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.
The image included here displays my Sega Mega Drive Mini. I have three controllers for it. One them has six regular buttons and two of them that were originally packaged with the gaming console that have only three buttons on the right hand side of the controller. I think original game pad is better than the updated one.
Today I have a free day. So there’s no work for me today. I had some good time playing some Mortal Kombat. It seems to be one of the best games on this gaming system. Other very nice picks are Castlevania – The New Generation, Dick Tracy, Kid Chameleon and Golden Axe II. There are several titles more that are worth playing. It’s not possible to go through them all here. Maybe I write another post about it later.
It is said that Mega Drive games repeat themselves and the gameplay is rough. It is sometimes said that Mega Drive games are worse than Nintendo games of the same era. I wouldn’t say it like that. You can compare these systems, NES and Mega Drive, but to think clearly, you should consider them to be different. You might like Nintendo games more. Or you might think like I do and I think these consoles are both good in a certain way.
Sega’s games are maybe harder to play. They definitely are more violent. In some ice hockey games there is fighting and in Mortal Kombat you can see blood as you hit or kick your opponent. NES’s games are more complex and maybe a bit more better when considering gameplay. But Nintendo’s games can be called childish. In a matter of fact this is a case of sense of taste and you can’t really argue on these.
When it comes to 16-bit devices Nintendo might have better performance in SNES than Mega Drive. That’s natural as SNES was released years after Mega Drive. I think Mega Drive had good graphics. SNES maybe had a bit better ones. But it is clear that these two represent the best quality of their own time. In the 90s you found some good games that brought you maybe the best graphics that were possible to produce as 2D graphics. When the next generation consoles were released they were heading strongly towards 3D.
I have greatly enjoyed my Mega Drive Mini. It’s price tag was about 60 euros. As I mentioned in the beginning of this blog post it came with two controllers. It takes days of two to three hours of playing to really understand this console. You will find the best parts of it. And of course you will also find the limitations that this device has. Things have progressed in designing of games and of course the technology has advanced. We might even see some new games to be released for Mega Drive even today.
When talking about how you perform in competitive gaming it first comes to mind that you have to practice a lot. You have to be young enough but also still old enough. You need your wits. You also have to be balanced in your life in overall. Make sure you get enough sleep. You might also figure that drinking is not good and you perform badly if you have a hangover.
But what I have to say is that one of the key things is concentration. You might remember how school was when you were a child. I remember that we had 45 minutes of class and then we took a break for 15 minutes and got some fresh air and then begun the next class. This seems to be somewhat optimal time for a person, a player, to concentrate. So keep this in mind. You can continue playing longer than 45 minutes but I think you should at least have a break after you have played for 2 hours.
Your age matters actually a lot when competing in gaming. It has been said that after the age of 27 years your nerve system starts to weaken a little by little. Well, I’m myself right now 37 years old so it seems I wouldn’t be able to compete against some younger players. This seems to be the case when considering especially first person shooter (FPS) games. But you have to also remember that while you play a game your nerve systems forms memory out of your actions and you might have a huge advantage if you have played some shooter game a lot. Like it is with athletes – very few of them are over the age of 30 and if they are they won’t be as good as they were younger.
While age matters and young players are more likely to succeed you have to remember that winning might not be the most important matter when it comes to gaming. I can say that I definitely enjoy playing games like an old soccer players enjoys playing. After all you are the one that sets your goal and the amount of effort you put in to playing games. Everyone doesn’t have to be a professional.
As it is important for competitive players to practice it is also important to have enough sleep. You also have to be in, so to say, good balance with your life. Gaming might not be your best shot as a career. It might not pay your rent. But it can be part of your successful life. It might be your dear hobby. It might be a way to spend some free time and get your thoughts out of your studies or work. For some people it might be a profession. Not for everyone.
The last thing I want to talk about in this blog post is that your equipment does matter also. Think about what genre you are going to compete in. For driving games you would like to have a steering wheel and paddles, fighting games require certain type of joystick, FPS’s can be played with keyboard and mouse and real-time strategies require these also. There are many tools for getting the best out of your performance.
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 have played a lot of Sega Mega Drive, various PlayStation consoles, PC and even Xbox. I started thinking about what have I to this day missed. What would be something for me to get to know next? I figured I hadn’t played Nintendo so much and seriously. What were the titles I would like to get into and could I maybe purchase a new console. Could I learn something new about gaming?
I thought about this for some days. I had some plans about first getting some NES games. I figured also that I haven’t played any games in the Zelda series. It would be expensive to buy first or second game for NES. It was almost 50 euros and I would have only old retro game. It wouldn’t be a great experience.
I was thinking about this. I thought that I could buy Nintendo Switch. This would however cost over 300 euros and I would have to think about games and spend even more money to get them. I finally made my decision. I would get my hands on Nintendo Wii.
My Nintendo Wii came with one game that was Super Mario Galaxy. The price tag was 80 euros. Shipping didn’t cost anything since the purchase was expensive enough which was a nice deal for me. I was a bit surprised of the size of the console – it was definitely small and light.
I haven’t played any Wii games before. I have barely seen it. I knew the controls were very different if compared to PlayStation or Xbox. I had ordered a gamepad with my Wii. It was a bit of an surprise that I had to plug the gamepad to this other controller called “Wii Remote”. And I didn’t get the gamepad to work. What to do next? I started the device. I even had to go to the store to buy some batteries for this new and exciting thing I had just added to my gaming collections.
So it was soon getting late and I just had this thing called Wii in my hands. I knew also that I could play GameCube games with it. I had ordered also one game for GameCube. I found out that I would need at least an original GameCube controller and maybe even a memory card. So I had to order them also. I did that next morning.
Nintendo Wii is a very nice product. I connected it with my television through SCART. There was a HDMI adapter also available but I haven’t, at least yet, ordered one. That would surely make the display more detailed and sharp. I found out that playing a bit of Super Mario Galaxy introduces this system for a complete beginner. The controls aren’t so difficult once you get the hang of it. You have to be a bit careful not to slash your friend or drop a bottle of lemonade from your table while playing. But after all it works great. You are playing with both of your hands and not only with your thumbs and index fingers. You have several buttons and sometimes you have to shake your Wii Remote for Mario to spin fast around for couple of times.
I am going to play my Wii some more. I already have three games and one GameCube game. Those three are Zelda – The Twilight Princess, Resident Evil 4 and, the one I already mentioned, Super Mario Galaxy. The GameCube game I got is Resident Evil and it’s a remake of the original one that was released for PS1. If you want to get yourself a Wii just remember to check if it does run also GameCube games. Newer versions of the console don’t support this feature. And remember that you have to have yourself at least a controller of GameCube and preferably also a memory card. I might write a post or a few about Nintendo Wii games in the future so stay tuned.
I have for a long time used Xbox Ones Elite gamepad for playing games on my PC. This is fine when dealing with PC games but when it comes to PCSX2, the emulator for PS2 games, I would like to play with a good gamepad that has buttons layed out correctly. What I mean is I would like to play with a PlayStation controller. It is kind of stupid for me to play PS2 with Xbox gamepad.
This is where a program called DS4Windows comes in to play. It is very simple to use. You just run the application and connect your DualShock 4 gamepad to your computer. You can use USB or Bluetooth connection. That’s right – you don’t need to connect your controller necessarily with Bluetooth since a USB cable works just fine. You can download this application from http://ds4windows.com/ .
I am planning on buying another DualShock 4 gamepad to use for this particular purpose. I currently only have one of these controllers. They are in my opinion a great way to somewhat make PS2 games more playble and modern. So the player can concentrate to the game instead of loosing interest as the gamepad is too bad. This can be a great improvement considering FPS games like Call Of Duty series’s games that were hardly as nice to play with older gmaepad like DualShock 2.
As PS5 will be released, I think it’s going to be sometime in November this year, there is a new controller introduced to large audience. It is called DualSense. I don’t have any experience, which in this case is understandable, of this new gamepad. I am a bit excited about it and I am curious of what kind of quality and playability it will have inside. There are some great differences between Xbox and PlayStation gamepads. One of the biggest is the layout of thumb sticks on these gamepads. I hope the new PS5 pad gives us many new improvements in technology of gaming controllers.
Now that Dirt 5 is coming to us later this year it would be nice to think about how Codemasters started this whole rally game thing. So it was 1998 and PS1 was the best and most popular gaming system out there. We had already seen some really good racing games. Gran Turismo was released early in 1998. The first Colin McRae Rally game was good, but in my opinion, the second game was even better. It had some awesome physics modeling that made it the most realistic rally game of its time. Back then racing games were mainly played with gamepad instead of a wheel and pedals. This made playing not so realistic but also really fun and it also demanded a good concentrating.
Two first games were popular. Third game, Colin McRae Rally 3, was released on the next generation of gaming consoles. It was released for PC, PS2 and original Xbox. I really liked this game also. Graphics are better than in the first two games but the feeling and controlling is very much like in these first two games. Colin McRae Rally 04 and Colin McRae Rally 2005 followed some years after. It tells a lot about this games popularity that there were so many games released. It actually had competitors. One really good simulation rally game was Richard Burns Rally. Some players thought that Colin McRae games weren’t actually the most realistic racing games that existed. That was about to change. But it took several years for Codemasters to develop its most realistic rally simulation game yet. I am talking about new games that were released to PS4.
Dirt series started with Colin McRae DiRT. It brought nice rally driving experience along with some other kinds of vehicles for players to drive with. It was a good racing game. It was followed by Colin McRae Dirt 2 and Dirt 3 that were both released, also with the Dirt series’s first game, on Xbox 360, PS3 and PC. I talked about how Codemasters were also beginning to develop a racing game that would be more realistic. The game, which also has a sequel, was Dirt Rally. It was released for PS4 along with PC and Xbox One. It brought realistic driving experience to players that could even use wheel and pedals to play this racing simulation.
Surely there are many racing games and even series’s of racing games. Colin McRae Rally is still very important to me and close to my hearth. It introduced me to rally games. I also played other racing games, but not really any other rally games. With Dirt Rally 2.0 and Dirt 4 released already some years ago rally game fans will know where they are turning their heads to as they need some more rally gaming experinces. The saga continues as Dirt 5 will be released later this year.
Smart phones are today very powerful devices. They are able to run many applications and it’s common to view video material and also to play games on these devices. There still do exist some problems. The touch screen of any modern mobile device including tablets is not the best way to control for example the main character of a platformer. There is a solution and I am going to introduce it to you my dear readers.
iPega is a chinese company that has brought an innovative solution for playing games on mobile devices available for consumers world wide. It is basically a small gamepad that uses Bluetooth technology to transfer players inputs and commands to the device. It has a battery included that can be charged with basic micro-USB charger. The battery lasts for long enough and if you want to make sure that it doesn’t shut down in a vital moment you can plug your gamepad to charger. You can do this to your phone also if you are conserned about how long will its battery last.
This gamepads model is PG 9017 S. There are many different models available. They don’t cost so much. I remember buying my gamepad for just under 30 euros. It uses Bluetooth, so you have to pair it with your phone and also connect to it. This happens by pressing two buttons for couple of seconds. There are different modes so you might have to test which mode to use for the connection. The gamepad has nice amount of buttons. It has axis-button, X, Y, A, B buttons and select and start buttons and two shoulder buttons on left and right. It also has two thumb buttons. It can signal the user when battery is starting to run low. The user can attach this controller with some kind of a clip. So the phone goes on top of this mechanical system placed horizontally. The clip is strong and it doesn’t allow the phone to slip out or move at all.
I haven’t any serious issues with this product. It’s a cool gamepad that you can take on a trip too as its battery doesn’t require so much power. You can install some emulators and transfer some ROMs to your device. Be aware of your phones memory capacity as ROMs can take some space. You can even buy a memory card if your phone is compatible. Just remember the thumb rule – if you don’t own the game don’t copy it. That’s illegal. But you can really have fun with this kind of a setup. You can for example play games of consoles like NES, SNES, Mega Drive or even Nintendo DS. Earlier gaming consoles don’t require so much from your hardware but when we are talking about more modern systems, such as PSP emulators, there might be some system requirements that you will have to take in consideration.
First game of Halo series was released in 2001 for Microsofts Xbox console and also on PC. Gamers all over the world had already seen some amazing first person shooters that were made for PC. It was thougt back then that you just couldn’t make such realsitic and accurate shooting game for console since it didn’t even have a mouse on it. Halo changed this situation totally. It was the first really, I mean really, good first person shooter game and the first one that could be played with gamepads that had only thumb sticks.
After the release of Halo there were many to follow its path. Suddenly you just could do it. You could play FPS game with your gaming console instead of your regular PC setup where you had to have keyboard and mouse. We had already witnessed many games that were more than playable on consoles. The first PlayStation had many genres of games. It had racing games, like Gran Turismo, it had fighting games, like Tekken series. Metal Gear Solid was very good on PS1. Who didn’t like to play Tony Hawks Pro Skater? I remember everyone liked it. The point here is that we really had these games that were played on PC and some games that we only played on consoles.
There might be some debate on how you feed your reactions to the system you are playing on. There has to be a streering wheel for a driving game. You have to have joystick for Street Fighter. You can only play FPS with a mouse and a keyboard on professional level eSports. But I think some games are best, and there’s lots of them, played with a good gamepad. I haven’t even tried to compete seriously but it makes sense that you have to have a controller that is capable to sense your reactions effectively. This varies as games are very different. You could play Colin McRae Rally 1 or 2.0 and Gran Turismo with a gamepad. You still wouldn’t seriously try to compete with this method of control. But the point here, once again, is that Halo brought some difference to this matter. FPS games were now able to be played with a gamepad. And theres still exists games that are at their best when played with a gamepad.
I personally just love games that are designed mainly to be played with a gamepad. That has something, propably, to do with that I played lots of Mega Drive and PlayStation as I was growing up. That was the beginning. I was used to play these kinds of games. I didn’t play so much PC back then. Nowadays you can even play real time strategy games with a gamepad. That was once thought to be impossible. Would you play for example Populous, a strategy game released in the end of 1980s, with your Mega Drive or with your PC if you had to choose? I would go for the PC version and I think so would many other gamers. But now you can consider any game to be played with a gamepad. And that’s where we are going. Gamepads have evolved and they will keep evolving. Take a look at Mega Drives gamepad. Then take a look at PS4 gamepad. Now you can see the difference. So, this is how Halo brought this whole FPS genre, and maybe some other genres also, to consoles.
If you thought that there wouldn’t exist a wireless gamepad for Mega Drive, well, you were wrong. 8BitDo is known for its innovative gamepads for, i think, any platform. You can find a controller for SNES, NES or MD and maybe PC, Switch or one of those Classic Mini consoles. They have also brought us some USB-Bluetooth dongles that I for example find very useful. Prices of these products are low so you can clearly understand why they are so popular. Gamepads and differents kinds of other accessories are also widely available at least here in Finland and many gaming stores, the small ones also, give you an opportunity to buy these products.
I found this model, “M30 2.4g”, very nice and easy to use. You just basically plug the USB-dongle in to your original Mega Drive, make sure that controllers battery is charged, and start playing. Some games allow you to modify key mappings but some don’t. There’s three buttons, “A”,”B”,”C”, and another three, “X”,”Y”,”Z”, axis-button, start-button, one trigger-button on left and right and also three other buttons. You connect the controller wirelessly by pressing blue start-button.
I remember and can still feel how bad the actual, original, controllers felt. Compared to them this is something I find amazing. Price of this product was as low as can be. It was only about 25 euros. I think right now this product is not available. And again, this is not a true commercial. I am just very content about 8BitDos product and happy to write this kind of content to my gaming blog. Be sure to check out any of this companys products. I’m telling you this because I found other interesting equipment for “hardcore” gamers. A while back I found a USB dongle for PlayStation classic that allowed replacement of controller so you basically could plug in any Bluetooth controller. I didn’t buy it so I don’t have any knowledge on how to use it and I am not sure if it supports PC controllers or Xbox ONE and PS4 controllers. So this was just an example and you can find more information from their website. Here’s the link to it: https://www.8bitdo.com/
So how can you find these amazing products? You should check your local electronics shop or at least its website. There is also a shop on 8BitDos homepage. In Finland their products are widely available in smaller game shops and also in bigger, globally influential, stores. As I have told you, my dear reader, already, these accessories are widely available. I found my gamepad ultimately pleasant. I didn’t even know you could produce gamepads for Mega Drive with wireless functionality. And the gamepad is very confortable to hold in your hands.