This is completely over the top.

Hi, my name is Kyle, and for most of my life I've been something of a Star Wars apologist/fanatic. I like the awful Prequels, the fantastic Original Trilogy, and I'm probably the only person who can sit through Episode II and have a reasonably good time doing so. These are all true, if not a bit shocking, facts. Hell, MY AVATAR IS THE LOGO OF THE EMPIRE. I think this can put to rest this disclaimer confirming that I am a die hard fan of Star Wars. 
 
That said, I think I've turned a relatively large blind eye to the horrible things Lucasarts has been doing to my beloved franchise. What with release after release after release of The Clone Wars bullshit, I've tried to understand that they wanted to flesh out what was intended to be a huge part of the Star Wars "timeline". You know what? I can get behind that and let that go, let the kiddies have their games based off the CGI TV series and enjoy their time with it. I get it.  I even understand turning KOTOR, arguably the prize Jewel of all that comes from the Star Wars franchise of video games, into an MMO because it seems the more ambitious and profitable route when you already have the critically acclaimed Mass Effect on the Sci-Fi RPG market. 
 
But here it comes, from a Star Wars nerd, Lucasarts has lost my faith in their products. Shocking, I know. Before everyone causes a ruckus and goes, "Who cares? You're one customer!" This is a blog, and it's only a blog highlighting what I think Lucasarts is doing terribly wrong for discussion's sake. I'm not out to start petitions against Lucasarts and I don't plan to go around boycotting Star Wars games from my consoles or my internet profiles, I just wanted to discuss from a "hardcore" fan's viewpoint. 
 

No Fun For Friends!

 
The Battlefront franchise is easily my most played game with friends. I would slave away for hours over xbox live with my closest friend and really enjoy just hammering away at the different factions in the multiplayer modes and seeing all the great maps and playing out our own scenarios. It really was some of the greatest time I've spent through online gaming, and with the death of the original xbox live servers that time has officially come to a close. The problem is, my friend and I have run dry of a lot of common ground in gaming let alone games that use Star Wars as a source material. Neither of us are interested in any of the repetitious Lego games so we're out of options when it comes to enjoying things like that together. It's even more unfortunate that it seems as though Battlefront III is completely unthinkable at this point, with Free Radical no longer existing and all, our hopes at reliving the previous gen experiences we enjoyed seem to have been extinguished. Lucasarts, aside from creating MMOs, haven't really given any console players any multiplayer options. Given how multiplayer seems strewn into every game nowadays, this is really unfortunate. 
 

No Care For Story

 
Sure, the points people hold against the prequels and the their respective story lines are valid and people hate George Lucas. I know this. What I don't understand is why Lucasarts plans to exacerbate these opinions further by the announcement that Starkiller is a clone in The Force Unleashed II. While the first game was no masterpiece at stringing the Pequels and The Original Trilogy together, it sure as hell did a better job than just using a storytelling tool already used not once in the Star Wars fiction, not twice, but three times. One being within the comics and books, with Palpatine being resurrected through a clone, the others being within The Force Unleashed II and the handheld version of The Battlefront games recently released for DS and PSP. While this devious lack of imagination isn't uncommon to see in a universe that has been described in so many different formats, it's unforgivable to push this storyline on consumers expecting them to take it as anything more than "Well, we weren't really expecting to get to make a sequel so this is the best we could do. That work?" 
 
 
Do you think Lucasarts can make the presentation good enough to make the reason for Starkiller's cloning reasonable? I doubt it. At this point, there isn't anything to hold my attention in the gaming world of Star Wars considering my utter lack of funds to build a PC that would be able to run any MMO. It's unfortunate that they've burned even a fanatic, but I can't see them suddenly coming out and announcing production of a console KOTOR game or the return of the Battlefront franchise. It's simply turned in a rehashing machine of uninteresting products, and I couldn't be more sad about it if I tried.
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My Return to Gaming For Fun, and How Geometry Wars 2 Has Helped.


 Curse you!

Part 1: Points, Points, and Points!

Years into the "Next Gen" experience with my 360, I've come to the conclusion (or rather I have quit denying) that my enjoyment of video games in general have withered to a rather pathetic level thanks to my addictions to certain gaming lifestyles brought in by innovations I did not possess when I relied strictly on my Gamecube and original Xbox for my gaming needs. I succumbed to strictly playing games for achievements and then ceasing to writhe any fun or love out of my purchases. Maybe it had to due with the lack of replay value of the games I have played, but I have left many rocks left unturned and many alternative story missions gone uncompleted because of my point-obsessed tendencies.  I accept that this has become a hindrance to my hobby and that this needs to change. More on how this will transfigure into a positive urge in this very post!
 

Part 2: A Cooperative Catastrophe

 My best friend lives a ways away and we spend a majority of our quality time (that we can spend together, given the distance) playing cooperative games online. As we like working as a team, we usually stay away from any game that lacks this and often coordinate our purchases to be able play and enjoy games together. The only problem is that he is absolutely adamant about the games he wants to play and usually refuses my ideas on trying new things. To be fair, it is his money and he has every right to not want to try anything he isn't sure about, but this limits what we play together in a rather extreme way. This trend has continued since say... Halo 2 was big on the original Live servers, and has now transgressed into a horrible habit of mine. I cannot play first person shooters and the majority of multiplayer games online without a friend, it's just not fun to have to deal with the chaos and the occasional (by that I mean the abundant amount of)  immature fools without a friend in hand. With him being my only real good friend that likes to have a good laugh without being a true dick online, I get very stressed out and lose my fun in most online gaming fairly quick. This has become an extreme issue because this combined with my achievement hunting has sucked the fun out of games for me.
 

The Solution? More Geometry Wars 2 Fun Please.

I should make it clear that I have not ventured into the world of downloadable gaming on the XBL store like many have. I have infrequently picked and prodded at the many tempting purchases but have prevented myself from making the five to fifteen dollar jump on a game out of fear my purchase would go unloved and untouched. (My Sonic The Hedgehog  purchase would like a word with me about this...) I eventually dived in and found that Geometry Wars 2 has been the answer to my dreams. It's a game that doesn't drag on like RPGs (The few games I do play alone, that end up dragging on a bit for me), allows me to be competitive without being frustrating, and prevents achievements in a fun way that allows me to enjoy the game while doing so. Although I am a little late to this party, I'm thankful it's something that's kicked me back into what I've originally loved about gaming.
 
 
Has anyone had a similar experience with falling out of gaming and finding one that can bring you back? Does anyone have any other games like this that they think I'd enjoy without getting too frustrated with it? Anyone want a new friend on Xbox Live in a non-creepy way?
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