Playlist Update!

A new Matchmaking [url=/Stats/page.aspx?section=FAQInfo&subsection=playlists&page=1]Playlist[/url] update was released on Xbox Live today! This latest [url=http://www.bungie.net/Forums/posts.aspx?postID=4657016]update[/url] includes two brand new playlists, "Multi-Team" and "Team Snipers", as well as the integration of all new maps and a few minor tweaks and enhancement

The Halo 2 Xbox Live Matchmaking Playlist have just been updated with two brand new entries and a number of minor improvements and adjustments based on player feedback. [b]Please note: You will need to have ALL new maps installed in order to participate in Matchmaking.[/b] Also, please note that it may take a little time for this new playlist update to fully propagate across Xbox Live so you may encounter an occasional leftover game from before the update if you or the host haven't logged off in a while. For the full list of the latest playlist offerings, check out the [url=http://www.bungie.net/Stats/page.aspx?section=FAQInfo&subsection=playlists&page=1]playlist page[/url] in the Stats section of Bungie.net. For additional info about this latest update, check out this [url=http://www.bungie.net/Forums/posts.aspx?postID=4657016]forum thread[/url] in the Optimatch Forum. Our next update will be in approximately six weeks and we've already begun gathering your suggestions and ideas on what it should include. Currently there are a few discussions underway in the [url=http://www.bungie.net/Forums/topics.aspx?forumID=5576]Optimatch Forum[/url] so be sure to share your opinion. Currently we are building out the details for a "Pro" style playlist but any and all suggestions are welcome. And as always, if you encounter people who are cheating, being offensive or causing problems, please use the in-game feedback system to report them.

Halo 2 (Xbox) 9/6/2005 2:53 PM PDT permalink

Free Maps!

As promised, the Halo 2 [i]Maptacular Pack[/i] is now available as a free download over Xbox Live. If you haven't already grabbed these five maps, what are you waiting for!? All of the maps will be required in order to play matchmaking after next weeks playlist update.

If you've been holding out on getting the last wave of Halo 2 maps your time has finally come. The [i]Maptacular Pack[/i] is now available for download free of charge and includes Terminal, Backwash, Relic, Elongation and Gemini. Please be sure to download all of the Halo 2 maps if you haven't already or you will be unable to play in matchmaking once the playlist update is released next week. In the meantime, you can find new map action in the current Rumble Preview and Team Preview playlists.

Halo 2 (Xbox) 8/30/2005 12:55 PM PDT permalink

Everyone's Favorite Show Red vs Blue is BACK!

Episode 58 Officially Kicks Off Season 4...

Episode 58 Officially Kicks Off Season 4... And you will not be dissapointed, this first episode is 4 minutes 22 Seconds straight of laughter, yes, it is back and better than ever. Head over and check out the new episode [url=http://www.redvsblue.com]HERE[/url]

Halo 2 (Xbox) 8/30/2005 10:03 AM PDT permalink

Got Tourney?

I want to hear about your Halo 2 Xbox live and Lan Tournaments! Please drop an email to [email]tourney@soffish.com[/email] and include tourney information such as: date and time, title, location, sponsors (if you have any) and awards/prizes. Feel free to send in your post-tourney stories and tourney updates as well!

Every week or so I will take all the tourney information I recieve and consolidate it into one news post called the "Tourney Roundup". I'll try my best to get the roundup posted every Thursday afternoon! Thanks!

Community 8/29/2005 3:16 PM PDT permalink

Halo 2 hits Otakon 2005!

Halo 2 arrived at one of the biggest anime conventions to the Otaku generation between August 19-21.

Otakon 2005, one of the biggest anime conventions in America, host a video game room every year. Lucky for us, Halo 2 has been making an outstanding impression for gamers everywhere. This year, Halo 2 was played on 6 large projector screens. This meant lots of invitation to watch. Tournaments were ran both Friday and Saturday, kicking off with two FFA tournaments Friday, and Team Slayer and Team Objective tournaments on Saturday. The lines to play in these events were long and saddening for those in the back of them. Here are a few pics from the gamer's point of view: [url=http://www.krazygamers.com/downloads/Otakon%202005:%20Lines%20pwning%20n00bs/otakonsaturday247.jpg] Pic1 [/url] [url=http://www.krazygamers.com/downloads/Otakon%202005:%20Lines%20pwning%20n00bs/otakonsaturday119.jpg] Pic2 [/url] [url=http://www.krazygamers.com/downloads/Otakon%202005:%20Lines%20pwning%20n00bs/otakonsaturday135.jpg] Pic3[/url] [url=http://www.krazygamers.com/downloads/Otakon%202005:%20Lines%20pwning%20n00bs/otakonsaturday134.jpg]Pic4[/url] More pictures and hopefully video will be added to [url=http://www.krazygamers.com] www.krazygamers.com [/url]

Community 8/23/2005 11:24 AM PDT permalink

The Great (Hollywood) Journey

The Halo movie is officially underway! How did we end up here? What role will Bungie play? Bungie's Joseph Staten sheds some light on the history of the Halo movie as well as what fans can expect in his first report from the Hollywood trenches...

Read Full Top Story

Halo 2 (Xbox) 8/23/2005 9:44 AM PDT

What makes a great Halo 2 player?

Raw skills help in racking up the kills and avoiding death and might make you a decent or even a good player. But how reach the level of a [b]great[/b] player? [url=http://halowiki.net/wiki/User:LegendaryMark ]LegendaryMark[/url] provides part of the answer in his article [url=http://h2wiki.halowiki.net/wiki/What_makes_a_great_player]What makes a great player?[/url].

Asking themselves the same question I think most people realize that things like accurate aim and snake-fast reflexes sure are important, but that they aren’t the [b]most[/b] important factor. Take two equally technically skilled players and the best one will be the one with the best strategy and tactics. But Mark wonders if it isn’t even that a technically inferior player can beat the technical master by outsmarting him. At least if the technical gap isn’t too large. Some players seem to be in the right place at the right time always. Lucky spawns? Not according to Mark. Making the opponents seem like babies (paraphrasing Overswarm) is about outthinking them, outsmarting them, outwitting them. Know the maps of course, know the [url=http://h2wiki.halowiki.net/wiki/Carney_Holes]Carney Holes[/url], know yourself and your limitations. In short, learn to think like a Pro. That means power weapon control and ability to lock down the enemy completely. Take a step in this direction by reading the article. Here: [url=http://h2wiki.halowiki.net/wiki/What_makes_a_great_player]What makes a great player?[/url].

Halo 2 (Xbox) 8/23/2005 3:13 AM PDT permalink

The Linkyfied Version of Bungie.net/org

When reading Bungie.net or HBO; You sometimes wish you could easily access information on those Halo 2 terms in the text? Now you can have all those terms highlighted and linked to their corresponding [url=http://halowiki.net]halowiki.net[/url] article.

By installing a tiny user script - The [url=http://h2wiki.halowiki.net/wiki/Greasemonkey_Web_Linker]Greasmonkey halowiki.net linker[/url] - in your web browser, Bungie.net, HBO and other Halo related websites transform. Instead of: "The Carbine hide on Ivory Tower is a perfect place for lurking with the Sword for a while." you now get: "The [url=http://h2wiki.halowiki.net/wiki/Carbine]Carbine[/url] hide on [url=http://h2wiki.halowiki.net/wiki/Ivory_Tower]Ivory Tower[/url] is a perfect place for lurking with the [url=http://h2wiki.halowiki.net/wiki/Sword]Sword[/url] for a while." (Though the "magic" links will have a visual clue telling you that it's a link produced by the script.) Clicking those links will let you read what other Halo 2 nutties have written on the subjects of Covenant Carbine, Ivory Tower and the Energy Sword. Not only that. It will let you add your knowledge to those artciles too! You find the script here: [url=http://h2wiki.halowiki.net/wiki/Greasemonkey_Web_Linker]Greasmonkey halowiki.net linker[/url]

Halo 2 (Xbox) 8/22/2005 2:17 PM PDT permalink

The Noob Diary finally Archived

[url=http://www.bungie.net/Account/Profile.aspx?uid=922850]Wasabe[/url]'s [b]Diary of a Noob[/b] stories quickly got popular. Now the stories are saved from drowning in the Zanzibar forum. They are being archived at [url=http://www.halowiki.net]halowiki.net[/url].

The noob does all sorts of crazy stuff. And the Zanzibar community is helpful as always. Actually it is much the response from the audience that makes the stories so funny. Kinda like improvisional theater. Many readers hold the bomb episodes as favourites, but the noob de-leveling is pretty funny too! Not to forget [url=http://www.bungie.net/Forums/posts.aspx?postID=4348735]day 1[/url] where the noob has serious problems registering the Gamertag "Bob". (But "uradopted" works so he's fine.) Five days in the diary so far and they are all archived. Here: [*] [url=http://h2wiki.halowiki.net/wiki/Diary_of_a_Noob]Noob Diary Acrhive[/url]

Halo 2 (Xbox) 8/15/2005 4:06 PM PDT permalink

Halo2Gametypes.com

PraetoriaGuard's latest website, [url=http://www.halo2gametypes.com]Halo2GameTypes.com[/url], is a way for the community to submit, share and vote on game variants. It offers an easy way to submit game variants as well as an easy tutorial for setting up the game variants you like on your own XBox.

This website is dedicated to the growing Halo 2 Community and the gametypes that are emerging. From Zombies to Speedball - if you’ve played it online, chances are, it’s listed here. Find out what other people think of it - and how they might tweak it. Invented your own gametype? Submit your gametype using our submission system and see how other people rate it. You can vote on any game type to increase it's popularity. The top five game variants, as rated by the Halo 2 community, are listed below. Visit us at http://www.halo2gametypes.com Keep up to date on all of PraetoriaGuard's websites at http://www.halo2webring.com

Halo 2 (Xbox) 8/15/2005 3:43 PM PDT permalink

The art of Craig Mullins

antiherosk8er writes:

Craig Mullins is an artist that has done plenty of wonderfull artwork for bungie games. Such as Myth, Marathon and Halo. His website ([url=http://www.goodbrush.com/]GoodBrush.com[/url]) has some new artwork that works great to spice up your desktop. Even some new [url=http://goodbrush.com/cm/thumbnails.php?album=32]Halo 2 work.[/url]

You can find all of Craigs Bungie Work [url=http://goodbrush.com/cm/thumbnails.php?album=32]Here![/url] [url=http://goodbrush.com/cm/displayimage.php?album=32&pos=2]New Halo 2 Art[/url]

Halo 2 (Xbox) 8/11/2005 5:21 PM PDT permalink

Advanced Halo 2 Stats Tracker

LunarShadow, a fellow xbox live player has taken Halo 2 stat tracking to the next level with his superb H20 Stats Reader, a simple windows program that takes raw data from the bungie.net stats and breaks down game by game coverage to full view. Read more for more info.

LunarShadow, a fellow xbox live player has taken Halo 2 stat tracking to the next level with his superb H20 Stats Reader, a simple windows program that takes raw data from the bungie.net stats and breaks down game by game coverage to full view. You can save your stats and take them with you or even export them to HTML and share them on any website. Advanced features include the abillity to search through your games based on what medals you've won, or who you played with. It even works with clans too! H20 Main Page http://personal.stevens.edu/~bbehr/

Halo 2 (Xbox) 8/4/2005 2:43 PM PDT permalink

Banhammer Update

As promised, AU4 was released yesterday and includes a slew of anti-modding measures aimed at cleaning up the Halo 2 online landscape. In the past twenty-four hours, approximately 2,550 people have been permanently banned from matchmaking for using hacked or modified content online. Read on for more info as well as answers to a few questions...

The latest Halo 2 auto update was released over Xbox Live yesterday and will automatically download to your console the next time you try to play a game over Live. This update contains tools to detect and ban anyone who uses hacked or modified content online. Despite our ongoing warnings, there are people who insist on using hacks and to date 2,550 of them have been permanently banned. There has been some speculation that the update was a bluff or that it didn't work as a number of players were still encountering modders online after getting the update. This is to be expected. Modders will still exist for a short time but once detected, they will soon be permanently banned as the new self-aware automated Banhammer starts swinging. Banned players will also potentially persist on the leaderboards for a short time following a ban from Live but will be cleaned out shortly afterwards. Also, please note, that the Bungie Team will still be banning and dealing with people who use network manipulation to their advantage as well as people boosting. Also, if you used modded content prior to the AU and used it to climb the leaderboards you will still get stripped off the leaderboards and potentially banned from Live. Please continue to use the in-game feedback system to deal with behavior / poor sportsmanship issues. For more information about cheating in general, please refer to the Bungie.net [url=http://www.bungie.net/Stats/page.aspx?section=FAQInfo&subsection=cheat&page=cheat]Cheating FAQ[/url]. [b]Banhammer Mini FAQ[/b] ------------------------------------------------------------------- [b]I heard the Autoupate is ruining people's game discs!?[/b] False. Despite the fun rumors about discs mysteriously being scratched once the update was downloaded, there is no correllation between said disc damage and the auto update itself. [b]Once I installed the update I'm no longer able to load maps and/or it takes an incredibly long time. What gives?[/b] As with prior updates, once this is installed, it will clear the cache of your Xbox where the maps get loaded. This means that when you go to play, it will take longer than usual as it reloads the maps back into cache. The AU itself has not damaged your Xbox or your game. Some people are experiencing issues with maps failing to load altogether. The first thing you should do is double check that your disc is clean and free of scratches. If the problem persists, please contact Xbox Support at 1-800-4MY-XBOX or visit the [url=http://www.xbox.com/en-us/support/default.htm]Xbox.com Support Page[/url] for additional information. [b]I can't download the AU at all. It tells me there's an update avaialble and when I go to download it I get an error message. What's up?[/b] We have heard reports that people who have modified content on their Xbox may have intentionally or unintentionally altered or corrupted the program used to run the Xbox Live downloader. If you can't get the AU, you can't play Halo 2 on Live at all. If you're experiencing issues with the downloader itself, please follow the Xbox support recommendations listed above. Thank you to everyone who has continued to assist us in tracking down and removing various cheaters from our community and thank you as well for your patience as we continue to work towards making the Halo 2 online experience the best it can be.

Halo 2 (Xbox) 7/21/2005 11:49 AM PDT permalink

Halo 2 Matchmaking Playlist Update!

The latest Halo 2 Matchmaking [url=http://www.bungie.net/Stats/page.aspx?section=FAQInfo&subsection=playlists&page=1]Playlist[/url] has been released on Xbox Live. This update allows owners of the new maps to play against other players in the Rumble Preview and Team Preview playlists. Turf and Sanctuary have been integrated back into the core playlists in addition to a few other tweaks.

As promised, the latest Xbox Live Matchmaking Playlist update has been released. The main purpose of this update is to integrate the five recently released maps into matchmaking via the Rumble Preview and Team Preview playlists. If you have purchased the new maps, you can enter these playlists and play matchmade games against other players. These two playlists are only accessible to people who have the five new maps installed. Shortly after the new maps become free (after August 30th) both "Preview" playlists will be removed and all new maps will be added back into the core playlists. This means the leaderboards for both of these playlists will cease to exist in around two months so please keep that in mind as you devote your life to trying to achieve the top rank. Once the two Preview playlists are removed we will begin exploring additional options like the long-awaited "Multi Team" playlist (and the highly anticipated "Phantom Lovin" playlist which is all Phantonms, All the Time.)* In addition to adding the five new maps, we've also added the last two maps back into the "free" rotation. Sanctuary and Turf are both included in appropriate playlists like Double Team, Rumble Pit, Team Slayer, etc.. [b]You will need to have all four free maps installed on your Xbox in order to play matchmaking.[/b] Lastly, we've taken the opportunity to react to some of the main feedback we've received such as lowering the weighting of Foundation games (apparently it's not a popular map anymore) and fixing bugs like the Banshee on Ascension Rifles. To see the latest gametypes in each playlist, please visit the [url=http://www.bungie.net/Stats/page.aspx?section=FAQInfo&subsection=playlists&page=1]Playlist Page[/url] of the Stats section. If you have questions or problems regarding downloading content over Xbox Live, please read [url=http://www.bungie.net/News/Story.aspx?link=C5A584D0-E81B-4FF9-B3D7-4AE35AC7C163]THIS.[/url] [b]Cheater Update[/b] We're still painfully aware of the amount of cheating/hacking taking place on Xbox Live. While we do our best to ban people as fast as we can the sheer number of people doing this is making it a slow process. People ARE being banned, it's just takes time to investigate. Until the next AutoUpdate is released we realize that instances of modding and hacking are likely to increase due to the larger number of downloadable maps available. We will continue to ban people but please understand that things are potentially going to get worse before they get better. If our current test pass goes successfully we expect to have the AU ready to release in 1.5 to 2 weeks. We'll keep you posted. In the meantime, please continue to report people you find using hacked or modified content. We take this very seriously and anyone caught using hacked content will be PERMANENTLY banned from matchmaking. (nearly 1,000 people were just banned last week for hacking alone) For the latest word on cheating, what's being done and what you can do to help, please read this [url=http://www.bungie.net/News/TopStory.aspx?story=cheatz]UPDATE[/url]. * Phantom Lovin is a joke and will never happen.

Halo 2 (Xbox) 7/11/2005 5:39 PM PDT permalink

Forums, Stats impacted by network maintenance

Tonight at 11:30pm PDT, there will be internal network maintenance at our datacenter. Forums, private messaging, and account creation will all be offline for approximately 30 minutes. In addition, processing of Halo 2 games will be delayed due to the outage, but the system will catch up over the next few hours after the maintenance completes.

We apologize for the downtime. Please note that other bungie.net services should not be affected, but if necessary, we may take other systems down if network performance becomes an issue.

Halo 2 (Xbox) 7/8/2005 6:23 PM PDT permalink

Multiplayer Map Pack Released!

The Halo 2 [url=http://www.xbox.com/en-US/halo2/downloads-maptacularpack.htm]Multiplayer Map Pack[/url] is now available! Read on for additional information about the retail disc, Xbox Live downloads and playing the new maps online...

The Halo 2 Multiplayer Map Pack should now be available in retail stores across the planet. The disc itself contains nine Halo 2 maps, a bonus cinematic, a behind-the-scenes documentary and all Halo 2 auto-updates. More information about the disc itself can be found over at [url=http://www.xbox.com/en-US/halo2/downloads-maptacularpack.htm]Xbox.com[/url]. [b]Downloading via Xbox Live[/b] Xbox Live members can download the five new maps right now for $11.99. If you have questions or problems regarding downloadble content, please check this handy [url=http://forums.xbox.com/ShowPost.aspx?PostID=12969333]FAQ[/url] created by Xbox Live's Major Nelson. (current version is pasted below) All five new maps will become free Xbox Live downloads starting on August 30th. The first four maps - Containment, Turf, Sanctuary and Warlock are already avaialble as free downloads. [b]Playing New Maps on Live[/b] Currently, the five new maps can only be played on Xbox Live via custom games between players who have the maps installed on thier Xbox. Our current plan is to update the matchmaking playlists on Monday, July 11th. At that time, all five new maps will be added to the "Team Preview" and "Rumble Preview" playlists. In addition, the old premium maps Sanctuary and Turf will be added back into the "free" playlists. Why didn't we do this immediately? We have to stagger the playlist update for a number of reasons but most importantly, we want to give players time to get the new maps installed. All five will be available for matchmade play in just a few more days. [b]Downloadable Content FAQ from Xbox.com[/b] The following FAQ was created by Major Nelson at Xbox.com to address common questions and issues regarding downloadable content. The original FAQ can be found [url=http://forums.xbox.com/ShowPost.aspx?PostID=12969333]here.[/url]
[b]Q: Help...I can't download the maps. I can download free content, but I can't seem to download premium content![/b] A: If you can download free content, and not the premium content...the problem most likely resides in your credit card or billing information you have given to Xbox Live. Specifically, the card we have on file may have expired, or your bank may have declined the authorization to purchase or your billing information is out dated. You'll need to update your credit card information with a valid credit card that can handle the charge you put against it and make sure that your billing information is accurate. Instructions to update this information can be found [url=http://www.xbox.com/en-US/live/about/accounts-manage.htm]HERE.[/url] [b]Q: I can't seem to download either the free or the premium maps. What do I do?[/b] A: Assuming that you can connect to Xbox Live and your billing/credit card information is correct (see above) then this may be a problem with your connection. Read the Troubleshooting Connection Issues [url=http://www.xbox.com/en-US/support/live/faq-connect.htm]Guide[/url] on Xbox.com for help. [b]Q: I did all that and I still can't download any premium content.[/b] A: Make sure you (or your parents) have not disabled purchasing of premium content. To enable purchases, go to your Xbox Live dashboard, then go to Account Management. Then, go to Account Settings. You'll need the last four digits of the credit card used to open this account to proceed. Once you punch in the last four digits of the credit card. You'll be able to get to the next screen. On this next screen, make sure Premium Purchases are enabled. [b]Q: I need to check my billing info, but what if I can't remember the last 4 digits of the credit card I used to create my account? I can't edit my billing information without that.[/b] A: Call 1-800-4MYXBOX. Customer Support can ask you a few questions to confirm your identity, then provide the last 4 numbers they have on file. [b]Q: I want to download only one of the maps in the premium pack, can I just get the one map? [/b] A: No, they are only available as a package. [b]Q:Can I copy the content I download to an MU to take with me?[/b] A: No. [b]Q: If I have (insert number here) Xbox's at home...do I need to purchase the content for each one, or can I copy it to them once I purchase it on one of my boxes? [/b] A: You'll need to purchase the DLC for each box you want to use the content on. [b]Q: My internet connection went down/failed in the middle of the download I purchased. If I start again, will I be charged twice ?[/b] A: No. You can go back in and continue to download and be confident that you won't be charged again (even though you had to authorize the purchase the second time when you went into, that was only to continue where you left off. ) [b]Q:My box broke, and I need to get a new one. I went to (insert favorite retailer here) and got a new box...how can I get the maps I already purchased onto the new box. [/b] A: You will need to purchase the content again. Premium content is tied to the Xbox it was downloaded on NOT the gamertag.

Halo 2 (Xbox) 7/5/2005 11:10 AM PDT permalink

Older Gamers Lan Party in Chicago!

Mark your calendars and hoard your frequent flier miles as Site Founder and Admin, Doodirock, and a bevy of Chitown 2old2play'ers, host a 25 and older LAN party Spectacular in the City of Big Shoulders, Hog Butcher to the nation, Bungie's real home... Chicago.

On August 13th, 2005 the Sears Tower will tremble and fire will rain from the sky... Or maybe we will just all get drunk and kill one another. In any event, mark your calendars and hoard your frequent flier miles as Site Founder and Admin, Doodirock, and a bevy of Chitown 2old2play'ers, host a LAN party Spectacular in the City of Big Shoulders, Hog Butcher to the nation, place a cow burned down... Chicago. If sitting in a room full of sweating geeks, who reek of liquor and the hormonal stew that comes with leaving the wife and kids at home sounds like your idea of how to spend an August morning, afternoon, evening, night and bleary-eyed dawn, then behold the wonder that is...The Chicago LAN Party Event. This event will bring gamers 25 and older together under one roof to battle it out with Halo 1 & 2 via Lan Tournament. The cost is a mere $60 dollars which will help us pay for the cost of space and TV rental. We plan to be gaming all morning and into the night with contests, prizes and plenty of accidental team killing. This is a great opportunity to meet some XBL friends and get a little face to face frag time with them as well. For more information about the event or to buy a ticket, click on the link below. http://www.2old2play.com/modules.php?name=Lan

Community 7/4/2005 9:25 AM PDT permalink

Halo 2 Gamespy's No.1 Xbox game of all time

Despite only having been released 5 years ago Gamespy has decided, on account of the Xbox 360 announcement, that the time is right to name the top 25 xbox games of all time and everyone's favourite Spartan has made it onto the list, not once but twice!

Despite being an Xbox launch title Halo: Combat Evolved made a very respectable No.6 and the armor clad supersoldier's latest adventure made it to No.1 (No great surprise there!).Head on over to see what the editors had to say about the No.1 Xbox game of all time! Read all about it[url=http://xbox.gamespy.com/articles/628/628679p1.html]here[/url]

Halo 2 (Xbox) 7/1/2005 8:20 AM PDT permalink

MLG St. Louis Official Writeup

MLG's editor Joe Renaud (Dyslexia) sums up possibly one of the greatest tournaments in history, MLG St. Louis.

MLG St. Louis was that event that you only get maybe once a year. When the moon and stars are aligned just right the right teams, game types, and attitudes are in the same venue and you can feel the energy seeping out of the walls. Dyslexia has done a tremendous job writing up St. Louis and the unbelievable Finals match that took place on Sunday. Drop by [url=http://www.mlgpro.com/modules.php?op=modload&name=News&file=article&sid=651&topic=21]MLG[/url] for his summary.

Community 6/30/2005 2:28 PM PDT permalink

Multiplayer Map Pack Early Adopters

While the official release date for the Map Pack isn't until July 5th, apparently some retailers have started selling the disc early. Contrary to what you might have heard, players who purchase and play the new maps prior to next Tuesday [b]WILL NOT[/b] be banned from Xbox Live. Enjoy.

The official release is still a few days away but that hasn't stopped some retailers from ringing up early sales. If you happen to find a retailer who is offering the map pack prior to Tuesday, July 5th, feel free to pick it up. You are welcome to play the new maps in custom games on Xbox Live without fear of being banned or penalized. The Bungie.net game viewer has already been updated to include all 5 new maps. [b]Bungie and the Live Team will not be taking any action against anyone who has these maps early, despite rumors that have been circulating the 'net.[/b] The Multiplayer Map Pack disc will officially be available at most retailers starting 7/5. Xbox Live members will also be able to purchase the five new maps as a premium download starting next Tuesday. The previous four maps are all currently available as a free download. The five new maps will not be available in Halo 2 Xbox Live matchmaking until Monday, July 11th. At that time, the "Team Preview" and "Rumble Preview" playlists will be activated for owners of the new maps to enjoy matchmade games. Turf and Sancutary will be integrated back into the core "free" playlists as well. In the meantime, feel free to enjoy these new maps via custom games or offline with your pals.

Halo 2 (Xbox) 6/29/2005 9:24 AM PDT permalink

Red vs Blue Video Map Previews

Red vs. Blue has uploaded two new map previews. Backwash and Elongation. Check it em' out [url=http://rvb.roosterteeth.com/archive/episode.php?id=149]here[/url]!

I just ate some damn spicy enchiladas. Edit: I can't think tonight. Edit 2: I really couldn't think last night.

Halo 2 (Xbox) 6/28/2005 6:23 PM PDT permalink

Killtacular Map Pack - FREE on Xbox Live

If you were holding out on downloading Turf and Sanctuary, your time has now come. Both of these maps are now available as free downloads via Xbox Live. Currently, only the "Team Preview" playlist features these new maps but they will soon be integrated into additional playlists. More details inside...

If you never got around to downloading Turf and Sanctuary - you now no longer have any excuse not to grab these great new maps. Both of these maps, dubbed the "Killtacular Pack", can now be downloaded free of charge over Xbox Live. Simply load Halo 2, sign in to Xbox Live and select "Content Download" from the menu. Once you get Turf and Sanctuary you'll be able to enjoy them in custom games over Live or in the "Team Preview" playlist via matchmaking. We have a playlist update coming soon that will incorporate both of these maps back into the regular rotation as well as adding in the 5 new maps which are coming out next week. Stay tuned to Bungie.net for more information about the details and specifics for the playlist update. In the meantime, grab these two hot maps and see what you've been missing out on. Turf is a city based mid-sized map which is fantastic for exciting games of Territories. Sanctuary is a smallish symmetrical map with two opposing bases, perfect for games of multi-flag CTF.

Halo 2 (Xbox) 6/28/2005 10:06 AM PDT permalink

Terminal in Three Dimensions Thrice!

No Frankie and No Sketch means no Weekly What's Update, unfortunately. However, who said you have to leave empty handed? We've heard your excitement over Terminal, and thought we'd give you another taste of what's coming soon along a magnetic rail.

Frankie, who has been known to partake in the occasional gallivanting, is in fact gallivanting as we speak. Even Sketch has the gallivanting bug and has found himself gallivanting uncontrollably. Unfortunately, what this means for you more stationary folk is that there is no Weekly What's Update today. However, before gallivanting away, Sketch noticed the big reaction across the community to the new DLC map Terminal, and the two of us came up with a means to dull the pain of WWU withdrawal. And by "means," I mean 3d Screenshots. Yes, shots. Three, in fact. Terminal is just that big of a map. Also, it's fun to say "Three Three Dee Screens" out loud. Let's take a look, shall we? First off, allow me to preface the following 3d Screenshotery with the fact that 3d Screenshots are made with Quicktime, so you'll want to make sure you have the latest version. If you don't have the latest Quicktime, or are just unsure, go to Apple's website and download the latest version for free by [url=http://www.apple.com/quicktime/]CLICKING HERE[/url]. The first thing players will think of when they hear the word “Terminal” will soon be a bullet train. Indeed, many of you are sure to spend a number of hours playing on New Mombasa's tracks, with or without friends, much to the concern of your parents. In fact, we've seen a lot of you wondering exactly how dangerous that train is. So, what we have here is a little experiment. I hopped in the Gauss warthog from the other side of the map, and drove it to the Dukes of Hazard jump at the far end of the defending team's courtyard. Rather than jumping the tracks, though, I parked on them. The train was right on schedule, and the warthog couldn't stop it. [url=http://www.bungie.net/images/games/halo2/screenshots/terminal_traincrash.mov]Train: 1, Warthog: 0[/url] On to shot number two. This time there's a little team action going on. Now, in team games, the defending team spawns close to a Wraith and a Ghost, while the offensive team gets another Ghost and a Gauss 'Hog. The offensive team's first and foremost concern when entering enemy territory is that Wraith, and this was a lesson handed swiftly to Sketch and HarangUtan. And even if they had survived the wraith blast, Mehve was there to pick 'em off via mounted machine gun. That'll teach ‘em not to mind the Wraith! [url=http://www.bungie.net/images/games/halo2/screenshots/terminal_wraithaction1.mov]Wraith: 1, Warthog: Nada[/url] Last, and by no means least, this is probably one of my favorite 3d screens. The Dukes of Hazard jump isn't the only place where you can end up crossing the tracks. In fact, if you want the level's energy sword, you have to step out run on the tracks to one of the supports to get it. For that matter, the section of tracks on the offensive side make for an elevated but dangerous path to take; so don't be surprised to see crazy fights like this one from time to time. I had managed to get the energy sword, and Sketch thought he could take me out before I could use it. He was wrong; I managed to lunge before he finished me off. However, instead of flying like he normally would, I passed by him and his character immediately went into rag doll. Just as all this was going on (and as I was smugly flaunting my victory, the train came through and made an equalizer of itself. However, not before I could snap this awesome shot: [url=http://www.bungie.net/images/games/halo2/screenshots/terminal_duel1.mov]Sketch: 0, Shish: 1, Train: Oh god, SOMEBODY MAKE IT STOP![/url] So there you are, folks. I realize this isn't a Weekly What's Update, but I hope it makes up for the absence of the update at least a little. Expect your regular WWU goodness next Friday, once Frankie is done with his gallivanting. Until then, play safe, and remember: The light at the end of the tunnel is the headlamp of an oncoming bullet train.

Halo 2 (Xbox) 6/24/2005 3:03 PM PDT permalink

Area teen voluntarily admitted to mental institution

Lexington, NE – Timmy Smith, a 13 year-old former Halo 2 and Xbox Live smack-talk addict, was voluntarily admitted by his parents into Sunnyside Acres State Mental Facility in Lincoln on Tuesday.

Recent events in his video game behavior sent Smith reeling into a bout with self-discovery. In an effort to build his laughable social skills, Smith reported to football coach, Wes Leary, of the East Lexington High Knights. “Let me just say that at 5 feet 7 inches and 115 pounds, Timmy ain’t the most intimidating being you ever met,” Leary said in a recent interview. “And when he talks, I thought I was talking to a girl that wanted to play ball. Not the most manly voice. Ah, who am I kiddin’, he was downright feminine. But the boy could talk some smack. Hell, it was worth having him on the team just to teach the other guys what a sailor sounded like. He had a worse mouth than any jockey I ever met. But I’ll be damned if I didn’t think of Alvin the chipmunk every time he opened his mouth.” Smith’s two-day career on the spring training football squad was both colorful and painful. He tried out for several positions, the first of which was wide receiver. Leary explained, “No matter what play Everrett called (he’s our offensive coordinator, ya understand), you could hear Timmy: ‘I call the ball! Give that [fecal matter] to me, son, and I’ll show you what a man can do with it.’ Whenever we didn’t opt to pass to Timmy, he’d come back grumbling about how he had ‘pwndizzled’ the defense, and he’d of had a touch down. He called the quarterback a ‘[slang for female dog]’, and even called Everrett a ‘newb’. He got to do a few extra up-downs after that particular practice.” Frustrated, Smith begged the coaches to put him on defense. He told them that he knew he’d be the best linebacker that they had ever seen. Knowing otherwise, the coaches decided to just shut him up by giving him a shot at the position. “It was the funniest thing I ever saw,” Leary said chuckling. “He thought he was so tough. I’ll never forget the image of Timmy laying in a trash-talking crumpled heap after Jamison Bertring (the Knights All-State starting running back) just ran him over. He was yellin’ at us between sobs. ‘You [slang for intercourse] cheaters! You ain’t nothing without your damn linemen. If my defensive line wasn’t a bunch of [buttocks]-licking circle-[slang for masterbation], I’d have beat your pansy [buttocks] down and put you in your place. Just like I did with your mom last night.’ But you gotta give him some credit. [Buttocks]-licking circle-[slang for masterbation]? That’s priceless.” Smith’s expulsion from the school and the team was a result of what is now known as the “locker room incident.” “Practice was over, and everyone was cleaning up to go home. Timmy got some wacky idea from somewhere. Must have had something to do with those video games I read about before he joined the team. He was getting ready for the shower, when he saw some guys sitting around, talking about the practice. Next thing you know, Timmy’s naked and running around, smacking these guys in the forehead with his [slang for testicles]. ‘Sacktacular!’ he yelled. All the guys just sat there in shock, and so did I. ‘Sack Frenzy! Sacktrocity! Sackamonjaro! Ya like a little [racial slur referring to white people] with your tea, [slang for female dogs]?’ The guys started to move. I tried to get out there, but I wasn’t fast enough. Don’t move as fast as I used to, and those kids are all faster than I am. Poor Timmy didn’t have a chance. That crazy bastard.” After a necessary stay in the local hospital, Smith checked himself into Sunnyside Acres, with the blessing of his parents. “We can only hope that time will heal his mind and mend the broken bones,” Linda Smith, Timmy’s mother, said. “I still blame those damn games. Gary and I are excellent parents, so it has to be those games that did this to my little angel. And don’t even get us started on those football players.” [url=http://www.2old2play.com]Agonizing Gas[/url]

Halo 2 (Xbox) 6/24/2005 6:31 AM PDT permalink

Video Games Live : More Dates!

[url=http://www.videogameslive.com/]Video Games Live[/url], the first major U.S. video game concert tour, has added additional dates to the summer schedule. If you've ever wanted to hear music from Halo and a number of other fine games performed live by expert musicians, don't miss this opportunity.

A whole slew of new dates and venues were recently announced at the [url=http://www.videogameslive.com/]Video Games Live[/url] website. The concert series kicks off in Los Angeles on July 6th and then continues across the country throughout the summer. Bungie's own Marty O'Donnell will be on hand for the Hollywood kick off. If you plan on being there on July 6th, keep an eye out for an elder person most likely sitting in the senior discount seats. :)

Halo 2 (Xbox) 6/23/2005 12:52 PM PDT permalink