*Crunch crunch crunch*

Just crunching along over here, and in the far-too-long breaks between compiles, the chair-sword-fights just get old after a while.

Would be pretty awesome if that actually happened. Instead, I usually write on this thing or poke around on the internet. Which, is where I found the current distraction: GamesRadar.

As proof, check out this post about Japanese box art vs. US box art. Warning: may only be funny if you've played all these games.

Alright, back to crunch. :D


Lake weekend between crunch...

Well, there's been lots and lots of crunch recently, so all the breaks that come up are good ones. Needless to say, the chance to go out to my friend's lake house and relax for the weekend was not something I was going to turn down. Friends, fajitas, margaritas, and a lake - what more could you ask for?

Incidentally, I finally caved and bought an N810 internet tablet, and am mobile blogging this very moment on the drive back, since Lee was sweet enough to drive back. So here's hoping for a relaxing weekend and more posts - happy weekend everybody! :)


Want to know where I disappeared to?

This is why - if you weren't excited about Halo Wars - maybe this will help :)


G4: Halo Wars Hands On - http://e3.g4tv.com/e32008/videos/26921/Hands_On_Halo_Wars.html
5 Star Rating!
"Relax, relax, it’s still Halo"
"When can fans start sleeping outside their local BestBuys?"


IGN E3 2008: Halo Wars Hands-on - http://xbox360.ign.com/articles/890/890357p1.html
"...Ensemble has achieved what many thought was impossible - it has created an action-packed real-time strategy game that stays true to the Halo universe..."
"...more importantly it's made a game looks capable of hooking in shooter fans and armchair tacticians alike."
"The streamlined controls mean it's a game that very easy to pick up and play..."
"We only wish we had more time with the game, because our brief taster has left us wanting more."

1Up Halo Wars Impressions - http://www.1up.com/do/previewPage?cId=3168721
"These special attacks give an extra slice of "Halo-ness" to the game."
"..seeing a MAC blast tear into a Covenant Scarab, or a carpet bomb lighting up all the Grunts on the ground, or seeing Marines take over a Covenant sniper tower, all give Halo Wars an extra bit of "oomph.""
"That marriage of Halo flair plus solid Ensemble RTS gameplay makes me a lot more hopeful for the game -- and also a bit annoyed that it's officially slipped to early next year."


Kombo Hands On - http://360.kombo.com/article.php?artid=13556
"After playing Tom Clancy's EndWar, it's hard to get excited about controller-based RTS controls, but to Ensemble's credit, they've crafted a scheme that is clearly superior to the various clunky solutions currently available from EA and others."
"Halo Wars surprised the hell out of us. A title we weren't expecting much from, the sad little RTS banking on the Halo brand to sell, is now back square in the middle of our radar."

GameSpot Halo Wars Co-Op Hands On - http://e3.gamespot.com/story.html?sid=6194187
"Controlling your units in Halo Wars is a cinch. You move the cursor with the left analog stick and select individual units with the A button."
"...the development team have done an amazing job of capturing the look of the Bungie series."
"As well as creating a brand-new engine and control system for the game, they had to capture the distinctive look of the source material--no mean feat given the complete change of perspective."


Joystiq E3 hands-on: Halo Wars - http://www.joystiq.com/2008/07/17/joystiq-e3-hands-on-halo-wars-xbox-360/
"The easiest way to describe Halo Wars to a gamer would be to say it is to RTS games what Civilization Revolution is to Civilization. It's not RTS lite, but just RTS different."
"A judgment on the game is going to require giving the title a chance and seeing how it shakes what Ensemble gave it over many hours. It could introduce a new form of RTS we haven't seen yet."

GameVideos - Dave Pottinger Walkthrough - http://www.gamevideos.com/video/id/20150
Dave P. "We want those choices in the game, giving that map investment in the game is huge for a strategy game."

GameSpy Halo Wars - http://xbox360.gamespy.com/xbox-360/halo-wars/891470p1.html
"Ensemble has done a great job bringing the brightly colored, almost neon sensibilities of the Halo world to life in a god's-eye perspective."
"The upshot of all this is that Halo Wars felt good to play during our limited time with it."

Game Informer - http://www.gameinformer.com/News/Story/200807/N08.0716.1459.01666.htm
"Just because Microsoft didn’t talk about it at their press conference doesn’t mean that Halo Wars isn’t worth mentioning. We just got back from some hands-on time with it, and it looks as though the folks at Ensemble Studios have found a solid way to incorporate RTS gameplay with a standard 360 controller."
"Rather than forcing players to memorize arcane button combinations to group units and select those group, Ensemble has instead made it simpler to do it on the fly."

Gamasutra - http://www.gamasutra.com/php-bin/news_index.php?story=19465
"The Ensemble Studios team spent six months fine-tuning Halo Wars' potential control setup before approaching Microsoft and Bungie about developing the project, according to previous press reports."

ShackNews - http://www.shacknews.com/featuredarticle.x?id=935
"As was the case with last year's showing, I came away impressed by Halo Wars. It certainly seems to be coming along well, but my experience has been quite limited thus far."
"What I've seen and played has been good, and I'm looking forward to more."


PC World Previews Halo Wars - http://www.pcworld.idg.com.au/index.php?id=1903314381
"Why there was no mention of Halo Wars at the MS press briefing is beyond me, and in fact, we at GamePro think someone dropped the ball."
"I really enjoyed the time I spent with the game despite not being much of an RTS gamer."

XBOX 360 Fan Boy Hands on with Halo Wars - http://www.xbox360fanboy.com/2008/07/17/e308-hands-on-with-halo-wars/
"So, Ensemble set out to build an RTS title for the Xbox 360 from the ground up, a game designed to work with a controller and work. Did Ensemble do it? Based on my time with the E3 demo, I'm inclined to say yes."
"As a game that promises to reinvent the console RTS, and as a Halo title, Halo Wars has a lot to live up to."
"...I can tell you one thing: now that I've played Halo Wars, the 2009 release feels very far away."

Thunderbolt E3: 2008 HaloWars - http://www.thunderboltgames.com/previews/article/halo-wars-e3-preview-preview-for-xbox360.html
"One of the biggest games this holiday season is going to be Halo Wars."
"Halo Wars definitely seems like another great entry into the already solid Halo universe."

Game Daily Halo Wars on Xbox - http://www.gamedaily.com/games/halo-wars/xbox-360/game-features/impressions-halo-wars/
"...Ensemble Studios (makers of the Age of Empire series) took Bungie's celebrated FPS and produced an original and immensely entertaining experience..."
"...it'll be one of the year's coolest games."

Post E3

GameSpy Halo Wars / Halo Universe Live Blog - http://xbox360.gamespy.com/xbox-360/halo-wars/893524p1.html?RSSwhen2008-07-24_140400&RSSid=893524

Kotaku Halo Wars is in Control - http://kotaku.com/5027722/halo-wars-is-in-control
"Keep your eye on Halo Wars, even if you're not a fan of the franchise or traditionally an RTS fan. It looks and feels like a console strategy game should."

GameSpot Halo Wars Stage Show Demo and Gameplay Movies - http://www.gamespot.com/video/935835/6194686/videoplayerpop?

GameSpot Halo Wars Co-Op - http://www.gamespot.com/xbox360/strategy/halowars/news.html?sid=6194187&mode=previews
"...the development team have done an amazing job of capturing the look of the Bungie series. As well as creating a brand-new engine and control system for the game, they had to capture the distinctive look of the source material--no mean feat given the complete change of perspective. Thankfully though, the game is not only technically impressive, but it really succeeds in immersing you in the world that you've come to love."

Evil Avatar - http://www.evilavatar.com/forums/showthread.php?t=58033
"The controls work. There, I said it. No, wait...the controls REALLY work."

Game Trailers Interview with David Pottinger - http://www.gametrailers.com/player/37498.html


ActionTrip - Halo Wars Best Strategy Game - http://www.actiontrip.com/features/e32008showawardsandwrapup.phtml
"Very nice indeed. The developers have improved things drastically since the last time we saw it. Ensemble Studios succeeded in conveying that familiar spirit of the Halo universe. It has the potential to become a great real-time strategy and they obviously made a huge effort to fine-tune the game for console owners."

Planet Xbox - Best Strategy Game - http://www.planetxbox360.com/article_4305/PlanetXbox360s_Best_of_E3_2008_Awards
"Having some of the simplest controls for any RTS on the consoles, Halo Wars is user-friendly and should have Halo fanatics excited when they have the ability to have a handful of Spartans on the field defeating Covenant troops."

Gaming Excellence - Best Strategy Game - http://www.gamingexcellence.com/xbox360/games/1336/p20080720.shtml
"Halo Wars is shaping up better than anyone could have expected. It’s looking like a great, yet unexpected addition to the series, and was our choice for best strategy game of E3 ’08."

G4 TV - Best Xbox 360 game - Nomination - http://e3.g4tv.com/e32008/blog/post/687264/XPlays_Best_Of_E3_Awards_Tonight.html/

GamePro Best of E3- Silver - http://www.gamepro.com/gamepro/international/games/features/205615.shtml
"Halo Wars was looking sharp at E3 2008. The new demo version included the first implementation of the new Spartans supersoldiers, who can kick ass with the best of them (and even take over enemy vehicles). The controls are simple - crucial for a console strategy game - and the graphical polish is looking better and better. Can Halo Wars overcome the console RTS curse? The evidence is promising."