Halo 3: Slayer

My streak of playing and finishing a Halo game each weekend has finally ended. I still did manage to play some Halo though. However, since I was hanging out with my friends S and C and co-op only supports 2 players, we tried out the multiplayer slayer game in Halo 3.

I was quite intimidated going into it, because the two of them have played Halo for years. I knew they were much better than me, but I decided to give it a try anyway. While I have improved, I still got my butt kicked. After a while it stops being fun when you are always the one who loses, although I did manage to barely beat S once.

It was funny to play with them though, because they have also played against each other many times and know what to expect from each other. They are then ready to counter the other player’s usual tactics. On the other hand, I am still new and unpredictable and really managed to keep them on their toes. It also helped that I haven’t really settled into a play style and so I can be very adaptable.  As S said, “The best swordsman in the world doesn’t need to fear the second best swordsman in the world; no, the person for him to be afraid of is some ignorant antagonist who has never had a sword in his hand before; he doesn’t do the thing he ought to do, and so the expert isn’t prepared for him.” – Mark Twain.

Although I am proud of my efforts, I don’t think I’ll be playing with them much again. It isn’t much fun to always be the loser. If I were to play again, I would much rather play with people closer to my skill level and/or experience. I also don’t think I want to play again at all. I prefer co-op a lot more over competitive play, especially when I would otherwise be getting destroyed!

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Halo ODST

This post will contain spoilers.

For the past month, I have blown through one Halo game each weekend! I finished playing through Halo ODST this past Sunday. Just like I continued the trend of playing through one game each weekend, the trend of me liking each Halo game I play more and more also continued.

ODST is quite different from the other Halo games. It’s a lot less linear, and the whole thing takes place in more of an urban setting. Also, you play as an ODST and not a Spartan. That means less armor and less protection. I used more strategy and sneakiness than I had in any other Halo game. Since there were buildings everywhere, at least there was more cover which helped make the lack of armor tolerable. It was a fun change, although I also enjoy playing as a Spartan.

Another difference is you don’t play with radar. Instead you have a visor, which gives you a sort of night vision and outlines enemies in red. I thought it was fun that you have to be a little more aware of your surroundings so nothing could sneak up on you, rather than being able to see on the radar that something was sneaking up on you. One minor annoyance I had was you had to turn the visor back on after every cutscene.

I also worked on my sniping skills, which was a lot of fun. I’d go find a perch in a building and snipe away. I had some great shots and I like sniping a lot more than I did before. I was also quite good at spotting where other snipers were, and taking them out before they could do anything.

The story was also told in flashbacks, showing what happened to other characters. In the beginning, you are a rookie ODST and get dropped to Earth, but you are separated from your team. You explore the city and look for clues about what happened to your teammates. Every time you find one, you then play as a different character and find out what happened to them. It got a little confusing sometimes, because once in a while I would forget who I was playing with. I was also quite thrilled that Buck was clearly modeled after and voiced by Nathan Fillion. He is one of my favorite actors, and I had no idea he was in this game. At the end, I also found out that two other teammates were voiced by Alan Tudyk and Adam Baldwin, who were actors on the show Firefly along with Nathan Fillion. Firefly is one of my favorite shows so it was fun to see them all back together, even though I really dislike Adam Baldwin.

Although ODST was quite different from the other Halo games, I really like those differences. But I am also happy to go back to how the other Halo games were when I play Halo 4 next!

Halo 3

This post will contain spoilers.

I have now finished Halo 3! I’m a little surprised at how fast we’ve been blowing through the games. So far, I’ve liked each one better than the last. The updated graphics help a lot, and I also think the story gets more involved and engaging. Some of the deaths made me quite sad. After seeing Miranda and Anderson die, I felt quite bloodthirsty and wanted revenge.

I’m still not a fan of dual wielding, so I just usually didn’t use it for most of the game. I also played most of it with S instead of C, and we finally figured out how to work together plus I improved a little more so it went a lot better than when we played Halo 2 together. With S, we tend to split up, take care of enemies, and rejoin when we are done. With C, we are much more cooperative and work together and stay near each other. Part of my improvement was from getting used to the recoil feature, which was introduced in Halo 2 but I forgot to mention it. I didn’t like or dislike the addition; it was just something else to get used to.

Another plus was that in co-op mode, player 1 played as Master Chief and player 2 played as the Arbiter. Since I’m player 2, I got to play as the Arbiter! There really wasn’t any difference in gameplay except for the fact I would start out with slightly different weapons, but it was still fun.

Next we’ll be playing Halo ODST. I can’t wait to see what it will be like to play as an ODST and not a Spartan! I’ve been warned it will be harder, but I’m confident I can handle it. Although it means I will have to wait a bit longer to find out what happens to Master Chief! He was not left in a good place. I guess it will motivate me to get through ODST quickly!

Halo 2

This post will contain spoilers.

So, I’ve already blown through another Halo game. We started playing it on Saturday, and finished the game on Monday. I had a long weekend because of July 4th, so plenty of time for gaming.

Unfortunately the copy of Halo 2 we were able to find was not the anniversary edition. We had to deal with older graphics and even some annoying glitches once in a while that made it hard to see where we were going. After we were done playing, I saw what the updated graphics look like and the improvement was amazing!

Since we were still playing co-op, there was a difference in how the screen was split. It was split vertically rather than horizontally, which was really nice. However, I really did not care for the dual wielding. I would often forget to use the left one, because I am used to that button being used for throwing grenades. Once in a while I would dual wield for a while, then stop and forget that the left button was once again for throwing grenades. This resulted in me blowing myself up a couple of times because I would then throw a grenade instead of shooting the left gun at enemies that got close to me. It was also annoying that you drop your secondary gun every time you make a melee attack or switch weapons. Eventually I just stopped dual wielding completely, because I use melee attacks often. Even those were a little annoying to use, because the button was B instead of right bumper.

I also played for a while with my friend S instead of C. We definitely do not work together as well as C and I do. S is too used to playing alone, I think. I accidentally killed him a couple of times because he would get in my way just as I was going in to attack or shoot an enemy. We eventually got it together and started cooperating better, but I’d rather play with C.

The story once again captured my interest and made me want to learn more. I especially liked switching between Master Chief’s and the Arbiter’s points of view, even though it led to some very confusing moments! There were many times when we’d be playing through a part as the Arbiter, and I’d almost attack my allies because I am so used to attacking grunts, jackals, and elites. There was also a funny moment when we got some hunters as allies, and I almost had a heart attack and shot them when I went through some doors and saw them standing there!

Next, I’ll be playing through Halo 3. I’m excited for more!

Update

Oops, it’s been a while since I’ve updated! I’ve been a little busy, but mostly with fun things. Since it’s summer now, most of my friends have more time so I’ve been doing things like going to the beach or the pool.

I have still found a little time to game, since a lot of my friends are also gamers. I just don’t have much to update on. There’s been some sessions of firefight in Halo Reach. While I’m not nearly as good as my friends, they like to play with me because I guess I have a good head for tactics.

I have improved a lot too. I am much better at remembering the controls and I’m getting down the reflex to switch weapons or reload when I need to. I have also had trouble at keeping track of everything on the screen, because there is always a lot going on! Now I’m better at keeping track of my radar and any enemies near me, as well as how my shields are and if I need to reload.

I hope to keep improving, because I ordered Halo 3 and ODST and they should arrive on Friday! I’m excited to play more Halo. I also got an XBox controller and figured out how to use it with my PC. Hopefully, that will make my playthrough of Mass Effect 3 go more smoothly once I finally get to it. While I loved playing Mass Effect 2, the keyboard and mouse controls for it just didn’t feel as natural to me as the XBox controller. \

Hopefully, I’ll have more interesting things to write about next time!