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4:06 PM on 04.13.2011

Aamaazing: SSX

I lost my gaming V-Card at the tender age of 3, when I was spoiled rotten with a new Nintendo 64 and a slew of titles. Since then I've been an avid gamer, constantly itching to get my grubby toddler hands on a new game. And a good four years later, I was ready for my next big gaming purchase: a brand-spanking new PS2 for Christmas, along with a few launch titles, including the then-new SSX. When I popped in the shiny blue-bottomed disc (Anyone else remember how cool the old blue PS2 CD's looked?), I had absolutely no idea that I was about to experience the single most important gaming moment of my life.

SSX, for those who are unfamiliar with the games, is a series of arcade-y snowboard-based racing games featuring a colorful palette of locales, music, characters, tricks, and general "Holy crap, that just happened!" experiences that set it apart from other snowboarding/skateboarding games. It was colorful, fast, challenging, and crazy. Although the original game's sequels SSX Tricky and SSX 3 are much better received and MUCH more popular, SSX 1 was my first, and it will always hold a place in my heart for being the first video game to make my eyes widen and my jaw drop.

After a rather dazzling intro (at least it was for me at the time), I got myself through the menu and onto a simple race on the first course, Snowdream, my mind was instantly blown from the game's graphics. I had never seen a game so damn pretty in my life, and the race hadn't even started yet. Once the timer counted down, my snowboarder was propelled forward along with 5 other racers. It truly felt like a party, with all 6 snowboarders plummeting down the slope all together. As we careened down the powder, I could hear the fans to both sides of me cheering us on, feel the cool night sky above me, and hear the banter of DJ Rahzel talking about the race as we sped on. The music bumped as we banked through the turns, and just up ahead was the very first BIG jump of the race. And that's when it happened.

As the six racers and I flew over the jump, the game makes the music cut out as I'm in the air. Some of the racers are doing flips and spins, some are flying forward just to land as fast as they can, and some fail their attempted maneuvers and end up biting it as they land. And as this is all happening, [i]fireworks are blowing up in my face[/b]. Talk about overload of the senses. My 7-year-old brain was absolutely astounded. I was completely blown away by how any game could process all of this and deliver an experience as downright beautiful as this.

You can watch the very moment HERE.

At this moment, something in my brain "clicked". I had always loved flipping on my N64 as a littler kid, but I hadn't developed a passion for gaming until then. SSX turned me into a gamer. SSX is the reason I'm here on this website right now. Since then, I've always had a soft spot for the series, and with the upcoming release of a sequel for current-gen consoles, I'm even more excited. Although the announced new direction for the series has turned my "extreme excitement" into "cautious optimism", I'd be lying if I said I wasn't still excited for the game. Please, EA. Don't screw it up.   read

4:12 PM on 05.28.2010

A Biased, Nostalgia-Fueled Review of Blur

Since the wee age of three years old, I have been obsessed with racing games. Ever since I booted up my Nintendo 64 and played Cruis'n USA, racing games have always had a special little place in my heart. I loved the absolute flexibility of the genre; you could race any sort of vehicle and the additions of various special features like awesome power-ups (a-la-Mario Kart) and amazing set pieces (a-la-Hydro Thunder), the racing genre was a bit wacky and VERY fun.

Unfortunately, we have come upon a saturation of racing games that aren't very wacky at all, and the fun level has plummeted. After the release of Midnight Club: LA, we have seen a lot of generic racers out there. Sure, Forza 3 was pretty and racing your dream car in a realistic manner was pretty cool, but the "cool factor" was overshadowed after the, say, 5th lap. Racing sims seemed to almost dominate the market, and Bizzare Creations only worsened the issue with the extremely generic Project Gotham racing series. Instead of further contributing to the massive over saturation of generic racers, they decided to take a different (and risky) approach to the racing genre. And that's why, my friends, Blur might just get my GOTY vote.

Blur is not your typical racing game. It's got a very smooth, neon look to it, no doubt inspired by Geometry Wars. Blur contains real cars with semi-real physics on tracks inspired by real-world locales. However, a huge variable is thrown into the mix: power-ups. These power-ups include Shunt, which is a rather devastating (and slightly frustrating) homing energy ball thing that resembles Mario Kart's Red Shell. Then there's Shock, which fires out three bursts of energy in front of the lead car, which can be very helpful if you're trying to reach that number one spot. Then there's Barge, which shoves all nearby cars out of the way. There's Bolts, three little slivers of energy that nudge a car off the track, causing them to lose very precious momentum. Then there's Mine, Repair, Shield, and Nitro, and what they do should be quite obvious.

The power-ups are very devastating and are definitely the main focus of the game. If Split/Second can be compared to "the first person shooter of racers", then Blur can definitely earn the same moniker. You will have to be an excellent multitasker; you have to focus on actual driving while evading/using power-ups. These power-ups can prove VERY frustrating at times, and words like "cheap" and "unfair" can come into play. However, you can easily dish out what you're being given, and evening the odds is very rewarding. When it's bad, it sucks, but when it's good, it's great.

Now onto the tracks. The tracks of Blur take you all around the globe, and there are around 30 in all. They're all radically different and the background scenery is pretty cool, even though it's the last thing you'll want to focus on during a race. What's also interesting is that some courses are offroad, and you'll need to pick vehicles tailored to offroad racing, which is a great way to mix it up a bit.

Now the cars. I have to say that the cars are really cool looking (for lack of a better word) in Blur. They're not nearly as detailed as other racing games, but they capture the game's smooth, polished look very well. The car choice is neat too, there are some very interesting cars that I honestly haven't seen in other racers, which is quite impressive considering the massive scope of cars in Forza 3.

Single player is pretty fun, there' s not much to say about it. The story is the generic "I'm a new racer and I gotta take out all the other established racers" motif. You earn fans and unlock cars on the way to the top. The AI is good and make use of the power-ups just as a real-life player would. In speaking of real-life players...

...the Multiplayer is fantastic. With a sleek Leaderboard system, comparable to that of Geometry Wars 2, fast Matchmaking, and 20-player online racing, it's an awesome experience. I cannot think of a more polished, fun multiplayer racing experience. If you've played the VERY popular Beta, you know how addicting it is to Shunt and Barge opposing cars. The game also includes 4-player splitscreen which is a nice touch as well. The total Multiplayer experience is fun and should be experienced by veteran racers and newcomers alike.

And for those who are lazy and would like a score, it gets a 10/10 in my books.


2:23 PM on 04.27.2010

How Splinter Cell: Conviction COPIED Gears of War 2

Hello everyone. Today I recently purchased this filth known as "Splinter Cell: Conviction". As many of you know, the story follows this asshole named Sam Fisher while he searches for his daughter in a race against time. Along the way, you'll be killing a bunch of other douches sneaky-style and you'll go to Iraq and kill some other douches. This would have been an interesting and creative story and gameplay mechanic, but Ubisoft and all their retarded devs failed to realize one little thing: Gears of War 2 did all of this already. Allow me to elaborate:

Both games feature stealth-based gameplay

Back in 2008, Gears of War 2 revolutionized the stealth genre. It included a core mechanic that drained all color from the screen when your character was hidden from the enemies, slimming down the HUD and making stealth more accessible. This feature, however, was criticized by so-called "hardcore" gamers, stating that the game was "always" like that. Maybe these "gamers" should get their eyes checked, because I can tell the difference. Unfortunately, two years later, a little game called "Splinter Cell Conviction" copied this very mechanic. Shame on you, Ubisoft.

The "WHERE'S MY [Loved One]" Meme

Gears of War 2: WHERE'S MY WIFE

Splinter Cell Conviction: WHERE'S MY DAUGHTER

Such drama.

Deep religious overtones

In Gears of War 2, Marcus Fenix (the main character) is a devout Christian. While he is slaughtering Locust in all that is good and holy, he constantly stops for prayer and worship. This sparked quite a controversy, causing the game to sell millions worldwide. In a hasty attempt to steal Gears of War 2's fame, Splinter Cell Conviction carries deep religious messages as well.

Zero-DRM Policy

Since I am The DRM Master anyway, I feel as though I am the most well-educated on the subject. I know for a FACT that Gears of War 2 for PC did NOT have any DRM whatsoever. Everyone knows that DRM stands for Devil Rights Management, and the nice people at Epic Games did not ship the PC version of their masterpiece with any of these satanic restrictions. And guess who followed suit right after Gears of War 2? That's right: Splinter Cell Conviction. When Splinter Cell Conviction was shipped for PC, it didn't contain any DRM either. Nice try at winning our hearts, Ubisoft, but this Master is not fooled.   read

2:35 PM on 03.26.2010

Ode To The Automatic Shotgun

Hell yes!

Ladies and Gentlemen, I am here to commemorate one of the most amazing and deadly weapons found in the modern shooter: the automatic shotgun. Often overlooked and unfortunately replaced by longer-range weapons (read: LeetSnipers), these weapons are the true man's guns. Whether it be the Modern Warfare 2's AA12, Bad Company 2's USAS-15, or Borderlands' many "Sweeper Shotguns", these guns are all around you. Here is why YOU should be the badass motherf*cker using these deadly pieces of machinery:

1) It takes just enough skill to not be considered cheap

Follow the Vladov rule: you don't need to be a better shot, you just need to shoot more bullets! Precisely. You can run into a room and clear it of several enemies in seconds flat with an auto-shotty. After you're done annihilating the enemy team, one whiner can call shenanigans, claiming auto-shotties are "cheap". The great thing with auto-shotties is that you can have two points to rebute his statement: A) Auto-shotties have low ammo and B) Auto-shotties have poor range (but that's no problem for YOU!). Now the whiner's argument has been nullified and you can proceed with killing him a multitude of times.

2) It's hilarious to kill snipers with an auto-shotty

Did some asshole sniper just put a bullet in your noggin from across the map? Does the bastard deserve payback? Hell yes he does. And there's no better way to do so than putting 350 12-gauge rounds in him per minute. But to do so takes some skill. You gotta be sneaky, you gotta be stealthy. You gotta get in close. Even though it may be difficult, the end result is extremely satisfying.

3) You feel like a badass (it's because you are)

You are holding 7.3 kg of hot, automatic death in your hand. Screw those wussies with their pump-action Spas-12's or their SEMI-auto Strikers. No, your gun shoots fully auto. And that makes you about 200x scarier, and about 9001x more badass. So they can shoot you once, that's cool. In the same time it takes for them to pump, you can shoot them 4 times already. That's possibly the best thing ever and you know it.

4) They mount them on unmanned tanks

Hell yeah they do.   read

2:20 PM on 03.22.2010

How To Suck At Battlefield: Bad Company 2

Hey guys! This is Corporal Coolkid of the 22nd Sniper Squadron. Today I'm going to teach you MY way of playing Bad Company 2. You know, the right way. I hope these tips and tricks help you on the Battlefield (lol), as they surely helped me.

1: Be a LeetSniper (tm)

K guys, the first thing you gotta do is get yourself an awesome sniper rifle. Screw all that needless C4 and Mortar-strike stuff. Snipers only have one goal: to kill people. Let all the Medics and the other wussy classes deal with all of the objective junk. All that REALLY matters is your K/D.

2: Huddle in a group with other Leetsnipers (tm)

Strength in numbers, right? Trust me, I know from experience that if there are a bunch of grass-people camped up on an obvious ledge, no one will find you/shoot a 40mm grenade at you. It is the ultimate strategy. But if that somehow doesn't work...

3: Wait for the Helicopter to spawn

Sure, it may seem a bit "unnecessary", but trust me, you will help your team more when you get the helicopter. It's a well-known fact. In the case that you don't know how to drive the helicopter, take it anyway. When you get in it, you'll automatically learn how to pilot it and lead your team to victory. But if that doesn't work...

4: Wait for the UAV to spawn

Using the UAV is an intricate process. Be sure to fly around for a few minutes just to get a feel for it (and have tons of fun, of course). When you're ready to take it on the battlefield, be sure you fly as high up as possible so that no one can spot you. If your UAV gets shot, be sure to fly it right back to your base. Just be sure to use it as defensively as possible. I mean, it can't possibly kill anyone, right? If for some impossibly odd reason that doesn't work, you can always...

5: Switch to Medic

Represent, bitches.   read

4:17 PM on 02.18.2010

My Expertise: I'm a Light-Gun Hero!

There's an arcade about 20 minutes from where I live. It's a very quaint place; and by quaint I mean awful. Half of the machines don't work, there isn't a single game more recent than 2005 (seriously), and it's almost always barren. This beat-up galleria of near-obsolete technology, however, is my home-away-from-home. I go there on occasion, get a $20 dollar game card, and get to dick around for an hour or so.

To the far left are the racing games and the Skee-Ball, next to that are the skill/ticket games, and in the far right corner is where I like to call home: the "Shooting Gallery".

The Shooting Gallery is comprised of 5-6 different machines, like Time Crisis 2, House of The Dead 2, and some other really obscure Konami shooters (L.A. Machineguns or Crisis Zone, anyone?). House of The Dead 2, although an extremely fun game, loses it's luster due to very poorly-calibrated Light-Guns. L.A. Machineguns is pretty fun, and Crisis Zone (a Time-Crisis-style game with automatic guns) would be great if the light guns' rumble functionality would work. Then there's Time Crisis 2, which is a totally different story. My arcade's Time Crisis 2 machine works excellently, they even sprang for custom light-guns that work like a charm. This machine is my dojo; these plastic gun-shaped controllers are my weapons.

I'll quickly pop in my card, the allotted points will be deducted, and it's my time to show these horribly-rendered terrorists who's boss (it's me, by the way). I'll skip the first cutscene and spring into the first room. Around 6 enemies pop out of their respective covers, I can shoot each of them in less than 4 seconds without a miss. I aim down the sights, I quickly pump the "cover" pad to reload, and yes, I even quickly tap the trigger during the fights with a tank/armored vehicle where quick damage is a must. Yes, I am that guy. I am also the guy who takes up every spot in the top 10 on the leaderboard. After a couple months without playing, I went back to my arcade a few days ago to play. I only had to use 4 continues, and that was when I was rusty. It was pretty amazing.

Why do I love these games so much? Well, it's simple: it's as close as you can get to shooting a gun at terrorist without, you know, shooting a gun. I am a total pacifist in real life, but when it comes to games, I find it really fun and enjoyable to shoot at crappy, poorly-rendered terrorists and be the hero. I am an avid player of Airsoft, and playing any light gun game is both good practice and stress release. I'm just glad I have the reflexes (and patience!) that these game require. I have high hopes that my arcade can some day redeem itself and get updated games.

Until then, you can find me rocking some face at Time Crisis 2.   read

9:43 AM on 01.08.2010

The Future: Gaming's Messiah

Picture this: it's sometime in the (hopefully near) future. Over 75% of the world play games on a regular basis; the game industry is booming and an Xbox is seen in homes as much as refrigerators or TVs. Just last Wednesday, Destructoid just garnered its 300,000th member. The world is a gamer's paradise.

I personally couldn't wait for a future like that. Gaming is quickly becoming more and more mainstream each and every day with big releases like Modern Warfare 2 or Uncharted 2 gracing the market every year or so. Still, there are many who are just not that "in" to gaming. How could we change that? How could we get more people to enjoy video games and keep it going strong for many hears to come? This could possibly solved by a single game.

We need a "messiah" of gaming. We need a game that will do for gaming what FLCL did to anime. We need a game so revolutionary, so absolutely adored by almost everyone, that it will bring gaming into a new era. This game must completely change what we think about gaming, it has to have such a strong emotional effect in all of us that there is no going back, and a new standard will be set.

I'm going to draw a comparison to FLCL. If you haven't watched the anime FLCL, I would highly that you watch it as soon as possible. If you're still not convinced, read Japanator's take on it and see why they feel it is truly the most influential anime of the past decade.

FLCL's trick is it's ambiguity. At first watch, it seems like nothing but random gibberish and it will NOT make sense. After watching it a few times, however, it begins to become more cohesive. No matter what kind of person you are, there WILL be something you like about FLCL, whether it's the extremely odd sense of humor, the really well-done action scenes toward the end of the series, or just perhaps the many animation-style changes that are mixed in. FLCL's mystique, it's shrouded, epic story needs to be captured within a game. The game must have it all. The game must be able to be interpreted by the one playing it, and everyone's experience needs to be different.

The game needs action, suspense, romance, violence, and the game must be placed on an epic scale. It needs to be accessible as well; it needs to be multi-platform. It needs exposure; it needs to be widely known. And, most importantly, it needs to appeal to non-gamers. It needs to break gaming stereotypes and the stereotypes of it's genre, whatever genre that might be. The game must make those who make fun of gaming stare in awe. If someone's trashing the game, those people need to stand up for it.

Think of the possibilities at hand; think of what a game like this could do for gaming. I know I'm going to sound fanatical here, but aren't you sick of the people who denounce gaming as something for "nerds"? Don't you just want those people to see how great gaming can be if you look at it with an open mind, don't you want those people to feel like you do when you finally beat that boss or when you watch that one cutscene? The "one game to rule them all" needs to be made. For this reason, I'm looking forward to the future of gaming.   read

3:26 PM on 12.19.2009

The Importance of A Bad Girl

The "Bad Girl" is an interesting device used in modern media. They are used to represent lost love, convey a sense of corrupted beauty, and so forth. Many just pass off the "bad girl" character as sexual exploitation, but if done correctly, the effect can be very, well, effective. Allow me to explain.


Two examples of the "bad girl" character done right would be Nia in the popular anime series "Gurren Lagann" and the character Kirah in "Gitaroo Man". In Gurren Lagann, Nia is always the cute, innocent girl with an overwhelming sense of good. When her character is suddenly flipped halfway through the series and she becomes evil, it has a huge impact on the story, and one of the biggest twists I've ever seen. This was executed because, primarily, Nia had such an established character concept as being good. This was an extremely well-done dramatic effect, and I would like to see it in more games.

Now, for my second example, is Kirah from Gitaroo Man. For those of you who have played the Gitaroo Man games, you would know that there is little to no story in the game. None of the characters are very well-established, but the interaction between U-1 (the main character) and Kirah (a mysterious girl who appears seemingly randomly) is genuine. U-1 finds an acoustic guitar on the beach, and Kirah pretty much randomly appears and asks him to play it. This sends the player on a stage unlike the other guitar battles in the game; you serenade Kirah with the acoustic guitar, which was a neat idea and is very cute at that. A few bosses later, U-1 finds himself trapped inside an arena. Floating above him is the final boss, saying that there is a new challenger awaiting him. And guess who that challenger is: Kirah. What ensues is an incredible guitar battle between the two. Halfway into the battle, U-1 suddenly quits fighting as Kirah pleads him to keep fighting. U-1 refuses and, instead, starts playing the same ballad he played for Kirah at the beach, but in electric guitar form. After a bit of playing, Kirah gives up and the two do a duet. This was a spectacularly heartrending moment for a game with such a simplistic story. This part totally blind-sided me; it had a horrible set-up, but had a near perfect execution.

Image by Daltair. Nice work!

Now here's an example of a "Bad Girl" situation that kinda, well, flopped. I love the game No More Heroes, and I really wish it had a great story to go along with the great gameplay. Unfortunately, this is not the case. Towards the end of the game, Jeane, Travis's childhood love interest and half sister, confronts Travis. She explains her past to Travis and, for some unexplained reason, she decides to fight Travis in what is a pretty epic boss. After defeating (and horribly maiming) Jeane, Travis is devastated in killing his former love. He is extremely upset in the fact that she became evil. But you aren't. Because you never knew she was good in the first place! You learned this literally 10 seconds before you decided to slice her with a beam katana. That doesn't work.

What I'm trying to get at here is that the "bad girl" character, if used effectively, can be a great device to strengthen some games' stories. So, maybe we should see more "bad girls" in more games.   read

7:57 PM on 11.21.2009

Can A Community Ruin A Game?

[WARNING: You are about to write an extremely whiny rant. Brace yourself!]

You reload your M4. You look down the sights. No enemies anywhere. You walk down the corridor. Boom. You died. A camper has struck again.

I'm sure you have encountered this; campers have been running rampant in MW2. These people care more about getting points than playing the game. And yes, although it seems a bit bold of me to say it, but there IS a wrong way to play Modern Warfare 2, and camping is NOT a legitimate strategy.

Don't get me wrong, Modern Warfare 2 is a good game. A great game, even. I've told myself many times to persevere, but these people are making it very hard to enjoy this otherwise brilliant title. The fact that they can use weapons that kill you in one shot (FAMAS, Intervention, etc.) doesn't help either. Before you flame, think about it: Doesn't it piss you off when the same person kills you two or three times before you finally kill him because he's sniping you from afar? Doesn't it piss you off when you go 30-50 seconds without seeing an enemy because they're all hiding around corners? It should.

We didn't have this problem with CoD4, I don't see why this problem has grown so out of hand. I am sorry to say that the shining quality of this great game is being dulled by it's awful community. We SHOULD persevere and show these campers whose boss, but it's becoming extremely frustrating. So, can a community kill a game? Maybe. I sure hope not.   read

6:38 PM on 11.03.2009

Gasp! I'm purchasing a JRPG!

Ok I'll be blunt: I've never played a JRPG. Never. Never ever. I havn't even thought of picking up a Final Fantasy game, nor have I played and of the "classics" like Chrono Trigger or Earthbound. I've always been a fan of Western RPGs, dungeons, dragons, axes, all that jazz.

Well all this changed yesterday. I was digging in my cousin's room for a PS2 controller to bring to my friend's house, lo and behold, I found my cousin's old PSP 1000. Seeing as my cousin just traded in every single one of his UMD's, he doesn't want it anymore. One word: SCORE!

So anyway, the PSP is MINE! I have been enjoying "tricking it out" with various themes/backgrounds, and have it nice and personalized. Then it hit me: I need some games. So I ran down my head of some good PSP titles: God of War: Chains of Olympus, Gran Turismo, Patapon, etc. Then I was reminded of one title that interests me the most: Persona Portable.

I like the premise of the Persona games. I like the nice anime characters. I like high school, and I can relate because, well, I'm in high school at the moment. I want a game that I can chip away at, that I can play on and off, and enjoy greatly. But I want that game to have some depth. That game, my dear Destructoid, is Persona PSP.

I will be writing a follow-up blog on my experience with the game. Maybe I'll call it "A JRPG Virgin Does It For The First Time". Hmm...

Also, wish me luck!   read

3:02 PM on 09.21.2009

I Hate My Age Group.

And here's why. Many of you do not know this, although I've made it a point in my other blogs, I am a young gamer. At the age of 15, I'm often grouped in with the "adolescent" crowd. The actual age, however, is not the problem. Call me an adolescent, that's not what bothers me. What bothers me is that I'm at the same level as these pricks Jim Sterling keeps ranting about. I'm here to state my case: Not all younger gamers are rude, immature idiots. There's a revolution happening, my fellow DToiders. A revolution of mature, polite, and considerate young'ins. And I'm a part of it.

I started gaming at the age of three. This was the time of Diddy Kong Racing and Rayman 2. I never got to enjoy the "true" classics, such as the original Final Fantasy or Megaman titles. Although I'm not particularly fond of these retro games, I'm humbled by the fact that they exist, and many gamers love them. My entry into gaming was successful and, well, awesome. My entry into online gaming, however, was not. At the age of 11 I picked up Counter Strike: Source and played it heavily. I wasn't the best at the game, but I could keep myself out of last place. My Counter Strike days did not last long after I got my microphone, though. When I plugged in and said a quick "Hey, guys, what's up?", the entire server was in an uproar. I honestly wanted to have a nice, civil conversation, but was shot down because my 11-year-old voice was high-pitched. Four years later, I play on the very same server I did that faithful day, and am a part of the flourishing community. So there's a little info on where I come from.

What angers me is that people my age get a bad rep. My "peers", if you will, are the ones flaming forums for no reason and calling you a "st00p1d faggot" on Xbox Live. It infuriates me to know that I'm categorized as one of these people. Being a younger gamer is no longer a blessing, being one of millions who share the same hobby. No, I'm now grouped together with these little shits who just learned the word "fuck" on Xbox Live.

So with this, I'm imploring you, Destructoid, to see younger gamers with a different perspective. I am NOT following the young gamer stereotype. I am a mature, responsible person, and I want to be on the same level as older gamers. Allow me to apologize for my peers, and let me assure you that I'm here to make a difference.   read

4:37 PM on 07.23.2009

How To Make Left 4 Dead 2 Amazing

Or, how to make it more amazing than it will be regardless. I am a huge Valve junkie. I have basically the entire Valve Complete Pack off of Steam, except I bought it all separately as the games came out. I'm hardcoar and shit, yo. Kidding. Anyway, from the recent trailers for Left 4 Dead 2 and the trickle of information Valve has graced us with, I'm beginning to grow...skeptical. I'm still buying it, and I'm not joining that retarded-ass steam group, but if Valve doesn't deliver on a few of the following, I'd be a bit disappointed.

It appears Valve is inching L4D2 to the "survival horror" genre. And no, I'm not calling L4D2 a survival horror game, but a few of the design choices are a bit freaky. Taking a look at the L4D1 boss infected, they weren't all that frightening. The Boomer is a fatty who explodes epically when shot. The Witch is easy to avoid and is, well, a little girl in a bra and underwear. The hunter would be freakier if it wasn't hilarious to shoot down mid-pounce, and the Smoker's tongue is a scary concept but has some humor value to it. The only boss infected with shock value was the tank. When you're fighting it, you're too busy to notice how freaky it really is. The fact that it's tongue is constantly sticking out is kind of creepy, but the whole fact that it rushes at you with it's giant mutated arms while it's underdeveloped legs dangle uselessly is scary to me. L4D had amazing sound work, and it's sequel will be no different. The sound that the Charger makes is, well, freaking scary. It sounds like a hillbilly donkey. Just think of this situation: You're using the hunting rifle (which is now a PSG 1) to pick off a few infected in the background, and you hear the awful screech of the Charger along with a "thud, thud, thud" that is growing ever louder. You exit the scope to look for the Charger, but when you look to the left you get a faceful of mutated arm. I, personally, would shit myself. And when I was on DToid last night and saw the image of the Spitter, I cringed a little bit. That thing is fucking creepy. In my opinion, a bit over the top. Call me a scaredy cat all you want ('cause I am), but that thing is a bit disturbing. And the whole concept of the Mud Men is creepy as well...the fast zombies of HL2 are some of the most frightening enemies in gaming history, and I have a feeling the Mud Men will have similar mechanics. However, I know how Valve can counteract this: dialogue. The characters of Left 4 Dead 2 are very cool, each with their distinct personality. I can see some pretty awesome conversations between the characters. L4D had some great conversations, like Zoey yelling "Game Over Man, Game Over!" in the elevator of No Mercy. L4D 2 needs to have even more moments like these to break the tension and get the players to relax a bit before being charged or spat upon.

Second of all, I feel as if there needs to be more weapons. Yes, I know it was a good design choice to keep the weapon choices simple, and I know that me and every 10 year old wants "MOAR GUNZ", but I'd like some more variety. I love the SCAR, the Spas 12 is a neat idea, and the PSG 1 is a sweet gun as well. The silenced Uzi and the silver Wingmaster were great choices as well, but I want a little more. Perhaps another SMG that shoots just like the UZI but looks differently. Maybe a double barreled shotgun. I honestly don't care, I just want them to mix it up a bit, that's all.

And lastly, and most importantly, MAKE THE TWO GAMES COMPATIBLE WITH EACH OTHER!!! Give those who bought L4D 1 and L4D 2 the option to play both titles' campaigns within L4D 2. I think the people in the boycott group should go cry in a corner some more, but that doesn't mean they don't have a point. I think splitting up the two communities is a bad idea, and that finding some way to keep them together would benefit everyone. Because, frankly, I lieked teh campainz of l4d :(. And I don't want them to go away.

[P.S. I made the first image. Do you like it? If you'd like to use it as your wallpaper or for any other reason, feel free. If you'd like it in sexy, sexy 1600x1200, ask in the comments and I will deliver. Thanks.]   read

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