What About Halo 2?

What About Halo 2?

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I've had a few people e-mail me this morning to ask why I haven't posted about today's release of Halo 2. Well, although I was part of the beta program, and I think Halo 2 is a very good game, I'm personally much more excited about next week's release of Half-Life 2 for the PC. Don't get me wrong...I love my Xbox. But, I generally prefer first-person PC games over first-person console games because of the improved graphics, depth of experience (which isn't always better, but can be), and...


What!? Controls!? Yes...call me crazy, but I still maintain that a mouse and keyboard player always has an advantage over a console player when it comes to first-person games. I can "twitch" a mouse and leverage mouse acceleration to change my perspective and aim much more quickly and accurately than I could ever hope to achieve with a pad or stick. For games that aren't first-person, I don't think there's as much of a PC advantage. I do owe it to myself to check out the SmartJoy FRAG adapter...I just haven't had the time.

That said, Halo 2 is fun on Xbox Live, and the graphics are definitely improved. Plus, the ability to simultaneously wield two weapons is sweetness. I thought about going out last night to one of the midnight events at our local Best Buy, but I ended up deciding against it. Did anyone else make it out at midnight?

Update: Here's a MSNBC article on the phenomenon.

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  • simulation game requires keyboard as well, joystick and keyboard, since there are so many buttongs, joypad is not good enough, even sophisticate joystick doesnot have enough buttongs, (some of them have over 12 buttons, still might not be enough)

    MMORPG might need a lot of buttons for magics, items, etc... I dont see any way to solve that probelm yet, I can think of right stick for a gesture (down, right, down for fire, etc), or button combination for action/magic etc.. like fighting game, I think ps2 FFX users still need to rely on their keyboard... that sucks.
  • Keyboard+mouse is The Only Way To Play(tm).
  • You have to admit that the controls in Fable and now Halo 2 are perhaps the best yet for console gaming. It is amazing to me how many different spells you can cast in Fable with only a few triggers and buttons - and how customizable it is so that your favorite items, expressions and spells are easily available.

    I guess if you are a Ghost Recon, Far Cry, Unreal, Doom 3, or (soon) Half Life 2 purist who has all the keys mapped and the laser Logitec USB2 (because of the necessary bandwith) mouse, etc. you will believe that the console is a "lesser" user experience.

    As for Halo 2, you have to admit it seriously rocks (based on a limited review time). The weapons are more balanced (haven't found a pistol yet), the graphics are better, there seems to be way more "story" and dialogue. The Covenant energy sword and the Brute grenade thingy are awesome additions. The realistic vehicle damage and souped up Ghost are great. Dual-wielding (‘nuff said). And all the cool multiplayer/Live stuff that I haven’t been able to try out yet. Plus, you have to remember that for $200, or less, anyone could be up and playing Halo 2, whereas you’d probably have to go 5 to 10 to 20 times that to have an optimal Half Life 2 experience.

    On the flip side of user controls and experience, I’d still argue that you can have quite a good gaming experience even with the Game Boy Advance – Advance Wars, Fire Emblem, Final Fantasy Tactics Advance, etc. are quite good with minimalist controls. What I am saying is that it depends on the game design and implementation.
  • It goes much farther back than Ghost Recon, Far Cry, Unreal or Doom 3. It goes all the way back to Quake. Nothing gives you the precision and control that a mouse and keyboard will give you in a first-person shooter. Nor is it easy to abandon key combinations (asdf or wasd for most people) that you've been using for years for an analog stick that makes it feel like you're a keyboard-only DMer from 1996.

    If I'm playing CS, for example, and I'm crouched, zoomed, firing, reloading and both turning AND moving at the same time (which are two entirely seperate things), how am I going to manage that with a pad?

    I suppose that I could just invest in the SmartJoy adapter, too.
  • OK, what about Decent?

    Can anyone really say they could do the full 3-axis movements with a keyboard? A good two axis joystick with a "hat" and a bunch of buttons had to be ideal in this situation. I can imagine you can run one way and shoot the other with mouse+keyboard but what about the 3rd dimension?

    And if it "goes all the way back to Quake" then it must go back to the original Doom as well, or maybe even the classic original Castle Wolfenstein from 1981. Wolfenstein may have been the first to have the "full keyboard" support

    Q W E
    A D To Move in the 9 directions
    Z X C S = Stop

    I O P To point GUN in the 9 directions
    K ; L = Shoot gun
    M , . T = throw grenade (in dir. gun is pointing)

    Well, don't get me started . . . . Back to Halo 2 . . . .
  • I agree, I much prefer gaming on the PC, ever play GTA Vice City on Xbox, then go to the PC and play it, worlds different in graphics, game quality and so on.

    I am a bigger fan of the MMORPG games and have been for years, I can never envision those without being at the PC. I got into the world of warcraft beta this week, so looking at seeing how it goes. However still waiting on the download. the compressed install file is about 2.5 gigs, and their Beta game download is poor speed, started last night and said I had 1 day 18 hours left for complete download. Woke up this morning though still had like 1 day 3 hours left to go. But we will see how a Warcraft goes, I am hoping not another disapointment like a lot of the new ones that have come out recently. Game like Horizons, ShadowBane and the likes were greatly anticipated but really flopped.
  • Bruce, I was specifically referring to first person shooters. Don't take it as an attack on joysticks. :)

    And Doom was a bit of a different animal because it wasn't '3D', technically. Quake was the one of the first to take advantage of height/jumping/etc. ROTT was also one of the first in the genre.

    This is why I still keep a joystick plugged in for playing games like Battlefield 1942, which have vehicles that use the full 3-axis movement.

  • "If I'm playing CS, for example, and I'm crouched, zoomed, firing, reloading and both turning AND moving at the same time (which are two entirely seperate things), how am I going to manage that with a pad?"

    How would you manage that in real life?

    Goldeneye on N64 is a good example of how not all FPS has to be hyper controllable to be good.
  • I believe that PC controls far excel any console because of the ability to 'twitch' the mouse and look a lot faster. Again graphics are sometimes better, and gameplay can seem more exhilarating.

    However, being an owner of an X-Box i can say that Halo 2 and its controls are very good, and allow me to do exactly what i need to do. I can tweak the speed of my turning in the options menu which basically allows me to do what a mouse would do.

    I also personally prefer to have all the buttons i need there in front of me in one space, rather than having a keyboard which frankly confuses me.

    I agree whole heartedly with the comments of P.C gamers because i have been a hardcore gamer for years and know how frustrating it can be to then go on to play the same game on a console and appear to be crap at the game.

    But at the end of the day there will always be a divide between the PC and the consoles. Some are good at one, and some are good at the other, and some people are just too good and are perfect at both. And that definately ain't me.
  • RE: "If I'm playing CS, for example, and I'm crouched, zoomed, firing, reloading and both turning AND moving at the same time (which are two entirely seperate things), how am I going to manage that with a pad?"

    How would you manage that in real life?

    vary simple just croch on your legs zoom fire relode and turn all at the same time it can be done in real life DUH stupid qestion.
  • My question is: When is Halo 2 coming out on the PC? Only then will I buy it, as is the topic here: Controls are of the essence. I very much dislike holding the joystick over waiting and waiting for my guy to turn around. With your mouse, just a flick of the wrist and there you have it. Now here is my next question: When Halo 2 is released for the PC, would I be able to hook into a LAN game of x-boxes? Only hoping. Then I could teach my friggin brother-in-law that I CAN play. :)
  • FINALLY!!!! People besides me who recognize the ultimate superiority of the PC. lately it seems all the awesome games (HL2 aside) are arriving exclusivly to consoles, WTF!!!??? it just isnt fair. i heard Halo 2 be called a most anticipated game for all gaming, hmmm whats wrong with that? o yea its just for the PC-wanna be X-box. I'm sick of seeing the PC gamer getting screwed, by waiting almost a year for a console game to get ported over to the PC. Sorry for the rant but i'm tired of seeing no PC gaming support out there, so i'm glad to see some people who have seen the light. consoles are ok for some things but why cant games be balanced? and be released on multiple platforms, the company would still make money, and some PC games cost more than console games so hey theres more $$$$.


  • i have a nintendo and soon i'm goin to buy a xbox its goin to be great i all ready have enough money to buy one frist game is goin to me infact halo2. already played it kinda regreat playing it because now i know what happens in all that it might take away the fun when i get it but i'm also looking forward to buying vice city o and episode 3 star wars but i'm goin to have to see the movie frist to bad school is still goin to be going on when that movie in going :( but all in all halo2 is probably one of the best games i have ever played. one thing i don't like about halo2 is some of the story line is kinda lame no offence but that werid looking flood thing come on bungie and microsoft. well and, o another thing i don't know if it was the xbox or the game or me but it looks like the graphics kinda glich out sometimes like less detials and stuff example go up to a hunter and turn your light on no lines showing were and when armor started the big metal shaft has no lines and again i think the graphics are the best on xbox i keep on talkin about in it makes me want to buy an xbox well all in all if ur reading this and u r thinking about buying halo2 it is worth the money!
  • o ya bri i gota argee with u pc gameing is kinda goin in the wrong direstion with games and ya if halo2 was out for pc i would never get the xbox i would buy the halo2 for pc werid thing is mircosoft is the maker of xbox and is a big helper with halo and halo2 if i were mircosoft i would sell both halo2 for xbox and halo2 for pc at the same time twice the money mircosoft would make tons in like a day or something i like your thinkg about the pc gamin they gota be the same microsoft could and will probably be the biggest gaming supporter ever thats if they make pc gaming close well i'm probably not makin sense
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