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!

What Have I Been Playing Recently

I realized yesterday that it has been already a bit over two weeks from my latest post to this blog. I have been busy with work, game designing and I have also met some friends. I have also played. Actually I have played a lot. I just haven’t had time to sit down and write about it.

Yesterday I also for the first time checked from Steam how many hours I have put in NBA 2K22. I am playing it with PC as you probably figured out from that last sentence where I mentioned Steam. I have played this game for 90 hours.  already described my progression in this game in the last post to this blog.

A while ago I stopped playing Gran Turismo 7. I played it maybe 40 hours. As you can figure I have played a lot this year already. After this I figured I should get into some driving games for PS4. I saw a nice discount so I bought Wreckfest and Need for Speed Hot Pursuit Remastered. I also got F1 2021.

Hot Pursuit is a remasterd version of the game that was released in 2010. There were also some NFS games published earlier and they were also called Hot Pursuit. The comncept here is clear. You decide which side of the law you are on. So you can choose to be a police or a racer.

I have already enjoyed playing this racing game for about 30 hours. At first I was a bit disappointed. I thought the game wasn’t realistic. Driving the same circuit for 50 times seemed very repetitive to me. And you didn’t progress much. I had played as a racer so I decided to try playing as a police.

Playing Need For Speed Hot Pursuit Remastered as a police is very fun. You basically try to drive as fast as you can, bust some racers and utilize means like using a spike strip, helicopter or road block to capture some racers. This play mode saves my experience. As NFS Hot Pursuit Remastered is not a realistic or enjoyable as a racing game it can be a nice experience as a game.

As it figures there’s too few hours for me to play every good game, be it a racing one or not. So I haven’t even opened Wreckfest or F1 2021. I have just been too busy lately. These games aren’t even the newest ones. As my dreams of getting myself a Xbox Series X seem to fade I have started to think about expanding my Series S’s memory. I just don’t know if there’s anything good and new to play.

Picking up what to play next is very common issue for me as a gamer. Thank you for reading. I try to write some more. I have a holiday of two weeks coming soon so maybe I catch you then. Maybe a bit earlier. Let’s find out!

Gran Turismo 7 – After Ten Hours of Playing

Gran Turismo 7 was released 4th of March. I got to play it early since I had ordered it in advance from a local game shop. Gamers all around the world have been waiting for this game to be available. Gran Turismo 6 was released on PS3 just before PS4 was getting to markets. So, we have been waiting for this for a while.

I would definitely like to play this racing game with a PS5. The circumstances are what they are and I have to satisfy my needs of some Gran Turismo racing with my PS4. I can see how a somewhat more advanced controller and better graphics would enhance my whole experience about this game. But even played with PS4 instead of PS5 I can be very satisfied how this game feels like.

I have to warn you. I usually play games longer compared to what is the average completion time expressed in for example How Long To Beat website. I have played already 48 hours of Diablo II Resurrected. It is said on How Long To Beat that its main story takes 18 hours to complete. Maybe I am a slow player or maybe I am a comletionist.

So, I have played Gran Turismo 7 for a bit over ten hours. This game made an impact as I started playing it. I had played a bit of Forza Motorsport 3 for Xbox 360 lately. It is older game but I immediately understood how good of a racing game the Gran Turismo is. You can set the difficulty level suitable for yourself. There are assists for breaking, steering and changing gears.

Gameplay is not simulation and it’s also not also arcade. It is somewhere in between. This can probably raise a question if it is a good game for some eSport sessions. Playing against your mates through network is an option if you like to play games that way. In the beginning of the game I chose intermediate skill level. I soon wanted to turn off automatic breaking. I tested a bit the settings and finally found ones that I liked. So there is a challenge for every racing fan that wants to play this game.

Graphics are amazing. Driving is fun. I don’t know how long it takes to finish the game since you can play it, I think, eternally, if you wish to do so. This is definitely the best we can get out of a racing game for PS4. I would like to try this game for PS5 but as you know there is a limited availability for a PS5 still. So you can play Gran Turismo 7 for as long as you want.

There are lots of goals in this game. You can try to called all the cars and unlock all the tracks. There is a cafe in GT7 from where you get missions, or menus, that give you something to achieve. You get a reward from achieving a goal. It is usually some new tracks or cars. You don’t immediately get to drive the fastest sport cars in the beginning of the game. You have to drive some time with some slower or not so sporty cars first.

After ten hours of playing Gran Turismo 7 seems to be everything I expected it to be. I have talked about this game with some of the persons I know since I heard that it was going to be released. It’s finally here. Now it’s time for me to enjoy it. I can definitely recommend this game.

Sine Mora EX – A Modern Space Shooter

I wrote a post some time ago about space shooters. I have played many nice shooters mainly on Mega Drive. So the thought about getting into a more recent game in this genre was interesting. Sine Mora EX is modernized side scrolling two dimensional flying and shooting game. Graphics are clearly today’s graphics, there are some modes to choose from, you can save the game and play with two players cooperatively.

I bought this game, again, from some sale a while ago. The price was very low. I think it was about ten euros. The game has been released in 2017. I checked how long would it take for an average player to get through this game and the website tells me that it takes about two and a half hours. I have played it now for five and a half hours. As I’m not a professional game player it takes some time for me to finish especially this type of game. The genre isn’t one that I would have lots of experience with. But things do get interesting as I delve deeper into what this game has to offer.

Basically your mission is to avoid ammunition that is shot at you and at the same time you have shoot your enemies before they kill you. You get, I think, randomly some updates to your weapon and more time and some other important updates. You can even get a shield for you plane. When you get hit you loose all your weapon upgrades that give your weapon more power and you can then collect them back to you if you are fast enough. There are also updates for your planes speed. Time can run out. You get more time when you kill enemies or get an update. When you get hit you lose also time. You have ten lives and when time finally runs out you lose one life and you have to start from the latest checkpoint.

The game is exciting. It may seem to be a bit repetitive as games in this genre might sometimes be. As I played this game today I spent many hours playing it. So it keeps you well captured while it still is a smaller and more of a casual game. It’s nice to play this type of game that doesn’t require so much work in getting into it and actually learning how to play it. It can be a nice introduction to this whole genre. I hope I have the time to learn to play this game a bit more. In overall this game is good and it delivers a nice shooting experience tweaked into a modern gaming experience.

My Personal Relationship with PS4

I hadn’t thought about PlayStation 4 yet when a friend asked me a question – Do you know when is the new console actually getting released? That was probably back in 2013. Before that comment entered my mind I had been steadily working through titles available for PS3. I had played almost endless series of driving games like Need For Speed series and Dirt 1 and 3.

I had time and energy to play video games. Back then I wasn’t so interested, as you can figure, about retro games. They were only a slight curiosity I casually worked with using emulators on a PC. So I thought it would be nice to finally buy the latest PlayStation.

I actually made the purchase after I had just turned 30 years old in 2014. My budget was, back then, low, but I managed to save money to buy the device. I bought also my first PS4 game at the same time. It was Tomb Raider that was released back in 2013.

At first I had an ambitious idea of completing every game I got for PS4. It worked out only until I got like my fifth game or so. I managed to get through Tomb Raider and Call of Duty Ghosts. Games for PS4 were pricey at that time and there was only small selection. Many games were releases of old games released as HD remakes. So I had a new gaming console but there were only a handful of games.

Was it really worth it? I started to think about this. When I am writing this I think that this device had some really nice games. Some of my favorite games are NBA 2K14 and Dirt Rally. These two really stand out in the list of my favorite games for PS4. I just think there were many titles that I didn’t really get into so much. I guess it has also something to do about that I was back then already a bit over 30 years old.

It is said that when you are young you get more inspired by the music of that time. I think this goes also for video games. One year can be very significant for a nineteen-year-old but one year for a forty-year-old is not so big deal. So I was a bit older and had already got through experiences of the first PlayStation. I just think that PS4 never conquered my hearth like PS1 once did. This personal relationship made me think that it would be not a good idea to buy a new gaming console. So tot this day I haven’t found a reason to get a new console. I have a fresh PC that I can play also some new games.

After all there is an infinite amount of games that you can play. I think the games I am going to play don’t necessarily have to be the newest anymore and PS4 kind of ended my habit of playing the newest games released. PS4 is now not the newest gaming console anymore. It isn’t retro either. It is somewhere in between of retro and new. I think it’s time now for me to take some distance to this console and try to find some other games that I can enjoy. If you did enjoy PS4 or are still enjoying it that’s fine. I just think it lacked a personality and that’s why I have not played it or enjoyed playing it as much as I did PS3 and some older devices.

What’s Going On?

This blog is mainly about gaming. It’s also my dear hobby and it always tells something also about me. So I dedicate this blog post to describing what has been going on lately in my life. I still try to write here as frequently as possible. It just seems that I don’t right now have so much time for video games. But I do have played a bit of Skyrim. Well, I have played it for about six and a half hours. I also started working again. I was unemployed for just about three weeks. So I got my next job almost instantly. It’s been keeping me busy but at least I don’t have to work on weekends.

There are lots of games available today. I chose my next game to be Skyrim. If you haven’t played it or if you are considering whether to get your hands on it, I can describe it a bit here. It might first seem that this game is some kind of an action game. That’s not completely true. I would compare to the first Deus Ex. It combines action and roleplaying elements cleverly. It’s not turn based but the game play is strongly depending on things like developing your character. Your character develops as you do different things and gather the actual experience. In the beginning of the game you get to choose your characters class and of course you have to modify the look and feel of your character visually and of course you have to give the character a good name that you can relate to.

There are many skills in Skyrim that you can develop. There’s too many for me to start telling something about them. Let’s just say there are maybe hundreds of them. There is also some magic skills that you can learn and use. You have to choose do you want to battle with two handed weapons, one handed weapons using also a shield or maybe you want to use ranged weapons like a bow. You can carry a limited amount of equipment with you. If the limit is reached your characters get slow. You can save your game any time you want and you can even use one quick save slot.

To this day I find this game interesting. It isn’t the newest game around. And the version I am playing is for PS4 so it is a HD remake. I already had this game for PS3 and Xbox 360 but I bought this latest remake so I could enjoy a bit better graphics. It was, again, in sale so I decided to buy it. Well, I also ordered one very interesting game at same time. It was actually Tetris for NES. So I made again a small purchase that had, again, very interesting games in it.

Maybe that is all for now. I hope I don’t get too tired and get to spend also time playing more video games as I do have free time sometimes.

Assassin’s Creed Series

I have played Assassins Creed for only a bit but I chose to write my next blog post about this whole series. In this series of games games I am most familiar with are the first Assassins Creed and Origins. I lately started playing Origins. I bought it couple of months ago for PS4. It’s a bit sad to think that PS4 isn’t the newest PlayStation console anymore.

Assassins Creed has been around since the first game of the series was released back in 2008. The copy I have is for Xbox 360. I found the first Assassins Creed game to be a nice game. I am not a big fan of open world games. I played this game only for a while. This is a huge series if you think about how many games there have been released in it. Since the first game there has been almost yearly a release. I am also aware that there was also a movie released some time ago.

Assassins Creed Origins takes place in Egypt. This game had a good overall score in Metacritic and I liked the idea of getting more into the series. I find also this game to be nice. You can find that there are areas of gameplay that have been further developed. This game was released in 2017. You are moving in an open world. You can run or ride a camel. You can spot new missions or places as a bird that can fly in the sky. From there you can mark different spots you want to move to. You can also use the map for navigation.

I have played Origins only for about three hours. On “HowLongToBeat” it is said that the main story has about 30 hours of playing. So I’m only at the beginning of this game. As I keep writing these blog posts I am realizing how much time playing games actually takes. I haven’t had so much time for gaming lately as I have had more work and social life recently. Playing games is still one of my favorite ways to pass time and get away from stress. So I am going to keep posting these texts to this blog. And maybe next time I can come up with a good and clever idea for a text.

How Basketball Games Have Evolved – From Super Real Basketball to NBA2K18

The first basketball game I ever owned was Super Real Basketball. It was released for Sega Mega Drive. Later NBA Jam came and it was maybe the best basketball game, or maybe title, of all time in sport games history. Let’s take a deeper look into how Super Real Basketball was played and how it was compared to the latest basketball game I have right now in my collections.

Super Real Basketball was fast paced game. You could move one player that had or didn’t have the ball. You had your defensive play and your offensive play. You could steal the ball if opponent tried to pass it to a teammate. When you had a drive to the basket there suddenly appeared an animation that required you to hit the shoot button at right moment. If you were on defense and you were near the player that was trying to score you could block the shot, again, by pressing a button at correct time. If you wanted to shoot a three pointer that was also possible.

The limitations of one of the first Sega Mega Drive basketball games were that although it promised a sense of reality it actually wasn’t very realistic. One thing there is that could have been designed better and that was the statistics of the game. The game didn’t have strong statistics. There weren’t real names of players of NBA or any other league. Names were just some basic names. You really couldn’t make much of a difference between players. Some players were faster than others or had better shooting skills. You just couldn’t name a player that was good with for example ball handling.

When it comes to the latest basketball games there is lots of improvements that have been made over the time as sport games have generally developed more. The latest NBA game I have is NBA2K18. The 2K series of basketball games has had good reviews, I think, since the release of NBA2K14. I think you can already trust the quality. When there is another season beginning there will be a good basketball game made with the latest players and teams.

Statistics ar great in NBA2K18. You basically play maybe two or three seasons and develop your player. You first choose some qualities of the player that don’t change like the name, number of the players shirt and height and even weight. You have to think what kind of a player you want to create. Will it be a 3 point shooter, point guard or play maker or do you want to become a center that has amazing blocking and defensive skills. After that you play the regulat season, one season is 82 games long and if you win enough games, you go to playoffs. Your player gets skill points that give you options to buy more stats for your player.

The gameplay is very nicely developed especially compared to the first basketball game I was talking about earlier. You can make steals, although you can get a penalty, if you are too much into stealing the ball, block a shot of an opponent in real time. Shooting is based on how open you are, what kind of a release you have and also how good is the ability of shooting of your player. You have a strong feel that you are actually the player. The Mega Drive game was about team play – the newer game is about individual player, but you have some game modes that enable you to play as a team or as a coach. I’ve only played NBA 2Ks, 2K14 and 2K18, as a single, individual, player.

So there is a lot of progress. I can tell you about NBA Jam also a bit. I first started playing it in an arcade. We had a great arcade that had games like NBA Jam and Mortal Kombat. So that was the first touch. I later played with a friend that had College Slam on his PC. That was cool. Lately I bought NBA Jam for Mega Drive. It’s still a great and fast paced basketball game that is played two versus two. There have been many versions and I like the PS3 version the most. It’s funniest when played with an opponent that is a human person. It’s not so much fun if played against a computer.

So these two basketball games are ones that I truly have myself played and I’ve played them a lot. It’s really nice to see how the sports games have been developing since late 1980s. And you can see how licensing, and I mean here that the players and teams have real names, affects the experience of the game. You can name a player that is good at shootiing three pointers for example. Like, to mention someone, Stephen Curry. It gives that certain touch to the games build aaround playing basketball. There are also games in which you can play on the streets. Maybe I have space and time to write about them some other time.

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.

Connecting gamepad of PS4 to your PC

I have for a long time used Xbox Ones Elite gamepad for playing games on my PC. This is fine when dealing with PC games but when it comes to PCSX2, the emulator for PS2 games, I would like to play with a good gamepad that has buttons layed out correctly. What I mean is I would like to play with a PlayStation controller. It is kind of stupid for me to play PS2 with Xbox gamepad.

This is where a program called DS4Windows comes in to play. It is very simple to use. You just run the application and connect your DualShock 4 gamepad to your computer. You can use USB or Bluetooth connection. That’s right – you don’t need to connect your controller necessarily with Bluetooth since a USB cable works just fine. You can download this application from http://ds4windows.com/ .

I am planning on buying another DualShock 4 gamepad to use for this particular purpose. I currently only have one of these controllers. They are in my opinion a great way to somewhat make PS2 games more playble and modern. So the player can concentrate to the game instead of loosing interest as the gamepad is too bad. This can be a great improvement considering FPS games like Call Of Duty series’s games that were hardly as nice to play with older gmaepad like DualShock 2.

As PS5 will be released, I think it’s going to be sometime in November this year, there is a new controller introduced to large audience. It is called DualSense. I don’t have any experience, which in this case is understandable, of this new gamepad. I am a bit excited about it and I am curious of what kind of quality and playability it will have inside. There are some great differences between Xbox and PlayStation gamepads. One of the biggest is the layout of thumb sticks on these gamepads. I hope the new PS5 pad gives us many new improvements in technology of gaming controllers.

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