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Review: Halo 2 And The MagicBox XFPS

Zonk posted more than 8 years ago | from the i-am-indeed-a-fan-of-bees dept.

First Person Shooters (Games) 283

The original Halo was a seminal moment in console gaming. The intuitive controls and memorable gameplay of Halo's multiplayer component still makes it a gaming favorite when it comes to LAN gaming. The sequel builds on the successes of the original game with new features (such as dual weapons) and Xbox Live integration. Some minor graphical glitches and a somewhat weak plot keep this from being the best game evar, but Halo 2 is an extremely enjoyable console shooting experience. Read on for my impressions of Master Chief's return, and a look at an Xbox Peripheral that allows you to use your keyboard and mouse with Xbox shooters.

  • Title: Halo 2
  • Developer: Bungie Studios
  • Publisher: Microsoft Game Studios
  • System: Xbox
  • Reviewer: Zonk
  • Score: 8/10

I have a confession to make. Two months ago, I was one of *those* guys. You know them. The hoity-toity PC people who swill champagne with one hand while manipulating their mouse with the other, saying "A First-Person Shooter without ze mouselook and WASD? I think not, my dear fellow. Fetch me zome more escargot." I'm a big man, though. I can admit when I'm wrong. And Halo 2 has not only proven to me that First-Person Shooters on a console can be fun, they can be handled by those of us who are used to mousing for teh win.

* While I had no expectations when I first loaded Halo 2, that wasn't the case for a lot of people. The hype factor was enormous. The success of the first game and its role as a base of support for Xbox sales meant that there were a lot of frothing fans waiting for the second game's release day. A viral marketing campaign spearheaded by the Alternate Reality Game ILoveBees primed gamers for the release with tantalizing portions of the storyline. TechTV showed images of hundreds of screaming fans at the Halo 2 launch party held inside the Time Square Toys R' Us, and ran an entire day of programming based on the game. Was it all worth it? Kinda. If your expectations were centered around the multiplayer portion of the game you have a lot to celebrate, but some of the weaknesses of the first Halo's campaign are back again like a monkey on Bungie's back.

Campaign good news first, though. Bungie has taken everything enjoyable about Halo 2 and polished it until it shone. The speed and pace of the game is very enjoyable, with new game elements and locations being thrown at you as quickly as you can handle them. The AI in the game is a cut above, with enemy troops making intelligent decisions that keep you from getting lulled into a rut. Your companions, just meat filled shields in so many games, are just as on the ball as the enemy. They use tactics and firepower to overcome enemy positions, the distractions and destruction you cause allowing them to get in some good shots of their own. The storytelling is improved over the first game as well, with the campaign splitting off to allow you the opportunity to play as a disgraced Covenant warrior. The new gameplay elements and control scheme are explained in enough detail so that someone who went through the first game, as well as a new player, will have little problem getting into the action. Voice acting during the cinematics is very good, with the characters throughout the game being brought to life by a cast that obviously cared. The cinematics in general did a good job of moving the story of the game forward.

* That said, there are some frustrating moments in the campaign as well. Much like Halo 2's contemporary Half-Life 2, the story of this second game feels very much like a waypoint in a larger journey. Unlike Half-Life 2, which gives you at least a modicum of closure, the story of Halo 2 ends very abruptly. Additionally while I applaud the move beyond the human frame of reference in the overall plot, the change in venue muddies the waters somewhat as regards overall cohesive storytelling. On a technical level I witnessed a lot of textures popping into view during cinematics, jarring me from enjoying them as much as I might have otherwise. The AI, which could almost convince you of a human-like mind in a ground battle, has a lot of problems when piloting a vehicle. I found myself crushed to death more than once when trusting the driver's seat to a team-mate. The most frustrating single-player experience for me, however, happened when I accidentally wandered outside of the gamespace as envisioned by the Bungie developers. Some missions were obviously meant to be traversed by a vehicle and were tedious to walk through. Annoyance with NPC drivers led me to ditch a Warthog during one of these levels, only to turn back when I realized I could be walking for quite a while. Unlike the Half-Life 2 vehicle sequences, these mid-mission vehicle changes could have been better tuned.

* These frustrations didn't stop me from enjoying the relatively quick single player campaign, though. They also whet my appetite for Halo's true calling: multiplayer. The Xbox Live enabled multiplayer experience in Halo 2 is nothing short of brilliant. After logging in via your Live ID, all you need to do is pick a game type. The game's matching software hooks you into a game with other appropriately skilled players based on your previous multiplayer accomplishments. The actual gameplay has a very different tenor than traditional PC FPS gaming. Where PC gaming can allow for dead-eye marksmanship and long-range dogfighting, console FPS games are down and dirty affairs. The levels are more closed in by necessity and design. Bungie's care to the placement and composition of weapons and level components leads to a frenetic pace. The game kindly provides you with several metrics and your average lifespan is one of them. It's usually very low.

Beyond straight up deathmatch there are a multitude of gameplay options available. Capture the Flag and Team Deathmatch allow for collaborative battles, while a type of "football" (using a skull) allows for more traditional team play. You can also create your own games, for local play or online action. There are several specific settings that can be tweaked, allowing for specific weapon choices and available maps. On top of the quality of the gameplay experience, thanks to Bungie's extra consideration your exploits are not transitory. By signing up for a Passport ID and linking it with your Xbox Live ID, you can view your statistics from your multiplayer battles. These stats are made available via a personalized RSS feed, as well, allowing you bragging rights via your web site or aggregator of choice.

* Halo 2 may not be the best game made in 2004, but there is no question that Bungie's skill and attention to detail has crafted a worthy successor to the original game, and via the Live service introduced a fantastic substitute for more traditional LAN gaming. If you enjoy action gaming and you own an Xbox, there is simply no excuse for you not to own Halo 2.

  • Product Name: MagicBox XFPS
  • Developer: Farmer Entertainment
  • Score: 6/10

A peripheral for the Xbox console, the XFPS fulfills the "why didn't I think of that" niche for console-based shooters. The small box allows you to plug a PS2 mouse and keyboard in, and then use them in place of a controller.

The device is simple to use, and setup involves taking off the packaging and plugging the peripheral into the controller port. The mouse and keyboard slot into standard PS2 ports on the front of the box. All other controls for the device are via the keyboard. The device directly maps the buttons on the Xbox controller to keyboard buttons and mouse movements. Which buttons on the keyboard the controller buttons map to are chosen by selecting F9, F10, or F11 on the keyboard. Which interface is currently in use is indicated by a light on the Magicbox itself. The "Blue Light" (F9) interface, for example, matches the controller. The X controller button maps to the X keyboard button. The "Red Light" (F11) interface seems more designed to take advantage of the keyboard layout, with the buttons grouped around the WASD keys.

* The mapped keys work quite well. The mouse (at least for me) improved my control and accuracy while shooting. I made several shots in multiplayer games that I know I couldn't normally make with the controller. The autoaim that Halo 2 allows combines with the precise cone of movement that a mouse has to give you enhanced accuracy. The "cone of movement" part of that is the most important consideration to make when using the XFPS.

Unfortunately, while the mouse allows for increased accuracy it only allows you that accuracy as long as you don't have to turn. The problem is that mouse sensitivity is quite low, likely because of how the XFPS is mapping the thumbstick movements. In order to turn I found myself whipping the mouse across the mousepad repeatedly. The other players, able to turn with the simple angling of a thumbstick, schooled me. Halo 2 and other console based FPS titles are simply too spastic for the XFPS to be all that useful. PC titles may allow for distant fights, but the up close and personal fighting style required in console FPS games don't allow an XFPS user to move with enough agility to be a skilled player.

In addition to agility issues, actually using the XFPS can be something of a chore. The keyboard/mouse setup essentially demands a wide and flat surface along with an upright seat, not a setup you normally have in front of a television. One of the joys of console FPS gaming is the spontaneity with which you can indulge in quick fragging, and having to drag out a chair and rig specifically for the XFPS seems frustrating. There's also the issue that the XFPS is simply not a peripheral you can use for any other type of game, meaning if you want to switch games relatively often you'll be plugging and unplugging the thing just as frequently.

While the XFPS is a good idea, the lack of mouse sensitivity and necessity of setting up a rig specifically to use the peripheral makes it a device whose potential outstrips its usefulness.

Halo 2 screenshots are from Halo2.com and Bungie.net ©2004 Microsoft Games Studio and Bungie. Magicbox XFPS image is from Magicxfps.com, ©2005 Farmer Entertainment.

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283 comments

wow (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#11737440)

Thanks for this quick review : The game has been out, what, several MONTHS now ?

Re:wow (4, Funny)

wawannem (591061) | more than 8 years ago | (#11737464)

Hey, this is useful to the last three of us that still haven't played it :-)

When the going gets weird... (0, Offtopic)

Thud457 (234763) | more than 8 years ago | (#11737593)

Hunter S Thompson is off the spoke!!!!


Nobody can save you now, beeeotches!

Recount! (1)

Argon Sloth (655369) | more than 8 years ago | (#11737656)

/me raises his hand. Looks around and counts. 7. 7 people who haven't played Halo 2, Ah-ha-ha-ha *Lightning strikes in background*

Re:wow (2, Funny)

Skater (41976) | more than 8 years ago | (#11737850)

I played it briefly a couple weekends ago at a friend's place. All I can say is this:

The controls are "intuitive"? I do not think that word means what Zonk thinks it means!

Surely I'd get better after some practice, but even after 10 or 15 minutes I still didn't feel like I had control of the guy...

Re:wow (4, Interesting)

MCraigW (110179) | more than 8 years ago | (#11737662)

I don't think the keyboard adapter has been around long though.

I play Halo for the PC online, and I do quite well. On the X-Box however, I'm not used to the controller, and my son can kill me before I figure out what button to push.

I think the adapter is a great idea. Too bad it doesn't have the sensitivity of a keyboard and mouse hooked up to a PC.

hoity-toity PC people? (0)

iamhassi (659463) | more than 8 years ago | (#11737676)

"The hoity-toity PC people who swill champagne with one hand while manipulating their mouse with the other, saying "A First-Person Shooter without ze mouselook and WASD? I think not, my dear fellow. Fetch me zome more escargot." "

since they have the original Halo on PC [gamepro.com] I guess I'm still one of those "hoity-toity" PC people. Sorry, nothing replaces mouse and keyboard, and yes I've played Halo 2 on console and didn't like it without my preciousssssssssss mouse....

Re:wow (0)

geeber (520231) | more than 8 years ago | (#11737731)

Not only that but it was also a perfect opportunity for Zonk to let loose with a couple of nicely chosen, offensive stereotypes.

Way to go! Keep up those professional standards that we have come to expect!

Old? (5, Insightful)

tulmad (25666) | more than 8 years ago | (#11737445)

Why are we reviewing a game that's been out since before Thanksgiving?

Re:Old? (3, Funny)

gowen (141411) | more than 8 years ago | (#11737477)

Well, because the reviewer is also the person who posted the story. And he filled it with his oh-so-hilarious French Person impersonation.

Fetch an ambulance, my sides have split.

Re:Old? (3, Informative)

PhotoBoy (684898) | more than 8 years ago | (#11737805)

That and the reviewer uses nearly 50% of the review to pimp the XFPS, which is clearly a rip-off of the SmartJoy FRAG. Paid advertising masquerading as a game review perhaps?

Re:Old? (3, Funny)

Rei (128717) | more than 8 years ago | (#11737479)

Because people wanted to know if it was the best game evar, of course. Apparently you don't reed slashdot oftne.

Re:Old? (1, Insightful)

mboverload (657893) | more than 8 years ago | (#11737543)

Best game ever? I still cant get over the 70 degree Field of view. I grew up in Tribes with a hacked 120 degree view, all these new games (Halo, Halflife 2, Halo 2) just don't do it for me. You have to continually look around to figure out the surroundings. Considering that humans have a field of view of around 170 degrees, many games seems terribly "looking through a small box".

Re:Old? (5, Funny)

PopeAlien (164869) | more than 8 years ago | (#11737510)

You young people move too fast, its always rush rush rush. Why when I was a kid we didn't have these fancy-pants first person games.
We had huge blocky pixels and we liked it.
And a game stayed new for years and it only cost a quarter.

now where did I put my teeth? has anyone seen my wooden teeth?

Re:Old? (2, Insightful)

mboverload (657893) | more than 8 years ago | (#11737580)

Maybe this is a joke, but I get your gist.

Graphics be damned, I want a good game. I like the old-skool games better because you are not bothered by visuals or low FPS.

Re:Old? (2, Informative)

i.r.id10t (595143) | more than 8 years ago | (#11737609)

Even better is old school on fast new hardware. I broke out my original Quake cd last week, and with fuhquake I'm now playing in conditions I wish I had when Quake/QW was the Thing To Play. 1280x1024 in GL at over 100fps on dsl with sub-100 pings.

Re:Old? (2, Insightful)

Auckerman (223266) | more than 8 years ago | (#11737567)

This isn't a review of Halo, it's a advertisement for the XFPS. Bait and switch.

Not exactly an advertisement (3, Insightful)

Andy Dodd (701) | more than 8 years ago | (#11737808)

The general conclusion of the reviewer was, "nice concept, doesn't work that well in Halo because mouse sensitivity is way too low."

In short, hardcore keyboard-and-mousers like myself will still hate it. I crank my mouse sensitivity WAY up in FPS games.

Re:Old? (1)

Lord_Dweomer (648696) | more than 8 years ago | (#11737670)

' Why are we reviewing a game that's been out since before Thanksgiving?"

Because SOME company (not naming any names) has a good PR department.

dotdotdot (4, Insightful)

rylin (688457) | more than 8 years ago | (#11737448)

Karma-be-damned, why the FUCK is this on slashdot?

Next up, slashvertisement for the Phantom? For bellybutton-fluff?

Re:dotdotdot (1)

jolande (852630) | more than 8 years ago | (#11737629)

It's always interesting to see another look at a game after all the hype has worn off. So, why not read through this review?

Re:dotdotdot (2, Insightful)

Night Goat (18437) | more than 8 years ago | (#11737743)

I enjoyed the review as a change of pace from the "Holy SHIT, Halo 2 is the best game ever made!!" type of reviews that every magazine I have read decided to print.

Re:dotdotdot (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#11737781)

are you incapable of reading anything that some company did?

i guess slashdot should limit itself to ONLY things done by nonprofits, otherwise it will be an advertisement.

you sir, are an idiot.

MY REVIEW (1)

arothstein (233805) | more than 8 years ago | (#11737451)

*_g_o_a_t_s_e_x_*_g_o_a_t_s_e_x_*_g_o_a_t_s_e_x_*_
g_______________________________________________g_ _
o_/_____\_____________\____________/____\_______o_ _
a|_______|_____________\__________|______|______a_ _
t|_______`._____________|_________|_______:_____t_ _
s`________|_____________|________\|_______|_____s_ _
e_\_______|_/_______/__\\\___--___\\_______:____e_ _
x__\______\/____--~~__________~--__|_\_____|____x_ _
*___\______\_-~____________________~-_\____|____*_ _
g____\______\_________.--------.______\|___|____g_ _
o______\_____\______//_________(_(__>__\___|____o_ _
a_______\___.__C____)_________(_(____>__|__/____a_ _
t_______/\_|___C_____)/HALO_2\_(_____>__|_/_____t_ _
s______/_/\|___C_____)_INSIDE|__(___>___/__\____s_ _
e_____|___(____C_____)\_(TM)_/__//__/_/_____\___e_ _
x_____|____\__|_____\\_________//_(__/_______|__x_ _
*____|_\____\____)___`----___--'_____________|__*_ _
g____|__\______________\_______/____________/_|_g_ _
o___|______________/____|_____|__\____________|_o_ _
a___|_____________|____/_______\__\___________|_a_ _
t___|__________/_/____|_________|__\___________|t_ _
s___|_________/_/______\__/\___/____|__________|s_ _
e__|_________/_/________|____|_______|_________|e_ _
x__|__________|_________|____|_______|_________|x_ _
*_g_o_a_t_s_e_x_*_g_o_a_t_s_e_x_*_g_o_a_t_s_e_x_*_


Important Stuff: Please try to keep posts on topic. Try to reply to other people's comments instead of starting new threads. Read other people's messages before posting your own to avoid simply duplicating what has already been said. Use a clear subject that describes what your message is about. Offtopic, Inflammatory, Inappropriate, Illegal, or Offensive comments might be moderated. (You can read everything, even moderated posts, by adjusting your threshold on the User Preferences Page) If you want replies to your comments sent to you, consider logging in or creating an account.

Important Stuff: Please try to keep posts on topic. Try to reply to other people's comments instead of starting new threads. Read other people's messages before posting your own to avoid simply duplicating what has already been said. Use a clear subject that describes what your message is about. Offtopic, Inflammatory, Inappropriate, Illegal, or Offensive comments might be moderated. (You can read everything, even moderated posts, by adjusting your threshold on the User Preferences Page) If you want replies to your comments sent to you, consider logging in or creating an account.

Important Stuff: Please try to keep posts on topic. Try to reply to other people's comments instead of starting new threads. Read other people's messages before posting your own to avoid simply duplicating what has already been said. Use a clear subject that describes what your message is about. Offtopic, Inflammatory, Inappropriate, Illegal, or Offensive comments might be moderated. (You can read everything, even moderated posts, by adjusting your threshold on the User Preferences Page) If you want replies to your comments sent to you, consider logging in or creating an account.

hmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#11737452)

Halo 2 came out ages ago... this review is a little shamefully late for a "news for nerds" site. I saw a review on CNN months ago...

ads.slashdot.org (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#11737462)

Hello! I'm a non-paid ad for a product that shiped last year, and a keyboard adapter hiding as news!

I've said it before and i'll say it again (2, Insightful)

Dance_Dance_Karnov (793804) | more than 8 years ago | (#11737463)

In the realm of console FPSes, Goldeneye(N64) > Everything else. and Halo = Suckage

Re:I've said it before and i'll say it again (1)

ShyGuy91284 (701108) | more than 8 years ago | (#11737592)

I wholly agree. Even the controls in Goldeneye were great (I'd love to see their targeting controls reimplemented in another game).

Re:I've said it before and i'll say it again (1)

GryphonKlaw (783290) | more than 8 years ago | (#11737667)

Yes, you speak the truth. Halo and Halo 2 are just bland FPS games, on console or not. The controls are fine for consoles but the game is still boring.

Re:I've said it before and i'll say it again (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#11737796)

Have you tried TimeSplitters 2? It dethrones even Goldeneye in my view.

Re:I've said it before and i'll say it again (1)

FinestLittleSpace (719663) | more than 8 years ago | (#11737867)

i follow this too.

Goldeneye was an absolute breakthrough in console fps's. Absolutely incredible game. Perfect dark was also very VERY good but it did lack the certain girttyness and atmosphere that goldeneye oozed.

Woah, jumping the gun a little bit? (5, Funny)

Xaviar21 (790883) | more than 8 years ago | (#11737467)

I mean jeeze.. These reviews come out so fast, now a days.. How are the reviewers supposed to get a good feel for the game in so short a time?

review? (4, Funny)

Fr05t (69968) | more than 8 years ago | (#11737468)

Doesn't a review of Halo 2 seem a bit, er no make that very redundant? Seriously who hasn't at the very least seen this game being played? This is like doing a review of packing tape, a new device called a 'mouse', or a chair.

Re:review? (2, Informative)

temojen (678985) | more than 8 years ago | (#11737640)

I haven't seen it played. Of course I don't care either. I just came t this thread to read the complaints about it being a blatant advertizement.

Sensitivity (3, Interesting)

Tom7 (102298) | more than 8 years ago | (#11737469)

Halo 2 has sensitivity settings. Did you try that? (!)

Re:Sensitivity !?! (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#11737611)

Halo 2 has sensitivity settings. Did you try that? (!)

Yes, you can jack the sensitivity up, in which case all your weapons fire bunny slippers and you apologize profusely for disturbing your enemies. After a point you start feeling so guilty that instead of killing them, you try to get them all over to your place to watch "Queer Eye for the Straight Guy" while sharing some Doritos and salsa and sing "Ebony and Ivory".

That's Easy! (1)

gphat (5647) | more than 8 years ago | (#11737471)

To advertise a gaming peripheral, that's why!

Re:That's Easy! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#11737619)

IMHO, The gaming peripheral is too little, too late anyway.

Too little, because it only works with PS2 gear, which is obsolete junk.

Too late, because the X-Box just moved out of my family room in favor of a much more versitile media room computer, complete with Bluetooth keyboard & mouse.

"Memorable Gameplay " (5, Funny)

grimsweep (578372) | more than 8 years ago | (#11737478)

No offense to the author, but given how much of the level architecture is repeated in the single player, I think I'd mention it has memorizable gameplay, too...

Images with the article...a /. first? (1)

Rude Turnip (49495) | more than 8 years ago | (#11737485)

Hmm, I don't think I've ever seen images accompany an article on Slashdot before. Or maybe I don't read enough of them.

Re:Images with the article...a /. first? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#11737646)

It really is the first time I've seen images on /. but I think it's the more expensive version of the advertisment package, the basic package being plain text Slashvertisment to Roland Piquepaille's blog.

Welcome to the world of yesterday... (1, Insightful)

MegaManXcalibur (829621) | more than 8 years ago | (#11737487)

Ok old news doesn't even begin to cover this. This game has been out for months, and everybody under the sun has already reviewed it.

If you feel so inclinded to review a game please review something new. I know quite a few games that could use a few reviews.

annoying talking robot? (1)

Karma Sucks (127136) | more than 8 years ago | (#11737488)

What happened to that annoying spherical talking robot? Can't remember what he was called. At the end of the Halo credits you see him spinning around, so I guess he survived.

Is he back in Halo 2?

Re:annoying talking robot? (1)

Blakey Rat (99501) | more than 8 years ago | (#11737569)

He has buddies. That's about what I can answer without giving away any plot.

Re:annoying talking robot? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#11737625)

What plot?

Review (5, Insightful)

SafteyMan (860733) | more than 8 years ago | (#11737492)

Well, the Halo2 Review adds nothing we haven't known for months (It came out in the begining of November for crying out loud) but the review of the MagicBox XFPS was good. I was considering purchasing one. I heard it beats a controller for sniping.

Seminal uh? (5, Funny)

Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) | more than 8 years ago | (#11737502)

The original Halo was a seminal moment in console gaming.

Given that "seminal" has another meaning [freesearch.co.uk], I wonder if Zonk means Halo 2 is a game to drop your pants and jerk off about...

Why is Halo so popular? (5, Insightful)

kerrle (810808) | more than 8 years ago | (#11737504)

I'll flat out admit that the game has quite an interesting story - I beat Halo 1 and I've put a few hours into Halo 2.

But revolutionary? Not at all. The controls are pretty much identical to any number of other console FPS's, and the graphics, while certainly decent, aren't as good as any modern PC shooter - or even quite a few other XBox and Gamecube games - even if we're talking about Halo 2.

I'm not saying it's not a good game series, but I do fail to see what it brought to market that hadn't been done before.

All I can figure is that enough people hadn't seen multiplayer in that style on a console, so it felt new.

It is a decent game series - one with a great story - but it doesn't come anywhere near deserving of the acclaim it seems to get. Obviously just my opinion, of course...

Re:Why is Halo so popular? (1)

Have Blue (616) | more than 8 years ago | (#11737732)

Don't forget that Halo 1 was an Xbox launch title. Most of the console FPSes with identical controls and better graphics came out after it did.

Re:Why is Halo so popular? (1)

kerrle (810808) | more than 8 years ago | (#11737868)

Plenty came out first - dual analog for FPS has been around since just a little after the PS1 got Dual Shock.

Even before that, you had games like Turok on the N64, which used the analog stick for look, and the four arrow buttons for movement - a very similar result, really. Heck, even the N64 version of Quake was pretty playable - the joystick substituted for mouselook, and the arrow buttons became WASD. Circle-strafing and all worked fine - or at least as well as Halo.

As far as graphics go - well, I just don't agree. There are some snazzy environment mapping effects in Halo 1, sure, but overall, the polycount is very low and some of the effects - like the fog - just don't look very good.

Halo 2 just came out, and it just feels very unpolished graphically - I've seen LOD models jump to higher-quality versions during the middle of cutscenes, when they should have been high-quality the whole time, and there are a variety of other quirks.

RE4 for the Gamecube was released about the same time, looks better, and doesn't have any of these problems (or the load time), even without the benefit of a hard drive to cache to.

One hopes you'll be a little timelier... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#11737516)

...when that Duke Nukem: Forever review becomes due. With the expected lead time, you'll have no excuses for tardiness.

Hmm (1)

Auckerman (223266) | more than 8 years ago | (#11737518)

The main noticable differences between Halo and Halo 2 is dual wield and different maps. Of course the only way I've ever played it (and Halo) is on a lan of xboxes with 10+ people, so the story line has little relevence to me. Too bad you can't dual wield rocket launchers.

Uh... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#11737522)

"The original Halo was a seminal moment in console gaming."

Uh, no it wasn't.

Funny... Microsoft must be paying for these (1)

xutopia (469129) | more than 8 years ago | (#11737523)

The day Halo 2 lauched (in Quebec) there was a news article on it. They even had interviews with some Quebec developers working in the states on Halo 2. This was the first time I ever heard a video game make the news on CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation).

Why did Microsoft's game make the news? Usually a game doesn't.

Could the new marketing be information dressed up as important news? The only oustanding thing about Halo 2 is the amount of cash they spent on marketing the game. Otherwise it's an ok game.

Re:Funny... Microsoft must be paying for these (1)

DaveCBio (659840) | more than 8 years ago | (#11737655)

Come on, do you really think CBC is taking kickbacks from MS? It's just that MS did some saturated marketing and news needs filler so when Halo 2 popped up on the radar they decided to mention it.

Re:Funny... Microsoft must be paying for these (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#11737672)

They even had interviews with some Quebec developers

Surely you mean Canadian developers...

I wish... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#11737528)

I wish all I had to do in life to make myself feel important was to write video game reviews. By doing so, Zonk clearly opens the door for himself to enter the world of the cultural elite. Although his contribution may seem small and perhaps even insignificant to most of the world's population, I'm sure Zonk worked hard day and night to prepare this thought provoking review of Halo 2. While it may not appear in any of the nation's better magazines, Zonk can console himself that his tome will be read by some of the most faux-educated, pretentious bastards *evar* to grace our planet. Good job Zonk!

Zonk... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#11737570)

you are the suck.

Next Up: Super Mario Brothers (0, Redundant)

ppp (218671) | more than 8 years ago | (#11737582)

Always count on Slashdot for the latest reviews!

Unfortently... (1)

Bob64 (844867) | more than 8 years ago | (#11737585)

I believe the reviewer should have seen the teaser e3 gameplay movie or any of the other bungie-released teasers when making the judgement on the game... The released video clips makes me feel that the game in the clips is a completely different game then halo2...

I also believe that the music in Halo2 is alot less fitting as the first Halo...

But hey, the game looks different in everyone's eyes. Interesting to see anothers viewpoint.

meh (1, Insightful)

bersl2 (689221) | more than 8 years ago | (#11737595)

I still think Halo is for poseurs. And I'll say it without going AC.

And if you want to talk about intuitive controls on a console FPS, you should be talking about Goldeneye. The engineer @ MS who decided that it would be a good idea to make the control sticks push in for buttons should be simultaneously applauded for creativity and beaten over the head with the 2x4 of Enlightenment for stupidity.

Re:meh (1)

DaveCBio (659840) | more than 8 years ago | (#11737626)

You do realize that the PS2 also has push down joysticks? Also, the controller for the N64 was ass, as were the controls for Goldeneye. It's far easier to control any FPS on the Xbox controller S than any of the current console controllers.

Re:meh (1)

athakur999 (44340) | more than 8 years ago | (#11737824)

The original PlayStation had push down sticks as well. The only PS1 game I've played that actually used them by default was some Tom Clancy game though.

Re:meh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#11737827)

The N64 Controller is second only the Gamecube's. You do realize there weren't analog sticks before that, Sony ripped that off too.

Best Game (2, Funny)

say__10 (768448) | more than 8 years ago | (#11737606)

"....from being the best game evar" I agree it is not the best game EVAR also. Not sure what "evar" is but who am I to complain.

Late game reviews by Zonk (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#11737610)

This is as timely as his Burnout 3 review from a few months back.

Excuses (4, Funny)

Omniscientist (806841) | more than 8 years ago | (#11737617)

If you enjoy action gaming and you own an Xbox, there is simply no excuse for you not to own Halo 2.

Yes there is. It's called debt.

More Reviews! (0, Redundant)

killermookie (708026) | more than 8 years ago | (#11737621)

Stay tuned for my reviews of Zork, Space Quest and the highly popular Doom! You can use a keyboard and mouse with it!

Plus, the new multiplayer for Doom! It's amazing!

Get a Smartjoy Frag (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#11737636)

This thing doesn't allow you to setup custom keyboard/mouse settings. Get a smartJoy Frag.. its fully customizable..

Re:Get a Smartjoy Frag (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#11737690)

Although i have the smarty joy frag...

sure it works...but the mouse movement seems to be very choppy if you try and adjust the sensitivity...

but other than that it is ok...if you are used to playing a fps on a tv...if you are not like me...it will be a waste of money...since you may have trouble since you don't have the screen right in front of you...

G4? (1)

Vash_066 (816757) | more than 8 years ago | (#11737657)

The bastardization of TechTV wasn't enough? Have they now moved to slashdot? Game reviews after the game has been out for three months, sounds like your typical g4 review....

huh? (1)

nothingx (809091) | more than 8 years ago | (#11737671)

The hoity-toity PC people who swill champagne with one hand while manipulating their mouse with the other,

So, one hand on the mouse, one hand on the champagne, one hand on the WADS... wait, is it just me, or does it sound like this guy has too many hands?

Halo (1)

fozzmeister (160968) | more than 8 years ago | (#11737696)

Was not revolutionary, In terms of looks it was somewhere between Quake1 and 2, In terms of multiplayer it was somewhere around Quake1 with badly balanced weapons.

I haven't played Halo2 yet, but I got bored of Halo1 very quickly, I don't think I will find anything in it that compares even remotely with Doom3, Half Life 2.

This was interesting to me (1)

eihab (823648) | more than 8 years ago | (#11737705)

I'm not a FPS fan myself nor do I play a lot of XboX.

My older brother was here a week ago and he's into FPS. He played Halo 2 with my other brothers and the first thing he said "I wish I had a keyboard and a mouse!" (He played Halo 1 on his PC).

I didn't know there was an extension for XboX to plug in keyboards and mice, I'm sure my older brother would have bought XFPS just to play Halo 2 on the 2 weeks vacation he was here.

I wonder though if Xebian [xbox-linux.org] takes advantage of this device. I ran it before on the XboX, but it was extremely painful to use the joystick to control the mouse pointer and to type.

I use my computer for serious work (Yes, that includes posting to Slashdot :P) and I got really excited about Xebian because my younger brothers use the computer for basic web browsing and instant-messaging, and Xebian can satisfy that and get them off my back.

If Xebian uses XFPS, I'll definitely get it!

Review Pointless, Multiplayer Tips Better (1, Redundant)

Space_Soldier (628825) | more than 8 years ago | (#11737709)

It would have been better if you wrote a tutorial on how to achieve greatness in multilayer mode. I'm tired of dying every few seconds. Also, about 20% of my bullets reach the target. Yet another review of HALO2, a few months late too, is pointless.

Perversely Retro (1, Flamebait)

sixoseven (73926) | more than 8 years ago | (#11737726)

The XBox controller is the most advanced gaming controller ever made. I'm talking about the first one, not the japanese style controller two. The 'Duke' controller was made for adults, people with big hands.

For those of us who actually work with keyboards, the idea of sitting and gaming with sections of them is kinda, well.. so 1988. A-10 Warthog Flight Sim anyone? I can understand the new USB joysticks and special gaming keyboards, but to take a controller port and map it to QWERTY - it's positively retro.

You're never going to get the vibration into the keyboard, and for those of us who have mastered the finer points of Halo 2, like knowing how many needles we can take before exploding in a hail of purple rain, we're going to own you like a pocketful of nickels.

As for Half-Life 2. I've thought about it, but I'm looking for the USB adapter that lets me plug my XBox controller into the PC.

Call it retro all you want (1)

Andy Dodd (701) | more than 8 years ago | (#11737864)

It's a known fact that the best way to control an FPS is with mouselook. People who don't use mouselook are called "keyboarders" (even people using gamepads or joysticks) and are usually painfully obvious to mouse users. I remember my freshman year playing QuakeWorld in my dorm against other guys on my hall. One of em' insisted on using his gamepad - even though he repeatedly got owned badly because he turned so damn slowly compared to the mouse users.

This new adapter is kind of cool, but it apparently lacks one of the two main advantages of mouselook - Being able to turn rapidly. I can turn 90 or even 180 degrees with a mouse in a tiny fraction of the time it takes someone using a keyboard or gamepad.

"the best game evar" (1)

Saiyine (689367) | more than 8 years ago | (#11737748)

...the best game evar.

Are you saying seriusly that this game is better than pac-man? Or doom?

This is such a schill... (0, Redundant)

raam (206445) | more than 8 years ago | (#11737769)

..how does crap like this make it on Slashdot? I thought this was a news site, not a bloody review docket.

Best game Evah? (1)

the_Bionic_lemming (446569) | more than 8 years ago | (#11737798)

It's a first person shooter = While "eye candy" is getting better, how will a first person shooter ever top real games like MOO, Diablo(s), Starcraft(s) or other enduring favorites like X-Com?

And actually, having played Halo - I think a better game for FPS was Clancy's Ghost Recon. At least that took some skill.

I don't get it (3, Interesting)

idlake (850372) | more than 8 years ago | (#11737801)

I just don't get the fascination with Halo/Halo 2. Compared to games like HalfLife, Unreal, Quake 1-3, or Doom 1-3, Halo to me seemed like a rather "corporate" effort: the Halos were competently implemented and offered pretty good game play, but ultimately, I didn't find them as entertaining.

I found the single player campaigns in the Halos particularly dull (I didn't even bother finishing the one in Halo 2). Halo and Halo 2 seems at its best in multiplayer mode, where I think it offers a fairly user-friendly multiplayer FPS.

Of course, maybe I could just relate better to Gordon Freeman, nerd that he is, than to whatever the guy in Halo was called. Still, Half Life didn't take itself too seriously and was funny at times, yet also creepy and entertaining, and I didn't find much of that in Halo.

Damn (1)

lasmith05 (578697) | more than 8 years ago | (#11737803)

So I was actually kind of excited about the prospect of playing with a keyboard and mouse on the xbox. I generally hate playing FPSs on a console because of it. But according to the review, the adapter isn't that good. :(

Whaaaaat? Best game? (1)

ajaf (672235) | more than 8 years ago | (#11737810)

"Some minor graphical glitches and a somewhat weak plot keep this from being the best game evar"

Monkey Island 1 for PC is the best game ever made.

Best Halo 2 review ever... (1)

Zaphod-AVA (471116) | more than 8 years ago | (#11737816)

The best description of Halo2 I've heard is that it's a pretty good single player game of Halo, and it comes with a version of Quake online. Sadly, Halo online would have been better than Quake.

The changes made to the Rocket Launcher, and the complete dominance of the energy sword makes online play much less enjoyable then multiplayer in Halo1, despite being on Xbox live.

Additionally, the legendary skill setting becomes pointlessly frustrating once you reach the section where the enemy has beam rifle sniping weapons.

-Z

Grown man playing video games? (1)

yarook (857828) | more than 8 years ago | (#11737849)

Shouldn't you all like, get a life? btw. I am aware I'm gonna suffer for this post ;-)

Never heard of Unreal! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#11737854)

Ooooooooh, what's in the crowd.

Far far way from where you are standing a little boy whispers, "you never heard of unreal tournament GOTY/2003/2004?"

MAN WAKE UP, where did you live the last couple of years, under a f..'n ROCK?????!!!!!!

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