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.
How it feels to play a game that has been released over 35 years ago? It feels amazing and so nostalgic. I didn’t play Kid Icarus as a child. I was so small kid back then. I think I might have seen someone else playing this. But I never played this back in the 80s.
I picked up Kid Icarus as I was browsing a local game shops NES games. It isn’t a pricey game. It cost me 35 euros. I ordered also some other games. I now have a total of seven games for Nintendo Entertainment System right now. I am playing these games with my Retro Trio Plus console.
Kid Icarus is a simple platform and shooting game. You have unlimited amount of arrows that you can use to eliminate enemies which are flying or crawling and attacking you. When you kill an enemy you get hearts. With one controller button you can jump. The other button is used for shooting an arrow. You can shoot to your left or right or even up. You also come across some enemies that take lots of arrows to kill. You can find the ground to be slippery or icy at times.
You basically move upwards in a level and keep shooting at ghosts and other monsters. When you reach a certain stage the game gives you a check point where you can continue your game from. As is usual with NES games the saving is not possible. There is some kind of a password system but I didn’t get so close to utilizing it.
Kid Icarus is a fun game. And it’s a very old game. I don’t know if it’s so interesting after you have played it for a while. If you are really into some 80s stuff and NES I can recommend this game for you. I just don’t think it would be so valuable as a game for someone that likes to play the greatest or latest games.
As times have progressed Kid Icarus is a blast from the past. It makes me think how designing of games has evolved. It makes me think about all the limitations these developers faced in 1986. So, to sum it all up I have to say that it is a nice game but I don’t think its worth to spend an eternity playing it. So, today I’m going to play my Gran Turismo 7 for a while and maybe I have time to try to finish Diablo II Resurrected. Who knows?
First of all I am sorry for not posting anything for a while. I haven’t had time, effort and, or, motivation to write here. So it’s been three weeks since I last posted here. But, now it’s time for me to write something for you guys. As you may have noticed I have added some advertisements to this blog. Maybe I get something out of this. I don’t know and we’ll figure out as I keep writing these stories here. I am trying to write something at least once in two weeks or so.
So, I decided to make a bit of a comparison between game controllers. In that featured image we have a NES controller. Now that’s about as old of a game pad as can be. Or do you remember something more older or simpler? Now, it has only buttons A and B, select, start and the directional control. There are older controllers but basically it doesn’t come much simpler than this. And look at the shape of that thing. It’s actually a piece of block with all those sharp edges.
To make this comparison as concrete as can be I chose the other game pad to be the standard Xbox Series S/X controller that I got shipped with my Xbox Series S. This controller has Y, A, X and B buttons, two thumb sticks, a button to control directions, four shoulder buttons and four more buttons. As you can notice I have acquired a cable for my controller so I don’t need to keep changing batteries all the time. This game pad is also very neat, good looking and fits in the players hand smoothly.
It is definitely simpler to play NES games. While playing Xbox Series S or X games you have lots of going on. Your ways to interact in the game is more diverse. As you might have or might have not heard there is actually a limit for things that a human being can handle at a time. That’s why all the menus in the user interface usually have limited amount of choices that the user has to make. This isn’t directly what is happening here but this gives us a view to what’s really going on as you are playing a game.
Remember those annoying selections you have to make when you make a phone call. You are given maybe three or four choices and you have to press a number corresponding to the selection. The user is unable to see the options that he or she has. So that’s an example of bad user interface design. I know this isn’t exactly what is going on but this is just an example of these psychological rules that our brains use to work.
So we have a more advanced controller here. As you can see the shape has been developed to be more friendly for the user. You have more options but also more responsibility. You have the ability to move accurately the cursor. So the thumb stick can actually replace the control of computers mouse. There has been almost thirty years and you can clearly see that things have in this matter progressed. I probably have to say that this controller is also if used so completely wireless.
One important thing I have to mention while we’re on this subject. It is important that the user can get out of the game and exit from it and maybe even pause the game for a while. Both of these controllers have this option. While using NES you can hit the right button to pause the game. When using Xbox Series S you have the option to pause and exit the game mode and kind of return to the operating system mode. You can also think about how this works with virtual reality. You definitely need a way to pause the game at any time you have to.
I was searching for something new and fresh to read. I don’t remember exactly on what website was it that I found a book about Blizzard Entertainment that was recommended as a good read for a gaming fan. The words I used for this search might have been something like “good gaming books to read”. I used this phrase and made a search through Google and I immediately found a website that recommended about five books. Some of these were already familiar for me and some of them I had already read. But a book about Blizzard? That sure sounded interesting to me.
As I started to read this book, it was titled “Stay Awhile and Listen”, I first noticed that text was written with a large and somewhat loose font. I didn’t let it bother me and kept reading. This book managed to capture my attention very efficiently. It introduces the people that were actually behind games like WarCraft and Diablo. It describes how they got inspiration from games like Dune II and UFO – Enemy Unknown and from earlier role-playing-games, not so graphical rogue-likes, and also from Dungeons and Dragons.
Diablo was very different than those other role-playing-games that were released on PC in the 90s. It defined a whole new genre of games combining action and traditional role-playing elements. It focused also in gathering different kinds of items that could be weapons, armor, rings or amulets that had special attributes. There could be, for example, an axe that gave, once equipped, more strength and maybe more resistance to enemies spells to its user. At first Diablo was designed to be turn-based but eventually it was made to be real-time. It featured an ability to play with multiple players through internet. Back in 1996 that was something revolutionary.
There have been two sequels made for Diablo and there was a whole genre of these new kinds of role-playing-games that many of us gamers have had the joy to play. I wasn’t so excited about traditional role playing or Dungeons and Dragons. To me Diablo was about the first RPG that I played, ever. I remember it being released for PC and PlayStation. The game that brought me closer to enjoying RPGs was definitely Diablo II. I liked Diablo 3 also very much. WarCraft then made something out of the genre that was initiated by Dune II. This genre was called real-time-strategy. WarCraft made some improvements to Dune II.
Before releasing these legendary games the guys of Blizzard were involved in computer technology as programmers and visual artists. They were working in this field already. They had some other interests also. It is told in this book that they really much enjoyed playing games like Sega Mega Drives NHL 94. Back in the 90s they were very young and very talented. So the book describes also their other activities and tells something about how this team worked and who was responsible for visual look, animation and programming. This was an effort of the whole team so you couldn’t tell so much about which member was actually responsible of the whole game. It was more like about they working as a team and every ones effort was needed.
I can recommend this book for any fan of 90s video games and especially for a fan of WarCraft, Diablo or them both. It was actually for me a fast read and I read it in about two weeks. At least that’s a fast read for me. It wasn’t a pricey book. It cost me about 20 euros and I bought it from a Finnish web store. So you should definitely read this book.
Nintendo was founded in 1889. It was originally named as Nintendo Karuta. As you can probably conclude – the end of 1800s wasn’t yet the time for this company to develop a gaming console to be played at thousands of living rooms worldwide. But it was the same company that brought NES or Nintendo Entertainment System to markets in 1983.
NES wasn’t the first video game console that was introduced to consumers. Atari brought their very popular console to the markets at the end of 1970s. It was very popular device but it got into real problems as the quality of games that were released did drop. These games included a game that was well-known and often named as the worst game ever made. It was a game based on Steven Spielbergs movie “E.T.” . This and many other games were buried to wasteland. And this is a true story. When Nintendo released NES the industry started to get over this crisis of games that didn’t have a good quality. Nintendo was making sure that only good and playable games would be released to the system.
If you have to name one game console you probably get your mind to NES. I remember clearly that it also was the first gaming device that I remember seeing ever. In the 1980s we had Commodore 64 but what Nintendo offered was something that revolutionized gaming.
Nintendo had to compete with Sega and later with such big names like Microsoft and Sony. Nintendo has been in gaming industry for a long time. Somehow Nintendo kind of missed mobile gaming and approached handheld gaming by bringing new handheld consoles to the market. Lately there was introduced a new handheld device and this device is the one I acquired very recently – Nintendo Switch Lite. Thinking about this makes me puzzled. I bought this for about 220 euros. A new smart phones price is from about 150 to 400 euros. Would you buy a handheld device for gaming if you have your smart phone already? This is something to think about. Although I have been very satisfied with my purchase this far.
So Nintendo was the company that brought 8-bit gaming to our living rooms. It might not have been the first but in my opinion it had the strongest impact on this culture that was already starting to rise it’s head. This brings out the question – Why are games so popular? I think Nintendo has come up with the answer and they are, after all these years, still coming up with new innovative devices and games to gamers worldwide. So the impact to the whole industry is undisputed.
Nintendo released a maximum mega hit gaming console back in the 80’s. It was called NES or Nintendo Entertainment System. Atari had released gaming consoles targeted to use inside customers living rooms. It was about the time when arcades were quickly challenged by these kinds of devices you could easily set up inside your own home. The trend was there. Personal computers, PCs, were becoming more and more popular also.
While Sega Master System wasn’t a very bad console it couldn’t fully challenge NES. Sega knew they had to release a better, more powerful, gaming console to compete with Nintendo. Mega Drive, or Genesis as it was called in the USA, was released at the end of 1980’s and in Europe right at the beginning of 90’s.
I remember clearly the commercial of Mega Drive. It was a promise to bring arcades to homes. It delivered graphics and sound at 16-bit quality instead of earlier gaming consoles 8-bits. If Master System didn’t have so many hit games Sega promised also to bring good quality software in the form of great games. Sonic The Hedgehog and Golden Axe II were some of the most popular titles back then with not forgetting some greatness that was brought to paying customers by games like Splatterhouse, Streets Of Rage and for example Kid Chameleon.
Nintendo had Super Mario. Can someone say seriously that Super Mario wasn’t a great game? I think no one would say or think that way. So he was the mascot of the whole NES and also Nintendo. The battle for the gamers hearts (and money) was ultimately bloody and sweaty. You can have, if you wish, a great debate about which console had better games then the other.
As the battle continued Nintendo seemed to take in consideration how violent some games were. They started to deliver fighting games with no blood, hockey games without fights and cute characters that might seem to appeal to younger audience. Sega instead was reaching for customers that wanted this kind of rawness in their games. They didn’t remove the blood or the violence. You have to remember that things were a bit different back then since games in general weren’t so realistic. Sega was also paying more attention to the packaging of their games since Master Systems games were catching critic on that issue.
So who won the battle? You can definitely say that both consoles and companies were doing great. Sega was successful and so was Nintendo. Later, Sega made some bad decisions and started to be in trouble. The last console that was released was Dreamcast. Nintendo instead has been bringing gaming consoles up to this day as Switch is their latest console. Dreamcast was released in the end of 90’s and Switch was released 2017.
I chose to write this post about Remedy Entertainment. It was formed in Finland and I am born and living now in Finland. This makes me somewhat proud because I loved Max Payne series and Alan Wake. I evenn played Death Rally back in the days. I am not so familiar with latest releases but I can believe that they are of high quality. Latest games that were released include Quantum Break and Control.
Remedy was formed in 1995 in initiative of Samuli Syvähuoko. It was based on Future Crew that was a demo group. Demos were small multimedia type programs that actually didn’t have any interaction so they weren’t full games or anything else you could play. Demos we’re developed by underground coders, graphic artist and electronic musicians. This scene was popular in Finland in the 80s.
Remedy started working in Syvähuokos parents garage and there was no salary offered to the team developing their first game. Their first game was called Highspeed. Apogee became interested in this game. So it was later released by Apogee. The name was changed to Death Rally as Apogee wanted at some more content to this game. This is also the first game of Remedy that I got my hands on. I remember playing this with keyboard that I shared with my friend. The game was good and very entertaining. It ended up selling over 100 000 copies. This was only the start for Remedy.
As Remedy was successfull they started to form ideas for new games. In 1996 they started to develop first game of Max Payne trilogy. The game was first introduced to public in 1998 at E3 fair. The game was 3D and it reminded of Tomb Raider. Max Payne was released 2001. I remember the first time that I played it and I remember it clearly. Graphics were good, games environment was appealling and “bullet time” had me shaking my head on how good the game actually was. I couldn’t understand how this kind of piece of art did actually come from my home country.
Max Payne became a brand. There were two more games released in this series and there was a movie called Max Payne also. So it was a big thing all over the world. Then came a game called Alan Wake. That I remember playing on PC and later on Xbox 360. The game was good but in my opinion it didn’t have same feeling in it as Max Payne, a police working in New York, had. Game was althought good and I liked it. So there was lots of work that they did together with Microsoft as Alan Wake was released only on Microsofts gaming systems (PC and Xbox 360). The year was 2010. Alan Wake sold about 4,5 million copies worldwide.
In 2013 Remedy was already working with Quantum Break which was finally released in 2016 to Xbox One and PC. It is the biggest production in history of Finnish videogame industry. After that they started working with their next game that was called Control. This game was released last year (2019) and was very anticipated by gaming fans all over the world.
I have been interested in gaming since beginning of nineties. Remedy makes me still proud as it was formed in Finland – my home country. It made me have fantasies of becoming a game developer. But I found out that I’m not the only one that wants to work there and it is a big company. I have to admit that since they have office in Finland I have submitted some job applications, believe it or not, there. It is very hard to get to work there and you definitely have to have talent and skills if you really want to work there. This might not be a surprise since I have a background in programming and Remedy is very popular company and even bigger in Finland.