Introduction to Halo

Halo was first released for the original Xbox back in 2001. It was also some years later released for PC. First person shooter fans had already seen some games of this genre released for consoles. As you can easily figure FPS games were first designed to be played with a keyboard and a mouse. Nintendo 64 already had a game or two that can be categorized to be first person shooters. One of these games is Golden Eye 007.

So Halo brought a strong feel of FPS gaming to the Xbox. I think it worked really well and I have enjoyed this game for a long time. The game play is structured so that it is easier to play with a controller of that generation of gaming consoles. You had to move with left thumb stick while you had to aim with the right thumb stick. You could fire with the shoulder button on the right. This was, for me especially, a strong and a positive experience as I had played Half Life and Return to Castle Wolfenstein with a PC setup using keyboard and mouse.

I have to say that I didn’t play Halo until it was about 2006 or so. As I have told in some of my earlier posts on this blog I had some other things going on in 2001. So I got my original Xbox in 2006 and it was about four years ago, 2017, when I started moving towards original Xbox again as I got all my games back from my brother and bought the console again from flea market for a very low price. My Xbox broke just last year. After that I have utilized my Xbox 360’s backward compatibility and I gladly found out that Halo and Halo 2 also work with the 360.

This blog post is named “introduction” because I wanted to introduce the game because it has it’s own and original game play that is a bit different from the FPS’s of it’s time. Also I just some days ago started to play Halo 5. You can start from whatever Halo you have available. I know that there’s a package sold in online stores for Xbox and PC that contains Halo’s first  four games. This four game compilation is called Master Chief Collection. There’s also the next Halo game soon to be released. I think it it’s release date is in December this year.

I have completed Halo 3. I am not sure if I have completed other Halo games totally but I do have tens or even hundreds of hours of experience from this great game series. It is possible to play Halo with your friends. The original Xbox enables up to four players to play with a shared screen and from the first game it was also possible to play online. This brought the hardware and design and features of the first Xbox to their maximum. That was basically how the game was designed.

Halo is a first person shooter. You have health level. If your health level drops to zero you die. After that you start from the last save point. The health increases back to maximum level when you stop receiving hits from shooting enemies for a long enough time. So there are no health packs at all. You have many different weapons. You have a limited amount of ammo. Some weapons are from enemies that are aliens so they also have a limitation that makes your can like burn in your hands if you fire too many rounds. When this happens you have to wait a while as your player regains the ability to shoot again. You have to change weapons often. Different weapons have different abilities. Some weapons have less ammo than others and some weapons shoot faster and some are more accurate to shoot with or have a way to zoom to the target that you are trying to shoot.

This is the basics. The weapons are very uniquely designed. I think you cannot find similar weapons in any other game released before the first Halo. Maybe the first Half Life is the most close to Halo if you want to think about games that are similar to it. I was very disappointed in the Half Life’s release for PS2. In my opinion the controls were horrible. This was corrected in Half Life 2 when it was released for Xbox later.

Halo has a certain science fiction feel to it. It has been for a long time one of the most popular games. It has been exclusive for Xbox for a number of game console generations. There is no end in sight. I am a big fan of Halo games. The controls made it easy and fun to play FPS games with Xbox. It helped to bring game pads to be used more and more in gaming in general. After Halo was released for consoles many other same kind of games followed it. I could name some titles that I liked but that list would maybe be too long for here. I know many PS3 and Xbox 360 games and also games for PS4 that have taken influence from Halo. The image you see as the featured image is a screenshot I took with my Xbox Series S from Halo 5.

Something New in PlayStation 1 Emulators – DuckStation

I keep my eye on YouTube. I watch videos there. Gaming is one of the topics that I am most interested in. It doesn’t come as a surprise that there are countless videos about Xbox Series S. I found a very interesting information from one specific video that introduced a way to play PlayStation 1 games on your new Xbox.

This is possible through a new retro game emulator called DuckStation. I am not going to go to all the details of how playing PSX games this way is actually possible. After all it is possible. You have to enter to Xbox Series S in a “developer” mode. Then you will have to install DuckStation and tweak the settings. Of course you need also the BIOS and roms of all the games you are going to play.

DuckStation is a very powerful emulator application. You can enhance your graphics a lot and it is promised that you can play old PS1 games with a 4K resolution. Why would you want to use your new Xbox for this? Maybe it is because it has a limited hard disk space or maybe you just haven’t found the most interesting games for this new console. What ever the reason for you to be interested in DuckStation is it can provide you an experience on retro gaming once again with all your classic PS1 games. DuckStation is also available for Android and Linux and Windows.

I am not so interested in this way of using my new console for retro gaming. I prefer to play my emulated PS1 games on a PC. There are many reasons. One is that you can choose to use Dual Shock 4 controller through DS4Windows. I prefer to use my controller this way instead of using the new Xbox game pad. Playing PS1 games with Xbox’s controller? That’s definitely a no from me. When considering it this would be a good way to expand your collection of games a bit. Maybe you can play Xbox with a different controller somehow?

You can find more information about DuckStation from the link below:

https://emulation.gametechwiki.com/index.php/DuckStation

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.

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.

Diablo series – Are you already waiting for Diablo 4?

I first got in to Diablo as my brother bought it for PS1. My mom destroyed the game, but that’s another story…I played this, but got really deep in Diablo 2 couple years later. I played it on my PC. I don’t think it was released on any other system back in the day.

Fast development of my role character and action in this game soon got me addicted. One Saturday I played Diablo 2 for six straight hours and that was kind of an record for me as a young teenager. I finally got through the whole game. It took many years for me to return to this series of games.

I had heard rumours of Diablo 3 being in development. Had read an preview article about this game. Hype was very strong. I finally saw Diablo 3 on my friends apartments floor. I was surprised that it was already and finally released. I was so hyped that I almost instantly bought a copy. I had to update my PCs GPU but it only cost me some 50 €. I liked Diablo I 3 also.

I ended buying a t-shirt and a poster. I still have them. And I remember how much traffic was generated back then as the game needed internet connection to register the player and to get to playing the game. It was very popular game. Had me playing Diablo 1 and 2 again a couple of timesboth.

So I thought Diablo 3 was OK as a game. I am waiting for another Diablo now and it is number four this time. While there hasn’t been any information about release date we are currently waiting for the game to be published on PS4 and PC or at least these are the systems I am waiting it to be released for. It is somewhat uncertain and time will tell if it will be out on PS5 also.

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