Halo Anniversary in 3D - initial impressions

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android78
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Halo Anniversary in 3D - initial impressions

Post by android78 »

I had a chance to play through the first two levels of this last night, and my initial thoughts are... It's not bad.
After some initial frustrations with not being able to switch the game into 3D mode (if you're having troubles, goto the system settings and make sure the new 3D option is enabled and select auto configure then RESTART THE XBOX, even though it doesn't say you need to), I got into the game, enabled the 3d and put the slider all the way to the maximum as I do with any console 3D game.
So I jump into the game and, this is not news for anyone who played the original, you start out with the giant ship flying past. I can immediately see the 3D effect and it's pretty good. But... those stars that you would assume to be way out in the distance look like they are about 3 inches behind the screen.
The game starts and there is the introductory animation, conversation between the captain and ships AI. When I played this originally, 10 years ago, it was amazing; now it's ok, even with the new graphics, the animation is not nearly as fluid as most modern games. But I'm still loving it since it's one of my favorite games IN 3D! The 3d seems to work well for the animation, and the depth isn't too bad as you don't notice the lack of depth behind the screen so much for the closer characters.
Now for the fun part. Once you become master chief as he is thawed from cryostasis, you finally get the first person view. This got me all excited since it works really well. Then I continue with the control calibration and... the suits armor ability test. The armor ability test is quite visually stunning in 3D, with the 'sparkles' of the test machine seeming to float in front of you at a distance you could touch... this is certainly a WOW moment.

Running through the corridors of the pillar of autumn ship, I really enjoyed, and felt the 3D, along with the updated graphics, worked really well. There is a good amount of pop out and reasonable depth. When I get the gun I have a lot of fun not using the bullets, but going for the melee since this gives a nice closeup view of the enemies and a good feeling of 3D. The explosions also work well, with depth and leave you with a smile.

The second level starts out on the halo ring world. If anyone played the original 10 years ago, you would remember the feeling when you leave the escape pod and venture out into the vast landscape. This is still one of my favorite moments in a game, and this updated graphics and 3D just make it even more stunning. However, it is also a reminder that this is using 'console 3D' which seems designed to make sure no-one can possibly get sick from the 3D effect. The close up objects are fantastic, but looking out into the distance is disappointing because the distance really is only just behind the screen. I really wish they had given me the option to increase it since that would just make this awesome! Playing the rest of the level is fun (as it was 10 years ago) and the 3D does add to the experience. There are occasionally frame rate issues, but I don't know if this is from 3D or not, since I didn't try without 3D enabled.

All up, the 3D does add to the experience, and if you are a fan of the series, I recommend giving the game another run through. I am just disappointed that they didn't increase the depth into the screen enough.

I attempted to get some video of the game, which is difficult since there is no side-by-side mode, so I had to take it with my 3D camera looking through the glasses, but it didn't turn out so well. I will try to get my friend to film while I play so you can at least see it.

P.S. One thought I had regards to the in-screen depth issue is that this could be fixed by changing the parallax of the two images. This would decrease the pop-out slightly, but increase the in-screen depth greatly. I wonder if a smart company could create a simple HDMI device that could do this conversion for us.

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Re: Halo Anniversary in 3D - initial impressions

Post by cybereality »

Cool. I want to check this out some time.

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Re: Halo Anniversary in 3D - initial impressions

Post by android78 »

This is video of a friend of mine playing the game captured through the glasses using my fuji W3. Sorry about the quality and flicker... it's not easy to get a preview for you guys.
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=29EWmrC6_Dk[/youtube]

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Re: Halo Anniversary in 3D - initial impressions

Post by cybereality »

Awesome man! Thanks.

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Re: Halo Anniversary in 3D - initial impressions

Post by GordoSan »

Sounds really nice. It is too bad that you don't get the distance depth as you are describing. What made the original Halo so awe-inspiring was that feeling you got in the open ring space station world. Why they left this feeling out of every other Halo game after, I have no idea.

I find it odd that MSFT decided to quietly drop in frame packed 3D to the 360 without even a whimper of an announcement at E3. They are masters of hyping up every little detail. Even things that are not that important. Here they are proving that they can have a somewhat even footing with Sony with the new standard of frame packed 3D, even over HDMI 1.2, and yet they basically sneek it in there. They don't even tell you that you have to turn it on in the system menu, and hardly anyone realized it was even a new option in the first place. Very strange.

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Re: Halo Anniversary in 3D - initial impressions

Post by cybereality »

Yeah, its funny they aren't hyping it more. I guess it might not be the best feature to trump up considering how much better the PS3 is for 3D.

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Re: Halo Anniversary in 3D - initial impressions

Post by android78 »

My guess is that they are still not sure about the marketing of 3D. With recent reports suggesting that most consumers would rather play their 3D capable gaming consoles in 2D (3DS?), they may be concerned that it may give the hard-core gamers the wrong impression about the direction of the console. The execs at M$ have always seemed to treat any mention of 3D as a gimmick too, which means they will have a hard time selling it as a worth while feature.
In terms of the depth into the screen, I really wish that I could just increase the parallax of the images on the screen (more then a few pixels that the samsung allows with it's 3d viewpoint adjustment). It would only have to shift the images apart about 3-4 cm (just over 1"), which is not a lot, percentage-wise for a 58" TV. I just wonder what it must look like on a 32" screen. It seems to me that this was basically designed for a movie theater setup with a 5m screen, because that would have about the right depth.

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Re: Halo Anniversary in 3D - initial impressions

Post by GordoSan »

cybereality wrote:Yeah, its funny they aren't hyping it more. I guess it might not be the best feature to trump up considering how much better the PS3 is for 3D.
I'm curious about this. Now that 360 can do frame packed S3D, doesn't that pretty much make them on par with each other, as far as S3D goes? It seems that they are already mostly on par with regards to graphical power, as some multi-platform titles seem to look a bit better on each system and each has 1st party games that look amazing in 2D. Granted, PS3 has A LOT more titles out in 3D and Sony really seems to be marketing 3D across the gamut of their entire consumer electronics / media umbrella. Also, I haven't actually seen a 360 game running in 3D yet (SBS or FP) but I have seen a few PS3 games, which seemed to vary depending on the title.

I just find it odd that Microsoft takes this long, then overcomes the fact that they have HDMI 1.2, then puts the universal code into the UI (so any developer can now do FP S3D), but doesn't say anything to anybody.
android78 wrote:My guess is that they are still not sure about the marketing of 3D. With recent reports suggesting that most consumers would rather play their 3D capable gaming consoles in 2D (3DS?), they may be concerned that it may give the hard-core gamers the wrong impression about the direction of the console. The execs at M$ have always seemed to treat any mention of 3D as a gimmick too, which means they will have a hard time selling it as a worth while feature.
In terms of the depth into the screen, I really wish that I could just increase the parallax of the images on the screen (more then a few pixels that the samsung allows with it's 3d viewpoint adjustment). It would only have to shift the images apart about 3-4 cm (just over 1"), which is not a lot, percentage-wise for a 58" TV. I just wonder what it must look like on a 32" screen. It seems to me that this was basically designed for a movie theater setup with a 5m screen, because that would have about the right depth.
I never got the impression that they treated it as a gimmick. To me, it sounded like "well, there aren't enough 3D HDTVs in the marketplace", which we all know is complete BS because you can't sell hardware without content. MS picks some strange battles to fight like after HD-DVD went down, instead of admitting (Toshiba's) defeat and picking up Blu-ray, the just said something like: "Blu-ray is not the future, as we think digital downloads will take over before Blu-ray takes off", almost as if they were hoping to make a self-fulfilling prophecy. I think it was a very ignorant move on their part. Granted, I like consolidation. Having a BD player in PS3 almost killed Sony's games devision in the beginning, but it turned out to be a major trump card for the future of both the disc format and the PS3. There is a synergy there that just works. I don't feel that connection to 360 and Zune marketplace. Anyway, its like they really hate to retract their attitude toward something. They need to get over themselves and move on sometimes. :lol:

As for the parallax setting, maybe this could be built into the actual UI setting. This would keep developers from having to put some kind of menu option for each game. Then again, I dunno, maybe this should be up to the developer until there is some sort of master setting, seeing as how MS has such a wishy-washy take on 3D. If only they acted like 3D exists on their system in the first place.

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Re: Halo Anniversary in 3D - initial impressions

Post by Fredz »

GordoSan wrote:
cybereality wrote:Yeah, its funny they aren't hyping it more. I guess it might not be the best feature to trump up considering how much better the PS3 is for 3D.
I'm curious about this. Now that 360 can do frame packed S3D, doesn't that pretty much make them on par with each other, as far as S3D goes?
I'm curious about this too, Eurogamer tested the S3D version of this game on both the PS3 and the Xbox 360 and they found that they were pretty much identical on the two platforms.

"However, the release of Batman: Arkham City confirms that from a hardware perspective, any Xbox 360 with an HDMI port can offer the same level of support as the PlayStation 3. Our analysis of the game confirms that the two consoles are both outputting the same 1280x1470 60Hz signal. This comprises of two native 720p images, with 30 lines of blanking information between them."

ImageImage

Link : http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/digit ... n-xbox-360" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

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