Posts Tagged ‘ Games ’

Halo 4: The Awakening of a Hero

When the news first exclaimed of Halo 4, the entire world watched in awe. The continuation of Master Chief and the vast universe set centuries ahead of our time, but also hundreds of thousands of years before captivated our intrigue and skepticism. (Explained here.)
The information concerning plot, gameplay, features, perks, and audio between its reveal and now has overwhelmed the gaming world and Halo fanatics such as myself.

The story we know so far of the Reclaimer Trilogy is Master Chief awakening from Cryo-Sleep to find the floating half of Forward Unto Dawn being pulled into a titanic metal sphere with Forerunner glyphs strown across the surface. Later on the shield world is revealed to be inhabited by Prometheans, a forerunner species led by none other by The Didact (in which I believe is inhabiting that metal, glowing sphere we see in the campaign trailer).
Cortana, who is steadily becoming rampant due to her diminishing life-span, has a greater role in this trilogy than the last and from leaked (and speculated causes) may become the very thing that makes or breaks Master Chief.

The story concerning his armor change is also vaguely explained as Cortana crafting it while the spartan was sleeping due to reasons beyond our temporary comprehension. So far it looks good, but aesthetics are not enough in such a story-driven atmosphere.

Master Chief: Ready for Action

Master Chief: Ready for Action

Additional info for supporting characters will come in the form of a live-action miniseries called Forward Unto Dawn, that will explain Thomas Lasky’s story that will tie directly to Halo 4’s plot. From the official website:

“Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn” tells an exciting story of heroism and sacrifice on a scale never before seen in the “Halo” universe, taking fans back to the beginning of the human and Covenant war and leading into the events of “Halo 4.” Set against the backdrop of a United Nations Space Command (UNSC) military academy, a group of highborn cadets are training to be the next generation of soldiers in the UNSC’s ongoing war with insurrectionists in the outer colonial planets. Among these cadets, Thomas Lasky struggles with his doubts about this war, and with the burden of expectations he may not be able to carry. As Lasky comes to terms with his potential as a military leader, the terrifying alien alliance known as the Covenant arrives and turns his world upside down. Inspired by the Master Chief, he must decide what it means to be a hero.”

 The story so far is only scratching the surface of what we’ll see on November 6th. A lot of people are speculating that the Forerunner planet Requiem is actually Onyx, the planet composed entirely of inactive Sentinels. The only reason in that conclusion is the fact Dr. Cathrine Halsey has a part in the investigation of Requiem. As stated in The Thursday War, Requiem was the final resting place of The Didact they claim as a living God and “must not be awoken”, surrounding himself in ancient weapons known as Promethians.
(Promethians as we know were advanced AI, but according to Kiki Wolfkill, they are nothing less than living organic matter.) It also reveals a weapon catche on Onyx that turns the tide of the war between the Humans and Sangheili, further proving Dr. Halsey’s role in the new trilogy.

Now not to say much about the ending, multiple reports have released that the climatic battle between the UNSC and the Didact fail to shed light on a tie into Halo 5. 343i has quite the plate to devour (bad analogy alert) when it comes to surprizing us with the next installment; the gracious donations of new features leaves it looking rather…dry.

343 Industries has surprized us with a lot, perhaps they will do the same again 3 years from now.

Advertisements

Time for Virtual Party Hats V5; One Lovely Blog Nomination!

Here we are once again to celebrate the greatest moments of my blog’s history; looking back at all the tears, blood, sweet, and Bengay used to craft such a blog of incredulousness. This time the party welcomes the news of its second award from another blog, My Two Caps. The blog carries a lot of great posts pertaining to the vast realm of virtual reality and the geekhood we so proudly engage in.
I sincerely thank you for such an honor and since the nomination was granted due to the earlier posts I made about gaming, Better With A Pen shall continue on with the game related news, reviews, and sneak peeks. The news shall also continue on the brother site Gaming The Systems, so don’t fret my dears.

One Lovely Blog Award

In part of accepting such award there are some rules that follow:

  • Thank the person who nominated you and link back to them in your post.
  • Share 7 things about yourself. (Keep in mind that children may read this)
  • Nominate 15 bloggers you absolutely relish.
  • Leave a comment on each of these blogs letting them know they’ve been nominated.

So now that the rules are acknowledged, I must acknowledge them myself. 7 little known facts:

  1. I have written an entire novel in my youth, deciding that it would serve a greater purpose as kindling than a readable piece of material.
  2. I’m very outspoken and I don’t let anything stop me from speaking my mind, which gives others the impression that I am an insensitive pompous jerk.
  3. I like to reenact Brian Regan’s standup routines, having the uncanny ability to replicate his voice. (As much as someone doesn’t like it…)
  4. I have never been able to successfully write a poem, as each 15-word heartfelt letter becomes a 15-page heartfelt letter.
  5. I dress like a hipster, but remain classy and suave.
  6. I’m crazily, insanely in love with someone right now, so I thought I should tell the world.
  7. I still enjoy drawing my StickMan Adventures comic series I began in my year at Puerto Rico. It now happens to be on it’s 10th season.

Now here are the 15 blogs that I would like to nominate for this meritorious award:

So, go on to check these great blogs out. Maybe even read a bit. It’s healthy.
Let the party commence!

funny gifs

Remember The Date

November 6th.
The official date when millions of gamers will squeal with unprecedented happiness. Below is some classified intel on the multiplayer that comes from some-gaming-site-that-I-cannot-access-anymore-and-does-not-belong-to-me-to-prevent-any-kind-of-plaigerism (Halo Waypoint) that we will have to become proficient in for the next generation.

• Weapon Drops

“Traditionally, power weapons spawn at set locations on a map. After looking at what has worked in the past and what we wanted to change for the future, we decided to build a new weapon spawning system from the ground up for Halo 4. Our primary goal was to make the system accessible to both new and returning Halo players, and also to make it fit within the context of Infinity–a massive vessel that is the new home of Halo multiplayer.
Initial weapon drops happen at the beginning of a match. After that, timers are set for when they drop in, and subtle UI elements communicate the time and destination of their impending arrival. Drops will be appropriate for each map; for instance, long-range weapon drops (i.e., sniper rifles) are likely to occur on large maps while close-range weapon drops (i.e., shotguns) are likely to occur on tight quarter maps.

There are two important things to note about weapon drops: you’ll have the ability to customize ordinance in custom games, and not-at-all-random is a more accurate descriptor than random.

• Player Spawn System

Evaluating the average number of living players on a map at a time, how long it takes to see an opponent, how quickly you can get back into action after dying, the length of time you’re dead versus the length of time you’re alive, and overall expected life spans were all things we considered when determining the player spawn system in Halo 4. Ultimately, we opted to give players freedom over this feature.
So, in certain modes (not all), players can control the timing for when they spawn. That means that, when you die, you can choose to spawn immediately, take a short breather to select your loadout, or plan your next strategy based on how the game is going. Objective game types use specially-tuned spawn timers that are designed to suit game length, object respawn times, and scoring.

Just like weapon drops, you’ll be able to tweak (or turn off) these settings in custom games.

• Sprint

The decisions people make in matchmaking give us an invaluable amount of information about both the game and various gameplay elements. The information we gleaned from Reach allowed us to learn a lot of lessons from Armor Abilities. That and the balancing we’ve done within the sandbox led us to make the decision that everyone will have Sprint in Halo 4–meaning you will no longer have to choose between base mobility and an extra ability.
The levels in Halo 4 are designed for this faster mobility. You’re continually driven right back into action, not away from it. You can try to use Sprint to flee combat, but you’re not likely to be successful because everyone else will have it, too, thus ensuring someone will be right on your tail, shooting your back while you attempt to escape, and probably causing your untimely demise.

It’s also worth mentioning that just because everybody has Sprint, base movement is not slow. If you’re familiar with previous Halo games, we looked at the speed and mobility of Halo 3 as the inspiration for Halo 4.

• Forerunner Vision

Forerunner vision, one of the Armor Abilities that will debut in Halo 4, is still being tweaked, so I’m going to keep the details light today. While it’s being described as letting you see through walls, it’s more accurate to refer to it as sonar, where it sweeps out from its origin point to detect surrounding objects.
As with all Armor Abilities, it has tradeoffs: there is a delay before you get the knowledge of where other players are located, situational awareness is affected by the visual treatment of that mode (in its current iteration, it can best be described as shimmery), and other players within the range receive auditory cues when you activate it. So they will know when you’re peeking.

We’ll share more about this Armor Ability, and others, in the months leading up to launch.

• Spartan Ops

One of the biggest changes we’ve made to multiplayer is making story an integral part of the experience. Our new Halo 4 cooperative mode, called Spartan Ops, is an ambitious example of that. If you’re a fan of Firefight, we anticipate you’ll enjoy this objective-based multiplayer mode.
Along with introducing an ongoing CG series that will tell a story over the course of a season, Spartan Ops will also give you the opportunity to play weekly missions that relate to that fiction. This mode will provide an outlet once you complete the Campaign to further the story past the game’s end.

[Spartan Ops is part of the Halo 4 package, not paid DLC.]

Our vision for the Halo 4 multiplayer experience is to continue the tradition of giving you the tools to craft your own custom experience. A lot of these settings can be tweaked, and, right out of the box, you can put the disc in and have the experience you want in system link games, tournaments, etc. Giving players choices, and empowering them to make choices for how they want to play, is a priority for us.”

Halo 4 Theme

Interactable floating debris? Hoo-rah!

       *SPOILER ALERT-SPOILER ALERT-SPOILER ALERT-SPOILER ALERT-SPOILER ALERT*

Also some other information has surfaced on the story elements as well. The Spartan IV program was developed on the UNSC Infinity (from my opinion it was done in that manner after receiving a disstress signal from Forward unto Dawn or from the home planet of the Sangheili after a civil war with a religous sect threatens the peace that the two races established. On their way to the planet they get raided by a squad of enemy ships and crash-land onto the shield world of Requiem where they face a bigger threat than the Sangheili could ever be. <insert Mantle doctrine>)

A Picture Worth A Thousand Gamerscore

Waiting for the debut of Halo 4 can be unnerving for some (Okay, perhaps all of us.) and the amount of info we have been granted to see makes it even worse.
Now, courtesy of leak site AllGamesBeta, our eyes can once again feast on more conceptual screenshots that make us delve into this mystery that Halo 4 has hidden itself behind. The first one shows Master Chief talking to his AI Cortana; a few others gives us some contemporary idea of how the multiplayer will be like with some sweet action shots while the rest show concept art and early game footage.

20120420-100336.jpg

Crisp, clean HUD. Nice.

Forerunner?

Imma' kick ya'...in the butt.

The Covenant is definitely going to appear again; their role: Unknown

It’s absolutely beautiful I must say, the game has some potential to become the best looking Halo anything ever crafted (except when they make Halo 5 for the “Durango”), even though graphics play a large part of the game we seem to be more concerned about how we will play the same. New features are in the talks and some of us are worried. Now don’t get me wrong, we have been playing what is seems like the same game over and over again with new engines and armor pieces (mind that I am excluding Halo: Reach from this), perhaps it would be a good idea to mix things around a bit; not totally stripping it and disregarding the original, but add the new features in (and make it work) to make it feel new and fresh.
343 Industries is doing a heck of a job to give us what we want and many people believe it or not would be absolutely surprised if they messed it up. We have faith in you Frank O’Connor–make us proud.

*Pictures courtesy of AllGamesBeta, EGM, and Google Images.

Into The Past: The Lost Files

After contemplating on what my next blog post should be I found myself digging in the thousands (okay, not literally…) of notebooks I had collected over the years and found a small passage in the middle of all the blank pages.
A work of fan-fiction that I was working on and completely forgot about, so I figured I should inject life back into the piece by sharing it for everyone to see.

My first badge glistened in the warm sunlight. A bright grin reflected off of the gold facing that was owned none other than me. My happiness wasn’t so much about beating my first gym it was more of the fact that the Mudkip I found was the perfect candidate to make it happen. The small blue Pokemon hopped onto my lap and showed his unique interest in the small medal.
I handed it to him, gripping it inbetween his small paws as best as he could. He sniffed it, licked it, bit it; generally trying to figure out what funtion it served or why it was in my possession.
“Hmmm, good job.” A female’s voice said from behind. It was Roxanne with arms crossed and wearing her usual look of skeptism. “You worked hard today, I had a good match.”
“Thanks.” I said. It was odd to be conversing with a Gym Leader I just defeated.
“I’ve met a few trainers like you and there’s a similar trait I’ve noticed.”
“Like what?”
“The way you treat your Pokemon.” She said with a nod.
I looked at my Mudkip who grinned happliy back. “How I’m I different?”
“Well,” Roxanne said in thought. “You have a connection with them, It’s difficult to explain, but it’s stronger than anything I’ve known. It’s a special privilege being a trainer, you have a form of freedom we Gym Leaders could never have. We constantly have to watch the levels of the Pokemon we use and if they go past a certain level we have to go and catch a new one, one that qualifies for use in being a punching bag for young trainers like you.”
I almost felt guilty of doing so as her expression showed a form of humility. “You just had to make me feel bad, huh?”
Roxanne laughed. “No, just letting you know that you don’t want to become a Gym Leader. I heard what you said to the guide at the door, you are meant for more than that.”
I pondered at what else I would want to become. Nothing came to mind, then I remembered the Elite Four and the invitation that Sidney gave me. “The-the Champion? Of all Hoenn?”
Roxanne shrugged. “I don’t know, you’ll figure it out.” She then turned around and walked back into the gym building without a word more.

I’m not sure if I should be proud, upset, embarrassed, or even inspired. Either way it was interesting to find something of my past that showed my dedication to writing even as a young lad.

Unhinged Polygons: Zombie Repellant

“Don’t get into the Warthog Jimmy.” I told my friend, warning him of the possible snipers in the area. The battlefield was quiet and a lone Rocket-hog sat in the middle of it. It was suspicious, usually it was fought for and Jimmy was known for getting into it first.
“Don’t worry Tony, I’ll just get it really quick and drive off before anyone can hit me.” He then casually strutted out of the cave and toward the Warthog, jumped in, and was instantly plucked out of gameplay from a head-shot.

This is one of the many scenarios I face during the frequent Halo Parties I attend. I was obliged to be invited to another in the same week from a different group of friends, two in one week. I was beginning to think that life couldn’t get any better than this. Mountains of Pizza boxes and Dr. Pepper cans became the latest pieces of furniture and the headsets were starting to bend our ears in a shape any Trekkie would be proud of.

The First one was composed of the friends with whom I work with; Jimmy, Ken (Kenny), and Mark. The invitation was obvious after an argument erupted after I said that I could get the Killimanjaro medal, Mark was skeptical and challenged me to a Slayer match. I came as soon as I could to his place, arriving when he least expected it. The first match was an Infection and I was one of the defending players. Since it was on ONI Sword base a good spot could be found in various places and prepared myself by procuring a shotgun before the herd of zombies came running towards me. It took seconds for the rampage to begin.

One zombie.
Two zombie. Double Kill.
Three zombie. Triple Kill.
Four and Five zombie. Zombie Killing Spree.

Mark was now getting concerned.

Six zombie. Killtrocity.
Seven. Killimonjaro.

Mark’s face was then breaking into a sweat.

Eat my medals Mark!

Eight. Killtastrophe.
Nine. Killpocalypse.
Ten. Hell’s Janitor.

Mark threw his fist into his lap in defeat.
A few seconds later a voice shouted “Hell’s Jerome!” and the entire room around me went silent. It was only when the match ended that I could see everyone’s face in utter amazement and shock. Mark shook his head then my hand, and said “Good one Marn, didn’t think you could do it.” but what he was really saying was “I will now eat my shoe.”.
It was out of luck, but I knew I could do it. For the rest of the night I was treated like Major Nelson…well, almost I suppose.

Next time you want to challenge me remember this, Don’t Mess with The Marnray.

Warriors of Metal: The Titans

My imagination runs wild when I think about my book (story/graphic novel/screenplay/…movie?), the first thing I see when I start writing are the Titans that play an important role in the universe of my creation. I’ve tried to explain the function of their mechanical implementations, but my attempts leave individuals shaken and bewildered. They can’t seem to wrap their head around the concept no matter how practical the process is.
To clear confusion the Titans have nothing to do with the Titans of Greek mythology, but do share some minor resemblances. The reason for that was done in complete ignorance, I was matching the number of Titans in my story to the theory of Gyranism that the Eidogirra follow; there are 12 numbers so therefore there are 12 Titans, each one embodying a number. I knew nothing about the Titans until I began High school, which was a few years after their conceptualization.

From the game Section 8; this is the closest I could find that would serve my vision justice.

The Titans essentially are techno-formed people that have been injected with heavy doses of Technite–a fictional substance that has strong reactions with electric current. When the Technite is injected it absorbs into the bones making them more resilient to damage, when adrenaline is pumped through the bloodstream it activates the stored substance and begins to transform the cells around them into an Organic-Technite composite until it reaches the bodies electric energy limit. The limit can be increased by augmentation, but anything higher than a 1,000 watt output can potentially cause an over-accumulation of Technite that can poison the body to fatal levels.
The color of the armor is solely dependent on personal energy and/or a Demicron of Eidogirra origin. The accumulation of Technite outside of the body can wrap around vital areas giving the appearance similar to the picture above, but far different from what any person has laid eyes upon.

That’s the Titans in a nutshell. Warriors with the fate of the Eidogirra’s perseverance in their hands, but their purpose is a lot more than just that. I was (actually..always) afraid to spill information that would spoil the plot of their true origin or other vital plot elements.

If you want to know more about it, you’ll have to wait for…