Archives: halo

Toy review: I did it! I built my Mega Bloks Forward unto Dawn.

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I got my FuD as a christmas present from my boyfriend in 2013. I was beyond excited about it, since it’s one of the biggest builds Mega Bloks has to offer and of course because she’s such a majestic spaceship. Roughly 3 feet long, you need to seriously sort out a spot for display. It’s the first build in the Halo Signature Series and costs around 250 $. It has 2,877 pieces! Those come in 4 big boxes with a chart of the pieces within. Inside the boxes you have several bags with parts. What I found really annoying was the fact, that you had to open every bag in order to start your build. The parts are all mixed within the bags. That makes it extremely hard to work fluently on it. I spend so many minutes searching for one certain piece and since I couldn’t fit all the parts on my worktable I had to get up and sit, get up and sit…and so forth. Another thing I wasn’t too happy about was that the stickers don’t adhere very well. They were coming loose on the edges even while on the original sticker surface.

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The other slight problem I had was to differentiate between the colors of the parts. They come in black, light grey and dark grey. You need the best lightning you can get to safely see the difference.

But! But! It’s worth it, I promise. I had a lot of fun assembling this beauty. It has a soothing nearly meditative touch to build something from scratch. I listened to the awesome Drunken Halo podcast while building it.

The figures that come along are very well made. The Chief has his cryo tube and a Battle Rifle. Cortana stands on a platform and lights up if you press her down on the platform.

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Then you have an Elite with a Plasma Rifle, a Marine and a UNSC officer.

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There’s a fully stocked armory inside the FuD with 5 AR’s, a Sticky Detonator, 3 Pistols, 3 SMG’s and 3 frags.

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The really cool part is that you can simulate the breaking of the FuD like in the ending of Halo 3. You just have to lift the ceiling and split the ship in two, which is shown in the user manual. In the end of Halo 3 when the FuD attempts to make the jump through the slipspace portal, the Arbiter runs to the command bridge while the Chief stays aft with Cortana. As they try to make the jump, Halo’s pulse hits the portal and lets it collapse, severing the FuD in half. The Arbiter returns safely to earth, while the Chief and Cortana are cast out into unknown space.

Overall I can absolutely recommend this build to everyone who has the spare money and enjoys building stuff. It took me over 15 hours to build it and I didn’t rush it at all.

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Halo 2 map Relic is coming back to Halo 2: Anniversary in fancy new clothes

343 and Certain Affinity are currently working on reimagining the legendary Halo 2 map Relic. It’s a 12-16 player map and was very popular in the community. According to the latest Bulletin on waypoint, Certain Affinity have begun developing the remake. We will be updated on the progress throughout the next months. Until then we have these 2 amazing pictures of concept art.

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How to read the Halo books…

ATTENTION: There is an updated version of this article. Please click HERE.

…put on a self-knitted wool sweater, pour yourself a steaming cup of chamomile tea, find your favorite spot on the couch…nah, of course, I’m not talking about that kind of how to. When I bought my first Halo books 3 years ago, I wasn’t really sure which book to start first. I had no idea if there was a chronological order or not. All I knew was, that Fall of Reach was the most popular.

Since then I have made some research on how to read them best.

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To date, we have 13 Halo novels. Halo: The Broken Circle written by John Shirley is the newest addition released in November 2014. In this book, we learn more about the time before the Covenant was created. A time were Elites and Prophets were at war over different interpretations on how to use or not use old Forerunner relics.

This topic puts the book at the beginning of the chronological order, right after the Forerunner Saga and before Halo: Contact Harvest.

But first we will start with a list of the books in order of their release date:

  • 2001: The Fall of Reach by Eric Nylund
  • 2003 (Apr): The Flood by William C.Dietz
  • 2003 (Dec): First Strike by Eric Nylund
  • 2006: Ghosts of Onyx by Eric Nylund
  • 2007: Contact Harvest by Joseph Staten
  • 2008: The Cole Protocol by Tobias Buckell
  • 2009: Evolutions (Collection of short stories from Traviss, Nylund, Buckell or Frank O’Connor)
  • 2011(Jan): Cryptum by Greg Bear (Book 1 Forerunner Saga)
  • 2011(Oct): Glasslands by Karen Traviss (Book 1 Kilo Five Trilogy)
  • 2012 (Jan): Primordium by Greg Bear (Book 2 Forerunner Saga)
  • 2012 (Oct): Thursday War by Karen Traviss (Book 2 Kilo Five Trilogy)
  • 2013: Silentium by Greg Bear (Book 3 Forerunner Saga)
  • 2014 (Jan): Mortal Didacta by Karen Traviss (Book 3 Kilo Five Trilogy)
  • 2014 (Nov): The Broken Circle by John Shirley

The first 3 were published by Del Rey, the other ones are all published at Tor Books. The latest one The Broken Circle came out at Gallery Books. If you are a die-hard Halo fan who read all the books when they came out, you’re definitely a very cool person. If you are like me, a die-hard fan as well, but slowly exploring and discovering the Halo universe, you should consider reading or re-reading the novels in the following order:

  1. Cryptum
  2. Primordium
  3. Silentium
  4. The Broken Circle
  5. Contact Harvest
  6. Fall of Reach
  7. Cole Protocol
  8. The Flood
  9. First Strike
  10. Ghosts of Onyx
  11. Glasslands
  12. Thursday War
  13. Mortal Didacta
  14. Evolutions (You can read these short stories at any point really. I choose to read them last.)

That is at least the order I’m going to read it in. Right now I’m at Fall of Reach. Gotta read it again since it’s been too long. And of course, I haven’t read The Broken Circle yet. I still need to purchase that book.

I began with The Forerunner Saga two years ago I think. I was very confused at first. The Saga is very different from the other books and it takes some effort to really get into the story. For me, not being a native speaker and reading it in English was very hard. All the specific terms and what not had my head spinning. But all in all, I enjoyed the books. Gives you a detailed look into the mysterious Forerunners, who of course had their grand appearance in the game Halo 4. So if you want to know more about the Didact and his wife, the Librarian and the story of the Forerunners, you should definitely read the Saga.

I also really enjoyed Contact Harvest, which tells you the story of Sgt. Avery Johnson and the first human encounter with the Covenant on planet Harvest. It gives you insight on the Covenant, on how the different races live together in High Charity. You learn more about the Prophets (How Truth plotted to become the leader), about the Grunts and Jackals and the Brutes. I loved this book!

So you have books like The Flood by William C. Dietz, that follows the story of an actual Halo game. In this case, Halo Combat Evolved. And you have others, most of them, who give you background info on events of one of the games or just general background info on the Halo universe. You learn so much more about the rich and fantastic story of Halo and lets you understand the games even more. You should definitely replay the games if you read all the books. Or! Or! You could be a real crazy nerdy ass nerd and follow this particular chronological order I found here: halodiehards.net

That, of course, includes all the games at the right point. So you would read a few books, some not even completely, play a game in-between and then go back to the books.

I would looooove to talk to one person who has done it that way. I really would. If you are one of them, please leave a comment.

Important: Support your local bookstore. If they don’t have your book in stock they can order it for you. With the following links you can quickly find a local bookstore in the US and UK:

USA

UK

And now pick up a Halo book and start reading!

Halofest 2014 recap

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It’s monday and that means Halofest! Ahhhhh, that’s so amazing. But first Maxi and I took a trip to Venice Beach to get our dose of weird, but very interesting people. The taxi ride there was long and painful for me. I was feeling so sick I thought I couldn’t bear it. Plus the driver was constantly blabbering about this and that.

We went up and down the beach and the boardwalk with the many colorful stores and ended our tour at Santa Monica Pier. It really is a magical place. Although I’m not a big fan of the beach and the sun burning me up, I can imagine why people love this place. It’s very lively, you hear people making different kinds of music or performing some „awesome“ tricks and of course there’s this certain smell in the air…like everywhere…like it’s legal…wait, it is legal.

The hour grows late and we had to hurry back to the hotel to get ready for the Halofest 2014.
The event took place in the Avalon Theatre in Hollywood. And guess what? The Warthog was there as well. Looking good as usual.

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There was a blue or red or green carpet and a lot of interviews were being held when we arrived. I must say they did an impressive job on decorating the outside venue. There was a stand where you could get your Gamer Tag or your name engraved on iPhone cases or on dog tags.
Special Guests at this event were Felicia Day, Nathan Fillion, Mike Colter (Nightfall), Freddie Wong, Ben Schwartz, Aisha Tyler, Joel McHale, Donald Faison and Zachary Levi. How exactly did it happen that I only saw Freddie Wong and Ben Schwartz??? And not Zachary Levi, Nathan Fillion and Felicia Day??? I have no clue! I’m sad, so sad. Maybe it was because I spent a big amount of my time playing Halo 2: Anniversary multiplayer? Yeah…might be.

Inside the venue, which is absolutely stunning, was a green screen booth where you could take a picture of yourself on a Halo background. They had 3 weapons to choose from: The Magnum, the Assault Rifle and the SMG. A pretty nice moment was when I watched Kiki, Frank and Bonnie taking a group shot together and Kiki said something I can totally relate to: „Oh no, now I blinked! Can I see it real quick? Oh can we take another?“ I mean come on, if you have the chance to take an awesome Halo shot like that you want it to be perfect right?

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Then there was a candy stand with lots and lots of Halofest chocolates, sweets and 3 giant Spartan Lollipops. I wanted to silently sneak off with one of those.

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So when you had your mouth stuffed with candy and a drink in one hand you walked past several gaming stations where you could play the Halo 5: Guardians Multiplayer Beta. As I walked by I witnessed the winners of the MCC Launch Invitational Tournament playing some „casual“ matches.
But not only Believe the Hype were present at the Halofest. I think most of the american players were there as well, all in good spirits and playing tons of matches.

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Upstairs you found more gaming stations. There you were able to test your skills on the beautifully remastered maps of Halo 2: Anniversary. It was my favorite place.

Around 8 pm we took our seats in the main room to watch the premiere of Halo: Nightfall. The live action series executive-produced by Ridley Scott, Scott Free TV President David Zucker, and directed by the award-winning director Sergio Mimica-Gezzan (Battlestar Galactica, Heroes) will connect the story of Halo 4 with Halo 5: Guardians.

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We watched the first two episodes. I like it a lot. I have always dreamed of a Halo movie and loved Forward unto Dawn very much. So for me this is a big deal. I know a lot of people weren’t that impressed by what they’ve seen, but I’d say give it time. Yeah sure, I wasn’t caught emotionally right from the start but it’s a series not a movie. There’s time to build a story and engage the audience in it. And seeing the Elite in the beginning gave me chills. It looked so real. I’m looking forward to the new episodes.

After that the pre recorded Halo 5 multiplayer match of BTH and Optic was shown and the Embargo for us was lifted. Both teams came up on stage and played more of the multiplayer. In the above picture you can see the set up they had prepared for the gamers. We joked that the chairs looked like „sci-fi torture chairs“.

At this point the public saw the new game type Breakout for the very first time. It’s 4 versus 4 on a very small Tron-esque map. You have to eliminate the other team completely to win. There are 5 rounds and the coolest thing is, that before a round starts, you and your team jump right into the map, which looks just fantastic and badass. Later on I got to play on the stage as well. That felt cool.

And that was about it. A very neat event.

Things I wished would’ve happened:
– Somehow my skill level raised to pro and I would’ve been able to play the pros.
– A kiss from Nathan Fillion…or a hug…or a pic with him.
– More time, more eyes, more memory.
– More fans on the event.

Things I totally forgot to mention:
– The good people of the 405th were at the event and showed some pretty cool self made armors.
– The 343 guys were very kind and friendly. Kiki is still the coolest wolf there is.
– I drank too much coke.

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Halo Master Chief Collection Launch Invitational Tournament Recap

I’m back home from L.A.. I have to say I didn’t get over the jet lag feeling yet. I won’t complain though because I had a wonderful time and met so many friendly and interesting people. I have to thank Xbox and most of all Boris from Xbox Germany for giving me this once in a lifetime opportunity. They took good care of us in L.A..
So what did I see? What did I get to play? I’ll answer it all.
After arriving at LAX late friday afternoon I took a Taxi to Hollywood where our Hotel was located. Right next to Hollywood Blvd. you find the fancy W Hollywood Hotel.

Jonathan Irons CEO of Atlas Corporation was accommodated there as well, maybe spying on some real and super „Advanced Warfare“. I wonder what time travel agency he booked. Haha funny, of course i am talking about world famous actor Kevin Spacey. After flying 12 hours and an hour Taxi ride I could finally take a shower and change. Then I met with the rest of the group. All in all we were 7 people from the Netherlands, Germany, France and Italy. The other guys were mostly Youtubers, one french guy works for Xbox France. I was really glad to meet Maxi, a german like minded Halo fan who works for GameStar/High 5.


The next day was the first day of the Master Chief Collection Launch Invitational Tournament that took place in the ESL Studios in Burbank, California.

It was about 86 °F on this day. I was told that even in L.A. this is quite uncommon for this time of year. My light skin was shocked and I had to put on sunscreen…in November!

8 teams were invited to compete over the top prize of $ 20.000:

– StK – Heinz, OGRE2, Royal 2, Snakebite, Coach Diesel
– OpTic Halo – Flamesword, Pistola, Ace, Snipedown, Coach Elamite
– Believe The Hype – Formal, Lxthul, aPG, Maniac, Coach Mr. X
– The Agency – Ninja, Hysteria, FearItSelf, Victory, Coach Towey
– VwS Gaming – Naded, Legit, Goofy, Mikwen, Coach Wolfmayyne
– TCM Gaming – Riotz, TuFoxy, Ramirez, Chalkie, Coach Xavier
– Str8 Rippin – Tsquared, Ryanoob, Roy, Str8 Sick, Coach Walshy
– Purple Rain – Gandhi, Elitest, Maven, Legion

The game types were Team Slayer, Neutral Bomb, 3 Flag CTF, 5 Flag CTF and King of the Hill. The playable maps were all from Halo 2: Anniversary. Shrine, Warlord and Lockdown. I think it’s fair to say that most votes were on team Optic Gaming. With players like Ace and (iGotUr)Pistola, winner and second best of the Halo 4 tournament last year, their chances were pretty good.

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Andy “Bravo” Dudynsky and Alex “Goldenboy” Mendez were there to give a live-commentary on the gameplay and they did a hell of a good job. On saturday the event went from 2 pm till 9 pm or something. Imagine to have to comment about 10 games of intense and fast pace game play.

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Even I couldn’t watch all of it. Hunger got us searching the neighborhood and we found a good old arcade. I did some wild animal hunting with Joost from Holland which I lost at. Damn you Joost! A nice meal at the Renegade Ranch completed the day. There was a mechanical bull you could ride and two of our younger, wild boys actually rode the bull. Let’s say they did quite well.

Sunday, I’m still jet lagged but overall happy as a clown. It all felt surreal. Our chaperone for the event was Clare from London. What a sweet girl! She managed everything for us and made us feel comfortable. She’s a gamer as well and has her own youtube channel. Around 11 am we were headed to ESL Studios again to see the grand finals of the tournament. Optic Gaming were out already, so was The Agency with Ninja on the team.

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We had Str8Rippin facing Believe The Hype in the grand finals. Boy did those teams play well. I couldn’t really say who I was rooting for, I was just so very impressed with both teams. In the end BTH won.
And did I mention that in The ESL Studios stood the most bad ass car there is? The Warthog, mother of all cars. I always dreamed of seeing one live. That I would be sitting in one wasn’t even part of the dream. But guess what we were allowed to hop in and take some pics. I even got to stand behind the turret. Haha the excitement! As far as I know there are only two official Warthog models out there. One from the movie Forward until Dawn and this one.

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After the tournament was over two teams (Optic and BTH) were invited to be the first to play the multiplayer Beta of Halo 5: Guardians. The footage of that was shown later at Halofest. It was the first footage of live gameplay the puplic saw.I didn’t want to watch it, since I knew we were invited to play as well later this evening. Needless to say I couldn’t resist. I was really impressed with the graphics and the new abilities like Ground Pound and Clamber.

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After what seemed like an eternity we were brought into a small back room with several gaming stations build up. We were allowed to record our gameplay. I brought my Elgato but in the end it didn’t work. Thanks to lovely Maxi I could use hers so I will have some gameplay for you guys when she sends it over. I will have a detailed post on my thoughts on Halo 5: Guardians multiplayer later. What I will say now is: It’s fast pace, it’s different, i will love it. At first I was scared when I saw the new design and feel of the weapons but after playing at Halofest a bit longer, that changed. 7 new armor abilities available to everyone right at the start. My favorite is Clamber. But yeah, detailed post soon to be up on here.

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fotu_halofest_2014_0030The End. Stay tuned for the Halofest 2014 recap…

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