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Secret Recipe

Dee Yun Dee Yun: (contact-deleteme[at]-deleteme-direman [dot] com) 2009-11-23 09:09:10

My Hands...

...produce the standard Nacho Cheese Doritos flavoring after a marathon gaming session. I wonder if other peoples' varying biologies produce the Cool Ranch or Supreme Taco varieties.

I find myself reluctant to give the "S Rank" to sequels unless they greatly innovate, even if they are more polished than their predecessors. For example, Gears of War is an absolute landmark that, as far as I'm concerned, ushered in the "next generation" of gaming in earnest. Gears of War 2, while distinctly more polished, only earns an "A Rank" because it "merely" refined an existing model. I thought I'd feel the same about Modern Warfare 2, but it barely does manage to wow me.

The single player suffers from a horribly disjointed and schizophrenic narrative, and from the same corridor gauntlet of insta-target-you enemy A.I. that's been a hallmark of the series. But it's still generally fun. The multiplayer is outrageous; the game has been ratcheted up to 11. (Which is actually bad for me, as I rely far more on tactical awareness than twitch ability.) But it's simply so rewarding in terms of tasty treats with a BAZILLION things to unlock. It hits me right in my Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. I've entered the first prestige rank, and I'm just as suckered by it as the previous game. I wonder if my hands will mutate flavors as I clock more time with it.

But what just manages to nudge the game into "S Rank" territory is Spec Ops. These are a slew of mission vignettes. They benefit from not being concerned about context (many of the sequences in the singleplayer, while awesome, are just action set pieces with little to justify them as a cohesive narrative). For those of you who played the epilogue airplane mission in Call of Duty 4, imagine having over a dozen more of them. And BEST OF ALL, you can enjoy them co-op with a buddy. Love it.

Now Playing - Modern Warfare 2 (360)
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