I'm a 26-year old English writer, formerly known on the CBlogs as Xandaša. I've been an avid gamer since I was a wee lad, gripping a NES controller in my hands and comprehensively failing to get past those infuriating Hammer Bros on Level 8-3 of Super Mario Bros. I've stuck with Nintendo since then (not for any animosity towards the other console makers of course - Nintendo just make games I enjoy and have grown up with), apart from a brief sojourn with a Sony PlayStation, several woeful attempts to play Half-Life 2 using a laptop touchpad and sporadically wrangling a turn on my sister's beloved Sega Saturn.
In addition to burping out the occasional novel, I'm a passionate critic, writing reviews and articles of films, book and games for my school magazine and university newspaper, for which I created and edited its film section. In addition to starting up my own blog, covering television, games and movies, I am also a writer for Destructoid's cine-geek sister Flixist. While primarily a film geek, the evolution of the games industry over the course of its short lifetime has fascinated me and provided vast quantities of content for some incendiary pieces of work - perhaps a few more might spring up on here?
My Favourite Games of All Time (because who doesn't love having a few Of All Time lists?) are GoldenEye 007 (which I still play through at least once a year to remind me of its glories), Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars, Gunstar Heroes, Super Mario Bros 3 (I don't know who told Shigsy Miyamoto-san that raccoons could fly, but I'll love them forever) and No More Heroes.
I hope you find great enjoyment in my many scribings, and please keep an eye out for upcoming news on my novel(s) and do pay a visit to my blog sometime. And yes, the Dtoid community's 'no copy and paste' rule will be fully respected!
James Bond sat alone in the small St Petersburg bar and downed a third whiskey and soda to soften the screams of dead men for another hour. Under the red light, he checked his watch, a 1953 Rolex submariner which told a different time to the clock above the back bar.
"Another," he told the bartender. "Is your clock correct?"
"Russian clocks are always correct," the bartender replied as he poured the drink.
Bond disapproved of the American whiskey, but said nothing and again drained the glass in a single gulp. Having forgotten to do so upon his arrival at Pulkovo Airport three hours earlier, he changed his watch to St Petersburg time. He looked up and an ageing man with grey hair stared back at him from the bar mirror.
A man in an army raincoat entered the bar, accompanied by a blast of frosty air. He kicked the door closed with the back of his heel, then withdrew the hood from over his head to reveal a mohawk haircut and stern looking face.
Bond assessed the man in his peripheral vision. Even beneath the loose coat, the broad shoulders gave away his muscular build. He was over six feet tall and like Bond, instinctively checked for alternate exits. His eyes were those of a killer.
The man sat down at the bar.
"Vodka," he said.
A fellow Scot, Bond thought approvingly. He also ordered another and the two men drank at the same time. A knife on a chopping board next to the beer tap caught Bond's eye. He turned the dial to prepare his watch magnet, just in case.
"Can I trouble you for a cigarette?" the man said.
"What do you smoke?" Bond asked.
"Dunhill, with a lighter."
"Morlands, with a match," Bond said, removing a crumpled packet from his breast pocket. The man accepted the cigarette and lit it himself with a gunmetal lighter.
"Better still," the man said.
"Until they go wrong."
The bartender observed them, but had little evident understanding of what was being said.
"Sounds like we're from the same stock," Bond said, "My name's Bond."
"MacTavish," the man replied through a breath of smoke. "How long have we got?"
"One minute," Bond said.
"Longer than usual," MacTavish said, "You're older than I'd guessed. From all the stories we get told about you, it makes a kind of sense. What do you carry, Mr. Bond?"
Bond checked that the bartender was occupied, then opened his jacket to reveal a holstered PP7.
"Chicken feed," MacTavish sneered, "Mine's a USP .45. You sure you're still up to this? Hate to say this, Bond, but you might have looked good back in your day, but these are different times."
"You chaps still have plenty to learn," Bond said, "I was running a tank through these streets before you were even born."
The door swung open again and five men came in from the cold. Four of them wore identical black Spetsnaz trenchcoats. The other carried a case and wore the uniform of a Russian general. The general sat down and barked an order at the bartender, who set about finding an unopened bottle of vodka and five shot glasses. His bodyguards glared at MacTavish and Bond.
"More than I was expecting," MacTavish whispered. "My primary's only a Skorpion."
Bond chuckled. "If all you've got is a Klobb, maybe you should sit this one out. The nearest guard is at least five yards away, you might not be able to hit him."
"So what have you got that's so damn good?" MacTavish asked.
"Apart from my PP7?" Bond said, "A DD44 Dostovei, a KF7 Soviet, an Automatic Shotgun, twin RCP-90s, three grenades and a proximity mine."
MacTavish's eyes widened as he stared at Bond's fitted suit jacket.
"In there?" he said.
"A trick from the old days," Bond replied.
One of the bodyguards approached and clamped a hand on MacTavish's shoulder. He said something in angry Russian.
"He's telling us to leave," MacTavish said.
Each of the other bodyguards reached inside their coats and revealed hidden assault rifles.
"This could get messy," MacTavish said.
"Yes," Bond said, "Unfortunately for them."
The guard nearest to them pulled a pistol from his pocket. As MacTavish unsheathed his knife, Bond had already spun on his barstool and knocked the man out with a backwards karate chop to the neck.
The other bodyguards spread out and the general upturned a table for cover. As gunfire shredded the bar counter, MacTavish drew his Skorpion and fired wildly from the hip as he dived for cover. A splash of blood erupted from his shoulder before he reached safety.
"I'm hit!" he shouted, "Give me a minute!"
The noise from the other side of the bar was deafening, but once MacTavish's vision had returned to normal, he leant over the top and aimed down his sights. All he saw was four dead bodies and Bond blowing smoke from the barrels of his two P90s (both customised in a bright orange skin).
"How the hell did you do that?" MacTavish exclaimed.
"Automatic aim," Bond said, "Didn't need to aim down sights in my day. Just point and click, then let instinct do the rest."
"Didn't you take any hits?"
"One or two," Bond said, "But I picked up Body Armour on the way in. I can take at least four more before I'm in any trouble."
Before MacTavish could respond, the barrel of a submachine gun rose up from behind the upturned table and began firing blind towards the bar. Bond vaulted the counter in a hail of fluorescent bullet trails.
"Shit!" MacTavish exclaimed, "I left Deep Impact in my other loadout!"
"No problem," Bond said. He pointed his RCP-90 at the back of the counter and fired a single shot. There was a scream on the other side.
"Lucky you brought it with you," MacTavish smiled.
"No need," Bond said. "In my day, you just picked the right gun."
"Does seem a bit overpowered," MacTavish remarked.
"That's what makes it more fun," Bond replied, "It's not in the Power Weapons set for nothing, you know."
The two men climbed back over the wrecked counter. Bond picked up the general's suitcase from amidst the debris on the ground.
"Objective A completed," he said.
"Objective what?" MacTavish said, looking increasingly bewildered, "How many do you have?"
"On this mission, four," Bond said, "Although I've only two left to complete, since I snuck around the back and disabled the security for Objective B before coming in here."
"Man," MacTavish said, "I just made a straight line for the entrance. No idea it was possible to deviate."
"Like I said," Bond said, "You have plenty to learn."
The bartender, who had taken refuge in one of the cupboards, darted towards the door at the back. MacTavish pulled the pistol from his coat, but Bond pushed his arm away before he could fire.
"Objective C," Bond said, "Avoid civilian casualties."
"But he's gonna give us away!" MacTavish protested.
An explosion detonated from the room behind the bar and the bartender was sent flying back through the door as flames penetrated the walls.
"Luckily for us, I can kill two more before failing the objective," Bond said, "So a little fun with proximity mines never goes amiss. I should tell you about this poor fellow called Dr. Doak I met a while back."
"But you said you had two objectives left," MacTavish said, "What about the other one?"
Bond drew his PP7 and fired a shot at the shelf in front of the mirror, shattering a bottle of whiskey.
"That one was for me," he said, "I can't stand American whiskey."
MacTavish shook his head and wrapped himself back in his raincoat.
"Bond," he said, "I think I owe you an apology. You may not look so good these days, but damn, those are some rare skills you've got."
"That's okay, MacTavish," Bond said. He checked his watch again. "I'm glad I set this to the right time. We finished this mission in under two minutes and fifteen seconds. I'm invincible now."
MacTavish looked at him dumbfounded.
"Don't worry," Bond said with a grin as they left the bar, "You just wait until I tell you about DK Mode."