TA Community Interview – PistolMcAwesome

By Sam Quirke, 1 month ago
It's Community Interview time again!

A couple of weeks ago we were introduced to TheGearGuardian, and his adorably-named kids that any gamer parents would be proud of. This week, we're sitting down with PistolMcAwesome, a long-time gamer with a lot of love for classic Nintendo titles and an aversion to a certain costume-collecting Final Fantasy sequel...


Let's start as always with your gamertag. Why PistolMcAwesome?

It's pretty simple. My nickname is Pistol in the real world and since obviously Pistol would have just been taken on XBL already, I needed to add something to the end of it. So I just thought "Well I'm pretty awesome" and boom, my gamertag was born and I haven't even considered changing it since.
And why Pistol, in the real world?

Well my first name is Peter and there was a basketball player named Pete Marovich, nicknamed Pistol Pete, so that's where Pistol came from. I gotta say it's definitely one of my more favorite nicknames, considering I've heard a lot of different variations of my name growing up, some flattering, most of them unflattering.
And your gamerpic, any particular reason you've picked that one?

I used to rotate gamer pics quite a lot but eventually I got some Adventure Time gamer pictures and I have a guilty pleasure of watching it from time to time and well, I liked Gunther since I thought his character is simply charming, cute, and funny for a penguin and decided to roll with him as my gamer picture.
How long have you been gaming? What's your earliest memory of a game?

Oh man, I've been gaming for as long as I can remember. My very first console was an NES and Super Mario Brothers/Duck Hunt was my very first game but had plenty of games such as Mega Man 1-4, Blaster Master, Double Dragon and so on. I also grew up with a SNES and Genesis as well as well has a Game Boy and Game Boy Color. My earliest memory was finally beating Super Mario Brothers 1 and was ecstatic when I finally rescued Peach. So essentially I've been gaming for nearly three decades and have gone through the NES all the way to the One with a PS2 tossed in the middle.
Tell us about your home/family life. What do they have to say about your gaming habits?

Well I moved to Raleigh in 2010 to finish up college at NC State and I've been here ever since. I lived in Western Raleigh for two years after graduating before moving to north Raleigh this past November and I've been here since. My father lives back home in Jacksonville NC while my brother moved from Charlotte down to Raleigh about a year ago or so.

My family for the most part played games, although I was the person who played the most. My parents would play Tetris & Dr. Mario and my mother, may she rest in peace, would win most of the time while I played all the SNES and N64 games that we had, ranging from Breath of Fire to Donkey Kong Country to Super Mario 64 and my parents didn't mind it one bit. Now-a-days I don't play as much but my brother likes to play games now and has a Wii and Wii U but mostly plays on Steam.
What are you doing when you're not gaming? What pays the bills, and what are your hobbies?

Well my work life consists of working in a restaurant and when I'm not making money, I could be at the gym, out with some friends at a local bar just relaxing and having a good time, or I could just be practising some pool or out for a walk on a nice day. I like to live my life in a simple way as I was raised to believe I don't need much to be happy and I hold that to be true.
What real life achievement would you like to give yourself some Gamerscore for? Tell us about it.

I think graduating college is probably the one that comes to mind. It's easily one of the proudest moments of my life and considering I was the first in my immediate family to graduate from a four year university (Go Wolfpack!), I think some Gamerscore would be appropriate.
What’s your favorite game of all time on any console, and why?

Oh wow, this is a really hard question considering I've been gaming since the 80's. There are certainly a handful of games that come to mind such as Assassin's Creed II (Xbox 360), Silent Hill 2, Final Fantasy VI and IX, Chrono Trigger and Super Metroid but if I had to pick my favorite game, I would pick Super Mario Brothers 3. SMB3 just revolutionized the Mario franchise in so many ways and it never lost the charm and playability that the previous Mario games were known for. Just how big the game was amazing for it's time. There are just endless reasons why it's my favorite game of all time.
You've done an extremely thorough job reviewing top games on older Nintendo consoles in your blog, I'm guessing you have a lot of love for that generation?

Well as previously stated I started with the NES days and having owned an NES, SNES, N64 and Gamecube growing up, I have a deep seated love for Nintendo and although they haven't been as great as they used to be, I'll always have a spot in my heart for them. It's just not Nintendo either as I also owned a Sega Genesis so I love Sonic just as much as Mario. Even though I play more current gen games than past gen games, they'll always be a part of me.
If you could only play one game for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Even though I said Super Mario Brothers 3 was my favorite game, this is actually a toss up between SMB3 and Mega Man X, another game that I played a lot of as a kid. I rented MMX so often as a kid that even today I know the game like the back of my hand and can easily beat it within 35 minutes and was the first game I tried to speedrun. I'd have no problems playing MMX over and over and over again.
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 on the east coast and live in Raleigh, North Carolina. I've lived here for 6 years but have lived in North Carolina for the majority of my life though I was born in Massachusetts. There are plenty of sites to see if you ever visit Raleigh. If you're of age, there are plenty of breweries to visit and downtown Raleigh is always a great place to just find new places to eat. There are also plenty of concerts that happen downtown and of course tree big things Raleigh is known for: The NC State Fair, the Krispy Kreme Challenge and of course, the Carolina Hurricanes.

If I had to pick a type of game to be set here though, I think considering how large Raleigh is and how many things there are to explore, I would definitely make a Sandbox type of game based off of Raleigh as you can easily spend hours upon hours finding new places and events.
Any games you regret putting on your gamertag?

One game that comes to mind is Quake 4. I loved Quake growing up and saw it on sale for $3 so I said screw it, why not. Little did I know how much grinding would be involved since I bought it before I discovered TA so now I have a game I'll never finish sitting on my games list but I've come to terms with it!
What is your proudest Xbox achievement, and why?

I think my proudest achievement is:

Devil May Cry 4A Throne of GloryThe A Throne of Glory achievement in Devil May Cry 4 worth 272 pointsThis is a secret achievement. You must unlock this achievement tofind out more about it.

Considering I had to play through all of the difficulties, including the famous Dante Must Die mode and the new Hell and Hell mode, which includes you dying in one hit while the enemies have Hard mode health, it put my skills to the test on the game and I was really happy when I finished Hell and Hell and unlocked the achievement. But now I get to do it all over again on Devil May Cry 4 Special Edition.
Do you have a favourite – one you found particularly enjoyable?

Silent Hill HD CollectionWarp SpeedThe Warp Speed achievement in Silent Hill HD Collection worth 50 pointsComplete SH2 in 3 hours or less.

...[This] was one of my favorite ones to do. The achievement is beating Silent Hill 2 in under 3 hours and since it's one of my Top 5 games of all time, it was so fun just playing through it again for the first time in ages and just remembering everything about the game as I played through it. Rushing through the game didn't feel like a chore at all and it was very enjoyable.
Which 100% completion are you most proud of, and why?

F.E.A.R. 2: Project Origin definitely comes to mind. Considering how many people have completed it and how long it took, being able to endure all the boredom from capturing points just made it at least a little worthwhile. Plus I met some decent people while boosting on there. Be warned though, if you're in it for the long haul in this game, make sure to have a laptop or phone nearby to watch movies on while you grind this boring multiplayer portion of the game.
Do you have any particular gaming pet peeves?

I absolutely despise generally rude people on XBL. If I do play online, I only use my headset when I'm playing with friends and we play in a party so that we can't hear outside people running their mouths. If I ever do play online by myself, I just mute everyone else because I can't stand general rudeness online like that.
What is your favourite aspect of gaming, or being a gamer? What keeps you playing?

I think sharing the experience with friends is a big thing but one of my favorite parts of gaming is just escaping from the real world after a long day at work, being able to just live in another world where there are no rules and I have as many tries as I want to fix any mistakes I make. Being able to experience new games and their worlds, systems and gameplay just keeps it fresh for me.
What upcoming game are you most looking forward to?

I'm looking forward to South Park: The Fractured but Whole the most since South Park: The Stick of Truth (Xbox 360) was one of my favorite games the year it came out. I'm also looking forward to The Walking Dead: Season Three as the first two games were just amazing.
What game(s) are you currently playing? How are you finding it?

I'm currently playing through Devil May Cry 4 Special Edition trying to get as many achievements as I can get. The DmC series is one of my favorites and I enjoyed DMC4 on the 360 and since the SE was on sale during this past summer sale, I said "Screw it, I loved it, and unlocking a new batch of achievements will make it fresh for me" so I've been focusing on that when I can.
Now, let's put you in a game. What would your character build be? What skills would you have?

Oh man, and I thought the other questions were tough. I like to think I'd have an all around build. In the real world, I have a decent amount of strength, charisma, agility, dexterity and intelligence and I think it's evenly rounded out without one attribute outweighing the other. As for skills, I like to think I'd have a fair balance of healing and offensive skills. I like to think that since I'm often there for other people and like helping other people, and at the same time I'm able to fend and stand up for myself with no problems and don't hesitate to have anyones back if they need it.
You can bring along one weapon and one character from another game to help you out. What are your choices and why?

Well for the character to help me, I would probably pick Dante and his Rebellion. I mean having a half-demon, half-human on your side to help out with anything, I think that would be a good gig to have. Plus having someone who's not serious all the time with a loose sarcastic sense of humor should keep things light-hearted! As for weapons, I would probably have a Gunblade. Double the damage with a sword and a gun makes sense to have.
What enemy or boss would you really hope to avoid?

Finally an easy answer. I would pretty much avoid anything from the Resident Evil Series. I mean really, playing Resident Evil 3 as a kid and having Nemesis stalk you throughout the game and popping out of nowhere constantly and is tough as nails? Yeah, no thank you.
Any characters you would like seen thrown into video game hell?

Hmm... honestly I don't have too many that come to mind but maybe if I had to pick one, Connor from Assassin's Creed III. I just couldn't stand him at all. Or maybe Tidus from Final Fantasy X for being a little whiny brat the entire game?
Apart from infinite lives, what gameplay feature do you wish you could make use of in real life?

Exploration on a whim. It's on my bucket list to do some extensive traveling in the future and if I could just do it on a whim like I could in a video game, I would take full advantage of it!
Anywhere in particular you'd want to visit, if you suddenly developed the power of fast-travel?

Italy is definitely on the top of my list! Rome, Venice, pretty much all of the big cities and sites! I've also wanted to do a cross country trip within the United States one day as well and since I took some German classes in college, I wouldn't mind visiting countries such as Germany and Austria! Honestly the list is just too long to name all the places I really want to visit.
Do you prefer single player or multi-player?

It really depends on the game. If it's a game where I can play with four to six friends, I'll play multiplayer occasionally but overall I like to just play single player campaigns and just unwind from a long day.
Do you have a favorite group of friends you like to play with in multi-player? If so, how did you meet?

I remember when I used to do a lot of gaming sessions, I would play with a certain group of people depending on the game. I remember my very first serious boosting session was for Lost Planet: Extreme Condition and my boosting partners were Frizbog and lX VAULT Xl (Who is now iWantEllenPage) and we had a blast grinding our way to Level 50 even though we were bored most of the time. Then my next biggest boosting session was Gears of War, followed by Left 4 Dead 2, in which I met CHERRY CHEERIOS, InjuryProne19 and Evil Genie (News Team, Assemble!) and then met a few other boosters such as OneBigBdArtemis during F.E.A.R. 2 boosting. A big shoutout to InjuryProne though for living up to his name and having every special infected attack him in Left 4 Dead 2 which ensured our safety.
Any particularly memorable online experiences – good or bad?

Well I know in Lost Planet, Frizbog, Vault and I would just try to talk as much crap as we could during the boring grind to Level 50, and then during Gears of War boosting, I met a lot of people who I got along really well with and we managed to make getting to 10,000 kills a bit more tolerable. And for Left 4 Dead 2, with as much raging as we did trying to complete everything on Expert, we all had many laughs as well when InjuryProne would be snatched out of nowhere by a Hunter or a Smoker.
If you could have a gaming session with anyone in the world, who would it be and why?

Probably my best friend from childhood. We grew up playing games in our living rooms and I think being able to connect over XBL and just have the fun we had in our childhood while playing multiplayer games would be something I would really enjoy.
Outside of games, what are your other media habits? Do you have favourite books, TV series, movies or podcasts?

I enjoy reading in my downtime from time to time and I also enjoy watching Hulu and Netflix. I recently started watching Brooklyn Nine Nine, which is absolutely hilarious, but I also stick to some of my favorites such as South Park, Bob's Burgers and It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia.
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?

Assassin's Creed III. The Ezio era of the Assassins Creed Series were really fun to me, especially II and Brotherhood, so naturally I was really hyped when III was announced. I just couldn't get into it and it felt like I was forcing myself to play it before I came to the conclusion that it was a pretty mediocre game.

Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare (Xbox 360) was a game I didn't have any expectations for but after renting it from Gamefly, I was pleasantly surprised with how fun the game was and I really did think it was one of the better CoD games since Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare.
Completely agree about AC III. Such a shame! Tell us about your gaming set-up.

Obviously my set up isn't as advanced as others or as fancy but I grew up in a household that didn't need much to be happy and that carried over to my adulthood. All I need is a working TV and a place to put my One/360 and I'm happy with it, which is the case in this picture; a simple TV and something to put my One on.
Pistol's Setup

The same goes for my gaming set up but to be fair, I really haven't gotten around to buying a new shelf for my games and most are still in the boxes I brought with me when I moved into my apartment.
Pistol game collection

How do you primarily use TA? (Tracking, walkthroughs, solutions, sessions?)

I mostly used it at first for gaming sessions and solutions but now I mostly just use it for walkthroughs and solutions. I'm glad we've had so many people volunteer their time on this site to help others such as myself!
How has your gaming changed or evolved since coming to TA?

To be honest I wasn't much of an achievement hunter before registering on TA but with gaming sessions and solutions on how to get achievements easier, I kind of became more of an achievement hunter than I was before.
What do you like about TA? Anything you would change?

I just love the community in general and how friendly everyone is and I love the time that the staff puts in for articles and opinion pieces. It's always great to play games with like minded people and still getting up-to-date news and watching the website evolve from where it was when I joined back in 2011, it's just been a great trip.
How did you learn about TA? Have you signed up any friends to the website?

I just randomly found it one day while browsing through gaming websites. I don't remember exactly who linked it but I clicked it and saw that you can play with other games looking for the same achievements and wanting to play the same games and I was sold at that moment. Funny enough I didn't sign any friends up but my downstairs neighbor is a part of the TA community.
Have you made friends here?

I've made plenty of friends on here and I'm glad to have met them as we've gone through a lot on here and I'm looking forward to playing more games with them in the future.
Imagine your perfect game, tailor-made just for you. What would it be like?

This is another really hard question to answer as I'd want something that combines everything I like. An open world, platforming, action, RPG based game. But I'm not sure if a game like that exists right now and I'm not sure how easy it would be to make one. The closest I can think of is Borderlands Series and The Elder Scrolls Series at the moment.
What kind of achievements do you like to see in a new list? Any common achievement types that you find especially irritating?

I just like achievements that make you go out of your way but aren't too frustrating to get, such as sidequest based achievements as it allows me to explore more of the game and learn more about certain characters. Online achievements, such as 'Get to level XX' and collectible achievements are ones that I find especially annoying, though. Wolfenstein for the 360 and all its collectibles sticks out in my mind.
Do you have a “claim to fame” in gaming? If so, what is it?

Claim to fame? Not really. I'm not that great at gaming, haha.

Lightning Round

Favorite Xbox game?

Toss up between Assassin's Creed II and South Park: The Stick of Truth
Favorite non-Xbox game?

Outside of Super Mario Brothers 3 since I don't want to be repetitive, I'll say Shadow Hearts.
Least favorite game?

Superman 64 (Yes, I unfortunately owned this before)
Favorite game developer?

Square Enix
Favorite game weapon?

Best boss battle?

Final Vergil fight in Devil May Cry 3
Worst boss battle?

Emerald Weapon in Final Fantasy VII (least favorite, at least)
Favorite game character?

Favorite game ending?

Lufia II: Rise of the Sinistrals
Most hated game ending?

This is hard for me to say since I really liked the game, but Final Fantasy X. Mostly because it led to the train wreck that was Final Fantasy X-2.
Favorite game world?

Stillwater from the Saints Row Series
Favorite game music?

Final Fantasy IX
Most emotional video game moment?

Beating Lufia II: Rise of the Sinistrals for the first time. Probably the first time I got teary-eyed during a video game ending as a kid.
Game that shouldn’t have had a sequel?

Final Fantasy X
I should have seen that one coming... Game you wish you'd never played?

Guilty pleasure game?

Non-Xbox game you’d love to have achievements in?

Shadow Hearts

End of Lightning Round

Is there anything in particular you want the TA community to know about you?

Not really. I'm just a simple, laid back guy who just enjoys his games and enjoys his life as much. I'm more than happy to answer any questions that people have about me though.
Is there anything I haven’t asked that you want to talk about?

Not really but if you have any more questions I'm more than happy to answer them.
Any shout-outs you want to make before we go?

Just some of the people I mentioned before. My very first serious boosting partners, Frizbog and iWantEllenPage as well as CHERRY CHEERIOS, InjuryProne19, Evil Genie, OneBigBdArtemis and anyone I boosted Gears of War and F.E.A.R. 2 and part of Quake 4 with!
That's a wrap! Thanks Pistol for your time. Now I know who to turn to when I get to the Devil May Cry portion of my back catalogue...

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 thought Connor was a rubbish protagonist.
Sam Quirke
Written by Sam Quirke
Sam has been gaming long enough to know the pain of a failed DOS install on the fifth floppy disc. As well as writing news, he also looks after our Community Interviews. Send him a PM if you are interested!