Champ Man - League One Champions

Bring on the championship !!
After winning the League One title on my first attempt the board have set me an easy target to avoid relegation.

With my squad of 60+ ability players I don't think that will be too difficult but I will need to delve into the transfer market to purchase a few 70+ ability players. The board have given me 3 Million to spend, I think a strong defence & keeper is a must so I will look for a 70+ keeper & defenders.


Champ Man - Oxford vs Swindon

The home game earlier in the season was a close 2-2 draw. But the away game was an easy 2-0 win that leaves Swindon struggling at the bottom half of the table.

Since starting my managerial career with OUFC one player has been an amazing revelation. Scottish attacking midfielder Leven.

Only a few more matches to go till the end of the season. I'm easily going to win the League One title with a 5 point lead over Leyton Orient already & only 4 games left to play.


Champ Man - Oxford United

Champ Man is a free iOS game with in-app purchases. I have happily been playing the game with no need to purchase the in game credits at all. I have managed to sign some players with 60+ ability to build a very good squad.
Oxford United are the League Two champions easily beating Gillingham to the title.

The highlight of the season was beating local rivals Wycombe 4-7 away.

When you start the game you cannot start with a premier league club unless you pay for an in app purchase. So instead of choosing Liverpool I decided to start my managerial career with Oxford United instead.

It's been a great start taking Oxford to league one & currently I am top of the league just winning a title decider against Leyton Orient.

Hopefully I can finish the season strong & take Oxford into the championship.


Dead Space - Completed

After all that it was my mind playing tricks, Nicole was not even alive. I've killed Necromorphs by the bucket-load, battle with the hunter, leviathan & finally the hive mind. The marker & even the planet is now destroyed.

I was a bucket of nerves all the way through because you just never knew what was around the corner, would anything jump out at you or drop down from the ceiling. The tension created by the music & sound effects had me on the edge of my seat until I reached the safety of the tram. 

I love the tram system it was the one place I could breathe easier knowing that  I have reached the end of another terrifying chapter. This relief would only last for a few seconds before it would transport me to the next destination.

The Pulse Rifle & Plasma Cutter almost became an extension of the rig armour. Eventually when fully upgraded they could kill any necromorph with a couple of shots.

Fifteen hours of horror gameplay took me back to the first time I played Resident Evil. Technology has moved on over the years but the fear remains the same.

This was no Mario saves the princess expedition. The Princess was dead before Isaac had even arrived. I'm not sure I'm brave enough to play the next game in the series. I also don't think the next  game will have the same enjoyment, fear or tension that I experienced with the first game.

But I do admit to being a little curious to see how the storyline develops. I may yet decide at some point to return to space. If I can muster up the courage.


Dead Space - Asteroid

When you start the Into the Void chapter, your mission if you decide to accept it is to launch giant asteroid into space with a beacon attached.
Piece of cake, I destroyed the Leviathan earlier with no problems how difficult can this be?

Ok, so I need to destroy some gravity towers that are currently anchoring the asteroid?
Easily destroyed two which I could see? Where are the other two?

Looking at the control display, I can see the two I have destroyed & the other two seemed to be anchored on the other side of the ship?
What outside the ship?

Ok gravity jump time then… into space & death !!

What? No they can't be outside there is no way to get outside?
There must be a door around here somewhere leading to another section?

Half an hour walking around the facility & nope I can see no other door or opening?
It must be outside then? But how do I get outside?

Asteroid? Can I jump on the Asteroid?
Nope, spinning arms have just sliced me up into pieces.

Ok I'm stumped.
Back in the SNES days at this point I would usually phone a friend who has completed the game or purchase a magazine that has a walkthrough.
Thanks to the internet & a quick Google search I found the solution.

Gravity jump to the asteroid on the spinning arm junction point & run round to the other side of the asteroid before the arms return.
I'm in space baby !!

Turn around and surprise surprise the other two gravity towers are on the outside of the ship. Bang! Bang! You're dead !!
Plant the beacon & then time your jump back inside.
Make your way back up to the control tower to launch the giant rock.

Mission completed


Dead Space - Scream !!

Yes I'm finally playing it & yes I'm playing it on Easy difficulty. Playing on Easy offers me two advantages, firstly an almost unlimited supply of ammo & med kits. More importantly than that is it lessens the fear factor by 1% & in this game that is very very vital.

Toby suggested I turn the volume off & listen to the Benny Hill tune on repeat, this was my fallback plan in case I needed it.

I love that there is no onscreen HUD, your health is displayed on your body armour in the form of a vertical spine along with a half moon meter for your statis meter. 

Statis is a skill you get early in the game & it let's you slow down time for a brief moment. You can use this to control fast closing doors or slow down running aliens. Kinesis is your other ability & let's you control objects. I've only used this so far to move bookcases revealing hidden loot or moving batteries to operate electrical equipment like elevators.

You start off the game with a simple plasma cutter which lets you slice the aliens limb by limb. The game is gruesome in its display of the violence you can for example take out the legs of an alien & then preform a foot stamp to finish them off.

Later on in the game you will be able to purchase more weapons from a store by collecting the credits you find lying around the USG Ishimura. You can also sell your loot & purchase more ammo if needed. There is a nice animation sequence at the store when you purchase an upgrade to your body armour.

You will also find Power Nodes among the loot & these can either be used to unlock locked doors or via the workbench you can upgrade an attribute of your chosen weapon or body armour.

You are Isaac Clarke a mining engineer part of a group sent to investigate a distress signal. Upon arrival you are attacked by a group of aliens who take out all the soldiers leaving you with Commander Zach & Computer Scientist Kendra. They give you various objectives to complete from activating the tram system to retrieving the mining ship captains RIG code.

Each quest is split out into chapters and you return to the tram system upon completion to advance to the next, currently I have competed two chapters. I have however jumped in my seat about five times & taken a deep breath before advancing on many occasions. It's a scary game but I love a good sci-fi story & so far Dead Space has not disappointed.

Remember in space no-one can hear you ......


Completed - The Last of Us - Characters

Characters are what make or break a story. If they are interesting you will enjoy the story they are telling be it by reading a book, watching a movie or playing a game.

I'm not the biggest fan of the uncharted games, I enjoyed the characters & the story had me interested but I just did not enjoy the gameplay. With The Last of Us, Naughty Dog have perfected the package. The characters are excellent & the relationships between them shows a very real depth of realism. Obviously the main characters are Joel & Ellie, seeing their relationship develop over time from a reluctant arrangement to relying & caring for each other.

Their experiences with the other characters they have encountered has only helped bring them closer. Tess, Bill or Henry & Sam. All of these human encounters add another layer to the storyline & one that I very much enjoyed playing.

The gameplay is very much focused on stealth based attacks be this by using the bow/arrow combo or sneaking around to perform a melee kill. I suppose twenty years after a virus outbreak ammo & supplies are going to be a bit scarce. I enjoyed luring the enemies into a trap by placing nail-bombs at corners & enticing the enemies to charge over to me. Getting a group of clickers together & treating them to a molotov cocktail is one of the most satisfying aspects of completing a difficult area.

Yes it is a linear story but when it is presented, voice-acted, played so well there is nothing wrong with linear.

For me this year has already been an amazing year for gaming. Skyrim, Ni No Kuni, Lego City Undercover, Journey, Walking Dead, Forza Horizon & Red Dead Redemption have all been amazing experiences. I have just added another title to that The Last of Us. I'm only just over half way through the year, I still have the PS4 & Watch_Dogs to come yet.


New Game - The Loading (Last) of Us

Thanks to this game I can now fully appreciate the benefits of digital media. If like me you have purchased the retail physical media version make yourself a cup of tea/coffee or in my case nothing because I'm fasting. It is that long that it takes me back to my Acorn Electron days & tape loading.

Anyhow the game, yes it has zombies, infected or whatever you want to call them. Wait !! don't leave just yet !!

Like most gamers I am also sick to death of zombie games although I am disappointed that Nintendo have not delved into the theme, Super Mario Zombie !!

The Last of Us is made by Naughty Dog, the team that made the Uncharted series so if not anything else you can almost guarantee that it is going to have a hollywood-esqe story, voice-acting & a great musical score.

Just by playing the opening sequence you are not disappointed by the work Naughty Dog have put into the game. It provides the backdrop for Joel & shows you the beginning of the outbreak. Then fast forward 20 years & quarantine zones have now been set up. A military style regimented system is in full flow. Controlling the human population & rationing the consumption of resources. Yes this game has also ticked the box by having an anti-government group called the "Fireflies". The leader of the "Fireflies" asks Joel & Tess to deliver a package, the package is "Ellie" a 14 year old girl who is immune to the infection.

Ammo is very scarce in the game so you really need to focus on using your melee skills, ideally by stealth. You can collect resources during the game & craft items like healing kits, shivs & my favourite molotovs. I have left the quarantine zone & ventured outside. This is when you start to encounter the infected, in most zombie games they would not be a problem because you will have stacks of ammo but in this game you need to play slowly & carefully by using stealth to your advantage to either avoid contact or preform a melee takedown.

Similar to Uncharted after you have cleared an area of enemies you are free to wonder around & collect items. I strongly suggest you do this because you can always find healing items, more ammo or materials for crafting hidden away in a locked room or desk drawer.

It has been a promising first few hours of play-time & I'm looking (not) forward to loading up the game again.