the Andrew Bailey

Go big and go home!

Screenshot of Spartan Strike, trying to hold off the Covenant and Prometheans.

Halo: Spartan Assualt and Strike

Recently, I stumbled across a 3 month free trial of Xbox Game Pass. Being an occasional penny pinching miser, I signed up. You know what that means: more Halo! So let's dig into the top down twin stick Halo shooters.

Screenshot of Manny talking to Domino.

Grim Fandango

This would be a Halloween game, but Cinco de Mayo is this week, so here's a game to go along with my hot burgers. Grim Fandango is a key part of the Tim Schafer pantheon. It was the last game he made before leaving LucasArts and establishing Double Fine Productions. Like Tim's earlier games, Grim Fandango is an adventure game that first released in 1998: the closing days of the classic adventure game era.

A pile of burger patties, and a finished burger on a bun, with ingredients behind.

Cinco de Mayo Burgers

Thoroughly mix ground beef with the taco seasoning and hot sauce in a large bowl. Form into 9 to 12 patties. Grill for 20 or so minutes, flipping once and applying cheese after 10 minutes. Take a bun, and add one layer of jalapenos. Apply mayonnaise, so that it flows into the gaps between and inside the jalapenos (so it won't squirt out when you eat it). Apply 1 cooked patty, and pile on as many jalapenos as you can stomach, and maybe add more hot sauce if desired. Eat.

Screenshot of Halo Infinite, showing Chief electrocuting an elite enemy while overlooking a vast crack in the ring.

Halo Infinite

Halo Infinite is a well-designed and lovingly crafted shooter. 343 Industries has said that this is a 'spiritual reboot' of the series, and it feels like it, from top to bottom; a return to form. I don't speak for the multiplayer, but the campaign. Yes, there are many missing features, but to someone who isn't a drooling fanboi, this hits the spot. They've optimized for the right thing: gameplay. Depending on future improvements, this might end up ranking in my favorite games. This feels like a more conventionally designed game than something unique, but I still had a blast!

Screenshot of Krieg's mind, Vaulthalla open

Borderlands 3 Season Pass

Since I have better hardware, I've revisited Borderlands 3 as planned. The existence of a second season pass disappoints me, but that doesn't look like it has much, and that's after the meager offering of this first one. Unfortunately, NPCs will nag you now for missions only available in the second one every time you go back to Sanctuary (the game's main mission hub). As Gearbox mentioned, no DLCs add additional playable characters.

Screenshot of GTA 3, cruising down a street in Liberty City

Grand Theft Auto III

Last year, I noticed that I have most of the Grand Theft Auto games. I haven't played any Grand Theft Auto game, so as the world changed forever, I decided to start. Now that I've been playing this on and off for over a year, I realize that I'm not having fun, so I'm posting this to move on.

Photo of my two new monitors, next to Twentieth Century.

So Few Monitors

It's been almost 5 years since I made any major changes to my main rig. I'm still rocking that Ryzen 1800x, and that surround sound system. I upgraded from 32 GB to 64 GB RAM soon after building it, so it's ready for serious server things, and playing with RAM drives is fun sometimes. I recently got a breathtaking MSI RX 6800 Gaming X Trio 16GB. My old Acer monitors were still going fine, but 4K is the hot new stuff. I have the mindset that if I'm computing but not looking at a monitor, I'm computing wrong, so monitors are important. (That's why I despise RGB LEDs on literally anything, why I use black monolithic computer cases, and why I use unlabeled, unlit keyboards.) So should I go 4K, or go high refresh rate? Why not both?