It's time for another Community Interview. As Kevin
mentioned in Oddworld X's interview
, we're ramping up the pace a bit. While there's enough interest we'll be aiming for one interview every two weeks.
This week, I elected to interrogate RandomlyEvasive
, who obviously didn't appreciate my harsh inquisitional style, as he moved house halfway through just to get away from me (as you will see below). Never fear – I set off several lures at the Pokéstops in his home town and managed to capture him, so let's say hello and get on with the questions!
Tell us about your gamertag. I have my fingers crossed that you're not planning on being randomly evasive in this interview. RandomlyEvasive
No secret meanings there, it’s about as literal as it gets actually! I suffer from two illnesses you can categorize as “invisible illnesses”, neither of which is some sort of paranormal gonorrhoea. About four years ago I was first diagnosed with severe depression and anxiety disorder, illnesses that I know will hit a lot of people reading this close to home. Obviously I’ve only got so much space to summarise it but combined they trashed my social life, my mood making it difficult to simply function and my anxiety making something as simple as leaving my house seem like an Everest-level challenge.Well if that isn't an inspiring use of a gamertag, I don't know what is! Thanks for sharing. And your gamer pic – any story behind that?
So I began dropping out of more and more gatherings, trips to places, anything that involved other people because I couldn’t face it. I was scared of being put under scrutiny by my friends, a scrutiny that didn’t exist and I blamed myself, which of course worsened the depression. This is where the “invisible” becomes important. A good friend of mine, through no fault of his own and who still remains a close friend due to his support after discovering what was going on, asked me after I had dropped out of yet another get-together “What’s the deal with you being so evasive lately?”. It hit me hard and I reflected on it a lot the same night. People couldn’t see I was unwell, they thought I was just being randomly evasive for no reason. Bam. The phrase clicked with me and I decided to own it. It helps in a darkly funny sort of way, it helps me laugh at my sadness and my fear and it helps to remind me that I do have issues, so I’m not to blame for everything that I blame myself for.
On a lighter note, having Random in my gamertag makes boosting sessions so much more confusing than they usually would be. As soon as someone not in the session joins the match, someone will say “There's a random” and I'll inevitably go “Sorry, were you talking to me?”. Every time.
How long have you been gaming? What's your earliest memory of a game?
Much easier to explain! The logo is the symbol of the Cult of Rapture, the old official Bioshock website that is long overdue an upgrade with a third game out and a remaster on the way. I love the BioShock Series
and always loved the logo on the site so it was a no-brainer.
I’m fairly new to gaming compared to a lot of people on the site, truthfully. I started with the original Playstation when I was a kid; countless games of England vs England on This is Football and hilarious animal testing in Ape Escape is about as far back as I can go for a real start of playing video games. I was also unfortunate enough to be associated with an Amstrad GX4000 which my parents had bought and never actually used. Honestly, they had the right idea leaving it in the box; even a younger and infinitely more easily pleased me wondered if my parents had disgraced my family name somehow, the console being a dull looking testament to man’s folly.Tell us about your home/family life. What do they have to say about your gaming habits?
What are you doing when you're not gaming? What pays the bills, and what are your hobbies?
Currently in the middle of moving house as I type this, so that’s gonna eat into my gaming time! I’m single so I don’t have to answer to too many people about my gaming (other than my boss if I stayed up all night playing Fallout 4
that one time) and when I have people over gaming is almost always involved, so it’s definitely a gamer’s house!
I work retail for a big supermarket chain in England, mostly cashier work but some odds and ends roles too. It keeps a roof over my head and I enjoy the opportunity to make people smile so it’s a great fit.What real life achievement would you like to give yourself some Gamerscore for? Tell us about it.
Other than slowly overcoming the whole mental illness chapter of my life I’d say some of my proudest achievements have come from my education. I’ve been to University studying a subject I enjoy (Computer Science w/Games Development), I’ve earned out of school qualifications through the Air Training Corps in my Duke of Edinburgh award and a BTEC at Distinction level too. I love to learn and to apply knowledge and I feel like I’ve achieved a lot in that sense.Given your university studies, do you see yourself getting into the gaming industry? Is there a particular aspect of games development that interests you?
My branch off of software development was actually games development, so that was a great insight into the time and effort required to make a working game. With that in mind I'd still love to go into the gaming industry, but I've always wanted to be a story man mostly!What’s your favourite game of all time on any console, and why?
BioShockIf you could only play one game for the rest of your life, what would it be?
. It gets mentioned a lot in that respect but it’s honestly deserved. They knocked it out of the park with almost every single aspect of that game (other than the one section near the end that inspired the whole of BioShock 2
that you can probably guess).
Spyro 2: Gateway to Glimmer (or the much cooler sounding Ripto’s Rage elsewhere). Just saying it sets my nostalgia settings to eleven! Other than having trouble with one trolley in particular it’s a game I never got tired of, even after several 100% runs.What part of the world do you live in? What would you recommend to a visitor, and what kind of game would you set there?
I live in a small seaside town in the North-East of England called Hornsea. As far as claims to fame go, there’s… erm, that one… no, but there’s… it’s a very small seaside town, not much to say unfortunately. I would probably set some sort of bullet hell shooter here for maximum irony points.
I would laugh, but I am jealous because I somehow don't have a Pikachu yet totally don't play this game.Any games you regret putting on your gamertag? "See those stops slightly closer together than the others in the distance there? That is literally the most exciting part of my town." I note that you've gathered a fair crop of completed Challenges. How do you feel about those, as opposed to achievements? Do you actively seek them out?
I take a lot of joy in games, movies and any other medium that is so bad it’s good, so a lot of the ‘worst’ games I’ve played I’ve still managed to get some sense of enjoyment out of. However, Frozen Free Fall: Snowball Fight (Xbox 360)
is to me the epitome of a bad game. I jumped in for the quick 500 or so and quickly realised I would never, ever finish it. Game mechanics that force you to lose (in a game where losing too many times asks you to pay to keep playing or wait) makes for a very unhappy RandomlyEvasive. The game doesn't ask for skill but for an open wallet and it infuriates me to no end.
There’s a lot of mixed opinion on challenges; personally the timed aspect appeals to me because of the exclusivity. If I miss one, fair cop, nothing I can do but having one gives me a ‘right place, right time’ feeling with the added bonus of having earned it like an achievement. That to me feels like the right balance to offset the zero Gamerscore of the challenges, so while I don’t actively seek them out like I would with achievements I do enjoy earning them, for sure.Do you have a challenge that you're most proud of, or enjoyed getting more than the others?
Plants vs. Zombies Garden Warfare 2What is your proudest Xbox achievement, and why?
was so much fun I didn't even realise there was a challenge attached to it! This game was top of my wishlist after how much fun I had with the first so I dived right in and to my surprise, pop goes a challenge after much plant-based carnage and a whole lot more fun.
Do you have a favourite – one you found particularly enjoyable?
Without a doubt it has to be:
Not the hardest achievement in the world but I had to complete the game four times to 100% (or 99.something% three times and one 100%) to get that achievement. I love the game, don’t get me wrong, but every time that Algie side mission didn’t spawn I thought my utterly crushed soul would be enough to stop trying. But I did keep on going and it was totally worth it in the end.
Which 100% completion are you most proud of, and why?
I’m gonna have to go with another unusual one here:
I feel like I’m in the 1% when I say I had an incredible amount of fun with the Bioshock 2
multiplayer but I’ve never had more fun with a multiplayer aspect of a game. Dual-wielding plasmids and weapons in the single player game was fun by itself but against real people who were somehow opposed to being electrocuted and shot a bunch of times? So satisfying. I enjoyed every second of working my way up to that achievement and, honestly, I’m a little disappointed the multiplayer hasn’t made it to the remaster. Get your pitchforks out now, everyone!
Do you have any particular gaming pet peeves?
My 100% ratio is pretty low but I’d say the one most proud of was The Orange Box
. It was the perfect mix of skill, patience and a little bit of organising gaming sessions (shout out to the engineer/sapper session guys!) that it was enjoyable and challenging all the way through.
What is your favourite aspect of gaming, or being a gamer? What keeps you playing?
The idea of “Oh, you’ve just not played enough to enjoy it!” for me. I admit, some games you need to break them in and you’ll start to get into it but I don’t think putting ridiculous hours of non-enjoyment just to get to the part you might enjoy is worth it. Personal example there is Dragon Age: Origins
. I put 70+ hours in and it did start to get enjoyable, but I feel like I wasted 70 hours getting there!
What upcoming game are you most looking forward to?What game(s) are you currently playing? How are you finding it?
It’s being put in a place you couldn’t possibly experience, or being given control of something you couldn't ever imagine. My go to example is Columbia in BioShock Infinite (Xbox 360)
; walking out into that amazingly detailed world for the first time absolutely knocked me backwards.
How's that Bean Dive going? I did my first Dive this year and it was... cathartic, to say the least.
Right now I'm smack-bang in the middle of the 2016 Bean Dive, so I haven't been playing a lot of any one game. But I've found myself drifting back to Titanfall
a lot recently for some fast-paced robot smashing action which has been the perfect filling in between.
Haha, I actually settled for a smaller and more manageable dive this time around after my first two ended in what can only be described as "abject failure". I'm determined to finish this one off though, then inevitably tank my completion percentage again because I have no self control.Now, let's put you in a game. What would your character build be? What skills would you have?
In any RPG style game I will always default to a huge, dumb looking guy that I name Stump Chunkman and roll low in Intelligence or Charisma for defence and attack. I always do this because it’s funny to watch him bumble his way through situations until brute force is required, then he wrecks shop until loot falls out. I want to be Stump Chunkman, is what I’m grasping at.Who doesn't? OK, you can bring along one weapon and one character from another game to help you out. What are your choices and why?
What enemy or boss would you really hope to avoid?
I would love the narrator from Bastion
to do most of the talking, honestly. The man has a voice that could melt butter. One of the many colourful and explode-y guns from the Borderlands Series
would be awesome too; a rocket launcher that can use itself as ammo would never go to waste.
Any characters you would like seen thrown into video game hell?Apart from infinite lives, what gameplay feature do you wish you could make use of in real life?
Dr. Salvador (sack-wearing chainsaw maniac) from Resident Evil 4 HD (Xbox 360)
on Professional would get my vote. Watched my own head fall of far too many times for my liking on that run.
Eating anything you find on the ground and it being good for you. If I was wandering down the street and I found a whole cooked turkey just lying around I'd be upset I can't just eat it. Not any more, baby!Do you prefer single player or multi-player?
Single if the story is strong, multiplayer if there's no depth in anything else.Do you have a favorite group of friends you like to play with in multi-player? If so, how did you meet?
Any particularly memorable online experiences – good or bad?
I haven't played online with a group of people for a while, but I used to quite frequently play Terraria (Xbox 360)
and Castle Crashers
with a group of my longest IRL friends until we all sadly had to get jobs to pay rent, so now our availability during the day doesn't match up. But we often get together on a long weekend to get the beers in and relive the great times!
If you could have a gaming session with anyone in the world, who would it be and why?
Funnily enough it was boosting Castle Crashers
, but through a session on TA with lightsup
. We bumped into a random guy while boosting as we kept trying to match up in a game together. It was a shame we had to keep dropping him but we both sent him a message to explain the situation and hoped he could find a game with someone else. What followed was a tirade of poorly spelt, utterly hilarious insults which culminated in the immortal phrase of “booster noobs get done.” Obviously I was touched deeply by the sentiment and vowed to live and die by those words. Or laughed at him, maybe that was it.
As much as I'm sure gaming isn't really his thing, I would love to play something with Greg Graffin, the lead singer of Bad Religon. He has been a huge influence and inspiration to me and I would be honoured to even get to spend time with him!Outside of games, what are your other media habits? Do you have favourite books, TV series, movies or podcasts?
I love watching movies, the worse the better. I regularly watch horror b-movies for laughs and I'm also a huge fan of MST3K and Rifftrax for their take on the stuff that sinks to the bottom of the movie industry soup. I'm an avid book reader too, I love sci-fi and horror novels. Currently a good chunk of the way into House of Leaves (had the special colour print imported from the States and damn was that a good decision).Is there a book, movie or TV show that you'd really like to see adapted into a game, or vice versa? I'll accept ones that have tried and failed, but only if you tell me how you'd fix it!
Do you own other consoles? What are your favorites on those platforms?
I would give my right arm for a Netflix Original based on the Machine Games Wolfenstein reboot
. The games themselves had such surprising depth and narrative it would be a perfect fit for a weekly catch up with ol' BJ.
I’m actually an Xbox only guy, though not through any favouritism or rabid fanboyism. I like the console and simply haven’t gotten around to buying anything else yet, though I would love a PS3 to play some of the exclusives (Heavy Rain, Last of Us, Uncharted).Have you ever had a game you really looked forward to, but let you down when you played it? Equally, have you had any pleasant surprises from games you took a gamble on?
Bioshock 2Tell us about your gaming set-up.
was definitely a disappointment. Take the one not so good bit from the first game, make it into a full game, profit! It was lacking story-wise too (until the marvellous Minerva's Den
) so I was underwhelmed by it considering how much I love the first one.
So I'm gonna let you all in on a little secret; at the time of writing I'm halfway through moving house very unexpectedly. Which means my gaming setup looks a lot like this right now:
Fear not, though! With a little imagination and a whole lot more patience you can see the full glory of my setup through this "artists rendition" (read: a pencil drawing on the first piece of scrap paper I could find).
As you can see, it's all pretty ordinary stuff. Though if that banana is actually to scale either I'm half a foot tall or the sun has completely swallowed us all.How do you primarily use TA? (Tracking, walkthroughs, solutions, sessions?)
A little bit of everything and competitions too! It’s always awesome to find a simple solution to an otherwise PITA achievement and the boosting sessions have been awesome throughout. I’ve also put up a few of my own solutions which have been generally well received, which I appreciate as I like to help out where I can.You've been a site member since 2012. How has your gaming changed or evolved since coming to TA?
Having milestones and stats has made a huge difference to my gaming habits, obviously especially so to my achievement hunting! The love of games is still there but now I get to enjoy them in a whole new way outside of the game itself which is great.What do you like about TA? Anything you would change?
The organised gaming sessions are one of the best features of any achievement or gaming based website I've come across, honestly. Knowing where you need to be, what you're aiming for and who'll be there with a click makes life so much easier and takes a lot of the hassle out of organising anything. Oh, and the community kicks ass, seriously; so many people on here are willing to go out of their way to help others. It's fantastic!How did you learn about TA? Have you signed up any friends to the website?
Have you made friends here?
Back in 2012 I was big into playing Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3
and was looking for people to play the Special Ops missions on Veteran with me as I couldn’t hit the broad side of a barn with a precision missile. Googling for a forum led me to the gaming sessions page of TrueAchievements and the rest is history!
Everyone I’ve boosted with has been awesome to hang out with and I’ve done repeat sessions with a few of them because we got on and knew we were all up for whatever we were playing. Plus my new buddies from our GTASC 2016 team (expect a shoutout at the bottom!).Imagine your perfect game, tailor-made just for you. What would it be like?
Let's go all out. The ultimate god-sim, think Black and White meets Scribblenauts. The impossible game where everything is possible. Eat a tasty bowl of bacon and mushroom tagliatelle to advance? Why not? Throw a coconut at a badger? Seems odd, but go for it! Want to make a colony of that confusing female Malkovich from Being Jon Malkovich? Don't let me stop you! My character would be the overseeing God (handsome, funny and modest!) that occasionally chips in with comments about your weirder suggestions. “Making the entire colour palette teal and orange? No worries, Michael Bay! Trying to throw a coconut at a badger? What's the matter with you, you lunatic?”. That sort of thing.What kind of achievements do you like to see in a new list? Any common achievement types that you find especially irritating?
Do you have a “claim to fame” in gaming? If so, what is it?
Achievements that make you go out of your way to do something silly or fun are always good in my book! Things like ‘I Did This For a Cheevo’ in Fable Anniversary
help to break up the list and encourage you to do something you might not otherwise do. I’m not a huge fan of story related achievements, or ‘Press Start to’ ones, unless they make light of themselves ala Deadpool
or Sunset Overdrive
No claims to fame in that sense but I’m the go to guy for low notes in Rock Band or Guitar Hero, so I know I’ve always got a role at least!
Lightning RoundFavorite Xbox game?
BioshockFavorite non-Xbox game?
Spyro 2: Gateway to Ripto's Glimmer Rage.Least favorite game?
Frozen: Free Fall.Favorite game developer?
Irrational Games.Favorite game weapon?Best boss battle?
The Master from Fallout.Worst boss battle?Favorite game character?Favorite game ending?Most hated game ending?Favorite game world?
Columbia from Bioshock Infinite.Favorite game music?
Trombe from Super Robot Wars: OG.Most emotional video game moment?Game that shouldn’t have had a sequel?Game you wish you'd never played?
Can I say Frozen: Free Fall again?Guilty pleasure game?
Love a bit of Fifa now and then.Non-Xbox game you’d love to have achievements in?
End of Lightning RoundIs there anything in particular you want the TA community to know about you?
I think I’ve bored you all with my backstory enough! But I’m always up for boosting games I own and playing stuff for fun in a party too, so hit me up!Any shout-outs you want to make before we go?
You're very welcome - thanks for your time, and good luck making your epic gaming setup blueprint a reality in your new home.
I want to give a shout out to my GTASC 2016 team, Multiple Scoregasms, who keep me motivated to keep scoring (Fury87
, you guys rule!), Hunter Kahn
for having a kid in the middle of our race to 100k Gamerscore to let me win and for being a top class boosting buddy, then everyone I've ever boosted with full stop for being great guys and girls. I'd also like to give a special thanks to my interviewer kintaris, for giving me this opportunity to hopefully entertain whoever is reading this.
The TA Community Interview will be posted every two weeks if we have enough nominations! If you have a friend you'd like to nominate to be interviewed, or if you'd like to nominate yourself, please send a PM to kintaris
. You’re more likely to be picked if you’re well-written, interesting, funny or use the Banana Scale Method in your design documents.