As with my previous blog, I have again been inspired to share my thoughts on Halo, this time on my favorite Halo game, which I already touched on in my previous blog as being a tie between Halo 3, Halo 3: ODST, and Halo 4. I can't help but point out that the comments on the other blog have left me thinking, I don't get this, I don't get this at all. What is it with everyone and their love for Halo: Reach? Which is why I am sharing my thoughts on all of the Halo games, even Halo 2 and Halo: Spartan Assault, which I haven't played.
Halo 3 is a legendary game, and I have unfortunately only really had the pleasure of playing the campaign and some extremely limited multiplayer, which is a common theme of my Halo experience. As I mentioned in my previous blog, I actually briefly got to play Halo 3 the day after it was released back in 2007, but since I didn't get to play for very long and didn't have an Xbox of any kind until years later, I didn't really have any reason to try to play Halo until after my brother and I ended up with a friend's Xbox 360 and got to really experience Halo with Halo 3: ODST. I like the way Halo does dual wielding a lot, especially in comparison to the way other games, specifically Call of Duty, do it. Despite not having played Halo 2 from the Halo Trilogy, I believe that Halo 3 was the first time the gameplay of Halo really started to shine with combination of dual wielding and the return of the Assault Rifle, which still surprises me considering I love the gameplay of Halo 4 so much and Halo 3 was the last time dual wielding has appeared so far.
Halo 3: ODST has the distinction of being the first Halo game I ever got to really play, and was probably the perfect storm for getting me interested in Halo with the opening crawl that made Star Wars so popular, having the Firefly boys and Tricia Helfer, and an amazing story in an interesting world. If it wasn't for the lack of the Battle Rifle, which the ODSTs often had in the other games and the books, which didn't factor into my perceptions of Halo 3: ODST at the time, it could potentially be my most favorite Halo game.
Halo 4 is the best looking and best sounding Halo game ever. When I got to the opening cinematic of Dawn with Cortana waking John, I kept thinking that this was exactly what I expected to happen after Halo 3. More importantly, I love the gameplay of Halo 4 a lot, because I feel like I am effective no matter which weapon I am using, which is exactly how shooters are supposed to be, so I don't understand why some people complain about the weapons of Halo 4 being overpowered. The way armor abilities were incorporated, especially into the campaign, was exactly how I wish Bungie would have done it in Halo: Reach. My problem with Halo 4 is it is so reliant on Xbox Live, that I feel like I have half a game, more so since Spartan Ops was intended to replace Firefight, yet it can't be played offline like Firefight, making it a lousy replacement, since I don't have Live and, therefore, can't even see if its any good. Also, I have always wanted to use a Battle Rifle in Firefight, so that didn't help matters for Spartan Ops. And while I am not completely sold on the direction 343i has taken things and I can't stand the involvement of Karen Traviss in the universe, I am interested in seeing where it goes.
Halo: Combat Evolved, which I prefer to simply call Halo like Bungie originally intended, is a legendary game in its own right. I can't speak to Halo as the introduction to its universe, since Halo 3: ODST was my introduction alongside Halo 3. If it wasn't for the somewhat laughable gameplay, with a rifle that behaves like an SMG and a pistol that behaves like a rifle, I would probably love Halo a lot more, because the story is great. I am glad I got Halo Anniversary, especially since I think I would've had a hard time with only the original graphics, though I would love to get an Xbox and Halo and Halo 2 at some point.
Halo 2 is the only Halo game so far, besides Halo: Spartan Assault, that I haven't played, and I am quite confident that it will rank somewhere between Halo and Halo 3. A Halo 2 Anniversary for Xbox 360 would definitely be welcome.
Halo: Reach is one of my least favorite Halo games. The campaign is indeed great, and I prefer Reach Firefight to ODST Firefight, but I have almost exclusively played Firefight solo and, therefore, haven't necessarily gotten the full effect of Firefight. My problem is I don't care for the gameplay. I like armor abilities, though I have a tendency to hardly use any of them besides Sprint, Jet Pack, and Drop Shield, and I feel like I have to almost completely rely on the M392 DMR, how anyone could like the MA37 if they have used the MA5C and MA5D is beyond my ability to comprehend, though I am rather fond of the Plasma Launcher and the Needle Rifle.
Halo Wars, being an RTS game, which I am generally more of a fan of than I am of FPS games, deserves special consideration. Everyone knows that RTS games are primarily PC games, so an RTS game that works well on a console was bound to gain my attention, no matter if was a Halo game or not, but since it was both a Halo game and an RTS game, then you can bet I got it. Since its an RTS game and I am generally more of an RTS fan than an FPS fan, you would think I would have played it more than any other Halo game and maybe even that it would be my most favorite Halo game, but that just isn't the case. Its a fine game, and an excellent RTS considering its a console game, but it just doesn't quite do what the other Halo games do. And not being able to get a Gold medal on Escape, which is the last one I need for the achievement, didn't help matters, to the point I haven't even bothered to play let alone beat the game on Heroic and Legendary, when I have done that for all of the Halo games. Though I haven't beat Halo on Legendary, because the last time I tried to beat The Truth and Reconciliation, I took so long that by the time I was close to beating it, the game froze.
Halo: Spartan Assault, the last Halo game I have to talk about, besides Halo on the Xbox One, which I don't see the point in addressing yet, since they haven't told us much of anything and I am hoping for and expecting it to end up being Halo 5. I really don't know what to think of Halo: Spartan Assault, because between being on platforms I have no interest in. Being a programmer, I don't like Windows 8 and its restrictive nature and the abandonment of the desktop environment, and Windows 8.1 bringing back the proper desktop support proves just how idiotic Microsoft's one size fits all approach ended up being. I still use Windows XP on a daily basis and I only got to use Windows 7 when my college finally got around to upgrading from XP. I don't even have a smart phone, much less a Windows 8 Phone device. And even though its coming to Xbox Live, that isn't much better than Windows 8 and Windows 8 Phone from my point of view, since I don't have Live and I am not likely to get it for quite some time. Enough about about why I haven't played it yet, you all aren't interested in my complaints about Microsoft, you just want to know what I actually think of Halo: Spartan Assault itself. Let me put it this way, I am unfamiliar with top-down shooters, though I am not put off by that, because trying something new can be a lot of fun, because what would I be like if I hadn't tried Halo 3: ODST and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 when my brother and I ended up with that Xbox 360, or even not played those few minutes of Halo 3 back in 2007?