You know what's SHIT?! - 50 Shades Of Grey.
You know what's AWESOME? - ShadeOfLight
So give him a high five and a "Fuck yeah" when you see him. Or a high yeah and a fuck five, if you please.
How did you end up on Destructoid? Why did you stay?
My go-to video game site used to be IGN. They had some great Nintendo editors, who seemed to have a ton of connections and were fun to listen to on podcasts. One by one they left, and I got stuck with crappy replacements. The final nail in the coffin was that at one point I could no longer access IGN US without a proxy, as it linked me straight to IGN UK which updated once a week at best. So I left and after some shopping around I found Destructoid. I stayed mostly because of its way of bringing news. Our editors are very open and personal; they're not afraid to give their own opinion on the news, or to crack jokes. For example, while a new Dynasty Warriors game would go unnoticed everywhere else Destructoid reports it because Jim loves the series to death, and he often makes fun of his own devotion. I got more embedded in the community after a while, and you guys and gals have become a very important reason for sticking around too.
And how did you end up with the scallywags that are the Recappers?
I used to be mostly a front-page commenter, and I would only post Cblogs occasionally. I wanted to get more involved in the community aspect of Dtoid, and ultimately decided that doing the Recaps would be a fun way to do exactly that. I first sent an e-mail to Conrad (then community manager) asking for a spot on the list of Reserves, but he never got back to me. Only a couple of weeks after that Manchild announced his hiatus, so I decided to jump in right away. PMed Strider, and before I knew it I was part of this ragtag bunch of misfits!
If you could, would you punch Conrad for not answering? Or for that matter, if you could punch anyone in the DToid community, would you use the chance?
Nah, probably not. I imagine he's a busy man, and the Recaps FAQ was out of date when I send that e-mail; should've written the Dixon instead. I don't think I'd punch anyone here, but given the chance I'd hand out a bunch of attack hugs to the lot of you. That's about as violent as you're ever going to get me.
While we're at violence: did any game ever make you so angry that you smashed your controller or something like that?
I don't get frustrated by video games easily. In fact, as long as the challenge is fair I love notoriously hard games. I beat games like Super Meat Boy, Ninja Gaiden (NES), I Wanna Be the Guy, The Binding of Isaac, They Bleed Pixels, Dustforce, Dungeons of Dredmor on Hard mode with permadeath, and I'm playing through Dark Souls now. Even though I died over and over again in these games, I didn't get mad. The only times I get frustrated is when I feel the game doesn't give you sufficient tools to overcome its challenges. That doesn't happen often, but I remember feeling like that during some parts of Earthbound and during the final fight in Half-Life 2: Episode 2. Those are the times I catch myself getting to a controller-smashing state, but they are few and far between.
You can go to dinner with any member of the DToid staff. Who would take where?
Well I probably couldn't afford to properly feed Jim (harhar), so he's out. Seriously though, I'd love to take Holmes. We've got similar tastes in video games, and he's one of the nicest and sponaneous dudes I've ever seen. I'd pay good money to hang out with him sometime. As for where we're going, I'm not a sophisticated eater, not to mention a total carnivore, so unless he has better ideas I'd take him to a good barbecue joint or steakhouse. Or at least any place that has good satay in peanut sauce.
(Holmes: if you're reading this, call me.)
While we’re at your tastes in games: favorite game – favorite game character – favorite scene from a videogame – favorite dialogue from a game? You may add other favorites to the list as you please.
Oh dear, these are always difficult questions. I'm very bad at naming my favorite X: I never know which one stands above all the others. What I can do is give you my biggest contenders, and I'll narrow it down as much as possible.
Favorite game: Xenoblade Chronicles, Portal 2, The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, Metroid Prime Trilogy
Favorite game character: Luigi, Soren (Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance), Guillo (Baten Kaitos Origins)
Favorite scene: Portal 2 Ending
Favorite dialogue: The entirety of Portal 2 and Thomas Was Alone
Favorite boss: Goht (The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask), Henry (No More Heroes)
Favorite soundtrack: NieR, Xenoblade Chronicles, Trine 2
Favorite art direction: Okami, Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door, Trine 2, Muramasa: The Demon Blade
Then let's get to something easier: tell us the story behind your nickname and your avatar.
My current username still stems from the one I took as a kid. My very first username, at age 13 or so, was "Shadowner"....You know, because it's "shadow" and "owner" andSHUTUPIWAS13!
I outgrew that nick very quickly, within years if not months. So I needed a new one, and preferably one I wouldn't be ashamed of using 10 years down the line. I wanted to keep the shadow theme, but I didn't want to come across as all dark and brooding, so it needed some spicing up with something a little happier. Lighter, if you will. Thus, ShadeOfLight was born.
I found my avatar through google image search. I needed something that fit with my new and incredibly improved username. Ultimately, I'm pretty sure I literally just entered "ShadeOfLight" in google just to see what it would come up with. Among other things (lampshades, mostly) google gave me some fantasy wallpapers of spirits and "shades". I cropped the head from one of those spirit things, and that became the avatar I've used to this day. I remember liking this one because while it was a shade or spirit it was wearing a bright, almost shining, cloak. I thought it was cool and fitting. The funny thing is that by now I've lost the original, but still use its avatar. I just can't find that wallpaper anywhere anymore. I guess that means it really has become mine now.
Imagine you could also make any game IP yours, completely. You have total control over it from now an. Which IP do you choose and what would you do with it?
The simplest answer would be Monolith Soft's Baten Kaitos. That series is my baby. They've only made two of them though (one unreleased in Europe) and I don't think they'll revive it anytime soon. So I'd simply make more of them. Then again, with Monolith having done Xenoblade and currently working on X, I can easily forgive no Baten Kaitos. And come to think of it, maybe it doesn't need reviving after all.
More to the point then, I'd want Darksiders. I loved the first and the second, but it doesn't look like we'll be getting more. I'd make a third game with Strife as the main character, and a fourth with Fury. Strife's gameplay would focus more on gunplay, and he would be getting much more powerful guns than the peashooters his brothers got (ironically, those guns ARE Strife's, but you could always handwave it away; War and Death can't unleash their full potential). I wouldn't turn it into a shooter though. He may be getting the ability to snipe people, but otherwise the combat system would be similar to what we've already seen, just with more guns involved. Maybe a reload mechanic for special moves? Fury's combat would be much faster and more aggressive than the others: no holds barred dirty fighting.
As for the setting, I'd put the focus back on the angels and demons. Darksiders II basically put them on hold in favor of the Makers and the Dead, who are nowhere near as interesting. Other races are fine, as long as the angels and demon get center stage. They, along with the Riders themselves, are far and away the best thing about this IP. OH, and bring back Mark Hamill as the Watcher!
Gameplay-wise, I'd try to strike a balance between Darksiders 1 and 2. Basically, I'd take Darksiders II and sneak just a little bit closer back to Zelda. The original may have been too much like Link's games, but it had a lot of cool items for level progression, more so than 2. The second had a very well realised overworld and good dungeon design, but relied more on Prince of Persia platforming than puzzle-solving with your items. Put the strenghts of both together, and you'd have a fantastic game.
And after all that, who's to say? Maybe a four player co-op game to end the series with a bang?
Death himself is coming to get you and allows to play for your life. What game will you choose?
Probably a board game, actually. I'm one of those assholes who always wins at board games. You know the ones.
Otherwise, Super Smash Bros. Brawl. I'm not that good at the game, but my Luigi and Zero Suit Samus are decent enough. Besides, I only have one gamecube controller left, and since Death is the guest ancient gaming law holds that he gets the crappy Wiimote control scheme. Between those, I've got this match in the bag.
What was the last game that has really touched you?
Thomas Was Alone. The game takes care to build up a set of great characters out of colored rectangles, and while it plays it mostly for humor it gets more serious towards the end.
The rectangles are all AIs inside a computer system, and at one point Thomas comes to realise this fact. Him and his friends already know that they themselves are doomed to be deleted, but they want to give everything to ensure that all the other AIs can become free. Each character has his or her own motivation for wanting the AIs to attain freedom, which the game captures very well. For example, one (over)confident rectangle wants to make the AIs feel just as powerful as he had, and a square who imagines herself a superhero wants to rescue them it is her ultimate calling as a hero.
It's very well done, and it's particularly effective because the game has been taking great pains to ensure that you truly care about the fate of colored rectangles of all things. The game also employs humor very well up until the very end, which for some reason cause the story to hit even closer to home. In short, Thomas Was Alone managed to make me feel sad for the little red rectangle who would never be able to "meet a Transformer" but was hellbent on making sure that "everyone else would have the chance to". That's a massive achievement
Allright then, I think we’re done. The last words are yours.
I hope everyone enjoyed learning a thing or two about little old me. If nothing else at least I had fun sharing. I also look forward to reading your other interviews somewhere down the line. We've got plenty of interesting folks in our Destructoid posse, so it's going to be a treat! Good luck!