Ten years of Halo 2

Where were you ten years ago? We’re asked frequently in job interviews “Where do you see yourself in 5 or 10 years?” This is a really hard question to answer. I like thinking of where I was ten years ago and see how far I’ve come. Gaming has always been an important part of my life and I occasionally like to think “What was I doing in gaming ten years ago?”

Ten years ago, my life was FULL of gaming. I was working for GameStop. I was a seasonal hire. I was hired in October and my position was over a week after the New Year. I just had a four month spurt of unemployment and was in the middle of my junior year of college. I wouldn’t say I was strapped for cash or anything. I was working weekends at a local paintball store. I ended up being the only holiday hire out of six to be offered a permanent position. I ended up passing and going to work for a local grocery store chain.

The fall of 2004 was an amazing time to work for a video game store. Fable was released a few week before I started. There was a lot of negative feedback due to the game not living up to expectations. We had a lot of trad-ins of the game my first week. I got to experience the Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic 2 and The World of Warcraft releases. These games were milestones and set the standards for the games of that generation. World of Warcraft is still a very relevant MMORPG. San Andreas recently made it to the hand held market and KOTOR eventually evolved into an MMORPG that couldn’t live up to the reputation of its predecessor. One game topped all of these for me and it set the standard for my preference of games ever since.

Halo 2 was the only game that was released in the fall of 2004 that had a midnight release. The game was released on November the 9th 2004. There were roughly one hundred and twenty people hanging outside the store at 11:55pm and just about everyone had paid for the game in full. This event was the easiest shift I ever worked. Everybody was excited for the game and we were ready to serve. I took a hint and picked up an XBox the next week.

I tried to do things right. I played through the original Halo and this was extremely challenging for me. Goldeneye and Perfect Dark were the only FPS games I had experience in and the dual control stick layout took some getting used to. Halo was conquered over a weekend and Halo 2’s campaign was destroyed shortly after that. My gaming preferences were drastically changed after this experience.

I’ve never been big into the multiplayer experience. I was much more into the story. The Halo franchise has a very detailed universe and Halo 2 introduced the players to the other side of the story. The first game involved the super soldier, but the second game put you in the shoes of the enemy of the first game, the Covenant. You learn about the different species of the Covenant and experience the tension of the defeat from the first game. I had never played a game with this type of story telling. A lot of people didn’t like the fact you didn’t play the whole game as Master Chief, but I thought it was brilliant.

Over ten years, I’ve played all the Halo games, read most of the books, watched the TV series, and watched a lot of Red vs Blue. I can’t say Halo 2 was my favorite. It was the game that caught my attention and made Halo my favorite game series of all time. Halo: The Master Chief Collection comes out tomorrow. It crams Halo remastered, Halo 2 remastered, Halo 3 and Halo 4 into one game. I don’t own an XBox One, but I anxiously await the day I do so that I can re-experience ten years worth of awesome gaming.

I’m a Technology Architect for Rockfish Digital. I’ve been there since 2007. I love coding and spend most of my time in C# and JavaScript. I’m a firm believer in the Full Stack Developer.

Infinite Playlist: My top 10 console games that never get old.

I’ve spent a good amount of time in my days playing games and I’m typically one who will want to play them and get my money’s worth. I figured I’d compile a couple top 10s of my favorite games with near unlimited replayability. I think it’s pretty obvious that consoles will have the better Platform, FPS and RPG games, PC will have the RTSes and Handheld will have the Simulation and Puzzle games.

Some games will be excluded from this specific list due to having what I fell are better version on different platforms. Some games will include fallbacks for games that I know other people would prefer and the focus will primarily be on the single player components of the games.
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I’m a Technology Architect for Rockfish Digital. I’ve been there since 2007. I love coding and spend most of my time in C# and JavaScript. I’m a firm believer in the Full Stack Developer.

What happened to the challenge?

I recently finished a second play through of Fable 2 and Fable 3. I came to a realization shortly after finishing the games. Both games are virtually impossible to lose. Losing all your life knocks you down and you gain a scar and lose some xp. Sure there is an achievement for not getting knocked down, but you can easily spam your unlimited magic or infinite ammo gun.

I thought about all my 8 and 16 bit games from when I was a kid. Mario, Mega Man, and Zelda never had difficulty settings on the NES. You got one difficulty, HARD! I’ve asked younger gamers “Have you beat Halo?” and I always get a “Yes”. I then ask “What difficulty?” and the answer is normally “On easy” or “Legendary with 3 other friends”. I can only shake my head in sadness.

Plenty of 16 bit games came with difficulty settings, but “easy” on Super Empire Strikes back was still darn near impossible. I wasn’t even able to beat it with Game Genie.

Nintendo seems to have done the best job of maintaining the one difficulty to rule them all, but most other systems have not. I was talking with some friends today about the topic and one of them mentioned that the difficulty of the game was directly related to the bad user experience of the games..

I think the one saving grace of this has to be achievements/trophies. I know that I’ve beaten Bioshock on it’s hardest difficulty without vita chambers and I have an achievement to prove it. However, I think it would be an even bigger accomplishment if they didn’t allow you to save at any point in time. How easy would it be to beat Contra with 3 lives if you were able to save every 5 seconds and revert back a save spot or two the moment you die?

I wonder if this trend is related to the recent (recent being the last 8 years) focus on “Casual Gamers” and attempting to expand the gaming community.

I guess this boils down to the fact I’m from a different era of gaming and the young whipper snappers don’t realize how easy they got it.

I’m a Technology Architect for Rockfish Digital. I’ve been there since 2007. I love coding and spend most of my time in C# and JavaScript. I’m a firm believer in the Full Stack Developer.

Trollolol – Why playing online multiplayer isn’t fun anymore.

I know it’s pretty much the norm that players rage on each other during games. I still consider myself fairly new to online gaming, but I don’t think I’ll ever get use to the unsportsmanlike behavior that happens online games. The first online game I ever played with other people was Starcraft 1 and I only played it with other friends. I pretty much stayed offline until I got an Xbox360 in November of 2009.

I played Halo 3, Halo Reach, and the Left 4 Dead series pretty extensively. Every once in a while I’d hear someone insult me on the score screen at the end of a match. Xbox live allow for easy blocking of voice chat. I got my feelings hurt every once in a while, but it was fairly easy to shrug off.
Continue reading “Trollolol – Why playing online multiplayer isn’t fun anymore.”

I’m a Technology Architect for Rockfish Digital. I’ve been there since 2007. I love coding and spend most of my time in C# and JavaScript. I’m a firm believer in the Full Stack Developer.

10 Games That Deserved More From Me

I do not have much time anymore to play video games. I try to make it count when I do. I want to get every penny out of the game now a days. I played through the original Bioshock and earned every achievement for example. I “completed” my goal almost through my third play through. There are tons of great games that I neglected over the years that I really wish I had time to play through and truly enjoy.

If any of you don’t know about my obsessive video game collecting…. look HERE. I had a problem with buying video games that I never played/completed. The “Pile” made it over three feet tall of games that I never played and completed.

Here is a list of games I owned or tried to own, and would love to revisit if time allowed.
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I’m a Technology Architect for Rockfish Digital. I’ve been there since 2007. I love coding and spend most of my time in C# and JavaScript. I’m a firm believer in the Full Stack Developer.

The State of Halo Part 3 of 3

This is the last installment of my State of Halo series. I’ve covered all of the released games with the exception of Halo 3:ODST. I’m going to break my rules and do a separate post for Reach. There is too much cool stuff with ODST to not cover it.

Halo 3:ODST was released in 2009 as an “expansion” for Halo 3. It shipped with a Halo 3 map pack disc that included all down loadable maps for Halo 3. Most players felt like the game was a rip off. Most avid Halo 3 players already had all the maps. The campaign can be completed in about 6 hours and the new game mode “Firefight” wasn’t ideal for players with small friends lists.
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I’m a Technology Architect for Rockfish Digital. I’ve been there since 2007. I love coding and spend most of my time in C# and JavaScript. I’m a firm believer in the Full Stack Developer.

The State of Halo Part 2 of 3

I’m going to give a brief overview of Halo 3 and Halo Wars both of these games are for the XBox 360 and utilize Xbox Live. Halo Wars is a little bit different than the other Halo games. It is an RTS game. In other words, it’s like Starcraft. In the last part of the series, I will go over Halo 3: ODST and what we know about Reach.
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I’m a Technology Architect for Rockfish Digital. I’ve been there since 2007. I love coding and spend most of my time in C# and JavaScript. I’m a firm believer in the Full Stack Developer.

The State of Halo Part 1 of 3

So Halo Reach comes out in the near future. A lot of people I know aren’t fully aware of the the series up to now. It’s a truly interesting series on a Star Wars level for the video game industry. A lot of this is strictly my opinion, but feel free to share your opinions in the comments. I’m going to go over all the games. I’ll go over their strong points and their weak points in my opinion. Spoiler Alert: I’ll be going over key points of the plot so reader beware.
Continue reading “The State of Halo Part 1 of 3”

I’m a Technology Architect for Rockfish Digital. I’ve been there since 2007. I love coding and spend most of my time in C# and JavaScript. I’m a firm believer in the Full Stack Developer.