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Monday, March 04, 2024

My mom knows what Halo is.

Bungie Software, the creator of the videogame craze Halo, has obviously done something very right. But can Halo 3 live up to the world of hype that it has on its shoulders?

I played Halo 3 for the first time from 12:15 a.m. to 4:30 a.m. Tuesday until my thumbs were too tired to go on.

My friends, who by no means can be considered hardcore gamers, dedicated their night to "finishing the fight," even though they had another battle in calculus four hours later.

That, however, is the beauty of Halo. Casual gamers become hardcore.

Ign.com has posted a list of all major video game magazines and Web sites that have reviewed Halo 3, and it received an astonishing average of 9.4 out of 10.

Impressive, I must say, even though I was skeptical of any game's ability to live up to all the Mountain Dew commercials, live-action short movies and blitz of online media coverage that has bombarded fans. I admit I was wrong.

But what does Halo 3 have to offer that Halo 2 and the original do not? The answer: just enough.

You're not going to find anything revolutionary - why would you reinvent the wheel? Most of the new content in Halo 3 (video editor, level editor, huge bosses, rocket launchers and - my personal favorite - the gravity hammer) has been in PC games for a very long time. Halo 3 just executes it to near perfection on a console.

This is demonstrated by its sales. The game set the all-time record for most revenue earned in a single day by any entertainment property, Microsoft said.

According to cnet.com, Halo 3 netted ,170 million in sales in the United States in its first day. Some countries don't even have GDPs that big.

To put things in perspective, the record in the movie industry for an opening day gross is just under ,60 million by "Spider-Man 3." The video game industry can't help but smile on a day like this: Christmas in September.

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Halo 3 isn't the prettiest game. At 10 to 15 hours in campaign mode, it isn't the longest game. It also isn't the most revolutionary game.

But it quite possibly could be one of the best games of 2007.

The best part of all this is that even if you don't have the ,60 to spend on Halo 3, you're bound to know someone who did and who would be willing to let you pick up a rifle and play.

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