Spartan Ops Ep 8 is awesome!

About time they added some extended fiction characters! In case you don’t know, the woman Lasky addressed on the comm as Admiral Osman is a character in Karen Traviss’ Kilo-Five trilogy. She takes over as the head of ONI from Margaret Parangosky (whose name is mentioned in one of the briefing docs that came with the LE). Interestingly enough, Osman is an ex-Spartan-II that “washed out” of the program by not completing the augmentation process. The first two of Traviss’ books (Glasslands and The Thursday War) talk about how Parangosky is grooming Osman to take over for her. I’m assuming the unnamed third title will actually have Osman assume the throne, so to speak.

Being Healthy Halo-style

I’ve been watching a lot of The Biggest Loser lately, courtesy of Hulu Plus. It has always been my personal goal to carry myself as a gamer and someone who knows when to put the controller down to stay in shape. That’s one reason why I have been playing Halo less lately. Another reason is that I haven’t had much of an urge to play Spartan Ops solo on Legendary. Matchmaking solo is also not as fun because of the lack of communication that often occurs amongst randoms (Mission 6 Episode 3 and not being able to call the airstrike sound familiar?).

Anyway, I’m trying to think of creative ways to incorporate some sort of physical activity while playing Halo and I’ve come up with a couple of things:

1.) Play an entire mission of Spartan Ops in a squat position (or assisted squat by pressing your back against a wall or other surface). Of course, finishing the full range of motion for a squat works as well.

2.) Do 10 jumping jacks/push-ups/crunches/whatever for every death you get in Spartan Ops Matchmaking. (Better than drinking shots, IMO)

This season of The Biggest Loser tackles childhood obesity, which is something many gamers can relate. While it is easy for parents and politics to blame video games and other media for this epidemic, what it really comes down to is adults educating children and motivating them to live an active lifestyle. I am tired of the social stigmas often associated with gaming and being a gamer. Hopefully you are too and will find your own ways to make a difference.

Spartan Ops Continues!

I don’t know about you other there in InterwebLand, but I am looking forward to waking up to a new episode of Spartan Ops tomorrow morning! My man Sal over at HaloFanForLife made a really great post about what to expect in Spartan Ops going forward.
I wanted to supplement his post by adding a few other links of my own as well as some thoughts.

Spartan Ops Ep 6 Mission 3 Commentary with Gamespot.com
Spartan Ops Ep 6 Mission 4 Commentary with Gamespot.com

I wish I had called this out publicly so that I would have witnesses, but I had a feeling that Vortex was going to be used as a playspace for Spartan Ops. It is a beautiful map despite how many times it doesn’t get picked in War Games (c’mon, people, give Ragnarok a break already…although, looks like Meltdown has had the least amount of love lately). Maybe people will be more encouraged to play it after this episode.
Having a Phantom on our side is a nice change of pace, as well as more options to play through a mission, bigger maps, and opportunities to use vehicles. While I agree with many of the concerns fans have had about Spartan Ops, it makes absolutely perfect sense to me that the first half of Season One was as “slow” as it was. Like any TV show, the first few episodes tend to drag because of narrative and character development establishments. As far as the repeated environments go, I didn’t have as big of a complaint about it as most. I was actually pleasantly surprised to go into the same map but at different angles (case in point being walking into into the Fortress map on “Hacksaw
and later getting dropped into it on “Random Transport”).

All in all, I’m glad 343i is taking fan feedback to heart and I can’t wait to see where this story goes!

Spartan Ops Grind Guides

Trying to round out your Spartan Ops commendations but have no clue as to the difference between a Grunt Infantry and a Grunt Ultra? I found a guide series on the rough enemy count/type for every mission in Spartan Ops. I say rough because of things that can happen in-game, such as allowing Knights to spawn more Watchers.

Here’s the link below. Enjoy!

http://gamersyndrome.com/2012/xbox-360/halo-4-grind-guides-spartan-ops-season-1-episode-1/

How to Score Free XP and Armor in Halo 4 (Pt. 1)

Halo 4 ARG (Augmented Reality Game) – A Story

You may or may not be aware of this, but 343 Industries has been playing an interesting mini-game with fans for several months before the release of Halo 4 and shortly afterward. It has since been completed in time for the Holiday season, but will certainly start up again after the new year. *The game first started with Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary, when they inserted terminal videos into every level of the Campaign. Each video ends with a string of strange symbols. See example below:

It all looked like gibberish at first until it was revealed that these were Forerunner glyphs. By watching all ten terminals and entering their corresponding codes into Halo Waypoint (via either logging into the website or Xbox Live), you unlock a secret eleventh terminal and earn yourself a whopping 134,000 credits in Halo: Reach. Of course, the terminals themselves are story-related treats of 343 Guilty Spark’s time as Monitor of Installation-04 (aka “Alpha Halo”).

The ARG game has upped its ante in the wake of Halo 4, which I will continue in my next post. Apologies folks. I was going to complete this article, but sadly I must rest for the night. Oh, how I wish I could be a armor-clad Forerunner right now and not need sleep. But, as they say, I am only human.

Regards,
Cy

*Note: I’d be lacking if I failed to mention Bungie’s contribution to the easter egg/ARG thing by adding Halo 3’s terminals, Halo 3:ODST’s Sadie-storyline datapads and Halo: Reach’s datapads.

Spartan Alone

There was a time in my life where I was really invested in the card game Magic: the Gathering. Hell, there was a time where I managed to juggle being invested in a few games all at once. As the circumstances of my life have affected what I choose to do with my free time, sacrifices were made. So one by one I did less of one thing to do more with something else.
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I had many hopes during my Magic career. I thought about being a judge, card trader, and even write my own Magic-theme screenplay. The latter is still more likely to happen than the others, but the thing that broke me away from Magic is the cost to stay relevant in the game. New sets come out every 3 months or so, formats change, and the meta-game shifts even for casual players. Sure, you can stop buying new cards and work with the ones you have or figure out ways to trade or acquire cards for free from others, but there is always going to be the realization that money will need to be spent in order to keep up with this game.

Halo, on the other hand, requires less financial commitment. At the very least, you can buy the game and that’s all you’ll ever need. One game case takes up less space than most card binders, and limited space was also a huge concern of mine. Any additional effort into the game can be done at your own pace. I certainly wasn’t forced into buying all the stuff that I’ve got over the last month or so (pics are forthcoming), but I did because I love the Halo universe that much. And sure, multiplayer may force you to keep up with DLCs in order to play the latest maps/playlists, but you still have some choice in that matter. I guess you can say that I like Halo better because you can choose your level of immersion.

https://i1.wp.com/images1.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20120823041550/halo/images/b/b2/H4Achievement33.png

Crimson Alone

I knew, however, that my love for Halo would be a love shared alone. Amongst the friends/acquaintances from my various social circles, I only know one other person besides myself who has read any of the Halo fiction. And I’m pretty sure he hasn’t read any of the new ones yet. Any time I mention to a fellow gamer that I’ve been playing Halo, the almost immediate response is, “I like/play [insert any other FPS game here].” It still startles me how multiplayer is what immediately jumps to people’s minds when they think of an FPS game. Guess you can say that I’ve been living under a rock in that sense, which is fine considering that I live on a rock.

Well, this past Wednesday night was a regular Magic hangout with several players. Even though I played a couple of games, I felt so very out of place. I enjoyed what I could of the card-slinging, but my heart longed for the same camaraderie and spirit to exist on Requiem or aboard the Infinity. I have had no luck thus far in finding local kindred Spartans.

[Campaign SPOILER ALERT!]

I didn’t want to this post to come off as, “Boo-hoo, woe is me” so I took a couple of days to center my thoughts. Ironically, my thoughts go to the loneliness that John-117 must be feeling now that Cortana is gone. How is he going to handle it in Halo 5? He’s had many lone wolf runs in the past, but this time he’s without the one thing that he cherished most. I know the feeling all too well and it makes me wonder what the future holds for us both.

Halo: A Co-Op Experience

Big mahalo (“thank you” in Hawaiian) to JustCal24 over at Auspicious Eagle and his friend, CIBCSlayer, for playing some Spartan Ops and Campaign with me. Currently I have completed half of the Campaign and the first 3 Spartan Ops episodes solo on Legendary, but really, Halo is meant to be played with buddies. This was the first time in a long while that I felt like a competent, contributing member of the group.

It’s unfortunate that I live in a timezone that’s different from most of the people I play with. C’mon, Hawaii, where dem Halo playas at? (well, the co-op variety anyway…)

In other personal Halo moments: I assassinated a Watcher for the first time yesterday! W00t! Episode 4 Mission 5 is the easiest place to do it without a jetpack. Best place to do it is in the middle room of Galileo base (aka Complex in War Games) when the Watchers hover near the ramp area. Watching this Assassination video inspired me to give it a try. Must invest in a capture card one of these days…