What to Play?

Dad always says “You can never play all the games you want”

Well guess what I have done?

Yep I've played all I wanted to on the Xbox 360, Bad Company 2, Call of Duty Black Ops, Fable 3, Splinter Cell Conviction & Halo Wars being my last completed game. For the past few days I've been asking myself what should I play now?PS3? No Never – I’m not touching that !! Wii? Maybe if dad buys Super Mario Galaxy.

There are some xbox live arcade games but I don’t really play these, I want Test Drive Unlimited 2 !! But have to wait till it drops to £17.99. So I've decided to until I find a game I want to play I will go back to Assassins Creed Brotherhood to get some of the missed achievements. Some of the achievements are online only (sigh) this could take some time….but then I have nothing else to play so here goes.

UGVM vs BETEO - Words with Friends Competition

UGVM vs BETEO Competition
These rules are open to discussion until Monday 28th & I will amend if needed then before I make the 1st round draw.

1st Round will consist of 1 vs 1 with 1 point being awarded to the winning players team. 2 players from each team will be kicked out at this round I will decide this by the players that have lost their game & the points they have scored in their game with the lowest scoring losing players going out. So if haggishuter (255), jochta (288) & xexyz (312) lost their games then haggishunter & jochta would go out because they scored less than xexyz

2nd Round with 8 players left on each team will consist of 1 vs 1 again with 1 point being awarded to the winning players team. Same again 2 players on each team will go out, losers will go out first & any winners with the lowest score if needed.

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

4th round with 4 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

5th round  with 2 players left on each team it’s semi-final time. 1 vs 1 pressure !! –  Again 1 point awarded to the winning players team. 1 player on each team will go out, losers will go out first & any winners with the lowest score if needed

6th round – THE FINAL !! The best UGVM player vs The best BETEO player. After having played 6 games to get this far you have 1 more game to play. The winner takes with him the Player Championship but who will win the Team Championship with 5 points up for grabs to the winning team !!


Azkend - Completed

Azkend was released on the PC in 2007 but back then I was too busy finishing off the tail end of Playstation 2 RPG's or playing another mission on Mech Commander 2 on the PC to even notice it.

Since buying my first 2nd gen iPod Touch in 2008, I have downloaded many paid & free games in the last 3 years. In fact as of today I have 512 !! apps on my itunes.
The majority of these downloads I have not even played so recently I decided to create 3 folders on my iPod Touch called To Test, Keep & Rubbish.

Every week I will install 12 apps onto my iPod Touch and test them so I can delete the ones that are rubbish. Whilst testing the first batch of games I came across Azkend which looking at my purchase history I paid 59p, currently it is £1.79 on the app store.

"What we found in those ruins in far asia was not merely a relic. I wish I had considered the consequences ..."

Press Start & you are greeted with some lovely pan pipe music. You have two modes Adventure or Survival. Survival has you facing increasingly tough challenges to earn stars from the talismans. The adventure mode has a nice story line along the way to tell you about the relic. Whilst playing the game you earn new talismans by competing a set of levels. If you manage to complete a level with 50% of the time remaining you will earn an expert star. This is quite easy to do initially but soon gets tougher & you have to decide which one talisman you will use to help you achieve the gold star. What I found frustrating was if you completed a level there was no way to go back and retry that level the story just moved forward to the next level. Thus when I completed the game I had only gold starred about 40 levels.

The game offers approx 60 levels and does give you the option to start again but I feel it needs an update to allow you to select a level to play. Azkend is your "Bejewelled" match 3 tiles type affair but because of the Talisman power-ups & the challenge of competing for a gold star gives this game some variety. You are not just going for a high score challenge like other match em up games, there is a story along the way & you have to earn the talisman by competing a set of levels. You are also presented with vision challenges at set points along the way & these have you matching the image show to the viewpoint you are looking at. It is a simple look and touch affair which you can easily complete by touching everywhere on the viewpoint. The purposes of these is that it gives you extra seconds to complete the next set of levels.

The games does have a nice save & exit feature after each level so you are not forced to sit and play a set of levels to get to a checkpoint.

When you finally reach the temple you are given the choice to return the relic or not?
I won't say what I chose & what happens but by giving you this choice the game is giving you the chance to play the adventure again to see the other outcome.

With over 6 hours gameplay & 513 apps to play ( I purchased another free app whilst typing this post)  I don't think I will play again.

There are many "Bejewelled" type games released on the appstore & I am sure you have your favourites but for the 59p I spent I thoroughly enjoyed the 6 hours gameplay it provided. Is it worth £1.79? Probably not so if you do want to buy it best wait till it goes on sale again.

But more importantly I am still on target for my challenge of completing a game a month. Yes it's only a 6 hours game but this month that was probably all I could manage.

I have not yet deleted the game from my iPod Touch so I can go and enjoy the trials of the survival mode.


Tuesday A to Z - A

The Tuesday A to Z post has returned to UGVM & I will post my responses on the blog also. So to begin 'A'

Angry Birds (iPod Touch)
You either love them or hate them but there is no denying this is the game that has put the iOS platform on the map. The Birds are angry against the Pigs & it’s time for them to attack. Launch your birds to take out the pigs, the high score will reveal if you have 3-starred the level. If not retry or move on.  The main game also has had so many level updates now approaching 200+ levels, I have not yet completed the main game but I am working my way through it. A second game Angry Birds Seasons was released in October for Halloween, this has received seasonal updates at Christmas & Valentine. I thoroughly enjoyed the Christmas edition which was an advent calendar design, a level a day. I sit on top of my friends leader board for this pack.

Army of Two (Xbox 360)
Apart from online gaming, Local co-op gaming is the main point for me this current generation because my kids are old enough now to play. Army of Two is your typical FPS duck & dive shooter with some very good set pieces & level designs (sinking ship level) but playing it with my son Abbas the enjoyment was amazing as we planned our routes, swapped ammo & guns, came to the rescue of each other, although if truth be told it was me rescuing Abbas more than often.

Assassins Creed (Xbox 360)
To date I have not played the first game (my gamer score lies - Abbas played it on my account) but the sequel got me interested. Lovely big cities & riding open areas on horseback. The ‘leap of faith’ jumps. Collecting all the feathers & unlocking all the viewpoints. So many challenges & amazing moments to remember in Assassins Creed 2. Ubisoft took the best bits of Prince of Persia and gave it a new lick of paint with a few tweaks and ended up making an amazing title. However I am slightly concern that a year later they have released Brotherhood & another title is to be released this year. Is this going to be an annual sequel now? Is it time to get the cow ready to start milking?

Avatar the Last Airbender (Xbox 360)
Oh the shame !!
Just look at my gamer score – enuff said

Alpha Protocol (Xbox 360)
On paper this should have been amazing, an espionage RPG – alas it was not to be : (
I cannot say much more than I already have about how disappointed I was by this game.

Altered Beast (Arcade)
‘Rise from your grave’
Many a 10pence coins were wasted in the arcades playing this but alas my skill never got me pass the third level. The Cavern of Souls was the most difficult level I played in an Arcade game & to this day I have still not managed to complete it.

Arc the Lad Collection (Playstation)
Don’t know – I have not played it
It’s still sealed !! & I can’t bring myself to open it
I did get a nice limited edition watch with my US Order.

UGVM vs BETEO - Words with Friends

UGVM vs Beteo Words with Friends Tournament.
I have not yet decided on the format of the tournament either 'Ryder Cup Foursome' or '1 vs 1' with the lowest scoring players getting knocked out each round from each team.

Beteo Players
Goddess Jasmine
Gilly Mc

UGVM Players


Android Gaming

I love my iPod Touch (It is easily the best handheld gaming device) and my Sony W980i Mobile Phone both are always with me, which means I have a fat trouser pocket. Many times I have looked at getting rid of both to get an iPhone but my budgeted head can’t get round to paying more than £10 a month for a phone contract & another £200 or £300+ for the phone. I’m currently with Vodafone and my £10 month gives me 100 texts & 250 mins which to some may seem small but my last month usage was 12 texts & 112 minutes used.

However I have been looking at what I can replace my Sony W980i & thanks to a gift voucher to use on Amazon. I have decided to go for an HTC Wildfire for £80
I know there are better HTC mobile phones but I don’t really want to spend more than £100 & the HTC Wildfire looks to be the best option.

Will it replace both the iPod Touch & W980i?
Probably not because I think the iPod Touch is a much more powerful device, only time will tell.
Enough talk of mobiles this is a gaming blog so my next question is what to download on Android for gaming?


Words with Friends - Glitch

February has been a busy month at work & I have not had much time to play the 360 or PS3. But my trusted iPod Touch is perfect for the few minutes I have spare in the day. Usually this is spent on Disc Drivin, Chess with Friends, Carcassonne, Azkend or easily my favourite gaming app Words with Friends.

In a recent game against millarca I had a weird glitch in that there was a 'T' on the board in the corner? I played a simple word of Fat and it played it. But shortly later in refreshing the app in went into repair mode and deleted this game.

Hopefully now the work crunch is over I can get back to playing some games on the 360 & PS3. First on the agenda is a return to Avalon in Fable 2 to finish off some quests & the gargoyle & silver key collectibles quest.

Words with Friends - 100 Point+ words

In the last few days I have managed to play three 100+ words. Fixture against Magicaldrop for 102 points & Admirer for 102 points winning me the game on my last turn against HaggisHunter. Uniquer for 117 points against Becky.


UGVM Meet - Bungo Bungo Cat Throw

Thanks to deKay & Chris for the photos, Lufferov for his duffle bag of enjoyment & above all thanks to you all (Jon, Carl, Toby, deKay, Zo, Gareth, Chris W, Jochta, Lufferov, Andy, Ste & Tim) for coming to the first UGVM Meet.

Bungo Bungo Cat Throw ....does anyone remember the sega vr toy?

UGVM Meet - Card Games

Surrounded by all the technology we then reverted to playing card games ??!!
The table was split down the middle with half playing Poker & the other half Braggart. Jochta became the UGVM Poker champion & I don't know who won the Braggart but there was some strange noises & comments coming from that half of the table.

Braggart? What? I don't know? ask Carl

Yes Andy really was that confused

UGVM Meet - Game Time

After some food it was time to play some games. Jochta initially started an 8-player game of Disc Drivin & then when someone mention Mario Kart we all jumped shipped. It was a tough fought battle but Tim came out on top beating Jon who had a poor last race. Some of us then played Bomberman & I beat Toby & Jon to win, whilst others played OutRun on the PSP. But Lufferov could not hide his addiction to minecrack.

Tim Miller - UGVM Mario Kart Champion

Andy trying to play OutRun

Tim "Racing Games" I eat Racing Games !!
Addiction - Get this man some HELP !!

UGVM Meet - Virtual Boy

James decided the open his duffle bag & out popped a Virtual Boy. The room went silent and we all looked in awe of this amazing piece of retro gaming awesomeness.

Hope the superglue holds

If I twiddle this will I get it in colour

Gareth looks on in awe

The barmaid is interested

Andy thinking mischievous thoughts

UGVM Meet - Show & Tell

It was now time to show & tell the goodies we arrived with. Jochta arrived with his Neo Geo Pocket & Gameboy Advance Micro. Toby went retro with a Grandstand Handheld (Sorry I forget the name). Dekay showed off a Hong Kong handheld rip-off & I showed up with my game.com but the best was yet to come.
What am I supposed to do?
I got the high score

The Nintendo DS copied me
It's Tiny

UGVM Meet - Everyone Else

ChrisW arrived with his tales of woe about late buses & having to walk (We all had no sympathy because he lives in Cambridge), Then Carl, Andy & Ste arrived and we all announced ourselves as Zo. Luffers arrived armed with duffle bags (was it a bank job? - slight concern he would be followed by undercover cops but he would reveal all) & last but not tall Tim

What a bunch of geeks & gamers !!

UGVM Meet - The Early Birds

The first UGVM Meet took place on the 6th February 2011 in the historic town of Cambridge at the Kingston Arms. Jochta & I arrived at the Kingston Arms to be greeted by Gareth, Toby, Jon, Zo & DeKay.
Dekay was too scary, so we asked him to take the photo


UGVM Meet - 6th February 2011

Group Photo !!

Starting from the beaming chap at the front and going left
Chris W
Jon (Cooltag)
Ste Parker
Andy (dekay)
John (Jochta)
Andy (andynine)

Full report on the meet later when I remember what the Sega VR game thing was or is?


Farewell to Carcassonne

Start the game, place your first tile, it’s a town tile & put down your first ‘meeple’. Wait for your opponent to play their turn & then come back and place your next tile, oh look you can complete that town you just started, 4 points. The game continues in this fashion allowing you to use your ‘meeple’ in towns, roads or farmers to accumulate points. Then then end game sequence will decide on the uncompleted towns, roads & those important farmers. A close finish but you have just won the game by 2 points.

After playing 214 games & amassing an amazing 21,356 points, I am really yearning for some DLC content to freshen the game. There are many expansions on the board game from Inns & Cathedrals, Traders & Builders to The River & The Plague. 

Developers The Coding Monkeys are currently working on some expansions for in-app releases which include Inns & Cathedrals & Princess & Dragons. I also understand that in the next update gamecenter support will be included, this will hopefully make it easier to set up games.

I’ve been thinking about doing an Tournament similar to the Words with Friends Tournament to reignite interest but I think a lot of users have left the game now & have moved on. If there is enough interest I will start a tournament off.

Until then I taking a leave from this game & I eagerly await the DLC content come on you Monkeys CODE FASTER :)


Fable 2 - Completed

When I have been looking for an RPG to play quite a few people have said ‘play Fable’ to which I have always replied ‘nope not my type of rpg’. Thanks to a BA post & error on Microsoft servers. I managed to get the downloaded version on the 360 for FREE :)

My son started playing it after he finished AC Brotherhood, initially we thought it would be our co-op game but could not work out how we could use our own characters & did not like the camera angle. So instead he decided to play it on single player. It was not until he purchased his first property that I noticed the game ‘oh you can buy shops?’. My Civilization/Sim City addiction kicked into overdrive & I soon started the game.

I love the humour in the game & it’s colourful which makes a nice change after playing FNV. Like most RPG’s I always tend to focus on a warrior type character with the emphasis on Attack rather than defence, I found my combat style of button mashing sufficed. The main storyline is very short in that you have to recruit three heroes & go forth to challenge Lucien & save Albion.

I forgot to create a save file before the last fight so I could get the three alternative choices achievements. The game lets you continue after the last battle and I have some side quests to complete like The Archaeologist, Gargoyle hunt, Silver keys & one more emotion to get which requires me to be evil.

Although these are all really just for achievements, I will still enjoy wondering the world of Albion for a while, I have not decided yet on the DLC 800 points for Knothole & 560 for See the Future. I’ll wait to see if they go on sale. Thanks Microsoft for the free game & because I enjoyed it I have purchased Fable 3. But for now I plan to go give some attention to GT5 before taking on Assassins Creed Brotherhood.