I’ve just finished running through the single-player campaign of Halo CE as presented in the recent Master Chief Collection, and I’d forgotten how tough and unforgiving it was. I was only playing on Normal difficulty, and found myself alternating between nostalgic joy at the classic run and gun play and wanting to rage quit as invisible Elites insta-killed me, Sentinels set me on fire, or Flood kept getting back up as fast as I could shotgun them down.
Have I enjoyed it? Oh hell yes, and at the same time I’m glad I’ve got through the campaign. Now I can move on to Halo 2, to see what the remastered graphics look like. I still need to go back and get a couple of the terminals and skulls – and I’ll try to play through levels at higher levels. Maybe I’ll try to speed run and beat the par times and scores too – there’s a lot of challenges buried in this remix that have me hooked enough to keep coming back, even if the multiplayer is only now starting to be reliable.
We’re in the final run-up to Christmas now, a season that didn’t really feel totally real until last weekend, where one of my younger brothers held his annual get-together. It’s become something of a tradition over the last few years – a gathering of friends and family for food, chatter, occasional music and a walk in the woods at night to the top of Reigate hill to share drinks, admire the view and rain fiery death on those below us in the form of chinese lanterns.
This year we took Lady P along with us, where she unexpectedly found herself in the company of the LARP/Cosplay prop-makers Artyfakes, who she has recently commissioned to make a unique prop for May’s MCM London Expo. As Lady P has been a major proponent of Christmas spirit at work this year, it made for a great confluence of work and home life to kick off the season’s celebrations.
We always try to make an effort for Christmas, especially given how lean the last few years have been. It’s a great time to push the boat out and celebrate, and we love being able to give gifts to people. For me, it’s about the look of surprise and joy on people’s faces when I manage to match something a bit unusual or special to their tastes. We try to pick things up through the year. In part this is to spread the cost out, but it’s also taking advantage of seeing things through the year that might not be available nearer the date itself, especially if it’s something we’ve seen while out and about on our travels. This year, we’ve got more than a few things that we picked up when we were in Florida, so I hope that with the more traditionally sourced things we manage to put a smile on everyone’s faces. If nothing else, we’ve got plenty under the tree to give to people.
So – one more working day this week, and then both Lady M and I are on our holidays, joined next week by the Charleesi before we head off out for the great family gathering for the holiday itself.
Updates on the website this week have included the regular Dungeons and Dragons session write-up, and the start of my putting up extra material from the campaign. These will both see ongoing updates. The adventures continue to be based on a mix of published and original material. This is partly because we’re still learning our way around the rules, and partly making the most of the time available. I’d love to be creating material for the campaign out of whole cloth, but being pragmatic we’re all enjoying ourselves immensely and I’ve had one or two people say they’re also enjoying the write-ups – so I’ll keep doing them.