games

All posts tagged games

I’ve still not picked up a ”next-gen” console yet, and I’m still holding off strong until 2022, even though I’ve had a couple of opportunities to buy both. Since I’ve been playing a load of Forza the last couple of weeks again, I thought I’d do a post on Xbox’s gamepass service – which I think is amazing value for money.

If you are new to gamepass, its essentially a subscription service where they add games to an already vast catalogue of games and you can download them to your console and play them.

I managed to do the £1 upgrade from Xbox live Gold (3 year sub) to a Gamepass ultimate sub of the same 3 year length (includes Xbox on PC games also), some time back and I’ve been loving it ever since.

October and November is going to be an extra special month though, we have Back 4 Blood dropping in October, Visage (if your a horror fan like me, is a must play), and Forza Horizon 5 coming later in November as well. I’m particularly looking forward to Visage, as I’ve been eyeing it up on steam for ages now and I’ll finally be able to play it on gamepass tomorrow.

Have a look at the full releases below Continue Reading

I tried RGB modding my JVC TM-150CG PVM a while back with some help from the guide over on the Shmups forums, but wanted a cleaner, all round, better looking install / finish to what I had done.

After scouring reddit, someone suggested just buying the input card for it, which at the time (late 2019), the official ones were real pricey at around £200-£400, depending on where you bought them from. With a little bit of searching earlier this year in 2021, I came across the JVC IF-C01COMG RGB card from Retro Upgrades UK  (link) that was compatible with my model

So I decided to purchase the RGB unit from them. They also have the BNC (YPbPr) version for component connectors, all for £49.99 which are compatible with the following JVC monitors:

JVC TM-H150CG
JVC TM-H1750CG
JVC TM-H1950CG
JVC DT-V1700CG
JVC DT-V1710CG
JVC DT-V1900CG
JVC DT-V1910CG

JVC IF-C01COMG BNC YPbPr card for JVC Monitors – Image courtesy of Retro Upgrades UK

Simple plug and play setup, slide the card into the slot on the back of the PVM and you are good to go. It really is that simple. You also have the added benefit of using… Continue Reading

As we all know, Metroid Dread is out this Friday, 8th of October on Nintendo Switch.

All will be revealed soon if us lucky ones who pre-ordered it at the misprice of £26.99 on Currys (UK) website will have it honoured or not *fingers crossed*. There is still plenty of time to pre-order it, of course, at the normal price of £40+ on various other websites, including Nintendo and the eshop directly. I can’t wait to try this out. I’ve seen some footage from Nintendo Life playing it and it looks like it plays super buttery smooth, so roll on Friday. I’ve not played Metroid for ages so I’m really looking forward to picking this one up.

Are you picking this one up or giving it a miss? Let me know in the comments below.

I know what you are probably thinking, or perhaps not thinking, but…PS2 in 2021, why? Well, why not? the PS2 is still an awesome machine, even in 2021. I’m sure loads of folk would agree.

I decided to dust off my PS2 slim after over a year lying dormant and started to test some of my backups, all of which were skipping FMV’s and crashing so i thought, the lasers probably on its way out. Sad and crying (not really) I looked into alternative options to see what I could do to get it back up and running with better performance. OpenPS2Loader is one solution which I’d highly recommend. I’d heard of this a while ago, so thought I’d finally take a dive into checking it out to see what it was all about, and its honestly the best thing you could ever do for your PS2.

There’s plenty of guides out there so I wont go into the details here, but check out the videos from Phoenix Media:

This is also heavily documented on https://github.com/toolboc/psx-pi-smbshare

There is also a huge community forum over at https://www.ps2-home.com/forum/viewforum.php?f=13&sid=c5a821159fe273c550ddf1044964bb54 – that shows you how to install themes / discuss game compatibility, issues, and so on.

What is it?

psx-pi-smbshare is a preconfigured Raspbian based image for Raspberry Pi 1, 2, 3 and 4. It runs a Samba share, a pi-compatible build of ps3netsrv, and reconfigures the ethernet port to act as a router. This gives low-latency, direct access to the Samba service through an ethernet cable connection between a PS2/PS3 and Raspberry Pi.

Essentially, you are setting up the Pi as a router (connected to the PS2. Pi ethernet port configured to talk to the PS2 ethernet port), then through the PS2 OpenPS2Loader app (when configured) the Pi will access the USB stick or HDD through this ethernet connection between the devices, allowing you to play your PS2 backups all through the neat UI on the PS2. This method is much better than running a HDD through the PS2’s USB 1.1 port for obvious reasons. Through the PS2 USB port you will inevitably encounter FMV and game lag plus sound stuttering due to how slow the 1.1 port is.

All you need for this is a USB drive (or externally powered hard disk drive – in my case), a raspberry PI (doesn’t matter if its a pi0,1,2,3,4 etc), and an ethernet cable, plus a soft modded PS2 (with free mcboot).

I used a really old raspberry PI B+ model (yes that old) and a 500GB SSD in an external enclosure (with external power) for mine and it works a treat following the guides / github above.

There is also a nifty tool (USBUtil 2.2v) that will prep / patch backup game files greater than 4.5Gb into smaller parts that you can copy to the USB stick or hard drive, ready to play. OPL manager is another program for PC which will gather game images / box art and so on so that all your games look sweet through the PS2 UI. Check out some of the screenshots of it completed and working below:

Testing with a USB 3.0 Stick (64Gb)

Completion: Using a 500Gb external SSD in a (powered) caddy connected to the PS2 via ethernet cable. Beautiful.

This mod, alongside the PS2 connected to my PVM with RBG is the ultimate PS2 mod in my opinion. To add new backups I just connect the HDD to my PC, run the games through the USBUtil 2.2 program, then OPL manager to gather the box art etc, then put them onto the drive, and then reconnect it back up to the PS2 via ethernet, turn it all on, and its good to go.

If you have a PS2 and want to ”save” its laser, or just fancy a little side project (like I did), give this one a go. You won’t be disappointed.

If you own a PS Vita and or a Vita TV device, you’ll probably be familiar with the Content manager application on it, that allows you to transfer content between your Vita’s, PS3 and PC devices. You can transfer your game saves from your Vita games, PS1 classics and PSP games so you can continue your game on any of these devices. I know some folk, including myself, were having issues getting their Vita TV device to pair up with the content manager app on PC.

I’d started playing Resident Evil 3 on my vita a year ago (for the 1M’th time) and recently thought I’d finish it off by playing it on the big TV via my Vita TV. To turn in the save file, I connected my handheld vita device to my PC via the vita cable, with the content manager app installed on the PC, transferred the save from my Vita to the PC – all well and good. When I connected my Vita TV to the same LAN connection as my PC and went to connect my Vita TV to my PC to get the RE3 save, my PC was always greyed out, then it gave me messages like ”please ensure the network connection box is checked on the content manager app on PC” – which it was !. So, there was no way to get my Vita TV to connect to the app on the PC to obtain the RE3 save file.

I looked about on reddit and other websites for a fix for a good while and finally found out what the issue was…

Continue Reading

If like me your addicted to Animal Crossing, you’ll be happy to hear that Nintendo just announced the upcoming series of FREE seasonal updates to our beloved Animal Crossing Franchise.

These updates will start from tomorrow, April 23rd, and continue all the way through to the end of June!. From Nintendos video, it appears updates include a whole range of expansions, events, new characters and experiences for the players to enjoy, full list below:

  • Treasure Trawler (Jolly Redd)

Jolly Redd will be patrolling the high seas and stop off at players’ islands randomly to sell off some of his unique art pieces and furniture items. If I’ve done my homework correctly, the player, if like last iterations of the game, will need to guess which piece of his art are REAL or FAKE. Buying a real piece of art will allow the player to donate this to the new museum expansion, the art gallery.

  • April 23rd – May 4th – Nature Day

Grab your watering cans and plant feeder ! Nature Day will be celebrated in game with lots of nook mile, nature-inspired, special challenges. Planting shrubs, flowers, trees, and watering flower beds and the like I’d imagine ! There may be some nice rewards too once all the challenges are complete, but we will need to find out !

  • Leif’s Garden Shop – Island Visitor

Expect regular island visits from Nature-boy, Leif, as he comes to offer some of his special saplins, flowers and other nature related goodies to plant around your island.

  • May 1st – May 7th – May Day Mystery Tour 

We may not be able to travel anywhere currently due to lockdown regulations amidst covid-19, however lets pack our virtual  weekend luggage, as AC players will be able to take a special nook miles flight to a new special island thats different from the usual ”mystery islands” your used to ! There are rumours there may be a special visitor there too, who could it be ?

  • May 18th – May 31st – International Museum Day

After receiving your special stamp card, players will earn in game rewards after collecting stamps on their museum stamp card.

  • June 1st – June 30th – Wedding Season

Looks like newlyweds Reece and Cyrus are at Harvey’s island, its your job to help take some wedding / anniversary photos of them. Players will be rewarded with wedding themed items during this event.

All in all a nice list of more animal crossing goodness ! Should keep players engaged and occupied enough during lockdown.