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Watch my first episode of DemoZ! A regular Vidcast that reviews game demos currently available to download from XBOXLive. This week, I look at movie based games, including: Ironman, Kungfu Panda, and The Bourne Conspiracy. Currently accepting all forms of feedback.
I finally downloaded and played all the additions from the Heroic map pack and I stand pretty firm in my favorites. However, before I get into the ditty of the maps, I want to explain a bit about the Forge and why Halo 3 brings in reviews that range from “Whatever?” and “Boring!” to “FPS Utopia!” and “online gaming brilliance!”. I promise you that all the melon heads that say Halo 3 isn’t all it’s cracked up to be have not played the game and should have their controllers removed forthwith! The campaign is fly, no argument possible there, even though you can nitpick your way through it if you want, it’s still solid. However, the brilliance is in the multiplayer mode and all the options and customization features you can marry therein. I’m just learning about the forge even though I’ve been playing online and multiplayer for sometime now. So I wanted to take a sec to explain it.
The Forge is an in game object layout editor, a tool to allows you to customize just about anything in the game! This means you can add, remove, or change weapons, vehicles, and scenic components like crates, gravity transporters, walls, fences, stairs, bridges, etc that make up a particular map. This tool takes dynamic multiplayer options to another level for players. You have the custom powerup and it’s properties are determined in the custom game type settings, and amazing set of attributes you can set on the buffee who gets it, and you can set it’s lifespan from 3-90 seconds. Think about the possibilities when considering some of the stock live games out there like Oddball, King of the Hill, or single weapon games only like Swords, or my doom lover, the Hammer. I played a game my coworker made where all parties and all weapons spawned in the guardian ring. This kind of chaotic creation is likely common at first try, but the complex possibilities are really quite endless.
Onto the Map pack which adds 3 news maps to the menu, The Rats Nest, Standoff, and The Foundry. I wasn’t sure how the map pack effected multiplayer, but in reality that’s its target. Essentially, all of the maps will be rolled in to the regular Matchmaking playlists and then as peeps are getting matched up, the game will take into account who has what maps in the matchmaking process. So you’ll see Team Slayer on Standoff show up in the Team Slayer hopper as well as in the new playlist. SWEET!
First thing is that any new map is going to have a coolness factor to it cause, well, it’s new. Just like a new lover or a new pair shoes, it’s exciting and fresh and you want to use them all the time. That gives rats nest a pretty good head start, considering. However, playing around in the map for a bit on local with 2 people to 25 kills was an easy way to make you want to shoot your own self in the head with the needler, but also teaches you the best way to win. The map is a large indoor track with lots of vehicles and firepower with some hallways and connecter ramps in the middle. This map made for the Ghost, a hovering craft that fires plasma bolts or splatters your opponents into the ground while providing awesome protection. Hop in and drive around the map over and over again real fast, shooting up and obliterating everyone in your path until you hit 25 kills, then lean back and snicker at your win.
This is a great bunker style top level outdoors map that reminded me of an above ground Isolation in the desert with monstrous satellite dishes. I think its a good large map, great for big team slayer with lots of rocks and hills to slink amongst. On standoff, your lovin’ the rocket launcher. Then again you love the rocket launcher everywhere!
The foundry feels like a second generation of The Pit, but not quite as interactive. Of course if you played Halo or Halo 2 its a third or forth generation of the warehouse style map with a cool look and feel that cry’s out for some time in the forge! The crates and bridges can all be moved around to your liking or to create crazy obstacle courses. The possibilities are endless. Carpe Diem!
Though my favs are still back on Construct, Guardian, Highground and The Narrows, I love anything new so I am tickled pink to have to new map to tromp on. If you haven’t checked out anything past the campaign, I encourage you to do so. Come find in Lone Wolves sometime and I’ll introduce your to my hammer *grin*.
I love the wholesome little accomplishments that make us feel so good; like the well earned rewards for our perseverance to keep on fighting, our commitment to learning the skills needed for success, and the joy in just being able to play the game. Then of course there is joy of blowing your opponents face off with a rocket launcher to the noggin or sticking him with grenade and watching his body plummet to the depths below. With a long way to go, I climbed one minor rung of the Halo 3 success ladder; I got my **UNSC Spartan achievement today and I couldn’t be any happier. So look out you Lone Wolves cause I’m getting better everyday and I’m coming for ya! *bang bang*
**UNSC Spartan is a Halo 3 Multiplayer Achievement. It is earned when the player earns the rank of Sergeant (20 won ranked or social matches) on Xbox Live. This Achievement gives 15 Gamerpoints to the player and unlocks the MJOLNIR Mark V Armor Permutation.
Don’t lie! Just admit it, weâ€™ve all been there. You’ve found yourself absentmindedly opening up Freecell and felt a wash of delicious guilty pleasure in doing so. You’ve had a really crappy day at work and popped open minesweeper and for those few game time moments; you were at peace with all the chaos of your day. Some of you even have a nightly Mahjong ritual to clear all the tiles before you would even consider laying your sleepy head down on the pillow.
How is this even possible? That with such brilliantly engaging RPG’s, intricately realistic FPS games, and stunningly beautiful adventure games, we can still find ourselves with an addiction for such simple, single minded click games? The prices of console games are dropping; second generation consoles are super inexpensive and a perfectly decent gaming PC isn’t too much of a financial stretch either (unless you want play Crysis :P) and serious gaming is much more accessible for a much wider scope of people. I have it all and I am constantly in the middle of a new 360 title, my beloved WoW character, or any number of DS, Wii, and PS3 games. Even with the whole shebang at my whim, I am a sucker for a quick game of jawbreaker or minesweeper.
The simple act of winning a game of solitaire is remarkably satisfying and relaxing! You quiet out the rest of your mind, escape to place of mental calculation or visual response and finger/eye coordination and fire off those more narrow synapses for a change. Compared to the body, it’s like a nice relaxing stroll outside for the mind. I love the hard sweaty run to get in the good-for-your-game cardio, but I’m convinced that a nice stroll in the brain park with a game a day will lower your stress levels and perhaps even your cholesterol!
So however enthralled you become with your hardcore games and no matter how bad you want that level 70 flying mount, elementary gaming will open its simplistic, relaxing arms and give you big mental hug, and after it’s all said and done you will still feel like achieved something even though it doesnâ€™t show up on your gamertag.
Does anyone know where you can play good online scrabble, like they used to have on iWin.com? Damn miss that!
No game has caught my interest as much. No other game gives you such an enormous playing field AFTER your story mode levels are done. I play it with the guys at the office, I play it on Live, I play it on home with the Boy Genius or the Boy Kid, and for times of needed solitary gaming refuge, I continue to work my way through legendary difficultly mode. It never gets old!
Never playing its predecessors, I was a Halo virgin when I got Halo 3 and from the moment I strapped on the battle rifle and made my way through jungle following the Spartan I was hooked. The game play is incredibly natural; from swapping weapons to dual wielding and tossing grenades, it’s an easy quick swap of the bumpers and the left and right triggers for shooting. I am not a fan of stop wheel inventory or select button menus for weapons swapping in FPS games so this is right up my virtuoso alley!
The available weapons, maps and customization options keep it freshy fresh, especially with the new heroic map pack that released earlier this month, and if I loved the hammer anymore, I’d marry it. The unique feel of the different weapons is remarkable and the granular differences in their use and effects truly means the more you use the weapons and get to know them, the better you will play; learning the nuances of each one and how that makes them more or less useful on the different maps or in different game play modes. Custom games allows you to create your own games with specific weapons and maps, i.e., everyone spawns in the center ring of Guardian and stays there to fight, or The Narrows with only swords and rocket launchers - chaos indeed - but if variety is the spice of life then Halo 3 gives you all the salt and pepper you need to create a zillion flavors of play! Live is a whole different ball game where you can customize your character even further, join in the ranking fray, earn extra achievements, and play with peeps from a pool of many many thousands of online players at any given time.
You’ll read a zillion reviews of Halo 3 and if your doing so to make that final decision of “Buy or don’t buy”, I hope this one convinces you that Halo 3 really is all its cracked up to be and the game goes far beyond beating story mode. I’ve been playing since the day it released and it’s still putting out the most bang for my XBOX buck!