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Mass Effect 3 Ending

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I'm sorry for not posting on here in quite some time. I finished Mass Effect 3 a couple of months ago and am actively in support of the fanbase's dissatisfaction with the ending. Here are some of my thoughts on the matter.

I think the "meaning" behind each choice is only figurative. The player never sees the results of the choices, and all three yield the exact same end to the game. There's essentially only one ending, and the different color is the only substantial variant with each choice. I suppose you can consider this to be in the "lack of closure" category of complaints, but I see this as a separate issue. They should've at least tried to have the cutscenes be marginally different instead of identical save for the color. In other words, there's only one ending to the game despite the appearance of three different outcomes. It's like the same chocolate bar with a different colored-rapping.

I think destroy is the only legitimate option because that has been the goal throughout the entire series. Making the goal change in the last scene of the game goes against everything the previous titles and Mass Effect 3 stood for. That is a major fault in my opinion. Here's my take on each ending:

Control: This doesn't make practical sense since Shepard convinced the Illusive Man to shoot himself or shot him regardless because of his ideas being wrong. Pursuing his ideas after killing him is not in Shepard's nature. I find choosing this option to be siding with the antagonist's idea, which Shepard should not do under any circumstances as a story component. As for the results of this choice, the Reapers are still intact, presumably under Shepard's control somehow. I suppose in theory he could use them to help rebuild Earth and fly to other star systems to retrieve supplies for people as the relays have been destroyed. However, no one knows that he is controlling the Reapers, so that wouldn't work. I don't really see any positive outcome from this choice, and taking into account how his home planet was decimated, as well as Garrus and Liara's home planets, I don't believe Shepard should choose that option because he is betraying what they fought for.

Synthesis: This is implied to be the best option because it is unlocked last in terms of EMS. Like I said before, how the hell does that EMP change all organisms' genetic codes and DNA? Everyone now is half metallic? How does that create peace? How will that stop people from creating new synthetics? It won't. Plus, the Reapers are neither dead nor are they under Shepard's control. Do they retreat into Dark Space? What makes everyone so sure they won't keep purging the galaxy anyway? I also don't like how the Catalyst seems to sway the player into choosing this option. Doesn't that mar the idea of player choice when the game indirectly recommends an option for you?

Destroy: The best option because it is consistent with the goal of the entire series. That goal cannot be altered in the final scene of the trilogy, and that alone makes it the best option. However, why is it painted as the worst option with the highest level of negative consequence (in theory) with the deaths of all synthetics? Like I previously stated, the game doesn't specify what synthetic means. Yes, the Geth are synthetic, but what about the Quarians and people with biotic implants? Do they count? Also, why the hell does Shepard continue to walk into the explosion rather than shoot at it from a safe distance? That's one of the worst instances of lack of narrative coherence I've ever seen. Shepard should not be dead as a result of the option, even though he/she supposedly is.

Now for that special scene after the destroy option. Why would the game imply that synthesis is the best ending when only the destroy ending contains the scene? I think the developers should've committed either to the fact that Shepard ludicrously died or that he/she comes out walking so the audience knows Shepard made it through. This scene felt cheap, and it doesn't even let the audience know whether he is alive from that. All it contains his Shepard taking the breath. At least show him breathing for a couple of seconds or him clenching his fist to represent that he is alive. It's stupid to include a scene that just adds more ambiguity in an ending already filled with too much.The surrounding looks like street rubble unfortunately as opposed to the metallic tubing of the destroy option, which is evidence of the Indoctrination Theory. There's really no good reason why that is: Either the Indoctrination Theory is true, which would be awful, or Bioware just got lazy, which isn't exactly a great thought either.

Another main problem I have is with the Mass Effect Relays being destroyed. Aside from going against the idea of Mass Effect 3 in terms of uniting the galaxy, I think this severely downgrades any of the choices because it presents a much more dire and immediate problem for the story. All of my questions pertaining to the endings must be put on hold because the galaxy is in such a terrible state that they don't really matter. The relays are out, which means the ships cannot go and get resources from other systems. Earth is in ruins, and everyone will presumably starve to death.

I know there's been a plot hole involving how Earth is still intact when the relay exploded, because in the Arrival DLC when that happened the entire system was wiped out. This time it was presumably different because it was blown up internally from the EMP blast somehow. It sounds skeptical, but I'm willing to buy that. It doesn't concern me. What does concern me is the fact that the EMP blast, which isn't apparently supposed to affect inanimate objects, sent the Normandy out of control and caused the ship to maroon on the planet. The same thing must've happened to the other thousands/millions of ships stranded in that system. So apparently their ships all spiraled out of control, possibly crashing into Earth or the Moon or another planet, or a just in a limp state in space. Either way they have no control over their ships. Whether this is a temporary setback is unknown, but if that is true then millions of people in those ships will die of either starvation or from crashing.

Do you see where I'm getting at here? The choices don't really matter because everyone is screwed anyway. That's what it really comes down to here. Hell, it might've even been better to have the Earth incinerated by choosing the Destroy option with low EMS. At least the people wouldn't suffer for weeks on end without food. It seems to me that any other choice aside from low destroy option merely postpones the inevitable deaths of millions for a few months at best.

I could go on longer, but I think I've already crammed in too much information into one response. I'm sure I represent many fans who are displeased with the ending in saying that these are all legitimate issues and more than enough to justify the hate towards the ending. It's saddening that there is really no "fix" for this whole thing. Even if they created a new ending that everyone loves, it wouldn't have the same level of impact compared to it being in the game the first time. It's called a first impression, or initial feeling, after viewing the ending of any piece of entertainment medium, and that's something we can't erase from our memories. I still think changing the ending for a better one and the fans overlooking the current one for the changed one is the best option, but unfortunately it won't be nearly as fulfilling as we'd hope for.

Halo: Reach, Black Ops, Fallout New Vegas and L.A. Noire Impressions

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Hey guys, I've now finally had a chance to come back on this site and possibly do more reviews. My problem is that it takes a long time to properly construct a good five or six paragraph review. Now, I'll talk about a few games I've played over the past several months.

First off is Halo:Reach. I never felt this game was really necessary to make because it's a prequel, so I automatically assumed the plot would be predictable and uninteresting. My predictions were pretty much spot on. You're introduced to Noble Team, which consists of several other spartans who ultimately end up dying. You play as Noble Six the newest member to Noble Team and you try to fight off the Covenant on Reach before they destroy the planet. None of the characters' deaths were all that sad or well-thought out. Also, I felt the art design was lacking, as the locales you visit throughout the game just weren't as interesting as Halo 3's. The campaign itself isn't all that fun to play unless you play in four player co-op. The multiplayer is ruined by unbalanced armor abilities such as armor lock and jetpack, and most of the maps are either too large or consist of too many camping spots. Also, was it really necessary to add bloom to your rifle? Custom games are pretty fun to play, but there is no public searching option for this mode so if none of your friends are playing then you won't be able to do them. Theater mode is mildly amusing for replaying awesome moments from any mode in the game and also for improving your strategies for the next match. Finally forge mode is definitely a cool feature, but unless you have a lot of time on your hands and have a great imagination for building things, then I think most players won't get as much out of this feature as they should.

Overall, I'd give Reach an 8.3/10. It was a pretty solid game but the campaign and mulitplayer felt a bit lacking.

Second is Black Ops. The campaign in the game is probably the best aspect of the entire game. You start off in an interrogation room and have to play all the missions through memory in order to answer what the interrogator wants. The only problem I have with have nearly all the missions in the past is it creates a minimal amount of danger for your character because you know he ends up surviving through it, unlike the Modern Warfare series. The campaign will last around five or six hours and overall there are a lot more levels that you'll want to replay again. The multiplayer has already been done before, but this time they added money into it to buy your guns and attachments. I like this idea for the attachments because I don't have to do those stupid challenges, but I don't think they should've used it for primary guns. There's a theatre mode but I don't think it's nearly as good or useful in this game than in Halo. Finally, the zombies mode is back and featured two default maps and more add-on maps. I personally was never a fan of this mode because I never felt like I achieved anything from surviving a long time. But if you liked it in World at War, you'll like it here.

Overall, I'd give it about an 8.5/10 The campaign was awesome, didn't like the zombies mode, and multiplayer is as solid as ever.

Now on to Fallout New Vegas. After how much I enjoyed Fallout 3, I really had high hopes for New Vegas. In the game you play as a courier who gets shot and left four dead before ending up healed by a doctor in a small town. This is an interesting way to start the game off, but the story never really picks up from that point and turns into a simple power struggle between four different factions. It just felt shallow and uninspired to me, and was probably the most disappointing part of the game. There are lots of interesting characters to interact with and complete side missions for as well. The gameplay is pretty solid at this point in the series, with a wide variety of weapons to use against your enemies. The atmosphere is also a very strong aspect in this game, ranging from the bright lights of the strip all the way to the darkest caves where giant insects such as the ant queen reside. Surprisingly, the strip is pretty small and barren, with hardly anyone on it but I suppose this is due to the hefty amount of money you need to pay in order to enter it. Jumping is still a problem in this game, especially when you're trying to climb on or around mountains or rocky areas, where it looks like you should be able to climb but the game doesn't let you.

Overall, I you liked Fallout 3, you'll like this, most of this game is great but the story is shallow and the gameplay has some problems. 8.5/10

Finally, L.A. Noire. When I first heard about this game I thought it was going to be another Mafia shoot-em up type game. However, the game puts you in the opposite point of view. You play for nearly the whole game Cole Phelps, an LAPD officer who tries to uphold the law as best as he can. Throughout the game you tackle different types of crimes such as arson and homicide. The problem I have with this game is that it takes the nonlinear form of real-life detective work into a linear format in this game. Don't get me wrong, I'm a fan of linear games, but here it simply makes the content extremely repetitive. Almost every crime follows the exact same pattern. The head of your police department tells you about a crime and you're tasked with visiting the crime scene. A good thing is that you can have your partner drive you around, as the cars don't handle very well in the game. Upon arriving, you inspect the dead body and look around to gather evidence before leaving. Some of these can be easy to find, while others are simply annoying. This all relies on luck and guesswork rather than actual skill, as the game allows you to pick up the stupidest objects such as a carrot or another piece of food. If it doesn't help your case, then why even give us the option to pick the object up in the first place? For me, this was probably the most frustrating aspect of the game. It's already hard enough to find the evidence you need in the first place, so why give us other objects to pick up that are entirely useless? It basically boils down to just pressing the A button around every square inch of the place and hope you pick up the right thing. One of the pieces of evidence usually has an address on it, so you go there (usually it's a bar) and talk to the bartender or other person there about the victim. They tell you where the person lives, you go to their house, gather up more evidence, find the husband at his house, and ultimately convict him. Repeat this for about 15 hours or so with some gunplay mixed in sporadically and you've got LA. Noire. The facial expressions are superb, and the game tries to be RPG-like by giving you the option to either trust the person, doubt them, or accuse them of lying. The problem is that the case can only really be solved one way, and there's only one right answer during the dialogue options instead of having different endings for each case. So sometimes when you generally use the wrong options in a case, the case will still end but you'll have no idea how. Finally, the accusation of lying option isn't well-executed. Despite having multiple pieces of evidence to accuse the person of, there's only one right piece even though more than two might essentially mean the same thing. Finally, there's a plot twist between the vice and arson desk that feels unnecessary and out of place with the rest of the story.

I'd give this game a 7.5/10. It has a lot of cool ideas, but a lot of them weren't executed as well as they could've.

Best Movie Action Scene

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Hey, guy, sorry I haven't posted on here in quiet some time, but with the amount of work with school, I'm no longer able to post frequent game reviews, as they do take a long time to write good ones. I'll try writing some for Halo: Reach and Black Ops, but for now I want to see what your favorite movie action scene is. My favorite of recent memory (aside from Lord of the Rings, King Kong, and the Expendables) is probably the finale of "The Protector," as martial arts film starring Tony Jaa and Nathan Jones. The first part, Tony goes on a bone-breaking spree, and in the second half he goes one on one with Nathan Jones in a brutal brawl before cutting tendons out with elephant bones. I'd like to see what you think of this, and also what some of your favorite movie action scene is. I've posted the links below, enjoy.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=arXYCBmurLQ

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h7Y4HsX-wZs&feature=related

Summer Movies Review

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Hey, sorry that I haven't posted a blog in a while now, but what can I say, I'm a busy guy. Anyway, there were a variety of different movies that I saw this summer that I'll give a "one minute critic" to.

Robin Hood - B: Thought it is somewhat boring in some parts, the acting is good, and the story + character interactions have enough substance to move the plot along.

The A-Team - B: A good cast and an overall entertaining film, despite the story being convoluted and rather stupid.

The Karate Kid - B+: While it was dragged out, it was overall well-acted and directed, in addition to being emotionally compelling.

Toy Story 3 - A: The third installment to the classic series is pretty much equal in every way to its predecessors, making it the best movie of the summer.

Knight and Day - C-: While the acting is solid, the story becomes too convoluted and stupid to really care about what's going on, and the second half is not that entertaining.

Despicable Me - B: While not on the same level as Toy Story 3, this is nevertheless an enjoyable film for younger audiences.

Inception - B: This is certainly not Nolan's best work in terms of story and characters, but it is interesting and entertaining, so if you liked "The Matrix" you will like this.

The Expendables - B+: An adrenaline rush from start to finish, this is hands down the best all-out action film of the year so far.

Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps - B-: It is pretty entertaining, and the acting is good, but the story is not that great.

Red - C: Even an all-star cast led by Bruce Willis cannot save what, despite a few entertaining parts, is ultimately a mediocre film.

Scott Pilgrim vs The World - B: A very entertaining and enjoyable film, with lots of cool visual effects, even if the story itself is a bit stupid.

Iron Man 2 Review

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Iron Man 2 Review

Superhero or super bore?

Iron Man 2

Hey everyone I apologize for not being on GameSpot for so long, but they gave us a ton of homework at my school. This is a pretty late review, as Iron Man 2 did come out around a month ago, but nevertheless I'll just give you my thoughts on it. First of all I don't think that this movie is nearly as fun or well-made as the first Iron Man movie. I think the emphasize here is on more of everything. There's more characters, more of Tony Stark's cocky attitude, the movie length is longer than the first, and there's a lot more pointless filler scenes. What's mainly missing here is the fun, excitement, and charm of the original Iron Man. Lacking right off the bat here is a strong, central villain. Sure, there's Mickey Rourke, but he rarely actually talks to anyone and doesn't really come in until he the racetrack scene. Then, right after the story starts to go somewhere, his character pretty much just builds weapons for Tony Stark's rival, Justin Hammer, whose character got very annoying very quickly. Then there's actually a pretty cool but very brief action sequence with Iron Man and War Machine at the end, with them destroying a bunch of robots, but the main villain was killed off way too quickly. Some of the other action sequences, like between Iron Man and Ivan Vanko on the racetrack, felt a bit stiff and jerky, as if it weren't choreographed correctly. The distribution of characters here is pretty uneven. You've got Tony Stark, who's in it a lot but I still felt he didn't have enough screen time. Then there's Don Cheadle, who I think did a great job in Hotel Rwanda, don't get me wrong, but he and Robert Downey Jr. fail to have any chemistry on screen here. Gwyneth Paltrow's character hardly has a major part, and Scarlett Johansson is merely used here as eye candy. Sam Rockwell's character really has no point of being in the movie, and Mickey Rourke isn't on screen enough so you don't know his motives. There's the young blonde news reporter Christine Everhart who has no point of being in the movie, and Samuel Jackson makes yet another cameo appearance here as Nick Fury, but there's really no point of him being in the movie so much. And then finally there's Jon Favreau, the director of the movie. He's in this movie way too much. It's alright if he was briefly in it like in the first Iron Man, but this much? Come on, man! Unless you're Clint Eastwood or Sylvestor Stallone, then it's probably not a good idea for the director to be one of the stars of the movie. Aside from too many characters, the whole sidestory about Tony Stark's poisoning was just irrelevant, as it actually made the movie pretty boring in my opinion, and had this whole middle section of the movie been cut out, I think it would've made for a better and more focused story. Overall, I think it's just a run-of-the-mill cash-in sequel that's highly overrated.

Story: D

Acting: B

Entertainment Value: C

Direction: B-

Visuals: B

Overall Grade: C

Bottom Line: It's not as good as the first Iron Man movie: too many characters, bad story, lack of a strong villain and overall just very disappointing. Unless you're a die-hard Iron Man fan, I'd wait until it's available for rent on iTunes or Netflix for a cheaper price than going to the movie theaters.

Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief Review

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Like Eragon, this is just another poorly executed adaptation from a popular teenage fantasy series.

Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief

I've read all of the Percy Jackson books and have liked every single one of them. They're interesting and fun to read, and while the main concept isn't original, the author creates an exciting adventure with a cool and entertaining storyline. While I enjoyed reading these books almost as much as Harry Potter, The Lightning Thief happened to be my least favorite, but it's not like you couldn't make at least a decent adaption out of it. Chris Columbus, being the director of the first two Harry Potter and films and the key to that franchise's grand success, was logically selected to direct this. Now, despite his directing making some parts of this film feel overly-cheesy, that wasn't my main problem with it. In fact, it wasn't necessarily what was in the film that I had problems with, but rather what they kept out of it. Unlike Harry Potter, this hardly follows the book's story and the pacing of the film is pretty uneven. I'll give you a quick summary of the plot before talking about some of the things they left out. Basically a boy named Percy Jackson, who's supposed to be 12 years old, (while he's really around 17 or 18 in the movie) realizes that the Greek gods are real, he's the son of Poseidon the sea god, and that he's being blamed for stealing Zeus's lightning bolt. He travels to Camp Half-Blood, where demi-gods (children of the gods) train for battle over the summer, so it's essentially a summer school for fighting, or at least that's what the film wants you to think. He teams up with a girl named Annabeth and Grover (who happens to be half man, half goat) to go to the Underworld to go to Hades to get to Mount Olympus to talk to the Gods (or at least it's something like that, that's all I can remember off the top of my head, so if you want a more detailed synopsis, I'd recommend going to IMDb). Now, a lot of key characters are absent from the film, the beginning feels too rushed, and the way the story is told while Percy is at Camp Half-Blood is confusing and inelegant, so it may be a bit confusing at some points. Another thing I don't like is that it doesn't seem to take itself very seriously at all, unlike Harry Potter, so it makes the main conflict of the film not feel urgent or bad at all. My bottom line is that if you've read the book, you'll probably find this at least a bit disappointing, while people who haven't read the book might like it a bit more. Don't get me wrong, this isn't a bad movie - in fact, it's pretty entertaining and has some cool fight scenes and CGI. It's just shallow and lacking compared to the book.

Long story short: Fans of the book will be disappointed, while newcomers will likely find it entertaining but will think the plot is mediocre and stupid.

Grade: C+

Modern Warfare 2

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Sorry that I haven't posted anything for the last month or so. I've been pretty busy. Anyway, here's my review of Modern Warfare 2

Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare was undoubtedly one of, if not, the best multiplayer games of all-time on any console. The campaign, while short, featured great set pieces, interesting and likable characters, and was a lot of fun. The multiplayer was highly addictive, featuring different categories of weapons and perks, which are special abilities to add variety to the game. A year later, Treyarch released Call of Duty: World at War. A lot of people complained about how bad the weapons were, how insanely large the maps were, and how "noobish" some players were as they used an over-powered submachine gun called the MP40 with juggernaut and last stand.

Now we have Modern Warfare 2, probably the most-anticipated game of all-time, except for maybe Halo 3. It's a good sequel to COD4, but, like most other sequels I've played, they change too much of what made the original game so great. I'll start off with the campaign first. The setting is five years after the ending of the first game, and you play as British SAS Gary "Roach" Sanderson and U.S. Marine Private Joseph Allen. Soap is Roach's captain, and it's cool to be able to see what he looks like, though I never imagined him having a small mohawk. The basic plot is that a terrorist named Makarov and a few other men slaughter tons of civilians at an airport in Moscow, and since the Russian people think America is to blame, World War III begins. The story is definitely hard to get a grip on with the added-on plot twist at the end, and add that in with an extremely unrealistic finale and you've got, quite simply, a game that fails to really draw you in to what's happening.

The gameplay is pretty much the same as COD4. They've added more weapons, a lot of which are useless, and an option to duel-wield some guns like pistols and submachine guns (the game calls it akimbo). Throughout most of the campaign you'll be running around parts of the U.S. like wealthy areas of Virginia, the Capitol Building, and even the White House. Unlike the first game, the set pieces while playing as Roach aren't nearly as interesting as when playing as Allen, making the experience seem a bit dull. Unfortunately, teammates still have to open doors for you, though in a few instances you can perform breaches on doors with enemies and hostages inside. Like COD4, it only lasts about 3-4 hours, but there is definitely some replay ability to be found here. I overall thought the campaign was entertaining, but with a mediocre story and some uninteresting set pieces and confusing plot twists, it's probably only worth playing a few times before you get bored of it.

Special Ops is a cool new feature added in. Basically you and another person replay some of the missions from the campaign--well, at least fight in the same areas, not necessarily do the same objectives--in co-op. I really wish they'd made some of the missions 4-player, like horde mode in Gears of War 2, but it's not that big of an issue. Besides that, there really isn't all that much to it. I say it's entertaining for a couple of hours tops and then you'll get bored of it.
Now, on to the primary part of the game, the multiplayer. Let me just tell you that I don't think it's as good as COD4's, but it's a lot better than World at War's, which is nice. The same format of customizable options is obviously here, such as perks, and leveling up with experience points to reach higher levels to gain access to better weapons and such. There are a dozen or so different game modes to play, some of which are actually in third-person. I found these modes quite fun and enjoyable to play once I got the hang of it, though if you want to gain levels quickly I recommend playing Demolition. I liked maybe 60% of all the maps in the game. Estate, which features a large house (Makarov's hideout), was way too big for me, and was too lopsided for Demolition, as whichever team spawned at the house usually won the match. New to multiplayer are call signs, which are basically mottos and pictures of things so people can see them should they view your gamertag in a game lobby. Aside from that, they don't really serve any purpose. Remember the killstreaks in COD4 when you get 3, 5, and 7 kills in a row you unlock stuff? Well, they've greatly expanded the streak rewards to 25, so you unlock what's called the nuke which automatically ends the match upon use. You can only choose 3 killstreaks, which is good because otherwise it would be too lopsided.

I'll now address all the problems I have with multiplayer. As I said before, there are tons of killstreaks, however, some of them are just completely unfair. There's a care package at 4 kills that basically drops down and gives you another reward, and it could be the reward of 16 kills instead of 4, and add that to the glitch with that reward and it's extremely unfair. The predator missile is cool, though I wish they would allow you to fire it when you want to, not automatically. However, the biggest problem I have is the AC-130 gunship. Pretty much when it's active, if you even step outside a building for more than 5 seconds, chances are you're going to die. And even when you're inside a building, there's still a chance for it to hit you. My kill/death ratio dropped from a 1.10 down to a .94 in a few days just because of that, and add in it being heavily armored, making it damn-near impossible to take out, and I would say it's one of--if not--the most overpowered weapon in any multiplayer game I've ever played. I liked how in COD4 that while the helicopter did get kills, it could get shot down just as easily with an RPG, making it pretty fair in my opinion. Also, COD4 wasn't even about killstreaks, it was traditional in that people actually used their guns and ran around shooting each other. Here, someone could camp out, get 5 kills in a row, get a predator missile, get 2-3 more kills, get 2-3 more after that, get the AC-130, get 10-15 kills with that, and get the nuke to end the game, all while the player is camping out somewhere where no one will find him. It just is unfair and makes me wonder what happened to using your own guns.

In addition, in pretty much every Demolition game I've ever played (6v6) 1-2 guys not including me on my team camp out, max, while on the enemy team, at least 4 guys camp out, minimum, and it's usually all of them. To me it doesn't show that you have any skill at the game. My ratio would be about 1.25-1.30 if I didn't get blind-sided all the time. Probably 50%-60% of my total deaths have been from being blindsided from campers or from being killed behind. They might as well have added tents and camp fires with added hershey bars and smores on every level--that would make a ton of people even happier. Another problem I have is that some of the perks are just flat-out annoying. Some people use marathon, increased sprint, and commando, so the essentially infinitely run around the entire map at 70 miles an hour with a .44 Magnum with a tactical knife and knife you from a good 10-15 feet away. "Increased melee distance?" Yeah, how about teleportation? Another issue is tactical insertion, which make you respawn where you place them. So if you kill someone, he might appear behind you and stab you. Yet another issue is people lying down pretending to be a dead body and then just getting up and killing you. Also, a lot of people I've played use the cheap tactic of going prone while in the middle of shooting someone.

The last major issue I have is the weapon called Model 1887. (Yeah, I know, why is an old-fashioned weapon doing in "Modern Warfare" 2, and why would they make it the best gun?) You have the option to duel-wield, or akimbo, it and add in stopping power and you've got a helluva lot of firepower. Plus, it originally had about a range of 35-40 feet away, now after a so-called "patch," it's only 30-35 feet. However, the gun itself is very inconsistent. In a Youtube video, someone practiced with the gun and attempted to shoot someone with it at a certain distance. He missed him, stepped back a few feet, and he killed him. Also, when I was playing, I shot my akimbo Model 1887s 3 feet from someone and it didn't kill him. What's up with that? Overall, the multiplayer itself is good; it's just the way people play that isn't.

The audiovisual presentation is great overall. The graphics are pretty realistic, though some of the textures can look bad if you inspect it closely enough. The frame rate remains smooth and constant throughout, though in multiplayer the connection occasionally times out. The draw distance is impressive but there is some minor clipping on some objects. The in-game audio sounds fine and the voice acting is solid. Modern Warfare 2 is overall a very good game. It's fun to play the campaign, even with its mediocre story and short length, and special ops is a fun mode. The multiplayer is fun if you can find the right people to play with, and while it's better than World at War (not saying much), it's still no Call of Duty 4.

Best Movies and Games of the Year and Decade

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Well, believe it or not, it's the end of the decade. I hope everyone's had a great year and wish you all the best of luck in 2010.

Now, I've got some awards to give for both movies and games alike. You may not agree with me, but here it is

Best Movie of 2009

Nominees:

1. The Hurt Locker

2. Avatar

3. District 9

4. The Blind Side

Winner: District 9

Best Movie of the Decade

Nominees:

1. Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring

2. Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers

3. Lord of the Rings: Return of the King

4. King Kong

5. Spirited Away

6. Requiem for a Dream

7. District 9

8. The Dark Knight

9. Spider-Man 2

10. The Departed

11. Hotel Rwanda

12. Avatar

13. Batman Begins

14. Kill Bill: Vol. 1 and 2

15. Live Free or Die Hard

16. Spider-Man

17. National Treasure

18. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

19. City of God

20. Momento

21. Juno

22. The Incredibles

23. Ratatouille

Winner: Lord of the Rings: Return of the King

Best Game of 2009

Nominees:

1. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2

2. Assassin's Creed 2

3. Left 4 Dead 2

4. Halo 3: ODST

Winner: Modern Warfare 2 (I know I said Assassin's Creed II was better, but as I played more of MW2 I enjoyed it more)

Best Game of the Decade

Nominees:

1. Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare

2. Halo 3

3. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2

4. Kingdom Hearts

5. Kingdom Hearts II

6. Saints Row 2

7. Dynasty Warriors III

8. Star Wars Battlefront II

9. Assassin's Creed

10. Assassin's Creed II

11. Metal Gear Solid 4

12. Crysis

13. Grand Theft Auto IV

14. Left 4 Dead

15. Left 4 Dead 2

16. Resident Evil 4

17. Gears of War

Winners:

1. Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare

2. Kingdom Hearts II

3. Resident Evil 4

4. Assassin's Creed II

5. Metal Gear Solid 4

Avatar Review

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After a decade, Cameron has yet again set the standard for our generation

Avatar (Fox)

I had the privilege of watching James Cameron's much-anticipated, $400 million budget Avatar with my friend on opening night. Believe it or not, this film is currently #25 of all-time on IMDb's top 250. While I don't agree with the rank, especially since Terminator 2: Judgement Day is ranked #45 and I thought that was still a lot better, Avatar is probably the best film I've seen all year. I know I gave Zombieland a A, but I gave it that because I thought it fully succeeded in what it was trying to be, it's not the same type of A I'd give to The Lord of the Rings or The Godfather. Anyway, Avatar takes place in the mid 2100s on Pandora, a moon that's 4.3 light years away from Earth. The story focuses on Jake Sully, a military soldier whose legs are disabled and his brother died for an unexplained reason. Humans can't breathe on Pandora, so they use some sort of oxygen masks. The humans are after some sort of precious stone material that sells for $20 million a pound, and ton of it surrounds the primary home of the Na'vi, tribal creatures that look somewhat human. In order to do that, the military combines human DNA with that of the Na'vi (not explained how they got the Na'vi DNA) to create avatars of humans in Na'vi form. When Jake controls his avatar by lying in a tube, he, Sigourney Weaver's character, and another person venture off to the Pandora jungles. Jake gets separated from the group after being chased by a monster and meets Neytiri, the daughter of the chief of the Na'vi. Following the military's plan, Jake learns to become part of the Na'vi. Later he rebels against the very same people he swore to help. Nearly all aspects of this movie are fantastic. The directing couldn't have been done better, as usual with Cameron, and the editing and camera angles are fine. Probably the best part of Avatar is the CGI and special effects. Pandora is a beautiful planet--it's like a mix between that one planet from Star Wars and Halo. The action sequences are also very well done, though the outcome of the movie is somewhat predictable. The weakest aspect is the story itself. Why didn't the military just storm into the jungle right from the get-go? Why did the General say at the beginning of the film that most of them were going to die and how it's very dangerous out there, yet they seem to have no problem storming into the jungle later? Why did Jake's brother die? The first 45 minutes of the film could've easily been cut down to 25 minutes, ultimately shortening the length of the film to 2h30 minutes. With that said, this is still a fantastic movie that you simply have to see at least once, especially in 3D.

Long story short: This is probably the best film I've seen this year, along with District 9. Go see it now.

Grade: A

***Added Comments*** Okay, so I saw it yesterday for the second time and it wasn't nearly as good because I noticed more things. I'll keep the A grade there for the first time I saw it, but now I really think it deserves a B or B+, and here's why: The entire premise of the movie is pretty unoriginal. Cameron basically decided he wanted to make a movie about how the U.S. Military shouldn't invade other countries like we have, such as Iraq. He probably thought that invading another country would be too realistic, so he decided to invade another planet. There's nothing wrong with the message, it just makes the story unoriginal. In addition, the whole concept of avatars has been around for a while, and even in movies this year like Surrogates with Bruce Willis. The rest of the movie is actually pretty predictable, and not very logical at all. First of all, it doesn't explain how the humans discovered and traveled to Pandora. Also, how long have the humans been on Pandora? Despite the year being 2154, Jake Sully is still in an old-fashioned wheelchair, and they would've invented something else by that time. I mean, even now there are electric wheelchairs, and while they made all the military vehicles high-tech and all, they couldn't evolve something as simple as a stupid wheelchair? Come on. At the beginning of the film the Colonel says how dangerous it is in Pandora, and how most of them are going to die. Yet Pandora doesn't appear to be a dangerous place, since the Na'vi didn't know how to fight well before Jake was with them, and the rhino-like monsters could be taken out easily with their choppers. Perhaps he was just trying to scare them, but this is still a cheap way to boost the audience's anticipation for some sort of a huge threat. When Selfridge said that the blue rock was worth 20 million a kilo, did you notice how he didn't say WHY? This is never explained and since I don't see how they can make a sequel, it makes it more disappointing. When you don't even know why the humans are after this, it almost makes their presence on Pandora seem irrelevant. Cameron tries his best to distract the audience from the story and its plot holes with Pandora and CGI effects, and it shows. They said that most of the "valuable" rock surrounds Hometree, where the Na'vi live, so why not send in some men to go dig for it instead of blowing up the entire tree for no reason? The Na'vi would either be too afraid to go near them or they could just gas them. But since I vividly recall that the rock wasn't actually in the tree and is surrounding it instead, wouldn't making it fall down hinder their mission? Also, what happened to all the other Avatars that were in the military camp? They didn't seem to serve any purpose whatsoever, as they weren't fighting for either side in the battle. That's all I can think of for now, and you probably missed some of this when viewing the movie for the first time.

Please post new comments about this

New Grade: B+

New Moon Review

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One half-naked man too many

The Twilight Saga:  New Moon

I don't want to spend any more time on this review than I have to, so let's just get to the point: this movie flat-out SUCKED. I still can't believe that my mom and two cousins (both female) dragged me into seeing this trash. Oh, but where to even begin? When you see at least a half-dozen guys running around in their boxers in the rain "fighting" each other in a mere thirty second trailer for a movie, you know you shouldn't see this. You don't even need to have a plot synopsis other than Robert Pattinson leaves the emo girl for some "unknown reason" (we all know what that means) and the emo girl gets depressed. Meanwhile, Taylor Lautner, despite his ripped arms and four-pack abs, isn't fooling anyone in terms of sexual identity when he's running around in his underwear with several other men and has two-foot long hair. Also, Robert at one point rips his shirt off in front of around twenty men. The CGI effects were garbage and the fight scenes were just awful, the story and pacing were stupid and bad, and the acting and characters were garbage and gay I even had to take an advil after seeing this BS.

Long story short: This is in my bottom 3 worst films of all-time. Never see this trash.

Grade: F-