If there is one benefit of publishing the GIO member herding blog, it’s that I have the opportunity to meet and become somewhat familiar with remarkable members of the community that I might not have otherwise crossed paths with. I think this is the fourth week in a row that I knew nothing about the person selected for this prestigious recognition. (I don’t know how prestigious it really is, but seems like many want to be herded and those that have been are happy they were, so we’ll just call it prestigious).

I learned a few things from this person. Mainly the following nugget of knowledge - listed on his profile.

Otaku (oh-tah-kooh) is a Japanese term used to refer to people with obsessive interests, particularly anime, manga, or video games.

I wonder if blogging about video games could be considered Otaku? Hmm…

Anyway, perhaps the youngest person to be spotlighted, whose name refers to Kenshin's katana, this week’s candidate in my limited first hand experience and observation is a bright and cheerful person, who is fun to dialogue with and has been a pleasure to interview. It doesn’t hurt that he likes Star Wars, which counts for bonus points in my book.

He’s none other than…

GIO Name: Sakabato24 (Saka for short)

GIO Rank: Veteran Member - Level 11

Gaming Experience (Years playing): 18 Years. I have been playing since the age of 1, when my now-deceased grandmother gave me a NES for my birthday when my family came to the United States.

Last Game Completed: 3 run-throughs of Death Smiles in Arcade Mode.

Currently Playing: Super Street Fighter IV, Death Smiles, Record of Argrest War, and a week from now, BlazBlue: Continuum Shift.

Five Randomly Generated Questions:

1. Gran Turismo 5 is under development by Polyphony Digital and due to be published by Sony Computer Entertainment for a November 2010 release. Designer Kazunori Yamauchi is shooting for a 1000-car milestone but actual details on the number of cars in the game is still unclear? Can you have "too many" cars to choose from in a game? What is your dream car that, if it were up to you, must be included in the game? Dream track? Do you prefer a realistic damage model or a more forgiving "arcade" style arrangement?

Yes, I do believe that you can have one too many cars. Gran Turismo is known to have a wide selection of cars, but when I played Gran Turismo 4, a lot of the cars are the same model, but from a different year, or the same car, just with a body kit. I believe that they can fair off much better by having fewer cars, but have more options on how you customize your car, like in Forza. If they can do the realistic damage, realistic driving, and make the cars more customizable, Gran Turismo 5 can be the best driving game out there.

As for a dream car, I believe that they should add the C-West Honda S2000 AP1.

The Honda model, S2000, has been and always will be my favorite car of all time. The C-West S2K AP1 has been also the leading Unlimited FR car, winning a lot of trophies, and usually always takes the top 3 places within any Unlimited FR races.

The next one I believe that they should have is the BMW Z3 808 Hatsune Miku car.

I just love this car because of the design. Miku is also my favorite Vocaloid and it's nice to see her immortalized on the race track.

As for my favorite dream track, that would definitely be Mount Akina.

This track is from the Manga/Anime/Arcade Game, Initial D and I have this track memorized downhill like the back of my hand. A lot of straight-aways that become turns, and turns that become straight-aways. My favorite part of this track would have to be the 5 consecutive hairpins near the end. It's always fun to use the gutters on the inside turns like train tracks. The gutters counter-act the car's urge to move to the outside, so you don't have to slow down when you hit the 5 consecutive hairpins, but if you hit the wall, you lose more speed than just by drifting the turns. Plus, this track is loads of fun when you drift downhill with a pack full of Tofu for delivery in a 1986 Toyota Tureno AE86.


On the topic about damage in a racing game, I really prefer realistic-looking damage, over arcade's cuts and scratches. I really like to see the detail of every shard of glass flying in air like solid water floating out of the sky, but I do not want the damage to be so realistic, that every time you crash, it makes the car inoperable. That's such a hassle for your in-game mechanics, and big on your wallet too. *Laughs*.

[SAINT: Whoa! You clearly know your racing games…I revisit them from time to time. I’ve been playing GRID again the past few days. It’s a visually stunning game and the damage model is done well. Sometimes my primary goal is to see how well I can do without trashing the car. Track familiarity is a huge part of being successful at any track, but I’m sure you know that. When it doubt, go all out.]

2. Whether you're a Halo fanboy or not, the fact is Halo has inspired an almost cult like following that has declined a bit over the years but remains a very popular and prominent title in Microsoft's stable. Is Halo: Reach all hype? Is it going to salvage or damage Halo's legacy? Do you plan to purchase it and if so, are you more excited about the single player or multi-player component of the game?

Halo... *Shivers* I stopped caring when Halo 3 released. But, when Halo: Reach was announced, it somewhat caught my attention. It might bring the Halo fans back from playing Modern Warfare 2, and bring some new-comers with it, but in my honest opinion, the Halo series has lost it's appeal, and with Halo: Reach going back in time before Reach was destroyed, and Master Chief being the only known Spartan to be alive within the UNSC knowledge, it might digress the Halo franchise even more. Halo: Reach tries to be unique by adding equipment and new game mode or two, but these things can get old quick for players.

Reach is all hype, but in my opinion, it has nothing to really support the hype. I might buy it for the appeal of multiplayer, but in the end, I think it will sit in my collection of games, collecting dust after a few weeks playing the game.

[SAINT: Well, I’m a huge Halo fan. Some might even say a Halo Fanboy…but if I didn’t share your same concerns I’d be lying. I really think Halo’s legacy kind of rides on this game, or at the very least, the game’s reputation. I also think opening night sales are going to be incredible, but the real measure of success will be how many of those customers are still playing it weeks and months later. Interestingly enough, despite all the negative feedback, Modern Warfare 2 still tops the Xbox Live charts as the most active game.]

3. Imagine if you will - designers Toshimichi Mori and Yuuki Katou (Blazblue) are developing a new video game that will eventually end with an epic battle between a samurai and a ninja. While samurai are known as fierce and noble warriors, ninja are covert mercenaries and masters of espionage, sabotage, infiltration, and assassination. They ask you to name these two characters and provide a brief summary of the final battle for them to script into the game. Share your thoughts.


*Thinks deep in thought*

Okay, the fierce battle between the Mishimoto Samurai Clan vs. the Kasugano Ninja Clan is coming to its close. The battle between these two clans lasted for centuries, and both heirs to the Clans fight it out for the final winner.

The Mishimoto heir to the clan, Aya Mishimoto, is a battle-harden warrior, despite her being beautiful and elegant on and off the battlefield. Honda Kasugano, heir to the Kasugano Clan, is a very cool and calculated Ninja, but very timid and shy at heart.

Both Aya and Honda duke it out for the final battle of the clans. Both of them fought hard, but Honda became mortally injured by one of Aya's devastating attacks. Honda is on the ground, bleeding to death from the major cut above his heart, and Aya walks to him to finish the job. She kneels to the ground and pulls of the ninja scarf to reveal Honda's face. She gasps in awe in what face she sees.

Honda and Aya were both orphans, and both grew up together, but both of them were adopted by their respective clans.

Aya is now in tears because of what she has done to her beloved friend. She takes off her helmet so Honda can see her face. He tries to gasp for air, to try to say her name one more time, but blood comes up instead. She tries to raise her blade to finish him off, to put him out of his pain, but she can not bring it down on him. Honda nods to her to finish him off. She bends down, kisses on the forehead, and says...

That's all I got for the story line so far. Pretty cheesy in my opinion. Feels like you have seen this story plenty of times, but hey, it's all I've got. XP.

[SAINT: Wut! You can’t leave us hanging like that! As far as hearing a story plenty of times, some people actually prefer familiar stories as they always know what to expect. Besides, if you look at the core of most stories, they all share many of the same ingredients, like the universal struggle between good vs. evil for example. Great story, by the way – write it and publish it one day. Then get famous, autograph a copy and send it to me. LOL.]

4. Star Wars: The Old Republic is being developed by BioWare and published by LucasArts for a projected Spring 2011 release date. The game will included two factions, the Galactic Republic and the Sith Empire, each with their own specific classes. The Sith Empire will offer the Bounty Hunter, Sith Warrior, Imperial Agent, and Sith Inquisitor; the Galactic Republic will offer the Trooper, Smuggler, Jedi Knight, and Jedi Consular. If you were to play the game, what faction/class do you think you would choose and why? What was your favorite Star Wars movie and did Han really shoot first?

If I were to play the Star Wars: The Old Republic MMO, I would have to pick the Republic Faction. I always side with the good guys for reasons that still baffle my own mind.

As for a Class, I would go with the Jedi Consular. The way of the Force leads them to victory, because they know that The Force is what gives a Jedi his power. It's an energy field created by all living things. It surrounds us and penetrates us. It binds the galaxy together, and if they become one with the Force, they are the most powerful, and yet the most humble of the Jedi.

My favorite Star Wars movie of all time was The Empire Strikes Back. I have a lot of fond memories of playing this particular Star Wars movie over and over again because of one thing, HOTH. I loved the battle of Hoth, especially the Snow Speeders and the AT-ATs. To me, the Battle of Hoth was more epic than the Battle of Endor, except Hoth can never compete with the cuteness of the Ewoks. >w>

And for who shoot who first, Han definitely shot first. The shot that Greedo shot, was just an after-reflex shot. But the talk of how Greedo burst into flames is another story for another time. I'm guessing that Rodians are the only Star Wars aliens that burst into flames when they get shot by laser fire...

[SAINT: As an avid fan of the Star Wars series, I completely agree with ESB being the favorite. The Battle of Hoth was exhilarating, but really the movie had so many jaw dropping moments, it’s hard for me to pick a favorite scene. I plan on playing the Old Republic, but for whatever reason, I will probably try my hand at Sith Empire: Bounty Hunter or Imperial Agent. I remember reading the TIE Fighter strategy guide years ago, which included a fictional story told by an Imperial Pilot. It was neat to see the Star Wars saga told from that perspective. Han did shoot first ‘nuf said.]

5. The prize in the bottom of your Cracker Jacks box is a ticket to the Friday Night Fights at your local sports arena. This week's main event features Sol Badguy (Guilty Gears) versus Ryu (Street Fighter). It's a 3 round cage fight typical of a UFC bout. Who wins and how? (KO, TKO, submission, split decision, unanimous decision, draw, etc).

Mmmmm...Cracker Jacks...Huh? Sol Badguy versus Ryu you say? Who will win? Well, if it's Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike version of Ryu, and he can parry like this: Video 1 - Video 2

Then Ryu HANDS DOWN!!! He'll knockout Sol after parrying his attacks and doing some heavy damage, for the win. (Street Fighter always end their fierce battles in K.O.s)

Sorry Sol, but Ryu is Strong.

[SAINT: Wow. You made my job easier…you included videos. Those are some impressive moves. I’d have to agree. Sorry Sol, but Ryu is strong. And he never stops learning, training and adapting. The beast is unleashed.]

And so concludes another episode of Member Herding. A special thanks to Sakabato24 for spending some time with us while divulging a few details about his gaming personality. To read more about Sakabato24, view his GIO profile here.

(Note: Apparently there is a page or image limit and I surpassed it...so, this is the edited version...I guess that is something I will have to watch for in the future.)