Halo: Combat Evolved – How To Make A Game Better


I’m looking forward to the release of Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary and even reserved a copy via Amazon.com. Why? Well, playing the game with updated graphics is incentive enough. However, there are other reasons. Reasons that made this game great to start with. And hopefully, will be carried over into the re-release.

Some of the best games have great replay value due to their implementation of physics and the ways they can be exploited. If you never played Halo: Combat Evolved or just never toyed around with Warthog jumping then perhaps you should take a look at this video, which is what really started it (at least for myself):

Enhancing Replay Value In Console Games (And How To Kill It)


In this post I’m focusing on console gaming. PC games have provided extras, add-ons, mods, etc for nearly as long as they’ve been around (at the least it was often possible to hack game RAM). Typically, it’s been much easier to modify a game on a PC regardless of whether it was what the developer intended (or expected).

I’ve played countless games over the years. There were times when I may have averaged 20+ hours/week playing. For the past couple of years I’ve probably averaged only about 15 minutes/week. Most of my reasons for playing less just have to do more with an increase in “adult” responsibilities, though a lack of interest in available titles and the replay value of many games are also factors.

A simple definition of replay value is the amount of interest and time a gamer will dedicate to a game after it’s been completed. That’s overly simplified – the characteristics of a game that determine replay value can vary from game to game and genre to genre.

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New Soundtracks


I’m a sucker for soundtracks (technically, scores). I buy more soundtracks than any other type of music. Lately, I’ve picked up four that I’m enjoying very much.

Halo Reach has a good sound to. It’s not an album I’ll listen to very much but if I’m in the mood for some Halo it has a more modern sound than previous soundtracks.

On a related gaming note, I also purchased the soundtrack for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2. I’m especially fond of the opening titles music.

If you’re looking for good sci-fi soundtracks then I highly recommend Moon and Sunshine. I thought Moon was an excellent sci-fi movie. I’m still undecided on Sunshine (I need to watch it again) but it’s soundtrack is striking, especially a piece called Kanada’s Death, Part 2, which has been used in various commercials as well as the movie Kick Ass.

All of these purchases were made on iTunes.