UGVM Meet - Location, Location, Location

A quick list of all who are attending & where from so you can team up for the drive to Cambridge.
I've taken the location info mainly from the UGVM Map & Twitter, let me know if any corrections needed.

Possible Attending not yet confirmed
Ste Parker
James Sutherland

Not Attending
Chris F
Stephen J

Everyone Else?


UGVM Meet 060211

Location - Kingston Arms

Google Maps

I spoke to a few pubs this evening & this seemed the most friendly, they
have dealt with group meetings before in the past. Location wise it is good
for those coming by train, only up the road. For parking on street parking
if you can find it, Gwydir St or Queen Anne multi-storey would be best bet.

Time - we need to decide on a time? I'll propose 1pm

Numbers - I need numbers so I can call back to confirm.

Can you click on the link below & complete

So tweet, blog, facebook or forum post this info anywhere you want.


GT5 - PS3 Online

Online Gaming - This has been the defining technology for me this console generation. The xbox 360 does it very well, combined with chat & friends list you can pick up any title & within a matter of minutes be playing with a friend.

Gran Turismo 5 was the guinea pig for my first PS3 online test. I managed to sync up my bluetooth headset quite easily & loaded up the game. Finding the online access in the game was well hidden but thanks to some advice from Hurricane Pilot I managed to find his private lobby.

We had a very decent turnout with 7 or 8 at times coming and going throughout the evening. It's difficult to know who is talking in the lobby because you do not get a flashing speaker icon like the 360. But after a while we managed to figure out who was who or at least those of us that had mics. The voice quality was very good & I would say maybe even better than the 360.

It was now game time, choose a car & the correct tyres (always racing:soft). You then have the option to do a free run on the track or start the race which gives all players a 30 seconds countdown to get to the track. I am quite a bullish racer & my bump & pass tactics helped me get ahead. Only up until the next sharp corner where I would go straight on into the wall because I did not brake enough. A crazy rally track, provided the most entertainment for us just by trying to keep the car going forward & to stop it slipping or sliding all over the place, I finished 1st. A few race's later we played a city track with Golf GTI's I started 1st on the grid & changed my driving style to a more focused approach & making sure I was taking the best lines on corners in the correct gears. I managed to finish 1st in the event but more importantly it changed my driving style for the remainig races from a mad man to a more realistic approach. I wished I had gone for the option to save my replay's for glory & to also see where I could improve my driving.

Throughly enjoyable evening of racing & one I hope will become a weekly PMG fixture.
same agin next week please


2010 - Game of the Year

I have read lots of game of the year features on various gaming sites & blogs. The 2 most popular games have been Red Dead Redemption & Mass Effect 2.

Red Dead I have only briefly played on multiplayer for a few sessions, thoroughly enjoyable & good fun but I have not yet played the single player campaign. I wasted my summer trying to rekindle my love for Japanese RPGs. Mass Effect 2 I have not even played the first game in the trilogy (Mass Effect 3 releasing 2011).

So what have I been wasting my gaming time on this year. A lot of co-op games, some older titles, the ipod touch, summer wasted on an unfinished game & Fallout New Vegas. So the obvious choice would be Fallout? No, it's a good game but it's essentially the same style of gameplay as Fallout 3. Yes the setting is different but I can't shake the feeling that it feels like a long DLC.

The game of the year for 2010 is a game that was released in 2009.

Batman Arkham Asylum, this was easily the most enjoyable game I played in 2010 because I can't give a single reason why. The storyline, the metroidvania inspired gameplay, the riddler puzzles, the boss battles, the characters oh! the characters it's Batman !!

Not since Castlevania SOTN have I had this much fun revisiting locations to discover secrets that were not accessible because I did not have the correct equipment. I was Batman, I could glide, launch my batarang to take out enemies, use my grapple gun to climb & much much more.

The Joker takes control of Arkham Asylum and with his cronies plans to create an army. You are Batman and you must face some formidable foes from Bane & Scarecrow to Killer Croc & Poison Ivy.

The story, characters, gameplay all combine to produce what is easily the best superhero game I have ever played.

Honourable mentions should go to Shadow Complex, Words with Friends & Angry Birds. But for 2010 Batman Arkham Asylum is my game of the year & I am very much looking forward to the sequel this year.

Added 10/01

A few people have said that the game of the year award should go to games that were released in 2010? Why? Surely game of the year should be about all the games you have played in 2010 & which have you enjoyed the most?


From Wiki - Many publications award a single "Game of the Year" to a single title that they feel represents the pinnacle of gaming achievement that year.

So I stick by my choice for the year of 2010 Batman Arkham Asylum for me was the highlight of my gaming year.

New Game - Fable 2

Back in September I done a post on the "The games that time forgot", this year I plan to play some of these games. Abbas started to play Fable 2 & watching him play got me interested in the game so I started to play, which means Need for Speed HP & GT5 will have to take a back seat for a while.

I instantly found the ability to not jump very frustrating in the game & the co-op does not work very well so we decided to play single player. I set about accumulating cash to purchase stalls & shops before I went on to buy & rent houses. I now own all of Bowerstone, Gypsy Camp & Oakfield.

The game has an enjoyable storyline & various sub quests that can be taken to pass the time. You can also use emotions to interact with other characters some with funny outcomes. I am enjoying the sense of humour in the game. I have also gotten married twice & have a child with my first wife, looking after your family can be an annoying distraction & soon becomes tiresome.

I have just completed the crucible challenges in the main quest & before I go to the spire I am completing various side quests.

World of Keflings - Completed

Another game I completed towards the end of last year.

After my previous post it did not take us long to arrive in the desert kingdom. From here we quickly started to produce the buildings that were needed to then find out the princess wants to marry a frog? A frog? Ok if you want. So you are then task with building a castle fit for them to live in & live happily ever after.

I enjoyed very much the local co-op aspect of the game but I always feel a sequel needs to offer the player something new & different to experience from the original. I don't feel Ninjabee took enough risks with this sequel & stayed with the tried & tested formula. Maybe dlc content may throw up something else?

For 800 points, it was an enjoyable XBLA release, but unlike the original game one you will not revisit again unless you want to unlock some of the remaining achievements.

Borderlands - Completed

I have had this game for a while the best part of a year & only towards to the end of last year I finally completed the main campaign. It's an interesting mix of first person shooting & rpg adventuring. You start the game with a choice of 4 characters, who have different skills. I started with soldier who comes with a turret skill that when activated will release a turret for a few seconds.

During the game by completing quest & killing enemies you will gain experience points to level up your character & your skill tree. The game also has an enjoyable shopping system for buying weapons & shields & these come with various skills from auto-healing to restocking ammo.You can very rarely also find a rare weapon or shield in these shops.

The storyline has you a mercenary bounty hunter go looking for the location of the vault. It's a weak storyline & does not really develop that well, I think this in part due to the fact that I was playing this game on/off over 12 months & with various local co-op partners.

This game can be played with up to 4 players on on-line co-op or 2 players on local co-op. The game adjusts the strength of the enemies in accordance with the number of players. Also the loot that is dropped from enemies will get better the more players you have.

Overall it's an enjoyable game that plays well, the story-line I felt was a bit weak but combat, looting & levelling up is where the game shines. Worth playing even if it did take me a long time to complete.

I now have the dlc content to play which I have gained from various sources, digital & retail release. This will probably take me the next 12 months to complete.


2011 - The year that I will

This year I will not buy games to sit on a shelf #2011

That's the plan anyway, only time will tell if it happens or not.

This year I will play the games that I have forgotten inc Fable, Mass Effect, Bioshock & Dragon's Age #2011

I plan on starting with Mass Effect, just don't know when I'm currently playing Need for Speed HP & GT5

This year I will play at least 2 UGVM PMGs a week #2011

That's the plan, at least 2 PMGs a week, the new PMGS page will list gaming nights

This year we will have our first UGVM meet in February at Cambridge #2011

Looking forward to this, a chance to meet up with some online friends.

This year I will go back to pc gaming thanks to Guild Wars 2 & Back to the Future game. #2011

Back to the Future I will be able to play but my old PC will not cope with Guild Wars 2 so can the game tempt me to upgrade my PC or not?

This year I will win a game of Chess with Friends ..... hopefully :) #2011
Now that is a challenge, I just need to find someone who is worse than me :)

And last of all this year I will clear out my attic & reduce my video game collection :( #2011
Possibly the most difficult challenge of all but it needs to be done.

2010 - The year that was

The year that a friend @thatrevchap passed away RIP. I still think of you big guy :( #2010 #ugvm

Owen passed away on the 13th October, this shook me quite a bit, I was very upset & emotional. A very dear friend was no more, I am sad that I only knew him on an on-line basis & never got to meet him in person especially because he studied in Oxford. There was a nice service for Owen where I met his family & other ugvm friends.

The year I finally realised that western RPGs are better than japanese. Where did it all go wrong? #2010 #ugvm

Final Fantasy XIII - Lovely FMV, interesting battle system, complicated levelling-up but the grinding !! oh the  grinding !! There was a time on the Snes & Playstation that I would play nothing else but Japanese RPG's but this current gen I have played none at all. Western RPG's like Fallout 3, Dragon Age, Fable & Mass Effect have now taken the lead. Fallout 3 & New Vegas are the most enjoyable RPG's I have played in years & in 2011 I plan to play Mass Effect, Dragon Age & the Fable games. There is no Japanese RPG that I want to play? It does not feel right saying that but it's the truth. Japanese RPG's need a reboot.

The year my kids ditch their PSP & Nintendo handhelds because they want an iPod touch. Sony, MS & Nintendo better watch out #2010 #ugvm

I first purchased my iPod touch 2nd gen in 2008 but in 2010 it was my kids who all wanted an iPod touch. I upgraded my 2nd gen to a 4th gen & passed my old 2nd gen to Abbas. A few weeks later & he asked if for his Birthday & Eid he could have an 8gb 4th gen, I agreed. This then led to my other kids then selling their DS machines & Abbas abandoning his PSP to now 5 iPod touch machines in the house. It's cheaper for me also, I buy the one game & install onto all the devices. I don't think even the Nintendo 3DS or the new PSP2 will tempt them away. The ipod touch has certainly become the most played handheld console in this household.

The year I own all 3 consoles & only play one (360). #2010 #ugvm

If you have read my previous posts you will know that I never touched the wii or PS3, the wii has now gone but the PS3 has been given a new lease of life thanks to GT5. But the 360 was the only console I really played in 2010.

The year I waste my summer playing Final Fantasy 13 on two consoles instead I should have played Red Dead Redemption #2010 #ugvm

I just could not play Final Fantasy 13, I'm not sure if it was the constant grinding just to get materials to upgrade weapons that annoyed me or something else but I just could not enjoy the game. I tried, I even gave up on Red Dead Redemption to play it. What a waste of my summer.

The year I still buy games to sit on a shelf gathering dust. This NEEDS to change #2010 #ugvm
We all have them. The games that are still sealed sat on the shelf. I purchased too many games because they were on sale for them to just sit on a physical or virtual shelf untouched.
The year I finally start a blog http://www.gospvg.com/ for those of you that did not know #2010 #ugvm
Yep it's me on the World Wide Web
The year I join another forum BETEO http://j.mp/fhW9tD it's like going to a pub. I will still come home to UGVM. #2010 #ugvm 
I've never gotten on with online forums, too many users, too many post to keep track & so different from usenet. I have tried RLLMUK in the past but just could not get comfortable. BETEO has a few members who post on UGVM & I decided to go have a look. I now have a nice forum app on the ipod touch which makes it much easier to use BETEO & keep track of posts. But like I said I will always come home to UGVM

The year I buy a gazillion apps & still only play 3 !! Carcassonne, Words & Chess with friends. #2010 #ugvm

Thanks to lots of app sales, 59p purchases & freebies I have a ridiculous number of apps easily 500+ but there are only 3 games I consistently play. Words with Friends, Chess with Friends & Carcassonne

The year I complete more co-op games than single player. Thanks @actionabbas for being a great co-op player. #2010 #ugvm

Thanks mainly to Abbas I have completed a lot of Co-op gaming, more than single player. I expect this trend to continue in 2011

And lastly the year I finally use my twitter account in anger. Best Wishes to you all for the new year #2010 #ugvm

A lot of users over the years have left or rarely visit UGVM but quite a few have moved onto Twitter, I created an account in 2009 but rarely used it. This year however it was used a lot !!

Oops I forgot one. The year my gaming knowledge actually helped at work (Lawyers) Yes !! I know LAWYERS ??!! #2010 #ugvm

Amazingly it was true, my gaming knowledge helped bring in new work to the firm.

Well that was 2010 now onto 2011

ActionAbbas - Game of the Year 2010

I have decided that I don't need my own blog site, so I will now be posting my thoughts on Dad's blog instead.
My first post will be my favourite game of 2010. The nominees are Assassins Creed Brotherhood, Fallout New Vegas, Halo Reach and Red Dead Redemption.

Firstly I'd like to mention I have enjoyed playing all of these games and now onto the winner and it is.... Red Dead Redemption. This is my game of the year 2010 because it is the game that I have most enjoyed playing during the summer holidays. The graphics are very good & realistic, the game also has an excellent story and is just great fun. I could get on my horse and go riding anywhere & that would entertain me for ages.

Back to the Future is my favourite film trilogy, Part 3 is set in the Wild West, this was my first western themed film & I enjoyed watching it a lot, in fact I have probably watched it about a hundred time. I have watched quite a few Western films but have not played any Western games. Red Dead Redemption game me the chance to experience that & it was an experience I enjoyed very much.

I can't believe Dad did not play this game during the summer but wasted his time playing Final Fantasy, which he gave up on .. EPIC Fail !!

Dad downloaded the undead nightmare dlc when it was on sale & when he buys the game again I will go back and play that. So for 2010 I would recommend you play Red Dead Redemption.

New Page - Splurge

I have added a new 'Splurge' page to the blog, this will help me keep track of my gaming expenses for 2011. Instead of doing a list, I opted for an embedded google doc spreadsheet. It has not started well spending on 2 games already :)

New Game - GT5

Only a few weeks ago I contemplated getting rid of the PS3 (21/12) it was never used, I would always be playing the 360 or my iPod touch. I picked up GT5 before the year was out & yesterday gave it a spin. It's basically the same tried & tested formula that Polyphony have used in the previous games. After waiting for the game to first download a 650mb update & install to the hard drive it was time to play.

The initial home page is daunting with so many options but A-Spec is basically the crux of the game, we started the game with 20K credits to purchase our first car. The used dealership had some useful cars but you had to be at level 1 to drive these. So we ended up purchasing a new Honda Civic Type R (EK) '97 and went racing in the Sunday cup event.

My son is a 360 fanboy & even though I have been trying my best to teach him that each console system has it's own merits, sometimes it's just easier to show them. So I passed the controller over to him & said give it a try. He hates the positioning of the analogue stick so went for using the d-pad instead. By the first corner he quickly realised that this was a realistic racing experience & adjusted his driving style to finish first. With 5K credits I then showed him the tuning shop to which his eyes lit up. It's like taking my younger daughter to a candy shop. Browsing through the various options he announced "Tyres !" "We need better tyres". I smiled and replied "ok". This was a reflective moment for me because it reminded me of my experiences of playing the first game on the Playstation, the various tuning options that were available & the cars you could purchase once you had enough credits. My youngest son then wanted to have a go at the game & through some coaching managed to finish first, I again smiled and he said "it's good fun".

Going to bed I could hear Abbas tell his younger brother "I never thought I would like a Playstation 3 game"

Job Done :)