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Saturday, February 25, 2017

Halo Lootcrate #4 Unboxing/Review - On the right track?

HaloCrate #4 - Halo Wars 2 themed!

The last HaloCrate from Lootcrate seemed to be much of an improvement of the previous crates, and while they still seemed to struggle with their shirt designs, they seemed to be improving.  So, how does the 4th HaloCrate, with a Halo Wars 2 theme, stack up?  Is Lootcrate still on the right track?

As always, it should be pretty obvious, but.... SPOILER ALERTS below!

Up first, the document folder.  In the past, these had been pretty mangled, however this time they arrived in pristine condition!  Not sure if by luck, or if Lootcrate is taking more care from now on, but I hope it is a trend that continues.  Of course this sets up the theme for the crate, and was a fun little read.  The "Spirit of Fire" diagram is an interesting one, and will probably end up on display in my Nerd Lair. (Man Cave)  There is another little "screen cap" art postcard, as we've seen in previous crates, and also a card that displays the HW2 units of the UNSC on one side and the Banished on the other.

Next, we have a Spartan Douglas stress ball.  Basically, just keep it close by for the next time you rage over something, and give it a squeeze!  If you've played HW2 or have at least seen some of the early cutscenes, then you may recognize the humor behind crushing a Spartan helmet!  I'm keeping mine by my computer for the next time I get an annoying, and frustrating call from a client.... in other words, it could definitely see a bit of use!

Next, the Atriox statue/figure, that was spoiled long ago.  The last one, with Chief hopping over the grunt was one of the best ones thus far, and it seems that the poses seem to continue the trend of being much more dynamic than the first ones!  As before, you can continue to connect the figures by their bases if you so choose, but on this one, you can also remove one of the rocks and put any of the other figures onto the base as well, which is pretty cool!  I've toyed around with swapping some figures, making it look like Spartans have just narrowly dodged a crushing blow, but I think for now, I'm going to leave him solo.  I'm sure I'll do some swapping around after the next crate arrives with Arby, probably breaking up the first Red vs Blue set to create two little battle scenes.  I should also add, clearly he skipped "leg day" at the banished gym!  All in all, another good figure, which finally shows off some of the "mix and match" potential!

Next, we have the crewmember logbook.  The cover is a nice, sturdy, plastic material, with the Spirit of Fire Logo, and the back is a strong, stiff, board material.  It's bound with metal rings, and the paper itself is pretty dense, lines and with some Spirit of Fore motifs.  The last pages have a section for contacts and a small 2017/2018 calendar.  Could be useful for general notes, as a planner, or a journal if you actual keep one!  This is another item bound for my computer desk, and will be useful for taking notes during client calls.  I can fully see myself, taking notes with one hand, while squeezing the stress ball in the other!  So, yeah, a very useful item.

Next the shirt, which always seemed be a bit of a bust for me.  (The 1st being the exception)  So, how did Lootcrate do this time around?  Well, much better, a definite step in the right direction.  This one is a baseball shirt, with the 3/4 sleeves, white and red.  On front, it says "Banished" in a typical baseball font, with Atriox across the shoulders, and the number 1 on the back.  Overall, the shirt is much more "fun" than the previous designs, and speaks to Halo and Halo Wars 2 without going overboard.  The fact it was done on a baseball style shirt, as opposed to just a regular t-shirt is a nice touch as well.  The ODST and Keyes shirts I typically just where when I'm lounging about the house, or often times as an undershirt to a nicer button-up one, but this one, I can definitely see myself wearing out in public!  So, yeah, much better than the last two, and a step in the right direction as far as the wearables go.  That said, I did end up going a size up on it, since all the previous wearables have shrunk quite a bit in the wash.  It looks a bit monstrous right now, but I'm expecting it to shrink to a perfect size in time...

Next, the HW2 mousepad, and it is a BEAUTY!  I love the art and design on it, and would have made for a great shirt in its own right.  The Atriox sketch is just so cool, and the overall mousepad seems to be of a high quality.  I really like all the stitching done on the outer edges, as the Sword Art Online one I was using (before this instantly replaced it) just had a normal edge to it, and was starting to peel.  I'm really in love with this item.  It always seems that there is one item in every crate that just seems like a clear winner, and this one, for me, is definitely IT!  So, it seems my computer desk just instantly got very Halo, very quickly!

Next up, the pin.  The last one, with the Halo "O" was the best one of the series in my opinion, and this stands right up there with it.  It very clearly says: Banished, no question about it.  As with the others, I put it on display in my Nerd Lair, right next to the "O" where it can prominently be seen.

The poster is of the image, I expected.  Atriox, just being the BA brute that he is!  As with the others, the back of the poster outlines all the crate's contents, and also contains a Halo Wars 2 code for some alternate paint schemes for both the UNSC and Banished forces.  Once the code is imputed, there is an option to turn the skins on/off.  I'm not sure exactly what the changes actually are or what they entail, as I've seen swamped with work and other projects, that I hadn't really had a chance to play the game before receiving the code.  As with the other posters, I plan on picking up a frame and adding it to the collection!  I do love these posters!

 Finally, the box insert... featuring the classic, early Mjolnir Armor of the "old days", as worn by the Halo Wars 2 Spartans.

So, what are my thoughts?  Well, all the items are very useful, and there are NO DUDS in this one!  The mousepad seems to be the clear winner in this one, but the shirt in this one is a big improvement over the past wearables, and as I mentioned before, I'm enjoying the statues of the villains as well!  (Looking forward to the Arbiter figure, next)  Overall, I'd say this crate has had the best "value" out of all of them thus far, in terms of overall usage of the items.  Don't me wrong, Crate #3 had some impressive items, some of the best really, but I can see me getting more day to day use from everything in this crate.  I didn't anticipate being such a fan of Atriox and the Banished, but I really have taken a liking to them, which really stacks things in this crate's favor.  I'll leave you with a shot my new desk set up.  If you have a desk job, and would like to be able to incorporate a bit of Halo into your workspace, then this is a perfect crate for it.  But, lets not leave out any of the PC crowd playing HW2 as well.  They'll also get a lot of potential use out of some of the items in this crate, and really that could have been LootCrate's intentions as well.  So, all in all, I'd say LootCrate NAILED IT with this one, yet again.  They are on a great path with these last two, and I hope it continues!


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