All posts by Leigh Groocock

Leigh. 23 years old. University graduate. I write about video games, tweet about football and do stuff on YouTube for money. S'up?

Final Fantasy XI servers shutting down March 2016

final-fantasy-XI

Square Enix has announced that the online servers for Final Fantasy XI on the Xbox 360 will be coming to an end in early 2016.

The popular MMORPG launched back in 2006 on the Xbox 360 and launched to a relatively popular reception from both critics and players.

The game has consistently received content updates to keep its monthly paying subscribers entertained. If you’re looking for one last ‘hoorah’ you’ll be pleased to hear that the final Rhapsodies of Vana’diel scenario will be launching in May, which will hopefully keep players busy until its unfortunate closure next year.

Don’t be to sad though, the PC servers will still be available! It’s just the console servers being disconnected.

Zombie Army Trilogy review

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Okay, so what if I told you that there’s this new game hitting the Xbox One by Rebellion that lets you experience World War 2 if Hitler managed to summon a zombie army? If you haven’t caught on yet, then well… it’s this. Zombie Army Trilogy is here and it brings with it remastered versions of previously released Sniper Elite Nazi Zombie Army that were only available on PC, as well as a whole bunch of other content.

If you happen to be looking for a bargain when it comes to price and game content, look no further than this gory title. Zombie Army Trilogy contains both the Sniper Elite: Nazi Zombie Army titles that were previously released on PC (chapters one and two) as well as the brand new third one which is without a doubt, the best one yet. Each title contains roughly five missions and each of these will take you a good half hour to complete, even on the easiest difficulties but it’ll be notably longer depending on how many people you play with or the difficulty level.

I hope you’re good with a sniper rifle, as without it, you’re completely and utterly screwed. Zombie Army Trilogy’s gameplay is practically identical to the fantastic Sniper Elite series, it’s all about controlling your breathing and shooting zombies in the head, hoping you can chain together shots. The best part about it? The bullet/kill camera. There are very few things more satisfying than watching your bullet travel in slow-motion through a ruined city and piercing a zombies eyeball, going through his brain, then hitting the grenade in the pocket of the zombie behind him. Even after playing the entire series, it never gets old.

Zombie Army Trilogy can be played in solo mode however it’s best experienced in coop with friends or using the super handy matchmaking. The game allows up to four people to tackle any mission in the game or the new horde mode (which will get to later, don’t panic!) and you’ll certainly need it if you plan on having any luck with the harder difficulties. You’ll need to work together placing traps, setting up ambushes and in general, running for your damn life hoping someone will revive you.

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It may sound a tad dull knowing you use a sniper rifle throughout, but you have plenty of different variations which can be accessed at any safe house. Almost every notable rifle you’ve heard of from the war (both, auto and semi-auto) are available with a scope, as well as a range of secondary guns like shotguns and sub machine guns, but unfortunately these are practically useless. If that’s not enough, there’s a whole bunch of different equipment that can be used to tackle the zombie hordes such as grenades, trip mines, landmines and dynamite.

Right so, I keep bringing this up; the difficulty. Zombie Army Trilogy is brutally tough and if you aren’t a good shot, you’re not going to have a good time, especially as the sniper rifle is the only viable weapon throughout the game. Every level revolves around the player shooting their way through hundreds of zombies, attempting to reach different parts of the mission to complete objectives. Problem is, those zombies travel in enormous packs and never stop moving. This combined with the harder difficulties which alter things such as bullet gravity and damage dealt, make this a one tough title.

The hordes of zombies are one problem, the bosses battles that occasionally pop up are even tougher! Mostly because of trial and error, trying to finger out just how the player exposes and abuses their weak spots. They may be bullet sponges but it’s damn fun fighting them because of the various mechanics which need to be taken advantage of. Not only will you face bosses, you’ll stumble across stronger variations of regular zombies such as suicide bombers, heavily armoured troops and even giant nemesis-looking mutations that carry light machine guns.

Every time you think you’re doing well, even on the easier modes, you’ll sprint head first into a brick wall difficulty curve which is unbearably frustrating to deal with. It’s disappointing to see this is still a problem, as it was a fairly a notable issue even on the PC versions many years ago. And if you’re playing on your own, it’s even tougher to tackle as you won’t have anyone to revive you, the checkpoints in the game are equally frustrating, some making zero sense.

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One thing that has certainly surprised me after sinking tonnes of hours into the PC version of Sniper Elite Nazi Zombie Army is just how well it’s transitioned to the consoles. The game runs unbelievably smoothly, even when the screen is filled to the brim with zombie blood, severed limbs and trip mine explosions. The game looks fantastic too, albeit extremely dark as the vast majority of the game takes place during the night.

A brand new addition to the Nazi Zombie Army series is horde mode which by now, we’re all fairly familiar with as it regularly appears in several video games today. Either in solo or coop, the player is set with the task of holding out against increasingly difficult waves of Nazi zombies in a variety of different locations and equipment. It’s fantastic fun and a bloody tough challenge even with the best strategy, one simple mistake and a zombie will be feasting on your delicious brains… I’ve played this too much.

Zombie Army Trilogy is a must own title for any fan that enjoys slaughtering zombies or playing with friends. It does contain a few frustrating problems such as the ridiculous difficulty spikes and silly little bugs here and there, but it contains an unbelievable amount of enjoyable content and will keep you occupied with friends for a bloody long time.

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Thanks to Rebellion for supplying TiX with a download code

Advanced Warfare patch released: 15 new prestiges & more weapon balancing

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A brand spankin’ new patch is currently being deployed to Advanced Warfare and it contains plenty of changes and additions.

The new update contains 15 (yes, fifteen) new prestiges, as the current 15 just isn’t enough for some players, as well as adding a grand master prestige rank if you manage to grind through all 30 of them.  So, that’ll keep people busy for another few months at least.

That’s not all, Sledgehammer Games have been hard at work making slight adjustments to the current arsenal of weapons in the game to help even out the playing field. The most notable change in this update is the increased movement speed with LMG’s and the slight nerf to the ASM1 SMG’s rate of fire.

Esport fans will also be pleased to hear that the broadcaster mode has also received a notable face lift and it now looks fabulous. Just in time for Call of Duty Championships too!

Full details below for the 4th March 2015 update via Charlie Intel.

    • Full Royalty Character Loot Set unlocked.
    • Connectivity Optimizations
    • Connectivity and matchmaking improvements when in a party.
    • Added 15 Master Prestige ranks and Grand Master Prestige.
    • Added 15 more Daily Supply Drop Challenges.
    • Fixed a rare issue where players were not able to spawn into the game.
    • Fixed the sound of the SAC3 with the Suppressor Attachment to not play in stereo to all players on the map.
    • Fixed a rare issue where players would spawn without a gun.
    • Players will now be shown a “Player does not own the map pack” message when a player without the Havoc DLC joins their party.
    • Added the ability for purchased Create-A-Class slots to appear in Private Matches.
    • [Xbox One] Connectivity improvement to Xbox Live servers when returning from Energy-Saving mode.
    • [Xbox One, Xbox 360] Fixed a rare crash issue with signing out with one player while split screen.
    • [Xbox 360] Reduced the max number of players in a Private Match to 10.

Weapon Balancing Updates (Note: Adjustments affect base weapon and all loot variants):

    • Heavy weapons: increase player movement speed by 5%
    • Corrected scopes on the AE4.
    • MK14 – reduced recoil
    • ARX160 – increased magazine size
    • AMR9 – increased damage, decreased time between bursts
    • SN6 – reduced recoil
    • KF5 – mid damage range increased
    • Atlas 45 – mid damage range increased, max damage range increased
    • PDW – increased damage
    • Shotguns: reduced spread when using Gung-Ho
    • S12 – increased fire rate, increased damage
    • EPM3 – reduced recoil
    • Lynx – reduced recoil
    • ASM1 – slightly reduced initial fire rate

UI Updates:

    • Rare Supply Drop Error messages when opening fixed.
    • Added a display for how many free slots you have in the Armory from the “Redeem Items” menu.
    • Replaced the camouflage images for Diamond and Royalty with the correct images in the Create-A-Class menu.
    • Replaced the Valkyrie loadout for the Centurion loadout for players who were incorrected rewarded this character gear in Clan Wars.
    • Fixed an issue where duplicates of unlocked items were showing in the New Items list.
    • Fixed an issue where some Create-A-Class were showing the incorrect lock status when selecting a Permanent Unlock when Prestiging.
    • Adjusted kill feed speed from 4 seconds to 6 seconds.

Challenges Updates:

    • Removed ability to earn more than one of a non-redeemable character gear from the Daily Supply Drop Challenges.
    • Players will no longer receive a Daily Supply Drop Challenge for non-redeemable gear they have already acquired.
    • Removed the incorrect challenge for the Crossbow Scope to unlock at 10 kills.

Store Updates:

    • [Xbox One] Players with other profiles who purchased DLC on the same console are now able to properly purchase DLC on their own profile.

Emblem Updates:

    • Fixed an issue where the Emblem would sometimes apply incorrectly to the player card.

Scorestreak Updates:

    • Sentry Gun turrets now die in one melee hit.
    • Decreased the amount of time the player has to hold X to exit a remote controlled Sentry Turret.
    • Unmodified Missile Strike missiles now travel faster when boosting (by hitting the fire button while coming down).
    • The Vulcan laser scorestreak now fires longer.

Ranked Play Updates:

    • Added probation time for players who do not complete or disconnect from Ranked Play matches.
    • Will properly award Division Points in the case of a forfeited match (when the entire other team leaves).

Broadcaster Updates

    • Adjusted the colors and over all look for Broadcaster mode to make text and names easier to read and a better experience for viewers.
    • Fixed a rare issue where HUD elements would get stuck on the broadcaster’s screen.

Game Mode Specific Updates:

    • S&D: Added UI to show if you were attacking or defending at the start of the round.
    • One Shot: Increased Kill Confirmed score limit to 80 in the One Shot Mosh Pit playlist.
    • Gun Game: Added a leaderboard for Gun Game.
    • Momentum: Adjusted spawn locations for the Drift map.
    • Uplink: Fixed an issue where the satellite drone could get stuck on the Clown Inn sign.

Map Specific Updates:

    • Fixed various out of map exploits across different multiplayer maps.
    • Fixed an issue where Orbital Care Packages were removed from areas of the map on Drift after the dynamic map event.
    • Fixed an issue where indestructible objects would show up on the Sideshow map.
    • Adjusted the A Bomb site location on Sideshow.
    • Fixed a performance issue with some of the dynamic map pieces on the Core map.
    • Adjusted spawns locations for the Drift map..
    • Fixed Aerial Assault Drone and Recon Drone out of world exploits on the Sideshow map.

Exo Survival Updates:

    • Fixed various out of map exploits across different multiplayer maps.

Exo Zombies Updates:

    • Added ability for players to pause the game in single-player Private match.
    • Fixed an issue where players were not able to join a match together while in a party.
    • Fixed various out of map exploits where players could remain in place and not be attacked by zombies.
    • Removed the ability for host to start the match before players were ready in a Private Match setting.
    • Fixed an issue for the 20/20 Achievement so weapons that are reacquired after leveling it up to level 20 still count towards the achievement status.
    • Exo Zombies intro movie is now skippable.
    • Fixed a rare crash issue in Exo Zombies.
    • Fixed an issue where certain camos were missing for the ARX160.
    • Fixed an issue where the pop-up messaging for Player 2 could only be closed by Player 1.
    • Fixed a rare issue where the After Action Report was showing the incorrect map information after joining a Private Match.

FIFA 15 Winter player upgrades now in packs

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The winter transfer window closed just a few weeks ago and the football season is in full swing, so it’s a perfect time for EA to release a massive batch of player upgrades and oh boy, there has been some interesting decisions.

Every year EA releases these changes and this is one of the biggest ones to date and includes over 150 players from leagues all around the world.

The full player changes can be found over on the EA Sports Blog but if you don’t fancy looking through all that, just take a quick glance at the gold, silver and bronze upgrades which can be found below.

Unfortunately, current player ratings have not been upgraded and you’ll need to hunt down these new players by opening dozens and dozens of packs.

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AC: Unity patch finally removes Companion App requirements

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Almost three months after its initial launch on the Xbox One, Ubisoft have finally listened to consumers and removed the companion app requirements that were littered throughout Assassin’s Creed: Unity.

The latest patch that has just released on the Xbox One means that all the Initiate chests that were previously locked away behind the ridiculous companion app, can now be accessed whenever you stumble across them, which means I’m going to be booting that game up later today to collect the rest of them.

As well as this fantastic news, the latest update fixes a variety of other bugs such as random crashes, gear unlocks and textures issues. Unity may have had a rough launch but it’s slowly becoming a great game.

The patch should be available to download now and the full details can be found below or on the Ubisoft site. 

Stability & performance

  • Fixed numerous random crashes both on Campaign and Coop

Save game & Progression

  • Fixed gear and outfit rewards getting relocked
  • Added users profile corrector to resolve companion synchronization issues
  • Made Initiate and companion app exclusive content accessible to all players
  • Fixed the ‘Find Leon’ objective not spawning on Dead Kings Memory 2

Online matchmaking, connectivity & replication

  • Fixed various matchmaking and connection issues both in matches and when starting a match.
  • Fixed various replication issues between host and clients
  • Fixed issues with the My Club feature

Gameplay (navigation, fight, stealth)

  • Fixed issue with Arno losing control after trying to launch Initiates from the pause menu
  • Fixed minor navigation issues

Menus and HUD

  • Fixed issues occurring when hacking gears
  • Fixed additional issues with notifications

World & 3D

  • Fixed some minor FX and texture issues

TellTale aware of Game of Thrones Episode 2 save bug, fix coming soon

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TellTale’s fantastic Game of Thrones episodic series recently launched its second episode on our beloved Xbox One but unfortunately, it hasn’t quite gone according to plan.

The second episode of the story driven title contains a frustrating bug which makes player choices from the previous episode fail to import – a fairly important feature for this series.

Thankfully, TellTale has acknowledged the problem over on the games support site and has revealed that a fix is currently in the works and has been sent over to Microsoft for verification, it’ll hopefully be available to download within the next 7-10 days, fingers crossed!

Just hang on a little longer fellow gamers, the patch will be here soon.

Minecraft content update 9 on the way

minecraft xbox one

4J Studios are in the process of releasing a brand new Minecraft update for both Xbox One and Xbox 360 platforms.

Unfortunately, content update 9 brings with it no new features and instead focuses on fixing a whole range of different bugs such as glitched redstone circuits and dodgy village generation.

Full patch notes below:

– More Redstone fixes.
– Increased minecart limit.
– Stopped tamed horses despawning when they are in a fenced-off area.
– Crafting a map now produces an Empty Map.
– Fixed a crash with a Noteblock.
– Fixed an issue with village generation.
– Fixed an issue with Witch Huts allowing other mobs to spawn in them after a reload.
– Fixed an issue where Blaze Spawners and Chests don’t appear in the Nether after a Nether Reset.
– Fixed a crash with Minecarts travelling through Nether Portals.

Advanced Warfare Championship Pack now out, it’s pretty fancy

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Call of Duty Championship 2015 takes place in just a few months time and to help build a lil’ bit of hype, Sledgehammer Games have just dropped a brand new pack of skins revolving around the tournament and it’s now available on Xbox Live.

For just $3.99, you can get your hands on the premium Championship 2015 bundle which contains a themed exoskeleton, weapon camouflages, calling card, helmet and reticules. Best of all? It’s covered in gold from top to bottom, as you can see above.

I think this is one of the first times in Call of Duty history where the gold gun camo is well, actually gold, unlike past attempts which have been mustard/off yellow colour.

If that isn’t enough, you can also purchase additional create-a-class and armory slots which add tonnes of new room for just $1.99 a piece.

Disappointingly, Activision have yet to detail whether any of the money from these pack will go towards the Championship 2015 prize pool, similar to what plenty of other eSport tournaments have done in the past.

The Crew has another patch on the way, online fixes and PvP inbound

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After it’s extremely rough launch late last year, Ubisoft are in the process of releasing yet another patch for The Crew which will hopefully fix a lot of the remaining issues that players are still facing.

As well as fixing a lot of problems, a brand new PvP mode is being introduced. The main goal? Eliminate everyone in the race on one of ten new tracks. Sounds interesting, at least.

You can find the full patch notes below.

New Content

  • New PvP mode
    The new PvP mode is an elimination race with 10 new tracks available.
  • New faction missions
    Four new faction missions will be released with the patch on Thursday, February 12.

Fixes and Updates

Online

  • The quick co-op feature has been improved, and several bugs related to joining sessions have been fixed.
  • PvP lobby improvements
    • Enabled browsing of players after selecting cars.
  • PvP session improvements
    • Matchmaking should now allow players to find more players quicker.

Statistics

  • Fixed the issue that was causing statistics to display incorrect data and/or simply reset the data.
    Previous data will not be restored, but new statistics should not be lost anymore.

Awards

  • Fixed an issue related to unlocking and tracking the progress of certain awards.

Challenges

  • Fixed an issue related to progression on challenges.

Frame rate

  • Improved frame rate in cockpit view.

UI

  • Fixed an issue when applying certain parts.

Friends

  • Fixed an issue related to a friend’s presence in game – their status will be set to offline when they quit the game.

Cars

  • Improvements and tweaking of several cars’ handling and speed.
    • Buggy’s grip has been improved in order for it to be able to climb hills as other Raid cars.
    • Fixed a bug where some cars were able to reach an extreme off-road top speed in reverse gear for:
      • Bentley Continental GT
      • Cadillac Escalade
      • Abarth 500
      • Alfa Romeo 4C
      • Hummer H1 Alpha
    • MINI Cooper S in Circuit Spec:
      • Toned down the nitro and grip for MINI Cooper S.
    • Lamborghini Murcielago in Circuit Spec:
      • Grip slightly improved when using nitro.

Missions

  • AI behavior in some missions improved.
  • AI and police car behavior in chase missions improved:
    • Opponent cars are now less aggressive, and they try more to follow players instead of taking them down.

Gameplay

  • Modifications applied to the friction on side barriers in order to avoid wall-riding exploit.

Breaking News! Another Call of Duty will be released this year!

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I strongly recommend you take a seat before you read any further as this will blow your mind.

Treyarch have just confirmed on Twitter that they’re currently developing a Call of Duty title and it’ll be launching this year.

The Call of Duty series is currently being worked on by three different studios, each releasing a title once every three years. Treyarch in 2012, Infinity Ward in 2013, Sledgehammer Games in 2014 and Treyarch in 2015. It’s a pretty great pattern as it’ll hopefully mean games receiving plenty of polish and tonnes of new features.

Treyarch and David Vonderhaar have been teasing details about this upcoming title for a few days now and it’s so far seems to be pointing in the direction of a return to World War II.

You can’t help but be slightly curious as it’s been a bloody long time since we’ve had a truly great World War II title.