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#Halo
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goweb

goweb

7/6/2004 2:14:05 AM
Halo out of the box has no online mode. However, some very clever people (I know, surprising to find them at GameSpy) figured out how to trick an Xbox into thinking that it’s on a LAN when in fact it’s over an Internet. These programs are called “tunnel programs” (as they use your PC to “tunnel” information from one Xbox to the other), and there are three to choose from. Also be aware that PAL and NTSC gamers will not be able to play with one another. [b]WHAT DO I NEED FOR THE TUNNEL PROGRAMS?[/b] You need a PC with a NIC (Ethernet card). This is essential, as the program is installed on your computer (there is also a Mac option at [b][url]http://postpose.com/aquaduct[/url][/b], although this won’t be covered here). You will also need some Ethernet cable – whether you need a patch cable or cross-over cable depends on the type of network that you will be setting up (generally speaking, you’ll need a patch cable if you are using a router/switch/hub, and a cross-over cable if you are connecting directly to your computer). You will also need a broadband connection for most of the programs. What you won’t need, however, is an Xbox Live subscription. [b]SETTING UP[/b] First, you’ll actually need to set up the network. Essentially, your PC, modem and Xbox all need to be on one network. All of the programs give you comprehensive instructions. The best by far is at [b][url]http://www.xbconnect.com/xbchelp/network/[/url][/b]. Bear in mind that you may or may not be able to use your existing Xbox Live setup. [b]GAMESPY TUNNEL[/b] The original, although not necessarily the best, tunnel program is the one created by GameSpy. It can be downloaded from [b][url]http://www.gamespyarcade.com[/url][/b], and requires a copy of GameSpy Arcade to be installed also. This program is really for American NTSC gamers, and you’re almost guaranteed to find a game if you are one. [b]XLINK KAI: EVOLUTION VII[/b] Available from [b][url]http://www.teamxlink.co.uk[/url][/b], this is the new kid on the block. Because of this, it isn’t very popular. However, don’t let that put you off. This could turn out to be one of the best options for online gaming, as it features auto-updating, an integrated instant messenger and private rooms. It is also the only option that is completely free, as well as the only option that specifically supports 56K modems, although, as with the others, broadband is highly recommended. [b]XBCONNECT[/b] The most popular tunnel program currently available, it can be downloaded from [b][url]http://www.xbconnect.com[/url][/b]. With a good mixture of functionality and popularity, this is a good choice for your Halo gaming needs. You won’t need to wait long to find a game, and it informs you of any upcoming tournaments. If you are just getting into playing Halo online, this is the one that you’ll want. [b]WHICH GAMES CAN I PLAY ONLINE?[/b] As well as Halo, any System Link game will be available to play online. However, most of these programs offer specific rooms for each game, so you may need to wait until they update their list. [b]ANYTHING ELSE?[/b] Lag can be a huge problem. You’re bound to be irritated by a lot of errors resulting from a poor connection on the host’s side, and you’ll also experience intermittent periods of frozen action, with your character impossible to control. If you are hosting, you probably won’t experience this. You may also experience complete idiots, which is normal for any online game. But all this hassle is worth a 16-player game of CTF on Sidewinder. However, if you’re thinking of this as a replacement to Xbox Live, think again. You will be able to use your Communicator, but only with games that support it anyway. That’s a no for Halo then. The friends list in each program is also woeful compared to Live’s, and all that hot Live action from Halo 2 will be lacking from these tunnel programs. But they’re definitely good for games that don’t already have an online mode. [Edited on 11/19/2005]

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