Easy as Pi Emulation

Recently I was given a Raspberry Pi, inc case, power, wifi and SD card. Plan was for my eldest daughter to play with it and see if its something that would interest her going forward…. she showed a lot of interest, more so when she found Retropie.

Since then, she started hassling me to help her get it running to play some old games….so I did.

And guess what ? It was damn easy.

Just dump the latest Retropie image on the SD card, and away you go. The only thing we had issues with, was getting through the initial controller setup. It didnt seem to like my budget USB game pad, so ended up using an Xbox One controller.

Now, since this is an original Pi, its not amazing at emulation, but runs the early arcades such as PacMan, Space invaders, Donkey Kong well, but anything else can be hit and miss. My daughter fired up Super Mario Kart (SNES) and while it did run, it wasnt great.

Copying new games was easy as copying some ROM’s into the relevant folders onto the SD card over the network.

So now, I’m hooked on this little box for emulation purposes, but looking at obtaining the latest Pi which apparently handles most stuff without a problem. Being so small, its portable, which makes it great for throwing into a bag when you go away for a weekend and the kids start going “Im bored” – find an HDMI capable display and you’re away.

Now, this does make my RetroBox project rather redundant………¬† I may still do it, I’ll see how the new Pi goes.

 

Check out : Retro Asylum

If you’re into retro gaming and listen to podcasts, I’m pretty sure you would have come across Retro Asylum.

It’s a great podcast with a group of guys who love their retro gear and gaming and have a great sense of humor.

I’ve been tuning into them for about 8 months now and find it fascinating listening about all the systems they’ve come across or own, a lot of gear we never saw officially in New Zealand.

They cover all aspects of retro gaming, from hardware, software, peripherals, newly developed games (inc Amstrad!) and more.

I highly recommend checking them out. You can find them on all the usual social media platforms, including Discord – but the bugger about discord is that we’re usually asleep when they all come to life ūüôĀ

 

PUBG – Android

So, Tencent released a mobile version of PUBG.

Lets take a look… bearing in mind, I’ve never played the PC version.

I’m running it on a Huawei P10Lite running Android 7.0 and it runs ok in low settings, except for some major graphical glitches. Due to the number of chipsets etc, its to be expected. I did get one kill in the game however, so its not too bad.

 

Sea of Thieves : Thoughts

Sea of Thieves – since it was first announced it had my attention, but I was slightly concerned that would be it different enough than everything else out there to get people interested, and hold their interest.

Well, since the game had its Final Beta this weekend and I can reveal more info and a video (all previous Beta’s etc were under a NDA), I’m happy to announce its looking damn good and a lot of fun.

Graphics – wow. I have not seen such amazing water physics in a game. GTA5 water was good, but this takes it 5 steps further. The water looks real, acts real, and when light hits it, it reacts how it would in the real world. The main ship and character graphics look like they’ve been ripped from Team Fortress 2 due to their artistic style, but are very well animated. Their simple looking but very effective. Everything is very smooth and clear. Now, most games of this ilk, if you go under water, you’re either looking at fairly bland scenery or just cant see the bottom – not so here. When you’re near an island, the water is teeming with life and color.

Sound – everything that can move, has a sound effect attached to it – sails, ropes, wood, when people moving around on deck while you’re below, you can hear their footsteps etc. Music is played in a similar fashion to Red Dead Redemption – a small bit of background music will come on occasionally. If you like your sailing to be a bit more noisy, then you can select one of two period correct instruments and start playing one of 3 pieces of music (Ride of The Valkyries while chasing an enemy boat is awesome) and if one of your fellow crew decides to pull out a musical instrument at the same time, you both play the same piece giving the music a more complete sound.

Gameplay – very simplistic and yet effective. Switch between a sword and a pistol/rifle/shotgun quickly, access various other equipment such as buckets (needed when you’re taking on water), banana’s (for energy), lanterns (to see) and other options. When you encounter an enemy ship, thats when the game really kicks in, you can either attempt to get away by angling your sails with the winds for maximum speed, or fight it out – either with cannons, or just ram the other ship and board them.

When you die, you end up on The Ferry of the Damned, a ghost ship where you must wait a couple of minutes before being able to spawn back into the game.

If you are left behind by your crew, or fall overboard, you can spawn back on board courtesy of the friendly mermaid/mermen who appear.

Overall, this game is looking to be a lot of fun, with crew not working together (oi who’s steering/fixing the ship/bailing water), firing yourself out of a cannon to board ships or get to hard to get to places, getting drunk in game together and so on. I’m on board for it and hope to purchase the full game on the 20th when its released.

I have had someone ask if its a grinding game etc like WoW/Guild Wars etc – not really, depends how you want to play it. There are quests and treasure maps, to give you money to buy better gear, but honestly, I think if you were just in it for the ship battles and exploring, then you’ll be happy as a fish in the sea.

Now, for those on older systems thinking “crap, Ill need a graphics card/CPU update”, fear not. Its well optimized and runs nicely on my system (specs below) which is considered “crap” by many ūüėČ

Intel Pentium G3258, 8GB DDR3, Zotac AMP! Edition 760GTX (2GB), Kingston SSD.

Rare have done an amazing job on this game, and I look forward to playing it.

 

Overwatch League (OWL)

I don’t really watch eSports but I have really been getting into the watching the first season of the Overwatch League or OWL for short. I highly recommend to give it a go, but be warned after watching these guys in action playing solo queue competitive will be ruined for you.

Below is a brief description from Wikipedia:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Overwatch_League

The Overwatch League (abbreviated as OWL) is a professional eSports league for the video game Overwatch, developed by Blizzard Entertainment which also oversees the League. The Overwatch League aims to follow the model of traditional North American professional sports, using a set of permanent teams and regular season play, rather than the use of promotion and relegation used commonly in other eSports leagues. Each team franchise is backed by an owner, and players that are signed onto the team are assured a minimum annual salary, benefits, and a portion of winnings and revenue-sharing based on how that team performs in the season.

The League was announced in November 2016, and the first twelve teams were established within a year from that. The first season started regular season play in January 2018, to run through June 2018, followed by post-season playoffs and an All-Star weekend to occur in July. A total prize pool of US$3.5 million is available to teams within the first season.

Official Website:

https://overwatchleague.com/en-gb/

War Thunder 1.75 ‚ÄúLa Resistance‚ÄĚ released

Major content update also adds new game mechanics, maps, vehicles and sets stage for the popular New Year’s Marathon offering free unique vehicles to all players

Gaijin Entertainment¬†released Update¬†1.75 ‚ÄúLa Resistance‚Ä̬†for its vehicular combat MMO¬†War Thunder. Besides adding more than a dozen aircraft, new locations, and a new reconnaissance mechanic for light tanks, the update introduces the previously announced Ground Forces research tree for France. Furthermore, the update sets the stage for the popular New Year‚Äôs marathon, where players can obtain tanks and aircraft unique to this year‚Äôs event.

The French Ground Forces research tree starts with a staggering amount of 35 vehicles from Rank I all the way to Rank VI, encompassing early tanks of the 1930s as well as modern vehicles from the late stages of the Cold War. The production of the most modern model in War Thunder, the AMX-30V2, began in 1982 and it is still in service today with several armies worldwide.

Together with the French Ground Forces comes the new combined battles location ‚ÄúMaginot Line‚ÄĚ, portraying one of the sectors of France‚Äôs famous fortification line against Germany with its bunkers, a small town and even a medieval castle. Another new location, ‚ÄúMiddle East‚ÄĚ, sees combat between a ruined city and an oil plant located in the blazing desert sand.

A new reconnaissance game mechanic has been introduced for light tanks of all nations, which greatly expands the teamplay value for this type of vehicles. Now, light tanks can transmit information about enemy vehicles to their teammates and can assist all allies with repairs on the battlefield. More information about this is available here:
https://warthunder.com/en/news/5193-development-new-opportunities-for-light-vehicles-en

The air forces of War Thunder have received more than a dozen of new machines, including the twin-engined World War II machines Yak-2, Yak-4 for the Soviet Union and the British Whirlwind. New post-war fighters wait for the US and Japan, with the F3D-1 Skyknight and F-86-F40 Kyokko, respectively.

To celebrate the festive season, pilots and tankers of War Thunder can obtain unique Premium vehicles for free. For pilots, the P-40C for the USA and a captured Fw 190 A-8 in the French tree are available, while tankers can get the British wheeled armored car AEK Mark II, which is equipped with a tank turret, and a German Panther tank that is disguised as an American M10 tank destroyer. Specifically created for the New Year’s marathon this year, these vehicles can only be obtained during this event by fulfilling specific tasks available from 22 December to 22 January. Further rewards include boosters, decals and 3D decorative items.

About War Thunder
War Thunder is a free-to-play, cross-platform, massively multiplayer military masterpiece with millions of fans worldwide, that allows players to fight their way across air, land, and sea in the same battlefield. War Thunder offers 1,000+ playable aircraft, armored vehicles and ships from the early 1930s to the Cold War, including ground vehicles from the 1960s and 1970s that feature technologies typical for modern tank construction. The US, Soviet, British, German, Italian, Japanese, and French military vehicles represented in game are carefully researched, historically accurate recreations of their real world counterparts. Fans can expect hundreds more added as Gaijin Entertainment commits to ongoing development via regular updates. Official website: http://warthunder.com

About Gaijin Entertainment
Gaijin Entertainment is the developer and publisher of the online games War Thunder, Crossout and Star Conflict as well as PC, Mac, Linux, PS4, PS3, Xbox One, Xbox 360, iOS and Android titles across several genres. The company’s diverse portfolio has received a range of mass media and game industry awards including such as KRI Awards, Gamescom Award and many more. Official website: http://gaijinent.com/