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Halo 3: ODST

( ....Fuck.) Of all the Halo games to get stuck playing, I had to get stuck with the one game that has Halo 3 in the title. That's like....actually, I can't come up with any coherent comparison for that, so just pretend that this is one: the title was probably designed to piss off people looking to buy the Halo 3 soundtrack. Now that I've thoroughly pissed off all my readers, let me turn on the battle music before you disembowel me. * does so* Now let me say that I actually liked the game, mainly because a lot of it comes off as Bungie apologizing for Halo 3. You can see why I didn't turn off the battle music.
 He's a meaty man with a bad haircut.
He's a meaty man with a bad haircut.
For example, a lot of the multiplayer came on a separate disc, which I could promptly ignore. Also, the story tries to explain the huge gap between Halos 2 and 3, which comes across as a bit weird (not the "finish the fight" part, I know that's a futile argument), mainly because of how ODST tries to distance itself from Halo 3's story as much as possible. There's no talk about the Flood or Halos or Master Chief at all. No, you're just some silent dude in New Mombasa, looking for your ugly-as-fuck allies and trying to piece together just what the hell happened. It's not the best video game story ever, but it's understandable and told in some pretty unique ways. Yea, there's the whole flashback thing (although how the protagonist can flash back to events in which he never participated is left a major mystery), but what I like more is the fact that you're now playing as not Master Chief, Faceless Savior of all Mankind, but some faceless rookie (that's actually his name) who's not important to the story at all. It eliminates that egotistical feeling from Halo 3 that gave rise to a whole bunch of character inconsistencies; now that I'm a random soldier, I can believe that I'm only allowed to carry two weapons at once.
And yet I'm still not entirely sold on it, mainly because how it hasn't learned much from other games. Instead of the "one weapon per category" system of GTA4 and Gears 2, we have a simple 2 weapon limit. Don't get me wrong, it works well; it's just that it doesn't work as well as it could, since your inventory will be less "which weapon is best for this situation" and more "which weapon did I not empty like I was fucking Rambo." In fact, the entire weapon system in general strikes me as weird, like how ironsights and scopes work. Why, for example, can I zoom in with my regular pistol, but not with my assault rifle? Also, why am I able to detach turrets from their spot? Are the hinges made of stale crackers? Why even make it a turret if you can just rip it off and.....damn it, used the Rambo joke. 
Speaking of Rambo, you can't just run into battle and absorb bullet after bullet. Wait, that didn't sound right. I have to proofread this crap. *whips nearest soldier* There, that'll teach you to make me look like an idiot. Anyway, it seems like Bungie has finally listened to me when I told them that the turtle was wrong when he said ducking and covering will fix Swiss-cheese-level bullet wounds. Now we have a health system alongside the ducking and covering; you can sit off a bullet or two, but get hit enough, and you start losing this magical life substance called "health." How do you recover your "health?" Through sci-fi "med kits", of course! "Med kits" with spacing morerr att     ic thant      hesp acing i n  thisse    ntenc e , b  utme  dkits, no neth        eless. Now you actually have to sit back in certain areas, pick off key targets , and try to conserve energy.
Unfortunately, it seems as though your allies didn't hear this, since you have to do an oddly high amount of work, at least compared to them. I get it, I'm the player character, but I'm still part of an army. I shouldn't have to do all the work just because you're focusing on that one guy. Admittedly, this is only a problem in the vehicles (and just about the only major non-Banshee problem, as far as I can tell), but it's still annoying that I have to redirect my ridiculously focused teammates towards other threats a lot of the time. I'm not Master Chief, guys, so just get used to it! I obviously did, and you know what? I liked this guy better. So much so, that I'm giving his game the Cecil Harvey Award for Redeeming Itself for the Crap that Came Before It. Now the real fight begins. Gimme a second. * turns on battle music*

Review Synopsis

  • Wow, the story's actually understandable! And it's.....OK. Eh.
  • Most of the shooting and health aspects have been noticeably refined...
  • ...while the AI was left all alone to stupid itself over time.
Eliminating one controversy with another:

Magical Chase

( This is going to be a bit of a challenge.) Keep in mind that I'm saying this after calling the ODST roster uglier than Polygon Man. Yea, now you're starting to see it. I think. I don't own a webcam, and I can't look through the screen to you. So I'll explain: there is almost nothing for me to say about this game. Nothing at all. Hell, I'm surprised that I was able to max out this opening paragraph to about three lines, and max at this whole portion of the blog at whatever number of paragraphs I put into it.
All the more surprising, then, that none of these paragraphs are dedicated to the story, as is my usual tactic. Why? Well, there's no story. Literally, there is no story. It's not a case of "there's just this one cutscene and that's it"; there is absolutely no story, nothing to explain who I am or why the hell the enemy design flies all over the place. I suspect it to be an attempt to be cute, but I can't confirm that. Anyway, I can't possibly stretch this any further, let's move onto the gameplay. You move right and shoot shit.....fuck, nothing there. It doesn't try a damn thing on its own. The closest I've seen it come to non-generic has been the environmental hazards, but I've seen that stuff in just-
  Yep, it's a game, alright.
 Yep, it's a game, alright.
Oh, wait, I forgot, the magic! And now I know why I forgot: I couldn't figure out how the damn thing works! You buy magic, and then you push buttons to make it not work. Eventually, you find a button that does work, and that happens to be the same button that shoots, meaning you use up all your magic whenever you shoot. This wouldn't be a problem if this was, say, Final Fantasy VIII, but keep in mind that this is a shmup, where you either shoot constantly or adjust to death. Going back to the FF8 analogy, it'd be like using up all your items whenever you used the attack command. In other words, it's awful. The only redeeming part of THAT is the whole buying aspect of it. Like Fantasy Zone (it's a crap Master System (Crapster System, if you will) shmup), you have to buy your power-ups with money you obtain from killing things. Sounds good, right?
Well, kinda. Yes, being rewarded for killing things with more ways to kill things is a great aspect, nobody's here to argue that. What I am here to argue is how...what's the word....oh, "formulaic", it's formulaic. Shops only appear before bosses, of which there are two in each level. There's not a whole lot of reason to choose anything, either; power-ups mostly stack, magic sucks, and you get all the health upgrades rather quickly. This pretty much makes it Weapons vs Health, and we all know that weapons are bad for your health. I learned that when I found some of the bosses killing me time and time again with relatively cheap weapons. You know what else I learned? That this game has no checkpoints. None. You die, you go back to the beginning of the level, oddly with all of your weapons and money intact. Given the small amount of levels (5 or so), I suspect this is meant to make the game longer than it actually is. Fine, Magical Chase, you wanna go that way? I'll go that way. I'll make this blog shorter than it should be. Yea, I'm going that way. Death to America.....Award.

Review Synopsis

  • How can I get mad at a game that refuses to be?
  • Oh, wait, I can if it screws up what little it tries to do.
  • Why do I have another bullet?