Thoughts on Assassins Creed 2

Many of us were recently treated to the benevolent joys of Christmas...and by that I mean PRESENTS! One of these so called presents which I was fortunate enough to receive was the largely venerable AC 2. We all know what was wrong with the first installment, so I wont really go into too much detail about this, other than to say that my two biggest problems with the game were A) Those boring limited side missions precluding each assassination (of course), and B) the fact that it was very hard, nigh impossible, to succesfully execute someone in a manner befitting of a highly trained, deadly assassin. By this I mean playing as someone less visible than God with the deadly accurate power of Peter North....or a real connoisseur of his work.  Unfortunately, I was very rarely treated to such a pleasure.  
Ubisoft claims to have fixed these problems, and in a way they did, in a very nefarious Chris Angel type of way. Rather than eliminate those troublesome precursors, theyve simply disguised them. Remember sitting on a bench, eavesdropping for clues as to your next mark's whereabouts? Well that's still here, except now you have to walk around, tailing them to a not-so-well-hidden hideout for a congregation of high profile, high ranking catholic's and politician's.....and the worst part is you cant even get up to make a pizza roll to pass the time. I suppose the reason most players don't pick up on this is that these missions are now labelled as "main missions" rather than "side missions". That little icon just made all the difference.  
At least the assassination missions work much better this time around...sort of.  Additions like the blending mechanic in conjungtion with aerial takedowns were a huge improvement in this regard, but these objectives often culminated in a scripted chase scene. Limiting my freedom as an assassin seemed like a mistake with possibillity for open ended assassinations at my disposal. I can only imagine hunting down the same target multiple times, maybe initiating a chase sequence at first, on a second attempt dropping down with a well placed knife to the neck, or maybe even by use of a ninja star...blade....thing from afar. 
Overall, I feel like this was an experience wrought with tedium and missed oportunities. Free running from rooftop to rooftop, a supposed attraction, was slow and inconvenient compared to just runing down the street. Because of this, I was largely discouraged from doing so, save for absolute necessity to survive or to gain positioning for an assassination. Combine that with a lack of freedom when approaching a target, and I must conclude that I was sorely dissapointed. 
But thats just me. 
Edit: Oh and the guard A.I seemed a little uneven. At times I'd stroll past a patrol at 50% nefarity unscathed, yet at other's Ezio would be incognito, and the enemy would engage me in battle, unprovoked.