Top 10 Most Annoying Elements of Halo: Master Chief Collection

In the days following the announcement of the MCC for Xbox One there was naturally a very warm glow and happy buzz surrounding the news. The reason for that? Well let's just say that it is probably an equal portion of nostalgia and longing.

The nostalgia part makes perfect sense - after all for a very large percentage of the adult gamers in the community today the Halo series represents a major watershed moment in their gaming lives.

This is especially true for gamers who happened to be in their early teens when the series first released, because it not only gave them a pretty awesome game to play, it also had the added benefit of rehabilitating the shooter genre which, at the time, was not doing so well.

It should be understood that the shooter genre - and especially the first-person shooter - was under a LOT of fire from parents groups, consumer groups, religious groups, and the government, not to mention a certain attorney in Florida who it seems really hated the games industry in general and shooter games in particular!

Thanks to some pretty bloody examples the idea was gaining momentum that there were no possible redeeming qualities to the genre, and that it could not be made palatable under any circumstances.

Then along comes Halo and the Xbox games console and bam!

That negative take was not only proven wrong, but by making aliens the target Bungie managed to fully redeem the genre in a way that left absolutely no ammunition in the guns of the opponents - because let's be realistic here, how serious can you take a group who has a problem with killing evil cartoon aliens anyway??

Which brings us to the issue of longing (and the opportunity to nicely wrap up this train of thought)...

There is a reason for the longing that a lot of gamers feel for what was considered to be a simpler time and game play style. It is not that the games were any better back then either - in point of fact they tended to be shorter, have far simpler stories, and a lot less in terms of cost-to-entertainment ratios.

That said the one thing that they did have in large quantity was immediate gratification. That is an element of games and gaming that somehow got lost in the race to make bigger and broader games with stories and entertainment values that not simply rival that of film but surpass it.

Now along the way the games industry managed to do all of that - create games that were better than movies, offered far more value for your entertainment dollars in terms of hours played, and delivered the sort of depth and attraction around which all modern games seem to be judged these days.

But doing that required certain aspects to be either truncated or removed, and one of those elements to be lost was that sense of accomplishment delivered in practically every level in large quantity in games like Halo: Combat Evolved and its brothers.

So there you have it - a simple explanation for why the announcement was greeted so warmly and with such excitement.

Actually there is one more aspect we have not touched upon: schooling potential.

As player of games and a gamer dad whose kids just missed that era of video games, it is also rather nice to be able to pass on that experience to your gamer kids - and The Master Chief Collection makes that possible!

The Top 10 Annoying Elements of H:MCC

So that said, it is time to take a look at what ordinarily we would think of as an unlikely subject: the Top 10 Annoying Elements of Halo: The Master Chief Collection. Because despite the warm feelings and the buzz of excitement that was nearly universally felt for this collection of classic shooter games, we are sad to report that just this sort of view is not only possible - but necesary...

Sadly as cool as this game collection is, there are way more than 10 things about it that really and truly got under the skin of both old school and new gen gamers - and that being so we could not resist sharing with you our own Top 10 peeves with the collection!

10. Party Division Bug

One of the most liked features of the shooter genre is the ability for groups of mates to get together, party up, and play together. In fact that is actually a feature for this sort of game. So you can probably imagine the jaw-dropping moment when players realized that there was an active bug in the game that cause parties to redistribute following the successful completion of a match!

Put that in perspective - you go to the effort of creating a party, inviting your mates, getting everyone together, get into a very nice match and hey, win? Lose? Either way you anticipate that you an your group will get another go, right?

But when the next match forms up you have ALL been sent to DIFFERENT matches?! Really??

09. Impressively long waits for matches

Immediately following the release of the game players noticed that when they entered the matchmaking scheme there were these incredibly an impressively long waits for matches. Clearly that was not the game working as intended, an we assure you that complaints were made!

So the wizards at 343 came up with a fix.... Say, you know that expression where the cure is worse than the disease? The fix to the impressive wait times was to break the system so that while you did get slotted into a match quickly, the matches were made up of party members who were horridly mismatched, and in which one team might have substantially more members than the other!

Clearly this was a case where the cure was worse than the disease, but true to form the wizards did fix it.

08. The arrival of the Spartan Ops mini-campaign for Halo 4

So forgetting for a moment that the game arrived with a pretty significant chunk missing - that being the Spartan Ops mini-campaign for Halo 4 - the wizards at 343 were totally up-front about how it was coming...

With that news in hand most players understood that that meant that the missing bits would be repaired and replaced and the mode taken live - what they were mostly not anticipating though was to log into the game all set to play only to be confronted by a 1.6GB patch notice?!

So instead of playing the game they sat and waited for this huge bolus of code to download and be applied to the game. Merry Christmas!

07. No Bling in Matchmaking

When did it become cool to have a custom icon and custom colors in matchmaking play? When wasn't that cool?! It not only helps you stand out in the crowd, but gives you some identity...

So the realization that NONE of the custom features was working with matchmaking play - leaving all of the players with generic appearing presence on the boards, and well, peeved? You bet!

Add that to the bug that causes team colors to shuffle after every match and what you have there is a very confusing situation.

06. Random Bugs

While known bugs are annoying, what is even more annoying is bugs that only appear some of the time.... There are loads of random bugs in the game!

Look, the game freezing randomly on loads we sort of half expected, but having things like Team Chat just cut out - but not for everyone mind you, just some of the members? And randomly being ejected from games (though we are not entirely certain that is not a manifestation of another bug that allows the host the power to boot anyone from the game INCLUDING players on the opposing team).

But possibly the worse of the random bugs is when it simply does not show ping timers in matchmaking and custom games... A number that is of critical importance if you are going to find a game with the fastest time and least latency as you can...

Nobody likes bugs, but when the bugs come and go regularly they are ten times worse.

05. The Roster from Hell

So if we said that the roster doesn't work correctly would that be just whinging??

Considering the fact that it often doesn't show anyone or only a few of the people that are online -- and sometimes you can't invite players at all -- we don't think it does.

Add to that the unresponsive/freezes that seem to infect the game after using the roster -- or a snapped app -- then add in the fact that the roster always shows 1/16 players for every group/friend -- even if they play with more people -- and that is not whinging mates, it is misery.

04. Pre-Built Achievement Boosting

When LIVE first launched and the Achievements scheme was revealed to the world it turned out to be one of the best-liked features of the new social interface that was Xbox LIVE. After all, having a set of actions and accomplishments that you can unlock so that all your mates know (a) how well you play, and (b) how far you have come in a game? That's decidedly cool.

The trick though is that the wizards who create the games - and create the Achievement lists - have to take special care so that they actually mean something. You know, and especially the mulilplayer ones - because if you could just boost them in, say, oh, a level builder like Forge, that would be bad, right?

Well hey, we're bad! Because it turns out you can boost all H2A Multiplayer Achievements via Forge. Well done 343! The cake wasn't a lie after all!

03. Oops We're Sorry Not-Presents

While it may seem a tad but unfair of us to go there, when things go as wrong as things obviously went wrong with the release of H:MCC and a studio offers its players a set of Oops We're Sorry gifts to soften the otherwise “I'm throwing up in my mouth” blow, it would be an idea if, you know, those gifts actually worked.

The official announcement read like this:

“To show our appreciation to the “Halo” community for their support and understanding as we worked through issues impacting “Halo: The Master Chief Collection”, we are offering free to all online users that have played “Halo: The Master Chief Collection” between Nov. 11, 2014 and Dec. 19, 2014 the following: 1-month of Xbox Live Gold, an exclusive in-game nameplate and avatar, as well as the campaign for “Halo 3: ODST” – remastered in 1080p and 60fps for Xbox One2. Thanks to our friends at Bungie for creating the original “Halo 3: ODST” campaign.”

On the heels of that announcement players naturally enough looked to find some of those gifts - but when they tried to use the exclusive in-game nameplate and avatar (which you know we too thought was rather a spiffy gesture) only to find that, well, no, those are locked. Still.

Not only that, but it seems that even the nameplates for successfully unlocking par times on levels are ALSO not unlocking?!

We're not sure if the month of Gold was added or not - perhaps this is still a “down the road” deal? But turning on the nameplates and avatars seems like such a trivial thing that this one gets right towards the top of the list.

02. Cheating and the Non-Fix

One of the major points that was initially in favor of 343 and the collection was its announcement that the game would feature anti-cheating solutions like dedicated servers rather than the sort of peer-to-peer networking that is found on games like the Call of Duty series - in which there is rampant cheating BECAUSE of that weakness,

The thing about that is really actually very simple: legitimate players who care about the games that they play don't cheat. Those same legit players when confronted with this sort of situation do not have to play for very long before they find themselves asking: why am I even doing this?!

01. Bug Fix Patches that ADD NEW Bugs!

Yeah, we used caps. Yeah, this is number one. Numero Uno. It's just, well, really bad when a studio that released a flawed and troubled game releases a bug-stomping patch to fix egregiously annoying bugs only to ADD new ones to the User Interface in the process!

The patch was intended to address matchmaking issues, and it did accomplish that to some extent, but in doing so it broke some of the UI display that we actually want and need. Like the stats and battle resolution information.

While we know that was not done intentionally, that really does not do much in terms of softening the blow... The reaction of the community has been to begin to wonder if the new Halo collection actually CAN be fixed or not?

Wrapping Things Up

Well there you have them - the Top 10 Annoying Elements of Halo: The Master Chief Collection. Well, so far anyway...

But here is the thing -- as annoying as we found most of those the one redeeming quality that this collection has is that it is Halo! The online MP side is very important to us, but so is the Campaign mode and story - and at least we have that.

Yes, we are saying that until they get the MP stuff sorted out we can at least revel in the story that is the Halo sage of the Master Chief - after all it is called The Master Chief Collection... Just saying.

Did we miss one or three that you thought should be there? Why not share your favorite things to hate about the game by using the comments system below? Be polite of course - if you disagree don't just tell us we suck - tell us WHY we suck! You'll be happy you did!

Posted: 20th Jan 2015 by CMBF
Halo: The Master Chief Collection, Xbox One,