You've all seen this argument play out countless times on various forums. It never really changes any one's mind and it just ends up making for a big, ugly, locked thread. However, since we expect that at least some Halo 2 Xbox users will be making the transition to Vista with us, I'll give a brief summary of the main points of each argument.
Fans of the joystick claim that it's just easier to control. Everything is intuitive with the controller. You push the stick up and you move forward. You pull a trigger and your character pulls the trigger on their weapon. It's all very natural and everything functions as you might expect. When you first pick up a controller to play an FPS, even if you've never played the game before, you have a general idea of what to do. Even someone new to the genre entirely can figure out in a couple of seconds these things: left thumbstick moves the character, right thumbstick moves their head, right trigger fires the weapon. None of those things are true with a keyboard and mouse. The only thing that newcomers are able to assume with the mouse and keyboard is that the mouse moves the head.
In line with that argument, there's the familiarity of the joystick for the transitional player. The transition from Halo 2 Xbox to Halo 2 Vista with the controller is seamless, once you put your eyes back in their sockets and your jaw back on its hinges. There's no getting used to anything funky, really. I usually play Halo 2 on my Xbox, so using the Xbox 360 controller took a few seconds to get used to (mostly looking like a moron as I reach for the black and white buttons that aren't there), but other than that one snag it really was just like playing on the Xbox.
The principle argument for the keyboard and mouse combo is the accuracy and speed that you can accomplish with the duo. You can't move the joystick as fast as you can slide your mouse around a mouse pad, nor can you do it with the same precision. With a joystick you have to wait for the reticle to drag itself to the proper position on the screen. With the mouse, there's an absolute point on your mouse pad that relates to the area of the screen you wish to put your reticle on. With a mouse, your reticle can move as fast as your hand (multiplied by the sensitivity speed you set in the game's controls, if it has them).
The secondary argument is the customizability of the keyboard layout as opposed to the joystick. Key assignments are part of this, but with relation to Halo 2, this is a moot point. The controller scheme in Halo 2 is as customizable as any rational being could ever want. That said, it's still not fully customizable, you can't reassign the A, B, X and Y to look up, down, left and right. Moreover, you have a whole hell of a lot of keys to choose from with a keyboard. You can pretty much move the keys around to whatever is most comfortable for you, which is not something available to you with the controller.
Both arguments are certainly persuasive and rational conclusions can be made, but real men know that there's only one way to settle a debate: violence. The Halo 2 Vista team used keyboards and mice while the Bungie Community team used the controllers we're so fond of. On to the Humpday!
Bungie Vista Development Team
Matt Priestley - H2V Producer
Paul Gradwohl- H2V Tester
Doug Jelen - H2V Tester
Bungie Community Team
Wishes we'd played Ivory Tower, which he inexplicably excels in.
Ninja 0n Fire-
Loves Team Carnage.
Loved Rumble Hardcore. :sadface:
: Team Slayer
Lockout, normal weapons
General Tone of Game:
I got a couple warmup games in, so I had an advantage over Frankie and Ninjer in this one. What the warmup games don't explain is my hand over the three Vista development team players, who I singlehandedly outscored. Priestley was eating a sandwich at the time, however, which detracts from my accomplishment.
The same tactics used in H2X apply in H2V. Get some good weapons and find a good strategic location to occupy. I found the Battle Rifle effective enough and was even able to hang on to the sword on sniper tower for a while. One of the tactics I used which I figured the Vista guys weren't familiar with was standing to the side of the grav lift. They came up unsuspecting so I got a couple of cheap assassinations out of it. Bungie controlled this game throughout.
25 - 15. Bungie Community Team wins.
Midship, normal weapons
General Tone of Game:
"Pardon me while I whore this."
The Vista team got a pretty good lead early on in this game as they seemed to get the drop on us. Before long though, the Community Team got in gear. I found myself taking advantage of the combo while Frankie had some success with the dual plasma rifles. Ninja continued to suck.
I had some fun on this map with the sticky grenades. I had trouble adjusting to not having to lead my targets, actually, though I eventually got the hang of it. Once again we took advantage of some tactics that the Vista team is not likely familiar with, mostly jumping on top of the archways as well as onto the lips of the bases to come in the front.
The Bungie Community Team overcame the early deficit, mostly through skill, cunning and cheap jumpery. It was a close match throughout though, it was only after we finally ganked the sword away from them that we were able to mount a spree large enough to take the victory.
25 - 21. Bungie Community Team wins.
Lockout, normal weapons
General Tone of Game:
The Vista Team wanted a rematch of the earlier Lockout match and we were happy to oblige. It might have gone better for them if it weren't for the Ninja-factor. I'm defining the Ninja-factor as Ninja's ability to completely not show up for an entire Humpday, with the exception of one game. This was that game.
The tactic he used, with almost unsettling success, was stand on top of the Battle Rifle tower with the shotgun, of all weapons. The Vista guys would run up there, he'd jump up on whatever side they were coming up and throw a nade down on them and finish them with the shotty. It worked very well until they finally had someone throw a couple of quick nades at him from the other side of the map.
Frankie and I just ran around doing our thing, nothing unique was employed by either of us, we just cleaned up what Ninja missed and let him lead us to victory.
25 - 17. Bungie Community Team wins.
Finally, Bungie was beaten at its own game and it didn't mean that I had to lose. Many thanks to the Vista Team for taking time out of its busy schedule to indulge our silly habit and for letting us screw up their settings. Check back tomorrow for another installment of VISTRAVAGANZA!!!!!!