First, there was the recent update/tweak to Halo 2’s gameplay. In a previous life, I was a Halo boxer. It was how I played – I’d rush with the Assault Rifle business end to take down the shields and then I’d use the other business end for a little smackdown action. It was pretty effective and served me well. Halo 2 1.0 nerfed my modus operandi. It took a while to divorce myself from it and I lived without it. Halo 2 1.1 has all changed that. It’s like an old friend has moved back into the neighborhood. I still take a beating going with the shoot-shoot-punch but now it’s much more effective. Instead winning three out of ten times, I’m putting the beatdown on the bad guys eight out of ten times. This simple tweak has increased my enjoyment tenfold. Just last night me and my clanmates went 8-2 in our matches. I am very eagerly anticipating the new playlists and playing on the new maps next week.
The other game I’ve given a try on Live is Burnout 3. Burnout 3 is such a great single player game (I unlock unlockables like a machine!) but most multiplayer racing games suck because it has to be split-screen. Well I gave B3 a ride (pun!) on Live and it is a great diversion. I immediately noticed the guys playing were actually cool to play with! No Halo 2 kiddies tell me what he did to my mom (or my dead corpse) and no kids screaming obscenities and farm animal noises. The guys were cool, we chatted about the next-gen Madden game, the next Burnout game, and just chilled. It was relaxing — just like a game should be. That said, I won’t be playing B3 anytime soon – I haven’t unlocked enough of the good cars. I was running around in the “Tuned Compact” when everyone else had the Dominator. I got smoked each and everytime. Once I unlock some of the better cars I’ll be jumping back on Live.