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Halo: Reach – The Midnight Release…

As everyone or nearly everyone who has a pulse and calls themselves a gamer knows, tonight was the midnight release of Halo: Reach. I've been patiently waiting for this game ever since it was announced and I never doubted there would be a midnight release...so of course I planned on attending. That was never a question. Despite the fact that I work tomorrow and I have an overdue college assignment lingering overhead, I took my daughter to our favorite GameStop tonight for the fun and festivities.

Here is an account of the experience.

(Line forming outside GameStop for Halo: Reach)

10:30 PM - Arrived at GameStop with my daughter. There were already a number of fellow gamers in line...probably about 75. There are those who are essentially "camping" with the fancy fold out chairs and a cooler full of beverages. Amongst the chatter of the people surrounding us, conversations ranged from living in Guam, competing in Super Street Fighter and a group of guys making fun of this loud and obnoxious kid who claimed to know everything about Halo. There was a guy near us who was amazing  with the Rubik's Cube...not only could he solve it in no time...you could tell him to solve it but make the center square a different color and he would do it in no time flat. I was impressed. There was an extremely large and overweight fellow who smoked incessantly and looked exactly like Peter from The Family Guy.

(the "Family Guy" guy)

10:45 PM - People are continuing to show up. The GameStop employees were nice enough to pass out free chips and soda. Thanks guys! The guy sitting next to us yells at his girlfriend because she asks him what he wanted to drink and apparently he had already told her a Mountain Dew. I wanted to punch him in the face for disrespecting her like that in front of everyone...but there's no cure for being a d'bag.

11:00 PM - Gamers are so cool. They come in all different shapes and sizes. This guy comes walking down the line of people asking if anyone has the same kind of phone that he has because apparently his battery is dead. Well, of course someone did and actually took him to his car to help him charge his phone. I thought that was a pretty nice thing to do. Gamers Unite.

(daughter wore her cool jammies to the event)

11:10 PM - The GameStop employees start calling us in four by four to pay for our games and pick up our final receipts. There is a rather cool clock counting down the time to the launch...it's at like 49 minutes. The GameStop employee did a good job persuading me into buying the hardback Strategy Guide. I normally never ever ever buy the strategy guide, but this is Halo so I caved. Honestly, he didn't have to twist my arm to hard and besides, I had credit on my Edge card.

(T Minus 49 minutes and counting)

11:15 PM - So, the line isn't filling up all that quick. At this point, we've been in line like 45 minutes and only 15-20 people have gotten in line behind us. Nothing significant to report.

11:30 PM - Thirty minutes until "go time" and about 30 people have gotten in line behind us. We've been to this GameStop for several midnight launches and this isn't really that many people. I was expecting a lot more. The Modern Warfare 2 launch had almost 3 times as many. A GameStop employee is going up and down the ranks passing out a flyer for a tournament that is happening on September 24, 2010 (my daughter's birthday - will be nice if she wins it).

(your share works out to $50 bucks)

11:35 PM - Listening to some interesting discussions from the people sitting nearby who are debating whether the Banshee pictured on the flyer is a real Banshee or not and why it looks different. They're also analyzing the Spartan helmets. I'm somewhat amused with the conversation.

11:40 PM - There hasn't really been any door prize give-aways or anything like that...but a GameStop employee is walking up and down the ranks yelling out names and giving away action figures. Not Halo action figures, but other action figures...like Prince of Persia. Oh well...free is free. We don't win anything.

(normally they give these displays away as prizes...not this time)

11:41 PM - A few gamers, probably no more than three, try and incite everyone to start chanting Halo Reach...Halo Reach...Halo Reach. It lasts for a few seconds before they give up and the normal chatter resumes.

11:55 PM - Everyone is on their feet. People are putting their camping gear away and getting ready. The line tightens up and it's even more startling how few people are in line. I'd estimate 150 people. MW2 had easily 2 maybe 3 times more people. Just saying. The excitement is building.

(ironic the trailer video is running on a PS3)

11:59 PM - In the infamous words of Lee Roy Jenkins, "Let's do this!"

12:00 AM - The line is moving. People are excited. I'm excited.

12:13 AM - I have the game and my hardback Strategy Guide in hand and we're on our way out the door. Thirteen minutes is not too shabby.

(Can you say gaming goodness)

12:27 AM - We arrive at home. My son isn't home from work yet and we told him we would wait for him to watch the intro. Hurry up boy and get home. I have to work tomorrow! You're lucky I'm working on this blog.

Summary of the Midnight Release - As big and epic as Halo is...and as big as of a fan of Halo as I am...the midnight launch was kind of a bust. There was no DJ. No music. No fun and games going on. There was a video of Halo trailers and footage but we were so far away and the TV was so small...it was irrelevant. I didn't see the regular store manager who normally put on awesome events, so either he wasn't there or doesn't work there anymore. I dunno. I was just expecting more and it was kind of a let down. Hopefully this isn't a pre-cursor to the game.

(finally here!)

01:00 AM - Watching the introduction. I'm pleased. The movie like intro was beautiful. It's short and to the point. Doesn't give you too much back story. The graphics are impressive. The scale is grand and you look like a little fish in a big pond. I'm going to like it. I'll post a review once I finish it.

But for now...time for bed.

Good night, God Bless and enjoy the game.

P.S. Excuse any errors...it's late and I'm tired. I'll proof read it tomorrow.

 

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