Friday, October 21, 2005

Halo Kabuki

Does anyone else think they kinda ruined the Xbox Live version of Halo 2 a little back in April when they updated it?

I mean, yeah, it's old news, but it still irks me that you can spray someone in the chest and face with guns and grenades, and it has no effect... while they walk up to you, slap you once, and kill you instantly. I got to learn me one of them death-slaps...

Halo 2 is still awesome and addictive, of course. Especially since it has its own ritual, as stylized and formal as kabuki:

Each and every game begins with the sound of one of the players yelling, "Arrghh, I hate this fucking level!" No matter what level, someone hates it, and goddammit, they're gonna tell you.

And then someone else makes a looooong, breathy scream into their mike, and keeps repeating it, long after a third voice tells him to "shut the fuck up." And then someone else, usually a twelve-year-old boy, starts chanting a single word over and over again, really singsongy.

By then, I've been killed by an eight-year-old boy, who is calling me a "pussy." Someone who's never seen a pussy, and he's never seen me, but he's fairly sure if he ever saw us together we'd be identical.

Then, because I have the worst luck ever, I materialize directly in front of someone who takes this opportunity to slap me with that death-slap. I die. He -- usually a thirty-year-old who should know better -- yells something like, "Aw yeah, beeyotch! Fuckin' right THERE muthafucka, booyah!" Because he's cool. Because I materialized right in front of him.

Then somebody kills him right in the middle of his end zone dance and he yells, "What the fuck...???!" Because he got screwed. Because someone materialized right behind him.

Then comes my favorite part: One of the players begins carrying on a completely non-game-related conversation, but with his/her mike still on. Usually it's someone apparently screaming upstairs from the basement, something from the "Hey, Ma! The meat loaf!" family.

But every now and then it's one side of a phone conversation, and then it gets pretty freaky. Half of an electronic conversation, broadcast electronically to strangers/beeyotches all around the world. Even after someone yells, "Shut the fuck up."

Of course, now I mostly play with the voices muted. Unfortunately, that means I'm sure they're talking about me.

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