So this girl that I am seeing (I think. Things are a little ill-defined at the moment. I, however, remain ever hopeful) invited me over to play some video games on her 360. She had a pile of choices but what caught my eye was her brand new copy of Halo Reach. On my old Xbox I played the original Halo until my thumbs cramped up. I played Halo 2 as well, but got sidetracked by something else that shall go unnamed but rhymes with Borld of Torecraft and more or less gave up on consul gaming along with most of the rest of my life for a few years.
Anyway, Halo rocked. Amazing first person shooter with a great story that shifted back and forth from alien military sci fi battle to survival horror game depending on if you were fighting the Covenant or the Flood. Controls were always very good and extremely intuitive, and a minimum of quick time events to bog the game down.
Halo Reach more or less continues the fine traditions of all the Halo games, except it is a prequel, set prior to the Terran/Covenant war. Still, you are fighting the Covenant, alien religious fanatics who show up in a variety of shapes and sizes. That actually brings up one of my few complaints about the game. The enemies are still the same Grunts, Elites, Hunters, Brutes, and shield guys. There seems to be some variety in the weapons and there appears to be at least one new Covenant vehicle that is pretty cool, but it’s the same guys all over again. At one point it looked like we had a whole new huge alien to fight, but then we are told by the omniscient narrator (which is either an AI or one of your squad mates. I’m still not sure) is a native creature of the planet and after we kill the two they never show up again. Another complaint is that somehow, while we only finished about 3 and a half chapters, we never once saw a ring world of any kind (the inspiration for the name), so personally I find calling it Halo quite a reach (ha ha me so funny).
Anyway, overall totally fun to play. I’ll let the stars and black holes tell the story.
First the stars. First person game play is seemless and really clean. No clipping or stuttering of any kind. Of course this is what I would have to expect from an Xbox game of any kind, but still really impressive. Three stars. The graphics are are really amazing. Two stars. The sound track is really, really good. Two stars. The story is pretty good too. One star. You can customize the colors of your armor (the girl who I was playing with went, with my encouragement, with all pink, turning into the Pepto-Bizmol warrior) and, if you play enough, buy custom armor. One star. Ghosts are still really fun to drive around in. One star. The enemy AI is really smart. One star. The PvP element (we only played it for a little while, long enough for her to kick the crap out of me. Not that I feel emasculated or anything) seems really clean as well. One star. Lots of cool weapons to play with, with no obvious best choice. One star. Total: 13 stars.
Now the black holes. No Flood. One black hole. The Warthog vehicle still drives like a giant Dachshund (wiener dog) on crystal meth. One black hole. There is a long, mandatory outer space fighter craft battle that seems to go on forever and is both unnecessary and kind of mediocre. One black hole. Somehow I can be shooting guys through the scope of the sniper rifle at max range and they can turn around and hit me with a plasma pistol with hardly any effort. One black hole. Same Covenant mobs. One black hole. Total: 5 black holes.
That gives us a total of 8 stars, an excellent score. They also added an achievement system and game credits that can be used to buy new armor or whatever, but I was torn between calling those a star or a black hole. Basically, if you see someone online who has all the most expensive custom armor options you immediately know two things: (1) he is probably pretty good and will be wearing your skin as a trophy in a few seconds and (2) he has absolutely no life. I would highly recommend buying this game and playing it if you are a fan of FPSs and have a 360.
As for yesterdays question, Sulu with a foil against Worf with a Bat’leth, I think this is honestly would end in a draw with both of them dead (Sorry, Gina. Also Spock would figure out a way to beat Data. Maybe not directly physically, but didn’t you see the episode where he shut down all those androids by purposefully using illogic? Spock’s mind is about 1,000 times more dangerous than his physical prowess). You see, a foil is much, much faster than a Bat’leth, so I believe Sulu would be piercing Worf’s brain in the first second of the fight. However, by that time Worf would have already started the downward killing stroke and Sulu, with his foil firmly embedded in Worf’s cranium, would not be able to deflect it. If Sulu did not go for the killing stroke right away I would bet on Worf, as the foil does not have the strength to parry a Bat’leth stroke. (Sulu image courtesy of the Star Trek T shirts category)
However, what I think would be a more interesting battle also from Star Trek would have to be Worf with his Bet’leth versus Kirk armed with a Vulcan Lirpa. Who would win?