Finally, the last hour rolled around. We gathered our thoughs and said our goodbyes.
GamesRadarCharlie (3:42 AM): Only 10 minutes until 1 hour to go! Halo 3, you will not win! We shall prevail!!
GamesRadarCharles (4:28 AM): With one hour left to go, time to gather my thoughts. Here's what I loved and hated about the beta, and about today:
Forum Response - You guys rocked today. So much positive encouragement throughout... and we really felt that every video was appreciated. Some of you even matched us, hour for hour, and stayed up an entire day.
Our Interns - For staying with us for so many hours. We would probably be asleep under a conference table or passed out behind an arcade machine right now if it wasn't for their dedication.
Eerie Morning Vibe - When you're driving around the city at 4:30 AM, you see some weird stuff. Like a guy waiting at the bus stop in full Maori face paint (think Crackdown). Or a guy wandering around in his pajamas and house slippers. Oh wait, that was Brett.
Graphics - The more you play, the more you notice the pristine details. The way the water ripples and flows over floating Master Chief bodies. The way the grass and flowers wave in the breeze around Master Chief bodies. The way snow kicks up in little flurries when Master Chief bodies hit the ground. Who knew violent death could look so pretty and peaceful?
Buggy Beta - Today was supposed to be 24 hours of nonstop playing, but instead, a lot of our time was spent troubleshooting, calling Microsoft and checking Bungie's website for updates. Everything that COULD go wrong with the beta technologically DID go wrong.
Waiting - Not just for the beta to work. Even when it did work, starting a match took forever. There's a countdown to start matchmaking, a countdown to choose players, a countdown to decide the game type and map, a countdown to veto and - after all that - a loading screen.
Randomness - We've talked ad nauseum about the random choosing of the maps and game types. Brett waited HOURS to see the Oddball match type again. I'm STILL waiting to see Rockets again. It'll be such a relief when the full game comes out and we can choose exactly what we want to play.
Randomness, Pt. 2 - And when we can choose exactly who we want to play. Not just friends, but specific skill levels. It's scary not knowing whether this match will be filled with little kids playing for their first time... or a clan full of elites.
Overall, though, the love outweighed the hate. This was definitely a great, unique experience. I would love to do it again... just not for a few months.
GamesRadarBrett (4:36 AM): And now that we've been here for 24 FREAKIN' hours, it's time to pack it up for the night/day/morning. The sun is about to rise again. Hell I imagine some east coasters are starting to get up about now. I wouldn't be surprised if we do more forum-based video features in the future, this one turned out very well. I echo most of Charlie's sentiments about the game. I don't think the graphics are all that great, aside from a few effects, but they're quick and clean and serve their purpose just fine. I was curious as to how tired of the game I'd be at this point, but I'm really not. The only thing that dissuades me from playing more is the prospect of more elite clans wiping the map clean of opposition. All that waiting was annoying. I played ONE Oddball mission in 24 hours. ONE. Other than that, everything I've thought is in the forum. There are so many pages filled with videos and images, anyone who ducked out early in the night should definitely take a look back. Thanks to all who joined in and enjoy the rest of the (now prolonged) beta!
GamesRadarTyle (5:03 AM): And this proves that we were in fact here from 5am to 5am. I'm going to sleep now. Adios, and good luck in the Beta.
GamesRadarPaul (5:15 AM): Hey guys, where is everyone? I'm back home and ready for a few more rounds before I get to bed. You're supposed to be here till 5 right? We still have ten minutes. Guys? I'll set up the game. Just sign back on and I'll invite you.