My name is Guywired, or sometimes Guywiired due to a terrible, terrible, blunder with my old XBL beta account… I can be found participating/lurking in most Halo sites.
Nearing the end of 2001 I was looking to make the jump from the N64′s Goldeye/Perfect Dark to… something. But I had no idea what. Microsoft’s little intro app to the Xbox “Halo” was just starting to get attention from the casual crowd, so I decided to head on down to the local blockbuster and rent the whole Xbox and game.
I was hooked before I had even turned it on. The controller felt so natural. The triggers, so responsive, and this was before the game was even in the system!
This 21 year old broke college student was sold, I saved every penny, and did every odd job I could, then like a good American, I financed the rest.
It was mine, and I played it like it was the most precious thing I owned. The story was classic, the feel was intuitive, and the more people I showed this game to, the more who got sucked in just like me. By the end of 2002 -14 of us were meeting at different houses/apartments every Thursday for 5, 6, 7, 8+ hours of Blood Gulch CTF.
My apartment amassed a collection of old TV’s that just barely showed off what Halo could do. I was participating in local tournaments every couple of months.. This dedication would continue for another 2 years.
I don’t remember how I found out about Halo 2. I do remember the late night release, the Silver Tin, the epic realization that you get to play as an elite in this legendary story. Banshee’s in multiplayer? Oh I have got to try this! The changes to the mechanics of Halo were manageable, but playing over XBL was never the same as our LAN days.
Years would pass, sometimes we played H2 on XBL, sometimes we would LAN it up CE style. After moving across the country and back again I never saw myself jumping back into Halo, that is until, I was given the chance to Finish the Fight!
My friends got together and knowing what a Halo nut I used to be, they bought me a 360 just before H3 was released. Theaters, armor permutations, FORGE! It still felt like H2, and not the real thing… But the story was complete! The mechanics were there to make it do almost anything you ever wanted it to!
Slowly, the group I played Halo with in my early 20′s were coming back into the fold as well. Every few months, we would get together and play as if it was an old Thursday night. It still lacked the grab, the memories of CE.. But H3 and ODST held our interest just long enough…
For Halo Reach. Just what the doctor ordered (at our age..). Nearly 10 years after renting my first Xbox and sucking the world into my new addiction, we’re almost back at full strength! My guys we played Combat Evolved with are all online to play Reach with. We’re older, with families and children of our own, so we don’t mind not dragging TV’s from place to place once a week…
Every Tuesday night I get together with the same group of guys who have all since moved around the country… What can I say? Our dads had their poker nights, us new dads now have our Halo night.
The Feel in Reach, is the Feel of CE, in the mechanics… in the fun… in the experience. Sure, we’re now heading to bed before midnight… But I’m doing that after having a great time just Blastin and Relaxin with all my buds from all over the country.
A HUGE Thank you to the programmers, writers, artists, actors, composers, community members and anyone else who has had a hand in Halo’s production over the years.
YOUR work, has paid dividends in the ammount of enjoyment I’ve had and the MILLIONS of people you have brought together.
The last ten years were a blast, and I’m looking forward to another 10 where I can play marathon sessions with my son has he grows up.
Thanks again for everything.