Thursday, October 28, 2010

Roll Call! Fall In! Attention!

Standing at attention in my other room are some 100 or so traitorous Space Marine scum. From renegades to full blown Chaos worshipping fanatics, they've come together for one purpose... To make ME happy! :p

Okay, really, to plunder and pillage Vienna till there's nothing left to plunder anymore. And collect skulls... Yes, lots of skulls.

Anyhow, my army finally arrived. Sweetness. And surprisingly, very little damage was sustained by the troops. The battle foam trays got a little warped, but I had stuffed A LOT in my 1520 box.... Lawl.

Unfortunately, no pictures as my camera is still lacking a memory card and I'm still to poor to spare the cash for one. Oh the shame.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Reaching for the Past 2

After I finished up Electrified v1 a few days ago I took what I learned from it and applied that to remaking Onslaught from H3 as well. Unfortunately Electrified was slightly too small, but this new Onslaught I spaced out much better and I believe is a near perfect port of the original.

I present to you Blitzkrieg!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Reaching for the Past; Halo 3 and MLG

The more I play Halo Reach, the more it grows on me. Over all I'd have to say its an enjoyable game thats fairly well ballanced, yet strikingly casual to play. Gone are the days of the be-all-end-all BR, and we live in the holycon era of the DRM. Yes it's a precision weapon all the same, but the shot spread of the weapon does a great deal in balancing the skill differences between players... Where once the obvious better play would own the lesser in a BR duel, there's an air of uncertainty that keeps both on edge. I love it. With this in mind, the MLG game type is more attractive than ever for me.
I'm not a fan of the "perk" system Reach brough to the table. I was stoked about it when I saw the trailers leading up to the game, but upon the advent of the Beta I lost all love for the concept. The only ability I ever choose to take is sprint, however I'd much rather play a game without any of these options. MLG fortunately has none of them. A more ballanced game with no goofy armor abilities? Sounds perfect to me.
So there are a couple of classic MLG maps from Halo 3 that I love to death. Team Slayer on Amplified and 5 Flag CTF on Onslaught are my favorites. Sadly, these two maps are not on Reach and no one has made a port of them up to my standards... Fortunately though, Forge is AMAZING! That said, I've taken it upon myself to learn how to Forge and behold! My first map which has already managed to garner much attention within 24 hours of release... Electrified; a remake of Amplified.

 Above: Blue Team's Spawn.
Below: Gold Side

 Above: Pink Side
Below: Red Team Spawn
 Below: Overview of the entire map

One issue I had with porting this highly competive map over was that there are no blocks that actually match up to the size of the ones in Halo 3's Forge. Most forgers attempting to port older maps look past this and just make the maps larger in response to Reach's larger blocks... This however throws off the various jumps that are found on each map and can completely ruin the gameplay. I attempted to the best of my abilities to find a suitable match in size to the original, and have succeeded to some extent. While that map has all the jumps and is proportional to the original, it comes off as a little small. For a 4v4 game as it's intended, it's slightly cramped... It works beautifully for 1v1, 2v2, and 3v3 though.
I'm fairly confident that I can tweak and finetune it by exchanging some blocks for larger variants to make this work. This a good number of hours I still have left to put into it, but as of so far I think I've made excellent progress.
Not bad for a first timer. ;)

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Conform! Conform! Conform!

I've spent the majority of my young life fighting comformity. Its one of the few things I truely despise. Something about every one being the same... It irritates me to no end. I've always been a bit of a rebel with a cause, a James Dean if you will, and my play style and army lists I try to craft to reflect this.
This is more or less a rant about the internet and what the people at BoLS and YTTH claim. There are varying factions between the two, but the point is that the all conform to a certain ideal of what is a competitive list. Everything is either Good or FAIL, with the former being a minortiy in unit options. No matter what codex you use, no matter how versatille it is, there are only a few "builds" these people consider good. They've got list building down like its some science.
Now here's where they loose me... What reason do they have to claim X unit is awesome but W, Y, and Z all suck. Why is it this unit such a fail choice? Does everything really have to be stream lined to kill and last the entire game? What about expendable units? Effective point sinks? I understand some Math Hammer and that some units really do suck while others shine, but I believe there are many shades of grey between the two! This is a very dynamic game we play that is also heavily influenced by "randomness" (statistics) and luck. I'm positive there are more workable builds and useful units than what the high horses at BoLS and YTTH claim.
Essentially, what I'm saying is we should all strive for our own unique builds. We shouldn't confrom that only X units can win a game because So-n-So claim it to be. Let us unlearn what the internet has tried to shove down our throats and build our armies as we, the individuals, see best.

Sunday, October 17, 2010


Been here in Vienna for two and half months now... Lord knows how many boxes I've recieved that my father has mailed over, yet none are one of the first things I asked for... My plastic crack!
With every shipment I tell him I seriously want this one specific box. It's not hard to find either, its a giant Battle Foam case. Its green! Its sitting in a room of cardboard boxes. Come on, it freaking stands out!
But still, it sits back in Ohio... And I'm left with cravings for this awful addiction. I want to cut, hack, slash and glue together little bits of plastic! I want to paint! I want to kill hours of free time working on getting just the right pose!
I suppose maybe my father doesn't support this hobby of mine... He doesn't even know the expenses involved, but I think he's against it because its "childish" and crap like that. Grown men shouldn't have "toy soldiers". Bah! What a lame.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Reach(ing) for it!

Well, its been a couple days since I first posted about Halo Reach. As of so far, my oppinion stays predominantly the same as I believe it was a botched, half-assed game that Bungie threw out for the sake of milking the cash cow a little bit more. I'm not going to talk about that today though. I'm gonna zone in on some positive aspects of it.

Revamped Match Making system. Gone are the days of going into Team Slayer with a party of four and getting the misfortune of being paired against a bunch of Lv 50 Restart accounts. Match Making now seems fairly competant in matching players of comarative skill levels. There are still gimmicks to it, but its vastly improved from Halo 3.

Rank Structure. No longer skill based! That alone is made of win. This tones down the competitive aspect of the game and makes it something easier to kick back, relax and play. Rank is earned in time and can't be lost. The benefits of rank is more armor options. Win or loose, you're gonna gain points towards your rank. Very friendly system.

Maps. Great selection of maps. Plenty of classics ported to the current as well. Also Forge appears to be capable of making some very true to the original ports. Love it.

Lobby Chatter, AKA Trash Talk. Virtually gone. No more little children screaming in my ears. No more angsty teens talking shit. Its much cleaner. I love it.

Sprint and Hologram. The only two powers I care for. Holo is cool as when used right, will throw off just about any player. That one to two second advantage can win you a DMR duel. And Sprint is great. Makes evasion real easy. Yeah, it takes a little longer to get to the tops of maps or across bridgy distances, but you're less likely to get shot down sprinting as you are when jet packing. :P

Voting on Gametype/Maps. Soooo much better than the Veto system. 'Nuff said.

There's a few other cool tidbits that I like as well. All minor things that don't really need to be listed...
As a whole, Halo Reach is a relatively fun and relaxing game to play. While it lacks the competitive factor of Halo 2, I think its a much more ballanced and enjoyable game than Halo 3.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Halo: Reach

Months ago while I was still state side I had participated in the public Beta for Halo Reach. My impression of the game back then was anything but good. It was flakey, glitchy, and weapons/grenades were unballanced... And thats just the tip of the iceberg.

Well here we are some while later after the game has been released. I decided to pick it up and give it a spin. Campaign was very dry, typical cut and paste Halo Campaign. Nothing special. But then again, its the multiplayer that makes Halo sell so well. Today I decided to give that a spin.
Honestly, Bungy did a hell of a job cleaning the game up since the Beta... Just not good enough. :/
Sprint + Double Beatdown? WTF is that shit? Non-registering shots with the DMR? Alright... Flakey playlists? Eh.... Rank based armor permeations? Lame. And movement seems a bit gimmicky in close quarters... But that could be because I'm several months removed from being a gamer, and it does not come naturally for me at all.
You might say I should cut Bungy some slack... I say otherwise. For having such a popular game that is treated as a competitive venue, Bungy has a commitment to its customer/fan base to make this the best damn product it can be. I feel that this was really a cut and dry project. Its a game they made with primarily the money in mind... They already knew it would sell well. Hell, they probably know they could package a bag of shit, lable it Halo and still make record sales. Fortunately, Bungy has some moral commitment of some sort...

All in all, my first impression of Reach is not good. Its rather disapointing. I'm hoping that over the coming months Bungy will release patches and updates to improve the game to the level their fans deserve.