This blog is about interviewing members of the Destructoid community. If you think someone deserves to be interviewed, please contact either one of us via a PM to this account, or our private ones. Also, feel free to utilize the Forums to PM us, if you feel so inclined.
This series currently operates on a weekly basis. Everyday Legend will start off handling the population of our own Destructoid Forums, while OpiumHertz will claim the cBlogs as his territory.
The opportunity to be interviewed does not necessarily depend on amount of time spent here, number of published articles, etc. - only if one of our interviewers or a separate nominee thinks you have something really interesting to say.
So, if you think someone else out there could use a little community shine, speak up and let us know! They could very well be the next victim interviewee!
OpiumHerz here. So you might be wondering: "Oi, why don't you suckers post interviews? I'll smack you in the gabber. Swear on me mum!". So I talked a bit with Everyday Legend and to put it bluntly: right now we're out of people to interview!
That's right. We burned through our candidates. I still have some bloggers who are in the process of being interviewed. So we will post interviews again once we have anything. Until then, however, we'll have to take a break. If you can think of anybody who is worth interviewing and we might have missed so far: shoot a comment in our general direction.
Back with a vengeance, back from break. Overloaded with work, barely able to cobble shit together, and you know what, fuck the haters, I'm here for you beautiful motherfuckers.
Tonight, we're kicking it (back) off with our very own Marche100. I have no cutesy shit to write about his name, I'm just stumped on how the fuck to say it. But he's a really cool guy, and now, you can get to know him a little bit better.
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How old are you?
I'm probably one of the younger ones in the Destructoid community. I'm eighteen. I'll be nineteen in March.
What do you do for a living?
I'm a college student at Penn State. To be more precise, the York campus. I'm a freshman, so I just finished out my first semester there this past December. After my second year, I'll be moving up to the main campus for my final two years. Going after a bachelor's degree in Software Engineering. Fun stuff!
I also work part time at a television station as a Master Controller. The job sounds more difficult than it is, although that might be due in part to the fact that I work at a smaller station. I basically put television shows on the air at their scheduled times and cut to whatever commercial breaks are scheduled. It might sound kind of cool (I've had people say "Oh, so you get to watch TV all day" to me), but on my shifts I only ever put up local religious programming and infomercials. Not the kinds of shows you would want to sit down and watch voluntarily.
Most workers at the station like to bring books in to read and things to do, because watching informercials gets old fast. I just tend to browse Destructoid and listen to music. Things like that. As long as you're good at keeping an eye on the things to make sure that nothing goes wrong (and fix things when they do go wrong), you can pretty well do what you want.
What do you think is the coolest thing about yourself?
I suppose I would have to say my hand-eye coordination/attention to detail.
It's no secret to anyone who knows me personally that I love to draw. My walls are lined with drawings. But I don't enjoy making original drawings as much as copying others' drawings. This might sound insane, but I'll go on. For example, I'm sitting about a foot away from a drawing of Amaterasu I drew back in 2011. I found some concept art online, took a blank piece of paper, and tried to draw that concept art free-hand, getting it as close to the original as possible.
I love drawing like this. It requires a keen eye for detail and good hand-eye coordination to pull off well. Like, say there's a line in someone else's drawing (that I'm copying) that looks vertical, but is actually ever so slightly curved in a certain direction. I notice that and curve my line in the same fashion. It's a bit hard to explain, but I think it's cool, having that sort of attention to detail and being able to copy that detail.
I know I must sound like some sort of professional art forger, but it's my idea of fun when it comes to drawing. I would never try to sell my drawings or anything stupid like that. I don't think just anyone could replicate art like I do, so it's cool.
What makes you mad? Like shaking livid?
I can think of two situations that can make me pretty mad, at the moment, both of which have happened recently.
The first is if you betray my trust. Those of you who have seen the venting anger thread on the forums know that my trust was recently betrayed by someone I've known since Elementary school. In betraying my trust, he put my grade in my rhetoric course in jeopardy. I was livid. The last day we had class in that course, I didn't even open my mouth, for fear that I would just go off on him. The entire time, all I could think about was how I would bring the truth to light and make him pay. Thankfully, I was able to explain the situation to the professor and everything turned out fine. For me, that is. Hopefully not the guy who betrayed my trust.
The other situation that makes me mad is when I can't sleep. Not because of any procrastination on my part. I realize that's my fault and I have to deal with it. I'm talking, like, Christmas Eve "I'm so hyped I can't fall asleep" can't sleep, where I can't really help it. God, I'm eighteen years old and you would think it'd get easier, but it just gets harder. For the past three nights I've had so much trouble sleeping (I'm writing this answer on Christmas Eve, just so you readers know). I guess that's part of still being young and retaining part of my childishness, but what I wouldn't give for my brain to just shut up and let me sleep.
I'm exhausted right now, so hopefully I'll be able to sleep a bit easier, tonight. But it still makes me mad that I'm even exhausted, in the first place. I could really use my sleep, just like anyone else.
How long have you been around at Dtoid?
I've been around since the summer between my freshman and sophomore year of High School, so that would be...2010. Around that summer, I decided that I needed to start going somewhere frequently to keep up on video game news. I starting perusing articles on Kotaku that summer. I also viewed articles on Destructoid, although less frequently. It must have been a year or so later that I decided that I would never again go to Kotaku and shifted my focus to Destructoid for all of my video game news-related needs.
From there I gradually began to sink deeper and deeper into the pit of quicksand that is Destructoid. (I'm going to pretend that calling Destructoid a pit of quicksand is a compliment.)
Totally stealing from Lipton here: What's your favorite word? Your least favorite word? Why?
Love for Persona games aside, I'd have to say my favorite word is "persona". As in, "the image or personality that a person presents to other people" (totally stealing that from Merriam Webster because I'm too lazy to paraphrase). It just rolls off the tongue, and I got to use the word a lot in my rhetoric course this past semester. It made me happy every time I put it into one of my papers.
Least favorite word is easy. I'd say it's "cannot". That looks so wrong to me. I've been saying "can not" for as long as I can remember, and I just found out a while ago that it should all be one word. I understand why it should be one word, now that someone explained it to me, but it still just looks and feels wrong, to me.
What drew you to videogames as a hobby, and more importantly, what has kept you there?
In order to establish what drew me in to video games, I have to first say that I realized my love for reading and watching movies/TV shows before I ever touched a video game. This was all when I was about three or four years old, so it was nothing complicated. Mostly picture books and Veggietales. But, still, video games have always had one element that other forms of entertainment do not have, and that is interactivity. That idea of interactivity drew me in. The idea that I could be the one that decides whether the hero succeeds or fails. And out of this interactivity comes immersion. In a way, I become the hero. The hero's victories become my victories. It's not just a story I'm seeing on the screen, anymore. It's my story. And to me, that makes video games much more fun than anything that mere books or movies can produce.
I would have never been able to describe it like that when I was younger, of course. I would have just said "I play it because it's fun". But I think that is essentially what drew me to video games and what has kept me there. It transcends the boundaries of other forms of entertainment.
Is it involvement in the plot or involvement in the action that triggers that feeling for you?
That's a tough question. I would say it really depends on the game. Take a horror game like Amnesia, for instance. I really feel like I'm a part of the game when I'm in the action, hiding from some hideous monster. Then you've got a story-heavy game like Persona 4 where I feel like I'm a part of the game when I'm talking to the characters. And then the Ace Attorney games are a bit of both, thanks to its great characters and the sheer fun of shouting "Objection." It really depends.
What do you consider to be the most important aspect of a videogame?
My personal preference puts a game's story and characters first. I have played many games, such as the Ace Attorney games, Zero Escape games and Persona games, where the story/characters alone make the game one of the most fantastic games I've ever had the pleasure of playing. Heck, I'll likely overlook some of a game's faults if I feel that it has a decent story. Take Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs, for example. I really enjoyed the story, and because of that, I didn't even care that the puzzles were nowhere near the caliber of the original Amnesia or that interaction with the environment was practically nonexistent. The story alone made the game worth every penny. But even though I hold story and characters in such high regard, that's not to say that they are make or break. I've played plenty of games lacking in those areas that I've enjoyed because they excel in other areas.
Have you played The Stanley Parable? What do you think of that? It's purely plot-driven...in a sense. What does an experience like that make you feel? It's not a hand-holding style of story progression, but more like a Choose Your Own Adventure, except the fourth wall doesn't exist...or does it? Considering you dig story and characters, and considering how minimalist and expansive that game's story is in a simultaneous fashion, I just want to hear your thoughts on what you took from it and what you think it illustrated.
Yes, I bought The Stanley Parable late last year, and this is going to be my first time trying to talk about it. I honestly didn't know what I was feeling when I finished it (by that I mean getting every ending). Even now, it's sort of a jumble of emotions, like I don't quite know how to react to it.
I think The Stanley Parable largely dealt with the idea of control. The player, knowing that this is a Choose Your Own Adventure game, wants control over where the story goes. Likewise, the narrarator does his best to have control over Stanley and his actions. But there is no such thing as absolute control. In some endings, the narrator completely loses his control over Stanley. In other endings, the player (who had control up until the ending) is forced to follow a set path. And yet, in another, the player is given the illusion of control, when in reality, he has none.
Everybody wants control, to some extent. Control over their lives and where it will take them. But you don't always have control. And when you do have control, are you really the one in control, or is that just an illusion, and is someone else pulling the strings? I suppose that's what The Stanley Parable is really getting at.
Do you think that controversy (sexism, violence, etc.) helps or hurts the medium?
I honestly don't know. I don't really like to read into all the controversies and whatnot surrounding video games and the industry. I'm not an argumentative person, so it's not like you'll ever see me making a blog sharing my views on one of these issues. I'd fall flat on my face and make a fool of myself before anything else (in fact, I think I'm like to do that in answering this question, alone). But that aside, I really hope that it will help the medium in the long run. I think that it's good that these issues are being discussed and debated, as it certainly wouldn't help anything to just pretend that these issues don't exist and that everything is fine and dandy. In addressing these issues, we might be able to elicit some changes through the attention it draws that would benefit the medium.
Yeah, you can tell that this isn't my area of expertise with how vague I'm being. Ha! That's just who I am, though.
Do you think there's better ways of going about the discussion(s)? Or much better points to raise?
Yeah, there are definitely better ways of going about the discussions. Take the Anita Sarkeesian mess, for example. I don't see discussion. I see a mini war. There were threats thrown at her. She shut down the comments on her videos. People find a video "proving" that she doesn't like video games. It's just back and forth, back and forth. It's noise.
There are some people on YouTube who seem to present their arguments respectfully and bring up some good points, but I haven't seen any willingness from anyone on the other side of the argument to listen to what they have to say. It's ridiculous. For any kind of meaningful discussion to be had, people on both sides need to respect each other and listen. That's it. It sounds so simple. But it's just not happening. And it needs to happen if we're going to get anywhere.
Will we ever get anywhere? I feel inclined to say no, but that's just me being cynical. Prove me wrong, anonymous internet masses.
I always follow Ghandi's advice - "be the change you wish to see." Following that line of thought, how would you take the discussion somewhere civil?
I think I would try to take the debate out of the virtual realm and organize an actual, physical debate of some sort; with some ground rules and involvement from key players in the discussion (using the previous example, Anita Sarkeesian would be the obvious choice). I don't see a feasible way to take the discussion somewhere civil if I would try to keep it confined to the Internet.
On the Internet, it's very easy to get riled up, to refuse to listen to the opposing side of the argument, and to hide behind a shield of anonymity. I think breaking down that wall of anonymity, having a face-to-face discussion, and laying down some basic rules (in order to ensure that both sides would respect the other and allow them to say their piece) would make the discussion much easier to coordinate and control.
Let's go outside of videogames for a moment - what's the most important thing in the world to you as a person?
My friends and family. Such a generic response. I bet I'm like the twentieth person who's answered that. But, it's true. Without friends on communities like Destructoid, I'd have gone insane, by now. And family is always wonderful to be around. Even if the rest of the world seems like it's full of idiots, there's always friends and family.
Let me put it this way. Say you're my friend (which I probably consider you to be to some degree, if you're reading this), and you're the President of the United States or something. Aliens are invading, things are going downhill, mistakes were made... I'm the guy who would jump in front of you and take a bullet (or laser, since they're aliens). Now, I might misjudge the trajectory of the bullet, so you might get hit, anyways, but I tried, and it's the thought that counts. Right?
Seriously? You'd take a bullet? Them's some big intentions.
Yeah, believe it or not, I'd like to think that I would. What makes me so important that I would let one of my friends or relatives get shot? Nothing. I'd rather see one of my friends or relatives live to see another day than me.
Assuming my body obeys my command, of course. Don't want to act like the possibility of me freezing up doesn't exist. But hopefully, it will never even come to the bullet thing.
That's very noble, yet extremely reckless. What part of your personality do you think that comes from?
I think it comes from my protective side, mainly. I really care for and value my friends and family more than anything, so naturally I want to protect them in any way that I can, when they're in harms way.
But I also want to mention that I think part of it is that I've come to terms with my own mortality. I've brooded over enough near-death experiences that I've long since gotten over any fear of death that I once had. If I die tomorrow walking to class, so be it. If I die taking a bullet for a friend, so be it. It is what it is.
One final thing to mention. Say I don't take the bullet. My friend dies. I'm filled with regret every day for the rest of my life. I'd rather take the bullet than live with that kind of regret.
I find that music is a fairly accurate baromter of an individual's personality. What music makes your day?
I'm going to answer this question in two parts. One, in terms of video game music, and two, thinking outside of video game music.
In the realm of video game music, I have to go with RPG OSTs, primarily. Nothing like a little Persona 4 music to get you pumped up and ready to face the day's challenges. Or perhaps some Chrono Trigger world map themes to calm you down after a long day. I particularly like battle themes, because I love the energy rush you can get from listening to them, but it's all good.
Outside of video games, I'll just list a few bands/singers I find myself listening to frequently. Red Hot Chili Peppers have some wonderful singles. Same goes for The Killers. One of my favorite bands (I've been a big fan for years) is Gorillaz. I've only ever bought one physical copy of an album, before, and it's a Gorillaz album. Plastic Beach. To this day, it's my favorite album of theirs.
One last singer I want to mention is Marvin Gaye. He had a fantastic voice. Great vocal range. I love songs of his like "I Heard it Through the Grapevine" and "What's Going On?" I wish he were still alive, today. I would have loved to hear him sing in a concert.
Silly side note: I had to call LogMeIn support once (I work in IT), and their hold music was - I shit you not - the 600 A.D. overworld music from Chrono Trigger. That's a company for you.
Anyway, that's a large stretch. Gorillaz to Motown. Anything else in between that strikes you? James Brown? Damon Albarn's original music vehicle, Blur? Huey Lewis and the motherfucking News?
I wasn't even aware that Motown existed until I entered High School. I took a class on the History of Rock, and we had a unit dedicated to Motown artists. That's where I was first exposed to it.
But, yeah, how could I not like a legend like James Brown? I don't often listen to him, but it'd be a crime to deny that he's fantastic. I'd say that I listen to other legends, like Chuck Berry more than him. And sure, I like Blur. They have a great "best of" album. Still, if I had to choose between Blur and Gorillaz, I'd pick Gorillaz any day.
Now I'm curious as to why you would choose one over the other. What about Gorillaz makes it more accessible to your ears?
Well, I would be lying if I didn't say that part of it is nostalgia. I was introduced to Gorillaz right around when I entered my teens, so I have been listening to them for years. It was only a year or so ago that I started listening to Blur. So, Gorillaz always has that nostalgia going for it.
But beyond that, I would say it's the fictional side of Gorillaz that has made it more appealing than Blur. It's a band made of cartoons, and the universe surrounding the band is amazing. Each band member has their own extensive, interesting backstory, and if you look at Gorillaz music videos, you'll see that they form an overarching narrative. "Feel Good Inc". leads into "El Mañana", which in turn leads into Plastic Beach videos like "Stylo" and Up "On Melancholy Hill". It's incredible.
I've spent hours delving into Gorillaz lore. Heck I did a project on the band in High School, using information from the fictional Gorillaz universe. I remember thinking back then "Wow, I've never come across a band that has had me spending as much time looking into the backstory of the band itself as I spend listening to their music!" That's one advantage Gorillaz has that Blur doesn't. It's not just a band that's produced music. It's a band that's produced another world. One that I happily delve into at a moment's notice.
Do you feel that the videogame medium is evolving, and if so, is it going in a positive direction?
Yeah, I think the medium is evolving and going in a positive direction. In saying that, I'd like to focus on the Oculus Rift. The Oculus Rift looks as if it can change the way we play games. I have always dreamed of something like the Oculus Rift existing, where the immersion level gets knocked up another notch (BAM!) and rather than looking at a TV screen, you're actually seeing at the game as if you were actually in it. It's certainly a step towards the vast potential that virtual reality holds for video games, and I'm very eager to see how the Oculus Rift performs. I think it really has to the potential to propel the medium to new heights.
Whether or not that potential will be fully tapped, only time will tell.
Nintendo tried both motion control and virtual reality headset gear in the past with minimal success, and now here we are, with motion control and virtual reality forming the tip of the spear for new control methodologies, or at least old ideas finally done the right way. Do you think we're ready for that definitive next step forward?
Yeah, I think we could be ready, now. Nintendo's Virtual Boy (their virtual reality headset) had a lot of issues that we're not facing with the Oculus Rift. The Virtual Boy hardly had any really "good" games for it. At best, it had Wario Land. It feels like games are getting Oculus Rift support left and right, now. And good games, like Metro 2033 and Far Cry 3. To list some other issues that aren't applicable to the Oculus Rift, the Virtual Boy's games were all in an ugly red and black color, it had poor marketing, and the VR technology was still pretty young, nowhere near as advanced and convincing as it is today.
The only real issues I see with the Oculus Rift are the pricetag and the issues with giving people headaches. We'll have to see what happens on those fronts, but now that we've hit the ground running with the Oculus Rift and avoided many of the faults of the Virtual Boy, I think we could be ready.
Are we? I mean, approaching that line between true reality and manufactured reality means we're only going to move closer and closer to it, so do you think we're actually ready to blur that line further in ways that no other entertainment medium before it ever could? We've watched the technology get better, but the same distance has been the norm - you looking at a screen, using a control apparatus. Once you step into attempted immersion, the rules change, and once we start down that path, we're not going to stop. Do you think we as a people are truly ready to straddle those lines?
I honestly don't know if we as a people are ready to straddle those lines. Hence my use of the phrase "we could be ready". There would certainly be people who would embrace that path and others who would be against it, but as a whole, I don't know what the people would choose. I would certainly hope it would be embraced, but that's just my own choice talking.
I guess we'll see, when the time comes. And I believe that time will come, sooner or later. If not with the Oculus Rift, then later down the line.
If you said that someone just had to play a particular game before they died, what game would that be?
Will I feel bad for going for the obvious answer? Nah. Bearsona-I mean-Persona 4.
It's got a fantastic story with plenty of unexpected twists and a satisfying ending (if you go for the true ending), and I've never played a game with such incredible characters that I've cared for so much (well, Lee and Clem of The Walking Dead, but still). The game's not overly difficult, either. It's the perfect gateway into the massive, ever-expanding Megami Tensei franchise. And I can't help but mention the soundtrack. Catchiest soundtrack I've ever heard, too, although some of the songs may take some warming up to.
Oh, plus you get to play as Yu Swagukami. Bringing Swagukami into the world was like Atlus' gift to mankind.
It's the greatest RPG I've ever played. What can I say that hasn't already been said?
See, I haven't had any interest in playing this game series at all (true story). Why should I pick it up?
Well, if you have no interest at all, I doubt I'll be able to convince you, but I'll give it a shot. I think one of the greatest things about it is that it manages to avoid many of the clichés that seem to befall many other RPGs, today, both when it comes to story and gameplay. The story is original, with twists that are truly unexpected. The main characters that you spend much of the game with all have unique personalities, are likable (in their own ways), and best of all, are non-stereotypical. Given that Persona 4 is a hefty game, they all get plenty of character development over the course of the game, and by the time you've finished the game, you feel like you know them as well as actual friends.
The gameplay feels somewhat fresh, being like a mixture of two tried and true formulas. Not to get too much into it, but it's like a traditional RPG mixed with Pokemon. You can fuse your Personas (which act like Pokemon) together to create new Personas, adding a new element to the mix. And it's not like these personas come out of nowhere. They're fairly vital to the story and are well explained. The dungeons all have a unique design, and while they can take some time to get through, none of them outstay their welcome. They can be fairly challenging, depending on the difficulty, and bosses take careful strategy to defeat.
There's a lot to do in Persona 4 outside of dungeons. Despite its length, you never run out of things to do in-game between dungeons. Most notably, you can spend time with the other main characters, gaining more insight on their character and reaping even more benefits in-battle. And finally, the soundtrack is pretty awesome. Even if you're not an immediate fan of the pop songs, there are plenty of instrumental songs scattered throughout the game that are hard to dislike.
You ever play a game where you go "This is a once-in-a-lifetime game. How is someone going to top this?" Persona 4 is a once-in-a-lifetime RPG. It's like the Earthbound of 3D RPGs. Aaand I've already said far too much on this subject. Moving on!
With so many sites in existence, and the internet having no shortage of places to hang one's virtual hat, why Destructoid?
Destructoid actually has a cool community. Imagine that. The community isn't dead or nonexistant. It's alive. It's not full of a bunch of jerks or people who like to start heated arguments for the sake of arguing. It's full of awesome people who all share a love for video games. There's always plenty to do, in the community, too. Things to read (Cblogs), things to listen to (Podcasts), people to play with (Friday Night Fights/Weekend Warriors). It's fantastic. I love it, and I think this may be a once-in-a-lifetime community.
That, and where else will you see a community manager in a pink bathrobe? I mean, come on. You can't beat that.
What the hell are you talking about? This place is packed to the walls with people who will start heated arguments just for the sake of arguing. It's what we do best. It's our Big Mac. It's our Bloomin' Onion. Our special sauce.
Never mind that last bit.
What's your favorite part, if you had to choose one?
I suppose I chose some really poor wording, there. I meant to say that people don't start idiotic arguments here at Destructoid. Hateful arguments. That sort of thing. Yeah, I know we have some heated arguments, here. I've heard more than enough argument over DmC to know that. Sorry for the confusion.
I may not have been a part of it for more than a little while, but I'd say Friday Night Fights and Weekend Warriors is now my favorite part of Destructoid. We're all here because we share a love for games. We can talk about games all we want in podcasts, cblogs, or in the forums, but nothing beats actually playing games. And with Friday Night Fights and Weekend Warriors, you get to do it with some really great people. It's pure fun.
I'm going to resurrect an old question that I've never asked before, starting now: If you could punch anyone here at Dtoid, who would it be?
Well, I'm going to bend the rules of the question and answer with two people. First of all with someone who used to be here at Destructoid. I'd punch Chad Concelmo for leaving us. I'd immediately apologize afterwards, though, because who wouldn't feel bad about punching an always-smiling face like his?
If I could punch anyone currently here at Destructoid, I would punch Brightside for not being able to handle the incredible amount of Space Jam remixes Firion and I played during his stream on plug.dj. Some people just can't handle the slam. I'd hug Firion for playing the first one of those remixes, if I could. That was a great night.
Is there anything you would change about Destructoid? Anything you'd preserve at all costs?
There are some clear rifts in Destructoid's community, mainly between the front page, the forums, and the Destructoid stream. There are clearly people who seem to prefer to stick to certain sides of Destructoid or stay away from certain parts. Especially in regards to the stream. I understand that most people don't care for the stream (especially when it's plastered all over the front page) or have the time for it, but I can't help but wish that the rifts between sections of Dtoid didn't exist. This is me just fantasizing about a perfect world, though.
Somewhat contradicting what I just said, the one thing I would never change is the community. By that, I mean the people in the community. The community is a big part of what makes Destructoid to so fun to come to, and I know that if everyone up and left, I wouldn't come here nearly as often as I do. No running off to leave gaps for douchebags to come in and fill. Otherwise, Destructoid could begin morphing into the fearsome beast of legend...Destructaku. And when it does, the apocalypse is sure to follow.
Is there anything the community could to to strengthen the fiber that makes up Destructoid? Anything the staff could do? Just wanting to see your ideas on the matter. Are we strong enough as it is, and we need to change nothing?
Yeah, definitely. For the community, I would say just get involved. And not just once or twice. Regularly, if possible. Dive into the forums. Meet some great people. Stick around. Try hosting some games on Friday Night Fights or Weekend Warriors every week. Fap to blogs and comment on them. Listen to podcasts and give some feedback. Watch the stream every once in a while. I know I'm working on these things, myself.
As for the staff, I say, why can't they do some of the same? Why can't a staff member fap to blogs and comment on them? Why shouldn't a staff member venture into the forums and get to know members of the community, there? Surely, there's no rule against a staff member hosting a game on Friday Night Fights every once in a while.
Community member or staff member, we're all members of Destructoid. We can all get more involved. Appreciate the content that others put out. Make some friends in the community. Play some dang games together. All of this will knit us closer together not just as members of Destructoid, but as a family.
One last question: who do you think you are?
Apparently, I'm the guy with the name that no one knows how to pronounce. I have heard so many variations of how to say "Marche" over Twitch streams and whatnot that I don't even care, anymore. Anyways, this is all thanks to Squeenix. The name comes from the protagonist's default name in Final Fantasy Tactics Advance. I must have thought the character was cool or something when I was younger, because I picked out that name like 8 or 9 years ago.
But I'm not that Marche. Oh, no. I just recently re-investigated who that character is and discovered something horrifying. Besides the fact that his design makes me cringe, nowadays.
The entire premise of the game is that he, his brother who's stuck in a wheelchair, and his other friend get pulled into a fantasy world. His handicapped brother can suddenly walk! But, no. The first thing Marche does is vow to drag them back to the real world. What a douche-bag!
No, I am not that Marche. I'm the Marche who steps all over that Marche. I'm the ace attorney who defends the innocent in court. I'm the college student who escaped certain death by going through the door with a "q" painted on it. I'm the wild card who reached out to the truth and saw through the fog of doubt. I'm the nephilim who kicked Vergil's ass from here to Hell. I'm the snake who fought the ocelot and came out triumphant. I'm the amnesiac who faced hordes of nighmarish swine to find his children.
Today, I was supposed to publish the interview with Marche100. Unfortunately, I will not be able to, as I have not been able to finish his (or other) people's interviews over the past few weeks, as the hits in my personal life just won't stop coming.
Last week, it was taking care of my two-year-old daughter, who had to visit the hospital due to her being sick with the flu. After nursing her back to health and working my normal job for five days straight (because my pregnant wife was forbidden from taking care of her - weakened immune system carried extreme risk to her and the baby), I was able to get back to some semblance of even keel. I just wanted to get back to my life, catch up on work that had started to pile up, and get back to publishing interviews.
Well, my Wednesday just consisted of having to say goodbye to my wife's cat of fourteen years. She predated yours truly in my wife's life. She was a sweet, affable cat...who had started to develop health problems of a very, very unsanitary nature (again, the kind of shit [literally] that would pose extreme health risks to my wife and both of my kids). It's been something we've been fighting against for years, and took a turn for the worst-beyond-worst last weekend. It came to a head early yesterday afternoon, and as such, my day has involved being the strong one in the family in the wake of the aftermath of what I had the duty to fulfill this morning.
Well, my daughter didn't really need the parental strength, but that's another story for another time. It was pretty funny, and definitely provided relief to our day, comic and otherwise.
However, my wife is taking it hard. Really hard. She just lost her best animal friend, a companion she's had since college, and a truly irreplaceable family member. As such, I haven't been able to finish the interviews that have been planned. I'm hoping to get this back on track for next week, and I'm really sorry about not keeping my (admittedly self-imposed) promise of getting these things out on time.
I will try to get this ball rolling ASAP, but in the meantime, I'll just ask that if you have pets you love - snuggle up with them tonight. Give them an extra treat. Let them sleep in the bed. And enjoy the company, the quiet camaraderie and the unconditional love your animal has for you, because that one day you dread will eventually arrive, and the feeling of loss can be profoundly overwhelming.
Sorry for ending on such a serious down note. I'll see you next week. - EL
Sallida DToid, OpiumHerz here. I hope you had some nice holidays and all came good into the new year. If not, Mr. T will most likely pity you. But you know who pities Mr. T? Someone who is even cooler. Entering: StriderHoang! This bad boy isn't afraid to have Digimon as his blog banner and Domo-kun as his avatar. And if you want to know the secrets behind that (partly) and other fascinating tales, you'll have to read on for the interviews.
As an addition: we're working on new interviews as we speak. However, it's gotten a bit time consuming. So if me might start to cut down a bit on this, don't hate. Don't bodyshame. Don't be that kind of guy. Instead answer the questions when I sent them to you. Volunteer if you want to be asked questions. WRITE ME YOU ANIMALS!
How did you end up Destructoid and why did you stay?
I ended up at Destruction sometime after graduating from university. As many college graduates in my generation may feel (especially the naive ones who graduated in journalism), I felt pretty aimless and didn't know what to do with my time. I was mainly attempting to get my work out there and build a portfolio, more to have a body of work rather than how most people in the community assume they just get cherry picked out of the community for some godlike writing skills.
I was mostly blogging on Bitmob (now VentureBeat) and browsing other sites when my sister referred me to Dtoid. I don't even know how she came across it. Probably knew a friend who browsed it because she doesn't play many games. But I did come to Dtoid for the cblogs and to build a repertoire. But I did stay because I ended up noticing the regular commenters and cbloggers and getting a hang of their voice and character. Elsa is the older, female gamer. RenegadePanda's humor infused musings. Occams displays of 90s retro kitsch. Or something.
After just one or two blogs I stopped blogging for blogging's sake and started blogging to be a part of the community with my own unique voice. Time skip a couple years and now I recap while working at Disneyland and barely have any time or motivation to blog at all! HUZZAH.
How did you end up with being a Recapper then? Also for portfolio reasons?
I wouldn't have become a recapper if I wasn't interested in the community. In fact, I don't see how being a recapper furthers a career. It was all community interest there and I mistakenly contacted Conrad Zimmer, who must've been involved with it once upon a time.
No sir, Beyamor contacted me at one point and asked if I was interested. He called me a cream of a crop or something. It was gross really.
Tell us the story behind your avatar and your nickname.
My username is just a handle I use consistently to make things easier. I just liked Strider. I saw him in the MvC1 and MvC2 and since we all know these characters are from someplace, I looked up Strider Hiryu's history and absolutely loved the gameplay from his sequel, Strider 2. The first Strider has not aged well in my opinion though but the first boss fight is always good since it's always that stupid dragon your ride/fight on.
My avatar on the other hand, is just an image I cropped from Slurpee's summer of fun promotion from somewhere in 2009 I believe. When I was selecting an avatar, I didn't want to use something too serious, too pretentious, or too deep a reference. I figured Domo was a safe bet because he's a silly mascot everyone likes. He's not some shadow ninja avatar or a Goku or a Mario or some other established character.
Plus he's drinking a Slurpee. Does your fucking Domo do that? Funk's just wears glasses, the hipster.
If you could take one member of the DToid staff for dinner wherever you want, who would you take where?
I'd take Niero to a taco truck like Kogi. Hell, he even accepted my Facebook friend request so maybe one day he would take my offer of free Korean fusion tacos.
If you could punch anyone on Destructoid, who would it be?
Jim but I'm convinced that is not an original answer. How about I put my fists on his temples and give him a double noogie?
While you’re imaginening things, imagine you are able to take over one videogame IP. Complete control. Which one do you take and what will you do with it?
I loved Spider-Man 2 but for some reason, it never seems to come back. You know what? What if Rockstar was just invited to do some sandbox Marvel hero game? Spider-Man? Sure. Hulk? Ok. Iron Man? Wow, let me take a second here. Hey, there's an Avengers comic that involves intergalactic growth of the team. How about an Avengers game from Rockstar centered around NYC?
The one standard question: favorite game – favorite character – favorite quote – favorite scene – favorite dialogue. You mad add other favorites as you see please.
My favorite game is Shadow of the Colossus. I've never owned a PS2 as I decided to commit to the Nintendo 64 and Gamecube but I managed to play through all of SotC while I worked at a video game rental store.
My favorite character has to be Strider Hiryu. Sometimes I even forget he exists due to how long I've used this handle. Though Wrex gets a close second.
Speaking of Mass Effect, my favorite moment would have to go to the Krogan mission in ME3. They'd been building on the cultural plight of the krogans for the past two games and finally I am handed the decision to see whether or not an entire race deserves a second chance at redemption. And of course I gave it to them because I knew Wrex would steer them in the right direction, that alien, bushido bastard. Legion is third place.
I'm not one for dialogue but to choose one, I'd have to go back to my good old well, Mass Effect, and go with the dialogue in romancing Tali in general. I mean, I was genuinely interested in her back in ME1 and now I finally get the chance and it only now hits me that I'm hitting on a female alien who can barely leave her skin to exposure, let alone have intimate contact.
While we're at it, let me say that the Jetgun has got to be one of my favorite weapons. A call back to Monday Night Combat on the 360, why have a flamethrower when you can have a jet engine pump out a jetstream of super hot fire? Not to mention the deathblossom. Oh man, the deathblossom, take Link's signature spin move and put the Master Sword on fire and you got the deathblossom.
Talking about things you love: what was the last game that has really touched you?
It's hard to say since I'm an unfeeling robot with little remorse, but looking back on my history, I guess I'd say Red Dead Redemption's ending. It wasn't some pull out all the stops sort of ending. You kill the last man of your gang and your past then go back to farm life for about a half hour or so. Then the feds show up, double crossing your promise and at last, you make one last stand. They even bother giving you control of your bullet time despite there being more men then what you can tag. Being in control of John Marston right up to the (canonical) end was really powerful.
In the last stand scene from RDR, I just shot all the horses instead of any of the police men, because I thought “Well, I’ll die any second, so they could at least have to WALK home”. Comment on that.
When I walked out and went into deadeye mode, I just shot whoever. It didn't occur to me that this little cinematic set-piece would be my end. I was still buys trying to process everything, like Marston sending his loved ones away and staying behind to face his past, along with the fed who decided that Marston was a loose end that needed tying.
It's moments like that which stick out in the history of this medium.
Aside from RDR, what would you define as THE moment where you played a game and thought: „Yup, [u]THAT’S IT[/u]! This is where it’s at! This is what game can be and I wish there would be more like it!”?
Really I think that harkens back to Shadow of the Colossus for me. Sure, the gameplay mechanics felt a bit floaty and the fundamental core was a 3D spatial/monster puzzle game. But what really makes me like SotC is the scale. Back then, I wished every game could wow me with scale like that. Such massive creatures in relation to my tiny, little human dude bro. And how they continued to move and react, however rudimentary, while I continued controlling my guy.
Did on the other hand any game make you so angry that you literally smashed the controller or anything else in rage?
That's not how I roll son. I concentrate pretty quietly and don't really emote much. I pretty much focus on getting in the game.
So games don’t even make you rage a bit? Like the infamous Mortal Komat bossfights, for example?
I'm more of a quiet rager. Like, simmering, bubbling rage. It'd take a lot of make me rage at all though. Cause, you know, it's a video game. I would take a break from something difficult though but I don't have the sense to do some physical anger. "This $60 game is infuriating! I should break it in half! That'll solve my problems!"
My stuff is nearly immaculate on that note. I do not understamnd people who have scratched discs or don't even put the, away back in their cases. I've worked at a rental store and the damage I've seen is mind boggling to my sensibilities.
Any specific rental story you might wanna share? Working with humans can be absolutely mind baffling, but also entertaining (mostly to those who don’t have to do it).
I wasn't afraid to speak my mind even if it meant losing a sale. I remember someone bringing to me Ride Or Die 187. That vague GTA clone that was horribly panned around 10 years ago for PS2? I told them I heard nothing but bad things about it and they took my advice and took it back.
I also had a regular guy. Let's call him B. I wasn't particularly interested in talking to B but he seemed like the desperate type. I don't want to call him a nerd because, let's face it, we're all somehow a nerd. But for a person who considers himself a nerd to think someone else is, try thinking about that kind of person. He'd always try to force start a conversation and whenever he came, he'd spend a couple hours just bumming around uncomfortably. Everyone who works retail probably has a Mr. B and I had to be nice to mine because he'd always spend big at our store.
What is your gaming guilty pleasure?
I like watching Dead Or Alive gameplay.
Is there any game you are really fired up for at the moment? The one game you would instantly drop everything for if it released today?
Seriously. I was looking forward to it a few months ago. But one of my leads at work has been pumping everyone up about October 12 for awhile now. It's gotten to the point where I might consider going to a midnight launch of it. The 3DS' long awaited Pokemon entry, finally arriving. And I'm still in a position where I can play with a lot of nearby people in addition to using the internet.
Allright then, this would conclude the interview. The last words are yours.
I am nothing if not an optimist. I'm 25 but I still live with my parents, still work part-time at Disneyland, and am in a long distance relationship as my girlfriend continues school, but I'm not bitching about it. Things go up eventually.
Hey: VIDEO GAMES.
Hey, folks! I'm taking two weeks off for Christmas, so I'm gong to be spending time with my family as much as possible (I work nights, so I don't get to see my wife and daughter for pretty much five days out of the week - gotta make up for lost time while I can). With that said, I'm sending out a call to get signed up for the next wave of interviews!