Some random tidbits for late May 2013.

I went shopping last week, and managed to grab a copy of Mass Effect: Paragon Lost DVD. Funkily enough, in the store the thing was actually put in children’s section:

Mass Effect is for children...?

Yeah, a PEGI 18+ game trilogy translates so well to a “children’s” film. (Funny categorisation aside, the film is actually rated 12+ with violence and horror here.)

Also, as a side note I had just watched an episode of Doctor Who with Daleks’ contribution to WW2, and I was quite surprised that National Geographic had apparently made a hard-hitting documentary about it:

National Geographic confirms Dalek invasion

In summary, this store had really confusing video shelves.

Then came my birthday! First of all, I got the final confirmation that Xbox has really surpassed Nintendo in my mind:

Big Halo 4 Poster Is Big

Yeah. Nintendo just can’t compete. Not only have they failed to release a Metroid title for the Wii U (which means that I still don’t have any reason to buy it), but they also have smaller posters. They’re rapidly falling behind. Get your shit together, Nintendo!

But the big birthday purchase was a reduced Xbox 360 Slim console:

Xbox 360 Slim

The big motivation for getting this thing is that my Xbox 360 Pro’s 60GB hard drive is getting inconveniently small, and replacement hard drives are no longer available, while Slim hard drives are. Also, with Xbox One not having backwards compatibility, it’s prudent to have new hardware around.

I was a little bit miffed by the pricing, though. A bare Xbox 360 Slim console without any additional stuff costed 270€. This one was a bundle with Forza Motorsport 4 and download code for The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, and it costed 200€.

Okay, it could be interpreted as a little bit insulting toward Skyrim. (First price for Radio Yerevan competition: 1 week holiday in Yerevan. Second price: 2 week holiday in Yerevan…)

Forza 4 and Hitman

I already had Skyrim and I still need to decide who to give it to, but I actually played the pack-in titles this time, even when I’m not terribly thrilled by Forza Motorsport 4. It has cars. They can be driven around the track. Not terribly exciting. I did, however, find some actual amusement in the fact that you can get a DeLorean DMC-12 and there’s an achievement for passing 88 MPH…

Another birthday bit was Hitman HD Trilogy. I had previously gotten Hitman Absolution, and while I haven’t played a whole lot of it yet, it seems really cool. Of the trilogy games, I liked Blood Money, though it had a curious bug (didn’t like to be fired up using HDMI at first, just kept complaining that it won’t run on 50 Hz and needs 60 Hz television. This was fixed by starting up the game once using composite video - afterwards it worked just fine with HDMI too.)

I’ve been playing tons of Halo 4, of course. I was committed to getting the May 2013 monthly challenge of 80 matchmaking victories done, because I hadn’t had that much time to play Halo 4 and I was lagging behind. It’s weird how in both Halo Reach and Halo 4, “get X victories” challenges completely fuck me up and I start losing like hell, and I literally played for hours and hours and got maybe one or two victories in that time. It also didn’t help that the Pro gametypes had been introduced to Team Infinity Slayer and Big Team Infinity Slayer - it took me a while to start actually liking them. I don’t really mind having Pro in the playlists now, but they need to think of the map choices. BTIS Pro on Ragnarok is bullshit. Any game modes involving Settler continue to be bullshit.

However, constant ragequitting led me to my first ever Halo 4 ragequit ban:

Halo 4 ragequit ban

Now, I’m opposed to this in principle. I could sort of accept that Halo Reach had this kind of a ban in place: quit too often, and you get 10 minutes off, because quitting means your team will do worse with one man down.

Halo 4 has join-in-progress, which means that quitting has absolutely no consequences. If I’m doing shittily in a game, I very much prefer to quit so that I’ll get potentially replaced by someone who’s not terrible.

Now, not every playlist in Halo 4 has JIP, so I guess it’s sensible that ragequit ban is in effect. But I suspect that this JIP was disabled in Pro gametypes. Or maybe sometimes it is, because I’ve seen people join??? Anyway, this means that it’s not safe to quit in Team Infinity Slayer and Big Team Infinity Slayer. This is terrible. These are supposed to be casual and worry-free playlists where fun and awesome shit happens. If you want crinkled foreheads and super-seriousness and absolutely no JIPping, go to Throwdown or something.

Another bad thing: The ragequit ban was not 10 minutes. It was 60 minutes. Not exactly a fun thing to see in the final day of a monthly challenge. Okay, I had 12 hours left at that point, but…

Something snapped in my head while I was on the chilling bench and I just decided to go mellow and stuff. I think I can actually win again. I think the psychological weirdness is gone. I can do awesome shit again. I can prevail.

And most importantly, I did the goddamn challenge.

Halo 4 May 2013 monthly challenge done!