I promise that this is the last video game strip we'll do for a while. It's just that, much like a Zombie Plague, the recent surge of video-games-we-really-like has encroached upon our collective consciousness.
And, you know, any excuse to physically abuse Nicholas. That poor fat bastard.
The total lack of excitement I experienced after playing the Left 4 Dead demo has been eradicated. It has been a blast playing it online, even if it's occasionally with a group of complete strangers. My previously mentioned problems with communications, or the lack thereof, still stand: this game punishes you a lot if you exhibit poor teamwork. One bad player, non-talker or dingus who doesn't know how to shoot a fucking zombie can create a pretty bad experience.
But Valve saw their way clear to creating an ingenious way to circumvent these kinds of problems. If you quit a game through sheer frustration with your team, or your "connection drops," then the A.I. takes over your character and your teammates aren't totally screwed.
Also, it's worth mentioning that both of the recent multiplayer experiences, Gears of War 2 and L4D, utilize Halo-like lobby systems for their multiplayer modes. Like I said they should. I'm not saying that it was me specifically, but I have it on good authority that Epic and Valve both feared the swift and furious retribution of yours trulies (there are two of us) if they had implemented a shitty matchmaking process.
Oh, yeah, and the new XBOX Dashboard is cool. I'm looking forward to seeing what people do with their avatars. And now that I can get my Netflix movies streamed over the Internet, I have lost yet another reason to leave my house. I know, I could have gotten them in the mail, but when I want to see a movie, I want to see it today, making my only option the local Hollywood Video.
One small caveat, my XBOX has twice crashed after installing the update. You have been warned. Microsoft, fix it, lest the full savagery of this satire machine come crashing down on your house.