Itchy, Tasty – The Book About Resident Evil

Itchy, Tasty is a book written by Alex Aniel. It tells the story of Resident Evil video game series that was developed by this huge game developer Capcom that became famous by releasing Street Fighter II for arcades and Super Nintendo. Street Fighter wasn’t their first game but it might have been the game that took Capcom to the top. The book has been published in 2021. It holds well over 250 pages and is focusing on the games that were released in the series before Resident Evil 5.

Resident Evil begun with a game titled Sweet Home that was a NES game. There were debates about releasing a horror game for such an childish and powerless gaming console. While there do exist many great games on Nintendo Entertainment System the developers at Capcom thought that it would be difficult to release a good horror game for this system because of its limitations. The music and graphics would have been too unimpressive to satisfy the vision they initially had about the new horror game that was about to be developed.

Itchy, Tasty describes how Resident Evil managed to create something completely original and new in video games. It can be held responsible for creating a new genre of survival horror. It took some elements, the weird and stationary camera angles, just to name one, from first games of Alone In The Dark series that was released some years before the first Resident Evil. You can probably figure how Resident Evil impacted on games like Silent Hill and any other survival horror game that has ever been released.

For me Resident Evil 2 was the first game in the series that I actually played. It wasn’t the first PlayStation 1 game I played. That honor goes to Gran Turismo. But that piece of survival horror really impressed me. Well, it made me also feel agony but in a somewhat desirable in a way. It is hard to describe this game to a person that hasn’t played it. I think about RE2 as a retro game. It was something impressive back in 1998.

Soon after, maybe some moths or something like that, I had beaten RE2 and wanted something more to play. So, I picked up the first Resident Evil. I soon found that it was also a very good game. I also completed the third game. As there were several spin offs that I haven’t got into I cannot say that I would have played every game in the series. I do have completed Resident Evil 5 but that is just out of the scope of Itchy, Tasty.

The author of Itchy, Tasty, Alex Aniel, is very much involved in the gaming scene. He writes firmly about the history and development of this series. Every game that was released before Resident Evil 5 is covered. Even a game for Game Boy Color has been mentioned. What I found as a very interesting piece of knowledge was the part of describing how the first game was ported to Nintendo 64. You know, it was originally developed for PS1. What is the main difference between these systems? Well, N64 used 64 MB game cartridges while PS1 had an optical disk drive that used CD-ROMS that had 650 MB of space.

This wasn’t the only difference between these systems. N64 was faster when it came to loading the data that game used. It is miraculous how it was actually possible to fit RE2 to a N64 cartridge. Later the series moved on to GameCube. For a while there was a decision in place that RE games would be developed only for Nintendo GameCube. As you might know already this wasn’t a long lasting decision as you can today find RE4 for PS2 also from your favorite gaming shop.

I can recommend this book especially for someone that is a fan of survival horror games. There are many interviews and a lot of background information that makes clear how the writer of the book has come to the writing of this material. Mainly persons that worked closely on the series have been included in these descriptions.

 

The Certain Appeal of PlayStation 1

What does PlayStation 1 offer that makes you just pick up the controller and play? It was released almost 30 years ago. I still find that it has a lot to offer even compared to modern game consoles.

I can only try to describe what it felt like playing PS1 back in the day. We, gamers, were excited. Technology was new and it was advancing at a high speed. You could literally see how games became more and more realistic. It was the dawn of three dimensional game environments.

Sound quality reached also the level that was offered by the CD format. There were many electronic music artists that produced some cathchy musical vibes to these new kinds of video games. CD-ROM as a platform for video games offered game developers way more space than everyone was used to. Games became more complex and gamers started to spend more time playing. Little by little it came acceptable for grown ups to play games, also.

PC games were also developing. It became clear that computer gaming offered several strategy games and also some very good first person shooters. You really didn’t play FPS games on a console. The first FPS console game is often considered to be GoldenEye 007 that was released in 1997 for Nintendo 64. The point where FPS really conquered consoles and made them break out from only being playable with a keyboard and mouse to getting controlled with a gamepad became when Halo was released for Xbox.

The games that you preferred to play on PS1 were games like Gran Turismo, some early games of Need for Speed series, Crash Bandicoot and Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater. These games had a combination of action, cool looking graphics and an excellent playability. This is how games of PS1 were presented and this is why they are still causing me to feel this endless joy and also nostalgia still after all these years.

Today I have a PSOne console along with my PS2. As you probably read form that earlier post I have been struggling a bit with my PS2. I currently have my PSOne in storage but I am thinking of moving it to my setup once again. It has luckily functioned very nicely since I bought it back in 2017.

I have a strong history in playing video games with PS1. It was important gaming console and it shaped my knowledge in video games and made me go deeper and deeper. It wasn’t my first gaming console. That spot is taken by Sega Mega Drive. I did play some PC games on DOS before I got to play with consoles.

It hasn’t always been clear in my life that games deserve a spot in my life. That is why I sold my PlayStation 1 back in 2000. I didn’t know if playing video games would make me progress in my life. I also sold all my games that I had. I think I had maybe 30 games back then. I do regret this. If I have to think something positive about this I can at least think that I made the buyer happy.

Today I have bought nearly all games I used to have back in to my collection. This featured image related to this blog post displays my current PS1 games collection. I have recently added games to it and it keeps getting new games to it all the time. I might have to update this image soon.

PlayStation 1 sold over 100 million copies. Its production was discontinued in 2006. You can still get your hands on a PS1 gaming console. You can get a used console for a bit below 100 euros. You can also get your hands on an emulator like ePSXe or DuckStation. For being a legit gamer you must rip these rom files that you use to play from game discs that you own. You also have to copy your BIOS from PS1 console that you own. And otherwise you are basically breaking the law. One other way to play PS1 games that I have to mention is to buy a PlayStation Classic console.

Some Undisputed Classics Released Again

There is no excuse for not knowing what these two amazing titles are: Asteroids and Space Invaders. These two games were very popular firstly in arcades back in the late 70s and early 80s. They were published by Activision and were later ported to consoles like Atari 2600.

You can only admire the quality of game design. As these games were meant to be played on machines that weren’t so powerful you had this certain style that you had to apply to the game. Another good game of that era is Arkanoid. Also Pong has to be mentioned here.

These games had only this one screen where the whole game took place. There were no scrolling screens like we could see later on in games like Nintendos Super Mario Bros, which came out a a bit later. There were also not so many colors as graphical capability was limited. I propably don’t have to mention anything about sound effects, music or audio at all. They were meaningless.

These games are classics. In twenty years designing games goes some steps further. This is unavoidable. The first PlayStation was capable of producing some very high quality graphics already. So it is comfortable to say that these games deserved to be re-made to a more modern system.

I bought these games for my PS1. I thought they are a fun addittion to my video game collection. They offer some re-designed graphics, sound effects, music and also methods to control the objects in the game.

The idea behind Asteroids is that you have a space ship that can shoot. Your mission is to cut a huge rock, asteroid, to small pieces by shooting it. You can turn your ship to any direction, like 360 degrees and give your ship a boost so it moves. It keeps moving, since we are in space, there is no gravity, to the direction that it has had a boost to unless you turn your ship to another direction and give it a boost again. The game ends if you hit a piece of an asteroid. You get to next level if you succeed in shooting the asteroid to tiny bits.

The other game here in this picture is Space Invaders. In this game you face a group of aliens. Your mission is to shoot all of them. So this is definitely a shooter. An alien disappears when you shoot it. You start from the bottom of the screen. You have some obstacles that you can use for cover if you like. Enemies keep moving towards you step by step. You win the level if you can shoot every alien enemy and you lose if they reach the botttom of the screen.

These games are not so expensive. I thought they were a fun addition to my collection. You can probably get one these like under 20 euros from your favorite retro game dealer. These kinds of classic games are an important part of gaming history. You can probably also find copios of these released for even newer systems. You can also try them out if you an emulator. I don’t know if it is possible to play these games’s original arcade version but maybe this would be possible in some kind of a gaming museum.

Also if you are into programming it could be a nice idea for a project to program a clone of Asteroids for example. You could use maybe JavaScript with some image editing software or something like that. Just keep in mind that while these games seem simple there is a lot going on in them and it isn’t an easy task to just remake one.

New and Better Controller for Mobile Video Gaming

I just got this piece of joy by mail. It is Turtle Beach Atom which is a controller for mobile devices. Actually it’s for smart phones. It cost me only 70 euros. I have seen this model being sold for about 100 euros. So, I got some discount.

I have been thinking about bringing my retro gaming to a zone of emulation. You know that you can fit every released NES game to a 237 MB of disk space. And all SNES games would take 1,7 GB. If you consider it you can probably get a micro SD card that has 128 GB of space for maybe 20 euros. That should hold a lot of games.

Of course only the required disk space isn’t the only matter that comes to consideration. You would certainly like to have a system setup that can handle as many high quality retro games on as many consoles as is possible. I figured that you need at least 512 MB of RAM, about a half of a GB, for running a Dreamcast emulation. I started to think about getting a new phone. It would cost me about 200 euros. I checked some smart phone models. They all seemed to have 2 or 3 GB of RAM. Then I remembered that I have an old phone laying around. So, I decided to use that.

Of course only the RAM that is available is not everything that an emulator needs. My old phone has decent level of performance. The model is Huawei P10 Lite. It is an old phone from 2017. I haven’t used it since the beginning of 2021. That is when I bought a new phone. Let’s consider some specs of my P10 Lite. It is capable of displaying Full HD quality video. That’s 1080 x 1920 pixels. It has 3 GB of RAM. It has a processor that is octa-core which translates to “4×2.1 GHz Cortex-A53 & 4×1.7 GHz Cortex-A53”. I am not a big specialist on multiple core processors. The phone only has 32 GB of space so it definitely needs a memory card. I did have one laying around so I decided to put it to good use.

I set up some emulators. Duckstation was one that I installed. I also installed Retroarch which can handle many systems. I aimed for being able to play at least systems including GameCube, Dreamcast, PS1 and Nintendo 64. You don’t actually need a lot of power for playing games on systems that are older than SNES. I didn’t think to play newer systems like PS3 or Xbox 360. Some might want to play also PS4 on an emulator. That would require a higher permance personal computer. I am not saying it’s not possible.

So I am currently charging the battery of my Turtle Beach Atom controller. I have installed already some games. I picked one game from here and another game from there. PS1 emulation seems to be running fine and I am able to play N64 games also. Even only this is very satisfying. I remember having some tough luck trying to set up a Lakka OS based system some years ago and then I struggled with PS1 and Dreamcast games. I had an old PC that could quite handle the performance.

I am ready, soon, to try to test some games. At this time things seem to be working fine. I have to wait for about 2,5 hours for the battery to charge. It was then promised that the controller would be functional for 20 hours. This is a huge upgrade to the controller that I used with smart phones earlier. I have written a blog post about it in this blog earlier. I have broken the glass of my screen of my P10 Lite. I didn’t want to show it. That was the reason why I didn’t include ít to this blog posts featured image.

I hope this blog post gave you inspiration. There is a very good guide for someone that wants to build or assemble a system like this for retro gaming. Here is the link:

Android Emulation Starter Guide

 

Is Gran Turismo 4 The Greatest Racing Game of All Time?

Although I have still not finished Resident Evil Village I picked up Gran Turismo 4. I have thought about playing GT4 for a while now. It is said to be maybe the best game in the series and it is definitely a very good racing game. It is definitely the best racing game for PlayStation 2.

Another very good racing and actually a rally game of this era is Richard Burns Rally. It was for propably a decade the most realistic racing simulation to be found. It was released also for PC and original Xbox while Gran Turismo 4 was released for PlayStation 2 with exclusive righs. Richard Burns Rally lost its spot as the best rally simulator since there were newer games released in this genre. I can mention titles like Dirt Rally and its sequel Dirt Rally 2.0 just to name some games.

I am playing GT4 with a game pad. The game supports also many tpyes of driving wheels. It would be nice to play it this way. I do have a driving wheel  but I am too lazy to try to learn using it. I would also like to have a decent driving chair. I currently don’t have one. But the game supports driving wheels and why not pedals also.

In Gran Turismo 4 you start with no license and also no car. You have only 10 000 credits. I started with getting a driving license. The first license and also the easiest to get is B license. There are several other driving licenses that give you access to competititons.

You have to upgrade your car if you wish to get some credits. Then you can upgrade your car more and maybe after a while you get a new more powerful car. Sometimes the game gets a bit repetitive because you have to compete in same chllenge for many times to get enough credits so you can make some progress. This can be dull at times.

Gran Turismo 4 has hundreds of cars. Getting a good car can be hard at times. You have to buy some upgrades to get to fiddle with your cars settings. The first thing I got to adjust was the transmission. You can set your car to have a high maximum speed with a lower acceleration level or the other way around. So, you can also make your car accelerate fast which then lowers the maximum speed. This can be handy in tracks that have lots of slow corners and not so much straights.

Graphics are a bit dated. Controls defnitely aren’t. There could be more decent music tracks in the soundtrack. I am talking about these nice tracks that we had in the first Gran Turismo. If you are thinking if you should return to the first game we can consider that if you haven’t played Gran Turismo 1 or 4 at all I think the fourth game would be a good way to start getting into Gran Turismo. I also liked very much the latest game of this series, Gran Turismo 7, that was released last year for PS4 and PS5.

Could PS2 Classic be Possible?

You might remember the release of PlayStation Classic. It might have been a disappointment. At least that was what everyone thought like about it a year after its release. I am pointing to a fact that its price dropped from the original 120 euros to as low as 20 euros. That was the lowest price I ever saw it sold for. I bought it for 40 euros. There might be a debate about do you have the right to hack the device.

PlayStation Classic had 20 games with it. Those games were not the best ones and there’s not even a debate. These games could have been better. There could have been more games included. There could have been better game pads included. But even with its flaws the system ended up in my living room after all. It definitely was worth of its low price at least for me.

But would it be possible that there would be some day a gaming console called PS2 Classic? We can start to think about how many good games would there exist on the system. Or we can talk about the system requirements of this device. If one PS2 game takes about 4,7 GB of space, and if there were 20 games released with it, they would require a space of 94 GB. Maybe there should be at least about 120 GB of space on the hard drive.

We can also think about how powerful the system should be considering about processor and graphics processing. There is already an emulator that you can run on your PC called PCSX2. It doesn’t require so much from GPU and CPU of your PC. You can run it on a even an older computer today. A while ago this wasn’t possible. We should thank the progression of computer related technology for that.

If these technical issues were finally solved and there would be a system released we can come back to the first issue I mentioned. There would be a maximum number of games. What would the games be and would every game be available for it? This could be a limitation. There were many good games that were released for PS2. Would there be only like 10 games on the system? Would it be possible to hack the system? Would you have to do it to make it reasonable to even buy the thing? And finally – how much would the thing cost and would it be different than just running (illegally) your favorite PS2 emulator on your home PC? After all since the games are in DVD format you can play them, or rip them, directly simply putting the disc in the tray of your PC after getting your hands on the BIOS some way.

I have to mention that this text has barely scratched the surface of this matter. After all it’s not so much about what the fans or tech hobbyists think about. It is about if it’s reasonable to release a system like this. Is it profitable? And is it worth the effort? If you have some deeper hardware knowledge or experience in circuit design or electronics you might understand something more deeper in this matter. I am not a specialist and these are only some of my thoughts about this matter.

Something New in PlayStation 1 Emulators – DuckStation

I keep my eye on YouTube. I watch videos there. Gaming is one of the topics that I am most interested in. It doesn’t come as a surprise that there are countless videos about Xbox Series S. I found a very interesting information from one specific video that introduced a way to play PlayStation 1 games on your new Xbox.

This is possible through a new retro game emulator called DuckStation. I am not going to go to all the details of how playing PSX games this way is actually possible. After all it is possible. You have to enter to Xbox Series S in a “developer” mode. Then you will have to install DuckStation and tweak the settings. Of course you need also the BIOS and roms of all the games you are going to play.

DuckStation is a very powerful emulator application. You can enhance your graphics a lot and it is promised that you can play old PS1 games with a 4K resolution. Why would you want to use your new Xbox for this? Maybe it is because it has a limited hard disk space or maybe you just haven’t found the most interesting games for this new console. What ever the reason for you to be interested in DuckStation is it can provide you an experience on retro gaming once again with all your classic PS1 games. DuckStation is also available for Android and Linux and Windows.

I am not so interested in this way of using my new console for retro gaming. I prefer to play my emulated PS1 games on a PC. There are many reasons. One is that you can choose to use Dual Shock 4 controller through DS4Windows. I prefer to use my controller this way instead of using the new Xbox game pad. Playing PS1 games with Xbox’s controller? That’s definitely a no from me. When considering it this would be a good way to expand your collection of games a bit. Maybe you can play Xbox with a different controller somehow?

You can find more information about DuckStation from the link below:

https://emulation.gametechwiki.com/index.php/DuckStation

Space Invaders for PS1

Since I recently played Space Commanders, that is a Space Invaders clone for PC, I decided to pick up this PS1 game titled also as Space Invaders. I bought it some time ago but I haven’t really played it.  The price of this game was low. That’s one reason I decided to buy it. Back when I made the decision to buy this game I had already many items in my mind that I wanted to order. It kind of came with the other stuff that I ordered.

It is basically the same game that especially retro game fans know. The original game was released in 1978 as an arcade game and it was also released for Atari 2600 in 1980. Graphics have been improved for this PS1 release. It doesn’t introduce three-dimensional graphics. There is also some slight modifications made in the game play. Activision was the publisher of this PS1 version of this game.

All in all this is  a nice little game. It didn’t keep me playing for a long time. It is although interesting to me at this time of my hobby as a game enthusiast. It is  not difficult to figure out why this game was popular when it was remade for PS1.

As I read the Wikipedia page of Space Invaders I realize that there was a big difference in the arcade version and the console (Atari 2600) version of this game. During that period gaming consoles located at home weren’t as powerful as specially crafted devices that were placed inside arcades. I really don’t know much about their technology.

Things like game consoles and computers are things I know a bit more about. If you are interested in arcade machines and games you could play with them you might want to check this site: https://www.mamedev.org/

Social media & sharing icons powered by UltimatelySocial