Screenshots and Stuff

It would appear I like to use the word “stuff” a lot in my posts.  Perhaps I should use a thesaurus next time I decide to write up a post…  Yesterday a good friend of mine that runs his own forum (http://s15.zetaboards.com/CRF/index/) went back and visited some of the older threads that are lurking around there and found the “Virtual Photography” thread.  That was our go-to place if we had taken screenshots from games and wanted to share them with others on the site.  After going back and looking at the thread he told me that I had take some pretty sweet screenshots from Halo and posted them.  I’ll admit, they are some of my better shots I have taken from Halo over the years.  Especially the ones from ODST; the lighting of that game is perfect for screenshots at times.

Speaking of screenshots…here are some that I have taken recently.  Most of them will be from that ODST game I mentioned earlier, a couple from Halo 4 probably and maybe one or two from Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag.



Interesting how placing the camera in an explosion can change the look.  Simple effect, yet I’ve always liked it.

The shots above use the same effect.  I like the last two more though, and especially the last one since you can see the brute a little more clearly than the third shot.  The next screens are from AC4.  But wait!  “How did you capture these as AC4 doesn’t have a theater mode?!”  Remember how a couple years ago I bought a capture card to start doing reviews for Inside View Gaming?  I bought another one last year (the Happauge HD PVR2) and wanted to see how it handled taking still images.

Only way I’ll ever visit Havana.

No idea why I took this one, but whatever.  That ship and its loot shall be mine!  Spoiler Alert:  It destroyed me…

Thought this one was kind of neat.  You have Edward standing in the foreground looking at…well the sand and the island and Jackdaw as the backdrop.

I leave you with video proof of how stupid brutes are in the Halo games.

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Fun With Brutes in Firefight

Quick and short post here, but I wanted to share part of a film I rendered earlier tonight from a game of Firefight I played with Storm. This happened several times throughout the game, but the best part was at the end. I know from somewhere I will take ridicule for it and yes; I also know that it probably wasn’t the smartest thing to do since we had no lives left and a fairly high score going. But hey, what’s the point if you can’t have some fun with the enemy at least once in a while right? Anyways, here’s the embedded video plus the direct link to the file in case you don’t have Silverlight installed, you can at least watch it in Window Media Player or whatever it’s called now. Also, I know it’s cut off on the right side of the video; so you might be better off going to the direct file link and watching it in WMV. Your call.

Direct link to file for download in ODST/Media Player.

Set Start, Tough Luck On

If you have every played even a little bit of Firefight from ODST, you know exactly what I mean. If not, I’ll quickly explain it here. Each time a new set starts in Firefight, the Tough Luck skull is turned on in the first round and stays on in the following rounds. Now with that out of the way, you’re wondering why the title is that way(most likely not though); well I have been playing a huge amount of Firefight lately and now I realize how awesome it is. So in this post I was going to dig through my games of Firefight and post the ones I thought were good. Maybe even through in a screenshot from it or two. And, if I can think of what to talk about it, maybe even discuss some more Firefight 2.0. I’ll kick things off with the very first game of Firefight I played, which also happend to be the first time I played ODST the night it came out. http://www.bungie.net/Stats/ODSTg.aspx?gameid=777802&player=StoredGrunt360
Didn’t do too bad for the first game, however; it’s nothing compared to what I could do now. When I played later that day, I did have one decent game. 87,428. Next day when Storm and were trying to make the campaign last on Normal, we decide to hit Firefight co-op for the first time on the map Windward and here are the results. We also grabbed our first Firefight related achievement by getting par score(which is set at 200,000) for that map. Still though, we can do better than that. So we continue to get the par score for each of the maps fairly easily, until we have one map to do; and that map is Last Exit. First try we get 58,902, second game only a small 11,756, third game we think we finally might get it with 64,700 only to fail there and in the next game getting 12,994. Well we finally get it after like 6 tries. Traveling back to Windward we get our first high score above 200,000 points. Set 5, Round 2, Wave 4; 740,804. Moving forward a couple months, here is our first game where we reached one million points. Yes it was on easy, but so what; we were aiming for massive amounts of kills not points that game. Although the points were a bonus. I would like to note that that game was the only time I thought we would reach a million points. However, this game begs to differ and so would this one. Okay, so I was wrong and we have been able to get to a 1.5 million points at least twice and one million points once. This next game was our first(and only) attempt at the Vidmaster: Endure achievement. Which is to pass the fourth set on Heroic four player co-op over Xbox LIVE. Sound simple right? Well I thought so at first since at the start of the third set we had a decent amount of lives stockpiled until we used them all up. I was left as the last man standing on the fifth wave of round three and got owned horribly by the never ending amount of Brutes. So yeah, we were close since all we had to do was get out of set three and get past set four. This last game was played just yesterday and we almost made it to a million points four a fourth time. We could have kept going except I was the last man standing and was trapped in a corner by a Brute, but when I was finally able to get away from him to reload I jumped right into a suicide Grunt. I hope to get a screenshot of that soon.

Moving onto Reach’s Firefight 2.0. If you played the Beta back in May, mainly in late May that is, you probably played the playlist that was dubbed Network Test 1? Well that was meant to test the network coding I guess for the game, however it turns out that the basic gametype for that playlist is going to be a Firefight gametype. From the games I played of it in the Beta it was awesome and I can’t wait to see how it is going to work with an endless amount of aliens coming after you not only trying to kill you, but also take out the generators as well. The other gametype I’m interested to try out is “Rocket Fight” I think it may have been called, but anyways; it’s nothing but rockets with infinite ammo for them. One thing that I am sure will happen with that version of Firefight is chaos will ensue. I’ve already talked a bit about the customzation in the new Firefight, but let me elaborate a little as to why I like it so much. Probably the main reason is you’ll be able to do pretty much whatever you want to in it. If you want to fight nothing but Grunts then go ahead and do so. If you are tired of being screwed by the Elites in the campaign and just want to slaughter a couple hundred(or thousand if you’re like me) then you’ll be able to do that also. I’m pretty sure you get the point by now. I know a lot of people that are actually against us being able to do all that; however, their only argument is this: “People will be able to get high scores easily and no skill is involved.” Well you know what, fun > skill. Yes it helps to know how to play the game at points, but really if you are just wanting to have fun are you really going to care how far you get? And yes, I also know that to some people, doing to good is having fun and that’s fine, but to me it really isn’t worth getting mad at a game because you aren’t doing good. I know, “But I’m still not having fun.” well maybe you should reconsider your current definition of fun.
Anyways back on topic here. Besides what I mentioned in my last post about what I plan on doing in Reach’s Firefight. Another thing I think I might end doing sometime in it, is having at least one wave or round dedicated to Hunters. I really think they could be a challenge in Reach and from the screens I have seen of them; they also look larger than they were in ODST. Also, I would easily settle for a round or two of Jackals and their counterpart, Skirmishers.
On a closing note; I’ll leave you with some screenshots I have taken over the past few days from Firefight.

Reach Beta Clips or Firefight?

Remember how a while ago I posted saying that I had taken several clips from the Reach Beta and I was going to render them, upload them to youtube and post them here? If you do, good; if not, then look here. I know, at that time I didn’t have many uploaded yet and I kept promising how I was going to get the last group of them up and posted and yet, I never did. Until now that is. The other night I took the time to upload the last three film clips that I took from the Halo: Reach multiplayer Beta. So where are they you ask? I suppose you could click this link and get all the Reach videos I have. Now you might have to find a way to play the video outside of my channel page thing, as it tends to lag and looks horrible. I need to find a way to organize them better maybe.

So E3 is already long gone and done with, however we did get some interesting campaign footage of Reach and with that we also got the confirmation of Firefight returning. I do wonder though if there was any doubt if it would return or not since I’m assuming it was very popular in ODST, even to this day. The one thing I am very excited about its return is the amount of customization you are going to be able to do in it. From what I’ve gathered you will be able to decide which enemy and how many of them you want in each wave. Same with rounds and sets I think also. You’ll also be able to decide how much damage you and the enemy deals out to each other and if you can be killed or not. Much like you can with certain things in Halo 3’s custom games. I was already brainstorming and idea for it the other day with Storm after being owned horribly by a couple hammer Chieftains with their invincibility turned on. If you’ve ever played ODST’s Firefight, you know exactly what I’m talking about on how it seems to last forever when you are so close to making par score and they end up killing you in the end anyways. Well, in Firefight 2.0 I plan on changing that. Right now I know you’re probably thinking something like this: “You’re crazy Grunt, there’s no way you can mimic a Chieftain as a Spartan-III!!!!” Well with the amount of customization, I can! Give myself a hammer and turn on invincibility and set the enemy in the wave to a Brute Chieftain and there you go, one instant rebuttal for all those times you got ripped off by that hammer or fuel rod Chieftain in ODST. Plus if you always got behind the ones with the hammer as they were invincible and assassinated them, just imagine that with the new form of assassinations that are in Reach. Hold B to own Brutes!
Another thing that I’ve also thought about doing if they return is setting up an entire wave or round of suicide Grunts and see how long we can hold out against them. They get very annoying in ODST currently, but I really want to see how long we could last against just them.

Anyways, I think that is finally it. However, don’t be surprised if I comeback with another post mainly discussing Firefight from ODST and possibly Firefight 2.0. Lastly, the complete breakdown post on HGA is still in the works. I haven’t had the motivation to work on it as of lately and I still plan on delivering it sometime in the future. With any luck, before Reach falls.

No, the Zombies Haven’t Taken Over Yet

Like the title says, zombies haven’t invaded the earth yet. Or come into existence for that fact. So why no new blog post as of lately? Well, I’ve been doing my part at keeping the zombie/alien invasion at bay….kind of. Simply put, I’ve been busy and haven’t had a whole large chance to get a new post out at all. And remember that detailed breakdown I’m working on for HGA? Well, it’s still being worked on; however, I feel it will be worth the wait. I’ve also been playing some Half-Life 2 again as I really enjoyed playing that game. Same way with Left 4 Dead 1 and 2 and with ODST. Wait, do I ever really stop playing that last game? And lastly, I’m still planning on uploading and posting the last few Reach Beta clips I have, all in a matter of time though.

60,372

What does this number mean you ask? Well for starters, it’s the number of total Covenant that I have killed. Secondly, it is the current kills for the person sitting in number one spot for most campaign kills in the state of Illinois. Now stop and think about that for a couple minutes…or second whichever. I’ll wait.

Thought about it yet? Good, if you were able to put two and two together it means that I hold the number one spot for most campaign kills in my state. I am currently holding it with a 324 kill lead, but who knows how long that will last.

Want some proof of it? Well, here’s your proof!
Anyways, that’s all. Merry Christmas(or whatever it is you celebrate) and if I don’t get a post out before New Year’s, happy new year.

Holding The Line

So I’m sure many of you have Halo Waypoint…maybe. If you do and you just so happen to be on it this past Friday and watched the video(which you might still be able to catch right now, I don’t think they took it down at all.) called “Holding the line” you already know what I am talking about. If not, I’ll explain a bit here.

So the video starts off by showing the level ONI Alpha Site when you play as Dutch. Your job is to arm about three charges on the bridge you start off on and fall back to the inner courtyard. Instead of falling back and doing all that stuff, you go at the enemy and kill them all. Of course, I’m all for this; since I believe that all Covenant must die based on what they have done in the Halo universe. This past Saturday I sat down with Storm and we had our go at it on Legendary. The end result was successful, we did hold the line…even though it was really annoying when we kept getting killed. I really wish I could get area specific stats so I could tell you how many times we died and how many Covenant were killed on the bridge. However, I can give you post-game stats and a video. Yes! A video…sort of. You’ll get it twice and actually probably around three times if I have a say so in it.

First, the interesting enough stats. Oh look! Pretty text. See it there, that should take you to the stats of it. Keep in mind that all the details and total kills and all that good stuff is of the entire level.
Now for the video. I’ll post it two ways, one will be the direct link the clip(which is rendered so you can download it and watch it) and the second will be me trying to embed it into the post.
Only reason I am giving you the direct link is I’m not sure how many of you have that Microsoft Silverlight. So here it is, Holding the line in its embedded glory and yes I know, the timing is screwed up on it. Sorry! You didn’t miss much…just tanks blowing up. You know, nothing too important. Oh yeah, and it might be cut off due to the blog layout. Curses!

If you can’t see it, hit the link above the red X or whatever it is and download the Windows Media File and if you can’t do that, download it to ODST. And if you can’t do that…well I might try upload it to my Youtube page in a few days. I’ll post it here in a separate post if I can upload it.