YMMV / Halo 2

  • Awesome Music: "Halo Theme Mjolnir Mix": take the original theme and make it even more awesome but adding ELECTRIC GUITARZ!
  • Base-Breaking Character: Originally, fans either loved the Arbiter and thought his perspective of the Covenant War brought a refreshing light to the Elites, or hated him due to the fact that you were suddenly playing as the enemy and not Master Chief, without any hints that this would happen pre-release. Demoting him to the 2P character in Halo 3's co-op initially only widened his status as a Base Breaker even further. Eventually though, the hate mostly disappeared as the uproar over Halo 2's misleading advertising campaign gradually faded away, resulting in the Arbiter becoming genuinely popular in his own right - in fact, his appearance in Halo 5: Guardians was met with near-universal approval by the fanbase, to the point where he's slated to be a Guest Fighter in Killer Instinct (making him the first fully-canon Halo character to receive such an honor).
  • Best Level Ever: Metropolis. Drive a tank across a bridge fighting Ghosts, Wraiths, Banshees and Phantoms, followed by a battle in the city after a quick battle in a tunnel, and the level ends with the Scarab fight.
  • Even Better Sequel: It is debated on how well the story lives up to expectations, but this game is considered one of the best shooters of all time.
  • Franchise Original Sin: Dual Wielding. It is an interesting method of allowing players to mix and match weapons to accompany the situation, but the problem is nearly all the weapons you can dual wield with are inherently weaker than the single wield weapons (including the radical nerfing of the pistol) and thus require something to support it otherwise you have a serious disadvantage. In both this game and Halo 3 it works okay for the campaign but in multiplayer it was a well despised feature. It's telling that they eliminated the whole mechanic after Halo 3 and virtually no one has complained.
    • The exception was dual wielding a plasma pistol and SMG. Derisively dubbed - "The Noob Combo" by many, it allowed for players to instantly kill another player's shield with the plasma pistol and then quickly kill them with the SMG without having to switch weapons or wait for the pistol to cool down.
  • "Funny Aneurysm" Moment: One of Johnson's battle quotes is "In Halo 4, I get a woman." Johnson dies in Halo 3.
    • One of Cortana's line in the mission Delta Halo, "If I were a megalomaniac - and I'm not...", takes on new significance with the main reveal in Halo 5: Guardians'.
  • Game Breaker:
    • Though not supposed to be something that players have access to, the Scarab Gun makes the level it can be found on completely trivial. This goes even further with the Scarab Skull in Anniversary, which turns every weapon in the player's hand into a Scarab Gun, making Legendary a breeze.
    • There are several areas in the game where Sequence Breaking can allow the player to bring a vehicle into a section of the level where it isn't meant to go. Most notable, if a banshee's wings are blown off just before entering the final level's control room, players can wedge the thing through the door and turn the Final Boss fight with Tartarus into an utter Curb-Stomp Battle.
  • Hype Backlash: In an inversion of Tainted by the Preview, the E3 trailers promised much more than what delivered, and Bungie's limitations on time and resources lead them to struggle in living up to that. While the game itself is still considered a classic, it's universally agreed that it never quite matched its promise, with the campaign and its incredibly sudden Cliffhanger a particularly major source of ire.
  • Nintendo Hard: Halo 2 is universally regarded as the toughest campaign to beat on Legendary, with Halo 1 coming a close second. Reasons why:
    • Player shields for some baffling reason are insanely weak, and go down in one hit. Another hit kills you. Coupled with the fact that enemies tend to fire from multiple directions and much faster, means it is very difficult to attack multiple enemies headon with having to retreat constantly.
    • In Co-Op, the Iron skull is turned on automatically and cannot be turned off. If one player dies, both get booted back to the last checkpoint.
    • Drones. Absolutely annoying on lower difficulties due to their swarm tactics and ability to fly about the level, here they are just insane. 15-20 Drones flying about, each firing a Plasma Pistol that will take shields down almost instantly. Have fun.
    • Jackals wielding Beam Rifles (of which there are loads and loads in several levels, Metropolis and Regret being notable examples) can kill the player in one hit, regardless of hit location. They also have insane accuracy, never missing their shots.
    • Brutes, once they become the mainstay enemies after the level Gravemind, are insanely resilient and coupled with their tendency to go berserk makes them difficult to deal with, especially when using Covenant weaponry. Their tendency to carry Brute Shots which can absolutely shred the player's shields with splash damage doesn't help.
    • Several levels force the player to use only Covenant weaponry, which makes them less than ideal for fighting the Flood or Brutes, the former being weak to human weaponry and the latter being easier to combat with certain human weapons.
    • Friendly AI, especially when driving vehicles, is borderline retarded and more often than not will drive the player directly into combat and then stop, leaving the player to get annihilated.
  • Porting Disaster: For starters, the PC version forces people to use Windows Vista or later to play it by checking to see if you have Direct X 10 installed, even though it was designed for the original Xbox which uses Direct X 8.1. A hack soon popped up that disabled this check, and it proved to work just fine on XP. Other problems include that many keys are hardcoded to be bound to Games for Windows Live (screwing anybody who prefers a non-WASD keymap), network connectivity was patchy (GFWL again), and the modding toolset was crap (basically impossible to create new single-player content).
  • The Scrappy: Miranda Keyes to some extent; her tendency to go in headfirst gets quite annoying at times. Especially when it results in getting surrounded by Flood parasites. The EU explains it a bit; apparently she's trying to live up to her father's name.
  • Scrappy Mechanic: The rank system was surely the least secure aspect of ranked playlists; de-ranking was a notorious glitch in the system or result of a really skilled hacker. God bless the heart if anything more than twelve rank levels have disappeared off your record.
  • Uncanny Valley: In the remastered cutscenes, the Prophets have teeth that look very human. The effect is remarkably unsettling.
  • Underused Game Mechanic: The game made non-playable allies able to drive vehicles, when previously only human players could take the wheel. The multitude of internet videos of NPCs failing miserably to drive anywhere, not crash, or not kill any of their own allies shows just how useful allowing that was.
  • Vindicated by History: Reception to Halo 2 upon release was polarizing, and Bungie themselves admitted their dissatisfaction with the final product, which had tons of great features cut and many rough edges to the levels and AI. Despite this, Halo 2 managed to gain a loyal following for its efforts at a deeper story and very fun multiplayer, to the point that a faithful few managed to keep its Live servers active despite having been supposedly shut down. Since then, Halo 2 getting a 10th anniversary rerelease was met with cheers all across the fandom, and Bungie veterans Joe Staten and David Candland have admitted that, despite its very Troubled Production, it is the game they're the most proud of in the end.
    • As noted in the Base Breaker section, the passage of time has made the Arbiter himself far more popular, with his appearances in post-Halo 4 media almost universally well-received, particularly after Halo 4 had alienated some by making the Elites bad guys again.
    • The Gravemind's design in the original Halo 2note  was widely decryed as something from Little Shop of Horrors. His terrifying appearance in Anniversary was far better received.
  • Visual Effects of Awesome: The Anniversary edition definitely qualifies as such.
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/YMMV/Halo2