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On the Cutting Room Floor: Halo 2 (Episode 7)

11 Jun

Halo 2 Wallpaper

Master Chief watches from above, ready for action!

Episode 7 of On the Cutting Room Floor (Games I’m Longing to Play) is Halo 2 for the original Xbox, the first sequel in the Halo series and the second game in the beloved first-person shooter franchise that greatly expanded on the mythos of the Halo saga.

If you know me, you know that there are TONS AND TONS of videogames I’ve never played. Sadly, although I consider myself to be a “hardcore” gamer, I really am not compared to most “gamers”. The reason for that is because, unlike other more productive people, I can never seem to find the time to play games. Period.

In fact, my most played system as of late has been my Nintendo 3DS, and that’s simply because it is the easiest system to play when I’m sitting on the throne…. And cause I’m a hardcore Nintendo fanboy to boot.

So I thought it would be fun to go through some of the games I’d LOVE to play and still plan on playing someday, but never have up to this point and why I want to play them. Maybe I’ll get to them at some point, and hopefully soon; but maybe not. We’ll see. Enjoy.

EPISODE #7 – Halo 2
Released: November 9 2004 (Xbox), May 17 2007 (Windows Vista PC)
System: Xbox1, Windows PC
Re-Released: Never
Genre: First-Person Shooter
Developed By: Bungie
Publisher: Microsoft
Is There A Digital Version?: No (Not yet)

Halo 2 is a game that really needs no introduction. The second entry in Master Chief’s Halo saga, the game greatly expanded upon the original Halo after that game’s massive success as a 2001 launch game for the original Xbox, and the rest is history. Halo 2 would become THE signature game of the original Xbox system.

I loved the original Halo game (although I didn’t much play multiplayer, since I am not a multiplayer guy and could care less about multiplayer in games) and I reviewed it for VGB where I gave the game a score of 8.5. Give my VideoGamesBlogger Halo 1: Combat Evolved review a read to see what I thought about the first Halo game.

Halo 2 Xbox1 Limited Edition Set With Bonus Material

The bonus material included in the Limited Edition of Halo 2 for the original Xbox.

Once Halo 2 hit however, I didn’t keep up with the series and I never got around to playing the game despite all the hysteria surrounding the epic sequel. To this day I still want to track the Halo 2 Collector’s Edition down to own a copy of it.

Halo 2 was arguably the game that everyone was hoping they’d get with the original Halo. It greatly expanded the mythos of the series by adding a new universe and extensive cast of new characters, including a playable alien Covenant named “The Arbiter”! This made a huge splash and was akin to the first time that gamers figured out that Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty was actually more about a fellow named Raiden than Solid Snake! Likewise, when players found out that the Master Chief wasn’t the sole focus of Halo 2…. waves were made. It was a HUGE decision by developer Bungie and publisher Microsoft, but it was something that really helped the sequel stand-out among other games, and it made the game a very memorable experience. Additionally, the single-player story was expanded to a galactic level, and ended on a Cliffhanger that left fans dazed and craving more. The perfect excuse to transition into the sequel to Halo 2, Halo 3! Which wouldn’t hit until the original Xbox1’s successor, the Xbox 360 launched in 2006, with Halo 3 arriving a year later in 2007 to just as much, if not more, fanfare than Halo 2.

Halo 2 Multiplayer Gameplay Screenshot

Here is what the intense, beloved multiplayer of Halo 2 looked like. From 3rd-person instead of 1st.

Halo 2 made its biggest splash however with the multiplayer game. It was here where the Xbox really propelled itself as a true online multiplayer powerhouse extraordinaire, as Halo 2 introduced gamers to Xbox Live, Microsoft’s then-new online service. Xbox Live allowed players to connect their Xbox1 machines to the Internet and play multiplayer games online! The game also included full cooperative play where you could tackle the single-player game with a buddy, and supported System Link, wherein people would stage massive house parties where several Xbox systems were linked up to each other allowing for 8-16 player offline multiplayer matches (something also offered with the original Halo).

Although I wasn’t a Halo player, I clearly remember some of the insanely fun Halo 2 multiplayer matches that the game spawned. One time several of my buddies and a friend who was the brother of our church’s pastor (much younger brother, mind), got two Xbox’s, two copies of Halo 2 and multiple Xbox controllers together, and we headed down to the church that night. Our buddy had the key to the church doors and permission to enter from the pastor, so we headed into the church and staged a massive Halo 2 tournament, playing the game on the big projector screens with the church’s booming sound! Since I wasn’t interested in Halo 2, I sat back and played DJ. Pumping out awesome metal beats to go along with all the multiplayer shooting action!

Halo 2 Single Player Screenshot

Here is what Halo 2 single-player looks like, facing off some enemy aliens with a Shotgun!

Ahhhh, those were the days! I can clearly remember another giant houseparty I went to where they had 16 players with Xbox systems set up in each and every room. Suffice it to say, Halo 2 and system link multiplayer were HUGE back-in-the-day, and they truly elevated Halo to mainstream status that was akin to what happened when GoldenEye 007 hit, where everyone and their mother seemed to be playing it (Oh yeah, and Halo 2 copied GoldenEye 007 and Perfect Dark’s “dual-wielding”, while acting like they made it up themselves. Tsk tsk… There I said it.)

I feel like a very sad, wise-old turtle for not having played Halo 2. But it is definitely still a game that I intend to play very soon. And due to never having played Halo 2, I still don’t know much of anything about the Halo storyline and mythos as a whole, having tried my best to avoid spoilers for each subsequent game. Because I never played the second one, I also never played the following titles, including Halo 3, Halo Reach, Halo 3: ODST and Halo Wars…. all games that I’d love to play so I can finally catch myself up on what everyone has been clamoring about all these years… and prepare myself for the total epic awesomeness that is sure to be Halo 4!

Halo 2 Master Chief Wallpaper by I Got Game

The Master Chief defending against an aerial bombardment in this Halo 2 wallpaper.

It’s worth noting that Halo 2 was the most popular Xbox Live online game all the way up until two years later and the Xbox 360, when Gears of War finally unseated it! Halo 2 was also the most successful original Xbox game, selling well-over 6 million copies in the United States alone. I wouldn’t be surprised if the real worldwide sales numbers were closer to 20 million.

Previous Episodes of “On the Cutting Room Floor”:
* On the Cutting Room Floor Episode 6 – The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Ages and The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Seasons (Posted: June 3, 2012)
* On the Cutting Room Floor Episode 5 – Otogi: Myth of Demons (Posted: May 27, 2012)
* On the Cutting Room Floor Episode 4 – Drill Dozer (Posted: May 21, 2012)
* On the Cutting Room Floor Episode 3 – Psychonauts (Posted: May 11, 2012)
* On the Cutting Room Floor Episode 2 – Silent Hill 3 (Posted: May 3, 2012)
* Episode 1 – On the Cutting Room Floor: Games I’ve Yet to Play – EarthBound (Posted: April 26, 2012)

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