Saturday, April 26, 2014

My Halo god complex

The game that honed my Halo skills.
I noticed something strange as I was playing Halo 4 online today. I am really good at Halo! Like, too good. Like, killing guys with a sniper rifle without zooming in from across the map good.  Before I start to sound too conceited, let me take a step back and provide you with some context. 

Back in ye olden days, I used to play Halo 2, the first game in the series to provide an online multiplayer experience, religiously. I'm taking all day every day. I was never one of the best players in the world, but I was respectable. This pattern repeated itself, to a lesser degree, with Halo 3. Though I didn't play that game as much as 2, I was still pretty damn good.

Which brings me to today. Compared to the previous iterations, I've barely played Halo 4. Being an adult now, I don't have the time, nor the energy to pour hours of my life into team slayer anymore. Even so, and this is why I wrote this article, I can still absolutely dominate pretty much everybody who plays the game!

Earlier, I popped my Halo 4 disc into my Xbox for the first time in months, logged into Xbox Live, and started up a game. Despite the fact that I should have been destroyed (due to rustiness at the very least), I came in first place, rather easily I might add. This was while my controller's batteries were fading in and out as well!

Like I said earlier, I was never the best at Halo, but I guess my hundreds of hours of experience with Halo 2 and 3 paid off (besides giving me carpal tunnel as a teenager). Nowadays, with most people being "casual players," the percent chance that I run into anybody nearing my skill level is pretty much zero. So, despite the fact that I never play Halo 4, I can still do well during those rare moments when I get the itch to role-play as the Master Chief. It's like how athletes get good by training their bodies to react to stimuli without having to think (ya know, muscle memory). Except, for me, it's like my hands know instinctively where to place my reticule so that I get a head shot (unfortunately, as you'll see in a moment, this only works in Halo).

For the record, Halo is pretty much the only multiplayer game where I can be consistently amazing. In Call of Duty I am mediocre/terrible at best, same with Battlefield (though I am a superb medic...). I don't even touch stuff like League of Legends or Dota or even World of Tanks because it would take too long to become half-way decent, and I have a terribly short attention span when something doesn't capture my imagination (this usually means a great story...which multiplayer games lack pretty much all of the time...hmm I should write an article about that.)

I wrote this diary piece mainly because I just came to this realization that my only multiplayer talent is in Halo. Why? Like I said before, getting good at anything takes time. All those hours I spent playing Halo 2 into the early hours of the morning during middle school paid off!

Sorry if it seems like I am prattling on; these entries are as much for me to do some self-reflecting as they are for your enjoyment. I will add this bit of advice: if you are wondering why you are always destroyed in Call of Duty, Battlefield, Halo, or any number of player versus player games, the answer is probably that your opponent is a freak who spends FAR too much time in their online realm of choice. If you want to beat them, you'll need to put in as much time as they do, which is a tall task to be sure. I was able to do it as a kid, because, well, I was a kid with nothing better to do.

For adults, however, it becomes harder and harder to keep up with the young'ns, unless you're a pro gamer or something. That is why I will continue to be terrible at Call of Duty. Oh well. At least I'll always have Halo!

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