Interesting Book About PlayStation

My goal in this blog post is to introduce this subject and this book to my readers. At the beginning I have to make clear that this book is only available in Finnish so don’t get too excited. I am afraid that you won’t enjoy it if you can’t read Finnish text even if it would be possible for you to buy this book. I don’t know if any libraries in Finland have this book. It was pushed only a limited amount of copies and I am afraid that there aren’t enough books for everyone. But that’s not actually a problem for me because I received the book that I had paid already earlier. There were some problems in delivering the book but I think this is understandable since this publisher isn’t a big company.

But to get to the point – this is a book about how at first the first Sony’s gaming console, PlayStation, hit this country and how it was received. We are a small nation of only a bit more than 5 million people that are currently living here. But as players of video games we are very enthusiastic. So thinking proportionally there is a large amount of players in here. People in Finland are basically doing fine and the standard of living is good. To say it truthfully – we buy a lot of games.

PlayStation was a big hit in Finland as it was also world wide. It is said in this book that Finnish people are also faithful to the brand to some extent. The name of the book can be translated to “PlayStation People” or “PlayStation Nation” (rhymes funnily). There were PlayStation fans already waiting when it was time to release PlayStation 2. Have you heard of Sing Star games? Well, it was a series of games that was particularly popular in here. It started from games for PS2 and ended with a game or two released for PS4. It’s a bit sad that new games aren’t being released no more.

The book goes on to explain how PS3 was released. It also tells about a game company called Housemarque. It’s first hit game was Supreme Snowboarding. It developed lots of games for different PlayStations. It is still developing games for PS5 also. The book describes latest and greatest games for PS4. It ends with some words about the release of PS5.

I liked this book a lot. It has 184 pages and lots of pictures so it isn’t a long read. The books availability is a bit limited. I did order it in November and I received it in January. So it was a bit delayed. If you set aside these small problems it is a great book. I ordered a hardcover version of my book. There was also paperback version available when I ordered my book.

Studying Physics in Colin Mc Rae Rally 2.0

Colin Mc Rae Rally 2.0 is a very interesting game in many ways. I wrote recently about different strategies you can have in this game. Now I would like to return to the physics and how this part of the game is handled. I think this game was the first rally game and also among some first racing games that I really liked (Gran Turismo was also great) and got into. It was released for PC and PS1. I played both of them.

There is no doubt that the way CMR 2.0 handles the part of physical modeling was in its time revolutionary. I know lots about games but I also have studied a bit of physics. I have learned physics mainly through school and by studying it in a school of applied sciences. However I am not a physicist. I am more of a software designer. So I know about some coding stuff also. This might open this fact a bit of how I find thinking about these subjects extremely interesting.

I haven’t seen any source code from this game. This is a commercial game and its code isn’t open source. I think for many of the fans of this game this doesn’t come as a surprise. The game was hugely popular. Releasing it as a freeware would be, well, stupid, you might say. However there are some very interesting details that open up for me as I play this rally game.

Let’s think about friction. It deals with surfaces. In a car you can have different tires that behave differently on different surfaces of road. So this is one thing. While driving on icy or snowy road you might want to use chains with tires. While driving on tarmac you want to use soft tires. And on wet surface you use special tires that perform nice on for example wet tarmac. Same goes for muddy surfaces or roads that are of gravel. You have to have a good grip on the road you are driving and friction can give you this.

There is a force that is effective on any road that you can drive on the whole planet Earth. It is called gravity. You have to have good and sufficient suspension in your car. On roads that are bumpy you have to have more suspension for overcoming the differences of altitude. Too much suspension is not good either if you drive on flat road.

You can also break and accelerate. You turn the wheel in right direction at a right time. The key is to try to steer correctly or at least keep the car moving as fast as possible. If you don’t break at a correct time you get to grass or some other surface that slows you down. Crashing also slows you down. This has everything to do with a thing called momentum. If an object doesn’t receive any push to any direction it keeps moving with the speed it has to the direction it is moving. At different time there is different amount of push to the vehicle. If nothing gets pushed the car keeps moving. Bigger objects take more power to get moving and are slower to stop moving. So the more mass you have the slower you are.

I think this is enough physics. I repeat what I said earlier. This is not so precise of a study. I haven’t seen any source code and I didn’t describe my theory so thoroughly. I hope this motivates you to learn more about physics. You can find more information using your favorite search engine. I definitely feel that you will get more excited about this particular rally game.

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/

Thinking About Strategy in Colin McRae Rally 2.0

There are basically two ways to think about your car settings in Colin McRae Rally 2.0. You can concentrate on driving and copy the best settings from a strategy guide (which is actually available through internet for free) or you can actually test your car with different settings and change them to your own liking. Testing your car to find a good setting can take time. In this text I would like to describe how these settings take impact on your car in this game. I will tell you what each setting will do. So let’s get to it!

There are different settings in this game for tires. Basically you have slick tires that are good for stages that are mainly driven on tarmac. Spikes are good for ice. There are also settings for wet and dry mud and wet and dry gravel. So yo have to choose your tires based on how the surface of the road is. This is pretty simple. You just choose a right tires for each type of road surface.

There are however some settings that aren’t so clear on what they have effect on. Well, actually “gearbox” isn’t so complicated. You can set your acceleration to maximum level but then you loose some top speed. And you can also set your top speed to maximum and you will lose some acceleration. Good acceleration is nice for stages that have many corners and high top speed is better on stages that have long straight parts. That makes sense doesn’t it.

“Suspension” can be adjusted to soft setting on stages that are bumpy or that have many jumps. When driving on flat stages and also stages that have tarmac on their road it is recommended to adjust suspension to hard. You can also adjust your breaks and power of your car to have a tendency to under or over steer. And finally the last setting you have to worry about, that is called “Steering” tells you how sensitively you can steer your car. It can react fast or it can react a bit slower to how you turn your driving wheel (or press the buttons if you are playing this game with a game pad).

If you don’t like to fiddle with the settings and you want to just drive here’s a link to the strategy guide of Colin McRae Rally 2.0.

Why did I finally buy a PS Classic?

I remember how it was hyped. Oh, do I remember. It was then discussed how many games would it have, which games it would include, would there be analog buttons included in the gamepad, would there be two gamepads, would the device be “hackable” and finally – how much would it cost. My expectations were high. The price for this product was 120 euros.

When the details of PS Classic were released I was disappointed. I decided it was not for me or at least not right now. The “mini gaming console” received very bad reviews. I watched these video reviews from YouTube. It was a very big disapointment for me and for also all of the retro hobbyists worldwide. It soon became clear that the remake of PlayStation had failed and flopped very badly and sadly. It wasn’t the console it was expected to be.

First thing I noticed was that PS Classics price dropped heavily since retailers had to get rid of it. No one wanted to buy this product. Some months went by. I read some news of how PS Classic would be easily modded to run more games. This would be done using an external USB drive or stick. Suddenly you could be able to bring like hundreds or even thousands of games to this device. It seemed that there was a way to install software through PS Classics USB port that was actually meant for controller and PS Classic had two ports like this.

There were some technical difficulties in this type of operation. All of the USB drives or memory sticks didn’t seem to work. There were lists gathered and brought on-line by users that were going to do the mod to the device. You couldn’t rely that a USB stick you bought to be used like this would work. So there actually was a way to bring more than 20 games to this product.

As the price of the mini console dropped more people got attracted to it. There were more reviews about how the price was lowered and how the modding was possible to accomplish. So what happened was that the price dropped to very low. I remember seeing ads that told the price would be 35 euros. It’s almost a drop of 100 euros compared to the original price. What happened was that Sony released a product that wasn’t truly finished properly. They paid a high price and had to sell the Classic for so low price.

There would be some things to be improved here. You would expect the device to have a decent controller, and yes, you should have analog sticks on the gamepad. The selection of games wasn’t the best possible. The list had nice games like Final Fantasy VII, Resident Evil and Grand Theft Auto and also Metal Gear Solid, but it had too many unnotable games. Where were Gran Turismo and/or Crash Bandicoot? Tony Hawks Pro Skater? Colin McRae 1 and 2.0? These points were the most important. There were some technical issues related to the actual emulation. In practice this showed as poorer graphics than could have actually been possible. One positive thing of course was the ability to save a game smoothly.

Let’s say this also. I am not encouraging people to mod their PS Classic. I am just saying that it’s possible. Copying roms is at this moment illegal. If you own the game you are allowed to make a rom out of it but this would be “another topic for another day” so let’s just end this post right here. Stay safe!

First touches of Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 + 2 on PS4

I’m a big fan of THPS. I have been that way since the very first game that was released on PlayStation 1. So it’s not a big surprise I have been waiting for this remake to drop. I bought this remake two days ago. In this blog post I’m going through my feelings on this release. I have played only completed 50% of the first THPS so I have a lot to play. It’s been nice to find out that the game is basically a lot like it used to be. Oh the nostalgia!

When first THPS was released on PS1 you couldn’t do manuals. This feature has been added to the game. It’s not a bad thing. This game, or collection, if you want to say so, is a good remake. It doesn’t stand up as a full new game. It is, to me anyways, a very good remake. There are some limitations that were probably there when the original game was released. Those slight flaws are also ones that make the game what it is and what it always was. There could be another very good skateboarding game to be made. This is a very good remake of a very good original game. And I’m happy I got this for about 45 euros instead of, say, 65 euros.

I can recommend this collection even if you haven’t played original THPS one or two. It would be a nice introduction to this genre and maybe even an introduction to how gaming used to be in the days when THPS 1 and 2 were the newest games ever released. Three dimensional modelling has advanced greatly since the release of these original games. Back then it was easier to spot an object just because there were so few of them. I particularly noticed this one as I was trying to trash all the “no skating signs”. It was much more difficult to spot these signs.

All in all I am very pleased in this gaming product that was brought to us by Activision. I haven’t found anything that would disappoint me or make me unable to enjoy this experience. It’s nice to have a good PlayStation gamepad to play this game. I think DualShock 4 is way better to play this game than some earlier PlayStation controllers. I hope I find some time to play this game a lot more.

Recommendation From A Friend – Carmageddon (PS1)

My friend messaged me that he had a good subject for an article for my blog. He had an opportunity to send me a picture of his favorite PlayStation game. The game is Carmageddon. It wasn’t so familiar to me but it was a cool idea to feature him on this article. So the guy you see in the featured image is the friend. His name is Pauli. We are actually from the same street and we lived close by as childs.

Carmageddon is kind of a racing game. You race against time but you get more time and points for crashing to opponents and hitting people that are watching the race. This game was popular in the 90s. It was considered to be a bit violent and I somehow remember that it was even banned in some countries because of that. Why haven’t I played it? I think this game was more popular as a PC game and I didn’t play. It obviously had a port to PlayStation but it never got to my hands as I was actually playing my PS1. I played racing games like Gran Turismo or Colin McRae Rally.

So who is this Pauli and why did you let him on the cover of your new blog post? To answer to this question I would have to say that I just had make a blog post about this game. Maybe the idea just gave me kicks and it was cool idea also. And I think this blog could be more to some social sides of gaming also. And a little bit less about me writing stories about my somehow and somewhat interesting stories where I play alone my game consoles. Yeah, you must get it. I play single player games, alone, in my room, with dimmed lights? I know that’s not the case. So this story was about Paulis favourite PS1 game. Thanks for reading…

And if you want to hear Paulis music you can head to his SoundCloud page

The legacy of Colin McRae Rally

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.

Saying goodbye to PS4

So there’s PS5 to be released at the end of the year. You may have been thinking that PS4 is totally over. Should you just remove it from your setup? You may change your mind because there’s going to be released some very big titles. One of them has already been mentioned in this blog. It is the remake collection of two games – Tony Hawks Pro Skater 1 and 2. The other one is Dirt 5. It’s going to be released on October of 2020. We have already seen some big game releases like The Last Of Us 2 and Final Fantasy VII Remake.

How long exactly is PS4 going to be around? That is a good question. If you think about PS3, the predecessor of PS4, you can find out that the newest games haven’t been released to it. But still some hardcore players are playing it. At the beginning of this year I found out that there was PS3 emulator for PC released. It made possible to play a copy of your favorite PS3 game on PC. Though one game could take a lot of space. Some games require 50 GBs of space. Considering this and the issue of high system requirements it would be awkward to actually use this emulator as we have seen PS3 prices dropping from the price tag of brand new gaming console.

PS3 is still around and that’s not going to change for a long time. PS4 is going to lose its title as the most powerful PlayStation gaming console very soon. You can also consider some of the last games that were made for example for PS1 in early 2000s. Game companies could actually make some never before seen games because they had so much experience about developing games for exactly that system. We saw then games like Final Fantasy IX and Vagrant Story. And remember how good Silent Hill was compared to for example the first Resident Evil. There are some mistakes that can be corrected and there definitely is advantage in being some of the last games on any gaming console.

What will be the first game you buy for your new gaming system? PS5 already has some games to choose from that will be released at he release or shortly after. I am waiting to see Gran Turismo 7 for example. There is always going to be some time until new good games are starting to be released on a new gaming system. In the case of PS4 the consumers had to wait for a long time waiting for good quality games. And this also started the trend of HDs and remakes. This makes sense as you think for example how many games were released on PS1 and PS2. Why would you have to reinvent the wheel every time? There is going to be some advancements in technology. This will eventually bring some new kinds of games to us players.

I will have to say this. I am not going to buy PS5. Even if there actually is going to be a new Diablo game released on it. I am aiming for a gaming PC as my next platform for latest games. I am also going to wait two or three years to buy it. This decision is not written in stone. My mind can change. I was a bit disappointed to PS4. This is only my decision and you should definitely make yours after you have given this idea some thought. It has been some years since PS4 was released.

Some of my experiences with Gran Turismo

I first played Gran Turismo on Sony PlayStation. It was my first full game that came with the used console I had bought. My PS1 had also some demo discs included. I didn’t really get in to using racing wheel. And the game didn’t in my opinion necessarily need one. PS1 had many great driving games. I definitely enjoyed also Colin McRae Rally series as its first two games were released on Sonys first gaming console.

Gran Turismo was something amazing. It was released in 1998. It brought realistic graphics and gameplay to console gaming systems racing games. You could also test and upgrade your vehicles. You could buy new cars and tune them and buy more parts. It had over 150 different cars. You got money from completing races and finishing on top positions. There just were so many goals you could try to achieve. Think for example collecting all the cars the game offers.

You can see the second Gran Turismo game on this posts image. I never really played that. I didn’t play GT3 or GT4. But the game I did play some years after getting into the first game was the fifth game of this series. Racing gamers have seen many good games that were developed after the first Gran Turismo. I can name for example Richard Burns Rally and Dirt 3. In my humble opinion GT5 doesn’t come close to these. It is named as Gran Turismo 5 and it is a good game. But…do you have to play it just because it has a strong brand and some earlier games in this series were good? Is that good enough reason? I don’t think so…

Gran Turismo 3 and 4 were great games. I broke my PS2 a while ago so I couldn’t play these on it. And I don’t know if these games have aged well. Racing fans just have so many alternatives to turn to. Dirt Rally 1 and 2.0 have been released and also we can add Dirt 4 to this list. There is already one new Gran Turismo (Sport) that was released for PS4. There does exist some good racing games available only for Xbox 360 and Xbox One. We are not going to go there…

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