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 DUFFYREVIEWS: HALO WARS

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Duffy
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PostSubject: DUFFYREVIEWS: HALO WARS   DUFFYREVIEWS: HALO WARS I_icon_minitimeMon Apr 27, 2009 9:47 pm

Welcome to the first of DUFFYREVIEWS, today we will be
taking a look at Microsoft’s next addition to the Halo franchise:
HALO WARS

DUFFYREVIEWS: HALO WARS Halowarsboxart

Halo Wars takes place 20 years before the first Halo game: Combat
Evolved. You take command of the ship, Spirit of Fire, to
take on alien hordes across the universe. This is the first Halo
game to lose the First person perspective and take on the RTS
genre, or Real Time Strategy. Real Time Strategy is a game when you
control many units of troops, tanks, whatever; in order to achieve
the goal at hand. In a lot of ways the transition to an RTS was
remarkably well done. You are able to make you favorite
units from all the Halo games such as Marines, Spartans, Warthogs,
Scorpions, Hornets, Elites, Grunts, Hunters, Wraiths, Banshees,
Ghosts, and many, MANY others. But with so many unit types comes
the dreaded console RTS controls. A lot of skeptics were concerned
about the unit selection and controls of Halo Wars as almost all
console RTS games have had frustrating controls that crippled the
player. With Halo Wars, this is not the case. Ensemble Studios
built the controls from the ground up for the console, and it has
worked great with minor nick picks like the select all units
globally versus the select all local units.

Halo Wars economy management is pretty simple. You start out with
five spaces to build. Then you can upgrade to eight spaces so
it will force you to explore and build new bases. But the new
base locations are usually occupied but rebels so if you go out
base hunting you better bring some troops with you.
And depending if you choose Humans or Aliens, you will
have to make supply pads or warehouses to get supplies then you
build stations to make either troops, aircraft, or vehicles. Which can
all can be upgraded as you play a game.

Ensemble must have known that when they decided to have Halo
Wars for the console only, most Xbox owners are those instant
gratification gamers like me, so they made the tutorial to throw
you into the action at the word go. Which made me want to go and
kill swarming armies of blood-thirsty aliens, maybe I should
have been careful for what I wished for because the second level
was to hard for me until I changed the difficulty setting, which
brings us to our next subject.

Halo Wars continues the tradition of a criminally short campaign
and having a difficulty curve of a roller coaster. There we're
sequences that I just couldn’t get through until changed the
difficulty setting. And also, would have for sure enjoyed
Halo Wars even more if the had written the story better and
characterized the protagonists more. Even when one of the main
characters dies at the end, it seemed like I was suppost to feel
sadder than I actually was. I think that had the made the game
longer than 15 missions, the whole story would have been
significantly improved.

One thing I would like to point out was how the Spartans we're
portrayed in Halo Wars. In the original Halo trilogy,
Master Chief was portrayed as humanities last hope for survival,
but in Halo Wars, the Spartans we're made to be these show offs,
and even sometimes arrogant solders like the whole war was a
game to them. The cutscene before the last mission showed three
Spartans taking down a small army of aliens single handed while
a group of marines works on a bomb, then when all the aliens are
dead, the Spartans walk over to the protagonist who dies and tells
him it has been a honor serving with him. That quote changed my
entire perspective on the Spartans as the were portrayed because
they just killed a group of aliens effortlessly and still have
respect for the men who were working behind the scenes while the
Spartans were off in fighting. I guess if they had a little more
consistency with the respect the existing Halo games have set,
the game would have been a lot better.

Despite the characters and their portrayal,
there was one major flaw in the story that, in my opinion,
screwed up the existing Halo story. The original Halo story is
our ship crashes on a ring in space running from aliens who
where looking for the ring in the first place then we find
something else is on the ring, a Parasite that feeds itself on
sentient life. We know them as the Flood but we were only suppost
the know about them in the first Halo game. In Halo Wars,
I thought that including the Flood in the story was a terrible
idea, sure it mixed up your combat strategies but if we knew about
the Flood 20 years before we met them on the first Halo, why would it
be a surprise to Master Chief 20 years later? To fix this problem,
the writers made it so in the end, the Spirit of Fire won't make
it back to Earth in time to warn us because something, I won't
say what, happens to their slipspace generator (hyperspace). If
it was me writing the story, I would have written the Flood out of
the story so that way, nobody would have to die and the new
ending wouldn’t suck, to put it simple.

Okay, where I think Halo Wars shines brightest is XBOX LIVE
multiplayer skirmish. In multiplayer you are able to choose
between the humans called the UNSC or the Covenant, a mass of
aliens hell-bent on the extermination of the human race.
Since the units are incredibly well-balanced, it only depends on
what you kind of strategy you like to play. Me, I like to play as
the Arbiter (an alien) and save enough resources to build two
scarabs, basically a Covenant super tank with a high powered lazier
cannon, and have a lot of guys who heal me. The one thing in
multiplayer that messed me up control wise was the healing guys.
Whenever I had all of my units selected, they wouldn’t stay by my
scarabs and heal them, they would sit hovering over the base I
was attacking while 20 hawks (lightning shooting helicopters)
where blasting me from the sky. Which reminds me to tell you that
the Hawks are WAY overpowered. I am yet to see a counter for the
Hawks. But overall, the multiplayer works well for Xbox live,
with the exception of not being able to see who has a mic on your
team. and I was a little disappointed when there was no local
multiplayer because that was one of the reasons I got the Limited
Edition.

Anyway, before I give you my final opinion, I just want to tell
everyone has absolutely amazing the graphics are in the cutscenes.
I was playing my version on a regular TV and it blew me away.
Later I was playing with a friend on a HDTV and I almost
collapsed. But those cutscenes stole the actual gameplay for me
because I wasn’t playing for the gameplay anymore; I was playing
to get to the next beautifully rendered cut scene and it got to
the point where the combat was literally annoying me because they
kept getting in the way of my cutscenes.

Alright, you have been waiting for it, the bottom line:

The bottom line is GET IT! I got the Limited Edition because you
will never have as much fun with any other console RTS if you
can tolerate the controls. I would recommend this to someone
who is just getting into the world of Real Time Strategy or
to some who is an existing fan of the Halo franchise.
if you're not into RTS' but you're a fan, just get it to hold
you over until Halo 3: ODST comes out. And in case you're
wondering why I'm not giving Halo Wars a score, well... I don't
believe that a complex opinion can be summed up numerically. So
when reading any of my upcoming reviews, don't expect a score.

Thank You, I hope you enjoyed this review and I'll see you on cfpforum.tk

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Last edited by Duffy on Wed Apr 29, 2009 3:35 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: DUFFYREVIEWS: HALO WARS   DUFFYREVIEWS: HALO WARS I_icon_minitimeTue Apr 28, 2009 8:44 pm

Two comments.
1. that review is good enough that I'm starting to suspect that you copied it from another website (please take this as a compliment)
2. the aspect ratio for the box image makes the spartans look anorexic (please take this as an insult)

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PostSubject: Re: DUFFYREVIEWS: HALO WARS   DUFFYREVIEWS: HALO WARS I_icon_minitimeWed Apr 29, 2009 3:32 pm

XiX LLAMA XiX wrote:
Two comments.
1. that review is good enough that I'm starting to suspect that you copied it from another website (please take this as a compliment)
2. the aspect ratio for the box image makes the spartans look anorexic (please take this as an insult)
Maybe I will change the picture of the box art then. thanks for the compliment, now we need people to read it Very Happy

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PostSubject: Re: DUFFYREVIEWS: HALO WARS   DUFFYREVIEWS: HALO WARS I_icon_minitimeWed Apr 29, 2009 7:12 pm

Kudos on the review Duff-sters.
I liked its organization
Some reviews are all 1 paragraph & it gets annoying.
This gave me little breaks to go get a snack & cola while i was finishing the story.
[& a place to resume @ Very Happy ]
I agree with Llama on the fact that it seemed EXTREMELY professional.
Do more like this & you get 10 Cookie points each review like this you do.

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PostSubject: Re: DUFFYREVIEWS: HALO WARS   DUFFYREVIEWS: HALO WARS I_icon_minitimeWed Apr 29, 2009 10:05 pm

Rowl-With-It wrote:
Kudos on the review Duff-sters.
I liked its organization
Some reviews are all 1 paragraph & it gets annoying.
This gave me little breaks to go get a snack & cola while i was finishing the story.
[& a place to resume @ Very Happy ]
I agree with Llama on the fact that it seemed EXTREMELY professional.
Do more like this & you get 10 Cookie points each review like this you do.

Yeah thanks. I am thinking that I set the bar too high because my second review (Which I haven't been looking forward to) in not nearly as long as this one...

Oh yeah, yay cookies!!!

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PostSubject: Re: DUFFYREVIEWS: HALO WARS   DUFFYREVIEWS: HALO WARS I_icon_minitimeWed Apr 29, 2009 10:18 pm

Llama, can you make a review forum category instead of having reviews mixed in with the random threads then move this review to that forum.

Thanks,
Duffy

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PostSubject: Re: DUFFYREVIEWS: HALO WARS   DUFFYREVIEWS: HALO WARS I_icon_minitimeThu Apr 30, 2009 3:30 pm

Duffy wrote:
Llama, can you make a review forum category instead of having reviews mixed in with the random threads then move this review to that forum.

Thanks,
Duffy



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PostSubject: Re: DUFFYREVIEWS: HALO WARS   DUFFYREVIEWS: HALO WARS I_icon_minitimeSun May 03, 2009 9:28 am

By the way, if you get 10,000 cookie points, then you become the cookie-master

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PostSubject: Re: DUFFYREVIEWS: HALO WARS   DUFFYREVIEWS: HALO WARS I_icon_minitimeMon May 25, 2009 10:34 am

very nice now you must set the bar higher next time.

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PostSubject: Re: DUFFYREVIEWS: HALO WARS   DUFFYREVIEWS: HALO WARS I_icon_minitimeMon May 25, 2009 10:25 pm

weasser wrote:
very nice now you must set the bar higher next time.

I'll do my best albino

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