"I want to end up sort of unforgettable" - Ringo Starr. Luckily, The Beatles also produced some rather more sensible quotes, such as "I get by with a little help from my friends...", which is particularly apt when it comes to XBox gaming. A frenetic four-player thrash on Fuzion Frenzy (the classic MS party game) is a total riot, but single player it's pretty dull. However, you don't always have your mates round (or in our case, we just don't have any mates).
And that's where XBox Live comes in. Using the Live Starter Kit you can go up against a multitude of other gamers from around the world (but mostly Europe) with up to 16-player games on some Live-enabled titles. It's online gaming by any other name, and you need a broadband connection to hook up to XBox Live; a modem is just too sluggish.
We tested the system on our 512Kbps ADSL line and setting it up was a cinch, a mere matter of plugging the console into our USB router, although an ethernet cable isn't supplied. What you do get in the Starter Kit is a setup disc and a headset microphone that plugs into a controller's memory slot. The headset is well built and the mic is a quality affair too.