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Reviews Comments: "The Big Picture: Combat Evolved?" - Too Deep, Too Shallow Moviebob episode/issue review by Tera Chimera

The Big Picture is Movie Bob's new soapbox series on the Escapist, but things start out bad when he spends a quarter of the pilot not soapboxing, and when he thinks hating Halo is a big entrance.

Apparently, Halo is unintentionally racist because because the bad guy Covenant are diverse, while the good guy Spartans and UNSC all look similar. Bob acknowledges that he might be overthinking things a bit - the Covenant are, in gameplay terms, diverse because that gives the player more things to shoot at. However, if he's going that deep, he's also not going deep enough, ignoring things anyone who's played one Halo game could see - the Covenant roles are not interchangeable. Grunts never carry carbines or plasma rifles, Jackals never carry fuel rod cannons or energy swords, Elites and Brutes never carry sniper rifles or plasma pistols, and Hunters only carry fuel rod guns. The Covenant isn't an ethnically diverse society - it's a caste society.

Additionally, he makes several comments that could be excused by his (presumably) only playing the first game and Reach. For example, in Halo 2, the Elites join the UNSC, thereby making the good guys diverse as well, not to mention that the Spartans in Reach are ethnically mixed. However, he also shows screenshots from Halo Wars and footage from a live-action Reach trailer, showing he's willing to do a bit of research - but he only uses the Halo Wars shots to make the Spartans look the same (while one shot consists of solely of identical Elites), and the video is just used to invoke Godwin's Law, by claiming that a military haircut and the Spartan's eyes turning from blue-green to blue make the UNSC incredibly EEEEEVIIIIIL.

To top it all off, he doesn't rant in a soapbox series - he just sort of rambles around for a few minutes before delivering the Captain Obvious Aesop that "Racism is bad! And wrong! And That's Terrible!" Parts of the episode simply feel like padding, reiterating the same things over and over, while pictures get used three or four times. I can read genuine criticism if it's well-presented or entertaining (or both), but not from someone who thinks Everyone Is Satan In Hell, and talks about himself for a quarter of the video.


  • Scardoll
  • 7th Dec 10
Oh God, I just watched that video.

Forget Other M, this was horrible in every way possible.

I just... I don't even know.

As you said, the Covenant are a caste-based empire... Who want to commit GENOCIDE against humanity. He then invokes Godwin's Law and then says "No, I didn't do that... But this game is racist!"

Fuck you, Moviebob. I gave his videos a chance, a small chance, but this is just low. And the worst part is, his fanbase just eats it up as if he knows what he's talking about.

GENIUS COMMENTARY: Mario is racist for showing the white plumber slaughtering a variety of innocents to take his girlfriend back from a giant turtle (I mean, he must be a version of the Reconstruction era black rapist stereotype).

  • Sigh*

Sorry, rant mode there. But yes, Moviebob's "Combat Evolved" video is just terrible. It's not funny, it's not thought-provoking, and it's not intelligent. It's just stupid.
  • UltimaThule
  • 30th Dec 10
While I thought this episode sucked and seemed like just an excuse to bash the Halo series (not that I blame him; personally I was expecting a rant about how generic the games are), it's not really fair to judge an entire series based solely on the first episode. This is the difference between Dethroning Moment of Suck and Ruined FOREVER; one should wait until the work really starts to suck before declaring where it started.

The Big Pitcure has improved somewhat in later installments. His commentaries in "A Nerd By Any Other Name" and "Once Upon A Time In the Future," in my opinion, were rather insightful. Although that's not to say it's on the same level as Extra Credits. As with the rest Moviebob's general body of work, The Big Picture has a lot of good things going for it, but there are some significant issues that hinder it.
  • TeraChimera
  • 30th Dec 10
This is just a review of this episode, not the whole series. See how it says "Episode/issue review" in the top left corner? At the time of the review, it was the only episode out.

And it may get better, but this one episode soured my taste enough that I would not look at other episodes unless pressured - Bob takes a while to get to the point, and lets his bias override the facts. Not to mention it wasn't put together very well.
  • c17
  • 1st Jan 11
It's really clear this whole think was just to bash something he doesn't like (like everything he does now a days, it would seem)

I mean the first cutsence of Halo Wars shows the Covenant leaders as a bunch of psychopaths who care jack shit about the lives of their men.
  • Scardoll
  • 1st Jan 11
Moviebob hasn't played Halo Wars.

Which means that he's using the advertising for a game he hasn't even played as evidence for an argument, but he's ignoring the other half of the adverts. D'oh!
  • Vader999
  • 17th Sep 11
I think my comment on his DMOS page sums it up rather well: "Let it be known that I LOVE both Mario and Metroid (Even Other M, to an extent) but his rants on Halo (Militaristic force of uniformed "facist" space supersoldiers takes on ethnically and racially diverse alliance of aliens) is just so unjustified. Nevermind that the Covenant ENCOURAGES RACISM AND USES IT TO SEPARATE THE MANY RACES INTO CASTES, where many of the races (Hugarok/Engineers, Unggoy/Grunts, Lekgolo/Hunters,Yanme'e/Drones) being slaves. The Only exceptions being the Jackals/Kig-Yar being mercenaries and the Jiralhanae/Brutes and the Sangheili/Elites being in the Warrior caste (Which is as close as you get to being "middle-class" in the Covenant society) and the Prophets themselves (the San'shyuum) being the undisputed masters in the politics and religion arenas of the Covenant. He states how the game is racist for portraying the more diverse Covenant as the bad guys, but then again you can apply it to Metroid and Mario just as well: White Italian guy goes on and literally stomps on a force made up of diverse ethnicities and races to save a blonde-haired, blue-eyed white chick, or Blond-haired, blue-eyed white chick commits genocide on a racially and ethnically diverse cast of different races and interesting life forms while collecting mac-guffins. What he forgot was that the Covenant (Along with Bowser's forces and the Space Pirates) are evil. DIVERSITY DOES NOT EQUAL GOOD. Any organization can be diverse and employ a wide range of races and species to do its bidding, but they can choose to be good or evil, and in the case of Halo, Mario, and Metroid, the more diverse organization opts to be evil. The Covenant want to commit genocide, the enemies in Metroid are pirates and terrorists, and Bowser's forces are protecting a kidnapper and his hold over his hostage. (Namely, Bowser himself and his imprisonment of Peach) I'd be damned sure he would say that about Metroid or Mario's enemies if someone attacks THOSE series for being racist, but not on Halo, despite the premise of all three franchises being the exact same thing when seen from his point of view. He forgets that another reason why Bungie put so many races as the enemy (and probably why Nintendo does the same to Mario and Metroid) is to give a variety to the enemy force and have the player think strategically for every encounter instead of having them all being Elites or Brutes and the player rinsing and repeating over and over again and using the same weapons all the time. Yet he takes such a low jab at a non-Nintendo series just to be a prick while refusing to see the game's context both gameplay-wise or story-wise, accusing it of racism despite the fact that the UNSC characters that Bungie put in have blacks and Latinos clearly being present in the Army, and even Covenant allies in Halo 2 and Halo 3. Which really makes Moviebob's accusations against Halo invalid as his favorite series (which also happens to be on my list of favorites) also have the same "problem" he says Halo has."
  • Kajin
  • 6th Oct 12
I dunno, guys. I think you're being angry of nothing. This particular review struck me as taking the piss out of something purely for the sake of taking the piss out of it. I sincerely doubt the review in question was ever really meant to be taken seriously.
  • Wildcard
  • 13th Nov 12
That I doubt very much. He used arguments just as bad as against anything he doesn't like so why would this time be any different?

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