Jay's Internet Log

Tag: Halo

Initial Impressions – Crysis 2

by on Mar.24, 2011, under Gaming, General

Have you ever had a nightmare, then woken up just to fall back asleep and have a great dream? This is what it feels like to play Crysis 2 just a week after the atrocity that is the multiplayer portion of Homefront. Seriously, Homefront feels like you went out to dinner, ordered a roast duckling, but instead was served a boiled pigeon. I may sound harsh on Homefront, but I am very disappointed in a game that feels more like a beta build than a finished product. I’ll give it another try once KAOS patches what they think is wrong with it. I doubt it’ll be anywhere near to what I think but I’ll give them another chance.  Crytek knows how to make a solid game, and they do so without trying to one-up the big shooter names. Sure, Crysis 2 could be classified as a mix between Halo and Call of Duty, but it doesn’t feel like it’s aiming to take down either one. It plays wonderfully and is a lot of fun.

I originally purchased Crysis 2 on PC, and let me tell you that it looks absolutely amazing on that platform. The next day I picked it up on 360 because of a few things. First off, on PC the game requires you to input a code every single time you want to play. It’s a bug and there has since been an update to fix this, so hopefully it will work the next time I try. The real problem I have with the PC version though is that I can’t figure out how to use the mouse and keyboard for controls successfully. I have a Razer Onza hopefully arriving sometime today, so that should fix this for me, but I’m just not good with this type of control mechanism. It’s a personal problem, not one that Crytek has anything to do with. They’ve done a great job.

I’ve played the first few chapters in the single player campaign on both PC and 360, and about 4 hours of multiplayer on the 360. It’s a solid, beautiful-looking (on both platforms) game that has a lot of depth. Upgrades are well thought-out, and the sound is engineered masterfully. The designers really seem to know what FPS gamers want. The melee system works well and isn’t too over or under powered, I can have my tactical button layout, and there seems to be little to no lag whatsoever, even though signal strengths vary. It’s all just really well-made, and I’m glad to play a game that feels this way. Crysis 2 is the first game of 2011 that I feel has a “Game of the Year” feel to it, and I’m not even a quarter of the way through its campaign. The multiplayer is customizeable like most FPS games that release these days, but it doesn’t overdo it in suplerfuous customizeable options such as how I want my face to be painted up. If you like the taste of first person shooters, do yourself a favor and eat this duckling up.

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Initial Impressions – Halo Reach Beta

by on May.03, 2010, under Gaming, General

Flag Taken, Flag Dropped, Flag Taken, Flag Dropped, Flag Taken, Flag Dropped, Flag Taken, Flag Dropped, Flag Taken, Flag Dropped

Let me preface this by just telling you that I am in no way a quality Halo player.  My FPS specialty is in Call of Duty, but I am having a lot of fun with Halo Reach, even if the experience is currently limited.  I was lucky enough to get a beta token for Halo Reach last Friday evening and started it up first thing Saturday morning.  The beta currently includes two maps, an outdoor open map called Powerhouse and an indoor vertically-aligned map called Sword Base.  No matter what game mode gets chosen, you’ll be on one of these two maps.  I have heard that Bungie will be opening up new maps for the beta, and I think sooner rather than later would be a good idea, as playing the same two maps over and over again has become a bit stale.  This game features different class loadouts, which is new for Halo, but I can’t help but feel a bit cheated a bit due to the lack of any customization.  The four loadouts are identical with the exception of a special move, be it sprinting, ground pound shield (that’s what I call it), invisibility, or jet pack.  This is if you’re playing as Spartans.  The default guns and grenades are the same, though I would guess that you’ll be able to customize things a bit more when the full game comes out.  If you’re playing as the Elite, there are two classes, but the only difference between the two is that one has a CQC gun and one has a sniper rifle.  The Elite have a rolling technique which is cool and all, but it’s no jet pack!  Speaking of jet pack, it’s awesome.  I generally only use the jet pack or invisibility, depending on game mode.  Invisibility is nice because it not only makes you invisible, but it muffles all sound except enemy talking, so you can hear what the other team is saying while you’re invisible.  This is very cool when the other team isn’t in an Xbox Live party.  Also, whenever you kill somebody, you can temporarily hear them as well.  For instance, when I slashed this guy with an energy sword yesterday, I could hear him yell out in his microphone, and it was quite awesome.  I’ve put about 4 or 5 hours into the beta so far, and overall it looks to be great.  Some things that I find could be bugs, are probably normal, like when playing Capture the Flag and hearing the italicized words at the beginning of this post over and over again.  It just seems a bit much, and the game also sometimes loses track, so even when you’re carrying the flag, you’ll hear the announcer catching up to the game.  I’m not completely sold on this game yet, but much more so than I was last week.  It’s my fault however because I still can’t get by how I can empty a full clip into someone, then melee them, and they come back and just melee me and I die, but they live.  It’s due to the vastly different pacing than Call of Duty has, and it’s something that I need to adjust to.  One thing that I’ve always adored about the Halo franchise is the way Bungie tracks statistics.  I’m a self-proclaimed statistics nerd, and bungie.net is a great place to go to see how you fare in Halo.  Like I said previously, I’m not great, and you can see the proof of that here.  I look forward to putting more time into the beta and hopefully being able to kill more than about 5 people per match!  Today marks the day when the general public can play the beta (granted you’ve got a copy of Halo:ODST).  This morning there were 1156 people playing, but this evening, I think there will be many more.
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