Assetto Corsa Quickie…

Here are just my quick thoughts on Assetto Corsa since it is almost like 2am here, but I’m just too psyched up not to talk about, or in this case, write about it.

I have been a fan of motorsports, particularly Formula 1 (hereafter F1) for 21 years, and I have played my fair share of racing games, starting from the original Gran Turismo in the original PlayStation.

I am a Role Playing Game fan (hereafter RPG) even way before I got into racing games, or racing in general, and in the past few years, I have concentrated more on RPGs and a few shooters here and there; I have almost let go of the serious sim racing scene. I say almost, cos I still do play some F1 sims every now and then, but it was not the same passion I had when I played Gran Turismo and such in the consoles back in the day.

However, the past month or so, I was able to get a new sim racing wheel and pedals, along with a rig to hard mount the wheel/pedal without having to mount it on my desk each time I wanna play a racing title, and just a few weeks ago, I got a shifter for the rig so I can feel what it was like to race F1 cars, or any cars, but in the day without the sequential and paddle shifters.

As per usual among sim racers, we tend to turn towards Codemasters for sim titles, though I don’t mind playing their F1 or Dirt series of sim racers, I still was looking for a title that can remind me of the multi-disciplinary racing that Gran Turismo had. I tossed on the idea of Forza and such, maybe pay the subscription to iRacing, but then I kept on seeing Assetto Corsa…

I have noticed the title, because even if I have lost sight of the sim racing scene, I am still subscribed to a lot of sim racing channels in YouTube, so I keep on seeing them talk or test mods and gear with Assetto Corsa.

So, now that I have a racing sim rig, and the Steam sale helped a bunch, I am blown away from Assetto Corsa…

It is nowhere near perfect; I would change a lot of aspects of the game, but the thrill of modding the game with more cars and tracks (some of the mods are paid mods, and worth every penny, made by 3rd party modders, though I did also pick up the DLCs for the game), having to drive the F1 cars I respected thru the years, from the 60s to present (not all F1 cars are available to download of course, but at least the more famous cars thru the years are); it is interesting to see how each era had their own set of challenges to drive. My favorite car to drive thus far is the McLaren Honda MP4/4, a legendary F1 car known to many fans, even to us Ferrari fans. It is fun to drive using my 6 gear gated shifter, gives me the sense of all the work the drivers had to put into back in the day.

I ended up downloading 40 or so F1 cars, some paid, like I said, from 3rd party modders, but they are worth every penny. I will create another post with the links to each of my F1 mods and some pics of them.

Of course, this game is multi-discipline, so there is more to this than just F1 (but boy oh boy, being an F1 fan, I race with F1 cars 90% of the time), I also happen to have downloaded American muscle cars, and my real life dream car, the 1963 Chevrolet Corvette C2 Stingray. This is my absolute dream car, because I feel this is more obtainable than, let’s say, a Ferrari.

I also got my dad’s old 1966 Ford Mustang, which he sold when I was very young; ugh, I could have gotten a muscle car by now, but ah well… I still don’t know why he sold it to this day. Anyways, I also got the Mustang, showed it to my dad, got him to drive around with the sim racing rig, and it was just a fun gesture.

Again, with the 12 muscle cars I got, I will post them in a different blog entry and where to download them and some pics as well.

Truth be told, I have just been racing open-wheelers like F1 and have free roam driving with the Muscle cars… there are still the GT cars, the LMP cars, the rally cars, the drift cars, and the list goes on!

Been putting in so many hours in this game just trying to clock the best time, get the right setup, just constantly beating my best time and perfecting every lap in and out; then racing with AI (cos, hell no! I am not good enough yet, to race online…) at 100% strength and variable amounts of aggressiveness (cos lets face it, the AI can lack the “I” and just punt you off the track), racing in the classic era F1 cars with manual gated shifters, just give me the thrill and passion I once had when I was younger and totally into racing sims.

Again, this game is FAR from perfect, but I’m glad that it is actively being developed, always improving, and with an open community, their mods can make it way better.

I will share some of my favorite photos I got in game which were edited a bit with Photoshop here and there.

Interesting to note as to why I got so eager to give my quick thoughts on this (I won’t even proofread this) is because I managed to recreate the 1988 F1 season in game; sure I wasn’t able to use the Jacarepagua circuit that hosted that year’s Brazilian GP (the track mod lacked the desired number of pit boxes) having replaced it with Interlagos circuit and some of the team’s livery were based on the 1984 skin pack (I will link all these in the future), but I managed to edit some of the liveries to match “enough” of the cars of the 1988 season. I originally was able to download and edit up to 24 of the 28-30ish cars of that season, but thanks to Paul Ricard’s and Monza’s 1988 track mods having a 21 pit box limit, I removed the Leyton House March 881 cars and the AGS JH23 car (I was choosing the AGS JH23 or the Osella FA1L, of course, I would rather keep a car that has fail written all over it for laughs… which is quite fitting as the Osella FA1L only participated in 10 of the 16 races, having retired in 5 of those 10 races, also on the 6 races it didn’t participate in, it was disqualified in 1, did not qualify in 2, did not pre-qualify in another 2, and didn’t participate at all in 1… I digress).

Needless to say, it took me HOURS to get it done as I was looking valiantly for skin mods for cars to have the 1988 liveries, and having to edit some to make them fit the 1988 season, then downloading and re downloading different versions of the 1988 tracks, and finally… got it done, and I felt so much achievement by doing so. And thus why I am so psyched to talk or write about Assetto Corsa… how easy it is to mod and get the season one wants to replicate…

Anyways! I digress again! To the pics! And in the future, a full review of the game and the mods I got. (I race in 5760×1080, but when I take screenshots, I do my best to revert to 1920×1080)

•The 1967 Scuderia Ferrari 312 (pay respects):

Spa 312 3

Spa 312 1

Spa 312 2

•The championship winning 1975 Scuderia Ferrari 312T driven by Niki Lauda (PAY RESPECTS!):

Spa 312T 1

•The championship winning 1988 McLaren Honda MP4/4 driven by Ayrton Senna (should I remind you to pay respects? Nice to note, I will be driving this car in my 1988 F1 season I made):

Spa MP4_4 1

Spa MP4_4 2

Spa MP4_4 3

•The 1991 Jordan Benetton 191 driven by Michael Schumacher (his 1st F1 car drive, RESPECT):

Screenshot_vrc_1991_jordan_191_monza_25-6-117-0-22-28

Screenshot_vrc_1991_jordan_191_monza_25-6-117-0-25-32

Screenshot_vrc_1991_jordan_191_monza_25-6-117-0-27-41

•The 1963 Chevrolet Corvette C2 Stingray (my dream car!):

Showroom_chevrolet_63vette_26-5-2017-0-2-39 Showroom_chevrolet_63vette_26-5-2017-0-2-59

Showroom_chevrolet_63vette_26-5-2017-17-34-49

•The icing on the cake… The 1988 F1 Season I made using lots of 3rd party mods and editing just some of them. Here’s the teaser photo of the 21 cars going thru T1 of Suzuka 1988 track:

FIA 1988 F1 Championship Teaser

And with that! I am done with my quick thoughts! It is almost 3am at the end of this post… so maybe it wasn’t so much of a quickie… meh.

Til next time! PEACE!

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System Shocked to See You Again

When System Shock Enhanced Edition was first announced for GoG, I was happy yet saddened because it wasn’t immediately released for Steam, my preferred platform, I had to wait a month for it to be available in Steam. But I knew the wait will be worth it. And when it finally hit Steam a few days ago, I didn’t hesitate to purchase it right then and there, plus with a 20% off at that time, I was all the more willing to buy it.

System Shock was one of those DOS games that stay with you… and with it’s sibling, System Shock 2, it gave me, a computer geek who likes tinkering with programming languages, who is in love with the thought of the future and the technology it promises, together, those two games threw in a cyberpunk universe, filled with all the tech I want, the feeling of being a cool cyberpunk hacker that can also wield a gun or two, puzzles that only computer geeks will really appreciate (anyone can solve them, they aren’t too hard, but a computer geek will see the tiny details that make them smile), and a lot more.

Both games stuck with me, but if we are talking about DOS games that I will forever love, it is System Shock. Playing it nowadays, however, is hard even with DOSBox; I have gotten so used to mouselook controls, or simply, modern PC first person controls. SO, having to replay it is difficult. Plus no support for higher resolution doesn’t make things any better.

System Shock 2, has modern controls, and has mods to make it look better than it did when it first came out, so there was no problems ever replaying it.

So, when the Enhanced Edition mentioned that it had support for higher resolutions (albeit 1024×768 max, but you can add a custom resolution…), mouselook, and key remapping, I was certainly happy with it.

I was reading a lot these past few days so I didn’t immediately play the game as soon as I bought it; I just started last night, and to my surprise and delight, the keybinding, mouselook sensitivity, and custom resolutions were not in the in game menu. I had to go to the games .ini and .cfg files and edit it. I LOVE THAT!

Editing the controls.cfg using Notepad ++ just to change key bindings. I love it!

Like I said, I am a tinker, I love using Visual Studios or even simple as Notepad++, play around with C++, Obj C, JAVA, etc; I love modding my games, I love editing my regedit, etc; so when something as simple as changing the key bindings, the mouse sensitivity, etc, one needs to open .ini or .cfg files, I go gaga over it. It fits the game perfectly!

The key remapping is a Godsend because, I use a Logitech G600; I can simply bind the key of certain controls for the game for my mouse and I don’t have to lift my fingers of the main movement keys (WASD… you know). It’s these little things that, we take for granted, but if you have the right peripherals, it means the world to you; yes I can bind keys for my mouse to match the default keys of the game, but that entails me making a new profile in Logitech’s program, and sadly, that program only has a limited amount of profiles to be saved… sure, I can export and import, but all the hassle… editing the .ini or .cfg may also be a hassle, but it is only done once, and it feels WAY better that way.

I like replicating things they are supposed to be, but let me tell you, the filters for the game, that can be found in the sshock.ini file, even if set to best, doesn’t exaggerate the graphics. It still have its slight pixelated charm. But makes the words so much easier on the eyes. It also makes the environment textures nicer. Again, not exaggerating it away from the original charm. Furthermore on the graphics, it isn’t overhauled. The enemy sprites are just as bad as they were back in the day, but that’s alright; again, I am not one for the graphics, I am there for the story and gameplay mainly. As you can see in the following images:

Taken from Gamespot
Taken from PCGamer

In game screen grab; as you can see, I changed the resolution to 1920×1080 and used the Best Filter… it looks easier on the eyes.

Another screen grab; same resolution and filter. Textures are better.
Last screen grab in game; same resolution and filter. The one downside with using higher custom resolutions, apart from the possibility of crashing, is the words in the dialogue/data box are spaced at really wide to accommodate the higher resolutions.

For the resolution, the max is 1024×768, way better than the DOS at 320×200; but you can use a custom resolution, also found in the sshock.ini file. Be wary, any resolution higher than 1024×768 may cause the game to crash at certain points.

Editing sshock.ini using Notepad ++; the boxes show where you can edit the visual filters and make custom resolutions

Also the videos in the game will not be stretched to whatever resolution you choose. Just something to take note of.

This is a complex game in terms of controls; there are so much on the screen, and so much controls to know. Something as simple as crouching will has 3 separate buttons. There is, like its sibling, have a sense of momentum when running or even just walking; that is to say, if you run straight, and let go of the controls, you character will slow down to a stop gradually, like in real life… not an immediate stop. Something, again, to take note of.

Overall, it is a great Enhanced Edition for those additions. Having to be able to play this on modern systems is enough incentive to play this game honestly, but those tiny additions makes the biggest difference.

It still has the same tension that it gave me when I was a young boy, and to see it next to my copy of System Shock 2 in Steam, makes my heart warm. Add my BioShock collection, then the collection is complete… for now.

I happy with what the guys at Night Dive Studios did to bring this to modern systems. READ CAREFULLY, I said, modern systems, not modern age per se. That means, it is still, in all it’s pixelated glory, left in tact and will not please those “graphics buffs” out there, it is not perfect for the modern age of gaming. Even with the additions to make it easier to play today, it still won’t be loved by newer generations, only those who have fond memories of this game. But it will run smoothly on modern systems.

And with that, if you remember this game, played the second game, a bit curious, and RPG/FPS fan, or whatever, DO PICK THIS UP! It is available in GoG and Steam! Still 20% in Steam at the time of this writing.

If you want to purchase it in GoG, CLICK HERE!

If you want Steam, like I do, CLICK HERE!

Now it is time for me to return to Citadel.

PEACE!

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Great Time To Be a Classic PC Gamer!

I have been playing PC games since the DOS days, I bet if I were to have been born a lot earlier, I’d be playing games on the computer a lot earlier, too. But alas, I was born on 1989 and was able to play DOS games in the tail end of its run before Windows fully took over.

That being said, I have played a lot of classics, like Wolfenstein 3D, Doom, Quake, etc. Another game during that era was a little game entitled System Shock.

I was too young to appreciate the complexity of the story and gameplay; in fact, I stopped playing because it was a slow paced, of what I initially thought, FPS. I was still high on the fast paced shooters like Doom that came a year before it. So I thought it was a step backwards at the time.

But as I gotten older, and after overcoming my console phase then returning to good ol’ PC, I was reminded of System Shock when System Shock 2 was released. I got myself System Shock 2 and was blown away.

It was at this time where I was already fully transition to both the RPG genre and the PC platform, so I was getting well versed with the control scheme of the PC and the RPG elements of System Shock 2. Thus, I appreciated both the story and gameplay of the sequel.

With that, I tried returning to the original game, but the control were already too clunky for me to use. The same clunky controls that stop me from playing Elder Scrolls: Arena and Elder Scrolls: Daggerfall.

So, I thought of just foregoing ever playing the original game.

But the PC master race gods have smiled upon and me recently and showered me with gifts such as Wasteland 2, Pillars of Eternity (Feels like Bladur’s Gate), and the upcoming Torment:Tides of Numenera. Still, they thought bringing back classic titles to the modern age or making spiritual successors were not enough, they decided to bring yet another classic title to the modern era.

Yes. The guys at Night Dive Studios, the same guys that developed System Shock 2, is releasing System Shock Enhanced Edition.

Sure, they haven’t totally enhanced every aspect of the game in terms of in game sprites (be it items or enemies, etc.), they did clean up them up enough to look decent to play again. With that, it supports higher resolutions, though I doubt playing in Nvidia Surround or AMD Eyefinity will be natively supported (not sure if anyone would want to, but I am not just anyone… So I will still try and make this happen because of reasons).

The enhanced edition also has support for mouselook, which is an all important update to make the game playable without suffering from the clunky controls of the original. As well as remappable keys… a small bonus, but every gamer has their preference, so this is also a welcome change.

Though, I would like to mention that System Shock Enhanced Edition is just available at GOG as of this writing (and currently on sale as of this writing), the guys at Night Dive Studios responded to my tweet mentioning that there are indeed plans on releasing it for Steam, but they do not have a time table as of the moment. So, I will play the waiting game.

Here is the link for those interested in getting it in GOG now.

But all in all, this is great news for those people wanting to play System Shock all over again with higher resolution and support on later machines, or for those like me, who never got to really play the original and need not suffer from the odd controls of the original.

I cannot wait for it to be on sale in Steam. I mean, System Shock 2 was such an influential game to me and how it depicted cyberpunk (this coupled with Deus Ex made me such a cyberpunk fanatic), that my most recent PC system build is named SHODAN; a homage to the AI antagonist in the game.

Will this be a true enhanced edition of the game? Or will it break my heart like what Baldur’s Gate “Enhanced Edition” did to me? Here’s hoping the former will be true.

Anyways, until next time!

PEACE!

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Grim Fandango Remastered

I played most of the LucasArts Adventure games when I was younger, and they still hold a special place in my heart, but I have since lost the discs or they no longer work, etc.

I always said I will recollect them digitally one day, both in Steam and GOG, and thankfully it starts today.

When Grim Fandago Remastered was first released earlier this year, I wanted to buy it, but I always had a rule when it comes to spending games full priced. The only time I will pay full price for a game is when I have been waiting for it for a long time, always have wanted it, or if I know the game is downright amazing, and are brand new.

Examples are: Wasteland 2, Pillars of Eternity and its expansion, Wolfenstein: Old Blood. These were brand new (at the time), were something I was waiting for, something I really WANTED, and I knew they were good (Pillars, I took a gamble and preordered it). Otherwise I will wait for a sale… I am that patient… Thanks to my work/studies. Grand Theft Auto V and Metal Gear Solid 5 can wait… they aren’t something that I really want even if they are ground breaking.

That is not to say that this is not downright amazing; but technically it isn’t all that new, nor did I REALLY want to have it. Thus, I waited for a sale, and voila, at 66% at Steam as of this writing, it is worth the wait. Like love…

Like my previous post about Another World 20th Anniversary, this is not going to be a review of the game, it is simply a tribute or less, for the game.

This was when the adventure games were at the pinnacle and there was no hand holding. You can enter a room, faced with a puzzle, not knowing what to do next. Then when you find out how to solve the puzzle, you feel the sense of accomplishment. I feel that is what is lacking in the newer games… the challenges in puzzles. They take our intelligence for granted.

The humor in this game, much like every other LucasArts Adventure game at the time is topnotch! And surely, it has been years since I played it, and currently installing it right now, I am to find out if those jokes will still get to me today. I am sure it will.

Of note, I was reading around that like in Another World 20th Anniversary, you are able to switch from the modern graphics or the classic graphics. Fun to see how they improved the game especially with their dynamic lighting and all. But sadly, if you will play this in 1920×1080, I was told it stretches the image to fulfill the 16:9 aspect ratio… If this bothers you, like it will with me, you can play in the native 4:3 aspect ration, but like Another World again, there will be black bars on the sides.

This will never deter you from the actually story and gameplay. So, if you are the nostalgic type like me, or you want to try this out for the first time, rest assure, first timers, your money will be well spent. And at 66% off, you can’t go wrong! GO!

I am happy that Double Fine decided to remaster this, though it also comes to no surprise seeing as Tim Schafer was the designer of this game anyways back in the original release. So much care was still put into this. And I am glad.

With that, I am currently installing this bad boy, and will surely have a trip down memory lane once again when the game is installed.

To think, first it was Another World 20th Anniversary Edition that was on sale, now this! Perfect time to be a classic gamer…

PEACE!

Let the download… BEGIN!

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Another World 20th Anniversary Edition

This ain’t a review… this was 20th Anniversary Edition was released way back 2013 for Steam so more or less people already reviewed this, plus this is a technically remaster, originally released for the Amiga and Atari ST, later on Apple II and DOS… as well as SNES and Sega Genesis, so if you are any kind of gamer that you claim you are, you should at least already know what this game is.

I saw this on sale today in Steam, and I was unaware that they made a 20th anniversary special, let alone, release it on PC. So, seeing it at 75% (Until this September 8, 2015), I thought of revisiting one of the games I loved in SNES… back when I was still really a console gamer. Fret not master race, I have been in the cult of PC gaming since 1998… better thank Baldur’s Gate for that.

Ah, that familiar scene. As you can see, the graphics are not too pixelated as the original and has a higher quality background.

First off, the graphics as well as the sounds have been remastered, but the good thing for those purists, you can also choose to have the original graphics and sounds. However, having years of not playing this, it helps that the graphics have been updated so I can tell where I am going at times.

The main reason why I got this was for the nostalgic feels… the nostalgic rage quit feels.

We meet again… world. And beast.

Boy, I nearly forgot what made me SOO frustrated about this game. This and Oddworld: Abe’s Oddysee have the same gameplay that being trial and error, where the latter happens a lot. Way too much. And both games are still my favorite sentimentally in spite of the difficulty and rage quit moments.

It is nice to revisit this game with updated graphics and sound, but still have that gameplay intact. In fact, when I just raged quit not too long ago as I am typing this (around 30minutes ago I raged quit), showed how much this game hasn’t changed in that aspect, and somewhere in me, a 6-7 year old (I didn’t play this game until 1995/1996 in SNES) is rage quitting all over again… and still enjoying this game nonetheless.

If you haven’t played this way back in the day, go ahead, get it in Steam for 75% off until September 8, 2015. You may regret it because of the challenges it gives… but you are compelled not to be defeated by the game. So when you do finish this game… the sense of accomplishment is certainly there.

PEACE!

EDIT:

Take note that when you play in fullscreen 1920×1080, there are vertical black bars on either side of the screen. Not sure why, I will try and figure out as to make it tru fullscreen. But overall it doesn’t deter from the actual experience.

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