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Our 2013 Holiday Gift Guide is in full swing - we are adding our recommendations daily, aimed at men, women, teens, families, techies, and more. If you need help figuring out what to get the people in your life, head on over to our Guide for some ideas. We’ll even be giving away some of the items featured this year!
Once in awhile there comes along an experience that shapes the way that we look at things. A video game experience that makes something in your brain tingle. A game where simply a mere melody from its title screen sends nostalgia crawling up your spine. There are a few video games with these kinds of experience that stick out in our minds; not just for being great games, but for their “wow” factors. Sometimes these experiences are shaped by our personal interpretations; i.e. revolving around what was going on in our lives at the time. Therefore, you may have a different top five list, but we can all agree that the following five games helped to shape the way video games are made even to this day.
A look at the majority of vegetation growing in the Halo: Reach world will look like any other tree. That is, until you get up close and examine it for yourself. It seems that something else was going on on planet Reach…Something the Covenant might deem worthy enough to invade for? Hmm….
Though the temptation may be great to jump online early, perpetrators of downloading early copies of Halo: Reach better think twice before firing up their illegally attained games online. Microsoft is no stranger to banning as many users as they see fit suspected of playing pirated copies of their games. A representative for Microsoft had this to say:
“We are aware that an unauthorized copy of “Halo: Reach” has leaked. We are aggressively investigating the matter. We have no further details to share at this time.”
Sounds like Microsoft is pretty pissed at the whole situation, and we all know what happens when Microsoft feels slighted. Last fall, gamers playing pirated copies of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 prompted Microsoft to ban up to a million players to get their message across. And that message is that pirating will not be tolerated.
Read More | Kotaku
Keeping in tradition with Halo 3 and Halo 2 before it, the Halo series has managed to fall into unsavory pirate hands yet again with Halo: Reach. How did the leak occur, you ask? Directly from Microsoft’s own servers on Xbox Live. This is because Bungie provided authorized reviewers with the codes to download the game which is currently on display in the Xbox Live Marketplace. However, having Reach hiding in plain site wasn’t clever enough to keep the modders from getting their greedy little hands on Reach a full month early.
With Reach already floating around on some torrents out there and in the hard drives of a climbing number of peoples computers, you can expect details from the games story to begin surfacing online. Futhermore, I can safely predict that there will be another epidemic of eager gamers playing Reach online and subsequently being caught and banned from Xbox Live. Microsoft claims that they are “aggressively investigating” the leak, as I’m sure they are furious, but expecting, of the incident. While Halo has been plagued with early downloads, video games don’t suffer from the same stigma of illegal Internet downloads as music, and the sales don’t seem to decline any. Anticipate Halo: Reach to do big numbers on its release date regardless of the incident.
While the original Halo: Combat Evolved may look as ancient as they come to some of today’s gamers, the former VP of Microsoft’s game publishing division was curious to how Halo would fare in the retro days of Atari 2600. The result? Halo: 2600! Halo 2600 began as a way for Ed to get his hands dirty in some 2600 code work, but the resulting experience transformed into a complete retro classic showcased at the Classic Gaming Expo. To solidify the retro experience, Halo 2600 even sports a cartridge modeled in true 2600 fashion. Below, Ed discusses his experience making Halo 2600, and a bug that seems to fit into the Halo experience:
“It’s around this time that I discovered the existence of what I call “Magic Land”. I was working on a bug with the boss encounter and accidentally found myself completely outside the 64 room map. I was wandering through memory that was never intended to be interpreted as part of the map but the code was doing the best it could to interpret what was being thrown at it. Strange, misshapen monsters attacked me in even stranger ways as I wandered through this bizarre land that I had unintentionally created. I left a bug or two in the final game to allow others to find and explore this strange landscape as I did.”
While waiting for Halo: Reach to hit stores, get your Master Chief fix here.
Read More | Halo 2600
It’s no shocker that Bungie’s Halo: Reach finale is going to be epic, to say the least. But no one was prepared for just how ambitious the last Halo world would be. That is, until ‘Forge World’ was shown for the first time. In fact, epic is an understatement referring to Forge World. To envision the vastness only a word such as ‘Brobdingnagian’ is befitting. To put it simply - you are not ready.
By now you’re scratching your head wondering “what the heck is Forge World?!” Basically, Forge World is five multi-player maps rolled into one - Canyon, Island, “The Rock,” Quarry, and Coliseum. Each of these maps is set in a different location of the colossal map. In Forge World the player is god, able to customize these areas as they see fit, à la the forge editor from Halo 3. However, unlike Halo 3’s forge editor you are given more options to create developer worthy maps. In fact, Bungie had so much fun in forging these new maps that they even added six of their own Forge World creations to be put into regular game rotation in Halo: Reach’s online multi-player. One of which is a remake of the classic ‘Blood Gulch”, now called ‘Hemorrhage’. To get an idea of the scope of Forge World, Hemorrhage is like a mere sandbox in the middle of the desert.
Bungie is aiming to have gamers create their own multi-player maps with newer forge tools that allow greater creativity. In this new Forge World you will have access to about 150 transferable objects. Thankfully, the physics of objects can be altered accordingly to make mid-air and other placements easier. Also, you now have the ability to “phase” objects into other parts of the map, creating whole new structures and consequently different ways to engage in combat. Created maps can then be “tagged”, allowing other gamers to download them. Think of Forge World as your own personal Inception - “it’s pure creation”. With even more objects to place, a much larger scale world, and the player’s own creativity driving them, we can expect to see some insane multi-player maps start to surface immediately after D-day (September 14th).
Read More | Bungie.net
Hot on the heels of the Halo Reach beta coming to an end, Bungie has just announced that the full game will be launching on September 14, 2010, and will be available in three versions:
- Halo Reach Standard Edition will cost $60
- Halo Reach Limited Edition will include the game, exclusive in-game Elite armor, and an artifact bag containing Dr. Halsey’s personal journal will cost $79.99
- Halo Reach Legendary Edition will include everything that the Limited Edition includes, plus UNSC-themed packaging, exclusive multiplayer Spartan armor, and Noble Team collectable statue. This will cost $149.99.
We are just under four months away.
The trailer for the beta version of the newest addition to the Halo family, Halo: Reach, drops today. From the footage it looks completely insane and has some pretty cool additions to make the multi-player aspects of the game that much more intense. For example, now when you headhunt people they collapse slowly to the floor shooting dozens of flaming skulls out of the tops of their heads. What, that isn’t normal? I know when I creep around Seattle in my ninja costume from 5th grade this happens all of the time when I come upon some hapless fool who has wandered into my territory. Well, maybe not quite; replace ‘shooting flaming skulls out of the tops of their heads’ with ‘stare at some idiot dressed in his pajamas from Christmas 1988 who just threw a plastic ninja-star at them’. Yep, that about sums it up. I am so alone.
One of the biggest updates coming in Halo 3: ODST is the addition of the Firefight mode. Firefight lets you team up with three other friends to take on round after round of enemies. It’s a nice divergence from the standard Halo 3 multiplayer fare, and makes ODST a very attractive package. I was able to spend about 90 minutes playing Firefight yesterday, and I’ve gotta say, I can see this being a new favorite. Firefight is to Halo 3: ODST what Horde is to Gears of War 2 - it allows you to team up with friends against a common enemy, and it doesn’t end until all four of you are dead at once.
We will have our Firefight impressions up in just a bit, but for now, check out all the screenshots we’ve amassed of the maps we were able to check out. There are definitely more, but what we’ve got for you is a look at Crater (Night), Security Zone, and Alpha Site. Have a look at our Halo 3: ODST Firefight Map Screenshot gallery.
A few days ago we posted an editorial begging Microsoft to fix the Xbox Live friend limit that is currently imposed upon both Xbox Live and Zune users. Well, after years of being vague about it, the truth has finally come out. According to G4, a high-level Microsoft employee has revealed that the reason that the friend limit hasn’t increased at all, even after the launch of the Xbox 360, is Halo 2.
Halo 2? Yes. You see, original Xbox games have the friend limit hard-coded into them, and Halo 2 is an original Xbox game. Since it is still so popular, Microsoft thinks they need to keep supporting it. If they increase the friend limit, they need to take Halo 2 offline.
Please, for the love of all that is sane in the gaming world, implore your friends and countrymen to switch to Halo 3, or the upcoming Halo 3: ODST, so that we might have a more social Xbox Live.
Oh, and this still doesn’t explain the whole Zune Social thing, and Microsoft’s belief that it has to be tied to Xbox Live, for whatever reason!
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