Another week over and with it another chance to look upon our community for more interesting tales from the world of gaming and beyond. This Sunday I’ll be speaking to Selkirk16
and finding out a little bit more about the chap behind the tag. In a quick rundown of our latest candidate, Selkirk16 is thirty two, lives in Singapore and is a big fan of RPGs.
Are you sitting comfortably? Then we shall begin.
____________________________________DavieMarshall: Hi Selkirk, and thanks for being with us for this Community Interview!
Selkirk16: Hi Davie! Thanks for having me, it's great to be here!D: First questions first as always. The Gamertag, any stories behind it?
S: I’m a big fan of G.I. Joe and one of my favourite Joes is Outback. His surname is Selkirk, but since that Gamertag was already taken, I added 16 , which is the jersey number of my favourite footballer Roy Keane.D: So you’re our first interviewee from Singapore. Whereabouts in Singapore do you live and work?
S: I think I’m the first to be featured from Asia! I live in Southwest Singapore and work is twenty minutes away. Singapore is really small compared to other countries so you can get from one end of the island to the other in an hour by car if traffic is smooth.D: And what line of work are you in? Does it keep you far too busy?
S: I work in advertising as a copywriter. Let’s just say my job keeps me away from my Xbox far longer than I’d like! But I love my job, it’s more like a full-time hobby to me, so I’m not complaining too much!D: Advertising eh? Can you namedrop any big companies who’ve you worked with or for?
S: I’ve worked on brands like Pepsi, Mercedes-Benz, Opel, Drypers, Panasonic, Sony and Microsoft, to name a few.D: Sony and Microsoft in the same portfolio? Brilliant!
S: Hopefully I’ll get the chance to work on a game account in future. We all have dreams!D: If anyone wants to take a look at Selkirk's advertising work click here to see his off site blog.
Now, feel free to correct me, but I’m informed by Google that the ‘official’ languages of Singapore are English, Malay, Chinese and Tamil. Working in advertising in a bilingual country, I would imagine different requirements come up now and then. Do you speak any languages in addition to English?
S: Malay is officially our national language, but English is our working language. Chinese is my second language, so yea, I’ve written some Chinese headlines before, though that’s considered an extra skill rather than a requirement. 99% of the time I’m working in English. I also picked up elementary Japanese in school to help me with the Japanese RPGs like Dragon Quest
and Final Fantasy
! D: And are you a resident of Singapore from birth?
S: Yup!D: You also said in your application that you’re married. Referring to last week’s Community Interview, did you have an Xbox shaped-cake at your wedding!
S: Haha no but I had a good chuckle when I saw that. Maybe someone will hold a real-life Fable
wedding some day?D: How long have you guys been married?
S: Just under a year.D: Congratulations from TA, and I believe you took a honeymoon last year? Where did you go?
S: Yes we went to Europe – Italy, Switzerland and France. Europe was hit by heavy snow before and after our trip, so we were very lucky with our timing!
The funny thing was, we visited some cathedrals while we were in the Vatican, Pisa, Florence and Milan, and it was amazing how they looked so familiar to me from playing Assassin's Creed II (Xbox 360)
. I couldn’t help pointing out to my wife, “Look, that’s where I climbed up to get to that secret Assassin’s Seal in the game!”D: A recent status update of yours on TA simply read, “Resolution: More Wife Time, Less Game Time!”. Is she anti-gaming? Most of them are!
S: Haha no she’s been great about it in fact. Sometimes she’ll even tell me to go play on my Xbox when she has to work at home. But I get guilty and feel I’m playing too much sometimes, so the status is something to remind myself.D: So how much time is spent on gaming during an average week?
S: Nowadays it’s an average of two hours on weekdays and maybe another five to seven over the weekend. D: You told me you’re big on RPGs, specifically The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion and Dragon Age: Origins. Are you spinning any other RPGs in the console at the moment?
S: As a huge D&D fan, I found Oblivion
and Dragon Age
fantastic in every way. I completed Tales of Vesperia
recently and was planning to start Resonance of Fate
before all the Red Dead Redemption
DLCs went on sale so I’m playing that now! I’m working on getting to Lvl 50 on multi-player and looking to Gold Medal all the advanced co-op missions to 100% the game. Anyone out there who want to help with the advanced missions? D: And will you be placing a pre-order on Elder Scrolls: Skyrim? (I bet this is a daft question!)
S: Haha, I suspect I probably will! I don’t usually pre-order games as I still have way too many unplayed ones to get through. My brother is a massive game hoarder, and I only started on the 360 in 2009, so there’re games like BioShock (Xbox 360)
, Dead Rising (Xbox 360)
, Prototype (Xbox 360)
, Just Cause
, Brutal Legend
, Saints Row
and so on all waiting for their turn. The only pre-order I made so far is for Dragon Age II
, and I bought the Fable III
Limited Edition at launch. I’m kind of a sucker for bonus gear that don’t really make much of a difference, come to think about it.D: Looking back at your PM you said that you’re a Golden Axe fan (from the SEGA Mega Drive/Genesis) and this has brought you to playing titles such as Dynasty Warriors and Marvel: Ultimate Alliance (Xbox 360). How do you feel modern titles expand upon the ‘golden oldies’? It’s difficult to draw a direct comparison, but do you feel that the newer titles offer something more or do they lack in certain areas?
S: It’s like comparing Xavi to Platini – there’s no way you can reach a definite conclusion. On one hand, the newer titles have superior graphics, voice-acting, multi-player platforms and so much more. On the other hand, it’s hard to beat the golden oldies for their fun value and charm. While I’ve had incredible fun with AAA games like Mass Effect
, I can’t say I’ve enjoyed a game more than Dragon Quest IV
, Golden Axe
, The Legend of Zelda
, Contra/Delta Force
, or Captain Tsubasa
. Or maybe I’m just getting old! I’d like to know what young gamers who started from the 360/PS3 generation think. Let them play Super Mario Bros
. Would they find it rubbish or cowabungally fun like we did?D: 'Cowabungally' - It could catch on... Anyway you may help Sony advertise, but at least you spend your major gaming time on the Xbox 360, so all is forgiven! Can we get a snap of your setup?
S: Heh cheers no one’s perfect! D: A nice setup there. We've already mentioned the Mega Drive, but are there any other retro consoles in your gaming history?
S: I started playing video games from a young age, so over the years I’ve played on NES, SNES, Mega Drive, Sega Saturn, Game Boy, Game Cube, Xbox, Playstation and Playstation 2. Then I was enlisted in the Army, went to University after that, started working and getting heavily involved in voluntary work, so there was a period of eight years or so when I didn’t play on any game consoles, except Football Manager
on the PC. I’m making up for lost time now!D: But which one of the Mega Drive and SNES holds the fondest memories for you! Sonic or Mario, you have to choose!
S: I spent countless hours playing both, but I’d plump for Mario. Sonic has more style; Mario has greater stickability. D: Mario is a trooper! He’s survived endless new iterations of his games across numerous consoles and handhelds. I think we can both agree SEGA could have done more with Sonic with the quite frankly awful-to-average offerings on the Xbox 360.
S: I haven’t played Sonic on 360 yet so I can’t really comment. But I think the big challenge for successful brands moving forward with the times is, balancing what worked wonderfully before with innovations that’ll capture everyone’s imagination all over again. It’s a tricky call to make. Let’s say if Delta Force
came to the Xbox 360 ten years ago, would it be more of a Call of Duty
or a G.I. Joe
game? The obvious answer would be Call of Duty
, but G.I. Joe
shares closer roots with the original game. Without knowing how successful CoD would be, would you still go for its radically different engine at the risk of alienating your hardcore fans?D: Speaking of iconic characters, you told me that you’re into superhero games, particularly Spider-Man. Have you played Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions? I’ve heard mixed reviews of the game. The harshest of which seemed to come from zigs00 whose Twitter feed for that week was consumed with rage most of the time
S: I planned to get it but then looked at my game backlog and thought I’d complete those first. I really loved Spider-Man: Web of Shadows
though. It had the free-roaming web-slinging-through-the-city element, the witty Parker one-liners (his repartee with Kingpin must be the among the best gaming dialogue ever), and the moral choices you had to make just like Spidey in the comics. I read about one of the creators of Batman: Arkham Asylum (Xbox 360)
attributing the game’s success to staying true to the character’s DNA, and I guess that’s where Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions
ultimately fell short for some Spidey fans. D: If you’re into superhero games are you as excited as I am for the forthcoming Batman: Arkham City?
S: Of course! Especially as I don’t have to worry about multi-player screwing up my enjoyment of the game. With my limited gaming time, it’s not fun when your online FIFA teammate decides to score two own goals before dropping out of your match, for instance. I also can’t wait for X Men: Destiny
!D: And do you buy all of the games you play? Or do you rent them? I know in your PM you said your older brother buys a lot of games, do you manage to borrow a fair few from him!
S: I buy all my games, some of them used, and try to sell them after I’m done before their value drops too much. My brother worked near Houston for a few years and he picked up lots of games while he was there. There’s always an irresistible deal in USA! He’s too busy with work and his baby daughter to play much nowadays, so he left his Xbox 360 game collection – two boxes of it – with me. I think my completion ratio will drop to 1% if I did a bean dive haha. D: I know it’s happened to many of us before, and will happen to many more in the future, but you admitted to me that TA has converted you to an achievement whore.
S: Absolutely. I used to be content if I ended up with 75% of game achievements, but since I became a regular here I try to 100% every game I can. D: Which is the stat you lust after the most? Completion, TA score, ratio, out and out Gamerscore?
S: Probably completion, though TA score is nice as well. I try to keep my TA ratio above 1.5, but games like Borderlands
and the Dragon Age: Origins
DLCs really cause it to plunge, so I don’t obsess about it. D: And do you re-plan to pick up any of those games on your card which are missing some achievements?
S: I plan to 100% Star Wars: The Force Unleashed
after I’m done with Red Dead Redemption
, though I’ve sold most of the earlier games I played. I avoided the Dragon Age: Origins
DLCs as their reviews really stank, but I gave in when they went on sale just to complete the title.D: In your application, you said you’ve been using TA since its first year, but only registered in the second. Can you remember what convinced you to sign up? Was that before or after the ‘whore conversion’!
S: I signed up to get my own page and keep a record of my favourite gaming moments. And no, I only became a serious achievement whore one year ago! D: I noticed one quite bizarre and interesting bit of trivia on your TA profile. You signed up on 09/09/09 and 09:09am. How in the hell did you manage that!?
S: Haha I have absolutely no idea! My application took a few days to be approved so the whole thing was out of my hands really. Woo hoo I have a grand slam sign-up stat! D: Seeing as TA has converted you and made hot for those achievements, I take it that badly designed multiplayer achievements don’t sit too well with you?
S: Yeah the FIFA 09
10-vs-10 achievement was offside. There was this guy – before I found out about the TA gaming sessions – who organised 4 or 5 sessions and we just spent hours doing nothing waiting in the lobby, but with so many people involved you’re bound to have people dropping out or messing around. The closest we came was 10 vs. 9. He just gave up after that. Gears of War
was another one. Great game, enjoyed it thoroughly, but I didn’t even bother going for the multi-player grind feast when I played it.D: If there’s anything worse than dodgy multiplayer achievements, it’s unobtainable ones. I’ve had a couple of experiences with these in the FIFA series. Have you been caught out by any? It’s usually a sports title which is the culprit when it does happen.
S: NBA 2K10
really takes the biscuit for me. I couldn’t connect to the 2k servers since the first day I played so I missed out on a bunch of achievements that should have been Avatar-piss-easy to get. And now I find out the 2k servers for the game are closed without any prior notice given. For all we know, they could have taken the servers down long ago. This is the probably the last 2k game I’d ever play in a long, long time.Marvel: Ultimate Alliance (Xbox 360)
also deserves a dishonourable mention. The Villains pack DLC
is not available in Asia, so there’s no way I could get those achievements. Which is fine, I can live with that, just don’t include them in my achievement list! Duh?D: We always say that the best thing about TA is its community. The level of work put in to writing reviews, walkthroughs and solutions for the site is fantastic. You said to me that you want to help contribute more in the future, and you’ve already one review in place for Tales of Vesperia. It’s a great review very well written and equally well received. Do you think your strength lies in review writing?
S: Maybe it is, and I’m glad people enjoyed reading it. There are already many reviews out there though so I wouldn’t write one for the sake of it without having something fresh to offer.
For a community that loves achievements, I’m thinking it’d be fun to have game-specific articles or stories that give a nod to achievements, that only gamers would get. It’s like an inside joke. I enjoyed writing about my adventures on Fable III
and Red Dead Redemption
in my TA blog
, and that’s something I’m looking to do more of, to add fresh value to our enjoyment of games. Hopefully other gamers will be inspired to do the same!D: Do you think you have the patience to tackle any walkthroughs? That’s one thing I could never do.
S: I’m afraid not. It takes a colossal amount of effort and I’d rather spend the time playing more games. An Andre the Giant thumbs up to all the walkthrough writers in TA!D: How useful is TA to you when hunting down those achievements? I’d be lost without the guides myself.
S: Like some gamers here, I usually check out the achievement guides on xbox360a for an overview (that’s how many of us discovered TA) before I zoom in on specific achievement solutions in TA. I’ve been surprised by the quality of the guides here. They help me save lots of time, which I really appreciate.D: Well here’s hoping you manage to get as involved in the community as you want to and with this feature on the front page maybe this can speed the process along!
S: Thanks for the opportunity Davie!D: And so to start wrapping things up, have you anything you’d like to say for all the world to see!
S: My favourite Xbox 360 game is The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion
, but Lost Odyssey
comes a close second. It’s always nice to see developers trying something new like the way the stories/memories are presented in the game. I’m also curious to find out if I’m the only one here who hasn’t played a single Call of Duty
It’s great to see club football (soccer) gear for our avatars! So far there’s only Inter Milan, Juventus, PSG and Porto, but I’m really hoping more clubs can be featured in the near future. It makes money for MS, helps clubs build affinity with their fans, and lets gamers kit out their avatar in their favourite team colours, so I don’t see why not. We could even have avatar scarves and flags honouring our favourite teams or players.
You also mentioned the great TA community earlier, and I’d like to take the opportunity to thank some incredibly generous people I’ve met here:DaShAg
for helping me with the Dollcatcher achievement so I could finally 100% Fable II
one year after my last achievement.http://www.trueachievements.com/The+Disc+84.htm
for giving me extra weapons during our great Fable III
for being a great boosting partner for Red Dead Redemption
and Jack Gotti
along with Weerwolff
for co-ordinating the daunting Red Dead Redemption
Poker and Liar’s Dice 6-player sessions.
And finally a big thanks to all the administrators and contributors who make TA such a great place to be. We really appreciate your effort!
Thanks to Selkirk16 for taking the time to speak with me and for giving us another interesting read this weekend. If you think you'd like to be featured in a future spotlight be sure to send me a PM telling me why you think you'd make a good read and the kinds of tales you can share with us all. I'm all ears and eager to see what the community offers up!
We'll leave Selkirk to get back to clearing his monstrously long backlog of games he wishes to complete and finish on the usual note!
If you’d like to be featured in a future Community Interview, or would like to nominate a gamer on this site to be featured themselves, please send a PM to DavieMarshall
If you have any questions you’d like to be put to future interviewees, send me your Questions From The Community too!