Saturday, November 7, 2009

Halo Waypoint Review

Halo Waypoint, you're probably wondering what the hell it is. Well unlike the suave, cool sounding description you'll get everywhere else. Here's the short and sweet version from yours truly.

Designed in a heartbeat with very little at launch, Halo Waypoint awards Halo fan boys who bought every game and spent every moment playing them with avatar awards. It also excites you by offering a Halo Legends episode weekly even though the series is sub-par and will likely make fan boys cry with the large deviations in the material. In addition it holds Halo news, fanmade content, community screenshots and everything else that makes a Halo fan boy quiver with happiness.

So while there is potential in whatever they add, it offers very little to entertain you for more than 20 minutes.

Halo Legends "The Babysitter" Review

Halo Legends has been a subject of controversy on Geeksquisite, TJ especially cringed at the post production pics where you can see a teddy bear on the ground near a spartan in one picture. Teddy Bears may have been "useful" when killing people in Fallout 3, but what were the animators thinking putting stuff like that in Halo Legends?
*end rant*

On Halo Waypoint the premiere episode of Halo Legends was available, and future episodes will be viewable every saturday. Despite my concern with how Halo would translate into anime, I decided to analyze the episode carefully.

Overall Design in the animation is a mix of good and bad, but the freedoms the animators took are specific. Vehicle Designs are pretty spot on and very cool as far as I am concerned. Especially with the Phantoms, oh my those looked great. Weapon designs and interface on the anime was pretty good too, they had a sniper rifle zoom in moment that looked pretty nice and reminded me of the game.

When it came to the character designs, this is a much much less good side to the anime. Humans, ODSTS, all look okay, but of course the main character and focus of episode 1 had spiky overdone hair. This is why I was worried about Halo Legends as an anime, anime style is a difficult adaption for existing character design in the Halo franchise. Would the army EVER let someone have such crazy looking hair? NO. The spartan for this episode is horribly designed. I can't describe it too well but while the ODST's look okay in their armor, the spartan looks chubby in his armor and is an insult to the Master Chief's design burned in my head (very minimalistic too which means they aren't doing the spartan's justice). As for Brutes and grunts, they seemed okay. Elites, oh man they looked awful, they really messed up on the elites. The prophet they had was okay, but in a nutshell the non human character designs are pretty half assed.

Story and voice acting, that was okay. I am happy to say that they kept this good for the most part. One thing regarding story they did for this episode felt like a breaking of an old Halo tradition regarding spartans.


They made the spiky haired kid a hero and made the Spartan take the beating from a brute with a hammer for the kid, killing her. That's right, I said HER. the ODST's removed her helmet revealing her bloody long white haired face, okay first of all...

One of the biggest things about Spartans is their mysterious identities, this Spartan kept quiet as she should but they made it so easy for the ODSTS to rip off her helmet. Spartans remain extremely mysterious and rarely allow removal of their helmets in public, or so the novels seem to indicate. It felt wrong that they unmasked a spartan, but that's not the worst part. It also drove me crazy that she got so emotional in the moments she was dying, i've read the novels and spartans shouldn't be "tell all" as they are dying. Or at least, they should have put less human interactions between the spartan girl and the ODSTS. Spartans make emotions take a backseat much of the time, so it felt like they messed up there. BIG TIME.

So for the most part Halo Legends is quite a departure from the designs and story arcs we are familiar with. The main flaw is lack of creative control that is so clearly not there with the death of the Spartan woman. In the beginning of Halo 3, it's clearly established that soldiers don't tend to a spartan that way. In fact, watch that part with the unmasking in Halo Legends, and then watch Johnson and the Chief in the beginning of the first level of Halo 3 and tell me which scene was better. I'm betting the cinematic video game scene looks better, and thats mostly because the chief is not treated like a non human/alien like in the anime.

Set your bar a little lower because it has depreciative qualities, I will hope in future episodes it isn't as bad.

Playstation Home has been updated!

I suppose it may be a bit trivial to talk about Playstation Home, seeing as how most people I've talked to has said that it blows. The fact that it's still in beta makes it a bit trivial to talk about any sort of updates, but also makes people's complaints with the "game" a lot less grounded. So with that, I feel like we should take a look at some of the new stuff they've added to this Version 1.3 update.

The original idea for Home was to be a big open world to meet new people, and eventually get into various games, and with this latest update we get new worlds and features, and that idea is increasingly becoming closer to being realized.

First, let's talk about some of the new features. There are now Leaderboards for all of the little games that appear as holographic images in front of whatever game you're playing, you can zoom into them, much like the advertisements laid out in the shopping mall. This makes those games seem somewhat better, as there's more competition, and I'm not sure if this was there before but they've added multiplayer to a few of them. they've also added in a bunch of new clothes that you can buy in the mall, and while I haven't bought any of them, I have looked through the list and have seen a lot of people running around with various gear on. The movie theater has now been expanded and includes a lobby, complete with ticket purchasing machines, that currently just have free Dethklok t-shirts and in-game PSP gos to give away. The different theater doors vary from streaming music videos, to advertisements, to streaming full episodes of Naruto Shippuden. This seems like a better set-up then last time, but you still find a lot of people just standing around in front of any given theater.

Probably the most significant update is the ability to start up a party, in order to launch a game. Pretty much, you're able to set up a party for a specific game, and then choose anywhere between 2-32 slots for players to join in. You're then able to target somebody and send them an invite to your party. They'll join, and you'll launch the game, straight from Home, provided you have the disc in your system. The launching aspect is slightly wonky, in that you can set up a party of 32 players for any game, even ones that don't support that many, you can even set up a party for single-player-only games, even including demos. I could essentially set up a 32 player party to play the infamous demo, but once we got there, we'd just play the single player. After launching a game, there will be an option on the Xross Media Bar to "Return to Home" which will send you back to the same place you left off in Home. While there's still some kinks to be worked out, I think this makes Home work much better as an extended game lobby than it has before.

There's a bunch of new areas in the game as well, and while I didn't check them all out, the ones I did were pretty cool. There's a new area for Uncharted 2, which has a cool new turn-based strategy game, that I actually had quite a bit of fun with, especially since it let you create and join rooms instead of waiting in line. There was the Gamer's Lounge, which was just a club with nothing to do except lounge around and talk, which was kind of lame. There's a Ratchet & Clank area that's kind of weird, since the art style clashes with the realistic human avatars, besides that, there's a kind of cool turret command mini-game. There's a Siren: Blood Curse area with a survival horror minigame that let's you do 4-player co-op, however, it's about as hard to get into a match as a game of Pool at the bowling alley. I'm not sure if it was there before, but there's also a Socom area that lets you get a team together and set up some strategy. This is really cool, cause I can picture a clan meeting up here and discussing some strategy before launching a game, and now with the built-in game launcher, they make this easier to do than ever!

One of the worst things about this new update is that they've completely removed public voice chat. The only way you can chat with somebody in Home is if you add them as a friend and call them up using the in-game menu. This is restrictive, and cumbersome, and I feel like it's just the result of a lot of whiners complaining about standard online gaming voice chat. It's a part of any online community, and people should just learn to deal with it or realize that there's a mute feature for a reason.

Besides that last part, I feel like Home has come a long way since it's inception, and while there's still a few kinks to work out, and maybe a few things they could streamline, I feel like it's on it's way to becoming a viable option of something to do when you boot up your PS3. Here's hoping they keep improving it, and patch the voice chat back in.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Geeksquisite Question of the Day #105: 11/6/09

This question came to me thinking about vintage consoles.

Question #105: What console don't you own now that you would like too?

If you'd like to submit a question just send an e-mail to with the subject line "Question of the Day".

Feel free to leave your answers in the comment section, thank you.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Epic Games announces Unreal Development Kit

Looking to become a game designer but don't have the tools? Well IGN has brought to my attention that Epic Games will provide the Unreal Engine 3 for free community use

from Epic Games:

Epic Games, Inc. announces the launch of the Unreal Development Kit (UDK), a free edition of Unreal Engine 3 that provides community access to the award-winning toolset like never before. This software release is available to anyone interested in using 3D game engine technology, including game developers, students, hobbyists, researchers, creators of 3D visualizations and simulations, and digital filmmakers. Anyone can start working with the industry-leading Unreal Engine 3 toolset by downloading UDK at, where detailed product features, technical documentation, commercial licensing terms, support resources and more are also available.

Let the creativity begin.

Geeksquisite Question of the Day #104: 11/5/09

This question came to me thinking about the new Christmas Carol Jimmy Carey movie.

Question #104: What is your favorite version of A Christmas Carol?

If you'd like to submit a question just send an e-mail to with the subject line "Question of the Day".

Feel free to leave your answers in the comment section, thank you.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Geeksquisite Question of the Day #103: 11/3/09

This question came to me thinking about what I would name my band if I were to have one.

Question #103: If you were in a band what would you call yourself?

If you'd like to submit a question just send an e-mail to with the subject line "Question of the Day".

Feel free to leave your answers in the comment section, thank you.

Who's trying to buy the Terminator Franchise?!?!

Well, I swear to god I thought IGN was making a joke. But since it is on HIS actual website, say hello to a prespective buyer of the Terminator Franchise.

Joss Whedon, are you serious?

I really don't know what to make of this, since I have not watched the non-James Cameron Terminator films. But I am a fan of Joss Whedon's Firefly series and the Serenity movie follow up. Dr. Horribles Sing Along Bog is raved about more than I can count.

Could Joss Whedon make a good Terminator film? Well his letter says quite a bit regarding his direction he would take, or does it? Here's what his letter says:

Terminator... of the Rings! Yeah, what if he time-travelled TOO far... back to when there was dragons and wizards? (I think it was the Dark Ages.) Hasta La Vista, Boramir! Cool, huh? "Now you gonna be Gandalf the Red!" RRRRIP! But then he totally helps, because he's a cyborg and he doesn't give a s#&% about the ring -- it has no power over him! And he can carry it AND Frodo AND Sam AND f@%& up some orcs while he's doing it. This stuff just comes to me. I mean it. (I will also offer $10,000 for the Lord of the Rings franchise).

Whedon has an interesting sense of humor I must say, but regardless of the outcome putting the Terminator franchise in his hands would be interesting to say the least.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Geeksquisite Question of the Day #102: 11/2/09

This question came to me thinking about this discerning news on Modern Warfare 2. Have you heard that it might not allow for party chat due to cheating. So that the rest of us non cheaters must now suffer through 12 year old whiney bitches.

Question #102: Do you think taking out party chat from MW2 is a good or bad idea and why?

If you'd like to submit a question just send an e-mail to with the subject line "Question of the Day".

Feel free to leave your answers in the comment section, thank you.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Trailers of the Month: October 2009

Ed's Picks:

Toy Story 3 Trailer #2

Do I really have to explain this? Fine, it’s probably Tim Allen’s only good role where he’s used effectively, and the Spanish reset thing concerning Buzz looks hilarious. Plus it’s Toy Story, a great set of movies made by Pixar who can do no wrong with how hard they try.

Avatar Trailer #2

I understand James Cameron has never made a bad movie yet, but I refuse to hype a movie BEFORE I see a real trailer that tells me everything. Then the international trailer came out, and it was really good. Put this movie on your list of must see films.

Edge of Darkness Trailer

Mel Gibson in a leading role again? Interesting, although this movie sounds like it’s been done before. However it is a compelling looking movie, I won’t lie. Mel Gibson definitely helps build a strong movie.

The Maiden Heist Trailer

This looked like a simple comedy you could laugh and forget about, but having Morgan Freeman, Christopher Walken and William H Macy as the guards looks hilarious. This could be one of those movies with only a few good jokes but great performances can make up for that immensely. I did laugh a few times while watching the trailer.

Bad Lieutenant: Port of New Orleans Trailer

Nicholas Cage does everything he gets, and for some reason that makes me a fan of him for trying to be flexible. The way he performs in the trailer has me tempted to see this movie. But jeez, Xzibit’s in this movie? That kind of says how serious they were with the casting, especially with someone who shouldn’t be acting.

TJ's Picks

Avatar Trailer #2

Other then The Hobbit this has been my most anticipated movie for over two years. I have been patiently waiting for some footage for a long time. I saw the first trailer and it was bleh and then I saw the Avatar Day footage which was incredible but didn't give a mountain of information regarding the main plot of story. Well here for the first time we get a 3 minute story trailer for Avatar and it is nothing short of incredible. Watch it enjoy it and if you don't see it I might just have to write you and angry e-mail.

Me and Orson Welles Trailer

I'm a film major of course I'm interested in a movie with and partially about Orson Welles. He might have lost his luster as he aged but while in his prime Orson Welles was one of the biggest personalities and egos on the planet. He's a fascinating person to study and delivered one of the greatest films of all-time Citizen Kane. I think Zac Efron has a lot more talent then his High School Musical career so far has given him. This is his chance to show us what he's got, good luck Zac.

Toy Story 3 Trailer

Not sure what to say other then it's more of the greatness that is the Tory Story franchise. I have to admit after 15 years since the first film came out I have had my fill of this franchise and wish we were getting something new from Pixar instead but I'm sure it will be great regardless. Where's my A Bug's Life sequel thats what I wanna know.

The Crazies Trailer

Zombies are the new vampires and the vampires are the new pussies. While the film indicates the zombies in this film to be a bit more of a supernatural background then a infection one it still seems interesting to me. Almost like a cross between The happening, Body Snatchers, and Stephan King minus the Shyamalan. Plus any trailer that uses Madworld has got my vote.

Invictus Trailer

The casting of Morgan Freeman as Nelson Mandela is about as obvious a casting choice as there can be. I'm a little concerned with his accent since in some scenes he has it and in some it seems to be missing. I'm still excited though and Matt Damon seems to be putting on a potentially oscar worthy performance. This is a film to watch.

Dead Space 2: is it worth it?

IGN reported a while ago that Electronic Arts COULD be making a sequel to Dead Space in 2010 While it is total speculation (still)at this point, I took a while to contemplate the idea of a Dead Space Sequel. Yes Dead Space Extraction came out, but that didn't sell very well despite the good reception from people who played it. I had previously looked upon the idea of a sequel with some encouragement, now that has seemed to change for me.

Dead Space was creepy, I liked it. But despite my NEED to grab a copy of Dead Space, I haven't. This isn't due to my opinion of the game when I tried it so long ago, it's merely a title I intend on getting as an afterthought. That, and the fact that Extraction didn't sell well on the Wii leads me to believe a sequel to the game won't do any better. There are complaints of very few replayable titles on the Wii, Dead Space Extraction seemed like one you could play consistently. Especially since it took advantage of the Wiimote motion control.

Another reason I don't think a sequel will be successful is the Dead Space movie. Video game movies suck, and I hope Dead Space can break that chain as well as the others coming. Bringing another game won't help that as far as i'm concerned, the producers might look towards the sequel more and mess up the storyline for the movie. The screenplay for video game movies are an integral part, and make it harder when sequels come out.

Above all, Dead Space is a title that should be a stand alone game. It's not a game of discussion very often, but should there be a sequel, I hope for the best.

Geeksquisite Question of the Day #101: 11/1/09

This question came to me thinking about how awesome and yet sucky it is that both Modern Warfare 2 and Left 4 Dead 2 are coming out within 7 days of each other. I wanna play both so bad but I mean how am i supposed to go back in forth so much it's gonna be tough and annoying.

Question #101: How will you be splitting your time between Modern Warfare 2 and Left 4 Dead 2?

If you'd like to submit a question just send an e-mail to with the subject line "Question of the Day".

Feel free to leave your answers in the comment section, thank you.