Search Site

Recent Posts

Categories

YouTube Twitch Twitter
Copper Ice, Blogger, Nerd
Snooker Nation

Snooker Nation February 2022

Because of sickness on my part Jason and I only played 2 of a potential of 4 matches this month. Perhaps it is just as well since Jason required treatment which might have impaired his vision. We end February equal having won 3 matches each but what makes a change is that I have more century breaks than Jason so far this season. Perhaps I am playing better than usual.

11/02/2022 – Match 160

While I feel like I played fairly well, Jason must have played better by winning this match 6 frames to 4. In frame 2 I decided to try and practise hitting the pack of reds off of 2 cushions. The idea is that in Snooker Nation you’re shown the trajectory of the cue ball after it hits either the first ball or cushion, after that it’s down to the player to try and predict. After missing the pack of reds, which is a foul, Jason is able to make me re-take the shot. The second time I got close, but still missed and Jason made me re-take the shot again. I know that there is a rule whereby if you miss 3 times in a row when not snookered (nothing is in the line of sight of the cue ball and object ball) you for forfeit the frame. I was so confident that I played the same shot again and, while it was close, I still missed and lost the frame. I think in the history of Snooker Nation between Jason and myself it is the first time one of us has forfeit a frame. Other than that there were 5 century breaks in total, I scored 144 in frame 3, 114 in frame 4 but missed the final yellow and 111 in frame 7 but once again missed the final yellow. Jason had 104 in frame 6 and finished with 117 in frame 10.

18/02/2022 – Match 161

I have to say the first frame of this match was awful, both Jason and I missed easy shots, had bad positional play and I managed to screw up safety shots. Thankfully this wasn’t a sign of what was to come and I won 6 frames to 3. I scored the only centuries of the match, 123 in frame 2 and 110 in frame 8. I would have scored a century in frame 9 but got a bit unlucky by potting the white ball.

Season 6 ( January – June 2022) statistics

Played Won Frames Won Centuries Highest Break
Copper 6 3 29 10 147
Jason 6 3 25 6 137

 


Final Fantasy IX Part 1

Final Fantasy IX Part 1

For almost 2 weeks now I have been casually playing perhaps one of my favourite video game titles, Final Fantasy IX. Because Final Fantasy IX is a fairly long game, I have decided to blog about it in 2 parts. Right now I have put in approximately 25 hours play time and have just about completed what would have been disc 2 of 4.

Final Fantasy IX is a Japanese Role-playing game (JRPG) for the PlayStation and was released in the summer of 2000. Developed and published by Square before it merged with Enix, I believe Final Fantasy IX is possibly the last masterpiece created by Square. I have no doubt that many people will disagree with that opinion, especially when it comes to Final Fantasy X which was released in 2002 in the EU. Final Fantasy IX was released at the end of the PlayStation lifespan as the current generation of games console, showing us what the PlayStation was capable of before the dawn of a new era in games consoles.

Final Fantasy IX Fan Art

I first heard about Final Fantasy IX when I saw a TV advertisement for it. Believe it or not a TV add for a video game, at least in the UK back in 2000, was pretty unusual. Being a gamer was still taboo, but things were starting to change. My mother, who has always shown me kindness, generosity, support and love bought the game for me shortly after release and even bought the official strategy guide to go with it as an additional surprize. Sadly my strategy guide was stolen which for years left me feeling kind of empty and bitter. Recently however I got replacement after I sourced a brand new one still in its wrapping. Because I am a sentimental geezer, I asked my mother if she would buy it for my birthday last year. Because of this I think both the PlayStation game and strategy guide are among my most prized possessions.

To be honest, when I first started playing Final Fantasy IX, I wasn’t very keen on the setting and didn’t really think much of the characters. I was disappointed but kept going to find that the sort of steampunk setting grew on me and as the story started to unfold, I was hooked. For me Final Fantasy IX is much better than the previous game in the series, Final Fantasy VIII, and while this is not a particularly difficult game, it is one of the more difficult Final Fantasy games and features some excellent ‘mini’ games which include chocobo treasure hunting and a card game. As you can see from my screenshot below, right now I only have 22 out of 100 unique cards and have only won 4 games.

Final Fantasy IX Cards Part 1

For a few years now I have wanted to re-play through Final Fantasy IX, but I don’t want to rush it. In part 2 I want to write about how I have completed the game so that I can add it to my list of completed games, but I also feel like I want to to improve my card collection, treasure hunting mini game and defeat some of the optional bosses and side quests with highly trained and well equipped characters.


Snooker Nation

Snooker Nation January 2022

After the first month of Snooker Nation season 6, both Jason and I have won 2 matches each, making this a month of two halves. At the end of the month I managed to score a maximum break of 147 which I am quite proud of and is the first maximum break since season 4 in April 2021. With 5 more months of season 6 ahead of us, there isn’t much point looking at the statistics, but technically January ends with me in the lead by frames won difference.

07/01/2021 – Match 156

It’s been a good start to the month, year and season of Snooker Nation for me, winning 6 frames to 3. That said I am sure Jason would agree that neither of us played particularly well this week with both of us missing relatively easy shots and consistently failing to secure century breaks. Neither of us were especially unlucky, I just think we were both out of practise having not played for a few weeks. Also, we hadn’t spoken for a while and had some catching up to do which always takes priority. There was just 1 century break, 126, which I scored in frame 9.

14/01/2022 – Match 157

Not a good match for Jason who lost 6 frames to 1. I am sure he will not mind me saying that his eye sight, which has never been particularly good, has recently deteriorated and is pending treatment. Because of this I think this is probably one of his worst performances playing Snooker Nation. I didn’t play very well either and missed quite a few shots and made some poor decisions which ordinarily would have cost me frames, perhaps even the match. There was 1 century break of 123 which I scored in frame 3, but I missed the final blue. Had I potted the blue, pink and black I would have scored 141, which is huge. As well as struggling to see, Jason also had a run of bad luck having potted the white ball on at least two occasions. I really hope his luck changes, and more importantly he gets better soon.

21/01/2022 – Match 158

While Jason’s eyesight hasn’t got much better, his luck has certainly changed. We both played reasonably well but I ultimately lost the match 6 frames to 3. There were 3 century breaks in total, I started with 100 in frame 1, Jason followed up with 119 in frame 2 and also scored 105 in frame 8 which could have been 130 if he hadn’t of missed the final green. We should have scored around 6 century breaks between us, Jason had a break of 99 in frame 3 but ran out of position on the final yellow, I also failed to pot the final yellow in frame 6 and in frame 7 Jason couldn’t quite manage a century.

28/01/2022 – Match 159

It turns out to be a month of two halves with Jason winning 6 frames to 4. I am especially disappointed to have lost this match as at one stage I was winning 3 frames to 1, but after scoring a maximum break of 147 in frame 3 I think my concentration started to go down hill. As well as a maximum break in frame 3, I also scored 101 in frame 2 but missed the final red. Jason scored a century of his own of 137 in frame 8, setting a new high break for him. At times we were both playing quite well, but there were some really bad misses and scrappy frames this week, especially frame 6 where both Jason and I kept potting the white ball!

Season 6 ( January – June 2022) statistics

Played Won Frames Won Centuries Highest Break
Copper 4 2 19 5 147
Jason 4 2 16 4 137

 


Terminator: Resistance Annihilation Line

Terminator: Resistance Annihilation Line

Not long ago I played and completed Terminator: Resistance Annihilation Line DLC (Downloadable Content) for Terminator: Resistance which I wrote about back in December. Because I enjoyed Terminator: Resistance so much I wanted to wait a while so that I could enjoy looking forward to playing Annihilation Line. But I couldn’t wait any longer.

Once again, as a fan of the Terminator franchise I am hugely impressed with this DLC. The storyline fits extremely well with what we see and know from the first two Terminator films. Everything from the setting, the terminators, resistance fighters, weapons, vehicles and even the soundtrack is exactly how it should be if this were to be an extension of James Cameron’s The Terminator and Terminator 2: Judgement Day masterpiece. That’s not to say Teyon, the developers of Terminator: Resistance and Annihilation Line are lacking in imagination, the story lines are truly excellent and well executed. Teyon also worked with Dark Horse Comics who published a digital comic book ‘Terminator: Resistance Zero Day Exploit’ which expands upon two important characters in the game, Commander Baron and Dr Mack.

Terminator: Resistance Zero Day Exploit Comic

Teyon have stated that Annihilation Line will be the only DLC that will be developed for Terminator: Resistance. On one hand this makes me quite sad, I would like nothing more than more content. But on the other hand I applaud Teyon for being open from the start and for not spoiling the game by milking it to death. In my opinion there comes a point with any film, TV, video game franchise where less is more and I think Teyon have identified that at the right time for their game.

As well as completing Annihilation Line on the ‘normal’ difficulty setting, which I will add to my list of completed games, I have completed the original Terminator: Resistance game a second time on the ‘hard’ difficulty setting. While it was fun to play through the game on a harder difficulty setting, nothing can beat the first play through as the story unfolded.


Star Wars Battlefront

Star Wars Battlefront

Just before Christmas I saw that Star Wars Battlefront and many other EA (Electronic Arts) games were on sale. I have been somewhat of a fan of the Star Wars franchise for as long as I can remember, as a child I had a millennium falcon toy with figures, collected some of the Star Wars customizable card game and frequently watched the early films. When I saw that I could buy Star Wars Battlefront and Star Wars Battlefront II which are ‘AAA‘ games for less than £8.00 I just had to.

I always knew that the Star Wars Battlefront games were primarily online PvP (Player vs Player) multiplayer first-person shooters, which typically do not interest me very much. I had hoped however that there would be a linear solo campaign to play through. When it comes to Star Wars Battlefront however I was left disappointed. There are things you can do solo or with a friend, short battles, skirmishes and a survival mode where you need to defeat 15 waves of enemies, but without any kind of story or feeling of progression I very quickly found this game boring.

Star Wars Battlefront A Wing

Don’t get me wrong, I can see that this is an excellent game, especially for Star Wars fans. But if like me you’re not interested in online first-person shooter PvP, there really isn’t much you can do. One thing which really annoys me however is the necessity to install Origin, a ‘digital distribution platform’ for EA and set up a user profile. Gone are the days you insert a CD/DVD/Cartridge into your computer/console and just play. I already have Steam as a ‘digital distribution platform’ but apparently that’s not enough to play EA games.

I did intend to complete all of the single player content so that I could add it to my list of completed games, I think I have done about 75% of it but just can’t bring myself to do the rest. I still have Star Wars Battlefront II to try but I think it will probably be much the same so I will leave it for now.


Terminator Resistance

Terminator: Resistance

About a week ago I saw that Terminator: Resistance, a relatively new game released towards the end of 2019 was on sale for less than £20. I was looking for a new game and as a big fan of the film ‘The Terminator‘ I couldn’t help but buy it and give it a try. What followed is about 20 hours of some of the best gaming I have had in years. The game is a linear first person shooter set in post apocalyptic California which is being overrun with terminators. You play as a member of the resistance called Jacob Rivers and go on a variety of different missions with optional side objectives. As you perform certain actions and complete objectives you gain experience and levels which give you skill points to spend unlocking different abilities.

At face value Terminator: Resistance is probably a mediocre game. There are many first person shooter games which offer the same game play, you can go in all guns blazing, sneak around avoiding encounters, pick locks, craft using collected crafting materials, are given options when interacting with NPCs (non-player characters), all very standard stuff. Where Terminator: Resistance separates itself from other games is just how well the developers, Teyon, managed to capture James Cameron’s vision of the future in the Terminator franchise. Everything from the atmosphere, the look of the terminators, the weapons, the resistance uniforms, vehicles, everything is exactly how it is portrayed in the first two terminator films. The developers must be big fans of these films and must have studied them in detail before capturing its essence in their game. It’s quite frankly amazing and I got a lot of nerd chills from it.

Spoiler alert: Below is a video of me playing through the final mission ‘No Fate’.

As well as capturing the essence of the terminator films, the game features countless film references and an excellent soundtrack. Unlike some of the later films in the franchise, Terminator: Resistance actually fits in really well as part of the story. I always wanted a terminator film set in the future, to show how John Connor defeated Skynet, which I kind of got with Terminator: Salvation in 2009, but I was left disappointed. Terminator: Resistance should have been that film.

Having completed the game on ‘normal’ difficulty, I am happy to add Terminator: Resistance to my list of completed games. I actually feel a little sad that I have completed the game, I just didn’t want the game to end. If there is any real criticism I have for Terminator: Resistance is that it’s a little short and a bit of an easy game. I completed the game in about 20 hours play time and that’s with taking my time exploring and completing all of the optional side missions. There is a new ‘infiltrator mode’ where I assume you play as a Skynet infiltrator, but I am not sure that will interest me. As it happens just before I bought the game a new campaign became available, Terminator: Resistance Annihilation Line which currently costs around £13. Considering how much I enjoyed the main campaign I will most certainly be buying this DLC, but I want to savour the opportunity for a while rather than rush into it.


Snooker Nation

Snooker Nation December 2021

Snooker Nation December 2021 marks the end of Season 5 with me as the victor, winning 12 matches to 9. I also have the highest break for the season of 144 but is a bit of a sore point because on no less than 3 occasions I was close to scoring a maximum break of 147 but failed to get position on the final red. Although I won 21 more frames than Jason this season, Jason scored 3 more centuries than I did which makes it quite clear that he is much more likely to score a century than I am. This is also highlighted in the lifetime statistics of seasons 1 – 5.

03/12/2021 – Match 153

For a change it has been a bad start to the month of Snooker Nation for me with Jason beating me 6 frames to 3, ending my 5 match win streak and keeping him in with a chance to win the season. What’s worse is that once again I have failed to score any century breaks. Jason on the other hand scored 5 century breaks which I believe is a first, I do not recall either Jason or I scoring 5 century breaks in a single match before. He scored 117 in frame 1, 135 in frame 2, 124 in frame 4, another 135 in frame 5 and a massive 140 in frame 8. It would have been 6 century breaks but he missed a shot on the final red while on a break of 92 in the final frame. I felt quite unlucky because on at least 3 occasions I somehow managed to pot the wrong colour ball as well as the object ball in the early stages of 3 frames, effectively handing them over to Jason to win. It would be wrong of me to suggest my loss was all due to bad luck alone, Jason played very well and fully deserved the win.

10/12/2021 – Match 154

Jason continues to hang on this season by winning 6 frames to 2. Thankfully I managed to scored 2 century breaks, 115 in frame 2 and 112 in frame 6, this is after 3 weeks without scoring a single century. Jason on the hand scored 107 in frame 3, 117 in frame 5 and 116 in frame 8. Jason could have scored 145 in frame 8, which would have made a new season highest break but he managed to snooker himself on the final green. For the most part we played well, on this occasion however my safety play was somewhat lacking.

17/12/2021 – Match 155

This match marks the end of Snooker Nation season 5 between Jason and I. In part because I won 6 frames to 3, making it impossible for Jason to win the season and in part because we have agreed not to play the next two matches on account of them falling on Christmas Eve and New Years Eve. It was a good match to end on, with a total of 5 century breaks between us. I scored 109 in frame 3, another 109 in frame 5 and 131 in frame 8 leaving Jason with 139 in frame 2 and 123 in frame 7. In frame 6 there was some last minute safety play with just 2 red on the table which is pretty unusual, however the only arguably bad frame was 9th and final frame of the season, which saw both of us miss some fairly simple shots.

Season 5 (July – December 2021) statistics

Played Won Frames Won Centuries Highest Break
Copper 21 12 107 36 144
Jason 21 9 86 39 142

 

Seasons 1 – 5 (June 2019 – December 2021) lifetime statistics

Played Won Frames Won Centuries Highest Break
Copper 118 61 534 139 147 x 5
Jason 118 57 503 166 147 x 2

 


Command & Conquer Red Alert Remastered

Command & Conquer Red Alert Remastered

Since my previous blog post, I have been playing Command & Conquer Red Alert Remastered, part of the Command & Conquer (C&C) Remastered collection which I bought on sale for less than £10.00. C&C Red Alert is a game I never owned on the PlayStation, yet I still have some fond memories playing my first ever LAN (Local Area Network) game with it by bringing my PlayStation to a friends house. Since then I haven’t played many LAN games, but that was certainly the first. The remastered version of C&C Red Alert has a number of new features which includes support for online play, replays / observer mode, a ‘bonus gallery’ which contains footage from the making of the cut scenes and a remastered version of the iconic game soundtrack with bonus soundtracks which were never part of the original game.

Command & Conquer Red Alert Remastered Options

As with the original C&C game players are given two factions to choose from, in this case either the Allies or the Soviets. The setting of the game is quite interesting in that physicist Albert Einstein invents a ‘chronosphere’ which sends him back in time to prevent Adolf Hitler from starting a world war. What happens instead is that there is a world war between the Allies (which includes Germany) and the Soviets. In this case I could not help but choose the Allies and completed the 14 missions necessary to win the war on the ‘normal’ difficulty setting which I think is just enough to add C&C Red Alert to my list of completed games since I started blogging.

While there is a lot more I could do with C&C Red Alert, including a Soviet playthrough, skirmishes vs the AI, online games and a healthy modding community, I just can’t get over how ‘clunky’ and awkward the game can be. I will however keep an eye out for other games in the series which I haven’t played, even if I do not think they can be ever as good as my favourite RTS (Real Time Strategy) game, StarCraft.


Command & Conquer

Command & Conquer Remastered

Last week I noticed that the relatively new Command & Conquer Remastered collection was on sale. While I do own the PlayStation version of Command & Conquer (C&C), which I could play using my PlayStation 2, I couldn’t resist trying the remastered version.

At the start of the game you choose whether or not you want to play as GDI (Global Defense Initiative) or Brotherhood of Nod. There are similarities between the two factions but the units they deploy for the most part are quite different, giving a different game play experience and storyline. I decided to play GDI and today managed to successfully complete the 15 mission campaign on normal difficulty. I think I have done just enough to add C&C to my list of completed games, even though there is the Brotherhood of Nod campaign and additional bonus covert ops missions.

As well as improved graphics there are a number of new features, one such feature is a ‘bonus gallery’ which shows the cut scene actors performing their parts in the making of the game. Other features include a map editor, support for online skirmishes and the ability to watch replays of online games, including those of other players.

Command & Conquer Bonus Gallery

As far as I know C&C is one of the first RTS (real time strategy) games ever made and was released back in 1995. As I have mentioned I have the PlayStation version of the game, which was given to me sometime in the late 1990’s when the game was part of the ‘platinum’ range. What’s pretty unique about C&C on the PlayStation is that it didn’t support saving your progress on a memory card. Instead after completing a mission you were given a code and by using the code you would resume where you left off. I seem to remember it worked pretty well and I neatly wrote down each code in the notes section of the player guide.

Being an early RTS game, it’s really ‘clunky’ and difficult to control the units compared to more modern games of the genre, such as StarCraft 2. After playing C&C remastered for around 20 hours, I honestly don’t know how I ever played it on the PlayStation. The units are so difficult to control and quite often have a mind of their own. Some people might even think the game is riddled with bugs when in actual fact it’s real game play. I found some of the missions pretty challenging and needed to restart some of them several times, purely because of how difficult it is to control the units.

The C&C remastered collection also included the second C&C game in the series, Red Alert. When I get around to playing it I hope to find that the unit AI (artificial intelligence) is a little better and less frustrating.


Snooker Nation

Snooker Nation November 2021

Ending November with me ahead 11 matches to 7 has put Jason in an almost impossible spot for winning season 5. There are a potential of 5 matches in December, all of which he will need to win. What’s worse is that it’s probable that we may not play 1 or 2 of those matches because they fall on Christmas Eve and New Years Eve where one or both of us will probably have plans to spend time with family. Jason can’t even hope for winning 4 matches and beating me by frames won difference because even if he somehow by a small miracle win every single frame in those 4 matches he would still lose the season by 1 frame.

05/11/2021 – Match 149

It’s become a bit of a mantra these last few months but this match marks another good start to this month of Snooker Nation for me. What’s a little different this time around however is that I managed to win 6 frames to 0. I am not particularly proud of winning this way, it is by no means a reflection of Jason’s ability to play Snooker Nation. Besides, Jason has beaten me in this way on at least 1 occasion, perhaps twice. It’s safe to say nothing was going his way this week, there was an element of bad luck but he also missed a few of his shots, mostly by not putting enough power into the shot leaving the object ball hanging over the pocket. I on the other hand played quite well, in frame 4 I scored a century of 112 points but ran out of position on the final red in 147 break potential. I also scored 102 in frame 3.

12/11/2021 – Match 150

Another good match for me, winning 6 frames to 4. Once again however I missed out on scoring a maximum break of 147, this time in frame 1. Just like last week I scored 112 and ran out of position on the final red which is disappointing to say the least. I would like at least one of us to score a maximum break this season. I scored another 2 centuries, 136 in frame 6 and 107 in frame 7. Jason secured one of his own in frame 8, scoring a massive 142, matching his highest break so far this season. Altogether each frame was fairly smooth apart from the 10th and final frame which was a little scrappy.

19/11/2021 – Match 151

For the most part this was a rather boring match of Snooker Nation, while I managed to win 6 frames to 2, extending my win lead and win streak, I did not manage to score single century break. Jason scored 114 in frame 2 but I think he has started to accept defeat this season and kind of gave up towards the end. With a potential of 6 more matches to play, which could easily end up only being 5, maybe even 4 over the Christmas break, he needs to start winning to have a chance.

26/11/2021 – Match 152

Winning 6 frames to 5 has given me a 5 match win streak and means that I have won every match this November. For the most part we both played reasonably well, other than frame 1 and 2 being slightly scrappy. What bothers me however is that for the second match in a row I have failed to score a century break. Jason on the other hand secured 135 in frame 8 and 110 in frame 9. It’s now safe to say Jason will in all likelihood lose season 5 of Snooker Nation but the statistics are showing that he is much more likely than me to get a century when he wins a frame.

Season 5 (July – December 2021) statistics

Played Won Frames Won Centuries Highest Break
Copper 18 11 96 31 144
Jason 18 7 71 29 142

 


« Previous PostsNewer Posts »