For what will forever be known as the "week of Modern Warfare 2 , I was still playing Dragon Age: Origins . Yay for me. 😉

Gamer's Doghouse: EA Out, Activision In

As great as the aforementioned game is, Activision remains in the gamer's doghouse for a variety of reasons. It doesn't help when the CEO says he'd charge more for games if he had his way, and then walks away with $20.2 million in exercised stock options. It seems like every time Activision is in the news, gamers everywhere get irate for one reason or another. Lest we forget, this was the same position EA found themselves in back in 2007; Madden 2008 had those major frame rate issues on the PS3, and when EA essentially muffed the port of The Orange Box , things got even worse. Ah, but how times have changed. These days, EA is producing some fine games: I'm playing one of them (the Bioware-developed Dragon Age ), and two of my favorite games this generation – Dead Space and Mirror's Edge – have also come from EA. And let's not forget about the upcoming Battlefield: Bad Company 2 ; EA seems confident it could be a legitimate rival to Modern Warfare 2 .

In all honesty, few believed EA when they made their "dedication to innovation and quality" statement but in my eyes, they've really come through. Granted, they haven't developed all the great games that say "EA" on the box, but then again, how many of Activision's gems were developed by Activision? Now we'll just have to see if EA can keep up their momentum, and if Activision can dig themselves out of that hole…

Final Fantasy XIII in March…sheesh

First of all, I'd just like to say that our inside information really was accurate, and yes, we did provide the information several hours before it became official. But no , this source has absolutely nothing to do with the secret PS3 exclusive we've told you about, and no , we still can't talk about it yet. Now that we've cleared that up, my response to this news concerning the Western release date was bittersweet. On the one hand, I'm glad it'll be here more than three months sooner than expected but on the other…I know I'll have to try and finish it before Gran Turismo 5 hits, which may not be until April for North America but still… I'm not too concerned about God of War III , though, and that's because while it's an automatic purchase for me, it won't take anywhere near as long as those other two games. I could easily put 100 hours into both FFXIII and GT5, and GoWIII will probably only take like 15 hours (if that).

But maybe everything will fall in nicely. Maybe there will be 2-3 weeks between each huge release. The only thing that might throw a wrench into the works is Heavy Rain which is another Q1 title I desperately want. …since when do I have to worry about too many games in freakin' Q1 ?

Personal gaming update

So I'm about 28 hours into Origins and although I haven't had the chance to play this weekend, I'll be back at it soon. It's just so awesome; time absolutely flies when I'm playing. But I plan on reviewing Assassin's Creed II this week so that's going to cut into my leisure time (although I most certainly want ACII), and I'm also in the process of playing Braid . You can expect a review on that late Monday, I believe. The good news is that there really isn't anything else I need before the year is out; I'll have more than enough to see me through until Bayonetta arrives on January 5. I'm still psyched for that one.

Also, I'm glad to see some quality responses to our latest interview . You guys should know that I wouldn't have risked it if I didn't have full confidence in the community's general tact and intelligence. You can't put something like that on just any gaming site, you know. For my part, the entire thing came as a huge surprise and when she first e-mailed me, I just thought, "well, gee, isn't that interesting." But then I re-read what I wrote and I realized I had been proven wrong, and she deserved the spotlight to call me on it. We spoke for quite a while, too; she's great. It's actually a little scary just how similar we gamers are in certain areas…regardless of backgrounds. 😉