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The red ring of death

Assassins Creed 3 was one of the big releases of late 2012 and I for one eagerly awaited its arrival. Then however, disaster struck and my Xbox got the notorious red ring of death. For those who may not know, the red ring of death is so named because three quarters of the lights around the power switch turn red when the Xbox is affected.

It means that my Xbox was broken, so I decided to find out more about the red ring of death to try and fix my Xbox. I owe it to Assassins Creed 3. I wouldn’t mind if I’d had the thing for ages, but after only a couple or so years of careful use I’m a bit flummoxed.

Xbox tips

My search brought me across some interesting titbits of information, some of them containing good advice. I found some handy advice from seasoned players on the best ways to avoid the deadly rings.

One thing they do is to monitor the length of time that the Xbox is left running. It is not good to play for 5+ hours straight, by playing for this amount of time there is a good chance of the console overheating. It seems obvious to me, but another tip is to remember to turn off after playing.

Another tip is to make sure that the Xbox has plenty of space around it. By putting the Xbox in as much of an open space as can be achieved, there is more chance of the fan doing its job effectively. It appears from the forums I visited to ask about this that many people attribute not putting the Xbox in an aerated space as being one of the top reasons for the ruthless red rings.

Some people just get a faulty Xbox that only lasts anything from minutes to a few months before the red light strikes; this is rare and very bad luck.

Saved by the warranty

I have read around and see that with my tinkering skills there would be a way to try and fix it, but breaking into the box will void any technical support from Microsoft. So I chose the wise option and sent my Xbox back to Microsoft, as I have checked and discovered that my console is still just less than three years old.  I borrowed an Xbox shortly after mine broke, so I didn’t miss out too much, but I haven’t had the time to get my own copy of Assassins Creed 3 sorted yet.

I have only just had the chance to do this, since I had a mad Christmas that involved more beer drinking than playing computer games, but I am hoping the Xbox comes back soon.

Bring on Assassins Creed!

Poker queen

I know most blokes my age either have a girlfriend or want one, but I’ve never really been that bothered that I didn’t have a bird.  Until now.

My best mate and I went out last night for a quiet drink and there was a poker game going on in the same pub.  It’s pretty interesting just watching – quite tempted to learn, actually – and we stayed and watched as the number of players got lower and lower.

The final table of the tournament consisted of eight blokes and a bird.  Dark hair, cute smile, really big eyes, you know the type.  She kept messing with their heads, smiling or looking serious when she was dealt her cards, but I could see her hand each time and I can tell you that she was mainly bluffing.

She forced three of them all in on a Q8 hand – apparently not the best hand to win with – and showed them her cards when she had won, smirking.  That irritated a few of them a bit.  It’s not considered good form to show your cards, especially if you’ve bluffed your way into a big stack of chips, but as she pointed out, you’re in it to win it and it wasn’t as if everyone folded. They’d played against her and lost.

She came second in the tournament, although the two player heads up round seemed to go on forever, with the chips changing hands every couple of rounds.  She was kind of aggressive but cheeky, and she was apologetic to the guy who came third because he had pushed all in with a pair of Aces and lost everything to her King 9.  She told me later that the guy should have gone all in before the first three cards had even come out.

Attractive?  Yes.  Funny?  Yes.  Clever?  Probably too clever for me, but yes.  Do I like her? Oh yes!

I’m going to see if we can head down to the pub on the same night next week and maybe play a hand or two if there aren’t that many people.  I don’t even know her name yet, but I figure it’s best to play birds at their own game.

The most awaited video-game releases of the year

It’s safe to say that November has probably been the month that all my fellow gamers out there have been waiting for. With four huge releases, it’s time for me to fire up the xbox and finally replace those batteries.

Assassins Creed 3

Set in 1775, this third installation from the Assassins Creed franchise puts the player in the place of Connor, an assassin during the time of the American Revolution who pledges to free his people from the hands of the British. There’s also a multiplayer option in this game, allowing you and all of your friends to join in on the fun.

Halo 4

The stunning graphics forced me to rub my eyes to ensure that, I was indeed, watching the trailer of a video game and not some classified MI5 file. However, graphics aside, Halo 4 immediately picks up where Halo 3 left off. Not wanting to give too much away, I’ll just let you know that it’s the best Halo yet.

Call of Duty: Black Ops 2

9th November, 2010 was the day that Black Ops was released, and after almost two years, Activision has released the sequel. Collecting over $500 million dollars in the first 24 hours and an intense storyline, this first person shooter game is definitely something.

Medal Of Honour: Warfighter

Nominated for the Spike’s Video Game Awards, this game allows you to choose which nation’s Special Operations Force you want to represent. The best part of Medal of Honour games for me is probably their authenticity as even the finest details on actual landscapes are put in, and firing a AK5 in the game sounds exactly like firing a AK5 in real life.

These four are probably the best four games out there, so I would grab them whilst you can!

It’s time to clear out your video game drawer

Yesterday, I was cleaning out and sorting my old video games when I came across some real old ones, which I thought may be worth a bit of money because of their good condition. A few minutes of research later, these three games are probably the ones that would fetch anyone a nice amount of dough.  However my games have been played within an inch of their life.

The Halo Triple Pack (for Xbox)

Estimated Value: £50.00-£100.00

This Halo Triple Pack consists of Halo 1, Halo 2 and the Halo 2 multiplayer map pack. All of these can be called ‘classics’ and the demand for them is increasing. I love the Halo games, so it’s no surprise to me that the triple packs are selling for around a hundred pounds.

Final Fantasy VII – Black Label (for Playstation)

Estimated Value: £30.00-£300.00

The jump in the price range from £30.00 to £300.00 depends mainly on the quality of the copy. Unopened, great condition copies of the original could end up rewarding you with hundreds of pounds, whereas used copies could still give you a decent amount, but not as much.

Metal Gear Solid 3 Subsistence: Limited Edition (for PS2)

Estimated Value: £60.00-£300.00

Whereas most gamers decide not to fall for the ‘collectors edition’ or ‘limited edition’ copies, you’ll probably regret not buying this one. This edition of Metal Gear Solid 3 includes a DVD that has the scenes that were cut from the game edited and put together into a movie.

I’m sure some of you are kicking yourselves right now, but don’t worry. With all of these big time releases coming out right now, it shouldn’t be too hard to snag yourself a copy, and if you really want to plan ahead, why not buy two and lock the other one up so you can sell it still in its original packaging after a few years?

Irksome pigs

Angry Birds is an old game now, but that doesn’t mean that the birds are any less angry.  In fact, they are probably angrier.  The original version of the smartphone and tablet game is fiendishly addictive.  For those who haven’t played it before, it involves firing some seriously irked birds from a catapult into a variety of structures in order to crush and destroy their enemies, the thieving pigs dispersed around the screen.

There are a few different types of enraged birds, each with a unique way of venting their frustration.  There is a bird that explodes (my personal favourite), a bird that angrily fires an egg, and a multiplying bird that turns into three little birds.  The devilishly simple concept of the game makes throwing birds at walls with a catapult quite fun, and it can get quite engrossing.


There have been many new installations, or “episodes”, added to the game since its conception, so new levels are always being introduced in a variety of themes and settings.  Some interesting game developments include the fact that the members of the band Green Day are to be featured in an upcoming episode as pigs.  It is said they will also be shamelessly smearing their new song release all over the episode.  Oh well, you can’t have it all.

A Star Wars themed version of Angry Birds is in the pipeline and is getting enthusiasts of the game rather excited.  It seems that since its first release back in 2009, the Angry Birds have got so angry that they have taken over the world.  I personally think they have every right to be a little irked, as the pigs stole their eggs – so I can see the vendetta held by the angry birds.


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