This is just a perfect example of how if you don't evolve, you get left behind, and in this instance, the superior aesthetics and formulas of games like Modern Warfare take your place. And you aren't being nit-picky at all man. I agree 110% with you that Infinity Ward absolutely trumps Halo outright graphically. I just wanted to hold off on the comparisons so people didn't play that "ur a fanboy lol rofl umad" card. Anyone who disagrees can take any level from any Halo game and compare it to any level of Modern Warfare 2 and the attention to detail is just stunning once you realize how indistinct, careless, and, in all honesty, lazy Bungie really has become.
Also, as an appendage to the actual review, I'd like to add in a few other things.
The levels in multiplayer have reached a point that almost none of them stick out to me anymore and they're about as canned as corn, much like the design of the single-player.
The game type Invasion Slayer is also extremely broken. Spartans spawn with an assault rifle and the Elites spawn with a plasma rifle and pistol...on the 10 mile wide Hemorrhage. Add to that the serious lopsidedness once the Scorpion tank is unlocked for the Spartans and you won't be able to spawn without being killed, resulting in the most obnoxious 15 minutes you may have ever spent with any Halo game.
I have a feeling this list is going to be ongoing, as I seemingly discover new things I loathe about this game by the hour.
This is it. You’ve aged that cache of Mountain Dew Game Fuel in your finished basement for three years sinceHalo 3. You bit the bullet on your purchase of Halo: ODST to find out it was as tame as you had expected. You took another one on the chin with Halo Wars, which was a cheaper gimmick than Lion King toys in a McDonald's Happy Meal (stupid Ensemble Studios). The wait for redemption is finally here. The golden child to a decade’s long culmination of gaming’s premier and most coveted franchise has arrived. Ladies and gentlemen, Halo: Reach has entered the building.
I played Halo religiously before I even went to my first prom. I played Halo 2 all throughout college, droppings fools with the plasma pistol/battle rifle combo. I even waited in line at the midnight release of Halo 3 and have never laughed so hard in my entire life when the first person to buy their Legendary Edition ran outside, fell to his knees in front of the line, held the packaging above his head, and screamed “HAAAALLLLLOOOOOOOOO” while his friend blared the Halo 2 soundtrack from his mom’s minivan. These are smiles and memories I will take with me forever
With that being said, any reviewer praising this campaign as the greatest in the series is exhibiting some sort of sentiment towards this being Bungie’s ride into the sunset. The story behind Reach is very easily the most anti-climactic, insipid, drawn-out, and forgettable campaign in the franchise, and out of any game in recent memory. It was extremely uneventful and is second only to that of ODST in the series. It tries to paint an intimate portrait around the trials and tribulations of Noble Team, an elite group of Spartans stationed on Reach, and allots a noticeable portion of the single-player to backtracking. Its artsy, cinematic approach and attempts at churning up an attachment to this uninteresting and poorly articulated cast leaves a lot to be desired, aspirations that will never be filled by a fleeting Bungie at production’s helm. It has its moments, but like a summer box office hit, is never much more than a drum solo and guitar riff leading into a large explosion. A word of caution: this is the HARDEST Legendary mode out of the entire franchise and you will die more times than their are pennies in this game's price. Bungie added cooperative scaling to the campaign, meaning the more people you play with, the game is made that many times more difficult. It would be easier to perform open heart surgery during a San Francisco earthquake on Rollerblades than it would be completing this game. Coupled with this, the checkpoint save system is extremely inconsistent, and is often times a worse enemy than the Covenant Elites. There were so many instances of half hour trial-and-error battles with friends that we would pass through, to die shortly after in another skirmish and have to reply the entire mind-numbing portion all over again.
Almost as much a constant as the frustration was the tremendously unacceptable level of slowdown found in intense firefights. Maybe it was caused by the rendering of some of the gorgeous distant backgrounds or the lighting and shading of the new graphics system. Whatever the cause, their seemed to be an extremely high percentage of frame rate lag in the campaign with a full party, with some parts becoming practically unplayable. Needless to say, the graphics look great for aHalo game and are easily the best in the series. Reach trades in the crisp and vivid world of Halo 3 for a more grungy, muddy, and faded look that appeals to the “it’s the end of the world as we know it” theme. The character and vehicle models look stellar, and there are some stunning shots of distant mountains, luscious coastlines, and a truly breathtaking scene in space. That isn’t to say that the environments in the foreground don’t look drastically outdated when compared to other next-gen AAA titles like Call of Duty, Uncharted, or Gears of War. Respectively, do a side-by-side comparison of a scene from any Halo title to Reach. Outside of a prettier aesthetic, does anything even really look different? There are only so many times Bungie can serve me rolling hills, babbling streams, mountainous terrain, canned corridors and indistinct Covenant infrastructures and spaceship innards before I’m left wondering why I’ve paid for yet another one of their games. Then I remember.
The multiplayer, which comes as a surprise to no one, is where Reach shines, and with their last hoorah, Bungie pulled out all the stops with some really intuitive additions. Matchmaking has been given a complete overhaul, allowing for players on your friends list to appear at the main menu with easily accessible access to party systems with the new active roster. By selecting players on this list, you are automatically queued to join their party once they are available or finish their match. There is also a slick new voting system, giving players three match options and a “None of the Above” selection to choose from, which if voted the highest, takes players into a second round of choices. Even with the voting system though, I can’t help but feel like I’ve just been playing the same three game types on the same four maps. You now earn credits (cR) through time spent on the campaign and across all modes of multiplayer, which doubles as both XP and currency, and can be used at the Armory to modify the appearance of your character with purchasable upgrades. It’s initially exciting to finally get to customize a Spartan all to your own until the aura fades and you are left realizing just how little there is to upgrade to.
Players are also now penalized for chronically leaving games. Leave a certain number over a certain time and you’re barred from access to matchmaking for 15 minutes. If you’re a perpetual nuisance on your mic and are generally muted by everyone you play with, you are automatically muted to new players. The psyche profile is a player filter of sorts, which allows you to be matched up on four criteria: tone, chattiness, mood, and teamwork. It’s basically an eHarmony forHalo nerds, and while it doesn’t always work, it’s refreshing to know that Bungie cares about our experience.
Firefight, the mode made first made available in ODST, is back and better than ever, with a seemingly endless selection of modifiers, making it essentially possible to never play the same game twice. The level of customization in this mode will prevent it from wearing its stay thin, but substantial drops in frame rates during crucial points in the enemy onslaught might leave it to collect dust after your first few gos.
New modes also inject a renewed sense of purpose behind the infinite hours you will spend behind your Designated Marksman Rifle (DMR), the sporty new battle rifle substitute. Stockpile is a new spin on CTF, with multiple flags randomly spawning on the map that players have to return to their neutral zone. Every minute, these zones reset and the flags you’ve compiled get added to the score. In Headhunter, players drop flaming skulls upon death that you must collect and deliver to constantly shifting score zones on the map. Elite Slayer spawns everyone as Covenant Elites, only giving access to Covenant weapons and vehicles.
The most impressive new game variant though is Invasion, a multi-tiered, objective-based mode similar to Battlefield: Bad Company 2's Rush mode. Two teams of Spartans and Elites battle on Boneyard to either defend or attack a base, respectively. As the Elites advance further into the base and complete the phases of the mission, additional classes become unlocked. After the rounds are over, the team's switch, with a winner being ultimately determined by the team which has managed to assault the base most successfully.
The most profound impact to multiplayer is the inclusion of loadouts and their special abilities. Players familiar with Halo 3 will remember being able to carry around a one-and-done defensive item, such as a plasma shield or power drain. Reach takes that premise a flight of stairs further and completely changes the dynamic of a gun fight with rechargeable perks like a sprint ability, a bubble shield, armor lock (which prevents you from taking damage at the expense of immovability), a cloaking ability, or the jetpack, all of which are also available to you in the campaign. The jetpack wears its stay quite thin though as you constantly hit hidden barriers set in place on the outskirts of maps. Of the thirteen included maps, four are rehashed from past titles. It is ultimately a selection that is vastly lacking and is relying on downloadable content to expand its options from mild to robust in the coming months. My favorite map, Hemorrhage, is just a remake ofHalo 2’s Coagulation, which is just a remake of Halo’s Blood Gulch. Recycling is a common trend with Bungie, which I'm not sure whether to praise or condemn when they bring back the maps I enjoy.
As if all of the listed additions weren't enough to keep you from never seeing sunlight, a new set of challenges will be changed daily, rewarding players credits for the successful completion of tasks in both the single and multiplayer portions of the game. Complete them all and you are reward handsomely. It’s such an ingenious dynamic that will undoubtedly leave players coming back again and again.
With this being the fifth and final release from Bungie's iconic gaming franchise, one which has pushed the boundaries of our culture and has safely cemented its legacy, many people are quick to praise Reach with sentiment; I am not one of them. Fireworks finales pull out the multi-shot mortar shells. Concert encores bring the band back out to play that last song you really wanted to hear. And Halo: Reach…well, it sort of just disappears into the sunset on the back of a Warthog. For a game that has given a community millions of members deep the joy and satisfaction it has provided over a decade and for a community that has provided Bungie a wealth beyond its wildest dreams in return, you would have thought this would have been the end all, be all Halo experience. It instead comes off as an unfulfilling conclusion to an otherwise masterful achievement (see Seinfeld and The Sopranos). For a game based around an elite military squad, Reach certainly didn't listen when they were told to "be all you can be."
Halo 3 was such an epic tour de force for video games that I couldn’t help but feel disappointed with Halo: Reach. Going from the epic conclusion to a drastically lackluster precursor to Halo bundled around the redeemable multiplayer at its core has really left me with a perpetual bad taste, considering this is Bungie’s swan song as they ride off to greener pastures. Let’s just hope those pastures aren’t looped and sandwiched between indistinct Covenant corridors and endless mountainous terrain.
Does Tom Hudgson = Glass Joe?
Must be nice to get paid for playing games :)
Do you know if its available on MS-Windows 7? Or just PSN and Xbox Live? Oh well, its probably too difficult for an old man like me anyway. I have yet to play Donkey Kong :(
Haha with an attitude like that you'll never be able to enjoy yourself AD! As long as you have a pulse and can press buttons, you will absolutely adore this game.
Sadly, it is only available on PSN and Xbox Live, but you raise a good point with it lacking the availability of Windows 7 support, which would easily be able to handle it. Why the developers don't open their games up to the PC/Mac market is beyond me.
I tell yah though, it's never too late to own a PS3, especially if you don't have a Blu-ray player.
In my recently reviewed Shank , I talked about how the title was a throwback to a genre neglected in the modern gameosphere. The once lively and marketable side-scrolling beat-em-up seemed to have died with 8-bit/16-bit consoles and the arcades, left to only shame itself with pitiful modern iterations of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles games, which produce a knee-jerk reaction like when the New Kids on the Block came back to tour.
Two years in the making, Castle Crashers finally arrives on the PSN. Following the games release on Xbox Live, it went on to win accolades far and wide for its beautifully vivid animations and the coma of awesomeness it put players into, walking away with Game of the Year awards from many publications. Why the distance in between the separate releases is anyone’s guess. The fact of the matter it is here, and man oh man is it nostalgic bliss for all your senses.
Unique to this title is the depth brought forth by a role-playing element which allows players to level up with XP, increase their stats, and gather unique loot spread across the world. It’s Legend of Zelda meets Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Arcade Game, the two of whom hit it off in a cheap, dimly lit hotel room and made Castle Crashers.
Players travel across a world map and must collect certain items to unlock passage to inaccessible locales to complete all 20 missions and save all the princesses from an eclectic and humorous mix of end bosses. Along the way are aptly titled animal orbs which you can befriend, each with a unique set of characteristics to aid the player. Yeti will prevent you from being frozen, Bitey Bat chomps on enemies heads, Rammy knocks enemies over...you get the idea. Each selectable character has four upgradable stats: strength, magic, defense, and agility. How you spend your skill points will impact how effectively you hack-and-slash through your wily opposition. Short and sweet, there is a light attack, a heavy attack, a jump button, a button for using items, and the trigger button for magic attacks which are unique to each character. Players can string together combos, which they learn as they progress in rank, and the overall feel of combat is nothing short of complete and giddy satisfaction.
The four-player co-op has hands down produced some of the greatest moments I’ve had with downloadable content, while multiplayer modes likeVolleyball and Team Arena are really just a forgettable novelty and are merely fluff to an experience that stood the ground of substance without their inclusion.
All this being said, there are chinks in this soldier's armor. Problems arise when your hero becomes blocked by artwork in the foreground or larger-than-life enemies that take up a sizable portion of the screen. You are left pressing buttons hoping you are hitting sprites and will survive long enough to see yourself appear again on the other side. Another hindrance comes when joining the co-op campaign with over-leveled players. You are often left to play missions that completely leapfrog your progress in the single-player or are easily dominated by their advanced skill, making it seem like your play is on cruise control.
My major gripe with this game though, from my extended play of the single-player, is the enemy’s ranged attacks. It isn’t an issue when playing with friends who can easily clear out a screen, but when armies amass around you, shooting multiple arrows and projectiles at you from across the screen, often times it’s almost impossible to even get up and escape the plain you're on.
Regardless of the minor problems the occur and as repetitious as some beat-em-ups can become, every facet of this game is steeped in creativity and variety and it never feels redundant. Replayabilitiy is at an all-time with so many unlockable characters, hidden items and animal orbs, and a sense of humor that will leave you with a Cheshire Cat grin. The Behemoth is just another prime example of an indie developer that reaffirms any and all of my beliefs that some of the finest titles can be found on your respective console’s online store. It would be a tall order to make an argument againstCastle Crashers not being a necessity for your PS3. It is a must-own, must-play title, the Milli to your PS3 hard drive’s Vanilli. It appeals to just about anyone who can hold a controller in their hand, akin to the beat-em-up genre, which Castle Crashers helps bring back from the endangered species list. There is amazing depth to such a simple premise, and this is where the game barges through the steel gate across the drawbridge and into the heart of the castle.
If I had to call out one particular line, it would be this one, which is particularly vacuous and worthy of any traditional demagogue:
"Aren’t these soldiers fighting for our freedoms and sensibilities, the same ones that constitutional rights uphold and protect? My heart goes out to their valiant souls and their unnerved families, as they sit and pray for the day their loved ones will return home."
That's playing to the grandstand, my friend.
Hello Jon. I made the latter part of that comment so people would understand I wasn't some callous, mentally deficient sociopath who enjoys seeing our soldiers die in the Middle East. Now that you know this, and considering it was a cornerstone to your viewpoint that I'm some sentimentalist, which you deduced after misinterpreting something from a single line out of everything I've typed, where to next? Also it's interesting to note how you leave out the very next paragraph which helps tie in the "sentiment" I used, making my statement that much more applicable: "Haven’t these noble enlistees earned the right to do whatever they please?" And as for "Aren’t these soldiers fighting for our freedoms and sensibilities, the same ones that constitutional rights uphold and protect?" -- it still applies and makes glaring sense.
I don't think there is anything hollow behind any of the "rhetoric" here. So your definition of grandstanding is to have adamant opinions and beliefs and to articulate said views firmly and definitively? So who am I grandstanding to exactly? The developers of a game I'll never meet or the readers of the posts I don't know? If anything is hollow, it's sidestepping the points I've made and avoiding any sensible form of rebuttal.
The question never was if the US military had the right to ban what they so chose fit, because as common sense would tell us from simply reading the title, they have the power to obviously do just that. The bottom line is that these soldiers are adults. They should be able to decide for themselves what affects them or what doesn't.
As for ardav and your so-called "abuse" of the reputation ratings, I have seen his posts littered across the forums, many with no real reason behind them other than to berate and mock posters with a very condescending nature and tone (see replies to amtote). Anti-military, anti-Obama, constant digs at people from the states--I've read it all. I suggest you read some of his xenophobic rants here for yourself. So in all actuality, I'm using the negative rep button for what it's intended for. I mean at least everyone else posting had some sort of genuine thought or feeling behind their stance and chose to express it, even though I may not have agreed with it. Then he types such gems as "I think your founding fathers or whatever they were" and "How the hell did Obama get the Nobel Peace Prize?" to really set himself apart from anyone else here. At no point do you see me coming in and going "Well, I'm right about Medal of Honor because British people are big dummy faces and we threw their tea in Boston Harbor!" To call this an "opposing view" is even generous when it's not even a view at all when compared to the scope of the debate. Don't condemn me when he unwittingly has condemned himself. I can agree to disagree with everyone here and get on well with my day. In fact, it's something I've had to bite the bullet and learn to do with most of these replies. But when things of that nature get said for no good reason at all, I'm not afraid to break the glass and pull on the "In Case of Emergency" negative rep button if I disagree.
But it's not even about ardav in the end, because that's his opinion, and at the end of the day, what is an opinion other than somebody else's viewpoint? It doesn't have to be my viewpoint for me to still uphold my own, so more power to him and everyone else for feeling as adamantly as they do about their views as I do mine. Conflicting stances doesn't mean the world is ending, contrary to popular belief here. If I had known reporting on this stupid ban would have caused such a civil unrest on this forum, I would have put it in a bottle and sent it out to sea or on a rocket to the damn moon. There is nothing wrong with a lively debate, but when you bring politics or military stances into something, it turns into a meat grinder for all that is holy and nobody wins, as we can see evidenced here by all the ground beef patties being tossed on the grill. Great--now I'm offending vegetarians.
Regardless, your $1.50 was appreciated and I will be depositing it in my piggy bank for a rainy day ;)
I still think there may be some obtuse and disingenuous grandstanding here, however.
To whom and how does the definition of the word "grandstanding" apply?
First and foremost, we are talking about Xbox Live, not everyone who plays on an Xbox. Your insinuation is completely inaccurate.
Secondly, if I had called everyone an imbecile and a moron, the number would be 100%. If you have ever used the service (which judging from all of this sounds like you haven't) to hear the unadulterated bigotry riddled through every match you play or kids shouting, screaming, and singing into their mics, you would understand why I left it at a slim .1%. My statement was steeped heavily in sarcasm and was appreciated I'm sure by avid Xbox Live users, which you can see referenced from the rep of the posting.
Lastly, Xbox Live is not comprised of just "young people." In fact, the most successful demographic for video games is 18-34 at 45%. People aged 35+ also comprise 11% of the userbase. Video games transcend age limits, and assuming that their usage is bound by the stereotypes of ageism is ridiculously uneducated when video game media accounts for 5% of household entertainment spending, outpacing print subscriptions, premium TV, home video and music.
Just my two cents.
Then pray tell good sir, what was its purpose outside of being sarcastic?
Banning something will only make people want it more because they can't have it. There's no such thing as bad press.
Are you trying to be funny?
I'll say it again: this game is wrong on so many levels.
The human mind, especially the teenager mind is very impressionable. This game should be banned or at the bare minimum have everyone be over 18 & carded & sign sometype of legal agreement. I am sure some stores will refuse to carry it while others see the dissatisfaction of their customers and stop selling it. Seriously, what were the game designers thinking? I design games & I leave anything to do with politics out of my games. Yes, this has to do with politics and so much more like morals and ethics.
Ding my rating all you want on here. I still won't change my comments.
That's fantastic...you said it again. That means I get to read the same baseless rhetoric twice. On what levels is this wrong? You have discussed how this issue has made YOU feel, so now explain why its a blemish to society. I truly don't think you've read anything that anybody has typed. Also, the sky is blue and dogs wag their tails when they're happy.
It's called the ESRB and stores carding people for games with a Mature rating. Do you have any idea at all about anything you're typing, or is it all just sort of loosely falling out of your head to your fingers to bang together words on the keyboard? If you're a game designer, seems as though you'd know these sorts of things.
This discussion is pointless if you're just going to pick and choose what you want to read to advance what little and insignificant points you are trying to make. It's people like you that give video games their bad name.
Agilemind--spot on, by the way. Kudos. The military has all the power in the world to ban things for whatever reason they see fit. I just disagree when the reasoning they've given here, when it's clearly just them tossing up another smokescreen to the real purpose, as I had said previously:
"In this instance, it's about the US military controlling what its service men and women see, and considering our vested involvement in the Middle East, the Taliban perspective reported to be in Medal of Honor would be detrimental to the cause's morale and give life to an enemy we're told has no soul. Nothing more, nothing less."
I agree 110% PCS. I got so fed up with this dumpy game and writing the review for it, I just wanted it to be done with. But you're completely accurate with the waypoint system. You are always left guessing where to go, as the markers disappear and reappear for no reason at all. Plus, the markers are all the same style and the lines the same color, so it's literally like flipping a coin when deciding which path to choose to complete your mission. All in all, a terrible game that was so far and away from anyone's expectations with the title.
I interpret it as meaning mentally incompetent people who fail to formulate sentences past a 4th grade level and lace them with homophobic, racist remarks as substance instead.
It's no longer a word used to technically describe Down syndrome, more so as it is used to describe imbeciles and morons, which means it's perfect for 99.9% of Xbox Live users. ;)
I am so glad Ancient Dragon was here to defend those who serve and have served in the military.
My dad,my uncle, my grandfather, my great-grandfather, my great-great grandfather all served in the military. I am so glad that the government banned the game from being sold on the base. I think that this level should be banned altogether, but it is freedom of speech so it is allowed even though it is sickly warped, morbid, vile and Anti-Earth. Letting people play as the Taliban might give them the wrong impression. I keep seeing references to grand theft auto and how it didn't cause any problems. I know that a major fact has been ignored by gamers that GTA was the cause of at least one Real Life issue that I remember reading about off the top of my head. Three cops died because of an 18 year old who killed real cops after playing the Grand Theft Auto game. A long time ago when GTA was new a friend said this is a cool game. I put it in my system turned it on and as fast as I turned the game on I turned it off. I highly discourage the company from releasing this anti-american, anti-british, anti-earth level and if they do I highly question their judgment. You can give me negative ratings all you want. I know what is right and what isn't and this is not right!!
When I say anti-earth, I am NOT referring to all the countries, Men and Woman who are fighting to keep their Countries and families safe from evil. I am referring to the evil people who try to destroy our planet.
What are you even saying? What does any of that rambling even mean? You're but the second person to glaringly miss any underlying substance with a brash response. I'm not berating anyone serving in the military, and the fact you assume that is both an insult to the views I articulated carefully and shows how long you thought about your response.
All my relatives fought in wars. Does that all of a sudden make my opinion have more weight? I have friends that are veterans of Iraq and will be purchasing and playing this game. Now what can you say? And I ask you as well: have you ever watched Platoon, Saving Private Ryan, Apocalypse Now, Black Hawk Down, Band of Brothers, The Pacific? Have you ever taken enjoyment from watching Hollywood's depiction of the battlefield? Then you are, in the end, no better than these magical double standards you choose to uphold.
The series has put you in the boots of Japanese and German soldiers in its previous titles. Where were you then to cry out about our past international diplomacy?
And no, three cops didn't die because of Grand Theft Auto. Three cops died because a withdrawn, reclusive psychopath with parents that ignored the obvious signs blamed Grand Theft Auto. There's a difference. If you want warped, morbid, and vile, how about the aimless, senseless comments you regurgitate from the video game hate monger Jack Thompson following Devin Moore's senseless killing of these three officers, when Thompson used the headlines as an in to slander the game with his unsubstantiated, mindless soapbox speeches to spread his biased views to impressionable people like you. But hey, why blame the terrible parents or young adult with mental issues and no grip on reality when we can point the finger at something else!?! It's such a fun game passing the blame around our society!
Like Nick said, banning these games does nothing for the greater good. You can sweep all the evil in the world under the rug, but that doesn't mean people won't still be raving lunatics or forget it existed. The children who politicians are trying to "protect" by banning these violent games are ultimately just being ignored. It's easier to take something away than it is to nurture the person behind the reasons why you had to do it.
In this instance, it's about the US military controlling what its service men and women see, and considering our vested involvement in the Middle East, the Taliban perspective reported to be in Medal of Honor would be detrimental to the cause's morale and give life to an enemy we're told has no soul. Nothing more, nothing less.
I am also in the minority then. I have always been a firm believer in if something isn't broken, then there is no reason to fix it. Call of Duty has become the definite multiplayer experience, silencing decades ruled by franchises like Quake and Unreal Tournament. Judging from the time I've spent on both Modern Warfares, I'm not worried about my dollar getting its value here with new weapons, killstreaks, modes, and maps.
If this video doesn't pump you up to play this game, you don't have a pulse: Inside XBOX Black Ops Video
Exactly, my friend. This was why everyone was scoffing at the lawsuit when this news broke. How are they going to gain any ground when it's all essentially under the public license? Wherever there's a boatload of money to be made, there are lawsuits to follow, so I guess we shouldn't really be surprised anymore. They will almost certainly get nowhere and will just crawl back into their hole with lawyer fees through the roof.
I wholeheartedly disagree with you, Dragon.
My point wasn't that the military doesn't have the right to ban this game. It was that men and women in the armed forces are dying for our freedoms of choice when they aren't even afforded any for themselves. Now they're going to intervene with which forms of entertainment media our soldiers choose to enjoy? It's asinine. This isn't about loyalties; this is about sensibilities.
Have you ever watched Platoon, Saving Private Ryan, Apocalypse Now, Black Hawk Down, Band of Brothers, or The Pacific? How are they any more or less an insult than the scenarios one will play witness to within Medal of Honor? It's a huge double standard. In the end, all you're choosing to do is surround yourself with things that better suit you.
Like Vernon says, you could literally make a point like this with the release of any game, movie, or album; relating this to Grand Theft Auto is a perfect example. What a miserable existence it would be if people took everything with a grain of salt. Why even get out of bed in the morning if every offensive crevice and facet of modern society upset you? It wouldn't even be a feasible existence. That is why people have the freedom to choose what brings them joy, a freedom good people die for. That is why this is ridiculous.
Men and women in the military are already told when to wake, what to eat, where to go, and what to do. Do they really need people limiting how they enjoy their time in between fighting for our flag?
It came as a shock to many people that the “No Russian” mission in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 allowed players to act with such extreme malicious intent. The inclusion of the mission sparked a blazing controversy amongst pundits and critics alike, with its gratuitous depiction of terrorists mowing down innocent civilians at a crowded Russian airport. It was one of the most intimately morbid moments in recent gaming history.
It doesn’t come as any shock that after all the public scrutinyModern Warfare 2 received, the soon-to-be released Medal of Honor is being met with resistance before the title even hits the front lines. After it was announced gamers will have the option to play as a Taliban terrorist at some branch of the story, which follows Tier 1 special operatives in modern day Afghanistan, the U.S. Military threw the red flag and outlawed its sale at bases across the country.
"We regret any inconvenience this may cause authorized shoppers, but are optimistic that they will understand the sensitivity to the life-and-death scenarios this product presents as entertainment," said Maj. Gen. Bruce Casella, who commands the Army & Air Force Exchange Service.
The game has already been banned at nearly 300 Army and Air Force base exchange shops. The Navy was quick to follow suit, barring it from 104 of their exchange shops, as well. The prohibition also looms over the 49 GameStops located nationally on military bases.
"At the hands of the Taliban, children have lost fathers, and wives have lost husbands," said British Defense Secretary Liam Fox, who has led the public protest. "It's shocking that someone would think it acceptable to re-create the acts of the Taliban against British soldiers."
It’s commonplace that you can’t have the good without the evil. Where there is a hero, there is a villain, and for video game’s sake, players seemingly always have access to both the light and the dark. What fun would a story be with might and no gloom, sunshine and no shadow? Kids have matured into adults on steady diets of cops and robbers, cowboys and Indians, and as moviegoers, we’re more often than not rooting for the bad guys. This begs to ask the question: when does the line between tasteful discretion and egregious censorship get drawn in the sand far beyond its means? Ignoring both sides of a story is what realists call “propaganda”, something our military isn’t a stranger to.
Aren’t these soldiers fighting for our freedoms and sensibilities, the same ones that constitutional rights uphold and protect? My heart goes out to their valiant souls and their unnerved families, as they sit and pray for the day their loved ones will return home. Haven’t these noble enlistees earned the right to do whatever they please? At the end of the day, doesn’t impeding on one's right to enjoy life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness make you no better than the terrorists you are trying to eradicate?
Will there ever be an end to the ridiculousness that is video game censorship? Is this to say that because of Japan’s bombing of Pearl Harbor, we can’t play as samurais in video games because we’re supporting terrorism? Should we still be throwing British tea in Boston Harbor? Should bratwursts and pilsner be banned from our stores because we fought Nazis in World War 2?
Saving Private Ryan had such a melancholy aura with veterans watching the film, so much so that it was reported that some threw up, passed out, or were so emotionally disturbed by the D-Day invasion at Normandy, they had to leave the theater. That’s the point here: if something affronts you, you proactively choose to avoid it, not tell others that because you’re offended by it, they will never be granted a decision for themselves as to whether or not it invokes the same feelings with them. The U.S. military is overstepping its bounds here drastically, something it tends to do best.
While this ban limits the sale of Medal of Honor, it does not prohibit its ownership. With no shortage of online stores ready to cater to the men and women gamers in the service, rest assured, you shouldn’t skip a beat when the game releases on October 12th.
Xbox Live is a breeding ground for hateful, inflammatory remarks of all genders, races, creeds, and sexualities, where aimless insecurities are flung around like rocks at street signs. Who would have thought that it would be Microsoft doing the discriminating for once?
A 26-year-old gamer from Fort Gay, West Virginia was banned momentarily from his monthly membership when Microsoft enforcement officials deemed his profile inappropriate. His crime? Listing himself as a proud resident of "fort gay WV."
"At first I thought, 'Wow, somebody's thinking I live in the gayest town in West Virginia or something.' I was mad. ... It makes me feel like they hate gay people," said Josh Moore, an unemployed factory worker.
When Moore contacted Xbox Live to explain how wrongful a decision they had made, the agent seemed impervious and unwavering to the fact that Fort Gay was called home by roughly 800 citizens. Even offering a zip code didn’t deter the iron fist of the voice over the phone, who told him if he chose to reference Fort Gay in his profile again, they would cancel his membership.
The incident gained the attention of Mayor David Thompson, who tried his hand at amending the situation and was met with the same fate, being told that the word “gay” was inappropriate no matter what the context.
"It was so inappropriate for them, they wouldn't even say the word," Thompson told the Associated Press. "They said, 'that word.' It's beyond me. That's the name of our town! It's appalling. It's a slap in our face."
"Someone took the phrase 'fort gay WV' and believed that the individual who had that was trying to offend, or trying to use it in a pejorative manner," said Stephen Toulouse, director of policy and enforcement for Xbox Live. "Unfortunately, one of my people agreed with that. When it was brought to my attention, we did revoke the suspension."
Xbox Live agents are not given the context of the phrase or what games the player frequents. Agents are only able to see the language which has been reported, reaching a determination when it’s compared to their Code of Conduct policies. As egregious an error as this was, given the number of complaints filed against the incessant hordes of mongoloids on Xbox Live, one can’t help but sympathize with how easy it must be for something with legitimacy to fly completely under the radar.
"Absolutely, a mistake was made here, and we've updated our training to account for that. In this very, very specific case, a mistake was made and we're going to make it right."
Mayor Thompson is still waiting on his apology.
"I'm furious about it. That's our town. That's our heritage. I've lived there my whole life and I'm proud to be from here," said Thompson. "Just to say 'I'm sorry' to me is not good enough. They offended a lot of people in our town."
Residents of Climax, Michigan, Gayville, South Dakota, and Knob Lick, Kentucky be forewarned—your Xbox Live account might be next up on the chopping block.