Category Archives: General

Mostly pop culture rants. Usually without reason or spell chekin.


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What the hell did I just play?

I had heard buzz about this game since mid-summer last year and frankly I wasn’t impressed with the trailers or screen grabs showing up online. It looked like a step back in terms of game design. Oh how wrong I was…

Scoot to last week. SharkBoy brings home Entertainment Weekly* magazine’s  year end review issue. Slapped in the middle is an article saying how Journey was the game of the year.

At this point I was more than curious. After a couple reviews and some trailers, I was at the SonyStore handing over $15.

Best. $15. Evar.

Within 5 minutes I knew I was playing something different.

Remember how I said in Uncharted 3 there’s that long scene where nothing happens save for Drake walking through the desert with nothing but cut scenes and very little controller action? People either loved it or hated it. If you loved that kind of game play where it’s outside the norm, unconventional and atypical of a shoot ’em up game, then you’ll “get” Journey.

Briefly (’cause tons has been written about it already): Journey is about your character (he? she? it? an armless hooded poncho scarf dude?) making his way across a vast wasteland of desert and snow towards a glowing mountain. Simple.

There are clues at waypoints along your journey as to why you’re headed to this mountain. An outcropping of rock may have a scarf sticking out of it. A tombstone has runes in it. A destroyed temple offers advancement to the next scene. Each waypoint telling a story, each begging to be discovered and unlocked.

The game is all-round gorgeous. At first I felt the character design and the waypoints to be crude. But combined with the music, physics and the lighting, the aesthetic became acceptable, then desirable. Overwhelming at points. A few moments I found myself thinking of old Tomb Raider environments (partially because the game looks like it’s set in a Aztec/Chinese bizzaro world) and how much of an impact that made on me as a gamer.

Along the way you may encounter other journeymen (journeywomen? journeyits?) that are dressed exactly as you are. At first I was convinced that these were NPCs put into the game to assist you with discovering how to fly, how to find treasures. It wasn’t until after finishing the game did I realize that these were actually other real people, sharing the game experience as well. Since communication between characters is limited in Journey (you can “shout” glyphs or crouch – that’s pretty much it for character controls) you’re forced to help each other wordlessly. In some areas you need help each other to fly higher, “shouting” glyphs at your companion’s scarf to boost their air time. Yeah. Weird.

At this point I’d like to apologize to the first three or four people I met while playing. I didn’t know you were actual meatspace people and I basically tried to run from you, wanting to be alone in the game.

Midpoint, as you slowly discover why you’re headed towards this mountain, you’re attacked by flying laser-eyed vertebrae – you’re tossed into the air and landing hard into the sand. As my character struggled to regain it’s feet, I really started to lay on the existential thinking: since the game to this point was only puzzles and hunt-n-button action, could I die in game? I had played for 2 hours and had not noticed my character’s mortality, not like Uncharted or BioShock or inFamous. There were no threats to my life and I had not noticed. It was at this point I was completely in love with this game.

The next part is kind of Spoiler Alert-y so…

The game follows your typical monomyth (Yeah I know Google) and nearer to the end I felt an overwhelming sense of melancholy, despite it only being a few hours long in gameplay. Not to give the story away, but I felt great sadness because as the ending starts weighing down on you, I thought of my father who I hope that someday will be reunited with again. In the character’s final moments, there is hope and beauty and light.

And I wept like a child during the credits.

Whew. Okay. So. Pretty heavy. I really hope that you play this game and experience the kind of emotional impact I had.

*I know what you’re thinking. I’m taking the Access Hollywood of magazines’ word for what is good out there. Admittedly I like EW. Hate how it’s delivered but that’s a SharkBoy post.

Innie, Outie, Skiddie

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I hate my gym.

I hate everything about it. It’s in a basement in a government building (rat’s maze!) and smells like the loading dock/garbage area it sits between. The radio is too loud and staticky and the machines are barely passable for human interactions without some sort of bloodletting injury implied.

The people. Oh god the people that work out there… Sour faced, mouth breathing idiots who would probably instantaneously transform into a column of ash if they smiled. And if they’re not scowling, then they’re using the word “fuck” as an adjective, noun, verb. And as commonly as they would use the word “the”.

In all honesty, I don’t mind the place. It keeps me focused, since I don’t have to deal with any of these issues, really.

But I noticed this morning a peculiar dressing habit of one well built gentleman who has never uttered a single word the whole time I’ve been going there. He’s putting on his dress shirt (I expect he’s a manager somewhere within this huge city building) and in doing so he tucks it into his underwear.

Okay, not weird. I get it. If you were James Bond, you would want your dress shirt to stay in place while you jump across the terracotta shingled rooftops of some Middle Eastern marketplace, so tucking is not a bad thing.

Mr Quiet has tucked his shirt in and THROUGH his briefs’ legs.

Like, right through. Half way down the back of his legs and the two halves of the front of his shirt on either side of his package.

It’s not that he’s wearing an ill fitting shirt. He’s at the gym every day and has a body that shows it, so he’s a shirt-maker’s dream. His silhouette cuts a GQ model shape, so he’s not dressed wrong… he’s just dressing wrong. He looked like he was wearing Speedos over an olde-tyme nightgown, giving him a sort of diaper-ish kind of look.

Now before you say anything in the comments, I know a million people do this to keep their shirts in place, but I’ve never seen it this dramatic.

As I dressed I wondered just what was his underwear for then? And then I realized with a combination of horror and disgust that I pitied that poor man’s dry cleaner.

Happy anniversary!

General, You Magnificent Bastard 4 Replies

I’ve had an awesome weekend, thank you very much!

Friday, I picked up my new toy: a GoPro Hero 3 and started to snap pics with it. See below. Expect fun videos of rides at Disney!

Saturday we picked up new luggage for next month. Light ones, since we’ll be gone a long time and dick chomping goombas Air Canada are charging for your luggage Expect us to not fly AC unless we absolutely have to!

Then we went to Skyfall, the latest Bond movie, which was cool.

Sunday, I woke to a book of retro Disney posters and handed my loving husband his 22 disk Blu Ray set of all the Bond movies (with an empty spot for when Skyfall comes out). Yay anniversary gifts!!

Then we went to the Bond exhibit at the Bell Lightbox. It was cool, but most of the items were replicas and not actual props. But cool, none the less.

We were going to go out for steak, but my cough has returned (not as strong, or startling but annoyingly just as hard) – I can’t tell if I’m having a cold attached to the tail end of my whooping cough, or if its just an extended bump. I’m feeling better as I type this and not taking any chances.

I hope your weekend was awesome!




Shake That Thang

General 4 Replies

This weekend, my sister-in-law came up from Vermont to visit and while it was a great time, it certainly was odd having a woman around the house.

It meant that nighttime trips to the bathroom included some sort of pant-wear, it also meant that the door had to be shut, much to the anger of the kitties. When you have two guys living together things tends to de-evolve into pantless fart machines. Having a guest makes that all the more painfully obvious.

One morning I was feeling mischievous and I ran from the bath (freshly showered) to our bedroom, nude. No one saw me even though I knew Syl was in her room reading while SharkBoy was somewhere else in the apartment. I was safe.

Suddenly, I heard footsteps coming towards the bedroom – ah here comes SharkBoy, I though. I also thought it would be funny to flash him some man-bits as he walked past the door, seeing how the taboo of naked was 24 hours strong and the act would garnish some prudish kind of indignation reaction.

I start to whip my hips side to side, fast, to make DeadRobot Jr swing in the breeze. I raise my arms over my head, the backs of my wrists touching, like Marylin Monroe. Flap flap flap.

…just as Sylvie crested the bedroom door.

Our faces were like mirrors. Our eyes locked first and then hers went down. Mine went wide. We both screamed. I launched myself into the closet, gasping for breath between the screams and the laughter.


“MY EYES!!” She yells.

We’re family now.

Radar Thursday

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Some things I have in my tiny peripheral vision:

BoingBoing gets a video exclusive that trashes their core beliefs. Yesterday BB got the scoop on Bjork’s newest video “Thunderbolt” but yet the video is geo-blocked, meaning it can’t be played in certain countries due to… whatever stupid reason. Way to kill the “The Internet Should Be Free” mantra, BB! Ok I get it. It’s a big deal and should be posted and potentially brings eyes to ads, but it stinks of hypocrisy. Bootleg vid here.

Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception is out. “10 out of 10” on a couple review sites and even some controversial reviews… From what I gather they’ve ramped up the cinematics and atmospherics for the sake of length, but holy crap that’s what made the progression from Uncharted  to  Uncharted 2 so cool. Trying to avoid any spoilers but I did manage to pick up three words that made me and SharkBoy squee with delight: Capsized Cruise Ship. Meaning of course, one of the areas you play through is turned upsidedown a la Poseidon Adventure. Awe. Some!

The next iPad may not be iPad 3 but a “refresh” of the #2 with slimmer design, longer battery yadda yadda. Like Christmas right after Halloween, the rumors are starting early for the spring!

20 Couples that put that spoiled brat Kardashian to shame. I can’t tell you how much I hate the whole concept of the Kardashian “empire”: fame for fame’s sake. Damn you Andy Warhol!!

That guy? Walking across Australia in a Stormtrooper outfit? He’s been tweeting pics. All are cool, but especially love the little story about the SkyLab littering fine sent to the US Government.

Sean may like this: The Architecture of Villains. A site dedicated to reverse engineering a lot of utopian villain lairs and layouts (mostly from the Bond universe).

And in case you missed it, SharkBoy and I went out as festive (read: gay) Stormtroopers. Mine had a South Western Flair, while SB’s was more traditional.

And if you’re not on Instagram, then you’re missing out. I find it exactly like Twitter, but visual and much more rewarding than stupid words!! Which I LOVE. (kidding…words aren’t stupid, just more labour intensive.)

Don’t Just Stand There

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Be A Trooper! Donate Now!


The donations are coming hot and heavy!

Again, I can’t believe how many of you have donated and I’d like to thank you all with interpretive dance sometime in the near future.

This is my last update before the walk… I have things to glue together, velcro to freshen up, a gun to repaint.

Hope to see you there!


I’m leaving this post up all week above the new stuff appearing below. We’re into the last week of fundraising for the ScotiaBank AIDS Walk of Toronto.

I hope that if you’re casually visiting Dead Robot Heavy Industries you will take a moment to visit my

Donations page

and drop a couple bucks my way (tax receipt issued immediately via email! Ain’t the internet grand?).

So Be A Trooper! Help us help those who need it!