Some Tips for NHL 97 (SNES)

Be it SNES or Sega Mega Drive – I love NHL 94.  I just like it so much. In its time it was popular and appreciated ice hockey game. NHL 97 for SNES is very similar in many ways. I decided to pick this game and buy it because I liked NHL 94 so much and I hoped it would have a decent season mode.

I start to play this game. I am greeted with some title screens. There appears to be some kind of a menu. I decide to first play an exhibition game to find out how to play this game. Since I have so solid experience from NHL 94 I decide to try to play this in difficulty of Expert which is the toughest difficulty level out of three.

I picked Anaheim Mighty Ducks because I like to play with Selänne and Karyia. They are fast and good players also in overall. After three rounds I haven’t scored a goal. It seems that it is hard to make one. I seem to loose the puck all the time. I didn’t set fighting on but I guess I will have to test playing also with that setting on.

I finally loose the first game in overtime as computer scores the first, and last, goal of overtime. I decide to try to play a season. The menu is a bit confusing. I manage to create a new player and select a team. I also adjust the difficulty level to a bit lower setting.

This game feels a lot like NHL 94. There are many things done a bit differently althought. The graphics and sounds have been moulded a bit. There are fights which do not exist in NHL 94. Scoring a goal is more difficult or at least it is modified. This is all in all a good matter. I have played NHL 94 so much that it would simply be boring for me to keep scoring and winning games 10 to 0.

I have some tips for players of NHL 97. Don’t tackle a player that has a breakaway. If you do the opponent will almost every time get a penalty shot. It isn’t worth mking that risk. Just try to distract the player that has the puck without tackling. You can use pass button but the referee might consider that to be tackling also.

There is a sure way to score in NHL 94. You have to skate with your player that has the puck to the other corner of the ice and then start moving to the other side going on the front of the goal and goal keeper and then shoot the puck while moving from left-to-right or right-to-left depending on the point you started. This way, or at least the game thinks so, the goalie is put to a side-to-side movement and you will definitely score a goal this way.

However I didn’t get to try this. NHL 94 gets boring quickly if you use this method to score like 20 goals in every game. So that is the reason why I avoid using this way to score a goal. I have to play this more to find out more ways to score a goal. One sure way seems to be to get in a breakaway and then press several times left-right-left on the game pad or right-left-right depending once again how you start the combination of key presses.

You have to be careful when your goalie has the puck. Avoid passing the puck when you have the puck near the goal. Don’t pass the puck from another side to the other side so that it passes directly in front of the goal. If your opponent gets to intercept your pass and your goalie is positioned badly this might lead to your opponent to score a goal.

NHL 97 seems to be a different game if you compare it directly to NHL 94. It is a sequel after all. I played the SNES version. I also have a PC big box version which is of course completely different game since you get to run it on such a powerful platform. I am talking about the power of a PC compared to SNES. The PC version has 3D modeled graphics and the gameplay differs also a lot.

NHL 97 is a good hockey game. I think althought that it isn’t one for me to continue playing for a long time. There are better hockey games. Some nice ones are NHL 08 on PS2 and NHL 2000 on PS1. I think you should check them out in case you like ice hockey games. NHL 97 was a cheap one to buy for me. I got it for 15 euros. I ordered some other SNES games with the same order so that’s how it goes this time.

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.

My Current Tiny Collection of NES Games

I didn’t have a Nintendo Entertainment System when I was a child. It didn’t prevent me from getting my hands to this console. I remember that at least two of my friends from school had this gaming system. We played Super Mario and Mega Man just to name a few of my favorites. This nostalgic feeling is the reason I started collecting NES games.

I have a retro gaming console that can handle NES, SNES, Mega Drive, Game Boy and Master System game cartridges. That’s right. I play my 80s and 90s retro games from real physichal cartridges. I have used also emulators on different computers, including Raspberry Pi, but I find it satisfying to play my retro games the way that I do.

I have also an original NES controller that I use while I play NES games. Let’s get to my collection. I have 12 NES games. I have been collecting games of this game console for about three years. That’s when I got the first game of this system.

The first game in this collection was Super Mario Bros. 3. It is in my opinion maybe the best game and definitely the best platformer game for this legendary gaming system. If you look carefully to this image we have here you can find that I have Double Dragon 1 and 2, Big Foot, Gremlins 2, Kid Ikarus, Gradius, The Adventure of Link, Tetris, Total Recall, Ice Climber and Gauntlet 2.

There are still some games I would like to buy and add to my collection. Some of these games are Mega Man, Metal Gear Solid, Super Mario 1 and 2, Punch Out, Probotector and some others that just don’t come to mind right now. There are also many great games that I don’t even yet know about. I have imagined that I would some day get a CRT television that would enable me to play shooter games like Duck Hunt. There are also some very good shooters for PlayStation 1.

How much have I paid for these games. I think the most expensive from these games is the Zelda game. It cost me 80 euros. I just had to buy it. This game is a bit rare so I was lucky to even have an opportunity to buy it. I buy my NES games usually from different game shops. Sometimes I find a game from flee market. Because of corona I haven’t been to flee markets a lot lately but this I know is going to change. The cheapest games in this collection are somewhere around 15 euros.

So for this small collection you can probably spend something from 300 euros to 500 euros. I suggest that if you are going to play your NES games also and not just collect them just buy them like two or three games at a time. This way you can enjoy playing them. I think one of the most important ways to enjoy games that bring you nostalgia is to just give them enough time. You can definitely spend two to three hours for one game. You can also try to complete them. To this day I haven’t been able to beat Super Mario Bros 3. I have spent lot of time in trying to do so.

I think you have already some good ideas for starting to collect NES cartridges to your own collection. Buying retro games can also be a way to invest your money in case you become financially challenged some day. There are lots of collectors out there. I almost forgot one good title and that is the first Final Fantasy. This is a one rare game. Also some NES games are very expensive today. You can see a game that costs several hundreds of euros or even more than that.

A Recent Purchase

Yesterday I went to a large local mall. Well, actually it’s in Vantaa and it’s called Jumbo. It’s near the airport and there is lots of stores of different kinds. There is also a hotel, spa and everything. It has also many restaurants. So, you probably get that it’s a huge and complex building that we have here in my home city. I went there by bus. Yeah, I don’t have a car. I don’t need a car.

As I told you in some earlier post, there is also a shopping center in Myyrmäki called Myyrmanni. I told you earlier that there was only one game title for Xbox Series X. As I went to Jumbo I realized that there was, in a shop, a huge shelf of games. And there were tens of titles available. So this made me realize and think again about my opinions about general stores that sell games even today. There was a nice collection. Prices were also low in general.

So I bought one 4K movie, a game pad for my Nintendo Switch, a USB hub and this cool title, Turtles – The Cowabunga Collection, for Xbox Series X. This time I didn’t buy any gift cards. I also didn’t buy more PS4 games. This shopping experience was somewhat refreshing. I was a bit tired. I also got one book from a book store.

If you don’t know anything, yet, about Cowabunga Collection I can tell you that it features thirteen retro titles that were released back in the day for NES, SNES and Sega Mega Drive. I think there is also a title from Game Boy. This might be actually very interesting. There are also some titles that were released only in arcades.

The original price of this compilation was 40 euros, but it was on sale, so I got it for 20 euros. They did have some difficulties at cash register about removing the alarm device from around the packing. Heh, I don’t know if this was important or not, but it’s my gaming diary, so it doesn’t matter. I like to tell these thought quite openly. And if the cashier or anybody from the store might be reading this, well, let’s say hello to you. I think they don’t actually read my blog. But you read, so thank you about that.

There actually weren’t so many 4K movie titles available and the ones I was at least a bit interested in were pricey. They were sold for like 30 euros a piece. I picked up a Star Wars title that was released originally in 2002. It was 20 euros. Later that evening I watched that new movie about Queen and Freddie Mercury form telly. It was a good day and refreshed me as I had also a work day yesterday.

I’d like to spend this last paragraph of this blog post to tell you about my plannings of releasing a book from around the topics that I have written about in this blog. I am currently trying to find time to write this book. I have already written almost 30 pages. The book is still heavily in the making. But if you’re interested about this I can tell you that I am planning to release it as a digital book. If I get to releasing it, it is my aim that the book as it is in English would be available for anyone anywhere in the world. So, stay tuned for that, also.

Are We Already Past Golden Era?

Games are definitely different than they used to be. Things aren’t the same. There is something almost magical about these games we today call retro games. They were games that were brand new when I was a kid or a teen.

Game developers today seem to be cautious. They don’t take risks and I think that they even like to keep it simple and make games that are going to bring them profits surely. Games are a big business. There is this certain economical responsibility. Every year games get bigger and better. Technology keeps developing. People are more into games than ever before.

So when was the so called golden era of video games? As I was growing up I picked up a lot of titles. I started playing some hours with Sega Mega Drive. Then I moved on to PlayStation and then to PC and to original Xbox all the way to the recent games that I have been also playing. That’s a long trip. Nothing will ever be like what it was when I first got to play Half-life or Diablo II back in the end of 1990s.

In my opinion we today lack inspiration and innovation. Games have advanced in graphics. There has been a lot of progress also in the design of games. Every game today seems to have elements of games we used to call role playing games. But where are the game changing innovations?

It might help for me to deal with these ideas and thoughts if I would think of it from a young persons sight. What would it be like to grow up around all this technology? Smart phones definitely have made an impact to our lives. You can play games also with mobile devices. There is even a possibility to buy a game pad for your mobile phone and play something with an emulator. So it is possible to use your phone as a retro gaming device.

The whole world keeps moving on and changing. Today you can write your thoughts on a blog and release your pictures on social media. There are lots of complications. We have divided our presence into physical and virtual. We are able to enjoy electronic devices and also to work with them.

How much does playing video games still feel like it used to feel? I don’t know. I might not even be a person that actually plays all the latest games. I do like retro games. But still I have ot ask again and one more time – are we already past the golden era of gaming??

Getting in to GameCube

I bought a used Nintendo Wii about one and a half years ago. I figured I could also play some GameCube games with it since it’s backwards compatible. So I got two consoles for a price of one. Nintendo Wii consoles aren’t actually so expensive. The one I got was about 80 euros.

I have learned that at least with GameCube I like to have an original gamepad. I wrote about this already earlier. I also have a memory card. Games that I currently own for GameCube are ISS 3, Prince of Persia – The Sands of Time, Dead to Rights, Wave Race – Blue Storm, Resident Evil Zero, Resident Evil and NBA Courtside 2002.

I can definitely save some space because I have a console that can play Wii and GameCube games. There are some used games available. Some titles are pricy. The controller requires a bit of getting used to. It differs a lot from controllers like DualShock 4 or the Xbox’s controller. After getting used to it the game pad does work well.

GameCube might not be your choice if you want flashy and modern graphics. It was originally released in 2001-2002. It’s main competitors were PS2, Xbox and DreamCast. Out of these four consoles PS2 sold the most. Xbox was sold the second most. Third was GameCube and then there was Dreamcast. GameCube is definitely a retro console. It reminds of this great era when game developers took more risks in game design decisions.

If you are into GameCube you should check a game called Eternal Darkness. It is kind of a survival horror game. I have heard good things about it. It is although a pricy game. I can see it being sold for 170 euros in a local game shop. There are some very good Mario games released for GameCube. There is even a game where Mario’s buddy Luigi is in the main role.

I am still excited about GameCube. Resident Evil Zero is definitely worth a while. ISS 3 isn’t a bad football or should I say soccer game. You can play with Kobe Bryant in NBA Courtside 2002. I just might try to grab some new games for this console. And I definitelty would like to have some time to spend playing these games that I have mentioned in this blog post.

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.

The Book About Console Wars

In the beginning of 1980s there were lots of games and gaming systems available. All of the products targeted for home gamers just weren’t good enough. Some of them were actually garbage. It didn’t take long for consumers to understand what was going on. Remember that E.T. game that is called the worst video game ever? Well, that’s what we are talking about right here.

This however wasn’t the end of home gaming consoles. Nintendo released their Entertainment System in 1983. As they kept in mind all mistakes that earlier game consoles had made with too low quality in released games they were actually able to release a gaming system that was good enough for consumer markets. Gaming became popular again.

The demand for a home gaming console was still there. NES delivered a good quality 8-bit console. They didn’t have so much competition. This was about to change as Sega released their new 16-bit system in 1988. This is when the console wars started to take their form. And this is what the book “Console Wars” is all about.

So as you can figure I haven’t yet read this book all the way through. I have currently read maybe 150 pages of it. The book starts off with a funny foreword by Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg. The book is actually written by Blake J. Harris and it was released in 2014.

As the book starts to describe how Sega entered the game with their 16-bit gaming console Sega Mega Drive it gives a view of what kind of a situation it was in the beginning of this console war. Of course Sega already had some experience of gaming markets as they had released Master System already. What really changed the scheme was the design of Sega’s own mascot Sonic The Hedgehog.

Sega got their idea for the icon of their gaming system through thinking about other cartoon figures and action hero’s of children and young human beings. There were several figures that influenced the shaping of Sonic. We can mention Turtles and Masters Of The Universe and even Barbie dolls. There is something also in these first 150 pages about Electronic Arts which had many very good quality sport games out there in the 1990s. Of course this gave its own influence in this console war.

Finally Nintendo answered and delivered for all of these gamers another even more powerful gaming console Super Nintendo. Of course there is also the battle between all these handheld consoles released. There were handhelds released by Nintendo (Game Boy), Sega (Game Gear) and Atari (Lynx). Game Boy finally became the most popular one of these three. It had some nice games and while Game Gear delivered a color screen their console battery life was way worse than Game Boy’s.

I find this book very interesting. I am glad that it is available for residents in my area (Finland). While it is written in English I still can understand it clearly. I find reading books written in English to work for my benefit. If you like to reminisce over some classic retro systems and are curious about how the actual history was written I can recommned this book for you.

How Games Used to Be

I can remember it clearly. Games were different. I am talking about how games were at the time when original Xbox was released. Thinking about this brings me, again, some very nostalgic feelings and thoughts.

So what excactly has changed? We have today more powerful gaming consoles, screens  and televisions. Even things like controllers and consumption of electricity have improved. It seems although that we are seeing very different kinds of games today compared to what we saw about twenty years ago.

Back in the day game publishers took more financial risks. There was also less money  involved all in all. This has led to a situation in which we are seeing huge releases that try to appeal to as huge of an audience as possible. Just think about Elden Ring or Cyberpunk 2077.

Old or retro games can give you a different approach to how a game should feel like. Some games are not even trying to reach to the sky. They might use only 2D scenery or they might concentrate to bringing you something that can be classified very easily. Just think about racing games. Everyone knows how  a typical racing game feels like.

Seems like games today try to be everything for everyone. We haven’t seen many new genres formed in last past ten years. We are seeing lots of remakes of old games that were very popular at the time they were originally released. We seem to see fewer definitely distinctive new games. Have game developers lost their creativity? How is this going to affect to new games we are already waiting to be released?

The times are changing and that change is constant. Because of delivery problems of electronical components we are seeing some other difficulties also. Has the gaming industry reached already its peak? Are we going to be still playing games and going to find more new games that attract us and bring us deeper and closer to the core of this hobby?

There is something very definitive in video games that attracts people. More and more people are starting this hobby. Age isn’t in any way anymore a limitation. And who tells you that you cannot play also some older games instead of these newer huge releases?

Collecting, Buying but not Playing

I am happy that I am currently employed. I work and I also have some freetime. Although I don’t have the amount of time I had as a teenager. I propably wouldn’t even want it to be that way anymore. I guess I have less time for playing today.

As I have less time for gaming I do have more income. That gets me to buy more collectable items, games, that I couldn’t afford some time ago. I am finding myself buying interesting, nostalgic and exciting games. Some of them, the retro ones, I have owned or played during my childhood. Some games just are plain intersting. I think I cannot fully explain this.

There seems be a lot of items for me to get to my hands. I might buy an interesting game and just leave it for a month or two and then get into playing it. I can picture myself buying even things like CRT television, light gun or another retro game console. Those are very interesting things inside my mind.

There are of course limitations. I don’t have so much room in my house. So, what’s next? Moving to a bigger house to collect more games, systems, televisions and what more? There gots to be a limit somewhere.

Instead of just spending all my time playing every retro title I have for two to three hours a day I am actually also finding myself in improving my personal skills. This is somewhat the fact even when I am playing something but I also am spending my free time for learning something new in programming, technology, making my own games and writing texts and making music. So there are lots of things going on and this is just one way that reflects me as an individual.

Everything depends on everything. As I keep spending more time alone or with my wife I find myself quite content in my current situation. I am a developing individual but of course I am not a software developer…at least not at this moment. But who knows what future just might bring!

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