The Halo Humpday Challenge
Every Wednesday, we get together to challenge some rival entity to a best of three Halo 2 challenge. This week we picked an old rival. The Official Xbox Magazine.
This week's Humpday Challenge was marked by months of pre-trash talking, courtesy of Assistant Editor Ryan McCaffrey. If you read any of his writing on the subject, you'd think that every visit he and his magazine made to Bungie ended in some sort of tragic pant-wetting beatdown of the entire Bungie Krew, as we like to be called this week and this week only.
So with no further ado, here's how it went down:
The Official Xbox Magazine Posse
- Gary Cribb, Associate Art Director of OXM may be new, but he's also wet around the ears.
– Ryan McCaffrey, Chief Smack Talker and number one humpee at OXM, and theoretically their most valuable player.
– Rob Smith is the alleged bossman of OXM, but last night may have put him in his proper place.
– Paul Curthoys is the Managing Editor of OXM, but could he manage a single victory?
The Bungie Krew
– Stupid bald useless jerk.
– Mat Noguchi, the un-ironically self-proclaimed King of All Tools.
– Tom Gioconda, the REAL webmaster
-David Candland, IUD designer. No wait, that's UI designer.
- Nathan Walpole – Now more hunky than chunky.
The Bungie Krew swapped Bentllama and Otto for network failure reasons. Matches were only ever four on four.
Team Slayer Swords
Lockout, no motion tracker
General Tone of Game :
This is Ryan McCaffrey’s favorite game type and that shows clearly in his stats. However, it didn’t seem to be his team’s favorite game, as they offered themselves up to our energy swords like so many chunks of kebab.
Lockout Swords has become something of an institution on Halo 2 and with good reason. It offers carnage, suspense and even strategy in equal measure. We played a slight custom variant – that is, motion detectors off. I argue that they may as well stay on since ther’s ALWAYS someone behind you and using the motion tracker can be a red herring, given that the various vertical levels of this map can be frighteningly confusing.
Ryan took an early lead, but the top place swapped a couple of times. Weirdly, Evil Otto, one of our better swordsmen was falling behind. We later found out that his ISP was having cataclysmic issues, as we kind of figured, watching him try to walk through a wall.
The remainder of the OXM team, realizing that swords weren’t necessarily the way out, started hucking grenades with pretty good success. They slowed us down, as did Ryan’s stabbiness, but the writing was on the wall. The final score of 50 to 33 wasn’t a complete rout, but it wasn’t close either.
50-33 Bungie wins.
Midship, one minute to win
General Tone of Game :
Before this game began, we joked that it would simply last forever, with the ball constantly being blown up and away from the grasping hands of players. As it turned out the game didn’t last long at all. Basically Rocketball could easily be replaced with a ball that explodes when you touch it, because so many rockets are flying around. It’s also very easy to betray your opponents as you can see from the stats. Especially if you click on Shunji's stats.
The whole key to winning this game was to simply get the ball inside one of the structures. Anywhere in the central arena was pointless. In the end, the time the ball was held was spread pretty evenly across the team. One favorite technique is to grab the ball and then simply grav lift up and down between floors, praying that nobody hits you with a rocket.
The final score reflected the chaos and complication of the mode and the map.
One minute versus 18 seconds. Bungie wins.
1 Flag CTF
Zanzibar, regular rules, standard weapons
General Tone of Game:
We knew this was going to be fun, and in a way, the fairest, since to be honest, game journalists have spent as much time playing this map as we have. They are also used to playing objective games AS a team, so all things being equal, this should have been a challenge. And occasionally it was.
You can always tell a close run game of CTF on Zanzibar by looking at the beach on the Game Viewer. If folks die on the sand, it means that flag is being contested vigorously. In this case, a couple of chases ended on the beach. Sadly for OXM, it was them chasing us the flag point, somewhat futilely.
Now, if you look at the stats, it looks initially as though we had an extra player. As a matter of fact, we lost Evil Otto mid-game thanks to his ISP woes. Luckily, Bentllama was waiting in the wings for a chance to play and helped tremendously. Who's better, Bentllama or Evil Otto? Check their stats and you decide.
We successfully defended the base, although it got harder after Team OXM realized they shouldn't park the Hog so close to the base. Rob revealed himself to be quite adept with the Ghost, splattering Bungie people with reckless abandon, and Ryan continued his combination of killing and trash-talking, but when they were on offense, they never really got far from the flag base.
Shunji, on the other hand, probably seemed to OXM to spawn inside their flagpoint, so quick off the mark was he. One particularly smooth flag capture had a Bungie staff member jump on Frankie's head and from there into the seawall cave. It was like Super Mario Bros. with guns…
3 flags to 0. Bungie wins. Handily.
The challenge lined up for next Wednesday promises to be much more frightening. More details as we get them.