I, personally, have never played the first Starcraft, so I wasn't as psyched for SCII's release as, say, my boyfriend or half of my other friends. Before I get ahead of myself, though, I want to say right of the bat that I advise you take this review with a grain of salt, as I haven't really been able to play the game enough to completely stand behind my thoughts of it. With that being said, I think it's safe to say that I have mixed feelings about the game, though most of them are positive. In general, real-time strategy games and their ilk usually don't appeal to me all that much. However, with StarCraft II, I found that once I got into the swing of things and figured out what I was doing, the game genuinely took hold of me.
For the first couple of weeks playing online against other players, I was totally mesmerized by it. Even when I wasn't playing, my head was still busy with thoughts of all the methods and strategies to implement. However, after those first weeks, I found myself somewhat burnt out on the game. This was largely because--from what I can tell--the game has certain imbalances that still need to be worked out.
After having gotten a little tired of the online play, I decided to try out the campaign. I know that a lot of fans of the first StarCraft game had good things to say about it, but personally, after a few missions, I was straight-up bored with it. Granted, as I've already stated, I haven't played the first one and am only somewhat familiar with its storyline. However, I will say that the history behind the character Kerrigan (yay, Tricia Helfer) is rather fascinating, if not momentous enough to carry the rest of the game's storyline to the point of making it legitimately captivating for players like me.
Despite all this, StarCraft II really does have a lot of good things going in its favor. The ranking system alone is largely innovative and impressive, which, given StarCraft's status in the competitive gaming world, is a key component to its acclaim. Overall, a lot of care and effort went into the game, and I think it shows. I'm also fairly confident that a lot of its less favorables aspects will be addressed in the expansions and future patches. As far as RTS games go, this one is probably (one of) the best that you could ask for. If you're new to real-time strategies, I would definitely recommend that you give SCII a shot because it is certainly worth trying.