Sunday, September 19, 2010

Halo: Reach Review/Impressions

So like every other cool person I headed to my local Best Buy, local meaning an hour away, to purchase Halo: Reach on Tuesday, September 19th! I had pre-ordered the Standard edition and somehow convinced myself that having a flaming head would be a good idea and a giant statue would look awesome on my computer desk before I left said store. And you know what I was right, hehe. I had managed to stay away from all the buzz and entered into Reach with a sense of wonderment. Not very often I get to do that.

First off let me tell you of personal Halo service record so you don't think I am some Halo virgin. I never played the original Halo. Blasphemy! But at that point in my life I was still playing first person shooters on computer, yes a computer, the thing they used to make quality games for. I heard it was awesome I just never got to it. But when Halo 2 arrived I could not escape its wrath. I was sold along before it arrived and couldn't wait to get my hands on it. I actually stoled someone elses Limited Edition pre-order at the Wal-Mart I worked at. Teach him for shopping there. Part three and ODST I was at the midnight releases and played till I had to work at 7 in the AM. I have my shiny limited editions of 2 and 3, as well as ODST proudly displayed on my shelves. And even though some people didn't care for ODST and Halo Wars, I loved both of them. Of course I play ever single kind of video game type. RTS is kinda a niche fan base. And some people don't like to have to put in an effort to stay alive and kill things as in ODST. So I guess I have been playing Halo for awhile now.

So the Legendary Edition of Halo: Reach is @#$%ing awesome. I am really glad that is the one I decided upon. I would have been disappointed I didn't if I saw someone else's later on. It comes in a huge box shaped like a crate from the Halo games. It is huge! Not sure wear I am gonna put this box. Inside you find your small black box which when opened has your black cased copy of Reach, which has your codes for your flaming helmet, in-game Recon helmet, and avatar award, which is a X-Box Reach controller and Falcon gunship to fly around your head. My Avatar is very happy with it. Also in the black box is a journal with all sorts of neat Reach info in it. I haven't opened mine, I can't bring myself to open it. The awesomest thing in the Legendary box?! The giant statue of Noble Team made by McFarlane Toys! Each member of Noble Team is on display, so much better than that dumb helmet you couldn't even put on your dome that came with part three. It's pretty fraking awesome! My only complaint about my flaming head is sometimes I can't tell if my vehicle is on fire and going to explode, kinda funny. Other than that I am glad my head is on fire.

When you first turn on the game you will be asked to customize you Spartan warrior. Male or Female. A spectrum of colors. Credit system is a way to purchase new pieces of armor to customize yourself. You earn credits for all game types. Also extra credits can be gained through Commendations, daily challenges and weekly challenges. This is the character you will be using throughout your whole game experience, even Campaign. You can customize everything just the way you want it. Your rank will also be carried over into all game types and even though you are trying to beat the Campaign you will still be earning points toward rank and gear, which personally I love. So that is nice compared to whatever rank nonsense was going on in Halo 3 Multi-Player. All these little changes make it feel like the character is your own personal extension of yourself.

When you first start playing the game it feels different, but those little changes just make it a better gaming experience, even though there is change the game itself feels familiar to veteran fans. The Spartans seem to be moving much faster, thank god. Last games felt like I was moving in molasses and was reason some people preferred games such as Battlefield (A fave of mine) and COD. I just assumed Master Chief knew how badass he was and just strolled along. Items found in Halo 3 Multi-Player such as power shields, camouflage, force fields and such have been done away with, thank god, and replaced with five classes you can choose from at the start of a Multi-Player match and items you can find in Campaign. And for those who don't like them you can play Classic games so they can keep it nice and simple for them.

The five new classes are Jump Packs, Sprint, Camouflage, Hologram, and Drop Shield. Jump Packs allow you to fly over the battlefield raining your rocket volleys from the air now! Sprint lets you finally run, honestly Spartans should have been running before. Drop Shield lets your character ball up on the ground with a shield protecting them from all harm and some other nasty uses. Camouflage lets you become invisible, as long as you aren't moving fast. And Hologram shoots out a hologram version of yourself to fool players out of hiding, it is really neat. Each ability has a meter found on the left of the  menu that tells you how long it lasts and when it runs out you have to wait for it to replenish. A old system finally done right.       

Campaign is fun, even knowing you are all going to die, spoiler! Four player co-op has also been included online and co-op two player on single machine. In past Halo's you knew Master Chief was not going to pass away and the story was not always making much sense. In Reach you play Noble 6, replacing a dead member of Noble Team and filling out their team. You and your fellow Spartans end up in a fight to the death with a invading Covenant fleet. This game proves that you don't need Master Chief to make a Halo game. I love Noble team. Sadly as push on in game you start to realize how hopeless your situation is. Every time you think you put a dent into the Covenant's forces, you find you just accomplished nothing. You find yourself fighting along side members of Noble through out the game and get to fight with them to their glorious end. On Legendary by yourself prepare for a fun fight. And beware the Fuel Rod Cannons and Plasma Grenade Launchers, they will make you cry. And, yeah I said a gun that shoots stickies! Sigh.

I was reading a couple other people's reviews and read that single player is only 6 hours long. Well I guess have to tell them maybe you should play games on a harder difficulty than normal. I haven't played a game on normal in ten years you @#$$y. I hate people complaining a game is too easy. Everything is easy on default settings. All games have been dumbed down for the current generations of horribly bred children and mainstream public. Our current hard or insane is my old normal mode. I hate that reviewers are all whiny little @#$%^s, me included. :) Rant concluded.

Multi-Player is the same awesome Halo multi-player experience from Halo 3, except better. Whether Slayer, Capture the Flag, or Firefight, there are so many choices to play. Grabbing your party and jumping into a game has never been so easy. When it comes to random maps and games coming up, players now get to vote between three different options, most popular winning out. You can create your own game types, and every freaking option that comes with it. You hate @#$%s betraying people deduct 5 points for it, want all rockets with infinite ammo, want to put spawn points in stupidest places, everything is in your power. The Forge has been simplified and is much easier to use. Posting videos of your games, campaign or multi-player, is super easy and simple and now you watch me suck anytime you want. Even though there are currently not a lot of map choices, you would never notice it. With so many game types you will never get bored. And new multi-player maps will be on the way in no time I am sure.

For those that love your X Box Avatar such as I do, five Noble team helmets are unlockable through the silly accomplishments. I personally like the ability to open new avatar gear and like to change my look every week. To each his own.

Overall this game is amazing! Its is everything Halo has been and what it could be. New Campaign, new guns, new maps and the ultimate multi-player experience. Even my friends who are not into Halo have purchased it and are loving it. Every little thing that may have annoyed you about Halo in the past has probably been changed or fixed. It makes me proud to own my X Box and I give this game my highest praise. Thank you Microsoft and Bungie for taking Bungie's Halo legacy out on such an outstanding note. As always just my opinion, feel free to have your own.

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