Well, we are almost halfway through February now, and it is pretty safe to say that I have jumped all over the board as far as the games I have selected to play and write about for this blog. Randomness is good, as it keeps things interesting and fresh. Other times, however, strict structure and planning is ideal for the situation. Because of that, I have decided to dedicate an entire week of my blog to one specific franchise that has revolutionized gaming as we know it today.
Don't worry, I wont make you guess what it is, as the graphics splattered about doesn't really allow me to be secretive and mysterious. It's Halo, and it's going to be one hell of a week ... My Week Of Halo.
For this week, I am planning on playing every game in the Halo series - the original, 2, 3, 3:ODST, Reach, 4 and yes, even Halo Wars. This is a franchise that I have had quite the roller coaster of experiences with, and while I would like to say I am in touch with the series, the truth is that Halo and I have gone our separate ways recently, and I wish to rekindle that magic, that fire. Hopefully, this week of TLC and love will bring us closer. Or, I might realize that Halo was the equivalent of hooking up with a stripper - really fun for a short while, but not someone you would make long -term plans with. We shall see, as I only have a week to figure it out.
Accompanying me on this journey is my Halo tag-team partner, my seven year old son Caleb. He has taken to the Halo games since before he had good hand/eye coordination to really be efficient at playing them, so who better than him to play co-op with me as I take a journey through Halo lore?
Obviously, we started with the first Halo game, and thanks to a buddy, we played the Anniversary Edition of the game (I only own the original Xbox version). It was a real treat to be able to see how well the old game looks redesigned in HD, and the ability to switch back and forth between HD and OG was really cool to show my son how far games have come just in two console generations.
Back in the day, when the original Xbox was being ready to be released, I had my reservations about a new system coming on to the scene. I was skeptical of it having any decent games, and it being more technical than necessary (because of it being made by Microsoft, of course). However, something implored me to buy it day one, as am 18th birthday present to myself. \
That morning of its release, I had no idea how popular it would be, as store after store I went to had lines around the block. Defeated by not wanting to wait in a line only to not get one due to limited stock, I made the best decision I could think of: go to the mall. I figured since it was a week day, and the mall opened later than stores, there was a chance of snagging one, especially because there was three different game stores to choose from. I walked in, went to the counter without another customer in sight, and bought my Xbox.
Microsoft was smart with how they marketed this brand new system, as the bundle being sold came with two free games of your choice. My first game I chose was Oddworld: Munch's Oddysee, because I love platformers so much and I thought it looked interesting and fun. My next choice was tough. I was stuck between Project Gotham Racing, Fuzion Frenzy, Dead or Alive 3 or this other game called Halo: Combat Evolved. For some reason, Halo sparked my interest the most, despite having little interest in that genre of games at the time. I took it home, set it all up, and decided to give Halo a whirl real quick before I settled down with my platformer.
Unfortunately for Oddworld, though, Halo was an instant classic in my mind. I played that game non-stop for weeks it seemed. Never before had I fallen for a game so quickly without any history with its franchise. I was in love, and it was magnificent.
So tonight, playing through again, brought back all those memories and emotions I had the first time playing it. I decided to play it on normal just so we can play a good chunk of the game, but my son wanted to play on hard, because he always plays Halo games on the hardest difficulty. I have no idea why, but he has always liked the thrill of dying over and over again, eventually making his way through the level that would have taken half as long on a lesser difficulty setting. We settled on normal, because I was Player 1, and Player 1 always makes the rules.
It was fun playing with him, as I found myself getting behind on several occasions, following him through the map. He's played the original one a couple of times, I've played it more times than I can count, yet here I was, relying on my seven year old to guide me to where we needed to go.
Man, I am getting old, and it sucks.
We both settled on a few conclusions as we played. For one, it was more fun to drive Warthogs off of cliffs than it is to drive carefully. Also, it's not a good idea to drive a Warthog off a cliff when you have several miles of terrain to travel. Third, the ability to sprint would have been a very nice addition, especially when you have a long way to run without a vehicle to quickly get you there. In fact, the inability to sprint bugged him the entire time we played.
Kids and their spoiled game mechanics.
Like I said, we both had fun, and when it was time for bed for him, he was satisfied with what we accomplished, and was psyched to move on to Halo 2 tomorrow.
Let's just say it was a good start to rediscovery a lost love.
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Games played for project : 365