/r/Halo’s Book Club – a journey begins

As I mentioned in the last post /r/Halo has been a discovery for me, and one that I’m glad to have had.

One of the reasons for this is the book club they recently started, with The Fall of Reach being first on the list.

It’s always hard to find time to read, and having a schedule like this really helps me to plan ahead and carve out a space so I can keep up.

I’ve received permission from the mod who set this up – Afterbang – to post my answers to the questions he poses from each chapter here on Reactive Bias. That way you can follow along with me and I get to keep all my Halo thoughts in one place. Nice!

Feel free to join us over on /r/Halo or leave me your thoughts in the comments as I post each set of questions and my reactions. I’ve found AB’s questions help me look at the text in new ways, and I’m seeing things I didn’t notice before.

Halo Ann. Ring

The more you look the more there is

Good stuff, and reminds me of one of the strengths of the Halo Universe – the more you look, the more there is.

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“We’re not leaving him here” – upcoming posts/thank you!

Sergeant Johnson: “Radio for VTOL, heavy lift gear. We’re not leaving him here.”

He looks down and realize the chip is empty. The Chief reaches up and grabs Johnson’s wrist

Master Chief: “Yeah. You’re not.”

He pushes himself slowly to his feet

“Arrival”, Halo 3 (pulled from Halopedia)

It’s to my shame that I haven’t posted on Reactive Bias in a while, and a thank you to everyone who has been checking out the site since then – even with the lack of content.

And a thank you to all the randoms who continue to come to the site by mistake – your poor search skills are my gain!

Like many things that I enjoying doing (but require work), I’m always thinking about writing but when it comes making it happen I’m easily distracted.

(Specific distraction: I’ve been playing through the Assassin’s Creed series, currently on Brotherhood. I could say a lot about it, but I’ll keep it short – it’s been fantastic.)

But enough of my excuses – I wanted to give you guys a head’s up as to what I’ve been working on and plan to roll out in a more steady fashion.

It’s what you do that defines you (thank you Ms. Dawes), so here’s what I hope to do!

  • HBOhio – the rest of the pics! You’ve seen a few, but I plan to draw out the nostalgia with even more photo goodness.
  • New deck conversationsmore additions to the often sarcastic world of Halo ecards.
  • Hey, weren’t you reading the novels? – yep. Last entry was here, and I’ve finished a few since then. Reactions incoming!
  • Hyperion knowledge bombs – I laid out the ground work here, and I’ve been loving the Halo 4 Visual Guide. I’m excited to be able to use these resources to gain a better appreciation and understanding of the universe, and to add a few of my thoughts along the way as well.
  • Articles, smarticles – I have some thoughts on new articles (Why Spartan Ops needs to be more like Tie Fighter, commentary breakdown of Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn, etc.) as well, so those will come as I can get to them.

Again, a big thank you to everyone who’s read (and especially followed!) Reactive Bias.

I’ve been MIA, but you’re not leaving me here …

Did he just compare himself to Master Chief? And he's talking in 3rd person?

Did he just compare himself to Master Chief? And now he’s talking in 3rd person? Yikes.

The fact that people are still with me means a lot.

Thank you!

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Random Slipspace Trajectory

The Halo Universe is a big place, and it’s easy to get lost in all the fiction. Getting lost can be a good thing though; there have been many times I’ve traveled to Halopedia to look up just one thing and end up following rabbit trails for the next half an hour, amazed at the story threads that bind the universe together.

But the downside to an ocean-sized universe are all the details you can miss. When there’s so much to take in, I feel like it’s a victory just to remember most of the key events let alone what the shards of glass represent in the Inner Sanctum of the Hierarchs (glassed worlds by the way and yes, I had to look it up).

In an effort to bring out some of these easily overlooked specifics I’m starting a new category on Reactive Bias entitled “Random Slipspace Trajectory.” In it I’ll go through the strategy and visual guides that I own and randomly select a page to dive into, pulling out (what I find to be) some interesting details that help to enrich the universe.

I’ll go through the guides in this order:

  • Halo: The Essential Visual Guide
  • Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary Signature Series Guide
  • Halo 3: The Official Strategy Guide
  • Halo 3 ODST: Prima Official Game Guide
  • Halo Wars: Prima Official Game Guide
  • Halo: Reach Signature Series Guide 
  • Halo 4: The Essential Visual Guide
  • Halo 4: Prima Official Game Guide 

The randomness with which the pages are chosen is provided by random.org.

I’ve had this idea in my mind for a while so I’m excited to get it going. Looking forward to it, and I hope you guys enjoy!

First up will be page 64 from Halo: The Essential Visual Guide

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A Question of Weight – Halo 4 and Community

Discussing the community’s reaction to Halo 4 is tired. Old. It’s all been said.

But I’ve never had a problem with beating dead horses*, so it’s time for me to throw a few words in the pile. I’ll keep it brief, and as a bonus you’re also going to get my “review” of Halo 4 in bullet point form sprinkled throughout … nine months after release. Nice!

  • I was surprised to find that being more aware of the Halo Community made the game harder to enjoy. Everyone should (and does) have an opinion, but I didn’t expect that it would be many in the visible community telling the world that you shouldn’t like Halo 4
  • ReviewHalo 4’s visuals and music were, and still are, awesome
  • This could just be a little bit of history repeating itself. When I started Reactive Bias almost two years ago, I was introduced to all the players who strongly disliked (hated) Reach. And all this time I loved a game that I should have complained about … 😉
  • Review Halo 4’s story was a disappointment, not in content but in execution. I feel 343 Industries pushed the bar so high it ended up out of reach. Everything mattered, but everything didn’t come together into an understandable whole at the time of the game’s release – and because of that the story suffered. Both those who read the books and those who did not finished “Midnight” feeling something was just a little off, and I think the enigma of the Didact was to blame
  • I’ve realized that Halo to me is what’s put out there as Halo, no matter who’s making it. That doesn’t mean I think it’s all good, but it does mean that I recognize the obvious – I’m not in charge.
  • Review – Spartan Ops was a great first step (minus the dudebro of the first half)  in a new direction, and Multiplayer still keeps me coming back for more. Halo multiplayer has been fun for me in the past, and Halo 4’s War Games hasn’t changed that

To bring these reflections to a close, the good that Halo 4 does – and aspires to do – outweighs the bad for me. It’s that question of weight, and my answer to it, that lands me squarely in the “likes Halo 4” camp 😀

***

Last thing – be sure to check out CruelLEGACEY’s posts (part 1,part 2 and part 3) on how he would make Halo 5 if given the chance. We differ on our excitement for the franchise going forward, but I agree with a lot of his takeaways on how the experience for the next game in the “Reclaimer Trilogy” can be bettered.

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*=The author of this post does not actually enjoy the beating of any of the equine population, dead of otherwise.

Modcast Bulletin (Ep. 4)

This Modcast was originally broadcast on 11.10.11

The Modcasts keep humming right along and this one has to be my favorite yet – great discussion, good points/quotes, and all with the anticipation of Halo Anniversary mixed right in!

Thankfully we now have our hands on said title, but travel back in time with me as I hit the highs (and lows? 🙂 ) of Modcast Delta!

Appreciated Points:

Level “343 Guilty Spark”– The Jenkins recording was eerie, and “nailed the sense of Continue reading →

Modcast Bulletin (Ep. 3)

This Modcast originally broadcast on 11.3.11

With the fourth Modcast already out, this post can be put squarely in the belated category, with one addition … belatedly awesome!

Thank you to the CL’s for putting this together – as I soak in more and more of the community and all that is out there for people like me who enjoy Halo, I’ve come to Continue reading →

Modcast Bulletin (Ep. 2)

Originally posted this in the Halo Waypoint forums, but put it below for my own record as well.

If you haven’t heard the Modcast yet – what’s wrong with you? Don’t worry – all will be well when you head over here.

This was the second Halo Waypoint Community Modcast, broadcast on 10.22.11.

Thank you to all those who put the second Modcast together; it was great to hear everyone (seven total … coincidence?) and put some faces … er … voices to the names we get to see around here.

I said it for the last Modcast and it’s worth saying again here – love the vibe.

Here’s what I thought, broken down Continue reading →

Modcast Bulletin (Ep. 1)

I originally posted this in the Halo Waypoint forums (see it here), but put it below for my own record as well.

If you haven’t heard the Modcast yet – what’s wrong with you? Don’t worry – all will be well when you head over here.

This was the first Halo Waypoint Community Modcast, broadcast on 10.8.11.

First things first – thank you to CruelLEGACEY, GrimBrother One and SirPwn4g3 for putting the Modcast together. Appreciate the time put into it. Continue reading →

Alpha Halo

Take a little time to think of what you are going to say for once said it cannot be unsaid.

– Emma, from the 2009 miniseries of the same name

The entries that follow, dear Reclaimer, are in a battle – a battle with awesomeness.

“Awesomeness,” in this case, is defined as an amazing community of people drawn together by the force of Halo.

The battle I speak of has nothing to do with containment procedures, plasma grenades or Section Three of ONI; this conflict deals with the idea that I could possibly have something to contribute to an already richly furnished multimedia landscape of blogs, opinions and videos that concern the Halo universe.

Do I really think something more needs to be said?

Thankfully Reclaimer, this battle has already been fought and won – or you and I wouldn’t be here.

The answer is yes!

I’ve always been fascinated (and impressed) by fiction that I can get lost in, and Halo has provided that. Whether playing the games, studying the fiction or talking with friends and family about either, I find that time flies by. I find myself thinking “how could I do something related to this for a living?”

When something has the ability to both speed up time and make you want to work on it eight plus hours a day, it’s time to speak up.

So here it is – my stated purpose for these entries:

  1. To chronicle the good times Halo has given me, past and present
  2. To encourage others in the Halo community – you are fantastic and you’re going to hear about it from me!
  3. To publish my thoughts and passion for Halo into something that those with authority can notice and therefore evaluate recruitment
  4. To follow through on my wife’s faith and support for this idea; quote, “you should do this!” 🙂

With these goals, dear Reclaimer, I venture forth with words that cannot be unsaid.

Please join me as your time allows.

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