Disc Drivin - Coming from behind to WIN !!

Disc Drivin is such a fun simple game that I demand you go out and buy it now before reading the rest of this entry.

There is a free version with adverts or just go for the paid version, you can play against the computer & local play but on-line multi player is where you will get the most enjoyment.

A recent update had some new tracks and one of them Zoom Zoom had Jochta, Luffers, Abbas & Moi in close competition but neither of them managed to get round the final corner to the chequered line.

A carefully placed flick from me, bounced off the corner missing them all & boosting across the finish line to win.

I wish you could save the video replays on this game. Anyhow like I said at the start of my post go get the game, try the free version if you must. Get some practice in now ready for the Disc Drivin Tournament - COMING SOON


Borderlands - Secret Armory of General Knoxx

Since the beginning of the year I have been playing through the DLC content with fellow UGVMers (Cooltag, Sessile & Gus)

We first completed The Zombie island of Dr. Ned which was very short, next we went onto the Secret Armory of General Knoxx. You have a lot of driving to do in this DLC because there are no tele-portation stations which is very annoying so you have to remember where locations are. There are a few fun sections to the DLC inc a loop the loop & some nice jumps for you to do in your car. There is also a cheevo for which you need 8 Million credits so get saving.

Getting to General Knoxx was not difficult with our crew of 4 because we had Cooltag with his Siren "I'm on fire, I will cook you" ability & Gus was our "come here let me shoot you, I'm the doctor" skill. Sessile & I would just go in guns blazing & then scream that we needed reviving.

When you reach Knoxx you have a boss fight with him in his giant mech, this was not too difficult but you need to keep any eye out for the other enemies spawning around Knoxx especially the doctor enemies who can heal Knoxx. Once Knoxx was destroyed we took out the remaining enemies & advanced onto his secret armory. Athena then asks you to set explosives to destroy the armory but she gives you a few minutes to go and ransack the place.

A few minutes !! What !! I done all this work to get here & all you give me is a few minutes !! I want to take my time to look around all the chests and loot only the rare weapons I can use.

But no you give me a few minutes !!

So what followed was a mad dash to loot as much as possible & get out of the building before it goes "KABOOM!"

Back at T-Bone Junction, time to breathe & look through my loot. All rubbish apart from a (1325) slow health recharging shield. My credits were also maxed out at 9999999 so I could not even sell the crap. I then passed my loot onto the guys to sell.

We have a few things to finish off in Knoxx before we goto the next DLC which is either Mad Moxxi or Claptrap Robot Revolution.

Space Channel 5 - Level 1 Failure

In memory of Owen, I plugged up the Sega Dreamcast & purchased Space Channel 5 from ebay. It is not a game I had in my collection, dancing & music games are non existent. You play Ulala a news reporter who has to pull off dance moves to save humans whilst blasting aliens. It is a repetition game in that the aliens will do the moves first & then it's your turn to do the moves. Obviously timing & remembering the moves is all there is to the game. Owen had great difficulty playing this game and wrote on his blog 22/04/2006 that he would try again in 5 years time. Sadly Owen is no longer with us, so it was down to his friends (UGVM, RLLMUK, BETEO & others) to attempt this on his behalf.
The first level has a viewing figure of 15% to pass it, on my first attempt I really messed up the timing & got a dreadfully low score. My boys then had a turn and managed to do better than me with Abbas getting 10%, another attempt by me had me only managing 12%

Owen it is not just you I hated playing the game I was sure I was pressing the buttons on time but it would not register, I found it very frustrating.

I'll try again next year


PSN - The door is wide open come on in !!

Oh and also help yourself to any information you want.

Security? what's that?
Encryption? don't know have not got a clue

We have discovered that between April 17 and April 19, 2011, certain PlayStation Network and Qriocity service user account information was compromised in connection with an illegal and unauthorized intrusion into our network

I have not really used my Playstation 3 much but I have made 2 purchases via credit card (Joe Danger & Front Mission 3). The credit card was easy to cancel a quick call & done, it was going to expire soon so a few months earlier will do.

But the biggest shock from Sony "The personal data table, which is a separate data set, was not encrypted, but was, of course, behind a very sophisticated security system that was breached in a malicious attack,"

What a Joke !!

The PSN service is due to be back online next week but sorry Sony you will not be getting any more purchases from me.

What do people get out of playing games?

What do people get out of playing games? Help PhD student with her research

Over the last few years, video games have become increasingly popular with a variety of audiences. We still have first-person shooters and adventure games for our PCs and the latest games consoles. But there is more than that. Plenty of families can now be found in their living rooms, waggling their Wiimotes as they play together. Add that to Farmville on Facebook and Angry Birds on our mobile phones and it seems that games have exploded into the mainstream.

There has been a lot of interest in academia about how we can harness this popularity for educational purposes, but my particular interest concerns the games we play during our leisure time. More specifically, I want to further our understanding of how and what we learn from our involvement with games and to consider exactly what it is we seem get out of our game-playing experiences.

If you’d like to help me out with my study, please click here to fill in my questionnaire. It’s about different kinds of game-play experiences – so whether you only play something like Angry Birds on your phone every now and again, or you regularly pull all-nighters playing Call of Duty, do please fill it in.

I’m interested in getting as wide a range of responses as possible, so feel free to pass this on to anyone you know, over the age of 18 and in the UK, who might play games. It should take about 20 minutes to complete. Your participation would be much appreciated.

Jo Iacovides
PhD student
Institute of Educational Technology
The Open University


Carcassone Tournament

Round 1 - There are 12 players who will be split into 4 groups of 3 players each, you will play 3 games in round 1. 1 each against the other players & a group match with all three players. You will get 1 point for each vs match win. 3 points for winning the group match & 1 point for finishing 2nd in the group match. The top two players from each group will go through, if needed a knock-out match for the 2nd & 3rd player in the group will happen if they are equal on points.

Round 2 - With 8 players left, it's knock-out time. 1 vs 1 matches with the loser going out.

Round 3 - 4 Players left, you will play 1 group match & 3 vs match. Top two players go through to the final. 1 Point for winning each match

Final Round - 1 vs 1 Final to decide the winner.

The finalist's will play a maximum of 9 games (excluding any knock-out deciding matches if needed)


New Logo - Assassin's Creed Brothehood

Time for a new logo, the completed game post will be coming soon. Enjoy the view of the Colosseum.

Tuesday A to Z - I

Ikari Warriors (Aracde)
I blame Rambo, everyone wanted to be John Rambo. Wearing my bandanna with friends, we would visit the local pizza parlour (they had a nice selection of arcade games) & play Ikari Warriors. Tanks - again Tanks, maybe this is where my love for Tanks started?

International Track & Field (PS1)
Button bashing to the extreme, this game probably sold more PS1 controllers than any other. But get yourself a Multi-tap & a roomful of friends & it gave you an evening of fun-filled laughter.

International Superstar Soccer (SNES)
I can't quite remember how but I somehow agreed with my younger brother that in the summer of 95 I would buy him this game. £69.99 !! Who complains game are expensive now? !! Take them back to 1995
However we did get our money's worth spending the rest of the summer taking turns playing as England.


Tuesday A to Z - H

Hermie Hopperhead (PS1)
Another one of my Jap PS1 Purchases, Tronix had it on sale so I imported it
with some other games. It turned out to be a very fun & enjoyable Platformer. Shame it did not get release outside of Japan. You are a like red haired kid and fall into a dustbin & get sucked into egg world. The game borrows a lot of ideas from the Mario games with its level & map world design.

Hoshigami (PS1)
Oh how many PS1 RPG's can one play? A lot because that was all I played & nothing else. Another US import from Tronix, this time a turn-based strategy affair. Think FF Tactics mixed in with Tactics Ogre & throw in a Action Points system & you have a nice long RPG to enjoy.

Halo Series (Xbox, Xbox 360)
Like Marmite you love it or hate it.
I hate Marmite but I love the Halo series.

Maybe it's the sci-fi setting or the main character Master Chief I cannot really put my finger on it but I thoroughly enjoy the Halo Series of games. I completed Halo on the PC but it was not until I picked up a second-hand Xbox & with my son we played Halo again on co-op - our first co-op gaming experience.

We then went straight onto to Halo 2 & I loved the larger areas to explore but above all Tanks, easily my favourite vehicle in the Halo games.
One of my co-op gaming experiences with Abbas was whilst playing Halo. Abbas said I'm just going down the corridor to see if I can find any ammo & then I hear a scream & Abbas is running back towards me shouting " F L O O D !! "

When I purchased the 360, I did not have a HDTV just my old trusty CRT but Halo 3 was the first game we loaded up to play. The graphics, atmosphere, plot, setting, everything was an amazing experience which we went back and relived again when I purchased a HDTV. The games that followed Halo 3 (ODST, Halo Wars & Reach) although enjoyable we are still waiting for the next chapter for Master Chief.

Assassins Creed Brotherhood - Easter Gaming

This game has a lot of "follow-me" quests where you have to tail an enemy without getting detected. I hate these quests, even more so when you are put under pressure because of a countdown clock.

I recently completed the Micheletto Corella quest which has you following him to various Borgia strongholds to recruit soldiers into assassinating an actor during a play at the Colosseum.

It helps to use your trained assassins to take out the soldiers, whilst avoiding being detected by any other Borgia guards. The Colosseum part of this quest is very difficult, you have to scale the building without being detected by any guards. Once you have made it to the checkpoint, you have a countdown timer to assassinate 4 Borgia snipers. After this you just need to play your part in the play & then attack Corella with your hidden blade.

Completing all the Leonardo Weapon side-missions rewardw you with a Parachute you can deploy by pressing X when jumping off a high building, useful for doing air assassination kills.The game has quite a few side missions & challenges which you should really complete to unlock special items & weapons. I managed to unlock the Sword of Altair by completing all the assassin guild challenges, this is easily the best sword in the game.

Having just completed Sequence 7 & I could very easily rush through the game and complete the remaining few sequences but there is so much still left to do in the game from the Shop Quests, Guild Challenges, Romulus Lairs & I have not even started the gylph puzzles.

My plan was to finish this game over the Easter break but I think I may be playing it for a while yet.

Words with Friends - New High Score 512

It's only a few points more than my previous high score but it is against Abbas. So should be documented :)

New high score 512


Carcassonne Tournament - Sign Up

(Carcassonne - iPhone/IPod touch game)

My son's have been asking for a while that "Dad, you always do a Words with Friends" Tournament but what about Carcassonne. So why not?

Because you have to register players via email address on the game, please contact me to sign up.

The tournament will be a simple 1 vs 1 knockout affair leading up to the final.

Registered Players
Dr Lave

UGVM vs BETEO - Round 3 FIGHT !!

3rd round with 6 players left on each team will be the same again 1 vs 1 with 1 point being awarded to the winning team. Same again 2 players on each team will go out, losers will go out first & any winners with the lowest score if needed

The first player in the match will start the game against the other player - in the chat window can you also announce that this is a tournament game so the opposing player is aware.

flis_iom vs jochta
thermalsatsuma vs Curiosity
Gilly Mc vs SozzlyJoe
HarpingOn vs DBSnappa
AlarmBee vs Xexyz
Coope1999 vs alanjoans

Good luck all & can you let me know the result via the blog, twitter, ugvm or beteo.

UGVM vs BETEO - 2nd Round Results

2nd Round Results (includes first round results)

UGVM - 12 Points
BETEO - 6 Points

HaggisHunter (333) vs AlarmBee (402) - BETEO Win
Curiosity (419) - HarpingOn (440) - UGVM Win
flis_iom (288) - SozzlyJoe (346) - UGVM Win
jochta (460) vs alanjoans (337) - UGVM Win
thermalsatsuma (351) vs Grim... (284) - UGVM Win
RussellC_ (272) vs Coope1999 (424 ) - UGVM Win
Xexyz (503) vs Gilly Mc (320) - UGVM Win
DBSnappa (410) vs gospvg (279) - BETEO Win

Round 2 finally over & UGVM extend their lead to 12 points.

Going out this round from UGVM we have HaggisHunter & yours truly (well beaten by David)
From BETEO Grim & Russell depart.

I will do the draw for the 3rd round shortly


New Game - Wordfeud

What another words game?
I still enjoy Words with Friends but a lot of users on BETEO who are Android users have been raving about Wordfeud. So when it was released to the Appstore I thought it's only fair to try it.

The first option you get on starting a new game is to play a standard board or random, I selected random this juggles the TW & others tiles around before you start the game.

After that it plays the same as any Scrabble type game.

My first game against Neil (TrooperLooper) ended in me DESTROYING (in red & caps to emphasise the victory) him 566 to 272

On the iPod Touch it is a bit buggy at the moment it has crashed on me a few times but if you have the game send me a challenge.


22 April 2011: Space Channel 5 day

Copy & Pasted from Tim on UGVM
On 22 April 2006, Owen wrote the following on his blog, about Space
Channel 5:

> Thought I’d try this again. I’ve had an extra five or six years of video game practice since I last tried it, after all.
> But, no, I still can’t get past level one. I normally end with a viewing figure of 13% and less than 15% means cancellation.
> I don’t think I’ll ever see level two, but maybe I’ll try again in another five years.
> It’s ridiculously hard and it’s made even more annoying by the fact that everyone else on earth seems to think it’s stupidly easy. Bah.

It is stupidly easy, but Owen didn't get to try again five years later.
Instead, I propose that we do.

So, get a copy of Space Channel 5.  If you can't find a copy of the
original game, try the sequel.  On 22 April, play it and try to get past
level 1.  Come on to ugvm and post about it.

Tim (tm)

So I will be dusting off my dreamcast & crossing one game off my list of "games not played"  for Owen


Tuesday A to Z - G

Ground Zero Texas (Sega Mega CD) – Full Motion Video baby !! After splashing out a ridiculous amount for a Sega Mega CD with Shining Force CD & Backup Cartridge it only seemed fair to make the most of my useless purchase by buying Ground Zero Texas. This game was an interactive movie & a very bad example if truth be told but I was still amazed by the technology at the time. The story goes a little Texas town is attacked by aliens & who have come to flush them out before the area gets nuked. Hindsight now teaches me just how bad the game was but at the time it was an amazing experience of trial and error.

Goldeneye 007 (Nintendo 64) – If not the best shooter then certainly the best James Bond game ever made. Forget the Killer Instincts, Donkey Kong Country or Banjo’s this is easily the best game RARE has made. Using the best secret agent in the business they produced a stunning single player game which follows the movie plot well & an enjoyable 4 player split screen multiplayer.

Gran Turismo (PS1) – The encyclopaedia of racing games had arrived, with so many cars & tracks it was an impressive achievement by Polyphony. I remember having some memorable races but one sticks in my memory “Deep Forest Raceway” driving my Blue Skyline GTR on a 3 lap race I made a mistake at the first corner and spun out thus the field all went past. I then preceded to put in 3 blistering laps to take 1st only on the last corner of the last lap. I christened this performance “Krazy Khan on a Krazy Run” (It was the 90’s the K’s was in) . Hard to believe but in the 90’s I was good at racing games, oh how times have changed.

Guardian Heroes (Sega Saturn) – There are some great games on the Sega Saturn that I stupidly have not played (You will have to wait for the next A to Z of games not played) but Guardian Heroes was not one of them. It was a 2D scrolling beat em up with RPG touches made by the 2D masters Treasure. You gained experience points through-out the game to then increase any of 6 attributes. Sega has so many games in the back catalogue that would deserve a remake, if only they would stop concentrating on the blue hedgehog.

God of War (PS2) – Weapons, Blood, Gore & Women all rolled into a great action game. You are Kratos a servant to the Greek gods, so serve !! A great example of an action game done right. I have only played the first game of the trilogy so add the other 2 to my list of games not played.

Golden Sun (Gameboy Advance) – The spiritual successor to Shining Force made by Camelot, the Gameboy Micro & Golden Sun a match made in portable heaven. Oh how I wanted Sega to take Shining Force back to it’s turn based roots but they did not listen. My plea’s however were heard by Camelot who promptly released Golden Sun , they take you on an adventure with Isaac across many continents in the search for Alchemy. Alas like God of War I have not played the sequels Lost Age & Dark Dawn.

Guild Wars (PC) – World of Warcraft? Pah Crap !!This is MMORPG at it’s best FREE !! I was given a 10 day trial key to World of Warcraft by someone from UGVM (Possibly Chris but I forget who?) It was an enjoyable experience in my first taste of a MMORPG but my brain could not get round the subscription paying model & thus my trial ended. However this did lead me to Guild Wars & Ascalon. Sir Gospvg was created & promptly decided to take on quests to tackle the evil Charr. I only completed the main prophecies storyline but thoroughly enjoyed playing Guild Wars, It had not subscription model but this did not stop the game from being populated with many players willing to join up to take on a quest. Alas my PC will not justify playing the sequel but I do wish this subscription free MMORPG model would come to a console game.


New Game - Sword & Poker

Apart from the usual multi player games of Disc Drivin & Words with Friends (I have given up on Carcassonne & Chess with Friends) I only always play 1 game at a time on my iPod. I completed Sorcerer of Fortune & then had to choose which game to play from my 600+ on my itunes account. I decided to go for Sword & Poker.

This is a mixture of RPG elements & the game of poker. You play poker hands to attack & deal damage to your enemy. You earn credits by defeating enemies which you can then spend in the shop to upgrade your weapons, shield or health bar. It’s a dungeon level style of gameplay in which you compete against 5 or 6 enemies to unlock treasure & advance down to the next level. Later in the game you can equip magic spells to help you defeat enemies. I currently have suit order which sorts the starting 9 cards into suit order, very useful if I want to attack with the poker hand of flush. I also have the magic spell of rob (lets me nick cards from the enemy) & berserk (increases my attacking power).

Back to the dungeon I go then to advance another level…


Tuesday A to Z - F

Front Mission Series (PS1, PS2, DS & 360)

The Magic Box (great website for jap gaming news) introduced me to this series, it’s a strategy rpg with mechs or wanzers as they are called in the game.

Front Mission 2 (PS1) was a JAP only release but the in game options were all in English. Thus I printed a translation guide for the story & promptly imported the game from Tronix. I loved the customisation you could do with your mechs, everything from body parts to shields & weapons. You could have up to a maximum of 12 mechs in your party & I would have 3 Missile Launchers, 3 Machine Guns, 3 Melees & 3 All-rounders (who would carry extra ammo & repair kits), this strategy worked well in that my missile launchers would take out the legs of the enemy mechs & the gun equipped or melee equipped mechs would go in to finish them off. Even though it was in JAP & I thoroughly enjoyed Front Mission 2, I am still hopeful that at some point it will get a re-release on a current gen console.

Front Mission Alternative (PS1) because of my love for Front Mission 2 I also imported this JAP only release via Tronix but alas it did not have the strategy turn based gameplay I craved but instead an action based shooter which had you controlling platoons of mechs. I never did find a translation guide for this & thus my experienced of the game was short lived.

Front Mission 3 (PS1) I was gob-smacked when I found out that this was getting a US & Europe release. I was an impatient gamer & promptly imported it from the US on release. The gameplay was very similar to Front Mission 2 except the limit on the number of wanzers you could have in your squad was reduced to 8. To finally play an English version of a Front Mission game, easily the highlight of my gaming year 2000. Only this morning I downloaded the game (PSN) to play on the PS3, time to go back and visit some mech-based strategy.

Unfortunately the above games are all that I have played in the Front Mission series mainly because Square have not released any of the other strategy rpg games outside of Japanese shores. However hopefully soon I will have a US version of Front Mission 4 (PS2) & I also have Front Mission Evolved (360) which did get a European release but is an action game like Front Mission Alternative.

Fable 2 - I neglected the Fable games because I convinced myself they were not for me, oh how wrong I was when I played this game. It's an enjoyable action rpg with a sense of humour, great voices used for the characters including Stephen Fry. Looking forward to playing Fable 3.

Final Fantasy Series - The SNES & Super Play introduced me to imported RPGs. Final Fantasy 3 (FF6) was the start of the love for this action adventure turn-based epic with possibly FF7 being the pinnacle for me, The latest FF13 had me turning the game off in disgust my patience for grinding has run out.

Fallout 3 - This would be the game I would take with me if I was marooned on a desert island. I have not played Fallout 1 or 2 but Fallout 3 grabbed my attention when released on the 360. I love the looting, the quests, the levelling up, the vats targeting system, the music …… I could go on forever.

Final Fight - Arcade - Simply Haggar is the best scrolling beat em character EVAR !!

Faselei - The only reason I purchased the Neo Geo Pocket - Possibly the best game on the system. A turn-based strategy RPG, yes if you have not gathered by now I do love my turn based RPGs.