dkirschner's Halo Anniversary (360)
| [February 10, 2013 03:34:56 AM]
| Finished up Halo Anniversary last night (happy Lunar New Year!). It was a good game, but I didn't have my mind blown or anything. 13 years does make a difference, even though the graphics and sound were enhanced by this new edition. I'm sure it was incredible in 2001. There were a couple big issues I saw. One was the terribly repetitive level design. I eventually recruited my friend to help me play toward the end, and in our first session together, he said at least 10 times, "Wait, haven't we been here before? Where are we (going)?" You fight down the same hallways with the same numerous waves of enemies forever and ever. This isn't bad in like the first half of the game, but it picks up as the enemies get harder. But one thing this repetitive level design/enemy onslaught led to was me/us just sprinting through levels to the next checkpoint. Tons of enemies in your way? Run run run to the next checkpoint! If your shields get damaged, find a place to hide for 10 seconds, then continue your sprint to the checkpoint! |
The other issue was the lack of detail in the story. It just alludes to this and that. There seem to be big reasons and machinations behind everything that is happening, but it's all very cryptic. I understand what Halo is and what I'm doing there, and what the Covenant is doing and who the Flood are, but especially 343 Guilty Wheatley is mysterious. I hope all this gets cleared up in later games. What is Covenant culture like? What is their religion that I am so offending? What's the origin of the Flood? What's up with all the other Halo worlds? 343 Guilty Wheatley alludes to like 100,000 years of backstory, but I don't get any of it.
Besides these things, the gameplay itself is quite fun. It's fast, frantic, and the weapons are a blast to use. I especially enjoy the Needler because it shoots like mini sticky bombs that explode after a few seconds. That coupled with the Covenants' silly screaming and ranting is hilarious. I had anxieties about the vehicles because in my experience in multiplayer years past, as well as with other Halo engine games like Stubbs the Zombie, the vehicle controls are abysmal, and they act like they're floating on the moon. But, and maybe this was because it was the enhanced Anniversary edition, the controls weren't that bad. Floaty, yeah, but manageable and wacky fun. Also, the game's difficulty is excellent. I played on normal and I had a nice challenging time.
I'm starting Halo 2 now, which is the proper original Xbox version. My biggest hopes are that the story will become clearer in the details, the level design won't be so repetitive (surely they learned!) and that the older graphics won't be a hindrance to my enjoyment. Let's go Master Chief!
This entry has been edited 1 time. It was last edited on Feb 10th, 2013 at 03:35:24.
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| [January 19, 2013 12:42:44 AM]
| So I've been playing the Halo Anniversary this week by 343 Industries, the company that took over the Halo franchise with Halo 4. Halo Anniversary is a re-make of the original Halo. I hear it's almost exactly the same, just with updated sounds and graphics. I wouldn't know because I'm one of the 5 people on Earth who never played Halo. I did play online some at friends' houses, but I never played the campaign because I never owned an Xbox. So this whole giant series, best Xbox games ever, popularized console FPS, yada yada, I know very little about. I have Halo 2, 3, and Reach (don't have 4 yet) ready and waiting on my shelf.|
Halo Anniversary - cool game, fun enough, more review type stuff later. What I want to talk about though is how my mind is blown from all the *stuff* on this disc. I've never seen anything like Halo Anniversary in terms of tie-ins with other games, features, videos, information, community, fan service, etc. etc. I want to just describe what I see. I've spent like the last 2 hours going through menus and things.
When you boot Halo Anniversary, you get a normal looking start screen. Oh, I just booted it again. This time there's a video...maybe I skipped this every other time. Ok, starting over! When you boot Halo Anniversary, you get a video panning through some of the environments and playing some epic music (I really like the music in this game). Then you get the start menu:
Campaign - What you'd expect. Choose difficulty, "skulls," which are all kinds of extra bonuses you can add to make the game easier or harder like guns consume 2x ammo or your head explodes with confetti when you die (my favorite), very much like Bastion's system, and here you can have friends join in your game.
Halo: Reach Anniversary Multiplayer - This takes you to a separate multiplayer menu where you can do the typical Xbox Live matchmaking. There's another option called Firefight that appears to be something like the Last Stand/Horde/Survival modes in more recent games. You can do a custom-based game that says you and your party can create custom missions with maps, objectives and all kinds of things. There's something called Forge that is described as a real-time group map editing program. I guess you take some friends and all go edit a map together. Sounds interesting. The last option is Theater, where you can watch replays of your multiplayer matches.
Halo Waypoint - This is the insane one. Halo Waypoint is like everything Halo ever. You have to download this 200mb add-on, which is free. When you go to Halo Waypoint, here is what is on the front page:
(1) Barracks - ALL your Xbox Live friends and their Halo Anniversary data is here. It tells you who is online, shows all their equipment, multiplayer rank, you can compare friends, etc. etc. If you want to know anything about your friends playing the game, go to the Barracks.
(2) Waypoint Career - This one has a ton more options under it: (a) Halo:Reach Service Record - This also has a ton of stuff under it. You can see challenges that people have sent to you (don't know what those are), you can see daily and weekly objectives. Completing those gives you extra credits to purchase items and things. You can see and unlock some sort of special armor items. You can see all your multiplayer game history, including k/d rations, headshots, w/l records, everything broken down by weapon and map and any which thing you could possibly think of. And here you can compare friends even more detailed on things like accuracy, weapon choice, etc. It's crazy the level of detail you can get. Going back out to the Waypoint Career, the next thing is (b) Restricted Access, which is something to do with Halo 4. It's locked since I've never played Halo 4. (c) is Milestones, which is some badge that I don't know what it's for. (d) is Classified and locked, and looks like it's data archives you get for finding Terminals in-game. I'm not sure. I don't even know which game it's referring to, since this Waypoint seems to integrate Halo Anniversary, Reach and Halo 4. (e) is Awards for unlocking achievements, and (f) is achievements.
(3) Halo 4 Intel - This is everything you want to know about Halo 4. What's the story? What's the multiplayer like? Who are the characters? Etc. etc.
(4) Play Halo - Buy and play all the Halo games.
(5) Restricted Access - Also something for Halo 4 that I can't check out.
(6) What's New - A Halo news feed.
(7) Halo 4 - A ton more media about Halo 4 - trailers, gameplay, images, behind the scenes and making-of stuff, a live-action episodic digital series. Can you possibly want to know more about the game that isn't here?
(8) Spartan Ops Season 1 Trailer - Spartan Ops looks like a giant add-on of co-op missions and maps and other goodies that comes with Halo 4. Maybe like free DLC. And I think it's another episodic story.
(9) A trailer for another thing...oh, a movie.
(10) Store - buy Halo stuff.
(11) The Universe - A comprehensive guide to the Halo universe. All characters, factions, stories, ever.
(12) Community - This one is crazy. Under Spotlight, there are player's screenshots, videos, comic series, "toymation" shorts, some feature on how the Halo toymakers make toys, top Halo clips of the year...150 items here. Under Creations is player-made maps, videos, screenshots, behind the scenes of some of the live-action things and other stuff...81 things in this category. Then Events has 87 items worth of tournament coverage, event notices, videos, award ceremonies, interviews with teams and players, etc. etc. Finally something called Rooster Teeth looks like some featured Halo community. There are videos, commentaries, fails of the week, machinima, event hosting and more. 40 items under this one.
(13) And the last thing is Games, which is a guide specifically to the stories events, videos, speedruns, dev diaries, all kinds of stuff related to each Halo game.
Halo Waypoint: All the Halo.
Extras - And then somehow there is a separate Extras section, which has all the Terminals you've unlocked in Halo Anniversary, a Library which is a thing that actually uses the Kinect if you say "scan" on various objects in the game. It then gives you entries for those objects. Neat. Then the Credits.
I imagine Halo fans were *really* stoked about all the content here. I figure if you like Halo a lot, you need to buy Halo Anniversary. I wonder if Halo 4 has all this stuff too. It's something else. I would love it if series I really liked had things like this -- Gears of War, Final Fantasy, Assassin's Creed -- all just in the interface from the main menu. Very cool.
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dkirschner's Halo Anniversary (360)
Current Status: Finished playing
GameLog started on: Wednesday 16 January, 2013
GameLog closed on: Sunday 10 February, 2013