Some thoughts

Animal CrossingAfter spending most of the week playing with WordPress, I’m finally able to do some real blogging.

I’ve been playing two games this week – Halo 2 and Animal Crossing. Guess which one I’m playing with my two-year-old? She loves when I catch fish and always cracks up when I get an old shoe or a tin can. “You have to go to the dump, daddy!” She didn’t particularly like me getting stung by the bees I rudely awoke by shaking their tree. “What’s wrong with his eye?” There has been some recent mentions of Animal Crossing lately: there’s the kid that proposed to his girlfriend via Animal Crossing’s in-game mail service. How cute. Jane at Game Girl Advance mentions playing AC with the animals asking her about how her ex-boyfriend was doing. Freaky.

It is weird how our Animal Crossing town, “pooptown” (I know, how original), continued down its virtual path even though my wife and I hadn’t played for over seven months. There were a couple pooptowners who hadn’t talked to my wife’s character for almost two years. But they happily lived their lives, oblivous to our abscence. Didn’t anyone send out a search party? Wasn’t anyone worried that tony and bella hadn’t been heard of in months? And the police officers? Don’t go there. Those lazy bums didn’t seem to notice were gone. But that creepy fat guy in the station still follows us around like a hawk.

When I had some time to game by myself, I popped Halo 2 in and played some Live matches and jumped back into the single player game. Earlier, I had read the analysis and review over at 7hr33 and as I read I kept thinking, “yup, uh huh” and, “exactly”. One quote in particular stuck out:

Though the weapons are supposed to be more balanced than in the first, they invariably end up feeling rather impotent and bland, and the weapons that most teams scramble over each other to get at are the sword and the rocket launcher, leaving those unequipped or unwilling to use them with no truly effective countermeasure (ie. a powerful, universally distributed mid-range rifle, etc.).

This is so true. I played on Live last night with some friends and it continually dawned on me that I was always looking for the rocket launcher/energy sword/shot gun. As soon as I spawned I knew exactly where I could go to upgrade my SMG. 7hr33 refers to the “the chaotic hail of bullets” (or bullet spam, if you will). So true. A fire-fight usually becomes a “I hope I pulled the triggers first”. Nothing is more frustrating that getting your bullet spam on with someone and a third party enters the fray and picks up the scraps. That’s not skill, that’s luck. One thing Halo taught me was patience. Take your time, pick your shots, go for the head, ease on back if you’re losing the upper-hand. One thing Halo 2 is teaching me is to run and find other people fighting with each other so I can have some easy pickings. Strategy and skill has been dumbed down in Halo 2, which is unfortunate, because it was done so well in Halo.

And I am really becoming disenchanted with Halo 2 on Live. It’s the same frigging three games, over and over. Assualt on Burial Mounds, Team Slayer on Coagulation, one flag CTF on Zanzibar. It’s becoming less and less fun. It’s still good for an occasional Rumble Pit, but unless I’m playing with friends, I doubt I’ll be playing on Live as much as I used to.

Playing the single player missions are still enjoyable, I’m having fun. I still think Halo 2 is a great game, don’t get me wrong, it’s just not a great game.

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