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Stealth

Assassin's Creed II... still not great

Assassin's Creed II Screenshot

Sadly, the adventures of both Altair and Ezio fall far short of what I would expect from such a rich, promising premise. My review is complete, but I'm going to sit on it for another day to make sure that I'm not letting it go too soon—with such a high-profile title, I'm really making every effort to ensure that the piece says what I'm trying to say. Readers can disagree with me all they like, but I want them to disagree because they actually disagree, not because they misunderstand what I'm saying. (Inevitably, both will happen.)

Assassin's Creed II disappoints and my Big Red Potion appearance

Assassin's Creed 2 Screenshot

In spite of my dismay, I held out hope that Ubisoft would take the copious amounts of player feedback and apply it towards the sequel, finally crafting a title that lived up to the promise. The early word was good, and practically everyone I spoke to said that the developers had seen the error of their ways and had delivered a game that "kept all the good stuff and got rid of all the bad". I wanted to believe. Oh, how I wanted to believe.

I actually like Batman: Arkham Asylum

Batman: Arkham Asylum Screenshot

Getting closer to the end of my "must-plays" of 2009, I just wrapped up Batman: Arkham Asylum on the PS3 a few minutes ago. I've got to say, this is one of those extremely rare times when I felt that all of the praise and accolades given to the game were well and truly deserved.

Batman: Arkham Asylum Review

When in doubt, there is always a vent

Batman: Arkham Asylum Screenshot

HIGH The Scarecrow encounters.

LOW The omnipresent hint system that can't be turned off.

WTF Poison Ivy over Mr. Freeze? Seriously?

Still in Dark Athena

The Chronicles of Riddick: Assault on Dark Athena Screenshot

Still playing Dark Athena on 360.

I thought I had reached the end of the game when the developers surprised me and whipped out another new chunk of content to get through. To be perfectly frank, I think I was ready for the game to be over. I'm a little concerned now that it might overstay its welcome.

Velvet Assassin is NOT a game about killing Nazi vampires.

I can't stress that strongly enough. It's an attempt to make an utterly serious stealth game about a sexy lady killing Nazis who are in no way vampires. Here, just take a look at the screenshots.

Velvet Assassin Screenshot - Too dead to enjoy the view.

Playing some snuff-games

Finished Manhunt (PlayStation 2) today for the first time. It was an interesting experience. Although it certainly lives up to its reputation as being an extremely graphic and gory game, there was a lot more to it than just that… the story and setting (death-row convict is rescued from the chair only to be thrust into a kill-or-be-killed game of hide and seek) were engaging, and the work with tone and mood were excellent. The stark, brutal feel and incredibly bleak outlook of the game’s entire world were very well-realized. There's also quite a bit of meat to chew on for people who like to delve into meta-commentary, but I'll save that for another post.

Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots Second Opinion

Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the   Patriots Screenshot

I would love to have a chance to sit down with Hideo Kojima, one of the industry's most well-known, well-respected auteurs and find out exactly what place Guns of the Patriots holds in his mind. Why? Quite honestly, the game is a shadow of what it could, and should have been.

Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots Review

Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots Screenshot

Make no mistake. Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots is Hideo Kojima's game. The question is: are you okay with that?

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