Some things on Sunday are traditional. Doing nothing but play games, eating a massive Sunday roast, and taking some time to read the latest TA Community Interview. This week I’m talking to omgeezus
at the request of numerous nominations for her that have landed in my inbox, along with a self nomination. A perfect match timing wise!
Let’s learn a little more about the girl behind the tag...
____________________________________D: Hi omgeezus! So, the community spoke and the general gist of it was ‘MOAR G1rL G4merz!’. Well, perhaps not quite like that, but you get the idea. After receiving nominations with your name attached here we are! Thanks for taking the time to speak to me!
O: Thank you for the opportunity! I’ve been pretty excited about bringing in my version of girlish notions (or lack thereof) to the TA community!D: So the Gamertag has always confused me a little bit. How do we pronounce that? O.M.G - eezus? Oh my Geezus? I’ve never been able to quite get my head around it.
O: O.M.Geezus, but the nickname I’ve adopted over the past few years is “zus”. It’s somewhat less confusing, both when spoken as well as when typed out. Ever since creating this Gamertag, I’ve heard some really great pronunciations of it that I never could have imagined. D: And is it an original creation, or inspired by something?
O: It mostly came from a string of inside jokes I had with some of my friends at the time I made it, and it really fit what I was looking for at the time. I wanted to go with a GT that was gender neutral because something I wanted to get away from was people instantly knowing that I was female based on my GT. These days that wouldn’t matter to me as much, but when I first started gaming online, it felt like I had a target on my back the second people I was playing against in Halo 2
or Call of Duty 2
realized that I was a female. By no means is that a knock on gamertags that do indicate that someone is a male/female, but that’s just not my style. D: And where in the world landed this week?
O: The Punchline of the United States – New Jersey!D: The punchline of the US eh? What are the highlights of New Jersey?
O: Well the highlights of New Jersey would be…well…We’re between two great cities for partying, and if I partied, that would probably make a difference in my life.
I’m actually a pretty big fan of NJ. We have a pretty wide variety of things to do between the cities (New York City, Philadelphia, Atlantic City and Washington DC) and the shore. Fortunately, I’m in a good spot where I can travel virtually any of those places by a quick drive or by train. We also have loads of bars, which often times is where I am anytime there’s a big sporting event on or whenever I can stir up something to celebrate.D: When we was arranging this CI through PM, you told me you’re ‘huge’ on American Football. You and the American sector of the community will have to excuse my ignorance, but do New Jersey have an American Football team, or teams?
O: Well, we kind of (but not really) have two American Football teams. The New York Giants (my boys) and the New York Jets both physically play their home games in New Jersey, but do not actually belong to us. In the NHL we have the Devils and in the NBA we have the Nets (although they’ll be moving to Brooklyn, NY within the next few years).
American Football has been a huge part of my entire life. I grew up watching football every Sunday with my dad, and during football season, that’s what we still do. We always buy the same hoagies, sit in the same chairs, watch football and talk stats all day. My mom will sit in with us because she enjoys being together with us, but she mostly just listens and repeats when we yell at the TV.
Every year, my dad and I go to the Giants/Cowboys game, because (as with many fans), it’s our deepest rivalry in the league. We go to the stadium hours ahead of time and usually end up tailgating with complete strangers. I’ve been known to skip out on social outings to stay home and watch football with my family. When the Giants went up against the undefeated New England Patriots in the Super Bowl a few years ago, I skipped out on a party my boyfriend at the time wanted me to go to and stayed home to watch It with my dad. I’ve never doubted that decision, because it made our Super Bowl win that year mean even more to me. Plus, that boyfriend totally sucked.D: Is American Football your only sport? Are there any others you follow closely?
O: I don’t follow any other sport overall as closely as I follow American Football. American Football is the only sport that I can actually talk about not only my team, but the entire league. Besides the New York Giants, I’m a die-hard Boston Celtics fan of the NBA, a Baltimore Orioles fan in the MLB (even though I barely follow baseball), and in regards to REAL football, I’m a fan of Arsenal. D: Does the sports fan in you spill over into the world of Xbox 360 titles?
O: In some areas it does. I love American Football games, but I find that I enjoyed the earlier Madden
games (06-09) and the NCAA games much more than I do the newer Madden
games. Also, I don’t really enjoy baseball games, but I love basketball games.
More accurately, I like sports games that have a fun, involved create-a-player mode. When there’s a game with achievements based on a create-a-player mode, I will waste hours trying to get those achievements…Even if I end up giving up on them. D: Looking at your Gamercard though, it’s hard to find a game which doesn’t appear in your history though! You’ve played a whopping 370+ games!
O: I think it’d be fair to say that I tend to impulsively start new games…I mean, come on…Someone has to play them! D: At the time of writing this, I’ve worked out your average number of achievement’s earned per game is around eleven, as shown by your completion ranking of 33%. I take it you just like to try pretty much everything you can get your hands on!
O: I’ve always had a bit of a bad habit with buying pretty much any game that sounds remotely interesting to me – and for a while, my standards weren’t even THAT high. About halfway through last summer, I had built up a collection of 80 games (retail and arcade) that I had bought but never started. At that point, I chose to take the good ol’ Bean Dive, and after about 7 days, I had gotten at least one achievement in each game. Actually, this past week, I just reclaimed my original completion percentage from prior to the Bean Dive.
Unfortunately, old habits DO die hard, and I’m already back up to about 30 unplayed games or so…And that’s along with having started a ton of games while those piled back up. At least now I’m moderately more selective with my purchases!D: Thirty games sitting ready to be played can’t be cheap! Do you trade in games you’ve finished with, or do you like to keep hold of all of your titles?
O: Although a few years ago I did trade in around 100 games, I typically don’t trade in many games. Currently, my total collection is somewhere around 300 games total.D: And the games you’ve started but not unlocked many achievements for, do you have the intention of picking these up at a later date? I notice your ‘To Do’ list is stacked full of Fable II achievements for example.
O: I’d love to believe that I’m going to go back and finish games I’ve started previously, or at least clean them up. Fable II
, Assassin's Creed
. Those are games that I really want to go back and work on and just haven’t gotten myself to do it. They’re both games with tons of collectibles – and collectibles are the bane of my gaming existence.D: Looking at your Completion Gamer Goal of 95% I think you’ve a heck of a long road ahead of you!
O: What can I say, I’m a hardcore completionist! A few months ago, several of my friends set goals for 95%, so I thought I’d take the shot, too. I’ve been working on completing games that I’ve started at one point or another, and I’ve also been working on getting more done in games that I insist on starting in the meantime. D: Scrolling down that list of Gamer Goals I see several failed attempts to polish off Final Fantasy XIII! Did you ever manage that elusive goal!
O: That’s one that still kills me now. To answer your question, no, not yet…While going for that goal, I was using an Excel sheet to keep track of equipment for
Went through about 75% of the accessories, my laptop crashed and I lost everything on the hard drive – including the list of accessories I had already collected, dismantled, sold, etc. I still have the save on my console to finish one day, but I haven’t gotten my heart back into that one yet.D: Can you provide us with some shots of this gaming stash of yours and your Xbox setup?
O: Yes, I have two set-ups and three Xboxs…The two set-ups is because when I went to set up my Kinect, I discovered that my room doesn’t have enough floor space for it to work correctly…And there are only so many times you can attempt Dance Central
while standing on your bed.
The Slim is the one I primarily use, and occasionally I use the all black Elite system. My LE Call of Duty
system was defective out of the box, and the serial number isn’t in Microsoft’s database. My luck…but that cuddly puppy IS part of my set-up, and her name is Athena.
The pictures of my collection has most of my games, but is missing a few. If a game has a special/limited edition at launch, I usually buy it. Sometimes, these come in larger packages that don’t fit on regular sized shelves…For instance, Fable III
and BioShock 2 (Xbox 360)
.D: Moving backwards in time from the Xbox generation, being twenty two years old, am I right in saying that you’re a Mario generation girl? Did you enjoy games from an early age?
O: I’m the youngest of four kids, so by the time I was born, we already had (or just got) the NES. After that was the Sega Genesis, then the N64. So, yeah, I’ve been around video games my entire life. I loved playing the Sonic
games on the Sega Genesis and tons of different games on the N64 (Goldeneye
in particular). After that was my PS2, and then a few years later I started my first job – Gamestop – a few months before the 360 came out, so I got it at launch. So yeah, I’ve been into games from an early age and just haven’t stopped since.D: What is your first recollection of experiencing a truly addictive game?
O: I remember when I was in fourth or fifth grade, I watched my oldest sister’s boyfriend play through Final Fantasy VII
, and that’s what made me want a Playstation so badly. When I got my Playstation 2 a few months later, I picked up two games – Final Fantasy VII
and Final Fantasy VIII
. Since I’d already watched all of Final Fantasy VII
, I decided to play Final Fantasy VIII
first. The amount of time I put into that game is unbelievable. I still go back and play through that game, and I know it like the back of my hand. D: And of the ‘contemporary games’ which one do you feel has been the most addictive since? I think the last time I became utterly and totally addicted to a game was the original ‘The Sims’ on the PC. I was unbelievably absorbed in a game which has almost spiralled out of control since. Oh, and Rollercoaster Tycoon. Damn that game was a whole lot of fun!
O: While I have lost days of my life to the original Sims
, there are three games that I have been even more addicted to than that: The Sims 2
, World of Warcraft
and pretty much any Katamari
game. Those along with Final Fantasy VII
and Final Fantasy VIII
have always been the games that have really cause me to become fixated on playing them for extended periods of time.D: Have you ever been into PC gaming much? I find I used to enjoy top down titles, such as Sim City or the Command and Conquer series, and of course the aforementioned Rollercoaster Tycoon, but I’ve not touched a PC game in years now.
O: I’ve been into it on and off. The only MMO I’ve ever been into is World of Warcraft
, but when I play that, I don’t leave my computer for ridiculous amounts of time (say, 10-12 hours…Granted, I frequently do that on my 360). Besides that, the Sims
games are really the only other PC games that have managed to hold my attention.D: And are you a one console girl, or do you supplement your Xbox with other devices and their exclusive titles?
O: I also own a Wii and PS3, but I barely touch them. I use my PS3 for watching blu-ray movies and playing PS1 games more than anything else, and the most recent time I used my Wii I was downloading older games off their marketplace. I guess that, in regards to other consoles, I’m a bit stuck in the past.D: Do you think we’ll ever see a shift in the gaming industry which allows cross platform multiplayer?
O: With an exception of games that span Xbox and PC, I doubt it. The compatibility in different online services would create an issue from the start, plus I doubt Microsoft, Sony or Nintendo would want to risk any of their current users to jump ship for any given reason. While a majority of my friends (the real-life ones) play on PS3, I have no interest solely because I want to get achievements when I play. It would be cool to play with them sometimes, but I don’t think the demand for cross platform multiplayer is high enough for the manufacturers to work together on it.D: Are you a big aficionado of online gaming or is it something you don’t tend to spend too much time on?
O: Often times, online gaming is hit-or-miss with me. Games like Halo: Reach
, Halo 3
and Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood (Xbox 360)
are great online. While sometimes I get frustrated with them, I really do enjoy them. On the other hand, other games I genuinely hate online (best example – anything from the Call of Duty
series). I’m terrible at them, and I’ve never been able to improve. Many fighting games, such as the Street Fighter
series, irritate me, too.
In regards to co-op gaming, I’ve started to enjoy that more than I used to. I feel badly for the people I do co-op with considering I’m not exactly great at most games. I have the tendency to get lost, die frequently or fall asleep. D: And whenever we bring up the topic of online games, inevitably I have to ask. Online achievements? Love them, or hate them?
O: Often times, I absolutely hate them. Because I play so many games, I’m not particularly good at very many. I also lack the patience needed to actually get good at any games. I know that may sound like a cop-out considering how many people are good at so many games, but for me, it just doesn’t seem to work. I don’t have a problem with achievements that are boostable, because, well, if I don’t get something that I can get through boosting, then I’m the one to blame.
My other major issue with online achievements is the closure of servers by companies like EA. If a developer is going to designate online achievements, they shouldn’t screw over the gamers who buy their games. Realistically, with my spending habits I’ll never boycott buying any games, but it really isn’t fair to block people from getting something they put in the game. It’s a design flaw they developers seem to ignore. I would understand closing some servers due to low activity, but they should keep at least some open.
Finally, the other issue with online achievements is poor online gameplay, such as Quake 4
. Servers should be properly maintained for games with online achievements (actually, online gameplay in general) and when there are issues, they should be recognized and patched. Many companies seem to think along the lines of “we put multiplayer in like you asked…oh, we didn’t know you meant GOOD multiplayer!”
When it comes to co-op, I prefer doing that online. Having said that, I really hate achievements that are based on co-op, because I would much rather do something on my own. I’d rather do something on my own to spare others from my frustration, frequent napping and lesser mad skillz.D: In these interviews I’ve seen some brilliant suggestions at how to tackle DLC achievements and online achievements. My favourite was the suggested ‘star system’ for DLC, whereby each game would have a possible one thousand Gamerscore, and each DLC pack would count as an additional star. Where do you feel there’s room for improvement, if at all? If you had creative control what might you change?
O: For the most part, I have no issue with the DLC achievements or the current system. One thing that SHOULD change is that (unless there is some amazing reason) DLC should not be discontinued on the marketplace. I feel like I’m penalized in some cases because I didn’t buy the DLC in time, now I have to go buy another copy of a game I already have because they pulled it for virtually no reason? No thanks. Oh wait…That would be another game to put on my shelves…D: What achievement that you’ve unlocked are you most proud of?
I spent hours on this achievement. When I finally got it, I practically cheered. It’s one of the toughest achievements I’ve ever gotten, and it took legitimate skill (to a degree) as opposed to boosting or just beating a storyline. I have tons of achievements I’m happy about, but this one made me feel the most accomplished of all of them.D: And of all the games you’ve played, which one do you think has the most creative and well implemented achievement list?
O: Besides Avatar: The Last Airbender: The Burning Earth
? But seriously, it’s a toss-up between Batman: Arkham Asylum (Xbox 360)
, Assassin's Creed II (Xbox 360)
, Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood (Xbox 360)
or Halo 3
. What they all have in common is a balance between storyline, random tasks and collectibles. Also, the collectibles in these games either add to the storyline in each game or ultimately unlock something else. Halo 3
also has fun, but challenging, online achievements. D: How about a game whose achievement list has made you tear your hear out and rage quit? Personally I loathe the dreaded four player band achievements we saw creep into every music game out there.
O: Most music games have that effect on me due to the four-player achievements or due to the seemingly impossible, insanely difficult skill based achievements. Another would be Gears of War 2
or Gears of War
because, while they are great games, I do not enjoy it online and find it rather aggravating.D: As we begin to enter the final questions of our interview, I’d like to finish by asking about the year ahead in games. What games have you the most excited ahead of their launch?
O: The game I am absolutely most excited about is Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
. Outside of Final Fantasy, the Elder Scrolls series is my favorite set of RPGs. I’ve been waiting years for this game, and I’m very excited about the gameplay changes they’re making as well as the new story.
Another game I’m looking forward to is L.A. Noire
. It presents a new, innovative kind of gameplay and plot. I always look forward to games that break away from the norm. That’s why I love other innovative games, such as My Horse and Me 2
and Hannah Montana The Movie
. D: Do you think there’s enough originality in the title launches lined up?
O: This year could be great or it could absolutely bomb. There are a lot of sequels on the horizon, and that isn’t always the best thing. Games that don’t really break away from themselves, or break away too much, really aren’t enjoyable. When a sequel is following a great game, it has big shoes to fill, but if it’s just a replication it feels like it’s tarnished whatever it comes after.
I wish there were more original titles coming out than just sequels. I’m a bit concerned that this year may end up being dangerously overshadowed by sequels that under deliver. D: And closer to ‘home’, after that last batch of great updates to TA, what’s next for the website? It’s seemingly unstoppable, but what would you like to see incorporated into the site?
O: The one thing I would absolutely love is a new type of gamer goal – competing to reach a certain goal first. For example, challenge another gamer to reach 100k TA Score first, or challenge another gamer to complete Final Fantasy XIII
first. Then, when someone challenges you, you get an “Challenge Invite” in your inbox (this would prevent people from being added into random, unwanted challenges that they have no interest in). Then you accept and achieve away!D: And finally, as always thanks for your time, but before you go, here’s your chance to have a spot on the front page to get across any message you want! Any shout outs you’d like to make?
O: Thanks to everyone for taking the time to read this, and if anyone sees something in my games they’d like to boost or do co-op one, feel free to shoot me a message on here or over Live!
Thanks once again to omgeezus for the chance to conduct this community interview at the hands of the communities nominations! It's been another interesting read and a pleasure to write.
Nominations for next weeks interview are of course, so get nominating your friends, boosting partners, favourite bloggers or even yourself! Details below as usual!
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