An unlikely union of Halo 2 and Excel has been capturing the interest of statistically minded Xbox Live fans for whom Bungie.net's seven-day online game stats service just isn't detailed enough.
Sam Radakovitz, a program manager on Microsoft's Excel team, in conjunction with his colleague Joseph Chirilov, has developed an advanced spreadsheet which collects data from the Bungie.net's RSS game stats feed and uses it to present data that the developer's website currently does not - including average kills, deaths and rankings over time. The data can be repeatedly refreshed as new games are completed, and even displayed as various charts and graphs.
According to Radakovitz, speaking to the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, the spreadsheet began life as a lunch-hour project which caught the attention of his fellow Halo 2 fans at Microsoft, and subsequently became a popular draw on his personal website - even receiving links and praise on Bungie's own news pages.
Since it became so popular, Radakovitz has said he'd look into archival possibilities that Bungie's online service can't match, and make it compatible with older versions of Excel, amongst other things. For now, it needs Excel 2003 to work at all. Unfortunately though, Radakovitz now appears to have fallen victim to his project's popularity: the website offering the spreadsheet for download is unavailable at the time of writing.
Still, now that Radakovitz has caught the attention of Bungie - according to the Seattle P-I, he's even collaborating with them on new ideas for it - that's unlikely to remain the case for long, and we'd suggest that anybody who wants to get a better grasp of just how rubbish they are at Halo 2 keep an eye open for it. We'll pop a note in the roundup when the link wakes up again.