NBA 2K24 Is a Disappointment

I bought NBA 2K24 as it was in discount. I paid 22 euros for the Switch edition. I already knew that the Switch version has some limitations. So, the graphics could be better. There were also some other issues. I know that it also takes some time to develop your player so that it is comfortable to play with the character you have just created.

NBA 2K24 is the latest in the series of good quality basketball games. There is lots of expectations. I think this game is very much a disappointment. The main reason I am actually saying this is that it just doesn’t feel like a fun and enjoyable game to play. It pretty much offers the same as earlier games in this series. I really think that the developers of this game should have made a better game.

I really don’t know if the game offers something more in a long run. I mean that I spend a bit over five hours playing this. What I experienced was not satisfying. My player is awkward. He doesn’t know how to score. He takes some rebounds but that’s all he does well. How many hours of this miserable playing do I have to go through to really at some point enjoy this game?

So, my player is weird. His shot release is awful. He feels a bit clunky. The movement is slow. I don’t even want to talk about trying to make the freethrows not to mention three-point-shots. I know that you can enjoy and keep playing this game, or a quite similar one from the past, for several hundreds of hours. But…this isn’t a game that I am willing to play for such a long time.

So, I think I am going to quit playing this game. I think I paid too much for this one. I don’t know if there is going to be some sort of an update or not. I am very glad that I didn’t pay any more of this kind of junk.

I also got another game from discount with this same delivery. This game is Assassins Creed Mirage for Xbox Series X. I paid 25 euros for this game. I hope I find it more enjoyable than NBA 2K24. Assassins Creed Mirage has received better reviews than NBA 2K24. Somehow my hopes aren’t that high.

I have also some games that I haven’t had time to get into. I just have to find some more time for these. The games are Dead Space (Remake), Hogwarts Legacy and Sonic Frontiers. I also haven’t touched Alan Wake II yet. I am waiting also for the new System Shock. These games that I have mentioned here in this paragraph are all Xbox Series X games.

So, some games can be sort of a disappointment and this sadly is the case for NBA 2K24. Some of these big releases seem to fail at times. That is of course natural. I can imagine how much money is envolved. This surely is a disappointment financially also. We are looking forward for more gaming experiences. I hope we get to see some more good quality games this year and also int he near future. Stay tuned…

Super Mario Bros Wonder

Today I have spent maybe three to four hours into continuing to play Super Mario Bros Wonder for Nintendo Switch. This game deserves its spot as one of the best games available for this console. I proceeded to world number four. This game has eight worlds in it.

I just love the game play. Nintendo has put together a definite classic once again. There are many elements from earlier games but there is also something new for those of us that have witnessed the whole legacy of Super Mario Bros. I can picture gamer’s of all ages playing this video game.

It is said that Super Mario Bros Wonder takes ten hours to complete. That being that you manage to pass through slightly demanding puzzles that this game offers. There is a lot to explore. Mario or which one of the characters you happen to play the game with has many new abilities. You can add a special tag that can give you a skill like floating in the air or jumping a bit higher.

These certain elements are present here that are always relating my thoughts to this game series. We have seen earlier games like New Super Mario that have tried to bring back that feel of a nice platform game. This game reminds me a lot of the first game that was released in 1985. I also see many similarities to Super Mario Bros 3.

A big plus also in commercial sense is that kids and adults can all play this game. As you can see that the game is recommended for ages three above. Getting into the game isn’t difficult. I only got a bit stuck in these certain puzzles and made it to the end of the world 4. I had slight problems with tasks in the game that concerned invisibility. It was hard to jump to a certain spot while the character wasn’t almost at all visible. I think I will try to get through this point some day but it isn’t just today.

I don’t think you can complete the game in one sitting. Otherwise the game is very playable and progresses very fluently. The levels information that is provided to the player before entering the stage includes a rating of difficulty starting from 1 star and ending to I think 4 stars or maybe 5 stars. At least that was the way as I played these levels.

You can explore the whole surroundings quite freely. To progress you have to collect these some sort of rewards. You don’t always have to have everything completed to advance. So you can also skip some parts that might seem difficult. There are lots of item to collect. Coins are of course present as are cash points that enable you to buy many other items including extra lives. One hundred coins collected gives you of course one extra life as is usual in Mario games.

I definitely think this is the best Nintendo Switch game that I own currently. It is targeted to all ages but I wouldn’t call it childish in any way. More so it reminds of a deep technical fantasy type of product. Something that engineers and computer enthusiast have brought to all video game fans. And I have to mention one thing. I never got into Tears of the Kingdom so I cannot compare these two games directly. And how would you compare them? That’s like comparing an apple to a pear.

I am going to write one more paragraph to finish this post. I love Super Mario Bros Wonder. It being directed to whole family just makes it a better game and a better product. Congratulations Nintendo! You managed to bring Super Mario to us gamer’s once again with this game: Super Mario Bros Wonder.

This Is a Very Bad Game

I rarely write to this blog about bad games. You know. No one wants to spend time playing a game that you really don’t enjoy. So, I am writing you about NHL 20 for Xbox One. I have  Xbox Series X so I played this game on it. Let me break my thoughts down right here.

How did I came to buying this game in the first place? I found it from flea market for a cheap price. It was only 5 euros. I know what is told about sports games. They are usually the same game that was released last year only with updates to the teams and rosters. This is exactly what this game is like. I am not a deep fan of hockey games. I know NHL 94, 97 and I have played NHL 2008 on PS2 some years ago. I also have NHL 21 for PS4. I partly got it because it included a new remake of NHL 94.

I don’t know a lot about hockey. At least not as much as I know about basketball. I do watch world championships every year but that’s basically it. I have never played hockey seriously. I do live in a country (Finland) that is very good in ice hockey. We have some good players like Mikko Rantanen and Patrik Laine and Laine is also on the cover of this game as you can tell.

I played this game a lot since I hoped that I would really learn to play it and finally spend some good time with it. This didn’t actually never get into that point. I ended up disappointed. I played this game for a bit over 20 hours. I wish I had read some reviews before I started playing. I think this game is a total waste of time. First things I did when I started playing was setting the difficulty level. I started playing with the second easiest difficulty level. I noticed that then this game was too easy. So I upped the level once. This was too hard of a difficulty setting for me. I also changed the button to “NHL 94 style” settings so I wouldn’t have to try to learn this new technique of controlling your shot for example. I had played some NHL 2008, as I mentioned, so the default controlling style wasn’t completely new to me.

This just wasn’t worth my time and effort. As you might have figured out I also spent many days and even weeks playing this game. I don’t know if the newest NHL game is any better. I guess you will have to find out somehow. But this NHL game, NHL 20, is not really a good piece of a game. I could have played something that would have given me some inspiration. I also haven’t wrote anything in some weeks to this blog.

I am skipping the rest of this game. 20 hours for this is long enough. I read form How Long To Beat that it takes about 44 hours to complete this game. That’s unfortunately too long of a time for me, at least. I did play a bit with Mikko Rantanen’s team Colorado Avalanche. I decided to stop playing when I got some more balance to my electronic wallet and this was also the time that discounts started in Xbox Store. I got myself some other games for also a very cheap price.

So, I got games like Dirt Rally 2.0 and Alan Wake II. These both have received very good reviews and I have also good experiences about Dirt Rally games. Immediately, when I started to play Dirt Rally 2.0 again I just felt so good playing it. The game was just way better than what NHL 20 did offer for me. This was the last point to my decision of not going to spend any more time on NHL 20.

NHL 20 isn’t a complete trash but I think you have many older and better NHL games available at the moment. Just give NHL 94 or NHL 97 a try. They are, of course a bit of retro games but you will definitely spend your time better this way. NBA2K series’s games are also very good and they have been that way for years. I don’t have really any experience about latest FIFA games or NFL games. Maybe that’s it for this time. Have a nice new year and may the year 2024 be something for you my dear reader!

A Great Movie for a Total Fan of Resident Evil Series

In this blog post I am taking a view to the movie Resident Evil – Welcome to Raccoon City. This movie was released in 2021. I am seeing this movie for the first time. I really don’t know if it was here in Finland in film theaters at all. At least every theater would have been closed anyway. So, I watched this movie as a 4K Ultra HD copy on my 55 inch telly with my Xbox Series X. In many ways this is related to playing video games. I am likely justified to write this here.

I am watching a movie on my Xbox Series X and it is about the strange incidents that happened in 1998 in Raccoon City. There is a company called Umbrella Corporation that has something fishy going on in this small city in USA. The movie is based on at least the first two games. You will have a benefit in a way for seeing this content if you have played Resident Evil 1 and 2 or maybe even the recent remake of RE2.

This movie is rated 5,2 out of 10 in imdb. It has received some criticism. Of course hopes have been very high. We have had movies based on this survival horror video game series which isn’t such a surprise, but these movies have been of low quality. Even Milla Jovovich wasn’t able to save them. I don’t like these movies at all. I hate to even having to mention anything about them.

How did I like the movie? Were there anything I would have liked to work a bit  differently? Well, it’s a nice package. It is causing me anxiety in a similar way that the games used to when I picked them up back in the 90s and even recently I have this gloomy feeling if I start to play them. My only possession remaining from these games is a copy of the original RE2 which I think is the best out of the first three games. Now we must remember that there have been remakes and also some more recent RE games made, like for example Resident Evil Village.

This movie centers around happenings in Raccoon City when the zombie apocalypse starts. There are characters like Jill Valentine and Chris Redfield. There aren’t any superstar actors which can be also a good thing. The movie opens these strange incidents a lot and it has more going on than what can be achieved what it comes to the main plot of the whole story that is being told through first three games. At least that’s how I felt. Even my wife enjoyed the film although she said that it was scary and caused a bit of anxiety for her. The movie is actually forbidden for age under 16.

I think this was a good movie. Although it was nothing compared to the Last of Us story that was brought to us also some time ago. I watched that thing on HBO. This RE movie was one of my first films that I got as a 4K disc. These things are expensive, you know? I paid 30 euros for this movie. It has also the Bluray version and it came in a steel book. I can definitely recommend this movie to you especially if you like RE.


I Finished Reading “Ready Player One”

So, as the title of this blog post tells you, I finished reading my copy of Ready Player One. It was originally published in 2011. My copy of this book is printed in 2018. This is the translation. I read this one in Finnish. I just wish that I would have read the original book in English. The translation isn’t bad. I just think there are so many terms in English “nerd slang” that you cannot directly translate to Finnish. They have done their best. I know this because there is a person mentioned in the first pages of the book. That person is Jyrki J. J. Kasvi. Or at least was because, sadly, he passed away some years ago.

This book offers a story and lots of references to 70s, 80s and 90s video game related content. This includes games, music and movies. When I am reading this material, I feel very much like a real nerd. I can feel the writers, who is, actually, Ernest Cline, passion, so to say, about every movie and game that he mentions in the book. You probably get who this book is targeted for. It is a fun read. All this talk about Atari 2600 makes it also a bit funny. It just shows how much this console mattered to the author of the book.

The book has a bit over 500 pages. On these last pages there is an advertisement about Cline’s new book called Armada. It is said that it will be available in 2018. I didn’t actually buy this paper back book as a new copy. I bought it from flea market. It might have been from recycling center. I don’t remember clearly.

The story takes place in year 2045. People are really into virtual reality gaming. There is a huge video game called OASIS. It was developed by a now deceased game designer James Halliday. He left a quest inside the game. There is a huge reward promised to that person that can solve the mystery. There is also a large company called IOI that is doing its best to get their hands on this award. The book takes you through of how the main character, Wade Watts, deals with this challenge.

This book has been very popular. There is also a movie made out of it. With all this hype around the book I found it to be a nice read. And of course it is related to the subject of my dearest hobby – collecting and playing video and computer games.

Missing Old Times and Playing Alien 3

I got Alien 3 for Sega Mega Drive. I paid 25 euros for it. It might not be the best Alien game ever. There are although many elements that make this game interesting for me. I also got Mortal Kombat for Mega Drive and a NES game that was actually Chip ‘n Dale Rescue Rangers.

I am thinking of collecting some more Mega Drive games. There are over 900 games for this system. I currently have a bit over 30 games. I also have the Mega Drive mini console. While Iike to own the cartridges the classic mini offers the opportunity to use save states which makes playing more comfortable.

I miss the 90s. We seemed to have that feeling of progressing technology and everyone thought that this fast advancement would continue. Well, it has continued, but today we also see all of these threats of technology and there are lots of difficult issues with modern and ever developing technology. We are facing an issue of technology bringing more difficulties than advancements and improvements to our lives. Technology has grabbed us and is holding us as hostages in a way.

Alien 3 is a shooting game. Your mission is to rescue all persons that are captured in the maze. There are 15 levels for you to play. I played this game for some hours and got to level 4. There is a lot to play for a 90s Mega Drive game. You get to choose from different weapons. Ammo is somewhat limited. You can choose a grenade launcher, flamethrower, submachine gun and grenade. You will have to combine the use of these three weapons since ammo is limited as I stated already. There is also a time limit.

The world of sound is very nice in this game. When the time is about to run out you get an annoying beeping from the game. This is, well, annoying. Otherwise I like the sound in this game. You have to play the levels for a couple of times so that you can figure when an alien is jumping at you or where to find a captured prisoner that you need to release. It is said that this game takes 4 hours to complete. Í think this is very close to true.

I like Alien 3. I am going to try to complete it when I have some more time. It brings me very comfortable memories from an era of past. I can recommend this game if you like solving puzzles and figuring out where to move in a challenging maze. If you like 90s 16-bit Mega Drive games I think you will like this one also.

Playing Some Dirt 4

I have been playing Dirt 4 a lot lately. I got to admit that I do like it as a rally game. It was released back in 2017. I have it for PS4, as a physical copy and also for PC. I have been playing it on my PC. The featured image is this time a screenshot of the rally of Sweden. I think the game feels better on PC. I am quite satisfied with my PDP controller. I have had some thoughts about buying this new controller that is actually Elite Pad 2. It would cost me something like 130 euros. I am considering still if I am going to buy it or not.

Codemasters is one heck of a rally game maker. There is some worries about what is going to happen now that Electronic Arts bought this game studio. This happened in 2021. Dirt 4 was released before that. There have been many good quality rally games released as games of Codemasters in 2010s. Back in the days when our retro games were newest games that existed Codemasters was delivering a heck of a quality. I got my introduction to rally video games as I played Colin McRae Rallly 2.0. I was actually first playing this and after some time I also just had to get my hands on the first game that was titled Colin McRae Rally.

Back in the 90s there were no serious competition for Codemasters. More recently there has been some competition in the form of a game series WRC. They have actually held the official game badge since they have had the rights to the license so they have been able to claim that they are the official rally game. I like also these new WRC games. I really got into them as late as 2020 when I bought WRC 9 for PC. Lately there have been games like WRC 8 for PS4 and WRC 10 and WRC Generations. I like these titles also.

Codemasters is responsible also of Dirt series. It started witb a game called Colin McRae Dirt and advanced into titles called Colin McRae: Dirt 2 and Dirt 3 and then again Dirt 4 and even Dirt 5, which in my opinion, slightly flopped as a video game. There is also Dirt Rally seiries that currently consists of two games. Dirt Rally games brings us gamers some simulation type of rally racing.

Dirt 4 is still a game you definitely would like to play. It has flashy graphics and even the soundtrack is bouncy. Driving feels somewhat challenging. Maybe not so realistic as in Dirt Rally. I like Dirt 4 a lot. One game that wasn’t mentioned, yet, is Richard Burns Rally. That is also a very good rally game. It is a bit old one but I can still recommend it to you if you don’t mind or if you are a retro fan.

Some Thoughts About a Book

There was a huge clearance at a very popular mall in Helsinki some weeks ago. I didn’t find anything except two books. The first one was about games and how they shape you and your personality. The another, in which I am not going to go so deeply in, was about astronomy. But I will tell you a bit about this book about gaming. I have read the book. It was written in Finnish and I don’t know if it is going to be translated or is translated. Anyways, I will write about it.

The book is written by Aleksandr Manzos. I hadn’t heard of him earlier and this was first book of his that I have read. I haven’t even read any of his articles. There is a note on the back of this book that introduces him as a journalist and especially some sort of a gaming expert. He has written many books. The book basically tells a story of how video games have made an effect to Manzos throughout his life.

The name, “Pelattu elämä – miten pelit tekivät minusta minut”, can be translated, a bit freely thought, into “how gaming formed me and/or changed my life”. There is a kind of a wordplay here also that cannot be easily translated. “Pelattu” means “played” and “pilattu” means “spoiled”, so he has changed that one letter right there in that word and he is making a slight joke there.

The book begins with a story about Fallout. You might know this role-playing game. So you get to choose your gender. And Manzos makes very clear that he likes to pick a female character instead of a male one. He then explains how he likes to play as a female. He likes to pretend that he is a she. He continues to talk about this and explains that this doesn’t affect his sexual orientation and he says he is a straight person in that way. He just likes sometimes to be a cute person just like the picture besides his note in the book that introduces him shows.

There are lots of topics that are dealt with in this book. There is lots of thought about the characters in games and how you in a way empathize with them. Manzos writes about video games in the 90s. He is born in 1988 so he is about the same age as I am and there are lots of same influences in games that I can share with him. He talks about Final Fantasy VII and how it brought FF series to European gamers. There is lots of history that he explains in this book. The reader gets to think about worlds of different games from shmups to roleplaying and also to Tetris and Mass Effect.

I have to admit that it was a bit awkward to first read about how Manzos felt about playing as a female character. It was a sort of thing that you have to process a bit. I enjoyed reading this book. I think this writer has many interesting thoughts about games and personality all in all. I kind of have to give him props for his attitude on his personality. I am a bit lame about this matter. I have enjoyed playing as a macho male character in many games. Maybe that isn’t always how people want to present themselves. And it is now crystal clear to me that he is truthful in a way that he even gets to talk about sexuality. This is a sensitive subject. It is easy to misunderstand someone that has opinions in this matter. There are so many people in the world and I think they are all unique.

There are lots of books about games and gaming available worldwide. I have a privilege to live in a country in which language this kind of a material gets published. There are also many journalists that also have a privilege to write about games here in Finland. One other writer whose books I really like is Juho Kuorikoski and he has written many good books. As I don’t know if this particular book is going to be released in English I don’t know what this blog post has to give to an international English speaking game fan. I wanted to write something about this book. It was an interesting read.

Twin Docking Station

I made a great purchase. Or so it seems right now. I bought a charging station for my Xbox Series S controller. I ordered also another gamepad and it will be delivered later.

So this is Kyzars Twin Docking Station. It came with two chargeable 850 mAh batteries. You must connect the docking station to Series S through a cable. Docking station charges controllers even when Xbox is powered off.

Batteries support both Xbox Series S or X and Xbox One. The package comes with a cover for both controllers and also for both types of controllers (Series S/X and One). I previously had a long three meter cable for my gamepad. I guess I am going to give wireless controllers another try.

I remember not being pleased with wireless controllers as I got my PS4 way back in 2014. The battery was drained out of charge quickly. Then I decided that I have to buy a long cable for every controller I am going to use. This way of thinking might now change.

Using single use AA batteries worked somewhat comfortable. Only disturbing matter was that you actually used these batteries for only one time and then just threw them away. That doesn’t sound good at all thinking about the environment and things like that. I hope that these new batteries that came with this docking station last for a pleasent amount of time. I will have to try and test this as I get more deeper into using this device.

I have to mention that the docking station was very cheap. It cost only 25 euros. If you think that a pack of ten AA batteries costs a bit over 5 euros this seems to be a good price. You will get also four lids that you have to change to your controller that enables charging of the controller.

I connected the charging station to the back of my Series S. It seems to be the best way to connect these devices. I didn’t throw away my three meter controller cable. I hope I don’t have to use it anymore. I will have to play around with these batteries and see if they really keep their charge. I hope they keep their charge for at least three hours. That would be enough to satisfy me.

Some Good and Recently Released Rally Games

I started playing WRC 9 at end of last year. So it was December 2020. I had just got a new PC. This was the first game I bought. I had heard about some earlier WRC games. Let me say that this is definitely a series of games and not only one game. But I heard that one game in this series is very bad and you should not buy it. I thought that maybe it was only one bad game. You shouldn’t judge the whole series with one game.

So I read a review of WRC 9 as players often do before they buy a game. WRC 9 received a good grade. I think it was 8 out of 10. So I decided to buy it. It was a good decision. I really enjoyed the game.

I had earlier already played Dirt Rally 2.0. I was very excited about it when it was released back in 2019. I bought it just some days after it was released. I was confident that it would offer me good time. It promised to bring you a good driving experience even if you play, as I do, with only game pad instead of a driving wheel and pedals. I don’t play with wheel and pedals. I haven’t really ever got in to it. It would be a more realistic experience but I just can’t seem to learn so much of it for me to make the transition. I have actually played with game pad since I first started playing the first Gran Turismo and a bit after it Colin McRae Rally 2.0.

The latest rally game I purchased was WRC 8 for PS4. I found it in sale from a supermarket. It’s nowadays somewhat rare to find games from super markets but I made a find. It’s price was about half the price it was originally. I found it to be a very good rally game also.

So these are some latest rally games that I’ve played. They all offer a certain and good feel of driving. WRC 8 and 9 are a bit more playable and Dirt Rally 2.0 offfers a bit more realistic feel. Of course you can tweak the settings and make the game more difficult if you wish to. I am not going in to detail with this post. Dirt Rally 2.0 is designed by Codemasters. WRC is a bit younger series of rally games. Codemasters has delivered us some very good titles in the history of rally games. You probably remember Colin McRae Rally. I wrote recently about it and…you probably guessed it…it is my alltime favorite game.

So if you are looking for a good rally game here are some recommendations. We didn’t get so deep in this text. I just don’t really know how to approach this subject. I can see how developers’s algortithms work in here. At least I can figure out how the feel of driving is getting simulated. So basically your computer reads what buttons you press in which time and defines where your car is positioned and so on…it’s very complex. But my knowledge as a programmer and player, also, bring me to the point where I can actually see what goes on under the hood so to say.

All of these games are definitely more like driving simulations instead of arcade driving games that have more play ability inside. If you want to know more about games like these keep following me and you can definitely have some experience of driving a real racing or rally car. It would definitely help you. I really think there is no right or wrong. This is just some of my thinking. And…I believe the main designer that was behind the first Dirt Rally was a real expert in his field. He had a deep knowledge of games and cars.

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