Halo 2 For Vista: Released!

Is it out? Depends on who you ask. People are found it at Circuit City and a couple of other places. I know I have copy waiting for me at work. And I know I’ve written about it before, since I was indirectly tied to it as it was in development…

Whether it’s out or not isn’t the question – the question that I get from most people is “Why?”

If you played Halo 2 and you have an Xbox 360, the answer for you is simple: Achievements. There are 1000 glorious achievement points waiting for you in this title, some from multiple player, over half of them from playing the campaign (which I never did on the original Xbox version) and one very special one called Hired Gun which is the name of the team that worked on the bits.

Need more reason? OK.

As part of the achievement system, you’re also tied to Games for Windows Live. Such a short line to type and such a huge impact. You see, your Friends list is available in the game now. So are your achievement points. Messaging system. It’s a “classic” Live experience, in a Windows based game.

Don’t like the buffet of maps that are available on the Xbox version? Screw you. Um, I mean, now you get to make your own maps. Want 16 Wraths for a BTB in Coagulation? Have at it. Want to have a Halo 2 LAN Party and only have a couple TV’s? Now you can host your own game a la dedicated server.

On top of that, all of the graphics have been retooled. Ever notice the difference between Halo 2 when you switched an Xbox from S-Video to Component? Sure you did. And then you noticed the increase of quality when you started playing Halo 2 on a 360 at 1080i. Well, the bar just went up again. I’ve seen this thing run in full screen and in a window on my notebook and have said “whoa”.

On a notebook? Well, see, that’s yet another reason to get it.

When Windows Vista shipped I heard two different things from laymen: what do I need to upgrade and why should I upgrade? Knowing that some people haven’t upgraded their PC hardware for four years, I gave them the simple answer: don’t upgrade your OS – when you’re ready and/or want a new machine, then go with Vista. After all, four years on one PC? That’s a pretty good run – you should be ready to upgrade soon anyway. Buy a new notebook? You’ll be getting Vista.

Got a Vista capable notebook? You just got yourself the most successful Xbox game in a portable package. You can take Halo 2 with you. WiFi connection at Starbucks? Sure. Visiting your parents that have a router? Yep. Fancy a frag fest while stuck at JFK? I already did that while in the beta… and it was sweet. And don’t try to tell me that you don’t like Halo 2 anymore just because it’s “old”. There’s nothing quite like taunting a player who’s age is the same as their level. Admit it. It’s good times!

And if your local store doesn’t have it out, they should soon… some stores have told me it’s not out yet, some blogs are reporting June – should be a question of days if not hours.

*snort* “Why?” indeed.

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