Well, the saga of the broken XBox
continues. Never fear, it all ends happily.
I know I did a brief review of Halo 3 last week. Now I'd like to spend a little time talking about how other people have reviewed it. More than a few magazines and professional websites gave Halo 3 their highest possible rating, which (for me at least) calls into doubt the standards by which they review a product.
I mean honestly, is Halo 3 one of the best videogames ever?
Better than Pac Man, Donkey Kong and Tempest? Here's my standard for making inducting a game into the hall of fame: ONE: ACCESSIBILITY
- To be one of the best games ever, a game has to be one that anyone
can enjoy. It's obvious that Halo 3 is going to be a hit with folks who have followed the franchise, and stands a good chance of winning over folks who are familiar with the FPS genre. But to be the best, a game has to win over folks who may never have picked up a joystick. It's got to transcend its genre and (dare I say it) become a cultural phenomenon. Pac man, Donkey Kong and Space Invaders all did it. Halo 3 has a devoted following, but it also (perhaps unintentionally) errects huge walls to keep out those who may not have been following the trend that closely.TWO: REPLAYABILITY
- A great game withstands the test of time. You not only have a good time playing it the first time, but when you decide to dust it off and play it again, you know it will deliver. Time and time again. Like most games with a scripted single player element, Halo 3 undoubtedly has the odds stacked against it. Clearly, you are likely to enjoy playing it the first time, but after you have finally beaten a particular level after dying countless times, you most likely will (a) be glad that you are finally able to save your game and move on and (b) never, ever want to slog through that particular level again. It's a delicate balance that plagues designers of games these days - the player has to have a sense of accomplishment, but not be so frustrated that they give up in disgust. In the process, replayability often gets thrown out the window.THREE: IMPACT
- Actually, this catagory could just as easily have been called "legs" or "gaming zen." A great game has an impact on the player, and after playing the game, the player actually feels like they've done something truly memorable and different. They actually had fun while playing, not caring whether they won or lost. It's undeniable that Halo 3 has had an impact on its fans. But when you strip away the flashy graphics and code, just how different is Halo 3 from other games in its genre? Will its success last one minute past the next offering from Microsoft and Bungie Studios?
Oh well, those are my standards. I'll be interested in hearing from you folks and what your standards might be.
Labels: game reviews, Halo 3