From: ""
Subject: TruthMedia Review - "Halo 2"

Dear Zachary, or Mr. Gutierrez, or Spokker, or Mr. Jones, or Stinky Whizzleteats, or whatever the hell it is that you call yourself,

I have read many of the Something Awful reviews. Sometimes I find them actually informative. Sometimes humorous. Often both. This time, I am not sure how to take your review. I am willing to believe that you may have written it with the intention of avoiding any actual facts. Perhaps then I am supposed to read this review as a work of humor and fiction. If that is the case, then let me apologize in advance. But, if you intended on writing your review as an actual piece of journalism, then you may, if you wish, take the rest of my email to heart.

Let me start by saying that I am not a fan of the Evil Empire Microsoft. As a matter of fact, I am one of those people who believe that the name of that company should forever be spoken exactly that way at all times. Never Microsoft, or Microsoft Corporation, but always The Evil Empire Microsoft. I am an original Macintosh computer owner (which I bought purely for it’s graphics capabilities). I currently own, or have owned, a Playstation 2, a Gamecube and an Xbox. The Xbox is now, I am almost ashamed to say, the only console game system I still own. I own it because of it's superior design and the strength and power of the hardware used, if you look at it compared to a PS2 or Gamecube.

The reason that I was so taken aback by your review is that almost every time you use any actual reference to either an item, character or event in the game, or make reference to a supposed technical “fact”, you get it wrong. So consistently wrong that I started to wonder if you actually played the game at all. Perhaps you inferred things from watching television articles about it. Or perhaps someone else played it and tried, poorly, to describe it to you. Again, if these regular variances from the truth were intentional, I am sorry that I missed your point.

First of all, you continually mention names of people and things from the game, but you get those names wrong. It’s plainly annoying while reading your piece that you kept referring to the Covenant as “the Coveners” and Cortana as “Cortina”. Yes, I know, who cares. I’m sorry, but it’s just annoying.

Secondly, you mention new features of the game, including controller buttons that the user needs to press to activate these new features. But you get the key sequences wrong, or seemed to have missed the point of what they actually do. Yes, in the new game you can now “CarJack” vehicles from your opponents, but you don’t do it by pressing the “B” key, it’s the “X” key you press. The worst part was when you attempted to describe “Dual Wielding”, which is new in the game, by describing simply switching weapons by hitting the “Y” key, which one could do all along in both Halo and Halo 2. Dual Wielding is accomplished by picking up a new weapon off the ground by pressing the “Y” key instead of the usual “X”, thus you will now be clutching and using a weapon in both your right and left hands. And, by the way, this is a pretty significant innovation for the game. You mention the flashlight feature from the original Halo. You are correct, it was a bit annoying that the flashlight wo uld last such a short period of time. Um, did you happen to notice that they fixed that in Halo 2? The flashlight comes on and stays on, with no timer.

And what is this “aim-bot” feature you are talking about? Is this something that happens when you play the game on the easiest “Wimp” setting? It surely doesn’t do that when you play it on Normal, Heroic, or Legendary. And no self-respecting gamer would play this game on the “Wimp” setting.

As far as your impressions of the graphics and sound, all I can say is: what? A few recent industry polls have counted down the best video game graphics of all time. Most recently Tech TV’s “Filter” devoted an entire show to the subject. Albeit, this was filmed before Halo 2 was released. Regardless, Halo was judged to be second only to Metroid Prime as the greatest graphics of all time. And Halo 2 does it better. The graphics are sharper, brighter, and as smooth as glass. Frame rates are consistently high. And the in-game engine cut scenes are almost as smooth as the game play. And you, for some unknown reason, seem to think the game play graphics lag behind the cut scenes. Dude, they are rendered on the fly by the same engine.

Your impression of the sound was even more questionable. The sound and music in Halo were some of the best ever used in a video game and Halo 2 raised the bar yet again. I have talked with many a Halo 2 gamer and it is so far universal. Almost everyone I have talked to wants to own the soundtrack even.

Now, we come to the big one – Halo 2’s implementation of Xbox Live. I don’t even know where to start. Halo 2 is the smoothest running online experience I have ever encountered. It never lags. The voice communication is flawless (sometimes the people using it are pretty flawed, but the technology itself is nothing short of amazing). The Matchmaking, Clan support and Friends system is executed beautifully. In short, it doesn’t appear that you even tried it before you trashed it. Unless that is you are one of those poor folks who still uses a dial-up connection to the web, or you have a really lousy Direct TV broadband service. Otherwise, I don’t get it.

In short, if your review was an attempt at humor, I didn’t get it, but then I’m sorry that it flew right over my head. If it was an attempt at an honest game review, then shame on you. You really missed the mark on this one, Zack, Spokk, Jones, whateverthehellyournameis. Next time try actually playing the game before you review it.


Mike Damrath

Michael is a very smart man. So smart in fact that he recently won his university's award for best flame mail sent to a humor website. It's because of this legendary email that Michael was able to get on the dean's list and graduate college with honors. He is currently a quantum physics scientist at Boeing's busiest factory making rocket ships.

Remember kids, colon polyphs can lead to colon cancer. Clip a polyph early and beat colon cancer before it even starts.

From: "Smith, Tyler H"
Subject: Halo 2 Review


After reading your review on Halo 2 for the Xbox I felt compelled to write you. If I may, I would like to start out with a quote from your article "While the Xbox was less powerful and less popular than the PS2" well this statement is half true, the Xbox is indeed a more powerful console. While the PS2 does contain the following specs, a 294mhz CPU, 32MB of RAM, 4MB of video RAM, and still impressive in it's own right. The Xbox has the following, 733 MHz CPU, 64MB RAM and even though the NVIDIA chipset does share the main memory, it can pump out more visuals then the PS2. So I would have to say the Xbox might be in actuality more powerful, but I do agree on the fact that PS2 has a bigger fan base.

Quote two "I can't blame the game though. Bungee is doing it's best to work with what is basically a 500 MHZ George 1 computer." GeForce 1, that would mean the chipset would have to be over 4+ years old. The chipset that is currently in the Xbox is the NVIDIA NV2a 250MHz graphics processor, not quite the George 1 that was mentioned. If need be a search between the two chips would conclude that the NV2a not only out performs the Geforce 1, it also has more capabilities then the older GeForce 1.

Last quote, and this one I am really confused on "Don't buy Halo 2. There's another recent game I would recommend a million times over Halo, and that's Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. You'd be doing yourself a huge favor" Why recommend a game that is only on the PS2 (for now) to the Xbox users? Xbox gamers can't play GTA:SA at this time, they may never play this game, but you recommend this title. Maybe recommending a Xbox title over Halo 2, like maybe Halo 1 or waiting for Doom3 to hit the shelves.

Don't get me wrong, I really enjoyed and enjoy the reviews and website of "something awful" and I know you spent some serous time on this review. And I know there are titles on the PS2 that look stunning, and equally on the Xbox. But it all comes down to programming, and nothing more. That is why when I look at certain titles on the Game Cube and try to compare them to the Xbox or PS2, or visa versa, I often wonder why certain tittles only take advantage of the full specs of the gaming console. Lazy programmers, dead-lines that really cant be kept or is something else? We may never know the real answers; maybe just speculate on what we feel deep within our heats.

Please do not take this email as a threat or bashing in anyway, I only felt the need to express my feelings on certain things. Nothing more, and nothing less.

Thank you for your time and please keep up the great work on Something Awful

Tyler Smith

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Sigh. What did I do in a past life? Oh right, that.

And finally, OhMyDearestAkane teaches us the meaning of Christmas with this heartfelt email.


– Zachary "Spokker Jones" Gutierrez

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