Red Review- Project L.A. Noire Journal

Project L.A. Noire Journal

Wednesday, May 18th, 12:34 A.M.

I started playing LA Noire today. Well, yesterday, but what the fuck does it matter. Most people don't consider one day to cross over to the next untill something like 4AM, so getting really technical about this shit is really quite bitchy.

I'm four cases into LA Noire. The first four cases serve as a kind of tutorial, so they don't have to be interesting, but they really should be. I hope to see more character development coming up. I'd like to see if the detective I'm playing as has a wife or kids or a yappy little mutt that will set off my cynophobia. Also, is it a bad thing that I don't know this guy's name or is that a result of my general inability to remember people's names untill I've known them for a long time. I bet Niko Bellic would be pissed if I didn't know his name.

I plan to spend tomorrow trying to hack game saves on my 360. I won't use my primary HDD, I'll use the one I bought today. Or yesterday if you want to get bitchy. I'm going to attempt to hack the save file of MLB 2K10 so that my career mode character will have 1,000,000 experience points. If this works, I may be able to use the same technique to finally beat Final Fantasy XIII. Also, a guy named Hunter Red would finally excel in something nominally sports related.


Sunday, May 22nd, 11:52 P.M.

For a while now I've been claiming that I weigh one hundred eighty pounds. On my driver's license, 180. Work records, 180. Online chat rooms, 180. Secret underground sex dungeons, 180. So it was a shock to me when I weighed myself recently. I usually don't weigh myself, as I feel it can lead to succumbing to vanity, but it was there so I stepped on it. I now know that I weight two hundred pounds.

It's odd how a difference of twenty pounds affects the way that you perceive yourself. I used to think I was just your stereotypical pudgy nerd. Now, I feel fat and sort of ashamed about my body. I haven't even admitted publicly that I weigh two hundred pounds untill just now. So I decided to take action.

Today, I bought a bicycle. It is my intent to use my bicycle for exercise. Hopefully, over the next couple of months, I will be spending every free morning tooling around my neighborhood, hoping to leave little parts of myself behind with every drop of sweat. I don't have a set amount of weight I want to lose, I just want to be able to take this big hill by my house without having to take a break. That might take a while to accomplish but it will feel really good to be able to do so.

Oh, and I played some more L.A. Noire today. Maybe later on in the game I'll be able to run over people in my car without a little dialog box telling me not to popping up. Who knows, I might even unlock a machine gun.


Monday, May 23rd, 8:47 P.M.

There was a time in my life where I wore a hat everyday. Every single day. For about two years in high school and then for about five years thereafter, a baseball cap was a part of my regular attire.

For the two years in high school, I wore the same cap everyday, which, upon reflection, was a mistake. The dirt and sweat that Atlanta Braves cap accumulated made that thing give off an odor that repulsed people more than my freckles and glasses ever did. When I realized this, I didn't stop wearing hats. No, I wore multiple hats. Boston Red Sox, Ohio State Buckeyes, Rutgers football, Ukrainian Olympic Hockey, I wore any and every kind of baseball cap that was a shade of red. Well, except for the Cincinnati Reds, for they suck.

I now know the reason that I wore a hat everyday. It wasn't because I was an ardent fan of the Atlanta Braves, Boston Red Sox, Ohio State Buckeyes, Rutgers football, or Ukrainian Olympic Hockey. I wasn't an ardent fan of any sports, outside of women's college gymnastics. The reason I wore a hat everyday was because I had no idea what to do with my hair. My hair was a mystery to me, a mystery that I had not yet solved. Rather than putting my efforts to figuring out what to do with my hair, I covered it up, I hid it, I tried my best to make my hair go away, outside of actually making it to away. I still don't know what good things to do with my hair, I just wear it long so that I emulate The Undertaker.

I'm guessing that the men in L.A. Noire also have no idea what to do with their hair. All of the men in L.A. Noire wears hats. All of them. Most of the caps worn by these men are the kind of stylish fedoras that I can't seem to find in my size, despite the fact that I see people wearing them occasionally. The men in L.A. Noire must be really ashamed of their hair, which is understandable considering the hairstyles worn by the absurdly attractive women in this game. I'm not kidding or exaggerating when I say that. God damn these women look marvelous.


Monday, May 24th, 1:25 P.M.

The sight of nudity tends to disturb some people. Their nudity, others nudity, the nudity of the Naked Cowboy, the sight of large amounts of uncovered flesh tends to make some people feel uneasy. The circumstances by which people view large amounts of naked flesh also tends to disturb people. When people see nudity in the gym, the strip club, or that bath house down the street you don't tell your wife about, people don't bat an eye. However, when people see a nude body at a crime scene, one can not help but have savage things go through your mind.

Such is the case with me while playing L.A. Noire. Many of the cases that Cole Phelps is sent to investigate involve a dead naked body, usually a woman's dead naked body. Viewing these bodies in this state seems to have an unnerving effect on me. It's odd to think of all the glamorous, well made ladies in this game, and then the way most of the women look at these crime scenes.

It surprises me that the usual suspects who complain about everything Rockstar Games puts out hasn't yet openly complained about this game. Remember the crap given to Rockstar over the full frontal nudity in The Lost and The Damned expansion pack to Grand Theft Auto IV? Or the lapdances that you can get in the regular edition of Grand Theft Auto IV? Why haven't these people jumped all over Rockstar Games for combining full frontal nudity AND naked women? My only guess if that they've moved on to something they feel is more important. Like if Barack Obama is a secret Kenyan muslim terrorist who's a sleeper agent for the KGB sent to sew the seeds of communism in the United States! That, or the recession has compelled them to get real jobs.


Sunday, May 29th, 12:04 P.M.

There's a point in L.A. Noire where one of the murderers taunts the police to catch him by leaving notes with clues in them throughout Los Angeles, leading investigators to various landmarks in the city. I understand that there are killers who are this arrogant and have taunted the police in this manner, but that doesn't make me enjoy situations like this any more. Just because something is realistic doesn't mean it's entertaining. For example:

Look at that picture of that dead animal. Is it realistic? Yes. Do you enjoy looking at it? No! Well, hopefully not.

Look at that picture of John F. Kennedy just after he was assassinated by Lee Harvey Oswald. Is it realistic? Yes. Do you enjoy looking at it? No. Especially not the colour versions of that photo that I've seen.

Finally, look at this picture. Look at it. Is it realistic? Well, it is a thing that exists in this world, but I hesitate to call it realistic. Do you enjoy looking at it? I would hope your answer is no. Wait, not no, HELL NO!


Tuesday, May 31st, 2:01 P.M.

Yesterday, Memorial Day, I spent the day going to a family reunion. Most people my age actively avoid family reunions and see no value in going to them. Even less people my age choose to go to family reunions, and travel to go to them. I do. Every year I ensure that I have no plans for Memorial Day so that I can go to my family reunion. The reason for this is simple. My family reunion takes place in a location that is, depending on traffic, about a two hour drive away from my home. Rather than dreading this drive, I look forward to it. This is because I grasp on any excuse to take a long drive. Whether it's seeking out the only Segway dealership in Utah, looking for the nearest Borders bookstore to me that is not closing, or finding a Quizno's in Weber County, I love driving long distances. That love of driving is why I go to my family reunion each and every year.

Driving is also one of the things I enjoy doing in video games. Now, by driving I don't mean racing. Racing is something I do not find pleasurable, for I suck at it. However, going from point to point in a car in a video game setting just strikes a cord with me. My favorite game for the original Playstation is The Italian Job, which is a game where you just drive from point to point in various kids of British automobiles. If a game came out where you played as a long-haul truck driver, I would not only buy that game, I would pre-order it. I liked the portions in Mass Effect where you drove around in that much maligned dune buggy because I WAS DRIVING AROUND IN A DUNE BUGGY WITH A CANNON ON IT!

Maybe soon I'll be able to explain just why I enjoy driving as much as I do. But, for now, here's a kitty.


Friday, June 6th, 1:58 P.M.

With my big head of red hair, it is very hard for me to not be noticed in public. I tend to stand out in a crowd, a classroom, or a workplace breakroom. This is by design. I did not grow my hair out like this to conform with any kind of style. I grew out my hair like this so that people will notice and remember me. They may not remember my name or anything about me, but they remember my hair and, by proxy, me. The result of this is that it is very hard for me to be in a place and remain incognito.

It is also very hard to remain incognito in L.A. Noire. There's a mission in this game where you have to trail a suspect, and while doing so you have to, at times, go incognito in order to prevent him from spotting you. The problem with that is knowing when to go incognito and when to remain incognito is very difficult. The game mechanic of going incognito is itself difficult to master. There were times in playing this particular part of the game where I just wanted to go up and punch the suspect in the face.

I hope this is the last time in this game where I have to trail a suspect on foot, because that is by far the most frustrating part of this game to me. More frustrating than the perpetually looping music that I've heard 47593275328 times, which I can't turn off because, if I do, I no longer know if I've picked up all of the clues that I can acquire. I wish that I could just turn on the music that I have on the iPod that I have plugged into my Xbox 360, and have that music be incorporated into the game. I think Cole Phelps solving a murder case to the music of Marilyn Manson might be funny.


Sunday, June 5th, 6:26 P.M.

So now we meet Cole's wife. We find he has two daughters. We do not see them, but we know they exist. We find that Cole does, in fact, have a wife and that Cole's references to them are not just a poorly supported lie. We meet Cole Phelps's family, but it's not under the best of circumstances. That German broad had better be worth it.


Sunday, June 5th, 11:07 P.M.

Hey! It looks like the German broad is worth it. Not in the way that I was meaning, but she does figure into the game in a critical way. Still, I'd like to see more action. Mot gunplay, car chases, or foot pursuits. I mean ACTION. Oh yeah!


Thursday, June 9th, 1:24 P.M.

One of my favorite movies last year was Black Swan. When I first heard of this movie, I didn't intend to see it, but I got a free pass and I went to go see it. Black Swan is fascinating to me, specifically because of the character development in this movie. The way that the character of Nina moves between the personality types of the white swan and the back swan. It is riveting to me the way that Nina steps closer to the black swan personality, is on the cusp of crossing over, retreats back into the white swan personality, then crosses over and embraces the black swan entirely. The deep rich personalities and the way those personalities change is what makes Black Swan such a great movie.

L.A. Noire has nothing close to the qualities that make me love Black Swan. Never in the course of this game do we delve into the person that Cole Phelps is. We never really get to know his family life, his past before the war, or anything about what he thinks about what is going on. Rockstar Games had such a great opportunity here, to introduce the gaming public to the kind of deep rich personality that is rarely seen in this media.

That's not to say L.A. Noire is bad, in fact it is a very good game. L.A. Noire just could have been better. It's rare to complain about shallow characters in games, but in this case it is warranted because this game is screaming for more as far as character development. Perhaps Rockstar can improve on this aspect in the next world that they create.

L.A. Noire: A-

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