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Oddly, my brother and I thought the first one was quite good. However, everything that made Halo nifty was ripped out in Halo 2.
Weapons? Toned down for dual wield or "balance". Even grenades seem to have different throw mechanics making them difficult to use. Oh, and let's completely gimp melee attacks so that the sword can be awesome why don't we?
Vehicles? Now they can be destroyed totally changing a game mechanic that was well established. Not that I've ever been a fan of vehicles, but it was much more interesting before.
Maps? Let's try to make them more interesting by making them less uniform....and make it impossible to defend on one side while making it extremely easy on the other. This makes the multiple round matches that have sides switch around almost necessary for fair competition. And, of course, a decent team will never lose on defense since all the best weapons are put on the map for them.
As for Xbox Live, I've seen enough weird crap happen in game now that I'm not willing to shell out cash for it. There's nothing like the joy of walking up to a stationary target and firing not one, but two shotgun blasts at close range with no appearant effect...then dying to your target's SMG.
They stripped out HP(or merged it with your shields if you prefer to think of it that way) but still left a buffer 'tween shield failure and dying...which feels completely indiscriminate(as in one time you'll die to what seems like nothing, whereas others you'll shrug off rocket impacts).
The single player was interesting, but I don't think they should've allowed any of it to be away from MC. While it was a great way to expand the story, it's changed the feel of the entire universe. And I liked the universe before.
I guess it effectively boils down to this: Halo 1 was the consumate console FPS. It felt like the Xbox was made for it rather than vice versa. Halo didn't seem like the perfect FPS, it was just Halo and comparing it with other FPS was irrelevant. Halo 2, on the other hand, feels like an FPS. An FPS with a crappy joystick instead of a mouse, a whole bunch of weapons and vehicles from other games, and maps made more for creativity's sake then well thought out battlefields.
Sadly, I'm actually better at Halo 2 then I ever was at one. And I really suck. :)
Halo 2 is brilliant. We bought it the day it came out, completed it within 24 hours on co-op Heroic and spent the next two weeks doing nothing but playing co-op Legendary.
The dual weapon thing is good. The rebalance of the weapons seems horriable at first, but when you are used to it it's an even better rock-paper-scissors than H1. The vehicles are much the same as before. The ghost is pretty weak now but the new tanks are cool and the warthog rocks as much as ever. It makes it better than they can be blown up IMO.
The game is again really long, has some great set pieces, even better AI. Playing as the elite is a bit pointless as it's baisically the same except you can cloak so in the end you sometimes forget you are an elite at all. The cloaking IS fun however and the sword is the most fun weapon ever. The brutes are nice and challenging to fight against although they appear very late on.
The second best thing about H2 is the new shields. Having health was boring. Reducing shield charge time means you spend more time fighting and less hiding. Going back to H1 it seems slow and frustrating.
For us the best thing was that Legendary co-op mode is actually challenging now. The AI is pretty perfect and you now can't "piggy back" so if one of you dies you both have to go back to the checkpoint. This stops rambo-ing and forces you to cooperate. The first level is actually one of the hardest in the game on this difficulty, so if you get stuck, start from the second level and come back to it.
To sum up: if you liked Halo 1, definately buy Halo 2.
Play EVE online. It's like being an accounting addict in space.
i bought the special edition box set its a good game but not as good as the old halo the graphics were better though i thought but it was too short. I think halo 3 will be amazing why havent hardley any of you guys played it it been out since last november where have you been?
Halo 2 was nowhere near as good as Halo. They went from a Starcraft approach to a Warcraft 2 approach, aka now theres an alien assault rifle and a human assault rifle, an alien sniper rifle and a human sniper rifle. And alien jeep, and the warthog, an alien tank and a human tank, etc etc etc. The pistol and shotgun were nerfed, and the weapons are much more redundant. The drone didnt fit with the covenant at all, and the brutes had no place in the game. The sword was good, except that they gave is freaking AMMO. You RAN out of SWORD. Imagine HL2's gravity gun, except you need to recharge it. Thats the sword in Halo 2. Also now, whereas in Halo 1 the game moved seamlessly from on foot to vehicles and the 2 intertwined, in Halo 2 there are now basically vehicle sections and on foot sections. They send wave after wave of pairs of ghosts at you, and water down the concept of the vehicles. Now that the vehicles are mortal, and now that theyve patched up the levels with invisible walls, its that much harder to play with the game, instead forcing you to just play it. Gone are the times when you would have 1 person in a scorpion shoot someone driving a warthog to flip them over a gap. Now the warthog explodes. Legendary co-op is a lot less fun when neither person can die, because its alot harder for yall to goof around. If one person jokingly yells "Im goin in!" and charges a group of Elites, the other cant just sit back and laugh, because then they have to restart if the other guy dies.
Halo 2 truly is a sequal in every sense of the word, akin to Zelda 2 vs Zelda.
I wouldnt know, but I've always heard massive critisism about the second Zelda installment in comparison to the first.
That's because #2 was a side-scroller. People are very weird about those things. Look at the crap Super Mario Bros. 2 got. They broke from the mold and got panned for it.
Halo 2 was a good game: it had the action and the plot-line that made it worth every penny. Plus, it had the Master Chief. He's like Duke Nukem without all the Bruce Campbell rip-offs.
It wasn't as good as Halo 1, but I think that's due more to the fact that Halo one was released on X-Box first, not PC. Halo has it's place as possibly the best console shooter ever.... which isn't saying much.