The Best of 2012

Inspired by a post on Facebook from a women I went to school with, I have decided to make a list of the best things that happened to me, or that I did during 2012. Obviously this isn’t a Halo-centric post, but there are some Halo related things in the list. I try to keep this blog about our favorite game, because that is why you all subscribe, but throwing in some personal stuff once and a while is fun to.

The Best of 2012

Paid off debt with some surprise cash

Bought a new truck (finally a Ford!)

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Helped out at the local Rodeo, and joined the Rodeo committee

Went to our first Rider game as a family, my son’s first game

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Camped in Banff for 9 days; Made snowballs in July after climbing a mountain with my family; Had lunch in Heaven (Ink Pots near Banff)

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I was home for Halloween for the first time in my Son’s life; second time in my daughters

Joined the Pavers (local bike club) executive

Halo 4

Started and maintained a blog for longer than a month.

There are probably a lot of things I missed or forgot, but these are the ones that stands out in my mind right now. I look forward to making another list a year from now, hopefully bigger and better!

See you in 2013,
Justcal24

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Spartan Ops – Episodes 6-10 Trailer

Catch the trailer for the second half of Spartan Ops season one here.

SECOND HALF OF SEASON 1 BEGINS ON JANUARY 21.

The second half of Spartan Ops Season 1 returns on 1/21! Get a first look at episodes 6-10 featuring brand new stories, missions and locations.
Halo 4 is available now for the Xbox 360.

The second half of the season looks to be quite exciting! All new locations sounds fantastic, and I wonder if we will get the much sought after standoff on the Infinity. It does look like there is at least one brand new location, though I am sure we will use some different Campaign spaces and perhaps one of the maps from the Crimson Map Pack.

I wonder why the decision was made to reuse maps so much in the first and second halves. I assume it had to do with the availability of the new maps, plus the plot line of the story itself. While I am absolutely sure there is a reason, I can’t help but think that including more variety in the first half, and by extension the season as a whole, Spartan Ops would have recievwd more positive reviews and opinions. Many of the complaints about the mode have been about the recycling of maps, and this could have been avoided. I think if they reuse the spaces in episodes 6-10 like they did in 1-5, the same complaints and criticisms will arise again.

A couple questions I would like answered in these episodes: Where was Palmer in Ep05? What is really in the “Shrine”? Where is Thorne? Will Halsey get some respect from the S-IV’s? Where is Science Team Gargarin? How many eggheads will we get? All urgent questions that require answering.

Here’s to a successful second half, and news of renewal for Season 2!

See you on Infinity,
Justcal24

Spartan Ops Hiatus Details

For those of you who haven’t read this week’s Ford truck that I want…I mean, this weeks Bulliten, it contained more info on the SpOps hiatus:

Spartan Ops will go on a mid-season break starting December 10. Fret not, though, because your entire Spartan Ops timeline will still be both accessible and playable. On top of that, we will also be featuring a Best of Spartan Ops compilation next week, made up of the following chapters:
• Core – Chapter 5 of Episode 1
• Hacksaw – Chapter 3 of Episode 2
• Shootout in Valhalla – Chapter 4 of Episode 3
• The Didact’s Gift – Chapter 5 of Episode 4
• Spartan Miller – Chapter 1 of Episode 5

Then, from December 17 – January 14, episodes 1-5 will be re-entered into Matchmaking (one episode per week) to support the Halo 4 Infinity Challenge, and allow anyone who missed the first run or wants to replay a previous chapter to easily find teammates online.

The second half of Spartan Ops Season 1 will resume later in January with brand new episodes, chapters, locations and maps (as discussed in our recent Spartan Ops developer interview).

While I originally did not like the idea, I have since changed my tune. Mostly because I will be working every weekend in December, and it comes as a bit of a relief not to have to spend one out of my two days at home working on my site. It will also give me time to shore up some parts of AE that I haven’t kept up, such as the character page and some links, plus videos for episode 3. Plus I confess that I actually played more Skyrim than Halo 4 last time I was home. (Heresy!!) I’m behind on all that DLC, so maybe I can get caught up on that as well during this break.

See you in Winterhold, 
Justcal24

IGN Shatter and Wreckage Walkthroughs

You can check put the IGN walkthrough of Shatter here, and Wreckage here.

I like the fact that we are getting more big vehicle based maps. I do hope that the next bunch is a smaller set though. I play Ragnarok…I mean Exile…I mean Big Team quite a bit in Halo 4 and I look forward to variety (if they ever get voted for). I do player Team Slayer quite a bit as well though, and it would have been nice to get at least one small, symmetrical map in this pack, though we’ll have to see if Harvest fits that mold.

See you on Infinity,
Justcal24

Spartan Ops Hiatus?

The Halo Council is reporting that Spartan Ops may be on Hiatus until sometime in the New Year.

This may be just an error in the Halo 4 strategy guide, and I sure hope so! Mostly because it would be a bit jarring for the fans to hear the news like this, or have them be waiting Friday for the trailer only to find out it won’t be coming.

Also, while TV shows regularly do this kind of thing, I don’t think it would be wise in this situation. 343 has been building the momentum on this project, and the last three episodes have been progressively better. Taking a break now would only loose some of the audience to the next big thing. I have no doubt many would pick out back up again, but some may not. I say keep the ball rolling.

I’ll keep you posted if I see any news on this supposed hiatus.

See you on Infinity,
Justcal24

Spartan Ops Episode 5 – Memento Mori Full Review

 

We start off this week were we left off last week, Majestic coming into Galileo base to pick up the “Promethean Soul”. This was a good way to bring continuity between the gameplay and the episodes. Two nit picky things I thought of here though: Where did Crimson go? We just run and hide whenever Majestic is around apparently.  The other thing is why does Majestic all have blue armour, when we as Crimson just have our own colours? Maybe that squad all really likes blue.

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It doesn’t take the Covenant long to regroup from the ass whoopin we laid on them, and start in on Majestic. They are pinned down by Phantoms until Thorne hijacks a ghost (stand out moment for him) and Grant follows suit. I do note that once again, Demarco’s orders are not being followed. Seems like an ongoing issue. Overall however, I really liked this scene from Majestic Squad.

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We quickly learn however that it was all a trap. ‘Mdama dropped the “soul box” on purpose. to what purpose is still unclear, but we will get to that…

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Back on Infinity, Dr. Halsey, cracks the soul box open with the help of Roland. It reveals something similiar to an AI matrix. Dr. Halsey starts touch the motes of light with her pen (DO NOT TOUCH THE SHINY FORERUNNER STUFF), at which point the box explodes with light. If you freeze it in just the right spot, you can see a human outline with it’s arms spread out like it is ascending upwards. Very “Soul-like”.

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After the release of the “Soul” Human memories from the attack on New Phoenix  This upsets Thorne most likely because his family could be Prometheans on Requiem, he may have even killed them himself. The news seems to fluster Lasky. I believe that he, like us, genuinely has no idea how these memories got to Requiem. Demarco can’t believe it either. As Thorne storms off, Halsey has an idea of how the memories may have been transferred.

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After they head back to the Artifact, we see Dr. Halsey in some kind of projection, then she begins writing on her tablet to her mysterious informant, who is none other than Jul ‘Mama.

I did not see that coming. I thought perhaps the Librarian, another Requiem AI, or even a digitized human, but it never crossed my mind that it might be the Covenant. We can see that Jul has learned well from his Human captors how to deceive and manipulate.

What are his plans with Dr. Halsey? What does he want from her? Does he not believe that Glassman can do the job? Or maybe he needs her for something entirely different? What was the purpose of showing her the digitized human soul?

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We don’t get the chance however, as the bitch -oops- I mean, Palmer yoinks the tablet from her hand. Apparently the conversation she has been having with Jul is enough to get her locked up. I don’t think for a second that she will stay there for long.

I’m going to take this minute to let everyone know how much I’m starting to dislike Palmer. Is it really necessary to pull a gun at every drop of a hat?? I mean you are a 6’9, 240 pound lethal killing machine. Exactly what is a 60 year old lady going to do to you?! She isn’t going to shoot her in the head anyway, because if she did, she be in nearly as much trouble as Halsey. Also, where is her helmet? I vaguely remember her wearing one somewhere, but not lately  Did she loose it?? As far as that goes, the same could be said for Majestic team as well. What is the point of wearing that gigantic suit if you walk around on duty without the helmet? What if there was an attack on the ship? “Just hold on a minute evil alien baddy, I seem to have misplaced my helmet…” I mean I get why they don’t wear them, connecting to the audience and all, but they should have them on while on duty. Rant done.

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We flip to Glassman succeeding in his bid to….do something. A giant ball has appeared around the Librarian Shrine.  Whether this was caused by Glassman or not, who can tell. I didn’t notice the Elites are kneeling until I was doing the screenshots. This could get confusing indeed if they start taking orders from the Librarian. Covenant friendlies in Halo 5??

I do find it interesting that when Halsey has success  Glassman fails. When Halsey Fails, Glassman succeeds. Not without cost however, as it looks like the Covvies are giving him the beats.

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In the next scene we see Thorne committing the Cardinal Spartan Ops sin of TOUCHING THE SHINY FORERUNNER THING. What happens?? Fairies and daisies sprout all over the Infinity. No. Not really. He suffers the same fate as Glassman, and gets transported right into the middle of a group of angry sword Elites, WITHOUT HIS HELMET. Awful. The Chief never had this problem.

I wonder if this thing can pick and chose who it transports? Glassman and Thorne both got sent just from touching it, but Halsey didn’t. Does that mean anything? Time will tell. Maybe. Also, orange bubbles going in, blue ones coming out. Is their meaning to this, or am I just reading to much into it?

See you on Infinity,
Justcal24

Crimson Map Pack Achievements

For the full list head here.

I will call these the Mantis Cannon achievements. Seriously was that planned? If so I wonder if the next three sets will have themes of their own?

Some of these will be easy to get, like the Mantis kill or boarding the Mantis, or stomping with the Mantis. Mantis. Mantis. By that I mean will skill and persistence, one will be able to shoot for and get them. Others, like most of the man cannon ones seem a lot more luck based, and will be harder to get.

I liked the original set,and some of these seem a little to random, but I guess that’s the point right? At least there aren’t any map and mode specific ones…..yet. 😉

See you on Infinity,
Justcal24