Long have we touted our audio rivalry with NPR, the sterling makers of such classic programs like Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me and Car Talk and consistent archenemies of the Bungie Studios Podcast. There’s a significantly greyer relationship with our foes (or are they friends) in this week’s Humpday Challenge. Podtacular. Podtacular, if you’re unfamiliar, bills itself as the Unofficial Halo Universe Podcast and the show was named Gaming Podcast of the Year in 2006. It has an established fanbase, solid production values and the dulcet tones of one JVB, but can these guys play Halo 3?
Short answer, not really. Long answer? Keep reading.
Truth, Justice, Light and Salvation
New0001 – Tung
Abe Froman SK – Timmins
Thug Larz – Bakken
Eamon – McKenzie
TJ Scoot – Smith
Lies, Malpractice, Darkness and Damnation
JVB – Podtacular Host
Foo Mo Jive – Podtacular Host
ChuckieJ – Possible ringer
Killa Zilla 24 – Ringer Total
CapnKrunk – Podtacular website Overlord (and reported ringer)
Tarheels 32 – Ringer Trifecta Complete
Game 1: Shotty Snipers on Valhalla
Tone of Game: Suspect
Podtacular had a plan; they instantly knew what they wanted to play when we asked them. It was almost as if things had been set up, arranged, planned to unfold a certain way. Inside their Podtacular hive mind, they were thinking: “Killa Zilla 24, who doesn’t do anything on Podtacular but is just a guy we know who is ridiculously good at Halo and insane with the Sniper Rifle is here, maybe we should play a game with Sniper Rifles before Bungie realizes we’re bringing massive amounts of ringers to the shootout. And we hurt puppies. Often."
If you watch the film (available in this week's update to Bungie Favorites), you’ll notice that there are vehicles on the map, but no one used them for the match. Everyone played with honor. As tempting as it was to hop in the Warthog and try and play the role of equalizer, we were playing Shotty Snipers and it'd have been cheap. Like a newb, I’d forgotten to take the vehicles off the map. At one point Eamon got in the Banshee and nearly gave into temptation, but he deboarded and continued walking into the slaughter.
It’s no secret that the Long Rifle is much harder to use in Halo 3. It’s a weapon that in ideal host conditions still requires a fair bit of skill to wield and on this evening – we just didn’t have what it took.
Final Score: 50-46 Podtacular Wins
Watch the film
Game 2: Team Slayer on Construct
Tone of Game: Investigative
After getting our faces melted on Valhalla, I started asking questions in the Lobby. “Oh, Killa Zilla, what do you do on the Podtacular?” My questions and queries were met with awkward laughter and answers like “He’s one of our reviewers, he’ll be reviewing Mass Effect as his first thing for us,” followed by more awkward laughter.
When Tarheel 32 joined the room and I asked what he did on Podtacular, there were no acceptable answers. We were getting hosed! Podtacular was trying to continue their winning streak, something had to be done, we had to dig deep and find a way to win. On Construct of all places. I don’t know why we pick Construct, it’s a map that it’s really easy to lose control of, and I just assume that somehow we’ll get control and blow out the other team.
We were down something absurd like 11-2 here, in danger of our first (and who are we kidding, a loss in the Humpday is inevitable and will likely become the norm) loss, but Tung and Froman dug deep and rescued us from the jaws of the beast.
Final Score: 50-44 Bungie Wins
Watch the film here
Game 3: Team Slayer on Sandtrap
Tone of Game: Shocking
In the first two games, we were no doubt outclassed by a few special players on the Podtacular team. We were outclassed in infantry combat, a couple of those guys had better Sniper Rifles or Battle Rifles than we did and I couldn’t help but wonder if these guys were any good in vehicles, I had a hunch and hedged a bet.
We got paid.
As we spawned and headed for vehicles, Eamon wisely said “Let’s wait and see if they take vehicles, just get anti-vehicle weapons.” The trap was set and the bear jaws snapped moments later around a Warthog carrying a couple of dudes. It’s hard to BR someone out of a Warthog turret as Podtacular and Friends would find out. Lars had some ridiculous long range Rocket which led to a chorus of "Oh my God" filling my headset, the scoreboard clearly showed there would be no salvation for Podtacular.
Final Score: 50-25 Bungie Wins
Watch the Film