Trailer: Halo 4

The first Halo game meets the next one.

Here’s the trailer for Halo 4, set for a 2012 release:

And here’s the trailer for the 10-year anniversary remake of the original Halo. Halo Anniversary is set for a Nov. 15 release date for XBox 360.

Credit goes to Machinima for uploading the videos.

Review: Halo Reach

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Everyone might know how many of the battles in WW2 ended, but that didn’t matter to gamers seeing it through the lens of countless RTS titles re-enacting famous confrontations to the glut of first-person shooters taking them to the beaches of Europe and the Pacific. The same can also be said for the story behind the prequel of Halo: Reach – at least to the fans that read the books.

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Halo 2600

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Ever wonder what Halo would have been like if it came out in the early 80s on the Atari 2600? Would it be better than Pac-Man?

Ed Fries, the former VP of Microsoft’s game publishing division, cobbled Halo 2600 together while doing a little retro research into learning how to program for Atari’s classic console. It debuted at the Classic Gaming Expo in Las Vegas and he even went as far as to create a hundred 2600-style carts complete with label art.

In case you happen to be like me and now have the urge to pull your Atari 2600 out of mothballs, but no RF connector on your LCD TV, no worries. You can use your browser to play the game instead. Clicking on “Reset Game” starts it up, arrow keys handle movement and the spacebar is for shooting…once you find a gun, that is. You can also only shoot left or right it seems. Fortunately, there are shields that can protect you from one hit if you can find them.

It plays partly like a mix between Swordquest, Raiders of the Lost Ark, and maybe even a little Wizard of Wor. And it’s definitely all fun.

Try it out here.

Xbox Live online support ending for Xbox originals

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“Originals” as in the games that were made for the first Xbox according to this open letter from Xbox Live’s general manager, Marc Whitten. From the announcement, it sounds like this is being done in order to pave the way for more positive changes in moving forward with Xbox Live as a whole on the Xbox 360 and those changes simply weren’t compatible with what was leftover from the old Xbox.

You’ll still be able to play a majority of your old Xbox games on the Xbox 360, but forget about any multiplayer support that you might have enjoyed with them particularly if you’re still hooked on Halo 2. On April 15th, it all ends, so get in as many of those online match ups as you can with your favorite classics before it’s over.

And as big as Halo 2 is, Bungie’s also planning to mourn the passing of an era in their own way with plenty of gaming goodness on April 14th, so be sure to keep an eye on their site for the latest news on how that’s going to go down.

A Holiday Gaming Guide

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So it’s another year of holiday gaming as parents try and figure out just what they should get their kids (or themselves), and I’m willing to bet that a console might be on the minds of those willing to camp out storefronts in Black Friday or battle each other for the last copy of Super Mario Bros. Wii left on the shelves.

With Sony’s new pricing policy for their PS3, Xbox 360 bundles, and the Wii joining the moneymaking fracas, it’s as if it were launch day all over again.

A few days ago while browsing, couple had asked me what kind of games they could get their thirteen-year old daughter on the Xbox 360 and told me what kind of titles she loved to play. They were buying an Xbox for her because her brothers were living elsewhere and wanted to keep her connected, but were wondering what she could play on her own.

After hearing them gush about Guitar Hero, I pointed out Beatles Rock Band. They said she already had it for another system. I asked if she liked to play first-person shooters or sports games and they said no.

I didn’t know what to tell them, only that it was tough finding something for their daughter’s tastes on the Xbox 360 that wasn’t a first-person shooter or a sports game…both of which they said she was not interested in it, but her brothers were. In the end, they opted to get a flat screen TV instead. But if she had been a huge shoot ‘em up fan like her brothers, she’d find more than enough to be happy about on the system.

Her particular needs were very specific, but the question remains the same for many parents and newcomers unfamiliar with all of the gaming jargon that kids, and perhaps as many adults, speak as a second language.

So here’s a little help from Tech-Out on what to look for when you head out into the busy shopping season and are trying to decide which console, and what extra games, you want to bring home.
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Halo ODST unexpectedly shows up on the internets…

I just caught this browsing around on the ‘net for news and can only think that 2009 is turning out to be the Year of the Leaked Game.

Halo ODST is a standalone expansion to the Halo series casting the player as an ODST trooper sent in to back up Master Chief with their own mission. The leak was already reported earlier as having come from France with Microsoft making the magnanimous decision NOT to ban early recruits, especially when they claimed that only about a hundred copies had actually gone out.

You can catch some of the footage below (which is all in French with English subs). It probably goes without saying that if you don’t want to be spoiled before the September 22nd release date, don’t watch it.

But now it looks like there’s an actual distro out on the ‘net as reported by several sites such as fan-based halo.bungie.org. It was only a matter of time before this happened, but you can bet that Microsoft won’t be looking at this particular incident in the same way as the accidental release of legit copies above.

Review: Halo Wars

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Ensemble Studios helped to lead the RTS revolution since their first game, Age of Empires, in 1997, and the following entries into the series would continue transforming the often arcane rules of tactical warfare into a language that spoke to every level of player with a healthy dose of history. It would become one of the most influential approaches to the genre in recent times. Unfortunately, history also tends to repeat itself in the worst way possible.
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