I've decided that I need a break from Halo. For the past two weeks or so, I haven't been having very much fun. It seems that every game is an exercise in frustration. I can't seem to do anything.
Ever helpful, my fellow Geezers would offer words of encouragement. "These guys are just good." Well, no, that can't explain it. I can empty a clip into someone's back, aim for the head, do everything right according to all accounts, and my shots just refuse to kill. Unless a higher skill level means bullets bounce off of your armor or something. If I shoot someone point blank with a shotgun twice and they don't die, but they can shoot me once with a mauler and I go down, that can't be a skill problem. How do you correct for that?
"Just stick with it, you'll get better." That's the thing. I'm not getting better. I've played it about every day for the past two weeks, and I'm not getting any better. My rank has only been going down. And I can't figure out what I'm doing wrong, so I can't get any better.
Plus, when I'm seeing things like my spiker grenades passing through enemies and my Spartan laser firing backwards and killing myself, what am I supposed to do? Seriously.
So, I have decided to give it a rest. I already miss playing with my friends, though, but I am doing just fine without the frustration.
So what am I playing? Well, I've been playing a lot of that other FPS, Call of Duty 4. Not that I'm especially skilled in that game either, but I'm not alone in suck. Actually, it was kind of interesting. Although I was consistently on the losing team, I was also consistently one of the highest scorers on my team. And, as the team of random people and I were getting pwn3d, we were co-miserating as to how we couldn't seem to do anything against the other team. I'm going to keep plugging away at it and see what happens with me, because there's a tournament at a local Play 'n' Trade in which I'm half-considering embarassing myself.
I also decided to pick up a copy of Burnout Paradise. I had been waiting for a Best Buy coupon or something to save a few bucks, but I decided I'd go ahead and get it with some Christmas money and jump in. It is quite a bit different than the rest of the Burnout series, and while I do miss a lot of the game types from the old games, I do like what they've done with the new game. And, as a big plus, on my very first night driving around Paradise City, I get an invite from another Geezer, who invites a few more, and we spend the night doing challenges around the city. The challenges are great, because they give you a reason to be together in a party besides just randomly driving around the city. The races are a little annoying, though, for someone new to the city; not knowing where or when to turn, I was totally lost in every race we tried (and the GPS didn't seem to help me get there). Plus, turning is pretty difficult until you get the hang of it — and I definitely don't have the hang of it yet. I think it didn't help that I was playing PGR3 with my son earlier in the day, because the driving style is completely different — not to mention the e-brake button in PGR is the boost button in Burnout, which although seems like a little thing, when you're trying to get used to the turns and when to brake and when to boost, it's not. (It's like going from COD to Halo in the same day; consider yourself lucky if you don't end up blowing up a Warthog underneath you because you threw a grenade instead of boarding it.) I also discovered a disadvantage in racing for a newbie — although the host can give everyone the same car to supposedly put everyone on the same page, if you haven't taken that car to the repair shop personally (which, if you've never seen that car before because you just started playing that game, you won't have), you'll have a beat-up version of it that blows up with the slightest hit.
Summary: I like Burnout Paradise, but it does have quite the learning curve.
Back to the point, though. I don't know when I'll return to Halo. I'm sure the free release of the first map pack will get me to play it, or perhaps the upcoming patch (the one that fixes the melee that Bungie insists isn't broken), if not sooner. For now, though, I just need a break.