Review: Halo 3

28 09 2007

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Believe it or not, this is the second Halo 3 review I’ve had to write today (Thank YOU Gateway copyright forms). So, instead of going into too much depth, I figure I’d just summarize it for you all. And then I can get back to owning you all in online matchmaking! Hoo-rah!

Halo 3, is of course, the final game in Bungie Studios’ Halo Trilogy. If you’ve never heard of this series, you must’ve had your head up your ass for the past 6 years. The game works quite well to tie up the story of the trilogy. I do have a few complaints, however. The story of the Arbiter and his Elites does get pushed to the side somewhat, not being in the same depth as it was in the previous game. This games is about Master Chief, and as such, mainly stays focused on the human affairs. I won’t say any more about the story, except KEEP WATCHING AFTER THE CREDITS YOU BASTARDS! I AM TIRED OF HAVING TO PROVE YOU ALL WRONG. Ahem………. Sorry about that.

 Halo 3 isn’t the prettiest game on the 360, but I’ll be damned if it isn’t polished. It runs at a very smooth 60 FPS, even with hordes of Covenant and Flood storming at you with explosions flying about. The water effects and textures are also very well rendered. The sound is also up to normal Halo standards, being AWESOME. By far, IMO, Halo has the BEST soundtrack of any game series out there, with maybe Final Fantasy being a close contender. The sound effects also work very well.

The game plays as you would expect Halo would, with additions such as new vehicles, and of course, new weapons. The best additions by far, however, are the Forge and Theatre modes. Making Machinima for a game never has been/will be any easier than in Halo 3.

All in all, I wish I would elaborate more, but you know what? Im gonna go back and play some more now. So watch your back, cuz I’m coming for you.

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img_sprite1.gif–Kyle “Jastrick”

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Mid-Week Report: Halo 3 thoughts

27 09 2007

The picture above was taken during a friendly Slayer match between Jastrick and I yesterday. In it, he is kneeing me in the face as I fired a rocket. It was quite a sweet death. If you go my profile on Bungie’s website, u can see the full video of it.

Jastrick may be putting up a full review on Friday, I thought I’d put my two cents on Halo 3 so far. Now, I’ve never really been a Halo fan–the Combine would crush the Covenant–and I’m not finished it quite yet, but preliminary impression is, this game is pretty rad. I think I’ll do bullet-points, since I actually want to go back to playing it and that seems like a quicker alternative to having to write my usually witty and better-than-kyle banter. For the record, I’ve been playing on Heroic.

– Graphics: For some reason, when I was first discussing my visual impression of the game, I likened it to the first time I saw Super Mario 64. The first two Halo games never really impressed me, visually. The textures were flat, the art design of the first game was bland. But this game definitely steps it up. While the textures are still sort of flat in areas—specially outdoor environments—the lighting is incredible. I’ve always loved HDR, but never more than at 1080p.

– Allied AI: I guess everyone at Bungie is a really terrible driver. It’s the only way I can fathom why, when I’m not riding in an AI driven car, it seems to go well, but as soon as I take up the turret or the passenger seat, they drive like a fucking retarded Chinese woman talking on her cellphone while fucking breast feeding! Also, the Arbiter must have taken that “suicide mission” idea from Halo 2 to heart, ’cause good fuck does he like to get shot and die.

– Enemy AI: Also, why the hell is it that the enemy AI is so much damn better than the allied AI? I mean, really, are humans just that stupid in this universe? Do you really need to be a Spartan to know that you shouldn’t stand directly in the line of fire? Anyways, the enemy AI is once again top-notch, to the point where they even use the deployables effectively.

– Voice Acting: I had a twenty-minute argument last night with a friend of mine about whether or not Nathan Fillion voiced some of the marines, and also, if Christopher Lee voiced the Prophet of Truth. i was right about Nathan Fillion. Truth is voiced by Terrance Stamp, once again being typecast as melevolent. The voice acting is all really good, even Keith David, who really doesn’t have as much to say this time around.

Well, that’s all for now. check back Friday for a full review, as well as a Weekly News Roundup, by me. Also, check in for future reviews, since we’re going to be investing in some HD capture gear, and trying out our chops at video reviews.

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Prepping for the Launch of Pure Awesome

24 09 2007

 

Unfortunatley for myself, I am a huge sucker for Hype. Whether it be for a comic series (Civil War), a movie (Transformers), or a Video Game, If it is heavily promoted, I will fall into the clutches of anticipation. Such is the case with Halo 3. Almost a month ago, Halo was in the back of my mind. Bioshock had just been released, and Metroid Prime 3 was looming.  I had even yet to see the E3 trailer for the game, which I had somehow missed. Whilst away at PAX, I saw this trailer for the first time, and the realization of another Halo in under a month re-entered my thoughts. While there, I took advantage of being in the US to pick up no less than 4 cases of Mountain Dew Game Fuel, for the experience that would be coming very soon.

Upon my return home, Halo went back to the rear of my mind. Bioshock was just waiting to be finished,  which in turn was followed by Corruption. That was 2 weeks ago. Upon finishing MP3, I watched the Believe ads, which some people disliked, yet managed to whip me into a Halo frenzy. I went out and finally picked up the first issue of Halo: Uprising, and downloaded every new gameplay video I could find. I even finally went back and finished Ghosts of Onyx, which had been sitting on my shelf for quite a while. Then, beginning last week, I began playing through both Halo and Halo 2 once again on Legendary, to prepare myself for the task ahead. This took me around 6 days to accomplish, due to work, school, etc.

Now, In no less than 9 hours, Halo 3 will at last be mine. Honestly, I plan to avoid sleep tonight, and will be ‘sick’ from class tomorrow as well. Hmm….I wonder what the lethal doseage of Mountain Dew is…..I should probably keep to one can less….

REVIEW FRIDAY!

img_sprite1.gif–Kyle “Jastrick”





New Update Schedule! W00T!

24 09 2007

Well, In an effort to become more reliable to our readers….reader? How many of you guys are there? ….. Anyway, we have decided to form an official update schedule. There will be new posts every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, with Jastrick and Persopolian alternating as writer each day. There will be no updates on weekends, unless something completely amazing happens.

img_sprite1.gif –Kyle “Jastick”





Review: Metroid Prime 3: Corruption

11 09 2007

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Although the game has been out for a few weeks now, I feel that I still need to write this because the game truly deserves it. Metroid Prime 3 is AWESOME. There, I said it. The game kicks ass, and kicks ass very stylishly to boot.

Metroid Prime 3 corruption takes place immediatley after the second game in the sub-series. With the threats of two phazon meteors exintguished on Tallon IV and Aether, the galaxy is at peace, right? Wrong. The ever-too reluctant to die Dark Samus/Metroid Prime has allied herself with the space pirates, and have launched another 4 phazon meteors to the core of the Galactic Federation. After stopping the first one, Samus and 3 other bounty hunters become corrupted by Phazon radiation, thanks to the efforts of Dark Samus. 1 month later, Samus awakens to find that her three comrades have gone missing, the 3 other meteors still thrive, and she has the ablilty to to call upon the power of Phazon, but at the cost of her own life.

Everyone knows that the Wii is not a graphical powerhouse like the 360 or PS3, but Corruption is a very good looking game. It is a visible step up from Metroid Prime 2 for the Gamecube, and uses the Wii hardware very well, though I am still convinced that the Wii can push out much more than has been shown to us so far. The developers have also added many new visual effects to the series, like lightbloom, which gives it a very distinctive look. The hauntingly-awesome score from the previous two games return as well, with the opening theme music having the ability to send chills of utter joy down your spine.

Another first for the Metroid series that this game adds is Voice Acting, something that very few Nintendo series have actually had: StarFox , and Mario somewhat. However, Samus remains silent. Im a fairly large Nintendo fan myself, but I dont understand what some people have against adding voice acting to Nintendo’s other series (Zelda being the main example).

However, by far the biggest draw to Metroid Prime 3 is the control scheme. Nintendo promised that they were going to give us a FPS control scheme as good as if not better than the Mouse/Keyboard, and they delivered. This is how console FPS games should be played. Im going to have a hard time going back to games like Halo 3 after playing through Nintendo’s Space Epic. Had Bioshock been on the Wii, and given Metroid’s control scheme, we would have most definatley had the best game ever.

In short: You have a Wii, Buy Metroid Prime 3. You most certainly wont regret it.

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img_sprite1.gif–Kyle “Jastrick





Review: Stuntman Ignition

9 09 2007

There are a select few games out there have a premise as universally appealing as Stuntman Ignition. The sequel to the 2002 hit-or-miss Stuntman, the game lets you strap on the boots of a Hollywood stunt driver, causing mayhem and destruction as you take part in making movie magic. The original game polarized player opinion, however, because it had an almost zero-tolerance policy towards missteps, which meant you’d be reliving the same scenes over and over until you got it just right. While Ignition is a more approachable and forgiving game, it will still require a certain level of patience to enjoy.

The game’s core is the Career mode, which has you pulling off stunts in six different movies—each one a winking take on a famous action film archetypes as well as more specific parodies, from Dukes of Hazzard to Batman Begins. Each film has five stunt sequences to perform, getting gradually longer and more difficult as you move from movie to movie. The game is graphically sound, with loads of detail in the vehicles and the environments. Each movie has its own unique visual style and flare, and all the sets are very well detailed and convincing. Sometimes the sheer number of explosions on screen can dip frame rate, but it’s barely noticeable when you’re going at break-neck speeds.

The stunts themselves are also pretty damn sweet. You’ll be barrel-rolling over gorges, taking radically sharp turns at a moment’s notice, and jumping very tanker, billboard, and helicopter you lay eyes on. Your stunts are flagged onscreen with large yellow icons, and your stunt coordinator will be calling them out as you approach them. The sets are all dense with cars, explosions and gunfire to give a greater sense of urgency. There’s also a context-sensitive “action” button you can press that lets you do things like get a nitro boost or fire a weapon. You are scored for your performance on each stunt sequence assigned a star rating based on that score, and your progress from one movie to another is determined by your accumulated star rating. The only way to get a maximum rating is to continuously string stunts together in succession, so you’ll constantly be on the lookout for anything you can drift through, jump off of, or drive close too to keep your strings alive.

While this all seems ideal, the game mechanics can get real frustrating real fast. With all those crashes and explosions going on in a scene, it can sometimes be really difficult to keep track of where your next stunt is. There were a couple sequences where I had no idea where I was going because I was so focused on not crashing into stuff. Your stunt coordinator can also become a nuisance, since he’ll frequently call out your next stunt far too late for you to actually hit it. Combine that lack of clear direction with a five-strike—and sometimes one-strike—maximum on missing stunts, and you’re guaranteed to repeat each sequence at least once. And if, like me, you obsess about getting a five-star rating for each sequence, you’ll have repeated them so many times you’ll want to cut out the stunt coordinator’s vocal cords.

With that said, completing a sequence with a high score can be extremely satisfying, given the difficulty. You can probably blow threw the career mode in a few hours, but getting the highest possible rating can have a significant effect on the game’s replay value. There are also a couple multiplayer modes to toy with, as well as a level creator that, while not as deep as you would like, will allow you to create some pretty swell stand-alone sequences. So while the game isn’t for everyone, there’s a lot of fun to be had here, with the right amount of patience.

kefka.gifPersopolian





Over-Achiever: Bioshock Rebuttal (spoilers)

6 09 2007

Now, for most of you who love achievements, you were most likely shocked by Persepolian’s former post. Fear not! This anti-achievement agenda does not proliferate throughout the whole of the Pix3l Nati0n! I for one, am a well known achievement addict. Now, I am not an extreme addict (I avoided buying TMNT for its grotesquely easy achievements), and I have a decent score (5515, if you must know), but I love the concept of achievements, and how well they work. I personally use them as an indicator as to how much I completed a game. Now, enough of my ranting, so here is my rebuttle to my colleagues previous attack on the achievements for Bioshock.

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