Xbox System Link Guide Version 1.5

Written by Paul Acevedo
Created on: 7/01/03
Updated on: 11/03/03

Contents:

1.  Introduction.
2.  Version history
3.  Linking 2 systems with a system link cable
4.  Linking 2 or more systems through an ethernet hub or switch
5.  The top 5 must-have system link games
6.  The cheapest system link games
7.  System link compatible games
8.  Simple network solution: Gamester USA LAN-Party Pack
9.  Playing system link games over the net without Xbox Live
10. Mod-chips and link-play
11. How to get developers to improve system link support
12. Special thanks
13. Contact information

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1. Introduction
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   This FAQ was created to encourage the organization of Xbox LAN parties. 
Most magazines don't even mention system link support, and finding specific 
details about a specific game's link options can be difficult. No longer! 
I will maintain a list of games that support system link and describe the 
experience whenever I can. Reader support is greatly appreciated. I have 
also explained how to set up an Xbox network in simple terms. If you're 
interested in Xbox Live features, check my Xbox Live Game Guide at this very 
website.

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2. Version history
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7/01/03  Version 1.0 FAQ created.
7/02/03  Version 1.1a update. Midnight Club 2 and Moto GP added to Games
         List. Slight text changes throughout.
7/10/03  Version 1.2a update. Introduction rewritten. Custom soundtrack 
         support added to the Games List. Special Thanks section added.
         Minor errors corrected in Brute Force's and MechAssault's 
         descriptions.
7/17/03  Version 1.3 update. A new section has been added about improving 
         developers' system link support. NFL Fever 2003 added to Games 
         List.  An addition regarding the patch file added to Unreal     
         Championship's description. New info added to Mod-chips section. 
         More info added to the Linking Systems sections. Maximum number of    
         systems added to Moto GP and Moto GP 2 descriptions.
9/25/03  Version 1.3a update. NFL Fever 2004 and Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon: 
         Island Thunder added to Games List. Added Datel's Combat Command to
         Simple Network Solution section.
10/27/03 Version 1.4 update. The Top 5 must-have games and Cheapest games  
         sections added. Crimson Skies and Amped 2 added to Games List.
         Introduction, Contact Info, and Midtown Madness 3, TimeSplitters 2, 
         and Unreal Championship's descriptions updated.
10/31/03 Version 1.4a Update. Tony Hawk's Underground, Top Spin, and Tom 
         Clancy's Rainbow Six 3 added to the games list. Cheapest games list 
         updated. A mistake in Unreal Championship's description fixed. 
         World Racing has been found not to be System Link compatible but 
         will remain on the list. 
11/03/03 Version 1.5 update. Brute Force, Crimson Skies, and Tom Clancy's 
         Rainbow Six 3's descriptions updated. Cheapest games list and must-
         have games updated. Headset support will be added to the game 
         descriptions as 
         it is tested.

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3. Linking 2 systems with a system link cable
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   To link 2 systems together, you will need the following:
       - 2 Xbox consoles
       - 2 Televisions or monitors
       - 2 copies of an Xbox game that support system link play
       - 1 Xbox system link cable or ethernet crossover cable 

Plug the link cable into the network port on the back of each system. A 
standard ethernet cable cannot be used without a hub because it doesn't 
negotiate IP addresses.

Start a system link game and follow the instructions in the manual to
negotiate a connection between the systems. Yeah!

Some Xbox consoles seem to have sensitive ethernet ports and may not 
function with a standard crossover cable. If you encounter this situation,
buy an ethernet hub or switch instead, then read on...

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4. Linking 2 or more systems through an ethernet hub or switch
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   To link 2 or more systems together, you will need the following:
       - 2 or more Xbox consoles	
       - 1 Television or monitor for each console
       - 1 copy of an Xbox game that supports system link play for
         each console
       - An ethernet hub or switch to create a network
       - 1 Standard ethernet cable (Cat5 or Cat6) for each system

Plug an ethernet cable into each port of the hub that will be connected to a 
system, without skipping a port (e.g. 1, 2, 3 - not 1, 3, 4). Connect the 
other end of each cable into the network port on the back of each system.

Start a system link game and follow the instructions in its manual to 
negotiate a connection between the systems. Alright!

If you're creating a large network of 8 or more consoles (to play a dream 
match of Return to Castle Wolfenstein, I'd assume) an ethernet hub or 
multiple ethernet hubs may get bogged down by the heavy network traffic. You 
should use at least one ethernet switch in these cases, as switches 
negotiate data transfer across the network much more efficiently than hubs.
A 100 MB/second or better hub would also do the trick.

Gamers should also be careful to check the features of wireless networking 
devices before trying to use them with an Xbox. Wireless bridges will 
usually work fine but wireless access points may need special bridging or 
client-mode features in order to work. I don't do this myself, but it could 
allow you to put Xboxes in other rooms without moving televisions around.
General wireless info can be found at www.tomshardware.com.

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5.  The top 5 must-have system link games
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   These are my recommendations based on overall quality of a game and its 
networked play.

 1. Halo
 2. Moto GP 2
 3. Serious Sam
 4. Crimson Skies
 5. MechAssault

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6.  The cheapest system link games
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   So you don't have a modchip and need multiple copies of a game in order 
to network it? Here are some inexpensive choices.

$30 Price Range:
     -Brute Force
     -Midtown Madness 3
     
$20 and Under Price Range:
     -Deathrow
    -MechAssault
    -NASCAR Heat 2002
    -NFL Fever 2003 (but wouldn't you rather have 2004?)
    -Serious Sam
    -TimeSplitters 2
    -Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon
    -Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2X, 3, and 4
    -Unreal Championship
    -Whacked!

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5. System link compatible games
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TITLE: Amped 2
DEVELOPER: Microsoft
PUBLISHER: Microsoft
GENRE: Sports
MAXIMUM # OF PLAYERS: 8
MAXIMUM # of LINKED SYSTEMS: 8
PLAYERS PER SYSTEM: 1
CUSTOM SOUNDTRACKS: Yes
XBOX LIVE MULTIPLAYER: Yes
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TITLE: Brute Force
DEVELOPER: Digital Anvil
PUBLISHER: Microsoft
GENRE: 3rd-person shooter
MAXIMUM # OF PLAYERS: 8 (4 in co-op)
MAXIMUM # of LINKED SYSTEMS: 4
PLAYERS PER SYSTEM: 4
CUSTOM SOUNDTRACKS: No
XBOX LIVE MULTIPLAYER: No

LINK-PLAY DESCRIPTION: Brute Force is kind of Halo's ugly cousin. Although 
it is played from a third-person perspective, the control reminds you of 
Bungie's classic title. What holds BF back is the hideous art direction. 
Every character, voice, and background is utterly lame. If everyone can get 
past that there is some fun to be had.

The main reason for owning this one is the four-player co-op. It's way 
better than controlling your teammates by yourself. The story mode is long 
and the action can be pretty hectic. Deathmatch is also included, but it's 
so vanilla that everyone is likely to tire of it quickly. There are no bots 
either, but what did you expect?

With Serious Sam and Rainbow Six 3 also offering system link co-op, I 
recommend picking up Brute Force after the other 2 have been purchased.
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TITLE: Crimson Skies
DEVELOPER: Fasa Studio
PUBLISHER: Microsoft
GENRE: Flight/ Action
MAXIMUM # OF PLAYERS: 16
MAXIMUM # of LINKED SYSTEMS: 16
PLAYERS PER SYSTEM: 2
CUSTOM SOUNDTRACKS: No
XBOX LIVE MULTIPLAYER: Yes
HEADSET SUPPORT: Yes

LINK-PLAY DESCRIPTION: Crimson Skies is more than just a dogfighting game.
It is a brilliant new spin on aerial combat that marries easy control with
brilliant aesthetics, creative environments and an interesting story. Run 
out and buy it right away!

Several modes of play are available, including dogfighting (deathmatch), 
keep away, capture the flag, and wild chicken, in which players fight to 
take a single chicken into the opposing team's base. Dogfighting is probably 
the best of the bunch, if only because the combat is so satisfying. Capture 
the flag fares the worst as it can be difficult to find your own flag once 
the enemy has taken it.

You can only have 2 people per console (odd because the game has 4-player 
split-screen), but even smaller games are great fun. Bots would have been 
nice though. And strangely, instead of letting everyone create profiles, it 
just assigns names from the story mode. At least that shortens setup time.
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TITLE: Deathrow
DEVELOPER: South End Interactive
PUBLISHER: Ubi Soft
GENRE: Sports
MAXIMUM # OF PLAYERS: 8
MAXIMUM # of LINKED SYSTEMS: 8
PLAYERS PER SYSTEM: 1
CUSTOM SOUNDTRACKS: Yes
XBOX LIVE MULTIPLAYER: No
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TITLE: Halo
DEVELOPER: Bungee
PUBLISHER: Microsoft
GENRE: 1st-person shooter
MAXIMUM # OF PLAYERS: 16
MAXIMUM # of LINKED SYSTEMS: 4
PLAYERS PER SYSTEM: 4
CUSTOM SOUNDTRACKS: No
XBOX LIVE MULTIPLAYER: No

LINK-PLAY DESCRIPTION: Halo is the most-played system-link game since nearly 
everyone owns it. That's great because virtually every Xbox gamer you meet 
has had practice and can offer more competition than a newby. Of course, the
game has no bots, so you can't practice the multiplayer mode without having 
other people around, a slight drawback. Hey, I hear they're making a sequel...

In my opinion, Halo's most special link-related feature is that 16 people 
can play on only 4 systems. Relatively few Xbox games support split-screen 
network play, despite how popular this feature has become. Halo also allows 
custom match types with a wide variety of modifiers to be saved, so you can 
always tweak the rules to your liking.
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TITLE: Inside Pitch 2003
DEVELOPER: Microsoft
PUBLISHER: Microsoft
GENRE: Sports
MAXIMUM # OF PLAYERS: 2
MAXIMUM # of LINKED SYSTEMS: 2
PLAYERS PER SYSTEM: 1
CUSTOM SOUNDTRACKS: Yes
XBOX LIVE MULTIPLAYER: Yes
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TITLE: MechAssault
DEVELOPER: Day 1
PUBLISHER: Microsoft
GENRE: 3rd-person shooter
MAXIMUM # OF PLAYERS: 8
MAXIMUM # of LINKED SYSTEMS: 8
PLAYERS PER SYSTEM: 2
CUSTOM SOUNDTRACKS: No
XBOX LIVE MULTIPLAYER: Yes
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TITLE: Midnight Club 2
DEVELOPER: Rockstar San Diego
PUBLISHER: Rockstar Games
GENRE: Racing
MAXIMUM # OF PLAYERS: 8
MAXIMUM # of LINKED SYSTEMS: 8
PLAYERS PER SYSTEM: 1
CUSTOM SOUNDTRACKS: No
XBOX LIVE MULTIPLAYER: Yes
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TITLE: Midtown Madness 3
DEVELOPER: Dice
PUBLISHER: Microsoft
GENRE: Racing
MAXIMUM # OF PLAYERS: 8
MAXIMUM # of LINKED SYSTEMS: 8
PLAYERS PER SYSTEM: 1
CUSTOM SOUNDTRACKS: Yes (buggy unless you download a patch through Live)
XBOX LIVE MULTIPLAYER: Yes

LINK-PLAY DESCRIPTION: Midtown Madness 3 is the Microsoftey alternative to 
Midnight Club 2. Both games offer checkpoint racing in real-life cities, but
MM3's got licensed cars AND custom soundtracks. MM3 also has only 2-player 
split-screen instead of 4, and you can't use split-screen during the link-
play. What is up with that? Unlike many 1st-person shooters, racing games can 
still be great fun with a small number of players, so don't write off 
Midtown Madness 3's network play. 

Besides checkpoint races, several Smuggler's Run-like multiplayer modes 
provide added depth. Joining a host game is a bit difficult, but I have 
faith in you.
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TITLE: Moto GP
DEVELOPER: Climax UK
PUBLISHER: THQ
GENRE: Racing
MAXIMUM # OF PLAYERS: 16
MAXIMUM # of LINKED SYSTEMS: 16
PLAYERS PER SYSTEM: 4
CUSTOM SOUNDTRACKS: Yes
XBOX LIVE MULTIPLAYER: Yes
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TITLE: Moto GP 2
DEVELOPER: Climax UK
PUBLISHER: THQ
GENRE: Racing
MAXIMUM # OF PLAYERS: 16
MAXIMUM # of LINKED SYSTEMS: 16
PLAYERS PER SYSTEM: 4
CUSTOM SOUNDTRACKS: Yes
XBOX LIVE MULTIPLAYER: Yes

LINK-PLAY DESCRIPTION: Now this is special - a racing game that offers the 
16-players/4-systems competition that few games other than Halo have 
provided before. It's so great to take part in a large race where every 
rider is one of your friends. 

This is motorcycle racing and the bikes have really sensitive handling, so 
it's hard to do well on the first try. If everyone sticks with it for a few 
races, the beautiful gameplay should win them over. It's relatively painless 
for systems to join the host game, too. If racing and network parties are 
your things, Moto GP 2 is a no-brainer.
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TITLE: NASCAR Heat 2002
DEVELOPER: 
PUBLISHER: Infogrames
GENRE: Racing
MAXIMUM # OF PLAYERS: 32
MAXIMUM # of LINKED SYSTEMS: 8
PLAYERS PER SYSTEM: 4
CUSTOM SOUNDTRACKS: No
XBOX LIVE MULTIPLAYER: No
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TITLE: NFL Fever 2003  
DEVELOPER: Microsoft 
PUBLISHER: Microsoft  
GENRE: Sports  
MAXIMUM # OF PLAYERS: 8  
MAXIMUM # of LINKED SYSTEMS: 2  
PLAYERS PER SYSTEM: 4  
CUSTOM SOUNDTRACKS: No  
XBOX LIVE MULTIPLAYER: Yes

LINK-PLAY DESCRIPTION: I haven't played this one myself, but J. Nomura 
recommends it highly because of its current low price ($20) and the ability 
to use custom players and teams in link play. It's also the only eight-
player football game at the moment. Of course, there is a large camp who 
dislike Fever, so rent before buying.
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TITLE: NFL Fever 2004  
DEVELOPER: Microsoft 
PUBLISHER: Microsoft  
GENRE: Sports  
MAXIMUM # OF PLAYERS: 8  
MAXIMUM # of LINKED SYSTEMS: 2  
PLAYERS PER SYSTEM: 4  
CUSTOM SOUNDTRACKS: Yes 
XBOX LIVE MULTIPLAYER: Yes
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TITLE: Return to Castle Wolfenstein: Tides of War
DEVELOPER: Nerve Software
PUBLISHER: Activision
GENRE: 1st-person shooter
MAXIMUM # OF PLAYERS: 16
MAXIMUM # of LINKED SYSTEMS: 16
PLAYERS PER SYSTEM: 1
CUSTOM SOUNDTRACKS: No
XBOX LIVE MULTIPLAYER: Yes

LINK-PLAY DESCRIPTION: The multiplayer component of Return to Castle 
Wolfenstein is absolutely awesome. There are four character classes, all of 
which rely on each other for support in various team-based competitions. 
It's super-deep and there are 16 massive levels (3 locked until a file is 
downloaded) to wage war in. 

The hitch keeping you from enjoying all that in a LAN setting is that only 
one person can play on each system. This is frustrating when the game runs 
perfectly well in 2-player split-screen co-op. Realistically you're only 
going to be able to get a few Xboxes and TVs together in one place. Playing 
with less than 8 people, the teams won't have one of each character class. 
The levels are just too big for games of 4 or less anyway. If Nerve had put 
some work into allowing split-screen network play, Wolfenstein would easily 
rival Halo in LAN gaming. Still, the excellent story mode and Live play make 
this a great purchase.
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TITLE: Serious Sam
DEVELOPER: Croteam
PUBLISHER: Gotham Games
GENRE: 1st-person shooter
MAXIMUM # OF PLAYERS: 8 (4 in co-op)
MAXIMUM # of LINKED SYSTEMS: 8 (4 in co-op)
PLAYERS PER SYSTEM: 4
XBOX LIVE MULTIPLAYER: No
HEADSET SUPPORT: NO

LINK-PLAY DESCRIPTION: Serious Sam is great for simple, Doom-style thrills.
The number of characters is scant and straight Deathmatch is the only 
competitive mode, but the unique feature here is four-player co-op network 
play. It's way more fun than going solo, and Brute Force is currently the 
only other Xbox shooter to offer the feature. Sam is only $20 so it's not 
expensive to get four copies of the game together, either. 

Interestingly, the game's manual lies about the # of players in a system-
link game: it claims 8-player co-op and 16-player Deathmatch. That'd be 
nice! Oh, and joining a game in progress is a snap.
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TITLE: Soldier of Fortune 2: Double Helix
DEVELOPER: Gratuitous Games
PUBLISHER: Activision
GENRE: 1st-person shooter
MAXIMUM # OF PLAYERS: 10
MAXIMUM # of LINKED SYSTEMS: 10
PLAYERS PER SYSTEM: 1
CUSTOM SOUNDTRACKS: No
XBOX LIVE MULTIPLAYER: Yes
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TITLE: Time Splitters 2
DEVELOPER: Free Radical
PUBLISHER: Eidos
GENRE: 1st-person shooter
MAXIMUM # OF PLAYERS: 16
MAXIMUM # of LINKED SYSTEMS: 4
PLAYERS PER SYSTEM: 4
CUSTOM SOUNDTRACKS: No
XBOX LIVE MULTIPLAYER: No
HEADSET SUPPORT: NO

LINK-PLAY DESCRIPTION: Time Splitters 2 passed under many gamers' radars, 
but it warrants a look from seasoned shooter fans for its sheer variety 
alone. 125 characters and 16 levels are unlockable, although practically no 
one will be able to handle the extremely difficult single-player challenges 
needed to get them all. Still, you have more than 30 characters unlocked 
from the start, more than most shooters offer. Hey, now you can download the 
complete save file from codejunkies.com if you own an Action Replay or your 
system is modded... Several game types are available, but you can't mix and 
match their features like Halo's. TS2's biggest downside is its Goldeneye-
style aiming, which is far less intuitive than Halo's, or any other game of 
this type. 

Alas, it's needlessly difficult for systems to join the host game because 
the host system has to wait at a certain screen after its players have 
selected their characters before the other systems can join and START 
choosing their characters. If they could join at any time in the setup 
process or even mid-game, things would be so much easier. Hey, just be 
thankful Eidos actually made a good game...
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TITLE: Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon
DEVELOPER: Red Storm Entertainment
PUBLISHER: Ubi Soft
GENRE: 1st-person shooter (squad-based)
MAXIMUM # OF PLAYERS: 16
MAXIMUM # of LINKED SYSTEMS: 16
PLAYERS PER SYSTEM: 1
XBOX LIVE MULTIPLAYER: Yes
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TITLE: Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon: Island Thunder
DEVELOPER: Red Storm Entertainment
PUBLISHER: Ubi Soft
GENRE: 1st-person shooter (squad-based)
MAXIMUM # OF PLAYERS: 16
MAXIMUM # of LINKED SYSTEMS: 16
PLAYERS PER SYSTEM: 1
XBOX LIVE MULTIPLAYER: Yes
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TITLE: Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six 3
DEVELOPER: Red Storm Entertainment
PUBLISHER: Ubi Soft
GENRE: 1st-person shooter (squad-based)
MAXIMUM # OF PLAYERS: 16 (4 in co-op)
MAXIMUM # of LINKED SYSTEMS: 16
PLAYERS PER SYSTEM: 1
XBOX LIVE MULTIPLAYER: Yes
HEADSET SUPPORT: Yes

LINK-PLAY DESCRIPTION: Rainbow Six 3 is the game you should be playing 
instead of Ghost Recon. It's a quality title in every way, with good 
graphics, sound, and excellent strategic gameplay. 

Two cooperative modes are available: Mission, in which you and your friends 
take on any of the single-player levels, and Terrorist Hunt, where you just 
eliminate the bad guys without worrying about objectives. The Live 
Communicator headset is supported and can be very helpful if you're in 
separate rooms. The only drawback to Mission mode is there are no bots to 
substitute for missing players, so 2- or 3-player games are more challenging 
than a full game.

RS3 also has two varieties of deathmatch - respawning or no respawning. They 
hold up alright despite the lack of split-screen. There are small stages as 
well as big ones, so a four-player game won't seem too empty (unlike Return 
to Castle Wolfenstein).

If you have Xbox Live or just want a top-class cooperative experience, 
Rainbow Six 3 is a must-have. Don't we all love rainbows?
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TITLE: Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2X
DEVELOPER: Treyarch
PUBLISHER: Activision
GENRE: Sports
MAXIMUM # OF PLAYERS: 8
MAXIMUM # of LINKED SYSTEMS: 8
PLAYERS PER SYSTEM: 1
CUSTOM SOUNDTRACKS: Yes
XBOX LIVE MULTIPLAYER: No
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TITLE: Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 3
DEVELOPER: ?
PUBLISHER: Activision
GENRE: Sports
MAXIMUM # OF PLAYERS: 8
MAXIMUM # of LINKED SYSTEMS: 8
PLAYERS PER SYSTEM: 1
CUSTOM SOUNDTRACKS: Yes
XBOX LIVE MULTIPLAYER: No
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TITLE: Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 4
DEVELOPER: ?
PUBLISHER: Activision
GENRE: Sports
MAXIMUM # OF PLAYERS: 8
MAXIMUM # of LINKED SYSTEMS: 8
PLAYERS PER SYSTEM: 1
CUSTOM SOUNDTRACKS: Yes
XBOX LIVE MULTIPLAYER: No
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TITLE: Tony Hawk's Underground
DEVELOPER: ?
PUBLISHER: Activision
GENRE: Sports
MAXIMUM # OF PLAYERS: 8
MAXIMUM # of LINKED SYSTEMS: 8
PLAYERS PER SYSTEM: 1
CUSTOM SOUNDTRACKS: Yes
XBOX LIVE MULTIPLAYER: No
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TITLE: Top Spin
DEVELOPER: Microsoft
PUBLISHER: Microsoft
GENRE: Sports
MAXIMUM # OF PLAYERS: 4
MAXIMUM # of LINKED SYSTEMS: 2
PLAYERS PER SYSTEM: 2
CUSTOM SOUNDTRACKS: No
XBOX LIVE MULTIPLAYER: Yes
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TITLE: Unreal Championship
DEVELOPER: Digital Extremes
PUBLISHER: Infogrames
GENRE: 1st-person shooter
MAXIMUM # OF PLAYERS: 10 (varies by level)
MAXIMUM # of LINKED SYSTEMS: 10 (varies by level)
PLAYERS PER SYSTEM: 4
CUSTOM SOUNDTRACKS: No
XBOX LIVE MULTIPLAYER: Yes

LINK-PLAY DESCRIPTION: Unreal Championship is basically the Xbox version of 
the popular PC Unreal Tournament 2003, thus your friends may already be 
accustomed to its rules and gameplay. It offers many selectable characters 
with unique weapon proficiencies, but you can't change your character 
without creating a new player profile. Multiple players can join a networked 
game from one system, but they must push start and join mid-game instead of 
before the match like most games. This nuisance is slightly offset by the 
fact that systems can join the host game at any time, even after a match 
begins. 

Each level has a maximum number of players that it can support, from 6 to 
10, so a group of 10 players couldn't really experience all the game has to 
offer. You would want to use several systems for link-play anyway, as the 
frame-rate drops dramatically when 3 or 4 player split-screen is used. This 
makes hitting enemies with anything but the rocket launcher almost 
impossible. UC is always pretty framey, but the gameplay is sublime and the 
graphics are gorgeous so some of you won't mind. 

Incidentally, the Live-downloadable patch DOES improve split-screen frame-
rate as well as adding four new levels. It's still not as smooth as Halo, 
but UC is a lot more playable now. If you own this game, you need to find a 
way to get the download!
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TITLE: Whacked!
DEVELOPER: Presto Studios, Inc.
PUBLISHER: Microsoft
GENRE: Action/Party
MAXIMUM # OF PLAYERS: 4
MAXIMUM # of LINKED SYSTEMS: 4
PLAYERS PER SYSTEM: 1
CUSTOM SOUNDTRACKS: No
XBOX LIVE MULTIPLAYER: Yes
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TITLE: World Racing
DEVELOPER: Synetic
PUBLISHER: TDK Mediactive
GENRE: Racing
MAXIMUM # OF PLAYERS: N/A
MAXIMUM # of LINKED SYSTEMS: N/A
PLAYERS PER SYSTEM: N/A
CUSTOM SOUNDTRACKS: Yes
XBOX LIVE MULTIPLAYER: No

DESCRIPTION: According to a reader, World Racing is not actually system link 
compatible. The System Link support mentioned on the back of the box is a 
misprint. The game will remain on the list since people may wonder about it. 
Needless to say, don't buy it.

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6. Simple network solution: Gamester USA LAN-Party Pack
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If buying an ethernet hub or switch seems intimidating to you, there is a 
simple solution that contains everything you need: The Gamester USA LAN-
Party Pack. The LAN-Party Pack includes a 10mbit ethernet hub and 4 16' RJ45 
ethernet cables. You just connect each system to the hub with the included 
cables and you're ready for system link play. Everything in the kit is green 
or black and matches the Xbox perfectly. Plus it's only $34.99, so it won't 
break the bank. For a full review, head to 
lanparty.com/articles/lanpartypack/. Datel distributes a version of the same 
product as "Combat Command," so buy whichever you can find.

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7. Playing system-link games over the net without Xbox Live
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While nearly every Xbox Live game supports system link, there are lots of 
link games like Halo that don't have Live support. Through the magic of PC 
applications, you can still play these games online. How can this BE?! Well, 
you just network your Xbox with a PC and programs like XboxConnector will 
negotiate connections between your Xbox console and others over the 
internet. I can't tell you how to do this, but 
xbox-scene.com/tools/tools.php?page=tunnel will provide you with the 
applications to do so. Oh, and xboxlink.co.uk claims to accomplish the same 
thing without a tunneling program. Toasty!

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8. Mod-chips and link-play
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   A growing number of people are installing mod-chips and the Evolution X 
BIOS in their Xbox consoles. Mod-chips, while morally questionable in many 
ways, make Xbox network parties much more viable. Ideally, if every console 
is "chipped" you would need only one copy of a game in order to play the 
game system-linked. 

There are two main ways to do this:

1. Install the game on everyone's hard drive and you're ready to play.
   That's great, but you MUST delete the game from everyone's hard drive  
   after you're done playing or you're breaking the law. In fact, it's 
   probably STILL illegal! 

2. Make DVD-R or CD-RW copies of a game and let the modded Xbox users run 
   the backups. An unmodded system can just use the original disc. If you 
   retrieve your backups after the network party ends, you've had a great 
   time without contributing to piracy.

It really is important that you don't let your friends keep copies of your 
games. We all need to buy our own copies of system link games so that they 
sell well and more linkable games are released. Supply and demand, baby!!!


For the cheap or soldering iron-challenged, there are a few exploits out 
there that allow you to run DVD-R backups of a game or install games to the 
Xbox hard drive without modding your system. These generally require a copy 
of 007: Agent Under Fire or MechAssault and possibly a PC in order to be 
accomplished. The drawback is you can NEVER get Xbox Live if you mod this 
way. Visit xbox-scene.com and check the tutorials if you're interested, and 
don't even think of asking me for tech support on this issue.

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9. How to get developers to improve system link support
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   System linking, and ethernet support in general, is a very new concept to 
console developers. Xbox is the first videogame system to feature a built-in 
ethernet adapter and most game makers aren't used to taking advantage of 
such hardware. Japanese developers in particular seem to stare at an 
ethernet port and think it's a pencil holder or something. Yet from the 
beginning, Halo has shown that Xbox LAN parties are possible and even 
popular. 

As consumers, there are a few things we can do to see more system link 
compatible games released with better support for the feature.

1. Buy system link games. If games that support system link sell well, it 
   can help a developer decide to include support in their future titles as 
   well. It's simple economics. If a game that SHOULD feature system link 
   support releases without it, don't buy that game. That includes shooters 
   like Red Faction 2 or racing games like Apex. With many networkable 
   alternatives in a genre, we can afford to skip over these 
   games that don't properly take advantage of the Xbox hardware.

2. Email or write to developers. Some developers like Electronic Arts 
   consistently omit system link support in their games. We should 
   write to them and suggest they add the support. Other times games are 
   announced with Live support but system link support is not mentioned. In 
   these cases, it's really important that we suggest the people making the 
   games include this feature. It does not require a lot of effort on their 
   part, and can make a game much more fun in offline play. Mention Halo!

   Link support is great, but what about games like Return to Castle 
   Wolfenstein that don't support split-screen system link play? If a game 
   has been announced with system link support of any kind, it's a good idea 
   to let the developers know that we want multiple people playing on each 
   linked console. That's practically the only way you're going to get more 
   than 8 people playing in one LAN. Mention how popular Halo's 16 player 
   matches are. If we don't let them know that we want it, they may just 
   slap PC-style LAN features without taking advantage of split-screen's 
   popularity and convenience. 

   You can also ask that cooperative play support system link as well. Far 
   too few system link games have cooperative modes. 

If enough people vocalize their opinions to developers, we can make a 
difference. Fight the power!

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10. Special Thanks
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   I just can't buy every system link released, so it's with great 
appreciation that I thank the following people for their contributions to 
this guide.

-J. Nomura for details on Brute Force, MechAssault, and NFL Fever
 2003 system link support.
-Paul R. for all kinds of technical information. You didn't want this guide 
 to be less than 100K, did you?
-Adam T. for heroically buying World Racing only to find out it lacks system 
 link support.
-Matthew Walsh for Moto GP and Moto GP 2 details and a hub tip.

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11. Contact information
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

   If you're aware of system link games that are not listed here of if I've 
made any mistakes, please let me know. I would be happy to answer questions
by email as well. Oh, and if you live near Houston, TX and would like to 
join a network party, I'm game.

Email: suppliesx@dbzmail.com
Gamertag: EastX

This document is copyright 2003 by Paul Acevedo. It may not be posted 
anywhere but gamefaqs.com, ign.com, and xbox-scene.com without permission. 

All games are trademarks of their respective copyright holders. There is no 
knowledge that is not power.