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Risk: Halo Wars Collector's Edition» Forums » Reviews

Subject: RISK in a Count Chocula Mask rss

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Matt Drake
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I know a lot of snooty gamer types aren't big fans of RISK, even the new one, because you can get it in Wal-Mart and there's a lot of die rolling. Then there are a bunch of snooty gamer types who hate Halo because it's a video game, and those are for the unwashed, unintelligent masses. Stupid people play video games, and smart people play board games.

Well, I love RISK, and I love Halo, so RISK: Halo Wars was a double-shot of kick-ass espresso with a lemon twist. I especially love the new RISK, now that they made the win based on objectives, rather than complete global domination. RISK: Halo Wars is built on top of the new version of RISK, with a tweak or two to make it a Halo game. And that means I just had to try it.

Man, was I disappointed. Not because it sucked - it's still really fun, especially because it's still RISK. But I was disappointed because I have RISK: 2210 and RISK: Star Wars, and those both start with classic RISK and take it in thematically brilliant directions. Halo Wars is not similar to new RISK. Halo Wars IS new RISK, but with a couple additions stapled onto it. It's like if your old high-school girlfriend got a boob job - she might look better, but she's still just as much fun in the sack (unless she's really let herself go, which she may have, because it's been a long time since high school - but to be fair, can you honestly tell me those love handles and beer gut are an improvement over the six-pack you were sporting when you were 17?).

The map for Halo Wars is of a new planet, but it's a remarkable planet in that it is almost identical to Earth. All the continents have new names and new shapes, but they connect in the same way to all these other continents, and have the same number of territories, and provide the same number of bonus pieces. You can push some borders around a little, but just calling it Pacifica does not mean that we suddenly don't know that's Europe any more. If I wear a paper mask I find on a cereal box, it doesn't make me Count Chocula, even if I do use a silly accent.

Combat is the same as it always has been, except for the heroes, who provide almost no help and then die just to respawn on your next turn. Win a battle, get a card, control the right spot and complete an objective - if you've played new RISK, you've seen this one. Just because the army units look like Halo guys doesn't mean this is a new game.

I might have been a little more impressed if I hadn't played some really awesome RISK spin-offs. RISK: Star Wars adds space battles, cards, and a Death Star that can blow up planets, and it feels like a Star Wars version of RISK. RISK 2210 adds nukes, moon bases, undersea colonies, and a whole lot more that makes it my absolute favorite RISK version. But Halo Wars adds weak-ass heroes and figures that look like candy and pretends to be a new thing, and it's just not.

Now, this sounds like a negative review, and it's really not. It's only a negative review because it's not an improvement over new RISK, or even worthy of being called a themed version of RISK. It's just new RISK - and while I love new RISK, and think it's brilliant, I can't see why I would buy Halo Wars over new RISK... unless Halo Wars is cheaper, and it is not.

Summary

Pros:
All the same pros as new RISK
Pretty pieces that sort of look like Halo guys
Nice components, over all

Cons:
Nothing new here, except for heroes, which are nearly worthless
Four or five players is a team game, whether you like it or not
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Sean Shaw
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Ah well, already had my review, with similar things, but I think we disagree on something VERY important. I'm a complete AT, and theme is enormous. I HATE the new RISK (and if you check my rankings, I actually am a pretty big lover of Risk) because of blood red seas, arrows that are useless and look stupid (and can be confusing and easy to mix up because of how similar the small units look like the big units).

I like how the game works, but the theme (Revised Risk aka Communist China Risk) KILLED IT for me. Risk Halo Wars RESTORES my LIKING for the new version as it is what the revised SHOULD HAVE BEEN (either that or they should have left the theme at Black Ops...yes for us low on the totem pole people...theme and appearance can be important).

However, Halo has a cool board, cool pieces, and a cool theme. Makes a bad game GREAT because they took the time to actually have components that rock, as opposed to stink.

IMO of course. I've played the other Risks, and I'd have to say my favorite is SW:OT, and after that it's probably leaning more towards the ORIGINAL Risk (yes, the one with blocks and that had you start with ONE army in each territory, no 20 per player, no 30 per player...one per territory that the players started with), but I completely LOVE the theme and the pieces of Risk:Halo Wars. Makes the entire stupid Commie Risk (Revised Red box version) actually a great game.

My only big disagreement with the review of course.

Of course if you wear a mask of Count Chocula and use a funny accent you may be more funny and your video reviews would definately have a different feel about them...don't know if it would be better or worse, but probably would have a different feel with a guy wearing a Count Chocula mask with a funny accent talking about his top 100.

Or take it another way...who would a single guy rather date, a 400 pound, acne inflicted, IQ of 80, lass (and no offenses to those who are like this, I'm just making a point)...or the supermodel. If you choose the former...I suppose you have a point, if you choose the latter...then I would say you also think appearance is important.

And now I have to run as every girl who reads this now probably thinks I'm shallow and ridiculously pompous so I have to run for my life.

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Matt Drake
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No, man, I'm a huge fan of a nice tight ass. I'm shallow as a parking lot puddle. And you make a good point - new RISK isn't as pretty. Halo Wars, to me, is just new RISK with a boob job. I don't think the comparison is as extreme as Courtney Love versus Jessica Biel. It's more like Kirsten Dunst versus Kirsten Dunst with a better rack. And to further my comparison, if Halo Wars is Kirsten Dunst with new boobs, then you're paying for the operation. She can do all the same stuff in the sack either way. But now you pay some cash and she can fill out her dresses a little better.
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Martin Larouche
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Fun read... couple of questions though:

Halo Risk is like a girl with a boob job?
Does that mean you can't look at the top of board directly because your eyes are always looking towards the bottom of the board? If so, it's a major problem with the board design... no male player can focus on it and only the girlfriends would not suffer this disadvantage.

The Halo Risk map is like the Risk map with a count Chocula mask?
How would i see the territories if it has a mask stuck on it?

Also, is it really true that playing Halo Risk is like losing your 6-packs and gaining a beer belly? If so, they should place a big warning on the top of the box, this thing's dangerous.

Fun read

I too love Halo Risk, but cannot recommend it over the "other" new Risk because of the price difference.
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Tim Earl
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Nice review.

I would probably buy Halo Wars over Revised, but since I have Black Ops it doesn't sound like I need either.
 
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Adam Sblendorio
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You all have very valid comments and I particularly like the chest enhancing analogies.

A part of the thinking behind why it is very similar to the most recent "core" RISK is that a lot of consumers may experience this version as their introduction to the new game mechanics. Especially when you look at the typical young Halo fan. Many may have Dads who used to play RISK and don't play Halo or Dads who currently play both.

With the recent updated RISK only being on the market for about a year, the Halo version is a great way to get lapsed players back to the table and perhaps be a bridge to their younger generation.

I'm sure it's a more compelling invite to put down the controller and stay in the same universe than to revisit the Napoleonic era... or the vague setting of the reboot (which I love btw).

The goal to get more players experiencing the new mechanic with out re-re-inventing the wheel had a lot to do with it.

I know that's not the greatest thing ever for the hard core player, but I think the pieces are excellent and picking up team play from Star Wars and Leaders(Heroes) from LOTR brings something to the table.

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Aaron Silverman
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VixenTorGames wrote:
It's more like Kirsten Dunst versus Kirsten Dunst with a better rack. And to further my comparison, if Halo Wars is Kirsten Dunst with new boobs, then you're paying for the operation. She can do all the same stuff in the sack either way. But now you pay some cash and she can fill out her dresses a little better.


In the pantheon of overly skinny Hollywood actresses, Kirsten Dunst fills out a dress better than most already.

There are inappropriate photos floating around the 'net if you want to verify. . .

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Martin T.
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VixenTorGames wrote:
She can do all the same stuff in the sack either way.


True, but it looks and feels better.
 
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Mike Emrick
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BEST........REVIEW........EVER!
 
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