#2: First Person Shooters – A Girl’s Look At Big Guns And Even Bigger Goofs

I AM NOT A FIRST PERSON SHOOTER FAN.

Fix me with a humming BFG 9000, and chances are I’ll just close my eyes, burst a few shots from a dark corner, and hope for the best. 

…So why can’t I get into FPS games?

Because I’m a fighting girl.  I like Street Fighter, Marvel vs. Capcom, Tekken, and Mortal Kombat.  I also like life sims like Animal Crossing, and RPGs like Seiken Densetsu 3 (you thought I was going to say Final Fantasy, weren’t you?)  The question is then:  why am I doing a post about FPS games?  Well, it’s mostly because I’m thinking on pre-ordering a copy of Halo 3 (set for release Sept. 25 here in the US.)  I recall experiences playing Halo 2, and finding it to be one of the few shooters I managed to enjoy (and feel I had a chance at surviving at.)

What frustrates me about first-person-shooters is how much of an EXPERT every player seems to be.  I can’t hope to sit down into any game (whether with friends or online) and expect to walk away with any shred of dignity.   Halo 2 was literally the first game in which I didn’t find myself gazing shamefacedly down at my controller—the game was too fast for that.  Half the time I was running, and while I was running I was lobbing grenades and taking potshots at people’s heads.  I lamented the uselessness of the Needlers while irascibly cursing any over-confident jerkwad that sliced my player in two with the energy sword.  I roared loudly in excitement when I achieved my first killing spree—only to groan dejectedly right afterwards, when a sniper offed my player.  I played Halo 2 for a short time, but in that short time I felt myself become better and confident.  For once, the boys weren’t taking me lightly.

But then I stopped.  The copy of Halo 2 I was borrowing from my brother found its way back to his home upon request, and the grueling hours spent playing at my old highschool’s teachers lounge/science room on Friday nights lost its appeal.  But the memory stays with me of the fun I had.  My friends groan whenever I bring it up—they’ve played the game till they were sick of it.  But I didn’t burn myself out.  With a pathetic Xbox 360 library consisting of only one game, and plenty of money to spare, I’m thinking of joining in on the fun for the new installment in the Halo series.  But is it worth it?

A bit of browsing has had me watching videos from the Halo 3 beta, and reading some articles on the coming game.  So far, what I’m getting is this:  Halo 3 (the beta, anyways) is like a glorified Halo 2 expansion pack.  One of the things most people have complained about is the graphics.  When viewing video from the beta, one doesn’t see anything that would indicate Halo 3 is from the Xbox 360 platform.  It’s not as ‘polished’ as Gears of War—in fact, it’s rather rough around the edges.  But we have to remember that it’s the beta, the final version can’t be expected to look that way.  We’re still going to be realistic here, though.  Halo 3 is never going to be as pretty as Gears of War.  Period.

 …But who cares?

It’s been reported that some improvements have been made in turn of Halo’s physics and weapons.  The needler doesn’t suck anymore.  It has finally been deemed useful by beta players.    The grenades have been made even more explosively wonderful, and the assault rifle enters the armory yet again.  The banshee has been tweaked as well—you can’t head straight down anymore, but there is a speed burst you can pull off to rip through enemies quicker than paper tissue…and there’s also the banshee bomb.  The banshee bomb—originally removed from Halo 2’s multiplayer—has been brought back to raise hell.  A single bomb from the banshee is enough to destroy a mongoose and all those on it.  A person with good aim can do alot of damage with that.

So there’s my temptation.  Steaming and sizzling on a polished silver platter, ready to be taken and devoured by me in all my destructive joy.  …But what am I supposed to do with it, really?  I don’t have Xbox live, and at the moment I can’t afford it.  None of my friends are Halo fanatics, in fact, I’m the ONLY one who is talking about buying the new game.

 Me.  The self-proclaimed ‘non-FPS fan’.

Add on to the fact that my ego shall take a great beating online ANYWAYS, and you’ll see the trepidation creep into my eyes.  Online gameplay is fierce—plagued by annoying 13-year-old boys screaming into headsets and sounding like nine-year-old girls, and also crazed and overly serious Halo gurus who make quick work of any idiot not watching his back.  I don’t really like Halo online.  I like Halo with people around me, playing with people I know who can forgive my mistakes, and even give me pointers.  I don’t like playing with players more concerned about their rank than having fun.

…Thinking back on my experiences with shooting games in general, I recall warmly Socom 2—a lovely 3rd-person shooter on the playstation that anyone could play online without having to pay a bloody cent.  I did all right in that game.  I’ve even memorized maps in that game.  But then hackers messed the gameplay up, and it lost its magic online.  Socom 3, from what I’ve played of it, seemed even better (especially with the new security measures implemented) but as it was, I never was able to get into it in full.

Other shooters I’ve played include the hectic and redundant Doom.  There was also Quake and Duke Nuke ‘Em, which I can remember being terrified of as a child as I watched the older kids play them at my babysitter’s house.  The James Bond game—Golden Eye—was glory baked into a cake.  The Moonraker lasers and Golden Guns were much sought after items in my friends multiplayer games.

Last year, I’ve discovered such old classics as Perfect Dark and Unreal Tournament.

If you ever happen to play Perfect Dark for the N64 (I’ve heard PD Zero is garbage) try doing deathmatch in multiplayer with no weapons.  These slap-a-thons are especially funny when you’ve mismatched character’s bodies together (i.e. men with women.)  Another thing to try in multiplayer is to make it so that the only weapon available is the tranquilizer gun.  This is best done on the stage with the pipes that if you fall off of them, you die.

Now…Unreal Tournament…well…

My memories of this game have always been made ridiculous, not so much because I thought the game was bad…but because I was forced to team up with someone.  My friends, as a joke, thought it would be great to play capture the flag with everyone being the same character:  Brock.  So every time someone would die, the announcer voice would say in a comedically gruff voice, “Brock–is–dead.”  These would’ve been even funnier…if me and my team-member (hereby named Spaz) weren’t the only ones dying.  Here’s a taste of what I went through that agonizing hour—

ME:  Spaz, what the hell are you doing!?

 SPAZ:  Huh?  Oh, I’m going to get the flag.

ME:  I’VE GOT THE FLAG!!

[BROCK IS DEAD]

Aside from my excitement for Halo 3, and all the warm and fluffy experiences I’ve had with other FPS games, I think I’ll (for the most part) just stick with my Snowman furniture and “Hadouken!” thanks.

Next post:  Expect a rant on movies tomorrow, and how I hope Hostel 2 tanks in the box office.

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One thought on “#2: First Person Shooters – A Girl’s Look At Big Guns And Even Bigger Goofs

  1. Yuribou says:

    Hahah, I get you completely – I cannot play games online purely because of all the ridiculously good people that spend their entire lives online playing (case in point, I owned a little at Albatross 18 in my day, but I’ve regressed a bit now and work is taking precedence)

    I think you can be proud that FPS means anything to you as a genre, since girls and FPS are pretty much like oil and vinegar to start with.

    I gave up playing counterstrike about 5 years ago when they tweaked the physics so my patented spray and pray method held no flak anymore. The only game I’ve played a little online is UT2004 since it is awesome even if you’re a little bit crap. (oh, and the crateDM mod is hilarious)

    If you’re looking for a thinking persons FPS, then why not try some of them that are more geared for single player mode such as Half Life 2 (tres awesome) and Farcry (tres hard)

    Alternatively, give up on FPS altogether and play Albatross18 instead.

    Incidentally, yes, Seiken Densetsu 3 is good, but SoM was better in many ways…

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