Halopalooza was once again a success. Despite the night drawing to a close “early” at half-three, we still managed a good eight-and-a-half hours, or forty plus games, of plasma rifle toting fun.
For me there were two highlights and both included team objectives. First up was Pogo’s Duck Hunt.
Set in Foundry, the attackers had to bound from one side of the warehouse to the other via man-cannons, pick up a flag and then return. Easy enough, but set back are the defenders in their hide, all armed with one-hit-kill sniper rifles just waiting for the “ducks” to take to the air.
It was such a simple idea executed so well that it was an absolute riot. Given the numbers playing, whole battalions of Spartans would take to the air in a bid to reach the flag only to be sniped down at the apex of their jump. Pretty much everything you did as the attacking side was suicidal but when the flag hit home it just made it all the more satisfying, as most war of attrition games are.
The other standout moment was three-quarters of the way through the evening when somehow the teams achieved an almost Zen-like balance in their abilities. Teams are more often than not plucked from a hat and tend to be weighted one way or the other but somehow the stars aligned and a series of supremely balanced games took place, full of cut and thrust, defence and counter.
Never before have I played such a great batch of team games and it all culminated in the best Assault that I have ever been a part of where every round was on a knife edge and most were decided deep into sudden death over time.
As per usual, what makes these evenings are the people who are there. I think most of you out there will agree when I say that playing with random, whiny, American teenagers who bitch that they didn’t get to the sniper rifle first can be a soul destroying. However, put yourself in a lobby with sixteen like minded, amiable players and you cannot beat Halo for an experience.