The lights are on
Veteran Member - Level 11
I'd like to say the Halo 4 release kind of snuck up on me
and caught me off guard, but it didn't. I've been checking the timer almost daily as I watched the
seconds and minutes tick off and the day counter slowly turn into hours. Now,
as I sit here trying to hammer this blog out before I head out to the midnight
release, I'm thinking about how much I don't know about the game. I've heard
great things about it, but I know practically nothing about it, and that was
I've avoided any of the pre-release media and coverage. I
love all things Halo and know I will love it, so why spoil anything by reading
about it or watching trailers. There are some games, like Halo, where I prefer
the first time I experience any of the content to be when I sit down and start
playing the actual game.
(Admittedly, I have watched Forward Unto Dawn courtesy of
Machinima, but that's about it.)
As ridiculous as this might sound, Halo is a primary staple
in my house. My daughter is one of the best online players I have ever seen.
I've watched her destroy the competition and catch flak from grown men who
resort to name calling and accusations of cheating; my son and I have played
through the campaign of every Halo game together on legendary. And we always,
always, always go to the midnight releases, although there have been a couple
of instances where we couldn't all go together. Someone was there...at least one
of us...to support the game and get a hold of it at the earliest opportunity. One
year my son was in the hospital with a ruptured appendix, and he insisted his
sister and I go to the midnight release...so we did. But then my daughter, God
bless her, waited a few days until he was released before she ever played it.
If you're interested, here
is a blog I posted for the midnight release of Halo Reach.
This year isn't all that different. My son isn't in the
hospital but he is at work. So here in a bit my daughter and I will be off to
stand in line as we eagerly await our turn to pick up Halo 4. I'm more excited
for this episode of Halo than any of the others. I'm not quite sure why. I've
already heard about some of the reviews and things are sounding good, so maybe
that's why. Or maybe it's because 343 Industries are the ones building it this
time around, and I'm excited to see what they can do with the series. I suppose it
could be because I think Halo 4 has a very real shot at being a Game of the
Year contender. Could it be something far more simple...maybe it's just that I'm proud of my little gamer girl and the memories we have standing in line at
midnight releases. Regardless of the reasons, and whether you're a fan of Halo
or not, tonight is a big night for the video game industry and I'm excited to
see how the game is received by gamers like you and me.
Timeline of Events:
2215 (10:15 PM) -
Departed home base headed for the local GameStop with daughter in tow. The
weather is a chilly 39 degrees, but it's a clear star filled night.
2230 (10:30 PM) -
Arrive at GameStop. Surprisingly there is no line, and only a handful of cars
in the parking lot. The lights are on in the store and there is some movement.
2232 (10:32 PM) -
Enter the store to pay in advance; inquire about where the crowd and fun &
festivities are. Receive number 55. Encouraged there are at least 54 others
here with us. Disappointed no huge events but apparently it's too cold. Hah,
lightweights. Also pre-ordered Black Ops II and will apparently get Nuke Town and
some special avatar? Whatever, just give me the game...and Nuke Town.
2235 (10:35 PM) -
Apparently Game Stop kept their doors open to the public after hours which is
cool. There are about 20 fellow gamers milling about. Hey, look at that...they
have a Wii-U set up. Crowd is too large to get a good look. Makes mental note
to come back when less crowded.
2245 (10:45 PM) -
Daughter calls friend and asks if he is coming to the midnight release. I hear
her exclaim, "No Wyatt, don't be a
Christmas noob...you're better than that." I chuckle. Apparently Wyatt
decided to wait to get Halo 4 for Christmas.
PM) - Tweet with fellow Game Informer peeps including @mojomonkey_12,
@Joyfulpenguin, @DarkeonWarlord, @indiejones84, @champion677_GIO, @StrangerGIO,
@GI_Jolt815. Talk mostly about Halo, but also Bioshock. Gotta love Twitter.
2250 (10:50 PM) -
Mention the Forward Unto Dawn series to my daughter, she has not heard of it.
We sit in the car and watch the first three episodes. Its proof positive we
need a Halo movie. This series is pretty good if you ask me.
2330 (11:30 PM) -
The line starts forming outside of the Game Stop, so we quit on Episode 4 and
go get in line. There are about 100 people in line, which is impressive
considering it's late, it's cold, it's a Monday night and tomorrow is election
2335 (11:35 PM) -
Overheard in line, "I'm so done with Call
of Duty." After two bloggers wrote their Dear John letters and hearing this
sort of response from fellow gamers, it will be interesting to see how well the
game sells. Money talks...
2340 (11:40 PM) -
See the Youth Pastor for the church we used to attend get in line...which is not
uncommon, we've seen him at every midnight release we've ever been too. Cool
2345 (11:45 PM) -
GameStop employee is checking numbers. That's a good sign. Little kid in line
behind me looks to be about 10 or 11. There are about a dozen underage kids in
line. An older gentleman walks up to the kid, I'm assuming his father; the kid
tells the man you have to be 18 to buy the game. The man says, "It's okay...I'm here." Not much the ESRB
can do about that.
0001 (12:01 AM) -
Line is moving. Yay.
0005 (12:05 AM) - Halo 4 is in hand. After the whole Bungie
issue, didn't know if we would ever see another Halo. Daughter and I are very
happy and I stop in the middle of the road to snap a pic of the game.
0007 (12:07 AM) -
In the car and headed home. Daughter and I are jamming to John Cougar's Jack
and Diane. We're about a half a mile from home and she calls her brother to
tell him we'll be there soon (like 2 minutes, but I don't say anything). Ah,
life is good.
0020 (12:20 AM) -
Arrive home and run inside. Start unpacking the game. I don't know if new games
have a "smell" like new cars do, but as I tear the cellophane away and remove
the security label, I can't help but feel like they do. And it smells like
0025 (12:25 AM) -
Halo 4 comes on 2 discs and it takes a few minutes to get online. There is a
small patch that has to be downloaded and installed, which further delays the
process briefly, but really not that big of deal.
0030 (12:30 AM) -
Game on. Halo 4 is beautiful - it looks amazing and sounds amazing. Son and
daughter are happy and daughter is already mowing down the competition as she
adjusts to the new game mechanics. Pulls down a couple second and third place
finishes, but I'm sure she'll be topping the charts in no time.
And with that...I think it's time for me to get to bed. I'll
be blogging about the game more soon enough, but honestly I probably won't get
to the single player campaign until this weekend. Until then...
a little diddy....about the time Saint went to acquire Halo foooooouuuurrr. sorry I could not resist. I just got back myself, had to stop at Taco Bell first, I was hungry. I also avoided a lot of the pre game coverage so I'm all ready for surprises myself...then again on the other hand I'm not expecting too too much. Hope you enjoy it.
Dude, you have the coolest kids ever.
That's the other 360 game I want to play, but I can't really justify getting a 360 with only a couple exclusives I'm interested in. Sounds like you had a great night, Saint!
When I see lines like that for midnight releases...it makes me already miss living in a city that's very small....and I haven't even left. No really, it only takes me about an hour to jog from my house, which is near the edge of town, to the other end and back.
Assassin's Creed 3 was the first game I got at midnight. It's something I wish I could do more often, as it's definitely exciting to grab a game you've been waiting for at the earliest possible moment.
Seeing how this is the first Halo not developed by Bungie (that I'm aware of anyway), I'm curious to hear what you think about it.
I agree with Jolt, those are some pretty cool kids. And man, I'm jealous. I can't play it until Thanksgiving... So I'm guessing I'll have to avoid the blogs section until I play it. I can already sense a wave of blogs.
Your family sounds awesome, I wish people in my family were gamers, but alas no such luck. I also really felt the need for a Halo movie after Forward Unto Dawn, and hope that more stuff like that gets done in the future. Anyway, enjoy the game.
This was great man. I really enjoyed the blow by blow account of the wait. And the pictures were great. I actually didn't even realize you had kids. I'm very excited for the game myself as my roommate ordered it from Amazon but I promised him I'd wait til he gets home from work to play it so we can co-op. Should be fun. Haven't co-oped Halo since the first one when I did that with him. So we came full circle which is cool. Anywho, nice blog.
Saint - Concur with all of the above comments lavishing praise on your play-by-play narration and the inclusion of your family's involvement. Brings a very "human" and personal touch to your blog. Well done Sir.
Never been to a midnight release for a games...sounds like a wonderous adventure :)
And you thought sharing your family anecdotes wouldn't go over well here! This was a great read Saint, and it's awesome that the midnight release is a tradition you share with your daughter. Thanks for sharing!
I have to wait a few years to get in on the Midnight releases with my boys, but I can't wait. I always feel extra nerdy when I am out at one by myself. I used to get away with it when I worked at Gamestop (I'd just work the ones where I knew I wanted the game).
Everyone should atleast go once to a midnight release of a game they want!!
I felt all responsible and junk for not taking the day off and going to the midnight release... then I read your blog, and immediately regret that decision. Midnight releases are just so much fun, GAH!
Waiting until the weekend in order to enjoy the campaign is probably a great idea, as it is quite spectacular indeed...
This was a nice read, Saint. Glad you can make it a family event. My kids play the DS, not consoles, though from time to time they like to share their achievements. So we three do game, but there's a disconnect being on different platforms. Midnight releases therefore are kind of a mixed bag, as I'm excited to get the games and go online, but waiting is a tedious bore spent mostly on my smartphone. It has to be a highly anticipated game for me to endure that LOL. So anyway, your experience is a pleasant and rewarding one no doubt. Good for you! You do have great kids, but I'm sure they think they have the best dad! ;)
Great blog; the family that plays together, stays together. Or somthing. Looks like you and your kids have a lot of hours of fun ahead :)
Midnight release at my store in Mesa was awesome. Had a little Halo 4 SWAT tourney (took third out of 35, which ain't bad for a Halo noob). Total attendance for our midnight looked to be between 100 and 150.