Riders Republic review | Reviews on Xbox Series X | S

Ubisoft Republic of the Horsemen, we think it’s fair to say, isn’t off to the best start in terms of initial impressions. This massively multiplayer open-world sports extravaganza – think Forza Horizon with bikes, snowboards and wingsuits and you’ve got 100% the idea – the pose with painful jokes and fiercely boring characters in its opening hour. These… well… idiots, will be your chaperones through a tutorial that explains the basics but, hang on, stay strong and suffer the terrible dialogue for those first sixty minutes, and we promise you will be handsomely rewarded.

Yes, take the heaviest tutorial and you are in for a treat because Riders Republic has some absolutely fantastic arcade eSports action that we have found ourselves completely addicted to over the past week or so. The setup here is an intoxicating hodgepodge of Ubisoft Annecy Soak and the Forza Horizon series from Playground Games, giving you a huge map – here made up of several American national parks joined together to form an absolutely huge playground – that she then proceeds to tag and label all kinds of things. races, time trials, stunts, tricks attempts and so on.

As you progress through each of the sports on offer, from mountain biking and skiing, snowboarding, wingsuit races and more, you will unlock tons of new activities, from simple races to trial runs. stunts and tricks, multidisciplinary extravagances and big boss events. There is also a constant flow of new equipment; better bikes, faster rocket suits, flashier snowboards and skis, all of which range from common value to epic value. You will also earn stars which will improve your career status and grant you access to even more activities and money which you can spend on purchasing awesome bunny heads or giraffe outfits in the in-game store, a store that , thankfully, only offers cosmetics for your real money – one aspect of the procedure that the game luckily refrains from pushing you in the face.

Basically all the bells and whistles, cosmetics, unlockables, emoticons, etc. . Riders Republic also feels deeply, happily, alive. As you teleport around the huge map here, or use your jetpack, snowmobile, or rocket-propelled skis to investigate and explore at your leisure, you’ll see tons of other players running, crashing, throwing themselves head down in the rocks or just hang out at the central area of ​​the game. Open your map and you will see them all, like so many little ants, crawling over all areas of the game, you will feel like you are part of a real lively esports festival teeming with eager competitors.

Of course, all of this would be for naught if the base gameplay wasn’t up to par, and in that regard, it looks like Ubisoft Annecy absolutely nailed it. It is above all pure arcade silliness, a game where you can switch to any discipline anywhere on the world map with just the push of a button. Descend an asphalt road on wooden skis with branches for poles, drive an ice cream cart through deep snow, then launch it from the top of a mountain, snowboard down a waterfall, jetpack down bike trails all the way. -ground … it’s all up to you.

Each of the sporting disciplines here shares a roughly homogenized control system with braking, acceleration and boost function available via the shoulder buttons and the trigger, then a bunch of skills, laps and laps executed via a combination of buttons. facials and controllers. So once you know how to do tricks and land them correctly on a bike, you’ll have a pretty good idea of ​​what’s on your snowboard.

Does that sound too simplistic to you? Well, at first we thought the same thing, but in practice, it’s a formula that eliminates so much downtime and potential irritation as you fumble around to familiarize yourself with the mechanics of multiple disciplines, to the instead of allowing players of all skill levels to simply jump in and start shooting tricks. However, there is also an underlying level of skill and finesse, just enough to give you something to get your teeth into, just enough to ensure that players who take the time to learn and practice. improving will excel at most events and be rewarded with true high scores for their efforts.

We are also rightly surprised that all the sport on the list is fun in its own way. We fully expect to have at least one element that we don’t quite focus on in this type of game, but nothing here comes out as particularly boring or boring. In fact, everything from biking and skiing to skydiving through the canyons is fantastic. Ok so wingsuits to do it takes a little getting used to because you will have to fly dangerously close to the ground to score big in this activity, but it doesn’t take long to figure this stuff out and it leads to an overall experience which is always fun, always exhilarating and always full of new things to see and do that you will want to participate.

Riders Republic’s arcade action then begins to peak when various disciplines begin to blend together in multi-part events. These races can see you, for example, take off from a starting point on a bike, hurtle down a steep rocky trail and then reach a transition point that automatically causes you to switch on skis to hurtle down a slope, hit a huge ramp, fast – Don a rocket suit and fly through the checkpoints in flight before returning to your bike for one last frenzied push over the finish line. It’s an exhilarating and spectacular thing, pure arcade bliss that never takes itself too seriously and ensures that the fun is always at the forefront.

You’ll also take part in mass events, currently our favorite part of Riders Republic, where up to 64 players online weave their way down a track and take off along the course, crashing and bumping into each other as they go. they compete for a coveted place on the podium. It’s carnage, tearing apart a field crowded with other players – most of whom are dressed in ridiculous animal costumes – smashing people against barriers or completely off the track, then switching disciplines and soaring into them. tunes to escape the crime scene. There is certainly a huge element of rambling luck involved in making these mass races successful, but it’s so much fun and chaotic that we immediately head to the starting point whenever one of these events is announced by the tannoy system in play.

Riders Republic is also a beautiful thing. The seven national parks that make up the world here have been carefully designed and organized, offering endless spectacular views, forests, snow-capped peaks, famous landmarks and much more. There’s a massive map to explore, and it’s packed with check-off sightseeing spots, collectible relics that give you special gear and complete freedom to trace a trail on any road, mountain, or steep rock face on which you lay your eyes on. It’s also a breeze to navigate, you can quickly travel anywhere you want at any time, making it an experience where there is as much or as little downtime between events as you want. Add in a Zen Mode that removes all other players and lets you explore it all on your own at your own pace, and you get an experience that covers all the bases.

Unfortunately, while we’ve really enjoyed our time with Riders Republic so far, there is are a few issues to report here as well, including complete system crashes that required us to restart our Series X console, something we had a few times during our time with the game. We also encountered some graphics issues, with our avatar occasionally floating through solid objects or disappearing through some landscapes, mostly silly stuff that we hope will be fixed pretty neatly. Also, if we are really picky, the camera can be a little sometimes difficult to handle in certain events, especially when you absolutely fly on a narrow track on a bike and make a tight turn, sometimes you feel like you have to struggle a little too much to stay focused on where it needs to be to be .

Other than those minor issues, however, we’re extremely impressed with what Ubisoft Annecy has delivered with this one. The heart and soul of the wonderful Steep, their previous open-world sporting endeavor, is fully alive here, but it has been incorporated into a game that rejects the serenity of that title for the most part, instead of fully embracing it. knockabout arcade. carnage in a massive world that’s been explicitly designed to encourage social interactions, multiplayer fun, and plenty of meaty single-player action to boot. If you’ve always wanted an extreme sports version of Forza Horizon that looks and plays just as well as the efforts of Playground Games, this really is it. Riders Republic is an absolute blast and the purest, purest fun we’ve had with a sports game in quite some time.

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Age of Empires 4 Unable to connect to Xbox Live, camera pan error and fixes

If you are having errors and issues in Age of Empire 4 and are looking for ways to fix them, then we have you covered with this guide where we will show you how some of the Age of Empires 4 errors and Fixes can be.

Age of Empires 4 Errors and fixes

On the AOE4 forums, many people have posted articles about various errors and issues that are encountered. So, below, we have listed the fixes for the major errors that you may possibly come across in the game.

Unable to install from Game Pass error

Age of Empires IV is one of the biggest releases of the year and since the game is only available on Xbox Game Pass, it puts enormous strain on their servers, preventing some people from installing the game.

If you are one of those people who cannot download the game from Game Pass, try restarting the Xbox Game Pass app, and then try the download again.

This will likely solve your problem. However, if the game still doesn’t install, your only option is to simply wait a few minutes and try again.

Unable to sign in to Xbox Live account fix

If you try to sign in to the game using your Xbox Live account, there’s a good chance you’ll get an error message that says something like:

The account you want to log in with is not intended for this environment. Your app may not be configured correctly. “

Based on the error message, you may think that there is some sort of problem with your account, but it probably isn’t at all.

This might only be the case if you are signing in to an account that is not from a supported region. But if it’s from a supported region, your account is working fine.

This is a bug that a lot of gamers have encountered and as of yet there is no solid solution to this problem. However, while the developers are working on a fix, you can try the following methods and see if that fixes the error for you:

  • Disable your antivirus and firewall, then relaunch the game.
  • Uninstall the game, restart your PC, then reinstall and launch the game.
  • Clear the cache and cookies for the browser you use to sign in to your Xbox Live account.
  • Make sure your computer clock is synchronized by going to Start> Settings> Time & language> Date & time> Set time> Automatically (on).
  • Open Xbox Networking Settings and run the Xbox Live Troubleshooter.

Fixed crash “Update video drivers”

If you launch the game and it asks you to update your video drivers and then suddenly crashes, there is a simple solution.

All you need to do is open your AMD or NVIDIA software and install the latest drivers for your GPU. These drivers are specially optimized for this game, which is why the game crashes for you.

If the game continues to crash even after installing the new drivers, you will need to reinstall the game. This will likely resolve the issue.

Fixed camera pan error

If you are unable to pan the camera using your WASD keys, follow these steps to bind the keys to your camera controls:

  • Enter a single player game and open the settings.
  • Go to “Controls“and click”View and reconfigure controls”.
  • Right click and remove all camera controls.
  • In the Common Keys section, assign the appropriate WASD keys to the Pan Up / Right / Left / Down controls.

Fixed a bug in the level of detail of trees

A common graphical bug encountered by many players is where trees in the game change shape as they move or zoom in and out on the map.

This is a very annoying and noticeable bug that can seriously hamper gameplay for most players.

Fortunately, there is a very simple solution to this bug. All you need to do is go to the game’s graphics settings and set “Geometry Details” to “Maximum”. This will completely eliminate the strange shape-changing insect in the trees.

Performance fixes

If you are looking to squeeze more power from your system for higher frame rate in Age of Empires IV, follow the steps below.

For Steam users:

  • Open Steam and right click on Age of Empires IV.
  • Select Manage> Browse Local Files.
  • Copy the path to the file you see in this window.
  • Press the Windows key on your keyboard and search for “Graphics settings”.
  • Open the graphics settings and click on “Browse”.
  • In this window, paste the path of the file you copied.
  • Select “EXE”.
  • Click on Options and set the graphics preference to “High performance
  • Click on Save.

For Microsoft Store users:

  • Press the Windows key on your keyboard and search for “Graphics settings”.
  • Open graphics settings and change the desktop app drop-down list to Microsoft Store app.
  • From the second drop-down menu, select Age of Empires IV.
  • Click on “Add”.
  • Click on Options and set the graphics preference to “High performance”.
  • Click on Save.

Another way to easily improve performance in Age of Empires IV is to turn off syncing in OneDrive.

If OneDrive sync is turned on, you’ll use valuable CPU power to sync game items from the Documents> My Games> Age of Empires IV folder to OneDrive.

To turn off synchronization, follow these steps:

  • Open OneDrive and click Help & Settings.
  • In this window, click on “Pause synchronization”.
  • Select the time that suits your needs.

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Xbox Live Games with Gold for November offers two independent gems

Just as Sony unveiled the PlayStation Plus games for November, Microsoft has also announced the next batch of titles that will be available through Xbox Games with Gold. As always, Xbox Live Gold subscribers will receive four different games to download next month. Two of those games will be Xbox One titles, while the other two are Xbox 360 games playable through backward compatibility. All games offered through Games with Gold will be playable on Xbox Series X | S, although none have been designed specifically for the platform.

The first game on offer will likely appeal to fans of physics-based gameplay. To relocate will be free for Xbox Series X | S and Xbox One owners, and as the name suggests, it will put players in the role of movers, tasking them with moving the marked items without damaging them. The game can be played solo or co-op with up to four players in total, and we imagine co-op play gets particularly wacky.

Kingdom Two Crowns is the next game available for Xbox One and Xbox Series X gamers. Kingdom Two Crowns is a strategy game that combines tower defense and resource management mechanisms. Despite how complex it seems, there isn’t a ton of hands-on gameplay, as players will mostly be riding horses on the screen and raising money to fund the defense of their kingdom. Kingdom Two Crowns It might not be a big name, but it has stellar user reviews on places like Steam, so it might be worth downloading.

For backward compatible games we have Rocket knight and Lego Batman 2 DC Super Heroes, both for Xbox 360. While Lego Batman 2 probably doesn’t need to be introduced, this deserves to be highlighted Rocket knight for anyone who grew up with the Sega Genesis. Rocket knight, of course, was the main character of Sparkster and Rocket Knight Adventures, and it made a comeback in video games with the Xbox 360.

As always, Microsoft is staggering these game releases throughout the month. To relocate will be available from November 1 to 30, while Kingdom Two Crowns will be free on November 16 and will remain available until December 15. Rocket knight, meanwhile, will be available from November 1 to 15, and Lego Batman 2 DC Super Heroes will close the month with availability from November 16 to 30.

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Biomutant and other games are free for Xbox Live Gold subscribers to play this weekend

A new Xbox Free Play Days weekend is unfolding right now, with many games available for a limited time, such as the action-RPG Biomutant.


Xbox Live Gold is an online gaming subscription that gives players access to a number of benefits. From exclusive discounts to free games to download and keep, many players love to use the service. In addition to these perks, players have the opportunity to experience certain games for a limited time as part of Free Play Days.

Recently, Xbox gave details of its upcoming bundle of Free Play Days games for Xbox Live Gold and Xbox Game Pass Ultimate members. According to the game company, games available to play for free for a limited time include Biomutant, PGA Tower 2K21, and Hunting simulator 2. Free Play Days began Thursday, October 28 at 12:01 a.m. PDT, and players can check out these titles until Sunday, October 31 at 11:59 p.m. PDT.

RELATED: Xbox Game Pass Gets Surprise New Game

In addition to revealing the start and end times of the event, Xbox explained how to download these games for free on consoles. According to the company, players should open the Subscriptions tab in the Xbox Store. Once there, players only need to access the Gold member area to find the Free Play Days games available for download via Xbox Live Gold.

BioMutant Holding Sword Key Art

This weekend’s selection of free games gives players options as to what to play, as the 3 titles feature very different gameplay. Biomutant is an action-adventure RPG that offers gameplay filled with martial arts in a post-apocalyptic world. On the other hand, PGA 2K21 Tour is a realistic golf simulator that includes professional golfers to challenge while playing famous courses. Furthermore, Hunting simulator 2 offers yet another gaming experience as players stalk many types of animals.

While these games are only available to play for free for a limited time, Xbox is selling them at discounted prices during the event. Biomutant is $ 38.99 at 35% off. PGA 2K21 Tour is $ 19.80 at 67% off for the Standard Edition and $ 23.10 at 67% off for the Digital Deluxe Edition. Hunting simulator 2 is $ 20.00 at 60% for the Xbox One edition and $ 25 at 50% for the Xbox Series X / S edition. Additionally, the company noted that achievements and Gamerscore carry over if players purchase these games during the event.

In addition to these Free Play Days games available for trial over the weekend, Xbox recently unveiled Xbox Free Games with Gold for November 2021. Xbox Live Gold members will have the option to claim multiple games in different parts of the month, such as LEGO Batman 2: DC Super Heroes. Unlike Free Play Days, members who download these titles at certain times of the month can keep the games as long as they maintain an Xbox Live Gold membership.

MORE: Best Multiplayer Games on Xbox Game Pass

Source: Xbox

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Unable to link Steam to Xbox Live Age of Empires 4 account

The Unable to link Steam to Xbox Live Age of Empires 4 account The error is an issue that a lot of players are reporting right now. People want to know why they can’t link their Steam and Xbox Live to play AoE4, and it should be possible. So, what gives? What can you do to fix the problem? Is there anything you can do? Well, we’ll share everything we know in this guide.

Unable to link Steam to Xbox Live Age of Empires 4 account

Age of Empires 4 cannot link Steam to Xbox Live account

If you come across the error stating that you cannot link your Steam account to Xbox Live for Age of Empires 4, you are not the only one, as we have already stated. The first thing we need to clarify at this point is that you are probably not at fault here. Considering how pervasive the problem is, it must be on the developer side. According to this Reddit post, the developers are aware of the problem and are working on a fix. In the meantime, do not hesitate to register your own complaint. here.

Having said that, there is a chance that you will encounter this error because something is wrong on your end. If so, you can use some common troubleshooting techniques to hopefully fix the problem. You can try disabling your antivirus and firewall, reinstall the game, make sure you’re signed in to the correct Xbox Live and Steam accounts, and more. But, yes, if you can’t link your Steam account to Xbox Live to play Age of Empires 4, it’s all about the developers, more likely than not.

Fortunately, if you are reading this, the developers have already fixed the problem. Whatever the case, feel free to check out some of our other AoE4 guides. Among other things, we’ve written articles like How to Change Languages, How to Replay Tutorial, and Where to Find Age of Empires 4 Deluxe Edition Bonuses.

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Xbox Games with Gold: free games for November 2021 announced

Microsoft has found another Lego video game to launch in the Games With Gold offerings in November. 2012 Lego Batman 2 DC Super Heroes for Xbox 360, available November 16-30, headlines this month’s free-to-play lineup.

The other three are To relocate, a wacky, cooperative, physics-based ‘motion simulator’ from 2020; Kingdom Two Crowns, which launched on Xbox Game Pass in December 2018; and Rocket knight, a 2010 Xbox Live Arcade game that resurrected the protagonist of two Sega Genesis games released in 1993 and 1994.

Here is the full lineup of Games With Gold for November:

  • To relocate ($ 24.99 ERP): Available from November 1 to November 30
  • Kingdom Two Crowns ($ 19.99 ERP): available from Nov. 16 to Dec. 15
  • Rocket knight ($ 14.99 ERP): Available November 1 to 15
  • Lego Batman 2 DC Super Heroes ($ 19.99 ERP): available November 16 to 30

Traveller’s Tales / TT Games has developed 28 licensed Lego video games for Xbox platforms starting with Lego Star Wars: The video game in 2005. Eight of them are now offered as monthly giveaways in Games With Gold. The other seven are Lego Star Wars: The Complete Saga and Lego Pirates of the Caribbean: The Video Game in 2017; Lego Indiana Jones 2: The adventure continues and Lego Star Wars 3: The Clone Wars 2020; Lego Star Wars 2: The Original Trilogy and Lego Indiana Jones in 2020; and Lego Batman earlier this year.

Xbox Live Gold subscribers can still download three of the Games with Gold titles starting in October: Aero (until October 31); Float (until November 15); and Resident Evil Code: Veronica X (until October 31).

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Dead by Daylight and more are free for Xbox Live Gold subscribers this weekend

With just a week away from Halloween, plenty of video games have entered the spirit of the season. Call of Duty: War Zone has an upcoming Halloween event, Grand Theft Auto Online has a Halloween update, and For honor and Death by the light of day have a Halloween crossover for the holidays.

Various games have something planned for October, and even some of the big video game publishers and companies are doing something for the month. The PlayStation Store has a Halloween game sale, the Epic Games Store has a Halloween sale right now, and even Xbox is doing something this weekend. Xbox recently posted an article announcing free play days for this weekend and reveals several notable video games that will be available to play.

RELATED: Dead by Daylight Reveals Witch’s Hour Content & Cinematic

According to the post, video games F1 2021 and Death by the light of day Both will be available to players with Xbox Live Gold and Xbox Game Pass Ultimate for free play days. It starts today, October 21 at 12:01 a.m. PDT until Sunday, October 24 at 11:59 p.m. PDT. Also, Fallout 76 will be available until Monday, October 25 at 10 a.m. According to the post, gamers can claim the games for trial on the main Xbox website, which will take them to the Microsoft store. From there, they can sign in and will have the option to install the games with an Xbox Live Gold subscription. For players to download the games on consoles, click on the Subscriptions tab in the Xbox store and enter their Gold member area to find the Free Play Days collection.

free xbox game days screenshot october 2021

The post also includes a list of video games available this weekend and the discounts offered to purchase them. Players can purchase the games and their respective editions with a limited time discount, and they can continue playing while maintaining their player score and achievements earned during the free play days. However, the publication notes that discount percentages may vary by region.

For Fallout 76, the standard edition will be 75% off at $ 10.00, the Recruitment package will be 60% off at $ 12.00, and the Dawn of Steel Deluxe Edition will be 60% off at $ 24.00. F1 2021 will enjoy a 35% discount on all three game editions, including the standard edition at $ 38.99, the Deluxe Upgrade Pack at $ 12.99, and the deluxe edition at $ 48.74. Death by the light of day will benefit from discounts ranging from 30% to 60% on its various game editions, with a 30% reduction on the Ultimate Edition, and 40% reduction on Silent Hill Edition. The standard edition, Silent Hill Chapter, Stranger Things Edition, and the Halloween Chapter will be 50% off, with the Chapter Stranger Things have 60% off resulting in $ 4.80.

MORE: Dead By Daylight: 10 Most Terrifying Killers, Ranked

Source: Xbox

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How Xbox Live, Google Maps, and Splinter Cell Led to a Long-Standing Transatlantic Friendship

During my teenage years, I spent many happy evenings and nights immersed in online gaming. Halo, Call of Duty, Assassins Creed, among many others. I loved the worlds the games immersed me in, but more than that, I loved meeting people from all over the world while playing online. side of the world.

One evening my school friend and I were waiting in the lobby for the multiplayer version of Splinter Cell Double Agent. Chatting endlessly, our little avatars on the screen lit up like fireworks whenever we mumbled or laughed. New characters were quickly appearing on the screen; the poor souls bombarded by our cacophony of schoolchildren.

But, one of the newcomers found our inconsistent ramblings hilarious. After listening for a while, he introduced himself to us; we were soon playing in the secret world with our new american spy friend, Dennis.

I quickly became friends with Dennis. I was enthralled listening to his description of where he lived and his school. His Californian life was fascinating; it looked very different from mine in the UK.

I started spending more time playing online just to chat with Dennis and get to know him. Eventually the game became irrelevant to us and we barely participated; we were just talking, to the detriment and detriment of our teammates.

Another world

Splinter Cell: Double Agent

(Image credit: Ubisoft)

As Dennis and I communicated more frequently, our bond grew. At one point, we thought it would be fun to take a look at Google Earth and get a bird’s eye view of each other’s lives. I typed Dennis’ address into the search bar. I was quickly transported over 8,500 kilometers across the world in pristine, manicured countryside juxtaposed against the vast expanse of the Pacific Ocean. Dennis did the same and thought he accidentally opened the Victorian edition of Google Earth as he was greeted by rows of terraced houses stuck in rigid lines like Lego blocks, with chimneys sticking out from the rooftops.

For the next few months this time around, Dennis and I chatted almost every day while playing online. I was introduced to his brother, Chris, who was studying at the University of Los Angeles, so he was not often at home. Due to the time difference between California and the UK, I started staying overnight just so I could play with Dennis online. Needless to say, my teachers weren’t impressed when I fell asleep at my desk during class, but I felt like I had been allowed to escape my daily life and move to another world. by playing online.

Soon after, however, Dennis and I started playing games less frequently and slowly lost touch. Neither of us had ever communicated through any channel other than the XBOX messaging system. In 2006, there was no WhatsApp or equivalent, and we were not using Facebook. A few years passed, with less and less contact between us as our lives went on, with the occasional update during the intermittent periods when we both played online. However, neither of us ever forgot the other, and I had a deep desire to visit California and meet Dennis when I could.

Discovering a distant land

Sam Cornell and Dennis - a friendship forged on Xbox Live

My trip to San Diego in 2010 (Image credit: Sam Cornell)

It was in the middle of winter 2010 when I decided to start my odyssey, I was 18, and it was four years since I had first met Dennis online. We weren’t in touch anymore, but I couldn’t wait to see California, so on a whim I booked roundtrip flights to Los Angeles.

I spent ten days in Los Angeles, wandering, happily lost, without a route, exploring the house of my imagination. While I was there, the idea of ​​trying to meet Dennis came to me. Still, it had been a long time since we last had contact, and I wondered if he would even be interested in meeting me again. Plus, I didn’t even have any workable ways to contact him. We had never exchanged cell phone numbers; I didn’t remember his email; I wasn’t on Facebook, and I didn’t have an Xbox 360 on hand! I decided to forget about it and enjoy the rest of my trip.

Shortly after that first trip to California, I took a year off and traveled through Europe. Towards the end of my stay in Europe, I heard the Californian siren call me again, so I booked a flight to San Diego. Exceptionally, my first two days in San Diego saw inclement weather so I crouched down in the hostel, glad to be back on what felt like home.

After being in town for a few days, the weather settled into its regular pattern of daily sunshine and mild temperatures. At that signal, I spontaneously decided that I would do what I should have done on my first visit to the state: I was going to find Dennis.

I left the San Diego station to venture out on the surf line trail. From the days of our satellite reconnaissance missions, I had memorized the bird’s eye view of Dennis’ family home. I also remembered the city he lived in and thought I was pretty sure the name of his street. However, I couldn’t remember the house number so I had no idea what to do when I arrived in the area.

Sam Cornell and Dennis - a friendship forged on Xbox Live

Our first actual meeting – Sam (left) and Dennis (right) (Image credit: Sam Cornell)

I left the train in an unknown industrial area. Looking around the station, there was no living soul. The place was sorry. I could see a gas station across the street so I walked over. The attendant inside informed me that he had never heard of the street I was looking for but could call me a cab if I wanted. I accepted the offer.

The taxi arrived, and I jumped in eagerly. ” Where are you going ? asked the driver. The driver was puzzled that I didn’t know the house number, but he got out of the gas station and we were on our way. As we started to walk towards the street, the landmarks started to look familiar to me. I recognized the curvature of the roads. When we approached the neighborhood and passed tennis courts, I knew we were close to Dennis’ house.

The driver let me know that we had arrived on the street. As I rummaged through the photographic collections, I remembered that the house was located around the bend in the road, but I wasn’t sure. I asked the driver to stop the car. I would continue the rest of the trip on foot to get a feel for my surroundings. I strolled down the road, scanning the Mediterranean-style properties for signs of Dennis. I’m not sure what to expect.

The street was empty. I approached the bend in the road, the place where I hoped to recognize Dennis’ house immediately. As I approached, I saw a young man approaching his car. He looked like he was about to come in, but before he could, I greeted him and politely asked him if he knew where my friend Dennis lived.

Sam Cornell and Dennis - a friendship forged on Xbox Live

Dennis and I got together again in 2010 (Image credit: Sam Cornell)

The young man gave me a questioning and suspicious look. He must have wondered why a young man had just arrived, without a car and speaking with a strange accent. His facial expression changed quickly after assessing the situation and realizing that I looked pretty harmless. He replied, “Dennis is my brother.” I looked at him, beaming, and I exclaimed, “Chris !? It’s Sam!”

Chris remembered who I was and was incredulous. Although, still the cool character, he remained calm as I enthusiastically chatted about my journey to find Dennis. Chris explained that he was about to get out in his car somewhere and I caught him at an incredibly fortuitous moment. He said Dennis was out with a friend and no one else was home. Besides, it was the middle of the day. All the neighbors were at work. The chance that I would have managed to find Dennis if Chris hadn’t been walking to his car at this fortuitous moment was perhaps slim, if not nonexistent.

Chris picked up his phone and called Dennis. Dennis, who was running on the beach with a friend, quickly responded and, incredulous that his childhood friend online could wait at his door, let Chris know he would be home. When Dennis arrived home with his friend, we all chatted exuberantly and were jovial about the extraordinary situation. Dennis and I first gave each other a friendly hug and remembered our playing days. Later he showed me the sights of his hometown and we toured San Diego together.

Friendship acquired

Sam Cornell and Dennis - a friendship forged on Xbox Live

Acting as one of Chris’s groomsmen at his wedding (Image credit: Sam Cornell)

Delighted to have completed my mission to find Dennis and seal our friendship in person, I returned to the UK. But soon after, I returned to live with Dennis and his family for 10 whole days, all sorted out and manifested this time around!

On this trip, Dennis, Chris and I bonded. We went snowboarding at Big Bear Mountain, surfing in San Clemente, jet skiing and go karting, and I was introduced to the fast food culture of Southern California.

It was clear that what had started as a chance encounter while playing an online video game had turned into what would become a lifelong friendship. California would forever hold a place in my heart and feel like a home from home.

Since our first real meeting, Dennis, Chris and I have kept in touch year after year. I have returned to visit them several times – visiting them has often marked important events in our lives and marked personal transitions. I was even honored to be one of Chris’s groomsmen at his wedding.

Dennis and I still keep in touch on a very regular basis, exchanging updates about our lives and discussing everything; funny enough, never games – none of us play games anymore, but we are so glad we did and believe that despite all the negative attention online games can get, we experienced what the best it has to offer – the ability to make real lifelong connections and friendships.

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[Update: Oct. 20] Xbox live is not working or is down today? Error code 0x87dd0006 connection problem flares up again

There are new updates that have been added to the bottom of the story …

Original story from May 2019

It has been almost a full day since Microsoft’s Xbox gaming console users reported issues.

About 12 hours ago, reports broke out regarding the Xbox error code 0x87dd0006 connection issue, which took a long time to resolve. Although Microsoft was quick to provide updates on the matter.

But now we are seeing reports of similar problem again on social media. Looked:


Microsoft again offered a quick update, saying it was aware of this reoccurrence of the issue and is working to fix it.

As always, we are constantly monitoring the issue and will offer continuous updates when something of interest is related to the current outage. Until then, share your Xbox experience with us in the comments section below.

Update 1

Here’s what the Xbox Live service status page is currently saying:

Update 2

Everything seems to be back to normal now. See here.

Update 3 (May 15)

Looks like Xbox services are down again. We are seeing a lot of user reports about this new outage. You can view the reports here.

It’s worth mentioning that Microsoft is already investigating an issue with Xbox. This is how the Xbox team explained it on Twitter a few hours earlier:

We are currently investigating reports of users unable to use content on Xbox 360 consoles and the online store.

At this time, we are not sure if this ongoing outage is related to the above mentioned issue in any way. Regardless, we are keeping an active eye on the situation and will be providing more updates related to this outage as we notice something of interest. In the meantime, keep a tab here and share your experience in the comments section below.

Update 4 (May 15)

The official Xbox Status Page shows that everything is working as it should. Let us know if the problem persists for you.

Update 4 (July 11)

There appears to be a new Xbox outage right now. Many users on social media platforms (like Twitter) complain that they cannot access Xbox Live services, suggesting that the Xbox servers may be down at the moment.

The official Xbox Status Page shows that everything is working as it should. Anyway, we’re currently researching more details and will update the story if we find anything interesting.

Update 5 (July 11)

It has now been revealed that the Xbox Live Core services (Sign in; create, manage, or recover an account; search) are currently down. Microsoft says they are looking into the matter.

Here’s the official statement, as posted on the Xbox status page:

Our engineers and developers are actively continuing to work to resolve the issue causing Xbox Live connection issues for some members.


Update 6 (July 11)

Some users are now reporting that the issue is resolved for them, which means that the servers can gradually restart.

Update 2 (August 18, 2021)

9:05 am (IST): Xbox users have taken by storm Twitter and other social media platforms to ask for help as the service is down again and not working. Downdetector also shows a significant increase in the number of user reports indicating that Xbox Live is down.


Apart from that, Xbox has indeed acknowledged the issues and updated the status page indicating that there are issues with the store and subscriptions, games and games, as well as cloud games.

1:05 p.m. (IST): Xbox Support has confirmed that users should now be able to re-launch content.

Users should now be able to re-launch content. Thanks for being patient. As always, we are here and listening. (Source)

Update 3 (October 20, 2021)

5:05 p.m. (IST): Costs reports on Downdetector indicates that Xbox Live is down. However, there is no indication of a generalized outage on the official Xbox yet. status page.

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Xbox Live Gold: A Guide for Superparents

Everything you need to know.

Xbox Live Gold is Xbox’s subscription service that allows subscribers to play online multiplayer games with other real people on Xbox consoles (like Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S). Xbox Live Gold also includes other benefits for subscribers.

Here’s what you need to know about Xbox Live Gold.

How does Xbox Live Gold work?

Xbox Live Gold is a monthly subscription service that offers subscribers a number of benefits. First, Xbox Live Gold subscribers can play online multiplayer games with other people. Although an Xbox Live Gold subscription is not required to play free multiplayer games like Fortnite and Apex Legends, Xbox Live Gold is required to access multiplayer modes in most other games on Xbox consoles.

Then, Xbox Live Gold subscribers will receive at least two free games each month, which may include backward compatible Xbox 360 games. Xbox calls this benefit “Games with Gold”.

Xbox Live Gold subscribers can play the free games they receive through Games with Gold as long as they have an active Xbox Live Gold subscription. If a subscriber cancels their Xbox Live Gold membership, they can re-unlock access to those games by re-registering for Xbox Live Gold or purchasing the games directly (although this restriction may not apply in some cases). You can read more about the Games with Gold perk on the Xbox Support website.

Finally, Xbox Live Gold subscribers get access to discounts in the Microsoft Store.

How much does Xbox Live Gold cost?

Xbox Live Gold costs $ 9.99 per month or $ 24.99 for three months.

Xbox Live Gold is also included at no additional cost with the Xbox Game Pass Ultimate membership. Xbox Game Pass Ultimate allows subscribers to play over 100 video games on Xbox consoles, PCs, and mobile devices (mobile gaming is delivered via cloud streaming). You can learn more about Xbox Game Pass Ultimate in our Xbox Game Pass guide.

Finally, you can gift someone with an Xbox Live Gold membership by purchasing an Xbox Live Gold gift card (you can also purchase an Xbox Live Gold membership as a gift on the Microsoft Store website).

Is there anything else parents need to know about Xbox Live Gold?

Some of the games offered under the Games with Gold benefit are rated M for Mature by the ESRB, which means they are not suitable for children. Parents can use Xbox parental controls to make sure their kids can’t download these adult games.

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