Noughts & Crosses

A very proud moment for me after many months of working Abbas has released his first Android App, it is the simple game of Noughts & Crosses. It has been an interesting journey for me because I had to keep him motivated & focused. But I will leave it to Abbas to post on his blog his thoughts on developing his first app.

Please take a look at the Android store on the link below


Batman Arkham City - Old Man

RSI? Repetitive Strain Injury. This is the feeling of sharp pain on your wrist or in my case it tends to be a pain that starts from my fingers and shoots up my arm. What caused this for me? A combination of work & sports.

Anyhow I have to live with it, in gaming there are two choices I make to ensure I don't feel any pain whilst gaming.

Firstly I always turn off vibration on any console or controller I am playing and secondly I always avoid buying any game that requires the rapid movement of the controller face buttons (not triggers). Example any fighting game like Street Fighter or Mortal Kombat.

In Batman Arkham City there have been a few occasions in the game so far where you have to fight a high number of enemies. This then has you going on a marathon X, X, X, Y, B, X, X, X, X, X, Y and so on ...

I have managed to complete most of the encounters but there have been two occurrences so far where I have had no choice but to put the controller down. One of these was a Boss Fight :(

I am playing the game on normal difficulty so I can unlock new game plus. I dread to think what the game would be like on hard.

I never had any difficulty with Arkham Asylum, I don't recall any fights where you had a high number & variation of enemies.

I attempted again the two encounters with a slower button pressing technique but alas the sheer number & difficulty of the enemies had my wrist and arm in agony & causing me to fail again.

Abbas could see I was in pain & said Dad give me the controller, like a frail old man I had no choice and had to accept his offer of help. I felt annoyed at myself for not being able to complete these sections & anger at Rocksteady for creating these encounters which for me are ruining the game experience but I am proud of my son for coming to help his old man.


2nd UGVM Meet Autumn 2011 - Tournaments

Various tournaments were held from Soul Calibur to Super Smash Bros, Fifa & Forza timed lap. But it was Andy's impressive streak in Soul Calibur that stood out. Button Mashing EXTREME !!

2nd UGVM Meet Autumn 2011 - New Toys

PS3 Move, Steering wheels, 3DS & Kinect (Sorry no Photo)

2nd UGVM Meet Autumn 2011 - Space Channel 5

In memory of Owen Space Channel 5 was still impossible to play on the big screen.

2nd UGVM Meet Autumn 2011 - Typing of the Dead

2nd UGVM Meet Autumn 2011 - Pong !!

One very large room meets Pong !!

2nd UGVM Meet Autumn 2011 - Look whose back !!

The Virtual Boy just can't stay away !!

2nd UGVM Meet Autumn 2011 - Did we come to play video games?

Toby wanted to play 10 laps !! This was quickly reduced to 2 laps when we realised we could be here till next week.

2nd UGVM Meet Autumn 2011 - Car Boot Sale

So much gaming equipment & cables !! lots & lots of cables !!

2nd UGVM Meet Autumn 2011 - Rock Band

We spent quite a bit of time playing something called Rock Band, even I had a couple of attempts but I just kept thinking of Klax whilst playing the guitar.

2nd UGVM Meet Autumn 2011 - Group Photo

Group Photo excluding moi of course because I am taking the photo :)
From the left we have

Neil (Satsuma)
Andy (DeKay)
Craig (Coope)
Steven (Ste P)
Jon (Cooltag)
Jaimie (Sessile)
James (Lufferov)
Joe (Zo)
Pete (Fluffmyster)
Richard (Orrah)
Toby (asktoby)
Carl (rubbishatgames)

Classic UGVM Meet ECTS Photos - Whose Who?

Original UGVM Meet - I came across the two photo's below from an ECTS show. Can you help me fill the blanks from left to right ?, ? Imran Chaudry, Me, Derek Jolly & ?
I still own that Green T-Shirt, will wear it to the next UGVM Meet

Metel Gear Solid - ooh wow FMV !! I'm in the bottom left corner

Batman Arkham City - Time to Fly

Batman Arkham City - 21st October 2011
Since playing Batman Arkham Asylum http://gospvg.blogspot.com/2011/01/2010-game-of-year.html last year this has been my most eagerly awaited release of the year. I booked a day off work to ensure I could spend the day enjoying it but life threw a double six a few days earlier & I fell ill with a cold but this was Batman so feeling rotten I still drove to my local Sainsburys to buy for £34.99

It was in my hand, my precious https://twitter.com/#!/gospvg/status/127299628747071488/photo/1

Opening the packaging you have no manual just a leaflet about xbox live, Catwoman DLC code & some Rustlers vouchers?! After installing the game to the hard drive I then entered the Catwoman DLC code & press the play game option.

Minor SPOILERS ahead (I will not post about any major spoilers until my completed post)

You are then treated to a nice intro sequence and get to control Bruce Wayne into his transformation to Batman. There is no tutorial to the game reminding you of the buttons so you need to either use trial & error or read the on-screen control options. The game is very good but it has not given me that wow factor like Arkham Asylum did because it just feels like more of the same. I had a similar feeling when playing Fallout New Vegas, that was a good game but did not have the wow factor of Fallout 3.

Anyhow time for me to return to Arkham City .... Whoosh !! I open my cape & fly.


Owen Allaway - gone but never forgotten

I received this comment today on my blog and thought I would share it with you all

"And here we are, exactly a year later. We (his family) again want to say a huge thank you to all of you out there. You have not got a clue how amazing you were, and how much you helped us get thro' this. You were awesome. That we loved him goes without saying. That you all recognised his essential goodness and kindness and intelligence and gentleness and wit, and took the time and the trouble to post comments and/or come to the funeral made the unbearable bearable. Thank you to each one of you."

Tried my best to complete Angry Birds dude, got up to world 8 but with all the updates their are now 17 worlds !! with 21 levels on each world !!

Miss you big guy

RIP Owen .. gone but never forgotten

13th October

Today spare a thought for Owen.
I will be looking down his list of 100 best games & playing a game in his honour


I will be spending the day playing Angry Birds maybe I can finally complete all the levels



Lost Planet 2 - I'm LOST !!

After finishing off Borderlands, it was decided that Lost Planet 2 will be our next Monday PMG game. With 6 interested players from UGVM we split up into two groups of three. So the 'Playerz' Gus, Ste & Cooltag went on their own adventure whilst I teamed up with Sessile & Toby to form the 'Noobz' group.

The game starts you off with some FMV and then I was on-board a helicopter shooting at a swarm of flying enemies but where were Sessille & Toby? They were somewhere else? What? After killing the swarms of bees or whatever they were a giant version arrives to attack the helicopter so time to take him down. There is no auto targeting in the game (it may be an option  but I have yet to find it) so it is my usual style of shoot & pray which eventually worked.

The helicopter then drops me off to reunite with my party members to tackle a giant snow beast called a Chryatis. This was just the Prologue to the game & we realised that there are two parts to this when playing in a party of more than 2 players, Players 1 + 3 will play Prologue-A & Players 3 & 4 will play Prologue-B.

After defeating the Chryatis we are given our first mission to deactivate some mining facility. Making our way through dense jungle I die after getting ambushed by enemies. Along the way you need to collect the orange orbs that are left behind by enemies to take up your T-Eng meter, you can use this meter to heal yourself by pressing the start button & also for healing other party members.

Arriving at the mining facility you are given a mission of activating 5 generators but there are friggin snipers who kill you with one shot which knock 500 points of your battle gauge, once this gauge reaches zero it is game over for your team. You all share the gauge so starting with 2500 points only gives the team 5 re-spawns for all players. Apparently you can increase this gauge by collecting data points & completing missions but we did not notice this increase when activating data points?

After activating the 5 generators you then have a timer 1 minute 30 seconds to turn on 4 control units, these units must all be on for the time to reduce. The enemies that come to attack you obviously want to disable these control units. This section was the most frustrating because the enemies had turrets & mechs to attack with, we died on quite a few occasions at this point & annoyingly the restart checkpoint was at the start of the mission meaning we had to do the first section again before we could try to attempt the tough second part.

We were playing on normal difficulty & even contemplated changing to easy, Toby had to go for the evening but not before one last attempt at the second section proving successful with me staying and guarding one control unit & taking out the spawning enemies near this unit. Sessile running around and activating all the remaining control units & Toby killing any enemies that would come into his line of fire. Luckily I had a gattling gun spawn near me to take care of any mechs that would appear & Sessile managed to find a back path to destroy the two turrets. With the clock ticking down we managed to complete the section & the mission.

"Wow that was tough" & " We are normal !!"

The storyline if there is one is very confusing with a mash up of FMV scenes (some very long) & dialogue not really explaining what is going on & how to control your character. But trial and error in the end prevailed for us to complete the first chapter of Episode 1.


Splinter Cell Conviction - Let's Play Together - Completed

The co-op campaign has you control Archer (agent of Third Echelon) or Kestrel (an agent of Voron). The game offers the usual on-live co-op but more importantly has a split screen option which meant I would play with who else but Abbas.

The story takes place before the single player campaign and has the two agents team up to stop an arms sale taking place in Russia. The story is split into 4 lengthy chapters starting you off in St Petersburg before moving you onto the Russian Embassy then the Yastreb Complex & finally Mozdok Grounds.

I can't tell you much about the storyline because there is not much you basically start a chapter & have to get to the other end destroying enemies & equipment from turrets, cameras to mounted guns. Some sections of the game have an unlimited number of enemies spawning until you complete the objective, these can prove challenging especially on the realistic difficulty setting.

The joy from these games come from playing with a local co-op partner, Abbas managing to deactivate a turret or I sniping an enemy from distance. The banter when one of us falls in combat and the other has to run over to revive to the planning that is required on some of the more difficult sections. Apart from on-line gaming local co-op for me has made this generation more enjoyable from playing Halo, Gears of War to Army of Two, Rainbow Six Vegas & now Splinter Cell Conviction. Go on share your sofa ...

'Custom' Disc Drivin Tournament - Round 2 inc Results

Round 2 then 12 players will be split into 4 leagues with the winners going through to the final round.

You will all play 3 matches & score 2 points for finishing first & 1 point for 2nd. The player with the most points after the 3 races goes through to the 2nd round.

You will each take it in turn to start a race.

Race 1
Player A in the league starting the first race on Under a Big W & inviting Player B & then C in order.

Race 2
Player B will start a race on Bumper Beware & send an invite to Player C & A in that order.

Race 3
Player C will start a race on Desert Dash & send an invite to Player A & then B in that order.

Player A in the group will have the responsibility to ensure that races have started in the correct order & must also inform me via email or twitter of the result.

Player A will also wait till all 3 races at the start are on him to play his turn so he can then perform his move on all 3 tracks in one sitting. This will ensure the races are completed quickly because when-ever player B or C play their turns they can do so on all 3 races.

League 1

Indy through to the next round

League 2

arn through to the next round (results unknown)

League 3
mcevoy 6
GusTavToo 1
Fluffmyster 2

mcevoy through to the next round

League 4

Selector through to the next round

Good luck & let me know the results


'Custom' Disc Drivin Tournament - Round 1 - Completed

Ok Round 1 will consist of 11 leagues with 3 players in each league.
You will all play 3 matches & score 2 points for finishing first & 1 point for 2nd. The player with the most points after the 3 races goes through to the 2nd round.

You will each take it in turn to start a race.

Race 1
Player A in the league starting the first race on Bump in the Road & inviting Player B & then C in order.

Race 2
Player B will start a race on Hangtime & send an invite to Player C & A in that order.

Race 3
Player C will start a race on Flip Out & send an invite to Player A & then B in that order.

Player A in the group will have the responsibility to ensure that races have started in the correct order & must also inform me via email or twitter of the result.

Player A will also wait till all 3 races at the start are on him to play his turn so he can then perform his move on all 3 tracks in one sitting. This will ensure the races are completed quickly because when-ever player B or C play their turns they can do so on all 3 races.

If anybody has any questions on the above contact me.

League 1
SomethingWitty (5 Points)
cts125 (4 Point)

Flip Out - SomethingWitty, cts125 & monstermo
Hangtime -  SomethingWitty, cts125 & monstermo
Bump in the Road - cts125, somethingwitty & monstermo

SomethingWitty make it through to the next round

League 2
Zomoniac (3 Points)
dls911 (3 Points)
Mike552 (3 Points)

Flip Out: 1 dls911, 2 mike552, 3 Zomoniac
Bump In The Road: 1 Zo, 2 dls, 3 mike
Hangtime: 1 mike, 2 Zo, 3 dls.

Tie-Break Match on Desert Dash with the following starting order dls911, Zomoniac & Mike552
Result - dls911, mike552 & Zomoniac

dls911 win the tie-breaker & goes through to the next round

League 3
LALeaf (3 Point)
KiwiAcer (1 Point)
kevlar (5 Points)

1st race - LALeaf, kevlar, KiwiAcer
2nd race - kevlar, KiwiAcer, LALeaf
3rd race - kevlar, LALeaf, KiwiAcer 
kevlar goes through to the next round

League 4
becs (3 Points)
thermalsatsuma (2 Points)
GusTavToo (4 Points)

1st Race - Gustavtoo, thermalsatsuma & becs
2nd Race - Gustavtoo, becs & thermalsatsuma
3rd Race - Becs, thermalsatsuma & gustavtoo

GusTavToo is through to the next round

League 5
Jamma (5 Points)
lufferov (4 Points)

1st Race - Jamma, Lufferov & Carl
2nd Race - Lufferov, Jamma & Carl
3rd Race - Jamma, Lufferov & Carl

Jamma makes it through to the next round

League 6
Zinger223 (6 Points)
smes3817 (2 Points)
dizzyjw (1 Point)

Bump in the Road: 1st - Zinger223 (2), 2nd - dizzyjw (1), 3rd - smes3817
Hangtime: - 1st - Zinger223 (2), 2nd - smes3817 (1), 3rd - dizzyjw
Flipout: - 1st - Zinger223 (2), 2nd - smes3817 (1), 3rd - dizzyjw

Zinger223 through to the next round, winning all the races

League 7
gospvg (4 Points)
Fluffmyster (5 Points)

Flip Out (Stupid, Stupid Course) Fluffmyster, gospvg & benkort
Bump in the Road - Fluffmyster, gospvg & benkort
Hangtime - gospvg, fluffmyster & benkort

Fluffmyster is into the next round

League 8
HaggisHunter (1 Point)
Orrah (3 Points)
selector (5 Points)

Flip Out - Selector, Orrah, HaggisHunter
Bump in The Road - Orrah, Selector, HaggisHunter
Hangtime - Selector, HaggisHunter & Orrah

Selector is through to the next round

League 9
mcevoy (5 points)
trooperlooper2 (2 points)
MightyMiniMan (2 points)

Flip Out - trooperlooper2, mcevoy, mightyminiman
Bump in the Road - mcevoy,  mightyminiman & trooperlooper2
Hangtime - mcevoy,  mightyminiman & trooperlooper2

mcevoy through to the next round

League 10
freak (2 points)
arn ( a r n ) (5 point)
jochta (2 points)

1st race - jochta, arn & freak
2nd race - arn, freak & jochta
3rd race arn, freak & jochta

arn goes through to the next round

League 11
Indy (5 Points)
actionabbas(3 Points)
Sessile (1 Point)

Flip Out - Indy, Sessile & actionabbas
Bump in the Road - Indy, actionabbas & Sessile
Hangtime - actionabbas, Indy & Sessile

Indy wins and is through to the next round

Ok that is round 1 over, 11 players through to the next round one more player to pick at random from the losing players, 2nd round draw coming soon ...

Dead Island - UGVM Fact Finding Mission

After having completed Borderlands, the "Claptrap Boys" tasked me to research more on Dead Island, what better way to do this then to obviously purchase and play it.

A week later & I have now played this enough to report back on my findings

The game has taken ideas from various titles obviously Borderlands, Fallout
& Left 4 Dead.

You get a lot of quests in the game especially side missions almost any character you meet in the game will give you a fetch and return quest.

The weapon system relies on mainly melee weapons, I have yet to come across any guns. These weapons have a condition meter which over time reduce & if you don't repair the weapon they will break.

You can collect lots of weapons littered around the island from paddles, knives to rusty pipes. Visiting the repair table you can obviously repair but you can also upgrade your weapons or if you have received any blueprints and have collected the required parts needed make yourself a new weapon.

The driving in the game sucks there is only one camera view and that is inside the vehicle driving wheel style :( no 3rd person pan out camera angle so you can easily reverse if needed.

On single player it is an enjoyable experience because you are in control of what quests you take and action.

On multiplayer it can be a bit frantic because any co-op player regardless of level can join your game. So if you are fighting a lvl 3 zombie and are a lvl3 character yourself it will take you a few hits but for a higher
co-op partner it's easy.

There is an option when you either start the game or a new character (needs further testing to confirm) to play the game single player only or co-operative. Within co-operative I think you can select if you want private or a public game.

The one co-op session I had with Orrah & Hakk was frantic because quests were being assigned and completed with no knowledge of the storyline associated. For the game to work on co-op you need to ideally all have a similar level character and all be at the same checkpoint in the game to play together & enjoy the story.

Item collection in the game is a case of pressing X to open a case or cupboard & X again to collect. At the moment I seem to be able to carry everything I find but I am limited to only 12 weapons. Each weapon comes with stats so you can decide to keep the stronger & drop the weak unless you want to keep them for a blueprint project.

The game also includes a skill tree, you are awarded one skill point at level up to unlock a new skill example extra damage to lockpick.

Oh and yes the game has zombies not a lot come charging at you like Left 4 Dead I've only had 3 or 4 come at me any one time.You have a stamina meter which means you can't go charging in swinging and expect to last long on you own, with a co-op team obviously it's easier.

So in summary it is an enjoyable single player experience because you can control the pace of the game & the quests you take & complete.

On a co-op experience you need to find similar minded players to you otherwise you will not enjoy the experience.

Definitely one for the "Claptrap Boys" to purchase when reduced in price


Carcassonne & Disc Drivin Tournaments

Come on guys we need to push this weekend to finish off round 1 of the Carcassonne & Disc Drivin tournaments.

Carcassonne - League 3 & 7 remaining to be played

Disc Drivin - Just League 9 to go