In case you were hoping to play Halo: It’s still broken

I have many fond memories of spending Thanksgiving nights playing Halo with family members, and if you were hoping to relive your own Halo festivities this Thanksgiving with Master Chief Collection you’ll probably be disappointed.

Despite yet another patch getting released yesterday, I am STILL unable to get into any Master Chief Collection matches. I’ve been trying for the last ten minutes (entirely too long) and have gotten nowhere.

I did however get stuck with the Connection Failed message that is now appearing behind all of the menus and won’t go away, so there’s that.

Master Chief Collection Connection Failed


Happy Thanksgiving from A Video Game Life!

Good morning and happy Thanksgiving! I hope you’re able to enjoy the holiday, food, friends and family throughout the day.

I’m heading to the gym to start my day off with a run and then I’ll probably do some reading while my girlfriend finishes her last minute cooking before we head off to spend the day with her family.

The other day I ordered this chair on Amazon (Urban Shop Dream Chair with memory foam) and I’m quite excited to sit in it and read the New York Times by the window. I really love the fabric of the chair and the fact that it’s incredibly sturdy and rigid, rather than something you sink into. I love chairs that are very supportive when I’m reading (or even playing video games) and I’m glad I made this purchase.

urban shop dream chair


I set up my Verismo coffee / espresso maker next to it and I can’t wait to read and enjoy great coffee in the mornings! I also have my record player in the corner so I can enjoy some great vinyl as well.



Enjoy your Thanksgiving!

Halo Master Chief Collection is finally working….somewhat

Searching for players…

I’m so sick of seeing that every time I boot up the Master Chief Collection and try to get into a multiplayer match. I’ve tried on and off for the last two weeks and still have not been able to reliably find matches. This weekend there has been some improvement, but the matchmaking process is still not flawless. 343 put out a patch last week that seemed to improve the matchmaking process for most people, yet I’ve found the matchmaking process still to be slower than it should be. Also, they have yet to add all of the other playlists they removed (such as Team SWAT) which is disappointing.

I’ve been able to find a few matches this evening with wait times as low as a minute (a massive improvement over launch week where I’d have to continuously back out of matchmaking and retry for 15 minutes or longer just to get into a single match).

I should be excited that I can finally play some Halo multiplayer, however with Dragon Age, GTA V and Farcry 4 now out, Halo is probably going to take a backseat for awhile. The Master Chief Collection was one of my most anticipated games of the year, but its rocky launch has soured my attitude toward the collection right now and I’m having too great a time with Dragon Age and GTA to even think very much about Halo right now.

I’ve read that Microsoft has been honoring requests for refunds for those who own digital copies of the Master Chief Collection, however I think in the long run once everything is working smoothly I’ll still be happy to own the collection. One thing I can say is I probably won’t be buying Halo 5 during launch week now.

Has the Master Chief Collection’s launch affected your excitement for Halo 5 or future Microsoft games? Are you going to be sticking with Master Chief Collection or are you have you already given up hope?

Having fun with Dragon Age Inquisition

I believe I’m about 5 or 6 hours into Dragon Age: Inquisition and I’ve been having a blast. I’m enjoying the characters, gameplay and exploring the world. What’s especially fun are all the weird little things that pop up in RPG’s. For example in the video above I send an enemy flying off a cliff and to his death which is always amusing.

Also it’s fun to be able to ‘jump climb’ up mountains, something I learned from Elder Scrolls games which can make getting around the world just a bit quicker than taking the long way around.

I look forward to advancing further into Dragon Age: Inquisition and exploring the insanely huge world. I definitely recommend checking out the third Dragon Age game if you haven’t done so already. It’s a blast!

Interesting Xbox One stats and HBO Go now available


Yesterday I got an e-mail from Microsoft celebrating one year of the Xbox One and it included some pretty interesting stats about my year. It pointed out that I’m in the top 5% of Xbox One gamers with 6650 gamerscore earned on the Xbox One. I’ve also spent 371 hours gaming on Xbox Live on the Xbox One which places me in the top 25% of gamers. It’s kind of cool to learn about these stats and see where you fit in with the rest of the Xbox One community.

If you’re interested in seeing some more stats you can check out and see what you’ve done over the last 30 days.

xbox live rewards stats


In other Xbox news, the long awaited HBO GO app has finally arrived on the Xbox One. I’m glad to have the app because the interface is nicer looking and easier to use than my Dish On Demand interface.

HBO Go Xbox One

You Don’t Know Jack arrives on the Xbox One with the Jackbox Party Pack

The Jackbox Party Pack

You Don’t Know Jack 2015 has made its way onto the Xbox One this week in the Jackbox Party Pack. The Jackbox Party Pack is a bundle of five party games for just $24.99 on the Xbox One. It includes You Don’t Know Jack 2015, Drawful, Word Spud, Lie Swatter and Fibbage XL.

All of the games make use of mobile devices (any phone or tablet) in place of controllers (You Don’t Know Jack can be played with a controller in single player mode only). When you launch a game you’ll see a room code on screen and anyone who wants to join in simply goes to on their device and types in the room code and their name / nickname and they’re in the game. This allows you to have as many players as you have devices since you’re not limited by the number of controllers you own. It’s a great way for anyone to join in on their own device.

The games will display questions or prompts on the TV screen while the players input answers on their device. For You Don’t Know Jack you’ll see the ABXY buttons on your device, while for other games like Fibbage you’ll type in your answer (in Fibbage you’re presented with a question and all the players must try to enter a lie they think the other players will choose. You get points when people pick your lie, and also if you happen to choose the one correct answer on the screen).

You Don’t Know Jack is a blast as always and completely worth the $24.99 price alone. The presentation is great and the game is a blast. My only complaint is it seems like there’s a minor delay during the Jack Attack section of the game. I’ve felt like I’ve tapped first only to lose out to another player a few times. Despite this the game is still enjoyable.


Fibbage is my second favorite game of the bundle and it can get quite hilarious. So far I’ve only played it with two players, and I’m sure adding additional players would increase the hilarity quite a bit.

Lie Swatter presents you with a series of statements and players must decide whether they’re truthful or a lie. You get points for answering correctly and quickly. Again the more players the better and Lie Swatter can support up to 100 players.

For $24.99 you’re getting a nice selection of party games, and I highly recommend checking it out.


Checking out Dollar Shave Club

Screen Shot 2014-11-22 at 10.08.14 AM

(Though it may sound like it, this is not an advertisement)

If you’re like me you hate having to buy razors or cartridges. I hate having to spend $20+ on razor cartridges and often just keep buying new razors since they’re cheaper. I had heard about Dollar Shave Club through various ads on podcasts and Facebook but never really looked into it until last week. Looking at their webpage the pricing seems too good to be true. For between one and nine dollars a month you get a razor and at least 4 cartridges. Your first box comes with a razor and cartridges, after that you get cartridge refills every month and you can cancel anytime.

Before joining Dollar Shave Club I’d try to make a pack of cartridges stretch for months which often resulted in shaving with a dull blade. Now for $9 a month I get a 6 blade razor and I can swap out the cartridge every week so I always have a smooth shave. You can also add additional products to your box whenever you want (such as shave butters and after shave lotion) for an additional fee.

dollar shave club box

I chose the Executive razor subscription for $9 a month and added the shave butter to my first box for $8. The prices include shipping so I got the box above for just $17 and my next box with refill cartridges will ship for $9. The razor is great and provides a smooth shave. I normally use a gel but the shave butter feels smooth and clean and I enjoy using it. I’m glad I decided to give Dollar Shave Club a try, you should too as it’ll make your life easier.

Play Sunset Overdrive for FREE today

Sunset Overdrive Free

Microsoft is letting all Xbox Live Gold members on the Xbox One download and play Sunset Overdrive for free for 24 hours (Nov 22). If you like the game you can purchase it for $10 off this weekend only. Sunset Overdrive is an absolute blast and a refreshing new type of shooter with an entertaining story and enjoyable characters.

I definitely recommend checking it out and playing through a good junk of a great game for free today. All progress will be saved so you continue right where you left off if you purchase the game in the future. It’s worth noting that this is not a demo, but the entire game, and you can also unlock achievements while playing!

Halo Master Chief Collection matchmaking still not working

master chief collection matchmaking

Halo Master Chief Collection’s matchmaking issues have rolled into day two unfortunately. After I got off work and got done at the gym it was nearly 8PM (MT) and I fully expected Halo’s issues to be ironed out by now, but alas matchmaking is still not running smoothly. I was met with the error message above (“The matchmaking process was not successful. Please try matching again.”) after about 30 seconds of searching for a Team Slayer match.

The most recent update by 343 was posted nearly two hours ago (another update should be coming rather soon):

Screen Shot 2014-11-12 at 8.01.58 PM


Hopefully things will work out soon. Until then we wait. I guess I’ll check out Sunset Overdrive for now and maybe get back into Destiny if things aren’t up and running by this weekend.

Halo Master Chief Collection’s matchmaking issues and first impressions


Master Chief Collection is live today, but not without some issues. The game is currently suffering from matchmaking issues making it hard to find and get into multiplayer matches (I’ve been sitting at the screen above for 5 minutes trying to find a Halo 3 match).

So far I’ve been able to play a handful of matches, however I’ve also noticed some of the matches have less than the maximum number of players in them (my last Halo 2 Team Slayer match was 3 vs 2). When it works the game is a blast. It’s been awesome getting reacquainted with the maps and nuances of each game and switching between the 4 Halo games with a touch of a button.



The menus are well designed and are incredibly quick and easy to navigate. You can select any of the campaigns (and any mission) in seconds or switch over to multiplayer with a flick of the analog stick and choose between a large variety of playlists spanning the four games.



There are playlists that just focus on a single game in addition to playlists that will switch you from game to game between matches.





There are also campaign playlists where you can choose to to play through a series of missions (or all of them) with friends.

I can’t wait to sink hundreds of hours into the four campaigns and hundreds of multiplayer maps! Hopefully the matchmaking issues get worked out soon, until then I’ll probably just play more of the campaign missions.