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Arts & Living
Halo 2 on high-rise
By Eric Weiss
Friday, December 10, 2004
Imagine staring at a television for hours on end, manipulating two triggers, two small joysticks and a small collection of colored buttons. Got it? You've just experienced the daily routine of an Xbox addict, more specifically "Halo 2," the game that has dominated the spare hours of students all across campus.
"Halo 2" is the sequel to the hugely popular Xbox game "Halo: Combat Evolved." In "Halo," the player takes on the role of Master Chief, a battle hardened, take-no-prisoners, kill-any-enemy-my-way soldier of the UNSC. The core mission of the first game is to uncover the deep secrets of a mysterious ring world aptly named Halo, which turns out to be a gigantic weapon built by a race known as the Forerunners, all the while doing battle with the sinister alien race called The Covenant.
The sequel, "Halo 2," continues the story line. After Master Chief and his computer ally Cortana destroy the Halo weapon, Earth is attacked by the Covenant leading to a chase that brings both races to yet another Halo ring. This ring of course causes more problems than the first with the Covenant attempting to activate it. All the mayhem is contained on Microsoft's Xbox, which has been unofficially dubbed "the best damn console there is."
Freshman Peter Spiak is one of many students that have been captured by the game.
"I definitely had 'Halo 2' pre-ordered; I wanted to make sure that I'd get a copy the day it was released," Spiak said.
"I probably played around 40 hours of 'Halo 2' the week of its release," he said.
Rowdy Allard, otherwise known as Rowdymann, is Spiak's roommate. "I'm totally hooked, man," Allard said. "I picked up my pre-ordered copy at the midnight release in Newington. I played till 5:30 in the morning."
But what's the draw of the game? Could it be the massive levels of single player? Possibly the storyline mixed with the great cinematics. All of these are great, but the biggest draw to the game is in fact the multi-player option.
Players need only to plug an Ethernet cable into their Xbox to start battling their fellow dorm-mates in conflicts of epic proportions.
Allard's eyes lit up at the mention of playing multi-player. "I played on Xbox live for hours when I went home," Allard said. "You get going in a good game with good people, and you just keep playing. The competition can get really intense."
Nightly games can be heard on many floors in the dorms on campus. A "Halo 2" LAN game is usually coupled with much swearing, hooting and ecstatic shouting.
Nick Pelletier, a junior and a resident assistant in Gibbs Hall, deals with these symptoms often. "Quiet hours disappear when a big game is going," Pelletier said. "I've had to go tell people to quiet down a lot. Some of my buds are resident assistants, too, and they have the same problem; the loudest I've heard is Stoke. Those kids are crazy."
Rob Drouin, a sophomore and resident assistant in Christensen, is in the same boat. "Almost my whole floor plays 'Halo 2.' Usually it's a bunch of my guys against the 4A guys. The competition is incredible; it's like being at one of the hockey games."
Outside of UNH, "Halo 2" is one of the fastest selling games on the market. According to an article from CNN.com, on Nov. 11, 2004 "Microsoft announced late Wednesday that retailers sold 2.4 million copies of 'Halo 2' on Tuesday, racking up sales of $125 million- 25 percent higher than what Peter Moore, vice president of Microsoft's games division, predicted."
"Halo 2" has arrived, taken over the time for other hobbies and brought together many students in healthy competition, but can "Halo 2" be topped?
"Not any time soon, no way," Pelletier said. "We'll be playing this every night for a long time." Jump to http://www.xbox.com/en-US/halo2/ for more information on Microsoft's Xbox and "Halo 2."
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