- Origins I & II: These bored me to death. This is basically a Halo Universe History Lesson, delivered by Cortana, nothing new here. It was about as interesting as other historical voiceovers with picture of static animations that you might see on the discovery channel. That it was fiction instead of actual history only helped a little. If it had not been for my wife watching this with me, I would have skipped these. She said it was good because she doesn't know the Halo backstory, so I guess it could be good for people in that situation, though honestly, how many people are going to be watching this unfamiliar with Halo? If they are, would they make it through this?
- The Duel: I'll be honest with you. This might have been the worst thing on here. I am going against a scad of other reviewers and anime fans here, but so be it. This was overly stylized, jumped around TOO MUCH, and the Samurai Motif was too forced. A little bit of Kurosawa would have been appropriate and forgivable, given the story, but the protagonist walks around in Samurai pants for half the episode, and the evil, much bigger antagonist is basically wearing Samurai armor. This episode does get kudos for the mega-HUnter that is like 95 feet tall that the arbiter fights near the end. This one, after Origins, got me worried...
- Homecoming: I'm pretty neutral on this one. Heavy anime styling and jumping around were negatives in this one for me, but it was a bit of a turning point, in that it actually had good moments. I never thought I would be so happy to see a gunfight. This follows a dual storyline about a Spartan II named Daisy, how she dies and how, in a sadly unrelated side note, she once tried to escape and kill her replacement. Also, annoyingly, this ignores the established backstory that the replcement clones were flawed and didn't live this long.
- Odd One Out: Follows Spartan 1337 on his misadventures after falling out the back of a pelican "again." My wife and I both liked this one. It was funny, more so coming after the serious downer of the first four segments.
- Prototype: Here again I am going to go against other reviews I have seen and say I really liked this one. This was a more successful fusion of the Haloverse with anime influences, namely the big stompy robot. A marine sergeant who previously lost his whole platoon, and was then nicknamed Ghost, is assigned a mission to destroy an experimental battlesuit. The planet falls under heavy covenant attack, and instead of allowing a repeat of his platoon getting fragged, he uses the countdown on the armor's self-destruct to cover their retreat. Other reviewers didn't like the flashbacks in this one, and I was pretty 'meh,' but at least they were directly related to the story in this case. Bonus points here because the prototype looked like a fusion between Mjolnir armor and a Tau XV8 Crisis Battlesuit.
- The Babysitter: A unit of ODST marines inserts with a Spartan II behind covenant lines to assassinate a Prophet. This one was good. I think my wife liked this one best, though she had trouble telling the ODSTs apart. Which is a problem really. I love that Dutch from Halo 3: ODST was in this one, though I expected some explanation of how he had a whole different squad.
- The Package: This is what we were all waiting for. An actual CGI Covenant-Stomping Party, with Master Chief as the MC. An ONI Prowler deposits 5 angry Spartans on 'boost-frames' made of win. After two spartans get iced (who knew that there were Spartans so gullible, by the way?), Master Chief, Kelli, and Fred board the Covenant flagship, and get to work. Bonus points for Fred getting in a knife fight with a Sanghielli. Even more bonus points for the boost frames reminding both me and my wife of 'Scooty Puff Sr.' from Futurama.
Sunday, June 20, 2010
I finally got to see Halo Legends, via NetFlix rather than purchasing it, due to saving for a down payment on a house. I figured since I had not done a book or movie review here in a while, I would let you know what I think. Halo Diehards would all have already seen this, but I figure for some of you out there on the fence, this might help tip the balance either way. It is a series of animated shorts delving into different aspects of the Haloverse. As the quality, style, and enjoyability of these shorts was widely varied, I will review them seperately. Also, because no place seems to list these in order, and I did not take notes, I will guesstimate the order of the shorts.