Sunday, September 13, 2009

First Review

Hi all, thank you for coming to my Blog.

Instead of starting with a review about a single game, I will do brief reviews of the games in the Halo series for Xbox (360)/PC

Halo: CE
The first Halo game, Halo: Combat Evolved, set the standard for console First Person Shooters (FPS). The original game for Xbox didn't have online play; Xbox LIVE was introduced shortly after the game was released, and it never saw an update to include LIVE play.
However, when the PC version of the game was made in 2001, it used a broadband connection to play online; dial-up users couldn't play, or if they could, they got a bad connection, since most users were using broadband.
I myself have both versions, however, my computer's hardware limits my play of the PC version.

*Note: There is also an unofficial update to the PC game called Halo: Custom Edition, which lets users use their own custom-created maps in online play; however, Bungie and Microsoft do not support this.
Custom maps, along with the Custom Edition, can be found at Halo Custom Edition Maps.

Halo 2
The second game in the series introduced newer, updated graphics - which pushed the original Xbox's hardware to the limit (proof of this is the lighting, which sometimes results in a 'ghost' image imprinted on your HUD) - new enemies (Brutes, Prophets), new weapons (Brute Plasma Rifle, Battle Rifle, Covenant Energy Sword, just to name a few), new locales, the ability to dual-wield certain weapons, and the removal of the Assault Rifle.

Most people would say the game was good until the end - meaning, the ending was terrible. After a long, hard game, you'd expect all your efforts to pay off, and for the game to end with a bang.
Instead, Bungie left us wanting more with its cliffhanger ending:
Admiral Cole and his crew detect an unknown Forerunner vessel leaving High Charity; Master Chief contacting Cole from within the vessel; the screen fading to black (if you finished the game on Legendary, then after the credits Cortana appears, ready to give the Gravemind, leader of the Flood, the answers he wants - leading some players to believe that she is on the verge of being rampant).
The Master Chief and Admiral Cole's brief conversation is as follows:
Cole: "Master Chief, you mind telling me what you're doing on that ship?"
The Chief: "Sir, finishing this fight."

*Note: There is also a version of this game for Windows Vista; however, some people patch it for XP. As protection against this, Bungie applied an update resulting in Xbox LIVE being disabled in the XP hack.

Halo 3
Finally, the "end" to the Halo trilogy, Halo 3 brings players High Definition graphics, a new game mode (Forge, the multiplayer map editor designed to try and replace the long-coveted map maker programs that PC players have always had), Theater mode (replay saved-game footage and take screenshots for upload to, new allies (The Arbiter and his Elites; Brutes, Grunts, Hunters, the Flood, and Prophets are still your enemies), more new weapons (an updated Brute Shot, the Brute Gravity Hammer, a new Energy Sword with a shorter lunge and a battery, and removable turrets, just to name a few), the re-introduction of the Assault Rifle (!), and more.
The new Assault Rifle is a little different from Halo: CE's MA5B AR; this new, sleek black weapon is the MA5C AR, which, when fired in short bursts, is more accurate than its older brethren.

Halo Wars
This is excluded from the Halo trilogy for two reasons:

1.It was not made by Bungie; it was developed by Ensemble studios, which disbanded and was split into four new companies: Robot Entertainment, Bonfire Studios, Windstorm Studios, and NewToy.

2.It is a Real-Time Strategy Game, or RTS, which is a top-down view giving you control of your units.

Halo 3: ODST
This was originally an expansion to Halo 3, but, because of all the new features and it has its own story, Microsoft made it a full-priced package. There are two versions: The first is 59.99 or 69.99, depending on where you shop, and contains only the game (two discs; the first contains Campain mode, Firefight mode, and Theater mode; the second contains the Xbox LIVE multiplayer components, Matchmaking, Forge, and Theater mode. The second disc holds all the Halo 3 map packs, as well as three new maps, Heretic, Citadel, and Longshore).
The other version is the Collector's Set, which has the game discs, a custom wireless controller with laser-etched patterns and wording, codes to unlock Sergeant Major Johnson for use in Firefight, and an invitation to the Halo: Reach multiplayer beta, when it becomes available.
You can also get SM Johnson and the Beta invite by pre-ordering the game from participating retailers (see Bungie's Website for more details). The Collector's Set is only available for pre-order and purchase at Gamestop/EB Games.

Halo: Reach
This game was revealed at E3 2009. Not many details were given, but a cryptic trailer is available at  the Halo: Reach Project page on Bungie's website.