This will be my most eclectic diary entry thus far. Today wasn’t exactly a maelstrom of amazing happenings and grand realizations about the state of Halo series and games in general. So today is going to be more of a smattering of ideas loosely tied together by the common theme of the Halo universe.

Well, sticking to direct beta news to begin with, I still really f****** hate the Covenant Carbine. I mean, I disliked it before, but now it’s really starting to piss me off. I can’t remember the last time I killed someone who attacked me with one. I suppose you could chalk this up to the fact that my Gorilla Tactics usually keep me tied to short-range weaponry like the Spikers or the Brute Shot. (If you didn’t read my entry from two days ago, when I say “Gorilla Tactics” it refers to the fact that my play style is similar to having a gorilla jump on your back. It’s surpising, brutal, and unrefined…just like gorillas.)

Anyways, like I was saying, my short range tactics might make me an easy target for longer range weapons, but you’d think that every once in a while I would get the drop on these guys and be able to take out my frustrations by emptying 4 or 5 clips into his long dead carcass, but it never happens. I hate to be the one to do it, but I have to humbly suggest that the Covenant Carbine is a little overpowered. Now before you go freaking out on another “Halo is perfect, you just suck,” rants let me explain: There is nothing wrong with the Carbine on High Ground. It’s just that the wide-open level design on Snowbound makes it unstoppable. Snowbound isn’t very big and contains large areas of wide-open surface. This leaves folks with short range weapons at a 100% disadvantage when traveling on the surface. Snowbound needs to be slightly redesigned with more opportunities for cover to cut off mid-ranged snipers.

Moving on to another subject....Does anybody remember the weeks leading up to the launch of Halo 2? Do you remember how nasty it got? Every single day, the news was dominated by coverage of H2. I still remember watching the first ever video showing Master Chief dual wielding back at E3 2004 (I think it was ‘04) and hearing some guy in the audience literally scream at the top of his lungs. “AAAAAHHHHHHH!!!!!!” the sound of his climaxing completely drowned out the rat-a-tat-tat of the Chief’s tech-9…I mean SMG (sorry the ghetto got out there for a second.) My point is, do you think we’ve seen anywhere near that kind of power just yet? It’s like in that movie Volcano when Tommy Lee Jones thinks he defeated the volcano by channeling the lava into the Pacific Ocean, but then Anne Heche teaches him a lesson in Volcanology by informing him that this thing is going to exert more than ten times the power they’ve already seen.

Allow me to be your very own personal Anne Heche...except without the boobs.

If you think it’s obnoxious right now that every day there is some new video or story coming from the Halo 3 press machine then prepare yourself because it’s going to get much, much worse in the coming months. Halo 2 was every bit as big as a summer blockbuster film like Spider-man 3 (and a budget that wasn't too shabby either *cough*$22 million*cough*). As I’m sure many of you are well aware H2 made $125 million dollars in one day. Keep that figure in mind because that little bit is going to be important soon. Stock holders are never satisfied. Make them some money and they’ll be content for a while, but they’ll expect you to do better next time around. Even if a company is consistently making them money, they will always push for the profit rates to increase. So while 125 million seems ridiculously high to those of us without luxury condos, it became the benchmark. If Halo 3 only manages to pull in 100 million dollars it will be seen as a colossal failure by the stock market types. This is why you can be sure that the marketing campaign is going to be ramped up like crazy. On Halo 2 they had major rock stars scoring songs for the soundtrack. Incubus, Breaking Benjamin, and Steve Vai all made headlines when they headed to the studio to lay down some H2 tracks. That type of thing is going to be chump change compared to what’s forthcoming. Expect gigantic cross promotions that are normally reserved for Shrek or Spidey. Master Chief already has his own energy drink. I honestly wouldn’t be surprised if Microsoft went so far as to nab a celebrity endorsement.

That brings us to what I’ll call today’s debate. Who would be the best person/celebrity from Microsoft’s point of view for endorsing Halo 3.

My vote goes for Mario Van Peebles. He played a cybernetic super-soldier back in 1996’s Solo so I figure he would be someone Joe Consumer would associate with that kind of thing. When it comes to cyber soldiers you've got to vote MVP.

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