Monday, September 05, 2011


I'm still alive, god dammit.

Haven't posted in a long time. It's because I've been busy with numerous writing projects, playing xbox and being a tourist.

I'm gainfully employeed by the cabal of magnates and bankers that secretly run the world, have been sampling a lot of local brewers and restaurants, so generally things are good.

Here are some things I've learned since moving to Toronto:
1. Toronto drivers are throughly irate people
2. Key lime pie gelato from Gelato and chocolate amaretto with chips from Marble Slab are the best ice creams in town
3. Street crazies are everywhere - Mr Peru, the Punching Man, Street Jesus, "They Shot Me Bro" and Man Who Thinks The Police Are Poisoning His Food are some of the best
4. Cufflinks are awesome
5. Mopeds are deathtraps
6. The two guys who work at the pet store on Yonge Street will let you bet on chihuaha fights

I also finally got an Xbox, so here are some reviews:

1. LA Noire

I'm enjoying this one. I like the interrogation aspect of the game, and looking for clues, but I feel the game gets bogged down in some of the action scenes, such as the boring chase scenes in which you just grab the controller and press forward to run after a perp. Also, there's nothing worse than accepting a street crime mission and then having to drive the whole way across the map - which must take at least ten minutes - to get there. There are also bits I noticed where the scripting is off - characters will refer to clues that I never found or allude to pieces of information I was never able to worm out of the suspects. Also, I don't really get how an LAPD detective is just allowed to drive around town stealing cars and persecuting the universally criminal denizens of 1940's LA. Maybe it's because Phelps is such a massive jerk. It's true, he is. A total tool. I was pleased that I guessed who the Black Dahlia killer was before the big reveal though.

2. Mortal Kombat

Check out that screenshot from one of the minigames in Mortal Kombat 9, when Scorpion, Subzero, Smoke and Reptile are forced on pain of disembowelment to play sub-par pub-rock for the amusement of Shao Kahn. The graphics are so lifelike. Mortal Kombat is, obviously, about blood and boobs. And you'll get plenty of that. The violence is - and I don't say this very often - almost sickening in places, but if you play it for long enough you get desensitised to it and probably then start disassembling neighbourhood pets in your garden shed before angrily shivving pedestrians with a screwdriver on your way to work. The game is, as expected, excellent in versus mode, and includes lots of challenges, but the story mode is a victim of the easy-easy-easy-hard syndrome. It's like a Nirvana song: quiet-quiet-quiet-loud. Except you sprint through the rounds kicking crap out of useless characters like Sektor and Kitana, but then coming up against - to pick two names out of a ridiculously irritating hat - Shao Kahn or Quan Chi. Especially given that the latter seems always to be equipped with a character in tow to add as henchman, if his unblockable attacks weren't difficult enough as it is. The only thing to do is turn the difficulty down to beginner, just get through it and move on.