"...there is a kegger down the hall. We can go as soon as I desecrate this corpse. I'm sorry Marge, where are my manners? Did you want to taunt my kill also? Press the "X" button." - Homer Simpson
If you're like me, on the one hand you're thrilled to see The Simpsons parodying videogames... outside of its own videogames (The Simpsons Hit & Run and The Simpsons Game). On the other hand, you sigh sadly with the realization that the masses are seeing one of the less savory sides of interactive play. Why couldn't the writers lampoon Shadow of the Colossus or Flower? Ah well, it was a pretty funny clip.
Just as English literature buffs should be knowledgeable about the heavyweights of the Western canon—Macbeth, Huckleberry Finn, Ulysses, etc.—so too should videogame critics be acquainted with gaming’s megahits, games like Super Mario Bros., The Legend of Zelda, and, yes, the Halo series. So, like the English lit student who struggles to wrap his or her head around Ulysses, not because it’s enjoyable but because it’s important, I decided that I should at least try to understand Halo.
Game Description: Halo 3 is the third game in the Halo Trilogy and the thrilling conclusion to the events begun in Halo: Combat Evolved. Master Chief returns to finish the fight, bringing the epic conflict between the Covenant, the Flood, and the entire human race to a dramatic, pulse-pounding climax. The Covenant occupation of Earth has uncovered a massive and ancient object beneath the African sands—an object whose secrets have yet to be revealed. Earth's forces are battered and beaten. The Master Chief's AI companion Cortana is still trapped in the clutches of the Gravemind—a horrifying Flood intelligence, and a civil war is raging in the heart of the Covenant. It's all been building to this—a desperate, final war that leads to a soul-shattering climax of epic proportions. Take control of Master Chief to defeat the Covenant and destroy the Flood to prevent the annihilation of the human race.
Is it fair to judge a game based on its advertising? I believe so. Although the dedicated gamer will tend to seek out information about upcoming titles through any media available to them, it's the advertising campaign that defines the mainstream's pre-purchasing experience with a game. Indeed, it often defines whether there will be a purchasing experience at all.
With all the recent debate about whether or not videogames should be consider (good or bad) art, would it not be of cultural significance and a sign of the times (no pun intended) if the venerable news institution declared that videogames was indeed worthy of being covered alongside the paintings by artist Willem de Kooning, the singing of soprano Natalie Dessay or comedic "genius" of Dane Cook in Good Luck Chuck?
Certain to be one of the year's biggest games, Halo 3 is on everyone's radar. In anticipation of this upcoming blockbuster, GameCritics.com was fortunate enough to interview one of the extremely talented minds creating this eagerly anticipated title, artist extraordinaire Shi Kai Wang.
Halo 2 lets me down as a sequel because it fails to improve upon most of the archaic design features that could be forgiven in the original, and gives Halo fans less of an experience in almost every area. It is a good game compared to the class of 2004, but it is no Halo and should be marked down accordingly.
But despite such overwhelming expectations, Halo 2 is essentially a bigger, badder version of the first—nothing more, nothing less. It refines and expands upon many of the original's strongest concepts, stumbles over a few repeated missteps, and offers an experience distinctly similar to the first that fluctuates between modest tedium and prodigious epic.
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