1. I'm a writer/journalist by trade.
(I still haven't found full-time writing work, but I swear I'm a writer, dammit.)
About half a year ago, I graduated from the University of Utah and got my bachelor's degree in mass communication, specifically journalism. I worked at the paper while I was in my last year, writing at least three news stories a week. When I started out, I was scared that I had chosen the wrong career, since I kind of regretted not going into something more directly related to gaming or computer technology at first. But once I started interviewing people and writing on a daily basis, I knew I was where I belonged. AP Style and I are close friends.
My dream is to be a gaming journalist someday, since I read about the industry as a hobby, but I kind of think that may be a tough gig to break into.
2. My username is the bastard child of Spanish names and letters.
Back when I was in middle school, I took two years of Spanish, most of which I've completely forgotten. (Although, I do remember one huge word that my teacher taught me -- "desarbispoconstantinopolisarse," which apparently means "to resign from being in the position of Archbishop of Constantinople.") It was during that year that I made my first email address/username ever, and due to a severe lack of imagination, I chose "pedro," which is Peter in Spanish, and "vay," which sounds like the last part of "doble uve," which is the letter W in Spanish. I don't know what I was thinking when I came up with this, but there you go.
3. I may have been responsible for the Battletoads bendable action figures.
Well, I don't know that for a fact, but if not, then it's one hell of a coincidence.
I once sent a letter to the "toy maker" when I lived back home in New York, asking for him to make Battletoads
figures. I don't know if that actually had anything to do with it, but less than a year later, there they were in Toys R Us, and I proceeded to explode.
I plan on doing a full-sized blog about this once I actually find my figures in the depths of my basement somewhere.
4. I love horror games, but was vastly underwhelmed by Silent Hill 2.
My girlfriend and I have been playing through the entire Silent Hill
series -- That's her horror series of choice, while I've always been a Resident Evil
and Fatal Frame
guy. I was excited when we finally got to Silent Hill 2,
because I had heard nothing but good things about it. However, I was left unimpressed -- The combat (like EVERY game in the series) was horrendous, the voice acting was terrible, and it wasn't all that scary to me. The game overall was fine, but it was by no means the end-all horror video game that everyone makes it out to be.
Then again, I guess it's still better than the one in the HD collection.
5. I knew Captain Lou Albano, a.k.a. the original voice of Mario.
See that picture on my sidebar? That's before Photoshop, my friends.
Lou Albano played Mario in The Super Mario Bros. Super Show
back when I was a kid. He was a wrestler before that, but I think we know what the more important role was. He didn't live too far from me in New York, and he came to a lot of our elementary school fundraisers. He really liked doing stuff for kids, and he was known to be really close with his family, which, even as a kid, I loved knowing. We may not have been great friends or anything like that, but I'm glad I got to see him a few times while I was growing up. He was never opposed to taking a picture or signing an autograph, or just hanging out with kids who knew who he was.
6. I didn't mind Mass Effect 3's ending.
I could write a week's worth of blogs on this one subject alone, but I'll try to keep it brief: I didn't really have a problem with the ending of Mass Effect 3.
Sure, there were some writing issues in there, but that's not something I hadn't seen in video games before. The main argument is that your decisions throughout the entire series didn't matter in the end, and I think that's bull -- It didn't matter what your decisions in the first game were, the game always ended the same. Same with the second game, aside from the fact that some of your crew could die -- The actual storyline was the exact same, no matter what your choices were throughout the game. The entire Mass Effect
series ALWAYS had only one storyline -- The decisions you made merely affected the journey you went on to get to that set-in-stone result. I just can't bring myself to understand what all the fuss is about just because this is the third game. Is it because it's the end of a trilogy? Is it because people are REALLY naive enough to think that BioWare wasn't planning this from the beginning, so they could charge for a storyline extension sometime in the near future?
I've hated entire games this generation, but I didn't go and try to make the companies that made those games change everything. Not everyone shares the same opinion, but people don't seem to realize this.
7. I grew up with the NES, and I've been playing games ever since.
The original NES came to the states less than a week after I was born, and to this day, I still think that had to have been destiny or something. I had an NES when I was two years old, and I could actively comprehend what the goal of the game was that I was playing -- I understood beyond "push button, thing happens."
My favorite time playing games when I was a kid was when my dad and I would play Duck Hunt
for hours on end. I remember sitting there and wondering how he could be so good, always shooting down those ducks and clay pigeons. Two at a time, sometimes! It blew my little boy mind every time.
8. As much as I love gaming, I think the industry is going down the toilet.
I want to make something very clear here: I personally believe that the last generation of gaming (GameCube, GBA, PS2, PSP, Xbox) was the BEST generation we've ever had. We had awesome libraries on every platform, memory cards to take your data wherever you went, and stable hardware that didn't have a whole lot of problems. This generation? We've got consoles dying left and right, online passes, and the rumor that you won't even be able to PLAY your games unless you're online. In other words, everything bad about PC gaming (which was unacceptable on the PC in the first place) is leaking into the console world.
Even though people are trying to not jump to conclusions with the recent news that the next Xbox and Sony Orbis will have protection against used games, do you really think it's that much of an impossibility? Companies seem to not care about screwing paying customers over anymore, and I honestly think these rumors are more likely than we'd all like to think they are. Last generation, there were NO issues. Games were released completed, all of our data was portable, and we had an abundance of both local and online multiplayer games to choose from. This generation, everything went to hell, and it seems like it's only going to get worse. I love gaming, and I don't see myself stopping anytime soon, but the next generation might be nothing but Indie PC games and Wii U games for me at this rate.
9. Speaking of Nintendo, the Wii was my favorite console of this generation.
It's true: Even with all the shovelware that North American gamers had to wade through on the console, I really think the Wii was the best one this generation. Nintendo has always made the best first-party games in my opinion, and this generation was no different, with must-have titles like Super Smash Bros. Brawl, Super Mario Galaxy,
and my personal favorite game disc I've ever spent money on, Metroid Prime Trilogy.
Just those games alone are far superior to anything else I've played on both the 360 and PS3, and that's only stuff Nintendo actually made. The Trauma Center
games, Resident Evil 4: Wii Edition,
the upcoming The Last Story,
and a bunch of others made the Wii an absolutely amazing machine, HD graphics or otherwise. I also kind of LIKED the fact that not many games got downloadable updates, because that meant that developers actually had to release completed products, which is something they like to forget about nowadays when it comes to other platforms.
The thing that I always thought was the Wii's strength wasn't the motion that Nintendo pushed down our throats. No, the Wii's major strength was the infrared pointer functionality in the tip of the Remote. To this day, I personally believe that the IR pointer and sensor bar are more accurate than a computer mouse. While the mouse movement is simulated (you move the cursor up and down by moving the plastic mouse forward and backward), you're actually doing honest-to-goodness pointing with the Wii Remote, and it just feels so much more accurate and natural to me than any other control scheme I've ever used. The fact that you can move your hands independently of each other helps immensely, too.
I know I'm probably in the vast minority, but no 360, PS3 or PC game has given me as much joy as a well-done Wii game has so far.
10. I've been visiting Destructoid on a daily basis since it was less than a year old.
A friend of mine introduced me to Destructoid when it was about six months old. After lurking for quite a while, the first contribution I made was sending in a scanned copy of the entire Red Steel
manual, since the game was released in stores before the Wii was. Manuals for Wii games seemed to be cropping up all over the Internet (including on Destructoid), presumably because people wanted to get an idea of how the controller would work, so I scanned and sent the manual to Niero. The scanned booklet made the front-page news, at which point Robert Summa exploded, because he thought scanning game manuals and spreading them around was pointless. After I stopped being afraid that he was actually going to hunt me down and kill me in a drawn-out assault, I found the entire experience to be hilarious, and I've been here ever since.