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vashkey Blog

Resistance is Futile

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Tonight I'm going to be streaming multiplayer gameplay for Resistance: Fall of Man, Resistance 2 and Resistance.

You can watch the stream at http://www.twitch.tv/vashkey

The servers are being taken down tomorrow and I've tried finding out precisely what time but I was unable to despite looking through Insomniac's and Sony official pages and twtter accounts.

I'd say it's safe to assume that tonight is the last night you can expect to play those game online.

There wil be minimal to no commentary. Right now I don't have the greatest connection so the video quality isn't going to be high. That said, if you would like to watch just to see what it was like to play on the last night or for any reason I would very much welcome you to watch.

Halo 4 Review

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Back in 2007 Call of Duty 4 changed the landscape of the first person shooter and effectively threw a wrench in Halo's domination of the genre on consoles. It introduced exciting and interesting new gameplay innovations like killstreaks and perks and pretty much made custom loadouts and sprinting a standard. Call of Duty stood as a pub of a different gameplay style for those not as keen on the thrill of piling into a warthog for a flag cap or fierce battles over controlling power weapon spawn locations.

Fastforward to 2012 and Call of Duty's signature hooks, the constant ranking up and unlocks and it's gameplay philosophies have not just spilled over into other games, to many it's become downright mundane. Halo 3 and to a lesser extent, Halo: Reach became bastions. One of the few main stream console shooters that hadn't been influenced by the CoD craze.

Unfortunately, it appears 343 industries didn't get the memo.

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Halo 4's campaign takes place five years after Halo 3, the Forward Unto Dawn is in orbit of a mysterious Forerunner planet, and in it a new foe with a brand new faction of enemies for the Master Chief and Cortana to face off against.

Despite this exciting premise ripe with potential Halo 4 feels very much like something you would expect from a Halo campaign. Most of the new Promethean foes you encounter don't act too much unlike the Covenant enemies in previous games.

The main Promethean combatabt that leads them are the Knights, which fill in the same sort of role the Elites did in the majority of the Halo games. The game makes a point to illustrate their superiority to the Covenant's Elites but it really just boils down to you having to fill them up more with led.

The crawlers fill the same sort of role the Jackals or grunts did, they're the cannon fodder, but there are variations that fill in specialized rolls such as ones that garnish sniper rifles... in their face. They have guns for faces. And they have the same sort of mobility you would expect of the skirmishers from Halo: Reach, able to quickly traverse the map and perch upon vantage points.

And lastly are the Watchers, acting as support for the other Promethean enemies. They can revive fallen foes, toss back player thrown grenades and provide shielding to it's allies, so it's always best to take care of them first.

While fighting the Prometheans isn't much unlike fighting the covenant The Watchers at least help provide a greater sense of team work and cooperation between the enemy ai that hasn't been seen before. Unfortunately, the Prometheans don't provides very new feeling weapons, instead providing weapons that fill in already existing roles. Snipers, the heavy weapon, ect. No surprises.

In terms of structure Halo 4 plays it safe, it's the standard linear campaign. Like Halo games before it, Halo 4 provides large open spaces often for players to wage combat in giving a little more freedom to fight how you please than Call of Duty, but it's not a Crysis level of freedom or anything, Something of a middle ground.

With the familiar structure comes the familiar set pieces. You have some tank levels, a vehicle escape sequence, shutting down generators, ect. While it's all good fun Halo 4 rarely throws you a curve ball.

One aspect of Halo 4 that absolutely does not disappoint is the graphics. Everything just looks fantastic. The animations really help convey a sense of weight to the Master Chief and the guns feel much more powerful thanks in part to some great visual and audio feedback that help make the combat feel more visceral.

Motion capturing, and face motion capturing really help sell the performances along with great voice work; essential to Halo 4's effort in greater characterization. Halo 4 does a great job convincing you of Cortana's plight and you'll feel more sympathetic toward the Master Chief. However, while Halo 4's villain, the Didact, is imposing enough for the role, it's unfortunate that 343 didn't do as well a job at conveying his motivations.

Halo 4's campaign clocks in about what you'd expect from a Halo campaign. About seven hours and includes the typical bells and whistles. The same four difficulty levels since the first Halo and the same difficulty modifying skulls and campaign scoring system options we've had since Halo 3 and of course four player co-op returns as well. It's all very solid and entertaining, I just feel like it's a shame there weren't any big surprises or new break out feature.

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Fire Fight is out, which is something I'd usually welcome since, while it was all good fun the whole wave based survival co-op mode has been done to death by now, but instead we got something far worse and it's really unfortunate since it was full of potential, Spartan Ops.

Spartan Ops Is sorta mini co-op campaign. At least, that was the idea. Instead we got a bunch of missions with haphazard enemy placement, dull objectives ranging from pressing buttons to clearing rooms of bad guys, then clearing the room again, or a combination of the two.

In Spartan Ops there is no sense of satisfaction in conquering foes, there is rarely a failure state, you can keep respawning to your hearts content in most of the missions and it feels like the mission designers took that excuse to just thoughtlessly drop enemies anywhere in hordes.

In the end I only continued through all the missions to see how the disjointed and poorly conveyed plot went. Seriously, no one I know entirely understands what was going on in Spartan Ops. Spartan Ops isn't completely unenjoyable, there are a handfull of genuinely solid missions, but I honestly don't feel like it's worth the time.

As a whole, Halo 4 suffers from the inclusion of Spartan Ops, I'd honestly say Halo 4 would be a better game if Spartan Ops was entirely absent from it.

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Whats left is what many refer to as the meat and potatoes of Halo, the competitive multiplayer and this is where we come back to the introduction. While Halo 4's campaign is content with remaining faithful to what Halo's campaigns are known for the multiplayer makes some big changes and they aren't daring, innovative or new, they're from Call of Duty.

Sprinting is now a base ability all players have. Custom loadouts, perks, killstreaks, they're all here, albeit under different names. Even some of the controls have been changed to accommodate a more Call of Duty like experience(B to crouch, click the left stick to sprint, d-pad for killstreaks).

This effects how Halo plays. controlling key locations on maps for weapon spawns isn't as important, for instance, since players can spawn with pretty ideal weapons and weapons drops(one of Halo 4's killstreak bonuses) can deliver players those weapons right in front of them, In some extreme cases this can grant half the enemy team sniper rifles.

At the same time, thanks to some of the changes like sprinting and more powerful feeling weapons the combat in Halo 4 feels more fast and effective than it has since Halo 2. While the structure of the multiplayer is Call of Duty, a lot of Halo feel is left intact. It still takes more work to kill a Spartan than it does a player in most other shooters, there's still big maps and vehicles to run other players down with present. And many of the staple Halo game types are present, albeit with some odd omissions like assault and rocket race.

On the bright side Halo 4 launched with thirteen maps on disc, the most any Halo game has seen at launch since the first Halo. There's also a free 'Forge Island' map you can download to boot. I wouldn't recommend downloading any of the premium map packs, there aren't enough dedicated playlists for them and what ones there are are sparsely populated.

Halo 4's multiplayer contains the suite of features you've come to expect from Halo, forge, custom games and theater, all rounded with file sharing. Forge sees some improvement such as the snap feature, making it easier than ever to build levels with the precision you've always wanted. Theater, however, has seen a downgrade as you can no longer view campaign sessions.

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With all the alterations seen in Halo 4 it feels more like an experiment or a spin off rather than a true successor to Halo 3 some times. At best fans might find the multiplayer to be an entertaining novelty to see what a Halo game would feel like with a Call of Duty structure. It's refreshing to Halo, some what, but to shooter fans these changes are hardly anything new or exciting. It feels like an admission of defeat. Halo use to be different, and while some viewed it as not changing with the times, Halo made it's place with more skillful based gameplay. All players had equel access to the same toolset, no killstreaks, no lodouts, no perks.

Halo use to be a leader in the fps genre, creating the party system nearly every online multiplayer game uses today, bringing a map editor to console when hardly any did, and having theater mode just to name a few. On the other hand Halo 4 is a follower, all the additions Halo 4 brought to the Halo series begins and ends with things it borrowed from Call of Duty. It even passes up an obvious opportunity to change things up in the campaign by having the new foes and weapons feel like things we've already experienced.

Despite all this Halo 4 evaluated by it's own merits is a very solid and satisfying shooter to play with an impressive amount of content and great production values to back it up. For what it's worth, it was my favorite shooter of 2012.

8/10

Vashkey's five favorite games of 2012

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Hhhhhhhh, guys! I wanna talk about my favorite games too!

Keep in mind, I haven't played every game of 2012, obviously. There are still even games I have sitting around from 2012 I still haven't played much or at all(Assassin's Creed III, FTL, Mark of the Ninja, Far Cry 3, ect). Still, those games haven't made a big enough impression to prevent me from making this list and I doubt I'll care enough if I wait much longer(like 2011).

Keep in mind these are MY favorite games of the year. That does not mean I feel like these are objectively the best games of the year. This is purely based on my preference.

The pictures I created for this blog aren't working on photobucket and I don't feel like waiting around so I'm posting now without em. So sorry to the babies that can't read anything without picture sandwiches to comfort them. Maybe I'll edit them in later.

5. Asura's Wrath

Who'd have thought a game made up almost entirely out of quick time events would end up being one of my favorite games of the year? But Asura's Wrath manages to make the most of them, creating one of the best power trips you'll experience. If you're into anime like Gurren Lagann, Dragon Ball or One Piece you should definitely check this out. Just make sure you're ready to pay extra for the proper ending... meh

4. Mass Effect 3

Sure, the ending was kinda lame. But I'm more about the journey than the destination and for the most part Mass Effect 3 is the journey you'd hope for from a trilogy closer of one of this generation's most beloved game series. It's about all you expect from Mass Effect improved.

3. The Walking Dead

Like Asura's Wrath, The Walking Dead's stregnth isn't gameplay, but narrative and that narrative is just as engrossing and entertaining as the show's. That alone easily made it one of my favorite games of the year.

2. Minecraft

It came out on PC long before 2012, blah blah, what ever. Came out in 2012 on xbox, and it was the game I played most last year. It's surprising how a game that lets you create what you want and play how you want will suck you in with an iron grib :o

1.Halo 4

I'm sorry, but it's just hard not to give my game of the year to Halo 4. Sure, it's a little disappointing that most of Halo 4's gameplay augmentations involve borrowing stuff from Call of Duty, but it's sure hard to stay disappointed when you're hard pressed to find a game on consoles that play, look or sound as good. Throw in a campaign that actually takes some risks with the Halo fiction, puts on performances that rival LA Noire and actually makes the Master Chief feel like a human being and you have a game that I just couldn't not call my favorite of the year.

Honorable mentions - Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance, Transformers: Fall of Cybertron, Spec Ops: The Line

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Bonus - My five favorite games of 2011

I'm not going to explain my positions on these cuz I'm lazy

5. Bastion

4. Dead Space 2

3. Gears of War 3

2. Portal 2

1. L.A. Noire

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Five most anticipated games of 2013

5. Gears of War: Judgement

4. Tomb Raider

3. Grand Theft Auto V

2. Bioshock Infinite

1. Dead Space 3

There, I'm done with lists this year. Probably. Maybe I'll resume normal blogging later if I can keep an opinion on a game and write out paragraphs about it. Or maybe I wont cuz Gamespot is kinda meh

Three Years of raptr stuff

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So I've been a member of the raptr website for three years now, a magical place that tracks your game time on 360 and PC and so I figured I celebrate my usual way by listing my ten most played games tracked by the site but with less effort involve. I'm lazy.

10. Borderlands - 80 hours

9. Modern Warfare 2 - 91 hours

8. Minecraft - 98 hours

7. Halo 3: ODST - 110 hours

6. Gears of Wars 2 - 112 hours

5. Gears of War 3 - 129 hours

4. Halo Wars - 139 hours

3. Mass Effect 2 - 167 hours

2. Halo 3 - 202 hours

1. Halo: Reach - 658 hours

Note - Almost none of my game time from the first quarter of the year was tracked because I had no access to the internet. But the only game from that time that had any chace of being on the list is Mass Effect 3, which I doubt I've spent more than seventy hours on.

Also, Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker HD is tracked seperately from the rest of Metal Gear Solid HD Collection. If you combine my playtime of the whole collection then I've played 98 hours of Metal Gear Solid HD Collection, tying it with Minecraft as 8th most played game.

King of Games

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I just beat my 200th game and so to commemorate it I figured I'd list em all here, (mostly) in alphabetical order with what console(s) I beat them on in parentheses

  • 50 Cent: Blood on the Sand(360)
  • Aegis Wing(360)
  • Alan Wake(360)
  • Ape Escape 3(PS2)
  • Army of Two(360)
  • Army of Two: The 40th Day(360)
  • Assassin's Creed(360)
  • Assassin's Creed II(360)
  • Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood(360)
  • Assassin's Creed: Revelations(360)
  • Back to the Future: The game - Episode 1: It's About Time(PC)
  • Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts and Bolts(360)
  • Bastion(360)
  • Batman: Arkham Asylum(360)
  • Batman: Arkham City(360)
  • Battlefield: Bad Company(360)
  • Battlefield: Bad Company 2(360)
  • Battlefield 3(360)
  • Beyond Good and Evil HD(360)
  • The Bourne Conspiracy(360)
  • Borderlands(360)
  • Bioshock(360)
  • Bioshock 2(360)
  • Brothers in Arms: Hell's Highway(360)
  • Brutal Legend(360)
  • Bulletstorm(360)
  • Burnout: Paradise(360)
  • Call of Duty(PC)
  • Call of Duty 2(PC)
  • Call of Duty 3(360)
  • Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare(360)
  • Call of Duty: World at War(360)
  • Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2(360)
  • Call of Duty: Black Ops(360)
  • Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3(360)
  • Child of Eden(360)
  • Comic Jumper(360)
  • Crackdown(360)
  • Crackdown 2(360)
  • Crysis(360)
  • Crysis 2(360)
  • Dash of Destruction(360)
  • Dead Rising 2: Case Zero(360)
  • Dead Rising 2(360)
  • Dead Rising 2: Case West(360)
  • Dead Rising 2: Off the Record(360)
  • Dead Space(360)
  • Dead Space 2(360)
  • Digimon Rumble Arena(PS)
  • Digimon Battle Spirit(GBA)
  • Doritos Crash Course(360)
  • Dragon Ball Z: The Legacy of Goku(GBA)
  • Dragon Ball Z: The Legacy of Goku II(GBA)
  • Dragon Ball Z Budokai(PS2/GCN)
  • Dragon Ball Z Budokai 2(PS2)
  • Dragon Ball Z Budokai 3(PS2)
  • Dragon Ball Z Budokai Tenkaichi(PS2)
  • Dragon Ball Z Budokai Tenkaichi 2(PS2/Wii)
  • Dragon Ball: Advanced Adventure(GBA)
  • Dragon Ball Z Shin Budokai(PSP)
  • Dragon Ball Z: Burst Limit(360)
  • Enslaved: Odyssey to the West(360)
  • Fable II(360)
  • Final Fantasy VII(PS)
  • Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII(PSP)
  • Final Fantasy X(PS2)
  • Fracture(360)
  • Gears of War(360)
  • Gears of War 2(360)
  • Gears of War 3(360)
  • Ghostbusters: The Video Game(360)
  • Grand Theft Auto San Andreas(XBOX)
  • Grand Theft Auto IV(360)
  • Grand Theft Auto: Episodes from Libery City(360)
  • Guitar Hero II(360)
  • Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock(360)
  • Half-Life 2(360)
  • Half-Life 2: Episode One(360)
  • Half-Life 2: Episode Two(360)
  • Halo: Combat Evolved(XBOX/PC)
  • Halo 2(XBOX)
  • Halo 3(360)
  • Halo Wars(360)
  • Halo 3: ODST(360)
  • Halo: Reach(360)
  • Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary(360)
  • Heavy Rain(PS3)
  • Ikaruga(360)
  • Indigo Prophecy(XBOX)
  • Katamari Damacy(PS2)
  • Me & My Katamari(PSP)
  • Beautiful Katamari(360)
  • Killzone 2(PS3)
  • Kingdom Hearts(PS2)
  • Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories(GBA)
  • Kingdom Hearts II(PS2)
  • Kingdom Hearts: 358/2 Days(DS)
  • Kirby's Dreamland(GB)
  • Kirby: Nightmare in Dreamland(GBA)
  • Kirby: Canvas Curse(DS)
  • L.A. Noire(360)
  • Left 4 Dead(360)
  • Left 4 Dead 2(360)
  • The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker(GCN)
  • The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess(GCN)
  • Lost Odyssey(360)
  • Lumines: Puzzle Fusion(PSP)
  • Lumines II(PSP)
  • Lumines Live!(360)
  • Lumines Supernova(PS3)
  • Mass Effect(360)
  • Mass Effect 2(360)
  • Mass Effect 3(360)
  • Medal of Honor(360)
  • Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty(PS2)
  • Metal Gear Solid 2: Substance(360)
  • Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes(GCN)
  • Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater(PS2)
  • Metal Gear Solid 3: Subsistence(PS2/360)
  • Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops(PSP)
  • Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots(PS3)
  • Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker(PSP)
  • Metal Slug 3(360)
  • Metal Slug XX(360)
  • Mirror's Edge(360)
  • No More Heroes(Wii)
  • Okami(Wii)
  • Perfect Dark(360)
  • Pokemon Red(GB)
  • Pokemon Blue(GB)
  • Pokemon Yellow(GB)
  • Pokemon Snap(N64)
  • Pokemon Gold(GBC)
  • Pokemon Silver(GBC)
  • Pokemon Crystal(GBC)
  • Pokemon Ruby(GBA)
  • Pokemon Sapphire(GBA)
  • Portal(360/PC)
  • Portal 2(360)
  • Prince of Persia 2008(360)
  • Rainbow Six Vegas 2(360)
  • Red Dead Redemption(360)
  • Resident Evil 5(360)
  • Rez HD(360)
  • Rock Band(360)
  • Rogue Galaxy(PS2)
  • Rugrats: Search for Reptar(PS)
  • Rugrats: Studio Tour(PS)
  • Saints Row 2(360)
  • The Secret of Monkey Island - Special Edition (360)
  • Shadow Complex(360)
  • Shadow of the Colossus(PS2)
  • Shadows of the Damned(360)
  • Singularity(360)
  • The Simpsons: Roadrage(GCN)
  • The Simpsons Game(360)
  • Sonic the Hedgehog(360)
  • Sonic the Hedgehog 2(360)
  • Sonic the Hedgehog 3(360)
  • Sonic & Knuckles(360)
  • Sonic Adverture DX: Director's Cut(GCN/360)
  • Sonic Adventure 2: Battle(GCN)
  • Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode I(360)
  • Soulcalibur II(GCN)
  • Spider-Man: Web of Shadows(360)
  • Splinter Cell: Conviction(360)
  • 'Splosion Man(360)
  • Ms. Splosion Man(360)
  • Spyro the Dragon(PS)
  • Spyro 2: Ripto's Rage(PS)
  • Star Wars: The Force Unleashed(360)
  • Super Mario 64(N64)
  • Super Mario Sunshine(GCN)
  • Super Mario 64 DS(DS)
  • Super Paper Mario(Wii)
  • Super Mario Galaxy(Wii)
  • Mario Kart 64(N64)
  • Mario Kart: Super Circuit(GBA)
  • Mario Kart Double Dash(GCN)
  • Mario Kart DS(DS)
  • Super Smash Brothers(N64)
  • Super Smash Brothers Melee(GCN)
  • Super Smash Brothers Brawl(Wii)
  • Tales of Symphonia(GCN)
  • Tales of Vesperia(360)
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Turtles in Time Re-Shelled(360)
  • Timeshift(360)
  • Tiny Toons Adventures: The Great Beanstalk(PS)
  • Tomb Raider: Legend(360)
  • Tomb Raider: Underworld(360)
  • Too Human(360)
  • Transformers: War for Cybertron(360)
  • Undertow(360)
  • Uncharted: Drake's Fortune(PS3)
  • Uncharted 2: Among Thieves(PS3)
  • Unreal Tournament 3(360)
  • Vanquish(360)
  • Virtual-On: Oratorio Tangram(360)
  • X-Men Arcade(360)
  • X-Men Origins: Wolverine(360)
  • Zone of the Enders: The Secon Runner(PS2)

I was gonna do a whole stats breakdown and stuff... but this is too much work, so there ya go. Maybe late :P

Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary Review

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It'a been while since I've played and I alread typed up a blog about this and had it eaten up by Gamespot so forgive me if this one feel a little half assed, it's hard to care as much the second time around.

With the tenth anniversarry one of modern gaming's most important franchises it's no surprise that Microsoft would try to capitalise on it with a new Halo game release. While there's some obvious ways this Anniversary could have come to fruition it instead explores multiple directions and ultimately the game doesn't commit enough to any of them to be a truly great celebreation of the franchise.

When Anniversarry was announced Frankie of 343 Industries made it clear that preserving the original Combat Evolved gameplay expierience was important. The actual campaign for Anniversary is precisely the same as it was in 2001 in many ways. The level design, physics, gameplay and dialouge are exactly as you remember. The game is in fact the same, with the press of the back button you can return to the original graphics.

Anniversarry is running the original game underneath a more modern graphics engine. More modern being the key words. While the game appears more modern with this new graphics layer is still doesn't quite match up with with even the top of the line games from 2007. What you have is a decen't looking game with some good art direction and some antiquated animation during gameplay. It's an uneven quality, a theme that echoes across the entire game.

Cut scenes have been redone with motion capturing in an attempt to try to bring the game up to speed with the standard. It's hit or miss, awkward and goofy or just acceptable. Some times the Master Chief looks like a quy moving around in a suit he's uncomfotable in and Cpt. Keyes motions feels at odds with the expression on his face. And Cortana's animations look worse than they did in the original.

Over all the game looks just acceptable for a modern shooter but it's a big step down from Halo: Reach. I have to admit though, switching between classic and modern graphics is (sadly) probably the game's coolest feature letting you sort of see how far graphics have come. Even as a passable game by today's standards there's a pretty big gap between anniversarry and classic's graphics.

While the game playing the same is sorta nice considering you can still perform some of the same tricks from the original like warthog jumping it also means the negatives return such as the Library. In light of more stiff competition the repetitive level design for certain segments just isn't as forgivable, especially since we have other Halo games on 360 with better level design.

With the advent of xbox live one of the no brainer features in this returning classic is online co-op. The ability to play the first Halo in online co-op with my friends is why I bought Anniversarry... And the game disapoints here. I have never played the co-op in Anniversary without someone experiencing at least a little bit of lag. The player who isn't hosting, to my experience, WILL experience lag. It's all just a matter of will the non hosting player experience just a little lag or so much lag that the game becomes uplayable and even the host may experience lag.

While the original voice work still remains the score has been beautifully reorchestrated by skywalker ranch, it's about the only aspect of the game I can whole heartedly say actually improved. Unfortunately if you want to hear the original soundtrack as it was in 2001 that'll take some tweaking in the menus instead of the simple button press like the graphics. The sound effect have been remastered to sound a bit more punchy, it sounds great but you can't toggle back to the classic sound effects at all.

The campaign's biggest flaw is the frame rate. Despite the game not looking especially impressive it can't even maintain a consistent thirty frames per second. While it usually doesn't get in the way on more than one occasion it will get in the way and in co-op the lag issues compound it and some times the game is reduced to essentially a slide show.

With the commitment to delivering the authentic Combat Evolved gameplay experience for the campaign it may surprised you that the multiplayer does pretty much the opposite.

Anniversary's multiplary is litterally Reach's. So the game looks, moves and plays quite differently from the original Halo in every regard. While there are playlists that have game types that mimic some aspects of classic Halo, it's just not the same. Zero bloom for guns that clearly weren't made for it, a different firing rate for the pistol, hijacking, ect. If you want the classic Halo Multiplayer experience you came to the wrong place. Truly a wasted opprotunity.

Anniversary including Reach's multiplayer might give you the impression that this makes Anniversary a similar sort of deal to ODST, but you'd be wrong. Where as ODST included the complete Halo 3 multiplayer experience Anniversary merely include 7 new Halo Reach maps and that's it. This severely limits your playlist options for Reach.

Seven maps isn't a whole lot and one of those maps is a fire fight map so you really only have six for competitive play here. The Noble and Defiant map packs aren't compatible with Anniversarry either, so there's another missed opprotunity. The game doesn't even include the Forge World map so you can't even play on Blood Gulch in this so called Anniversary.

Sufficed to say, if you want to play the Halo: Reach multiplayer then you should get Halo: Reach.

What we end up with is two very conflicted visions for the Anniversary with varying qualities. A Frankenstien monster of a Halo game.

The campaign feels rough around the edges and hastily thrown together. If you're here for campaign I'd actually encourage you to instead buy the original, it runs better and theres a good reason why it doesn't look as good as more recent games.

The multiplayer is great and is as good as you'd expect a modern shooter would be, and one of the best looking ones, but it's merely a cut out portion of a bigger game.

If 343 wanted a game that preserved the classic Halo experience they should have included the original Halo multiplayer. It should have been an HD collection. If they wanted a more modern take of the classic they should have remade it from the ground up. Heck if they wanted a ODST esque deal they should have included the full Halo: Reach multiplayer.

The game isn't bad, in fact I'd actually say it's decent, the problem is it just theres no reason to get it. Anniversary comes up too short in every aspect to be reccomendable to anyone.

Someone just getting started with Halo would be better served picking up any other Halo shooter on the 360. Halo vets would be better off just revisting their original copy rather than tarnishing it's memories with lag and frame rate issues. If you're in it for the multiplayer just pick up Reach and buy the map packs on xbox live. There's litterally no reason to buy this.

Theres something seriously wrong when sixty dollars for ODST seems like a better deal in hind sight versus fourty dollars for this. At least ODST provided an entirely new campaign that ran well, an entirely new co-op survival mode and the complete Halo 3 multiplayer.

I promise...

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That before the end of this month I will make a legit blog post. I want to at least get a review for Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary and type up my impression of the PS3 thus far. There's alot more I could talk about, like other games I've played this year this year, which is many, but I feel strongy about these two subjects.

I just haven't had the time for it and when I do get spare time I usually don;t feel like sitting down and spending an hour or so typing, especially after what happened last time.

I Just want to make the promise, I really do want to share my thoughts and so if I set a deadline for myself I feel I'll probably stick to it.

I foocking hate gamespot

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I wasted about an hour typing up a blog review of Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary and gamespot ate it. Don't expect me to attempt blogging again for a while. I worked hard on that ****.

Finally got a PS3

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After nearly four long years of waiting I finally got a PS3 to play me some MGS4. Knowing my luck this'll be the e3 Kojima decides to announce a port of it for the 360. I also got Noby Noby Boy and Lumines: Supernova.

My PSN ID is Vashkey for those who might like to add me.

I've rented a bunch of other 360 games lately, I'll probably talk about that later, kida don't feel like putting much effort into to making a decent blog.

bleh

I played games guys

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My last blog was... September. I guess I've got some ground to cover.

I'll start with Vanquish. Um, you shoot stuff and you slide around on the ground.

There you go...

It's an alright game. It's a 3rd person cover based shooter that actually encourages minimum use of cover. You have a slick sliding mechanic that consumes energy. It really controls how you play and as you progress you'll learn to use every bit of the energy to the fullest while also making sure to not deplete it.

So yeah, the controls and core gameplay are solid.

But there's alot going against the rest of the game. The campaign is only around six hours long. In those six hours you'll fight the same foes consistantly through out. Every boss shows up for atleast a second showdown. In the month or so since I've completed the game I find it difficult to summon some stand out moments.

I love the design of the guns and the main character's armor(Master Chief + I-pod) but the entire game's environment is a dull blend of black, gray and white with a short diversion in a artificial habitat.

The plot is cheesy and cliched, the voice acting is forced and corny and the characters are flat and uninteresting. This wouldn't be so bad if the game behind it was thoroughly enjoyable. While the gameplay is solid, the campaign is too short and even then theres a sense of copy and paste all over the place.

It's a decent rental, but I wouldn't suggest anything more than that.

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For my birthday a friend of my sent me a copy of Battlefield 3...

So.... I dunno. It's Battlefield. Personally I haven't had too much experience with this series. I played quite a bit of Battlefield 1943, but that was more of a spin off. I played Bad Company 1 and 2 but I didn't play too much of their multiplayer.

That said, I get the distinct feeling this isn't anything particularly new or crazy like people made it out to be.

The campaign is dull and uninspired, shamelessly ripping scenarios and set pieces straight from it's competition and throwing in quick time events for bad measure. There's a co-op mode but the missions are long and there are no check points so trying to complete them on hard is a practice in patience.

However, multiplayer is what Battlefield is about and it does it well. That said, while the multiplayer is good I'm not really seeing anything particularly new here. You've got 24 player matches on large scale maps, you've got your vehicles, your guns and your cl@sses.

Since Battlefield 1943 is the only Battlefield I played in multiplayer extensively before this there's really nothing I feel is off about the game. I'm not blown away, but it's fun.

If Call of Duty is not your cup of tea but you're still into multiplayer shooting I'd suggest giving Battlefield 3 a try... Or maybe Bad Company 2 isntead. It's cheaper. Personally, while Battlefield 3 is a good game I would have never bought it myself.

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I just got Alan Wake...

And I already beat it...

I think it's a good game. It's got some great atmosphere, but I think some of it was lost on me since there was someone around making noise almost the entire time I played it. This is the first game in quite a while that I felt actually had a good plot though.

The combat can get a little repetetive, what with it largely consisting of you pointing a flash light at a dude, waiting a bit and then shooting but it's pretty entertaining at times, especially with how it treats light so you use some less orthodox weapons like flare guns and flash bangs.

It's a little short though. Around eight hours. I'd suggest renting if you're not concerned with getting alot of the achievements. Unlike Vanquish though it's a solid campaign full of memorable moments and an entertaining story.

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Lastly, I've just purchased Ms. Splosion Man. Not too much to say so far. I think only around half through single-player. Maybe half way through the multiplayer. It's very 'Splosion Many, but I'm thinking maybe it's a bit cheaper. The presentation alot better.

That free booster map pack for Gears of War 3 just came out, so that's cool. They're free so it's not like I can really complain. They're good maps.

That's it. I think I'll be getting Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversay and Metal Gear Solid HD Collection any day now in tha mail.

What a passionless, jaded blog :o