Wednesday, November 10, 2010

So, I counted the number of games I am in the middle of, or am going to start.

And guess what it came out to?:

PSP - 15

• Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep

• Dissidia: Final Fantasy

• Spider-Man 2

• Ratchet and Clank: Size Matters

• Metal Gear AC!D

• Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker

• Syphon Filter: Dark Mirror

• Resistance: Retribution

• Battlefront: Renegade Squadron

• Burnout Legends

• Tony Hawk's Underground 2

• Patapon

• Patapon 2

• Loco Roco

• Loco Roco 2

PS2 - 1

• Jak and Daxter: The Lost Frontier

PS3 Disk - 10 (+4 = 14)

• Oblivion

• MotorStorm

• Unreal III

• BioShock

• Burnout Paradise

• Mercenaries 2

• Ratchet and Clank Future: Tools of Destruction

• Ratchet and Clank Future: Quest for Booty

• LittleBigPlanet

• Katamari Forever

• (Demon's Souls)

• (Borderlands)

• (Final Fantasy XIII)

• (Beatles: Rock Band)

PS3 Download - 6

• PixelJunk Eden

• PixelJunk Shooter

• Earthworm Jim HD

• Monkey Island 2: Special Edition

• Penny Arcade Adventures Episode 2

• Castle Crashers

360 - 2

• Halo: Reach

• Halo Wars

Computer - 12

• No One Lives Forever 1

• No One Lives Forever 2

• American McGee's Alice

• Indiana Jones and the Emperors Tomb

• Tomb Raider III

• Tomb Raider III: Gold

• Tomb Raider IV

• Tomb Raider IV: Gold

• Tomb Raider V

• Tomb Raider VI

• Harry Potter 2

• Ferazel's Wand

That's right, 50.... Seriously.....

EDIT: I remembered one PS3 game I had forgot.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Gaming news articles I dream for, but will never see.

Okay so, this has been on my mind for a while, but hey...

Ever thought about gaming news you would -love- to hear, but know you never will? Here are some I thought of:

"Working together with former company members of Wideload games, now Disney interactive, Bungie purchases rights of the Myth series and Oni.

In true bungie fashion, they have free-wared the older games, Myth: The Fallen Lords, Myth II: Soulblighter, and Myth III: The Wolf Age.

"We thought that while Myth III did some things right, it didn't really have a Myth-feeling to it, so we decided, that: 'Why don't we give Myth II a proper sequel!"

The have also granted the rights to continue to update the original Myth games to the group known as Project Magma, who have been updating the series since the release of the third game.

Along with Myth, Oni is also getting a update, with the original game, and cut content being released for free. To add to this they are making a sequel to the original game, answering some of the questions left from the first game."

"Bungie and Microsoft to revive Halo 2,

After the original Xbox Live for original Xbox shut down, all the people that used to play Halo 2 online were left to either play on a tunneling service (Xbox Connect, Xlink), or buy it for PC, as Halo 2 Vista. Thankfully, Bungie knows how to support their fans, and are releasing it on Xbox LIVE as a download.

The downloadable version will contain some extras, and fixes. For one thing, all the downloadable maps from Halo 2 will be bundled with it, as well as the 3 maps unique to the Vista version of it, District, Uplift and Example, along with these mutliplayer maps, it will have a new "Alternate Story" mode, containing the 5 previously unfinished story levels (Including the e3 2003 live demo level), and original ending to Halo 2, and the Halo series. It will also contain the unfinished online COOP planned to be in Halo 2, and have even more revised gametype options.

Along with gameplay tweaks, the graphics have been updated to stay in tune with the Vista version, with updated textures, and lack of pop-up in cutscenes. Speaking of the Vista version of Halo 2, it will be updated to allow cross platform play with Halo 2. The control scheme has also been updated, to be adapted to the 360 controller, with all the original control schemes available as options.

"People kept asking us for a few of these things, such as access to the famous e3 live demo level, and Halo 2's online mode back online, and we figured, why not kill 2 birds with one stone?"."

"Konami to re-release Metal Gear Solid 3: Subsistence as download on the Playstation Store®.

It will include all the content of the original release, along with new servers for the online segment.

Instead of the rare third disk, Konami is offering codes for digital copies of the Movie version of Metal Gear Solid 3, in HD

In terms of gameplay, they are adding a story coop mode to online, split screen, LAN, and an optional MGS4 inspired control scheme (which will require the host to have it enabled)"

"UbiSoft Reflections announces Driver 3: Director's Cut, a finished version of the gltichy title from 2004.

Along with fixed gltiches, refined gameplay, and the addition of multiplayer, this will contain vastly enhanced graphics, and an improved replay editor.

In terms of multiplayer, it will contain the same gameplay modes found in Driver 2 on PS1, and the inclusion of a few free roaming gametypes that can be played split screen or online."

"After years of absence, Return to Dark Castle, along with brand new ports of Dark Castle, and Beyond Dark Castle will all make their way to PS3, PSP, 360, and Mac/PC as digital downloads, in full HD, with scaling graphics, and full quest/level editors, allowing for everything including the original games to be re-created in them.

Also to appeal more to the online age, they will contain both online and split screen multiplayer, be it co-op, demon's souls style online presence, mini games, or some of the competitive modes, such as capture the flag, or king of the hill.

It has also been announced that there is a planned downloadable expansion pack to it, which will be coming at a later date"

"Dark Castle gets reborn in 3D.

After a successful sequel in 2008, Dark Castle finally follows it's brother, Prince of Persia in a 3D series, unlike Prince of Persia, however, this series will not stray far from it's original roots, staying as a multipath castle free roaming game, with level design reminding heavily of the original games, just in 3D.

At the moment not much is known about the story, or extra modes of gameplay, but the overall gameplay is fun, and one can't help but to think "this is the only way it should be done in 3D" release date is set in stone"

"After a shocking cancellation years prior, Sony un-cancels The Getaway 3, and Eight Days.

Like the previous games, The Getaway 3 will contain more British gang action, with all the free roaming, movie style direction and writing, and everything you loved about the original games. The new one will however also include multiplayer, both online and off, with up to 4 player split screen, in competitive and coop modes. It will much tighter gameplay than the original two games, with over a year of tweaking making everything feel much more smooth.

On the subject of Eight Days, Sony is staying quiet, but it seems to be an action game with free roaming elements where a cop and convict must band together for different reasons that are revealed over the game's eight day long story line"

"Coded Arms: Assault no longer on indefinite hold?

After years of uncertainty, Coded Arms: Assault will finally be finishing development, but not before getting a massive graphical update, and smoother gameplay.

The art style, and anime style story will be staying fully intact says Konami, with the 2005 E3 trailer being their target goal.

Speaking of that trailer, the song featured in it will ship on the soundtrack that will ship along with the game."

"Naughty Dog now working on a new Jak and Daxter game.

After a lot of internal talking, we decided we really wanted to see Jak and Daxter in the Uncharted engine, and after a few test demos just for fun, we realize we could really make something of this, and started at work on a new game.

Following in the cliffhanger ending of Jak X, the new game, tentatively titled "Jak IV" for PS3 will push the series ahead with more free roaming areas, along with Haven City, and the Wasteland, we will be able to explore come of the cities, and areas shown in Jak X.

Speaking of Jak X, racing will return, but this time with the more finely tuned racing physics of Jak X. As well as racing, the jet board, and animal riding segments will return, as will the original voice actors for all the characters.

Following in Racthet and Clank's wake form the PS2 era, it will contain split screen and online multiplayer in the form of racing, competitive, coop and mini games."

"Chono ____

Seriously, how long have gamers been waiting for a new Chrono game? Seeing as both the games in the series have been nominated as best game ever made many times every year, it seems like a no brainer.

Square has heard this though, and has been hard at working regaining the dream team that made the original, and making a new game, which will include characters from both Chrono Trigger and Chrono Cross, but ultimately, being a sequel to the former.

Like the originals, this will include multiple endings, though each will feel like more serious endings, making the "real ending" up to you.

In terms of pleasing fans, they have gone overboard, allowing for options of plain 3D, or cell shaded, more artsy graphics, and English, Japanese, or no voice acting at all.

The game is said to be longer than Chrono Trigger, and have a lot more side quests, but they will stay as relevant and interesting as the ones from CT."

"X-Men: Mutant Academy makes a return,

Even if it was not incredibly popular, the 2 games on PS1, titled X-Men: Mutant Academy, and X-Men: Mutant Academy 2, built up a cult following, enough so that Activision made a sort of semi sequel, X-Men: Next Dimension, for PS2, Xbox and Gamecube.

Now the Mutant Academy will return with a third installment, including all the characters from the first two games, and more more balanced versions of characters that showed up in Next Dimension. The game will contain a story mode, as seen in Next Dimension, and will also include an online multiplayer."

"After working with Just Add Water, Oddworld Inhabitants decides to return to gaming.

Their first goal: finish their Oddworld series, as they originally said they would. They are starting with HD remakes of their first 2 games, and a re-release of Much's Odysee, with better controls.

Their games will appear on PS3, 360, PC and Mac"

"Max Payne 3 is canceled."

"PaRappa the Rapper will finally make a new appearance, this time on PS3, as a downloadable title, which will again follow PaRappa, and his everyday life, with guest appearances by Lammy, and Milk Can.

It will also include a Co-op mode, where one person raps, and the other plays as Lammy"

"Star Wars racing far from over, with a new sequel to "Star Wars Episode 1: Racer"

The best way to start with a series that hasn't seen a release in years, is to re-release what made it popular.

This time, the game is Star Wars Episode 1: Racer, and it will now include vastly improved graphics, split screen and online multiplayer, and many new tracks. It will also have an online leaderboards, and let you race against the ghosts of other players.

Also included is a basic track editor, for all your racing needs"

"Beyond Good and Evil 2 gets a release date, and PSP spin off.

With a release date finally being nailed down, more details are pouring out about the game, and along with these, there is the announcement of a new Beyond Good and Evil game, this will be released on PSP, and be a in between game, sort of like Assassin's Creed: Bloodlines, another UbiSoft series."

"Jazz Jackrabbit finally awakes from life support, with the help of a HD re-release of Jazz Jackrabbit 1 and 2 buddled together for PS3, PSP, 360 and PC/Mac, containing all the features of the original version, with addition of multiplayer coop for the first.

Also, the Jazz Jackrabbit 3 alpha that was floating around the net has now been licensed, and can be freely downloaded as a thank you note to fans.

As for the future of the franchise, it seems like they are going the sega route by supporting both 3D and 2D. Two games were anounced, Jazz Jackrabbit 3D, and Jazz Jackrabbit (working title).

The former will be in the style of the Jazz Jackrabbit 3 Alpha that floated around the web, while the latter will be more in the style of Jazz Jackrabbit 1 and 2."

"Ferazel's Wand gets HD treatment, and Universal Binary patch.

It will also get releases on PS3, 360, PSP, iPhone, iPad, and PC."

"Escape Velocity: Online announced.

Taking cues from fans over the years, Ambrosia, with the help of Matt Burch, has made a new Escape Velocity, which can be played either online or off. Offline, it plays like any other Escape Velocity, but with a new galaxy, ships, missions, weapons, and some new features.

Online it will play more like an MMO with ships flying by all the time, doing missions, being pirates, ect. Also, players can take over planets, and then other players can steal the planet from another.

To access the online segment, one only needs to open an ingame menu and click a button, that's how easy it is.

Still, mods are supported, and Ambrosia says they have plans for expansion packs to extend the life the game."

"H2Overdrive headed to PS3.

After Midway split up the Hydro Thunder team in the early 2000s, people thought they had seen the end of boat racing, but no. Vector Unit released a new Hydro Thunder game on Xbox Live Arcade, but it received mediocre reviews, meanwhile, the original team reformed at a company Raw Thrills, and made the true spiritual successor to Hydro Thunder, as an arcade game, titled "H2Overdrive" after it's tremendous success in arcades, they are finally bringing it to a console. For this they've chosen the PS3 first, and other platforms are still TBA.

Still, seeing H2Overdrive on consoles at all will be amazing, as it will pack all the graphics and sounds of the Arcade version. Though this version will include Online multiplayer, split screen multiplayer, and a port of the arcade version of the original Hydro Thunder."

So, what did I forget?

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Halo series retrospective

"Halo, it's divine wind will rush through the stars propelling all who are worthy along the path to salvation" - Noble Prophet of Mercy

Ah, Halo, you've heard me talk about it time and time again. Well, I figure, since I talk about it enough, might as well just get the talking out of my system, as best I can.

A lot of people found out about Bungie through Halo, this was not the case for me, as I knew about bungie for 4ish years before Halo 1 even came out. This dates back to Myth: The Fallen Lords, which my eldest brother would play the demo of, over and over again, off the Mac Addict CD, and finally, the next year, when Myth II: Soulblighter was released, which my brother bought. For years, we played Myth II, from online, to single player, from Standard to completely modded. Myth was amazing, In 1999, a trailer was put on one of the Mac Addict disks, for Bungie's new game, Oni, a Anime styled shooter/fighting game. The trailered looked a bit too intense for me, back in the day, but when the demo came out, I fell in love with it, and bought it when it released in 2001. I played both Myth and Oni for years, loving them, and having them stay in my top 10 games list.

Fast forward a few years, to March 2004, I had a friend, who's dad had won a Xbox as a door prize to a place he had visited. Considering his family had no TVs, it was interesting to see it sit in his room for years. I finally asked him what the deal with it was, and he gave it to me, or more accurately, lent it to me on indefinite loan. (Thank you, you know who you are) It had a copy of Halo 1 with it, but at the time I was not interested in it, more looking forward to trying the Oddworld game, Munch's Oddysee, which I had wanted to play for quite a while. My eldest brother, again was the one to try Halo, and fell in love with it. I at the time, was very hesitant to try it, due to a few facts, one of which, was me not being able to handle gore very well (I played Myth II with the blood lock on). I eventually tried it briefly, then again at a party, where we bought a second controller, so we could try 2 player. My first game was against someone who'd played it for years, who I was able to completely beat. The gameplay itself hooked me, and I finally decided to give it a chance.

Halo: Combat Evolved (AKA, Halo 1, Halo, Halo: CE), Xbox - 2001

So, I finally tried Halo, what did I think? Well, first of all, the look of the game itself really connected with me, I liked the vibrant colors, and style it had going. The gameplay also reminded me a little of Oni, with it's focus on guns, but also being able to punch. All of that, and it was the first First Person Shooter I had played that had a story I actually cared about. I was taken along with the Master Chief for the ride that is Halo's campaign, and once I had beaten it, I went back and beat it on every difficulty, and many more times playing 2 player split screen.

Halo had many things going for it at the time, Amazing and clear graphics, split screen coop, split screen versus, and LAN play, something PC gamers had been used to for years, but was new to console gamers. It also had a great story, art design, universe design, pacing, and overall feeling.

Something about Halo really just grabbed me, and didn't let go. Both me and my brothers played it split screen for the rest of the year. We would also fire up COOP from time to time. Overall, it felt like another great game from Bungie, which reminded me of their older games in a sort of atmosphere.

However, I couldn't have gotten away that whole year without realizing there would be a second Halo game, Halo 2, which was coming out November 9th, of that year. I quickly looked up all the information I could, and read every preview and article. As the year went by, I had read or seen everything Bungie had released on Halo 2. I had also read and participated in forum conversations on it, and debated everything. I was so ready for November 9th, that I pre-ordered a game for the first time, that and I had paid off all the $50 before November. I sat watching and re-watching the trailers for it.

Soon enough, someone had leaked the game, and there was even more information for the game online. I took to reading some of it, and seeing videos of the new Blood Gulch. I did try to stay away from the story details, but accidentally heard about the Arbiter, tsk.

Halo 2, Xbox - 2004

Then it came, the magic day, November 8th. It was only a day till Halo 2 came out, and I took my receipt, and come nightfall, made my way, and stood outside of gamestop, waiting for it to hit midnight. I stood in the rain with many other Halo fans talking about the series, and watched as some fans set up a TV in the back of a SUV, and when midnight hit they played Halo 2 on it. I got my copy of Halo 2, and rushed home, and played it for hours, being up till probably 3-4AM (This was when I went to bed earlier), The next day I hosted a LAN party, and we played Halo 2 for hours, trying out the new multiplayer maps and gametypes.

It was nothing next to finding out what happened in the story to me, Once people started to leave the LAN party, I started to play, and in one sitting made it 5 levels into the game.

I liked the game a lot, but definitely felt some of the changes weren't for the better, such as the clunky look of the melee animations, and the new feeling for the human tank. At the time I felt a little let down due to the impossibly huge expectations I had the game. Ones that would be impossible for anything to fulfill. The more I played the game, though, the more I liked it.

This was all, however, before I tried the online. Sometime later, I was convinced to try Xbox Live, which I tried, and me and one of my brothers really got into. We got so deeply into it, we played it nearly every day for the next 2ish years. Over that time, I made friends with a lot of local people that played the game that I remain friends with to this day. Getting into online, was interesting, first finding out how the party system works, matchmaking, custom games, ect.

Online was so well done though, everything was smooth, and worked exactly how it should, to this day I've never seen an online game run as smoothly as that. It's jaded my online experience to a very bad degree. Anyways, when the downloadable maps came out, I bought them right away, and enjoyed them more than a few words can say.

Another thing about online was the maps were all glitch-out-able. If you had enough people working together, doing the right thing on a specifically designed gametype, you could find your way outside the map. To me, it was like every map was it's own puzzle. Sure you could say they weren't designed as well they could have been to have let that in, but it was 99.99% impossible to do it in a competitive game, as a lot of them required you to work together with the opposing team. Exploring the outsides of the map, and finding my way out of them extended the life of the game for many months for me.

Halo 2 overall had a very solid campaign, with many more characters, characters that could be related to, and were played by famous actors who delivered great lines. Also, the Covenant's side of the story was shown, giving everyone, allies and enemies alike much more depth, and made the whole universe much relatable and plausible. The story itself was unpredictable, and interesting, with great scenery, and thought provoking plot points. The weapon and vehicle selections were greatly improved, and the new health, and duel wielding systems were amazingly well done. Added to the gameplay was HAVOK physics and explosive scenery, which added a lot to the gameplay. The enemy variety was also greatly improved, with snipers, flying enemies, along with mini and major boss fights. The music had a lot of the same tunes from the first game redone, some were on par, some worse, and a few better. The newer songs in the game, were generally better than the songs from Halo: Combat Evolved, and there were a lot more songs overall. (So many that they needed to make 2 soundtracks). The graphics for Halo 2 were also insane, being the best I had ever seen at the time, I couldn't believe it looked as good as it did, it felt like it should be on a new system. Everything from character models to environments looked nothing short of amazing. I would hazard a guess at probably the best overall graphics from the last generation.

It was not without faults though, the big one I remember was pop-in during cut scenes, due to no loading times except when you first start your game. Another issue was cheaters/glitchers online. Even though the best glitches were exploring ones, there were some gameplay ones that popped inside, and not all of them were fixed. Another thing I didn't like, was the change from more open world, and large levels, to much more linear levels, this was, in my opinion an awful change. As mentioned before, I also thought some of the animations, and music weren't to par...

Still, with all that, I would put it as one of the few games I could ever feel justified in giving a 10/10.

After Halo 2, I moved to the PS3 for my next generation system, due to the high failure rate of 360s, and lack of games that interested me. I almost forgot about Halo 3 until it had snuck up on me, and in the last 24 hours, I was able to find a friend who's house I could go over and play it on. There we went, into the wee hours of the morning, finishing the game.

Halo 3, Xbox 360 - 2007

So, my first impressions of the game were kinda luke warm. I felt the graphics didn't impress me very much at all, and then, when playing I felt it was much harder to follow what was going on, due to more discussion via radio, and in game cues, so if you weren't paying attention due to being in the middle of fight, or something, you'd miss parts completely. Another thing I found, was that the levels themselves were even worse than Halo 2 in terms of linearity and felt a lot more bland.

The gameplay itself was Halo 2, but felt a bit more generic, and lacked that part of it, that seemed to grab you, and not let you go. Plus, I felt equipment was not a worth addition to the formula of Halo.

That is not to say that it was all bad, I did enjoy playing through it, I felt it is shoulders above a lot of mainstream games.

The story itself felt simplified to fit the ever growing Halo fanbase, turning the deep world into almost action movie-simplicity, removing other sides of the story, and making the 'bad guy' instead of feeling like a clever foe, just an evil for the sake of being evil villain. Also, they changed some of the main actors, to, in my opinion, worse actors. I was able to predict almost every plot twist within an hour of it happening, or so. Which I feel is poor on the writing side.

There are deffinitelly some plus points to Halo 3. I thought the Spartan Laser, while it's name sucked, was a great addition to the arsenal, I also thought the Magnum was greatly improved as a weapon from Halo 2. The Assault rifle was a pretty good starting weapon too, though I think it could have used a bit of tweaking. The ability to carry turrets I also liked (Though, clinking the right joystick should switch shoulders for the camera). The new wartogs were cool, if mostly useless.

Also they added a lot of cool user features, Saved films, forge, online coop 2-4 player, better handling of skulls and campaign scoring.

One thing about Halo 3 was this feeling that for everything it did right, I could name a few things it did wrong, Saved films were nice, having to pay to get them to your computer was not (if that's how it worked, that is, I never tried, only heard), forge was a great idea, but was let down by it's execution, being nothing more than level decorator, and a clumsy one at that. Online coop with 4 players, but split screen was still limited to 2. Campaign scoring that takes you back to the menu after every level. Though I will give it the skull part, which was a great addition.

Overall, Halo 3 to me felt like the new star wars trilogy compared to the original. There were redeeming factors, but it really made me second guess the series as one of my favorites, or even one to follow.

I later bought a 360, to play Halo 3 online, only to find I just couldn't get into it, I tried many times, only to just stop each time, after a few days. Even owning the game itself, I couldn't bring myself to go back it and replay it, except with those that were playing it for the first time.

So, after Halo 3, I cared even less about whatever Halo games followed. Being the fan I was of Bungie I was excited to see what they would do next, only to hear that they were working on Halo 3: Recon, and Halo: Reach. "Ugg" Along with Halo Wars, I wasn't too thrilled.

Halo Wars, Xbox 360 - 2009

I must admit, I own this game. I must also admit, I never played anything more than the demo. (I was given the game for free) So this is all based on my experience of the demo.

My first thoughts: This doesn't feel like Halo. It feels like a generic RTS with a Halo skin. Not a hugely bad thing, but it really didn't inspire me to get into it.

Let's get this out of the way, it's an RTS, on a console, and it doesn't play badly. I don't feel it would be much, if at all better on a PC/Mac. As much as an achievement as this is, it's very much let down by it's simplicity, there is 1 resource, and you can only build in set places.

That, and an RTS as such just doesn't scream 'Halo' to me. "There are some covenant over that hill." "Quick, build a base, and start developing wartogs." I dunno, it just didn't cut it for me. Call me jaded, but I feel a Myth-style RTS would have much better fit the universe, and it's a real shame not to have seen that instead.

The music, art design, characters, and story didn't even feel like it belonged in the universe...

But again, it's not really a 'bad' game, just a generic RTS, with Halo's skin.

So what was next in store for Halo? Well, a while after it came out, and I heard people talk about it, I was able to borrow Halo 3: ODST (Formally called Halo 3: Recon) from a friend (Thanks! You also know who you are!).

Halo 3: ODST, Xbox 360 - 2009

You might already remember my review of this, but feel free to keep reading.

I actually was surprised to find I quite enjoyed this game, probably due to my distaste of Halo 3. Sure, like Halo 3, it had a lot of issues, but it also remembered that, you need your game to be fun to play, something I feel Halo 3 forgot.

The game has that same issue of having things very hard to follow unless you are paying attention 100% of the time. Also I felt that I was only able to really get to know 2 of the characters over the course of the game, and mostly in the last few hours.

The game tried some new things, which I completely embrace, but I feel it never fully managed to pull them off completely. First off, you are a marine, and ODST, not a spartan, so you are suppose to feel more human, and to an extent, you do, but sometimes things really break the 'human' feeling, when carrying a spartan laser, flipping vehicles, ripping off and carrying turrets, jumping 6 feet+ up, punching down a brute, ect.

Other new things it tried, was having it be an open world game, with missions in set places. Urban combat, open ended gaemplay, and a new style of music, also the induction of "Firefight."

Also, the lack of dual wielding makes a bunch of weapons pretty much useless, and there's a few more annoying things, such as the fact that the game is very short 6 hours-ish, it had no ODST unique multiplayer, besides Firefight, which lacked matchmaking, and it cost $60, which in my opinion is much too much for what was offered.

In the end, I felt while fun, it didn't stand up to Halo 1 or Halo 2. Still, much better than Halo 3.

So that left 1 more game, one which again, just snuck on me, and again I was lucky enough to find someone to play it with the night it came out (Once again, thank you, you know who you are, all of you).

Halo: Reach, Xbox 360 - 2010

LARGE NOTE HERE: I still haven't completed the campaign, only having played 7-8 of the 10 levels.

My first impressions were that Reach, like ODST and Halo 3 before, continues the trend of characters it's hard to get to know, or care about, and a story that requires you to really be paying attention all the time, or you miss important things, be it visual character interactions in game, or radio messages.

Another thing that struck me were that, despite a redesigned graphics engine, the game only still looks decent. Not as dated as Halo 3 looked to me, but not as good as a game with that kind of budget should have. I am probably jaded due to games like Uncharted 2, and Killzone 2, which I think, look leagues better. Also, there seems to be some sort of strange ghosting issue with the graphics, which make things blurry or leave trails when dark things move across light backgrounds. Reminds me of playing something on a PSP, didn't think I'd see it on a console anytime soon.

The game itself though, following in ODST's footsteps is actually fun to play, and I was enjoying myself as I played through the levels alongside some friends. I was enjoying a lot of the changes, and overall was reminded more of Halo 1 and 2 than 3. Which was a huge step up in my book.

Though, it still has a generic-ish overall feeling, which I felt was added to the series in 3, which was disappointing. Like Halo 3, I felt the new weapons didn't feel as interesting as the original weapons from Halo 1 and Halo 2. However, again the Pistol seems to be very well balanced and fun to use, the assault rifle feels much nicer this time around, and the DMR (Battle rifle replacement) feels amazing, not too over powered, still fun to use.

The armor abilities I feel are a mixed bag, though much better than Halo 3's equipment. Some of the abilities seem very situational, and tacked on, rather than integral parts of the gameplay, while the run ability I feel should have always enabled.

The length of the game and open world feeling levels are very welcome additions, though the whole game feels a bit color muted compared to the older ones, which is strange. There are also some gameplay shake-ups I wont spoil for you, but they are let down by really not being long enough, even so, I am happy they went the length to shake things up.

Online is much more fun this time around, and I would probably be playing it more if my Xbox Live account hadn't run out. Nice balance, and much more addictive than Halo 3. (Though the ranking system is still not a straight forward as 2.)

I hear the difficulty has been raised to be closer to Halo 2, which is good, because 3 was kinda easy on legendary.

Forge is actually useful in this one, allowing you to create, while they be simple, levels. I've created a few of my own, even if I will never get to play them with people, they are fun to make. One thing that was annoying though, was the very strange restrictions placed on items you can place, the lack of a copy, and the lack of an undo.

So overall, I am happy with Halo: Reach, but I still don't think it can touch Halo 1 or Halo 2. Congrats to Bungie from bringing me from "Bleah Halo" back to "I like Halo, at least some of the games"

I am done with Halo as a series, and it's just as well, considering Microsoft is ready to destroy the franchise with yearly releases in the style of call of duty. So it's a good place for me to pull my hands out of the franchise and be happy with the games I have.

Who knows, I might write a review for Halo: Reach once I've finished it. Could be fun.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Halo 1/2 Dropped stuff

So I am reading up on some stuff on Halopedia, and I run across the deleted stuff section. Damnit all. I want some of this stuff.




Halo 3:

All this and the Halo 2 e3 2003 demo. What I wouldn't give to raid Bungie's archives. T_T

I mean, that along with all the Myth and Oni content. It would honestly, and truly be a dream come true.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

2010, games I am looking forward to.

As my old list is horribly outdated, I feel I should make a new list of games I am excited for. This is in no order.

Earthworm Jim HD
Platform: PS3, 360, (PC? Wii? iPhone?)
Release Date: N/A
Hype Level: Medium-Low

I loved the second Earthworm Jim game, as I used to play it at my big brother's house when I was growing up. I never however got very far, and only saw more of the game when a friend pulled it out. I still love the style and humor, as well as the music.

Overall the original game is great, and it's nice to have a new reason to buy it. The HD-ness and new COOP levels and modes are really nice additions.

Only gripe I have is that the HD-ness doesn't look that different, as seen in the picture above.

Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker
Platforms: PSP
Release Date: 6/8/10
Hype Level: Medium high.

It's no secret I love Metal Gear Solid, as I MGS 1-4 would probably be in my top 10 games. I loved MGS4 more then I could say in words.

It was interesting, after the closure of MGS4 to hear about 2 new MGS games, Metal Gear Rising, and Peace Walker. I still feel a little strange that there are more games after the series ended...

Also, I tried the demo, and was a little setback on the removal of some core MGS game components, as well as the focus a little more on action, following in MGS4's footsteps.

However, since then, I have read a review or two and it seems like despite my issues, it might be a really, really good game. I'm keeping two fingers crossed.

Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep
Platforms: PSP
Release Date: 9/7/10
Hype Level: Medium-High

Ah Kingdom Hearts, I loved the first game a lot, I thought it was really sweet, and was well written. It suffered from awkward controls and some other issues, so I was really excited for it's sequels. Both Chain of Memories and Kingdom Hearts II have let be down, with the first being boring and repetitive, and the later being just kind 'alright' and nothing special.

However, from the little I've heard of the game, and the updates to Kingdom Hearts II in Japan, in the form of Final Mix+, I figure this game might be on the right track. I also like the look of the new worlds, and story structure.

I don't, however, like the sound of the battle system. What was wrong with the KH1 battle system? Sure it was a little clunky, but if you smoothed it out, it would have been great. Chain of memories went with a card battle system, and Kingdom Hearts II was too much looks, and too little depth, and was far too easy. This one sounds like a mix of CoM and KH2. I hope it's better than all that though.

Killzone 3
Platforms: PS3
Release Date: TBA 2011
Hype Level: Medium High

I loved Killzone 1, despite what most people thought, The gameplay was clunky, to be sure, but it looked great, had a amazing atmosphere, great characters and story, wonderful weapons, satisfying gameplay, ect. The PSP Killzone did one of the mos successful genre changes for a cannon main game in a series, while not as good as the original was a great game, and had more smooth gameplay.

Killzone 2 was amazing, it had the graphics, and gameplay of the heavens, I was blown away be the 'feeling' of the game, and I still start it up to play botmatches to the day.

However, Killzone 2 suffered from a very boring and generic story, with all the main characters from previous games left to the side, or turned into different characters, while the main story was uneventful, and uninteresting. They also took away secondary fire, and multiple level paths. Killzone 3 is looking to bring back multiple level paths, but I am holding off on getting too excited until I hear more about the story.

Platforms: PS3
Release Date: Q4 2010
Hype Level: Medium-High

I did expect a lot from LBP, and at first was let down because of it, but soon found that it was one of the best hotseat multiplayer games in years. I enjoyed hours of that game, playing and slapping each other.

Not only that, but the game had an awesome style, and absolutely wonderful soundtrack, amazing graphics, and crazy online features.

LBP2 contains a level editor which can make more then just new levels, it can make new games; the developers have made an RTS, a racing game, a space invaders clone, a scrolling shooter, and even an FPS. That along with the new online features and level sharing abilities such as an added code system which can print a code for a level you have made, and swipe it infront of any playstation eye, to automatically load it up in LBP2. If you are not near a computer, you can take a picture of it with a smart phone, and see a preview of the level.

As for LBP2, I am quite excited for it, but I feel I probably still wont enjoy it that much solo, but maybe it can change my mind.

Beyond Good and Evil 2
Platforms: PS3, 360, PC
Release Date: TBA
Hype Level: High

I loved Beyond Good and Evil 1, I couldn't wait to see more of the universe. when BG&E2 was announced, I nearly spit my metaphorical coffee onto my computer screen, I was so happy.

The only issue I have so far, is that it feels like it might be a little more 'realistic', but I have complete faith in the developers. Make it happen.

Team ICO Collection
Platforms: PS3
Release Date: Rumor
Hype Level: Cautious.
*(Fake Cover art)*

This is not announced, but heavily rumored. Still, an HD Shadow of the Colossus with no frame-rate problems along with an ICO with a camera mapped to the right joystick, padded both games with trophies.

That sounds like a dream come true.

I am still worried this will never surface, or wont include the above fixes...

The Last Guardian
Platoforms: PS3
Release Date: 2011?
Hype Level: Medium-High

I loved Shadow of the Colossus, I liked ICO, but I had some issues with it. Overall though, both games were amazing. Anything made by the same people is automatically in my hyped games list.

I am a little worried since there isn't much information yet, I don't know what kind of game it's going to be..

Platforms: PS3
Release Date: TBA 2011
Hype Level: Medium-High

I liked the first game a lot, after playing the demo, it surprised me how much I enjoyed the game. I almost feel like playing it again, it's good stuff. The ending also made me excited for any other games in the series.

My wish was granted via the announcement recently.

Only worry is that there isn't much info yet, and it could end up being very different then the first.

Driver (working title)
Platforms: PS3? 360? PC? Wii? PSP?
Release Date: No clue
Hype Level: Medium-High

I loved Driver 1-3, as gltichy and problematic as they were, I enjoyed 100s of hours on them, playing the mini games and free-roaming. The driving in driver spoiled me so much over every other free roaming game, in a way that nothing else has done driving wise.

Driver: Parallel Lines was a good game, but a very different one. Kinda not a direction I liked, truth be told, even if I did quite enjoy the game.

I am a bit worried as there is no info for the game yet, but as they announced the return of Tanner, I am quite happy. :)

Halo: Reach
Platforms: 360
Release Date: 9/14/2010
Hype Level: Medium

Halo. I loved you when you were 1, and I even liked you when you turned 2, but when you turned 3, you really became something that grew away from me. ODST I liked, but still had many problems that processed from Halo 3.

I am still a Halo fan, and no matter what will try this game, at least for the story.

I don't like the sound of almost all the changes I've heard though, as it sounds like it is trying to change to be more like Modern Warfare and other popular games, which is a terrible idea. That, and the return of the worse elements of Halo 1. I do like the sound of the gametypes though. Who knows, it might be good.

Fallout: New Vegas
Platforms: PS3, 360, PC
Release Date: 11/16/10
Hype level: Medium

I liked Obilivion, and I liked Fallout 3, but I never beat either of them. I figure this game will be the same way, and I will probably put a few 100 hours into it, and never beat it.

I am a bit worried that not enough will have changed from Fallout 3, and that the things that changed could be for the worse. I haven't seen enough of it though.

Crysis 2
Platforms: PS3, 360, PC
Release Date: December 2010
Hype Level: Medium

Having never played the original, or Warhead, I am quite curious what the fuss is all about.

Having not played the original two, it might just really not appeal to me.

Enslaved: Odyssey to the West
Platforms: PS3, 360
Release Date: October 2010
Hype Level: Medium

I liked Ninja Theory's other game, Heavenly Sword a lot, while I never had the chance to finish it, I really wish I had. The visuals, style and story telling was great.

Enslaved looks like a very different beast but the style and story still interest me, not sold on the gameplay yet.

Sonic The Hedgehog 4
Platforms: PS3, 360, Wii, iPhone
Release Date: Late 2010
Hype Level: Medium-High

I loved Sonic 2, I loved Sonic and knuckles, but I never owned Sonic 3. I loved Sonic Adventure 1, but thought 2 was only okay.

Hearing about the return to roots was quite surprising due to the decade or so of crap from Sonic, and the first trailer and screens looked amazing.

Still it's Sonic, he's let people down, time and time again, So he might again.

Platforms: PS3, 360, PC, Mac
Release Date: TBA 2011
Hype Level: Medium

I've never really liked ID's games, sure they were influential, but not my style. However when I saw a game described to me as a mixture of Fallout 3 and MotorStorm, I was excited, and the visuals really back up the excitement.

I however, feel this has a large chance of turning out sour. Also, I've never liked ID's games before, this might just be really not my style.

Red Faction: Armageddon
Platforms: PS3, 360, PC
Release Date: March 2011
Hype level: Medium

I loved Red Faction 1, RF2 was alright, kinda a step in the wrong direction, Red Faction: Guerilla was... Interesting, it was good in a different way, but didn't feel a lot like the old Red Factions.

Red Faction: Armageddon has a good chance of falling into genericy, with the direction they are taking it. At the same time, I wasn't sure Red Faction: Guerilla would be worth playing...

American McGee's Alice 2
Platforms: PS3, 360, PC
Release Date: Possibly early 2011?
Hype Level: High

I only started playing American McGee's Alice (1) recently, and am loving it. I still haven't beaten it, but I can't even imagine how amazing a game in this world would be with modern technology. Seems like a Win to me.

Only thing that worries me, American McGee's last few games have been less than amazing, I hope he's not lost his touch.

Half-Life 2: Episode 3
Platforms: 360? PC? PS3? Mac?
Release Date: Maybe... Someday...
Hype Level: Uh...

While I didn't thing Half-Life 2 was all that amazing, I did enjoy the story, and with the ending of Half-Life 2: Episode 2, I feel very cheated to be waiting this long, and still not have heard even whispers about this game.

I am curious if, at this rate, we will ever see it. Also, if we do, I am worried it wont be on PS3...

LeChuck's Revenge - Monkey Island: Special Edition 2
Platforms: PS3, 360, PC, Mac, iPhone, iPad
Release Date: Summer 2010
Hype Level: High

I loved the Monkey Island series, and loved the idea of the Secret of Monkey Island remake. While I didn't like some of the artstyle changes, overall, I liked the look of the remake (I still haven't gotten around to playing it too much).

The remake of the second game was a welcome thing to hear about, and it looks like they are going as far as they can to make it so much better than the first remake. All the changes, such as optional joystick movement, original developer commentary, and updated hint system for newbs. It sounds like it will be amazing.

Portal 2
Platforms: 360? PC, Mac, PS3?
Release Date: Late 2010?
Hype Level: Medium-High

I absolutely loved the first. Great idea, great execution, amazing overall. I did feel like they could have done a little more with the concept, but it didn't distract me from enjoying it a lot.

I am a little worried that Portal 2, being a full length game might get old before you get to the end, and I don't know if they can pull off the quality of the first. I did however like the look of the game. I am kinda worried it wont be on PS3...

PixelJunk Shooter 2
Platforms: PS3
Release Date: 2011?
Hype Level: High

I have almost finished PixelJunk Shooter 1, and I can find very little to complain about. Overall the game is just amazing, the only 'problems' are things that could be added, not things done wrong.

I love Q Games, I think they will deliver us more gold with this.

The Adventures of Tintin: Secret of the Unicorn
Platforms: PS3? 360? Wii? PSP? DS? PC? iPhone?
Release Date: Late 2011
Hype Level: (waiting)

I love Tintin so much, I've read and own all the books, and have watched all the episodes of the show. I've read pages of info on the books online, read behind the scenes books, and listened to audio dramas.

While there have been Tintin games before, none of them were that notable, and I cannot wait to see if this new game breaks that.

I am worried as I've not seen what the movie will be like yet, and this is a movie game, it could end up being rushed. Also, it could end up being a puzzle game, or something that ends up being just not good. There are too many 'ifs' right now.

Valkyria Chronicles 2
Platforms: PSP
Release Date: Summer 2010
Hype Level: Medium

I enjoyed playing the first game a great deal, and was quite looking forward to playing a second... However, one thing I enjoyed a lot about the first game was playing through it with my brother next to me, watching it like a movie. This game, being on the PSP, won't allow that.

The demo seemed good, but I am a little worried the first game will be a fluke, and this game just wont be as good.

Diablo III
Platforms: PC, Mac
Release Date: TBA
Hype Level: Medium-High

I loved Diablo 2 very very much. I was in the top 20 scoreboard online for a short time, and played it a great deal. I've probably beaten in 7 or more times. I still go back and play Diablo 2 from time to time, in fact.

Diablo 3 looks... Different. I am leaning towards in a worse way. It looks much less dark, and more WoW-y. I hated the artstyle of WoW, and liked how dark the original 2 Diablo games were. I also don't like the look of the combat compared to the original games. Lastly, I am worried I wont be able to play it when it comes out.

Final Fantasy Versus XIII
Platforms: PS3, (360, Rumored)
Release Date: TBA
Hype Level: Medium High

I liked Final Fantasy VI, VII and IX, but haven't really enjoyed many of the others (I liked the look of XIII, but haven't played it yet). Since it was first showed though, I really like the look of this game, a more realistic world and darker story.

I can't say that much, because there's not much known about it yet.

I am a bit worried it will end up just not being fun.

So there you have it, my list of games that I am excited for.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Halo 3: ODST review

Name: Halo 3: ODST
System/s: Xbox 360
Developers: Bungie
Release Date: 9/22/09

I am a Halo fan. I played Halo 1 for a long time, then moved to Halo 2 which I played for years, every day. I didn't have a 360 when Halo 3 came out, but found a way to beat it within 24 hours of release. I however, did not like Halo 3. I own all but one of the books, and I have read lots of backstory on characters, and such. It's safe to say I've really loved this series.

ODST started off on the wrong foot for a number of reasons for me, First, I will start with the most minor reason. Why the name? The working title was 'Recon' which I feel still fits it better then ODST; sure you play as an ODST, but Halo 1 wasn't called "Halo: Master Chief". Second, I feel that bungie really sold out with this, one thing about the ODSTs that a lot of people liked, was that they weren't talked about much, and felt kinda mysterious, and when they did show up, it was like 'Woah, it's an ODST!' Making a game which stars one was just riding on the reputation of them as a class, rather then making something new, and just as interesting, if not more so.

Furthermore, Bungie continually talked about how it was a game developed in such a short time, and how it was special because of it. This always disappointed me, as there were games developed in shorter amounts of time, with multiples of content, where the developers didn't tout the development time. Instead, Bungie brought it up time and time again, as if it was something to be proud of, when in fact it really wasn't very unique at all. Lastly, the price, it felt like a completely rip off, especially since they confirmed it would cost less then a normal game before release, then backtracked, and released it at $60, even though it was not the length of a full game.

Prior to playing the game, I had only had one experience with it, watching someone play firefight in a level that completely didn't interest me. I was able to borrow the game (Curtsy of a friend, thanks!) and began playing through it.

The game follows an ODST, who never talks, or makes almost any gestures, making him one of the least interesting silent protagonists I've played as. The concept is giving the player a large(ish) area to free-roam around in, taking missions, and finding secrets.

One thing that struck me right away, was that while it uses the same engine as Halo 3, it looks quite a bit better due to the setting, and lighting. The graphics themsevles, however still have that dated "last-gen' feel to the most of the time, I mean, no, you're not going to think it looks like an original Xbox game, but there are times where the textures look really flat, and the graphical style reeks of Last gen technology. Overall, the graphics stayed at a pretty decent quality, only in some places did it feel under detailed, and while the graphics weren't what I'd call bad, they did not once come even close to awe-ing, impressing, or even making me notice a detail I liked about them. Another issue with the graphics is that a lot of the game, will be spent with night vision on, which makes the graphics look even more flat often.

The gameplay is similar, yet different to Halo 3. To me it seemed as though, while it was good to see changes, it didn't really hit a good balance between new stuff and old stuff. When I heard you were going to play as a ODST, I thought "This will be interesting, experiencing this world from the perspective of a normal person. (Albeit, a badass normal person)." What made this fall apart for me, was, as I said before a balance. While you now have a health bar again, and are much less tough, you can still chuck a grenade a long ways. While you can't dual wield, you can still jump very high. While your melees do much less damage, you can still rip turrets up, and carry them around. There are parts like this scattered throughout the game, making you feel, not like a human at all, but a weaker spartan.

The story falls into the problem of telling a story in a non-linear fashion, but being a linear story, so unless you know what missions go when, the entire story will feel very disjointed. The story itself is very brief, and most of the story itself takes place in the last 60 minutes or so, leaving the rest to be pretty much just be fighting. Even after finishing the game, none of the characters seemed very defined to me. All of them were just thrown at you at the start with no real introductions, and are not fleshed out very well, besides 'Buck' the squad leader. The story was a little surprising, but even during the surprises, it disappointed me, I felt like there could have been something more interesting to fill the cutscenes with.

Musically, this game takes a step in a different direction, and sounds very little like the other Halo games. While I loved the music to the other Halo games, I absolutely loved the soundtrack for this one. Almost all the ambient music in this game I fell for, but most of the action music kinda falls behind. Suppose you can't win em all.

Voice acting in this title is what you should come to expect from a Halo game, though, again the female isn't played by a voice actor that I liked, she came off as unintentionally annoying to me, otherwise, a solid cast.

I touched on it before, but the basic premise of free roaming is quite interesting, I feel it should be done more in First Person games, however, I don't feel that ODST should be taken of an example of how to do it. ODST gives you a area to free roam in that is... Well, it's larger then any areas in the previous games in the series, but for a free-roaming map, it's quite small, making me wonder why they went with this design choice. Not to say anything bad about mixing things up a little, but I feel this could have been done better, even if it used the same system. For one thing, the loading screens hidden by large doors was annoying, a rule of free-roaming games, is don't make people load on the world map. This didn't just make it take a second to load, but it also made you have to get out of your vehicle, and press a button, and get back in, to drive through. Also, the areas nearly always seemed to have enemies spawn in the same places between missions, making it feel like "Man, I've been here before, I've fought this fight before."

The level design is something I feel Halo 3 did horribly, and while this is a lot better then Halo 3 in some places, it has some steep dips. Some of the levels just are uninteresting, and bland, feeling like they fell out of Halo 3, while others I had a complete blast playing. It was strange to see the vast difference between quality of some of the levels (Not graphical, but play-wise).

I was really disappointed that it didn't have it's own multiplayer, ODST style, or at least some options to tweak Halo 3's multiplayer to act like ODST, instead you are given Halo 3's multiplayer with all the downloadable content, which feels like a strange choice, since this is Halo 3: ODST. It does, however, have Firefight mode, which pits you against waves of AI enemies coop. This works out pretty well, but the way most of the levels are set up, makes this feel very repetitive, as you usually need to stay right near the start, to collect supplies. Not to say it's all bad, as it's still a blast to play, but it certainly could see room for improvement.

What I liked:

Setting: I always loved Halo 2's solo levels "outskirts" and "Metropolis" and I remember watching the Halo 2 trailer in New Mombassa tens of times, wishing I could play it. While I will never be able to play that exact level, this is a nice homage to what that level could have been. It's nice to see urban combat in Halo.

Music: Did I mention I loved the soundtrack? It's great, and it's something I will listen to for year to come. Good stuff.

Good ol' Halo: If you like the Halo world, or the Halo gameplay, you will have fun with this. It feels like Halo, which is all some fans will need.

Atmosphere: While I didn't touch on it in the main section of the review, I thought the amazing music really helped set an atmosphere, along with the loneliness and dark sky.

Pistol is fun to use: It feels like they finally balanced it, at least for single player, but where the heck on the weapon to they hide the scope?

Mixed up gameplay: It's nice to see some new stuff done with Halo, not just the Master Chief fighting, but seeing things from another angle, and playing as someone else.

Fun to explore: Unlike Halo 3, but like the older Halos, you can explore, which is always a plus in my book.

Firefight: While it isn't perfect, it's good for some fun, I enjoyed a few games of it.

Things I didn't like:

Level Design: This dipped too much in some levels, and really made me want to just finish the level to get away from it. Not a good thing.

Bland story: It feels like the entire story adds pretty much nothing to the Halo world, almost nothing shown that anyone who played the other games doesn't know.

Bland Characters: I really didn't care about any of the characters until near the end of the game, where I felt like I actually got to know one or two of them.

Disjointed: The whole thing feels like watching a TV show, but putting the episodes in a random order. It is hard to follow at first, and it doesn't flow very well.

Not Human Afterall: It still feels like you are playing as the Master Chief, just like, not as badass. Too many things take away from feeling like a normal Human.

Repetition: Like fighting Grunts, Drones, Jackals and Brutes? Well that's all you'll fight the entire game (besides about 6-8 hunters). It gets very boring fighting the same enemies nearly the entire time, as Drones and Jackals aren't in every fight.

Lack of True multiplayer: Where's my "ODST" fights? I want to try playing as an ODST in multiplayer!

Firefight: While it is fun, I feel it's half-baked, they should have spent more time ironing out how it worked. It would have been more fun to walk around, and have covenant spawn in different places depending on where you are, same with supplies.

Disappointing: There were parts of this game that I just felt "bleah" about, it felt like the dropped the ball a few times throughout the game.

More new weapons please?: Why only 2 'new' weapons? And why are they just modified old weapons? You're more creative then that Bungie...

Free Roaming not well implemented: Like the title says, I feel they really didn't pull off the free roaming in a way that will make you think anything more then "Well.... It's.... Interesting... I guess.."

Story pacing: For some reason almost the entire story of anything interesting happens in the last hour or so of the game, with the rest left to "let's go here".

Grpahics: So, they look better then Halo 3, to me that isn't saying much. While it never felt like the graphics were 'bad' per say (Some parts looked pretty under-detailed), they never impressed me.

Price: Okay, seriously? $60 This is an expansion pack sized game, don't rip people off.

Overall Scores:

Presentation - 8/10: The atmosphere and music alone would have made this possibly a 10, or 9.5, but the lousy story pacing, bland characters, and less then impressive graphics let this down.

Graphics - 7/10: This game is technically proficient, but unless you really don't play many games, it will not awe you even once.

Sound - 9.5/10: Besides the poor female voice actor they chose, there's nothing worth complaining about here.

Gameplay - 8/10: It's Halo, Halo is good. But this game doesn't push it very far in any direction, but it's nice they pushed it the little they did.

Lasting appeal - 7/10: The campaign is short, there isn't a unique multiplayer, so if you didn't like Halo 3's multiplayer (Like me), you are stuck with Firefight, and replaying the story mode, which isn't that much to chew on.

Overall fun - 8/10: While it had many dips, and issues that really bothered me, I enjoyed myself. Though it may just have been since Halo 3 lowered my expectations so much. ;)

Author's Note: Overall Fun is NOT an overall score, it's simple how much fun I feel I had with it.