Thursday, April 15, 2010

Impression: Halo Legends Blu-ray

As game universes get bigger and more complex new media is needed to accomplish this. From books to card games and movies there are different media outlets to expand these universes and Halo is no exception. With a long running series of novels, comic adaptations, action figures and of course the games themselves it’s time for some animated action for Master Chief and his fellow soldiers and enemies. In Halo Legends, these seven stories unfold beautifully on blu-ray but what is each story about, let’s take a look …
  • Origins I & Origins II – Who are the Forerunners, the Flood, the Covenant? How did the war begin, what is the history of Halo? These questions are answered in two tales of the past. The story is a recap of history while the animation is the most basic on the disc, almost like Ben 10 on Cartoon Network. It gets the job done but is nothing major to write home about. What these two stories accomplish is providing a rich back-story that shows there is more to Halo than the completed Human/Covenant war or Master Chief.
  • The Duel – An internal power struggle, the quest for power and betrayal it brings. The Arbitor must take on a deadly foe. The story feels pulled from ancient Japan with its robe dress, honor and setting. The animation is like a water color painting come to life. A nice look into the life of an Elite but one that’s gorgeous to view.
  • Homecoming – A female Spartan on a mission reliving the past as her present comes crashing down around her. Spartans may be super soldiers ripped from their families at an early age but they are still human with emotions and ties to the past. The animation is top quality, better than Babysitter and just below Prototype. The story is more insightful than touching even though it’s meant to be touching.
  • Odd One Out – Whoops, seems a Spartan got left behind on planet and must faceoff against a new Covenant monster while dealing with a few odd kids, their pet dinosaur and two kung-fu orphans! The story is funny, it’s meant to be funny and delivers. Who said everything must be serious. The animation is quality but simple and over the top at times. Feelings of Dragon Ball spring to mind in the fight scenes and the overall mood is Halo meets over-the-top, funny traditional anime.
  • Prototype – The story of a ‘ghost’, a solider with seemingly no emotion who makes the greatest sacrifice and goes missing in action while carrying out the Cole Protocol. The story is excellent, very deep and touching. The animation is outstanding, dark and some of the best seen on this Blu-ray. A look into the life of just another solider.
  • Babysitter – A sniper mission to take out a prophet. The shooter, a Spartan, the support, a cocky team of ODST. One particular, young, ODST is not too happy about his sniping duties being removed and never gives the Spartan a chance but hey, that’s typical ODST MO. At the end of the mission opinions are changed. The story shows off just how powerful a lone Spartan can be and how human he is in his support of his ODST backup. The action is over the top, can you imagine a Halo fighting game? Just wait till the waterfall scene. The animation is a step below that seen in Prototype but still excellent. The coloring is well done, a very vivid episode showing more emotion than the others.
  • The Package – A team of Spartans on a critical mission that cannot fail launched from a cloaked UNSC cruiser. The package must be recovered even at the cost of Spartans and for Master Chief a fateful encounter with an Elite who will help shape the Halo universe. The animation is computer generated; think Final Fantasy XIII cut scenes. The action is Star Wars meets Halo in the first portion with a few nods to the FPS view of the game in the second and back to Star Wars for a to brief duel. The story is simple, team of Spartans including Master Chief, must destroy a package and for the first time the sacrifice that Spartans made is revealed. Gamers, fans of the Halo universe can finally begin to appreciate the loss of Spartans in one simple mission, especially when the package is revealed.
Overall fans of the Halo universe will love this Blu-ray, this fan did. The novels offer expansion on the game universe but require a bit of time to read but with the Blu-ray gamers and fans get a snippet of each angle of the Halo galaxy, perfect compliment for the games and novels.

The bonus ‘Halo: The Story So Far’ is also a very nice treat as it captures the story, well so far and expands on those stories outlined above.

1 comment:

  1. The back story (origins) is great. This will give more depth and structure in the HALO-verse. This reminds me of the Animatrix, where different stories from the Matrix universe were compiled. Even the concept of featuring an origin and a CG movie.