Sometimes I feel bad for teasing people and having fun at their expense. This week's newest member was so excited about being selected for this feature (I think he said the suspense was killing him) he's messaged a few times inquiring about when it was going to go live. Obviously I knew the answer but replied with something to the effect it would be another day or two. So, of course he's not expecting it posted tonight, which is exactly why that's what I'm going to do.

Quickly climbing the ranks and becoming a mainstay in the blogging community, his contribution and positive attitude are exactly the dynamic presence needed to make this place so enjoyable.

Surprise! It's none other than the illustrious...

GIO Name: blaze6106

GIO Rank: Power Member - Level 10

Gaming Experience (Years playing): I've been playing since I was about 4 or 5. I started with Pokémon yellow and an SNES. That developed into a love of gaming which continued till now, and I'm 16, and hopefully will continue on forever.

Last Game Completed: Portal

Currently Playing: Replay of Halo 3 on Heroic, Phantasy Star Universe, and Kingdom Hearts Re: Chain of Memories

Origin of GIO Profile Name: I use blaze6106 for pretty much everything, it just comes from a love of the name blaze, and the 6106 sounded good and was something I would remember.

And now for everybody's favorite element of Member Herding...the questions.

Five Randomly Generated Questions + 3 Bonus questions

1. The very popular video game Kingdom Hearts blends characters from the cartoon world with characters from the video game world. Using this same principle, if you could combine cartoon and video game characters into a video game of your creation, who would you include? Give us a brief summary of the game.

I think that KH hit this balance near perfectly. Somehow it took two very unlikely things and combined them. Not only did they get combined well, they created a unique and ultimately good story. The way that it put an original character behind the plot was good, but made Malificent and Jaffar, and Ursula, and Hook, all leaders of the heartless proved that the combination worked well. The inclusion of the FF characters really added something to the traverse Town part, what a better welcoming committee than Squall and Aerith.

I would take that idea and run with it. I would combine original characters as well as FF characters with Anime in the same vein as Kingdom Hearts. Death Note, Trinity Blood, Inuyasha, Naruto, Dragon Ball Z, Black Cat, One Piece, Hellsing, just to name a few would be combined. I would link them together by a driving force, an enemy of some sort and have them do something similar to KH. They would travel World to World and stop this common enemy, resulting in the final clash with an original villain. The story would be more mature though.

The combat would be largely the same as KH, with the same style of Real Time Action RPG combat, but with guns, swords and things of the like. The mood and gameplay style would change depending on where you go. I may elaborate on this idea in the future, but this is a good basis.

[SAINT: I'm sure fans of the series would embrace that arrangement too! If it were me, I'd kind of like to see G.I. Joe and maybe Call of Duty or Scooby Doo and Dead Space. Of course I'm being silly - it's a challenging dynamic to get right - but KH really does seem to pull it off well, we agree on that.]

2. Should a game ever receive a perfect score from the media, why or why not? If you believe in scoring a game as perfect, do you have one you think is perfect - and if you don't, which game is close to being perfect?

Every review is just a matter of that reviewer's personal opinion. To say that it is not fair to give any game a perfect score is unjust. Someone may feel that a game is perfect. IGN has given several games perfect scores, Ocarina of Time, Pac-man championship edition DX, Super Mario Galaxy 2, just to name a few.

Each of these games receiving a perfect score has to do with opinion and the platform that these games release on. To say that all of these games are equal in quality is not accurate. I would bet that most people will like Ocarina of Time better than Pac-Man, but Pac-Man is on XBLA, and will not provide as much quality has a full retail release. Saying Pac-Man is better than Oblivion, which did not get a perfect score, would also not be correct. Both games are released on different platforms of media outlets, therefore they cannot be compared.

Personally I don't think any game should receive a perfect score, to me no game is perfect. Even my favorite games would not score perfectly. There are many flaws with Kingdom Hearts, but I still love the game. These flaws would prevent me from giving it a perfect score. To be perfect is to be free of flaws, but being free of something that everything has would mean it is flawed, would it not? My point is nothing is perfect, but if a reviewer believes it is, then he can give that game a perfect score.

[SAINT: Kind of hard to argue your logic and I completely agree. I have a few games that I think are near perfect - the Dead Space series and original Modern Warfare on PC. Like you, I don't think perfect exists, but when I see a perfect score in the magazine I trust one thing is for certain, it's a really good game.]

3. Your profile indicates one of your hobbies is martial arts and that you have a black belt in Tae Kwon Do, but your favorite game genre does not include fighting games. Is there are reason for that? Do you not like fighting games or do they not come close to representing the real experience? If you could create a new character for a fighting game that loosely resembled you and your personality, what would he be like?

I have nothing against fighting games. Most of them are actually pretty fun, but it is not my favorite genre. I bought Dead or Alive Dimensions, one of the fighting games that I think capture real martial arts rather well.

There is obviously a huge difference in real martial arts and video game fighting. A lot of video game fighting is just punching and kicking people around for no reason. A lot of martial arts is about discipline and the training involved, not just the fighting. I never really felt much of a connection between video game fighters and real martial arts.

There was a guy in Tekken Tag tournament who used Tae Kwon Do, and I always used him because I knew how his style worked It was actually accurate. The thing is you only see the finished result. None of the real work people put into it is shown in games, none of the real training and stuff.

Street Fighter is one of the games that does fighting a great injustice. There are a bunch of outlandish things people do, and that is fine for street fighter, but I think people get the impression that real martial arts is like that. There are no flying kicks and stuff. Games like Tekken and Dead or Alive show off martial arts better. They take real fighting styles and use them rather well. They still dramatize it a little bit, but it is closer to real fighting.

One thing they do right is the eight way run. In a sparring match, you may end up running around in circles avoiding kicks and punches. You are not going to move back and forth. One of my favorite things to do in sparring is side step and then come in with a roundhouse kick, a spinning hook kick, or whatever I can throw. In Street Fighter that becomes impossible.

A character based on myself would have a lot of kicking to the body and some to the head. Being I'm 5"11, and my legs are long, my reach would be incredible. A character based on myself would not rely a lot on punches or grabs, only occasionally, and most of them would be lethal blows, though they would do less damage in a game. I would also be quick and move around a lot, but not be incredibly strong.

My personality would be shy for the most part. I don't talk a lot of smack. I would just fight because I needed to. I wouldn't be very cocky either.

[SAINT: Hah Hah...great answer and appreciate you comparing the real world vs. the virtual world. I certainly did not mean to imply that they could be compared as far as realism, but I think my attraction to military shooters stems from the fact I'm in the military so I didn't know if that connection existed with fighting games. Blaze would make a cool martial arts fighter in a video game!]

4. You are potentially facing a dilemma - you state you will never pay a monthly subscription to play a video game but you're also an obvious Star Wars fan who is very likely aware that the release of The Old Republic is right around the corner. What are you going to do about that? Is it fair for developers to require a monthly subscription fee to play a game?

I am a big Star Wars fan, and definitely a fan of the expanded universe of the series. I loved KOTOR, like a lot. I also like what they are doing with the story and mechanics of the game. I think looking back more in depth in the Old Republic is vital. Beginnings are important, no doubt, and seeing where the universe that is portrayed in the movies came from is awesome. The Old Republic is not usually touched on in the books or comics and things, and some of my favorite pieces of Star Wars media is about the Old Republic.

The battle system and classes look awesome as well. The way that all the characters balance out and the co-op aspect that is really common in MMO's is something that seems stressed here. It's not that I despise MMO's or WoW, or anything like that, I actually think the battle system is really good.

The fact is, I'm poor. Not my family, but myself. If I want money to spend on me, then I wait till Christmas or my birthday or I work. Soon I'll be getting a car, which means a job, but I'll be paying for the car, not an MMO.

I think that it is okay for a developer to charge monthly is:

1.) They are fair to the people that support them. They need to treat their customers well. If there is a problem, then fix it. These people are giving you more money than they would give a regular developer. If they play a game that cost $20 for 4 months, not a very long time, they already paid more than they would for a retail game, not to mention they probably paid that much already to get the disc to play the game. So they better feel respected.

2.) You continually update your game. If I play for a year and see no big improvements, no new quest, nothing, even if I have to pay a little extra, then I'm not going to keep playing. I'm paying for something that I've already done everything. The developer needs to constantly improve and add on to that game.

I certainly have thought about getting The Old Republic, but unless it is really cheap, and super fun to play, I'm not going to put my money into, especially since I don't have a whole lot.

[SAINT: I feel your pain. Sometimes when you buy the game (the DVD packaged box) you get a 30 day or 6 month subscription with it. I don't know how Old Republic is going to work, but I will probably at least give it a try. I've been a gamer a long time and I've never played an MMO you have to pay for. People in my family have, but not me. It will be interesting to see the impact this game has on the industry.]

5. If you could ask any of the Game Informer staff a question, who and what would you ask? Pick someone in the GI community and ask them a question (try and select someone that will probably read this).

I would ask the members of the recent GIO Record Attempt what it was like to play through all of those games for as long as they did. I would ask if they ever got old, or not. And I would ask if they would ever go back and play them again, or if they played it enough during that time.

I would ask Masterassassin how it felt to be the most recent member herded into Saint's member herding. How did you feel about the overwhelming amount of support and congrats you got?

I would also ask Saint when details on the blogging - Game Informer community achievement system were coming out. I really want to see how that comes out and I want to get those achievements. It sounds like a great idea and I really want in, so when is that starting?

[SAINT: Hah Hah, well I can't answer the first two, but you never know whose reading these and maybe, just maybe you'll get answers to those questions - at least Masterassassin's question. As far as my question, I take the Gabe Newell, Valve approach - "When it's ready." Seriously though, I try and put quality and polish on my work, and a project of this magnitude needs to be right before it needs to be ready. Since it's something I'm hoping the community likes, I have to make sure its top notch. I'm not there yet.]

Bonus Question #1: Masterassassin asks, "If you could pick one game world to live in for a week, what would it be and why?"

I would most likely live in the World of my favorite game, Kingdom Hearts. It has several worlds in it for one. I could go to the jungle in Tarzan or in the Pride Lands, or go to the beach on Destiny Islands, or go visit the Castle in Hollow Bastion. Also who wouldn't want to meet all their favorite Final Fantasy and Disney Characters. It's like a win win situation.

Also I would love to fight heartless along with Sora and Riku. I would also love talking to Axel, my favorite of the Organization. There are a lot of things to do in KH world as well and so many places to explore. Who wouldn't want to ride in a Gummi ship anyway.

[SAINT: Just a week, huh. Well, I know it's not released but I would say The Old Republic because I'm a huge Star Wars fan...but if that doesn't count because it's not out yet, then I would say Mass Effect, as long as I could get some ride time on the Normandy - pre crash, of course.]

Bonus Question #2: Masterassassin asks, "If you could design your own game, who would you pick to develop it?"

I would love to create an RPG. I love story as well as fun gameplay, and the RPG genre seems to combine those in the best way. The story would involve lost of high fantasy elements, as well as creative characters. I would love a turn based system, but I think Real Time would fit more into what I wanted. So all these elements combined, I think I would probably get Bethesda to handle it. Maybe Bioware, but their most esteemed franchises are KOTOR and Mass Effect, not exactly high fantasy.

I also have the idea of a shooter taking place in Russia that involves lots of player choice and decision making. It is more stealth related and only involves the occasional firefight. It would be like a special ops mission, but only sometimes involves battling it out with people. Picture Ghost Recon in the dense jungles with players making choices like when to release captured marines, who to send on various missions, how to handle a certain situation, resulting in every time someone plays the game they take a different route and make certain choices that may be positive or negative. I think a good developer for that would be Ubisoft, and more particularly the team that worked on Ghost Recon, I would also like to see them work with a team that has a good grip on decision making, like the team behind Deus Ex.

[SAINT: Valve. I love them and everything they do. Not just the games they make but the fun they have making them. But yeah, I agree with you...Bioware is up on the list, for sure.]

Bonus Question #3: Saint asks, "My Little Pony, seriously?"

It's a good show, like really. I said the same thing when Mray wrote his post and talked about it on GIOR. I was like I'm never going to watch a show about Ponies, it's not happening. Then God of Irony started to watch it and him and Mray made me watch the first episode. I hated to admit it, but it was pretty good. Then I saw a few other episodes and they got better.

The humor was mature and didn't resort to stupid fart jokes or boogers. The characters are more developed than a lot of video game characters. The references that the show included were really funny, and most of the time you couldn't even spot them at first.

I don't know if you have ever seen the show, but if you haven't don't judge. On the outside it appears insanely girly, but it is written by the same writer that writes Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends, another good quality cartoon. On the inside it is a good funny show that is not as girly as you might think. Some episodes can be really little kiddie, but most are good quality episodes. You really need to watch the show before you can say anything negative about it.

Again I don't know if you ever seen it or not so don't take this offensively, I'm just saying.

[SAINT: I suppose you're right, if I haven't seen it then who am I to judge it. And since I haven't seen it, I'm not going to say anything. I might just have to so I can chime in on the discussion, but I'm telling you now, if I end up liking it...I'm blaming it all on you!

 And with that, so closes another edition of Member Herding.


A special thanks to blaze6106 for spending some time with us while divulging a few details about his gaming personality. To read more about blaze6106, view his GIO profile here.