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Wacky

Some games make no sense.

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At the risk of having a lynch mod come marching after me, I guess I'll be the lone voice on the (**GASP!**) pro side of the Halo conversation in here.

Did the game and it's first sequel deserve perfect 10s? In my own opinion, no. However, were the games bad? Again, in my own opinion, no.

For H1 and H2, I felt the music was very good, the battles were fun and could get intense, the story was more fleshed out than a lot of FPS games, and the graphics looked good overall. It didn't hurt that some touches of humor were also thrown in via the Covenant commentary while you fought them, and they even did a decent job of getting FPS controls on the XBox pads. Oh, and there was some decent AI for the enemies (yay for not mindlessly charging you). I thought H1 and H2 did well in these areas. However, there were some significant issues.

In the first game, the most glaring issue was that the level designs were very uninspired. It was like walking through the same section of base over and over again, and it really hurt what other aspects of the game were trying to do. There were other lesser issues, like how your fellow soldiers were about worthless thanks to how easily they died off (especially if they were in a Warthog, and it got rolled), but it was the level design that hurt the game the most. Even so, despite it's painfully repetitive level design, and the fact that it didn't really do anything terribly new, I thought the game was a solid 7.5 (EGM scale).

The second game lacked technical polish in spots. You could see higher quality textures suddenly pop in over lower ones during cinemas. And while I thought the ending was a good one in terms of how it was presented, leaving "the fight" right as it was about to get nasty was a poor choice in how to end things. Not Half-Life 2-level bad, but surely they could have given it more of a "finished... for now" feel, instead of cutting right in the midst of it. This one's about an 8.5 from me (again, EGM scale).

So yeah, the Halo series has generic aspects, some technical issues, and questionable level design choices in it's first two games (the only ones I've played thus far), but I found that other areas helped make up for those shortcomings. Not enough to warrant "OMG BESTAST FPS IN TEH WURLD!", but enough to say that the first two games were good, competent overall entries in the field. They didn't excel in every area, but they're enjoyable.

Oh, and I didn't touch on the multiplayer stuff, as I've never had an XBox Live account to be able to play multiplayer.

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Coop's hit the nail on the head about Halo. I always had fun playing Halo maybe once or twice all the way through, but Halo 3 really captivated me with its online experience.

I've never really enjoyed the single player parts of Halo, and Halo 2's online is limited at best and absolutely mindless at worst. But when I picked up Crackdown I gave the Halo 3 beta a try and really enjoyed it. Once I got the actual game and discovered the Theatre Mode, I was sold.

It's not an astonishing game by any means, but its quick, fun, and every once and a while its a great quick diversion.

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I think all three Halo games are a lot of fun, but wear out pretty fast and have little replay value after I've played through the campaign and dabbled around online. I do think the campaign of the first and third were well made though.

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4X games used to be more popular, actually. Civilization was absolutely huge.. a blockbuster of its time.

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Fun fact about the Halo series: the entire thing is actually a zero-sum game between plot and gameplay. In Halo 1, the plot was interesting and original (at least for an FPS) -- the gameplay was good, but (as The Coop said) the level design was extremely uninspired and somewhat dull even without the repetition. In Halo 2 the level design and the game mechanics improved -- destroyable vehicles, better weapon balance (lulz Halo 1 pistol) -- but the plot took something of a downturn (hey look there's also more aliens that you never saw in Halo 1 for some reason! And they really don't like those aliens!) and the ending was crap. In Halo 3, the gameplay improved again (more vehicle types! All the weapons in Halo 1 and Halo 2 plus extras! Equipment like the bubble shield!) but the plot was absolutely retarded (they completely derailed the character of both the last surviving Prophet and Johnson, as well as tossing all of the speculation on the relationship between the Forerunners, humans, the Flood, and the Covenant straight out the window, plus the repeated bits where they slow things way down so that Cortana and/or the Gravemind can yell at you gets old after about the second time it happens). So yeah, the gameplay has gone consistently up in the series, but the storyline went down at the same rate.

Fun fact about 4X games: they're freaking awesome. I've gotten into Galactic Civilization II recently. The AI is absolutely brilliant -- it can observe your actions and predict your strategies with impressive accuracy. It's somewhat surprising and goddamn hilarious to be massing warships on your enemy's border in preparation for invasion, only to have him call you up and say "Yeah, I see you massing your forces. Don't think I don't know what's going on. We both know you're about to invade us and we both know that I can't stop you. I just wanted to call and say 'see you in hell' before you annihilated my entire species."

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I will graciously concede to pretty much everything The Coop said. The music in particular was great. I'll even admit that it's actually pretty fun to go through co-op mode with a friend (at least the first time around). I'll even go against popular opinion and say that I thought the pistol in the first one was great. Starting players a weapon that puts them on equal footing with the bigger guns is brilliant weapon balance decision IMO. It makes weapon selection a matter of preference instead of race to get the biggest guns... well, it would have, if it weren't from the sniper rifle and the rocket launcher (which were what really ruined the game for me).

My biggest problem with it, as many other have said before me, was all the OMFGHALOROX that permeated seemingly every college dorm and youth gathering in spite of the sheer averageness of the story (Starship Troopers with a pseudo-death star and some prophecy bullcrap thrown in), gameplay, map, and art design, as well as, almost no features to distinguish itself from other, better FPSes. It wasn't even until the sequel that you could pick your own skin.

I mean I know I would probably not take someone seriously who walked up on stage with a plastic guitar with colored buttons on the frets and fired up an XBox.

You've obviously never gone to see Video Games Live.

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edgecrusher thinks that pointing out making a reference to gamefaqs without reading a thread makes him a cool guy

I only wish someday to be as cool as my black manlove hero Bleck. One of these days.....

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I like 4X games (now that I know what they are) but I REALLY suck at them. I have too many obsessive-compulsive tendencies that really slow me down.

"OH WAIT my base needs another defense thingy HERE because it's not balanced like on the other side" and "OH WAIT I need an even number of heavy tanks to go with my warships or else I can't attack yet" and "OH SHIT I've been playing for 2 hours and haven't even moved."

I'd say that makes no sense.

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I like 4X games (now that I know what they are) but I REALLY suck at them. I have too many obsessive-compulsive tendencies that really slow me down.

"OH WAIT my base needs another defense thingy HERE because it's not balanced like on the other side" and "OH WAIT I need an even number of heavy tanks to go with my warships or else I can't attack yet" and "OH SHIT I've been playing for 2 hours and haven't even moved."

I'd say that makes no sense.

hahaha I'm exactly like that

In fact, I have a hard time getting into any "free form" game because of the (near) endless possiblities.

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I used to be like that with C&C: Tiberian Sun and StarCraft. With C&C I could never attack unless each type of unit had a multiple of 5 of them in the group, and in SC, regardless of how many control groups I had, the groups ALWAYS had to be at max capacity. I grew out of that habit after I got completely destroyed a few times because of it.

I still have to have symmetric base defenses, though.

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C&C: Tiberian Sun and StarCraft

For the record, these aren't 4X games, they're RTS games. If you're controlling individual units on a single battlefield, it's probably an RTS. 4X games are about controlling an entire country/planet/species, not a handful of guys.

That said, RTS games are pretty awesome too. My friends and I are still playing Starcraft on a regular basis, more than 10 years after it came out....

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I will graciously concede to pretty much everything The Coop said. The music in particular was great. I'll even admit that it's actually pretty fun to go through co-op mode with a friend (at least the first time around). I'll even go against popular opinion and say that I thought the pistol in the first one was great. Starting players a weapon that puts them on equal footing with the bigger guns is brilliant weapon balance decision IMO. It makes weapon selection a matter of preference instead of race to get the biggest guns... well, it would have, if it weren't from the sniper rifle and the rocket launcher (which were what really ruined the game for me).

My biggest problem with it, as many other have said before me, was all the OMFGHALOROX that permeated seemingly every college dorm and youth gathering in spite of the sheer averageness of the story (Starship Troopers with a pseudo-death star and some prophecy bullcrap thrown in), gameplay, map, and art design, as well as, almost no features to distinguish itself from other, better FPSes. It wasn't even until the sequel that you could pick your own skin.

You've obviously never gone to see Video Games Live.

While I agree, Halo is a teensy bit on the obsessive overrated side, I dont think thats grounds persay the game itself is bad. I myself have always been a fan of science fiction, and it was the immersive story that drew me to the game. Everyone is entitled to their opinions, some liked it, others didnt, but I personally loved it, especially the sheer depth of it all. Combined with Marty O'Donnells brilliant score, the balanced and intersting selection of weapons, and solid gameplay and controls are why the series in a gem in my eyes.

Not to mention, the multiplayer is something to be admired, what with Bungies very active community and their willingness to listen to what their fans want.

I might be mistaken, but company feedback and support like that is something not very common in the industry.

Are there things that annoyed me about the game? Absolutely. Master Chiefs potrayal as a near silent, emotionless protaganist gets old after so long. And obvious listening to 13 year olds whine and ask for achievement help in multiplayer is annoying, but you can find that in nearly everygame.

I just think the games strengths outway its weaknesses.

Some people agree with me, others dont, but hey, thats alright either way. Again everyone is entitled to their own preferences. What some people believe is is great, others might view it as mediocre or even bad, and vice versa.

:D

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For the record, these aren't 4X games, they're RTS games. If you're controlling individual units on a single battlefield, it's probably an RTS. 4X games are about controlling an entire country/planet/species, not a handful of guys.

I'm aware of that. I was just saying that I can relate to SirChadlyOC with those damn obsessive-compulsive tendencies.

That said, RTS games are pretty awesome too. My friends and I are still playing Starcraft on a regular basis, more than 10 years after it came out....

I've been wanting to play SC for quite a while. Unfortunately, for some reason it doesn't want to play properly on my laptop. It'll be fine for a minute into the game, and then the sound will start looping like it's frozen, but playing the game won't be affected. And then a minute later (or less) the game completely freezes. Every single time, even with reinstalls. I'm hoping I won't have the same problem once I get my new computer from prophet (which will happen whenever I pull together the money to pay for it).

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Man, that's gotta suck, Halcyon. But if it's any consolation or whatever, I had the same problem happen at some point and actually had to burn 2 copies of the disc to get it working and those copies...somehow, defying all basic logic, work fine. Man, I was always terrible at SC/BW. :razz:

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I will graciously concede to pretty much everything The Coop said. The music in particular was great. I'll even admit that it's actually pretty fun to go through co-op mode with a friend (at least the first time around). I'll even go against popular opinion and say that I thought the pistol in the first one was great. Starting players a weapon that puts them on equal footing with the bigger guns is brilliant weapon balance decision IMO. It makes weapon selection a matter of preference instead of race to get the biggest guns... well, it would have, if it weren't from the sniper rifle and the rocket launcher (which were what really ruined the game for me).

My biggest problem with it, as many other have said before me, was all the OMFGHALOROX that permeated seemingly every college dorm and youth gathering in spite of the sheer averageness of the story (Starship Troopers with a pseudo-death star and some prophecy bullcrap thrown in), gameplay, map, and art design, as well as, almost no features to distinguish itself from other, better FPSes. It wasn't even until the sequel that you could pick your own skin.

this is utter heresy, halo is the best game EVAR. the story moves my soul to tears.

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You know, while I'm not a real big fan of halo either (People claiming the plot dealing with ring-worlds is completely original haven't heard of Larry Niven apparently), I couldn't stand Half-Life 2's narrative device in Gordon Freeman. I mean, I respect the half-life games and all and what they did for the FPS genre as a whole, but there was just something about playing as this mute, genius physicist-turned-messiah figure that rubbed me the wrong way.

Nothing came off more nonsensical to me than having conversations with various people that quickly turned one-sided because for all the scientific knowledge and sea-saw building skills Dr. Freeman possessed, he couldn't say so much as a "I'm fine" to people trying to talk to him.

That being said, I'm pretty sure Master Chief is really just Vin Diesel with a voice modifier under that helmet. I mean, have you head some of his lines?

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Nothing came off more nonsensical to me than having conversations with various people that quickly turned one-sided because for all the scientific knowledge and sea-saw building skills Mr. Freeman possessed, he couldn't say so much as a "I'm fine" to people trying to talk to him.

Whoa, whoa, whoa whoa.

Whoa.

Doctor Freeman.

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Whoa, whoa, whoa whoa.

Whoa.

Doctor Freeman.

You know, I'm usually pretty good about catching errors like that. My mistake.

Still though, you'd think this Doctor would be able to say "Hi" to people every once in a while.

Then again, I guess you don't really have to when you can single-handedly dispatch an entire swarm of headcrab zombies with a crowbar.

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