Trigger Happy

Tag: gaming

A Feel-Good Co-Op Moment

by on Aug.06, 2010, under gaming


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.

Vidmaster Challenge: Déjà Vu Success

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The Fall of Reach

by on Jul.19, 2010, under gaming, geek


I've had all the Halo books on my Amazon wishlist for a while now, but none of those wishes have come true. That is, until my wife ran into The Fall of Reach at Goodwill a few months back and we promptly bought it. I finally got around to cracking the book open Saturday morning while Erika was out and I literally could not put it down. I spent the majority of my free time this weekend reading that book and I finished it last night in bed.

This is a great little novel if you're a Halo fan. I've (obviously) played through all the games but, like most games, the Halo series fails to explain the history of the conflict. A lot of the characters you meet in the games have very colorful histories, and perhaps the most surprising to me, was Captain Keyes. Even Master Chief, the hero of the series, known for being the silent type and nearly void of personality, has a lot of secrets in his past. There is one other character who has some very interesting twists, but I'm not going to spoil that one. Lets just say he/she only looks sweet and innocent in the game.

If you're a Halo fan, The Fall of Reach is a must-read, especially before Halo: Reach comes out this September. There are so many details in the book that clear up the story lines in the games. It makes me want to play through all the games again now that I know more of the back-story.

If you're not a Halo fan... you should be. I'd honestly recommend playing at least Halo: Combat Evolved before reading the book. The book is good but I don't think it would be as interesting to someone who doesn't already know the characters and the ending. I could be wrong. It's hard to judge this book on it's own without taking the games into context as well.

If I've piqued your interest, head over to Amazon and pick it up! There are many other Halo books available as well and I will be digging into those soon (I might opt for the audio-books to make my two hour daily commutes more interesting). Now, time to fire up Halo CE!

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E3 Highlights

by on Jun.19, 2010, under gaming

E3 brought a lot of exciting news for Xbox 360 fans this year. Possibly the biggest announcement was the unveiling of Kinect (formerly Project Natal). Many have picked on Kinect for several reasons but I think most of those complaints are unfounded. In it's current state, I don't think anyone had hardcore gamers in mind, yet the only people complaining are the hardcore gamers. Let them perfect the technology with casual games, it will be in everyone's best interest in the end. It's kind of funny because I bet if there was a hardcore game being released with Kinect compatibility, gamers would be complaining that they have to buy Kinect or that gamers with Kinect would have an unfair advantage, etc. etc. In the end, the implementation would not be perfect and there'd be millions of complaints about that. I think Microsoft is making the right move by focusing on casual games first. There won't be much of a backlash when things aren't perfect. Personally, I'm looking forward to Kinect since it will have some fun games for kids and the control it will offer in the dashboard will be very cool as well. I'm not counting on playing any hardcore games with it any time soon.

Another huge announcement was the new slim Xbox 360. This had a "meh" reaction from me. Yes, the integrated wireless is nice, but I wouldn't use it. The smaller form factor is pretty minimal, the current model is small enough in my book. The best part about it is that all the current Xbox 360's got a $50 drop in price and stores are pushing to clear out their stock. I just picked up an Xbox 360 Arcade for $130 and got a $50 gift card! Basically, I got a brand new Xbox 360 Arcade for $80. I'll be selling the two games and controller that came with it so that will sweeten the deal even more. It will be nice to have another Xbox for those games that don't offer split screen. So I guess the new 360 is cool in some respect ;).

For me, I think I got more excited about the game announcements. Bungie announced Firefight for Halo Reach which is insanely customizable and has some cool new features. I figured it was coming but actually seeing the trailer and hearing about all the new features was very exciting. The little bit of space battles they showed was pretty cool but I'm a little bit weary about it. I hope it is included in multiplayer and I really hope it is not over-done in the campaign. I also hope it is not too generic. I would be very excited if it has a Star Wars Battlefront feel to it where you can land inside a station or large ship and attack or go after some sort of objective.

Another set of game announcement I am very excited about is everything Epic announced for Gears of War 3. Beast Mode (basically the inverse of Horde mode) sounds absolutely fantastic. I can't wait to get my hands on that mode. The new weapons and enemies are looking awesome and Epic has really seemed to hit the mark with female gears. They're not too fragile and they're not too buff. They look tough while still retaining their womanhood. They found a good balance.

Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light is looking good. That will be a fun game to tackle with my wife. I'm also looking forward to Dungeon Siege 3 and Hunted: Demon's Forge. I've been keeping an eye on Crackdown 2, although since there's no couch co-op, I'm on the fence. There are so many games out there and not enough time to play them all.

All links point to Co-Optimus, because I'm a whore like that.

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Gears of War 3 Screenshots!

by on May.21, 2010, under gaming

I don't know where All Games Beta gets some of this stuff but these screenshots are looking SWEET. I've plopped them here and you can just flip through them much easier than at All Games Beta.

Some of these shots feature the new (old) Lancer from the Pendulum Wars which sports a bayonet instead of a chainsaw. It's looking pretty sweet. There are also shots of the new Lambent enemies we'll be seeing and a few wide shots of maps that I'm guessing are for multiplayer and horde mode. I wonder if that scoreboard still works.

Game Informer has been releasing some awesome details about Gears of War 3 as well so be sure to stop by there frequently for more great stuff.









Source: All Games Beta

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Invasion - First Impressions

by on May.08, 2010, under gaming


Bungie set the Invasion and Invasion Slayer game types loose on Friday, and I couldn't put it down that night. Both game types put six Elites up against six Spartans with weapon/ability loadouts that progressively get better. The special weapons and vehicles also improve as the match goes on. The final minutes are usually quite intense.

Invasion Slayer is basically Team Slayer with territories that, when captured, drop heavy weapons and vehicles. Teams still compete for the highest kill count, but teams can gain a strategic advantage by capturing territories. Can is the key word here. When a territory is captured, the bonus (a weapon or vehicle) is dropped at the territory after ten seconds. Smart teams that arrive late to the territory will gang up and attack just before the bonus is dropped. In my experience, the team that captures the territory rarely reaps it's benefits very well. Either the opposing team takes control of the area before the drop, or they destroy the vehicle faster than the other team can escape. At first I was really focused on controlling territories, but after a while, I found it was better to just sit back and pick off anyone that ran for it. Nice open targets are my favorite. Occasionally, I'd hit a territory if we had a tight group but usually I just felt like an easy target. Overall, it's a refreshing game type, but it's yawn worthy when compared to Invasion.

Invasion... This is almost the game type I've always wanted to see in Halo. Elites are attempting to steal a data core from a decommissioned UNSC ship, but first they have to take down the shields blocking access to the ship, and security measures protecting the core itself. Elites have four minutes for each objective, if they run out of time for any objective, Spartans win. Invasion plays out very well. Most games make it to the final stretch which makes it pretty exciting. The game is very well balanced even though Elites are obviously more powerful. I've been having a lot of fun with this mode and I had a hard time calling it quits early this morning.
You may be wondering why I say it's almost the game type I've always wanted to see in Halo. I've always been a huge fan of Tribes and Tribes 2, so when Halo came out, I was hoping the team based multiplayer would be more like Tribes. Deployable turrets, different armor classes, a huge selection of guns, fantastic vehicle combat, and, my favorite, generators that can be destroyed to leave the enemy team crippled. Don't get me wrong, I love Halo multiplayer, but the Tribes series is something special that has yet to be matched. Halo Reach's Invasion and Generator Defense game types have introduced some of the elements I love from Tribes to Halo, so I'm pretty happy. I hope these modes are received well by the rest of the Halo fans, and I hope Bungie has time and plans to add more complex objectives to Reach. I keep thinking the next game will be even better, but I have to keep reminding myself that this is probably the last Halo game from Bungie.

Of course, one huge aspect I love about Invasion and Invasion Slayer, is that you get to play as a kick ass Elite! I always hated how Elites are the same as Spartans in Halo 2 and 3 (besides the player model obviously). Elites are way more bad-ass than Spartans. I don't care that they're enemies blah blah blah, they're fucking awesome. End of story. Elites in Halo Reach are faster, have stronger shields, more health, and they're HUGE. Just as they should be. They are a blast to play and I'm glad Bungie finally served them right.
Overall, Invasion and Invasion Slayer are amazing and I don't see myself ever getting tired of them (especially not Invasion). I hope Bungie has more surprises up its sleeve and, in particular, more co-op modes!

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