Following tradition, November has heralded the start of the gaming season. This week i've picked up two games: Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 (MW2), and New Super Mario Bros Wii (NSMBW - hmmm, maybe I won't use that acronym :S).
Anywho, MW2 is this year's massive release. Like most people, I was absolutely awed by the story and execution of MW1 two years ago, so this sequel was always going to have some big shoes to fill.
Ignoring the PC multiplayer debacle mentioned previously and concentrating solely on the single-player experience, I somewhat disagree with the mostly universal-acclaim this game is receiving from the critics.
Firstly, the plot is just way too over-the-top and unbelievable for me. The awesomeness of the first game's plot was that it was actually mostly believable and yet was still very spectacular and engrossing. Without spoiling, the plot of MW2 is quite unbelievable (in a bad way); i really can't imagine what transpires in the game from a general plot point-of-view ever realistically happening in modern international relations and conflict. The ending especially is very anti-climactic, and somewhat a cliff-hanger, which was quite disappointing. The first game showed that you can have an ending with some resolution yet still comfortably spawn sequels without too much trouble.
Secondly, the gameplay and the missions, whilst good and solid, just didn't have the kind of 'WOW!' factor for me. MW1 had so many of those moments whilst retaining believability (AC130 mission, nuke scene, etc.). This game didn't really get anywhere near the 'WOW!' reactions from me that made me instantly want to replay the level like the first game did.
So for me MW2, whilst a decent game, didn't really live up to standards that the first game set, which isn't too surprising. However, I do want to replay both games back-to-back to get an even more objective opinion (maybe i'll do that during the Christmas break...).
I've had a brief go at New Mario Bros on the Wii last night, playing co-op with Des (which is interesting in itself). It's quite fun multiplayer action (especially the Yoshi parts; i love Yoshi :D), but also slightly frustrating: eg if both players jump at the same time to the same area, they collide (often in mid-air), which often results in lives lost when jumping over pits etc.
It still should be fun to play through. I really want to replay Mario Galaxy sometime soon too (maybe that's another one for the Christmas break...)