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Q: What do you call yourself?
A: Bennett, mostly. I do go by the alias Red Beret, though, and any variation thereof.

Q: What are your qualifications?
A: I don't have any.

Q: Does that stop you?
A: Of course not.

Q: So, why "Hit or Miss?"
A: Because the general response to a blog post could go either way, and I'm okay with that. I feel that it reflects the fact that this is a place for people to share their opinions... good or bad.

Q: I see. Tell us more about yourself.
A: Well, I consider myself a casual gamer. I mostly play through games for the story rather than the challenge, and I very rarely play games online, as I don't have great Internet service. I play on a wide enough genre spectrum to stay in the loop with most things, but generally I pass on anything I don't take an interest in... no point in diversifying my portfolio if I'm not gonna have fun with it, eh?

Currently, I'm in possession of a Nintendo Wii and an Xbox 360. The Wii has not been turned on in the past month, and I'm pretty sure it only exists as a paperweight or a conversation piece--I'm not sure which. Maybe both. Actually, it's kind of useless as a paperweight, because Nintendo decided to devise this little... stand thing, so you can't really pick it up in that convenient way most paperweights can be picked up. So I guess it's a conversation piece. People can ask me, "Oh, you have a Wii?" and I can say "Oh, right, that's what that is."

I suppose I can count my computer, too, but I don't, since I can't really play games on it (its loss).

When I'm not gaming, I do "normal" things like eat and sleep, and when I'm not doing any of those, I rock the AirSoft scene (6mm Mercenary FTW) and post my opinions in the public domain, where unfortunates such as yourselves may read them, haha!
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In preparation for the release of Crackdown 2 early next month, I've been playing the original for the past couple of days. It's an interesting game--I certainly like the upgradeable character, the superhero theme, and the open-world gameplay. Of course, I'm predisposed for numbers one and three there, and the superhero themes depend on the context. It definitely works for this one.

However, I did encounter a few things that I hope they're changing up in the sequel. I know it's a little late to start offering up my advice, so I've instead devised a relatively short list of what I hope the developers will fix in Crackdown 2.

#1: The (Exaggerated) Ragdoll Effect
Specifically, the ragdoll for the player character. It is annoying as all Hell to finally get to the top of the building, only to discover that there is a group of people with rocket launchers and grenades standing on top of it, especially since explosions send the player flying an exaggerated distance. The result is generally the player flying off the top of the building before they can get a shot off, falling to the pavement below, and having to respawn far away and having to find the building and climb it again... often to meet the same fate if they climb the building from the same end.

#2: The Enemy Dialogue
This is something I noticed while attempting to climb the Shai-Gen Corporation's Defense Tower (where you defeat Colonel Whatshisname). It seems that out of the hundred or so Shai-Gen soldiers I had to fight through to reach the top, the only two phrases they knew were "Die!" or "Time to die!" This finally led to me hitting the mute button, so I wouldn't have to hear the witty taunting of these soldiers ("Die!" "Time to die!" "Time to diiie!" "Die!" "Time to die!") as I tried to shut them up for good.

#3: Excessive Use of Explosives by the Enemy
This is a problem I first encountered while battling the Volk. You see, these charming bastards like explosives. Normally, I can dig that. However, when I'm surrounded by twenty of the fxxxers, and all they're doing is pelting me with grenades, it becomes a problem. Especially since you can't recover from the ragdoll effect mentioned above quickly, let alone in midair. I spent most of my time in "The Den" (the district occupied by the Volk, for those of you who haven't played the game) on fire, flying around uncontrollably, and swearing under my breath at the TV. Also to note, some of the areas in "The Den" had snipers with rocket launchers to add to the mess. These guys stayed tucked away until you were busy shooting at the grenade-chuckers. You'd get somebody in your sights, then BOOM! Explosion, on fire, and flying through the air.

(I realize that games are meant to be challenging... but sometimes it's taken a bit too far, you know?)

#4: Vehicle Handling
I realize that one of the major points of this game is to level up just about every aspect of your character, including the driving, but it's rather hard to earn driving experience when you can only make wide turns and you constantly have the police on your ass because you keep mowing down civilians.

#5: Smoother Melee Combat
Compared to the rest of the list, this is actually a minor issue. Punching and kicking people off buildings was one Hell of a good time, and I'm certainly not complaining about being able to punch out cars, trucks, and tanks, but as the legions of enemies I had to plow through got larger in number, I found my character was kicking dead bodies instead of immediate threats, even though I had the stick pointed at said threats. That, of course, has led to two deaths and roughly half an hour (combined) of hiding until my health recovered. Hopefully the combat will flow just that teensy little bit better in Crackdown 2.

And that concludes this list of, well, relatively minor annoyances that I'm hoping will be resolved when the game comes out July 6th. We'll just have to wait (approximately a week and a half) and see.



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