There's only one treasure buried deep within this Humpday...
Late last night, four grown ass men from the award-winning gaming studio Naughty Dog
took some time away from crafting their next totally unannounced, super top secret project to square off with us in Halo: Reach. Would their stylishly half-tucked shirts be enough to finally topple our incredible Humpday winning streak? Read on to find out!
Forming our foursome was nice and easy compared to previous weeks. We only needed four players and Naughty Dog had a hit list of employees that they’d personally requested. While Rob Adams was too engrossed in our DLC efforts to play, and while Chris Opdahl spent the evening plunging into some much needed restroom upgrades, David Aldridge and Lars Bakken accepted the challenge and immediately began preparing themselves for an epic showdown filled to the brim with death-defying one-handed catches.
Bolstering the dynamic duo was a supporting cast comprised of the illustrious Ben Wommack (of last week’s Humpday fame) and yours truly (that’s me).
Game 1 – Elite Slayer on Zealot
Wort! Wort! Wort!
I’m just gonna say it. Elite Slayer is hands down my favorite game type in Halo: Reach. There’s just something about the zaniness that unfolds when you shove eight bulky Dinos into a cramped space and turn them loose with Plasma and Blamite weapons. Add in Evade’s audio cues and there are more LARPing opportunities per second than in any other gametype, period. Pu Ritsu (or whatever)!
Our strategery for the night’s first outing was pretty simple. Team shoot from the perimeters. Don’t chase into space.
At the outset it seemed that everything was going exactly as we’d planned… then Rodney got his mitts on the Plasma Sword, rammed it down our throats, and Naughty Dog pried the lead from our cold dead hands. From then on out, it was a nail-biting back and forth affair, and by the time the match concluded, my heart was nearly beating out of my chesticles.
Came from Behind!
“I thought we would have an overwhelming advantage because of the lucky two Elite Slayer matches we were served in matchmaking just before the Humpday began, but it turns out Naughty Dog knows how to roll and stick with the best. Somewhere after the halfway point we Bungie players lost our focus and the ND's solidified theirs, making me believe we'd lose the first game of the night in I don't know how long. But amid cries of ‘stick together!’ and a whole lot of team shooting, we somehow caught up and squeezed off the last kill with only 26 seconds left on the clock.”
The two teams exchanged thundering blows like Rocky and Apollo Creed with blood and spittle raining down all around us. In the end, we somehow managed to stay on our feet and walked out of Zealot swollen and bruised, but not yet beaten.
It's just a little prick!
“We had just played a game of Elite Slayer before forming up where I went +8 and came out in first place. Unfortunately, the ND guys know their Elite Slayer and it was a close game. There was a point where we were down, and I started getting worried. I switched out my standard Needle Rifle/Evade Loadout for Needler/Camo and got sneaky. I think the match turned when we finally took out the sword guy. I grabbed the sword, hunkered down in Camo and then waited to spring. My first action out of the gate netted a Double Kill, and that kicked us back into the game. It was super close, and my heart was pumping after the match ended.”
Final Score: 50 – 48. Bungie Wins.
Game 2 – Team Slayer on Reflection
Above you! Above you! Below you. Below you.
For game deuce, Naughty Dog selected classic Slayer on Reflection. Have we ever mentioned how big the cube map for Reflection is? It’s massive. The largest in the game, in fact. And while I myself might have put up big numbers in Game 1, the second outing of the night left me feeling small and inadequate. (Even more than usual.)
But while I was busy reflecting on my own personal failings, Lars was in the fight of his life. He called Rockets from the start and put them (and all our other wonderful toys) to good use en route to pulling off Team Bungie’s only positive performance.
The bigger they are...
Lars Doubles Down
“They chose Reflection for the second game, which was just fine because I know that map really well. I started off by getting a Sword Spree (hmmm, is there a trend here?) and we were up 6 to 1 in the first few minutes. They scrambled back into the fight, however and really made us work for it. At one point we were tied at 40 with only one minute left, as I think they forgot to set the time limit. This would be their undoing. We got up by 1, and then I started yelling at everyone to NOT engage. As the time ran out we ran into them again, but it was too late. Once again, super close game.”
“Not my best performance this match; I recall missing with the rocket launcher and shotgun multiple times while constantly being flanked. The Naughty Dog crew definitely knows Reflection really well. Another super close game; time ran out with us in the lead and me surrounded by the other team while in Armor Lock. Watching the clock count down from 6 seconds holding down the AA button, over party chat I asked ‘how long does armor lock last again?’ Just enough apparently.”
“Most memorable moment was scampering away from Naughty Dog on Reflection as time ran out.”
That’s right. We ended up turtling for the last thirty seconds like chumps – cowardly hearts thumping out of our chests – ultimately squeaking out our second win of the night.
Final Score: 42 – 40. Bungie Wins.
Game 3 – Team Headhunter on Boardwalk
Fountains of burning skulls.
Just like last week, sitting on an insurmountable lead we decided to finish up with something fun.
“I don't care what anyone else says, Team Headhunter is awesome.”
On the Hunt
“Unfortunately, Lars forgot to set the match time to greater than 8 minutes, so this Headhunter game ended a bit early. The scores were pretty close in the beginning but we pulled ahead after playing tug-a-war with some power weapons. It's just fun seeing a sniped Jetpacker spout a fountain of burning skulls; I never get tired of seeing that.”
“Wommack is a filthy liar. Yes, the time limit was set to 8 minutes, but we hit the score cap at around 7 minutes. We won fair and square by hitting 25 skulls (well 28) before they did. Ben was right about one thing, and that was nailing someone in midair and seeing skulls pop up and fly all over Boardwalk. Soooo good. I love Headhunter, so this was a great way to end the Humpday.”
Guys, there’s no need to fight. We won! Not just because we’re amazing Halo players, but because we are gracious and humble as well. Suck it down, Naughty Dog!
Final Score: 28 - 20. Bungie Wins!
“Their teamwork was astonishingly good. If they got better at the basic 1v1 combat cycle (especially knowing when to use headshot weapons), I think they would have beaten us handily.”
“Thanks again for playing, Naughty Dog. We're totally looking forward to whatever you guys put out next. :)”
gets the last word:
“Post-match there was banter about how we should have a re-match in the future, though in Uncharted 2 multiplayer rather than Halo: Reach. These guys were super fun to play with, and I would go out and buy a PS3 just for that opportunity—though ironically I already own the game. A great Humpday indeed.”