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Community Interviews avatar 9:39 AM on 01.15.2014  (server time)
C-Blog Interviews: StriderHoang

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. 

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