like the game there is a chance that I could buy a special collectors edition of the game that would cost a bit more. It’s cool to have big decorative gaming pieces comparable to old PC releases that came with a big box. One example of this kind of a release is Tony Hawks Pro Skater 1 + 2 which had a skateboarding deck included with its collectors edition (that was actually sold out by the time I was making my order of this game).
I had an issue with my old Logitech G27 racing wheel and pedals. I couldn’t get them to work on my PS4. Originally G27 works with PS3 and PC. I was a bit sad as I thought I’d have to spend hundreds of euros to buy a new product. It didn’t make any sense to me. I was glad to find a solution to my problem.
And the solution was simple. I found a company called Brook. It had a “Super Converter”. It actually had many kinds of converters, but I was interested in this PS3-to-PS4 functionality. It was hard to find, but finally I managed to succeed in my search. I found the piece needed and made my order.
This product is actually called, or named or whatever, Brook Game Controller Super Converter. Its main function is to transform any PS3 controllers, joysticks or steering wheels output to match PS4s. Don’t ask me so much about the technological side of this issue. Though I can tell you that I had to update this devices firmware to the latest. You can find this software from Brooks website. Basically you just plug the converter to a PC and run the update process. Once that is trough you can just plug the thing to your PS4 and plug your PS3 device to the USB block. So it’s easy to use and even more eaasier if you have some tecnical experience with PC and embedded software installations.
This product works nice. And it wasn’t so badly priced if the other option would be to buy a new steering wheel. Since my G27 is in great conditon, working nice and I’m very satisfied with it, I’m not going to buy a new one. There seems to be some problems with consoles not being compatible with each other. This is understandable when considering Xbox and PlayStation but I can’t understand why it isn’t possible to play PS4 with my PS3 controller or steering wheel. As we have seen USB devices being compatible I don’t understand the reason why Sony would want its users to not be able to do this. That would make gamers happier and maybe make their life a little easier. Money might be the reason. I had to pay about 80 € for this converter. But now I’m happy and able to play Dirt Rally 1 and 2.0 and maybe even pursue a career as eSports driver. Everything seems to be possible!
All in all this situation is not nice. You have a device that’s not working right. You do have a solution for this. You just have to pay some very clever electronics and/or software engineer working at Brook some money-money to clear this issue. It would be nice to have some standards, but you’ll find your way to solve this issue. And I’m glad to bring this answer to you and write a post to this blog.
I played Final Fantasy VII way back when I still had my PS1 gaming console. I played it through and I remember it really took some time to complete it. Graphics were bad if compared to games released today. It had box with four CDs. Remember? PS1 didn’t have a hard drive. Hard drive was first introduced when original Xbox got released.
So for lots of us this new remake brings up so many good memories. The nostalgia is strong. It is a real joy to understand that they haven’t forgotten us older gamers that think FFVII was one of the best in this whole FF series, if not the best of them all.
Free demo of the game was released on PS Store. Demo took over 9 GB of space so it was a small introduction to this game. I played the demo and I think it’s a good response for nowadays gamers demands. Graphics and controls are great. You can choose to play with classic turn-based mode or with modern mode which reminds a lot about Final Fantasy XV.
All in all this is going to be one heck of a game. I would buy it. The release day here where I live is 10.4.2020. I’m waiting for this game. Hope to get to playing it soon!
Besides newest games you can play also retro games with PC. There is lots of DOS and also retro console games available. For this purpose I would prefer Windows but Linux has also some potential. In this article the focus is on games you can play with Windows.
Let’s start our journey into PC gaming of today by introducing some DOS classics. I’m talking games like Bubble Bobble, Blues Brothers, Doom, Command And Conquer, Dune, Golden Axe, Lemmings, Mortal Kombat, NHL 97, Populous, Theme Park. This list isn’t in any way complete but I can recommend all these games. With DOSBox you can also run old apps such as Impulse Tracker, which is a music production app. Instructions on installing DOSBox can be found by Googling. I recommend GUI and I use D-Fend Reloaded for this purpose.
There is also a possibility to play old retro games with many different kinds of emulators. Almost every system has it’s own emulator and PC is good platform to experiment these. You can also choose to mod a device like original Xbox or use system like Raspberry Pi. In any case be sure to use a good USB connected controller that suits retro gaming. I myself have lots of different gamepads. My favourite for PC is Xbox One Elite Pad.
Of course you can play modern games also. There is a large collection of games found on Steam and online game stores like GOG. So when it’s possible, buy the game, because gaming industry really needs your support. You will support production of some quality games. Be sure also to check your local flea market as I have found many great older games from there and the price definitely is as low as can be.
I first got in to Diablo as my brother bought it for PS1. My mom destroyed the game, but that’s another story…I played this, but got really deep in Diablo 2 couple years later. I played it on my PC. I don’t think it was released on any other system back in the day.
Fast development of my role character and action in this game soon got me addicted. One Saturday I played Diablo 2 for six straight hours and that was kind of an record for me as a young teenager. I finally got through the whole game. It took many years for me to return to this series of games.
I had heard rumours of Diablo 3 being in development. Had read an preview article about this game. Hype was very strong. I finally saw Diablo 3 on my friends apartments floor. I was surprised that it was already and finally released. I was so hyped that I almost instantly bought a copy. I had to update my PCs GPU but it only cost me some 50 €. I liked Diablo I 3 also.
I ended buying a t-shirt and a poster. I still have them. And I remember how much traffic was generated back then as the game needed internet connection to register the player and to get to playing the game. It was very popular game. Had me playing Diablo 1 and 2 again a couple of timesboth.
So I thought Diablo 3 was OK as a game. I am waiting for another Diablo now and it is number four this time. While there hasn’t been any information about release date we are currently waiting for the game to be published on PS4 and PC or at least these are the systems I am waiting it to be released for. It is somewhat uncertain and time will tell if it will be out on PS5 also.
Virtual reality was once said to be the next big thing in console gaming. Years have gone and VR hasn’t gained as much attention as was predicted. This may have something to do with todays graphics as they aren’t yet so realistic. VR as experience falls short. Maybe advancing to PS5 brings some change to this situation.
As VR glasses price is several hundreds of euros it is uncertain that they would bring that extra value to hobbyists gaming experience. Some games that come to mind that are using this feature are Resident Evil 7 and Gran Turismo Sport. Those can be played also without VR functionality.
Game types are yet to form inside this technology. Sony isn’t the only one on the markets as Oculus released their device some years ago. Even companies that have been usually associated with smartphone development are looking to get to this market area. Those include HTC, Samsung and Google. There is also a finnish company Varjo. Valve has been developing VR glasses also. Future tells if increase in graphics processing power brings VR closer to customers.