December 28, 2011

Prologue, 1st, 2nd, 3rd and part of the 4th chapters of Halo: Primordium online!!!

       Can't wait 5 days for the new Halo book, Primordium to come out? Or maybe you want to check it out before buying it? Well Tor Books and Halo Waypoint have got you covered. Today, Tor released the Prologue and 1st chapter of the book, and Halo Waypoint released the 2nd, 3rd, and part of the 4th. Halo Primordium releases this Tuesday, January 3rd, 2012. So these excerpts should hold you until then.

Prologue and 1st Chapter
2nd, 3rd, and part of 4th chapters

How to play the Halo Theme when your computer starts up

If you love Halo as much as I do, chances are you probably love the Halo theme. I really love this song. I thought it would be cool to play it when my computer starts up, sort of like the main menu of the Halo games. So I spent a few hours looking for a way to do it online. I found the following solution. (PS: only works on PC. I'm not sure how to do it for Mac)

  1. If you don't already have the Halo Theme in your computer's library, download it off of iTunes, or go to this site, where you can download it for free in 256 bitrate.
  2. After the song is downloaded, right-click it and create a shortcut to the song. Put the shortcut in an easy-to-find folder.
  3. Find your "startup folder" this is a hidden folder, and you cannot find it unless you know how. To find your startup folder, open Windows Explorer. In the address bar, you type the following: C:\Documents and Settings\[right here, type your username on your computer]\Start Menu\Programs\Startup
  4. Then, hit enter. If this is done correctly, you should now be in your startup folder. Once this is open, open a new window of Windows Explorer, find the Halo Theme shortcut, and drag-and-drop it into your startup folder. If all of the above is done correctly, when you start your computer, a small pop-up version of WM Player should open and begin playing that glorious Gregorian chant.
NOTE: I have not experienced any damage to my computer from this. It may be a little slower upon startup but thats fine for me. I am not responsible for any damage you may cause to your computer, OS, or audio file.

December 21, 2011

Review: Halo 3: ODST

       Halo 3: ODST has mixed opinions in the Halo community. Some praise it for it's story and new look at the Halo Universe. Others despise it due to it's full $60 price tag, and short campaign. I'll be honest. I didn't buy it when it came out. I waited until just a week ago, when Gamestop had it for $12. Here's what I think of it.

       ODST is... well, different. Sometimes I even forgot I was playing Halo. You aren't playing as Master Chief, or even a Spartan at all. You are an Orbital Drop Shock Trooper. Known for their toughness and heroicism, ODSTs are better that normal marines, but lower than Spartan-IIs and IIIs. Another difference is the fact that it's an open-world. And then there's VISR. During low-light, you turn this on, and it gives you better vision, it outlines enemies and allies in red or green, and camoflauged enemies show up better. The weapons were different, too. No trusty MA5, or even BR55. The only full-auto is a silenced SMG. I've never been a fan of the SMG. It just feels to crummy. It takes several short controlled bursts to even take out a Grunt. But, you can shoot it while in scope mode. Another new gun is the M6C SOCOM. I really liked this gun. Very effective with the Grunts. One shot, one kill. Barely makes any noise, and you can scope it. There are no power-ups or armor abilities, and no shields either. Instead, you have "stamina" and after that, "health". There are, of course the health-packs from CE and Reach, but they do look a little different.

       The campaign was actually pretty good, but very short. Shorter than Reach, actually. It jumps around from perspective to perspective (sort of like the movie Vantage Point). I really did not like the "Rookie" levels. I just didn't like being alone, and it was all dark and dreary. There were no living Sangheili during the campaign, due to the Great Schisim; only dead bodies lying around. The Covenant presence included Jiralhanae, Mgalekgolo, Kig-Yar, Unngoy, Yanme'e, and Huragok. The only improvement I would've made was make the campaign longer. But, what are you going to do? It was originally to be released as an expansion-pack.

       I'm probably going to get some hate-mail from the following, but here goes. I hated the Firefight. It was in no way customizable, besides Skulls and Difficulty. Half the fun of Firefight is customizing the gameplay, shields, health, speed, enemies, etc. Of course, this was the first iteration of Firefight, but still... it just didn't cut it for me.

       So I guess that brings us to the Halo 3 Mythic disc. It includes every single Halo 3 multiplayer map, plus three new ones, Heretic, Citadel, and Longshore. That alone is well worth the $12 now. I havent played on all of them yet, but so far I really enjoyed this disc.

       If you didnt get ODST when it came out, I dont blame you. But now, at $12, you really have no excuse. Its a good game, even though its quite different, and the Mythic disc tops it all off. The ODST campagin disc gets a 3 out of 5, and the Mythic, a 5 out of 5.

December 19, 2011

Pre-owned Halo sale at Gamestop!

       Is there a Halo game you havent played yet, but always wanted to? Or maybe you want to go back and fight the Heretics on Threshold? Well head on over to Gamestop this week, because theyre having a sale on all pre-owned Halo games!

Halo: CE Anniversary for $34.99
Halo 2 for $12.99
Halo 3 for $4.99
Halo Wars for $19.99
Halo 3: ODST for $9.99
Halo Reach for $24.99

December 16, 2011

11th CEA Terminal (Threshold)

I know it's a little late, but this is for those of you who still havent heard of this yet. In the following video, you will see how to watch a secret 11th Terminal from CEA, as well as get 100k CR in Halo Reach.

December 11, 2011

I'll be back in January!

       Excuse the lack of content these past weeks. I've been very busy with The Holidays and whatnot. So you probably wont see any content for a while, except maybe some small updates (if they arise). But don't worry, I'll be back around the beginning of January 2012. Until then, Happy Halodays from Jon, the Halo Expert.

December 9, 2011

343 Day!

Head on over to the Halo Waypoint Forums, Halo Waypoint's Facebook, and Halo Waypoint's Twitter! They've been posting codes for free stuff all day! Until 12 midnight!

So far, I've gotten a free download for Halo Wars. But other prizes include Anniversary Map Packs, avatar goodies, Halo Wars download, and Reach download! So what are you waiting for??

December 7, 2011

Show your support for Halo 4!

As you may know, the VGA will be on Dec 10th. Please follow this link and vote for Halo 4 as the most anticipated game of the year! There is no sign in/registration, so all you need to do is click the link, and click to vote for Halo 4. Thanks for showing your support.

December 3, 2011

Surviving The Library

       Halo: CE's The Library is arguably one of Halo's hardest, most terrifying levels - besides Cortana. I remember dying countless times in the Library. Sometimes I would rage-quit, other times I would keep at it. Here, I'm going to give you the tips I've learned and heard that will help you get through The Library in one peice.

  •        Take it a little at a time.
The first time I played The Library, I didn't know it was so long. So, I just started running, throwing grenades at my feet. This, of course, didn't work. So I tried a new tactic, and I've used this ever since. By taking it one "segment" at a time, and backing against a wall, I found that I didn't get surrounded. I would get in front of one "Flood duct", which spawned the Flood forms, and when they started coming out, I ran to the wall. Throw a grenade into their midst to thin them out, then go for the Combat forms first.

  • Use the Shotgun/Assault Rifle combo.
 The Shotgun is great against the Combat/Carrier forms, and the ammo can sometimes be scarce, so I don't like to waste it on the Infection forms. So I use the Shotgun on the Combat/Carrier, and short bursts of the Assault Rifle for the Infection forms. Sometimes, if there aren't that many, and I feel relatively safe, I'll just let the Infection forms pop themselves on me to conserve ammo.

  •  Play it safe.
If you see a particularly large horde coming at you, throw a grenade or two (preferably Frag) to cut some of them down. Don't go in guns-a-blazing, because it will be moot.
  •  Help the Sentinels.
When the Sentinels come to help you, don't let them do all the work. Go for the Combat forms with your Shotgun, because sometimes they jump up and "kill" the Sentinels. Then, leave the Carrier/Infection forms to them. And remember to stay out of their way. A few intersecting Sentinel Beams can take out your shields, and sometimes (in my experience) kill you.

       So, that's all I have for now, but I may add/edit it sometime in the future. Keep an eye out, because I have several new posts coming soon, including: Halo Evolutions review, Halo Graphic Novel review, and Halo CEA Terminal and Skull locations.

Tell Your Friends!

       The Halo Expert is now closing in on 1000 hits, and it's all thanks to you, the readers. But you can never have too much of a good thing. If every one of you reading this told at least 2 of your Halo-fan friends, I could get well over 1500 hits next month.

       You might be asking yourself "Why is getting hits so important?" Well for one, knowing that people read this regularly encourages me to update it and post more regularly. Also, if I don't get a lot of hits, publishers might not want to send me review copies of their books/comics/games. I don't have the money to buy every single Halo product, although I would love to review them.

       So thank you all for your support, and please, tell your friends.

Review: Halo Graphic Novel

       The Halo Grapic Novel is four comics brought together into one book. I know it wasn't very professional of me, but I didn't even read one of them because I hated the art so much. But here are the other three.

       The first comic is The Last Voyage of The Infinite Succor. It follows SpecOps Commander Rtas 'Vadumee, and his team while investigating a loss of communication with an agricultural ship. It also follows MCPON John-117 while in the swamps of Installation-04's Flood Containment Facility. I don't want to give any spoilers, because it's such a good story, so I'm not going to say any more on it. The art is a little gritty for my taste, but that might be what the author was trying to portray.

       The second story is a relatively short comic, Armor Testing. It just shows a testing session of the new MJOLNIR Mark-VI Powered Assault Armor. The testing takes place on Earth, and the one wearing the new armor is Spartan-II Maria-062. The comic has good, clean art, and is actually a quite interesting look at the Mk VI armor.

       The third story, Breaking Quarantine, is about Sgt. Johnson's escape from the Flood Containment Facility. There are no words, I think because the "author" is Japanese, and doesn't speak English.* It's a good story overall, and one that Halo fans wondered about, until this came out.

       The fourth and final story is Second Sunrise Over New Mombassa. As I said at the beginning of this review, I did not read this one. I tried to, I really wanted to. But the art was just too hard to get past. You can see the artwork at the bottom of the review.

       All in all, even though I didnt like the fourth story, the Graphic Novel is worth reading for any Halo fan, although I would never buy it. 3 out of 5, 7 out of 10.