1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die

One of my Christmas gifts was this wonderful book. It does exactly what it says on the tin (or cover) and lists 1001 of the best, greatest and influential games since the 1970's.

I have just gone through the book and highlighted all of the games I have played. I was brutally honest, only highlighting the games I have spent a fair amount of time playing. Over the last 30 years. I have played 221 of the top 1001 list. I thought it would be more but like I said I only listed the games I can with all honestly say I have played (5 minutes round my friends house just doesn't count!) If I had been a little more lax I think I could hit 300 but that's not the point. What was interesting was how few of the Nintendo games I have played. Over the years I have avoided most Nintendo consoles, believing them to be too childlike for my serious gaming sensibilities (yes Ican be a twat). and despite having dabbled in a number of Super Mario Bros. Zelda and Metroid games I can with all honestly say I don't like them. I agree the ones I have played are good they just are not the games for me.


Santas Sack

Well Christmas has been and gone and despite earlier belief that I was getting some Warhammer 40k goodies I got... none.

Thats right not even a single Space Marine! However I did get some other awesome stuff and a bit of spending money (which has been promptly spent on a Razorback and a squad of Death Company!)

This with a little bit of shake-up of my current Blood Angels army list gives me just under 1400 points of red painted, power armoured lunatics to throw around a gaming table. What makes the purchases even better is that all the fantastic extra parts I won't be using in the Death Company box (and some left overs from my Space Marine Battleforce) also allows me to create my own custom Sternguard Veteran squad and another 5 Assault Marines, these two squads need a few other extras but I should be able to get these by spending less than another £15. At the moment budget constraints are preventing me from throwing any more cash at the army until the end of February, by then I should have a few more battles under my belt just in time for the predicted launch of the Storm Raven and a new Furioso Dreadnought.

I hope everyone else had a good Christmas and is ready to tear up 2011 with some 40k Carnage!


Land Speeder Squadron or Attack Bike Squadron?

So as I was looking through the Blood Angels Codex at various options for future purchases my eyes settled on the Fast Attack section of the Army list. Now with options like a Vanguard Veteran Squad and the Baal Predator you would think there would be no contest in what options to pick but my eyes were drawn to the Land Speeders and Attack Bikes. Now I should first make it clear that when assembling an army I think about four things in this order:

1) Cost, how much of a hole is it going to leave in my wallet?
2) Does my force look like a real detachment, i.e. is it 'realistic in context'?
3) Does it look cool?
4) How much whoopass is it going to dish out?

Now cost wise an Attack Bike is
£15ish and a Land Speeder £18ish so the Attack Bike at first
looks like a winner, however you seem
to get a lot of cool accessories with the Land Speeder and more options (more on this later)
As far as in being realistic in context, either of them could fit in with my army theme. Maybe the Land Speeder is a little more Blood Angelesque (tm).
Looks wise I used to hate the current Land Speeder model however over the years it has grown on me. The Attack Bike still looks as cool as it always did.
Now onto the Whoopass factor, the Land Speeder has a couple of advantages over its land bound cousin. it is a skimmer, it can deep strike and it has more weapon options if an upgrade can be afforded. The Attack Bikes main attraction here is it is cheap.

After all this I can not make up my mind, I seem to be leaning toward the Land Speeder but it would be far to easy to load them up with extra weapons and spend more points on them than I want.

Any Ideas?


Blood Angels 1100 point force.

Ok so it's not the 1500 point list I promised but I keep changing my mind with that hypothetical list. Instead what I am posting is the force I would use tomorrow if I had a game. Bearing in mind my collection is still small It is basically all the models I currently have.

Captain, with Power Weapon and Inferno Pistol.

5 Marine Terminator Squad with Cyclone Missile Launcher.

10 Marine Tactical Squad with Missile Launcher and Flamer.
+ Rhino Dedicated Transport with Hunter Killer Missile and Extra Armour.
5 Marine Scout Squad with Heavy Bolter, Melta Bombs and Locator Beacon.
5 Marine Assault Squad with Powerfist and two Plasma Pistols.

Heavy Support
Dreadnought with Multi-Melta and Heavy Armour.
5 Marine Devastator Squad with one Missile Launcher.

Ok so all pretty standard early Space Marine army fayre apart from the underpowered Devastator squad. My reason for including this is that another 5 marines with a missile launcher is a useful little squad to have, Much more useful than a bolter armed Combat Squad in my opinion. I'm happy to trade the ability to capture objectives for a Missile Launcher + Re-roll. It can also be added to as and when.

So what do folk think? It's unlikely to see action this side of the new year by which time there should hopefully be some mechanised reinforcements provided by Santa.


What to do with 15 Tactical Marines

Well I've had everything I want out of my Space Marine Battleforce kit leaving me with 15 Tactical Marines I really don't need.

So my plans are to buy some of the Umbra Ferrox Bolters from Forgeworld and make me a squad of Sternguard. This should be easy with some of the bitz I am already amassing to make them look a little different. I also intend to use the bitz in the Death Company kit to make another five Assault marines, bringing my Assault squad up to full strength.

As a side note I have just attached an old cyclone launcher to one of my Black Reach Terminators giving my Terminator squad some much needed support firepower.

I'm looking forward to what Santa manages to bring me for Christmas, on my list was a Baal Predator and a Razorback to give my force more vehicle based firepower.

Does anyone have any cunning ideas about what I can do with the last five Marines? I could use them as a five man Tactical squad or I could give one the missile launcher and count them as a Devastator squad (to be improved over time).

Well that's it for today, I will be posting an updated 1500 point army list based on what I learnt fighting Robs Dark Eldar in the next few days.

For Baal and Sanguinius!


Blood Angels vs Dark Eldar

Well yesterday was the first proper outing for my semi painted Blood Angels. In the end I was able to muster up exactly 900 points. More or less the same as the army list published in this post. On the other side of the table from me was Rob with his newly assembled Dark Eldar force which consisted of two warrior squads with a heavy weapon of two, a unit of Reavers and two squads of witches, mounted in raiders,fully tooled up and one with a succubus. The scenario was a objective type with us each picking an objective to place in our own deployment zone.

The game ended in a draw on turn five with us having swapped objectives.

Highlights included:

My Rhinos Hunter Killer Missile living up to it's name causing one of the Raiders to explode showering debris and Witches everywhere on turn one.

The remaining Raider and the Witches now on foot sweeping towards my Terminators locking them in a deadly close combat that would last three turns (five Terminators against 16 Witches and a Succubus) on turn two.

My Assault squad managing down the last raider with plasma fire but the same squad members managing to shoot themselves and fail their armour saves in the following turn, The rest of the squad were wiped out in this ill fated attack on the Witches on turn four.

At the end of the game I was left with fours scouts, one tactical sergeant, my Captain and the Rhino. The Dark Eldar still had most of their witches left.

I learnt several things today, Dark Eldar Witches are nasty and should be avoided at all costs! It would help to know a little of the enemies stats and abilities before the game. Space Marine scouts are a nice useful unit if used to correctly and Hunter Killer missiles could be the best ten points you ever spend!


Traveller Campaign

Those who remember a previous post may recall me say I was running a Traveller campaign in February. After a week of Sci-Fi inspiration (working in a bakery would you believe it) I have begun to plan the first couple of adventures. As all but one of the players have never played Traveller before I am hoping to ease them gently into both the setting and the rules so the first adventure about an old deserted starship ( which I have entitled, Long lost suns) will be a number of set encounters to highlight the various aspects of what makes a Traveller game.
The second adventure which is nameless at the moment will revolve around a guerilla war being fought in an asteroid belt which the players find themselves involved in.

On top of this i have also found time to create two backup characters for if any of the players manage to roll up truly unplayable characters on the first night. Both of these characters used the standard random tables but are more than playable.

The first I call the Diplomatic Merchant, whose career has taught him a wide number of skills and given him all he would want to try and strike it out on his own (or with friends)

The second I call the Unlucky Marine, his career has been one failure after another, despite impressive combat skills. With little more than his gun and the clothes on his back he hopes some old friends can get him out of the mire of his current life.

I'm looking forward to running now, can't wait till February. :(

A couple of photos

As promised a couple of shots of my Blood Angels.
Just the Black Reach tactical squad at the moment. was all I had painted when the shots were taken.

Sarge looking all pointy

Posing on a hill

I was quite pleased at how they turned out, probably the first miniatures I have painted in over 8 years.


Blood Angels Update

Well with some furious gluing and painting I have about 900 points of Blood Angels ready to take on the 41st Millennium.

My current force list for a 900 point game would be:


1) Captain 100


1) Terminator Squad (5 man) 200


1) Tactical Squad (10 man, Flamer, Missile Launcher) 170 + Rhino (HK Missile, Ext Armour) 75

2) Scout Squad (5 man, Heavy Bolter, Sgt with melta bomb) 90

3) Assault Squad (5 man, Plasma Pistol, Sgt with Plasma pistol and Power Fist) 155

Heavy Support

1)Dreadnought (Multi-melta) 105

Most of these are painted (with a few exceptions and none of the bases are done) so I hope to get some pictures up soon.

How this force will cope with a cunning adversary remains to be seen.


As the crow flies.

There's something beautifully nostalgic about painting a marine in Mk VI Corvus armour.


New Blood Angels on the way

Looks like the guys at GW are going to adding some new units to the current Blood Angels range. Announced here, it doesn't mention what they are but it makes sense that we are going to see the long awaited Stormraven Gunship of which images were leaked a while ago (search google). Other than that I presume we may see an update of some of the character models (some of which are looking a little tired next to the new Sanguinor and Sanguinary Guard) or maybe a new Furioso Dreadnought but this is pure speculation.

As far as my current Blood Angels force goes I have now painted up one tactical squad and four members of my terminator squad (pictures will be posted soon). Due to the time of year good natural light has been far from common and I'm not a fan of painting by artificial light, hence my slowness in getting my army up and running.

Well I'm supposed to playing Rob again in a week or so, it would be good if I could use my own army this time, however other things like a job interview to prep for on Thursday are going to be more of a priority than painting a few marines. Mifgt try to get an assault squad up and running though.


Horus Rising

This week I picked up a copy of Horus Rising by Dan Abnett. Now in the past I have never been a massive fan of GW published fiction, I found much of it of mediocre quality but Abnetts First Founding series was an exception to this.
In this book (and the series that follow it) we learn about events leading up to and during the Horus Heresy. A period when half the forces of the Imperium rose up in rebellion against the Emperor lead by Warmaster Horus, the Emperors most trusted Primarch.
I can with no word of a lie say, Horus Rising is one of the finest pieces of fantasy fiction I have ever read (and I have read plenty)! What makes this book such a pleasure to read are the characters, they feel like real people dealing with real issues.
If you have in the past been put of buying Black Library novels because of previous poorly written books (The Blood Angels ones spring to mind), then do yourself a favour and go out and buy this one, it is a treat to read and have already started reading it again.


Charlie Don't Surf!

I loved the original Battlefield Vietnam so I may have to pick up a cheap copy of Bad Company 2 just to play the new Vietnam expansion.


Planning my Blood Angels Army

After a good look through Codex Blood Angels and also reading some of the articles on Games Workshops website I have now got a rough plan on how to create my force.

Combined with the models I already have (that came with Assault on Black Reach) I have decided to create the army in two stages,

Games Workshops 40k Battleforce boxed sets (and their Warhammer equivalent) are very good value and the Space Marine is no exception. It provides a nice helping of Troop options to make sure I will have models able to take and hold objectives and a Rhino transport to make sure they can get there fast! The Assault Marines would become Vanguard Veterans to give them better stats and an edge in assault over other Elite units.

Stage 2 Specialist Units.

The first stage only really gives me a Space Marine army, this is deliberate. By learning how to fight with a basic Marine force I should be all the better prepared to drop some specialist Blood Angels units into my force. These first units being Death Company (of course!) and a Baal Predator. These units should give my force a more Blood Angels feel and give the enemy five blood crazed lunatics heading for their HQ units and a nasty shooty and FAST tank to worry about!

This should give me a cost effective and flexible 1500 point Blood Angels force.


Codex Blood Angels

Bought my first 5th edition Codex this weekend, Codex Blood Angels. It looks like I'm going to make another Blood Angels army after all. Upon first glance this current Blood Angels codex is the best one yet, again the Angels excel in close combat with some truly awesome special characters.

I think I'm going to try and create a small Blood Angels task force from the second war of Armageddon. This may or may not result in black trimmed shoulder pads (as the Blood Angels were sporting around the time of second edition 40k)

With the units you get with Assault on Black Reach along with a purchase of the Space Marine Battleforce (along with a few other odds and sods) I hope to have a 1000 point force by Christmas.

Lets just hope my painting technique is better than it used to be :S


Assault on Black Reach

So last Thursday was pay day and I decided to take the plunge and go out and buy myself Assault on Black Reach, the Warhammer 40,000 starter set. Now I haven't really played 40k since second edition so I wasn't to sure what to expect. What I got was everything the second edition felt like it was back in the day.

I won't go over the contents as they can be clearly seen on the Games Workshop website (above link) but I will comment on the quality of the miniatures, they are excellent! well above the standard I was expecting (I've still got some of the original Space Hulk Terminators around here somewhere! They looked like weird toad men!) The asking price is almost worth it for the figures alone.

Getting up and running was pretty easy, most of the figures just clipped together although they all required gluing to the bases. Myself and my girlfriend Becky spent an hour or so putting them all together and we soon had the squads needed for our first games.

Our first couple of games demonstrated a few of things to me,

1) the 40k rules, at their basic core level are very simple, the most complex part of the game turn, the assault phase was fully understood by our second game.

2) Becky is better at 40k then me. She annihilated me in both games!

3) Playing with all grey unpainted figures is very confusing, especially in an assault.

Ok so were there any problems? Not in our first couple of games no, we will be introducing some of the other models in the set in our next game so I will let you all know how that pans out.

As for the whole package I think the only thing I thought the game could have done with is a few intro scenarios to introduce the different pieces (like the second edition boxed set) and maybe more balanced forces in the box (the Space Marines force is approx 30% stronger than the Ork force) although if you take turns playing each side as Becky and I have done this shouldn't matter.

Becky is most excited about getting to paint the Orks, we have a money off voucher for Hobbycraft and our local one stocks GW stuff so I think some paint buying may be in order.

I think the Space Marines will be painted up as classic Blood Angels circa the second battle of Armageddon.

As for the Orks well that will be up to Becky, I'm sure they will look great, I'm sure she is half Ork anyway.

All in all Assault on Black Reach is an excellent introduction to the World of Warhammer 40k, I just hope my wallet can cope!


Job Hunting

Well I have sent off two applications today, one to Codemasters and one to Games Workshop. Lets hope I hear something soon.

New Dark Eldar

I don't even own the 40k rules yet and I'm already planning what I may buy over the next few months.
Just announced by GW is the new Dark Eldar range and believe me they are looking sweet!

The old range of Dark Eldar never did it for me, I always felt the figures just didn't live up to the horrific and calculated savagery the background material attributed to these vile creatures. The new range however looks to do justice to these twisted brethren of the Craftworld Eldar. Just look at some of these images (swiped from GW.com).

Dark Eldar Reavers

Dark Eldar Kabalite Warriors

Dark Eldar Incubi

For more info head over to Games Workshop Dark Eldar Range



As this blog has been dormant for a while regular (lol) readers will probably been under the impression that I was dead.

However this is far from the truth. Over the last few months I have found myself in a job with unsocial hours just to pay the bills, this has left me cherishing any free time I have and unwilling to devote any more time to this blog.

Things are going to change though. I have now graduated from University (with a 2:1 no less) and am now looking for jobs in the gaming field.

I am also getting back into a couple of old hobbies I effectively gave up during my time at university. Them being pen and paper roleplaying and tabetop wargaming.

On the Roleplaying side of things look forward to posts about current
games of Dungeons and Dragons I'm playing in and also a game of Traveller I am planning to run in the new year.

Warhammer 40k.
With me looking to get back into a bit of Warhammer 40k I am going to purchase the new
Assault on Black Reach boxed set this month (I gave away most of my old 40k stuff when I left for Uni), look forward to Lolz as Becky and I get to grips with the contents.

I will also be covering my passion for videogames, With Halo: Reach dominating my life atm I will posting some vids and screenshots of my adventures with Bungies masterpiece
and also with F1 2010 out this month look forward to tales of my rear ending Lewis Hamilton (oo err!)

So thats a little update of what to look forward to.



Nick and Pauls House part II

Paul kindly sent me a couple of pictures of the Wii mentioned in this post:


Nick and Pauls house

I've been staying with a couple of friends in London who do the same course as myself at Uni (BA Games Studies). I think the layout of the front room says a lot about this console generation.

The focal point of the room is a 32" Toshiba HD TV on a wooden stand. In the stand is a PS3 on the left and an Xbox 360 right. There are games scattered everywhere.
There is also a Nintendo Wii in the room but that isn't on the stand. It's round the back being used as a leg to hold the stand up properly.

So there you go, a little anecdote about what gamers think about the usefulness of a Wii

Sort it out Nintendo, real gamers hold you in contempt!


New Ghost Recon Announced

Ubisoft today announced that a new game in the Ghost Recon franchise is on the way. Named Ghost Recon: Future Soldier, The ever popular squad based tactical shooter should be hitting consoles this winter (just in time for Christmas, yipee!) and is also expected to be seen on PC too.

As well as the announcement of the estimated release date, Ubisoft have also stated that an exclusive multi-player beta test will be available to players who purchase Splinter Cell Conviction on Xbox 360 later this year.

I'm looking forward to this game as I've always liked the Ghost Recon series but how the game will compete with the ever dominant CoD Modern Warfare 2 and the launch of Halo Reach remains to be seen.

Source: VG247


Blood Bowl (Xbox360)

Welcome to the world of fantasy football!

For those who don't know, Blood Bowl is videogame based on a board game made by those wonderful people over at Games Workshop. Developed by (in my opinion) one of the greatest board/war game designers ever, Jervis Johnson. It is a game which crosses American Football and Games Workshops own Warhammer universe into a massively violent and enormously fun sports based board game. Two teams made up of warriors from various races face each other over the astro granite and have one simple objective, score more touchdowns than the opposing teams by any means possible. As you can imagine teams made up of Orcs and Elves and Goblins etc. are going to find some pretty violent ways of doing just that. The original game used a unique semi turn based system which allowed the boardgame to be exciting and dynamic and above all fun. I challenge any group of gamers familiar with Blood Bowl not to find an afternoon playing it with mates one of the most fun things you can (legally!) do with little lead miniatures.

Now the videogame was originally developed for the PC and then ported to the 360 and upon playing the game you immediately run into proof that the port was done either in a rush or by a half arsed team. Long load times, tiny illegible menus, slowdown etc. This game is not complex but it seems to make the 360 labour away during what should be simple tasks. I do not expect any title to visibly drop frame rate on a console game, let alone one with graphics as simplistic as Blood Bowl!

Other problems are also apparent. The amount of character customisation appears minimal. You can not even pick your team colours! Also the range of animations and the (admittedly very funny) commentary gets repetitive very quickly. There is a definite lack of polish to this product.

On the plus side there are lots of different ways to play the game with lots of different one of competitions, games and a career type mode where you can lead your team from low division no hopers to the glory of the Blood Bowl.

On a whole what we have here is a good but highly flawed product. It is a perfectly realised adaptation of the Blood Bowl boardgame but the developers have missed a great opportunity to take this videogame version a step beyond the boardgame it digitally recreates. For fans of the original game it is almost an essential purchase and to anyone who even has the slightest interest in the boardgame but doesn't want to spend £60 on it and then have to paint all the figures I would also recommend it but it just wont hold much appeal to anyone who buys it on a whim.

I believe that certain features that are in the PC version have not made it to the 360 version. This makes the port even sloppier however according to the official blood bowl game forums an update is heading to the 360 at the end of February as well as the Dark Elf DLC (although this wont be free like the PC version but this is more a Microsoft thing than anything to do with the game developer)

All in all this is a great game of you are already a fan of the board game, If you can find it cheap (like I did) go for it but if you have a decent PC you would probably be better off getting that version.


Alien vs Predator Demo

So I briefly tried the demo tonight on Xbox Live.

Only a couple of games as a marine but TBH I'm not impressed so far. The controls seem clunky, the textures appear barely current gen and everything just seems out of proportion. I will maybe try a couple more games over the next few days as the Alien and the Predator and see if my opinion changes.

I really want this game to be good, the original AvP on the PC was one of my favourite PC gaming experiences ever and one of only 3 games to truly scare me (the other two being Aliens on the C64 and Silent Hill 2). Lets hope my opinion changes or that the demo is not indicative of the finished products quality. Come on Rebellion don't let us down


Armored Core 5 video released

From Software have offered up a CGI video on Youtube in promotion of the upcoming AC5 game. In the trailer you can clearly see the smaller size of the Mechs compared to earlier games in the series.

Still no info on it's release outside of Japan :(


Afterburner Climax Announcement Trailer.

It's Official, it's on it's way!!!

Youtube Nostalgia Trip II!!!

Thought i would post up a few more music vids I found on the toob.

First up one of the songs from SEGAs Initial D. Dave Rodgers Space Boy. J-Pop at its best!

Next Up some more classic Sega action, this from the Top Gun inspired Afterburner.

And I could resist after hearing the arcade version listen to the fantastic C64 soundtrack, just dont expect much from the game O.o

See you next time for more video game music goodies

A Few Days in London

Well it was the end of the semester and I had lots of coursework due in this week, naturally this involved a trip into Uni. Lots of work was done, a very funny 3D film was made and after transcribing a 25 minute interview about mechanisms of attention in video games I began to doubt the existence of the word "Frustrating".

Despite all this academic torture I did manage to get some gaming
in. A bit of time was spent on a friends PS3 playing Madden 10, Worms and posing as a sultry temptress on PlayStation Home. i also had my first experience of the gamerbase LAN centre in the Trocadero. Playing my first PC FPS in years. MW2 is way more twitchy on PC and lots more jumping is done. The controls just lend themselves to a different gaming style I guess. My left handedness didn't really help either as my fingers just weren't in the right place for the various buttons I needed to press. I did get to play some Eve there too, my god that game is beautiful on a decent PC with a big high quality monitor.

I also popped into my previous local arcade for a few credits on DoDonPachi DFK still hitting a wall on level 4 with a score of about 1.4 billion. None of the other shooter crowd were in so I had my credits and left.

The most fun of the few days though were my credits with
Afterburner Climax again at the
Trocadero. climbing into the moving mock-up ejector seat makes me feel ten years old again pulling loop the loops and gunning down scores of enemy fighters. All I can say is that this is what arcade gaming is all about, sod Final Fantasy, GTA IV and various other games that take up your entire life for about three months, get some cash, go down to Troc and get your arse onto that game. It is an experience (almost) worth the £2 a credit the thieving gits at Troc are charging . I can not wait to get the Xbox Live version when it comes out this year, even without the moving cabinet, It's gonna be schweet!


Eve Weekly Update 2

Ok so it's been a little over a week but never mind.

Several big things have happened this week.

1) Our corporation has left the SoL alliance. to be honest there didn't seem to be much reason for us to stay in the alliance. Very few alliance operations were being run, we seemed to be giving a lot of valuble reasorces to them with no benifit to ourselves. In the end I think out CEO just got sick of it and pulled the plug. Hopefully we can continue to grow as a Corp and find a better alliance to join in the future.

2) I had a couple of adventures in Low-Sec space. The first one ended badly with the loss of a Hurricane Battlecruiser to a few pirate frigates but it was my own fault, I wasn't fitted out correctly and it was a learning experience (I won't make that mistake again and at least I got out with my Pod intact!) the second was an little corp tour of the local low-sec systems. Although we didnt find any combat action we did get a good feel for the terrain and met some interesting folks in local chat.

I'm still training towards my Prowler and I am still trying to get my head around the market system. Hopefully within a week or two I will begin doing some trading runs between Jita and Molden Heath to see what products are profitable.

I'm also spending a little more time on the Eve forums hoping to learn a bit more about the game. It seems a nice enough place as long as you don't say anything stupid :)


Mushihime-sama Futari

I have finally got a hold of a copy of Mushihime-sama Futari from the nice people at Game Focus on Londons Goodge Street.

Unfortunatly I am not going to get a chance to play it for a fair few hours as Im at Uni in London and my Xbox is in Gloucestershire.

Watch out for more info soon.


Youtube nostalgia trip

I was having a cruise around Youtube checking out some old videogame themed videos and thought I would share a few with you today.

There is a Commodre 64 theme here, most of these tune send shivers up my spine when I hear them today and I truly believe the C64's SID sound chip was one of the greatest sound generating devices of all time (one of the reasons I own two C64's is because there are 2 models of SID chip.

First up,
Ocean Load Music version 4.
This was possibly the very first tune I heard on the Christmas day I got my C64. a great atmospheric tack.

Next an arcade conversion, Outruns famous
Magical Sound Shower (ala SID chip!)

and what SID chip tune article could be complete without possibly the greatest C64 tune of them all,
Sanxion (Load Music)

Hope you enjoy :P

This Week i have Been Mostly Playing... (7)

Sorry about the delay on this post but it's been one hell of a week here with Pc's blowing up, then cars blowing up and then all sorts of other stuff going on but fear not I am here and ready to update you with my weeks gaming fun.

Xbox 360


As soon as I started reading about this game I knew I had to own it and I am far from disappointed. It's quite different to most games I play and it is taking me a while to get used to the combat system but the game is so easy on the eye (and I'm not just talking about Bayonetta's rear end!) the whole graphical style of the game is fantastic. Get this game it is nuts!

Forza III

For all those petrol based fantasies I have Forza lets me act out most of them on my Xbox, I can not over state how good this game is for anyone with even the slightest interest in a realistic driving game. GT5 has a hell of a job to live up to this.

Mushimhe-sama Futari

Don't ask me how much I paid for this import, lets just say I was prepared to pay more if needed to get my hands on this Cave shooter. I am not disappointed, the game is a wonder and surprisingly accessible to those people looking for a more casual bullet hell experience (even my GF has 1cc'd it on novice mode) If you have the means I would highly recommend picking it up.

Fallout 3

Due to a Uni assignment about game aesthetics I have been playing a little more Fallout 3 as it seems as good a game to study as any other. Needless to say I have lost several hours studying time to just wandering around the wasteland and shooting Robobrains, Rad Scorpions and various other wasteland denizens. I must get around to trying some of the DLC for it.


Silent Hunter IV
A new PC due to a rapid laptop death has at last allowed me play Silent Hunter IV Wolves of the Pacific. I'm not sure if I like it as much as the previous games set in the Atlantic though as I just have very little interest in the WWII Pacific theatre as a whole. Only time will tell but with so many other games needing my attention I'm not sure I will coming back to this game for a while.


This Week i have Been Mostly Playing... (6)

Xbox 360
Operation Flashpoint: Dragon Rising.

It has taken me over a week to complete this FPS (on normal difficulty too!). This game is not without its flaws but it is a unique FPS and well worth checking out if you like to use a bit of grey matter in your games.

Forza Motorsport III.
The best racing series just keeps getting better. I've
been pining after this game for months and i was finally able to pick it up after Christmas. well worth the wait and it has lived up to all expectations. cars are beautiful tracks are amazing and the user interface is a nice improvement over Forza II

Tom Clancy's H.A.W.X.

Picked this up on a whim and it is great fun. Do you enjoy in depth simulations with manuals you could hollow out and live in? Well this isn't one of them, it's
a pure arcade flight sim. Oh and I seem to be quite good at it if my performance in multi-player is anything to go by.

Gratuitous Space Battles.
If you like space and like blowing things up I suggest picking up this game. A sort of cross between a tower defence game and an RTS. You basicly build your ships, arrange your fleet, give it some basic tactics and then sit back as it takes on your opponents fleet with quality 2D graphics. There is even a demo to try it out so go on try it today, you will not be dissapointed.

Fritz Chess 12.
Okay a little secret about me, I love chess. I was given this software by a journalist friend of mine who had received it through work, he didn't know much about it so he gave it to me. For those who don't know, Fritz is one of the best pieces of chess software and earlier versions have drawn games against the likes of Garry Kasparov. Needless to say Fritz at full power is well beyond my chessic abilities, but it is a wonderful training tool and comes with millions of games to study and learn from.


Operation Flashpoint: Dragon Rising

Modern games have a reputation of being easy compared to the classic games of our youth. No longer is the question 'have you competed it?' it is now 'how long did it take?'. In the genre of current generation first person shooters we feel satisfied if a games main campaign takes 5-6 hours and we get the usual multi-player shenanigans. Now this game is a little different, its sheer difficulty level gives it longevity of a type not seen in most FPS games.

Now Codemasters Operation Flashpoint: Dragon Rising (from here on referred to as OF:DR) Is billed as a tactical shooter along the lines of Ubisofts Tom Clancy games like Ghost Recon and Rainbow Six. Set on the fictional Russian owned island of Skira (somewhere in the hotly contested Kuril island chain) you are play as various members of a US Marine Expeditionary Force sent to retake the island from Chinese forces to try and prevent a war between the Russians and the Chinese. Mission objectives range from taking out radar sites, rescuing POW's, sabotaging fuel depots and attacking airfields. All done with a nice touch of realism.
By realism I mean you die a lot!

Think Halo 3's Legendary or Modern Warfares Veteran and add extra frustration. The number of times you will be scooting through some bushes just to have your head taken off by some sniper you didn't see 400 meters away will make you scream ( and this is on normal difficulty!).

On top of that the friendly AI leaves a lot to be desired (as does the rotary menu system used to control them) leaving you struggling to control your squad of four in the middle of fire fights. The AI's reaction to incoming fire leaves a little be desired also.
The game also occasionally disappoints in the realism factor it seems to try so hard to convey. You as a lowly marine can fly helicopters and drive APC's and tanks. You are also expected to loot enemy forces to access the weapons needed to complete missions ( I thought this was the USMC not the British Army!). In a game trying to be realistic ( to the point that you can not select your weapon load out at the beginning of a mission, taking only what uncle Sam sees fit to give you ) you would think that these other game play over realism factors would have been stamped out too.

Despite these flaws I really enjoy OF:DR. When it works properly it gives an immense sense of satisfaction. Missions need you to use tactics and plan your moves in advance otherwise you will quickly end up in a bloody mess on the floor. This process however is the most enjoyable aspect of the game. In one mission for example you are behind enemy lines tasked with calling in an air strike on a radio station while also tracking an enemy officer. Do it right and you end up calling in the air strike as he enters the base and you then have to exit the area while the rest of the Chinese forces start looking for you, You then end up in a tense yomp across enemy territory, dodging enemy patrols and avoiding ambushes. Needles to say this mission was one of the most tense 45 minute I have had on my 360 and by the end of it, despite having been caught in an ambush I had expended all of 8 rounds of ammunition.

Good Points:
The most realistic FPS you will find on a console.
Well constructed missions.
Nice Graphics and effects.
Great sense of achievement when missions are completed
Bad Points:
Poor friendly (and enemy) AI at times
user unfriendly command interface.
illogical balances between realism and game play at times

I hope Operation Flashpoint becomes a console franchise. It would be nice to see how Codemasters could iron out the problems with this release and produce a fantastic tactical shooter.



Eve Weekly Update 1

Hopefully a start of a new series charting my progress through the wonderful world of Eve online.

First a quick overview:
I have been playing Eve for just under six months and am a member of a PC Corporation called the Deorbit Burners (which is part of a larger alliance). We make our money mainly by mining, production and trading.
In December I finally managed to get my mining skills up to a level sufficient to fly the Hulk mining barge only to have the price of the Hulk sky rocket after the release of the Dominion patch. I decided to buy a Maelstrom battleship instead and do some harder NPC missions.

This week:
I have returned to mining in my trusty Covetor this week, mining the asteroid belts of Eldulf whenever I have had the chance. I have also done a bit of ice mining in the nearby systems and taken part in a large alliance fleet mining operation. The alliance fleet op was cool. we had a fleet with seven Hulks three Orcas and various other ships all mining away. We cleared a large asteroid belt in Horaka in less than 50 minutes!

Training wise I have decided to halt my combat skills training in favour of training towards a Prowler freighter. As we live in a high-sec bubble in Eldulf with the notorious pirate infested system of Atlar between us and the best trading hubs, a sneaky freighter like the prowler would be a useful ship to have.

Well that's it for now. See you all next week.


Hawx multi-player I am Top Gun!

Well I picked up Tom Clancy's H.A.W.X. last week for the barganus sum of £12. Personally I like all of the Tom Clancy games I have played this generation (all of them apart from R62) and H.A.W.X is a decent enough and enjoyable game with a nice single player (and drop in/out co-op) campaign. I played the multi-player VS mode tonght for the first time though and was very surprised. In my first game, with players of a superior rank I (pardon the following leet speak) PWND them! I couldn't believe it, next game was the same, and the next too. At first I thought it was because I was using some noobtoobesque (good word, eh?) technique but no, I am just awesome at it!

Ooooh Yeah Welcome to the Danger Zone!

Yo Ho Ho and a Happy New Year!

Well after a sort of self enforced absence I am back. to spread my thoughts and opinions into the hearts and minds of those people who read my little blog. The last few months have been a little sparse but I hope to liven things up around here over the next few weeks.

Watch out world MCT is back!
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