We've waged an unrelenting crusade to have Gabe give Modern Warfare 2 a try, to see if he wasn't enthralled by it, or if the experience wasn't (at the very least) preferable to solitude. Our aggressive sales campaign has apparently gripped him because he's double my level, and plays it even in our absence. We haven't talked about it yet, what it is about the game that has him bound thus, but he's certainly not alone. So many people purchase the game just on the 360 that - even though I play it every night - my rank is worse by a hundred thousand or so per day.
Having a nightly destination again gives us an opportunity to be deeply annoyed as a group, to experience the staph infected underbelly of a community aburst with pustules, and to offer unsolicited feature suggestions for the Xbox Live team. As the Fall Update hits tomorrow, we saw it as an opportunity to cross-leverage external synergants(?).
We agreed to offer up ballots for the Spike TV Videogame Awards this year, mostly as an opportunity to inject games like Zen Bound into the proceedings, but were surprised to find a steady stream of review copies emerging on a daily basis for nearly a week. This is a rare treat for us, because while we've managed to find our way onto the occasional list, our assessments are not something PR dudes typically go out of their way to obtain.
Assassin's Creed 2 was one of the games that appeared via this mystical process, and we've played it to completion. We enjoyed it - but then, we liked the other one. Many phosphors have been ignited in the service of the idea that they have somehow "changed their ways," and have emerged with contrition to atone for past indulgences, and there are many new systems in place to distract you. I'm of the opinion that the main body of the concerns with the first game had to do with expectations, for which a design change can be no remedy, but who knows - Mirror's Edge followed the same critical arc, if not the commercial one, which is why we're playing another Assassin's Creed this year and Mirror's Edge is a creature of thoroughly ambiguous destiny.
I can give you a hint, though, that may help create the preconditions for your enjoyment of AC2.
Turn on the subtitles. There is a ridiculous, almost comical amount of Italian in the game. I recognize that the game takes place in Italy, and that Italian is often spoken there, but it's so dense at times that you may think you've purchased a disc for the wrong region. Aside from the pleasantries you could probably suss out from context, there's a lot of colorful, interesting language that just evaporates when it isn't anchored with meaning.