This month’s game challenge is off to a swimming start!
When I went to install the Halo: Master Chief Collection, I wasn’t sure I would even be able to start this game challenge, as the install would go about 1% and then stop. I restarted it over a dozen times (no exaggeration), and when it finally did take, it took it over three hours to install on the Xbox One.
If this is the future of gaming, color me a bit concerned.
I had made sure to do all this at the onset of the month so the game was ready, and on Thursday, Grunts and I dove headfirst into the world of Halo: Combat Evolved.
Now it probably won’t win me any friends to say I don’t really understand the fuss made around Halo. I played the original on my Xbox back in 2005, but otherwise, I had little experience with the series. When we began, I remembered so little, it was as if I’d dreamed fuzzily about it and recently woken up; only bits and pieces filtered through.
There were many times I was more than grateful for Grunts knowledge of the series. Often I was confused by where to go, and had it not been for enemy spawn patterns and the occasional light, I would have been lost for sure. He, without fail, knew where to go and when. It was impressive.
But there were two things I wasn’t expecting in this playthrough: my endless fascination with the toggle between the original graphics and the new ones, and my realization that many things in Halo are strikingly similar to Destiny (waiting for small orb-like robots to open doors slowly while you fight off enemies, something called a ghost, similar enemy design, the presence of “oracles”, etc.).
I probably got killed far more than I should have simply because I was toggling the graphics. I would see a hallway or a swamp, immediately think to myself, “Hey! What does this look like?!” then get pummeled by a baddie.
Oh well. It was all good fun.
We actually managed to beat Combat Evolved in one sitting (with a short meal break), and this was surprising. I couldn’t believe we just barreled right through it. After making such good progress, we decided to head right into Halo 2 the next day.
We got nearly all the way through Halo 2, but decided to take a breather for a day, and went back to it yesterday for a bit. We are two chapters away from completing the game, and I feel like this is excellent progress! We are almost halfway through this month’s game challenge and it is only the 8th!
I actually completed an additional game last night, which was an unexpected and stellar experience.
I am a huge fan of Game Informer’s Test Chamber feature, and I watch it regularly, whether it is a game I have current interest in or not. It was in this way that I watched the Test Chamber for You Must Build A Boat, a game I hadn’t even heard of prior to the video.
Something about it looked so interesting that I downloaded it on my iPad immediately, and oh boy. I couldn’t stop playing it. At the first sitting I think I played it for three hours. Having little experience with match-three games, I just couldn’t get enough of this one. Every time I would make progress and upgrade something new, I would think, “Okay, just one more run.” And that run would turn into a dozen more runs, and then it was (seriously) 4:00 in the morning.
I downloaded it on Friday and saw the credits roll last night. I highly encourage anyone out there to check it out. It’s terribly engaging and loads of fun. I think I am also a sucker for gameplay that is quite simple to understand, yet difficult to master.
And I by no means mastered it!
In conclusion, it is with great pride that I say this month’s game challenge is off to an entirely promising start. I’m having a heck of a good time with Grunts (the last time we marathoned through a game was when Destiny released), and that goes a long way in my experience of these games. Without his guidance, I’m sure I would still be wandering in a space hallway somewhere.
To each of you, I offer a joyous space five! To gaming!