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Halo Legends Review (Blu-Ray)

Movie Review: Halo Legends
Release: 02/16/2010
Genre: Sci-Fi Adventure
Available Formats: DVD, Blu-Ray™ Hi-Def, On Demand Digital Download
Website: http://halo.xbox.com/en-us/halolegends

Halo Legends is the new anime project by Microsoft’s 343 Industries that allows several Japanese animation houses to put their visual spin on the Halo universe. This has certainly brought us some seriously interesting visuals and stories, some successful and some not so much. There are eight episodes in all, ranging from the slower-paced Origin I and II, to the action-packed The Package. The question is, should you pick up a copy of Halo Legends? Let me see if I can help you decide.

Halo Legends

Halo Legends

My initial impression with Legends was disappointment. I watched Origins I and II one night, then followed that with The Duel and I have to admit to not being very impressed. What I was expecting was some exciting action featuring the Master Chief and what I got was a history lesson on the origins of the Covenant and Flood. While this is interesting, it was not what I expected. The Duel was also a bit of a letdown since it followed the story of the Arbiter. I also didn’t care for the animation or art style of The Duel.

When I started up Odd One Out, I think my expectations were adjusted properly and I ended up really enjoying it. Odd One Out follows the zany adventure of Spartan 1337 as he battles the Covenant’s new super weapon. It felt a lot like an old episode of Volton in the way it was set up and executed. There were several funny moments in this episode, which is something I wasn’t expecting.

Halo Legends

Odd One Out

Homecoming tells the origins of the Spartan program and how the kids came to be there. It’s a sad story and one that made me think about all of the things that the Spartans had to give up to become the unstoppable soldiers that they are, and not by their choice. The Babysitter features the ODST’s as they attempt an important mission while being led by a Spartan. It shows the contrast between being a ODST and a Spartan. The ODST were a little annoying, but it was a good episode nonetheless.

Prototype upped the ante with a story about a marine donning a prototype suit of armor in order to save some of his men from a Covenant onslaught. It was amazing watching him tear Wraiths apart and take down Banshees.

Finally I got to the reason I was so pumped for this collection. The Package. I had previewed The Package on Halo Waypoint and it completely blew me away. It is the reason I expected the other episodes to be so action-packed. In this episode Master Chief is front and center as he leads a group of Spartans on a mission to retrieve a mysterious package from a Covenant ship. If you enjoyed watching the Spartans in action in the Halo Wars cutscenes, you will absolutely love this! It is nothing short of astounding how the Chief is able to cut a swath through the bad guys without slowing down for even a second.

Halo Legends

The Package

I bought Legends on blu-ray because I wanted the additional content that doesn’t come on the standard and special edition DVD. For $20, you get commentary tracks and three Halo featurettes detailing the origins of the franchise and its impact on the world of entertainment.

If you are even the slightest Halo fan, I think this will be a great addition to your Halo library. I don’t know that I can see myself watching the entire thing over and over, but you can believe that I will be showing off The Package the next time I have company over.

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  • I felt “Duel” was great because it explained why becoming the Arbiter is considered a mark of shame in the covenant, it also showed why the shangheli are not all mindless religious zealots. Some of the other stories were also great for explaining things to people who have never read the books, for instance a certain ep was about a spartan haunted by her clone which the gov/UNSC used to replace her when she was kidnapped for spartan training as a child(heavy stuff) all spartans were taken as children and replaced by clones which turned out defective.
    Last I will agree totally on “The Package” it was excellent to finally see the three main spartans from all the fiction I have read fighting together. Fred, Kelly, and John. Anyone who has ever loved Halo or ever been slightly interested in understanding its fiction should check this out.
    good review!

  • I’m thinking about getting it. Not into Halo at all but this intrigues me.
    The was they put together the DVD reminded me of ‘Heavy Metal’ 5 different stories created by different people that had something to do with each other.