As this week approached I was so excited, for two reasons in particular. The first was the season finale of Entourage, and the second was the release of Halo: Reach. Both have been mainstays in my life for almost a decade and while the Halo franchise has had a greater impact on my life I don?t think I can sell short the endless number of conversations in relation to Entourage. Well like many things in life, all good things have to come to an end, and unfortunately it appears that time has come for both franchises.
Let?s start first with Entourage. I can still remember sitting in my room at 12:30 on a Saturday night and watching these four guys swing from a rope into an indoor pool, while chilling with some hot girls. Well naturally I had to watch more, and what I found was a show about awesomeness. What could be better then four best friends who can do almost anything they want and have sex with the hottest women on the planet? If you answer commuting to NYC for work everyday, you would be wrong, it sucks. Entourage showed us a life most can only dream about, and while doing so included some of the best one liners in history. However, this past season of Entourage took a major turn in the wrong direction in my opinion (yes, the last few seasons have not been good either). This season no longer focused on a group storyline, but rather the individuals that make up the show. The four guys were no longer an Entourage, but rather four dudes who were looking to branch out and be their own man. On top of the Entourage not being strong our favorite agent Ari Gold is no longer an angry, dream crushing superstar, but rather a damaged soul that cares what people think of him.
The Entourage storyline has always had a roller coaster effect. The guys go through some good times and then some bad, but in the end they are childhood friends that look out for one another. Corny? Perhaps, but we can?t under sell the hilarity of the story line along the way. Watching this past season I can?t remember one time where I was laughing out loud. Entourage transitioned from a comedy to a drama and along the way brought in an exorbitant number of cameo appearances. HBO is giving Entourage a final season of six episodes to tie off the storyline or leave a back door open for a movie. In the past, when I?ve watched the season finale of Entourage I would be filled with excitement wondering what is going to happen next. Now the future for the boys from Queens isn?t even an after thought.
The second thing I was excited for this week didn?t disappoint and that was Halo: Reach. Consider Reach would you will, a final send off from Bungie, an overstayed welcome, or just another chapter in the Halo saga. Anyway you look at it Reach is undeniably a phenomenal game that cuts no corners. Its single player campaign features a rich and fulfilling storyline and its multiplayer is as complex as ever. I compared Reach to the first day of school. Every year there is excitement and anticipation that some new and different might occur, but once you finally settle into your classes you realize the people, building, and homework is still the same. While that might be a negative way to look at it, Reach is a game where you feel that something new is happening but at the same time it has the familiarity of the Halo games you know and love.
In my mind Reach represents an end of an era for the large gaming world but also on a personal level. Bungie?s development of Halo has defined the modern FPS and online gaming. Without it games like Call of Duty, Battlefield, any many others would not be the same. On a personal note Halo was the franchise that turned me into a hardcore gamer. Its intriguing storyline and complex but fun multiplayer grabbed hold of me and never let go. Although, everyone knows the story of Reach we all expected Bungie to throw in a major plot twist. Unfortunately, the plot twist never comes, something that is so uncharacteristic of Bungie in the Halo franchise. Whether it was finding out Sergeant Johnson made it off the initial Halo or the Master Chief surviving everything. Bungie always wanted to keep gamers guessing to the very end. However, now that Microsoft takes the reign of the Halo franchise Bungie choose not to leave any loose ends open for Microsoft to exploit. Frank O?Connor has already stated that Microsoft plans to revisit the Master Chief storyline and who knows what else they would have done if Reach left uncertainty. So kudos to you Bungie, you truly went out on top with Halo and the gaming world thanks you. Goodbye old friend we will miss you!
Here is a little taste of the old Entourage we love!