Halo 2: Groundhog's Day

I'm not sure how many times I punched that prophet in the face, but in the end it took me two hours to beat a single boss. There wasn't much to it in theory, all you have to do is get in close on a floating guy riding a fusion cannon and unload on him, probably exclusively in melee but I never did explore every little option. Clown cars full of endless enemies pour in to distract you, throwing grenades, blasting you with plasma bolts, or carving up your backside with energy swords. The prophet just sort of teleports around the place after he gets enough of your knucklebone burgers, dropping you in the middle of some elites if he's lucky. Not easy to hide, only so many weapon choices... Two damn hours.
 
Halo 2 seems to love to give me checkpoints when I don't want them (including having a split-second to react to guys coming at me) and at other times, despite all I've accomplished, it chooses to withhold checkpoints, making repeated plays a slog. The boss fight wasn't the only slog, I've had many this playthrough, more than I remember having last time I finished the campaign on Heroic. I'll freely admit that I can't even beat the thing on Legendary, but even on Heroic it feels like Halo 2 wants me to read its mind sometimes. I like that I can do wildly different things to make it through an area, and I love how the AI changes it up on the fly (I'm still sort of amazed by that), but you can really be punished by this game.
 
Which makes me wish it would record the entire game from each checkpoint, when I was successful. I would like to see this perfect runthrough, because THAT is what I'm supposed to be living up to every time I put the disc in. Humanity dies unless I know where the enemies are before I even see them, what they're armed with, how many there are, which ones will endlessly respawn and which will cause the section to progress.
 
For all the attempts to feel like a modern military packed into this game, the amount of times my lil' Spartan bit it at the hands of some little lizard guy with a laser rifle makes me wonder if humanity should have spent more time researching portable shields for everyone instead of putting all hope in one mumbly dude in power armor who hears voices.
 
There are things I love about this game, stuff I remember even when I forget the frustration, like the scenery, the music, the NPC commentary (was David Cross in there somewhere?), the hidden character and his story that gets revealed partway through, and of course taking dudes out in all kinds of ways. Right now I feel like I'm being trained, though. 
 
Do it again, it says. You weren't lucky this time, try again. Be quicker. Pick the right weapon. I don't care if that carbine blows an entire clip on that elite without breaking through its shields, that's all you have. Again. Again. Again.
 
At least Bill Murray had a full day to experiment and see what worked. Old Bill had the equivalent of a campaign's worth to accomplish, then got to do it over. I guess he was more looking for the best ending than reloading from the last checkpoint, but that's neither here nor there.
 
Anyone caught in a similar timewarp, lately?

6 Comments
6 Comments
Posted by ahoodedfigure

I'm not sure how many times I punched that prophet in the face, but in the end it took me two hours to beat a single boss. There wasn't much to it in theory, all you have to do is get in close on a floating guy riding a fusion cannon and unload on him, probably exclusively in melee but I never did explore every little option. Clown cars full of endless enemies pour in to distract you, throwing grenades, blasting you with plasma bolts, or carving up your backside with energy swords. The prophet just sort of teleports around the place after he gets enough of your knucklebone burgers, dropping you in the middle of some elites if he's lucky. Not easy to hide, only so many weapon choices... Two damn hours.
 
Halo 2 seems to love to give me checkpoints when I don't want them (including having a split-second to react to guys coming at me) and at other times, despite all I've accomplished, it chooses to withhold checkpoints, making repeated plays a slog. The boss fight wasn't the only slog, I've had many this playthrough, more than I remember having last time I finished the campaign on Heroic. I'll freely admit that I can't even beat the thing on Legendary, but even on Heroic it feels like Halo 2 wants me to read its mind sometimes. I like that I can do wildly different things to make it through an area, and I love how the AI changes it up on the fly (I'm still sort of amazed by that), but you can really be punished by this game.
 
Which makes me wish it would record the entire game from each checkpoint, when I was successful. I would like to see this perfect runthrough, because THAT is what I'm supposed to be living up to every time I put the disc in. Humanity dies unless I know where the enemies are before I even see them, what they're armed with, how many there are, which ones will endlessly respawn and which will cause the section to progress.
 
For all the attempts to feel like a modern military packed into this game, the amount of times my lil' Spartan bit it at the hands of some little lizard guy with a laser rifle makes me wonder if humanity should have spent more time researching portable shields for everyone instead of putting all hope in one mumbly dude in power armor who hears voices.
 
There are things I love about this game, stuff I remember even when I forget the frustration, like the scenery, the music, the NPC commentary (was David Cross in there somewhere?), the hidden character and his story that gets revealed partway through, and of course taking dudes out in all kinds of ways. Right now I feel like I'm being trained, though. 
 
Do it again, it says. You weren't lucky this time, try again. Be quicker. Pick the right weapon. I don't care if that carbine blows an entire clip on that elite without breaking through its shields, that's all you have. Again. Again. Again.
 
At least Bill Murray had a full day to experiment and see what worked. Old Bill had the equivalent of a campaign's worth to accomplish, then got to do it over. I guess he was more looking for the best ending than reloading from the last checkpoint, but that's neither here nor there.
 
Anyone caught in a similar timewarp, lately?

Posted by MikkaQ

Oh yeah that boss fight was really annoying. Lots of Halo 2's campaign bothered me actually. I think it's the only one I never beat twice (I tend to do a legendary run the 2nd time around).
 
In terms of being in a time warp.. yes I am, but for different reasons. I keep having to fuse the same damn guys in Persona 3 because I'll turn the PSP on, fuse them, get bored of fusing, put the PSP to sleep, leave it laying around forever, come back to it, and it's drained the battery and I didn't save and I have to fuse again. 
 
Yes it's my own idiocy but still... frustration.

Posted by Brackynews

Been trying to write the same paragraph of an essay for about a week now. Getting tired. Considering hemlock.
 
But game wise, fucking Demon's Souls. And I am unabashedly loving it. Planning three worlds ahead for which boss I need to beat to have an easier time with an earlier boss. And now I'm like, "I really want to be that player-boss in Latria". Which will probably also be a lot of rinse-repeat until it takes.

Posted by ahoodedfigure
@XII_Sniper:  The Persona series looks like it has a bunch of interesting elements, and I watched the entire Quick Look so I know that they like to add tons of stuff to find, but fiddling with all those systems does seem pretty taxing. My recent stint on Gladius was like that, where I'd have to run through equipment shops and make sure I had the best stuff, going through each category until I found myself going through the same people a second time by accident. Not stimulating, that.
 
At times in Halo 2 I'll feel on top of stuff, and then I'll get stuck. Doesn't even have to be death, but I'll lose which direction I'm supposed to be traveling or run out of decent weapons like I was playing survival horror. If you can clear the Cairo invasion on Legendary, my invisible hat's off to you. Either I don't have the patience or I lack some fundamental skill that lets me do enough damage to an elite's shield with a battle rifle before the shield regenerates.
 
@Brackynews: From what I know of hemlock, it won't make that paragraph go any faster. You try sentence-by-sentence? Another way is to structure it poorly, on purpose, so you at least get the structure down.
 
For all the horror Demon's Souls looks like it puts people through, if I were to get a PS3 I'd definitely have that one. If the game knows you're going to die, it's a bit less taxing on me for some reason. Looks like one of the rougher dungeon crawls out there but I guess I like its original take on setting and advancement stuff.
Edited by washablemarkers

I just finished Halo 2, (albeit on Normal), and totally understand what you're saying. In one of the later levels there's a large room where a totally badass rock song plays while several different enemies fight it out. Not for me, though, since the previous room had two Hunters in it, which I breezed past because I didn't want to be bothered to fight them. I went into the large room, Halo checkpointed, and then the Hunters followed me in. Suddenly, a fight which should have been straightforward became a nightmare, I had to lead the Hunters out of the room, get a stronger weapon, defeat them, and then attempt to do the same for the rest of the survivors. It was awful! That was an afternoon full of cursing.
 
Still, even with the annoyances, I was constantly blown away with how well-designed the areas and levels were. Say what you will about the story and the ending, there are times when I didn't have the groundhog effect because I decided to tackle each situation differently. Also, the beam rifle and I became fast friends. That thing is a beast.

Posted by ahoodedfigure
@washablemarkers:  I'm fond of sniperering myself, so both the human sniper rifle and the beam rifle were favorites of mine, and I even tried to use them in the middle of combat where I had no business using them.
 
Halo 2 is not like, say, the old Ninja Gaidens or whatever, where you're in a fever dream of repetition requiring exact timing and full memorization. It would be much worse if I had to do the exact same thing all the time. I'm not the kind of person who likes to do that in life at all, so if my entertainment requires that of me the rewards must be pretty good for me to care. 
 
Right now I'm fighting the end boss and it's a royal pain, much worse than it was on Heroic just because the weapons that seem to work don't have much in the way of ammunition. Just read a guide that said that another type of weapon, the one that seems to splat uselessly off the boss, is one of the favored weapons for the writer. Either I'm doing something wrong or he misremembered, but I guess I have more I can experiment with. It's just that... I've been doing this for hours and my hands are turning into arthritic claws right now. If I could beat games by willpower alone, I would have beaten this game several times over by now.