Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Halo: The Flood

The Flood.
A parasitic life form [Pictured in a trio above in the Elite Combat Form], feared even more than the Covenant, which consumes everything in it's path, turning once lush planets into rocky shells.

Bungie first introduced the Flood in the game Halo: Combat Evolved, and ever since it has horrified and intrigued gamers. But! There is something about them that I have noticed.

In Halo: Combat Evolved or H:CE, a Flood enemy was quite horrific to look at and some could take several a massive amount of damage, and even then it only lost a little blood and it's appendages. Bungie made the Flood something to be afraid of, they made it hard to kill and fast moving. But! This soon changed.

In Halo 2, the Flood enemies were updated, given more detail and some even had shields and new weapons. They were nearly identical to the H:CE Flood except for one thing, Bungie had traded difficulty for numbers. The Flood were easier to kill, but you came across nearly twice as many in a battle. This made it so that if the player just put a little distance between them, they weren't even tough opponents unless set on a higher difficulty.

In Halo 3, the Flood enemies were updated again. They had more detail, more parts to be blown off, there were even Pure Forms and a new "Soft spot" added to the Flood Combat Form's chest. The pure forms were incredibly tough to fight, as they could "Morph" in between the three forms of "Ranged, Tank and Stalker" at will. But the "Pure" part of Pure Forms made them less formidable. The Flood was originally a disgusting parasitic mass that consumed the bodies of the living, but now it is "Pure"? Not even scary anymore. And the "Soft spot" added to the new Combat Forms was just a bad idea. It made it so that any single shot weapon could kill the small Infection Form inside their chests in one shot, which in turn would instantly kill the Combat Form. This made kill hoards of the Flood an easy task. Not to mention the Combat Forms no longer lost parts and pieces, but instead when destroyed they just exploded in to a green goo cloud with no mess. But! There was a small upside to the new Flood. Because of the new Infection Form in their chests, if they were killed and their bodies left intact, another Infection Form could take over their body and reanimate them. This added a bit of a fear factor back to the Flood.

So, that's my insight on how the Flood "Evolved" throughout the Halo Trilogy from a fearsome enemy into a easy-to-kill goobag.

Questions or comments are welcome.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Architecture: Burj....China?

As an Architecture enthusiast, the Burj Khalifa in Dubai [Elegantly pictured above] is a very interesting subject. Standing at 2,717 feet, the Burj is the tallest building in the world. Not surprising though, at it's 1.5 billion dollar cost, that's right, BILLION. It stands out in the city like a jewel on a ring, and is certainly one of the great wonders of the world.

When I first read about it, I thought it would be decades before someone would rival it's size....Not so. China, in fact, has a new building on the way that is said to outdo the Burj by mere feet! The catch that makes this an unexciting fact? It's an exact replica of the Burj Khalifa, with a taller radio mast.

China always tries to be the best at what it does, but this is NOT the best, it's just a replica of the best. It's like saying a replica of a Rembrandt is the best, or a kit made Ferrari is the best.
I think China has failed on this attempt at greatness and that they should turn back and either create an original or stop altogether.

Any questions, comments or arguments are welcome.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Halo: Challenge Tips

Due to some recent issues, this post is a couple of days late. Here goes:

If you are a Halo fan, you know that Halo Reach has a Challenge system where you are able to earn cR (The in-game currency) by completing certain goals. Through my playing, I have come up with a system for most easily earning each of these challenges. Here it is:

For challenges like Shootin' and Lootin' and Blastin' and Relaxin' (Which requires several hundred kills to earn the cR) the easiest way to complete them is to go into the Firefight playlist, give yourself bottomless clipped power weapons, invincibility and only Grunts spawning. This should make it incredibly easy to get the hundreds of kills necessary for the Challenges.

For Multiplayer challenges like Headshot Honcho (Which requires a large amount of head shots to earn), the easiest way to earn it is to go to the SWAT playlist. This playlist forces you to get head shots to gain first place, which makes the challenge relatively easy to complete.

For Campaign challenges like Legendary Pals (Which requires you to complete a mission on Legendary with certain Skulls [Difficulty Modifiers] on and possibly not dying the entire time), the easiest mission is Winter Contingency. Nearly the entire first half of this mission has no enemies, which makes it very easy to complete. There are also several hotspots of enemies that can be completely bypassed by different routes.

For Firefight challenges that require certain maps to acquire a certain amount of kills on, here are some tips: Use Score Attack. This playlist allows you to veto through every single possible map until you get to the one you want. For Firefight challenges requiring certain weapons kills, there is a new and very helpful playlist called Firefight Arcade. This contains many gametypes such as FRG Fight (Which has Fuel Rod [A heavy weapon] and Needler [An automatic weapon, which can also be used to complete Pink Mist challenges which require Needler kills] *starts), Rocket Fight (Which has Rocket Launcher [Another heavy weapon] and Pistol [A small arms weapon] starts) and Sniper Fight (Which has Sniper Rifle [A precision weapon, used to complete Firefight headshot and precision weapon challenges easily] and Pistol starts). The gameplay in the Firefight Arcade is fast and fun, but takes a bit of time to get used to.

For Multiplayer Kill challenges (Requiring a certain amount of Multiplayer kills), the best playlist is Invasion. The gametypes included in this playlist last at least 10 minutes, which gives plenty of time to get a large amount of kills. You should find it easy to earn the challenges this way.

Lastly, for Campaign challenges requiring weapon kills such as precision weapon kills and grenade kills, the mission Sword Base is the best. You start with a DMR and a couple of grenades and almost immediately run into a squad of easy to kill Grunts. You can either use the DMR for head shots (Scoring Precision Weapon kills) or hurl a grenade or two their way (Scoring Grenade kills).

These are the most common Challenges. I hope this helps you in future times.

If you have read this and still wish to learn about how to complete a challenge easily, feel free to ask about it in the comment box.

*A "Start" means that those are the weapons you originally spawn with.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Architecture: Interior Architecture

As I said, every other post will be Architecture. So here it is:

A couple of months ago I was searching through Google for different Architecture sites, and I came across Kabmurungraya.

The name, is ridiculous. The content, is amazing. It has page after page of interior Architectural design, each containing a completely original picture of a home's interior.

The above image is a favorite of mine. It seems to be a perfect combination of the indoors and natural outdoors.

All this being said, I strongly recommend this site to anyone interested in spectacular Architecturally varying interiors.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Halo: Defiance Map Pack

While surfing YouTube recently, I came across this Video Advertising The New Halo Reach DLC Map Pack.

The music is incredible. It sounds like the soundtrack to a war movie, which perfectly portrays the fighting going on in the video.

The narration too adds a feeling that you a watching a preview to a history documentary or action movie. (At first he sounded too young, but the enthusiasm in his voice seemed to fix that).

The video first shows the map "Unearthed". It seems to be a perfect addition to the Firefight maps, not being too big and definitely not too small. It also seems to be a vehicle based map, which is something that has been missing in Halo since the "Lost Platoon" Firefight map in Halo 3: ODST. Lost Platoon was an instant classic, so I have no doubt that this one will be too.

"Condemned" is shown next. The view outside to Reach's star almost seems like something from Dead Space, and brings a really interestingly eerie feel to it. I enjoy space maps very much, so I can see this being a favorite, if not just for the view.

The last map, "Highlands" is the one I can't wait for. It seems like a remake of something from the first Halo game, but it most definitely is not. It has a classic feel to it, but the Covenant Cruiser glassing the planet in the background proves that there is nothing old about it. The scene outside the map is spectacular and frightening, and it's scale is exactly what is expected of a Halo game....Massive. The inside of the map is not lacking in size either, as it seems to be a mainly vehicle controlled map, with plenty of areas for sniper fire. The lush landscape, plenty of area to move in and incredible Skybox (As the sky and background area in video games is called) make this a truly great map.

Overall, this video made me very anxious to buy the map pack. I cannot wait for it's release in March.

Monday, February 14, 2011

The Beginning.

So, this is my first time blogging.

I had heard about it, and never understood it, so I figured "You don't get experience by looking, you get it by doing" and went on ahead and made my account.

My next problem was coming up with a topic to blog about. Then I thought "My two passions are Halo and Architecture, so why not talk about that, and sometimes the combination of the two?" so that's what I am doing.

I hope to help people of both interests read about something they enjoy, and learn more about each topic. I will try to make every other post vary between each topic, so that an enthusiast of either topic can find what they enjoy, easily.

That being said, here I go.