The Halo Humpday Challenge
Every Wednesday, we challenge a group of fans, media or hot babes to a three game Halo 2 tournament. They choose the maps and the rules, and we take them on. We'll display the results and await your challenges. This week, it was
The Frag Dolls!
It was prom night. We drove up to the pretty white house, with the expanse of lawn and the powder-blue shutters. Warm light spilled from the windows, frosting the shadowed hydrangeas with a sulfur-yellow glow. We fluffed the ruffles of our shirt, straightened our bow tie and smoothed the wrinkles in our periwinkle tuxedo.
This was to be the most nerve-wracking night of our lives. We had a date for the prom, and our date was planning to stab us. Our date was with the
. And death.
If you don't know who the
are, then you are currently suffering a hotness deficiency. You can read all about them at
, where you'll quickly learn that their good looks are an incidental bonus to their gameplaying abilities. They really are very good, as we were soon to discover.
We first encountered the Frag Dolls at the Penny Arcade PAX event, where they made a respectable showing on the E3 Zanzibar demo. It was obvious. Attractive, talented gamers versus attractive, talented gamers. It was
versus the newest gaming phenomenon:
The Bungie Frag Doodz
You can find out more about the
here, at their
official web page
That meant that the crews were:
The Frag Dolls
– This blonde goddess lives up to her Norse warrior namesake and doesn't look bad in a suit of Mjolnir either.
– She could just as easily be called the Bronx Bomber, given the amount of 'nade chucking she does.
– Ironically, she didn't get a single suicide all night, but she will make you fall upon your sword.
– Hard to tell if she's a redhead through the haze of your own blood, but she certainly has a fiery temper.
The Frag Doodz
– Known at Bungie as the most hadnsome, gracious and awesome player in the crew. He's like Sir Galahad meets Elvis.
– Mat Noguchi. As evil as he is messy, also known as Katamari Noguchi for reasons that will become clear.
– John Butkus, handsome, virile, brilliantly skilled and highly talkative. Also known as Blabby McChattington.
- David Candland, the Bungie UI designer and webmaster of Frag Doodz. A surgeon with a shotgun.
- Also known as Brian Jarrard, Simon Le Bon, and Mr. Mrs. Sketch. One of our leading scorers.
- The other Canadian.
The Frag Doodz of course took turns playing against these delicious ladeez of the fight.
Lockout, regular rules, standard weapons
General Tone of Game :
Before the game even began, the sexist smack-talking began. Surprisingly, much of it by the Frag Dolls. They talk the talk. We were about to find out if they could walk the walk. We knew they had been practicing, because they kept delaying the start of the first game so they could get in another session. This cooperation would come back to haunt us later, but not right now.
Things got off to the start we'd expected. We started pretty evenly, but began to draw out a lead using our typical arsenal of swords and pistol combos. I wish, in a way, that there was a way to track humping stats. I believe, but I can't be sure, that there was slightly more humping than usual. And not just by us.
Now, pistol combos are smart, and it turns out that the Frag Dolls are well aware of this. There was a shocking amount of pistol--blam!-ery going on, and this alerted us immediately that these Dolls were no Barbies. There was also clumping.
Now, call it sorority bonding; we call it women-trouble. Our brave boys discovered that charging blindly into a room filled with Frag Dolls is about as effective as making tea with a chocolate kettle. Their clumpiness started to reap rewards, and as the game progressed, they started to figure out the typical Bungie patterns. They were like some evil AI, learning on the fly. We won the first game handily, but a creepy sensation left us all a little tingly. Nervous, even.
OK, so if you look at the stats, you'll see that it looks like Jinx was an extra player; she left 12 seconds in to even out the teams and had no effect on the scoring.
50-26 Bungie wins.
Ivory Tower, Standard Weapons
Spankings Frag Doodz took:
So, ahem. We do have one (of many) embarrassing admission(s) to make. The Frag Dolls had so piqued our interest that for the first time in the brief history of the Humpday Challenges, we were massively oversubscribed. Whoing! Whoing! went my Xbox Live messages as requests to join the party arrived, one on top of another. Mat, our tools programmer (or Katamari Noguchi as he is now known, thanks to his appalling desk) sent me seven requests. Seven!
Was it because the Frag Dolls are hot? Leading political scientists agree that yes, it was because they were hot. But now we found out the Frag Dolls despicable secret: they cooperate. Almost from the beginning of this Team Slayer match, they dominated. Clumping together in sensibly powerful groups, venturing out only to get choice weapons like the rocket launcher and the sword, and using pistol combos like they invented 'em. Jerks.
As always, we used the old "split up and run around in a panic, bumping into stuff" strategy. It worked poorly. We were losing. Hearing that voice intone "You have lost the lead," was like hearing a death knell. But we channeled our humiliation into black rage and slowly started to creep back.
Instead of actually communicating and cooperating, we gibbered incessantly useful phrases like, "Ow! My beautiful face!" and, "Holy crap, they've got rockets." But by simply avoiding their lower corridor trap, we eventually caught up, and with one final grenade toss crossed the threshold and won the game. By a single kill. Just before Halo 2 dumped us back in the lobby, a shrill Frag Doll was heard to complain, "OK, who died!?"
50-49. Bungie wins. Narrowly.
Team Slayer (surprise!)
Ascension, regular rules, standard weapons
Hearts Broken :
Another close game, and we swapped in the darkly mysterious Shunji, also known as Mat Noguchi, since his seventh message touched our hearts. "Let me play and I will make Sgt. Johnson a playable character," he said, knowing full well that was just crazy talk.
As before, the Dolls got off to a quick start, asserting their authority with Rocket Launcher and pistol combos. As before, our brave boys ran around bumping into each other like heavily armored Stooges. "Why I oughta!" threatened Anim8rJB, unthreateningly.
Strangely enough, and probably fatally, the Frag Dolls ignored the Plasma Pistol, which makes for some very frightening long-range antics combined with (or rather, swapped with) the Battle Rifle. Charge it, then switch to rifle and finish unshielded chump with Battle Rifle headshots. It's horrible but effective.
The Dolls again decided wisely to stick together and watch us run somewhat spastically towards them, guns blazing, while they calmly picked us off with multiple weapons. Our main source of respite was respawn points. When they did die, they were often picked off as they cleverly tried to rejoin their group.
As you can see, the Dolls tried to hold the positions between the sniper ramp and the main tower, giving them good access to the sniper rifle, the human pistol and the shotgun. Strangely for an Ascension game, basically nobody died in the center dish. Normally that's death central.
But in the end, we eked out a close-fought victory, probably thanks to months of practice on that map, rather than any demonstration of real skill on our part. We got the feeling the Dolls might well have owned us under even slightly different circumstances.
50-45. Bungie wins, but in a very real way, decency loses.
The challenge lined up for next Wednesday promises to be much less hawt than this one was, but perhaps more bloody. Who's to say? Until then, make sure to check out as much sexalicious, bootymongous
as you can handle.
Sorry about Ske7ch's new game type. It was the only color the showers could have been.