If you watch my stream, I recently played though the campaigns of Halo and Halo 2, on the original Xbox. This started because my computer was doing it’s CS:GO crashing issue (which I solved with a 50% GPU underclock), but once I started I felt like I should keep going. Playing them now, over a decade after they came out, and casually, feels like it gave me a more objective look at how good they are, without any nostalgia effects.
I think that Halo probably edged out Halo 2, which was the opposite of my previous opinion. They were both good, and suffered from the same flaws, but I think the first one was a little better. It’s hard to place my finger on it, but it had a better ‘feel’ to it, like it wasn’t quite so serious, and focused more on good game play and experiences than a good story. One think I noticed in both of them (but maybe more in Halo) was that the level design was very repetitive. so many levels were repeats of earlier ones, or ‘do the level then go backwards through the whole thing’. It wasn’t too bad, but it feels like they did it just to stretch the game out longer. Even on a smaller scale, especially in Halo, the same encounter in the same type of room, over and over again.
Still, there were a few levels that hit it out of the park. ‘Sacred Icon’, in Halo 2, really had amazing level design. So many of the other levels felt bland and empty (probably due to hardware limitations), but this level looked amazing. Maybe it was just because the lack of open areas meant they could pack a lot of detail into the level geometry, but it really came close to the level of the concept art and the design and feel of the level really tickled my pickle.
‘Truth and Reconciliation’ was another great level (from Halo). But, this might be my bias speaking since this was the first level I ever played. The first time I played Halo, or any Xbox game for that matter, I played on this level, at a friend’s house maybe 2003-ish. I remember being blown away by the graphics, especially the flashlights. It also didn’t suffer from the repetitiveness that I mentioned. I might also be biased because I’ve read the books (and know the backstory), and because Halo was ‘the original’.
Apart from that, I’ve been streaming some other games (mostly CS:GO). 4th of July celebrations went well, similar to last year. Work has also been keeping me busy (unfortunately). I’ve got money now from that but I can’t bring myself to spend it on anything.
Apart from those, I ain’t been doing nothing interesting.