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FrenzyTheKillbot
Jan 31, 2008

Good Hustle




Letís be honest. If youíre reading this thread, youíve heard of Halo. Itís one of Microsoftís flagship franchises for the Xbox. It has spawned, as of writing this, 7 main games, 5 spin-off games, 31 novels, 15 comics/graphic novels, a handful of short films, and also action figures, Lego Mega Bloks sets, and Nerf guns. It helped popularize console online gaming, start the stereotype of the frat bro gamer, and bring esports into the mainstream with Major League Gaming (MLG).

On a personal note, Halo is also one of the things that helped me make some of my closest friends, including my co-commentators Swordfishhh and Cletus. Countless evenings and weekends were spent playing co-op and multiplayer, or searching for secrets and easter eggs. Even as we went to university and moved away to different cities, we could always get together for a few games or send each other messages speculating on what would be coming next in the series.

For this LP, weíre going to be taking a nostalgic look back on almost all of the main games with the exception of Halo: Reach. While Reach is actually one of the better campaigns in the series, I donít like how it ďfitsĒ with the other games. If thereís interest and I still have motivation after all this is done, I may LP it on its own. Iím also going to be gearing these videos towards viewers who arenít familiar with anything Halo, so I would ask that no one posts spoilers or any deep dives into the extended universe canon (at least until it becomes relevant to what weíre showing).

Also, you can follow me on Twitter for updates if youíre into the bird site.

Previously Played (click the banner):



Currently Playing:



Halo 2 is pretty obviously the sequel to the breakout hit Halo: Combat Evolved. Developed by Bungie and published by Microsoft Game Studios, Halo 2 was released on November 9, 2004. The sequel seeks to continue the story of the Master Chief and humanity at war with the alien Covenant, as well as the new complications from the existence of a nearly unstoppable parasitic plague, The Flood, and ancient doomsday ringworlds, the Halos.

Halo 2 is an excellent sequel in a lot of ways. Bungie managed to improve the graphics and mechanics of the original Halo, and added new characters and game elements while keeping the general formula and feel that made the first game great. With the addition of online multiplayer, Halo's popularity further exploded and it was the most played game on Xbox Live for a full two years, and remains the best-selling game released on the first generation Xbox. However in other ways it's a little bit of a sophmore slump, what in hockey would be called a Stanley Cup hangover. Brimming with confidence from the success of Halo 1, Bungie was maybe not as focused or disciplined as they should have been. During development a lot of work had to be scrapped and restarted from scratch, sometimes even after having been shown to the public. Several levels and the original planned ending to the game were cut in order to save time. Deadlines and release dates had to be repeatedly pushed back, to the point that eventually a Microsoft executive, Peter Moore, had "November 9" tattooed on his arm to prove that was the real release date. Still, what we ended up getting was a great game that slots very fittingly as the middle entry in a trilogy.




00 - Sgt. Johnson and the Journey Home
01 - Cairo Station
02 - Outskirts
03 - Metropolis
04 - The Arbiter
05 - Oracle
XX - Screwing Around on Earth
06 - Delta Halo
07 - Regret
XX - Humanity, the UNSC, and Spartans
08 - Sacred Icon
09 - Quarantine Zone



Announce Trailer
Theatrical Trailer
TV Commercial
E3 2003 In-Game Demonstration

FrenzyTheKillbot fucked around with this message at 19:00 on Jul 2, 2021

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FrenzyTheKillbot
Jan 31, 2008

Good Hustle




Halo: Combat Evolved, also known as Halo 1 or just Halo, was released in 2001 along with the first Xbox console. It was published by the new Microsoft Game Studios and developed by Bungie, who had been acquired by Microsoft just the year before. It was absolutely the Xboxís killer app, and one of the reasons for the consoleís commercial success. A PC version of the game was released in 2003, a remastered and graphically updated version in 2011, and then re-released another 2 times in a collection on separate platforms. The game had a very strange development cycle. It originally started as a Mac exclusive real time strategy game. From there it turned into a third-person shooter, and then eventually into the first-person shooter we know today. We play as the Master Chief, a cyborg supersoldier fighting aliens in the distant future, though I assure you itís more interesting than that synopsis makes it sound.



01 - The Pillar of Autumn
02 - Halo
03 - Truth and Reconciliation
04 - The Silent Cartographer
05 - Assault on the Control Room
XX - Halo Development History Post
06 - 343 Guilty Spark
07 - The Library
08 - Two Betrayals
XX - Warthog Jumping
09 - Keyes
10 - The Maw
XX - Alternate Warthog Run (April Fools)



Original TV Commercial
Alternate TV Commercial (note the Marathon logo in the bottom right)
Promotional Video
Launch Party Intro Video
Devs React to Halo Speedrun (spoilers for entire game)

FrenzyTheKillbot fucked around with this message at 02:54 on May 28, 2021

FrenzyTheKillbot
Jan 31, 2008

Good Hustle




01 - The Pillar of Autumn


Let's get this thing started. Out in deep space, under assault by an alien menace, and above a mysterious ringworld.

FrenzyTheKillbot
Jan 31, 2008

Good Hustle


The mythical quadruple-post to start a thread. Just wanted to mention a couple things here.

First, we haven't really figured out how to show any multiplayer content yet. The active player numbers are pretty small making it difficult to find games. I'd love to organize some goon custom games to record, so if you're interested please let me know.

Second, make sure you take a look at the videos I have under Links. They are really interesting relics from the past.

SWORDFISHHH
Apr 1, 2010


It's hard to express how much this game meant to me while growing up. In 2001 I was the first in our group of friends to get an Xbox, and Halo would become a huge part of my life for the next +10 years.

We had 16 player Halo LAN parties where we lugged 4 giant CRT televisions into a room, when away at summer camp on an island we all read the books (and even bought an xbox at a pawn shop to play!), we pored over every single Halo 2 leak, and I spent way too much time in university playing Halo 3 Big Team Battle in a haze.

Despite my obsession with the Halo universe, I learned/relearned so much doing this LP. Maybe this is because any time I played the campaign I had a tendency to skip cut scenes to jump right into the action! Frenzy's knowledge of the Halo universe is unmatched and helping with this LP has been a pleasure.

Edit: grammar

SWORDFISHHH fucked around with this message at 23:28 on Jan 8, 2021

TheOneAndOnlyT
Dec 18, 2005

Well well, mister fancy-pants, I hope you're wearing your matching sweater today, or you'll be cut down like the ugly tree you are.

I didn't get into Halo until 3, but my friend group has a similar story with the series. Ever since we graduated from college in 2009, we had a weekly game night where we all got together and system-linked a few 360s together to play Halo. When Reach came out in 2010, we started playing that at our game nights and basically never stopped. We played other games too (including Halo 4 ), but they always eventually got discarded in favor of going back to Reach. Then when the pandemic started we started doing our game nights online, and Reach was the first game we played.

My wife, who had never held a controller before, now knows how to play FPS games because of Halo. My friends and I started up one of our usual Slayer games, handed her a controller and promised not to kill her, and then gave her a Gravity Hammer and told her to go nuts. It is the single greatest custom game we have ever created and it eventually developed an entire metagame around evading the hammer and leading the other players into her vision range so she would smack them instead of you. And now she happily plays games like Destiny because of how our custom game taught her to move and aim in an FPS in a low-stress (and hilarious) situation.

I can't put into words what makes Halo so perfectly suited to a small group of friends shouting in a living room, but by God there is no other game that comes close in that department. Maybe it's the huge variety of weapons, maybe it's all the different maps and vehicles, maybe it's the visual and sound design, or maybe it's just the sheer level of customization you can put into maps and gametypes. I don't know what it is, but Bungie's Halo games had it, and with LAN play going the way of the dinosaur in favor of online play, I don't know if another game will ever live up to Halo's magic.

kag3man3
Jan 25, 2004



Glad to see another thread from you guys, love your banter. Will be following closely

I never got into Halo games, as I never really had an xbox.

Cythereal
Nov 8, 2009



kag3man3 posted:

I never got into Halo games, as I never really had an xbox.

Same. I played 3 in college when a dorm mate had one, but otherwise the series has passed me by. I enjoyed the first video of this LP, though.

Jobbo_Fett
Mar 7, 2014

It would be a sad error in judgement to mistake me for a corpse.


Clapping Larry

I was hoping someone else would do this before I did...

Can't wait to see how you go through this series!

Carbon dioxide
Oct 9, 2012



One little thing I like about Halo is that a while ago someone did a comparison of inhabitable space rings, such as the Halo but also Niven's Ringworld (which is so huge it has a sun in the center) and some others.

Turns out that from all of the imagined ones, the Halo is by far the most feasible to build with currently known engineering principles.

Also I chuckled when you mentioned Lagrange points and someone said you played too much KSP.

Lagrange points are a bunch of specific points in space that come up where the gravitational pull from two bodies of mass (stars, planets, moons) cancel each other out perfectly. If you keep a spaceship out there it won't fall either way.

The thing is that the calculation of net gravitational pull when there's multiple bodies of mass involved is famously though, and in a space flight simulator it doesn't really come up much except at those specific edges. The KSP engine doesn't attempt to solve it, instead it has defined regions around each body where only that body's gravity applies, and as soon as you move out that region, all the gravity you experience is from the new region you're in (if you're way out there it defaults to the sun's gravity).

In other words, Lagrange points are one of the few things that cannot be realistically modelled in KSP. You'll learn a lot about spaceflight playing KSP, but not about Lagrange points.

Samovar
Jun 4, 2011

I'm not a hero...





Halo, halo, halo - what's all this then?

In truth, I never played this beyond the first game since it was Xbox exclusive afterwards. I just remember being blown away by the size of the maps and the A.I.

Edit: I'm sure they changed the last cutscene. Didn't MC reply to the marine who says if they're gonna make it originally?

Samovar fucked around with this message at 11:19 on Jan 9, 2021

whitehelm
Apr 20, 2008


I never had any Xboxes so my only Halo experience is Red vs Blue.

anilEhilated
Feb 17, 2014

But I say fuck the rain.



Grimey Drawer

I got a bit of an ambivalent relationship with this series. I played the PC port of Halo back in the 2000s and was extremely unimpressed, last year I got the MCC and playing through it it turned out Halo 2 and 3 are actually pretty good even now. 1 is still a stinker, though.

FrenzyTheKillbot
Jan 31, 2008

Good Hustle


I'm actually relieved to see so many people who are unfamiliar with Halo. I wasn't sure about the plan to gear the LP towards that kind of audience. I hope you guys will continue posting your thoughts and reactions to all the stuff coming up.

TheOneAndOnlyT posted:

I didn't get into Halo until 3, but my friend group has a similar story with the series. Ever since we graduated from college in 2009, we had a weekly game night where we all got together and system-linked a few 360s together to play Halo. When Reach came out in 2010, we started playing that at our game nights and basically never stopped. We played other games too (including Halo 4 ), but they always eventually got discarded in favor of going back to Reach. Then when the pandemic started we started doing our game nights online, and Reach was the first game we played.

My wife, who had never held a controller before, now knows how to play FPS games because of Halo. My friends and I started up one of our usual Slayer games, handed her a controller and promised not to kill her, and then gave her a Gravity Hammer and told her to go nuts. It is the single greatest custom game we have ever created and it eventually developed an entire metagame around evading the hammer and leading the other players into her vision range so she would smack them instead of you. And now she happily plays games like Destiny because of how our custom game taught her to move and aim in an FPS in a low-stress (and hilarious) situation.

I can't put into words what makes Halo so perfectly suited to a small group of friends shouting in a living room, but by God there is no other game that comes close in that department. Maybe it's the huge variety of weapons, maybe it's all the different maps and vehicles, maybe it's the visual and sound design, or maybe it's just the sheer level of customization you can put into maps and gametypes. I don't know what it is, but Bungie's Halo games had it, and with LAN play going the way of the dinosaur in favor of online play, I don't know if another game will ever live up to Halo's magic.

I really love stories like this, and I agree that I don't know why it seems to work so well with Halo. Perfect Dark was just as customizable in its multiplayer, but even playing that with friends never led to the idea of creating our own custom games with honor rules, or the type of exploration and experimentation the way Halo did.

Carbon dioxide posted:

In other words, Lagrange points are one of the few things that cannot be realistically modelled in KSP. You'll learn a lot about spaceflight playing KSP, but not about Lagrange points.

Most of what I know about Lagrange points I learned from the KSP thread lol

Samovar posted:

In truth, I never played this beyond the first game since it was Xbox exclusive afterwards. I just remember being blown away by the size of the maps and the A.I.

Edit: I'm sure they changed the last cutscene. Didn't MC reply to the marine who says if they're gonna make it originally?

No, it was like that in the original. Some cutscenes are actually slightly different, but they're still in-engine and with the original dialogue, so the changes are just slightly different timing or camera angles.

anilEhilated posted:

I got a bit of an ambivalent relationship with this series. I played the PC port of Halo back in the 2000s and was extremely unimpressed, last year I got the MCC and playing through it it turned out Halo 2 and 3 are actually pretty good even now. 1 is still a stinker, though.

Halo 1 is definitely a less polished game. I made a small mention of its weird development, and I do have some more to say about that later. They were a relatively small studio that got bought by Microsoft a year and a half before the Xbox launch, and not only changed their game from a third-person shooter to a first-person shooter, but they had to finalize the story and characters and get it to run on a brand new console in that short time. The other games had their own development challenges which we can talk about when we get there, but they also started getting AAA resources and support.

malkav11
Aug 7, 2009


Personally I'm in a bit of a weird midpoint. I have played Halo 1 on both Xbox and PC (got way further on PC - Halo may have made the FPS viable on console but it was still a struggle for me) without ever finishing it, and I've played a tiny bit of Halo: Reach before deciding I didn't really enjoy it. And I've read Karen Traviss' contribution(s) to the novels. Then later I watched a Let's Play of the Anniversary Edition on 360 and I think one of Reach, and someone started a Halo 2 LP that I don't *think* ever finished (but I certainly didn't get very far in it if it did). But I have never seen the majority of 2 or any of the other Halo games at all.

It's a franchise I personally don't find exciting to play, but I've always loved Bungie's storytelling, going right back to Pathways into Darkness and especially Marathon.

biosterous
Feb 23, 2013






The customizability of Halo multiplayer was (and probably still is?) fantastic. Made a very fun game mode called "ninjahammer" in Halo 3 - one of the smallest maps, everyone is invisible with a gravity hammer and a magnum and infinite ammo. Motion tracker was enabled, but set to the minimum distance, so it would give you just enough warning to go "oh gently caress oh poo poo where are they". Also we made it a rule that you had to get the final kill with the magnum - getting the last kill via hammer or magnum melee put you into last place, with the winner then being the next-highest kills.

Lots of tense creeping around until suddenly there is frantic action and a flurry of violence (that attracts anyone nearby, leading to more frantic action)

gently caress, i wanna play some ninjahammer now

Nissin Cup Nudist
Sep 3, 2011

Sleep with one eye open

We're off to Gritty Gritty land






As a Nintendo homer, I too never played Halo

I knew about from cultural osmosis, but never figured why it blew up the way it did

Kadorhal
Jun 3, 2013

Look, just sign the stupid petition. I've got stuff to do.


I played a lot of CA and 2 in co-op with my brother back in the day, but then never really got much of a chance to play any of the later games - until the MCC came to Steam I only got to play 3, ODST, Reach and Anniversary in co-op one time each, and of the four I only played more than two levels of ODST.

I had some very vague, early plans to LP the series (at least up to Reach) myself, but never got around to doing anything with that idea, so definitely count me in for any multiplayer stuff.


Also, on that note, I feel the need to note that the Security helmet is the best helmet. I don't care if I never played Marathon until like 2018, I need the Marathon callback helmet.

FrenzyTheKillbot
Jan 31, 2008

Good Hustle


Nissin Cup Nudist posted:

As a Nintendo homer, I too never played Halo

I knew about from cultural osmosis, but never figured why it blew up the way it did

I'd be interested to hear your thoughts after the next video. I think that level does a way better job of showing what made Halo stand out.

White Coke
May 29, 2015


whitehelm posted:

I never had any Xboxes so my only Halo experience is Red vs Blue.

Same. I had a Play Station 2 and Game Cube.

idhrendur
Aug 20, 2016



PC and PlayStation user here who never got into Halo was a result. I think I had a friend have me try it out for ten minutes and I didn't like it.

So I'm very interested in this project. I loved the Ringworld books back in the day so it was always fascinating to see a version of the concept show up somewhere with mass appeal.

Ablative
Nov 9, 2012

Someone is getting this as an avatar. I don't know who, but it's gonna happen.

FrenzyTheKillbot posted:


No, it was like that in the original. Some cutscenes are actually slightly different, but they're still in-engine and with the original dialogue, so the changes are just slightly different timing or camera angles.


I think a couple of them also have minor puppeteering changes because of the new and amazing technology known as "individual fingers" but I could be wrong.

Anyway these games were my loving childhood.


...Even if I never actually finished Halo 1 until i was like 15.

White Coke
May 29, 2015


Is there ever any description or depiction of what Spartans look like physically? Are they just big humans or are they deformed or otherwise distinct?

Ablative
Nov 9, 2012

Someone is getting this as an avatar. I don't know who, but it's gonna happen.

Chief at least is extremely pale from a lack of direct sunlight, since he apparently wears his armour all the drat time.

Other than that, they're basically just big humans, yeah. Chief's 6'10" and 285lbs out of his armour.

White Coke
May 29, 2015


What is it about Halo: Reach that doesn't fit with the others? Is this an issue of lore or gameplay?

EggsAisle
Dec 17, 2013

I get it! You're, uh...

FrenzyTheKillbot posted:



Letís be honest. If youíre reading this thread, youíve heard of Halo. Itís one of Microsoftís flagship franchises for the Xbox. It has spawned, as of writing this, 7 main games, 5 spin-off games, 31 novels, 15 comics/graphic novels, a handful of short films, and also action figures, Lego sets, and Nerf guns. It helped popularize console online gaming, start the stereotype of the frat bro gamer, and bring esports into the mainstream with Major League Gaming (MLG).

Now that brings back memories. I worked at a Lego store for several years in the early 2010's, and one of the questions customers asked all the time was "Where are the Halo Legos?" The answer was that there was no such thing; there were Halo-themed construction toys, but they were manufactured by Mega Bloks, basically a knock-off brand. One time a lady was convinced I was lying to her or something, kept insisting she'd seen them online. She proceeds to take out her phone and triumphantly shoves it in my face a few seconds later, with an image on it. I gently point out the Mega Bloks logo on it, and she rolls her eyes, gives an offended huff, and leaves the store. A very mild frustrated customer story, especially considering it was retail, but very memorable for some reason.

FrenzyTheKillbot
Jan 31, 2008

Good Hustle


White Coke posted:

What is it about Halo: Reach that doesn't fit with the others? Is this an issue of lore or gameplay?

So there is actually a whole lore "issue" with Halo: Reach, but that's a topic for another time.

It's a prequel to the rest of the Halo games, so where it fits narratively is at the start, and then the very end of Reach leads into the very start of Halo 1. My issue is that I don't want to play it there because the game is built on 4 other Halo games, so mechanically it's jumping into the deep end as far as weapons, enemies, vehicles, and game mechanics goes. If you play it in release order so it works better mechanically it ends up as a flashback intermission between Halo 3 and Halo 4, which would be fine except Halo: ODST is already there and works way better as an intermission in my opinion. Halo: Reach just makes that intermission overly long and ends up feeling like even more of a departure narratively at that point. Basically neither option really feels right from an LP point of view.

EggsAisle posted:

Now that brings back memories. I worked at a Lego store for several years in the early 2010's, and one of the questions customers asked all the time was "Where are the Halo Legos?" The answer was that there was no such thing; there were Halo-themed construction toys, but they were manufactured by Mega Bloks, basically a knock-off brand. One time a lady was convinced I was lying to her or something, kept insisting she'd seen them online. She proceeds to take out her phone and triumphantly shoves it in my face a few seconds later, with an image on it. I gently point out the Mega Bloks logo on it, and she rolls her eyes, gives an offended huff, and leaves the store. A very mild frustrated customer story, especially considering it was retail, but very memorable for some reason.

Huh, well I guess count me as one of those people. You're totally right, it's all Mega Bloks or Mega Construx.

Cythereal
Nov 8, 2009



FrenzyTheKillbot posted:

So there is actually a whole lore "issue" with Halo: Reach, but that's a topic for another time.

It's a prequel to the rest of the Halo games, so where it fits narratively is at the start, and then the very end of Reach leads into the very start of Halo 1. My issue is that I don't want to play it there because the game is built on 4 other Halo games, so mechanically it's jumping into the deep end as far as weapons, enemies, vehicles, and game mechanics goes. If you play it in release order so it works better mechanically it ends up as a flashback intermission between Halo 3 and Halo 4, which would be fine except Halo: ODST is already there and works way better as an intermission in my opinion. Halo: Reach just makes that intermission overly long and ends up feeling like even more of a departure narratively at that point. Basically neither option really feels right from an LP point of view.

Bit of a shame, as far as I know Reach is the only game in the series that lets you play as a woman, from what I've heard through online osmosis.

FrenzyTheKillbot
Jan 31, 2008

Good Hustle


Cythereal posted:

Bit of a shame, as far as I know Reach is the only game in the series that lets you play as a woman, from what I've heard through online osmosis.

There is a later game in the series that let's you play as a lady Spartan, but the details of that would be spoilers at this point.

Edit: I guess it should be pointed out that while there are female playable characters, Master Chief would still be considered the "main" character in that game's narrative.

But yes, Reach is a really good game and the way they use your personalized Spartan as the main character is one of the excellent things it does. I do hope I get a chance to LP it, but it would be after I get through the rest of the main ones and decide which of the others to show off.

FrenzyTheKillbot fucked around with this message at 18:57 on Jan 14, 2021

Lynneth
Sep 13, 2011


I used to be huge into FPS games - but I never ended up liking Halo, nor its story, very much. Instead, I played like a mad lad Aliens vs Predator 2, and got sucked into Half-Life and later Call of Duty before shifting to Mass Effect. I played Halo's PC release shortly after it became available, and always wondered what people found so great about it. Predictably, I didn't play any of the sequels.

Time to see what all the fuss is about in this massive franchise. I'm looking forward to watching you guys truck through it.

hectorgrey
Oct 14, 2011


Lynneth posted:

I used to be huge into FPS games - but I never ended up liking Halo, nor its story, very much. Instead, I played like a mad lad Aliens vs Predator 2, and got sucked into Half-Life and later Call of Duty before shifting to Mass Effect. I played Halo's PC release shortly after it became available, and always wondered what people found so great about it. Predictably, I didn't play any of the sequels.

Time to see what all the fuss is about in this massive franchise. I'm looking forward to watching you guys truck through it.

To be honest, the original Halo was never designed to compete with games like Half Life, AvP2, or Unreal Tournament or the like; it could never have competed with those games on PC because it was designed from the outset for console. The fact you can only carry two weapons (compared with the dozen or so common in PC shooters at the time) was so that you could use a single button to switch weapons instead of having to cycle through them. It had pretty good AI - arguably comparable with that of Half Life - and used auto aim to make up for the fact that you didn't have the precision of a mouse. As a result, with a controller, it was one of the best feeling console shooters ever made. I can't imagine it having been particularly great on PC, however, in large part due to it being designed around the limitations of console gaming.

Personally, I really liked this game - but mostly for the split screen coop and deathmatch play. I mean, I played through the campaign a few times, and found the shooting fairly enjoyable and the sci-fi horror stuff to be suitably horrific, but sitting on a friend's couch, eating Chinese and sharing a few beers while blowing the poo poo out of each other with tanks and rocket launchers (and getting the sticky grenade to connect) was the kind of experience that I really miss from console games of that era, and as far as I'm concerned, no console shooter did split screen multiplayer better than the Halo series. It's worth noting that there is a second spartan on the ship if you play coop too - you both get your own pod. Also, if one of you dies but the other doesn't, the one that died respawns near the other, so there's a minimum of sitting around doing nothing if you die in a hard fight, and the better player doesn't get punished with a game over.

White Coke
May 29, 2015


hectorgrey posted:

The fact you can only carry two weapons (compared with the dozen or so common in PC shooters at the time) was so that you could use a single button to switch weapons instead of having to cycle through them.

Why didn't they use the D-pad to squeeze in a few more guns? And who invented the weapon wheel?

malkav11
Aug 7, 2009


White Coke posted:

Why didn't they use the D-pad to squeeze in a few more guns? And who invented the weapon wheel?

The two weapon limit is a very deliberate design choice, IIRC to try and push players into regularly mixing up their arsenal. Personally I found it had the opposite effect and I hate it having become practically default in the genre subsequently.

hectorgrey
Oct 14, 2011


White Coke posted:

Why didn't they use the D-pad to squeeze in a few more guns? And who invented the weapon wheel?

To answer the first question, I don't think it had really occurred to anybody in the late 90s and up to 2001 that the dpad could be used for things other than movement or precision aiming, so for many games of the time, it just wasn't used at all. It's worth remembering that the two stick controller format became mainstream with the Dual Shock controller for the PS1, but wasn't standard controller design until the PS2 and XBox generation; as such, games on the playstation had to be playable with only the dpad for movement and aiming (usually with a button for the latter, and what are now considered the triggers for strafing if the game included that style of movement). As such, game designers still couldn't really use it for anything essential until the following generation, when they could assume that everybody had two analogue sticks. At that point, it just took a while for someone to find a use for it. It's also worth remembering that one stick for movement, the other for aiming wasn't really standardised until a year or two into the PS2/XBox generation; many shooters prior to that also (and even by default) offered left stick for forward/backward movement and turning, right stick for strafing and looking up/down (kind of like how in the mid to late 90s, PC games typically used the arrow keys for movement - or even the number pad in the case of the first two Thief games and the first Hitman game).

I think KOTOR (released in 2003) might have been the first time I saw the dpad used for aspects of gameplay other than movement and aiming, but even that was selecting between options on a command bar. The first time I saw it used for selecting weapons in a shooter was in Republic Commando (released in 2005). Of course, just because something was the first time I saw it, doesn't mean it was the first time it was done, and I'd be interested to hear any earlier examples of the dpad used as extra buttons.

To answer the second question, I have no idea. That said, I understand Ratchet and Clank (released in 2002) used an early version of the weapon wheel, but I've never played it so I couldn't tell you.

malkav11 posted:

The two weapon limit is a very deliberate design choice, IIRC to try and push players into regularly mixing up their arsenal. Personally I found it had the opposite effect and I hate it having become practically default in the genre subsequently.

Entirely fair. I'm fine with it in games that want to appeal to authenticity like Call of Duty or Battlefield, and I like it in Halo, but sometimes you just want to have a huge arsenal of weapons that there's no way you could physically carry and just not worry about it.

hectorgrey fucked around with this message at 01:32 on Jan 15, 2021

White Coke
May 29, 2015


hectorgrey posted:

To answer the second question, I have no idea. That said, I understand Ratchet and Clank (released in 2002) used an early version of the weapon wheel, but I've never played it so I couldn't tell you.

I remember something like that. It only had a few favorited weapons instead of the whole arsenal.

hectorgrey posted:

Entirely fair. I'm fine with it in games that want to appeal to authenticity like Call of Duty or Battlefield, and I like it in Halo, but sometimes you just want to have a huge arsenal of weapons that there's no way you could physically carry and just not worry about it.

What even is the point of creating super soldiers if they can't carry more guns than a regular soldier?

Simply Simon
Nov 6, 2010

timeless Ned Flanders style


I've a bit of a complicated relationship with Halo. When I was in target audience age, I didn't care about the XBox and in fact didn't know anything about Halo, never played or saw anything related to the games. I became "exposed" when a good buddy of mine wanted, for nostalgia reasons, play Halo co-op with me, so he lugged his OG XBox over to my house and we played the campaign over a few weekends.

I was not impressed by the game at all, for a few reasons:
- unfamiliarity with the XBox controller
- unused to console FPS games at all (this game broke my previous preference for inverted cameras, but it took a while to adjust)
- it's very easy to get lost, the game imo has massive issues with player guidance
- my buddy had played it a billion times before so I was mostly stuck wandering around super lost maybe sniping a few grunts until he hit a loading zone and yanked me with him

Still, we had a great time just drinking beers and shooting the poo poo while mostly he shot the enemies, and I did get better gradually, then we played Halo 2 and it was ofc way the hell better. Then we bought a used 360 together (Reach branded even), played Reach and Halo 3, and I started to really enjoy the games as games. We also played 4 but it sucks rear end in our opinion.

We've now gotten the MCC on Steam and are currently playing Halo 2 on co-op, having finished Reach and CE already, both on Legendary because I can now finally hit things properly and we are, after all, both used to the games now. They are still a blast as co-op games.

However, I was never impressed by the story and am a little baffled by how much emphasis from-the-start fans put on the lore; my buddy as well read a bunch of the novels. I'm not above pulp and especially sci-fi writing (I read almost all the Star Wars EU books and a lot of MtG ones), but the story just from playing seemed to bare-bones to me that it never gripped me at all. You mentioning that there's a lot of it pre-loaded in the manual makes it a little easier to understand - if the game is not meant to deliver its story on its own, then I can't really expect it to impress me with it.

It might also not have helped that we honestly rushed a lot in our first Halo 1 playthrough, and that I was so confused with the controls. To illustrate that, it took me until...dunno, sometime during our Reach playthrough to realize that the second mission takes place on the Halo. You have already pointed out that nobody on the Pillar of Autumn* makes a big deal out of this gigantic alien structure, I just assumed that this is a relatively normal occurance and the biggest issue is that it's in the way of the lifepods. You see the planet in the background of the cutscene and it cuts out as they approach the Halo. Then, spoilers for the setting of the second mission, there's plants and rocks and a beach so why would I assume that's on the Halo itself?!


*this is a great and evocative name by the way, but it took me until the end of the playthrough as well to understand that it's the name of the ship in the intro. OG Halo has no cutscene subtitles so there was a lot of me going ??????? which pillar? There's seasons in space?

Simply Simon
Nov 6, 2010

timeless Ned Flanders style


I'd also like to add that the MCC is making our co-op re-play very pretty and, well, possible half a country apart now, but also incredibly, bafflingly frustrating because we keep losing connection halfway through a mission, or the anti-cheat decides that I'm fishy and have to go, and for some reason the game does not save checkpoint progress, you have to beat the entire mission in one sitting.

Added superfun: at least for me as the invitee, the MCC very often does not save progress at all, which is not that big of a deal for our playthrough because Mission Select is unlocked from the start, but it does feel great that after two hours of slogging through a Legendary mission, finally conquering it, the game boots me to menu and is like "oh yeah you never played this in co-op", I don't get an Achievement for it, nothing. Even on single player it only works half of the time. I got a few point goals and par times and it just does not save them, it's insane to me that there is such a severe and obvious issue and nothing is done to fix it. Researching it shows tons of people having the same problem and it's just the way it is.

anilEhilated
Feb 17, 2014

But I say fuck the rain.



Grimey Drawer

hectorgrey posted:

To answer the second question, I have no idea. That said, I understand Ratchet and Clank (released in 2002) used an early version of the weapon wheel, but I've never played it so I couldn't tell you.
Completely useless bit of FPS trivia: Clive Barker's Undying did it in 2001, I think that is the earliest weapon wheel.

malkav11
Aug 7, 2009


Simply Simon posted:

- it's very easy to get lost, the game imo has massive issues with player guidance


God yes. This was probably my biggest problem with the game when I tried to play it (at least, once I started playing on PC and could use mouse and keyboard controls).

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PizzaProwler
Nov 4, 2009

Or you can see me at The Riviera. Tuesday nights.
Pillowfights with Dominican mothers.

anilEhilated posted:

Completely useless bit of FPS trivia: Clive Barker's Undying did it in 2001, I think that is the earliest weapon wheel.

'Perfect Dark' had one in 2000.

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