Halo 2 - Cane and Rinse 181

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Halo 2 - Cane and Rinse 181

Post by JaySevenZero » June 21st, 2015, 4:33 pm


“I… I am a monument to all your sins…”

With Halo 5: Guardians scheduled to arrive later this year, Cane and Rinse company drop from orbit down to the surface of the second Halo. It’s easy to forget just what a big deal this release was for Bungie and Microsoft back in 2004. How do Bungie’s design decisions and curtailed development fare over a decade on, and does Halo 2: Anniversary for Xbox One (part of The Master Chief Collection) make a return any more tempting? Leon, Tony, Darren, Karl and our community discuss.

Additional audio used in this show is as follows:

Track 1: Impart by Martin O’Donnell and Michael Salvatori
Track 2: Halo Theme (Gungniir Mix) by Martin O’Donnell and Michael Salvatori featuring Steve Vai

Cane and Rinse 181 was edited by Ryan Hamann.

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Re: Halo 2 - Cane and Rinse 181

Post by Scrustle » June 21st, 2015, 5:00 pm

I was intending to give a contribution for this episode on the forum thread, but I never got around to it. I wish I did now. This game is actually my favourite in the series, for a lot of the things that were criticised in this episode. I really like the story, delving in to the hierarchy of the Covenant. I think it was really well done and involving. And I'm only a casual fan of Halo at best. I'm not interested in the lore outside of the games or anything, but I really appreciated what they did with the story in this game, and don't think they've ever come close to topping it. It didn't just add more lore to the Covenant for the sake of it, but you really got a sense that throughout the story of the game you were watching important events to their history. I also never had a problem with the ending of the game. While I can see why it did rile a few feathers, I always felt like the game itself was long enough, and had a satisfying enough arc to it. It didn't need to go on longer, and if it did it might end up dragging anyway. I definitely agree with some of the comments that it felt like the middle chapter of a trilogy, because that's exactly what it was.

I also really liked the Arbiter as a character. He's still easily my favourite character in the series too. He has an actual arc, with conflicting motives that he has to come to terms with. Keith David's performance is also excellent, as are the performances of many of the other Covenant characters. The Gravemind was cool too, although somewhat underutilised I think. But that was more of a thing in Halo 3. They set it up to have huge potential to influence future parts of the story, and then just kind of tried to get rid of it as hastily as possible in Halo 3. I actually always found that somewhat disappointing.

Halo 2 is also has quite a bit of personal relevance to me as well. It was my first Halo game, and one of the earliest game releases I can remember being a huge event. While I had played through the original with friends before, Halo 2 was the first one I owned myself, so it felt more like "my" game. It was also quite exciting to see how they evolved what Halo was from the first game. That was already a huge deal at the time, so seeing the first time that they went back to add and change that formula was something really exciting and new. Not all the changes were for the better, but I think a lot were. Most notably the stuff I already talked about with story and characters. I also always really liked dual wielding as well. I've never been much for grenades in the Halo games, and it's so satisfying to get a couple of automatic weapons and hold down both those triggers at once and let it rip. It was also fun to mix and match different weapons. To see how they handled together and what different combinations could do.

While I agree that the story is a bit awkwardly paced, and maybe the level design isn't quite as good as the first, I still think it's excellent in pretty much everything it does, and it sometimes makes me sad how they've never been able to create another Halo game which had such a richness to the story and world. Nothing in the series has really felt as ambitious or involving to me in that regard. The human side of the conflict has never been as interesting, and I find it a little disappointing how so many people seem to be much more interested in those characters which are much more shallow and clichéd, over something which had much more to it.

Hopefully Halo 5 will bring a more interesting story. Things look promising so far, and the Arbiter is back in too. So at least we get to hear that voice again.

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Re: Halo 2 - Cane and Rinse 181

Post by RoboticMonk3y » June 22nd, 2015, 1:29 pm

I too regret not chipping in on the podcast feedback.
I have fond memories of Halo CE/2 LAN parties, I seem to remember playing an awful lot of a game type where we set it so you had no shields and we were only allowed to melee each other.

The plot feels clumsy and disjointed, but like Tony mentioned in the podcast, the combination of weapons along with the enemy AI made the game continually entertaining.

Really enjoyed the podcast this week, some great input from everyone involved.

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Re: Halo 2 - Cane and Rinse 181

Post by ratsoalbion » July 4th, 2015, 8:10 am

We received this post-podcast email yesterday which I thought I'd share:
I know I'm a bit late with this email but I just listened to the podcast on my way back up the M1 and felt compelled to tell you my story.

I bought my Xbox because of Halo, I too had been lured away from the console scene by the Amiga and then the PC. When Halo 2 was released I was 26 years old and working a bizarre shift pattern on a IT helpdesk.

The day in question (Tuesday) me and 3 other work colleagues finished work at midday and wasn't due back at work till Thursday night. This happened every three weeks and had become an excuse for an afternoon / night of boozing.

I had totally forgot about halo 2 release but as we were on our way for a taxi home I noticed the lights were on at Game. Been curious I guided my inebriated mates to walk past the shop. Turned out they were doing a midnight release and we had just come as the last person in the queue was getting served, RESULT!

Naturally me and a mate stumbled in and bought a copy each got a taxi home and played it while chatting via xbox live until his missus came downstairs and bollocked him for being noisy ****.

The only midnight release I have been to and I'll never forget it.

Phil from Wakey

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