Guys, I am going to be upfront with you...I love doing Member Herding. While I will gladly hand the series back to Saint when the time comes (it is a lot of work, after all), I have had a blast interacting with the community and getting to know some of them on a more personal level. Some of them, I might not have ever even met if it weren't for the herd, and for that I am grateful.

This episode's Herdee is probably one of those people. I had never really interacted with him much, but through our back and forth, I discovered that we are actually quite alike in our tastes. Most of you probably have interacted with him though, as he is quite active in the community, and is always leaving thoughtful comments on a wide range of topics.

He is also an accomplished blogger in his own right, and his spot in the Herd is very well deserved. That said, I would like you all to please hold your applause and questions until the end, and give a warm welcome to...

GIO Name: xking595x

GIO Rank: Veteren Member - Level 12

Gaming Experience (Years playing): I guess you could say I have been playing since about 95/96. I got my start on NES, but I became a slave when the N64 came out. Given that the year is 2014 I'd say it's been around a solid 17 years of gaming.

Last Game Completed: The last game I completed was Wolfenstein for the PS4.

Currently Playing:  I am currently balancing The Saboteur(360), Manhunt 2(PS2), and Killer Is Dead(360).

Origin of GIO Profile Name: My profile name stems from years ago. Whenever my friends and I would play competitive multiplayer, I always had the profile name King. Fast forward some years when I finally signed up for Xbox Live....naturally a name as awesome as King had already been taken so I had to put a twist on it. The 595 is the amount of letters in my first middle and last name, and the X's were just for insurance. When I joined Gameinformer I figured my Gamertag would suffice, and thus I became xking595x.

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

Taking from any RPG, fill these roles for your dream party: protagonist, love interest, healer, tank, mage and wild card. Also, pick an antagonist for them to face.

Good question, wish I was more privy to RPGs. Here we go... Protagonist: Darth Revan from Knights of the Old Republic, a natural born leader. Love interest: Carth Onasi from Knights of the Old Republic. It's so difficult to get him to open up, but the challenge is worth it. Healer: Princess Peach from Mario RPG, group hug everyone. Tank: Wrex Urdnot from Mass Effect, Krogans bring fear to the battlefield. Mage: Jansen from Lost Odyssey, you gotta have a jokester to lighten the mood. Wildcard: The Dragonborn from Skyrim, you just never know what they are capable of. Antagonist: Gongora from Lost Odyssey, his evil and power knows no bounds.

(Revan is certainly an interesting choice, and instantly creates an interesting dynamic, as how can we be sure which version of Revan we are getting? I was never a big fan of Carth, but hey, to each their own. Of course, I wasn't the nicest Revan, so the fact that he was constantly berating me could have had something to do with that. I love all your other choices (group hug FTW!), but I can't get behind Jansen. While he may be a capable mage, his constant one-liners would probably leave him at the party camp.)

The survival horror genre has seen a bunch of games lately, although the quality has been uneven. What does the genre need to do to create the perfect survival horror game?

Survival Horror, these past few years I have grown to dislike the term more and more. It's hard to say what it is exactly that could make for the "perfect" survival horror experience. Everyone has their own taste, and when it comes to this particular subject with many players, old habits die hard. For me, the staple of any survival horror game is pretty simple. The game must make the player feel absolutely helpless. Every step of the way must be an absolute struggle for your life. Using that basic principle I believe a "survival horror" experience can be built around pretty much anything. It doesn't necessarily have to be gory or hella scary (but we all enjoy that) it just has to make me scared to turn that next corner.

(Good point. Being helpless is a great tool in the survival horror aresenal, and games like Amnesia have proved that concept can work. I agree with the gore. Too many games use needless violence and jump scares to provide shock value, but I will take a slow burn for my horror any day of the week. I can think of a few games that remain scary while giving you enough firepower (the original Dead Space stands out the most to me), but it is definitely a fine line to walk between giving the player enough power to do something, while still retaining the thrill of being completely outmatched.)

Take five fellow GIOers, and imagine they are Mega Man bosses. What theme would their stage be, and what weapon power would they leave behind?

Mega man eh? Not a huge fan, but I know the premise. Let’s see: First up would be DJH his theme would be the Forest, of course. He would leave behind a Sassy Roar good for knocking enemies down. Second would be Saint his theme would be Paper and Words, he would leave behind the the Word Cannon that shoots out highly intellectual phrases/ideas that bring out emotions in enemies. Third would be Jolt his theme would be Laugh Tracks, and he would leave behind the Humor Beam, capable of leaving enemies in stitches. Fourth would be Mike his theme would be Coding, he would leave behind the Ctr Alt Delete power, capable of misplacing any baddy. And lastly we would have The Great Cubone, his theme would be Pokemon of course, and he would leave behind the power of his awesome Boomerang Bone.

(Haha, I always love these questions, and the inevitably entertaining answers they bring. And, I've noticed, DJH always seems to pop up in these..coincidence?  Conspiracy theories aside, this is a great answer. I love the theme stages, and I'll be honest, I would love to see Jolt's laugh track stage. Not sure how that would work, but it sounds awesome. And I shudder to think of the damage Saint could do with a Word Cannon...that man has a lot of ammo.)


What is the most common mistake you have noticed with bad writing in video games? What is the best video game narrative you have ever experienced? What about the worst?

Bad writing in video games? Not quite sure what you mean by that. Something I have always noticed is mistakes in subtitles. Sometimes a character will say something completely different from the text, or some of the words won't be there at all. As for the best narrative......that is a very difficult question to answer. There are so many choices. If i had to choose just one though, I'd probably go with Condemned: Criminal Origins. Something about that story just immersed me into the experience more and more with every play through. The characters were played so well, and the story unfolded in such a great manner building suspense and at times shock/ fear. Just a great story about hunting a serial killer that kills serial killers. I'd be lying if I said Bioshock: Infinite wasn't a close second. As for the worse narrative I've ever experienced, well......There's been a handful of awful games I've managed to scrape through, but if one had to take the cake I'd vote for Narc for PS2. I love that game, because it was pretty fun, but the story was all over the place. It was a bad cop/ good cop conspiracy plot with an out of left field finale involving a robot.. Just awful.....not even Michael Madsen's voice work could save that story.

(Dude, mistakes in subtitles have always been an irrational pet peeve of mine. Condemned...was not the answer I was expecting. Usually people go with an RPG or something more expansive, but Condemned definitely had its moments. It was one of the earlier 360 titles I played, and honestly, nothing much about it sticks out to me. BioShock Infinite is probably a more classical answer, and one of my personal favorite narratives, although I think Mass Effect would probably take the cake for me. I've never played Narc, but if even Madsen couldn't save it, then it must have been bad.)


What is your Game of the Year so far, and why?

I always hate choosing a title for GOTY so early on, especially with so many things just around the corner. However, upon completion, Wolfenstein has got my current vote. First and foremost this game has definitely started to rebuild my confidence in the idea of a strong story driven FPS, something that has been lost on me for quite some time now. The game is an absolute blast to play, all driven by a unique twist on an alternate history for the outcome of World War 2. Not to mention the characters you come across, including the protagonist himself (man he despises Nazis), but most notably the villains.....some interesting folks in that bunch. Overall one heck of a bullet filled ride, with a strong story and characters to back it up. Highly recommend it to any fan of the genre.

(I've yet to play Wolfenstein, but I keep hearing good things, and I always love it when old franchises have great new entries. While I used to be of the opinion it was too hard to make a good story-driven FPS, games like Borderlands and BioShock have long proved that theory wrong, and I love to see when developers do it right. This may be one I will need to check out. And yeah, doing a list like this early always runs the risk of missing the next great game right around the corner, but, for me, I am going to have to go with Dark Souls 2. I just beat it, and cannot get over how much I enjoyed it.)


Juanolo asks: Seeing you're a veteran member of GIO and seeing you've finally got herded, looking back what have been some of your fondest memories during your time on GIO?

I've had a fantastic run on this site ever since I joined it back when I was unemployed and looking for work a couple years ago ( It gave me something to do and took some of the stress out of my life). Some of my more fonder memories include the first person to ever comment on something I wrote. It felt so great to have somebody throw in their two cents on something that I created. The hilarious part of it all is that it was Solid Shoob basically schooling me on Metal Gear Solid, a series that I just adore. Of course getting recognized by Saint in the weekly blog herding is an excellent sense of achievement. To me it's more then the fact that I was picked, what I truly love about the herding is how Saint took it upon himself to show the community all the talent that we have stowed away here. It's an ultimate nod to the community and I commend him for it. Overall though I would have to say my fondest memories belong to my participation in the Gamify Me series created by Prince of Snark Euphoric Ennui I. Better known as the GaMe, I loved this community project so much that when E.E. ran on some hard times and couldn't do it anymore I teamed up with DJH and we managed to carry it on for over 25 weeks. It has sense come to an end, but I always had a fantastic time writing and reading the fan fiction stories created by the community. I always enjoyed how we could all come together for that one weekly occasion. There was some pretty wild stuff too. Also, guess I'll say it here.....if anyone's interested I have some pretty major intentions eating at me to jump start it back up. I need participants!

(I know exactly what you are talking about. When I first started submitting blogs almost three years ago, I was blown away by how vocal, helpful and encouraging the community was with my blogs, and trust me, my first blogs weren't exactly pieces of art. And I have to agree with your assessment of Saint. He was such an inspiration for me when I first started blogging, and I am still in awe of how he juggles all the things he does while making such an impact here. I've heard a bit about the Gamify Me feature, but never saw it first hand. I love community projects, so I would love to see if this takes off again.) 


TheSniperXI asks: If you could choose to make any book into a video game series, which would you choose & why?

Man I wish I read more. If I had to pick a series of books to be translated into a gaming series, I think I would pick the Redwall Series by Brian Jacques. The setting would be amazing given how vast the kingdom and the lore is. Also if they were to follow the plots of the books(which I'd hope they wouldn't) none of the books are really cannon to one another, just different stories set in different time frames in the same kingdom. So even if they made their own plot, it could fit right in. Last but not least, I play as humans and aliens and robots all of the time, when was the last time you took control of a sword wielding mouse? I think it could make for a pretty refreshing game experience, or it could be a bust.....what do I know.

(Hmm, never read it, but it sounds interesting. Books don't have a great history being translated into games, but I would love to see Stephen King's The Dark Tower turned into a game. That would be epic.)

Finally, ask me anything and I just might answer

xking595x asks: In your opinion, what was one game that you played that you felt was well deserving of a sequel, but it just never seemed to get one?

(Great question. I have a lot of obscure favorites that never got a sequel, and some of my favorite games are already sequels. However, I am going to go with Final Fantasy Tactics. While there were a couple of offshoots in the FFT Advance series, they never felt like true sequels to me. I would love to see a AAA big-budget direct sequel to Final Fantasy Tactics, one of my all-time favorite games. Please make that happen Square, unless you are too busy making another crappy sequel to Final Fantasy XIII, that is.)

A special thanks to xking595x for spending some time with us while divulging a few details about his gaming personality. To read more about xking595x view his GIO profile here.