Getting Back Into Max Payne

Max Payne is a shooting and action game released in 2001 by Remedy Entertainment. This well known game development company has also come up with titles like Control, Alan Wake, Death Rally and Quantum Break. The company is based in Finland. I have tried to apply to there as a junior software developer some years ago. As you can figure I didn’t get that job back then, but it was well worth trying.

I played Max Payne back in 2001 with my personal computer. It was the first video game that featured an element of game play called “bullet time”. This effect made the main character to slow down. Actually the time was slowing down for a moment. This way the player had more time to make an accurate aim. The player had his or her choice of weapons. These included many different hand guns, uzi, shotgun and even a baseball bat for close encounters.

Max Payne was somewhat a masterpiece that can well be called art. This was to my knowledge also what they were aiming for as game developers. It did sell well too. Max Payne does own a bit of its success to action titles and movies like Matrix and those action films directed by John Woo. The game also includes a joke in which this movie directors name is used. You can find this joke easily if you play this game.

Max Payne featured Sam Lake as the main character. He has also written the whole plot of the game. As I know a lot about this game it doesn’t come as a surprise that he has some background in producing movies. The game doesn’t have so many cut scenes and I think this was because the games release would have been delayed too much. There are many funny details in this game. In overall the game is very entertaining. You can go a long way using your skills and experience from many of first person shooter games. This game has a view of the third person.

I am getting back to this game in early 2023. It did cost me 15 euros. I bought it from Xbox store. This game is compatible with Xbox Series X if you still own a copy of the original Xbox game or if you find it from a game shop. I didn’t this time get a physical copy of the game. I got it as a digital copy. I also bought the sequel, Max Payne 2, The Fall of Max Payne and Resident Evil Village. So I spent 15 euros for Max Payne 2 also and 20 euros for Resident Evil Village.

The game plays very smoothly on my Series X. Graphics look just fine. Controls are good. I did turn invert aim off. Otherwise controlling was made easy. It did take some time to get used to but after a while everything was great. The only thing I am a bit unsatisfied with is the lack of cut scenes which are replaced with these comic slides that feature some audio also. I have only started playing this game once again. I have earlier finished it about 2 or 3 times. This time the featured image displays a screenshot.

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.

Twin Docking Station

I made a great purchase. Or so it seems right now. I bought a charging station for my Xbox Series S controller. I ordered also another gamepad and it will be delivered later.

So this is Kyzars Twin Docking Station. It came with two chargeable 850 mAh batteries. You must connect the docking station to Series S through a cable. Docking station charges controllers even when Xbox is powered off.

Batteries support both Xbox Series S or X and Xbox One. The package comes with a cover for both controllers and also for both types of controllers (Series S/X and One). I previously had a long three meter cable for my gamepad. I guess I am going to give wireless controllers another try.

I remember not being pleased with wireless controllers as I got my PS4 way back in 2014. The battery was drained out of charge quickly. Then I decided that I have to buy a long cable for every controller I am going to use. This way of thinking might now change.

Using single use AA batteries worked somewhat comfortable. Only disturbing matter was that you actually used these batteries for only one time and then just threw them away. That doesn’t sound good at all thinking about the environment and things like that. I hope that these new batteries that came with this docking station last for a pleasent amount of time. I will have to try and test this as I get more deeper into using this device.

I have to mention that the docking station was very cheap. It cost only 25 euros. If you think that a pack of ten AA batteries costs a bit over 5 euros this seems to be a good price. You will get also four lids that you have to change to your controller that enables charging of the controller.

I connected the charging station to the back of my Series S. It seems to be the best way to connect these devices. I didn’t throw away my three meter controller cable. I hope I don’t have to use it anymore. I will have to play around with these batteries and see if they really keep their charge. I hope they keep their charge for at least three hours. That would be enough to satisfy me.

Is it a Good Moment to Buy Nintendo Switch?

So, this is my first post of the year. Welcome to 2022 for all you that are right now reading this blog. Before Christmas I was thinking and actually seeing conversation about how Switch would be sold for something like 250 euros after holidays. It is not that I would need a new gaming console. It is that that it is sold for so low price.

I have also been waiting for Xbox Series X to be available. I am actually thinking if I should buy Switch while there is no Series X available at the moment. While newest PlayStation and Xbox gaming consoles have had serious issues with availability Nintendo has been ready to bring their consoles to gamers worldwide.

The price for Switch gaming console has been for a while about 320 euros. The price didn’t, at least yet, fall so much as was predicted. When I made a search for the price it was about 270 euros right now. That is the current lowest price of the console here in Finland.

Should you buy a new Nintendo console instead of Series X or PS5? There is of course the possibility to get the new updated Switch OLED which costs a bit more. The curent price is 399 euros. This console doesn’t bring you 4K graphics or anything even near that. This is propably a good time to have a conversation on the topic.

Nintendo Switch keeps selling. Nintendo is bringing many games to their console. For consumers there is also an option. That means that you have to wait. Maybe you wait for the newest Playstation. Maybe you wait for the newest Xbox. Or could it be that you are already waiting for the newest, upcoming, Nintendo console.

While Nintendo is dominating handheld gaming Sony and Xbox are struggling for their spot in the living room of gamers. Is it cool to play video games with your smart phone? Whatever your question that you want the answer to is one thing is certain – there are many question here. It seems to me that waiting might be the solution.

 

The Smallest Xbox Ever Released

I’m looking at it. I like it. It’s the smallest Xbox that is to this day released. It’s almost as small as PS2 Slim was or is. What got me to buy this thing? Well, I had been thinking about buying a newer Xbox for a while. My thoughts were centered to Xbox One. But why would I buy it for 250 euros when with 310 euros I’ll get a newer Xbox?

There are some things you have to consider when thinking about buying this gaming device. It doesn’t give you 4K video output when playing games. It only goes as far as 1440p resolution which is still a lot better than Full HD. To make this point clearer you can think about PS4 which gives you 1080p resolution and 1080 pixels being the actual height of the display. So, to make this even more understandable, Full HD means a picture that is 1920 pixels wide and 1080 pixels tall.

With not going in deeper details about the sharpness of gaming displays we shall continue this quick explanation about what are my feelings towards Xbox Series S. That’s basically what this thing is called. Why is it called this way? I guess Microsoft wanted to give it some basic name to make it clear what kind of a device it is. There is also another new Xbox model that was recently released. It is called Xbox Series X.

The main difference between these models is that S doesn’t have an optical disk drive at all while X has. X has also this 4K gaming display supporting ability. X is also a bit more expensive. It costs about 520 euros. The situation globally has been  tough. There haven’t been many opportunities to buy this new console be it the S or the X. I am also very satisfied that I got mine so fast as I’ve heard that some people have been waiting for their console for as long as six months.

What more would I want to tell you about this new console? It has been working nicely. The first game I bought for it was Remedy’s Control. I also bought Halo 5 and a remake of Final Fantasy 8. I wasn’t actually thinking about sales but I found out that there was, and actually still is, going on a sale in Microsoft’s Xbox Store. Getting a fully digital gaming console with no physical play and installation disks made me consider about getting faster internet connection. My solution to this problem was to let the game that took about 42 gigabytes to download over the night. I’m still considering updating my connection because I  might need a faster one.

I like the controller. The layout is your typical Xbox controller layout. I am not going to argue about if it is better than PlayStation’s. It is enough said that they differ a bit from each other. The controller works with two AA batteries. I am also considering some other solution as I don’t want to keep changing the batteries to it all the time. I think there is at least a cable available. That would be a USB-C cable that is at least three meters long.

One thing you should really think about is that this thing only has a bit over 500 gigabytes of storage. So you can’t really install so many games to it. You can actually buy storage upgrades. I haven’t thought about this so much as I have only three games right now and I think that is a lot for starting the experience and getting to know the device.

I went and bought this thing. Right now I am really enjoying it. I am very proud of it. One thing that really pushed the purchase for me was that there were only a limited amount of these devices available and that the price was actually as low as it was. Right now I’m playing Control. I hope I will get to know more about Halo 5 soon.

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