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Power Member - Level 10
And we're back with another episode of Member Herding. One thing I love about the community here is that, although we are all bound by our love of video games, there are so many unique individuals whose interests go far beyond traditional gaming.
Take this epsiode's featured member for instance: while he certainly loves video games (and has the blogs to prove it), I've learned that he is also a huge wrestling fan (as many of you are), and is a fellow sports game fan. Add in his participation with regular GIO features like GaMe, and you begin to see why he was picked for this episode. So, without further ado, it is my pleasure to introduce to the Herd....
GIO Name: нawĸe5 (мr. мonday nιgнт)
GIO Rank: Veteren Member - Level 11
Gaming Experience (Years playing): If you are asking about how long I've been playing video games, meaning the first time I ever picked up a controller, it would have to be when I was 4. (My Dad was a video game nut) If you're being technical, then it would have to be when I turned 7, so about 12 years.
Last Game Completed: The last game I completed was SuperMarioGalaxy on the Wii. It irked me for the longest time that after playing it off and on I hadn't yet beat it. There is a point in the game where you think you've won, and then you find out that although you had defeated Bowser and returned Peach to her rightful home world, you still needed to collect all of the grand stars in order to return all the energy back to Princess Luma's planet. I was about 58 stars in so, I had a little more than half to still collect. After hours upon hours I was done.
Currently Playing: Dishonored for the 2nd time; just so I can run through it again and fix mistakes I made and try things I hadn't done the first go around, especially in the prison. I'm also playing all of my older WWE classics, like the SmackDown vs. Raw series on PS2. It feels good playing through the career mode and seeing featured superstars on there who are long gone since then.
Origin of GIO Profile Name: That is a funny story actually. When I first joined GIO, I created it with a name I didn't care much about. After multiple name alterations, I landed permanently on the name Hawke5. It came to me one day when I was graphic design class, and I stuck with it ever since. Mr. Monday Night was added to the end of the name recently, as a little token for Rob Van Dam who's given nickname in a 1997 episode of Monday Night RAW on WWF, was "Mr. Monday Night."
Now for everyone's favorite part of Member Herding....the questions!
Rank the Top 5 consoles, and name the best game each of them had.
This is a tough one. Having tried out many consoles, listing them in order of Top 5 makes me have to dig really deep.
5. Sitting at number 5, I'd have to give it to the Xbox 360. Some may think it deserves a higher spot, but this is where I think it sits comfortably. It was a large upgrade from its big brother of the previous generation and it had some really nice launch titles to go with it. On the 360 we saw a lot of growth in the graphics in our games, and the different detailed styles of our game developers. It offered XBOX Live, which gave players the opportunity to play games and share data all across the world with other people just like them. It gave gamers the chance to expunge on not only the campaign or restrictive at-home multi-player with your little cousins on the couch. Choosing the best game for this? Hands down for me I would say the first Dead Space. Can't be it's horrifying gameplay, amazing storyline, and thrilling action.
4. This spot goes to the Wii. The Wii was innovative in both it's motion controlled gameplay, and it's family friendly game environment. I had a lot of fun with the Wii, and I still do. Their game library is definitely one of the largest libraries of our generation, and it's not all absolute junk. I could honestly say that more than half of the games I've seen released offered something interesting and playable. It had games for all age demographics and it led a motion controlled revolution which is still really active in our next gen consoles, and has remained steady in popularity. Best game for the Wii, I would have to say was SuperMarioGalaxy; Ultimate platforming game, it was a great stamp for Mario games. Anybody could play it and enjoy it, and the story mode took a good while to beat. Wasn't a simple 10 hour session by any means.
3. The PS2 takes the 3rd spot on the list for me. Although, it's not better than its big brother on this one, the PS2 had a great game library and it was innovative in the fact that it attempted to target those who enjoyed online playability and a hub for downloadable codes and add-ons. What made it harder for the PS2 is that Sony's ideas for it were a little ahead of it's time and they didn't get to do all of the things they tried to push with the PS2 until the PS3's release and console update in '08. The thing that sets the PS2 apart for me and makes it number 3 is that it had so many very popular and best-selling games that it was hard to not love the system. It had games like Jak, Skate, Spyro, Disgaea, Final Fantasy, NFL 2K5 which has been called by many as the best professional football game of all-time. The PS2 was just a great piece of hardware and easy to love. Especially for RPG nuts! Best game on the PS2 would have to be Final Fantasy 10. Nuff said.
2. It got really tough at that this point, but I gave it number 2 to the Sega: Dreamcast. This was a fantastic system, and it goes beyond the usual case of gamers nostalgia. The Dreamcast had so many good titles and was a technical masterpiece. This console peaked Sega's creative genius and I spent many hours on it. Some of my favorite games on the Dreamcast were NBA 2K1 & 2K2, NFL 2K2, Street Fighter III: Third Strike, Soul Calibur, Mars Matrix, and Capcom v.s. SNK 2. If I had to pick a number it would go to NBA 2K2. No NBA 2K will ever be the same.
1. Number one was a tough call, but I decided on the PS1. My reasons for choosing the PlayStation 1 as the best console of all-time are fairly honest. It goes back to a boy with a dream, a dream of never leaving his bedroom in hopes that games like Tomb Raider and Syphon Filter would occupy his time until dinner. The PS1's video game library was so extensive with best-sellers coming from every genre it offered, it made it difficult to just sit and play one. And who can forget the cd cases they came in? Classic. The opening intro flashing on the screen. The PS1 one was what made me fall in love with WWE, and wrestling games. Games like WWF Smackdown & WWF Smackdown: Know Your Role! wax all the others. The PS1 was just an amazing system that will always hold dear to me. Best game? Best game goes to Syphon Filter 1. Innovative in it's genre and opened the doors for games like Hitman & other third person shooters. It was smooth, and had the best motion capture of any Playstation game.
(Nice, in-depth answer, and I always love to see the Dreamcast get some love. Interesting to see the PS1 above the PS2. Both great systems obviously, but the sheer amount of games for the PS2 was always the kicker for me. I love your choices for the best games too, and you make excellent cases for all of them. For the record, my picks would be, from five to one: PS1 (Metal Gear Solid), Xbox 360 (Skyrim), N64 (Goldeneye), PS2 (Resident Evil 4), and the SNES (Final Fantasy VI).
Imagine there is a gaming royal rumble. If it was up to you, who would be the first four in, and the last four standing. Who would win?
In a Royal Rumble match, the cards are decided prior to the event itself. The superstars have the opportunity to go head to head for a few weeks and the winners get a higher card whereas the losers get the lower cards in the rumble. That being said, the first four characters would have to be rookies, or scrubs. The last four would be your popular, strong, veterans that have the best chance of winning anyway. Therefore, the first four in would be the Wii Fit Girl, Tails from Sonic The Hedgehog, Claptrap from Borderlands, & Sackboy from Little Big Planet.
My last four would fight it out until the finish, until one winner was decided. The four would be Snake from Metal Gear Solid, Pikachu, Mario, and Princess Peach. In the end after Princess Peach was eliminated by Snake's special C4 combo attack, and Pikachu was taken out by Mario in a surprise fire ball move while in his invincible stage, it would come down to Snake and Mario fighting it out for a record 15 mins alone. Then when least expected, Snake would hit Mario with a needle from his anethesia gun and then he while Mario was tranced and out, Snake would superkick him out of the ring. Winner: Snake
(That is certainly a unique final four. I'm not sure I would consider Pikachu and Peach "strong veterans that have a chance of winning", although they both certianly have experience on their side. Hard to argue against Mario and Snake being two of the last fighters standing. I would probably take Mario in that circumstance, but seeing Snake superkick an anesthetized Mario out of the ring would be well worth the price of admission.)
What is your favorite video game soundtrack, and why?
Being a fan of many different genres of music, especially among those being old school hip-hop & punk rock. Tony Hawk's Underground had a nice median between the two. Part of the reason why I loved playing the game as a kid was because of its soundtrack. Featuring artists like Public Enemy, NWO, Green Day, & Blink 182. It made me smile every time I put it on and I would some of my favorite songs. Some artists I've grown to like that are often played on my phone these days were artists I had heard in the game and stuck with.
(Oh man, the Tony Hawk games had some of the best soundtracks. You don't hear it mentioned much, but some of the early 2000s Madden games had some sweet soundtracks too. As far as original game soundtracks, I've always thought Halo had some of the best music in gaming.)
The trend of preorder bonuses has received a lot of flak lately. How do you feel about the practice? Is there anything that could be done to improve it, or should we abandon them altogether?
Being the type of gamer who has come to enjoy these preorder bonuses that video games are offering now, I don't see them as something detrimental but rather beneficial to the video game industry altogether. I feel that offering preorder bonuses with a game helps build hype for the game and will increase sales. It's like when Floyd Mayweather announces he is going to fight someone in a matter of a few weeks. The branding companies put together promos and interviews and trailers that are available on your cable networks and online to build up hype for the fight and hope to get a lot of PPV buyers. It's the same thing with games. It's for the benefit of the gamer and the companies involved who are putting out the game. The only problem I've seen over time is that the preorder bonuses are sometimes rather cheap in value, and they aren't worth the preorder. Sometimes companies will get stingy with them, and offer something lame like xp tokens or special packs, that if played well you could get without the purchase of a preorder. Recently, the new EA UFC game came with two fighters if preordered before its release. One fighter I can't remember but the other was Bruce Lee. In my opinion, that's a good trade off. Who wouldn't want to be able to use Bruce Lee in an MMA style video game? All in all, I think it's a great idea and just needs tweaking when it comes to what bonuses are being offered, so that it appeals the gamer and is a win win for both the gamer and the companies involved.
(Yeah, everybody likes getting extras with their game, and to secure those extras before you even put the disc in your console is pretty cool. There are two issues that I think give people pause: the fragmentation of the bonuses from various retailers, and the fear that the companies offering the preorder are meddling in the development of the game. I rarely find myself wanting to preorder a title, but I know lots of other people who do, and as long as they don't feel like they are getting the shaft, I don't see preorders stopping any time soon.)
If you could have one meal consisting of only video game food, what would it be? Pick a main dish, two sides, a drink and a dessert.
Oh what joy this brings! If I had to choose it would be this:
Main Dish - Sonic The Hedgehog's Chili Dog
Two Sides - Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess Yeto's Soup & Elder Scrolls Skyrim Leeks/ Fondue Mix.
Drink - Thor's Asgardian Mead
Dessert - Final Fantasy XI's Moogle Pie. Yumm!
(Haha, nice, although I might have reservations about eating something called Moogle Pie. That's just me, I guess. I did think Skyrim's fondue looked addly tasty, but I've always kind of wondered what Lon Lon Milk tastes like. Maybe with some Fruity Pebbles. As for the drink, well, I don't believe there is a meal out there that isn't improved by Asgardian Mead.)
Saturday Morning Replay asks: Which genre(s) of video games do you believe most need revitalizing, and why?
If I had been asked this question three years ago I would have said Sports or Platformers, but I see them making tremendous efforts and have come to enjoy games that are being put out under those genres nowadays. Now, I would say the genre that needs the most work is definitely FPS. Over the years Call of Duty has made a humongous staple in the genre of first-person shooters. So much so, that people have begun to rely on Call of Duty to provide the model of a great FPS. To be quite honest, I haven't been impressed with a CoD since MW2. Each one since then has been fluff and is hurting the genre more than helping. Newer gamers see first person shooters as quick fire games that are meant to only be played online and are opportunities to talk trash and act a fool while playing with others across the map. The titles that are put out in the FPS genre are in consistent and they just need some real work. I think we'll start seeing some changes when Call of Duty finally throws in the towel and allows independent developers the chance to be innovative or they learn to share the spotlight & the hot seat.
(I imagine FPS would be the popular answer, and it's really no wonder, if for no other reason than the over-saturation of the genre. It's a hard question to answer, because there is so much innovation going on right now in the gaming space, and every game seems to be a blurring of at least two genres these days. I love FPSs, so I would be more than happy to see more games try something new there, but, at the same time, people love those games for a reason. It's a hard balance to strike.)
Saint asks: You're in charge of creating the greatest wrestling video game ever made and you can feature any wrestler from any league. Who do pick as your star hero and villain character? You also get to introduce a brand new wrestler - what is his/her name and signature move?
First I want to say thank you Saint, for asking me a question that I had to ponder over for at least an hour. *laughs to myself* When picking your hero or the face of the game, you have to find somebody with a star persona who could never turn heel. Someone who fans would never expect in a million years to turn against their morals and go dark. And putting that into consideration I'd have to go with my man John Cena. He is the ultimate representation of a popular good face of wrestling entertainment. He's involved with the kids, charitable organizations, and he always appreciates his fans and wants to do what's right by them.
Choosing a villian? Well that was the easier part. If you have to find someone who doesn't care about anyone but himself. Who has a darker persona surrounding them and gets booed by the fans on a daily basis. Therefore, I picked Kurt Angle. He's the ultimate chauvinist. During his time in the WWE, he highlighted only his successes and his abilities. He would stop at nothing to get what he wants and was charismatically insane. I feel he would be the perfect villian. Coincidentally, he and John Cena had a bout in Cena's debut back in '02.
Making my own perfect wrestler, I would need to be able to present someone with a great build and a good gimmick that the fans could follow. If the gimmick was terrible and he looked sloppy in and outside of the ring the fans would reject him and he would be a mid or low card for a while before he was removed from the company. That in mind, I would give him the name of "Real Deal" Chris Steel. A name that's catchy so it can be remembered easily, and would give him the confident without being cocky persona. His signature move would be a moon sault bouncing off of the tight ropes while the opponent is face down or belly up on the ring floor. The fans would chant, and the name of the move would be the "Steel The Show". Matches with his name and gimmick. An all-around Superstar!
(What a terrific and well-thought answer. It's been a long time since I've even casually watched wrestling, so I'll have to take your word on all this. The only question now is: Kurt Angle, John Cena and Chris Steel step into a ring. Who wins?)
Finally, ask me anything and I may just answer.
This is my favorite part of Member Herding, when the herdee gets to ask the herder the question.
If you had the budget to make your own video game that would go out to consumers in all retail stores across the world, what genre would it be in? What company would you choose to be the developers of this game? Who would brand it? What would it be about?
(Oh. My. God....my dream question. Ok, let's do this.
If I'm going to make a game, it's going to be an RPG. I don't mean it's going to have RPG elements, it is going to be a straight up RPG. A huge party, at least three optional super bosses, tons of character development and even a full-blown crafting system. I like the idea of a job system, so I'm throwing one of those in too.
In addition to myself as creative designer, I'm going to borrow staff from everywhere. I'll take some of the writers from BioWare to help with the story and world-building. I'll need to use Square Enix's graphics design team. Love 'em or hate 'em, the new Final Fantasy titles are some of the most beautiful games out there, and maybe that will give me a loophole to squeeze a Tonberry or Sabin cameo in. In fact, if I can go ahead and make the next Final Fantasy, that would make this process a whole lot easier.
As far as what it would be about, I think it's time we go back to our roots. We don't need a ridiculous story with nothing but hard-to-pronounce, made up terms. A simple story and antagonist will do, and I will let most of the plot and story come from the characters. How about this: as a young kid, your protagonist gets possessed by a demon through a series of experiments, only no one around you knows it. This demon basically uses you to further its goals, until someone figures it out and helps you exorcise it, albeit it not in time to stop the demon from gathering the power it needed. The rest of the game is then your party versus this super powerful demon. Boom. You're welcome, Final Fantasy.)
A special thanks to нawĸe5 (мr. мonday nιgнт) for spending some time with us while divulging a few details about his gaming personality. To read more about нawĸe5 (мr. мonday nιgнт) view his GIO profile here.)