Yorkhill needs help

I was reading in the Evening Times that some lowlife had stolen Playstations from a children’s ward at Yorkhill Hospital. Bastards. What next. One of my friends nephews is critically ill in Yorkhill at the moment and it really hits home what a service they provide when someone close to you is affected.

My PS2 has now found a new home and hopefully it will be getting used by one of those kids in the next few days. If you can help then contact the Yorkhill Children’s Foundation.


The much delayed GT4 was launched in the UK last week. I had no intention of picking this up – GT3 was a stale game that offered little over the previous titles that appeared on the PS1. The online section of the game had also been dropped – it is alleged that this will come out at some point but I doubt it.

However after playing Graham’s copy on Wednesday night I made my purchase…for the princely sum of 99p. Game are doing a bit of a bargain – trade in any 4 games (except for football and wrestling games) and you can pick up GT4 for 99p.

Onto the game – graphics are very impressive for a PS2 although the ‘edgy’ look is due to the lack of anti-aliasing. It’s down to preferences but I prefer the look of the Xbox racers. The options within the game are vast. You can get straight into some action via the arcade options but it’s the license tests and tune ups that most people will want to play. Here the game is massive with lots of car choices and potential upgrading. For me however this is the most flawed part of the game. It’s too easy to tune up your car and win races simply because your car out performs your rivals. To encourage the tuning aspect the handling and performance of the cars seem to be reduced so that you *have* to tune up whether you like it or not. The license tests can also get a bit dry. Handling is also more difficult with the PS2 pad – the lack of triggers forces you to use the right thumb stick for acceleration and braking – not the best. I’ve played GT4:Prologue with a steering wheel and if you have the room and the ability to set it up there really is no rival on any console.

Track selection is much improved over the previous games in the series. Highlight for me has been the inclusion of the Nurburgring (all 20.8km). This looks stunning – much narrower and twisty than the PGR2 version and with better textures than the Xbox game. Overall a worthwhile purchase for 99p – not convinced I would pay full price for it though.


Pro Evo Patch

It’s finally came out and it’s what you could call a mixed bag. Firstly, quitters are automatically awarded a loss. Yay! Second, it’s attempted to fix the lag issues. I say attempted as for me it seems to work well but I’m sure those with 128k uploads will still be laggy for any connecting clients. Thirdly, you can now cancel the goal animations directly after you score. Fourthly, that’s it!

Which is disappointing as it’s taken 2 months to produce. You still can’t cancel replays of offsides and near misses, you still can’t have manual player select, you still can’t swap L1/L2 and the ranking is still the same dumbass who’s won most type that isn’t the most reflective of who is best at the game. Rankings however have been reset – how annoyed the quitters and those that had played thousands of games to get to the top must be. Shame 🙂

However this is likely to be the one and only patch for PES 4. Roll on PES 5.

Pro Evo 4

I have it. It plays wonderfully. And yes – that’s far too gushing for what is a mere game, but there you have it. Oh…and I have it for the ps2 even though I swore I would wait for the Xbox version.

What did it for me was a visit to Graham’s. He had picked up a Slide Tool and was playing Winning Eleven Soccer 8. It was superb. Graphically a step up from Pro Evo 3 and with much better gameplay. To top it all it had been patched with English menu’s and custom music and graphics – absolute class (and if anyone is interested it was the Ole mix of Winning Eleven 8 – check out Evoweb for more info.) So I ordered a slide tool, got the Ole mix and waited patiently for Mr Postman to deliver. Then I saw a Pro Evo 4 torrent.

2 days later (1 seed for the torrent and 2000 people downloading) and I’ve been playing pro evo for the last couple of hours. Some notable improvements:

  • Player animations are increased and more life like. Players themselves look a lot more realistic
  • Improved AI – the off the ball movement of other players opens up the game. Console games are also a lot tougher than previous versions. If you are winning you can see a noticeable step up by the opposition – they really hustle you for the ball.
  • Free kicks harder (maybe just different rather than harder)
  • Speed – its fast. Really fast.
  • Referee giving you a warning and not a booking 🙂
  • Referee is now visible during play
  • Proper use of the advantage rule. If you don’t gain an advantage from it the whistle is blown and you get a free kick.
  • No slowdown at corner kicks (unlike Winning Eleven)
  • A better attempt at real player names. Team names still mince though – Old Firm Blue vs Old Firm Green? Still, there will be an option file soon enough to sort that, or you could import a PES 3 one while you wait.

There’s probably more to add to this, but you get the drift. All it needs is online support (Xbox this November) and a wide-screen option (hopefully Xbox this November…but I have my doubts).

*Update* – there is some slowdown with certain stadiums. The old ps2 just isn’t up to it. Select 50Hz at the start of the game and you should have no problems at all.

GT4 Offline

Bit of a shock – GT4 has been an online game for PS2 since it was first announced. Now comes the news that to meet a release of this Christmas the online component has been dropped with an online GT released next year…some time. This is a good move – online gaming on the PS2 is pretty lame compared to the Xbox and PC. The GT4 prologue I played at Graham’s earlier this year promised lots – I just hope there’s a bit less emphasise on improving and tuning your car. For me this makes the game unrealistic and ultimately dull.

Pro Evo Soccer 3

The third pro-evo has just come out on the ps2 and while it looks to contain a couple of flaws it’s the best game of football on any console. Why? Well, its just like real football. To be honest it’s not changed that much from pro-evo 2, but changes noticed so far are:

On the plus side:

  • Referee now plays advantage
  • It’s much tougher – computer AI is much better
  • Players make more intelligent runs
  • It feels more realistic – players don’t control balls straight away – ball can bobble away and it makes a more challenging game. Can’t just ping four or five passes in a row by pressing x five times.
  • Shirt pulling has been reduced – at last
  • Hand ball can be called
  • More crossing options and more options at free kicks for both attack and defence
  • The stadium sound is very impressive
  • On the negative:

  • It stutters ever so slightly. To be honest you notice less and less but its still there. This has been a flaw on Winning Eleven also. Poor show Konami.
  • Hand ball can be called – a foul is called and you have no idea why
  • Overall a great game.