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Halo Legends



hology plays out in seven separated stories, unrelated other than drawing upon the franchise's mythology. If you're unfamiliar with what that mythology is, the opening segment, "Origins," will spell it out for you, albeit in greater detail, at double the time, and with more exposition than need be.

Later segments do much better in telling a story without boggling the mind. "Odd One Out," appropriately enough, is a highlight for being the lone piece that aims for the funny bone, as soldier Spartan 1337 lands on the prehistoric planet of Kronky and can't believe the disrespect he receives from its denizens ("How dare they ignore my awesome heroism!"). Whoever had the balls to include what amounts to a parody deserves commendation and a raise.

"The Babysitter" is another good one, being pure action, as a team of Spartans sets out on an assassination mission. "The Duel" reaches beyond the expected story beats, but disappoints in its art style, which is so washed-out, you might contract temporary glaucoma. The closing "The Package" also is partly hampered by its visuals, with too-cheesy CGI for human faces, yet has one of the more exciting storylines, packed with intergalactic razzamatazz.

Overall, the two-hour affair is a mixed bag, but at least it consistently stimulates the eye, if nothing else, making for a mild recommendation. With "Halo Legends" following in the footsteps of "Dead Space: Downfall " and the new "Dante's Inferno: The Animated Epic ," one can't outright dismiss the viability of video games being turned into engaging features; all three are fun viewing experiences that can stand apart from their source material.

But speaking of that source material, one of the two special features is a trailer for the franchise's next game, "Halo: Reach." For those not glued to an Xbox, directors Frank O'Connor and Joseph Chou discuss how the project came together in their full-length commentary, which enhanced my appreciation for the creative execution. "?Rod Lott

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