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Real Name SMA   
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Nickname Scottish Martial Arts
Email Concealed by request
ICQ None given.
Homepage http://
Signed On Jun 16, 2002, 23:16
Total Comments 2911 (Senior)
User ID 13410
User comment history
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News Comments > StarCraft II Patch Plans
26. Re: StarCraft II Patch Plans Feb 15, 2013, 20:39 Scottish Martial Arts
Dades wrote on Feb 15, 2013, 18:09:
Hey look, the Blizzard defense force is back just in time for another expansion release, what a surprise. Time to fight the good fight for his favorite company!

I explicitly stated that there are plenty of perfectly valid reasons to hate on modern ActiBlizzard. Releasing two expansion packs for the full-length Starcraft 2 isn't one of them however.

Would it have meant more value to me had Blizzard released Starcraft 2 with 80+ campaign missions spread across three chapters, one for each race? Absolutely. I also recognize that that amount of single player content isn't feasible, and had it actually come to fruition, then Starcraft 2 would have been the longest RTS ever made by a wide margin. Since that isn't a realistic expectation, there were essentially two routes Blizzard could have gone: a initial campaign offering of 25-30 missions focusing on one race, or an initial campaign offering of 3 campaigns, one for each race, each between 8 and 10 missions long.

That Starcraft 2 would get expansions, and that those expansions would continue the story, is a given. In fact, had Starcraft 2 not received any expansions, people would be bitching that Blizzard wasn't supporting the game with new content, so the fact that you have to buy three SKUs to see the whole story isn't a valid complaint. Again, see the Wing Commander example from my previous post, which shows that using expansions to complete the storyline isn't anything new or dickish.

Blizzard certainly could have chosen to launch with three 8-10 mission campaigns for each race, and then released expansion packs with similar amounts of content that continued the story. They elected to launch with a single campaign for one race that had 25+ missions, and then to add campaigns of similar length in subsequent expansions, one for each of the other two races. Just as releasing expansions to finish the story isn't new, launching an RTS with multiple races but only a single campaign for one of those races isn't new either: see nearly every Relic RTS ever made, a list which includes some of the best RTSs around. One can certainly argue that you would prefer a campaign for each race -- albeit each campaign being only one third as long -- at launch. What one cannot reasonably argue is that Blizzard shorted everyone on launch content in order to sell expansion packs: WoL shipped with a campaign that was of the same length as SC1's three campaigns put together, and a far longer campaign than what was in, say, Homeworld or Dawn of War.

The fact that you all are interpreting such arguments as "sucking Blizzard's dick" and being a member of the "Blizzard defense force", says a lot more about you than it does about me. Honestly, Blizzard is engaging in pretty shitty business practices as of late, and I am no longer the fan I once was, but let's focus on the REAL shitty business practices (always-on DRM, pay-real-money-to-win Auction House), rather than imagining fake ones (shorting us on content to sell expansion packs by shipping a... long, full-length single-player game) in order to gratify and justify our own senses of outrage and disappointment at what Blizzard has become.
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News Comments > StarCraft II Patch Plans
18. Re: StarCraft II Patch Plans Feb 15, 2013, 15:43 Scottish Martial Arts
Dude. Splitting the single player campaign into 3 separate entities separated by nearly 3 year delay and charging 40 bucks for it is hardly a "pay once to play everything" solution.

"Dude", we're still having this retarded argument? Announcing plans for two expansions in advance is hardly splitting up the content. WoL had a full length 25+ mission campaign. Had WoL been 9 missions long, and subsequent expansions been 9 missions long, then you might have a point. But delivering a full games worth of content, with the caveat that the story will conclude in the expansions, is hardly new or exploitative. In fact, it's been the case for pretty much every commercially successful PC game since the early 90s and the advent of expansion packs to begin with. For example, the Wing Commander 1 (released 1990) storyline wasn't complete until you played through Secret Missions 1 and 2, but the content that shipped in the base game was by no means any less than a full game's worth. Same deal with Starcraft 2.

And the complaint that not every playable race gets its own campaign in the initial release? That's been fairly common with RTS titles since at least 1997 when Age of Empires released with 12 civilizations but only 4 campaigns. People seem not have minded so long as the campaigns that do ship have enough content to justify full retail price.

There is so much legitimate bullshit that Blizzard does these days to complain about, that it is utterly absurd to be bitching about Blizzard using expansion packs as subsequent chapters in one continuous story as if that's something new or egregious.
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News Comments > Tribes Ascend Game of the Year Edition
15. Re: Tribes Ascend Game of the Year Edition Feb 15, 2013, 03:30 Scottish Martial Arts
"Game of the Year" is meaningless and needs to go away.

Seriously. The first time it ever showed up was in a 1999 repackaging of Half-Life 1 with Team Fortress Classic. In that case, Half-Life had won something like 60+ game of the year awards, and it unanimously was the "game of the year", hence the clever bit of marketing to call it the GotY Edition, rather than a Gold Edition, or something like that. Since then, however, if a game wins a single award, no matter how minor the award, nor how irrelevant the awarding publication, then it gets repackaged and called the Game of the Year Edition.
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News Comments > Linux Half-Life and Counter-Strike Released
3. Re: Linux Half-Life and Counter-Strike Released Feb 11, 2013, 22:32 Scottish Martial Arts
I noticed Creston had HL2 achievements the other day - when were those added?

Two or three years ago. The achievements were originally from the XBox version of the Orange Box, and a few years after release they added them in to the PC versions of HL2 and Episode 1.
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News Comments > On Sale
4. Re: On Sale Feb 7, 2013, 14:30 Scottish Martial Arts
Just a heads-up on Take-on Helicopters: the flight model is VERY incomplete. Dissymmetry of lift, retreating blade stall, vortex-ring state (settling with power): all that stuff, plus others, isn't in the flight model. While flight models are always the least accurate and most abstracted element of a flight simulation, BIS really did not make much of an effort to simulate helicopter flight.  
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News Comments > TTimo: id "Lost Interest Towards the PC"
6. Re: TTimo: id Feb 6, 2013, 00:29 Scottish Martial Arts
You must be crazy or blind, because RAGE is one of the best looking games of all time, on console or PC.

I don't know about "all time" but it's definitely a good looking game. Screenshots don't do it justice: it has to be seen in motion. All in all, I quite enjoyed Rage. Perhaps it was because I went into it with zero expectations and had only spent 5 dollars on it in a Steam sale, but I found it quite enjoyable. It could have used an actual storyline, but otherwise I had no real complaints.
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News Comments > War Thunder Open Beta
4. Re: War Thunder Open Beta Jan 30, 2013, 23:36 Scottish Martial Arts
Well here's his forum post from last summer.

Simmer's wet dream is a complete misnomer for this one. Though it might one day be pretty fun if they implement the World War dynamic campaign feature well, I have serious doubts that this will ever be a proper sim. At the moment, people are giving it leeway because the flight models are incomplete. The reality of the situation is however that most of them are incomplete. The game features several planes with their FMs finished. One such aircraft is the BF 109 E-3. Flying on the "historical mode" (yeah right, I'll get to that in a bit) it feels ridiculous. Almost impossible to stall, turns like a champ while barely burning energy. There's very little feedback for your aircraft achieving unacceptable levels of angle of attack or too many G's, aside from a big red blinking message that says "OVERLOAD!" if you pull too many G's...not that I've ever actually managed to damage my plane going at 700 KM/H+ in this supposedly completely flight model. The controls would be fairly unresponsive at that point in an early 109. The weaponry is also modeled pretty poorly at the moment, not just in the above mentioned absurd power of the Mark Vc Spit, but in the ballistics; cannons are fuckin laser beams. Maybe they'll fix that, maybe not. Moving on.

I fly historical mode most of the time because arcade mode is mostly retarded (has a freaking dot telling you where to aim lawl). But even historical mode, which uses "realistic" settings, has a minimap, giant icons showing you where everything including ground targets are, an open cockpit so you don't have to see your cockpit or wings, and once again the flight model even on completely planes is silly. The potential of historical mode was that you're tasked with destroying enemy ground targets so that your forces may either repel an enemy attack, or attack the enemy successfully. Friendly tanks will rush enemy positions and based on whether or not you've done a good job, win or lose. The problem here is that typically a historical map is 10v10, planewise, and once the enemy loses all of its planes the other side automatically wins regardless of the state of the ground battle. How well the bombers did becomes moot. What this translates to in practice is that unless your entire team consists mainly of bombers, winning through destruction of ground targets is highly improbable. I've only seen it happen twice. More likely, the game is simply air Counterstrike, where you win by annihilating the enemy team. This demonstrates the gamism, rather than simulationism of War Thunder. The irony is that arcade mode is typically won by doing the objectives rather than killing the enemy because you can respawn in different planes.

Further, the playerbase appears to be largely shit. Most everyone plays arcade which is fucking pathetic. And the people who do play historical have almost no flying sense. They don't attempt to gain altitude with fighters of any kind, allowing me even in a piece of shit plane to choose when and where I want to fight, with hilarious consequences. In a Soviet I-16, I have killed a FW-190 D-13. In a 109 E-3, I've destroyed an La-7. These are but two examples of people being stupid as fuck because they probably haven't played a sim before. It happens alot. Although, that's somewhat positive beacuse it means higher tiered planes don't mean an automatic win...but really, taken altogether, it's quite silly. I hope it improves. .

I should of course try the game before ragging on it, but my friend and I have been dragging and bagging in IL-2 for about 2 years now, did (or at least attempted) every mission in the DCS Black Shark 100 mission Georgian Oil War campaign, and did the same with the DCS Warthog Georgian Hammer campaign. In other words, we've probably "flown" upwards of 500 hours together, and I'm inclined to take his word when he says that the War Thunder community doesn't know how to fly, and the planes don't feel much like planes.

Have you played DCS P-51D? How does War Thunder compare to that as a sim? Because honestly, much like trying to watch a police procedural after watching The Wire, it's very hard to go back to a "sim" that falls short of the DCS or Falcon 4.0 BMS standard.

This comment was edited on Jan 30, 2013, 23:47.
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News Comments > War Thunder Open Beta
2. Re: War Thunder Open Beta Jan 30, 2013, 20:36 Scottish Martial Arts
The word from my buddies in beta is that this is like IL-2 Sturmovik (original release) but with extremely casual flight models. In other words, like the original IL-2 release in 2001, there is no real engine, system, or avionics modeling, but unlike IL-2, you don't even feel like you're flying a real piece of machinery: instead you're just moving a floating camera around to put crosshairs on target. I suppose a MMO casual flight "sim" would be alright, were it not for the fact that the War Thunder community seems to have even less tactical aptitude than the British Hurricane squadrons of the Battle of France. Low speed, low altitude, low situational awareness, and low gunnery skills: that's the profile of your average target in War Thunder, and sadly booming and zooming on hapless newbies is only entertaining for so long, particularly when the planes aren't very rewarding to fly.  
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News Comments > Out of the Blue
22. Re: Out of the Blue Jan 11, 2013, 16:14 Scottish Martial Arts
1) That's not fully accurate. Tolkien states in the forward to the revised edition of the Lord of the Rings that his chief interest in composing The Silmarillion was "his own satisfaction" but that nevertheless he very much hoped to have it published. There was just never any publisher interest to do so in his lifetime, although he did spend the last four years of his life reworking The Silmariilion in preparation for publication after it having sat on the shelf since the thirties. When he died, his son finished that work so it could at last be published.

2) I don't see it that way. The Tolkien family was upper class to begin with. It's not as if Tolkien had a hard scrabble youth and made his fortune writing best selling fantasy novels, and now his son wants to ensure that the money keeps flowing so he can stay rich without having to work at it. Rather, I think he is motivated by a deep love of his father and a desire to share his father's work with any who will love it as he does.

As for sueing the studio, what is wrong about wanting the terms of a contract honored? Particularly, when someone is profiting off of, what you see as, a bastardization of your father's legacy? If you can't stop it from happening you might as well see to it that they pay you what they contractually owe you.

3) As for the films themselves, while they were loyal to the plot of the books, they were presented with all the subtlety of Michael Bay. Consider how the flight from the Shire was depicted: rather than creating an air of menace playing on what you don't know, Jackson shows you exactly why Gandalf never showed up to help Frodo, he let's you know what the black riders are, and rather than create a sense of being hunted, i.e. looking back to the last ridge and momentarily seeing a dark figure, he instead treats it as a cheap horror movie complete with lightening and frantic camera work. For a tale that was in many ways a reaction against modernity and industrialism, two things which living through World War I caused Tolkien to view with suspicion if not outright distaste, it seems remarkably in poor taste to make the movie that was made. Likewise, I think Jackson, while clearly having spent many skill points on Tolkien Lore, did not have a very firm grasp of the themes that Tolkien was exploring. Since we're on the subject of WWI, consider how the Hobbits were depicted: Frodo, Pippin, and Merry were, in the books, country gentlemen cast into terror and war, much as Tolkien and his friends were in 1914. Notably, for Tolkien, by 1918, all but one of his friends was dead. Likewise, Sam was the English commoner, now soldier, loyally following his officer into machine gun fire at the Somme, a battle in which Tolkien led such men. Jackson, instead of exploring class sensibilities and how members of each class responded to the horrors of the battlefield, turns Pippin and Merry into comic relief and gives the Sam/Frodo relationship homosexual overtones. At any rate, I don't have any trouble seeing how Christopher would dislike the films.
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News Comments > Out of the Blue
14. Re: Out of the Blue Jan 11, 2013, 12:44 Scottish Martial Arts
The only reason LotR is still so successful is because of the movies and the ensuing games/toys/etc. Try to get any teenager to read the books nowadays and they'll be asleep by page 10.

I got the impression that he would gladly forgo the money and new found popularity of his father's writings if it meant that Middle-Earth hadn't been turned into "an action film for teenagers" as he put it in the interview. Tolkien was a philologist (of Old English, no less) -- that's not a field you go into because you have a great love of or desire for money and fame. From what I can gather, The Silmarillion, and its associated stories, was his chief interest and passion, but no one was willing to publish something that demands a background in the epic poetry of dead Classical and Medieval languages in order to be fully appreciated and understood. Hence, the Hobbit, and subsequently, and due to continued publisher resistance to The Silmarillion, The Lord of the Rings. One of Tolkien's first publications was a volume of poetry called Songs for the Philologists -- the title should make clear whom he envisioned as the audience for his fictional work. As such, I think it's a mistake to think that Tolkien's aim was the creation of a commercial product to generate a profit and everflowing revenue stream for himself and his heirs. Rather, it was the creation of a prose epic that would appeal to those who know Homer and Beowulf well (and hopefully in Greek and Old English) and that would give to England a legendary and mythical alternate history, in the style of the Norse and Ancient Greeks, that would be distinctly English. With that in mind, I can see why Christopher Tolkien is a bit dismayed that Middle-Earth is now chiefly associated with some entertaining, but loud, bombastic, and utterly unsubtle films from a director of great visual imagination but little story telling talent.
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News Comments > Steam Linux Stats - Linux Console This Year?
6. Re: Steam Linux Stats - Linux Console This Year? Jan 6, 2013, 14:42 Scottish Martial Arts
The Half Elf wrote on Jan 6, 2013, 13:35:
If you have never used Linux before (namely Ubuntu) and never used Windows 8 before, how likely is the average joe going to switch to it just for gaming?

The average user will not have any difficulty using a modern Linux distro to write email, use the internet, manage their finances, etc. In fact, for Grandma, Linux might be preferable in that she won't have to worry about "those computer viruses crashing my computer." Likewise, as long as you don't give her root access to the computer, and thus the ability to fuck things up, her computer will remain stable and speedy far longer than the average Windows installation tends to. On the other hand, Linux is much less commonly used, and Grandma won't find a How to Use Linux class at the senior center. So in that sense, it is a bit of trade off, but either way, there is nothing particularly hard about using the GUI of a modern Linux distro: if you can use Windows you can use Linux, and vice-versa.

Now for those who are more sophisticated computer users than Grandma or Average Joe, Linux comes with more challenges and more rewards. Most PC gamers obtain at least a passing familiarity with how a computer works, how to tweak settings, and how to troubleshoot problems; someone wanting to use Linux for more than web browsing absolutely MUST have those skills. With Linux, you are your own tech support. While there are copious resources on the web for working with Linux, and while nearly every problem you encounter will have a step by step solution just a google search away, it is incumbent upon you, the user, to find those resources and solutions and to implement them. With Linux, becoming comfortable with the command line really is essential, where as in Windows, even an intermediate power user can get away with only rarely using the command prompt. So what's the upside of this? I'd say Linux is more satisfying to use, more customizable, more powerful, and engages more of your intellect. Were my Steam and GOG catalog, plus DCS World, all to work on Linux, I probably would stop being a Windows user.
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News Comments > Bond Games MIA
6. Re: Bond Games MIA Jan 4, 2013, 22:35 Scottish Martial Arts
Anyway, I've always wanted to see a good Bond game - never played Goldeneye. Was it like NOLF?

There were some definite similarities. Goldeneye's big thing was that it was objective driven rather than "find the exit" driven. Now, often times your last objective was to exit the level, but prior to that you would explore relatively non-linear levels to find key items, blow up certain things, kill/talk to key NPCs, etc. The difficulty levels were also quite interesting in that difficulty not only affected the number of enemies in the level, but also what objectives you had to complete, what doors were initially locked, etc. Now that said, there was only one level that involved anything approximating stealth, the environments were pretty non-interactive and didn't fell terribly alive, and there wasn't nearly the focus on gadgetry that NOLF had, so in that respect the games are quite different, but at the least you can see some influence of Goldeneye upon NOLF.

At any rate, I haven't played Goldeneye in over 12 years, so I have no idea if it still holds up, but at the time it was a pretty solid shooter.
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News Comments > Boxing Day Mobilization
12. Re: Boxing Day Mobilization Dec 26, 2012, 23:43 Scottish Martial Arts
The idea that pilots will use them in the cockpit is bollocks. Consumer navigation equipment is classified as "for information only", which means you shouldn't trust it. Certified GPS / navigation equipment costs an arm and a leg, but BA planes will have it anyway.

I highly doubt that BA hopes to replace a glass cockpit moving map system with the GPS on the iPad. Rather, I would expect that the iPad would have a database of sectional charts, ILS approach charts, airport diagrams, etc., i.e. stuff that they'd carry around in paper form anyway.
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News Comments > Boxing Day Mobilization
7. Re: Boxing Day Mobilization Dec 26, 2012, 19:22 Scottish Martial Arts
I'm not a pilot so I'm not keen on the details but.....shouldn't that kind of stuff be done by the PLANE? Ground and cabin I suppose I could see, but pilots? Why don't they already have that?

Depends on the airplane and what kind of avionics package it has. Regardless, having a redundant source of navigation data is never a bad thing. Ideally, you should be treating a modern INS/GPS navigation system, and older (but still VERY useful) radio navigation tools such as ADF, VOR and ILS, as a backup to the traditional dead reckoning tools of clock, compass, and map, but often times it's the other way around.
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News Comments > IL-2 Sturmovik: Battle of Stalingrad Announced
3. Re: IL-2 Sturmovik: Battle of Stalingrad Announced Dec 11, 2012, 11:22 Scottish Martial Arts
Eh, Cliffs of Dover turned out pretty decent in the end; it just took over a year of patching to get there. Still a bit slim on content though.

It's odd that this will focus on Stalingrad though, because for months, the communication from the devs on the official board was that the next release would focus on June '41 to December '41, i.e. Barbarossa to the German advance being turned back just a few miles from Moscow.
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News Comments > Evening Safety Dance
3. Re: Evening Safety Dance Dec 5, 2012, 22:03 Scottish Martial Arts
Cutter wrote on Dec 5, 2012, 21:04:
Wow, scary article on the NSA - as well as several other articles on that site.

While it wouldn't surprise me in the least if this whistleblowers claims are true, do keep in mind who's doing the reporting here: Russia Today, which is to Putin's Kremlin as Fox News is to the GOP.
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News Comments > Ships Ahoy - Baldur's Gate: Enhanced Edition
9. Re: Ships Ahoy - Baldur's Gate: Enhanced Edition Nov 28, 2012, 23:42 Scottish Martial Arts
New intro cinematic:

Good god, who thought THAT was an improvement? Never thought I'd prefer 15 year old CGI to much of anything, but here we are.
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News Comments > etc.
28. Re: etc. Nov 17, 2012, 17:12 Scottish Martial Arts
Other Congresses and Administrations, both Democrat and Republican in the past have been able to negotiate and compromise to pass budgets without one side having total dominion of the legislative branch.

Politifact says:

Ornstein referred us to the gridlock of 2011 that resulted from the debate over raising the debt ceiling. The budget control act, which was passed to avoid a default on our debt and signed by Obama wasn’t a traditional budget resolution, Ornstein said. But he noted: "That was actually a budget adopted by a president."

Ornstein also noted that during George W. Bush’s presidency, there were years that Democrats in Congress failed to pass joint resolutions.

"To suggest that was Bush not passing a budget would be a misstatement," Ornstein said. He called Romney’s rap on Obama "at best a gross exaggeration."

In his speech, Romney faulted Obama for failing to pass a budget. He was correct that the two times Congress voted on the president’s budget requests, both times they were voted down. But the job of passing a budget resolution is not the president’s. That responsibility falls to Congress, and even then the president doesn’t sign it. As Ellis, our expert, put it: "The president has no role in passing a budget. The president can cajole Congress about passing a budget and advocate for positions and funding levels, but in the end, Congress approves the budget resolution for their own purposes." That’s the difference between this and other claims we’ve rated which blamed Congress for inaction on the budget.

Romney’s statement contains a grain of truth, in that two of Obama’s budget requests failed to pass. But citing those votes leaves a wrong impression -- namely that the votes were anything more than political theater. Romney omitted the more critical information that passing a federal budget is the job of Congress. Given all that, we rate his statement Mostly False.

Sorry, didn't mean to introduce some nuance to your right-wing talking points.
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News Comments > etc.
12. Re: etc. Nov 16, 2012, 18:53 Scottish Martial Arts
ledhead1969 wrote on Nov 16, 2012, 17:10:
"Growing up from nothing taught me a couple of valuable lessons, though, #1 being: The system isn't designed so that everyone can get ahead just by working hard, regardless of what people tell you."

Spoken like a true loser.

If only the Tea Partiers would follow through on their vows to emigrate or secede. It's hilarious that the party of "personal responsibility" would attract such perpetual adolescents.
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News Comments > Morning Consolidation
8. Re: Morning Consolidation Nov 16, 2012, 18:37 Scottish Martial Arts
Smellfinger wrote on Nov 16, 2012, 17:24:
strong placebo wrote on Nov 16, 2012, 13:54:
halo 1 multiplayer was quite a phenomenon for its time.

Halo 1 wasn't playable on Xbox Live, though. Live was around for two years before you could play a Halo game on it and it was already well established by then.

Yup. Halo 1 was a system launch title in 2001 and its multiplayer was limited to split-screen and LAN only. Xbox Live didn't go online until 2002, with Mech Assault as its flagship product. Halo 2 didn't hit until 2004, at which point Xbox Live was already there to stay.
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2911 Comments. 146 pages. Viewing page 24.
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