Lost Cities - 200 Games !!

Since August 2014 we have completed another 100 games.

Easily my most played game on iOS & possibly my most game played ever. It's a shame the game does not offer you more player stats information.

Against the computer I've scored 9,693 points and taking an average of 30 points per game that is 323 games. Online I have a staggering 40,149 which is nearly 35K above the next UGVM player (Carl on 5K), taking my 30 points average I have played 1,338 games !!

Total together I'm looking at approx nearly 1,661 games, if I take an average of 10mins per game that is an amazing 276 hours !!

If that is correct then that beats the 250+ hours I have spent playing Destiny.
I've moved on from Destiny for now but thanks to the iOS platform my love of board games is growing with the recent Fluxx taking it's place along side Lost Cities, Ticket to Ride, Carcassonne & Words with Friends.

Thoroughly enjoy playing with Carl on these board games, "Cheers" and look forward to the next 100 games.

Framed - Completed

iOS gaming is at it's best when it offers you that new gaming experience like the brilliant Monument Valley, addictive Game Dev Story or the simple pleasures of any of the Angry Bird games.

Framed has you re-ordering comic book style frames to decide the outcome of the story. There are some scenes that alter the game but most have you trying to get over an obstacle or make your way whilst avoiding enemies.

The lovely music plays in the background whilst you figure out the best sequence of the frames to complete the scene.

It is a short game about an hour which suits my stop/go gaming time just fine.


January Update - Steam is back !!

There is only one TV for console gaming so when the kids are playing & I have some free time I usually end up playing iOS turn-based games.

At the weekend I decided to reinstall Steam onto the laptop & I installed Thomas Was Alone & Back to the Future (Telltale Series). Two games that I started in the past but either got bored or more likely went back to console gaming.

I also downloaded an iOS game called Framed which has a lovely comic book style & you have to move the framed images around to complete the puzzle.

When the kids were tucked in bed & if I was not watching another movie on Netflix I did manage to spend a few hours with Shadow of Mordor last week & have now unlocked the tier 2 abilities. I've killed quite a few Captains now and have done quite a few sidequests. Thankfully the world map is not full of icons like the AC games and there are really only two collectibles. I'm enjoying the hunting challenges but need to play the main quest further to unlock more.

I've gone off playing Destiny for now, I think finally getting IceBreaker was enough for me & the grind to collect yet more shards/energy has just dampen my enjoyment. I'll still however jump on and give Gus, Hakk, Orrah or Zo a hand if they want to complete a weekly strike but I've given up spending all my console gaming time on just one game. I do however have a couple of funny Destiny videos on the PS4 which I need to crop & upload at some point.


Destiny - Public Event Earth

Gameplay over the weekend showing Hakk & I on a public event where I think the enemy ship explodes at the end?


New Game - Shadow of Mordor

My co-op partner for Knack is busy making a puppet theatre so I'll have to complete that later. I've got a nice selection of games on the PS4 to enjoy thanks to the recent sales.

I decided to start with Shadow of Mordor which has received some high praise from various gaming sites & gamers. It is supposed to be a fusion of the Assassin Creed games with Batman Arkham combat & a unique 'Nemesis' system.

After the backstory sequence you activate your first forge tower which unlocks an area of the map showing you various markers from main quest, side missions, herb locations & other collectibles.

I then jumped off the tower & along a zip line to hide in some bushes whilst I re-read the control scheme.

Counter is very important & so is holding down R2 to go into stealth mode. After meeting my first group of Orcs I engaged in combat to realise I was getting torn to shreds. I quickly ran away when the screen was pulsing red to warn me I was close to death.

From the beginning combat is very tough, in Batman you can take on a group of enemies and survive but not in Shadow of Mordor at least not from the beginning. I then returned to these wounded Orcs & picked them off one by one mainly by using stealth & taking on the remaining three in combat..

The game informed me of an Orc Captain that might have some information & gave me a marker to follow. Along the way I picked up some collectibles & herbs which rewarded me with some Mirian points so I could upgrade abilities like health.

Experience points are gained by defeating Orcs in combat & when you get enough you level up which gives you an ability point to unlock a new skill. I first chose the 'Strike from Above' skill which meant I could now perform aerial kills.

I slowly made my way to the captain whilst killing some more Orcs & collecting a few more herbs. I then learnt how to interrogate an Orc by pressing R1 to grab & press X to interrogate this gave me intel that the Captain was weak to ranged attacks.

Starting the captain mission I first focused on taking out the other Orcs by stealth attacks so I would not get over-run by enemies. I then got high up & used my bow to fire off four arrow shots which weakened the captain but did not finish him off, I then jumped down to attack & perform a finishing move by holding R2 & pressing Square. The captain was dead & his corpse was shown on Sauron's Army.

You need to be very careful & take things slowly during the first few hours, until you have unlocked some skills & upgraded your abilities. DO NOT go charging in expecting to kill a group of Orcs because you will die. You need to pick them off one by one, thin the numbers before going into attack. Stealth Kills are the best tactic to use.

Sauron's Army or the 'Nemesis' system is when an Orc rises up to become a Captain & advance further through the ranks  I assume which I am yet to discover.

Completed - MGSV Ground Zeroes

It is a very short taste of the full game The Phantom Pain but I enjoyed the stealth combat once I figured out the best tactics & how to take out or sneak by the soldiers. Rescuing Paz is the second part of the mission & gives you a few more challenges like cameras & tanks.

I made a quick video of the last checkpoint which shows me leaving the soldiers at the base with a little present.


New Game - MGSV Ground Zeroes

It took me a few attempts before I got into the hardcore stealth gameplay of MGS. The silencer has a wear down rate before it breaks, the cover mechanic does not stay snapped & there is a whole new button scheme to try and master.

But when it clicked !!

Oh what fun there is to enjoy, sneaking up on enemies to take them out, crawling underneath buildings to headshot a few soldiers & running away when the detected music plays.

I've rescued 'Chico' & I'm on the search for Paz.


Peggle 2 - Completed

One of the better masters in the game you get near the end, Luna is a ghost you has the power ability to shoot through blue pegs so you can target the orange pegs.

Combine this ability with trying to ricochet your shot to hit other orange pegs & you can build up quite a high score.

The last 10 levels take you to the stars where you can choose any master you wish to complete the levels.

There is DLC content for the game which give you two more masters but I'm not interested in purchasing these, I had a quick at the local multi-player option but it is just a turn by turn affair score attack on a standard level.

Peggle 2 completed.


Destiny - Crota Raid

The Raids are the toughest challenge in Destiny & require a lot of patience with an element of luck.

The first section involves standing on a plate to build a bridge so you can go across the void. Then you enter an underground section which involves lighting lamps along the way with a constant flow of enemies attacking you.

We were stuck on this section for quite a long time, the lamps only stay on for a short while & when they run out they explode. A couple of times Ryanski or I managed to get to the end where you reach a plate you need to stand on to build another bridge, here you get overrun with Thrall & Knights.

We eventually found a tactic that worked with two groups of three, the first group running ahead & trying to get to the last lamp. The second slower group would advance once the lamps have exploded & the Thralls have dispersed. We all then met up at the last lamp reviving players along the way to stand on the plate to build the bridge. The bridge was building slowly & one by one we were getting killed but thankfully Ryanski & Bishimitsu were still alive & everyone was shouting run Run RUN !!!

The bridge had been built & thankfully both of them made it across to reach the raid checkpoint & respawn all of us ready for the next section.

I was lucky enough to get Willbreaker's Fist Gauntlets as a reward for completing the first section.

The next section had three plates with the centre plate building a bridge & the other two controlling totems which would explode if no-one was on the plate. After a few attempts we called it a night at this section to hopefully try again Sunday evening.

Frustrating, tearing our hair our moments during the raid but good fun.


Watch_Dogs - Completed

The last few levels of the game are very challenging & I failed the missions quite a few times before I managed to complete them. There are a variety of hacking, driving & pure chaos with cops chasing & shooting you.

It's a good game though, much better than I expected.

Next on my list is to finish off Knack & then enjoy MGSV Ground Zero.

I can't see me going back to the 360/PS3 anytime soon & thus have decided to scrap playing Forza Horizon 2 which I have not touched the past few weeks. I'm already beginning to wind down on the PS3/360 consoles.

Oh WiiU yes hello how are you?

Peggle 2 - Deep Freeze

I managed to pull off an amazing shot using the Deep Freeze skill in Peggle 2 to get to the top of my friends leaderboards. The leaderboards don't seem to be updating on all the levels with some of my scores not being registered.

I've completed the first three masters (Bjorn, Jeffrey & Berg) & I'm on Gnorman the robot who has an electric shot skill.

Splurge - Shadow of Mordor

Splurge YTD £50

I've been keeping an eye out for this game over the festive period to drop to £25 & purchased this morning.

It's been given game of the year award by quite a few gaming sites & I'm looking forward to experiencing the 'Nemesis' system.

I've gone over my limit of five PS4 games now with already Infamous Second Son, MGSV Ground Zero, Metro Redux, AC Unity, Dragon Age Inquisition sat on the shelf.

I don't think there is any other retail PS4 game that I'm tempted to purchase (famous last words) until Batman Arkham Knight so hopefully the above will keep me gaming for the next six months & MGSV Ground Zero is really only an hour long demo so that will bring me back down to my limit of five. I'm not really counting Destiny or Fifa 14 which seem to have taken up residence on the gaming shelf.


New Game - Fluxx

Gaming on the mobile is only really now for multiplayer games like Lost Cities, Carcassonne etc. Over xmas I enjoyed learning to play Fluxx with Carl & Darryl.

It is another board game conversion which to be honest wikipedia can explain better than I could. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fluxx

It is only 69p on the app store but I must have purchased it some point in the past before because it was ready for me to download. A good few games later I figured out how to play & I think I have the hang of it now.

Send me an invite if you fancy a game on any of the iOS multiplayer games I own.


New Game - Peggle 2

In a recent PSN sale I purchased two sequels in Peggle 2 & Geometry Wars 3. I've not yet spent any meaningful time with Geometry Wars 3 but I have been playing Peggle 2 quite a bit.

Each master has 10 stages & a trial mode where you have to complete various puzzles with a ball limit. Only five masters is a bit disappointed the first game had more but the trials are an interesting mode.

The ending music is different for each master which is a shame they should have the classic 'Ode to Joy'

Still for less than £4 it's been fun so far

Splurge - Dragon Age Inquisition

Splurge Total YTD £25

I lost track of my Splurge last year, so a few days into the new year & I've spent £25 on Dragon Age Inquisition for the PS4.

Not sure when I will get round to playing it with Infamous SS, Metro Redux, AC Unity & MGS Ground Zeroes still to enjoy but I'm sure Abbas will enjoy it for now.


Watch_Dogs - Side Missions

The Ubisoft recipe of a map full with icons is a tried & tested formula. It does however depend on what you need to do to clear these icons that is the important point. Watch_Dogs offers you some interesting tasks to enjoy.

Gang Hideouts are my favourite side mission, you have to infiltrate an area & knock out a target. You can use the local camera to find your target & then use hacking to disable reinforcements, explode batteries or interrupt communications.

Crimes detected are random open world events & they involve usually stopping a crime in progress by taking down the criminal, these can be extra difficult if the public contact the police.

I've not done any criminal convoys or fixer contract missions yet (apart from the campaign missions) because I'm waiting to unlock all of the skills to help me complete these side missions.

You also have Investigations icons on the map these mainly use your hacking skills & once you have completed a particular investigation it will result in a final mission for you to take down a criminal. I've completed the Human Trafficking, Missing Persons, Burner Phones & Weapons Trade investigations leaving QR Codes to yet complete.

If the above was not enough you have a bunch of collectibles from audio logs, song sneaks, privacy invasions to cTOS Breaches.

The game has received some negative press mainly due to the graphics downgrade from the E3 reveal The gameplay (driving excluded) is very good, I'm enjoying hacking & using stealth in combat to take out enemies.


2014 Review inc Game of the Year

I completed 24 games this year (excl DLC) compared to 28 in 2013.

Champ Man (iOS)
Mass Effect 2 (360)
Deadlight (360)
Dust Elysian Tail (360)
Army of Two Devil's Cartel (360)
Danger Boat (iOS)
Football Chairman (iOS)
Deus Ex Human Revolution (360)
Pocket Mine (iOS)
Dice Jockey (iOS)
Ridiculous Fishing (iOS)
Disco Zoo (iOS)
Mass Effect 3 (360)
Portal (360)
Brothers A Tale of Two Sons (PS3)
Unfinished Swan (PS3)
Dead Island Riptide (360)
Epic Astro Story (iOS)
Monument Valley (iOS)
Kiwanuka (iOS)
Walking Dead Season 2 (PS3)
Destiny (PS4)
Wolfenstein New Order (PS4)
Ghost Recon Future Soldier (360)

Highlights throughout the year have been the completion of the Mass Effect Trilogy, Deus Ex Human Revolution, Brothers A Tale of Two Sons, Monument Valley & Destiny. I did spend a lot of time with Destiny (200 hours+) but the game could & should have been so much more. Destiny did however get me playing the PS4 again which I had not really touched since completing AC Black Flag last year.

The game of the year for me is another game from my back catalogue on the 360. Deus Ex Human Revolution is a sci-fi RPG, you are Adam Jenson and after an attack are rebuilt into robocop. You then go after your attackers using the skills & upgrades you unlock in the game to complete the various missions. I usually went for a stealth gameplay approach but the boss fights forced you to use a more full on attack style. The remastered edition of the game did rebalance the boss fights but it was a very buggy release with many issues on the 360 inc corrupted saves so I played the original release.

It has been a real disappointed this year that games are being released not fully tested like Drive_Club, AC Unity, The Crew etc. The rush to release a game for the Xmas shopping window was more important than the quality of the game. Hopefully this will be a lesson learnt for the industry & we won't get any more rush releases in 2015.

I failed on a few predictions I set last year the Vita I ended up selling without a single game completed, I really do not play portable consoles that don't fit in my pocket. I've also written off for now my Steam pile of shame. I don't have the time & I have enough to play on the consoles without thinking about gaming on a PC. 

Mobile gaming with a few exceptions like Monument Valley & Kiwanuka is now just turn based multiplayer like Carcassonne, Lost Cities, Ticket to Ride etc.

Splurge I lost interest in keeping track of what I was spending, I know that I have sold more than I've purchased this year & more important for me is not buying games to store on a shelf but to play.

Predictions then for 2015.

I will be finished with the 360/PS3 back catalogue leaving the PS4 for gaming only.

I'm not ignoring the WiiU but there is nothing I want to play on the console & it really is just the replacement of the 'family Wii console'. However I have enjoyed the time I've spent playing or should I say losing to the kids in Mario Kart 8.

History tells that I will be weak & purchase the XB1 console at some point maybe if & when it hits the £200 mark.

Happy New Year.