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Sun, May 22nd, 2005   #1
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I'm sure we've all heard the buzz surrounding Halo [and it's sequel]: "10/10", "the best FPS ever", "the best GAME ever" and so on. But does Halo truly live up to all this hype?

Graphics:
The very first thing you notice about Halo is the graphics. Though the game is now several years old, the graphics are still suprisingly good even standing beside some of the newer PC games. Up close the textures are very high-res and detailed, though the begin to get blurred at even a short distance. The poly count for the characters and enemies is fairly high and mainy of the lighting effects [especially light filtering through the branches of trees] looks great. Metalic surfaces have an extra coat of glossy finish, which is made clearer when using your flashlight. All things considered, it looks great. The one downside to the graphics is that the art style is just too drab, it has little life too it and many areas are repeated for too many times.

Story:
The storyling is somewhat standard sci-fi fare. It involves a race of aliens known as the Covenant who are bent on destroying the Earth empire. It's up to you as Master Chief, intergalatic tough-guy, to make sure that doesn't happen. Unfortunately, you're strandedd on a ring-world called Halo, but no to worry, the Convenant are also there too, so there's plenty of alien-killing to be done. Things do begin to get a bit more complex in the later half of the game, but don't expect anything along the lines of 2001. It's a pretty much straight-forward and simple storyline, but it does what it needs to and it's not a downside.

Controls:
The left analog stick controls movement and the right controls your aim. The best set-up you can hope for without a keyboard and mouse. It works well though, and is simple enough to use.

Sound:
The machine guns of the future sound a lot like you might expect them too and explosions sound the same no matter what year you're in. It also has some decent voice work, which can do wonders for any game. Also, the music [from what I can remember] works well for the game, but didn't seem TOO memorable. That having been said, the game does sound pretty good.

Gameplay:
Unfortunately, the game struggles in this sector. You'd think a game where you play as the coolest warrior in the universe fighting hordes of alien scum could never get boring even in a million years, but you'd be wrong. By the time you've fought the same three types of aliens, in the same grey corridor for the hundredth time it becomes a chore to pick up the controller again. About half the game is boring, while the other half is actually rather fun. If you can overcome the monotony that plagues the boring half, or can find someone to co-op with you, you should be able to beat the game in about 10-15 hours. It's worth it to finally see the end, but getting their isn't easy and not for the right reasons. The multiplayer deathmatch, I've been told, is incredibly fun and makes up for some of the moring boring parts of the singleplayer, but I haven't played much of it myself.

Conclusion:
Despite it's amazing graphics and tight controls, Halo suffers from drab art style and gameplay that repeats itself too many times. It's a fun game, and one of the better console FPSs, but there are better games out there. If you're a scifi junkie and don't have a computer, you'll likely want to give it a go. If you're not a big fan of FPSs and find repetition to be a major turn off, you may want to consider a different game.

7.5/10
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Sun, May 22nd, 2005   #2
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You need to lower the score some more.
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Sun, May 22nd, 2005   #3
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It wasn't THAT bad. It wasn't as good as people like to say though, but the co-op storymode was actually fun enough to make the repetitive parts seems not quite so repetitive.
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Sun, May 22nd, 2005   #4
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The graphics score needs to go down, too. The textures are crap unless you're a centimeter away from them.
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Sun, May 22nd, 2005   #5
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... if you had given the graphics a separate score...


...
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Sun, May 22nd, 2005   #6
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if you had given the graphics a separate score..

Which I didn't.
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Sun, May 22nd, 2005   #7
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This is true.
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Sun, May 22nd, 2005   #8
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Maybe you should review it yourself. And give it your own low score.
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Sun, May 22nd, 2005   #9
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That's a good idea.
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Mon, May 23rd, 2005   #10
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I prefer to have seperate scores for each subcategory in addition to the final score, but it is simpler to just have a final score... still, the added detail is nice.

Though I wouldn't recommend going the Gamespot route and having the final score be the average of the categories. That's just annoying.
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Mon, May 23rd, 2005   #11
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I prefer to have seperate scores for each subcategory in addition to the final score

Most of those numbers are just arbitrary though, like sound and control.
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Though I wouldn't recommend going the Gamespot route and having the final score be the average of the categories. That's just annoying.

It needs to be weighted, since obviously things like gameplay and replayability count for a lot more than sound and control.
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Mon, May 23rd, 2005   #12
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There are a lot of potential categories, for breaking it up... what I used in the reviews I have here is Gameplay, Sound, Single Player, Multiplayer, Graphics, and Other, but that could use some improvement... some of those are too similar, for instance. But still, I think it's better than just having one score...

As for it being arbitrary... kind of. But all scoring is somewhat arbitrary. Really it's a question of how accurate you think you can be in assigning values to things like these... I, at least, would say that a somewhat inaccurate attempt is better than nothing.
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It needs to be weighted, since obviously things like gameplay and replayability count for a lot more than sound and control.

I would rather use the IGN approach -- have subscores for the categories, but have the final score be a completely indepentant score that is not derived from the parts. That's what I've done in my reviews.
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Thu, November 17th, 2005   #13
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Um, but the whole is the sum of it's parts.
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Thu, November 17th, 2005   #14
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Huh?
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Thu, November 17th, 2005   #15
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The last thing you said in that ages old post I just found was "The end score shouldn't be derived from the parts"

However, the fact is the whole is always, and I mean ALWAYS the sum of it's parts.
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Thu, November 17th, 2005   #16
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In some senses yes, but not necessarially in this one...
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Thu, November 17th, 2005   #17
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How so? Even aesthetically, the whole must be the sum of it's parts. The parts DO include the human brain when it comes to this mind you. Since human brains tend to differ in terms of experiences, that basically leads directly to something I've been saying for a while now. There is absolutely no reason to use numbers to "score" aesthetics.
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Thu, November 17th, 2005   #18
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If you want a more satisfactory way of looking at it, an overall score IS the sum of its parts, with each part properly weighted in regards to the whole. That's how I approach my scoring. A game with average graphics and a storyline that keeps me up all night thinking about it is obviously going to be scored with a lot more emphasis on the part of the game which impacted me the most. In some games, it's different.

For instance, when I review Silent Hill games, the sound and storyline weigh more than graphics or control. When I review Tetris, controls weigh more than anything else. When I tally an overall score, it's both an overall indicator of how enjoyable I found the game regardless of its attributes, and of the individual parts that made the game enjoyable to me. It's partially arbitrary, but not completely. A game in which I expect story to be of great importance will have a low overall score if that's not met, even if the other aspects are superior to my expectations (Xenosaga).
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Thu, November 17th, 2005   #19
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Xenosaga didn't even bother living up to any of my gaming expectations.
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Wed, November 23rd, 2005   #20
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A Halo review from the perspective of someone who enjoyed the gameplay is needed. Maybe I will write one before I write my Halo 2 review.
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Sat, November 26th, 2005   #21
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We need a review from someone who liked Halo? Couldn't come from me...
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Sat, November 26th, 2005   #22
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I understand, much in the same way I could never give Metal Gear Solid or Grand Theft Auto the scores they probably deserve because I just don't like either one of them. Also, I would look pretty silly scoring Metal Gear Solid a six or a seven when it racked up nothing but 9's and 10's from professional game journalists...
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Sun, November 27th, 2005   #23
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Oh, I don't hate Halo... I haven't played it enough to hate it. I've played a level or two of co-op in Halo 2 (last year) and some multiplayer Halo 1 (several years back). It's kind of fun, but it just doesn't intrest me as much as other games... I'm no good, or get lost, or whatever, and get bored and want to play something else (that is in a different genre)... I'm just not an FPS person.

I mean, I've never finished the shareware episodes of Doom or Wolfenstein 3D... I think I got through like three levels of Doom before quitting, somewhat bored...
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