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Chris Martin at Games First writes that between glitchers, hackers, and eight-year-olds, he'll be turning in his copy of Gears of War to pick up Halo 3 next week. Thanks Louis Wu at HBO.

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IGN has put together a piece on the history of the Halo franchise; Louis Wu at HBO notes a few inaccuracies they've made, but if you weren't a Halo fan eight years ago you might find some of this "old stuff" interesting.

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zOMGWTFUDIED has gotten ahold of an early copy of Halo 3 and discovered what he thinks is a superbounce while dying near the Froman base on Last Resort (Zanzibar).

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Bungie's Jonty Barnes, talking to GameSpot at the Tokyo Game Show, mentioned that Bungie had to triple its server capacity to handle the increased load from Halo 3. Not sure whether that meant matchmaking, or community features, or what; but from the latest podcast it seems that stat-tracking will be vastly expanded, and Bungie is aiming to keep player career stats more or less completely and indefinitely.

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That's the question posed on the latest podcast at C|Net. With Nintendo's Wii and Microsoft's Xbox 360 vying for the spot of top dog among next generation consoles, Microsoft has to be counting on their flagship franchise, Halo 3, to provide that final push to original Xbox owners to pony up for a 360. Will it be enough? We'll know soon.

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Music 4 Games interviews Bungie maestro Marty O'Donnell about the soundtrack for Halo 3, and the news is all good for fans: more music, better fidelity, more orchestral arrangements and a more interactive feel this time around, not to mention another two disc soundtrack set due out sometime.

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Play.tm reports that images of Halo 3 retail discs have been seen online. Of course, they're no good to owners of unmodified consoles, and modified consoles are of no use on Xbox Live, but still...

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IGN talked to Tyson "Ferrex" Green about the Halo 3 multiplayer map, Isolation.

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Next-Generation has a passel of interesting statistics about the Xbox 360 and Xbox Live-- software sales, subscriber totals, the works-- if you're interested in that kind of thing.

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Up for grabs on Bungie.net or XBLM is the latest and greatest ViDoc yet, Cinema Paradiso. It shows off amazing Forge and Saved Film footage, and maybe a couple new armor permutations as well.

UPDATE: There is also a local copy in the movie database.

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Part Three of Ferrex's trilogy on Forge is up at Bungie.net: Advanced Forge Editing. It covers how to edit objects in ways specific to creating certain goal-oriented gametypes, instead of just piles of fusion cores.

Not that there's anything wrong with that.

What this article does talk about a lot is spawning: spawn points and spawn zones. If you've always been interested in how Halo chooses to spawn you where it does, this article is a treasure trove.

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Tyson "Ferrex" Green dishes details on the Construct multiplayer level over at GameSpot. Thanks Louis Wu at HBO.

That note about "significant changes to the Banshee" around the time of the public beta sure is interesting...

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This looks like a legitimate, if somewhat low quality, recording of Halo 3's opening cinematic, explaining the Chief's arrival on Earth. It also appears to confirm the contents of the game story summary posted elsewhere on the Internet.

Again-- if you don't want to be spoiled, don't view!

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It's unconfirmed for now (see the "rumour" category) but Pro-G is reporting they have unofficial news that any GamerTags with Halo 3 play associated with them before Sept. 25 could end up with their Live account banned.

Heads up, for those tempted by stores breaking street date... even playing offline may result in getting booted once you hook back up.

-- Steve'll keep an eye out for something more reliable than rumour... and isn't certain whether he hopes it's true or it's false.

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Okay, so the 360 isn't setting sales records in Japan, and the Japanese aren't really known worldwide for their love of the Halo franchise. Still, that didn't stop flagship Japanese gaming magazine Famitsu from ranking the game quite highly. One scorer gave it 10/10. The others? 9/10. Not bad. PlayTM has the story.

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