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Hollie Bennett's blog

11:01 AM on 10.04.2011

Goodbye Destructoid

There has always been one posting that I have dreaded writing since I started working for Destructoid and that is this post, the post where I say goodbye.

The time has indeed come to move on and to take that leap to working full-time into the games industry because on the 1st of November you will find me as the new Consumer and Community PR for Namco Bandai games in the UK. Its a rather nice title, don't you think?

I started reading Destructoid back in 2005 and fell instantly in love with the community and after heading to PAX Prime for the second time in 2009 I decided to start a UK emailer. A year later I was officially brought on as staff (although to this day Neiro doesn't really know how I wormed my way in) and its fair to say I have never looked back. I cannot even begin to to tell you what a wonderful, if not slightly stressful journey this has been and its true what people say, they is no community like the Destructoid community.

I want to thank you all for some of the most amazing experiences, laughs, the late night skype calls, emails, tweets, texts, calls and random .jpgs I have had over the years -- I have been thoroughly spoiled by you all.

I want to say an extra special thank you the DtoidEU community for being a community I am so proud to manage, for being people who are willing to work tirelessly to help promote DestructoidEU at events and through the podcasts and for being those people who I can call no matter what time day or night to share in my triumphs and my failures -- I love you all, even when you do start new email threads without my permission

Of course I also want to thank the Destructoid staff who have been the most amazing bunch of people to work with ever. You guys are absolutely fantastic people and I really hope that our paths will get to cross again and again. Also Firebird and Tiger Shark FO LIFE.


All is not lost as I want to introduce you to two new members of team Destructoid;

Becca Roberts will be taking care of all things PR for DtoidEU as well as conituning BritToid and with her background in media and audio you may even be seeing her oncamera in the not to distant future.

Looking after the community will be the new DtoidEU Community Manager Beccy Caine whos job it will be to continue the emailer, maintain the EU presence on the site and run all the awesome EU NARPs.   read

8:31 AM on 01.13.2011

2010 Sucked: I done a video


Well I couldn't help but participate in this months Monthly Musing and decided to do so in video-format. Thats right, you can now watch me complain about the way SquareEnix decided to rip out my heart and stamp on it, as Final Fantasy games are now completely turning their backs on the turn-based combats systems that I loved so much in their older games.

Also, I actually do think Final Fantasy VIII is the best. Don't argue.   read

12:41 PM on 12.31.2010

Happy New Year!

Well it is nearly 7pm here in the UK and very soon I will be starting my 'KFC and Scott Pilgrim' New Years eve party - you see I currently have the flu and I can't be arsed to do anything special. Either way I just want to say a big thank you to everyone in the Destructoid community for making this year just so damn amazing.

Like any other year this one has had its 'ups and downs' but I have defiantly had some of the most amazing moments I have ever had, with the majority being thanks to yourselves and Destructoid. Whether it is being spoiled at CES, owning the show at Gamescom, finally attending E3 as press, seeing all of you wonderful people at my 3rd PAX, starting BritToid, moving in with a great friend, being a midwife, making amazing new friends or just watching Destructoid Europe grow and grow into a group of people who are there for you no matter what, it is all more amazing than I can explain.

I have some damn amazing memories and while I know that 2011 will never be 100% unicorns and rainbows, I am really, really looking forward to it. Thank you all so much for your kindness and support over the last year, I really appreciate it!

Happy New Year, I hope 2011 is a great year for all of us!   read

3:56 PM on 08.22.2010

Open letter to the editors, gamescom team and to the community.

So it is now the end of gamescom, I had the luxury of 6 hours sleep last night and today has been spent fixing up those loose ends from both the video and blogging team and I look forward to a nice hot shower later this evening (saying that it is already 10pm, another late night will defiantly be taking place).

To the Editors, the home team, the weekend team and the gamescom@Destructoid team -
Where do I even start to say thank you? You cannot even start to understand how thankful I am for the opportunity I have had from you guys to be allowed to do what we have. The support you have given has been amazing, from being there when we need you (we have been running on +1 to GMT), for the constant support in the form of editing and proof reading and of course not wanting to choke slam me when I send you constant and annoying emails.
I understand this has been a bit of an experiment, after all if you saw my video from E3 you would probably be terrified of the S**T I would be producing while here at gamescom. The team here and myself have loved this beyond all belief, even when everything is going tits up, it has been brilliant. Everything from the simply organisation of appointments, to directing the teams, to pushing content through to thinking on our feet. F***in’ excellent.

More than anything I hope you guy will continue to support the European team, I hope I have proven that we are capable of but I assure you, we can do so much more. I hope we have done you proud, I honestly do.

To the team here are gamescom - Jake, Roy, Pew, Ian and Dan.
Jesus Christ boys, talk about personal sacrifice. I never expected any of you to give me as much as you have over this past week. You have never complained even once, you stayed up every night pouring yourselves into everything you do, constant 8am till 5am days would kill most people, but not you.
For most of you, you have never even come close to doing something like this, the first insight into the ‘games industry’, to how it works, what it asks of you and what you need to give. It’s alot, isnt it? I am proud of you, so fucking proud of you. You have excelled yourselves. You understood that what we do here will directly effect if we ever do this again, each and everyone one of you for-filled your job 110%. Above all, I am proud of you for being friends and being team mates. This is a high stress and demanding environment, you saw it first hand. My schedules, my constant pounding across the halls of gamescom to make sure the right people were in the right place at the right time with the right equipment. You were able to differentiate between me as ‘team leader’ and me as your friend, thank you for understanding the stress I have been under and how this effects the way I interact with you. Thank you for completing the tasks I give you to such a high standard despite how tired and over worked you already are. Thank you for just not smothering me in my sleep to get me to shut up.

Never could there have been a better team, I hope you will look back on this positively. Remember: Haters gonna hate. Winners gonna play games early and drink free beer.

To the Destructoid Community.
I know I said something similar in one of the wrap up videos, so excuse me for the slight repetitiveness. I just want to say thank you, thank you for the support you have given us. This team is entirely new, they are not 'games industry' folk. They are community members who have proven themselves, who are skilled or willing to learn, they are loyal and caring with more passion that I can ever explain. We have NEVER done work like this before and if you saw my videos from E3, we really are being forced to hit the ground running. Gamescom is the biggest even in the world, it is bigger than E3 and we have worked it with a team of only 5 people. You are been so patient with us, you have been so damn supportive of all the work we have done and douchbaggery has been almost non-existent. We do this for you. I eat, sleep, live and breath Destructoid. I cannot begin to explain how this site and all of you mean to me. Thank you guys.

Also, cocks.   read

4:20 PM on 07.14.2010

BritToid featured on iTunes New and Noteworthy!

When I started BritToid I knew I was going to get emotionally involved, it is very much 'my baby' and I know the whole crew feels the same way. So when n0brien logged into iTunes today and saw that BritToid was featured on iTunes New and Noteworthy, you can imagine our excitement!

We all really hope to watch BritToid grow and become something bigger and better and we all hope that you will be with us and support us. Please guys, if you like BirtToid please leave us a review on iTunes!

Listen here. It is sex for your ears!   read

5:03 PM on 04.10.2010

DtoidUK update

DtoidUK is gearing up to get sexy this weekend as we are celebrating Mikeys birthday (the comic book guy) and his wonderful girlfriend Stella, aka Kawaiiaya, is also joining us in England! This weekend sees 15+ members of Dtoid UK and Dtoid Europe flying in for a 3 day love in, which will kick off in the Soho clubs this Friday night.

DtoidUK does plenty of events and meets and if you want to make some awesome friends then I really suggest you join us in our emailer ( I mean, who doesn't want Halfleft emailing you depressing things 20 times a day?!).

Email me Hollie {at}   read

6:35 AM on 04.05.2010

Capcom Swag Winner announced!

<p>Well I was blown way by the amount of entries we had and don't worry I have plenty more European contest on the way to help your broken and lonely hearts. This time however the winner just had to be Justice for his pretty amazing entry (even if you do write like a doctor!) Check it out!</p>
<p> </p>   read

6:40 PM on 09.04.2009

That s**t so pringles. PAX group photo.

You weren't there? Damn it sucks to be you.   read

11:42 AM on 03.18.2009

Super 'Mazing time and I needs yo halp!

Well it is CONFIRMED....


McSnow just emailed me to let me know my ticket has been purchased. whoot! Even better McSnow got crazy discount, instead of £440 return the flights were £277! I <3 U McSnow!

EuroF4gs will be there in force this year with (I think) 8 British Dtodiers and one crazy Dutch Guy heading to Seattle.

also I'm putting a little somthing together and I need some quotes, so can you guys please leave a comment of just a couple of sentences summing up what dtoid means to you or jsut leave me some totaly awesome Dtoid sayings just like 'also, cocks'.   read

8:34 AM on 02.12.2009

Hands-on with Resident Evil 5 - Dtoid style

I was lucky enough to be invited to Capcom offices in jolly old London to play through some of the review copy of Resident Evil 5. The day started how you would pretty much imagine a Dtoid meet to start, I tried to drag Mikey shopping in London but he was quickly rescued by BunnyRabbit. We found ourselves in Selfrdiges checking out the KidRobot stuff which we quickly figured we couldn't afford. McSnow joined us in the Trocadero (bloody massive Sega world arcade) where he raided a sweet shop just before we met up with Poetic Justice and headed out to Capcom. I have added many of the images from our little adventure to the gallery, so check them out.

The setup was pretty basic, 10 people were invited and we were given two and a half hours to playthrough as much as we could in co-op mode. Sadly, Poetic Justice got stuck with me as his co-op partner.

Before starting, Capcom's PR gave us a quick opportunity to ask questions and like a bullet from a gun I was first to ask one of the most burning questions, what was Capcom's feelings about what appears to be the big uproar surrounding the controls? After the demo hit XBL many people found they weren't happy with the Resident Evil 5 control scheme. Gamers displayed a certain amount of worry (myself included) that if the controls played out in the full version how they did in the demo, that Resident Evil 5 may have a serious problem on its hands. The PR personally didn't feel the control scheme had any problems, he felt they played out well and that at least one of the four different control schemes should hopefully keep people happy. He believed that since this is the first Resident Evil on a next-gen system that the game would be under strict scrutiny from fans, which is true. He also felt that the inability to run and shoot meant that Resident Evil stayed more authentic to its roots and that people are used to the 'run and gun' from the barrage of FPS games that have been released recently, that Resident Evil 5 controls were a "halfway house" between FPS and old school Resident Evil.

I also took this time to ask about Resident Evil 5 multiplayer, a rumor which had found itself circulating on the internet before finally being squashed by Capcom. Was multiplayer for Resident Evil 5 ever considered or did the internet create that rumor itself? Well apparently they knew nothing about it and said they would rather keep away from internet rumors. Can't say I blame them, we do cook up some rather interesting stuff.

While the playthrough gave me plenty to talk about, such as the graphics or environment which is better saved for a full review, the playthrough certainly gave me some interesting insight to the difference between what I played at Capcom and what was available for download on XBL.

I've been pretty vocal amongst friends that I didn't enjoy the demo controls, in fact I hated them so much that I honestly started to think of Resident Evil 5 as a totally lost cause. The demo throws you in head first, before you know it you're being eaten alive, before you have even figured out how to run and it all ends with you mashing the pad and cursing loudly. As mentioned before though, the playthrough allowed us to start from the beginning, this gave us time to work through the control scheme ourselves and understand it. To put it in perspective I played through the demo with a friend in co-op, we died in the first house/hut three times and then we just gave up absolutely frustrated. When me and Justice came back to it on the playthrough we actually succeeded first time without any major problems. Yes, I still couldn't shoot and run which I do think would have been great at certain points but when the mad panic of "I don't know how to use these goddamn controls" was eliminated I found the inability to run and shoot actually helped build tension and really got my adrenaline flowing. I certainly made a complete fool of myself as I constantly found myself shouting desperately at the TV screen while the nervous energy drew me to the edge of my seat.

I was hugely impressed by the co-op experience of Resident Evil 5, it felt like how I have always imagined true co-op to be, myself and Justice were continually talking, planning and basically helping each other in any way possible. In fact I cannot imagine the game without co-op. It feels vital, which is now the problem. The playthrough managed to eliminate my fears regarding difficulties with controllers but instead I now fear the A.I. If the A.I turns out to be little more than a hindrance that has no actual common sense to help you when it's standing right next to you as you get eaten alive then the game will feel flawed. However if you are super cool with lots of friends like me then you have nothing to fear as I'm sure you will have plenty of people just dying to co-op with you. If not there is only one way to find out how the A.I will fare, roll on March 13th!

and because you all love me so, check this article out on GEN and leave me a comment to make me look super popular and cool.   read

12:11 PM on 02.01.2009

10 things you didn't know about Pheonix

1. I am a midwife, yes that does mean I deliver babies. I have see and done some pretty amazing things and most of them involve an awful lot of blood and baby related mess. My midwifery course at university has put me through hell and back and two years ago it even put me on antidepressants. I am so glad I have stuck with it, I've never experienced anything that can give me so many highs and lows. It gives me meaning.

2. I used to get bullied in high school because I was the fat nerdy one, something similar happened to me 2 years ago and its the reason I quit cosplaying.Thanks to all of this I developed an eating disorder and despite it making me cry at the time, I had to tell Neiro at PAX that dtoid and the people here are the one thing that really pulled me through.

3. I am the middle child but I actually thought I was the oldest, my parents ever told me had an older half sister until I was 16

4. Athesitum is the real reason I am dtoid, she showed me this site and I can't thank her enough for that. The day I joined a picture of me and her made it on the front page ;)

5. Everyone knows I'm dyslexic, it's pretty obvious but being made to write in front of people or even chat to new people on gmail terrifies me. I really worry that people think less of me because I can't spell or can't really use grammar properly.

6. I have REALLY big feet, a UK size 10, I think thats about 12 in the USA.

7. I have slept with music on for the last 9 years and thats not just music playing, thats with my headphones on. I now can't sleep without it and if i can't find iPod everyone will know about it

8. I am now a lead writer over at GEN run by Aktrez, it is one of the best things that ever happened to me, I bloody love it.

9. My dad thinks I am a lesbian and has asked my 3 times now if I am, all because I play video games, spend alot of my time single (as apposed to my popular sister) and have several Kasumi posters and figures in my room.

10. My whole family hates my Aunties ex husband but I still think he is awesome since he gave me his old N64 and thats what made me into a gamer.   read

8:57 PM on 01.30.2009

My Broken 16bit Heart...

So I've been left lying in a pool of my own blood, bruised and beaten to a pulp by myself of all people and all done out of pure frustration. If it hadn't been me, it would have been the 360 that I would have thrown against the wall and there were a few moments of blind rage where I even felt myself reaching out to do exactly that. All of this came from my retro tinted spectacles (think rose tinted but in 16bit glory) being shattered by downloading and playing the original version of Banjo-Kazooie on XBLA.

Being such a Banjo fangirl I was obviously very opposed to Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts since "Banjo mixed with Lego vehicles and racing" is obviously such a stupid idea that it could never work. I was lucky enough to pick up a free download code for the original game when N&B was released and I couldn't wait to get home to it since the original game was obviously far superior. As a child I remember spending rather alarming amounts of time on Banjo-Kazooie and collecting all those damn jiggies and I loved every minute of it, yet I find myself agonized as I replay it now.

While loading the game I found myself charmed by the bright colours, yet after 20 minutes I could feel my eyes melting. It's not that I am opposed to alarming bright primary colours but after I came out of rehab for Viva Pinata I fell into my 'shades of gray' phase with games such as Gears of War and the relapse scares me. I also remember being charmed as a young gamer by the cute little voices given to characters while they talk, but after about three sentences from Bottles I found myself loading up iTunes and craving Nine Inch Nails or anything slightly depraved.

The game play is where it not only broke my heart but ripped it out of my body, still beating and then showed it to me as I gasped for my last breath because the game is broken; I swear to God it's bloody broken and I do not remember it being so infuriatingly broken! I have never ever wanted to throw my controller out of the window so badly, I swear I hit that bad guy, and yes I've heard the phrase 'don't hate the game...blah blah blah', but I swear I hit him so why isn't he dead?! It isn't dead because the game is bloody broken and if that isn't enough the camera has absolutely no interest in helping me complete this game as it enjoys making me play through brick walls or at increasingly annoying angles.

This isn't just with Banjo-Kazooie--I've felt this with so many other retro games, games which have shaped my childhood like Zelda or Final Fantasy—I will always love those games yet they don't transcend into my next-gen world of gaming. I've been spoiled by beautiful graphics and smooth gameplay that out-do anything retro games can produce. These next gen games won't ever knock games like Banjo-Kazooie or Zelda off my list of all time favourite games, they will merely join them upon the pedestal I have created for them. Yet replaying games like Banjo Kazooie is the reason I wish I didn't bother. Retro tinted spectacles allow me to look back upon games that by today's standards would be classed as crap and remember them fondly, but maybe that's how they should stay; fond memories. My experience of Banjo-Kazooie makes me scared of what replying games like Final fantasy VIII will do to my love for it. I don't want to hate or curse it, I don't want to feel like I'm punishing myself either; these games shaped me into the geek I have become today. It takes a certain type of gamer to appreciate retro gaming in a modern world, I certainly haven't lost my love for all those old games, I still kiss my N64 goodnight, but consoles like the 360 have taken me firmly by the hand and pushed me head first into the next generation world and I am kinda of scared that there is no longer a chance to turn back.

And yes, Banjo-Tooie is also on its way to XBLA, so if you really want to ruin someone's childhood...

This the same post I put up on the front page of the website I blog for called GEN or I met these people through dtoid, I've been here nearly 2 years and those who have been here just as long, if not longer, will remember people like William Haley, VirtualGirl, Kananya and Aktrez who are all over at GEN. GEN is taking some big steps right now and is trying to stand upon its own two feet and traffic and support it totaly needed. show the love... I know if it wasn't for all my time here at dtoid I wouldn't be blogging over at GEN and actually really enjoying it.


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