2022 Week 11 – We Were Robbed

It’s been nice being out of the house this week after isolating for a week with Covid. There are weekends when I don’t leave the house but an entire week was tough. On the plus side I was super productive working remotely and actually enjoyed working from the house this time as opposed to when I did in 2021 because everything was closed.

Microsoft FINALLY released their award-winning Flight Simulator last week on their Cloud Gaming platform and it’s even better than I expected.

I’m a huge Flight Sim fan and used to play for hours when I was younger. The latest version takes its imagery from Bing Maps and can replicate real-time weather conditions in your current location. So it’s about as real as you can get while staying firmly planted on the couch. The Bing maps are a little out of date but it’s pretty easy to visually navigate around town and fly to various landmarks in the area.

And finally… I was robbed last night. Robbed of an hour due to Daylight Saving Time (DST). I had JUST gotten used to the sun rising at 7 am and now we’re back to 8 am for a while. I miss the days when Indiana didn’t change times twice a year. We even had a special Time Zone on computers called “Indiana (East)”. It’s still there last time I checked even though it’s not used anymore.

That’s it for this week. I have a camping & disc golf trip scheduled in a couple of weeks. It’s going to be nice playing outside again.

XBox 360 – F1 2011

I’ve been a “gamer” since my first computer (Apple IIc) back in the 80’s.  I’m not as hard core as a lot of people, mainly because I have a job that requires me to get a good nights sleep and focus on the tasks at hand.

I posted earlier about the Microsoft Speed wheel for XBox 360 and I referenced the F1 2011 game.  I thought I’d share some feedback and a few videos, just in case you’re interested in checking it out.

Actual Gameplay (Qualifying Lap):

Here’s a comparison of the game vs. a real life lap:

As you can see by the videos above this is a pretty realistic simulator.  Fortunately there are a lot of computer assist settings you can enable to make the game playable.  I turned all the assists off and could barely drive the car around the track.  I imagine in real life these multi-million machines are VERY difficult to drive, let alone race.

F1 2011 for Xbox retails for around $50.  Last years version can be had for about half that price at Game Stop.  If you’re looking for a realistic and challenging racing simulator you’ll probably like this game.

Xbox 360 – Wireless Speed Wheel

I had a bit of money burning a hole in my pocket so my son & I took a trip to GameStop.  I’ve wanted to buy the new Formula One racing game but I’ve never been very impressed with the Xbox 360 controller when it comes to driving games.  Then I found the Xbox 360 Wireless Speed Wheel and everything changed.

I checked out a few reviews online and found a lot of positive comments on the performance of the Speed Wheel.  It’s not cheap ($59) but it’s a lot less expensive than the wheel/peddle setups that cost several hundred dollars.

The Speed Wheel has a nice design and all the necessary functions are where you would expect them to be.  It’s missing the 2 shoulder buttons found on the Xbox 360 controller but I have yet to find a game that needs them.  The triggers are a lot larger than on the regular controller and they allow a very precise application of the accelerator and brakes.

Since the Speed Wheel is wireless it relies on you holding it in front of you while you use it.  On long racing sessions this can get a little tiring.  As far as performance goes, this thing is very accurate and steering inputs are immediate with no perceived lag.  In fact, if you are using the in-game camera view that shows the steering wheel it mimics your movements exactly in real-time.

Unfortunately the Speed Wheel does not measure forward and backward motion which would make it a great controller for flight simulators.  It’s only purpose is for driving games and it works very well for that purpose.  If you’ve been as frustrated as I’ve been with the regular Xbox controller you should definitely check it out.