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shunji
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Subject:And then, "Fun With Dirt!"
Time:08:04 pm
I've always had trouble figuring out how to respond to detractors of Halo (and now Halo 2). On the one hand, it's sold a crapload of copies. On the other hand, it's hard to find a post on any forum about Halo that does not have its share of anti-fans.

Anti-halo folk tend to have a PC gaming background, usually hardcore. Debating the value of Halo is akin to arguing about the validity of Wicca to an evangelical Christian. There's just no common frame of reference to have a meaningful discussion.

One thing Halo does better than most PC games is optimize the user experience for the average player: the kind of player that has a limited in-game lifetime (i.e., they die every so often). Hey, that's just like me!

Firstly, the checkpoint system encourages all levels of skill to keep playing. It takes only 4-6 seconds to restore the last checkpoint;.5-1.5 if you invoke the pause screen and restore explicitly. That means you do not have to switch mental modes in order to continue playing after dying; it just happens. Even if you die every 5 seconds, you're still always back in action right away. (Personally, I'd much rather play a game than manage a game; that's just me.)

Secondly, we made sure to optimize the single player experience for a straight playthrough. If you play Halo 2 all the way through, you should never see a long interruptive loading screen. (You will see the Loading... done text, but that's unavoidable for the size and complexity of levels.) Even Halo 1 only had 9 significant loading screens, and those were at appropriate points in the game (i.e., at the end of a level), not in the midst of gameplay. That directly translates into a minimal amount of dead time waiting for the game to start, and a maximal amount of time available to play the game. If you happen to die a lot, who cares? You'll never have to wait for the game to reload your checkpoint; you can get right back into the game.

The immediacy of gameplay is one aspect many just don't understand. Or rather, many that disagree with the success of Halo don't understand. (In my opinion.) My theory is the combination of PC gamer and hardcore gamer results in a type of gamer that doesn't experience what I consider to be the least polished areas of most games: player death. And as such, they don't experience the excruciating experience of restarting gameplay.

Then again, maybe it's all the marketing hype. No, probably not. :)
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(Anonymous)
Subject:Halo Sucks!
Link:(Link)
Time:2004-11-12 06:13 am (UTC)
I can honestly say that people diss X-Box and Halo out of jealousy... I say this is a fact because I know first hand. Im a hardcore Playstation player, and have been since it first came out. When I found out that Microsoft was coming out with a console, I immediately thought "Well here comes the next Jaguar." and quickly dismissed it.

I then heard all the hype about Halo. I quickly threw that away as being "a game for people that like FPS games" and paid it no mind. I was a hardcore X-Box hater, and drank the haterade every day. Then I was over a friends house, and played Halo for 2 minutes. Now, I absolutely hate FPS games, cause its so tunnel vision. I enjoy games like Resident Evil much more, well I used to anyway. I started playing Halo and loved it! Shortly after playing with my friend, I hit up Ebay and bought one really cheap, I was still not wanting to give Microsoft any of my money and only wanted it for Halo. Then when I found out about Rainbow Six 3, I went out and grabbed it.

I can honestly say that X-Box is a far superior gaming machine than either PS2 or Gamecube. The library may not be as extensive, nor may they have many main stream "high profile" games like Resident Evil, Sonic The Hedgehog or Mario, but they do hold their own when it comes down to quality of their games. As we all know, game quality is much more important than quantinty. Id much prefer to be stuck playing 3 games that look as good as real life, than be able to play 300 games, that look subpar to stick figures. Overall, anyone that rips into Halo or the X-Box, is most likely because theyve never experianced what it can do first hand, and have just heard all the hype. X-Box is the closest gaming console to offer competition to computer games.
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shunji
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