Escape to the Movies: Halo Legends

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In defence of Western macho men characters like halo and gears those character types have been a staple of western literature from as far back as Beowulf and Argonautica which was written in the 3rd century BC or the Iliad from the 8th century BC.
Or did Movie Bob not notice SPARTANS are basically Space Hercules

None of Bungie's games have in-game stories that would make a good movie. they don't translate well to film because their purpose is to drive the character forward. They're more like a Dungeon Master guiding players towards the goal with a well-defined universe rather than a passive storyteller.

Marathon, Halo's "predecessor", was the same. Your only motivation in the game was to survive to finish the level. You could blitz through the whole game and not really do much other than "kill baddies, save X". But if you took the time to read the terminals, you got a much richer backstory on the universe around your "adventure".

gamegod25:
I am a big Halo fan (but not fanboy tyvm) but I was very underwhelmed and disappointed by the episodes they showed on waypoint. The animation was only passable at best, the voice acting was bland, and the continuity very suspect.

And to Bob and anyone who is not a halo fan, Origins is a lie. It goes against everything you're told in the games. If you hoped for it to explain the Halo backstory for you then you were sadly misled. Even if you look over that it's still boring, ugly, and stupid.

How was it wrong? It's exactly right and goes with whats told in the games... the Flood invaded the Forerunner's society and the only way to stop it was to activate the Halos, killing all sentient life. Yeah, part two may have been a little off in how the ENTIRE Covenant worked with the humans to combat the Flood, but..

What single thing in the games contradicted what was told in Origins?

Sorry, man, but as a huge, HUGE fan of the Halo story (not the games as much as the books, but I still love it all), I have to call bullshit on that claim. Please elaborate.

MovieBob:

Doug:
I don't really give a flying fuck about Halo, but I am utterly sick of Bob's Wapanese attitude to everything western.

Consider yourself very lucky I didn't have this job back when they remade "Godzilla" ;)

Oh, I'm not saying that everything Western is good and everything Eastern is bad, not by a long shot - shitness transcends cultural boundaries.

And I don't particularly rate Halo myself.

jabrwock:
Marathon, Halo's "predecessor", was the same.... if you took the time to read the terminals, you got a much richer backstory on the universe around your "adventure".

Which you got a throwback to in Halo 3 and their whole "Terminals" sidequest.

ZeroMachine:
How was it wrong? It's exactly right and goes with whats told in the games... the Flood invaded the Forerunner's society and the only way to stop it was to activate the Halos, killing all sentient life.

Cortana in the first game: "Halo doesn't kill Flood, it kills their food." Origins showed the ringworlds wiping out the Flood, too. Other than that, fairly accurate.

Oh man someone else remembers Monster Rancher?

I was half convinced my parents had been slipping me LSD when I remembered that show.

Mezzo.:
Oh lawdy lawd.

Spartan 1337. That has to be a joke somehow.

It is, a some what subtle one at that.... wait subtlety in Halo! The world is ending, THE VOGONS ARE COMING!!!!!!!!!!

MovieBob:

cball11:
But I'm not going to ignore your decision to paint Japan as the champion of all thing cerebral while ignoring its glaring and unsettling faults, and highlighting your own culture's missteps while omitting its tremendous successes.

Not to jump to my own defense or anything, but just to be clear I AM speaking exclusively of video games here. You can do the Japan vs. The West back-and-forth all day long over just about anything else, but in my estimation in the lone realm of designing varied game characters Japan is pretty damn dominant. Go look at a rundown of the most-recent "Smash Bros." title - the roster of which includes characters of types as different as bad-ass soldiers, female space-armor heroes, retro-cartoons, magical-girls, animorphic animals, fantasy knights, elves, pink puffballs... and not only do they ALL come from Japanese roots, all but two are from the SAME COMPANY.

It would probably make for a good overthinker episode to look at the design aesthetics of each culture and how their respective histories have influenced them, and maybe to look at the differences between how each culture makes unique characters in games.

CGAdam:

jabrwock:
Marathon, Halo's "predecessor", was the same.... if you took the time to read the terminals, you got a much richer backstory on the universe around your "adventure".

Which you got a throwback to in Halo 3 and their whole "Terminals" sidequest.

ZeroMachine:
How was it wrong? It's exactly right and goes with whats told in the games... the Flood invaded the Forerunner's society and the only way to stop it was to activate the Halos, killing all sentient life.

Cortana in the first game: "Halo doesn't kill Flood, it kills their food." Origins showed the ringworlds wiping out the Flood, too. Other than that, fairly accurate.

The way I see it, since it killed their food, it also killed the infected bodies they had taken over, and since they died the only Flood forms left were the infection forms themselves. But this guy is acting like it was COMPLETELY wrong.

drisky:
I still really want to see this as an Animatrix/Gotum Night Fan rater than a halo one, The shorts in this colabs are always really well put together.

basically this.

i loved the other compilation projects so i'll be checking this out.

qbanknight:
interesting review, though you are very well justified in knocking the foamy-mouthed dickheaded group of people known as Halo Fans

Watch the stereotypes, buddy. I'm a fan of the series, but I'd like to think that I behave myself better than most of the steaming morass that is the XBox Live community. Not all Halo fans are preadolescents shrieking obscenities, you know.

Really does look like a experienct gone wrong. I ahte halo. Lets check out the anime to see if i can hate it more!

I must say that I am relieved to find that the Escapist mostly doesn't like Halo. Here I thought I was the only one who could see the game's copious amounts of mediocrity (it's like they TRIED to make it nothing special/original). I extend my thanks to this site for recognizing quality when you see it/don't see it. The review of it actually made me want to give the Legends movie a look despite my complete confusion over the obsession with Halo.

Couple things.

First, not all FPS games are awful. I used to not get into them, but I've slowly gotten used them. I still like puzzles and platformers better. One shooter I like is L4D just because it's simple for anyone to jump into and doesn't need a crappy bunch of space-marines to keep people interested.

On topic of the Halo Legends, I have never been a big fan of Halo either so I find it surprising that an anime rendition makes it more interesting (if anything). Hell, I saw Red Vs. Blue after attempting to play Halo with some buddies and I would take Red vs. Blue over the actual game any day of the week... On that note:

ultimasupersaiyan:
I liked Halo Legends myself and I agree that Homecoming was the best of the shorts and Odd One Out was funny. Why can the solo campaign of the Halo games have been that good? I wonder if Microsoft will get Rooster Teeth to do a Red Vs Blue movie next.

I've been reading some information on how Roosterteeth is working with a television network/studio/whatever to get an animated version of Red vs. Blue. They actually have a video trailer on youtube if you want to check it out. I think it was supposed to be released sometime this year, but I could be wrong on that one. :(

MovieBob:
Halo Legends

This week MovieBob takes a look at the animated Halo Legends.

For more from MovieBob, check out Intermission.

Watch Video

What didn't you like about Halo? It was quite a revolutionary FPS at the time. The implementation of effective melee hits, hot-keyed grenades, seamless vehicle implementation, expansive levels and some complex AI.

It was refreshing though I guess it was more of a refining of FPS games at the time.

Of course now the Halo Franchise is terrible mired in mediocrity and desperate to come to an end.

In overall, I've liked the gameplay of the Halo FPS more then most other games of the genre. Indeed, it isn't groundbreaking or new in any sense, but I enjoy it beacuse of its special kind of uniqueness. The feel of tactical combat gives me alot of reasons to replay it, such as being able to move around in a more fluid way, battle with different combinations of techniques, ect.

This might sound strange, but I find the Halo story universe to contain alot of depth which is, disappointingly, never really shown in the games nor books as far as I can tell.

Humanity makes its first contact with alien life in the form of a vast interstellar empire consisting of many different species who have been more or less forced to choose between joining and intergrating themselves into its society or facing destruction. None of the member species are very fond of each other, and are often close to open hostility between one another which could easily escalate into civil-war would it not be for the theocracy ruling over the population enciting fear, misleading and even indoctrinating many under their religious goverment and goals. In short, it is a powerful civilization, yet with many cracks threatening to tear it apart from the inside. Humanity proves to be an excellent scapegoat, a target for propaganda to encourage unification against this threat of a faithless civilization. This is what humanity has done to itself for thousands of years, the alien empire represents the darker parts of our own society.

Philosophical thinking aside, I can't help but wonder if this anime series based on Halo was made just simply to appeal to a wider market of young people. It seems to contain lots of hack and slash settings which for me reaches up to a silly level.

Also, why are they showing Spartans as normal Human beings? From what I understand, Spartans have undergone extensive medical procedures which have altered their bodies to such levels that they are comparable to post-molten Darth Vader. All of them taken away from a normal life to be what the authorities find suitable.

I fear they wish to make the Halo series more in the likeness of a multi-media phenomenon that a young audience will jump at. In all honesty I'm disappointed. For so long did I wait for a solid story with an immersive depth to come out of the games only to be met with a rather shallow character-composition and with the overall setting taking a more unserious and linear turn.

Damn I was hoping for Crisis on Two Earths. Wrong DVD Review, though I'm sure this was much more accessible to the Escapist crowd. Crisis was awesome as hell though, a call to all 3 crises and Earth 2.

I played the first Halo, found myself asking "you sure this is the game you're raving about?" beat it, found nothing of value. So, with that said, this is the first Halo related (well, besides Red v. Blue, Caboose!) thing that actually made me think about checking it out. The world and characters look better than what I experienced in the game and animation nut in me enjoys seeing different styles.

Meh, I'll look into it to watch on my friends PS3. If its anywhere near the level of RE: Degeneration, I'll be entertained.

Oh Bob you're such a Japan/Nintendo fanboy, but I still love you. Perhaps because I am also of the Nintendo generation and it wasn't until last generation of consoles did I start to take western developers seriously.

Well, I dont want to be "The Halo Fan" but geez, there is nothing wrong with being dudes in the battlefield, although Gears of War does it too much (that IS a macho steriotype game) but Halo and COD for example arent that much, Halo even has womens fighting in it.

I am not a fan of anime mainly because they tend to make things unrealistic (not all of them of course but most of them). Its not the fact that it has monsters or mechs, its the fact that if they made 40 shorts 35 of them would have the misterious spartan being a women at the end of the short. Or maybe a teen... they also like to do that, dont know why.
They really like to have teens as a hero. They also like to be REALLY dramatic, even more than the west.

Its just not right to say that the west is all macho while the east does stuff like this, they also have a "way" of doing their stuff. They just add chicks and kids to the scene.

The west thinks differently from the east, and that is it. The west may be more realistic, more dirty, while the east is more espiritual, with more fantasie.

I think its all about the preferences of the consumer, so there isnt an actual need to say that the story that was previously made (by the west)is bad. That just shows your personal taste, so maybe you should clarify that next time.

I didn't much like Legends, but I don't think you've given Halo enough credit. Much of western gaming is overly machismo, but the reason people like Halo isn't because of the poor, one sided story line or incredibly shallow protagonist. It is because of the innovation that is incorporated into almost every other facet.
I have little interest in Anime or Japanese games, although I've certainly experienced both to a significant extent, largely because I never feel immersed. It is difficult to do so while fighting a piece of broccoli or watching a someone with gravity-defying hair and unnatural good looks swing a sword the size of a mac truck while his double-D cup girlfriend unloads an Uzi into someone. I appreciate it, because it's something new and different, but I still don't get it.
That said, I liked your review, and definitely understand your not liking Halo, but you seem to have sold it somewhat short.

Onyx Oblivion:
b-b-b-but Valve is over-rated.

Left 4 dead 1-2,team fortress 2,half life 1-2 episode 2,steam,counter strike and PORTAL.How are they overated?

Octopusesgarden:

Onyx Oblivion:
b-b-b-but Valve is over-rated.

Left 4 dead 1-2,team fortress 2,half life 1-2 episode 2,steam,counter strike and PORTAL.How are they overated?

Because of people like you.

The games are good, but the memes their damn fanbase spawn kill them. (Still Alive, PILLS HERE!, etc.)

Honestly, gotta agree with the last few comments. I don't understand all this hate floating round the internet for halo. Its an enjoyable set of games.
I think the hate lies more in some of its ridiculous fanbase that treat it as some sort of divine incarnation.
But honestly. To most people with a bit of sense. Its just a fun fps game. And their is nothing wrong with that.
The story is well driven. the main character is connectible because you can place your thoughts and emotions onto him seeing as he only speaks about 4 times.
The gameplay was enjoyable and actually ground-breaking for the first 2 games. It fell behind around the third with other fps' rightfully taking centre stage like the first modern warfare.
But honestly. Hating halo has become even more cliché and overdone that being a pissy halo fan-boy.

And don't stereotype all western gaming into one specifically picked cross section.
There is a market for machismo in games. Especially marine based shooters.
But there are a lot of other games out there.
Lets talk bioshock. oohhh no annother fps.
Not quite the run of the mill average fps though. And with a brilliantly driven story and fantastic atmosphere with moral choices and the in-game repercussions of those choices.
And psychonauts. perhaps one of the most original and sincere games ever made.
What about fable. A comical turn on traditional rpg mechanics, with great moral innovation for its time and a well driven story.
Heavy rain for another. a French company as far as I know. Quantic dream. And I think with an American design team in this game. Just played it recently. And I have to say its easily one of if not thee most enjoyable story driven games I have ever played. Totally breaking norms, totally trying something bold and new and totally not Japanese.

If you want to talk gaming stereotypes, lets talk Japan for a second.
For a start they have a hardon for everything turntable based. In other words. lazy game design.
All their stereotypical main characters are complete juxtapositions of the American idiosyncrasies. Their all effeminate teenage males with spiky hair.
And I'l just say this. Them being polar opposites does nothing for them. Their still poorly thought out characters with as much cliché in them as Marcus Fenix.

I have nothing against Japan or Japanese gaming (on the whole) for that mater.
I'm a big fan of a fair bit of anime and I enjoy a lot of Japanese games.
But I think if you are going to stereotype western gaming so harshly you have to do the same for Japanese games. Because I gotta say, at-least the west is trying something new instead of simply re-hashing the same old tired games and dressing them up in shiny new suits.

I'm glad Halo continuity was practically ignored for Halo: Legends. Because as far as stories go, Halo's is dull-dull-dull-dull-dull-gunmetal black-and-dirt brown-boring.

I know you're a hardcore Japanophile, Bob. And while I'm not, I defiantly understand your point of view.

However, to suggest that "the west" is all one note while Japan is a cornocopia of variety is a distortion if you ask me. Significantly, your example characters for japan are mostly classic videogame characters not recent ones. It's no secret that elaborate cartoon characters used to rule the videogame world- but then again with technological constraints of the time, developers had no choice but to be creative.

I'm sure you could have come up with some sort of a stereotype for overall trends in Japanese game characters (come on, they thrive on archetypes). To quote some guy who reviews games, they tend to side rather heavily with, "under-nourished teenage androgens who do their hair in the morning whilst sticking thier hair in buckets of led-based paint and dressed like they stepped on a landmine in a trendy clothes shop."

The grunting marine stereotype is very recent and there are countless counterexamples.

Take a look at IGN's top games in the past 12 months for the much maligned xbox*:
Mass effect 2
Fallout
MW2 (okay, you got it there)
Assassin's creed 2
Bioshock 2
Halo ODST (doh, there's another)
Brutal legend
Left 4 Dead
Splosion Man
Left 4 Dead 2

*skipping over ones I know to be Japanese or games that don't really have characters

Can I b-b-b-but Aliens vs Predator 2 you instead? STILL one of the best FPS games I can think of. Plus, Aliens inadvertently SPAWNED the grunting marine genre, so anything associated with it gets a free pass.

Halo, as a story, has never been very interesting. The 1st game was the most compelling of the bunch, mostly due to the spartan nature of the storytelling (no, not the soldiers, look up the definition) and the in medias res presentation. It had a sort of small-window story framing, suggesting that there was much more going on in the world at large than what was being presented to us. This was the entire reason I found it compelling. I was convinced that there was so much more to this saga planed then what was being revealed to us. Then the curtain as lifted away and with Halo 2 it was in fact shown that this was indeed all they had. There was nothing interesting under the surface and all mystery soon faded away, leaving me empty and disappointed.

As far as Legends goes, I have never found the vast majority of anime to be at all appealing, so watching one about Halo of all things presents less than no interest. In anime I am always seeing a conflict in the artistry of the animation and the nature of the stories being told; so often they go so completely "out there" that I can no longer take it seriously. I had not intended to bother with Halo Legends, but if they offer something akin to a interesting narrative in the Halo universe, I might put my bias aside and give it a shot.

It was alright, I enjoyed it. Homecoming and Origins is easily the best of the bunch.

What really bothered me is that... why the hell are the Elites' architecture and culture identical to fucking ancient Japan? They wear Kimonos, live in Japanese huts and dress like Samurais?

Really? It just sort of ruined the episodes for me, although The Duel looked fantastic.

The Package was as cheesy as fucking cheese wizz, I could hardly sit there and watch it. The Babysitter was alright, Prototype finally gave us the action we were waiting for, and Odd One Out, while not THAT funny, was alright as a breather in between all the serious noir episodes.

Genius. Any halo fan that likes anime (like myself) will like this.

i'd like to see it, not a didicated anime fan or a dedicated halo fan so i should be satisfied =P

Not seen homecoming but all of the other ones are absolute shit. Cliched characters, average animation and piss poor voice acting all included.

I enjoyed a couple of the Halo games and also am a massive anime fan but when combined just left me thinking "what the hell is this shit?". Admittedly they didnt have much to work with, Halo's plot is somewhat notoriously bland, but the end product is still an absolute mess neither coming off as good 'fluff' or half decent anime.

GamerMage:
Genius. Any halo fan that likes anime (like myself) will like this.

Yeah, that's not completely true.

lordlee:

Teh Blasta:

paragon1:

Brutal Legend
Mass Effect 1 and 2
Assassin's Creed II
Dragon Age
Uncharted 1 and 2
Bioshock
So...yeah.

Some of those are not FPS.

He was just listing Western games.

Agreed. Part of the reason his wapanese views annoy me. He seems to think Halo == All Western Games. And J- games annoy the crap out of me in general - the only "J-" games I like that I know about are the Mario ones. And I mean main series Mario. Oh, and some of the Zelda ones.

good review :)! even though i have to disagree about The Duel.the watercolors just looked dumb on my screen. but i really liked your comparisons to Ender's Game and Neon Genesis Evangelion (2 of my favorite works of fiction ever)

GamerMage:
Genius. Any halo fan that likes anime (like myself) will like this.

or an anime fan that likes halo O_O. like me :) or halo universe fanboy (NOT THE GAME ITSELF) but the stories, who also happens to like anime

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