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.

Some Thoughts After Beating Max Payne

I finally had time to beat Max Payne. This is the first game in the series which consists of three games. I don’t know yet if I am going to play Max Payne 2 – The Fall of Max Payne or if I am going to try to play the game all over again with an increased difficulty level. After you complete the game in one of two easier difficulty levels you unlock these harder difficulty levels. All difficulty levels from easy to hard are “Fugitive”, “Hard-Boiled”, “Dead on Arrival” and “New York Minute”.

There was a kind of a problem right at the end of this game. This was the only time I had to look for a clue from a walk through that I found online. Actually that walk through was a YouTube video. I am not going to spoil the ending in any way if you are also interested in this game. This game was released for multiple gaming systems including PC, Xbox and PS2. I am not sure if there are some other ports. I prefer Xbox version since it gives you a nice feel of controlling and you can also save anytime you want. In PS2 version of this game there is only an automatic saving that really pisses the player off many times as the game is saved in a situation that makes it impossible to continue playing. This feature has everything to do with the fact that PS2 doesn’t natively have a hard disk.

I completed the game in “Fugitive” mode. This is the easiest difficulty level. I found out that I didn’t remember all the details that were in the plot. The story is simple but it is fun to follow. The world that Max Payne is placed in is very realistic or naturalistic in a certain way that also describes some urban scenery. There are guns, violence and drugs as well as deep and even satanistic clubs in which the action takes place in this game.

The game is very enjoyable. There is lots of action. The game owes much of its success to action and sci-fi movies like those directed by John Woo and Matrix. You get to view the world from 3rd person view. There are plenty of weapons. Shotgun is a nice weapon but it is very slow to reload. Then there are two types of hand guns. There are also some sub machine guns, a sniper rifle, grenades and an automatic shotgun which is a very powerful weapon. There is a limited amount of ammo. You get to use pain killers to increase your level of health. You have also an option to slow down time. There are two ways. You can first activate this bullet time effect and move to any direction or you can jump to the side as the time slows down. This can be very effective and it gives you more time to aim.

Graphics are very nice. Sound acting is somewhat confident. If you think some games that have a low quality of voice acting, like the first Resident Evil released in 1996, Max Payne does a way better job. The fact that Max loses his family in the beginning of the game gives lots of motivation for the player to progress in the game. You are on a mission. You have to survive in a cold world.

I don’t want to give Max Payne a score. It was something revolutionary back in 2001 when it was released. Today it is still relevant as a video game. It was also the game that made Remedy Entertainment famous. If you are looking for a retro shooter that isn’t as realistic and serious as today’s ultra realistic shooting games you can definitely pick up Max Payne. I can definitely recommend it. There is also lots of replay value. I might even play it through again with increased difficulty level. And don’t forget that this game has also two sequels.

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.

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.

Spending some time with Gran Turismo 4

As I may have mentioned earlier I kind of missed PlayStation 2. So it’s finally time for me to pick up Gran Turismo 4 and start getting in to playing it. The game was released in 2005. With over 700 cars and almost endless possibilities to race and tune your vehicle to it’s maximum performance it brings a huge game for the player to enjoy for a long time.

My history with Gran Turismo begins as I picked up the first game of the series. It was end of the 90s. Graphics were beginning to become more realistic. The capacity of CD-ROM brought more details and content to be used by game developers. Gran Turismo was also good for promoting PlayStation. It soon became clear that PlayStation would see some very nice driving games. The second Gran Turismo game was also released for PS1. The third one started the era of PS2s racing games.

There are lots of games that are dealing with driving a car or some another vehicle.
Gran Turismo made a difference. It delivered almost pure racing. Almost nothing else included. It had real cars and not only some but hundreds of cars that actually existed also in real life. It’s amazing to understand how the attributes of these cars tell you exactly how they behave while being handled on the road. These include mass, suspensions, tire selections, engines capability and so on. There are lots of things to mess with. You can modify the settings while testing the car. Upgrades to your car are essential. You have to win to get money for the upgrades.

I really enjoyed the first Gran Turismo. I hope my experiences with the fourth game of this series are enjoyable. I have to bring this fact up. The graphics aren’t too smooth or nice. It has been 15 years since the release. What could you expect? As the sixth game was released for PS3 there haven’t been a release of this series for a while now. Gran Turismo Sport did appear to the gaming stores but I think it was more of a eSports type of game.

We are expecting Gran Turismo 7 to be released for the newest PlayStation. I have to Google this one. And yes, the release is scheduled to quarter 1 / qurter 2 of 2021. As Gran Turismo 4 is even today a very enjoyable game with many interesting features you have to wonder a while what could there be inside the seventh Gran Turismo game.

Making games is big business

Right now video games are more popular than ever. PlayStation 4 has now sold more than 110 million copies. Nintendo Switch has sold more copies than Nintendo Entertainment System. Switch and PS4 haven’t been around so long. Switch was released in 2017 and PS4 in 2013. Let’s think about this. NES was released in 1983 and the most popular and the most sold gaming console ever PS2 was released in 2000. So PS4 has been around only 7 years and Switch only 3 years. What will these figures be after 15 years? You don’t have to be any genius to figure out what’s going on. Games are popular. Making games, and selling them, is big business.

I sincerely hope that big game companies keep bringing more quality in form of good games to growing group of gamers. Making a HD remake is sometimes okay but where are the new innovations? I don’t meen big changes, such as virtual reality, but those small things that made video games of late 90s and early 2000s so great. Game developers would have to take time to experiment with a gaming console and find its limitations and opportunities. That would be a way to win my hearth back.

I have already said this. I don’t care how excited you are about PS5. I am not going to be one of the first ones to buy it. I bought PS4 back in 2014 and I was a bit disappointed in it. That just tells about me as a person a lot. It tells us about my history in gaming. I started messing around with video games well before I even bought my first console. That’s just where I’m form and that also tells a lot about in which direction I’m headed.

I am a bit worried. At the same time I am hoping the best. I keep buying PS4 titles for twenty euros and I have now about five or so games that I haven’t even opened up. I haven’t played them. I haven’t even installed them. Why did I buy them? I don’t know the right answer. I just hope we get some very good games in the future. I have to also get to my retro games at times to get the idea of what a perfect, or at least good, game is and why. And what gaming means to me…Well, there’s a lot to think about there…

The picture is a screenshot that I took from Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_best-selling_game_consoles

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