The fight against the Covenant continues, touching the lives of countless soldiers and innocents. Discover the legends of a group of SPARTANs that must intercept an invaluable package; a lone soldier who struggles with the demons of his past; four Orbital Drop Shock Troopers that must assassinate a Prophet with the help of an unlikely ally; and many other heroic and tragic tales.
Let me begin by telling you that I am a Halo fan. I've read the books up to Contact Harvest and played the games up to Halo Wars. Having said that, I am no stranger to the Halo universe, and feel qualified to give this review.StoryWell, Halo Legends doesn't seem to have much of a coherent story. It's a collection of random events in random time periods that are pretty much completely random. They are stories that are pretty much all made up just for this project.To make matters worse, these episodes frequently contradict and vastly over-exaggerate all aspects of the Halo Universe. SPARTANs are depicted overpowering Brutes (which didn't seem possible in the book First Strike), and a single elite can fight an entire army single-handedly in an open field. Things are just so unbelievable that even a Halo fan like me just has to stop watching.CharactersThere really isn't anything to be said about them because they change every 30 minute episode, thus removing any depth to any character. It's just a bunch of people having cool fights that all feel meaningless.OverallI've been struggling through this review to keep a professional attitude, but the real truth is that this show SUCKS MASSIVE BALLS. You don't get time to care about the characters, and combat is so exaggerated that it feels like watching Superman beat the snot out of a 3-year-old. Honestly, Halo Legends is bad, and the producers should feel bad, and you should feel bad for even thinking of watching it (like I do).
To begin with, I am a major Halo fan. I have all books and games and just had to get this movie when I heard about it. Now, there are a few similarities in each of these short movies. First of all, the Halo games' great sound carried over to the movie, which was a great plus, and helped make it a good watch. Character development was good overall considering the time length present. Overall, Legends made me think of an animated version of Halo: Evolution. The lack of time in each episode was a let down, as I was hoping for eight regular length episodes. This aside, I'm now going to look at each one closely, as animation varies greatly, and to me, this is what makes it an anime.Origins I and II 4/10 A comentative history document that started good, but, and especially II, became fill-in shows worthy of the History channel. I did enjoy the first one at least, though. A nice look at the forerunners up to present, explaining things. Animation was of a good quality, although the battles were lacking.The Duel 3/10 Worst. The worst ever. The story itself was nice, the battles amazing. I liked the origional story, which developed a look into elite culture. Wait, why did it score so low, then? Animation. Moving water colors is not anywhere near good animation. The graphics over all were terrible. Anything I say about the plot will not be a spoiler.Home Coming 6/10 I truely enjoyed it when I found an actual anime episode. Half a battle, half a flash back to one spartan's life during training. It was nice to see how she reacted to what happened to her. The battle was of great quality.Odd One Out 7/10 You might wonder wh it was so high. Answer is the fact that it was an anime. This coupled with the story staring an idiotic spartan in a comidy short that had me laughing. The battle was amazingly classic style anime, making it very enjoyable.Prototype 8/10 This was a great short. A character develpement that reminds me of Evolutions, it was a very good watch. It was a nice change to see a non-spartan story for once. The animation kept it as a real anime, and the battle sequence was amazing, remanisint of gundam fights.The Babysitter 10/10 Maybe even my favorite, this made a great show of the ODSTs' opinions of spartans. Great animation and battle sequences. Short but enjoyable story.The Package 9/10 One of the better ones, thanks to the long and amazing battle which is the main portion of this movie. I also enjoyed having a face to put to Halsey for once. The bulets at one point falling like there was gravity in space was an odd anoyance. That along with what seemed like a mix of cartoon and Nightmare before Christmas style graphics lowered the score.
Introduction I used to be a massive Halo fan at a younger age—that is, not far off ten years ago. I was a moderator on a popular Halo forum, I bought the books, I modded the game. I became very involved in the storyline. I believed in the hype of Halo 2 which unfortunately led to disappointment. Bungie had no idea Halo would become so incredibly popular when they were developing the original game. As such, it should be clear to any open-minded gamer that Halo was a game that had the developers' hearts and souls poured into it. Despite what the haters say, Halo was revolutionary for its time. Its gameplay mechanics, fascinating universe and beautiful soundtrack were nothing short of amazing. I could see the difference in Halo 2. The lines were corny, and whilst O'Donnel did produce some nice tracks much of the soundtrack consisted of electric guitar and popular bands who had signed on. From that point onwards, I was no longer a big Halo fan. The campaign mode of Halo 2 wasn't half as enjoyable. Granted, Halo 3 had a better campaign and multiplayer. Why am I writing this? This is an anime review, no? I'll say one thing. If you were ever a big fan of the Halo universe, prepare to be greatly disappointed. If you've never played Halo, maybe you'll find this slightly more enjoyable. As they say, ignorance is bliss. Halo: Reach (or as I call it, Halo: The Fall of Canon) had contradicted Halo's own plot lines in so many ways, not to mention Halo Wars and some other spin-offs. Legends is one of them. Story - 2/10 Since there's no sequential plot here, I'll go through the episodes. Similar to "Animatrix", Legends is a spin-off of a popular franchise with a series of episodes, each with unique storylines. However, the first two episodes provide an overview of Halo's history. If you were ever a big Halo fan, you'll easily be able to spot the amount of contradictions in these episodes. If not, prepare for a snooze-fest since there's very little you'll find entertaining. Episode three follows the story of an Arbiter, which is a special individual Elite (an alien race) in the Covenant. This Arbiter's female companion quite shockingly resembles the Na'vi from Avatar. You'll be dumbfounded by the action scenes as one Arbiter takes on an entire army of the Covenant when he begins to doubt their intentions. Without spoiling much else (it is pretty boring anyway), there's little story to this. Episode four has a more interesting story than the others, but nevertheless it's pretty weak. It's about a female Spartan-II (humanity's last and best hope against the Covenant—Spartans are a group of physically augmented soldiers trained from a young age with special MJOLNIR armour) who quite incredibly, despite the augmentation which is meant to give her incomparable strength, is extremely skinny. These Spartans actually went through a life of torment, and in the earlier Halo books are shown to be ruthless warriors who never questioned orders and got the job done. Yet it seems all the Spartans in this anime are a bunch of softies. I'm not even going to go into episode five. It's about Spartan 1337. 'Nuff said. Brace yourself for unprecedented levels of retardation. It tries to be funny but fails. Trust me, I truly enjoy funny scenes in anime series, but this really isn't near to that. Episode six, another love story about sacrifices. Very generic. Seven focuses on the assassination mission against a Covenant Prophet. (A leader amongst the Covenant.) Once again, a female Spartan, along with a bunch of arrogant Orbital Drop Shock Troopers. Without spoiling anything I'll say it's pretty predictable but a somewhat enjoyable episode compared to the others. The final episode is about a mission to save Dr. Halsey, the woman behind the Spartan project who actually plays a major role in the Halo universe. Whilst it isn't strictly true to canon and the story is mostly that of a "dumb movie", it's not the worst of the bunch. Overall, the stories in Halo: Legends are either generic love stories, tales about compassion, or about a bunch of gung-ho soldiers. As I'll explain later, character development is practically non-existent. Animation - 7/10 This is Legends' strong point. A few of the episodes' animation is sub-par, but a few others look quite stunning, especially at 1080p. It varies in styles from watercolour, to typical modern anime styles, to CGI. This is all Legends really has going for it, which isn't enough to save it. Even so, whilst you'd typically expect great animation from the studios involved, it isn't all great. Sound - 3/10 This is one thing about Legends that truly baffles me. Microsoft had enough money to hire some of the best animators in business, yet the soundtrack got very little attention. Now, don't get me wrong here. I love a lot of the music from the Halo games. However, in the majority of the episodes that is all they used. Music that was made years ago. And if it's brilliant music, why is that a bad thing? Perhaps because it seems to be inserted randomly into scenes and doesn't even fit well at all much of the time. It's the equivalent of playing a Halo soundtrack playlist on your computer on shuffle. You'll hear some great music, but in this case the studios made little or no effort to synchronise it with the animation. They did have the money for some fairly decent VAs and sound effects though... Characters - 2/10 You can't expect character development to be great when each episode typically only lasts about fifteen minutes. But even with that amount of time, talented studios can create animation that makes you feel for the characters. Again, first two episodes are an overview of the Halo universe. No characters. Then there's the Arbiter who doubts the Covenant and tries to protect his Na'vi girlfriend. Maybe you'll get sad through watching this episode. The fourth episode's about a woman Spartan called Daisy. Nothing spectacular. Fifth episode, disregard that. Six is pretty much a love story about a soldier called Ghost who questions his morals, comes out of his shell and becomes a "hero" at the end. Yawn. Episode seven as I explained above is about yet anoter female Spartan and a group of arrogant ODSTs, one of which is just like your average youngster Gundam pilot. ODSTs are meant to be the most elite of soldiers behind the genetically modified Spartans. And guess who the lead character of this episode is? That's right. That snotty-nosed kid who can't shut his mouth when in the vicinity of a Covenant army. Real professional. Boring. Let's move on. Episode eight has some relevance to the Halo canon since it features some Spartans mentioned in the Halo books and Dr. Halsey. There isn't really much good here though since the episode is mostly focused on action scenes and you see little of the characters. Overall - 3/10 If you don't give a damn about or haven't played Halo you might find this a little more enjoyable, since you won't know about the canon it takes a crap all over. Still, there's no truly memorable storyline in any of the episodes, the music is nice but doesn't fit in with the animation and the characters are either emotionless or downright annoying. The animation is sometimes spectacular, but honestly, I commend you if you have more than a few brain cells and enjoyed this all the way through. It's just sour milk from the Halo cash cow.
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