I was listening to a podcast recently (and I've heard this same thing multiple times from other people over the last week or so) and I was shaking my head at the way the speakers were discussing recent Events Which Shall Not Be Named. Over and over, they were so insistent that reviewers are "getting paid off" for good scores.
I'm not much into the college marching bands, I don't watch college football and no matter how amazing some say Drumline was, it has never occurred to me that I need to watch a marching band actually do anything.
This is a different matter entirely.
The Ohio State University pays tribute to beloved classic video games (and Halo) during the half-time show at the Ohio State University vs Nebraska game. Games honored at the show were Tetris, Pokémon, Super Mario Bros., Tetris, Halo, The Legend of Zelda and Pac-Man. Try not to jump out of your seat and cheer when Epona makes an appearance.
Bungie has wanted to tell the Halo story from a new angle for a while. Apparently, it had grown tired of telling and re-telling the story of a lone space marine cliché in the middle of a clichéd fight with invading space aliens. It's first attempt at breaking out was 2009's Halo 3: ODST, a game that didn't even feature the Master Chief.
It tried again with 2010's Halo: Reach. This time the story revolves around a squad of similarly-skilled marines. This should have been the perfect venue for Bungie to stretch its legs, but anyone who played it probably noticed that Reach also fell victim to the cliché bug as demonstrated by this Machinima video.
Way back in 2007 I played a game about humanity fighting a last, desperate battle against an overwhelming alien threat. It was a crushing bore, and a review of it that reflected that opinion proved slightly controversial. Just weeks later I played a second game about humanity fighting a last, desperate battle against an overwhelming alien threat, and was far more impressed. Since no one cares about Halo 3 any more, and a new Earth Defense Force is coming out, I thought this would finally be an appropriate time to publish an article comparing the two games.
This week, it's some good old fashioned game talk. Amnesia The Dark Descent! Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker! Alan Wake! Plus: Games are too buggy, Richard sings (twice), and stay tuned after the credits for some impromptu Halo: Reach chat. Featuring Chi Kong Lui, Brad Gallaway, Mike Bracken, Richard Naik, and Tim "Let's Grow a Beard Together" Spaeth.
So I finally got around to playing half an hour of Halo 3: ODST last night, and while I'm not planning to write a review of it any time soon, I wanted to comment on the weird experience I had with the game.
I was playing a friend's game, so I just sort of dropped in medias res, and had no idea what was going on plot-wise, so I'm not going to bother commenting on that aspect. What I will say is that for the first fifteen minutes of my playtime I had a blast. So much fun that I couldn't remember why I'd hated Halo 3 as much as I did (by which I mean "not really that much at all").
Game Description: Halo 3 is the third game in the Halo Trilogy and the thrilling conclusion to the events begun in Halo: Combat Evolved. Master Chief returns to finish the fight, bringing the epic conflict between the Covenant, the Flood, and the entire human race to a dramatic, pulse-pounding climax. The Covenant occupation of Earth has uncovered a massive and ancient object beneath the African sands—an object whose secrets have yet to be revealed. Earth's forces are battered and beaten. The Master Chief's AI companion Cortana is still trapped in the clutches of the Gravemind—a horrifying Flood intelligence, and a civil war is raging in the heart of the Covenant. It's all been building to this—a desperate, final war that leads to a soul-shattering climax of epic proportions. Take control of Master Chief to defeat the Covenant and destroy the Flood to prevent the annihilation of the human race.
Is it fair to judge a game based on its advertising? I believe so. Although the dedicated gamer will tend to seek out information about upcoming titles through any media available to them, it's the advertising campaign that defines the mainstream's pre-purchasing experience with a game. Indeed, it often defines whether there will be a purchasing experience at all.
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