4 Reasons I’m looking forward to Halo Reach

Yep, it’s out today (at 00:00 hrs technically), and no, I don’t have a copy, yet.

My wife and I have been big fans of the Halo franchise since we started playing it co-op on the original Xbox years ago when it came out. Multi-player was never our thing, but co-op, now there’s fun.

So yes, I’ll be picking it up soon, and yes, there will be many evenings when we’re ensconced in our basement, a nice romantic fire, and the gentle sound of gunfire and grenades — good times.

And here’s four reasons why:

1. Huge storyline and story
Though this is the last Halo game that Bungie (the game’s developers) will be producing, Halo Reach actually takes place earlier in the series story arc — weeks before the events portrayed in Halo: Combat evolvled, the first Halo game.

By being a sort-of prequel, I’m expecting to understand more of the game universe — and will also cause me to dust off my Halo, Halo2 and Halo 3 discs to play through those games again. I don’t have ODST, but am tempted to pick it up to be a completionist :smileyhappy:

2. Familiar universe and gameplay
As I mentioned above, I’m familiar with the Halo experience. This means I don’t really have to learn a new control system, learn how to navigate the world, and how enemies react. I’m guessing that’s 30% of the learning curve, and I’ve already got it down. Bring it on!

3. Co-op
The BEST part of the Halo series so far. Co-op gameplay lets you and friends help each other through the challenges of the game. Halo was really the first FPS my wife and I could enjoy together. Gears of War also does this well, but Halo has a special place in my heart as a thing we can do ‘together’.

4. Quality
Game after game, Bungie has won awards for each version of Halo, all of them point to a quality title that doesn’t disappoint. No matter what my level of FPS skill was, the Halo series always managed to challenge and keep me entertained.

Well, I’m sure there are more good reasons for checking it out, but for me those are the big ones. How ‘bout you? Why will you be picking up Halo Reach?

This post of is one of many I publish weekly at the Future Shop Techblog. Read more of my stuff here.

Legacy Hardware loses flagship application

Five years ago I modded my first Xbox to create a Media Centre. The software I ran, and still run is the uber awesome XBMC (for Xbox Media Center).

But now it seems that the days of using my original Xbox as a media center are numbered — the developers are stopping work for that hardware platform.

So now there will be no updates, no new ‘official’ features or bugfixes for what has become the cornerstone of my entertainment system.

And this means that I’d better start looking at a replacement that offers:

  • Multimedia playback
  • Huge library of media codecs
  • Native network awareness for Windows, OSX and Linux shared drives
  • Simple and easy-to-use interface

But I’m in no rush. My original modded Xboxen still run the last build of XBMC just fine. And will likely continue for some time. But now I know, the days are numbered. Something else just got added to my todo list. Lucky for me it involves tech 🙂

A pound of eBooks

Over the weekend some comments raised good points about longevity of media. It was on a post about Microsoft planning to shut down Xbox Live for the original Xbox gaming console. This got me thinking that I’d kinda heard these arguments before. Perhaps applied to different systems, maybe even to different technology, but they weren’t new… …more

This post is an excerpt from one of my weekly posts on the Future Shop Techblog. Check out the full post here.

Modding my Xbox…

[ This item originated at my previous (now defunct) blog bradblog.info — copy retrieved from the Internet Archive]

A while ago I managed to lay my hands on a refurbished Xbox for a fairly reasonable price. Great, methinks. A game console and a DVD player, all rolled into one. And hey, it’ll even play music from the built in hard drive too¦ but not stock from the factory. No, my friend, you have to void the Microsoft warranty and mess with the happy technology that lies buried within your game console. Once you do that, you then have unlocked the power of your Xbox, and created a Monster¦here’s how I did mine¦ Continue reading “Modding my Xbox…”