I got all the way to the end of Gears 1 solo, and then for the life of me I couldn't kill the last guy. I didn't even know he was the last guy, either. I thought he was just some jackass holding me up until my friend Dustin, aka DeeZee, jumped in to play it co-op with me and said, "Damn, you're all the way at the end." We killed him first try, then. No such difficulties (or ambivalence) about Gears 2, though--though the end section not especially difficult, it was absolutely EPIC, and I knew it was the end this time because there's no way they could top that section without 2 more years of dev time and another sequel.
Oh yeah, I played some WoW and Diablo this week, also. I'm getting closer to the end of Lord of Destruction, with my now level 33 Assassin, and I've got my WoW character up to level 26 now. It's definitely way, way more casual of an MMO than FFXI, at least on the way up to endgame. I've only had to group up for a few quests so far, all dungeon instances, and of course those have all been 100% optional. I like to do and see as much as I can, though, and I scored some nice loot that you can't get anywhere else. Not that it matters; I'm sure it'll all be obsoleted twenty times over by the time I get to level 80. Want to see my WoW character? Check this out.
Pretty cool, huh? FFXI never had that. WoW's got achievements, too, which are always fun.
I'm going out of town, to Germany, for the holidays, but I'm taking my MacBook and DS with me, so I should be able to do a little gaming in the downtime and while traveling. Maybe I can finish Metroid Fusion.