HaloHaloGearsQuest

You know, when I get thoroughly sucked into a game, life gets a little one-dimensional. I get a little focussed, a little bit rabid, and pretty much everything else in life takes a back-seat. Anything that’s not involved in the game is simply in the way, an impediment to playing; it dominates my thoughts, and I often find that my fingers will involuntarily exercise themselves in anticipated execution of their functions. Such is the nature of my affliction.

My obsession lately has, of course, been Halo 3: ODST. My Solo Legendary run through the game was smooth as silk – if you ignore the plethora of grisly deaths along the way. But those deaths revealed some wonderful truths about ODST‘s balance; the checkpoints are frequent and sensibly triggered, and when forced back to a checkpoint there always seems to be another way around the problem. Getting mauled when running out of an elevator one way? Try the other! Forced back against the wall in an indefensible position? Push forward to open areas! Swarmed by enemies in the open? Fall back to confined spaces and create a choke-point! So many options are available to the player, and – unlike any other Halo game I’ve tried so far – the Legendary difficulty was an absolute delight.

Of course, that leaves the small matter of the Firefight Achievements; so I found a few like-minded souls and started forming a team of crack Firefighters. Well, “crack” may be too strong a word; one chap had distinctly “good” days (where he appeared to be a Halo ninja) and “bad” days (where he would frequently run into situations we urged him not to… and die). Many of the attempts on some Firefights with only three people ended in abject failure; some attempts died with the network connection (one with the score at 188k of the required 200,000). But, in the end, all the Firefights were done (thanks mainly to a lad in the US whose remoteness lagged the game just enough to allow slightly slowed, but still fluid, action), and even the brilliant Déjà Vu Achievement was earned. All that remains now is Vidmaster Endure… anyone know a team of three ODST ninjas who can carry my fat arse over the finishing line? :}

There was also a bit more Halo: Reach… there will always be more Reach to do. So many Commendations to earn, so many cRedits to whore… This week, however, was a bit special for me: I’ve just attained the rank of Commander. And I’ve just discovered that the “incremental” upgrades are now 50,000 cRedits apiece. Blimey.

The very wonderful Costume Quest got some DLC this weekend – and, aside from the fact that it doesn’t integrate all that cleanly with the game, and a slightly disappointing final boss battle – it’s still very wonderful. So much charm and humour is packed in there; make sure you try out all the new costumes’ battle techniques… the Eyeball is hilarious.

Finally this week, I started work on a massive project… a year-long project, I reckon. It’s name? Gears of War. Yes, I finally decided to start nabbing some of the outstanding Achievements in Gears… including (deep breath) Seriously, for 10,000 ranked online kills. Now, clearly that’s going to involve a hell of a lot of boosting; and my few experiences playing Gears online in the past had led me to expect the worst from the community. However, my first selected boosting session was an absolute blinder; once everyone got settled in, it ran like clockwork, with a comfortable rhythm and plenty of kills for everyone. Just the one Achievement so far, but the bedrock for others to follow… and a mighty mountain to climb. After all, I’m only about 1% of the way there…

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