A Parent’s Review of Halo: Reach

One week ago, Microsoft released its sixth game in the Halo series, Halo: Reach.  This game is a prequel to the previous five Halo games.  The gist of Halo: Reach, according to my 15-year-old son, is that humans 500 years in the future battle a band of various alien species on Reach for control of “relics,” which are really weapons.  If you want to learn more about the plot, Wikipedia appears to have a good summary.

I Give It 9 out of 10 on the Gaming Family Impact Scale

From a parent’s perspective, I give Halo: Reach a strong 9 out of 10 on our Family Impact Scale, with 10 being the highest impact.

I base my rating not on graphics or story or game play.  You can get ratings based on those factors from GameSpot, from IGN, from PlanetXBox360 and many, many other locations.

I base my rating on a number of other factors:

  • Number of empty soda cans and water bottles left in our basement after game play and number of repeat requests to throw them away = 7 out of 10.
  • Pairs of socks left stranded in the basement after game play and number of repeat requests to remove them = 10 out of 10.
  • Level of protest game play is limited for child’s homework, piano practice, drum practice, etc. = 9 out of 10.
  • Ability of child to lie about homework or about finishing homework in order to play = 9 out of 10.
  • Impact of parents threatening a punishment that includes no game play = 9 out of 10.
  • Ability of child to play in the middle of the annual Yom Kippur fast = 10 out of 10.
  • Length of time multiple teenage boys stand over parent wondering when parent will give up the television so they can play = 7 out of 10.
  • Comfort level that when child says he’s “playing” the game, he really is = 10 out of 10.

In each of these instances, Halo: Reach has achieved levels at or higher than nearly all previous games.  The Call of Duty series games have come close, but didn’t have the same impact.

Mrs. Spidey and I thought taking away the iPhone was the best possible punishment until last Tuesday, when Halo: Reach came into our lives.  For that, I thank Microsoft and stand by my 9 out of 10 rating on the Family Impact Scale.

Kids – I think you should go buy it.

Parents – I think you should be prepared.

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