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HALO MALL » Archive for March 2010

Bungie Halo or Halo Reach TEASE! Something New this week


Halo Reach

From bungietweets another Tease perhaps from Marcus Lehto ?  is he being more careful about leaking some information about the Halo Universe ? dunno, we came across this today scouring our tweets for news and what’s interesting ias that’s a Spartan Mark IV Mjolnir helmet!!  worn by you know who…John 117 !!  could he have a role in the new Reach Release… doubtful,  could this be Bungies Homage to Halo 3 online Xbox Live game play… (that they say would not go away at any time in the near future).

Adding to the conjecture is that Bungie continually reveals that the Halo Universe and stories behind it will not go away.  After the release of the Halo Legends DVD and the Fan Demand for it there will probably more retro-Hyping to keep the Halo saga alive… for …. perhaps … a MOVIE ?!??! (more on this in a later post…)

Just remember April First is tomorrow… so maybe we’ll be tht first Fools to report what we find (true or false) on this latest tease!

-J

Filed under: Breaking Game News, Bungie Plans, Events, Halo Legends, Halo: Reach, Master Chief, Pictures, Previews, Rumor Mill

Halo:Reach Armor Images Revealed!!!


There were plenty of things that made us love Halo 3.  One thing that made us love the game was the fact that you could customize your very own Spartan.  Being able to put different armor pieces together was fun.  Now, Bungie tends to bring their armor system to the next level with their new game Halo:Reach.  There were images released by the website ign showing different armor pieces.  If you look at the images for the helmet, you can pick out the basic helmet for your spartan and then you can customize it with other pieces.  What’s also cool is that instead of just unlocking the armor piece like in Halo 3, you can use money in the game to buy the armor pieces.  To get money, you probably have to complete certain things and if you look at the image with different challenges, next to it there are a few categories and one of them says “Daily Challenges”.  This probably means that everyday Bungie will post  new challenges for you to complete and when you complete it you get cash to spend.  If you look at the bottom right ends of each image it says Halo:Reach multiplayer beta so there is a really big chance that we will use this armor system in the beta.   After looking at these images, I am now more impatient to wait for Halo:Reach.  Here are the images with the different armor pieces.  I guarantee you will be amazed.

Filed under: Breaking Game News, Bungie Plans, Halo Reach Armor, Halo: Reach, Images, Pictures, Previews, Rumor Mill, Uncategorized

Video Pick: Battlefield Bad Company 2 Shotgun Sniping!


A pretty cool video from a very talented gamer on Battlefield: BC 2 sniping some noobs with his shotgun from all sorts of distances. Thought it was worthy of mentioning here and encourage everyone to at least watch some of it:

Shotgun Sniping

Filed under: Breaking Game News, Featured, Game Strategy, Videos

Microsoft seeks to change the way we think of DLC


Microsoft is at it yet again with patenting an idea that don’t own, much similar to Sony’s recent patent for eroding demos, which lose features over time (I think IP and patent laws are the epitome of sheer stupidity and I think these are both great examples) .

Well, basically the picture sums up where Microsoft plans to take this and it does seem like a neat little idea that will surely makes our lives (a little) easier at the end of the day.

Filed under: Breaking Game News, Release Dates, Xbox Live

Game Over. Please insert credit card number for content already on the disc.


2K Games has been caught charging consumers who had purchased Bioshock 2 to pay for DLC content that was already on the disc when it shipped out. Apparently, a 2k Games representative in response to this claim said something along the lines of ‘well, we don’t want to hinder gameplay within the multiplayer community by forcing everyone to have the content’. In other words, if you have already purchased the content and are playing with someone who hasn’t paid for the DLC, they can play with you on the same maps. That was their reasoning behind charging for content that should of been free in the first place.

It’s time like these when we love PC games because the DLC on the disc can be made free within a matter of hours in the hands of a skilled hacker.

We should have more of these individuals in the Xbox community starting to pursue this honorable feat as well and save the consumer the hassle of paying for content ALREADY on the disc.

Filed under: Breaking Game News, Featured, Xbox Live

WTH ? Bungie Aerospace ?


Bungie Aerospace is a new trademarkYesterday Bungie filed a trademark for another mysterious project  ”Bungie Aerospace” .    Seems to be related to computer gaming.

Credit around the web goes to Attackofthefanboy who first noticed the application.

Could this be life for Bungie after Halo:Reach?   Must be fun to have all this money to spend on R&D … heck if this division comes out with an actual Banshee, put down my order now!  The only other thing we can think of is that this is some kind of software engine for to licensed under the Aerospace trademark.

Thanks fanboy!

Filed under: Bungie Plans, Images, Pictures, Rumor Mill

Upgraded Unreal Engine unveiled at GDC 2010!


Although no videos are currently availible at this time, a new and upgraded Unreal Engine was revealed to the public in a demonstration by an Epic employee. Two years ago, we had the privilege of watching a highly realistic “meat cube” get torn to bits in front of our very eyes on screen.

This time around, gamers were privy to the “mercury cube” and lush environments that resembled Naughty Dog’s Uncharted. It was also reported that the employee threw together a city with relative ease during the tech demo and gamers were told to basically ‘stay tuned’ to see which game would use this impressive engine in the (near) future.

Gears of War 3 anyone?

Filed under: Featured, Game Strategy, Halo: Reach, Peripherals

More information on the Playstation Move!


While I’m against the Playstation Move as a matter of principle, I still think it’s a neat little device that will most likely have a lengthy future on Sony’s console given the massive support so far from developers. Whether the developers will actually follow through with their word is an entirely different story though.

With that being said, I really think the success of the device ultimately rests upon how many games utilize the accessory later this fall when it finally becomes availible to the public. If the control schemes seem to be tacked on as a complete after thought however, I think we can have another abject failure like the Playstation 2′s HDD (damn you Socom 2!!!)

Here’s a more detailed article on the actual device:

http://bit.ly/9NgesJ

Filed under: Game Strategy, Peripherals, Previews, Release Dates

No surprise here, Sony’s motion remote isn’t popular


"Killjoy, why are you moving like a moron?"

Going off a preview from the people over at the GDC ’10, it has become realitevly apparent that the Playstation “Move” controller isn’t exactly the weapon of choice amongst editors for games like Socom 4. While the technology shows promise and is already being called the “Wii HD”, it just doesn’t jive well with shooters. This stunning development shouldn’t be much of a stunner or a development at all! To date, there hasn’t been a single reasonable control scheme that isn’t a pain to use with these devices. Most gamers don’t feel comfortable with the setup yet and don’t show any indications of changing there minds soon. So don’t force this one on us and drive everyone mad in the process!

However, I do have to say that Sony’s device has definite potential if done right and has even made some notable indents in advancing the technology. Maybe Sony can even beat Nintendo at their own game!

Filed under: Game Strategy, Peripherals, Pictures, Release Dates

Activision & Infinity Ward vs MicroSoft & Bungie Split


West vs Kotick Activision Modern Warfare 3 Fall of DutyThe Good the Bad and the UGLY! its all in the G4 scoop Fall Of Duty.  By now the news is everywhere that Jason West and Vince Zampella are gone.  The Future of the COD series rests with another studio and activison seems less concerned about answering the big question of why??!?   Even the Electronic Arts execs are wondering about this big time and are “bummed out”, according the the Kotaku story.

Activision sending an army of bouncers over to Infinity Ward and intimidating the staff and members of the studio is just plain nasty!  What could have transpired between Jason, Vince and Bobby Kotick, CEO of Activision ?  There is a filing with the SEC that indicates insubordination but that filing was months before the news of the firing last week.

We’ve been following this story and can only think of how well Bungie and Microsoft Split.  It was peacful, we got three games out of the Deal, Halo Wars; Halo ODST and now the upcoming Halo Reach.    Microsoft got to keep the rights to Halo and assigned the Development of Halo Wars to Ensemble Studios another great game studio.   Apparently Bungie developers were tired of the Halo series and wanted to work on something else to segue out of the series they brought the new games and for this reason Reach may truly be the last of the Halo series from Bungie.   Microsoft bought Bungie in 2001 to make Halo the exclusive game for the Xbox.   This was a midas touch! this was a golden arrangement! and has made me a happy gamer.   You can’t help but to admire Jason West’s involvement and influence at Infinity to turn out such a great series as Call of Duty.

You compare this to the Activision leadership and you have to wonder, what happened!   Electronics Arts (EA) chief operating officer John Schappert said [RE: the lawsuits between Activision & Infinity Ward] – “Now they’re spending their future dealing with litigation and lawyers rather than crafting the next great experience…. I don’t think that’s a win for them.  I don’t think it’s a win for the industry. I think that’s disappointing. I hope that they find a way to make games and focus on that during this period.”   If you look at Activision side of the story grumblings abound that Infinity ward was looking to EA to take up the game so they could leave Activision.   Wow the grumbling of  employees must have been evident to Activision at some point where executives did not handle it the way Microsoft and Bungie did,  amicably with fans and the business in mind.  Now Activision let some egos get in the way … whenever you hear about insubordination someone dissed someone else…. so what! we say  Let Jason work for Bungie!   Call of Duty Meets Halo: Reach!  The caption to the image below should read “Spartans invade Activision Studios and take away Jason West (yeah Jason’s the guy in the beard!)

Activision CTO James West Escorted By Spartans to the Safety of Bungie Studios!

Activision CTO James West Escorted By Spartans to the Safety of Bungie Studios!

ahhh… business is business… they say….  but you can’t keep craftsmen from creating you can only own them by contract though!  Jason and Vince good luck on your next endeavors!    Look out Bungie never let Activision merge with you guys!  It could get UGLY!

Filed under: Featured, Halo: Reach, Rumor Mill

Why we should be against the Playstation “Move” controller


Let’s face it, both Microsoft and Sony are trying to jump onto the motion sensing bandwagon in a desperate attempt to feed off this cash cow before it’s too late. While this may be nice accessory to advertise if you want to attract casual gamers,  most hardcore gamers know to stay far away from motion-sensing technology (it’s pretty much out of habit these days).

In what seems to be the most neglected aspect of utilizing motion sensing hardware in specific genres like First Person Shooters, is that it simply doesn’t work (at this current time). Many of the control schemes for shooters are simply just too awkward and clunky for most gamers to deal with on a daily basis (not to mention having the patience and time for such endeavors as well). Console gamers are already at a severe disdvantage when compared to PC users as it is, so why attempt to handicap them even more? While motion sensing technology is fun and even very entertaining on occassion with certain games like Wii Tennis, it starts to become a real pain in the ass and turns gamers away in droves when it’s tacked on to shooters.

Until they actually make significant revisions and drastically improve upon the technology, there’s very little reason to experiment with this in games that rely heavily on reflexes and precision, unless if your ultimate aim is to frustrate the crap out of gamers.

Filed under: Featured, Game Strategy, Peripherals

Should Halo: Reach include bots for multiplayer games?


We’ve all been through those hard times when Xbox Live is down or the servers are going haywire and very few people have access to the game online. Then we’ve also experienced those times when we have had family/friends over and we aren’t even remotely close to get a reasonably paced game going. Which is why I believe Bungie should enable users to use bots if they wish to do so, in private matches or local games. Considering that this feature would surely not hurt anyone if implemented and given that the NPCs in the Halo series have a pretty good track record, it almost seems like a no-brainer for them to do so.

But aren’t bots outdated and obsolete? I mean come on the last time I played with bots was in Perfect Dark for the N64!!

I don’t think anyone ever denied that bots are almost as valuable as Hi-Fi speakers these days, but when that rare time comes and  the servers aren’t available to the general public (or when we have that odd cousin from Wyoming come and visit us for the day), it suddenly has plenty of  value.

While including bots in Halo: Reach certainly no longer warrants being placed on the back of the game jacket, there’s simply no reason why Bungie (or any developer with a multiplayer component) should leave this option mysteriously missing in their games.

By the way, Killzone 2, which was released just last year for the PS3 had surprisingly included this feature. While it wasn’t the main selling point, I’m sure it eventually came in handy for some gamers at one point or another.

Filed under: Bungie Plans, Game Strategy, Halo: Reach, Release Dates

Don’t worry teabaggers won’t miss out in Reach


A somewhat minor update here, but Bungie is working on a patch to fix a cameria issue where the camera doesn’t focus on the player’s corpse after death. Bungie has realized this flaw and has announced it will be addressed.

Filed under: Bungie Plans, Game Strategy, Halo: Reach

Recently announced Bodycount will feature destructible environments!


Stuart Black, the creator of the 2006 sleeper hit, Black is apparently back to his highly destructive ways with Bodycount, a game that barely made headlines yesterday when it was announced and retracted quickly from The Official Xbox Magazine’s website. According to the article, the developers at Codemasters along with Mr. Black are concentrating their efforts on the in-game weaponry and also providing an overwhelmingly destructible atmosphere for users ( what a surprise!).

Here’s the link to the removed article if anyone is interested.

http://bit.ly/av7aZl

In what appears to be part three of my series on this subject, this provides all the more reason for Bungie to dedicate time in creating a more interactive environment for Halo fans. We understand that they’ve spent hours redisgning the engine and improving upon the gameplay and graphics in almost every aspect. But, that’s beside the point here, for all the impressive work and progress the developers at Bungie have made, they’ve always seemed to be a few steps behind with regards to the environment. Although details still remain scant on much of the engine and the environment, it’s becoming increasingly apparent that they don’t intend to gain ground on this issue any time soon.

We’ve been with the Halo series from the very beginning and while we don’t enjoy writing diatribes about one of our most beloved series, we still have yet to see them break any ground here. It especially frustates us and I’m sure the rest of the gaming world as well, when we see a growing portion of games incorporating this technology and AAA titles like the Halo series refuses to budge even one inch.

Filed under: Game Maps, Game Strategy, Halo: Reach

Socom 4: US Navy Seals will feature destructible environments


Image from IGN

Look how stunning that image is! Apparently some of the great men and women over at IGN got to sit down with Zipper Interactive to witness a brief demo at their studio. To be honest, I think this is fantastic that developers are starting to dabble more with highly nuanced particle effects and more in-depth atmospheres. Based on the screenshots and the previews that we’ve skimmed over, the series seems to be headed in an interesting direction.

But again, this goes back to the previous article and gamers complaints that the Halo universe is often extremely linear in almost every way and the fact that we haven’t seen much more than “follow the arrow to the objective” (rinse and repeat without hesistation). While ODST was a bit unique in the sense that it offered a quasi-stealth system, Halo fans have yet to see an environment that is malleable to their liking. We haven’t even seen a 90mm shell from a Scorpion tank do significant and/or permanent damage to structures. The way I look at it, every gamer has an inner Michelangelo in them that wants to sculpt the battlefield to their liking.

Come on Bungie, the people want destructible environments!

(yes, that’s a play on the VW slogan)

Das Gaming Fellas

Filed under: Halo: Reach

Frankly Destructible- Halo Reach and Destructible Environments


With the advent of new engines, more efficent processors and everything of the ilk, the gaming world has been privy to countless breakthroughs within the past nine years. Now assuming you read the title of the post, you probably realize that I am reffering to the destructability of environments. Gamers first saw significant strides in this direction in 2001, with the launch of Red Faction for the PC and ps2. It was basically the first time little Johnny could blow a hole through a wall on a whim without needing  to activate a scripted event of some sort (thanks to the Geo-Mod engine). Aside from virtually training every young kid to become a an experienced demolitionist, it radically changed how we viewed previously linear games and raised the bar to a whole new level.

Almost nine years later, we’ve seen several notable games like Volition’s recent release of Red Faction: Guerilla and last week’s release,Battlefield: Bad Company 2 (EA,Dice) which both take advantage of highly interactive environments to offer consumers a unique experience. It’s also not a coincidence that these games are also extremely popular within the gaming community. Games like Red Faction and BF: Bad Company 2 offer a truly fresh perspective and really shift around the run of the mill game lineups that we are exposed to every year.

I find it astonishing that almost all recently released games utilize simple sprites for damage to structures and objects. I understand that it consumes an enormous amount of processing power the more interactive the environment gets, but I don’t see why we haven’t seen even slightly more destructive environments in most games this generation. As a matter of fact almost every game on the market still employs the same linear atmospheres with temporary bullet holes and particle damage we’ve seen since the Nintendo 64.

Ever since the first Halo arrived on the shelves in 2001, I’ve always wanted to see a more interactive world. I find it almost unbelievable that as the series has progressed, we’ve still been treated to only temporarily damaged walls or blackened ground in the middle of the battle. In fact,  we’ve never seen permanently scarred terrain with craters from explosions or the sort. I can’t help but think how much more entertaining the series would be, if we saw expansions and flagship releases take advantage of this well-known and stable technology. The engines are there and we’ve seen them put into play rather flawlessly (countless times if I might add), so why not start now?

Filed under: Bungie Plans, Halo: Reach

Just a thought – Bungie and HALO MMO ala MAG for PS3


I know I may recieve some flak from 360 fanboys for this, but imagine if Bungie would create a massive first-person shooter ala MAG for the PS3. It doesn’t have to be directly related or tied to the Halo series, but it could just be a mere spinoff. Where essentially, in-game victories or losses trigger certain events that would sway the tide of war. In my opinion, I believe Zipper Interactive barely scratched the surface with this particular idea. Imagine if we could have various factions fighting incessantly for ultimate triumph in virtual battlefields, with consistent developer and community support. I know that I’m certainly not the first to come up with such an idea, but MAG has broken plenty of ground and has proved to us, that these concepts aren’t just sketched up in a gamer’s utopian world (behind some laptop on a gaming forum). If done correctly, these “utopian” ideas can work and in a seamless fashion.

To be quite honest, I don’t think massive first person shooters dies with MAG. Many developers have seen that the game is successful in what it attempts to accomplish and I think we will see many developers build upon this. I also realize there isn’t a snowballs chance in hell that Bungie is hitting the drawing boards right now, trying to bring the Halo world onto a stage of massive proportions, but then again, I’m sure no one thought MAG was possible 6 years ago on consoles!

Filed under: Halo: Reach

Halo: Reach Multi-Player Video Released


About 3:30am ET the Halo Reach Multiplayer video was released in Asia by Bungie Studios. Watch this preview video and its clear that the game style is Halo 3 MP and with the new weapons and graphics it looks awesome!! looks fantastic we can hardly wait for Halo Reach Beta!!, let alone the release of the full version in the Fall of 2010.

It looks enhanced the visuals of the spartans, wraiths and explosions are amazing much more detailed than Halo 3 and the weapons look awesome. Were gonna be digesting this thing for a while…. Have fun picking this Halo: Reach Video apart.

Filed under: Bungie Plans, Events, Game Strategy, Halo: Reach, Images, Previews, Release Dates, Videos

Noble Actual Site indicates Multiplayer Bomb Drop


Marcus Lehto and the Developer’s at Noble Actual are indicating that  the alpha and the release of the first Campaign and Multplayer version to testers and “3rd Parties” went better than expected.  Although he only indicates that the Campaign was tested he’s got more to say about Reach Multi-Player.

Marcus Lehto’s post on the Halo Reach Nobel Actual developer site also points to the news that he or the team is going to make a Major Announcement this week about the Halo Reach Multiplayer Alpha.   “the MP bomb we’re about to drop on the world in about a day.”

About a day would make it tomorrow ?!? this week ?!?! …

We have some opinions :
1. an early beta release??!?
2. The beta will be released earlier.
3. an early release for the beta.

Yeah we know they’re all the same… we just think the Alpha testing went so well that what better way to work out most other kinks than to release the beta a month or two earlier to us rabid fans. We’ll test it for you too Marcus!

-J

Filed under: Bungie Plans, Events, Halo: Reach, Previews, Release Dates