Halo Reach - Firefight King

Another good session on firefight, easily by far my favourite mode on Halo Reach matchmaking.


Carcassonne - I'm Back ...maybe?

It's taken me over a month to get back to the top of the leader board, I was on top with more point on Sunday but lost a game to my son which knocked me back down to 2nd but in true gladiator style I took on Lufferov & won thus reclaiming my crown...

...... but later that evening, lying in the shadows oblivious to us was 'satsuma' who very stealthy managed to jump ahead, we have a new foe !!

Halo Reach - Commendation Bronze

Managed to meet my target of getting a Bronze on a commendation, obviously it was in firefight "Earn a multikill"

I have a few more in firefight that are close to going to Bronze "Kill an enemy with a heavy weapon" Rocketfight anyone? Also "Kill a specialist class enemy"

On Multi-player I'm quite a bit away from getting a bronze "dispatch a foe using close quarters combat" is probably the closest, I need another 32 kills which could take me a while.

Words with Friends - Wierd Glitch

Had a tough game of words against BarbieKs1, they played very well but towards the end it got very impossible for me to make any words but the game still wanted me to play my turn?


Words with Friends - Highest score win

My highest win with 463 points, can't really remember any high scoring words except Zipper getting me quite a few points.

Halo Reach - Commendations

Commendations are awarded by performing certain actions example 'Assistant' - earn an assist in multi player matchmaking. I don't think these unlock anything? Not sure? but you have a few rank levels Iron, Bronze, Silver, Gold & Onyx rank. Currently I have 2 Iron in multi player matchmaking and 7 Iron ranks in fire fight. Hopefully I should be able to get some of these up to Bronze level by next week at least in fire fight anyway.

Battlefield Bad Company 2 vs Halo Reach

Kevin (gunthergloop) has been discussing on ugvm the merits of Battlefield Bad Company 2 vs Halo Reach, singing the praises of Bad Company 2 and the frustrations of Halo Reach. Thus to keep him happy we agreed to play an hour of Bad Company 2 followed by an hour of Halo Reach. After a 450mb multi-player update I finally joined the squad with gunther, antime & mightyminiman (surely past his bedtime).

It's a shame that Bad Company 2 does not offer you different game-types if you have more than 4 players at least with HR you have various gametype depending on the number of players in your lobby. Anyhow back to BC2 Conquest mode was chosen & it was agreed that I will play a medic. Which meant going around dropping med packs, reviving dead soldiers & getting the odd kill.I decided to stay with the squad & this actually worked quite well in that if they fell I was there to either take out the enemy that shot them & revive them back into action unless they were killed by a tank, in which case I was next to be blasted  AArrgh !!!

In BC2 you get points by obviously shooting enemies but also for lots of other actions, being a medic I would get points for squad heal (using the med packs I drop), reviving fallen soldiers, spotting enemies & of course killing them. In the first game I managed to get the highest score in the squad but we still lost the round. I did ok but I did not have the satisfaction of killing a ton of enemies, howwever I played a crucial role in reviving my fallen comrades for them to go on a killing spree. We then played a further 2 games of conquest & winning the last game. I featured again in the top half of the score sheets on both games. I am still not sure about BC2 it needs more game modes compared to HR but unlike HR I was actually useful as a team player albeit by being a medic. Communication played a big part of the squad matches because we were all together it was useful to shout out where enemies were & if a tank was approaching. BC2 was on my sell pile but I think I will take it out & put in back on my game shelf, it's an FPS game that I'm actually half-decent at playing.

Next then Halo Reach, the new kid on the block we had obviously a better turn out approx. 7 of us I think and decided to try Invasion, there was no pre-lobby discussion on how to best approach the match or what skill to choose so we went in guns blazing to fairly easing take out the first section, advancing to the second was more difficult because the enemies made use of vehicles to destroy us when we were spawning. Eventually we managed to complete the second stage but getting into the core room was a challenge in itself let alone taking the core, obviously we lost. Another couple of games of invasion had us performing slightly better especially when defending but we never managed on attacking to take the core. Maybe it’s the number of players 7 or 8 it’s difficult to communicate? but next time I think we need to plan in the lobby who is going to do what instead of going lone wolf.

To end with we had a quick game of headhunter which is basically shoot an enemy, collect a skull & run to the nearest destination point to deposit the skull. It’s football with guns !! great fun & one of my favourite modes. Again though even with smaller teams of 4 there was no communication at times the team was scattered but we did manage to win albeit not by completing the 25 total but by the time running out & us having more skulls than the opposition. Depending on the game-type that is played my performance varies from being crap in slayer to good in firefight.

The most important lesson learnt though from playing both games though is that communication is KING


Halo Reach - Campaign

Finally started the campaign on Legendary with ActionAbbas, I am now noble six, the gung-ho spartan who goes charging in, kills a grunts & then blam dead !! It's lucky I have a re-spawn point in my co-op partner oh wait he's dead too, bugger back to the previous checkpoint then, it's tough on legendary. Winter Contingency is the first level in the game, some nice Avatar style cut-scenes and you are now investigating why some army troopers have disappeared, the reason? surprise surprise it's the covenant. Nothing special in this level really the usual take out the covenant in the area, still took us 39 minutes but I think that was more to our approach of charging in, killing a few & dying. ONI Sword Base is the next level, a research facility is under attack & you have to go defend it. There are too many and you fall back into the building only to be ambushed by some more elites, after clearing the area you have to go activate an anti-air gun which is off-line, lot's of enemies around the area so it's quite tough to get to the control room to activate the gun.Back to the base then to clear out any remaining enemies, a cut scene then informs you that the elite's who ambushed you were after some notes about artefacts, oh well I hope they enjoy reading them. That's all I've done so far next level Nightfall has you starting with sniper rifles so should be fun :)

Ipod Touch - What Apps?

After getting my new 4th generation Ipod Touch the question was what apps to install, so this is a quick list below of the apps I installed without a second thought.

Carcassonne - easily my favourite multi player ipod touch game, the classic board game with friends.

Words with Friends - basically like scrabble & you can play online with friends

Chess with Friends - the same as words but chess obviously & I'm really bad at it

Facebook & Twitter - the standard social apps

eBay & orange Wednesday - ebay app is nice and easy to use & the orange app for local cinema listings

NewsTapLite - usenet app for ugvm

Blogwriter - for writing to my blog

Angry Birds - easily the best value for money 59p !!

Blocked - tile based game, move the blocks around and find the exit for the blue block.

Mr Space - great little time waster, move you man into the spaces to survive

Shining Force - Sega Mega drive strategy RPG luckily my save file happily moved over from my old ipod touch.

.. and that's it my 13 must have apps on my new fast iPod touch


Halo Reach - Multiplayer Roundup & UGVM Feast

Time for a quick update on Halo Reach. Since release day I have only being playing matchmaking & have yet to start the campaign. On Friday I had a very good ugvm pmg (planned multi-player gaming) session with approx 15 players online !! Possibly the best turnout for a gaming session since Burnout Paradise. We played various match types from Slayer to Infection but I still prefer head-hunter or capture the flag game types these seem to bring the best out of me. The younger members of ugvm MightyMiniMan & ActionAbbas obviously showed the older generation how to play the game but we did ok for old-timers at least some of us did :) I'm now a Sergeant Grade 2 but I don't really think my skill level has improved at all I am still averaging about 5 or 6 kills on a slayer match but I perform much better on fire fight. I also by accident managed to unlock quite a lot of the fire fight achievements by joining manofkent on a custom fire fight with unlimited health to get up to 1 Million points and various smaller achievements along the way. A bit disappointed about getting these without really trying but there is always the high score challenge for me to beat. I have still not decided on which is my favourite load-out but I tend to favour the Jet Pack. Hoping to start the campaign soon which should provide some challenges.


Xbox 360 - "The games that time forgot"

This is a list of Xbox 360 games that have passed me by for any number of reasons, at some point when I have nothing to play I hope to return to one of these.

Bioshock 1 + 2 (I was playing Bioshock on the PC but got distracted by my new 360 & I have not been back to PC since)

Mass Effect 1 + 2 (Everything is perfect for this, It's an RPG Shooter, set in a Sci-Fi universe but for whatever reason I have still not played it)

Halo Wars - It's a strategy title set in the halo universe , what more could you want?

Dragon Age - A classic from bioware but I have yet to pick up the sword to play.

Red Dead Redemption - I have this game but it is sat on the shelf & apart from a few ugvm multiplayer sessions I have yet to start the game.

Fable Trilogy - Have not played any of the Fable games :(

Alan Wake - It's a horror mystery title, it may offer a new experience? I'm curious?

Lost Odyssey - It's a 4 disc huge rpg with samurai overtones

I think that's it - any others I have forgotten?

Anyhow back to Halo Reach


Logo Change - Fallout New Vegas

Because Halo Reach is now out, time to change the website logo. After much thought Fallout New Vegas is the new logo, Assassin's Creed Brotherhood was the other game in contention but it feels like I have only completed the last game yesterday so I will wait on buying that game till it drops in price. Fallout New Vegas, I'm hoping & praying that obsidian do not screw up this game considering their recent poor effort Alpha Protocol. Release date is 22nd October but I'm not buying on release until I have read some reviews.

Hardware Update - iPod Touch 4th Generation

My new 4th generation iPod touch arrived yesterday luckily on the same day my screen protector & tyre case was delivered from ebay. I've upgraded from a 2nd generation mainly because of the faster processor, camera, multi-tasking & retina display. The upgrade process was very easy I connected to itunes and restored from a 2nd gen backup, this transferred all my my apps/games over with the save files. I had to resync on Words/Chess with friends & refresh on Carcassonne to pick up the played turns. Email configuration worked ok just needed to confirm the password. The usb connecting cable is a much tighter connection and at first I thought Apples had changed the connection because it was too tight to fit, I think this is due the curvier design. Camera which is possible the biggest point for new buyers, in a simple sentance then 'Don't get rid of your digital camera'. It's not that good, you need to have the correct lighting to really get a good photo. I will take some sample photo's and upload soon & you can see the comparison vs my digital camera. The processor is the same as the iphone 4 and is very fast, multi-tasking is a very useful feature. I assume the apps will close down after a certain period if not used on the multi-tasking bar? I have yet to test facetime so will post back later on that. Lastly the retina display is much brighter & sharper compared to my 2nd gen

So for £250 it's small, it's portable & can do almost anything a similar priced netbook will, if you can stomatch the cost of the iphone 4 that would be the better option because of the better camera & obvious phone features. But if like me you can't get your head round a £25+ monthly contract then this is the perfect small entertainment/produtivity device. But the biggest selling point for me is that it is the perfect portable game machine much better than a PSP or DS

Halo Reach - New Game

Picked up the game in the morning on the way to work,on hindsight  I should have booked the day off work because reading & listening to everyone talk about the game made me jealous. However just after 9pm kids & wife in bed asleep and time for me to finally play the game.

Checked the friends list and 13 people on-line with all but 1 playing Halo Reach, so matchmaking it is, the interface is much easier to use now, I like the friends list on which you can click to join the game they are playing. A quick game with Buckskin on Invasion & I'm showing my true skill in that I get 1 kill & 10 deaths, good start then. A few games with Skim we play as a team on a game of Headhunter Skulls, you have to shoot anyone who has a skull, collect the skull & take to the area marked on the map to score a goal. Great fun & one of my new favourite game types. I scored 5 goals.

Next time to try out firefight with Skim & Buckskin, gametype is called sniperfight. So the first thing I do is drop that weapon for a needler, the map waterfront is very good in that there are quite a few locations you can get an advantage over the incoming enemies. End result? 45 Kills & 11 deaths !! Oh yeas read those stats & see the screenshot baby !!  

Next we tried some team games like Slayer & Bomb Assault, both of which I was rubbish at, back to firefight then. There are daily/weekly challenege's (Press the Start button to view them) that if you complete award you with credits. I wanted to complete the challenge to kill 100 enemies in firefight, this awards you with 1000 credits. I need to learn how to do assassinations, there is a daily challenge which gives you 250 credits. You are awarded credits after every match you can then use these credits in the armoury to upgrade your character armour. Time for another screenshot, yes I'm boasting but when have you know me to be good at any on-line shooting/driving game?

The game obviously has a lot more than just matchmaking, forge world looks amazing & I'm looking forward to seeing what maps are made, a new variant of duck hunt would be interesting & I may even try to create a map myself. The campaign mode I hope to start this weekend until then I will be on-line every evening from 9pm so come challenge me in firefight only :)


Army of Two 40th Day - Game Over

Army of Two 40th Day completed with still 3 days to go until the 14th (Halo Reach) the game now continues in that you have to track down Jonas, along the way we had to blown up 2 Anti Aircraft guns & destroy a crane to explode a ship. Amazing set pieces that build towards Jonas hideout. You also get to fight smaller bosses like the grenade launcher & quite a few shotgun officers but the soldiers with RPGs are the worse on contractor difficulty, 1 rocket & you are down for the count. After climbing a set of stairs to the top of the temple you finally come face to face with Jonas.

Expecting a final boss showdown we went in with full ammo & ready to kick ass but only to be met with another "make a choice" dialogue ??!! What an anti-climax . Go for the obvious option to shoot Jonas & well done you have completed the game.

Very disappointed with the ending was expecting a tough final boss fight. You can download DLC which continues the story but with Halo Reach only days away I will give it a miss. It is an enjoyable co-op game but the storyline is weak. I would say the original is better because the 40th day is just more of the same style of gun shooting fist bumping action. Now a breather for a few days until the 14th ....


Left 4 Dead 2 - New Game

New Game, purchased this approx 6 months ago & only opened it yesterday to play DOH ! UGVM session with Sessile, Buskskin & Phinlee. If you have played the first then expect more of the same with only a few changes I have noticed so far, couple of different enemies like Charger (does what his name says), Spitter (spits acid) & Jockey (who is like the hunter except he tries to control your movement towards the zombies). Weapons are the same with extra melee weapons, great fun picking up the samurai sword & chopping the zombies down. I joined the session late so came in half way through the first campaign Dead Center, you have to make you way over to a mall & fuel up a stock car to evacuate. Only playing on easy I was surprised by how difficult last section of this campaign was, getting the fuel to fill the car up whilst fighting of hordes of zombies & tanks we all died twice before on the 3rd attempt Sessile managed to make it to the car and left us all to die :) I will have to go back and do this campaign again so I can get the achievement, I did however pick up a few other achievements Acid Reflux (Kill a spitter before she is able to spit) & A Ride Denied (Kill a Jockey within 2 seconds of jumping on a survivor)

After enjoying the first campaign we marched straight onto the second campaign 'Dark Carnival' you have to get through a theme park & make your way to a stage to start off a music & lights show. Hunters seem to have some serious love for Buckskin because they were not going for anyone else. I think that was probably because he was playing the role of the travel guide and telling us which way to go. Along the way you get some nice set pieces including having to walk a rollercoaster ride, I kept on going back to help Phinlee out who wanted to make sure no zombie was getting on the ride. He repaid that favour by saving me from a few Jockey's who wanted to ride me. Towards the end we lost Sessile who become infected and had to return back to RL (real life). We then went on to play Rock Band with the zombies, you can even use the guitars for Melee weapons. After a few hundred zombies and a couple of tanks the helicopter arrives to evacuate you. I found this campaign easier than the first maybe I got better at the game or just luck?


Duke Nukem 3D - UGVM PMG

Joined up with Luffers & Toby (slightly late) to tackle Lunar Apocalypse. I must go back and complete the levels not completed in LA Meltdown to unlock the achievement. Highlight was Luffers Jet packing across a cavern to be met with an untimely death then making his way back he then promptly decided to fall off the ledge to his death again. The frustration of dying is not so bad now in that you can usually get back to your position in seconds because the enemies do not re-spawn. We completed a couple of levels, next meet up is Sunday 9pm if anyone wants to join before then I'll go back and complete the other levels on LA Meltdown


Mr Space - Space Man, I only wanted you to go ..

Babylon Zoo - Spaceman. Anyhow new high score in Mr Space of 134, it's a simple game of finding the gap in the wall to survive the next, which over time will come at you faster & faster. Just press left or right & find the space. Like Babylon Zoo you will either love this game or hate it.

It's currently still free in the appstore so go grab it & see if you can beat my score

Army of Two 40th Day - Custom Weapons

Onto Chapter 5, weapon customising is a must in this game to tinker your weapons to your preferred style. A machine gun with a scope add-on & high magazine is a must for me but I need to balance out the other add-ons like barrel & front mount to ensure I have a high precision vs a low agro. A couple of big set pieces in this level we had to try again because for once on hardcore the game became difficult. Especially when you have run out of ammo on your main gun & have to resort to using the enemies gun. I think we are near the end of the game, need to finish quickly before the 14th.


Carcassone - Losing Streak

Having a really bad run at the moment have lost my last 5 games which sees me plummet from 1st down to now 7th. Whilst Luffers pulls away a nice lead at the top and gets to keep the crown a while longer

Duke Nukem 3D - UGVM PMG

How on earth did I ever complete this game without tearing my hair out !! Died again back to the start, died again back to the start Aargh !!!

Shame they did not built any checkpoints into the XBLA release. However it does have co-op mode which is great fun. Especially just watching the other players trying to complete a jump. Shoot the button & jump onto the other platform when it comes ... No I missed, try again.. again...and on the 15th attempt I finally made it. Much to the enjoyment of Luffers & Toby. Next level, jump across the lava pit oh no !! It's deja vu all over again, 20 mins later we have made it across only to be met with a big boss, who kills you and you are back to the start again. Thud !! That was me banging my head on the table !! Finally Toby manages to kill the big boss whilst me & Luffers are still trying to jump the lava pit.

Quick blast of multiplayer death match first to 10 wins on Hollywood Holocaust. My respawn point is next to the RPG :) This is more a game of hide & seek with only 3 players but eventually I come out winning on top beating Toby by 1 kill.

Duke Nukem does have it's frustrations but with even a small group of 3 you can have hours of fun. Thanks Toby & James

Hail to the king baby !!


Carcassonne - 1 Point !!

Winning by 1 point is great but losing by 1 point is horrible :(

Carcassonne - Phew that was close !!

Just won a very close game against Carl, went down to the wire & he managed to get the vital last tile that both of us needed to complete our church. Luckily my placement of farmers gained me the extra point I needed to win :)