Halo 3

So today was all about Halo 3. I went and grabbed breakfast/lunch with Ross (Chipolte’s on De Anza), and he finally decided then that he was going to get the 360 and Halo 3. I offered to buy the game itself and a second controller, to sweeten the deal.

It’s funny that we went to GameStop because Ross was aware that they had 2nd-hand 360’s for significantly less than new. Although he was worried about the warranty, given their reputation for dying in the arse all the time, but then when he enquired in the store, the guy confessed that not only were they sold out of used consoles, but they were also sold out of the standard ones. The only ones left were the Halo special edition ones, and I think also the even more expensive ($450) Elite edition. So, Ross, after notable hesitance, ended up going with the Halo edition one.

[Aside: The salesguy noted that with the Halo 3 release last week, they’d sold out of all their consoles. Haha. :D ]

That set him back $423 or so, and the extra controller ($70) and game ($60) set me back $140ish (damn tax). Pretty pricey, really. But hey, life’s short, and frugal people are fun to antagonise. :D

We then played through the campaign, co-op, at Normal difficulty. It took about six hours.. slightly less. I was very surprised, but then I guess you could clock Halo 1 or 2 in about as much time as well. Well, Halo 2 in half that time given only half the game was ever shipped.

The storyline wasn’t too bad – it made sense, and it was conclusive. Several times I got the dreaded feeling that it was about to roll the credits, given I was flashing back to the dreaded Halo 2 campaign, but luckily that didn’t happen.

After that, we hit B.J.’s for some pizza & of course a Pizookie, and then home (given it was somehow 12:30am by then… Halo ate my day :) ).

The trick is, although you can play up to four-player online multiplayer from the same console, I think all four players each need a valid Xbox Live Gold account. I don’t have one of them, and don’t particularly feel like donating $50 a year for the ‘privilege’. So whether Ross & I can go get spanked by annoying twelve-year-olds online remains to be seen. And Ross complained about the idea of playing online “by himself”, because then he’d be “all alone”. Aside from the 30 twelve-year-olds he would be playing against. Bah.

Today was meant to be laundry day, too, given I’m down to pants which are no longer entirely opaque, but, that’ll have to be today, now.

P.S. Two things annoyed me with Halo 3… the first was that you can’t commandeer Wraiths, or at least I couldn’t figure out how. Minor nit, though. The second is a more general complaint about the UI in general – it’s so bloody hard to do anything other than move and shoot, because everything’s so tiny on screen (e.g. what gun you’re standing on, that you could pick up), and the controller’s buttons are so over-loaded that for many functions there not only different behaviours depending on what exactly you’re holding or doing, but also whether you press the button briefly or hold it for a second. Gah… retarded.

Also, third, and perhaps the biggest crucial flaw, is that you rarely have any idea wtf you’re meant to be doing, or where you’re meant to go, or how to get there. Several times Ross & I were just left running around in circles in a seemingly enclosed area, trying to figure out why the hell everyone was dead but we weren’t moving on to the next pack of bad guys. If we hadn’t wasted all that time being lost, we probably could have cut at least half an hour off those 5.5-6 it took.

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