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Overswarm's Not So Common Sense Guide hosted over at HBO has received a number of new updates; complete details are in the post by Louis Wu.

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TeamXbox has a feature on the Xbox 360's probable launch lineup; the games that will make it, those that won't but should, the ones you might not know about, and a category called "where the hell is" games. The article begins by mentioning Halo:

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For various reasons it's been hard for me to keep up with news posting lately; many thanks to trav himself (formerly Sistimatic) for picking up the slack. Here are some recent items of note:

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East Bay Express has a story called The Buzzmakers about 4orty 2wo, the studio responsible for the ARG (Alternative Reality Gaming) marketing promotions for the film A.I. (The Beast) and Halo 2 (The Haunted Apiary/I Love Bees).

There's a lot of detail in this nine-page story, including how staffers spent months tracking down working payphones.

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So much has gone on recently that it's almost impossible to write a complete piece on each one before the news recedes into obscurity. Here are a few items of note and my take on each, then, before things pile up so high I can't get out from under them:

By their prices, you shall know them

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So, Microsoft lets the bomb drop this week that the Xbox 360 will be backwards compatible-- sort of. That "sort of" should include Halo and Halo 2, according to Newsday via HBO.

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As the world bathes in the offwhite glow of the Xbox 360, take a moment to ponder one of the hidden sources of the Xbox's rise from unknown quantity to major player, as a sometimes-partner, sometimes-rival of Microsoft's gives an unintended boost to the company's fledgling game console.
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It didn't take a lot for Microsoft, one of the richest and most powerful companies in the world, to find a market to compete in where they would be widely viewed as the underdog. Just Sony, another of the richest and most powerful companies in the world.

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Mike Miller has brought his fantastic Halo 2 Legendary Walkthrough to a close with a video-laden page on The Great Journey. If you've played the game all the way through but haven't read this series yet, then do yourself a favor and check it out. If you're still stuck somewhere trying to beat Legendary, swallow your pride and look for some tips.

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Sistimatic has written the latest of Rampancy's series of Halo 2 Impressions. This one covers the indoor/outdoor snowdrifted Flood-fest that is Quarantine Zone.

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The Art of Controller Tossing, the latest Making of a Spartan article by Furiont at Tabula Rasa, touches on the value of knowing when to hold 'em, when to fold 'em, when to walk away, and when to run, vis a vis lowering the number of times you die in a Halo 2 match.

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HBO recently provided a link to Lance Ulanoff's column at PC Magazine entitled Who's Afraid of Mature Games. It's a look at the ESRB rating system vis-a-vis his experience deciding whether or not his 10-year-old son should be allowed to play the M-rated Halo 2.

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Having finally gotten online, I've just now gotten around to discussing my favorite topic related to Internet gaming: the scourge of lag. Of course, the broadband-only Xbox Live service is designed not to have any, but under extreme circumstances there is still some lag to deal with. The first part of the High Ping Bastard's Guide to Halo 2 is on how choosing the right weapon for when you're playing on a not-so-fast connection.
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Halo 2's weapons, compared to Halo 1's and perhaps compared to other shooters, work or combine in such a way that the average time of any given encounter is greatly reduced. This makes any latency you are experiencing a greater percentage of the total encounter time than it would be if it took longer to get a kill, and places a lagged player with dual SMGs going up against a player also with dual SMGs is at a greater disadvantage than if both players had single SMGs.

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In many ways Halo 2 deals admirably with lag, but the game engine cannot ignore the inescapable fact that latency creates a difference between what the player perceives is going on, through his screen, and what is really going on in the server's authoritative world.

So how does a player with an above-average ping cope with the stiff competition on Xbox Live? Read on.

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