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Fig455 Blog

Halo Impressions

First off, yes, I know I am extremely late to the party. I just heard a lot a crappy opinions about the Halo games from people who enjoy the same types of gameplay asI do. Consequently, even though I had a rather extensive Xbox game collection (75 games at the time) none of the games had the word Halo in them.

It took until last week to get up the courage to say 'Screw it' and just try them for myself. I bought both Halo 1 and 2 on ebay.

Halo 2 came first. I didn;t want to play a whole heck of a lot of it, as I want ed to play the 1st game fairly fresh. I ended up playing about an hour or so of it (and another 45 minutes of multiplayer 'Slayer'). I wasn't terribly impressed. It wasn't 'bad' per se, it just didn't 'click' w/me forsome reason. My initial impressions leave me feeling like it is a bit overrated, but more time w/it will allow me to decide once and for all.

Well, Halo finally arrived in my mailbox a week later. Wow. That is all I can say. What a great game. The 1st Halo is definitely worth all of the praise that it gets. The combat is incredibly satisfying, and the weapons are fun to experiment with. All of the weapons are extremely well balanced to one another, and it is fun to experiment w/the various Covenant and human weaponry. I typically despise 'laser guns' and the like in games, but the various plasma guns in Halo grew on me. I quickly learned that they are almost twice as powerful vs. the Covenant as the standard issue weapons. Especially the shielded foes. I also thought the 2 types of grenades was cool as well. The frags and plasmas both have their uses, and I love the strategiacal options when choosing which one to use and when.

My only gripe, so far, is the repetetiveness ofsome of thelevels. Several times, I felt like I was going through the same room every 5 minutes.

Anyway, so far, so good. I am currently on Guilty Spark 343. I had a frustrating moment when approaching the control room, namely climbing the winding path up the tower (most notably the battle at the top before entering the door) but felt really good whe I found an effective strategy and made my way past it.

In summary, this is a really nice change of pace for me. It gives me a break from the WWII shooters, GTA's, FC:Instincts, and the various Tom Clancy games like the Xbox Ghost Recon, Splinter Cell, and Rainbow Six games. Highly recommended for anyone who:

A: has not tried it YET :)

B: is even mildy interested in shooting stuff

and finally

C: those who like an immersive game w/a compelling story to pull you along.


Forgot to mention that I got Ghost Recon:Advanced Warfighter on XBOX as well.

Quick trip to E-bay

Ha. I had a few beers and found my way to E-bay. I ended up buying a bunch of stuff that I wouldn't have otherwise.

(all Xbox games)

Without Warning


Halo 2

FarCry Instincts Evolution

I bought Halo-Combat Evolved as well, but haven't received it yet.

Yes, I have ~ 80 Xbox games, and have never owned or even PLAYED a Halo game. I dicked around for 15 minutes on the Halo 1 PC port, and that is it. Strange but true. I don't know what it is, but I don't tend to like the really Sci-Fi shooters. I just don't like 'laser gun-type weapons' over the traditional bullet based ammo.

I thought the whole game was full of **** like the Needler and Plasma guns. I was lad to discover that the Master Chief and his teammates (Spartans?) all have fairly familiar weapons. Needless to say, I tend to stick w/my starting weapons and occasionally 'borrowing' one from a teammate ;)

Anyway, I unfortunately received Halo 2 before Halo:CE. So, I started playing it first. I admit to being lost on the plot, but the gameplay is solid enough. I mean, I see and feel the pull this game has, I just don't think Halo 2 (not speaking on Halo:CE, as I haven't given it a play yet) is completely deservant of the extremely high ratings it received. It is certainly deservant of an 8.5 +, but the ones well over 9.0 are a tad skewed. I only hope Halo:Ce is as good as its review numbers say.

75 Xbox games.

Well, FarCry:Instincts (complete and near mint for $7 incl. shipping) was game number 75 for my Xbox collection. You can always see my GameSpot profile's games list for an up-to-date listing.

Ha, quick trip to GameStop

Picked up a couple of games that I have on PC, but have been LONGING for on XBOX. They are; Chronicles of Riddick:Escape from Butcher Bay $4 Knights of the Old Republic $9 YAY!

Recent purchases/Gifts

All are original Xbox games:


Jade Empire:Limited Edition w/bonus disc

Oddworld:Stranger's Wrath

Destroy All Humans!

Tomb Raider:Legend

RLH (Run Like Hell)

Freedom Fighters

Dino Crisis 3

Shadow Ops:Red Mercury

Advent Rising

I have owned/played: Freedom Fighters (finished on Game Cube and PC), RLH (owned and played about 1/3 of the game on PS2), A demo of Shadow Ops:Red Mercury (Xbox), played ~ an hour of Advent Rising on PC, and finished Mercenaries on PS2.

So far, Jade Empire is consuming all of my free time. I haven't been this addicted to one single game since the last-gen version of Splinter Cell:Double Agent. I can't play anything else. I will fire up a different game, and quickly eject it and pop Jade Empire back in. Same w/Double Agent. This game just grabbed me. Perfect balance of RPG, adventure/explorer, action, and fighting. Oh, and the Dragonfly segments = vertical-scrolling shmup!

Getting ready for Christmas

I am very busy @ work over any holidays, I usually have to work on Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years, etc... Oh well $18 @ double time makes it easier to deal with. Its usually only a 5 hour shift. So, we just finished up our Thanksgiving rush. We had 47 dogs and 7 cats boarding. Took hours to walk them (twice a day!), and on Saturday we stated the baths (5 night + boarders get a free bath/nail trim). 18 in one day!!! Whew!

So we get a bit of downtime until Christmas/New Years. It is a 2-week busy time, though, as opposed to a 4-5 day rush like most holidays. I will be working Chritmas morning (I go in @ 6:30 am for morning shifts), and New Years Day morning. Ugh. Hangover will suck. All those barking dogs w/a beer headache is ruff 8)... get it? Ruff?:roll:

Anyhoo...I am playing several XBox games (my now playing list here in my profile is always updated). This is my first time really giving Fable;The Lost Chapters a chance. I used to think it was just 'meh'. I am really enjoying it this time, however. Good stuff.I think part of my problem was that I played it on PC first. It had a lowish frame rate, and the controls were crappy. It truly is an Xbox game.

I am looking to get Hitman:Blood Money, a KotOR game, Black, FarCry Instincts, Area 51, Suffering, and/or a few others. I have played most of them, but still need copies for my colection. I finally got the complete Rainbow Six, Splinter Cell, Doom, and GTA/Warriors series that were released on XBOX.

I will check back in around the holidays. Until then, faithful readers, take care of yourselves. -Ben

Dozer my new buddy

I just got a new English Bulldog named Dozer. He is a 2 year-old w/ red brindle fur.

I also have purchased several new XBOX games, and have updated My Games section of this page. Some highlights of this recent batch are: Buffy the Vampire Slayer, SC-Chaos Theory, Morrowind GotY (already had the vanilla version, so this is an upgrade, not my 1st foray into the game).

All things XBOX

Hi, and thanks for reading (assuming, of course, that anyone does read this) :P

Anyway, I have been playing games primarily on the XBOX recently. I still think the system was killed about a year or two too early. It is still an enjoyable console, w/plenty of power, and a strong back catalog of games. It also happens to be my favorite console from last-gen. This statement was not made casually. Anyone who knows me, knows that I owned all of the consoles from the last few generations at one time or another, and had EXTENSIVE collections of games to go with them. My games collections numbered between 30-200 games per system. I got rid of the DC, PS2, and gamecube about 2-3 years ago, along w/all the accessories and games. Only the XBOX remains, and for good reason...he's my fave. I also got him last out of all the systems last=gen, and have a relatively small library as a result. I just got my 32nd game for it. My collection (current) of PC and XBOX games is listed hrere in my profile, along w/my Now Playing lsit which I keep up to date.

I was a HUGE PC gamer for a couple of years, and I think this is one reason why the XBOX stands out to me. A large portion of games I am/was interested in for PC are/were available on the XBOX as well. I grew tired of sitting upright at my desk for hours upon hours gaming. It just isn't comfortable. I would much rather kick back on the floor w/a giant pillow, and the XBOX allows me to do just that. I don't even have to compromise my games, since so many are available on the BOX. I tell you the one experience that alerted me that I was shifting to a more console-oriented gamer was the first time I slid Morrowind into the XBOX and laid back on the floor and played it. It was magical. I instantly appreciated being able to play Morrowind for hours and remain COMFY!!! I only had it and some demos ( about 30 XBOX magazine demo discs ). I played all of the demos (quite a feat, considering the sheer number of them) and introduced myself to several excellent XBOX exclusives, and PC ports (both of which are the primary focus f my collection). Before I knew it, one game became 30,

To me, nothing beats taking 10-20 dollars to EB games, and rummaging through their used games. I alwayshave a blast, and usually come out w/2-3 games. I love the fact that there are several GOOD titles for as low as $2 and $3! Matter of fact the two games I bought today were $3 and $4. Breakdown and Rainbow Six 3. They are in great shape and complete. A few games I am planning to get when the finances allow are: FarCry Instincts, DOOM 3 and expansion, Jade Empire, KoToR 1 and 2, Splinter Cell Chaos Theory and Double Agent, Cold War, JSRF, Psi-Ops, NFS:Most Wanted, GTA Vice City and San Andreas (I have them for PC, but want a console version of each), Halo (never played more than a few mintues of it on PC once), Scarface, Black, Stranger;s Wrath, Conker, Riddick, the other 2 Rainbow Six games (Black Arrow and Lockdown), Otogi 1 and 2, Genma Onimusha, and several more.


Been a while!!!

WHEW!!! SO much has happened in 2 years!!! I am engaged, and have the coolest pets ever. 2 cats and a dog. Gotta love 'em! I am not as hardcore about games as I once was. I now only have an old XBOX w/15 games and WAY outdated PC/laptop setups. I still enjoy PC gaming, but I mostly gravitate towards older games. I like Deus Ex, Thief, System Shock, Half-Life 1, Mafia, GTA, MAnhunt, Red Faction 1, Beyond Good and Evil, Far Cry, Metal Gear Solid, Arx Fatalis, and....Gothic 1 and 2...NOT 3. Ugh.

I love my life and all those in it.

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