Halo legends is most easily described as the Animatrix
but for Halo. However there is one big difference, while the animatrix was one jaw droppingly amazing short and a bunch of excellent short, the shorts found in Halo Legends range from excellent to terrible.
First up is Origins
, Its a two part short in which Cortana gives the back story to the Halo universe. Its a well animated, good look, and well plotted story. The action scenes could be better and then anti-war message is sometimes Anvilicious
but those are minor complaints to what is otherwise an excellent start
Next up is The Duel
, made by Production Ig
. This is the short I was looking foward to and its also my least favorite. Its a samuraiesque story about an arbiter who, many years before the Halo games, refused to accept the covenant religion. The end result is a battle scene where he fights alone for his honor against many enemies. This is one of the two non-cannon shorts, there is a reason for that. The whole thing has this filter that makes it look like a water color painting, this occasionally looks great but in the climactic battle scene its hard to tell which elite is the protagonist. Also sometimes the filter just makes everything look blurry. Plus who ever animated this short seemed to have no idea how elite mouths work and the one female elite looks strange. The art style is an interesting experiment but this just isn't the place for it. And the action does not make up for the art style at all. If your going to do a huge battle scene there are three ways to do it well. You can rip off 300, slowing and speeding up the action contantly, you can rip off the matrix, making most of the fight super fast but using slomotion occasionally to give the audiance time to say woah, or you could not use slow motion at all. This fight had slow motions going on for two long and was just boring to watch. Also the whole thing is colored like 300, if your gonna look like 3000 you may as well fight like 300. anyway
Then there is
, all I'm gonna say about plot is that it concentrates on Spartan recruitment. Its excellent, sad, definitely the one with the most artistic merits and its honestly worth renting the DVD just for this.
Then there is Odd One Out
a parody made by Toei
. It's actually pretty funny, its all about a spartan called 1337 being stuck on a planet of dinosaurs. 1337 is essentially Kamina
in a spartan uniform. There are plenty of referenced memes here and i found myself smiling by the end. A great relief from Homecoming
Back to seriousness now, Prototype
is made by Studio Bones
, I'm also not going to spoil this one, all i can say is that studio bones is good at what they do. You will see most of the plot coming, you will know ahead of time just how they are going to make you feel, and you will not care because its so well done. It also has the best action, its my personal favorite.
, this one is about the rivalry between the aprtans and the ODST. Another exelent work of art. It's also a deconstruction of some aspect of the Halo mythos. Worth watching
Last one is
, this is in cgi, imagine a 20 minute cut scene and you'd get this. it's a nice one to end on but its pretty average, there is almost nothing to say about it.
so that brings the total score to 27/30. Its on instant watch on Netflix right now and is certainly worth a rental, if only to see the excellent deconstructions of Halo. If nothing else it made me want to play the game again.