One o the best kept secrets of [Halo 3](http://bungie.net/halo3) is a game called Rocket Race. Generally played on one of two maps, Valhalla or Sand Trap, Rocket Race is a great social 8-player game. Four pairs of two player ride the new Mongoose vehicle on in a race from waypoint to waypoint. Waypoints are randomly activated, so after one team reaches a checkpoint, another random point is assigned. That leaves the teams scrambling to find a new direction to race towards.
Did I mention the rockets?
One person drives while the other has an infinite supply of rockets. The team’s VIP is the “rocket man” and is prevented from driving anything. Also, the VIP is the only one that can “score” by reaching a waypoint. That means that each team is desparately trying to rocket the other team out of the way. You’re invincible except for the ever-present assisnation attack or classic “beat down”.
This odd combination of parameters boils down to fun gameplay. No one can camp out and rack up kills like Team Crazy King (of the Hill) and it forces the two players to work together. I played with 7 other random people on Xbox Live today and enjoyed every minute.
Boing Boing Gadgets: “From the film 1967 1999 A.D., a short sponsored by the Philco-Ford Corporation, showing what home shopping would be like three decades in the future. Although they missed the frenetic pace of today’s online shopping experience—the housewife’s browsing looks almost leisurely—they guessed correctly on the abundance flat-panel screens (with multiple monitors, no less), even if they were off by about a decade. Oh course, they didn’t quite put together that we’d still be using keyboards for input.”
You can count on me buying this one and wasting several hours this winter…
Xbox Live Arcade: “Seventeen years ago, you survived a vicious Pfhor assault on the U.E.S.C. Marathon. Now you have been awakened by the enigmatic, sentient A.I. called Durandal and sent to an alien world to uncover the mysteries of their advanced technology. In Marathon: Durandal, armed with only a pistol, you are humanity%u2019s last champion!”
I’ve had a chance to play a few games of the Halo 3 MP Beta and it’s been a blast. It’s like Halo but better, much like the differences between creamy and crunchy peanut butter. The button layout is still taking some time to get burned in to my habits, but I can see where it makes for better play.
The maps are balanced but still a tad large for thr typical 6-8 person matchup. In Slayer games, it gives you some breathing room to walk aeound the map and learn the weapon placement and hiding places. I’ve only been matched to High Ground and Snowbound–waiting for Valhalla.
I sold my Xbox and everything with it on Friday. By Saturday I had seller’s remorse and my Monday the full impact of the transaction had hit hard. Yes, I made a decent payback on the console but I’d lost the camaraderie. No more “Halo Night” on Monday. No more late-night sniping sessions with friends, laughing and having a blast.
Why did I do it?
I thought it would help me feel less possessed by technology. I didn’t realize that it had become such a part of who I was–a geek. Now I’m living with regret. Friends tell me to get an Xbox360 and another copy of Halo 2. Since I’m about $250 short, that’s not very practical.
I’ve picked up consulting jobs in the past doing some light programming or web design. Now that I’m running WordPress, I may be able to do that again.
If anyone needs some light PHP work done or WordPress templates created, let me know. I’ll even work for trade–if that trade comes in the form of a Xbox360.