Over the last 10 days, I’ve spent a good part of each day re-playing the Halo series of XBox games. That’s a strange thing to do, but I’ve never done anything like it before, and because I had all the games, I thought it would be interesting to try.

And interesting it was! It was like a great, absorbing movie that you often wish would never end, combined with the ability to take a direct part in the action yourself. Playing them all through, back to back at the easy level, made it easier to see the story, rather than just be consumed by the action. It was seldom boring and a lot of fun. Nothing else got done, but it was fun 😉

Halo is a series of 5  games (or chapters in the same game?): 

  • Halo – Combat Evolved
  • Halo 2
  • Halo 3
  • Halo 3 – ODST
  • Halo – Reach 

Reach seem like kind of prequel for all the others, but it came last. Rumour has it that Halo 4 is on the way, but there is no sign of it yet.

So, what did I learn from this little experiment? 

Well, it sure takes a long time to play an XBox game. Even on the ‘easy’ level, I played for 10 days and 6-7 hours a day. That didn’t leave much time for anything else. So, doing something like that is not for the faint of heart, or for those with a lot of commitments.

There is more of a story in the game than I thought, and it’s clearer to me now that I’ve done each chapter back to back. The first time through, the chapters were released months, if not years apart, so the story got lost. It almost seemed that action was the priority, and the overall story was not all that important.

Not so, as I found out in this latest round, but I guess ‘different strokes for different folks’. Some would like the game more for a lot of action than for story. I mean, I like action, but one of the best games I’ve ever played was Myst – and there wasn’t a lot of ‘action’ in that. Just a story that you had to figure out. Then again, Halo is a first person shooter style game, so what do I expect, eh?

The magic in a console game is dependent on the controller. Near the end of Halo Reach, my controller kept losing it’s connection with the console. That doesn’t help when you are up against some of the toughest enemies in the game. That was frustrating, but at least the game carried on once the connection was restored.

Actually, I think it may have been something to do with the game itself. I had the same issue with two different controllers at the same place, and I vaguely remember having the same issue the first time I played it. Otherwise, the controller stayed connected before and after that.

I’m still unsure about buying the new XBox 360. It may be a little faster and work with the ‘Connect’ controller, but my gut is telling me the console I have now is fine until a real XBox hardware upgrade comes out. They’ve just done the software, and it’s been a couple of years now with the current console. Seems like things are ripe for something new. Guess we’ll see.

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