Returning to Halo In The Form of Master Chief Collection

It’s been some years that I played the first Halo game. It was probably on Xbox 360 but I can clearly remember when I got my first touches to this game on original Xbox. The year must have been 2006. The first Halo was released for PC also. I have it as a physical copy that I managed to buy from re-use center only a few years back. I also have Master Chief Collection on PC. I bought it through Steam and it was clearly on some kind of sale when I bought it.

What it comes to Master Chief Collection for Xbox Series X I can tell you that I only recently bought it. Yes, it was the time of this years Black Friday. So, I did buy something on this years Black Friday. I am not so big fan of this event or season or whatever you call it. I think this has become too important for everyone of us. Well, maybe I have to just adjust to the situation. Let me just tell you that it is ridiculous how much people buy stuff during this time of year. And you know that the amount of stuff you have in your  apartment has been increasing. This has happened, I think, in overall in almost every apartment.

Halo was released in 2001. It was a remarkable game. It wasn’t the first first person shooter that we got for a game console. What it was was surely one of the first games that successfully and finally brought FPS games steadily to also consoles. Before this we really couldn’t play games like this with a game pad. The first FPS of this kind must have been Golden Eye for Nintendo 64 and it was released in 1997. This was the beginning of the era when you wouldn’t necessarily need a mouse and a keyboard to play these types of games that were strongly categorized as games for only PC.

The first Halo offered tight shooting action. The controls were smooth. The crosshair was a bit larger than it had been on some earlier games of this genre. The game was set in some kind of a futuristic and fantasy type of environment. The world of this game looks and feels beautiful. Since this is a remaster of the original game the graphics have been improved. The latest Xbox controller also improves the average gameplay a lot.

I have completed 70 percentage of the game. By this I mean only of the first game – Halo: Combat Evolved. The collection comes with every Halo game that was released before and including Halo 4. I bought the collection when I realized that the only Halo I have completed was Halo 3. I paid only about 25 euros for this collection. It gives you a good value. Since I got my Xbox Series X and removed Series S from my current setup I have bought many games as physical copies.

I have to tell you that I had a slight issue with installing the game. The menus appeared in Korean. I had to make a search for some guidance and finally found some video that showed me how to change the language to English. The game didn’t seem to offer an option for selecting the language to Finnish. But that’s OK for me. I don’t like to hear or read Finnish from a game and since I read and write also very good English it doesn’t matter to me at least so much.

Spending Some Time With Forza Motorsport

Forza Motorsport was released almost two weeks ago. I was a bit sceptic towards it but decided finally to purchase it. As I have spent some hours already playing it I think it isn’t a total disappointment as a racing game. I think it is actually a very nice game.

This is the first Forza Motorsport for this console generation. We have of course seen games of this series been released and playable with Series S/X consoles through backwards compatibility. I am talking about games that were released originally for Xbox One.

I am a huge racing game fan. What I am not so inspired of are Forza Motorsport games. I get the point that Microsoft wanted to create this series of racing games to compete with Sony and their Gran Turismo series. I think GT is a bit better when it somes to a comparison. I especially have enjoyed the first GT, the fourth and, latest, seventh.

I am also waiting for the new WRC game. It sohuld be in our faovrite game shops 3th of November this year. I am not going to get this game in advance since there is always some problems with the delivery. This doesn’t mean that the game shop has done something wrong. I just can not believe that the game would be delivered in time of its release. Maybe I’ll get a digital copy, who knows?

EA Sports WRC has currently a price tag of 50 euros and it will be released for PS5 and Xbox Series S/X. We are not getting a release for Switch this time. I am not surprised. Switch does lack some power that it would need for hnadling this kind of a game. So far the reviews have been mainly positive.

So, lets make a conclusion right here. We have a new Forza Motorsport game currently in our hands. It is a decent racing game and provides some fun racing gaming times. The price tag was 70 euros. I think the price is a bit high. It doesn’t make it sound any better that the price of the digital version is same. If you are into racing game you might want to pick this up. If you are tight on your budget you might want to save some money for the upcoming WRC game and maybe you want to buy this game after its price is getting lowered a bit sometime in the near future.

This game isn’t percfect but it stands as a decent new sequel to this very legendary racing game series. I think that’s it for this blog post. Thank you once again for reading. You are the ones that I am making this content for. Do, please, remember that. And keep reading the blog!

Xbox Series X Has a Nice Backwards Compatibility (But Far From Full)

My Xbox 360 has been suffering. It doesn’t read game discs anymore. Otherwise it is fully functional. I tried opening it a bit through the disc unit as was insturcted on an official guideline I found from internet. I read from the guide that you should first power the device off, remove all cables and then try to push the wheel of the disc unit so that it opens up a bit. This was instructed to do with paper clip that has been straightened. Then you should bloww some compressed air to it.

I did mangae to do this and it fixed the problem. I was able to start a game once again. Then some weeks went by. I wasn’t playing anything with my Xbox 360. I played my other game conmsoles. As you might know Xbox 360 has a backwards compatiblity with original Xbox games. 463 games out of all 996 published are backwards compatible. We can make a quick calculation and find out that this makes 46,5 % of all games that were published for original Xbox.

If you think about PS3 and PS4 and their backwards compatibility you can propably figure how differently Microsoft and Sony deal with this issue. PS4 wasn’t at any moment backwards compatible at all. This pissed off some people. You were able to play PS1 games on PS3. Some PS3 models you are able to play also PS2 games with. PS5 however has limited backwards compatibility for PS4 games.

Xbox Series X, the latest Xbox, is fully compatible with older Xbox consoles’s games. However every game is not supported. There are 63 original Xbox games out of 996 and 633 out of 2155 Xbox 360 games compatible with the latest Xbox console. Xbox Series S doesn’t even have a disc drive so apparently it doesn’t support older consoles’s game discs. All Xbox One games are compatible with Series X.

With this information available I decided to remove my oddly acting Xbox 360 from my current setup. This meant actually that I had to remove also tens of games from my lineup. I like to keep every game that I am able to play with any console in my setup in this huge shelf. I had to remove many Xbox and Xbox 360 games.

I have now only six original Xbox games left in that shelf. The picture related to this post shows my current games that I am able to play with my Xbox Series X. I didn’t count the games that I removed so carefully. I think I set aside maybe 70 games in total. I had to put games like Halo 1 and 2, Tony Hawks Pro Skater 4 and many others to storage. These were games that I haven’t had time to get into thoroughly.

I would like to be able to play every game that has ever been released for any Xbox system. This is just the way that things go. You are updating your setup and getting into some new or retro consoles. You don’t actually play every game that you own. Some games and systems you just have to set aside at least for a while. Xbox 360 is an old gaming console. It was first released in 2005. I bought my Xbox 360 as a used copy. This was about six years ago. So maybe it was time for me to move on.

Games do get old. Systems do get old. There are many games that you just can’t play, buy or enjoy in any way no more. I think there should be something that could be done to this issue of great games just disappearing somewhere. We seem to be still moving so fast forward that we can easily completely forget a nice old game.

I don’t know the exact answer to this question. Will there be in the future some websites or collectins of old games. Are we going to be able to finally play these games with an emulator? Would it be nice to have a museum that could hold many old games? I know that there are already some websites that are dedicated to old Commodre 64 games. They have archived thousands of games which are also available as downloads.

There cetainly is some knowledge about gaming that also I as a gamer have been able to develop in myself. From the moment when I first gazed at a video game in some arcade I have been curious to find out more about games. I went as far as studying the field. I dreamed I would be able to make a game or something similar. And I think I am not alone with my knowledge and I think this is an interesting topic all in all.

Concentrating More To Modern and Recent Instead of Retro Video Games

I have lots of games already for my Xbox Series X. The backlog is getting a bit heavy. I have given a though to my habit and hobby of collecting games. I started getting into retro games back in 2016. Since then prices of games that can be categorized as retro games has risen seriously. I have witnessed these prices to go up with games ending up 3 times more expensive than what they used to be.

Why has this happened one might start to figure. One thing about this issue is the rising popularity of collecting and playing video games. Both types of games are popular if we think about modern and retro. Modern games can be produced and delivered to almost as many players as there is a demand for. While we have witnessed some cases of games being produced too many for consumers to buy, I mean for example the ET Atari 2600 game, that the manufacturers have been left with several unsold copies in their hands. I think today this isn’t a big problem as also many customers buy their games as digital editions.

The people that used to play video games in the 80s and 90s are coming to an age that they have a bit more currency to spend to their dear hobby. Did you notice how quickly classic and mini consoles were completely sold out. The demand was huge. These are same consumers that are buying today most of games that are sold through different forms of delivery. Some are sold in digital stores that are available for players of PlayStation, Xbox, Nintendo or PC.

Also it seems to be a common way to think that retro games should be bought instead of just downloading them and playing them directly on a gamers personal computer. There are of course many ways to achieve the emulation for these systems. People are spending lots of money to get their hands on some retro consoles. Some games are also very expensive. I have collided in some very heavy prices when I have gone through a gaming web shop. It seems like every interesting game has now got a double or even triple of a price compared to what these prices were back when I started collecting games.

There should be more options. There should be more devices that support older games or retro games. There should be ways to play these games on recent systems. We are in an era in which people are becoming a bit more technically knowledgeable than these last generations that were more into to games than into technology. Especially I see the 90s, maybe my generation, as a time that more players wanted to just play games instead of programming their own applications. You can think about how consumers of electronics were like back in the 70s or 80s. Things have changed a lot and are still constantly changing.

So it isn’t a thing for a young person and a hobbyist to build up a gaming system. At first you might want to buy a PC. Then you will need an operating system for it. I would prefer Lakka OS but there are also more options. So, this is a Linux operating system. It isn’t, today, legal to just download games as ROM files. You have to own the game that you download. That seems to be the rule of thumb here. While there are ways to convert your existing games to rom files I think this has been made too hard for an average consumer.

One option would be to make some or even all old games available to digital game shops. This has been already accomplished. Some retro games are sold and some you can get to play if you have an account that you have registered and payed for. Is this enough for gamers? I think there are ways to keep playing the most important games that exist but there should be more discussion on this issue. We might some day face a problem that we cannot play every game that we would like to. I think some games are just too big, important and interesting to just be left out of our options about what game to play next.

My point here is, my dear reader, that I have thought about these matters and I have decided to play mainly recently released games. I don’t yet know how long I am going to keep this up. Maybe til the end of year or something like that. I just think I have spent lots of money in retro games that aren’t bringing me actually anything worth experiencing as a video game addict. Games that I do play, have been playing and will keep playing from now on are especially these recent titles. I do have also an interest towards Xbox One games since they are backward compatible with Series X. I have played NBA2K23, Diablo IV and Far Cry 6. NBA2K23 seems to take forever to be even near of a completion of the game. So, there is a lot to play for me.

I am also waiting and looking to get FFXVI for my Series X. It is, to my knowledge, appearing to the Xbox store in December of this year. I also have a Nintendo Switch that is also my second newest gaming console after Series X. I am not finding PS4 so interesting at the moment. I kind of skipped Hogwarts Legacy. The next game I am waiting to get to play is probably Forza Motorsport. I don’t know if I am ready to play some Starfield. It is an interesting new game from developers of Skyrim. It is going to be released 6th of September this year.

Nothing Special to See Here

This image here is a screenshot from Forza Horizon 5. I am playing it currently on my Xbox Series X. I bought it recently as a digital copy. It cost me about 40 euros. I was happy that I didn’t have to pay more for it. It isn’t the newest racing game after all.

I bought also some other games. I noticed that there are some Xbox 360 and original Xbox games available as digital copy and they were on a discount also. So, I picked up some more games. There were 9 games all in all. I picked up Red Faction II, The Darkness, Contra, Vampyr, Flashback, Call of Cthulhu, Crimson Skies – High Road to Revenge, FH5 and Gears of War 4. This cost me only about 75 euros. I saved over 100 euros. If you can call spending money saving money. Well, I think we can.

Some people are talking and even worrying about spending too much money buying gaming stuff. I don’t think gaming would be different from any other hobby that you have to spend money in. You need equipment in sports. You need money if you drive a car. How is gaming different? This talk about money makes me think about some of these big game releases. We can take the latest Zelda game for example. It is Tears of the Kingdom. I think they have a huge marketing budget. This is reality. It is so because I did saw a commercial on a bus stop just some weeks ago. I don’t remember seeing a game advertised on a bus stop here in a long period of time. If this has happened earlier, I don’t remember what the game might have been.

Forza Horizon 5 is already an old game. It isn’t actually old. Its just not the newest game providing racing and entertainment. I decided to start playing it because I hadn’t done it earlier. It has received some good ratings. It would take me at least 20 hours of time to finish it. Or so tells the well-known website named “How Long to Beat”. This is my preferred website if I want to seek information about how long does a game last. Some times, like in the case of Diablo II – Resurrected, I have noticed that it takes me some more time to complete a game than what is told on this website. If you want to see the website, just use your favorite search engine. As you might have noticed I don’t promote any special search engine.

I am hoping to enjoy some more Forza Horizon 5. I hope that I can finish it some day soon. I have spent already maybe 5 hours playing it. There is, as is usual today, many different areas of interest in this game. There’s a lot going on. We have definitely more than a racing game  here. I hope to continue playing it and to explore its content as thoroughly as is possible.

Are You Ready?

Xbox Series X was released November 10th 2020. It has been about two and a half of year. It has been a successful and popular gaming device. PlayStation 5 was released at almost same time. Nintendos latest gaming console was Switch and it was released in 2017.

Are you actually ready to buy another console? There have already been some information leaked about the new and upcoming Xbox console. It has been six years since Switch was released. It would make sense that Nintendo would release the next new console in this new console generation.

I think Xbox Series X has still a lot to give. I think also that it will sell even more when it becomes available more openly aand freely. There have been some difficulties in delivering consoles to consumers to buy them since this gaming systems release. I am still kind of waiting for some great game titles for this console.

Technology companies keep pushing new hardware in the direction of consumers. This isn’t a new fact. You can see this clearly. Just take a look at smart phone manufacturers. This matter is present also in personal computers. Even some software companies are pushing people to update to their operating system that actually runs on a computer that has to be powerful.

The question seems to be – where are these new and amazing games for Xbox Series X? We haven’t seen many game titles released recently. We have seen games like Hogwarts Legacy and Elden Ring. But I still think that there is a need for some attracting new games for todays newest game console.

What about our screens? Would you update your gaming television also if there would be a new game console released tomorrow? Would you have to make that update? Would you like to make that update? And finally what would it cost? Would we be gaming with screens that are even sharper than 4K? There are so many questions.

I was actually thinking about this when I handled my Nintendo Switch the other day. How does a game consoles price take a form? You can get the newest Nintendo console for about 300 euros. But, yes there is a but, you don’t get a decent gaming controller with the system. You have to buy a new controller also. I had to pay 70 euros for a good controller also. Xbox Series X had a controller invcluded with the system. But, yes there is a but also here, I had to buy a cable for the controller. Eventually I bought a battery and a charger also. They were cheap after all.

So, there’s a price that you pay for the gaming system. There are also other matters that might make the price even higher. And of course you have to buy a game or two if you want to enjoy your new gaming console. I am not so excited about these new and upcoming gaming consoles. I am hoping that there will still be some nice gaming titles to be avaialble for Xbox Series X and PS5 and also Nintendo Switch…and why not even for PC.

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.

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.

Some Games I Haven’t Had Time to Play

Here I introduce to you some games that I haven’t had time to play. I have made many purchases just the last year. There are many games that just keep piling on my shelf. And I mean that these are very good games. Some of them are old, but they are definitely gold. You could call them “retro”.

Take for example the first Grand Theft Auto that I have for Playstation 1. It’s a great game even with some retroish graphics on it. The concept was revolutionary. Basically you just run around completing missions, stealing and driving different cars and just getting points for destroying the environment.

I have to tell you something about GTA. It wasn’t at first meant to be the kind of a game it is. I think the developers were at first aiming for a regular driving game. In the midst of the development process someone had an idea and they actually changed the direction of gameplay completely.

That’s enough about GTA for this blog post. I have also some Xbox 360 titles here. I was curious about Condemned as it is a horror and I think it is a survival horror game. And I do like survival horror games. Take Resident Evil for example. I just love it!

Other Xbox 360 games in my list of the games I haven’t got time to play are Colin McRae Dirt 2, that is a solid and high quality rally game, and Rockstar’s legendary game Bully. Did you know that the idea for Bully came originally from Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater games. I think it was the third game, THPS 3, that featured this character that was actually called “Bully”. So, they built a whole new game around this idea.

I of course have some games for latest gaming consoles I have purchased. There is one Swithc game here on my list. It is Crash Bandicoot – It’s About Time that is the fourth game in this series. The first three games of this series were originally released for PS1. Sadly, I haven’t had time to play this one.

We have still four games that we haven’t dealt yet in this post. They are Xbox One or Xbox Series X games. Fallout 4 is definitely something that would demand my attention for tens or even hundreds of hours. I know it’s a fricking good game. Damn, I have to find time for it!

I recently bought Back 4 Blood for Xbox Series X. It got my attention when it was published. I was about to buy it then but another FPS came to my way. That was Call Of Duty Vanguard. I figured that I don’t want to get too games that are similar.

We have two games left. The first one is GTA – The Trilogy that has three GTA games on it. I wrote about how I made the decision to buy this game already in this blog in an earlier post. There also one big game that I haven’t had, once again, time to get into. That is Alien Isolation for Xbox One. It had actually a cheap price and I thought that it had some value for me as a game blogger and a gamer in general.

There you have it. The games I would like to play, the games I have to play. This is something to consider when browsing for new gaming purchases. Keep in mind what you already have and also that you won’t have time for every game.

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.

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