Forum Posts Following Followers
7924 103 94

str1 Blog

Are you satisfied?

by on

Well, are you? I know that you're too damned high and mighty to read the post of a user, but what you've done to GameSpot as a community and as a website is unforgivable. By firing Jeff as you did, you ripped out the soul of GameSpot and caused the entire userbase to question every review posted from here on out. People won't be able to see a 9.0+ review and not wonder if some corporate drone was responsible.

I understand that GameSpot and CNET is a business, and businesses need money to stay afloat and pay the staff. However, this is different. For a review to matter, the reviewers need to be trusted. Their opinions need to be honest and well-presented. They need to be readable, and they need to speak truthfully, even if the truth isn't something that the game publishers and developers in question want to hear. By letting Jeff go, you've sent the message that these facts aren't important to you, and that youd rather keep your advertisers than reader loyalty.

And believe me, I was loyal to your website for years. I trusted GameSpot's reviews on a more consistant basis than any other review source available. I've been a stand-up member of the GS forums and community, and for a while, I was even a forum moderator. Thanks to you, all of that's being thrown away. I've already cancelled my Total Access subscription, and I may very well take my posting elsewhere, once I know where it is that I want to go.

More than anything though, I feel depressed for what your betrayal has done to good people like Jeff, Alex, Bethany, and Kevin. May they all find happiness whereever life takes them.

Is this how you treat intelligence? Is this how you treat honesty? You're pathetic; you've managed to destroy what took years to create, and all the while, you're tucked in your office counting Eidos's money. If you aren't satisified with what you've done, if your destruction of everything that the GS editorial staff stood for isn't enough to quench you, then you are nothing, and I hope that your greed-fueled actions come back to haunt you.

As this will most likely be my final posting on the GameSpot blog system, allow me to close by telling you one last thing. Whether you understand the reference or not is unimportant to me, but that doesn't change my sentiment:

Don't go to Heaven.

The worst-written review ever posted on GameSpot.

by on

I wish I were writing about the worst review in terms of worst game ever reviewed. After all, Big Rigs: Over the Road Racing is barely deserving of the single point on the scale that GameSpot gave it, if only because they don't hand out zeroes. Also, "You're Winner" still has some punch when delivered properly. But no, what I'm writing about is the worst review in terms of review quality that I have ever read on this website. The GameSpot review of Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn.

Now, to start off, and to be fair, I have yet to finish the game. I'm in the middle of Part 3 and still have a ways to go before I reach the end. Even so, there are so many inaccuracies, misplaced criticisms and obtuse comments that it's absolutely mind boggling. Did Lark play the same game that I'm playing? I assume he did, but wow. Where to begin.

I suppose a good spot to start would be in the closing statements that summarize the review: "Ultimately, Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn is a huge disappointment. It seems that nothing was learned from the making of Path of Radiance, and as a direct follow-up, Radiant Dawn can't even live up to its predecessor's epic story."

That's actually one of the more sane-sounding statements, if still off-base. I'll get back to that in a moment. Let's try this one: "Despite being a Wii game, it doesn't make any attempt to use any of the system's strengths, such as Mii support, online support, or motion controls and pointing, even though the advantages of such integration should be plainly obvious."

Mii support? He's complaining about the lack of Mii support in a Fire Emblem game? If that's a valid complaint, I should start complaining about the lack of sword combat in Madden. I mean seriously, Mii support? What benefit could that possibly bring? Why is it a negative that it's not in there? Huh?

That bit of lunacy aside, what about online support? I admit that online battles between players in the game would be fun, but here's the thing. Once again, is it something that the game needs? The vast majority of strategy RPGs I've played don't even feature multiplayer components of any kind, and those that do (such as the GBA Fire Emblem titles) I never bothered to use. I play Fire Emblem games for their challenging campaigns and interesting storylines and characters. Not online multiplayer.

And the controls? Well, the Wii provides plenty of control options. There's the Wii Remote turned sideways, the Cla$$ic Controller, or if you really liked the Path of Radiance controls, GameCube controller support. Would it have been nice if units could be moved using the pointer on the Wii Remote? Maybe, but once again, why knock a game for not using such a scheme when there are three perfectly good control schemes to choose from?

Next? More gameplay discussion, in which there is whining about the difficulty: "Although some may see this as a boon, the difficulty ventures beyond the realm of challenging and into the bitter waters of maddening, and it will easily overwhelm even experienced tacticians. The ability to save in midbattle is a welcome new feature that helps to mitigate the punishing difficulty, but because you are essentially forced to rely on it all of the time, it cheapens the overall experience greatly--unless you like the idea of starting entire battles over again upward of seven times until you can complete them without losing precious allies. There are three difficulty settings, but as previously mentioned, even the easy setting is extremely tough."

As an experienced Fire Emblem player, I find the difficulty on Normal a challenge, but not overwhelmingly frustrating. I originally thought that the Battle Save feature was nothing more than a way to make the game easier for newcomers, but it's really a tool for everyone because the of the steep difficulty climb compared to Path of Radiance. And you know, as someone who has gotten used to the particulars of Fire Emblem gameplay, that increased difficulty isn't so bad. That the game threw me into the fire instead of a series of increasingly complex tutorials disguised as missions is great. Newcomers still have tutorials to reference, and it is an admittedly steep hill to climb, but is the fact that the game doesn't hold your hand really a bad thing? Some missions have been tense, but the mission design and variety in Radiant Dawn is miles ahead of the missions in Path of Radiance with a greater variety of objectives and environments.

Enough about the gameplay for now. Let's get to the story: "With your army, you will battle a series of villains that are for the most part so laughably one-dimensional that they might as well be cackling while tying young damsels to railroad tracks and twirling their handlebar mustaches."

Huh. All right, then. The review states that the villains do get better later in the game, but let's put the focus on the villains in the early portion, specifically Part 1, focusing on the Dawn Brigade's battle against Begnion. To recap, at the end of Path of Radiance, Begnion took control of Daein, and an occupation force was since put in place. Doesn't it strike anyone else that realistically, a corrupt military commander in such a powerful situation might get his jollies from putting his boot down on the populace? It was already well-established in Path of Radiance that Begnion's senators are corrupt, so why should that corruption not extend to members of the military ranks?

To touch on the story of Radiant Dawn in general, the game is much more event-focused than the previous game, which was focused entirely on Ike's maturation. Path of Radiance introduced the major players, and most every surviving character from the game makes an appearance in Radiant Dawn in one form or another. For people that have played the previous game, these are characters that we already know, and so there's no need to reintroduce them. Rather than a personal story like Ike's, this is a story of the continent, putting focus on specific groups of characters depending on the section, and even leads to some surprises. For instance, there's one chapter in which two minor player characters from PoR, Nephenee and Brom, become the leads in what turns out to be a very tense boss fight. That's just awesome.

One more bit about the story, quoth the review: "Without any way of tying one stationary backdrop into another (given that cutscenes are so rare), events often occur inexplicably, such as one case early in the game when Micaiah is in a forest one moment and in a prison the next."

This is the reviewer being either willfully ignorant or just plain obtuse. I mean really. In the part of the game described here, Micaiah is alone in the forest when her group has split up to look for someone. She falls into the enemy's trap. Naturally, she's sent to a prison. What was the reviewer expecting? What do you normally do with criminals? Hire them to sell junk on QVC?

And on and on. Don't get me wrong. The author of this review has written plenty of reviews that I've either had no quarrel with or have found informative, but his review of Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn is so abnormally poor that I'd advise anyone looking into buying the game read reviews from other sources. This is a shame because I normally consider GameSpot one of the more trustworthy review sites out there, but in this case, it's a pass. Radiant Dawn is a much better game than the review lets on and the text is inaccurate in so many ways that it's amazing to me that it made it to publication. To respond to the first quote above, the game is not a disappointment to me in the least. Radiant Dawn isn't perfect; it has some flaws here and there, but to consider the game a disappointment or a disaster, particularly with the points as presented in the review, is absurd.

Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn impressions.

by on

After getting out of work, I took the bus out to the mall to pick up my Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn preorder and have spent the evening playing through the first few chapters. I've played up to the point where the shop and management screens become available, so I think I'm ready to give some impressions of the game.

First off, Radiant Dawn is, from the start, a much more difficult game than Path of Radiance. Through the first several missions at least, the battle is lost if any of your characters die, rather than just the main character. I had to restart Chapter 3 several times because one of my weaker units would get picked off. It's still a fair challenge, however, and the whiners...er, newcomers will be glad to know that there's a Battle Save option, which creates a permanent save during battle so you don't have to restart if you don't want. (Though you're still screwed if you Battle Save right before an enemy unit kills one of your guys.)

Radiant Dawn also allows uploading clear save data from Path of Radiance. By loading a clear file, you'll get some boosts to returning characters and unlock all of the support conversations from Path of Radiance that were unlocked on the save file. I'm not sure what else if anything it does, but given what a help a particular returnee was for me in Chapter 3 (once I started putting her to use, that is), it's definitely a nice boost.

Speaking of supports, the support system has also been tweaked. Each character is now limited to one support relationship, so if you want to create a support relationship between Micaiah and Laura, for example, you'll need to break the support between Micaiah and Sothe that exists from the game's start. I have yet to see any support conversations, however, so I'm not sure how else the supports come into play. I may find out the further I play into the game. However, there is a character tree in the library that displays the relationships of all of the characters as each new character is revealed, which is a nice touch, along with a list of terms that should be of help to anyone that didn't play Path of Radiance.

Otherwise, the game is Fire Emblem through and through, with some tweaks here and there that enhance the gameplay and presentation. For instance, any time support effects go off during battle, a brief animation will play before the start of a skirmish to highlight the affected characters. Also, the names of skills and skill effects appear as they go off, so you don't have to feel mystified when a character suddenly does something completely awesome seemingly at random. Elevation also plays a role on the battlefield, and characters can climb up or drop down certain ledges to access shortcuts or to give a height advantage to archers. The overall quality of the graphics and animation has also been increased over Path of Radiance, with more detailed character models, a sharper cel-shaded look, and more impressive combat. The same goes for the one FMV cutscene I've seen so far.

I've been playing the game with a Classic Controller, and it works great. I asusme that when a GameCube controller is plugged in, it uses the Path of Radiance controls, which were also nice, but I doubt I'll bother with the Wii Remote-only option. There isn't any use of motion control in the game whatsoever, but that makes perfect sense because strategy RPGs don't need waggle. :P

Overall, Radiant Dawn is a larger, much more impressive game than Path of Radiance. If you have a Wii, it is totally worth picking up. I imagine that this is a game that will be keeping me occupied for quite a while.

Manhunt 2's Moment of Truth

by on

Tomorrow is Halloween, one of the best days of the year. After all, when else can kids be encouraged to dress up in costumes and harrass neighbors for candy? It's a day meant to have fun, and I'll be having plenty of my own at a small party tomorrow after I get off of work. It should be a blast.

What's that? There's something else happening tomorrow? Ohhh...right. The release of Manhunt 2, the media's Most Dangerous Game in the World(tm). Not long from now, we'll all learn whether or not all of the hype, media attention, delays, and edits were worth it. My prediction? Probably not.

The basic fact is that Manhunt 2 is a video game, another violent one in a growing list of media pariahs that will surely destroy humanity. When it wasn't Manhunt 2, it was Bully. Before that, it was the GTA series, and further back, games like Carmageddon, Mortal Kombat, and all the way back to Death Race 2000, when a tiny car ran over stick-figure people. Oh, the humanity.

Kidding and obvious media targets aside, I don't think that Manhunt 2 is really worth the attention it's getting. Very few games are. Having played through the earliest portions of the first Manhunt that a friend lent me, I honestly didn't see what the appeal was. It's a very slow, plodding game where the player must sneak up on enemies and kill them with a variety of instruments ranging from plastic bags to axes and baseball bats before progressing to the next stage. Wash, rinse, repeat. I suppose I could be criticized for not giving the game a fair chance, but:

1. I found the game boring, tedious, and frankly a bit unpleasant, and

2. No one was paying me to play the game to completion, so why should I?

For what it's worth, I have seen my friend play through a latter portion of the game, mainly the Pigsy fight near the end, and even my friend, who otherwise enjoyed the game, couldn't even hope to take Pigsy seriously. The horrendous, unstoppable homicide machine kept by the Director is some weirdo in a pig mask with his junk hanging out and a voice that makes him sound like Animal from the Muppets. Aside from blatant, crass shock value (a staple of Rockstar's supposedly "mature" sense of humor), there really is no point to this character, or rather, the point was completely lost once Pigsy was revealed to be completely absurd.

All of this in mind, I'm not someone that has been waiting for Manhunt 2 with baited breath. I never actually expected there to be a sequel, to be honest. However, I'm not simply going to dismiss the game out of hand. Though the gameplay of the first game was less than enthralling, and chances are that I'll find Manhunt 2 no different in that regard, Wii Remote or no, at the very least, the plot seems more interesting. A seemingly innocent, but psychologically disturbed man attempting to remember who he is and how he got there is, at least to me, more interesting than a very crass, basic rendition of The Most Dangerous Game. James Earl Cash was not a sympathetic figure. Daniel Lamb might be, or he might not be, but early promotional trailers and information suggest that he was at one point an innocent idealist that made some naively stupid choices. If the premise is able to hold itself up, the game might be worth a rent from me, but unless the Wii version makes some revelatory adjustments to the gameplay, I'll otherwise be inclined to pass on an actual purchase.

To touch on the AO rating controversy, it sounds like the developer was able to appease the ESRB without losing too much of their vision, but I honestly don't believe that Rockstar or Take-Two handled the situation well at all. Let me just say that, given the level of extreme violence in the game, the nature of inflicting said violence, and some of the violent actions themselves (a castration execution via a pair of pliers was supposedly removed in the process or earning the M rating), it was foolish for Rockstar to assume that the game would receive an M. If they had stopped to consider the idea that maybe, just maybe, they were going overboard, they and Take-Two wouldn't have come off reacting with such shock and indignation. I think Rockstar needs some lessons in how to handle PR nightmares if they really want to continue walking the tightrope. ("That Hot Coffee minigame is a user's mod, honest!") In any case, now that the game has been edited and rerated, the only thing left is to see the final product when it finally hits. Perhaps it will be a good game, but a game worth all of this press and all of this trouble? We'll see.

Games on the Brain

by on

Excuse my blatant act of Grand Theft Topic from duxup, but I think it's appropriate. A few weeks ago, my parents were visiting me out here in Seattle, and they asked me if I had a small radio of any sort, which I don't. The reason they asked mainly had to do with a major storm that hit the city last December that left me without power for three days and a large portion of Seattle and the surrounding area in the dark even longer; a battery operated radio would naturally come in handy to hear any news reports in that kind of situation.

So my mom said that she had a radio that she didn't need and offered to mail it to me. It arrived in the mail today, and it's a pretty basic Radio Shack number. The whole unit is about the size of a walkie-talkie, complete with extendable antenna. The first thing I think when I see it? It looks like the kind of radio you'd use as a warning beacon in Silent Hill.

So there you go. I'm now more prepared in the event of either another citywide blackout or a transition into a hellish dimension where the walls of my apartment are made of meat.

Fantasy Football is 99% guesswork.

by on

This NFL season, I've made my first foray into fantasy sports by joining the OGU's fantasy fooball league. My team, the Dapper Dandies, are currently holding steady at 3-3 with the Monday Night game to go, but I have a bad feeling. Why do I have a bad feeling?

Mainly, it's because I didn't play a QB this week. Vince Young is my primary quarterback, and I already goofed once by leaving him in the line up during the Titans' bye week. This time, however, there was a lot of waffling as to whether or not he would be healed enough to play after suffering an injury last week. I didn't exactly have any great choices in replacing him, and he hadn't been announced as definitely being out, so I left him in.

So I get up on Sunday morning and log on to ESPN.com to see an article stating that Young was out for the game.

Thanks for telling me ahead of time, guys. Seriously.

Now, maybe my other players will be able to pick up enough slack to pick up the win. When young went down last week, his contribution to my fantasy league score was actually negative, but I still managed to pull it out. Compared to that, his inevitable score of 0.00 will be an improvement. Still, given my experience in fantasy football so far, it's amazing to think that there are people who take it with dead seriousness.

Don't get me wrong. It's fun to try and put together a winning combination of players that will earn more points than my opponent. However, this isn't like Madden; I don't have direct control over what happens on the field, and once the games start, my line up is locked in no matter what happens. While performances can be predicted based on past experience, it's still a crap shoot. A good player on a good team won't necessarily have a good week, and all of the prepared data in the world is useless if someone goes down with an injury.

I guess what I've learned so far can be condensed down to two points:

1. Don't bother trying to overanalyze. I always thought that those fantasy draft and stat guides were a waste of money, and I haven't seen anything that would change my mind in that regard.

2. Never draft the most recent Madden cover athelete. The curse will haunt your fantasy league performance.

Capcom's big moves.

by on

It seems like if one developer has been making more noise than all of the rest lately, it has to be Capcom. First came the initially-surprising-but-oh-wait-this-makes-total-sense news that Monster Hunter 3, which was in development as a PS3 exclusive, is now a Wii exclusive. In just the past few days, Capcom has announced both a new Bionic Commando and Street Fighter IV, both of which has the oldschool fans drooling, if hesitant. What could they possibly announce next?

Another one for the obvious column: Capcom is making a version of Okami for the Wii. Given that the game sold so poorly on the PS2, it's good to see them giving it another chance, especially on a console with the potential to make the brush-stroke mechanics even more interesting and intuitive.

Now Capcom, how about a new Dark Stalkers with an actual redrawn Morrigan sprite set? Or at the very least, a version of Dead Rising with text I can read on my SDTV without going blind?

Protesting EA's assimilation of Bioware.

by on

As most all of us know by now, yesterday, EA announced its acquisition of Bioware and Pandemic for a ridiculously large sum of money. Although I'm not one to support panicky, idiot-spawning fear-mongering, this is a situation that has a lot of gamers concerned, and rightfully so. In the past, EA similarly purchased Origin and Westwood Studios, two PC game developers with high-quality titles and myriad achievements under their belts. Origin and Westwood were then subsequently dismantled and absorbed into the EA studio collective. While Westwood's Command & Conquer has done well for itself under EA's wing, particularly with Command & Conquer 3, it hasn't been entirely smooth sailing. Even worse, of Origin's popular series, only Ultima really remains, and only in the form of Ultima Online, which still receives the occasional content update.

This isn't to suggest that Bioware is officially doomed, and that some smackwit development team at a completely different EA studio is going to piss on everything that they created with Jade Empire 08, 09, and 10. However, history can be a strong indicator, and so Bioware could be headed down a similar path as Origin.

So if you don't like what's happened, what is there that you can do? Well, there is one thing, though many of you won't necessarily agree with it. The simplest way to protest against EA's purchase of Bioware is to not buy Mass Effect. If you preordered it, cancel it and move that money to another game you have your eyes on. When it's released, don't buy it. Don't even buy it when the game hits the eventual bargain bin. Though it may seem like a childish way to go about this, if enough people elect to give EA the finger instead of giving Bioware their money, then maybe it will send a message. It might not save Bioware from the corporate guillotine, but it might at least send the message to not jerk us around.

Would it work? Only if enough people did it. Besides, it's not like Bioware needs your money to stay afloat with all the green EA just fed them.

Reviewers aren't robots.

by on

In recent weeks, a user forum that I frequent here on GameSpot has lost two posters in two separate incidents involving disagreements with GS's reviews. More specifically, these people took issue with the reviewers themselves. The first came in the wake of Brett Todd's review of the Oblivion-esque Two Worlds. I think that it's fair to say that Brett likes the game. It's not by any means perfect, and he notes its flaws in the review quite well, I believe. Still, what he liked, he liked enough to award a 7.0, and in reading it, I can see that.

After the review was posted, I read some comments from a person or two asking whether or not Brett happens to be crazy or what-have-you, which is all fine and dandy to me. When you review games, or movies, or books for a living, you have to expect that people will disagree with you no matter what you say. Brett could have come to the conclusion that Two Worlds is a horrendous piece of garbage not worth the disc containing its code, and people would revolt in saying how awesome the game is. That's just the way that opinion works, which brings me to my point. That reviews are, by their very nature, opinion.

Obviously, when a person reviews a game, they should always try to come into it with an open mind and be as objective in their assessment as they can. However, the act of maintaining pure objectivity in the act of reviewing is impossible because through the course of the review process, the reviewer is establishing opinions on the game's graphics, sound, gameplay, and story that are by their very nature subjective. In the course of reviewing Two Worlds, Brett did not have a magical checklist to check off whether the game is good or bad, point-by-point. If I'm playing a game that I think is fun, but has its share of obvious flaws that could kill interest in it for other people, I'm not going to go around telling people that I did not have fun and that it's worth no one's time.

And that fact, the fact that reviews are not entirely objective and are in the end based on human opinion, is what drove one GS user over the edge, essentially screaming on the forum that Brett Todd should be fired for shoddy reviewing. Though several of us tried to reason with him and explain the above to him, he wouldn't have any of it and decided to leave. Whether he's gone off to some other game review site to eventually be disappointed again, I have no idea. The entire episode was bizarre.

Not as bizarre as a more recent episode, though. Following the posting of Kevin VanOrd's Eternal Sonata review, a discussion of the game began on this same user forum, and one poster, a person who was easily one of the best contributors to the community with her wit and arguments, suddenly went over the deep end. This person had been looking forward to Blue Dragon for quite some time, and when it came out, she bought it and enjoyed it. She apparently had little if anything to agree with in Kevin's 6.0 review of Blue Dragon, and hey, it happens. If I followed GameSpot's every whim, I probably wouldn't have bought any of Koei's Dynasty/Samurai Warriors games for the past several years, but I can't get enough of those.

So anyway, what did Kevin's Blue Dragon score have to do with the 8.5 he gave to Eternal Sonata? Well, in the discussion thread, the poster in question stated an argument that essentially said Kevin was an untrustworthy reviewer based on the fact that he hadn't beaten King Kong on the 360, and then posted "evidence", namely his gamercard, with its incomplete list of King Kong achievements.

In the immortal words of a great philosopher, "Huh?" Since when does a person's gamercard or gamerscore denote how worthy their opinion is on a game? If I'm looking at an incomplete King Kong achievement list, what's there for me to say that the player didn't just rent the game and not have the time to finish it over a weekend, or sent it back to Gamefly after determining that it wasn't worth beating? He wasn't even given the responsibility of reviewing the game, so why should Kevin be chastised for leaving it unbeaten? It doesn't make any sense whatsoever.

The argument that spawned from this was long, ugly, drawn out, and ended with the poster leaving the community, which is unfortunate because like I said, up until that point she was one of the better contributors. What these two episodes come down to, however, is that we shouldn't just treat reviewers, whether they be GameSpot's or any other site's, as robots. They're men and women that do their best to deliver accurate assessments of games so that we know what we're getting ourselves into if we decide to play them. If my opinion doesn't match the reviewer's, I'll note that when I'm talking about it. It's also true that sometimes, there are people who just can't ever seem to come to an agreement with any of a particular reviewer's opinions. I stopped counting the number of RPGs I enjoyed that Greg Mueller hated, but I certainly never outright called for him to be fired.

As for the pair of former GS community members in question, I don't want to sound as though I'm talking about them behind their backs. I know that their arguments as I've presented them may not paint them in the best of light, but they truly weren't very thought out or logical to begin with. Should either of them happen to see this, they're free to come back and refute anything I've said, either as a comment below or through a private message. However, given that both of these incidents happened within weeks of each other, and given how stunning each incident was, I felt that they should make good examples of what happens when we start demanding reviewers be as calculating and logical as robots and stop thinking about the people writing the reviews as human beings with emotions.

The Cycle of Backlash and Hatred.

by on

Like most of you reading this, my world has been swamped with Halo 3 marketing. Unlike a lot of 360 owners, however, I haven't bought the game, nor do I plan to buy it. I've said it elsewhere, but FPS games are not my genre of choice, and I never found Halo all that compelling to begin with. It's just not my thing.

Of course, Halo is the thing for a lot of gamers out there. I haven't ever played the series for more than a little bit of the first, but thought I don't like it, I'm not going to roll around on the floor screaming that it sucks. However, given the hype poured onto the game by Microsoft and the expectations set by fans of the first two games, I am worried that something inevitable is around the corner. The backlash.

It comes in a definite cycle. You might call it the Final Fantasy VII effect, in which the steps generally look like this:

1. Game X in a beloved series by a reputed developer receives massive hype manufactured by a marketing machine.

2. Fan expectations rise to a boiling point.

3. Game X is released to overwhelmingly fantastic reviews.

4. The game sells like crazy.

5. Some fans experience a let down, finding quirks and issues that all of the marketing and positive reviews glossed over, leading to a growing negative reaction to the game.

6. Offput fans riled by zealotrous fanboys.

7. Zealotrous fanboys riled by offput fans.

8. VIOLENCE AND CARNAGE.

9. Offput fans grow to resent the game and denounce the hype that went into Game X in the first place. Over time, numerous critical articles against Game X are written with varying degrees of argumentative and intellectual strength.

10. Next "God's Gift to Gaming" marketing campaign begins for Game Y.

Do you think that Halo 3 will suffer a similar fate? Do you think that it's already started?