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Mike Antonucci and Dean Takahashi, columnists for the San Jose Mercury News, have a gaming podcast called Dean & Nooch On Gaming. Takahashi earlier wrote a book about the Xbox. In this week's edition, each of them pick their top three games of all time; Halo is Takahashi's top pick.

The podcast isn't Halo or Bungie specific, but issues are generally pretty short (about ten minutes per episode, compared to 'casts by Major Nelson or the Podtacular guys, which have been topping 60 minutes lately) and unlike some of the newer broadcasts, this one is dense and polished, with little dead air or repeated sound effects; well worth the few seconds it takes to download and the few minutes it takes to listen to.

NOTE: This latest episode, number eight, isn't visible yet at Odeo or Podcast.net, but will show up if you subscribe via iTunes.

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As mentioned awhile ago, Cody Miller had completed Twin Galaxies' challenge to finish Halo 2 at Legendary difficulty in one sitting and with zero deaths. How, that three-and-a-half hour journey can be downloaded via BitTorrent at HBO. There are 800 and two gigabyte versions. Thanks Louis Wu.

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The voting booths are open for the 2005 Rockets on Prisoner awards presented by That Weasel Television.

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SketchFactor has posted at Bungie.net a writeup of Bungie's trip to the GPhoria videogame awards, which he attended with Marty O'Donnell, Jay Weinland, and Frankie. Frankie's written his own writeup on that page, titled "an Insider's Guide to Schmoozing with the Stars" and Sketch has also put up a photo gallery.

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Luckily for Eric Trautmann, whether or not The Art of Halo makes the game-related bestsellers list at Locus, as he notes on his blog, is not up to him.

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Slashdot is reporting that Bungie's audio team of C Paul Johnson, Marty O'Donnell, and Jay Weinland won the Best Audio award at GDC 2005 for Halo 2. In most other categories, though, Half-Life 2 stole the show. Thanks Louis Wu.

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In the British Academy of Film and Television Arts Interactive Entertainment awards, the sequel to the PC game Half-Life beat out the sequel to the Xbox game Halo in every category in which the two games competed head-to-head, leaving Halo 2 with the only award that Half-Life 2 couldn't possibly win: best Xbox game. Thanks BDGamer.

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The nominees for the Game Developers Choice Awards of 2005 are out, and the audio team for Halo 2, including Marty "The Elder" O'Donnell, C Paul Johnson, and Jay "Man Behind the Man" Weinland are up for kudos.

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An article at GamaSutra about 2004's Most Creative Games quotes Coray Seifert of Large Animal Games as crediting Halo 2 for being more than just another pretty FPS:

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Halo nabs the #50 spot on 1UP's list of The Essential 50, a list of the most important games ever made. Thanks Joystiq.

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Greetings from Tashkent, the capital of Uzbekistan, a place that has very nearly nothing to do with the following things which happened in the Bungieverse and the Xbox markets while I've been out here futzing around:

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And no break in the Halo news, either, even when the site is down, as it was most of this past weekend. Sorry about that. Here's some of what went on:

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Last day of news in the Haloverse for 2004! Thanks to HBO, MGL and Demented Puppy, among others.

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Halo 2 practically swept the TalkXbox awards; thanks HBO.

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Halo and Halo 2 news for today:

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