Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Top 52: Halo 3 (#47)

This week's Top 52 features one of the two games on this list that I currently do not own: Halo 3. It seems as though everyone who has an Xbox 360 owns this game as it is one of the "killer apps" for the console. However, this game is on my list for a slightly different reason. Read on and you'll see what I'm talking about.

Title: Halo 3
Console: Xbox 360
Release Date: 09/25/07 (US)
Genre: First-Person Shooter
My Ranking: #47

To those that know my taste in video games, this game might come as quite a shock. I have repeatedly argued with my friends that the Halo series is one of the most overrated series in video game history, as the engine used for Halo isn’t that phenomenal. There have been far better shooters, before and after Halo, that have been more tactical and simply, more fun.

However, despite my clear negative bias towards it, I absolutely loved Halo 3. It would not make me buy an Xbox 360 but, whenever I play it at my friend’s house I always end up enjoying it. I’ve beaten the single-player mode in its entirety (in co-op of course), and I’ve played numerous games online with various friends.

The single-player co-op experience felt extremely satisfying as on Heroic, the difficulty was perfect. We died a couple times on later stages and felt as though I really improved in the game when we beat a difficult section. Legendary was nearly impossible but me and my friends managed to get through it just grinding out way through with pinpoint accuracy. Or, if we were really frustrated, we would just beat the crap out of each other, or attach a sticky grenade on the other’s player’s back. I couldn’t care less about the story; it seemed over-the-top and a little silly, but I didn’t see the story in the previous versions so I can’t justifiably give an opinion about it.

Halo 3 didn’t just stop with the single-player co-op. Halo 3 was the first game that exposed me to co-op online play and that’s what really captivated me. I love being able to find 6 to 8 other people to play with, almost instantaneously, and just play a deathmatch alongside my best friend. I’ll be shooting with a needler gun trying to take out my best friend only to be sniped by a random online sharpshooter. I love it. For the most part, the competition on Halo 3 is pretty intense. There are some dumb people, but most people know how to get cover, fire accurately and use grenades effectively.

But like I said, there are some really dumb, young Halo players online, seemingly more so than with other games. This is the main reason why this game is on my list. My friend Kevin and I constantly try to mess with the young, obnoxious Halo players who think they are the best players in the world. One example of what we have done occurred when we were playing Ninjaball on Snowbound.

Photo Source

Just to give some background for people who haven’t played this mode before, Ninjaball is a special online mode in Halo 3 where the object of the game is to hold a point ball for a certain amount of time. The game starts with the ball placed somewhere on the map, and for each second someone possesses the ball, they gain a point. When that person dies, the ball is dropped where that person died and then someone else can pick it up and gain points. There is more to the setting than this, but this is all you need to know for this story.

As I said before, my friend Kevin and I love to mess with people online. So, me and Kevin make a pact and decide not to kill each other, just for a little while. We kill off some other players and I gain possession of the ball. Kevin starts taking out some people around me and we make a mad dash for the edge of the map where an invincible AI turret awaits. Kevin approaches the turret first, with me following directly behind him. After a couple of shots, the turret kills Kevin and then starts pummeling me. I run almost right in front of the turret, and die pretty much next to it.

I know, this plan doesn’t seem that interesting, as we ended up killing ourselves. However, what happened as a result of this plan was hilarious. The ball that everyone needs in order to gain points is now being guarded by an invincible turret. Anybody who runs up towards it is killed way before they can reach it. Obnoxious kid responds: “What the #$%@? Who is did dat? I kep dyin’!”

We chuckle on our end. We just shattered the world of a Halo-obsessed child. After about 5 minutes, the ball is reset, which is a long time in this mode. So, we move the ball again, back to the same spot, laughing the whole way. Obnoxious kid responds again once he realizes where it is: “Who the %&*$ keeps doin’ dat!? Dis isn’t how u play ninjaball! I’m gonna f’ing murder the foo who did dis!” Ah, we had a good time.

Sure, there is way more to Halo 3 than just the online play, but the gameplay against other competitors was really solid. It takes an absurd amount of ammo to lower someone’s shield and then kill them but the game is pretty balanced by giving you a lot of ammo and placing different guns everywhere. Halo 3 is an addictive fantasy shooter that, for whatever reason, unfortunately attracted a lot of video game meatheads.

However, with the right people, Halo 3 can be extremely competitive and fun to watch. I’ve seen Halo 3 tournaments before and when two great players meet on a map, it’s great to see them duel. I am not that good at this game, but I will always think of it fondly since I shared so many funny moments, both online and during the campaign, with my best friend sitting right next to me. Great games are not only great because of what is on the screen. Great games create an emotion and an atmosphere to the people holding the controllers. As weird as it is, a shooter, Halo 3, did that to me.
My Top 52:
#52 --- Star Fox 64 (N64)
#51 --- Kirby's Adventure (NES)
#50 --- Roller Coaster Tycoon (PC)
#49 --- Grand Theft Auto III (PS2)
#48 --- Metroid Prime (GC)
#47 --- Halo 3 (Xbox 360)
#46 --- Revealed on 8/19


Master Chief Costume said...

Halo multiplayer is a wonderful thing.. but like you said, too many 13 year old rampaging around.

Richard R. said...

@master chief costume: Ya, it gets really annoying sometimes. However, it did make for a great story, I thought. It's strange though, I probably would like this game more if dumb people didn't call this the "bEst gAm EVAR!!!" Like seriously, cool it down kids. Halo 3 is a great game in the end though. Anybody who has a hatred for it is probably a fanboy, or they don't like shooters.

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