I’ve reached the end of Day 2 here on the front lines and let me tell you things just keep getting better. Well, I suppose that isn’t really that much of a compliment considering how rocky Day 1 ended up being. Today was mostly problem free, but only mostly. Early in the afternoon I tried to party up with a buddy of mine only to find that every time we tried to get into a game it would take 15-20 minutes to get us into a game. After the second game we decided it was best to part ways.

That’s ok though, because I made a couple new friends on live. Not like “brother from another mother” friends, but good solid Halo compadres. Nothing that I’ve yet experienced in this world bonds people quite like the Warthog; there’s nothing like it. It’s the way you absolutely must be in communication with the driver/gunner to succeed. You’re forced to talk, even if it’s just business. It also has much to do with the fact that you’re sharing an identical experience with someone. It’s just you two alone on that rig with a squad of highly trained killers coming after you. This is how I came to meet a delightful young fellow whose gamertag -- to be perfectly honest -- is probably not appropriate to be printed on this most family friendly of web sites. He was, by my best estimation, probably only 10-12 years old. Despite his years-of-living handicap he was a solid chap all around. Before today I was firmly of the mind that all those scurvy preteen punks on Xbox Live deserved to be locked up in their room and have their mouths washed out with soap. Sure he had a potty mouth gamertag, but who amongst us hasn’t done something like that in our youth – chalk it up to peer pressure.

Anyways back to, you know, Halo. I’ve still been sticking to Rumble Pit mostly (read: Every man for himself.) I get frustrated with team games because I can never understand why people get into team game types if they don’t want to work together. Even simple requests like, “Hey guys we’re getting destroyed out there why don’t we bring it in and defend one small area. Let’s all head down to the lower level of the base,” are met with hostility and name calling.



I think I’m reaching a bad spot in my Rumble Pit adventures though. I’ve reached level 20 and I’m a 2nd Grade Sergeant, and I don’t really see myself progressing any further for a little while. I’ve managed to get myself this far, and now I’m just getting destroyed in every match. Sure I’m learning and my skill is improving every match, but some of these guys at the higher levels are simply ridiculous. In one of the matches I played on Valhalla, a Shotty Snipers match, I went the entire match and only saw three Spartans the whole time. In fact it was the same guy, running around just like me trying to figure out where the hell everyone was. In the process though, by following some bullet trails I was able to find some clever new hiding spots for future Shotgun and Sniper Rifles matches.

Yesterday, it seemed like the only matches I could get into were Shotty Snipers matches. Which, while endowing me with Sniper skills I’ve never known, didn’t give me much of a chance to explore the rest of the game. Today, things were quite a bit more varied. The Valhalla map didn’t get thrown into the mix much, but the High Ground and Snowbound maps switched off pretty regularly. Regular old slayer was the match of the day. This gave me some time to get around and really get a feel for all the new weapons and the tweaked returning ones.

The most pleasant surprise of the day came during a team slayer match on Valhalla. My team pretty much has everything on lock-down on the surface, so I decided to do a little exploring on the subterranean side of things. What I found lead to my favorite moment with H3 yet: The Missile Pod. It’s a new weapon that no one has talked about yet, and I’ve never heard discussed. It’s about twice the size of a turret being carried around and you movelike a snail when you’re carrying it. Not to mention it’s completely useless against on foot Spartans, it’s only useful when fighting a vehicle. I had lugged this bad boy to around the front of my base and was standing around looking for something to test it out on (you only get around 10 shots so I didn’t want to waste it.) When out from nowhere a Warthog did a powerslide around the corner and came at me full boar. I lined up my shot and Pow! Nothing. Another shot – Bang! Nothing. Third Shot – BOOOOM! The Warthog exploded into pieces and bodies flew everywhere. Then came the most satisfying sound I had ever heard. “Killtacular!!!” That deep, almost sexy voice reverberating through my creaky old TV cabinet. See, the Warthog was full with three members and apparently the fourth was on a Mongoose and was just close enough to be finished off by the resulting explosion. I’ve never received a killtacular before. My roommate was proud, and she knows nothing of games outside of the ubiquitous World of Warcraft.

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