Fans line up for new Halo 3

Andrew Gaug

Richard Moore, left, 23, of Stow and Chris Sines, 21, of Stow waited in line nine hours before the midnight release of Halo 3 early Tuesday morning at Gamestop in Stow and were the first people in line to recieve their copies. PHOTO Daniel Owen, Daily Ken

Credit: DKS Editors

Lines gathered around the United States as gaming fans looked to become a slave to Master Chief’s science fiction adventure for the third, and allegedly, last time.

The launch of the extremely popular first-person shooter video game, Halo 3 in Kent was an event to be had. People formed a single-file line at almost any place willing to open up at midnight to sell the game. Many people had been waiting for hours for the stroke of midnight .

At the Gamestop in Stow, more than 300 people wrapped around the plaza. Some cooked hot dogs for people, others entertained by dressing up as video games heroes.

At the front of the line, Bobby Bluck, 25, of Stow, said he had been waiting since 2:30 p.m.

“I called off school and work,” he said, “I didn’t even go to bed because I was so happy. I’m excited.”

He said his hopes are high and the game better not disappoint him.

“If it sucks, I’m stepping on that (game),” he said.

To pass the time, many people discussed the anticipation, and possible disappointment of the bookend of the trilogy.

Mike Sawayda, 18, of Chagrin Falls, said he had abstained from even playing the beta versions of the game so he could fully enjoy it when the official game was released.

“I watched a kid play it,” he said, “But that’s as far as I came to playing it.”

Without a doubt, the Halo series is one of the biggest current video game franchises today. The original game, Halo: Combat Evolved and Halo 2 are X-Box’s top two selling games, selling 5 million and 6.7 million copies worldwide. According to Gamespot, 4.7 million copies of the third installment were shipped to stores, a world record for the video game industry.

Whether the third installment, which Bungie has said will be the last in the series, will live up to the hype, fans in line said they have hope.

“I have been waiting for (Halo 3) since the incredibly disappointing end of the second game,” Jordan Davis, 27, of Akron. “But it’s kind of like The Empire Strikes Back in Star Wars, the second one is always the fans’ least favorite.”

As it counted down to the final few minutes, fans started cheering. For what Davis and White called “the Star Wars of our generation,” the pandemonium in terms of hype was certainly comparable.

“I think this will be the end of midnight lines, though,” Ryan Bergh said, “No other game could get as many people as this.”

As the owner of the store came out to announce it was midnight, they entire crowd cheered.

People came rushing in and running out with the game in their hands – some lifting it like a trophy, others too busy calling their parents to pick it up.

Whether it lives up to the hype or not, Halo 3 certainly knew how to draw a crowd.

Contact all reporter Andrew Gaug

at [email protected].