Last night, I was minding my own business, fruitlessly attempting to get the Marathon achievement in Trials, when BionicWhiteJedi sent me a message asking if I'd help with Halo 3: ODST's Vidmaster Challenge: Déjà Vu. I glanced at the clock and figured I'd have plenty of time. I joined his party and the first thing I heard was some brat saying he didn't want to help anymore and that he had only joined to laugh when Jedi failed. First of all, that's a rather distasteful thing to say, and second, Jedi don't fail.
This kid subsequently left the party, but Jedi must have really wanted his help because he joined the brat's party and invited me in. The kid cried and moaned some more and then I got kicked. At this point, I was starting to feel bad for Jedi, so I was determined to help him get the achievement before the night was over. Eventually, the two of us met up with czerz1er (who has been patiently waiting for my help with Endure), and BLUE DEMON o0. The crying and moaning was over and our team of four was determined to complete our daunting mission. We loaded up Coastal Highway on Legendary, flipped on Iron (and grunt birthday party), and started the mission.
Our team had never fought together before so our strengths and common roles were unknown, but that didn't matter. A teammate and I proceeded on the ground level while the other two double timed it up the stairs to the sniper position for the first encounter. Grenades womped, sniper rifles cracked, silenced SMGs purred, grunt heads popped with confetti, and children cheered as we rolled right through the weak Covenant ground forces. We clicked.
Virgil got us to the highway and we quickly seized the unyielding rocket launchers and mongooses. Four soldiers with highly explosive projectile weapons is a force to be reckoned with, however, when uncoordinated, they are more deadly to themselves than others. After a few "oops" moments, we settled on a rough strategy and kept out of each other's way (for the most part) for the remainder of the mission.
We cut through Covenant forces with ease, hit every checkpoint, and made it to the final building with only a few minor trouble areas. Once at the building, I headed to the raised parking lot on the left, just a few yards from where the majority of the phantom drop-ships unload their personnel. From that vantage point I was able to hit them hard before their feet even hit the ground. The others stuck near the building and hit them at range. The Covenant didn't have a chance. After a few minutes, our fellow ODSTs flew in with the hijacked phantom, and we escorted Virgil up the gravlift. Tier One asset secure. Mission Complete.
We completed the mission in exactly one hour. Uncoordinated teams spend hours on this mission and never complete it. Jedi said he's failed the mission several times before, so I'm so glad I was able to help him and the others through it. I hope he sends his "friend" a link to our game history, and rubs it in real nice and thick. This is the type of experience co-op gamers strive for. Even though I personally did not get any achievement, or progress through the game, I helped three others, who were discouraged by previous failures and obnoxious "friends", get one of the most difficult Halo achievements of them all. And we had a blast in the meantime. That is enough for me.
Last night ContactTango invited me to play some Halo 3 with his fellow staff members at the Spartan I Project. Despite being a loud bunch, they were all really nice and I had a blast playing with them. Everyone seemed to be very teamwork oriented which is a nice change from the usual random people we run into. The teamwork was almost organic and communication was hardly necessary at times.
If you've never heard of the Spartan I Project, you should head over to their site and see what they have to offer. They're famous for their fast and successful Vidmaster Annual runs which was the first I had heard of them. If you need any help with achievements (especially Vidmaster achievements) or are just looking for great teammates, I suggest you check them out.
Last Friday Co-Optimus hosted a "Halo Collectible Night" as part of our monthly co-op night with Halo Waypoint. We planned on helping people find skulls, terminals, and audio logs from Halo 3 and Halo 3 ODST and hopefully pick up some achievements. I already have everything so I sat around waiting for someone to ask for help. I ended up hooking up with L1GHT3NSTRIKE to pick up all the audio logs in ODST. We hit all 29 from the streets in about an hour, but couldn't find the entrance to Data Hive where the 30th is hidden. Google told me the entrance to Data Hive isn't accessible until you play through all the flashback levels. What a pain! We both already finished the game and started the game with the Mombosa Streets, so why block us from Data Hive?
I was wary of exiting and starting up Data Hive because I had a suspicion that we'd lose the audio logs we collected. On the other hand, we weren't about to play straight through the game just to get the last one, so we took the risk. Well, I was right. We fired up Data Hive and lost all our precious audio logs! Why Bungie? WHY?
Bungie is one of my favorite developers, and has rarely wronged me in the past, so this really surprised me. I know ODST was a small project but it seems like too many corners were cut. The one that really hurts is the lack of matchmaking in Firefight. The excuse was that Firefight was built on top of the campaign engine, which doesn't have matchmaking capabilities. That's such a shame. Firefight could have been huge with matchmaking. I also wish Bungie would crank out some new maps for Firefight. The existing ones are cool but some new maps would really spice it up. ODST could have used multiplayer as well. Just think of playing the current Halo 3 game types in ODST, and all the new game types that could have evolved from ODST. That would have been a blast.
In the end, ODST is a great game and I'm sure I'll be firing it up for years to come. One thing is for sure, I'll never try helping anyone with audio logs ever again! Do it solo. Here's some help:
Merry Christmas everyone! I hope everyone has a blast this Christmas season. I know I haven't posted in a long time and that really sucks... a lot (sorry). We've been incredibly busy and frankly, have had some weird happenings going on keeping us from blogging among other things. But Christmas is turning out pretty well!
So lets catch up... A few months ago, Borderlands FINALLY made it to our doorstep and we couldn't be happier. The game is an absolute blast! We've logged 45 hours in the game and we've still got a ways to go. We have a few minor complaints, but overall, its definitely one of our favorites.
The following month, Halo 3 ODST came out and we had a blast with that one as well! The campaign really surprised me, I was not expecting such a gripping story and incredible graphics. Its hard to believe its just a tweaked Halo 3 engine. We've also had a lot of fun with Firefight which is definitely way more exciting than survival/horde modes in other games. I really hope Bungie is working on some Firefight DLC, but it doesn't sound like that will happen. Firefight could definitely use some more maps.
Earlier this month, my lovely wife gave me an early Christmas present. Just like last year, we were slaying zombies before Christmas, this time in Left4Dead2. The game definitely has a lot to offer despite all the controversy. Although, I must say, I wouldn't pay full price for it. The survivor AI got dumber and the AI director got tougher. After the fourth time one of our AI buddies spooked a witch, I started getting really annoyed. We left them behind quite a bit because going back for them was usually more trouble than it was worth. Overall, it is a fun game, and I look forward to logging some more hours on it. I'm not sure I want to try the next difficulty without having a full crew of friends though. The AI was just too aggravating and I don't think we stand a chance with them.
Achievements! Wow, I've had fun with achievements lately. I'll just list my recent favorites...
From Left4Dead2: CL0WND, CLUB DEAD, and HEAD HONCHO were all a blast.
From Halo 3 ODST: Be Like Marty (drove my wife around on a 'hog), Vidmaster Challenge: Déjà Vu, Vidmaster Challenge: Classic (way easier than I thought it would be), and Vidmaster Challenge: Endure.
From Borderlands: You're on a boat! (ok, I confessed, I kind of cheated on this one), Facemelter (LOVE corrosive weapons... *sizzle*), and that's it so far. I really want to figure out what the rest of those secret ones are but without cheating :).
I'm REALLY looking forward to Halo Reach. The trailer was fantastic. I'd link to it but I won't because I strongly recommend you download it on your 360 and see it in HD with glorious sound. I've watched it several times now and I'm still all giddy.
Another one on my list is Brink. There are four videos on XBL for that as well. They show off the SMART system of movement which is pretty snazzy. Its Mirror's Edge craziness but easier (or at least the dev made it look easy). The other videos show off a few different classes and the objective system. Brink is really shaping up and six player co-op has me extremely excited. If there's no split screen, I'm going to be extremely bummed.
That's about in on the game front and I don't have a whole lot to add about anything else either. If you see me online this weekend or next week, send me an invite! Tuesday, we're getting together with my brothers for some in-person gaming but other than that, we're pretty free. So again, I hope you all have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
Arguably one of the most difficult achievements Halo 3 has to offer is the Vidmaster Challenge: Annual. I've never had a big motivation to try it since its 0 points and I don't really care about getting Recon armor, but a bunch of people at Co-Optimus have been looking for help. I figured I might as well give it a try, so Saturday night, Erika and I joined up with Bakken Hood and husky trooper and gave it a try. Actually our first attempt was with Bakken Hood and DSiJanCarlo but it was so embarrassing we won't talk about it. We did take one thing from that failure though, do not try the grenade jump shortcut. Its a waste of time and extremely frustrating.
With husky trooper, we managed to get up to the top of the structure without too much trouble. It took two tries to kill the tin can but only because I got too close and he launched me off the bridge with his wind attack. On our way out our own deployable turrets took us out a few times (note to self: destroy turrets before going inside). Husky trooper informed us to clear the ice path before getting the ghosts, that probably saved us quite a bit of time. The part that took the longest was the final stretch where you're racing to the ship while the Halo is falling apart. After a TON of respawns we finally made it to the ship. We probably would have had better luck if Erika and I hadn't been lagging so much.
We had some pretty amusing moments. Being killed by our own turrets multiple times made us laugh every time. There were also a few jumps that we completely missed. The one that cracked me up the most was when I clipped the wall while going off a ledge because my ghost turned to auto-aim at a flood enemy. I rolled out of my ghost which stayed on the ledge while I flew off the ledge along with my team mates (note to self: turn off auto-aim).
At the end, it was a fun hour and 37 minutes. I'd do it again if anyone needs help. I must warn you though, the two of us aren't the greatest on the ghosts!
- Vidmaster Challenge: Annual
- Date Earned: Sunday, September 20, 2009
- After 9/25/08, completed Halo on 4-player Legendary LIVE co-op, with Iron, and everyone in Ghosts.