My brother and I used to play Halo 2 everyday after dinner on the Xbox. We did not have Xbox Live, it was just him, myself and whatever one of our friends came over. It was a war, almost nerve wrecking, to try to win. Whoever won was "the man," the champion of the house, the best. Years later our parents bought us an Xbox 360 and that slowly seemed to change. Halo 3 was the first game we played over Xbox Live on the newest generation of consoles, we were both horrible at it. Typically we ended the match with many more deaths than kills. Eventually we got good, but through the constant playing online, our one-on-one matches split screen games were not as frequent.
Even when we played Halo 2, we knew we were not the best Halo players in the world, but it was so much more tense because we didn't have that many other people to play. If you lost, the other guy won because he was simply better at Halo than you. You end up playing the same people so much that you recognize their tendencies, what weapons they go for, or what vehicle they like to use, you constantly had to change up your strategy and try to adapt to their new strategy. When we began using Xbox Live, we didn't feel like we did when we played each other, we were playing against people that we didn't know, never met and will probably never meet again. That is what makes online gaming less tense than split screen gaming, you don't have to change your strategy like you do split screen against someone you constantly play against. You may be killed by one player at the start of the game and not even see him for the rest of the match. Split screen is one-on-one, the only person who you can kill is the other guy, who's only opponent is you. With this current generation of consoles, more and more people are playing online, don't get me wrong I play online all the time and I enjoy it. There is just something so much more fun when my brother comes over and we pop in Halo 2 and play it just like we did in our parent's living room all those years ago.
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