Halo 5 Guardians Beta Screenshots and my first reaction/opinions of it

H5G MP Beta header CROP-hffl WM_smI was fortunate enough to get a code for the early access to the Halo 5 Guardians Beta.

Below is a graphic that was contained within the e-mail that I got for early access.H5G early accessI had to enter TWO codes for this. The first was to download the beta, the next granted me early access. 

It took about 45 minutes to download the beta. The access was just seconds.Not sure how big the download itself was.

For these two days, we only have Truth (Midship remake and Empire (the city map) to play on. And that’s plenty enough for two days!

I’ll go through some screen shots here, explaining them as needed and talk about my reaction/opinion of the beta so far. Continue reading

A Thank You from Bonnie Ross (343 Studio Head) to Halo Fans

This is a reblog from Halo Waypoint:

Last month, I promised the Halo and Xbox community that addressing the matchmaking issues and other bugs impacting players’ experience with Halo: The Master Chief Collection was our #1 priority.  We’ve been working around the clock deploying weekly content updates and numerous server-side adjustments that have shown good results and we’re encouraged by the feedback we’re hearing from you.  Another big challenge was met when we added fan-favorite playlists, such as SWAT and Halo: CE, back to our matchmaking menu and we plan to add more soon.  Next week, we’ll release a content update that will add all 10 episodes of the cooperative experience “Spartan Ops” for Halo 4, and will address other issues.  I assure you that the team will continue to work on additional content updates to further improve the all-up gameplay experience.

HFFL: Wait, Spartan Ops back in? YES! Okay, I know not many people played this, but man, I LOVED it. (READ ON!!!) Continue reading

Halo 5: Guardians MP Beta Trailer

Here’s the official trailer for the Halo 5 Guardians Beta, via XBOX. Text below from the Youtube listing of the video:

H5G MP Beta header CROP-hffl WM_sm

Ready for some hot Red on Blue action? To prepare fans for the start of the highly-anticipated Halo 5: Guardians Multiplayer Beta on Dec. 29, this new trailer provides a sneak peek at the new maps, modes, weapons and Spartan Abilities featured in the intense 4v4 multiplayer arena gameplay of the 3-week beta. Each week we will feature new content including 7 new maps, 2 new weapons, new modes, and a new Competitive Skill Rating (CSR) system. Or sit back and enjoy watching multiplayer matches in the all-new Spectator Mode. Available from Dec. 29, 2014 through Jan. 18, 2015 to anyone who owns a copy of Halo: The Master Chief Collection. Continue reading

Halo 5 Guardians Beta 6-part video series

Part 1 of “Sprint” is available via the Halo Channel right now. Sprint does not mean what you think. It actually refers to a deadline in development of the game. (Well, of a sorts)

The-Sprint-Halo-Channel-Series-Promo-02

The vid on the Halo Channel is about 18 minutes long. The vid below is a short trailer for it.  Take a look, then head on over the the Halo Channel, via your XBOX One for the whole episode! Continue reading

Early Access to Halo 5 Beta???

My bud and fellow co-host of the Spirit of Fire podcast, Martin (aka ) got a message today that he’s going to have early access to the Halo 5 Guardians Beta starting tomorrow!

Am I jealous? Oh hell yeah! LOL I’ve asked, and he’s promised to get screen shots of it. So I’ll be posting those for at least the next two days while he has this early access and provides screenshots.

Here’s a screenshot of the message he got from XBOX:  Continue reading

Microsoft Wants Halo to Last Another 30 Years

This is a reblog from gamespot.com. Special thanks to my bud @TheHaloArray for tweeting about this.

Microsoft’s goal for the Halo franchise is to make the long-running sci-fi FPS series last at least another 30 years, according to 343 Industries general manager Bonnie Ross. In a new interview with Bloomberg, Ross revealed the figure and recalled the difficult process of getting the studio up and running, calling it “the most challenging thing I’ve ever done.”

Ross went on to say that diversity was a focus in the formation of 343 Industries, and part of her goal for the studio was to ensure that Halo had “characters that people can identity [with]: heroic females and heroic males.” Continue reading

Master Chief/Agent Locke Halo Art!

I found this via Deviant Art. It was made by an artist named GajinRocket.

master_chief_and_agent_locke_by_gaijinrocket-d7wc89p

Is it rough is some places? Yep. Is it part sketch? You bet. Does that take away form the piece? No in my opinion at all. It certainly has it’s own unique character to it. Note the detail of Cortana’s chip in Chief’s hand.

This is a piece of art I’d definitely buy a large print of.

-Sal

Iron Games Columbus Wrap Up

This is a reblog form halo Waypoint:hcs-banner-45de7bd45eb248baa6defca3510f9775

This past weekend, Iron Gaming hosted the first ever Halo Championship Series in-person LAN event. Columbus, Ohio was the battleground and teams from all over the country competed for a $15,000 prize pool and a chance at 3,000 HCS points. As expected, Halo’s top teams were in attendance as well as some underdogs looking to make a splash onto the scene.

Here’s a look at the top 8 results and what they walked away with:

  1. Counter Logic Gaming – $8,000 – 3,000 HCS Points
  2. Evil Geniuses – $4,000 – 2,000 HCS Points
  3. OpTic Gaming – $2,000 – 1,400 HCS Points
  4. Cloud9 – $1,000 – 900 HCS Points
  5. Believe the Hype – 450 HCS Points
  6. Str8 Rippin – 400 HCS Points
  7. Noble Reality Check – 300 HCS Points
  8. Scorched Halo – 250 HCS Points

Snip3down of team Evil Geniuses was MVP of the tournament, as voted for by the fans.

columbus_game_3_eg_vs_clg_01.mov-edit-330153e041e1445691e16e10190d9fc9

The captain of Evil Geniuses, Snip3down

After an early exit from the first HCS Online cup by Evil Geniuses, Counter Logic Gaming was looking to exact their revenge when these two juggernauts met in the Winner’s Bracket Finals. Lead by veterans Ogre 2 and Heinz, CLG was able to come out on top and secure a top-2 finish.

In the Loser’s Bracket, Optic Gaming proved their naysayers wrong by finishing Championship Sunday with strong performances all around. The loser’s bracket finals proved to be an epic showdown between Optic Gaming and Evil Geniuses. Optic Gaming fell to Evil Geniuses, netting them 3rd place and 1,400 HCS points.

columbus_game_5_clg_vs_eg_18.mov.06_34_39_11-edit-163a655ce7e04e4f90ec82be9c64fa76

CLG and Evil Geniuses faceoff in the Grand Finals

In the Grand Finals, Counter Logic Gaming stood undefeated when Evil Geniuses made their way back for a rematch. Coming from the Loser’s Bracket, Evil Geniuses had an uphill battle that took the first series to the limit with Game 5. It was Royal 2’s stellar sniper rifle work in Team Slayer on Shrine that secured the win for Counter Logic Gaming.

We caught up with Counter Logic Gaming (CLG) after their big win, below is a transcript of our interview on Skype.

HCS: First off, congratulations on the big win at Iron Games Columbus this past weekend. Going into the event, what were each of your expectations?

Heinz: We were definitely expecting first. We had a lot of preparation and were confident we could beat any team. We knew it would be hard, which it was, but we came through when it mattered on LAN.

Snakebite: We definitely went into the event expecting first place. We prepared a lot for this event and winning the two pre-season online cups helped prove we were ready for the event.

Royal 2: Our expectations were definitely first. We put a lot of time and practice before this event and knew that it would show. You should always come into a tournament expecting to win and nothing else.

HCS: Do you agree Ogre 2?

Ogre 2: Always expecting to win.

HCS: What did it mean to beat EG after they gave you a quick exit from the first HCS Online cup?

Heinz: It was pretty satisfying, not only because they beat us in the first HCS online cup, but because we know how good they are in general. All of those players have been at the top for years, so it was a very tough but enjoyable victory for us.

Ogre 2: We kind of looked at the online cup as a huge toss up, which we happened to lose. Beating them meant a lot because of the team they are and the players on that team, not specifically because of the early meet up in the online best-of-3 cup.

Royal 2: It felt pretty good because everyone was expecting EG to beat us again at the tournament. Us and EG were looked at as the top 2 teams coming in to the tournament and we are also considered rivals.

Heinz: Friendly rivals, but rivals.:)

columbus_game_5_clg_vs_eg_20.mov.06_35_34_10-edit-96aeed4f3e0f462cb650d59c9b861775

CLG and EG shake hands after the Grand Finals end.

HCS: Any other teams or players you really enjoy competing against?

Heinz: I like playing against Optic. Their play-style is a little unorthodox in my opinion and always keeps me on my toes. I thought they played great this event, especially Aries. He deserves to be on that team.

Ogre 2: Optic is definitely a change of pace compared to the other teams. I would have liked to play a match vs Cloud 9 because of 2 former teammates. :) Maybe next event!

Snakebite: Assault is one of my favorite players to compete against. I’ve known him since 2008 and we have become great friends outside of the game. He is an amazing player and every time my team matches up against his I know it is going to be a great series

HCS: Who on the team was the MVP for the event?

Heinz: Royal 2.

Ogre 2: ^

Snakebite: ^

HCS: Royal 2, were you indeed the MVP?

Ogre 2: Careful, kid’s cocky.

Royal 2: I would like to think so. In the two series between us and EG, I went most positive combined.

Heinz: It is after all, only about going most positive.

HCS: What did you all think of Royal 2’s sniping performance in Game 5 of the Grand Finals? He seemed to think it wasn’t a big deal.

Heinz: He had a little extra motivation to snipe better this event after the pre-launch tournament and he really didn’t miss. A little practice goes a long way!

Ogre 2: He sniped pretty well when we brought snipers to him, so that’s a good thing I suppose.

Snakebite: He played amazing in Game 5. We are very confident playing on Shrine with the way he snipes.

columbus_game_3_eg_vs_clg_09.mov.06_35_07_13-edit-ba290d53eb8441c59f5c4b3f4f5768f2

Veteran Ogre 2 acknowledges the play of his teammates.

HCS: Coming out of the event, which gametype do you think you all need to improve on?

Royal 2: Warlord. We need to work on every gametype on that map.

Snakebite: Yea I agree. We need to work on Warlord in general.

Heinz: Warlord King or CTF, but pretty much that map in general. At the pre-launch tourney, we did not lose Warlord once, but lost a lot on Lockdown and Shrine, so we focused on improving those two maps. We played great on those maps, but struggled on Warlord. We need to re-learn it.

Ogre 2: All agreed on Warlord gametypes needing improvements.

HCS: What does it mean to you guys to take home a big win for your new team, CLG?

Heinz: We have gotten a lot of support from the CLG community, so we really wanted to bring home a victory for them. We are so appreciative of the support they have given us in the little time we have been a part of this organization. It’ll only get better from here :)

Royal 2: The organization has been around for quite some time, I am extremely happy to bring home a win for CLG, and for the loyal fans.

Ogre 2: It means a lot to be able to bring a win to the CLG organization, but also for me personally to win another event with an entirely new team. Always feels good to do that and prove people wrong :)

Snakebite: It meant a lot to get a win already with this team. The CLG community has shown us so much support so it was awesome to already bring a win to the organization

HCS: Thank you for taking the time to conduct the interview. Is there anything you’d like to leave us with?

Ogre 2: Shout out to my parents who have shown continual support throughout my many, many years doing this. Also to CLG obviously, along with the many sponsors supporting the organization.

Snakebite: Big thanks to all the fans for showing us so much support. CLG for believing in us and the Halo community. And of course, thank you to my family for supporting me throughout the years.

Heinz: Shout out to the CLG org and community for supporting us, the people that are nice enough to watch my stream every day and of course my family for being there every step of the way!

Royal 2: Shout out to my parents who’ve supported me in my gaming career and knowing how important it is to me, my subscribers in my Twitch chat aka Royal Loyals. Also, our fans, I wouldn’t be here without you guys. Last but not least, shout out to Counter Logic Gaming and all of their sponsors.

HCS: Thanks again, and good luck in the rest of the season.

CLG and many other teams will be competing this Sunday in the HCS Online Cup #2. The next in-person LAN tournament is hosted by UGC and will take place in St. Louis, Missouri on Jan. 2 – Jan. 4. Click here for more information on Halo Championiship Series.

-Sal

Two weeks until the Halo 5 Guardians BETA!

If you’re like me, you’re highly anticipating the Halo 5 Guardians Beta. The beta will bring us 7 maps in 3 game modes. Not all maps will be available at all times. These will be rolled out over the 3-week run. The beta starts December 29, 2014 and runs until January 19, 2015. Many fans, including myself hope that the beta will run longer. This as part of the promise from 343 to make up for the HMCC’s launch issues.

Halo5-Logo-onLight-RGB-Final

We’ll be able to vote for a weapon to use and later a map from the 7 to be put into rotation.

Spectator mode is something I expect a lot of people to use. I know I will. I’ve got a few Halo Pros either on my friends list or I’m following. So yeah, I’ll be dropping into spectator mode to watch them. There is a delay BTW folks, if you hadn’t heard. In order to prevent cheating, spectator mode will run slightly behind the actual game being played. In this way, anyone watching can’t make callouts to the team as they will likely become ineffectual by the time the team gets the callouts form the spectator.

HMCC woes aside, the Halo 5 Guardians Beta promises to bring we fans some refreshing new Halo experiences. Presumably, it will not run off of the HMCC engine, but will be something else entirely.

This could be good or bad. Good of course if everything works as intended. Bad if it doesn’t. And I don’t think 343 needs another bad thing, am I right?

Don’t forget that we unlock armor through the beta that will be available to use when the full game comes out next year.

What are you most looking forward to with the beta?

-Sal

12.15.14 Halo: The Master Chief Collection Content Update Notes

This is a reblog from Halo Waypoint:

The next time you log into Halo: The Master Chief Collection, you will be prompted to download the latest content update. This particular content update includes improvements for matchmaking, roster, parties, and more. Below, you’ll find a summary of the updates that are included in today’s update:

Continue reading

The 5th Annual Halo Omnithon for Child’s Play

omnithon-7140528cae0947c3b928586d9233e3e0

This year is the 5th Annual Halo Omnithon event in support of Child’s Play Charity.

What is Omnithon you ask?

Omnithon is a group that does gaming marathons to raise money for charity. A gaming marathon is where we play through a game or series of games, and stream it online while collecting donations for a cause we support, which in our case is Child’s Play Charity, which brings entertainment and hope to those in children’s hospitals. We’ve raised over $10,000 dollars with our prior marathons, and hope to raise even more going forward.

You can read more about Omnithon here and be sure to tune in here on Twitch.