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Thread: Halo Legends

  1. #1
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    Halo Legends

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    Introduction

    I used to be a massive Halo fan at a younger age—that is, not far off ten years ago. I was a moderator on a popular Halo forum, I bought the books, I modded the game. I became very involved in the storyline. I believed in the hype of Halo 2 which unfortunately led to disappointment. Bungie had no idea Halo would become so incredibly popular when they were developing the original game. As such, it should be clear to any open-minded gamer that Halo was a game that had the developers' hearts and souls poured into it. Despite what the haters say, Halo was revolutionary for its time. Its gameplay mechanics, fascinating universe and beautiful soundtrack were nothing short of amazing.

    I could see the difference in Halo 2. The lines were corny, and whilst O'Donnel did produce some nice tracks much of the soundtrack consisted of electric guitar and popular bands who had signed on. From that point onwards, I was no longer a big Halo fan. The campaign mode of Halo 2 wasn't half as enjoyable. Granted, Halo 3 had a better campaign and multiplayer. Why am I writing this? This is an anime review, no? I'll say one thing. If you were ever a big fan of the Halo universe, prepare to be greatly disappointed. If you've never played Halo, maybe you'll find this slightly more enjoyable. As they say, ignorance is bliss.

    Halo: Reach (or as I call it, Halo: The Fall of Canon) had contradicted Halo's own plot lines in so many ways, not to mention Halo Wars and some other spin-offs. Legends is one of them.



    Story - 2/10

    Since there's no sequential plot here, I'll go through the episodes.

    Similar to "Animatrix", Legends is a spin-off of a popular franchise with a series of episodes, each with unique storylines. However, the first two episodes provide an overview of Halo's history. If you were ever a big Halo fan, you'll easily be able to spot the amount of contradictions in these episodes. If not, prepare for a snooze-fest since there's very little you'll find entertaining. Episode three follows the story of an Arbiter, which is a special individual Elite (an alien race) in the Covenant. This Arbiter's female companion quite shockingly resembles the Na'vi from Avatar. You'll be dumbfounded by the action scenes as one Arbiter takes on an entire army of the Covenant when he begins to doubt their intentions. Without spoiling much else (it is pretty boring anyway), there's little story to this.

    Episode four has a more interesting story than the others, but nevertheless it's pretty weak. It's about a female Spartan-II (humanity's last and best hope against the Covenant—Spartans are a group of physically augmented soldiers trained from a young age with special MJOLNIR armour) who quite incredibly, despite the augmentation which is meant to give her incomparable strength, is extremely skinny. These Spartans actually went through a life of torment, and in the earlier Halo books are shown to be ruthless warriors who never questioned orders and got the job done. Yet it seems all the Spartans in this anime are a bunch of softies.

    I'm not even going to go into episode five. It's about Spartan 1337. 'Nuff said. Brace yourself for unprecedented levels of retardation. It tries to be funny but fails. Trust me, I truly enjoy funny scenes in anime series, but this really isn't near to that. Episode six, another love story about sacrifices. Very generic. Seven focuses on the assassination mission against a Covenant Prophet. (A leader amongst the Covenant.) Once again, a female Spartan, along with a bunch of arrogant Orbital Drop Shock Troopers. Without spoiling anything I'll say it's pretty predictable but a somewhat enjoyable episode compared to the others.

    The final episode is about a mission to save Dr. Halsey, the woman behind the Spartan project who actually plays a major role in the Halo universe. Whilst it isn't strictly true to canon and the story is mostly that of a "dumb movie", it's not the worst of the bunch. Overall, the stories in Halo: Legends are either generic love stories, tales about compassion, or about a bunch of gung-ho soldiers. As I'll explain later, character development is practically non-existent.



    Animation - 7/10

    This is Legends' strong point. A few of the episodes' animation is sub-par, but a few others look quite stunning, especially at 1080p. It varies in styles from watercolour, to typical modern anime styles, to CGI. This is all Legends really has going for it, which isn't enough to save it. Even so, whilst you'd typically expect great animation from the studios involved, it isn't all great.



    Sound - 3/10

    This is one thing about Legends that truly baffles me. Microsoft had enough money to hire some of the best animators in business, yet the soundtrack got very little attention. Now, don't get me wrong here. I love a lot of the music from the Halo games. However, in the majority of the episodes that is all they used. Music that was made years ago. And if it's brilliant music, why is that a bad thing? Perhaps because it seems to be inserted randomly into scenes and doesn't even fit well at all much of the time. It's the equivalent of playing a Halo soundtrack playlist on your computer on shuffle. You'll hear some great music, but in this case the studios made little or no effort to synchronise it with the animation. They did have the money for some fairly decent VAs and sound effects though...



    Characters - 2/10

    You can't expect character development to be great when each episode typically only lasts about fifteen minutes. But even with that amount of time, talented studios can create animation that makes you feel for the characters. Again, first two episodes are an overview of the Halo universe. No characters. Then there's the Arbiter who doubts the Covenant and tries to protect his Na'vi girlfriend. Maybe you'll get sad through watching this episode. The fourth episode's about a woman Spartan called Daisy. Nothing spectacular. Fifth episode, disregard that. Six is pretty much a love story about a soldier called Ghost who questions his morals, comes out of his shell and becomes a "hero" at the end. Yawn.

    Episode seven as I explained above is about yet anoter female Spartan and a group of arrogant ODSTs, one of which is just like your average youngster Gundam pilot. ODSTs are meant to be the most elite of soldiers behind the genetically modified Spartans. And guess who the lead character of this episode is? That's right. That snotty-nosed kid who can't shut his mouth when in the vicinity of a Covenant army. Real professional. Boring. Let's move on. Episode eight has some relevance to the Halo canon since it features some Spartans mentioned in the Halo books and Dr. Halsey. There isn't really much good here though since the episode is mostly focused on action scenes and you see little of the characters.



    Overall - 3/10

    If you don't give a damn about or haven't played Halo you might find this a little more enjoyable, since you won't know about the canon it takes a crap all over. Still, there's no truly memorable storyline in any of the episodes, the music is nice but doesn't fit in with the animation and the characters are either emotionless or downright annoying. The animation is sometimes spectacular, but honestly, I commend you if you have more than a few brain cells and enjoyed this all the way through. It's just sour milk from the Halo cash cow.
    Gene: "Have faith in me guys, enjoy the ride—you're in good hands. I can handle this. I can do it!"
    Jim: "How do you know?"
    Gene: "I don't!"
    Jim: "I knew it."
    Gene: "That's okay. There's a first time for everything!"

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  2. #2
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    RE: Halo Legends

    I can only assume that this is to you what the Doom film was to me. Although probably not that bad.
    "It turned out that the ghost was just Mr. Finley, who ran the amusement park. The spooky part is that, as soon as the ghost appeared, the teenagers' dog began to speak! And it spoke in a tortured parody of human speech: 'relp me, Raggy,' it would say. 'I am an abomination and rould re rilled. Rill re, Raggy.'"

  3. #3
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    RE: Halo Legends

    I dunno why, but I enjoyed the DooM film.

    Going back on topic, I don't pay attention to Halo anymore but didn't they say that all Halo stuff would stop being made?
    Fighting through Aliens, Robots, Insane sick people, demons, plants, dragons, fish, squids, jellyfish and more for the good of the forum!


    When I play a game, I usually want to see lethal amounts of death and destructive amounts of ruination.

  4. #4
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    RE: Halo Legends

    They did, but they released an absurd Halo 4 trailer at E3 which featured the Master Chief doing more Matrix-style moves than Neo on a sugar high. It might become a decent game for all I know, but that trailer kinda sucked. (Just CGI.) It should be known that Bungie indeed is no longer working on Halo, but the franchise (including the creation of other media aside from games) has been handed over to 343 Industries, a company formed in 2007 by Microsoft.
    Gene: "Have faith in me guys, enjoy the ride—you're in good hands. I can handle this. I can do it!"
    Jim: "How do you know?"
    Gene: "I don't!"
    Jim: "I knew it."
    Gene: "That's okay. There's a first time for everything!"

    Anime and Steam info

    Anime-Planet.com - anime | manga | reviews



  5. #5
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    RE: Halo Legends

    Great. So this thing just went Westwood EA on us?

    Not that it matters to me, I'm not playing any more Halo games.
    Fighting through Aliens, Robots, Insane sick people, demons, plants, dragons, fish, squids, jellyfish and more for the good of the forum!


    When I play a game, I usually want to see lethal amounts of death and destructive amounts of ruination.

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