Halo Legends in review

Posted by | January 18, 2011

halo-legends-in-review Just last week, I fired up the Netflix and saw that Halo Legends had finally wound its way into the instant queue and I figured it was about time that I sat down with my favorite My Little Pwny pillow, a bag of popcorn, and the effervescent glow of the laptop monitor and watched it. So there I was, cozy with my pillow, sipping my Raume soda, and I’m watching a series of animé shorts based on a best-selling computer game.

Not exactly how I expected I’d be spending my night if I’d pondering this a few days before.

Overall the experience wasn’t that bad. For anyone who has ever watched an animé mashup DVD before—such as the Animatrix or Katsuhiro Otomo Presents: Memories—you know that you’re in for something of an emotional and artistic roller coaster. This series of short movies certainly didn’t fail to deliver.

In the same vein as the Animatrix, the first two shorts in the series were the past-is-prologue type of programming with long-winded narration and little animation telling the distant past of the universe, the plight of the Forerunners, the origin of the Flood, and all the just-so stories as to the workings of Halo as it is today. I could have done without those myself: I’ve played the games, I know how those marbles fell.

Then there’s the emotionally gripping story about the Spartan II project and the subsequently emotionally scarred subjects.

Of course, there’s also the oddball semi-comedy in the middle of the entire storytelling experience centered on a Spartan who goes on wacky misadventures and also happens to be Spartan 1337. That one included a dinosaur, two animé teenagers who could have come straight out of Dragonball Z, and a rampaging Covenant weapon that took the shape of King Kong with cyberware.

One of the later shorts, one that looked like it was trying to be Robotech gave an interesting look at Spartans as compared to ordinary mortals. That is to say, the average Spartan seems to be at least two heads taller and a bit wider than the work-a-day ODST elite, even Helljumpers.

There’s even a story about a Covenant elite who suffers the ultimate price for actually remaining an honorable warrior in the face of zealotry.

Of course, no series would be complete without one animated short being rendered in 3D. So there’s that also.

Expect characters familiar to you, if you’ve played the video games or read the books. Mentions of, and appearance by, Kate Elizabeth Halsey kept me on my toes.

Recommendation: If you have Netflix, a cozy night, and 120 minutes you don’t care if you’ll never get back, sit down and watch it. There’s a story in here for everyone, especially those who watch animé and those who have played Halo.


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