It is definitely true that online co-op on Gears is a very strong aspect of the game, and was certainly the main selling point for me.
@Shawn: Well, it's a matter of personal taste, isn't it? Since I don't have near the time (or organizational skills, or ability to be brief, and, most likely, the income) of the VGC, sure, yeah, I'm gonna buy stuff I think is going to be good. So I'm probably gonna like what I'm reviewing. I don't go out of my way to buy lemons, that's for sure!
My grading system is what I feel like calling something. It isn't scientific at all. In the case of Gears, I thought it was an outstanding game.... that was a bit soft in story and dialogue and had a surprisingly lean ranked online system (though the co-op is great).
And for the record, I had a good first impression of Red Steel, but my actual review of it was D+. I keep changing my mind on the game, but it's never gonna be over a C in my book, unless the game prints real money out of the Wii disc drive. Gears of War is of course waaaay better than Red Steel.
Also for the record, here are my grades on the VGC forums:
Brain Age DS: B
Drill Spirits DS: C-
Mario 3 on 3 DS: B-
Star Fox Command DS: B+ (This is the only one that I overgraded, in my opinion. Should be a B- or a C+)
Advance Wars DS: A
Phoenix Wright I and II: A
Cooking Mama: C
So, Gears beats everything in my book except Advance Wars and the PW games. So I didn't give Nintendo an "all A" report card. You should sort of figure out at this point that I like RPG/Stratagy/Adventure games a bit more than action titles (though I still like em'). I'm just now getting to the point in Oblivion (after owning the game since last July!) to where I can fairly review it. It's one of the easiest slam dunks ever for me, a certain A, if not A+.
Anyway....... I'll go back to doing some crack now .