Halo 2 Vignettes

I like Halo 2 on Xbox Live. Since I am not innately talented at this sort of thing, I have to get by on single glorious flashes of brilliance to make up for my generally inept level of gameplay. This makes my online experience a sort of bipolar disorder, bouncing between the completely juvenile and the utterly sublime. One Cool Trick

Here is a cool trick that even I can use fairly well. It is affectionately called the bitchslap. There are three variations on this technique:

Classic Bitchslap. Grab a plasma pistol and the battle rifle. Charge up the pistol by holding down fire but not releasing. As you approach your victim at medium distance, let the plasma bolt go and switch to the rifle. Aim at the head and let fly with the rifle. If you hit with both shots, it’s a nearly instant kill.

Lazy Bitchslap. Basically the same technique as above, but dual wield the plasma pistol and the SMG. Let the plasma bolt go and then open up with the SMG. This works better in close quarters because if you get too far away, the SMG is completely useless. Note that this seems to work better than using the plasma rifle and SMG, assuming you keep the pistol charged.

Magnum Bitchslap. This is like the lazy variation, but you use the magnum instead of the SMG. Works well at all distances, but you need good aim with the magnum for a quick kill. The best thing here is getting a clean head-shot and watching your enemy spin in the air like a ragdoll.

This trick is easy enough to do that I actually manage to beat people with it, so it must be pretty easy. It won’t work against people with much better aim and much better twitching than you.

May 2005 Update: The recent multiplayer update from Bungie has removed the bitchslap weapon combos from some of the Slayer maps in the main playlists. I guess it really was too easy.

Bad Ass Moments

When things like this happen, you feel cool:

Skull Bashing. In Oddball running into someone with a super powerful weapon, like the rocket launcher or sword, beating them down with the skull, and staying alive, is cool.

High Angle Shotgun. For some reason, single shot kills with the shotgun while airborne are fun.

Turnabout. Beating someone down after they have stuck you is fun. Running up to them and exploding in their face so they die too is also fun.

Switcheroo Assassination. Here is a trick from Sprang. Someone is shooting you from behind, so you run for cover, but when you turn the corner, you just stop. About half the time the guy chasing you will run right by and you can assasinate him.

One Time Only

Stealth Stickies. We were playing snipers on Burial Mounds. I ran up the tunnel into a base, and I saw Pete scanning the horizon trying to line up a shot. I walked up to him and softly stuck a grenade on his back. The last thing I heard in the headset before he blew up into little pieces was a short obscenity.

Long Range Rockets. Here’s something that only happened to me once. I was playing Rocket Slayer on the Colossus map. This map is fairly large. I spawned, and I noticed a small body running in a straight line clear across on the other side of the map. I shot off a rocket in that direction and then forgot about it. About ten seconds later I got a “You killed XXX” message.

Airborne Sniping. Here’s another thing that only happened once, also on Colossus. I spawned near the jumpy pad and saw Sprang and his friend Dan below me fighting near the pad. I jumped down to try and throw a grenade between them, but they both jumped onto the pad, shooting each other as they did so. I looked up and noticed that I was right under the airborne pair. I aimed carefully, and shot Sprang out of the air like a hunted duck.

Not So Bad Ass Moments

Radar Blindness. One of the most embarrassing ways to die is to get hit over the head with the butt of a rifle while you are just lining up a shot on someone else who you have been chasing all over the map. Five minutes of running followed by a quick death from one whack.

You Fell To Your Death. Spawning, runnning down the ramp, taking a blind jump right off a clliff does not make you feel cool.

You Just Plain Suck. This is how I usually die in Slayer games. I run down a hallway, I feel gunfire coming from behind me. I turn around and jump to try and shoot back, but before I even manage to aim my dead body is flying through the air, having been shot in the head.

Not so Instant Death. This is when you come face to face with someone and unload 2 full SMG clips into them and then fall over dead. Very demoralizing.

Losing with the Sword. Missing someone with the special energy sword attack twice and then getting shot in the head makes you feel pretty bad.

Instant Death. The last time I played with Sprang’s friend Dan, he was practicing his Magnum Bitchslap technique. So, I would run up the ramp, see him, start unloading with two guns at once, and die in 1.5 seconds. This happened nine straight times.

High School Moment

Here is why you never play with the headset on. The team slayer game had just started, and we all heard in the headset: “Dude. I might have to randomly quit at any time, man, because like, I’m not supposed to be playing Xbox and if my parents catch me playing I’ll be totally grounded. So, if I’m gone that’s why.”

It’s better to not know this kind of thing, especially because the guy will probably beat you down ten or fifteen times.

My Single Best Shining Moment

The other night we got into a Team Slayer game on Midship. Midship is a tricky map because it is very tight quarters and it’s hard to stay alive for a long time. I managed to grab the shotgun off the middle of the floor. One red ran out at me and I uncharacteristically managed to get a bead on him and shoot him down before he melted me with his plasma rifle. Red number two came down the ramp and BLAM. Two down. This was already going better than normal. I count myself lucky, in general, if I manage to get two people to fall down before I die.

Our blue teammate started yelling that we should move together, so I got in behind him and a red fell down near me and dropped the sword. So I picked it up and I had the two best weapons on this map (remember, close quarters). I ran up the ramp to the other side of the map and beat a red down. Turning around in a hail of plasma bolts, I saw two more red running up the hallway. Two swings, two more kills. At this point, the disembodied voice said “Killing spree!“. This doesn’t happen for me very often.

What followed was the strangest sequence of Halo 2 play that I think I’ve ever experienced. For the next five minutes I literally could not fall over dead. It was like the enemy fire was moving just slightly slower than it usually does. Instead of dying just before swinging the sword, I always got my swing off before my shield was gone. I ran from one side of the map to the other slicing every red I met in two while avoiding grenades, assassinations and long range sniper shots. Finally I ran into a group of three reds and took one hit too many. When I finally fell over, final stats for the game showed that my killing spree ended at 15. I wish I had heard the disembodied voice say “Rampage.” I missed it in all the excitement.