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!

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Halo Master Chief Collection matchmaking still not working

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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):

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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

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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.

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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.

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

 

 

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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.

Fun with RC helicopters (Ares Chronos CX75 and CX100)

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I had never flown an RC helicopter before but recently had the urge to do so, so last night I visited the local hobby shop and purchased the Ares Chronos CX75 and CX100 RC helicopters. The CX100 immediately caught my eye because it comes with an onboard camera that can shoot video and take still photos (a 2gb SD card is also included). Both helicopters are ready to fly right from the box after their batteries are charged.

Last night I flew the CX75 indoors to get used to the controls, and it wasn’t incredibly difficult to get the hang of flying it (I could fly it, just not necessarily well). I also flew it outside in the dark which was fun (it has a bright light on the nose) though I almost landed in on the roof of the house.

Earlier today I took the CX100 outside and flew it for the first time. It’s a bit more difficult to fly, but there are also many more modes on the transmitter and I only skimmed the manual before I started flying. In mode 4 it controls like the CX75, however for whatever reason I found it hard to control pitch. It wouldn’t fly forward and backward as easily as the CX75, it seemed like it was slower to respond. I assume this may be because I was flying in the ‘low’ control rate setting which is recommended for beginners which limits control authority for smoother flying. I may try out the ‘high’ setting on a short flight to see if that will make it more responsive (though I imagine I’ll probably crash it more often).

I wasn’t flying in a very wide open space so ultimately I crashed the CX100 about 15 feet up in a tree and had to knock it down with a tennis ball. Luckily the helicopter didn’t suffer any damage. Initially the propellers were blocked by the branch, but I was able to hit it so that it fell and was only hanging by its tail and from there I was able to fly it out of the tree. After that it wouldn’t take off anymore, but I believe the battery drained during the 5 minutes it was in the tree.

The video I was able to capture with the CX100 is pretty cool. The quality is higher than I expected from a camera included with a $70 helicopter. I also didn’t expect it to have sound which is a neat addition, although all you really hear is the buzz of the rotors. So far I’m having a blast flying the CX75 and CX100 around. Both say they’re intended for indoor use only, but I find most of the fun comes from flying them high in the air outdoors. I’m excited to learn to fly them both better and get some cool video with the CX100.

The joy of Starbucks on a lovely Sunday morning

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The Ravens are playing as I write this, but for once I’m taking a break from watching them struggle to survive the season. I’m still wearing my Flacco jersey, but rather than sitting at home screaming at the TV I’m savoring a Salted Caramel Mocha Frapuccino while sitting in a comfortable chair under a heat lamp on a cool early November morning.

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I love the crisp blue of the Fall sky and the sound of cars passing by on the busy street. I’m enjoying the soft sounds of coffee house music floating down from the ceiling and mixing with the sound of everything around. And of course I love the coffee!

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I think I love enjoying a coffee while lounging in the outdoor seating at Starbucks so much because I don’t have a porch to relax on. Sure there’s a stoop, and I’ve enjoyed my fair share of coffee sipping mornings on it, but I long for a place to sit outdoors and take everything in while reading the NYT. Someday I’ll have an outdoor space of my own, but until then I’ll continue to enjoy these mornings at Starbucks.

Mile High Bacon Thick Burger is not so thrilling

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I’ll give Carl’s Jr. some credit, they have some pretty interesting ads. One of their latest features a woman trying to entice passengers on a plane to join the “mile high club”.

I usually don’t eat Carl’s Jr. however today I happened to be with a group of people who chose to have lunch at one, so I figured I’d give their latest attraction a taste.

I tend to prefer local burger joints over fast food in the first place (Boise’s West Side Drive In is my favorite), so I never expect much from a fast food burger anyway. The mile high bacon thickburger, however, was more disappointing than expected. The burger was small, sloppy looking and incredibly bland. There was nothing special about it, there was no taste to it. It was ugly, boring and quite gross in the long run.

If there’s anything to be said it’s that clever advertising continues to work, even if the product isn’t worthwhile. Against my better judgement I chose what I assumed was the ‘new big thing’ over the more sensible choice of a grilled chicken salad. Hopefully you’ll resist the advertising if you ever happen to have to eat Carl’s Jr., the burger is not worth trying.

Having a blast with Advanced Warfare on Xbox One

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I wasn’t initially planning on picking up Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, but after seeing the early reviews and looking at some gameplay I decided by the end of the day yesterday to buy it. That turned out to be a wise choice. I’ve been having more fun with Advanced Warfare than I have with any shooter in quite awhile. The multiplayer is much more fast paced than recent Call of Duty games and it’s quite refreshing. If you take the best parts of Titanfall and the best of Call of Duty you end up with a game that feels nearly perfect, and that’s Advanced Warfare.

I want to say more, but don’t have the time just yet. I can say I played the first two campaign missions and enjoyed them much more than Ghosts and Black Ops II’s missions. I’ve played a handful of multiplayer matches and have had an absolute blast. Everything feels just right and the pace of matches is much improved over Ghosts.

I can’t wait to keep playing as the week goes on!

Not quite sure what happened there.