Holiday Buyer's Guide 2007, Part 3 - Games

Halo 3 Legendary Edition

By Travis Meacham

Shopping for gamers can be a trying and frustrating endeavor for those unfamiliar with the culture. Big games on multiple systems, with limited editions and collector's editions - these options can keep parents and grandparents guessing as to which version of which game to buy. Well, if you're scanning down your Christmas shopping list and you see Halo 3, then getting the Halo 3 Legendary Edition is a perfect way to show your resident Halo fan that you know what "hardcore" really means. While it's true that most Halo fans already have Halo 3, Christmas is all about buying stuff that people wouldn't normally buy for themselves. The Halo 3 Legendary Edition is the gamer's gift that goes above and beyond delivering just a game; retailing for $130 it represents the ultimate gift for diehard Halo fans.

First of all there's the game itself. Halo 3 is one of the most complete gaming experiences available, featuring an epic conclusion to the explosive multiplayer game that is the Halo trilogy storyline, with added features including the Theater and the Forge. Few games deliver this much quality content in a single box; Halo 3 is filled to the brim with gaming goodness.

Then there's the packaging. The Halo 3 Legendary Edition comes in a detailed replica of the Master Chief's MJOLNIR Mark VI helmet. The helmet is not wearable, unfortunately, but it's an excellent showpiece and looks great just sitting on a shelf. Slide the helmet off its stand to reveal storage for the game and supplementary DVDs. The Legendary Edition not only includes Halo 3 but also contains the same bonus disc that comes with the Limited Edition. The Limited Edition bonus disc includes a number of featurettes and documentaries, including "Anatomy of a Game: Making Halo 3" and a behind-the-scenes look at the developers of the Halo series, Bungie Studios. It also includes a collection of production artwork, gamer pics and themes for use on the Xbox 360 dashboard.

Sarah's casual one-handed grip on the helmet lets you know it's pretty light, however attractive it might be.

The third disc of the set is unique to the Legendary Edition, and might be the fan-favorite of the bunch. It contains the cinematics for both Halo and Halo 2, so you can recap the stories leading up to Halo 3 without playing through both games in their entirety. There are also more documentaries on the history of Bungie Studios and the Halo franchise, footage of Jen Taylor (the voice of Cortana) meeting fans, a digital version of the art book "Beastarium", and more shorts from Red vs. Blue. The Legendary Edition press releases described the game cinematics as "remastered" and "HD", but unfortunately they only display in a 4:3 format and show some pretty awful compression. Even with those flaws, it's nice to have all the cinematics collected together in a movie-style presentation.

The Halo 3 Legendary Edition is sure to please gamers on your Christmas Lists, as long as you don't mind paying the price.

  • GamingBob
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