Halo Ring

My Personal Video Game Fan Blog

Halo Series

Xbox was launched by Microsoft in November 2001, selling over 1 million consoles within the first three weeks. One of the key factors in its success was Halo, their flagship game, which firmly placed the Xbox on the map. It was an exclusive game, and a compelling play, without which the console would not have sold so well.

Halo: Combat Evolved

The first title in the series was developed by Bungie and called Halo: Combat Evolved. The Halo series has since become one of the most sought-after Sci-fi shooter series around. It has sold well over 60 million copies worldwide, making it one of the most popular video games ever made. It was also one of the first games to introduce the concept of franchising, where accessories and novels are released alongside the game.

The Halo Universe

Halo is a Sci-fi military game set in a fictional universe during the 26th century. As humans colonise the galaxy, they find hostile aliens, known as the Covenant. Bent on the destruction of humanity, they are motivated by the promise of “paradise after death”. In this parallel universe, there are multiple players, political groups, races and planets. From the UN Space Command to the Forerunners, it makes for gripping gameplay.

Halo 6 – The Future

The series has continued with regular releases, each time reporting greater success. More than two billion games of Halo 2 have now been played since its release. More than a million copies of the infamous and dramatic Halo soundtrack have also been sold. Halo 5: Guardians was released in 2015 to high acclaim, and fans are now waiting for the innovations that the release of Halo 6 will shortly bring.

Halo Soundtrack

halo game

When playing video games, some focus on the plot and others on the graphics. However, for most players, the soundtrack is one of the most important features. Games like Perfect Dark and Super Mario Bros have become memorable for them, and producing powerful and well-composed pieces is now the norm. Halo, the sci-fi military video game from Bungie, has become infamous for both its gameplay and the spectacular soundtrack.

The Halo Series

The original soundtrack was composed for Halo: Combat Evolved by Martin O’Donnell and Michael Salvatori. An exclusive Xbox release, it was heavily promoted before its launch in 2001, providing players with a provocative and exciting campaign. It is a memorable and evocative piece of music, which became instantly recognisable, and helped win the VGX Award for Best PC Game. The series then expanded, becoming a platinum selling hit, and with each new game came a new compelling soundtrack.

The Iconic Soundtrack

The main Halo theme itself appears in every release and has become one of the most iconic music tracks of all time. It is not a complex melody, but has a superb and original composition, with hypnotic drums and a string build up. As a musical composition, it captures the very essence of the atmosphere of Halo perfectly, and remains eternally popular.

Halo – The Future

The Halo franchise is famous for its innovation and intensive storylines, and the musical scores always match the superb games. Halo 5 was released in 2014, and all its predecessors have contained captivating tracks which have immediately caught the imagination of players. They all differ greatly, from tranquil to imposing, evoking a wide range of emotions. With the Halo 6 release fast approaching, it will be interesting to see if the musical score will be just as inventive and memorable.

Why Your Gaming Rig Is Actually A Badass Space Heater As Well. Another Reason to Invest in a Gaming PC.

We all want a gaming rig that’s fast, looks badass, and kicks ass in the graphical department.   Additionally, a quiet liquid cooled gaming computer is ideal because of how quiet it is.

Now, we don’t pay a cheap price for gaming PCs.  Budget gaming PCs that have decent performance usually start in the 500s, and mid to high range PCs can range from 800-2000+$.

There are gaming PCs out there that cost thousands of dollars, made by big name brands such as Alienware.

We here believe that a gaming PC in the 800-1200$ range typically provides the most ideal ROI in gaming performance an longevity.  A PC like this usually runs for 3-4 years without becoming outdated or slow.

There’s actually another secret reason why gaming PCs are worth it.  They are also excellent heat producers that outperform space heaters.  A high end gaming PC is essentially a heat producing monster that can easily replace a space heater in your computer room.

According to a test by PugetSystems, a high end gaming PC with an Intel 6 core i7 processor, and 3 Nvidia GTX Titan’s, and a 1050 watt power supply, actually ended up generating more heat than a space heater on a 1 on 1 trial.  While it may be a bad idea to buy 10 high end PCs to heat up your whole home(unless you’re Gabe Newell and swimming in money, it may be a good idea).  However if you do have a Gaming PC on your room you can just use that to replace your space heater and save up a bit of cash while keep yourself toasty and warm.

If you’re really looking to improve your electrical efficiency, you would avoid space heaters altogether since they use huge amounts of electricity.  Transfer Electric, a local licensed Toronto electrician advises its customers to avoid space heaters completely, and instead use central heating instead which is far more efficient.

These Incredibly Wonderful Interior Painting Palletes Were Inspired by Video Games

There’s no questioning the impact of video games on people, but did you know they have also influenced the painting and design industry? Yes, video games now serve as inspiration for painters, and they can inspire you too.

If you’re in Toronto check out GTA Painters, who are the only Toronto area commercial painters that specialize in gaming and artistic painting jobs.

Diablo 3

Want something dark and gothic? You should go for the Diablo 3 look with black, dark orange shades as well as varying purple hues. If you want to add variety go for some earth tones and fiery shades to keep the theme going. And just to keep it real, make sure your home has plenty of genuine wood and houseplants to match the colors.

Plants Vs. Zombies

If you want to take the earthy theme further but want something a bit lighter, the Plants vs. Zombies interior painting will be just right. For natural looking living rooms and bedrooms, plant green shades should do nicely along with some greys and browns to soften the tone.

Adding that Nintendo Touch

Nintendo of course, has always been associated with brightly colored characters like Mario and Pikachu, so it’s no surprise that painters have turned to these classic characters for inspiration. Your color palette should be comprised of reds, yellows and oranges and a bit of grey as well to neutralize some of the brighter shades. With the right mix and match, these colors will be perfect for a gaming room or a child’s bedroom.

Thanks to Apartment Therapy for compiling this list.

My Favorite RPG Video Games

RPG games are amongst the most popular types of genres in the gaming community. Rich stories, customizable characters, epic adventures and enticing combat all mark the engaging elements of the genre. In celebration, here is a quick list of the best RPGs in history.

#5 Dark Souls

Dark Souls is a Western-styled action RPG that utilizes Eastern horror and it was made in Japan. In a nutshell, Dark Souls is a modern RPG that blends a lot of elements from action-horror games but it does so in such a perfect way that its proper genre doesn’t really manner. It is punishingly difficult but equally rewarding. Mass Effect and Fallout 3 could have tied for this spot as well but Dark Souls simply offers a more rewarding feeling due to its escalating difficulty that requires timing, skill, and dedication.

#4 Final Fantasy IX

While VI is often regarded as the best of the 2D titles and VII is the most popular, IX is often regarded as the perfect Final Fantasy. It is unfortunate that it is always overshadowed by its more popular brethren. Even series creator Hironobu Sakaguchi stated that IX was his favorite title in the series. It was a homage to the past games but still pushed forward with its beautiful presentation, streamlined game play, and wonderful cast of characters.

#3 Baldur’s Gate II: Shadows of Amn

There are a myriad of Western RPG’s that barely made this list such as Diablo II, Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, and Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, but none of them have perfected the Western-style of RPG as Baldur’s Gate II did. It was Dungeons and Dragons done right. Players were thrown into an epic quest with all the tabletop freedom that D&D had to offer, save this time it was on a computer instead of a living room table.

Baldur’s Gate II would go on to inspire the Dragon Age series, MMO games like World of Warcraft, and others.

#2 Pokemon Gold/Silver and Crystal

Pokemon games are often left out of “The Best Games” lists but there is no doubt that these games execute perfect gaming mechanics. While the newest titles boast updated graphics and online multiplayer, it was the second generation (Gold, Silver, and Crystal) that elevated the series as a gaming legend. Gold, Silver, and Crystal introduced a day/night cycle, in-game communication, 100 new critters to capture, a complex breeding system, and an entire new map (the whole world of Pokemon Red/Blue/Yellow) as a post-game reward.

#1 Chrono Trigger

Behind this project were Hironobu Sakaguchi, the man behind Final Fantasy, Yuji Horii, creator of Dragon Quest, and Akira Toriyama, the artist and creator of Dragon Ball. Composing the music were Yasunori Mitsuda and legendary composer Nobuo Uematsu. The story was done by Masato Kato, the man who also penned the highly acclaimed Final Fantasy VII. In all sense of the word, this was the dream team.

Chrono Trigger had a simple but elegant time-travelling story that had several endings. It was littered with characters spanning the eons, from a futuristic robot to an ancient anti-hero of a time long-forgotten. It shared a similar combat system with its Final Fantasy brethren but it was refined to near perfection, with the inclusion of dual-techs and triple-techs. There has yet to be an RPG this amazing.

Are in-game Lock-Picking Games Accurate? John, a Toronto Locksmith Weighs In

These days you’ll find lock picking in most games including Skyrim, Fallout and Oblivion among others, but just how accurate are they? Well the answer is it varies, with some games quite accurate and others just way off the mark.

Real vs. In-Game Lock Picking

One of the most accurate I’ve seen is the one is in Risen 2, as it includes single pin picking, tension and raking. Sure there’s a cut away view as you’re picking, but it gives you an idea of how the thing works. Another popular lock picking game can be found in Assassin’s Creed III, but really it seems pointless. Why would you put in the effort to find the set and tension point only to break it down later?

The lock picking in the video game Thief gives you a feel for the real thing, but only if you’re in focus mode. If you’re not in focus mode you’re just spinning until you find the right spot, and that’s not how it works. If you’re not in focus mode, Thief’s lock picking system is very simple, but it’s still fun.

Mass Effect and Other Games

Some of the lock picking in games like Mass Effect and Bioshock are more futuristic. In Mass Effect for instance, you must hack a computer or door to get to the next level, while in Bioshock you need to align tubes with the sterf and liquid. While they’re very entertaining, it’s not very accurate.

One game that does a fairly good job accurately depicting lock picks is Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory. The game only focuses on pin tumbler locks, but it accurately portrays driver pins and key pins as well as the shear line. The game also shows the torson wrench. However, it doesn’t depict torsion wrench pressure accurately, or pin binding either, but it’s pretty good.

The bottom is lock picking in video games is a mixed bag, and even the best of them are no match for a genuine locksmith from Toronto. In other words, don’t count on your video game to get you out of trouble in case you lock yourself out of the house.

Age of Empires 2 Review: A Classic

Ensemble’s first dip into the RTS genre with Age of Empires was more of a miss than a hit. It involved many world-building elements of Civilization and the strategic combat of Warcraft II but it didn’t blend them into a cohesive gaming experience. Then Age of Empires II came out and blew the original out of the waters. To this day there is still an active modding community for the game and even though official servers have been shut down years ago, players opened their own so that the game can still be played online.


Visually, the game still looks good to this day. There are obvious signs of aging, especially with the sprites for the militia men and the numerous combat animations, but overall the game looks and feels very good. Some might argue that the different factions all look a little bit the same but the slight differences in theme and color make each group their own.


Campaign and Multiplayer

The campaign sprawls through the ages – as does the gameplay – but this is one that offers both a historic look of events and also the freedom to twist the pages of time with your own efforts and decisions. The single-player campaign can take a good long while to finish yet it is very rewarding in the end. You might even learn something about history.

The multiplayer offers a lot of competitive options and this is why it is still running to this day, via private servers and new gaming communities that keep the system alive.


This is the aspect where Age of Empires II turns into a true classic. Each faction might seem the same at first but then you realize each one has their own tech trees, meaning no faction is the same. One faction might have the advantage of building better siege weapons but poor defenses while another might have a tech tree granting them all of the best milita, archers, and cavalry but poor siege weapons or towers. There is just so much depth and variety with Age of Empires II that it guarantees a fresh new experience each time it is played.


Age of Empires II is a testament to excellent RTS gaming. While the first game was nothing memorable, this second attempt perfected everything that the developers wanted. It was deep, engaging, fun, and quite memorable to this day. There is a recent HD remake that gives new, younger players the chance to experience this game and it is one that should not go by unnoticed.