TA Community Interview - kbg27

By Jonathan Barnes, 5 years ago
Community Interviews can be a lot of fun and a lot of stress. I always enjoy writing/editing them, but all of that fun comes with the stress of deadlines and the schedules of myself and others. Due to an unfortunate confluence of circumstances, this week's CI was left hanging, much like a bad action movie star. However, much like an action movie, a hero came to save the day. This hero is none other than Newshound extraordinaire, http://www.trueachievements.com/kbg27.htm who (like myself) has been 'hounding since last fall.

In true hero fashion, KBG stood up well to The Gamish Inquisition and is either stronger for it or slowly descending towards madness... like some other action stars.

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obj - There's a story behind every gamertag, what is yours? I'm assuming you're KGB field operative #27, stationed in the UK and have merely interchanged two letters to throw MI6 off of the scent.

KBG - My choice of gamertag is pretty simple really! It has absolutely nothing to do with the Russian Mafia, although fellow gamers have shouted KGB at me so many times in Live chat that I’ve often wondered whether I mis-spelt my ‘tag. On your second point… nor am I trying to avoid MI6, but more on that later. wink

You were right to a certain extent at least, in that my ‘tag is made up of two separate parts. k,b and g are my “real-life” initials, in THAT order.

As for the inclusion of 27… this is a number which has tons of good fortune attached to it for me personally. For example, my birthday falls on Feb 27th and I passed my driving test on July 27th. Obviously those two milestones happened years apart, but other important events have also occurred on the 27th of whatever month (far too many to mention!), so it seemed only right to include that number when trying to invent a unique ‘tag.

obj - I'll let it slide, but still suspect that you MIGHT have had 27 kills under your belt.

What (aside from those black ops assassination fees) pays the bills in the household?

KBG - Well, considering I still live with my parents I don’t have many bills to pay, to be honest! Don’t get me wrong, I definitely pay my way. Black Ops assassination fees don’t contribute to my income. Frankly, I’ve hardly played that title since snapping it up in a ridiculously cheap release-day offer last year! Here’s where my pounds and pennies come from:

I started my first crack at full-time employment in May this year. Unfortunately, the nature of my job means I can’t disclose much about it, other than to say that I work for the British Government. Do you remember that little-known Government department, made famous by a certain Mr. Bond, I mentioned in my first answer?! …Sorry, I couldn’t resist the tease!

Since I can’t give away much regarding my current work, how about some details on my intended career path? Last June, I graduated from the University of Stirling with a Honours degree in Accountancy. Basically, I hoped to train to become a Chartered Accountant, but that plan hasn’t yet come to fruition; however, since I’m only 23, there’s still plenty of time for that.

obj - A DOUBLE AGENT, I knew it! Rather than press the matter (and my own livelihood) we shall move on:

Where is home for you and, if I were to visit, what thing(s) would I have to do before I left, so as not to risk offending the delicate sensibilities of the local denizens?

KBG - I reside in a small town called Bo’ness in Scotland. There’s not much, other than basic amenities, here, but we are conveniently located within easy reach of both Glasgow and the capital city, Edinburgh.

If you were to visit, you would have to try Irn-Bru (Scotland’s other national drink) to avoid offending yours truly. In general, you couldn’t leave without trying haggis, another Scottish delight! So I’m told by many of my compatriots, although I can’t say I share their enthusiasm for it. You never know, you’ll maybe get the opportunity to make your own mind up one day. Finally, you must do all that in a kilt, but in no circumstances should you ridicule our national dress as “a skirt for men”. You’ve been warned!

obj - I would never make fun of Scotland and resent the implication! My lovely wife (of Clan Gordon descent) forbids me to make fun of the Scots... at least while she's around.

Speaking of wives, how's the home life? Do you have a girlfriend, spouse, concubine, malevolent spirit and/or fur-covered creature who's special and, if so, how do they feel about gaming?

KBG - At the moment, there’s no special other-half in my life. I’m sure one day I’ll meet that special someone who shares my love of gaming, as I’m a firm believer in “what’s for you, won’t go past you”. As I hinted earlier, I stick to that philosophy with both my intended career path and personal life. Basically, if something is supposed to happen for me, then it will; otherwise it was never meant to happen anyway. I’m cool with that!

obj - When you're not smuggling secrets to the Kremlin (seriously... we're watching you) at your day job or playing 360, what hobbies do you enjoy?

KBG - Now, I said already I have nothing to do with any bad-ass Russians… honest! Most of my free-time is spent writing news for TA. However, I do spend the remainder of that time doing further voluntary work. I get the opportunity to put my accounting skills to good use by helping to produce the accounting records for the local branch of the Retired Police Officers’ Association Scotland. Let’s face it, if no one wants to pay me for my skills, I may as well offer them to a good cause at no cost. I got involved in that additional voluntary work almost by accident, as my maternal grandfather is a member of said association.

I haven’t really taken to any sporting hobbies, since I had foot surgery almost a year ago. Despite that, it’s probably worth noting my achievements (not the popping kind!) as a swimmer. I competed as a member of my national squad for around 10 years, and I was the national record-holder in two events (100m Backstroke and 100m Breaststroke) towards the end of that decade of competitive action! Swimming is something I really should get back to, or at least I should give Michael Phelps: Push The Limit a go when it is released.

obj - Outside of gaming, what is your favorite form of media and your favorite artist within that media?

KBG - This probably would have been covered in my previous answer, but this question seemed tailor-made. Movies! Lots of them. My favourite actor has to be Denzel Washington, without a shadow of a doubt. The man is a living legend, in my opinion. He has such a great presence on screen, that I find every role he plays (and has played) utterly absorbing.

That’s in front of the cameras dealt with… now the important folk behind it. My favourite director is Christopher Nolan, simply because Inception blew my mind and Memento isn’t half bad either.

obj - I shall now deduct 50 points from your final score for not mentioning Batman Begins or The Dark Knight.

I know you're a big fan of football (nee' soccer); who is your club of choice and your favorite player?

KBG - I’m not a die-hard fan by any stretch of the imagination, but I do follow (Glasgow) Rangers FC. I don’t have a favourite player per se, but if I could pick anyone involved at the club as a “favourite” it would have to be… Walter Smith. A genuine legend, not just at Rangers FC, but throughout football in general.

obj - To start off the gaming portion of the Inquisition, could we get a picture of your setup(s) and a little explanation/detail behind them?

KBG - A 46" HDTV, my 250GB Slim console, Kinect and a Wii console (which doesn't get used much nowadays), in my all-new "entertainment room". You may also notice the Blu-ray player. There's a set of TB x41s, so I can enjoy my games/movies in peace!

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...and my laptop, which brings all the front-page headlines with my 'tag attached.

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obj - I'd like to take us on an Excellent Adventure with Bill & Ted to ask: What is your first gaming memory?

KBG - Unfortunately for me, I’m the only person in my family who really “digs” gaming. In some respects that’s probably why I only started taking gaming seriously in recent years; therefore my early gaming memories are very vague. I can’t really remember for definite, but I would probably have to say that I first started out playing Sonic.

obj - Let's imagine, for a moment, that the very first video game you ever played had achievements. What would your first gaming achievement have been?

KBG - “Five Gold Rings” in Sonic – Collect 5 gold rings.

obj - Your trophy case contains achievements from Halo 3: ODST, http://www.trueachievements.com/Gears-of-War-xbox-360.htm, http://www.trueachievements.com/Quantum-of-Solace-xbox-....htm and http://www.trueachievements.com/Assassins-Creed-xbox-360.htm ; with that in mind, who'd win in a free-for-all fight, The Rookie, Marcus Fenix, James Bond, or Altair?

KBG - Hands down… Altair! I would have chosen Ezio, but you didn’t give me that option. Nonetheless, I think Altair would be too stealthy and adaptable for the others to have any chance.

obj - I'll admit, I was tempted to throw Ezio in there, but that question could only handle so much bad ass...

Your achievement feed is getting pretty heavy with DiRT 3 achievements. Any initial assessments of the game and its merits?

KBG - I was tempted into buying Dirt 3, purely because the title has been developed by Codemasters. The same team behind F1 2010, another game which I’ve absolutely loved. The level of realism in their racing titles is unbelievable So much so that I can’t wait for F1 2011.

Due to my work commitments, I have only played the first season of the single-player campaign in Dirt 3. Overall, my first impressions are, as I expected, very good! I have been even more impressed with the extensive multiplayer game modes which are on offer. This surprised me, as I’m usually turned off my monotonous, “grindy” achievements. Hence, the achievements in Dirt 3 are a refreshing change, in my opinion.

obj - Your current, "best game" is http://www.trueachievements.com/Tom-Clancys-HAWX-xbox-3....htm, a game I've seen in the bargain bin several times in the past. In your opinion, is it worth a pick up?

KBG - Definitely! The graphics and sound are pretty decent, albeit not incredible, but that’s probably as you would expect from a bargain bin title. I bought H.A.W.X. on release day and I felt I got my money’s worth, even at full retail price. Granted, the single-player campaign was fairly easy and some of the multi-player achievements can prove glitchy. A little time and patience can get you some nice ratios at a very good price just now.

obj - A few years ago, an episode of South Park featured a storyline where Cartman froze himself so he didn't have to wait for the Nintendo Wii. Since that episode, I've begun using Cartman as an expression for not wanting to wait for something. What is the one upcoming game that you want to "Cartman" yourself for?

KBG - This is likely to seem like a strange answer, a bolt out of the blue even, but… Inception: The Video Game (remember my announcement article?). I loved the movie version so much, and I’m intrigued to see how similar ideas are brought to our favourite console. Hopefully, it won’t fall into the same pit as other movie tie-ins, which often fail to live up to expectations.

obj - I, for one, can't wait for the inevitable top-spinning mini-game! ...just kidding, of course.

What is your favorite game completion and, on the flip side, what is your least favorite?

KBG - Favourite: http://www.trueachievements.com/Tom-Clancys-HAWX-xbox-3....htm – Complete satisfaction from finally unlocking those awkward multi-player achievements.

Least Favourite: Operation Flashpoint: Dragon Rising – Hard work just doesn’t do it justice!

obj - And now, comrade, are you ready for the high voltage of the Lightning Round!?

obj - Favorite retail game

KBG- http://www.trueachievements.com/Assassins-Creed-II-xbox....htm

obj - Favorite arcade game

KBG- http://www.trueachievements.com/Trials-HD-xbox-360.htm

obj - Least favorite game

KBG- http://www.trueachievements.com/Vancouver-2010-xbox-360.htm

obj - Favorite game weapon

KBG - Hidden Blades from the Assassin’s Creed franchise… the enemy doesn’t know what’s hit them!

obj - Favorite developer

KBG - Codemasters

obj - Favorite "under-the-radar" game

KBG - http://www.trueachievements.com/VANQUISH-xbox-360.htm

obj - If you could have a multiplayer session with anyone on the planet, who would it be?

KBG- Denzel Washington. I know it’s a long shot, but he comes across as such a sound guy!

obj - Any final thoughts, shout outs or soap box statements

KBG - I want to shout out to my fellow ‘hounds for making me feel so at home in the team and I'll take this opportunity to welcome the latest bunch of 'hounds. I'm looking forward to working with you all. A further “hey” to all my TA friends, you all know who you are! That is all. Over and out.

My thanks go to KBG who saved the bacon of CI's this week and may, or may not, be a secret agent with hidden blades.

As always:

If you’d like to be featured in a Community Interview, or want to be a solid citizen and nominate someone more awesome than yourself, send a PM to me, osubluejacket. FYI – You’re MUCH more likely to be picked if you’re well-written, interesting, funny and/or can put me in touch with Hope Solo.
Jonathan Barnes
Written by Jonathan Barnes
Jonathan has been a news/views contributor since 2010. When he's not writing reviews, features, and opinion pieces, he spends his days working as an informal science educator and his nights as an international man of mystery.