Winter 2017 Update

Since my last update I have acquired a few more games but have not completed any due to spreading my time across different genres and following other interests that have diverted me from gaming.

So, I have only recorded a handful of FIFA 2015 career mode episodes (up to 27 now) taking me up to the close of the January transfer window. So I am behind in the actual football season, which is probably not a great sign however I am not far behind. Each video seems to have me struggling with what I’m actually doing and to be honest I have no idea whether I’m really making any progress or not.

I got Dishonored 2 for Christmas as a surprise gift, so have played some of that and it made me want to go back and play some of the original Dishonored on Xbox360. It is a good game, although I’m still only early into the campaign.

I bought myself the game Deus Ex Mankind Divided but before I start playing it I wanted to play some of the Deus Ex Human Revolution on Xbox360. I haven’t actually played any of Mankind Divided yet. I like the game but find it quite hard to understand how it works – probably due to not spending much time in it.

I have bought some games on Xbox360 and PS2. I’ve been playing a second (Pro, it was previously ‘easy’) career mode game in WRC 3 on PS2, I do like the WRC series: I like having a set number of real world locations to work through.

I have played other games but not really sunk a lot of time into them. What I’d like to do this year is follow along with some real world sports events. I’ve kind of been doing that with my football career mode. Here’s what I’m thinking:

  • F1 – the new F1 season starts on 26th March in Melbourne
  • MotoGP – the new MotoGP season starts on 26th March in Qatar at Losail
  • WRC – the new season has already started, 19th January in Monte Carlo and the Swedish has already been completed
  • Superbike – the new season starts 25th February in Australia
  • The current Football season will end on 6th May; the new season will start 12th August 2017 and close 13th May 2018

I’ve got different games for different seasons so I don’t know yet which versions I will play – well, apart from FIFA 2017 – but I may mix things up and play older games. Some of the locations may change because of that but that’s OK. It will be a cool way to recycle old games.

I would like the idea not go the same way as GameFest2013 went – it quickly became too much to play and blog at the same time.

If I want to start a new WRC season I have to conclude my WRC 3 Pro career.

Well, that about wraps this update up. I want to play more games but time has just been against me.

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Autumn 2016 update

It’s been a while since I posted my gaming exploits here. To be honest, I haven’t made a lot of progress on the story based games. I’ve put most of those away and haven’t picked them up.

I have been playing a fair amount of sports related games, such as Rally games on the PS2 and the PS4. I’ve played Asseto Corsa and Sebastian Loeb Rally Evo quite a bit. For the rally games on the pS2 I’ve been documenting my experiences on my tablet in a program called S Note.

I have also been playing FIFA2015, managing Tottenham Hotspur. I’ve been recording a video play through of the FIFA game. Up to episode 23 of that.

The other game I’ve started playing has been Wolfenstein The New Order, a game I got last Christmas. It’s basically a cover shooter, although you can get by not covering so much.

I’ve started Tom Clancy’s The Division too. I haven’t played much of The Phantom Pain but I know I ought to. So many games to enjoy and so little time! The Witcher 3 Wild Hunt is an amazing games and I need to get back into that world too.

I also enjoyed playing Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege but again, I’ve played most of the scenarios but haven’t jumped in to an online game. I’m scared of being humiliated!

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PlayStation VR

This month Sony has released the consumer version of its PS4 compatible virtual reality headset. I’ve read various reviews and it looks like it is good, a device that’s able to hold its own space in a marketplace that will be competitive. I like the look of the equipment but it needs a lot of wires apparently. There are probably a ton of games in development for it that aren’t out yet, the ones that are seem more like tech demos than proper games. They are of reasonable quality though, I would like to have a go on a few of them – like BattleZone for example, I remember playing that game on the ZX Spectrum.

The main issue is the cost. I’m not about to spend that amount of money on a device. Its a similar position to racing wheels (see my previous post). When I bought the Wii Fit Balance Board it was 80 pounds, now they’re 10 pounds.

playstationvr

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Driving wheel

This week I have been looking at second hand driving wheels. The main thing about these devices is the high cost and uncertainty over whether the experience of driving games is heightened or not. I was quite taken with an original Xbox360 driving wheel however, even second hand it was £30, which I admit is a lot cheaper than their original price but even so it is too much for a try out only. So, in the shop I saw that there was a PS2 racing wheel for a lot cheaper – 3 tens cheaper infact. Now, the main difference in price seems to be down to whether a wheel includes force feedback or not. The wheel advertised as £3 does not have force feedback, unsurprising given the price point.

I have been playing with it for a few hours and have to say I am pleasantly surprised. The difference between the wheel and the pad is mainly down to level of immersion in the feeling of driving, it is much closer to real driving with the wheel however, this is a toy and as such is nothing really like the real experience of driving. It is a closer approximation than a pad though. There is vibration only with this wheel, no force feedback. I have tested it with a number of games (using the Speedster wheel control setup) and it works well with all of these games:

  • F1 2005
  • F1 2006
  • Gran Turismo A Spec
  • Gran Turismo 4
  • Colin Macrae Rally 2005
  • WRC Rally Championship
  • WRC 3
  • WRC Rally Evolved
  • TOCA Race Driver 2
  • TOCA Race Driver 3

One further thing, location and positioning are crucial. Expect to spend a fair amount of time at the beginning just trying out combinations for the optimised location. My best location is on the dining table but this isn’t an option for long term set up, I have to pack it away after play sessions. Just something to bear in mind, you may not be able to use it straight out of the box.

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PS4 Upgrade News

On Friday evening I upgraded the hard disk drive in my PS4. After downloading the system software onto a USB key the actual physical swap out of the hard drive was easy peasy lemon squeezy. No wires to worry about, just unscrew 5 screws and take the old one out and put the new one in. Then when all connected up to the power again, hold the on button for 7 seconds and choose the bottom option on the screen to initialise the system. Put the USB key in and it installs itself. Then it is time to set the language and the clock. The user it signs in with is User1 until you sign into the PlayStation Network, then it picks up your profile.

The drive I bought was this: 2TB Samsung ST2000LM003 Spinpoint M9T 2.5″ Hard Drive SATA III 6GB/s 5400rpm 12ms OEM for PS3/4, PC, MAC Ready

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Before the swap

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After the swap

Now, if you are doing this yourself, I have just one tip for you that I wish I had read about. Before changing drives I went into the saved data management menu and copied my saved  game profiles and saved games to the USB stick (I used a different stick to the one I had with the system software).  Or at least that is what I thought was happening. What was actually happening was that it was transferring only the first game’s save and profile files. Yes, it works on a game by game basis whereas I thought it would copy all of them to save time. So, after installing the new drive and realising my mistake instead of dismantling my PS4 to put the old drive back in because I’m a PS Plus subscriber I just copied my game profiles and game saves from online storage. I think this should really be something you should be able to do in one operation though, rather than one game at a time.

I’m very happy now that I have a 2TB drive in my PS4 and plenty of storage space so that I can play all of my PS4 games, including some free ones from my PS Plus subscription.

 

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MotoGP06

I bought MotoGP06 for the XBox360 very late in its lifecycle. I actually only bought it because it was very cheap in a charity shop. This wasn’t that long ago, maybe last year from memory. I played it a few times but found it difficult and then haven’t played it very much until recently. I have to say that it is a great game, despite its age. The track environments are bright and colourful and the gameplay is very enjoyable. The only thing I don’t think looks great is the cockpit cam view, the resolution of the bike cockpit details is quite poor. The clouds in the sky on the other hand look amazing!

MotoGP06

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PlayStation TV

Back in March, I invested in a PlayStation TV console. The unit was second hand and cost about £35, so I thought it was a good price. However, I was hoping to play games upstairs that would have been exactly like playing games in the same room as the PS4. However, the problem was that I was experiencing some lag. It wasn’t good. Especially with race games or any games that need at least 30fps. The connection would drop out.

playstation-tv

My friend who has wired connections throughout the house reported no such lag. So, since March I have been wondering what to do. Today, I found the answer. I was hoping that a pair of powerline adapters would do the trick because these use the power circuit to transmit data rather than wifi and I finally bought a pair today and indeed they work well. My main worry was that I thought that the adapters had to be on same electrical circuits and I wasn’t sure that the upstairs were on the same circuit as the sockets closest to my router. This was what prevented me from buying them before today. However, last week I watched a video on YouTube that suggested that most new houses were wired on the same circuit. It was a bit of a risk but fortunately it worked! I bought pass through powerline adapters because the instructions suggest some powerstrips filter data out. So with only one socket near my router I wanted a solution that would allow me to continue using my powerstrip for the light, my phone charger and my router itself.

Powerline

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