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Blu-ray Review

DVD cover

Halo Legends


Warner Home Video
RRP: £24.99
Certificate: 12
Available 15 February 2010

Halo Legends is an unprecedented gathering of the finest talent in Japanese anime, telling seven new stories (including one two-parter) across one movie. Each episode is set in the 26th Century of the Halo universe. The eight chapters have each been mastered by a highly celebrated Japanese anime studio, each bringing their own unique talents and a different spin to the Halo universe...

Halo Legends is in a similar vein to The Animatrix. However, instead of anime tales that revolve around The Matrix universe, this concentrates on the Halo franchise. Over the course of seven animated shorts (15 minutes each), seven very different stories are told. All draw upon the Halo universe for their settings and with one goal in common - to expand the Halo universe knowledge for fans of the franchise.

Each of the animated segments has a very different look and style and all are produced by various animation studio - any fan of anime will recognise the majority of the studios involved. Fans of the games will recognise the music too as it's lifted from the Halo 3 game and has been reused quite effectively.

We start off with Origins: Part I and II which pretty much bring everyone up to speed on how mankind has progressed since the 20th century - and how even in the 26th century we are still a war mongering species.

The Duel follows an Arbiter named Fal who refuses to follow the Covenant religion. This is one of the most interesting stories from a stylistic point of view. The animation has been created to look like a moving oil painting and the basic story is based on a famous samurai warrior.

Homecoming explores the Spartan-II recruitments of 2517 and follows the memories of one Spartan-II who escaped the training facility and returned home - only to find something unexpected waiting for her.

Odd One Out is where Halo Legends has fun with the whole franchise. This is the only tongue-in-cheek episode and non-canon. It follows the accident prone Spartan 1337, who slips and falls out of his airborne troupe carrier. He discovers some young locals on the planet he lands on and ends up teaming up with them to battle a common foe.

Prototype sees a cold and emotionless marine who leads his troupe into a battle in which they have to track down and destroy a prototype armour suit.

The Babysitter follows a squad of drop ship troopers who are sent on a covert mission to assassinate a prophet. However, much to their annoyance, a Spartan has been given the job of being the sniper.

The Package is this collection's only CGI rendered story. The graphics are pretty impressive and the story follows a Spartan-II raid on a Covenant battlecruiser.

Extras include an audio commentary with Frank O'Conner (franchise development director) and Joseph Chou (Halo Legends producer); Halo - Gaming Evolved (21 min, 46 sec which looks at history of the Halo franchise); Halo - The Story So Far (23 min, 56 sec rundown of the main story from the Halo franchise. It's actually worth watching this feature before you watch the main feature if you're not totally up to speed with the Halo back story); The Making of Halo Legends (54 min, 49 sec look at the making of each story. This can be played as one feature, or broken up into each story. There's loads of background information on things like the animation studios, the directors and what everyone wanted to achieve with their story); Halo Reach Trailer (1 min, 17 sec) and Justice League Crisis on Two Earths Trailer (1 min, 17 sec).

For those familiar with the Halo universe, this is a must own film. Not only is there some great animation and storytelling here, but it will also broaden your knowledge of the franchise. There are also plenty of little touches added here and there that hardcore fans will really appreciate.


Darren Rea

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