Gears of Halo - Video game reviews, news and cosplay

Halo and Destiny - news and reviews.

Friday, May 28

Weekly Update, now with more medals....



In the Weekly Bungie Update Url waxes lyrical about how Halo Reach has come together:

Right now, as your ocular organs convert this ensemble of light and information into electro-chemical impulses, men and women of industry from all walks of life are busy building what we’ve been calling the most ambitious game in Bungie’s history. We have not been blowing smoke up your skirt. Though just about every aspect of Reach has been playable in one form or another for quite some time now, the days when months (and sometimes years) of hard work finally come to fruition right before our very eyes are upon us. Just as things started looking damn good for Playtest 5, the realization that plenty of that content was still placeholder (like the skies you saw over Boneyard in the Beta) is only now starting to sink in for me. Now is when the promise of a great game not only takes corporeal form – now is when it balls itself up into a great big fist and uppercuts your expectations straight into outer space. Bang, zoom, and all that.



For the team, that realization is born out of a maelstrom of work, work, and more hard work. In some cases for this crew, it means breakfast, lunch, and dinner inhaled at the office. It means time spent away from family and friends. It often means, for better or for worse, everything.



But it also means all that work is now paying massive dividends as yesterday’s promises become today’s reality. As new builds come in at a blistering pace, it means portions of planet Reach are now soaked in sheets of misty rain leaving exposed ground saturated while walkways under rooftops remain realistically bone dry. It means once empty rooms are now filled with vital signs of life – little touches like stoves, plants, and furnishings that help transform what was once just playable space into something much more potent and meaningful and human. It means indigenous life. It means the Covenant forces mercilessly fighting for purchase on the planet are more vicious and cunning than ever before. It means, ultimately, that as more and more polish gets liberally applied and the game moves into its final stretch of development, more and more facets are beginning to take on the finish and shine expected of a brilliant and beautiful gemstone.


About the only bit of real game news in the update was pictures of these medals that I've interspersed throughout the post. They are pretty rad!

“So the medals in our older games felt a bit cheerful, colorful, and clean for the tone of Reach. I figured since the graphics in Reach got a facelift, I’d take a whack at giving the medals an update as well. I ended up working with Andy and Kayl, two of our contract 3D artists here to come up with some realistic interpretations of my original medal designs. Here’s a few – just to whet the appetite of the fans and incite rampant speculation in the forums. :)" - Bungie's Dave Candland

Fuck playhaloreach.com

You might be wondering why I have published 10 odd pages of copy unrelated to Halo just now.... sorry if your twitter stream got flooded with the random stuff.

Turns out a website called playhaloreach.com has been taking the RSS feed and putting my posts into their website which they then use to attract readers and subscribers and try and leverage that some how.

It's out and out theft of my content. Sure, you can borrow from here and there with the proper link back to the page (I do this trick all the time) - at the very least it's a courtesy.

So I've published these random pages to screw with playhaloreach.com and also to get the benefits that having my pages published with links in them has - check out the page I wrote on this search engine optimisation technique.. to explain it and thanks Graywolf SEO for the inspiration!

Normal Halo Reach publishing will resume shortly....

Thursday, May 27

Mr Cash says fuck playhaloreach.com

American IV: The Man Comes Around is the fourth album in the American Recordings series by Johnny Cash, released in 2002. The majority of songs are covers which Cash performs in his own sparse style, with help from producer Rick Rubin.

For instance, for the song "Personal Jesus", Rubin asked Red Hot Chili Peppers guitarist John Frusciante to re-work an acoustic version of Martin Gore's song, which featured a simple acoustic riff that stripped down the song to a blues style.

He receives backing vocal assistance from various artists, including Fiona Apple, Nick Cave, and the Eagle's Don Henley.

American IV was the final Cash album released during his lifetime. It was also Cash's first non-compilation album to go gold (selling over 500,000 copies) in thirty years. This was largely driven by the sucess of the cover of Nine Inch Nails' Hurt.

The Man Comes Around Track Listing:


"Hurt" (Trent Reznor)

Originally recorded by Nine Inch Nails for The Downward Spiral (1994)


Originally recorded by Cash for Sun, appears on Sings Hank Williams (1960), also appears on At Folsom Prison (1968) 


Originally recorded by Simon and Garfunkel for the Bridge over Troubled Water album

"I Hung My Head" (Sting)

Originally recorded by Sting for Mercury Falling (1996)


Was a number one hit for Roberta Flack.


Originally recorded by Depeche Mode for Violator (1990)

"In My Life" (Lennon/McCartney)

Originally recorded by The Beatles for Rubber Soul (1965)

"Sam Hall" (Ritter)

Originally recorded by Cash for the double album, Sings the Ballads of the True West (1965)

"Danny Boy" (Weatherly)

First published in 1910, previously recorded by Cash for Orange Blossom Special (1965)

"Desperado" (Frey/Henley)

Originally recorded by The Eagles for Desperado (1973)


Originally recorded by Hank Williams; previously recorded by Cash for Now, There Was a Song! (1960)


Originally recorded by Cash for A Thing Called Love (1972)

"Streets of Laredo" – 3:33 (Traditional)

Previously recorded by Cash for Sings the Ballads of the True West (1965)

"We'll Meet Again" (Charles/Parker)

Most famously a hit for Vera Lynn (1939)

Check out the lyrics to Aint No Grave or A Hundred Highways.

U2


Originally published at Songs of Ascent

In an interview with Rolling Stone Magazine a few snippets of news came out about the proposed Songs of Ascent album.
The author of the article, Brian Hiatt,  noted that the band is “debating whether the next record will consist of songs from the No Line on the Horizon sessions – the unfinished album known as Songs of Ascent – or an entirely new set of tunes.”
This puts the future of the supposedly fantastic, Every Breaking Wave in doubt some what?
U2 singer Bono is quoted as saying, “I would like to put out an album quickly, but we’re only going to do it if it’s great.”
Then there’s a little paragraph in the Rolling Stone piece about the  U2 YouTube Rose Bowl gig and Adam Clayton says this, apparently not joking, “We started with the idea of going back to Morocco and performing No Line on the Horizon in sequence for YouTube, but we ran out of time to rehearse for that.”
Also regarding the next leg of the tour in 2010, Edge says, “Because of the YouTube broadcast, I can’t imagine that we’d come back and continue with that exact same show. We’ll want to develop and adapt it. The next time people see us, there will be new things to show.”
The gig the Edge refers to is U2′s Anaheim gig at Angels Stadium.

Fans are patiently waiting for U2 to release Songs of Experience.

U2 song lyrics


Top underrated U2 songs that should be treated with a lil more respect that they probably get. Of course, as a U2 fan, you already have your own favourites, here are mine…
Please, from the album Popmart.
Popmart is probably Bono’s best effort lyrically. With word plays on Michael Jackson being history over Jackson’s own HIStory pun, the blind leading the blonde and the line from Please “Your Catholic blues, Your convent shoes” pretty much summing up Bono’s eternal search for his place and pace in the world this song was depressing yet uplifting at the same time. Edge’s solo (esp in live recordings) was up there with his best.
“These days, days, days run away like horses over the hills” being sung over and over at the end always remind me that I never have enough time to do what ever it is I wanted do. This song did make me go see a documentary on the guy it was dedicated to, the author Charles Bukowski and read some of his books. So if anything this song taught me it sux to be a drink alcoholic author who used to work in a post office. In fact I think Charlie boy actually went postal before the term was applied to the fine people at the US Postal Service.
It has the Edge singing and he actually means it but you believe it too even though its about Aussie bastards?! It has good chord changes.
I like this because of the outro from the prior song, An cat Dubh, becomes the into to this. Kind of a plodding but hypnotic bass riff with crisp Edge playing.
MLK, The Unforgettable Fire.
While the fire is a reference to atomic bombs being dropped in Japan (an early portent of How to dismantle an Atomic Bomb maybe?) the album seemed dedicated to two Kings – Elvis and Martin Luther King. The song is sung like a lullaby, actually encouraging sleep. While Bono’s politic rants and beseeches and besmirches of The Man might put the more jaded and cynical amongst us to sleep you can’t complain that this song does the same in a nice under the covers on a rainy day kind of way.
Beat on the Brat, cover of The Ramones, from the We’re a Happy Family Ramones Tribute Album.
Beat on the brat with a baseball bat. Yeah punk. U2 started out playing Ramone’s covers trying to pass them off as their own. Which is pretty much the music industry down pat these days. What can you do?

Croc eats a Vet

So apparently this photo is the result of a veterinarian seeking to examine a crocodile. Having drugged the living fossil, the vet assumed it was safe to put one's arm down the croc's throat to retrieve the tranquilizer dart  he used to drug the animal.

A smirking crocodile
Is it me or is the crocodile actually smirking? I think he's displaying the arm as a trophy and so he should, he totally faked out the vet!

Check out the to darts at the left of the picture. Lesson? You need four darts!
The good news is the arm was able to re attached to one Chang Po-yu's' body. This all happened in 2007 at Shaoshan Zoo in the southern city of Kaohsiung, Taiwan.

No smirking in this photo as Chang Po-yu's holds up four fingers to show how many darts he should use next time
Now, the title of this post asked, "guess who wins?" And I bet you thought the crocodile won, after he got the guys arm right? No. To get the arm back the crocodile had to be shot twice. Sad Face.

But wait! The bullets missed and the smirking crocodile was not shot! It's a win for the crocodile and the crowd goes wild!

Snakes Alive!

I believe it was the actor Samuel L Jackson who uttered the immortal movie line "Enough is enough! I have had it with these motherfucking snakes on this motherfucking plane!" Well here at Animals Eating Animals we love snakes and judging by these pictures, we can understand why the rest of the animal kingdom and Sam Jackson are trying to get the mother fucking snakes off the plane.

First up, the simple things in life. A snake eating a frog. Not much of a challenge for our serpentine friend but none-the-less a tasty morsel.


How about a snake taking on a bird? They must be a bit harder to catch and eat than a frog right? Hmmm, I suspect this bird simply fell asleep in the gutter after a hard night out on the piss and Mr Snake on his way home from this job at the mill simply found him and had him for breakfast


Lizards Gizards!


I think I smell a rat! It's not like I can see the lil bastard anymore....


Oh look a pop princess about to get eaten by an albino python! No, it's just Britney Spears performing a hot lil number for K Fed or who it is she's shacked up with these days. That is one damn lucky albino python snake though eh....


Here's a rattle snake eating a mouse from National Geographic Magazine. I hear rattle snakes can be better than cats at catching mice. You just put one in your kitchen cupboard and they eat the mouse treats. When all mice have been eating the rattlesnake simply moves into your back yard to eat dust.


Sometimes snakes like to each other. Here's a picture of a cape cobra eating a puff adder. Please do not confuse this with a cobra eating Puff Duddy.


Here's possibly the dumbest python in existence. Check out this image of the python  trying to eat a live electric fence:


Just so no-one thinks all pythons are dumb here is one of the most awesome shots ever. A python dragging a kangaroo up a cliff. It's an all time classic!


U2 lyrics

So like where the bloody hell have I been lately dear readers*? It's been All quiet on the Optimus Prime Experiment Front, not even as stirring of a mouse.

I've been making a new website. Dedicated to the best band in the world, and that's a fact, U2.

All U2's Song Lyrics is my effort at making a home for the lyrics of Bono and the Edge. Why go to this site and not some other dodgy lyric site you might ask? Well I've tried to add some information about the songs, what their inspiration might have been and the story around it to help give the reader a better perspective.

As an example, check out the lyrics of:


While I've been building up the site's content, I've been listening to U2 like crazy and loving re-exploring great albums like War and The Unforgettable Fire. The current tour has been going great guns with some sweet set lists that have throwing up some old school U2 such as MLK.

If you're still reading this you might just be a fan - visit All U2's Song Lyrics and tell me what you think!

The Angels and Demons Guide to high rankings on Google via Search Engine Optimisation tricks

The Angels and Demons Guide to high rankings on Google via Search Engine Optimisation tricks



So you have a website and you think it’s a better read than Dan Brown’s new novel 'The Lost Symbol' but unlike Dan Brown’s 100 million plus readers you have 6. What do you do?

Applying this simple Angels and Demons Guide to high search engine rankings will help you get that reader recognition you deserve!

Angels:
  • Write page turners. People read The Da Vinci Code because it was a gripping yarn. Dan Brown offers puzzles and then helped the reader along by solving them. Your blog writing needs to help the reader along too – help them solve their problem by giving them a recipe for your grandmother’s cake or how to take down the Illuminati. No one cares what you ate for breakfast.
  • Link to things that are useful. Dan Brown is always giving you the facts with a twist. Angel’s who link to useful information are sharing the link love and are rewarded by Google with better ranking placement on its result pages.
  • Remind your readers and Google who you are. Dan Brown constantly refers to Robert Langdon’s Mickey Mouse wristwatch to remind the reader the way the character thinks. Internal linking with in your posts using appropriate anchor text helps Google understand what’s important on your site and what makes it tick. When I tell Google that this page is a U2 Concert Set List from New Jersey, it under stands the context way better than “this is my blog”. The more specific the internal link, the better Google likes it.
  • Every one of your posts needs an awesome title post to capture the reader’s attention. Angels and Demons? I’ll bite. The Lost Symbol? Sure, I’ll find that. Will your readers bite with a post called “Scone Recipe”? No, so be an angel and title it “Scones that taste better than that of 1000 Grandmothers!” You get what I mean right? Add the butter!
  • Dan Brown is a demon at creating good imagery. And so should your posts, fill them with pictures to give the read better context about what you’re telling them. At the least it breaks up the text and gives your site a little colour. Google also likes to index pictures and will send visitors your way. Remember, filling in a description of the picture using the alt”” tags is good SEO practice! (if using Blogger check the 'Edit HTML' button in the post writing section and find the tag once you have imported your picture into the post).
Demons:

  • Dan Brown is maligned by the critiques for producing some really odd sentence structures. “The famous man looked at the red cup” arguments apply to your website pages. Make them reader friendly. Don’t be a demon by filling your pages with random keywords. Readers want easy to read pager turners!
  • Every Dan Brown novel as a twist. Don’t be a Leigh Teabing and turn on your hero (readers!) by going trying to kill them with gross amounts of advertising, special offers and non related info. Stay on target with your message. Readers will come to your site for the tea and not the killer cognac.
  • Demons wear black hats and robes. Don’t be a demon. Don’t be tempted to do any of the dodgy tricks that you might find on the internet. Google will see through you faster than you saw the plot holes of The Lost Symbol and penalise you for it. Stick to good white hat practices and the Angels will show you the way to higher Google rankings.
  • Dan Brown created the current puzzle solving mystery band wagon. Don’t be a demon and bluff your way through with a rip off of his plots. Don’t copy another’s work, write your own. In a similar vein, if a news event inspires you, don’t simply re post it, add your own original thinking to it. Some blogs attract terrific readerships by simply providing wise commentary on the news events of the day. Are you up to it?
  • Don't cast an invisible spell on your text. You might be thinking, 'Hey! A good use of keywords is good seo and the more I fit on the page the better AND if I hide them I can fit more on the page!'. Wrong! Google knows this lil trick and will penalise your page if you do this.
Employing the hints and tricks in this guide is a simple and effective way to get some love from the Google search engine. I know, I do them myself with good SEO results!

Got any more Angel or Demon like tips? Leave a note in the comments!

Extra for Experts:

Check out the article I wrote for Twitip I was inspired to write after the idea I had for this post. The Angels and Demons Guide to Good Twitter Etiquette gives some simple advice on some good practices for twittering. Lemmeno what you think!

Dinobots in Transformers? We Wants!

We'll tell YOU about Petro Rabbits...

Josh Duhamel, who played Captain William Lennox in the first two Transformers movies, confirmed that his next movie will be Transformers 3.

He said he just read the script and was impressed by how it deepens the mythology of the universe. When asked whether this meant Dinobots would be in the third movie, he said he couldn't answer that question.”

WTF does that mean? If I was a glass was half empty kind of guy, I’d suggest Josh Dummel was illiterate. If I was a glass was half full kind of guy, I’d suggest Josh as been sworn to secrecy that the Dinobots will be in Transformers 3.

Man, just to have one of them (Read: Grimlock or nothing) would be awesome. The spectacle of Grimlock taking on Megatron or eating Starscream would just be fantastic movie fun.

We don’t need a convoluted plot to have the Autobots in dinosaur form, just have them in the movie!

Things could be slightly grim for a Dinobots appearance thought. Micheal Bay apparently said "They've never been discussed [for inclusion]" stated Bay. "I don't like them. Actually, I hate them." I call bollocks and if he said such a thing, it would be a deliberate step at misinformation.

I asked my good buddy Optimus Prime if he knew of Bay’s plans and he said he hadn’t talked to Grimlock since the dingo dino ate his petro rabbit last Easter so had no idea if Grimlock had been cast.

Extra for Experts: After the mess of a plot that was the second TF movie, here’s my take on what the plot of Transformers 3 should involve. Listen to the fans Micheal Bay, we’re smarter than you and have better hair.

Orignally published as: Dinobots in Transformers? We Wants!

Tuesday, May 25

Bungie's The Good, The Bad-ass and the Ugly

Bungie know their Clint Eastward movies. While the Spartans and Elite in this vidoc are not necessarily as good (or as bad) as The Man with No Name in the famous western trilogy, they do get up to some enterprising stuff... I love the jet pack save from a crashing Banshee...



You may have noticed the Halo Reach release date at the end of the video - September 14 baby!

Beta Stats and Tweaks


Here's a sweet interview with Bungie's Brian Jarrard from IGN which is kind of a post mortem on the fantastic Halo Reach beta. There's some great stats in there and some noted changes to the mechanics of Halo Reach's mulitplayer (and presumable campaign itself) as a result of the testing.

Here's the first page of the interview, full article here.

The Halo: Reach beta has closed, but the work is not done for Bungie. Now comes the task of fine tuning the game in preparation for the final product, hitting store shelves on September 14. I was able to track down Brian Jarrard, community director for Bungie, to chat about what the team learned from the beta and what sorts of crazy stats have been pulled.

IGN: Were you able to get all of the info and data you needed from the beta? How long will it take to fully analyze the feedback?

Brian Jarrard: Our team received a staggering amount of info and data thanks to the support and participation by our community. More than 2.7 million unique participants logged more than 16 million hours testing Reach and it will absolutely result in a better final game experience this September.

Thankfully a large component of the feedback we needed was in the form of networking stats and game data uploads which our team is able to process and digest fairly automatically on the back-end. There's still a ton of data to sift through but a lot of that can be handled with systems and queries that our engineers have constructed. That data was being analyzed daily as it came in and to some degree is still being evaluated by individuals on the team.

Player feedback was generally more difficult to analyze simply due to the volume and types of input being provided. The Bungie.net beta forum alone had more than 360,000 forum posts during the Beta and that doesn't include all the feedback coming in through other channels. Our team spent a lot of time wading through these posts and comments to try and filter out consistent key issues or takeaways. That's easier said than done when you have such an outspoken and passionate community. For every person who wrote a full page about something they absolutely hated, another person wrote a full page describing why they loved that same thing. At this point I think the majority of that feedback has been sifted, sorted, processed and disseminated to the appropriate people on the team and a lot of it has in fact influenced tweaks to the final game.

Monday, May 24

Halo Reach Release Date Revealed

Finally, it has been confirmed by Bungie that the release date for Halo: Reach will be September 14th on 2010.

Fans who were perhaps a little disappointed by the Halo 3: ODST game have been keenly waiting for Halo Reach ever since it was announced a year or so ago.

Reach is set on the planet Reach and features the campaign of Noble Team as they tackle the threat of the Covenant who are glassing the planet.

Reach will have all kinds of new awesome features including, sprint mode for Spartans and jet packs to fly around in. There are new kinds of multiplayer variants as well.

As made famous in Halo 3, a revised Forge returns along with the now standard ability to record your games and take pictures etc. ODST's successful Firefight mode will also return.

Expect many great innovations from Bungie for this game, they've thrown their own kitchen sink into this baby for us, the Halo fans to enjoy! I'll see you in line!

Official Release Date Press Release

Order your copy of Reach today through Amazon:

Biggest Blockbuster Game of the Year 'Halo: Reach' Launches Sept. 14, 2010


Here's the official press release from Microsoft about the launch date of Halo: Reach

Biggest Blockbuster Game of the Year 'Halo: Reach' Launches Sept. 14, 2010




More than 2.7 million players make history with record-shattering demand for the "Halo: Reach" multiplayer beta.



REDMOND, Wash., May 24, 2010 - The most anticipated game of the year is making its worldwide debut this September. "Halo: Reach," the blockbuster prequel to the best-selling video game franchise and hailed as the No. 1 game series of all time,(1) will leave its mark on the entertainment landscape when it launches worldwide, starting Sept. 14, 2010, and in Japan on Sept. 15.



Developed exclusively for Xbox 360 by acclaimed studio Bungie, "Halo: Reach" drops players back into the iconic universe they love so they can experience the birth of the "Halo" legend. During the past 10 years, the "Halo" franchise has inspired multiple New York Times best-selling novels, comic books, action figures, apparel and more, and it has sold more than 34 million games worldwide to date.

"'Halo: Reach' is the culmination of a decade of 'Halo,' a franchise that has become a global entertainment and pop-culture touchstone," said Phil Spencer, corporate vice president of Microsoft Game Studios at Microsoft Corp. "Just as 'Halo: Combat Evolved' catalyzed the success of the original Xbox to define a decade of entertainment, 'Halo: Reach' will push the boundaries for what's possible in video games and help make 2010 the biggest year in Xbox history."



"There's no doubt in my mind that 'Halo: Reach' will be one of the biggest games and hottest entertainment products of the year," said Bob McKenzie, senior vice president of merchandising at GameStop. "Pre-orders for 'Halo: Reach' have been off the charts, with fans snapping up the limited and legendary editions since they were introduced just a month ago. Overall, it's a real testament to the passion of the 'Halo' fan base."



Consumers Help Make History With Record-Breaking "Halo: Reach" Beta



As a testament to the anticipation for its release, more than 2.7 million "Halo" fans helped make entertainment history this month by participating in the "Halo: Reach" multiplayer beta on Xbox LIVE, making it the largest console video game beta test on record and more than triple the size of the "Halo 3" beta. Players completed more than 13 million online games and logged over 16 million hours of online gameplay, amounting to over 1,826 years of total play time in just over a two-week period. The data and user feedback gathered from the beta will help Bungie and Microsoft further refine the game and deliver a blockbuster experience that fans have come to expect from the "Halo" franchise.

"Halo: Reach" follows the story of Noble Team, a squad of heroic Spartan soldiers as they make their final stand on planet Reach, humanity's last line of defense between the terrifying Covenant and Earth. Representing the best-in-class multiplayer elements that have become the hallmark of the "Halo" series, "Halo: Reach" offers the most action-packed multiplayer experience yet on Xbox LIVE. The "Halo: Reach" experience is completed with an intense campaign, an unparalleled suite of features and stunning new visuals powered by groundbreaking new technology.



"Halo: Reach" represents an enormous evolution for the genre-defining "Halo" games, and is testament to Bungie's 10 years of experience crafting amazing experiences. During the past decade, "Halo" fans have demonstrated their commitment to the franchise by logging more than 2 billion hours of gameplay on Xbox LIVE, sharing millions of pieces of user-generated content, creating original "Halo" machinima series and even holding "Halo" themed weddings.



"Halo: Reach" is available for preorder in standard, limited and legendary editions at participating retailers worldwide. The standard edition has an estimated retail price of $59.99 (U.S.), and the limited and legendary editions of the game will retail for $79.99 and $149.99 (U.S.), respectively. The limited and legendary editions of "Halo: Reach" are packed with extras that fans won't want to miss. The centerpiece of the legendary edition is a 10-inch-tall, hand-painted and individually molded Noble Team statue crafted by the expert artisans at McFarlane Toys. As a special bonus, fans can receive a token to unlock an exclusive in-game Spartan Recon Helmet, by picking up a copy of the game on launch day at North American retail stores, and outside of North America by making a pre-order reservation at participating retailers.

(1) According to a recent reader poll by Guinness World Records.



SOURCE Microsoft Corp.

Saturday, May 22

Bungie Aerospace: per audacia ad astra

Update: Aerospace is a publisher for independent game studios

Bungie Aerospace: per audacia ad astra

If you visit this recently live website: www.bungieaerospace.com you will find the following message:


So, as we wondered a while back about Bungie Aerospace - what does it mean? Is it the new game that Bungie will make after the release of Halo Reach? It must be a big deal as Bungie have applied for Aerospace to be a Trademark!

Note the wording: per audacia ad astra

The "ad astra' component of this motto is probably the key to its meaning here. It's often used as part of an expression that refers to getting to the stars. Good old wikipedia tells us that Ad astra is a Latin phrase that apparently originated by Virgil, who wrote sic itur ad astra - "thus you shall go to the stars"
As far as I can figure out Audacia is defined as: boldness, dash, daring, audacity. 
So if one was put the two meanings together you can translate "per audacia ad astra" as "boldly going into space" Which is an effective reference to a bloody Star Trek quote that Captain Kirk uttered in nearly every episode that aired: 


"Space... the Final Frontier. These are the voyages of the starship Enterprise. Its five-year mission: to explore strange new worlds; to seek out new life and new civilizations; to boldly go where no man has gone before."

Nice one Bungie!

Friday, May 21

Switching Gears and Squashing Bugs!

Marcus Lehto made a sweet post on Noble Actual letting us hardcore fans know whereabouts Bungie is in the development of the Reach game itself:

"This week ends the last week of polish for content in the game. At midnight tonight, the artists are shifting into hard core bug fixing mode from here on out until we hit ZBR (zero bug release). While content artists are bug fixing and engineering is optimizing for performance, the designers will be hard at work finalizing all the encounters throughout the campaign.

There are many tired eyes due to very late nights for everyone here. It’s often hard for developers to switch gears from cramming as much time as they can into polishing content for the game to closing the game out. It’s my job, as well as all the other leads here, to pull these people back to see the amazing game we have created together and make sure they fix all the bugs that really matter for the game to be as high a quality product as possible.

-Marcus"

Go on lads, squash those bugs till they are dead and then squish them some more. We wouldn't want any in game exploits, would we? Would we?

Thursday, May 20

The Beta is now officially over

The Beta is now officially over. Here's a msg from B.net

"We mentioned it yesterday, but it bears repeating. The Beta is officially over, but our test team is leaving the servers up and running so they can run some horrible, inhumane experiments on live subjects. If you're still in the mix, you should anticipate some pain and suffering.
Stuff like:

Unpredictable gameplay behavior!

Long and unsuccessful Matchmaking times!

Unceremonious disconnects from the Beta!"

I feel kinda like Elliot must have felt when ET's friends came back for him and took him away.....

I am smelling like a rose....


From XBL:

"Scott Weiland, vocalist and frontman of popular band Stone Temple Pilots, will visit Xbox LIVE® to play Gold Members in Halo® 3. If you're a Gold Member (if you're not a Member, upgrade now!) join us Tuesday, June 1, starting at 7:00 P.M. ET and meet this legendary member of STP and Velvet Revolver
.
Send a friend request to the following gamertag and be online half an hour before (6:30 P.M. ET) the Game with Fame session starts - StoneTemple GwF"

Jimmy Jangles is a bit of a fan of STP and has created a lyric site for the new STP self titled album... check out the lyrics to Cinammon if you're interested!
 
Check out the new album on Amazon, where several tracks are streaming:

Tuesday, May 18

Would you tea bag an Armour Locked Spartan?

Would you tea bag an Armour Locked Spartan? I wouldn't personally try it. But hey, different strokes for different Spartans right?

For a slightly different perspective however, The dudes who know about Teabagging and its prevention have written a sweet article on using the armour abilities of the Halo Reach Beta. You thought my post on armour lock use was awesome? This is nearly as good ;)

Like Jules Winfield might ask, "Example?"




Jet Packs Tips FTW!

A means for travel, a means of killing... a Jetpack can be your greatest ally... or the means of watching your body fall hundreds of feet to the ground to its sudden, unexpected and 8-10 second penaltied death.

WHEN NOT TO USE THEM

  • Well, the only time when it's pointless to use them is when you're already too late. Remember that the Jetpack takes a little bit of time to work at full power. If that grenade is already at your feet, you're already dead. Should've used the shield.
  • When there are at least two other guys in Jet packs in the air with you.
  • When you're getting out of a fight where people are obviously all shooting at you. You don't become invisible, you actually just become slower and higher, and therefore easier to shoot. Spartans aren't blind after 10 feet of elevation and neither are Elites.
  • When they are low on charge. Nothing's more embarrassing than trying to get somewhere you can't and being killed because of it. Remember to basically act and play like you did in Halo 3. Use your abilities only when needed like the Rocketeer would. If you use any of these abilities as a crutch, you're doing it wrong. Use them when you can and don't rely on them, but use them as a bonus.
  • When someone else with a Jetpack is right behind you. Nothing is more embarrassing (or freaking AWESOME) than an air assassination.
WHEN TO USE THEM
  • At the beginning of the game, when plenty of ground matches are being started.
  • When nobody is around, to get closer to the action and then throw grenades at it.
  • When everybody is shooting each other and not you, and you're low on health.
  • When at a high elevation that you feel you can cover some extra ground because of, as that will allow you to get closer to the action faster and in a way that allows you get the UPPER hand. UPPER hand. See what we... no? Okay.
  • When evading someone with a shotgun or gravity hammer. 
  • When you're in a ground fight with someone that doesn't have a shotgun and they are reloading. Shooting them (and finishing them off) from the air will disorient them JUST enough so that you can ensure a kill.
  • When you're losing and completely bored and just want to remember what it was like to first buy an XBox360 and be playing games like Armored Core.

Hmm, imagine what Jules' speech might be as he was about to slaughter a spartan. Would it be as good as his '"and you will know my name quote?"

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