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.

Where It All Begun (And Where Are We Now) With Gaming

I am a game hobbyist that started playing video games as soon as I was old enough to interact with a keyboard and a mouse. Some years later I was gaming on a Sega Mega Drive and some years after that I got my PlayStation. This was the beginning of my hobby.

Today video games are more popular than ever. There is a large amount of money involved. There are also many independent developers. There seems to be some people that really love video games. There seems to be a lot of games released mainly for making lots of money.

There was once a time when video games were a true form of art. You can take for example the game I am currently playing now. I also wrote a blog post about this game. The game is Remedy Entertainments Max Payne. You can see that this title was a success both artistically and financially.

I think I don’t have to point out any of these big companies that try to release very big games. It seems that when the stakes are too high there is a strong propability for the game to also fail completely. The failure will be financial and you definitely wouldn’t call it art in any way.

The involvement of money is one thing that is effecting the whole industry today. I kind of miss the artistic side of gaming. I have nice memories of playing all those PlayStation 1 titles. It is said that playing PS1 is kind of listening to rock music. And playing Sega Dreamcast is like listening to jazz music.

Why was Dreamcast a failure? To put it simple it didn’t sell that well. It did sell 9 million units. That wasn’t enough. We can compare this to how PS2 sold. That was way over 100 million. Even Xbox and GameCube sold over twice of what Dreamcast ended up selling. Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo are the leaders of todays game console markets as Sega has already made it clear that they aren’t going to release another new console.

Does it seem that you are getting fooled? This might not be the case afterall. If consumers keep buying those titles that they find the most satisfying there might be a brighter future for gamers and gaming. You just have to be aware of the situation. If you are a gaming hobbyist like I am you definitely want to keep up with this field. There is the mainstream. But there definitely does exist an opportunity to pick the games you really want to play. I think that there is a way to have good experiences in gaming. There is an alternative.

There are loads of games, old and new, for you to choose. Don’t have the latest console? Don’t worry about it. You can pick yourself a Xbox 360 or some other older console. It doesn’t cost you as much and you can have a really good time. There are many ways to get some good quality games for your personal computer.

There is always a way and also a place for art inside gaming. It might not be the deepest art you will ever see but it does have a value for gamers. Observe your possibilities. What you are buying is usually a way for also a gamer to influence what is going to be available in the future.

The Launch of PlayStation 2

Hello to my readers! This is the first post in this blog this year. This year is surely going to be exciting. Diablo IV got a release day. This is 6/6/2023. I am also waiting to get into playing Forza Motorsport 8. I have also a topic for this post so let’s dive in.

I am once again writing about the gaming console that has sold to this day the most. It has about 156 million units sold. It is, ladies and gentlemen, PlayStation 2. In the last post I swore I wouldn’t buy another PS2. Guess what? I got my new unit just yesterday. I had to tell you the truth. I couldn’t resist the thought of playing once again these great games that PS2 has to offer for all the gamers worldwide.

When actually was PS2 released? The year was 2000. Some people were very excited about it. I remember that I had just some months ago sold my PlayStation 1. I had a PC that I used for playing video games. Or is it correct to use a term “computer games”? I don’t know and I don’t actually care. I had just started studies in a high school. I was very keen on studying and the future was looking bright. My favorite game of this era must be Diablo II.

Of course there were competitors. Sega, Nintendo and a new comer, Microsoft, released their own game consoles. Finally, if we look at sales, we can figure that Sony was this time the dominant winner in this struggle to win hearths of gamers. GameCube sold 21 million units, Dreamcast sold 9 million units while Xbox sold 24 million units. How many units did PS2 sell? Once again we can say that it sold actually 156 million units.

Why did it sell so much more than its competitors? There are many reasons. I remember how some of my friends were against the idea that Microsoft as a huge technology company was getting into also the game business. PS2 had also a DVD player. It was sold for a low price. The price was 300 dollars. DVD players were more expensive than that. This must be one of the many reasons.

PS2 has a huge library of games. There were many of them that were released at the launch. The featured image of this blog post presents one of them. It is SSX. One of my friends went and bought PS2 when it was launched. The console was popular to say the least. We were talking about people getting in line hours before the system was released to make sure that they would be able to also buy one.

SSX is a decent snowboarding game. I remember seeing the graphics of the game. I don’t remember if I palyed it. It might be that I tried it for a while. It was the first game that this friend of mine bought. We watched some rented DVDs with this system. Televisions were heavier than today. They also couldn’t present sharp graphics we are used to today.

My other favorite games for PS2 are Metal Gear Solid 2, Colin McRae Rally 3, GTA III and Tony Hawks Pro Skater 3. PS2s game library contains thousands of titles. I think there are some hidden gems and I also think I haven’t gotten into them yet. There were some space shooters that I definitely would like to play. Also there are games like Forbidden Siren that I haven’t yet touched to this day. What about driving games? You can definitely trust Gran Turismo 3 and 4 in this matter.

My PS2 cost me 110 euros. It is now fresh and I am going to use it. I have thought about what can I do if I break it. What happened to my last PS2? It was working for about two years. Then it just started to ingore loading a game disc. There are actually very easy ways to fix this problem and you can definitely find help from your search engine if you face these issues. What did I do when my PS2 broke? Well…I tried to fix it my self and went on to order a replcement part. I took my PS2 apart and found out that I had ordered a wrong part. The model was different. So now I have a working PS2 that doesn’t have a disc reader in it at all.

It might be that my PS2 will last for 2 years. It might be that my PS2 will last for two months. I don’t know the answer. We will find out. I know also that know is the time to really enjoy this gaming console. I already have over 50 games. It seems that I kind of missed PS2 back in 2000s. I am right now waiting to get my hands on that Dualshock 2 controller again. Thanks for reading and see you next time!

Why I Think It’s not Worth It To Buy PS2 Today

Some years ago, like maybe three or so, I broke my PlayStation 2. I was seriously thinking about buying another one. I have over 50 games for it already. I also think that there might be some very good games waiting to be discovered. There are lots of used games available.

I found a PS2 that had a price tag of 80 euros. It includes only the console and wires and not a single controller. A console with a controller would cost about 110 euros. I do have a controller or two so I would preferably go for the cheaper deal right here. I just think that it’s not really worth it. Do you want to know why? Keep reading if you do.

When PS2 was the dominant and also a new gaming system there were more games released. They also had crappier graphics. As games they were also more limited in sense of overall game design. It was a pain to still use memory cards. Sometimes a game would just not load a save. This happened to me as I was playing Burnout 3. I had over 25 percentage of the game completed and the save somehow got corrupted and refused to load. I was using a third party memory card that had 128 MB of space. That might have something to do with this issue. The regular Sony’s memory cards are 8 MB.

PS2 was released int he early 2000s. There are two models that were released. The newer is a slim model and the older model is called usually the fat model. It is possible to play PS1 games on a PS2. Controller for this console is Dual Shock 2 which is an upgrade of a PS1s controller. There are over 4300 games released for PS2. You can find lists of games from your favorite search engine.

There is a very good emulator for playing PS2 games on your Windows or Linux PC. This emulator is, of course, PCSX2. In order to play games you have to set up a BIOS. If you want to do this without breaking a law you have to get the BIOS from a PS2 that you own. It is illegal to download a BIOS file. And, of course, you don’t want to break law, right?

PS2 games exist in plain DVD discs so it is easy to use the emulator as long as you have, an internal or external, disc drive in your PC. You can also rip DVDs to .iso format or to some other format so you don’t have to worry about using or scratching your game discs. You might need a USB compatible controller. I prefer for PlayStation emulation a Dual Shock 4 game pad. This is also a bit tricky. This is actually a story for another blog post so I won’t get into this too deeply right now.

Prices of rare and also some of the best PS2 games have been rising in recent years. I think it was 2017 when I got Silent Hill 3 for 15 euros. Now it might cost 70 euros or something like that. This is clearly the direction in which we are moving. Instead of selling your PS2 games it might be wiser to hold on to them for some years and think again if you really want to sell them.

PS2 has some really good games. I can mention games like God of War, Gran Turismo 3 and 4, Devil May Cry series and Metal Gear Solid 2 and 3. Actually many of the best games ever released on PS2 are for PlayStation only so you won’t find them for other consoles that were competing desperately against the dominance of PS2 back in 2000s.

With every fact considered in this blog post I think that it isn’t worth it. I can say this honestly. I am not a game shop keeper or game seller. I am a consumer or hobbyist and this is my own personal and honest opinion. I am not going to buy a PS2. At least I am going to wait for a while. I have made some game related purhcases recently. I have to think about where my money is going for a while.

Keep reading my blog. It was fun to write once again my thoughts here. And don’t worry because I have lots of games to play. I have lots of material that I can use for this blog. You can be sure that I am going to return to you and write some more about my experiences and describe a bit of what am I doing in this life. Be safe! I will find you the next time.

Moving Slowly Towards Wirelessness

Wireless controllers have been around already for a long time. I have been a bit slow in utilizing them. I first encountered this issue back when PS3 was the most powerful PlayStation console. The battery life wasn’t so great back then. I went and bought two three meter long cables for my two Dual Shock 3 controllers so I wouldn’t have to charge them all the  time. If there were some practical charging stations I am sure that I didn’t have one back then.

Back in 2014 I removed PS3 from my setup completely and replaced it with PS4. As you can probably imagine I didn’t have any retro consoles or at least I didn’t include them to my setup. I have talked about this earlier in some other posts in this blog so I am not going to go through this again.

So I got a PS4 that had a wireless controller. I wanted also this new Dual Shock 4 controller to transform into a wired type of device. I used the cable that I already had and bought an adapter. I had to do this since Dual Shock 3 had a different connector than this new Dual Shock 4 controller. This however wasn’t enough and I went and bought another three meters long cable. The point here is that I didn’t like wireless controllers.

I got many retro consoles. But I didn’t get a new latest console until I bought Xbox Series S. This was in 2021. It had a very good wireless controller. I was still a bit unconfortable with it being wireless. For a long time I had a cable for this controller. It was only when I got a good charging station that also had modified lids for battery slot and also two batteries with it that I got really into using wireless controllers.

If you read my last blog post you already know I got a Pro Controller for my Nintendo Switch yesterday. It is wireless. It came with a short charging cable. The first thing I did was that I charged it. It takes six hours for it to charge fully. I am trying to use it mainly as a wireless controller.

The controller feels nice. As mentioned earlier it doesn’t have those annoying trigger buttons at the back of the controller. I played some NBA 2K with it. If there would be some good quality charging station for this controller I would have a use for it. I haven’t found one at least not yet.

Many retro consoles do have wired controllers. For a younger gamer it might seem odd that I am so used to playing video games with a wired controller. There is also a one difference in Pro Controller of Switch and the one that is for Series S and X. That is that Xbox’s controller has a removable battery which makes it more modifiable compared to the Pro Controller. Also PS4 and PS3 controllers don’t have a removable battery in them. I haven’t opened a controller like this so I don’t actually know if the battery can be somehow be replaced.

This was once again such an interesting topic and I wanted to write about it. So, thanks for reading and have a very merry Christmas my Dear Reader!

Why Am I a SEGA Person?

Sega was my key to this whole video gaming hobby. I think it was 1993 when I got my Sega Mega Drive. I played a lot of it. This was of course making me not to play so much NES, SNES and even later Nintendo 64 and GameCube. Lately I have tried to catch up on Nintendo’s retro stuff. I have even studied some Game Boy games.

Nothing created such a rage inside me than a Mega Drive game that I was trying to beat. You can say that Mega Drive games are a bit repetitive in their nature so you had to be perfect on a try and if you failed you had to start all over again until you eventually would run out of lives and after that continues. Yeah. We didn’t have lots of memory for saved games back then.

Sega also made me to be angry to my mates that were playing some Streets of Rage 2 with me in collaboration mode. It became aggresive so suddenly. As I was playing with my brother we had many arguments. We were told that we took the game too seriously. We were separated and we both couldn’t play Mega Drive for that day anymore. This made me think even when I was a small ten-year-old child. And I didn’t take it so seriously. There was just something about how Sega made players a bit frustrated. I think that is some of the appeal of this franchise.

After Sega my life with Nintendo’s gaming products was again pushed towards later times because it happened that I bought a Sony PlayStation in 1997. This of course made me distant also to Sega Saturn. I have only lately been again interested in it. As PlayStation had real 3D games I thought it would absolutely have so much more to offer compared to Saturn. This thinking has changed, maybe just this year, and I have been interested in Saturns games which aren’t actually so much 3D games but it has some very interesting titles that Sony doens’t have.

So these choices made me to play certain games. Today I understand that the variety of different and good or decent game titles are from many different consoles and every consoles have at least some good or decent games be it that many of the best games are released on certain systems. This makes me definitely interested in exclusives. And this interest hasn’t faded when it comes to modern consoles.

What I was essentially missing a lot as a child were mainly NES, SNES and Game Boy titles. Later I missed some Saturn titles and N64 and GameCube titles. I also didn’t ever get a Dreamcast. So what caught my attention was first Sega and then Sony. Did I follow Sony a lot? Maybe not. I never had a PS2. Can you think about this? I hardly can.

All in all we can say that there are for all of us these gaming consoles that brought us to the hobby or maybe to some to the profession. It is your own curiosity that makes you want to dig deep and try to discover some old games that you haven’t yet played. And this is also what makes video gaming interesting.

A Very Nice Hockey Game

You know how many sport games are, don’t you? The game stays almost like same and there is a release every year. So there aren’t big changes in the game every year. But something always changes if we compare these games closely or then compare a game that is ten years old to the most recent one. I thought that I would bring up a game from a bit over twenty years ago and tell all of you how it is as a hockey game.

There have been many good hockey games in the whole wide history of gaming. One of my favorites is NHL 94 for Mega Drive. I played also NHL 97 for PC for a while. NHL 94 was good but if you compare NHL 95, 96 or 97 to it you find that it’s basically the same game that is released for Mega Drive and there aren’t so many updates. NHL 97 for PC is offering already 3D graphics and the gameplay also has an appeal.

The latest hockey game that I got in my hands was NHL 2021 for PS4. I didn’t like it. I couldn’t get the difficulty level to something that would have been correct for me as a gamer. It was too easy and I scored almost everytime I made a shot and I won my opponent with ten goals every time or it was a bit too difficult and none of my shots would find their place. It was nice that the game had Patrik Laine and all other real and recent players in it. I couldn’t understand the gameplay completely.

I think many PS4 games have this issue that playing the game has been made a bit hard. I don’t know if this is a choice that has been made to make the games more appealing to eSport hobbyists and professionals. This can also be a thought only in my mind. You should definitely have your own opinion on this matter. There are propably games made for PS4 that are very playable and enjoyable. But in my opinion NHL 2021 isn’t a game that would inspire me a lot.

So why to play NHL 2000 for PlayStation 1? It’s appealing and inspiring game. You can definitely adjust the difficulty and I found that playing was the most enjoyable with second easiest difficulty level for me. I picked Mighty Ducks as my team since it had Teemu Selänne and also Paul Kariya. These both are fast players and their shot is very accurate. They both play in the first attack line of Anaheim.

As a hockey game NHL 2000 feels very nice to play. There is a lot of randomness. Situations change quickly. One of the best ways to score a goal is to have a breakaway. I have made lots of goals with Selänne or Kariya as they are fast. Another way to score is to give a pass and shoot the puck as a one-timer. It helps if you are closer to the goal and if you can make the goalie to move sideways there is a strong opportunity to score a goal.

One thing I hate about NHL 94 is that it offers only playoffs as a game mode. NHL 2000 has different kinds of seasons for you to pick. You can have a season of only a bit under 30 games, a season with about 60 games or a full season. Of course as is common you can adjust the play time and how often fights occur and also some other options for modifying rules of the game.

This is a hockey game for you if you don’t mind a bit retroish feel to the graphics and like fast, easy and enjoyable gameplay. There could maybe be more statistics, I don’t know. I am not the kind of a gamer that spends lots of time inspecting some deeper statistics  but it is nice to see how many goals the best scorer of my team has made, what is my goalies percentage of preventions or some other stats like this. This is definitely your game if you are into PS1 games all in all.

The Xbox Experience

I have a history with Microsoft’s game console, Xbox. Sony had already entered the field back when they released their first console, PlayStation. Back then I remember some of us, players, felt that Microsoft was only after big profits. They had already shown their somewhat greediness in operating system business. Why do they have to enter the gaming field?

PlayStation 2 was released before original Xbox. In next years it sold a lot and  it sold over 100 million units as Xbox sold “only” about 30 million units. This figures aren’t as accurate as could be but I think they give a tip about how the markets were formed. As Sega retreated their efforts to bring new gaming to markets, Sony and Microsoft kept competing against each other. And of course there was also Nintendo.

Today we can compare the most powerful home gaming consoles and we can talk about PlayStation 5 versus Xbox Series X. Actually, I just got my Series X yesterday. I have been using Xbox Series S for over one and a half years. I do have PS4 but I don’t really have any experience from PS5 be it digital or a device with an optical drive in it. Of course I have experience from latest games of Nintendo Switch and PC also. But it seems to me that I could compare PS5 and Xbox Series X, since they are, in my opinion, really close to each other.

I have very good experiences of Xbox. The thing that I have liked the most is the Android app that I can use to share my screenshots, see the time that I have spent on a Series S/X game and also to see what trophies I have achieved. It has been really easy to work with my account. It was really easy to move all my data, like saved games, to a new gaming console as I made the transition from Series S to Series S. I can also see how my player points look like. The account and the app also can show how many points I have gathered playing Xbox 360 games. I currently have 76 percentage of all of the trophies of Forza Motorsport 3.

My experiences with PS4 aren’t as convincing. I got my PS4 back in 2014. So I have used it for several years. Today, I find that if we compare this experience in overall to the new generations experiences that I’ve had I would like to tell you that…I actually like Xbox Series consoles more. PS4 has some kind of Android application also. But, for sharing a screenshot, you have to plug in a USB stick. That’s a bit wack. Also I didn’t like the overall feel of most games. I think they went after eSports players and made many games too difficult for an average gamer. In my opinion these games also lacked some playability.

Don’t get me wrong. I think PS4 is a great console. Although when compared to Series X/S it cannot compete. There are many really good games on PS4. I especially have enjoyed NBA 2K14, Dirt Rally (1 and 2.0), Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1+2 and many others that I really don’t recall as I am writing this.

What I mainly wanted to say in this blog post is that I have enjoyed Xbox Series S/X very much. I don’t know if you should think that Series X is better than PS5. I think you should make up your own mind and maybe have a conversation with a friend about this. Xbox is nice but I have some very meaningful history with PlayStation. And of course – don’t forget Nintendo and if you are a bit of a retro type don’t forget Sega…and maybe even Atari.

The Original PlayStation Controller

So I bought Tony Hawks Pro Skater 2 about a week ago. I was going to play it with the PSOne console that I’ve had for about five years already. I got my PSOne from a flee market for a low price of fifteen euros. It has worked since the day I bought it. I’ve had no issues.

I had a cheap accessory controller for PSOne. I figured that I would need a gamepad that would be more accurate and that would feel better. I first checked some prices of DualShock controllers. DualShock 1, which was for PS1 originally, was sold for about 25 euros. I found DualShock 2 and it would cost from 35 to 40 euros. As you might already know DualShock 2 was the original controller for PS2.

I have a PS2 console also. It is currently broken. It was finally not able to read any of my game discs. I still have about fifty or sixty games for PS2. So I still have some controllers. I just didn’t yet know or remember if they were in a reasonable shape and could I use them with my PSOne.

As you might also know PS2 was backwards compatible with controllers of PS1. So these controllers work with PS1 and PS2 and of course PSOne can use also them. You can play PS1 games also with PS2. And to mention also PS3 can be used to play them.

Unfortunately my only DualShock 2 controller was a  bit broken. It had been for many years in storage. It didn’t fully recognize a press to the right on the controller. I had another controller which wasn’t original one. It felt a bit wack also. I had to buy a new Dual Shock 2. I thought it was worth it.

Only a week had gone since I had ordered my fresh and cool skateboarding game. I made a new order to the same store one more time. I just had to buy also some other games. I might write something about them later. I have tested the controller and it works very nice.

Waiting for Forza Motorsport 8

Forza Horizon 5 was released in the fall of last year. I didn’t pick it up for some reason. Maybe I was so much into playing Diablo II Resurrected and Call of Duty – Vanguard. And to speak about it I’m not really such a fan of Forza Horizon series. I have to say that I am more into Forza Motorsport.

So there’s a new Forza Motorsport getting released soon. It is speculated that se might see it in the end of this year. However the final release date hasn’t been told. I have some knowledge of the first and also of the third game of this racing series. Actually, as you have probably seen from this posts featured image, I picked up, again, Forza Motorsport 3 and started playing it.

It is a very nice game. The graphics are a bit rude as you compare them to later games like Gran Turismo 7 on PS4. You have to consider how old Xbox 360 really is. It was released already in 2005. So we cannot compare it directly to these newer consoles. But if you put graphics aside you will find this game to be a nice and very playable. I am somewhat familiar also to the first Forza Motorsport game that was released in 2005. I don’t currently own a working original Xbox but you can however play this game with Xbox 360 because it has a backwards compatibility. Every original Xbox title doesn’t however work. I usually check a list from Wikipedia to see if a game is compatible. You can find it fast from your favorite search engine if you are interested.

I really like racing games. You might have noticed this. I first got into Gran Turismo and it was my first really realistic racing game. I played it a lot. Later I picked up some other racing games. At a time I had a keen interest in Need for Speed Shift one and two that I played with my PS3. That was maybe in 2010 or 2011. Back then I didn’t play so much retro games. And now, some years later, I found Gran Turismo again. I really didn’t like Gran Turismo 5. And of course I have to mention Colin McRae Rally series that progressed to Dirt series later. I think Dirt 3 and 4 were really good. I have some history also in Dirt Rally 1 and 2.0. Who doesn’t remember Richard Burns Rally? You have to really try it although it is already a bit old racing game.

So here we are. We are waiting for the next game in a series of racing games released for Xbox consoles. I think I will have some space left in my Xbox Series S for the new Forza Motorsport 8. I don’t know who won the race of these racing games. It is obvious that there is a competition between Xbox and PlayStation. I kind of finished Gran Turismo 7. I played it for about 40 hours. As there is some time I have to think if I should try finishing the third Forza Motorsport game. I have also played a bit Flatout 2 whic was develop by Bugbear which is a Finnish game company. You might want to check a game called Rally Trophy. I end this post by saying that Gran Turismo 4 was also a really good racing game.

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