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.

Some Games I Haven’t Had Time to Play

Here I introduce to you some games that I haven’t had time to play. I have made many purchases just the last year. There are many games that just keep piling on my shelf. And I mean that these are very good games. Some of them are old, but they are definitely gold. You could call them “retro”.

Take for example the first Grand Theft Auto that I have for Playstation 1. It’s a great game even with some retroish graphics on it. The concept was revolutionary. Basically you just run around completing missions, stealing and driving different cars and just getting points for destroying the environment.

I have to tell you something about GTA. It wasn’t at first meant to be the kind of a game it is. I think the developers were at first aiming for a regular driving game. In the midst of the development process someone had an idea and they actually changed the direction of gameplay completely.

That’s enough about GTA for this blog post. I have also some Xbox 360 titles here. I was curious about Condemned as it is a horror and I think it is a survival horror game. And I do like survival horror games. Take Resident Evil for example. I just love it!

Other Xbox 360 games in my list of the games I haven’t got time to play are Colin McRae Dirt 2, that is a solid and high quality rally game, and Rockstar’s legendary game Bully. Did you know that the idea for Bully came originally from Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater games. I think it was the third game, THPS 3, that featured this character that was actually called “Bully”. So, they built a whole new game around this idea.

I of course have some games for latest gaming consoles I have purchased. There is one Swithc game here on my list. It is Crash Bandicoot – It’s About Time that is the fourth game in this series. The first three games of this series were originally released for PS1. Sadly, I haven’t had time to play this one.

We have still four games that we haven’t dealt yet in this post. They are Xbox One or Xbox Series X games. Fallout 4 is definitely something that would demand my attention for tens or even hundreds of hours. I know it’s a fricking good game. Damn, I have to find time for it!

I recently bought Back 4 Blood for Xbox Series X. It got my attention when it was published. I was about to buy it then but another FPS came to my way. That was Call Of Duty Vanguard. I figured that I don’t want to get too games that are similar.

We have two games left. The first one is GTA – The Trilogy that has three GTA games on it. I wrote about how I made the decision to buy this game already in this blog in an earlier post. There also one big game that I haven’t had, once again, time to get into. That is Alien Isolation for Xbox One. It had actually a cheap price and I thought that it had some value for me as a game blogger and a gamer in general.

There you have it. The games I would like to play, the games I have to play. This is something to consider when browsing for new gaming purchases. Keep in mind what you already have and also that you won’t have time for every game.

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.

Games That Brought Consoles to 2000s

I remember clearly my first steps that I took towards game consoles. My first device was Sega Mega Drive. I could keep playing for maybe two to three hours back then. Games were simpler than today. They were challenging but they were also very repetitive. Graphics weren’t anything amazing. Controlling your character with the game pad was simpler as there were less buttons to use than gamers today have.

I got to know PlayStation soon. I have gone over this already several times in this blog. It was about 1997 and I got my PS1. I got to play Gran Turismo. Racing seemed to be perfect genre for console players. I am talking about consoles here because there are clear differences between computer and console games especially in this time period. There was something great about games back in the 90s. It gave players a hint of where this field was heading.

I don’t see today anymore such a great difference between PC and console games. Back then we were excited about PlayStation. It was easy to plug in to the television. It had awesome new kind of game controllers that were never seen before. A bit later analog sticks made it possible to move even smoother inside the game’s three dimensional world. Consoles seemed to have conquered our living rooms while computers had their position in our home or work offices.

So PlayStation had ruled for a couple of years. It was clear that some day there would be even more powerful device in our living rooms. This was PlayStation 2. It had a capability to play DVD content. It had its flaws also. It didn’t have Ethernet or hard disk drive. But it had something we lack today and that was the extreme backwards compatibility of games and even memory cards and controllers. What were the games that pushed console gaming more and more towards the leap that was ahead?

I was a bit busy in my life this time. I was away from gaming for several years. Althought not completely but I made some choices that made an impact personally. I sold my PS1 and all my games and other accessories. I totally skipped PS2. I only got to know a bit about this era of gaming as I played some PC games and original Xbox games later. I was interested for a short period of time later about PS2. I have to say that I am not so interested in getting to it anymore. I enjoy newer games more and PS2 games don’t give me such a rush of nostalgia that PS1, NES and Sega Mega Drive are able to bring. But there were these great titles that I used to play. And now is a good time to get to them and to how they revolutionized console gaming.

If you think about it, it becomes more and more clearer. This was what would eventually happen. Games would become more and more popular and more and more acceptable as a hobby of an adult person. Think about titles like Resident Evil 2, Metal Gear Solid and Silent Hill. You can move in these games to any direction. There is a lot to discover and explore. They have a story in them. Graphics are as good as can be if you consider the systems that were running these games. This is finally what brought the need for new gaming device and that device was PS2.

Games were changing and improving in many sides. People were starting to take gaming a bit more seriously. It wasn’t anymore just a hobby for children. And I think this is what makes that era in gaming so important and special.

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

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/

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