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5:40 PM on 11.19.2009

Modern Warfare 2: Ridiculous plot extreme mode alpha action tango bravo mike!!!!

An obvious spoiler warning for Modern Warfare 2

If you’ve read my review for MW2, you’d know that, even for the PC version, the game is fun and worth your money.
You’ll also know that I do not think much of the plot. Here is why the Plot for MW2 is stupid beyond redemption.

1) Private Allen turned CIA superstar. Become a deep under-cover operative in 5 easy steps! Anyone can do it! Learn Russian perfectly overnight! Even the accent! Yes it’s entirely plausible and possible!
Okay, your plan is to pluck the most lethal field soldier you can find, a soldier with no previous undercover experience, knowledge of the Russian language, special operations experience or cultural experience, then give him a bad Russian name (something ending in Bog or Ov or Din predictably) and then viola! Instant deep cover operative? How the hell did Shepard even get clearance from the CIA to do that, and Private Allen must have been about as intelligent as a pinecone to agree to such a stupid plan, I mean what did he say - “all I have to do is say my name is Alexei and then I’ve successfully infiltrated the most secretive terrorist unit in all of Russia!? Whoda thunk it? Dur hur hur hur!” I know that in the context of the story, Shepard purposefully sent Allen to be betrayed, and informed Makarov as well, but come on, the set up is so STUPID that no one would have let Shepard do it, and as if the Russian Intelligence services (who don’t like the US in the story line) wouldn’t have possibly picked up on the fact that there’s an American man who speaks bad Russian pretending to be a terrorist landing on their doorstep.

2) How could Russia have known Allen was an American?
Makarov and Shepard’s plan was for Russia to find a dead American body at the sight of a Terrorist Attack and thus use it as justification for an invasion (OOOH I see what you did there infinity ward, that’s very clever political commentary on current US foreign policy, oh you’re such a clever boy IW, here have a sticker for effort). But how the hell did they know he was an American? Where did they get the idea that he was working for the US government? And as if they would jump straight away for the war option.

And further more.....

[My brother walks in]

Brother: Hey I heard you were complaining about MW2’s storyline

Me: Yep. It’s totally stupid isn’t it?

Brother: Well yeah. It’s a video game. And besides you liked Metal Gear Solid 4’s plot, right?

Me: Yeah....

Brother: {Stares pointedly at me]

Me: [Hangs head in shame]. I’ll shut up now.....

And so he did. But not for long! Within minutes he was back on the forums railing on about video game plots, feeling smug using his mighty intellect for arguing against a video game story that....

Oh. Okay. There's no way I can really get angry over video game plots and still have a shred of dignity left is there?

Is..... there?   read

12:11 AM on 03.07.2009

Why a True 10 Point score will always be hated

But should be preserved, none-the-less.

Let me talk about why the 10 score point system will never make everyone happy, or even most happy.

• It starts off with the fact that most serious gamers are young (10 years to mid 20s-ish) and are short on cash. I know I am. I’m poor. I can afford maybe one game a month, and that’s pushing it.
• 10 on a “true ten-point-scale” means excellent and 5 means average
• If a game gets a 5, it does not mean that it is bad. But it also implies that it’s not that good either.
• Gamers will not want to buy a game that gets a 5. Gamers will not want to buy a game that’s average. Gamers will want to spend what little money they have on an 8-to-10/10 product.
• Thus, giving a game a 5 or a 6 is essentially saying – “Don’t buy it, it’s not worth your money”, which some construe to mean “It’s crap”.
• So essentially – giving a game less than 7 basically means that you are telling people not to buy it. And fan-boys can’t stand that.

The problem is that no one wants to be told that their favorite game is average. If it's average, it means its not special to other people, and a fan-boy can never accept that someone else does not see things in exactly the same way they do.

I'm not saying that a true 10 point scale is bad - only that it will never make people happy. Then again, should people try to make other people happy? Should reviewers fall to the feet of angry 15 year olds and demolish the 10 point scale? No, not really. A true 10 point scale separates the mediocre from the excellent and the "okay" from the "great" games.

Some would argue that the 10 point scale deterrs people from buying games that are decent. To which I reply - I have no time for buying games that are decent. I also do not have the money. I can only afford about a game a month, IF THAT. I will, therefore, only buy games that achieve a high score on a multitude of review sites.

Sure, sometimes it doesn't work - for example, I bought Crysis on the advice that it was exceptional, and I found it rather annoying. And sometimes a good game can get low scores. But in general, the system works - most of the games I have purchased at full price have definitely been worth my money.

And in the end, what can we replace the 10 point system with? A simple "Buy if you like" "Don't buy if you don't like" system? The problem with that is that it cannot encompass everyone's taste or gaming history. So a system which states "Buy if you liked Game X" would fail, if the person reading the blog has never played Game X. How about a simple "Good/Bad" system? Again, it does nothing to address the complaints of the 10 score system (people will still argue whether or not a game should be in one category or the other) and it provides less information.

So scores are here to stay. A flawed system, but the others are equally flawed, in that people will disagree with them. So in the end, the problem isn't with how games are reviewed. It's with people. Plain and simple. Always has been.   read

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