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Subject: Halo Brings Hate rss

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Brian Cox
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After relaying my experiences about GoldenEye 007, I was reminded of all the terrible memories of my time playing Halo that I had once blocked out of my memory.

Back when I was in college, I lived in an apartment with 3 of my childhood friends. It was great because one friend had and Xbox, one friend had a PS2, and I had a Gamecube. We had a vast gaming library, and a ton of free time. So once Halo came out in the winter of our sophomore year, it became an apartment staple.

Unfortunately, as with many games, the learning curve was different for each of the four of us. One roommate broke his thumb right before we all started playing, so he got left out (similar to my GoldenEye experience). One roommate got good, one roommate got really good, and I was only ever so-so. Then came a series of events that went something like this:

1) The proximity radar had to be disabled. With "Hang 'Em High" being our map of choice, we had too many instances of people simply hiding behind a corner and watching their radar to kill anyone who turned the corner while in a fight with another opponent. Many yelling matches ensued, and the apartment decided to turn of the radars.

2) "Screen-Looker" became the worst thing you could call someone. With the radars turned off, because the game was played on a 4-player split-screen, the better players in the apartment got really good at looking at someone else's screen while simultaneously playing on their own. This resulted in many yelling matches as people vehemently accused others of looking at their screen to gain an advantage otherwise there was no way they would've known that person was coming around the corner. This hateful accusation was not remedied until our apartment got a second Xbox and we played on our LAN months later.

3) People chose their weapons. There were incredible arguments regarding the shotgun and the rocket launcher, which our group found to be the most powerful guns. The shotgun was the weapon of choice of the better players as they could skillfully get close enough to get a one or two shot kill. (Later when Halo 2 came out, I left one of my roommates at a friends house when I was his ride due to his cheap use of the shotgun.) The rocket launcher was a whole different story. As Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers had recently come out in theaters, the rocket launcher was referred to as "my precious." If you made a kill with it, you would taunt an opponent with your best Gollum impression. After a while, there were many yelling matches where, "Oh yeah, you can't win without your (bleep) precious!" was often used. Oddly enough, I got really good with the pistol, but I found out later that other Halo players all thought the pistol was the cheap way to play.

4) A new player has entered the ring. The summer after our sophomore year, another friend from high school moved in with us and brought his Xbox with him. Now there were five Halo players, and our new friend was on the "really good" spectrum of our apartment. In fact, in our 4-bedroom apartment, he was sharing a room with the other "really good" Halo player. They put a mattress under the bed, and would pull it out to sleep at night with one on the bed, and one on the floor mattress. The trouble with this arrangement is they would make bets on who could beat who in a Halo game to see who had to take the floor mattress and who got the bed. These usually ended in yelling matches, but there was one such bet where they played one-on-one (over LAN in different rooms of course) on the level Chill Out. One of them got into a perfect rhythm of continuously getting the invisibility shield -> over-shield -> rocket launcher to a runaway victory. This resulted in a round of jiu-jitsu ground fighting and headlocks that lasted for I-kid-you-not 45 minutes of pure fury.

As this was the apex of Halo-caused fights, the phrase, "Halo Brings Hate" became the way we described the game. After this, we started realizing that we were better off inviting other gamers over and splitting into teams to minimize our personal hatred for each other during Halo. Also, other games came into the mix, and we let Halo go by the wayside...for the greater good.

I know Halo is a beloved game and franchise, but for us, it was probably the single greatest cause of arguments in our apartment for the better part of two years.
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Don't feel bad - there are still plenty of us who just flat out hate the game for being vastly over-rated and not so great.

I had to laugh after reading all the angst in some PC gaming magazines (back in the day right before Halo 1's launch) because it wasn't coming to PC but only the 360 - well I suppose I should say I had to laugh after finally playing it on the 360. I laughed at the inept AI (little dudes jumping side to side that looked like a Disney concept of what a small alien might look like), the fugly textures (as bland as vanilla without the vanilla extract flavoring), and the overall generically derivative storyline that had me yawning from the very start of the game. When you tacked on the fact that you were stuck playing the game with a crappy gamepad, it was just obvious that any success it saw was as much due to a desperate desire from console gamers for their own shooter franchise as much as it was from any perceived quality.

To this day when any largely hyped game comes out and actually doesn't live up to the billing, we call it "being Halo'd."
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Duncan
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wytefang wrote:
Don't feel bad - there are still plenty of us who just flat out hate the game for being vastly over-rated and not so great.

I had to laugh after reading all the angst in some PC gaming magazines (back in the day right before Halo 1's launch) because it wasn't coming to PC but only the 360 - well I suppose I should say I had to laugh after finally playing it on the 360. I laughed at the inept AI (little dudes jumping side to side that looked like a Disney concept of what a small alien might look like), the fugly textures (as bland as vanilla without the vanilla extract flavoring), and the overall generically derivative storyline that had me yawning from the very start of the game. When you tacked on the fact that you were stuck playing the game with a crappy gamepad, it was just obvious that any success it saw was as much due to a desperate desire from console gamers for their own shooter franchise as much as it was from any perceived quality.

To this day when any largely hyped game comes out and actually doesn't live up to the billing, we call it "being Halo'd."


It's good to hear a(nother) dissenting voice. I'm sick of being surrounded by Halo fans and wondering how exactly this series has got so popular amongst many.
For me "not so great" fits the bill perfectly.
 
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Brian Cox
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spacewolf009 wrote:
wytefang wrote:
Don't feel bad - there are still plenty of us who just flat out hate the game for being vastly over-rated and not so great.

I had to laugh after reading all the angst in some PC gaming magazines (back in the day right before Halo 1's launch) because it wasn't coming to PC but only the 360 - well I suppose I should say I had to laugh after finally playing it on the 360. I laughed at the inept AI (little dudes jumping side to side that looked like a Disney concept of what a small alien might look like), the fugly textures (as bland as vanilla without the vanilla extract flavoring), and the overall generically derivative storyline that had me yawning from the very start of the game. When you tacked on the fact that you were stuck playing the game with a crappy gamepad, it was just obvious that any success it saw was as much due to a desperate desire from console gamers for their own shooter franchise as much as it was from any perceived quality.

To this day when any largely hyped game comes out and actually doesn't live up to the billing, we call it "being Halo'd."


It's good to hear a(nother) dissenting voice. I'm sick of being surrounded by Halo fans and wondering how exactly this series has got so popular amongst many.
For me "not so great" fits the bill perfectly.


Don't get me wrong. I "liked" the game despite my hate. I'm by no means a Halo-lover, but one of the things I liked most about the game was it's simplicity and streamlined nature (for lack of better terms). By that I mean, I'm not an FPS-player, but I could pick up and play Halo. It had simple enough controls, a limited gun selection, a limit to only carry 2 guns at a time, limited power ups, and a few vehicles to play with. Wow, after I type that, I now remember the complaints from the PC crowd, but whether through luck or marketing genius, they dumbed it down enough for shmucks like me to get roped in to hating their friends.

There must be some sort of themes for a school paper on the history of Halo in all this rambling for a kid out there
 
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It has coop and makes more fun than all Crysis and Far Cry games together. It was never a good multiplayer deathmatch/CTF game. And the story is better than those of the overhyped bad Call of Duty games. Not good, but better anyway. Although that is not hard.
 
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wayne r
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wytefang wrote:
Don't feel bad - there are still plenty of us who just flat out hate the game for being vastly over-rated and not so great.

I had to laugh after reading all the angst in some PC gaming magazines (back in the day right before Halo 1's launch) because it wasn't coming to PC but only the 360 - well I suppose I should say I had to laugh after finally playing it on the 360. I laughed at the inept AI (little dudes jumping side to side that looked like a Disney concept of what a small alien might look like), the fugly textures (as bland as vanilla without the vanilla extract flavoring), and the overall generically derivative storyline that had me yawning from the very start of the game. When you tacked on the fact that you were stuck playing the game with a crappy gamepad, it was just obvious that any success it saw was as much due to a desperate desire from console gamers for their own shooter franchise as much as it was from any perceived quality.

To this day when any largely hyped game comes out and actually doesn't live up to the billing, we call it "being Halo'd."


I never liked the PC FPS setup with the use of keyboard and mouse for control. I could never quite get used to that setup. Then Halo came along and the dual analog sticks worked really well for me so I prefer the gamepad over keyboard and mouse anyday.

The storyline, I thought was better than the majority of FPS that came out during that time. The characters had more depth than the typical FPS cast of characters.

Multiplayer was awesome and this is from someone who is not that great at FPShooters. The level designs were great in that you really had to use the terrain for survival.
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David Cinotti
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I am a Halo fan, but I am not blind to its faults. Multi-player? Well, if you stink, it is hard to get better, and the more popular something is, the more of a lower-class element it will attract. I was fortunate with CE to play with a group that tended not to be too cheesy on their tactics, but I realize we were probably the minority.

As for the single-player, well, I like the story, but maybe that is because I have read quite a bit of the books and back story. What people rarely mention in my experience is that if you just play the games (and especially if it is just for the FPS experience), you kind of get only half the story. Is the whole story a ode to perfection? Well, no, but it is sci-fi fiction and really no better or worse than say, Star Wars (a vast and deep universe based on six movies that have holes in them you could drive a Star Destroyer through). The broad story-telling across games and books and websites etc. is a reasonable complaint regarding the Halo universe I will admit.

I found Halo's controls (XBox) easy to pick-up and play, and with a mysterious story that was engaging (at least for the first game). A lot of Halo-hating I hear starts with "Well, the Halo-lovers...", and I get it. The more popular something becomes and the more fans it gets, well, there is going to be an element of "jerkism" that is undeniable.

I had a good experience when first introduced to Halo:CE and bad ones with other games that people seem to love (Borderlands comes to mind). It is all part of the experience.

Thanks for sharing Mr. Cox...I love hearing people's experiences, good or bad.
 
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