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(CNN) -- Some people might call 17-year-old Joshua Hanson one the luckiest people on the planet. Others might call him crazy.


I-Reporter Joshua Hanson offered a look at the Mark IV helmet from his "Legendary Limited Edition Halo 3."

Hanson waited more than eight hours outside a Woodbury, Minnesota, video game store on Monday evening to be the first in his town to buy one of the most anticipated video games in history -- "Halo 3." Video Watch Hanson buying the game amid cheers »

The final chapter in Microsoft's acclaimed video game series hit shelves at the stroke of midnight Monday in similar stores across the nation. The Xbox 360 game is expected to shatter entertainment sales records within its first 24 hours of release.

Hanson is not alone in his loyalty to the game, and his belief in "Halo's" power to entertain and inspire.

We asked other readers for their take on "Halo 3." Some offered comparisons to "Star Wars" and "Harry Potter," while others discussed compelling new graphics and features. Below is a selection of their responses, some of which have been edited for length and clarity.

Curt Otto of Springfield, Virginia
I waited in line for two-and-half hours to get this game at midnight. I purchased the Legendary Edition of this game at a hefty $130! Totally worth it! Although I haven't slept since yesterday and I'm currently at work and very tired, I would do it all over again for "Halo." This is the GREATEST game ever crafted by the hand of man. If you own a 360, buy this game. If you don't own a 360, buy one and go buy this game! The single player is incredible and the online multiplayer is MIND BLOWING! Totally worth $130!!!

Tony Nash of Buffalo, New York
I've been playing "Halo" since the very first game came out in 2001. After getting the brand new Box with a copy of "Halo" and throwing myself into the game, I quickly realized this wasn't a standard gaming experience. It was something much, much more. The game had a great attitude and unique art style. Along with great audio and environments that brought the worlds to life. It also had the most addictive, natural, and fun game play I've ever experienced. It also contained a well written, downright intriguing story. Getting together with friends to play the multiplayer portion of the game only cemented this title's epic status. Then came November 2004, when, of course, a friend and I were in the lines for the Midnight release of "Halo 2." It is no joke; "Halo" is more than just a game. Now, I plan on "finishing the fight" as soon as I leave work. I had "Halo 3" pre-ordered for about a month before it came out. Hey, after all, it's good to keep the kid inside you alive and well!

Cody Chmelik of Clearwater, Florida
"Halo 3" is the most anticipated event since the trial of O.J., but the only difference is that "Halo" isn't disappointing. "Halo 3" was the best game I have ever played. The levels are choreographed perfectly, the players look real and the game play is phenomenal. I recommend this game to players of all ages.

Wayne S. of Colorado Springs, Colorado
"Halo" is not just a game, it's a lifestyle, a booming culture of millions of Xbox fans who eat, sleep and live "Halo." "Halo" has jumped started the major league gaming industry and will continue to do so with "Halo 3." I will be getting my copy of "Halo 3" at midnight and plan on playing it for days straight. I have played the beta and let me tell you: This is the best video game of the year by far and will be played by the masses for years to come just like "Halo 2."

Brian Baker of Beatrice, Nebraska
I am 30 years old, and for my 30th birthday my wife pre-ordered "Halo 3" for me as a birthday present. The 6 month wait for the present/game didn't bother me one bit. The story that is "Halo" is something that people can easily identify with. The late '70s to late '90s had Luke Skywalker and the alpha-male heroes of "Star Wars." The Generation X, Y and Z now have an alpha-male hero of their own in the Master Chief that they can relate to, or use to associate different attitudes and help instill values of patriotism. In this case, patriotism is not for just a country, but an entire planet and species. I am a very patriotic person, a veteran and a father and see the values that may hide below the surface in this Trilogy, which is why I'm a "Halo" fan.

Jarrod Leda of Tarentum, Pennsylvania
Despite the hype, I am very excited for this [new game]. Some question why "Halo" got so big, as there are other good shooters very similar to it. I think, like "Star Wars" before it, it just got things right. And now, it's become iconic: the characters, the universe, it's something everyone who loves games can talk about and share. The game allows things that most other games would not; the physics and mechanics of the engine are great. And it plays flawlessly on X-box live. I can't wait.


Vivek Patel of Albany, New York
"Halo" can be compared to "Harry Potter" in that when you start reading or playing you have to finish. The third installment gamers will wait in line for hours; even bleed to finally finish the fight that was started years ago. To me "Halo 3" isn't even advertised that much, and they will achieve their records by sheer popularity.

Alessandro Miglio of Walnut Creek, California
The "Halo" franchise is like a budding "Star Trek" phenomenon. There are a lot of hardcore fans, like myself, who are not just really into the games, but read all the books and comics that expand the universe. We even write tons of theories and fan fictions with all the potential created by the "Haloverse." I consider myself a "Trekkie" of "Halo," loud and proud. E-mail to a friend E-mail to a friend

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