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This is the (Halo) Remix

When I purchased an original Xbox in 2001, there was only one game that I wanted – Halo : Combat Evolved. Like many others, it was the killer app that compelled me to tolerate that weird, giant controller and gamble on Microsoft’s first home console. Instantly I fell in love with the franchise and it has remained one of my favorite FPS games to this day.

Over the past few years other FPS games have skyrocketed in popularity, from the likes of Call of Duty to Overwatch to Destiny. The latter of which was created by Bungie, who was responsible for creating Halo and who developed the first three mainline entries in the series. Destiny has dramatically advanced what gamers expect from an FPS game. It provides a variety in armor and weapons, an ongoing story, a variety of different activity types and a fluidity of control that just feels better than any other shooter out there. Needless to say, the bar has been raised significantly since Halo 5’s release in the fall of 2015.

Since then, I have parted ways with my Xbox, transitioning to gaming primarily on a combination of Playstation and PC. However, I jumped at the chance to test an early version of Halo Infinite the past two weekends on my PC, hoping to get a feel for the upcoming installment. The following are initial impressions, but keep in mind this is an early version, not even labeled as a beta. We don’t even know when this build is from, so things could change considerably before the final release on December 7th.

My post today is going to cover the feel of the gameplay. People with faster gaming PCs can tell you all about maxing out Infinite’s graphics or how the Dolby surround sound shakes the walls.

That being said, my first impression was mostly positive. The game felt good, and my time with Halo Infinite was fun. When it releases this December, the multiplayer will be free to play, using a combination of season passes and treating the single player campaign as DLC. A side note, I’m really hoping this, like a lot of Halo Infinite, signals a shift to a Destiny like formula where yearly or at least regular single player expansions are released. Don’t worry, we will return to this comparison soon and often.

This is definitely a remix of Halo – like a modern twist on the original trilogy Halo gameplay. As far as Infinite itself, I think the game did a fine job of achieving the goal it set out for. The developers mentioned previously this wa...

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Bait and Switch : What Happened To The Hope of NX

If you are looking forward to the Nintendo Switch, which will be available March 3rd, you might want to skip this column. For anyone who has listened to Tabletop Life (our monthly podcast about tabletop gaming) you might have a clue about the tone of this article.

When Nintendo announced the NX, I had high hopes they would return to their former glory and build a system worthy of gamers’ time and money. What we received with the Switch was at best a misguided attempt to take on the iPad and at worst a clear reminder that Nintendo can no longer produce hardware without shooting itself in the foot.

Then and Now

The Wii U never really had a chance. It was a strange, incompatible system from the beginning and frankly the Wii U never really competed with Sony or Microsoft. The Wii U continued the classic Nintendo tradition of releasing new hardware with some strange, limiting feature that annoyed potential customers and made the system completely incompatible with the world around it. Nintendo systems are also generally very anemic compared to their brethren. For example, while Sony and Microsoft shipped systems with 500GB and 1TB hard drives for storing multiple downloaded games, Nintendo topped out at a meager 32GB.

The Failure of The Switch

The Switch is a solution in search of a problem. Nintendo has their dedicated handheld audience who purchase the 3DS system and games. However the casual gaming market has been taken over by smartphones and tablets and that isn’t going to change. If it had any chance of changing, Nintendo would certainly not be the ones doing it. Their proposition is to carry an additional tablet with you to play games for up to 3 hours. The success of the iPad and similar tablets came about by reducing the items people had to carry. Again, this is how Nintendo operates – they come up with an idea and then put on blinders to how ridiculous it truly is to the rest of the world.

The Switch will fail because it doesn’t know what it is. It’s either an oddly designed, incompatible tablet that has terrible battery life or it’s a weak, underpowered home console with terrible controls. Either way it’s overpriced and the game lineup looks absolutely dreary.

As someone who grew up with Nintendo games, I want to buy a new Nintendo system. I want to play new, HD versions of the games I grew up with. I want to challenge my friends t...

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