All About Coheeds_Avatar
A couple months back, when the whole controversy involving Infinity Ward and Activision exploded, I decided I'd had enough. Activision's antics had become (and still are) too ridiculous and money-motivated for me to have good conscience in buying their products. I decided that unlike the loud mouths that permeate the comment sections of many a Gamespot article, I was actually going to man up and stand by my convictions. Until Activision changed its practices, ammended its approach to game development, and threw Bobby Kotick out of a 10th floor window, I was not going to give them a penny, and I've stood proudly by that. But along comes a curveball...
Oh. Right. Blizzard merged with Activision. Whoops.
Suddenly, my convictions that were once ironclad are contemplating running around in a knit cap and a skirt. I loved the original Starcraft, and from what I can tell from friends and reviewers, this will not do me wrong in that regard. Couple that with the fact that I've never experienced anything but satisfaction from purchasing and playing a Blizzard game, and I've got a real problem on my hands. After passively wrestling with issue for the past few months, I've come to the decision that there is one instance, a loophole perhaps, that would allow me to purchase this game guilt-free.
After hearing about my plight, my friends (who both bought the game at launch) looked into a few things for me. The first thing that was pointed out is that nowhere on the Starcraft II box is there a single trace of Activision, in logo or in name. This is reassuring since they would never miss a chance to remind consumers whose product they're buying. Secondly, it has been speculated/suggested to me that Blizzard is still autonomous. Activision has pretty much been laissez-faire with Blizzard's development process, and in the words of my friend, "exists only to throw money at them whenever they need it." However, this doesn't change the fact that I still don't know where my $60 are going, whether to one, the other, or both as a whole. (Clearly, my knowledge of business is severely limited.)
So I'm putting it up to you guys. Is it breaking rank to purchase this game, suspecting that somewhere behind the scenes Activision is pulling strings and cashing in? Or, assuming Activision is getting something out of this, is this exactly what I want out of the publisher: for them to allow creative and talented developers to do their job without restraint? Your thoughts are most appreciated.
Ah, yes, it's been a while since I've even looked at you, Blog. I was quite the angsty teen back in the day, wasn't I?
Truth be told, I don't really have much to say right now, but I suppose I could pass on a few opinions on some of the stuff I've played recently.
First off, Toy Soldiers (XBLA) is absolutely fantastic. It's a sort of tower defense hybrid. You set up your turrets and they'll fire automatically, but you can also manually control all of them. Throw in a small handful of tanks, planes, and a sniper tower, and there's a lot to love. It's wonderfully addicting and well worth the 1200 MS points. The soundtrack is also very catchy and fitting.
Assassin's Creed 2: far superior to the original in just about every way. The dual wrist blades and other added weapons mix up combat well, and Ezio is a much more fully fleshed-out character. Unlike with Altair, I actually cared about what happened to Ezio and his family. For those that like achievements, I found that these were much more attainable than in the original, since there weren't 5 billion flags to collect.
Lastly, Red Dead Redemption is everything that GTA couldn't be, including being a game that continues to be fun beyond the 5-hour mark. In lieu of the dreary and repetitive graywash of Liberty City is a vast desert filled with all kinds of different wildlife begging to be shot and skinned. The weapons, though simple, feel and sound right, and each kill-shot is especially satisfying. As for the lead character, John Marston is an incredibly likeable man, despite his flaws, and his story is one that had me hooked on continuing the story to its ultimately satisfying end. The side missions kept me busy after I finished, and the online modes are pretty solid, though I'm much more a fan of the online 16-player free roam mode than any of the competitive modes.
These are just quick summaries of my thoughts, so if anyone has any questions I'd be glad to go more in depth.
I'm sorry that my returning blog post is one so filled with misery and frustration, but I really don't know what else to do with myself right now. For the second time in a little over a year, my 360 has decided to kick the proverbial bucket.
Last year, the infamous red rings decided to tear the soul out of my 360 the day after my birthday. There I was with a handful of new games, and no console to play them. It was torture. Now I have an even worse matter at hand. My 360 has died AGAIN. I just figured I'd play a few minutes of Rock Band 2 before finishing homework and going to bed. Not to be. No sooner had I gone to check my friends list than the screen became pixelated. I figured it had to do with the NXLE, so I just shut it off. When I turned it back on, no WEEOOW tone or floaty logo greeted me, no BLEEP signifying my successful log in to XBox Live, just the crimson flash of a downed companion.
Normally, I'd just say "whatever, I'll deal," and move on with my life. However, for the second time, this horrible event has taken place right around a gift holiday. Christmas is in a little over 3 weeks, and it's not unreasonable to expect to receive a handful of games. In fact, the majority of my Christmas list is composed of 360 games and controllers and such. The odds of me getting my system back by that time, though, are looking very grim to me. The worst part is that it's not only going to affect my Christmas, but I will be 360-less through my vacation, a time when I'd actually be able to tackle such daunting tasks as the Endless Setlist or just sit and enjoy my free time.
I suppose on a bittersweet note (99 parts bitter, 1 part sweet), I'll now have no distractions from the college application process which has been hanging over my head like a guillotine blade for the past few months. Happy holidays, indeed.
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