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.

Budget Gaming: The Left 4 Dead series

In college, I was stuck in a video game purchasing mode that was uncontrollable. I may have owned over 40 Playstation 2 games at one time. Over the past five years, I’ve learned to do a lot research into games I purchase. Re-playability and bang for your buck are the two biggest factors for me. I’m a big fan of XBox live achievements also.

The Left 4 Dead series can be one of my favorite games that offers a completely unique experience every time you play. Both games have five campaigns. Each campaign has four to five chapters. Both games have a DLC campaign that have two or three chapters. A third DLC campaign is scheduled for release October 5th that will feature the characters from the first game. It looks like it is available to download for each game with different features for both games.

Starting with the second game and jumping down the first one can be kinda rough. The second game features an additional weapon tier and melee weapons that really help out with big crowds of zombies. The first game only has single and dual pistols as your “backup” weapons.

The first tier weapons include a pump shotgun and uzi style full machine gun. The second tier has an auto shotgun, assault rifle, and semi-auto sniper rifle. The second game adds an additional version of each weapon to each tier that has a different ROF, magazine capacity, accuracy, or damage rating. The second tier shotguns are the tactical and combat shotgun. The tactical shot gun has a wider spread making it better for closer ranges than the combat shotgun.

The “Director” is the true villain of the game. The directer determines item, weapon and enemy placement. You’ll encounter boss infected, called Tanks, in different locations every time you play a campaign. The same applies for all the weapons and item pickups. This means that playing on “normal” could end up being as difficult as “hard” depending on how the director is acting.

The series is great. It’s even better when you play with a party online. Regardless of which one you purchase, expect a lot of play out of the game without getting bored. I’m really hoping a third game comes soon.

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.