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Some old game
Posted By: RocksliderDate: 6/21/07 12:25 p.m.

In Response To: Re: Kill 'em all speed runs (mike miller)

Hey, that's what we like - chunky replies! But I have some comments...

: In all fairness, as a past purveyor of gung-ho gameplay complete with
: annoying music, I'd have to say that what you describe might become
: redundant very quickly.

I'm not sure 'redundant' is the right word (for the sort of serious combat videos I expressed an interest in seeing) if we believe that many people might not care to view them in the first place! But for those of us able to admire good serious soldiering skills, what's the problem? For example, imagine a bunch of videos demonstrating various approaches to a given situation. Could make for some fascinating and potentially educational stuff. Rather late in the day, given that we're almost on H3 by now, but still a worthy project. I could really get into that if I had the kit to do movies. If I get more fancy with Bad Cyborg one day, maybe I'll try to do something like that. I can see it now... The Bad Cyborg Academy of Carnage. Yes, definitely a nice ring to that...

And consider this. In a couple of hundred years time when somebody tries to look up videos for some old game they've heard of called 'Halo: Combat Evolved', are they going to conclude that it was some sort of arcade game that revolved around launching yourself into the sky with piles of grenades, and doing other wacky stunts? I think that would be very sad. A travesty, in fact. At the end of the day, tricks are just a sideline; an unintended side-benefit of the game's underlying dynamics. They have almost nothing to do with why I love this game and consider it so special. The core of this game is the superb fluid combat you can immerse yourself in (and the fun of the covie characters). I'd like to see its gameplay essence captured for posterity. Quick, before our collective button-twiddling skills fade and our hands are good for nothing but shuffling our Zimmer frames around!

: In Halo 2, for example, the "smart" way to beat pretty much every
: battle involving elites while maximizing your chances of staying alive is
: simply to use the plasma pistol/battle rifle (or carbine) combo, find a
: nice spot of cover at a reasonable distance, and pick them off one by one.
: Once you are adept enough at this technique to beat the Cairo Station
: hangar bays, you know everything you need to know in order to beat any
: other similar battle in the game. How many times is it really necessary to
: show the exact same concept?

Sharp gameplay videos wouldn't necessarily be about just showing particular methods though. I mean, the scenery and enemy groupings are varying all the way through (heh, H1 Library excluded...), so it's not as if things get boring just because you're sticking with the same technique or combo, if that's what you want. But in any case, you of course don't have to stick to a particular combo, even if it's the best for a given situation. I get loads of my fun by deliberately using less advantageous combos or applying other restrictions, which gives you new experiences and new challenges (maybe you do the same). Actually that's something I'm at pains to emphasize in the speed runs article; see Optional restrictions.

: In Halo 1, the same could be said about the plasma pistol/human pistol (or
: sniper rifle) combo. Really, on the basis of pure efficiency, there's
: rarely a situation where the Covenent are involved when it isn't the
: smartest approach to carry a plasma pistol, IMO (it's sort of interesting
: that the most commonly-available weapon in the game is also the most
: deadly). Hell, try playing AotCR on legendary using only the plasma
: pistol/human pistol, if you haven't already. I'd always felt almost
: obligated to pick up the sniper rifle or rocket launcher at some point,
: but I tried restricting myself to the pistol combo out of curiosity, and
: was amazed how easy the level felt. It's really all you need.

In line with what I was just saying, I often leave sniper rifles and rocket launchers untouched. So yes, I'm plenty familiar with (for example) AOTCR using just the 'basic' weapons. And indeed, pistol + plasma pistol would be my choice combo there; so basically, you're preaching to the converted. The plasma pistol rocks, and I enthuse about it at length on my 'Combat tips' page. That said, I'm sure you'll agree that in most situations, you can get through perfectly ok with other weaponry, even if it might take a bit more care.

: However, I believe that while these tactics are effective, they also become
: extremely tedious.

Can't say I agree with you there. At any rate, I don't find myself getting bored when I stick with pretty much the same combo all the way through a level.

: Moreover, in many situations a more aggressive
: approach, while riskier at times, can actually make things easier once one
: has a feel for the levels, though I think this holds true much more in
: Halo 1, where the difficulty more well-balanced, than in Halo 2.

Yes, if you've got a good sense of a situation's danger levels and you're confident of being able to remain in control, close-up action can be considered safe enough to perfectly sensible, rather than foolhardy.

: For example, I learned simply from experience that the up-close, plasma
: pistol/grenade/melee sort of combat that I tried to showcase in the first
: Legend video legitimately worked much better for me than hanging back
: tentatively and trying to pick off elites from across the room. Sure, the
: scenes shown in the videos were practiced and cherry-picked to be as
: smooth as possible, as their primary purpose was entertainment. However,
: even if one merely backs down a bit to recharge shields once in a while
: for the sake of greatly increasing survivability, the fundamental theory
: remains valid--focus on the elites first and kill them fast while you have
: the initiative, and then the rest of the group will usually break. That's
: what's so effective about the plasma pistol/plasma grenade combo: The
: pistol turns elites into stationary targets, and as soon as you stick one
: with a plasma grenade, he's out of the game, often taking several of the
: grunts with him; you usually need nothing more than a plasma pistol to mop
: up the rest. In general, aside from some obvious tricks just for fun, I
: felt that the scenes in the videos were grounded in practicality, and
: tried to rely more on novelty of approach for the impact, as opposed to
: adding gratuitous flourishes to inflate the difficulty artificially.

Heh, here's where I cautiously admit that your Legend video was one of the main ones I was thinking of when I talked about bleeping shields and near-death experiences (and arrrgh!... action ruined by pesky music drowning out the sounds of battle). Someone recommended it when I said I was interested in seeing some hot combat. Well, I guess it was hot, in the sense that you seemed to be almost continuously in the frying pan as far as I can recall; but that wasn't quite the sort of 'hot' I was looking for. Still, you did give the covies a nasty time of things while you were busy toying with the afterlife, which at least is one thing I'm all in favour of.

I'm guessing that actually there probably were some nice bits of combat mixed in there that I've forgotten about, but my overriding memory is one of shrinking back in my chair and peeking through my hands to check whether you were still breathing. I was in a public library at the time, and it's quite possible that people around me thought I was watching a slasher movie or something. Which might actually have been less rattling now I come to think of it. I needed some time to recover...

: People's mileage will vary, and I guess it's up to everyone to decide for
: themselves what sort of style and gameplay goals make things most fun.
: Personally, I don't make avoiding death, in and of itself, my primary
: objective, mainly because it's not really so hard to do (in Halo 1, at
: least, and barring any time constraints) once you know the levels, as long
: as you choose your weapons for pure efficiency and play in a disciplined,
: patient, mechanical way.

I'm not quite sure whether you were alluding there to my 'Reality rule' about getting through without dying, or whether you just meant to imply that in general play, you don't always hold back just for the sake of playing as safe as possible. Probably the latter I'm guessing. Either way, what you said gave me an involuntary chuckle, because 'not dying' seems like goal number one to me!

: However, even in the case of things like speed
: runs where additional constraints are present, I wouldn't completely
: dismiss elements of "gung-ho" gameplay as lacking practical
: substance. With some practice, there's often much to be gained for less
: risk than it might seem.

Sure. I enjoy a bit of 'blitzing' as I'd call it; close-range fighting where you're in control. That's especially relevant for a speed run where it's obviously in your interests to push hard and sail as close to the wind as you dare. On a point of termininology (not that either of us has necessarily been misusing it), 'gung-ho' ought to be reserved for describing close-range stuff where you're really taking a bad risk. Blitzing good, gung-ho not so good.

Bad Cyborg

Message Index


Kill 'em all speed runsRockslider 6/20/07 12:34 p.m.
     Re: Kill 'em all speed runsDucain 6/20/07 4:08 p.m.
           Re: Kill 'em all speed runsRockslider 6/20/07 8:26 p.m.
     Re: Kill 'em all speed runs...hmm...vshields ash 6/20/07 4:46 p.m.
           Re: Kill 'em all speed runs...hmm...Rockslider 6/20/07 8:36 p.m.
     Re: Kill 'em all speed runsCody Miller 6/20/07 4:56 p.m.
           Re: Kill 'em all speed runsRockslider 6/20/07 8:16 p.m.
           Re: Kill 'em all speed runsSlith 6/20/07 8:35 p.m.
                 Re: Kill 'em all speed runsRockslider 6/21/07 12:32 p.m.
           How many Flood in the Library?Rockslider 6/21/07 6:23 p.m.
     Re: Kill 'em all speed runsmike miller 6/21/07 3:12 a.m.
           Re: Kill 'em all speed runsDucain 6/21/07 7:18 a.m.
           Some old gameRockslider 6/21/07 12:25 p.m.
                 Re: Some old gamescarab 6/22/07 1:35 a.m.
                 Re: Some old gameThorsHammer 6/22/07 3:04 a.m.
                       Hey Mike...Rockslider 6/22/07 3:50 p.m.
                             Re: Hey Mike...Louis Wu 6/22/07 7:05 p.m.
     Re: Kill 'em all speed runsocean fx 6/22/07 6:34 a.m.
           Serious soldieringRockslider 6/22/07 3:57 p.m.
                 Re: Serious soldieringocean fx 6/23/07 9:48 a.m.
                       Movie-making advice requestedRockslider 6/23/07 5:49 p.m.
                             Re: Movie-making advice requestedRed_Breast 6/24/07 4:13 p.m.
                                   Re: Movie-making advice requestedRockslider 6/25/07 4:59 p.m.

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