TA Community Interview - Apokalyp5e

By Jonathan Barnes, 4 years ago
It's a Gamish Inquisition Sunday at the international TA offices, buried deep in a secret underground lair where the staff wiles away the weekend playing phrenic games developed by Peter Molydeux.

As with most GI Sunday's, we've taken a break from our rigorous routine of hot-tubbing and being fed grapes to bring you the interview of Apokalyp5e, a gamer who has a few beefs with the industry, a love of metal, and a burning urge for BioWare to give us the good stuff.

So, without further ado, let the Inquisition commence.

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obj – There’s a story behind every gamer tag. Tell us about yours. I’m assuming it has nothing to do with the end of days, but could be way off… as usual.

A - Lol! Luckily for you, it does not have anything to do with the actual end of the world. I have actually had this name, or some form of it, ever since the original SOCOM on the PS2. When I came up with it, I just wanted something that sounded cool. My fellow squad-mates started calling me “Apoc” which made it even better.

I didn’t jump on the Xbox Live bandwagon until the 360, so when I did sign up, the actual spelling of the word was already taken. I think initially my gamertag might have been Apokalypse05, which included my lucky number at the end. But some people didn’t understand that that was a zero and not the letter “o” and would call me apocalypso or several other hilarious variants. I’ve even heard Apocalypdick! That one caused me to laugh for a few minutes and I assure you that it was not because I was being an ass or anything. But, because of that I changed it to something easier to read. And due to people already using variants of the word, I was forced to use the number “5” in it. It was not an effort to use “L337 speak” or whatever the hell that’s called.

obj – If I were to gift you some MSP to change your gamertag to include something reflective of your favorite sports team and your favorite movie, what would your new tag be?

A - Wow! That’s a very good question. Being from Kansas City, my favorite teams are the Royals (MLB), Missouri Tigers (College), and the Chiefs (NFL), in that order. I know members of the peanut gallery will point out how bad a couple of those teams are but you know, I’m not a bandwagon fan. I’m not one of the millions of people who flip flop to whatever team is winning or is popular. I’ve always said “It’s very easy to be a fan of the Yankees or the Red Sox, but it takes a special kind of person to stand up and say they love the Royals!” And I do!

As for movies, my favorite is a tough one. I love movies! I love all kinds of movies! Some of my favorites are Tombstone, Gone In 60 Seconds, Gladiator, Transformers, 300. I’m a fan of the recent run of Marvel Comics movies and I can’t wait to see Avengers! The recent Batman movies are great, Green Lantern wasn’t bad, the old Batman movies weren’t too bad either. I don’t know, it’s very difficult to pick one. Perhaps people can recommend a creative name in the comments.

obj – So I’ll put you down to change to “ThisIsRebuilding” in honor of 300 and the Royals. Done and done.

What pays the bills in your home and does your job come with any sweet perks like FroYo Fridays, unisex restrooms, and/or a solid 401k match?

A - Well, right now, the state of Missouri! Lol! I’ve hit a pretty rough patch in my life the last few months. Got let go from a good job because the boss got butt hurt that I wouldn’t conform to his standards. Basically, he wanted me to start shoving energy drinks down my throat in an effort to stay awake in an overnight tech support job and I refused to do it. Simply because those things aren’t good for you! That and everyone I worked with slept so I didn’t see why I was being singled out.

During the summer though, in addition to playing baseball, I work for the Kansas City Royals. Let me clarify that I don’t play for the Royals, but, I work in Game Entertainment and I get to be down on the field helping out with pregame and various special events. It’s a ton of fun and getting to be on a major league field is an amazing experience! When I was a kid I always dreamed of playing ball on that field and, well, since that dream didn’t get to come to fruition, this is as close as I can get.

obj – How’s the homelife? Is there a special man, woman, child, dog, cat, marmot, or holographic love slave in your life and, if so, how do they feel about gaming?

A - Nothing currently but my dog Cooper. So any single ladies out there…How YOU doin!! –wink wink- Lol! God that’s terrible. I’ve made it a point though that any girl I have dated knows that I’m a gamer. I’m not so addicted that I would neglect responsibilities, or her, for that matter. But gaming allows me to communicate with friends and family. It’s been a staple of my life for a very long time, and it always will be. But if any of the recent rumblings of the new Xbox turn out to be true, my days of buying new consoles may be coming to an end!

obj – Where is home for you and, if I were to visit, what kind of exotic entertainments would I be most likely to enjoy?

A - Well I live in a little town just north and east of Kansas City. As for exotic entertainment, ummmmm…there are a few strip clubs in the city but recent legislation has taken the “exotic” out of the equation. I think I’ve only been 3 times in my life so they weren’t really all that good to begin with. Kansas City is known for its BBQ though. There are several restaurants to sample. Other than that, it’s all sports: Royals, Chiefs, Sporting KC, Mavericks, T-Bones, and various other minor or independent league teams from various sports.

obj – As much as I love the artistry that is the female body, my severe glitter allergy prevents me from THAT kind of “exotic” entertainment. I’m always up for BBQ and baseball, though.

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

A - Well, I grew up loving comic books, I still read one here or there. But I think definitely next to games, music would be my next passion.

I am definitely a rock/metal type of guy, but if I find a song enjoyable I will listen to it, regardless of genre. But without a doubt, my favorite artist is Metallica! Bet you couldn’t tell that my looking at my gamerpic huh? Their music helped me get through a rough patch in my life when I was younger. I never really believed those people that claim a certain song or artist’s music helped guide them through troubled times until I became one of those people. At one point, I was severely depressed and almost dropped out of high school. At the end of my sophomore year, my G.P.A was around .5! But I started listening to Metallica and various other rock bands and the music just rejuvenated me. It gave me the strength and determination I needed to survive. I ended up graduating on time with a GPA just under 3. I also took my little brother to his first concert here in KC when Metallica was in town. Our relationship had been pretty rocky to that point and afterwards, things steadily improved. Music can truly be magical. Regardless of what kind or genre you listen to.

obj – What is your biggest real-life achievement?

A - To be 31, healthy, decently in-shape, and drug-free! I think those are all things to be proud of in this day and age. I have never taken an illegal drug in my life and I plan to stay that way. I use video games as a way to escape reality. I don’t need to pump crap into my body to do so. I’m not being preachy as I always say “to each his/her own.” I’ve just chosen not to go down that patch.
On a lighter side, I was inducted as the first member of the Royals Game Crew/K Crew Hall of Fame last year. Game Crew is what my group is called at the stadium and even though it’s fun, it’s still an honor. I always said I’d make it to the Hall of Fame someday…….

obj – Let’s kick off the gaming portion of The Inquisition with a picture of your setup and a quick description of its features.

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A - My TV is a 37” Samsung 60Hz LCD TV. I hope to upgrade to 120Hz at some point. The centerpoint of the setup is the Sony surround sound. It’s nothing big but allows me to plug everything in with HDMI and it sounds pretty good for the small speakers. I have a DirecTv DVR for those times when I’m not gaining achievements. I have a first generation PS3 that I recently upgraded to a 500GB hard drive. This model is important because it still has backwards compatibility, which the newer slims do not have. I basically have it just for MLB: The Show. I’m sorry but the 2K series are absolute crap. The Show is absolutely amazing in every way. If you are a baseball fan, you should have a PS3 for that game alone! You may notice a Wii in there, it’s pretty much just for decoration as I can’t tell you when the last time I actually played a game with it was. And then, last but certainly not least, there is the http://www.trueachievements.com/Gears-of-War-3-xbox-360.htm Xbox. That marks the 4th Xbox 360 I have purchased. I bought a launch day unit and actually had pretty good luck with it. I believe it lasted a few years before I finally got the RROD. I then bought an Elite, that lasted a little while until it got the software error. I got it repaired and used it until the Slims hit the market. Bought one of those on the first day and used it until the Gears 3 one came out. Good thing they didn’t decide to whore out Mass Effect 3 with a new console paint job or I’d be screwed!

obj – What was the first game you remember playing and your biggest memory of said game?

A – Super Mario for the original Nintendo! I remember finding the hidden warp tubes in world 1-2 ON MY OWN!! This was before the interwebs mind you, and I thought it was the coolest thing ever. That’s when secrets really were secrets!!

obj – Much like lovers, everyone remembers their first achievement. What was your first achievement and was it special? Was there moonlight, wine, roses, chocolates and/or soft music… maybe some Kenny G?

A - Well, I honestly don’t remember mine! According to our site, it was either in http://www.trueachievements.com/Call-of-Duty-2-xbox-360.htm (Which I still haven’t completed), http://www.trueachievements.com/Hexic-HD-xbox-360.htm, or http://www.trueachievements.com/Madden-NFL-06-xbox-360.htm. Hmmmmmm, that right there should tell you why it wasn’t memorable! Ha!

obj – If you could ban developers from putting one type of achievement into their game, what would that achievement type be and why?

A - ONLINE ONLY ACHIEVEMENTS!!! Especially to those developers that only leave the servers up for a year! –cough EA cough- They would save themselves so much negative press and hate mail if they would either stop allowing these achievements on their games. They could possibly move older games to one server so they could keep them up at a minimal cost. I would wager that some developers though put online achievements in games, with ridiculous requirements, just to get people to keep playing their game. The problem is, when you have a game that’s complete crap, nobody wants to spend an exorbitant amount of time to get an achievement. If they do, they are just a glutton for punishment.

I personally refrained from buying NHL or FIFA this least year specifically because of the online achievements. I will probably continue to do so for the foreseeable future. Even though I know they are both great games!

obj - What is your “console history”? i.e. What gaming platforms have you owned and which one (aside from the 360) was your favorite?

A - Trying to go from earliest to newest, Nintendo, Sega Genesis, Super Nintendo, Sega CD, Sega 32X, Nintendo 64, Sega Dreamcast, Nintendo Gamecube, PSP, Playstation 2, Xbox, Xbox 360, Playstation 3, Nintendo Wii, and I suppose you can throw iPhone 4 and iPad 2 on the list. Oh! And let’s not forget my PC.

My favorite, besides the 360, I would have to say probably the Super Nintendo. I bought it for Zelda, which I thought was amazing and it still holds up strong to this day. Everything about that game was absolutely amazing! I don’t know though, I have good memories with pretty much all of them!

obj – What was your personal “Game of the Year” for 2011 and your most anticipated game of 2012 and why?

A - Personal game of the year for 2011 would have to be http://www.trueachievements.com/Batman-Arkham-City-xbox....htm. ONLY because I didn’t get to really sink my teeth into http://www.trueachievements.com/Skyrim-xbox-360.htm until late December. I have a humongous backlog of games to play so I try to get in what I can. But, Arkham City was amazing. I can’t wait to see what Rocksteady does next for old Bats!!

Most anticipated game, Mass Effect 3! Fun fact, the first Mass Effect game sat on my shelf for over year before I even touched it! Once I did, I was hooked and I couldn’t believe I had passed up playing it for so long. Mass Effect 2 raised the bar even higher and I can’t wait to see where ME3 takes it. I still need to play through ME2 again so that I can have a save where I don’t ditch Ashley for Miranda. I have a feeling I’m never gonna hear the end of it in ME3!

obj – Miranda > Liara > Ashley > Jack… Just my opinion, there. Miranda’s lead is VERY slim.

Speaking of Mass Effect, I noticed that you completed http://www.trueachievements.com/Mass-Effect-xbox-360.htm and http://www.trueachievements.com/Mass-Effect-2-xbox-360.htm. Are you planning on going for the trifecta by completing http://www.trueachievements.com/Mass-Effect-3-xbox-360.htm ?

A - Without a doubt! And rest assured I won’t let it sit on my shelf for a year or so before I play it!

obj – I also notice that you’ve completed every SmackDown vs. RAW game from 2007 through 2009. What appealed to you about those games and is there something preventing you from going after the 2010 and 2011 editions?

A - I have always been a fan of wrestling ever since I was a wee lad. Sting has always been my favorite wrestler so I make sure I always import a CAW that someone has made to use in the game. I have made a couple myself but damn they are time consuming! I know Sting has never wrestled in the WWE but I can always wish!

The only thing preventing me from completing the other two is time. I have them and they are sitting there staring at me, calling me out! I hope I will get to them soon. I’ve heard good things about WWE ’12 and I even dished out a few extra bucks for the “People’s Edition” though when it comes to it, I’ll be laying the smacketh down with either Sting, or C.M. Punk!

obj – In your initial message, you mentioned that you have some “issues” with certain developers doing DLC. Care to elaborate?

A - I guess I’m a little old school when it comes to DLC. I’m not against it per say. God knows I’ve spent enough money on it here and there. The issue I have is with “day-1” DLC or even some DLC that is made alongside the game and then put out along side of it, or a couple weeks to a month after the game is released. I feel like in some cases, we are paying for a full game, but only getting a portion of what was planned. My biggest peeve though is with DLC that is on the disc that shipped! I think that is absolutely shady and I don’t feel there is a legit reason why we should be getting charged extra for something that’s already there. That’s like buying a Mustang GT and only being able to go 40mph. Then being told in order to go 150mph you have to spend a little extra. The engine is already there to go that fast, but they want you to play to unlock the extra horses. That’s BS! I love Epic Games, but the first set of DLC for Gears 3 that was already on the disc was BS. Even after Cliffy B’s explanation, which makes sense, we should not have had to pay for that. How about you give us that first set of DLC for free because the game got delayed. Don’t make us pay for a little bit of extra work you did because you had more time. That time should have been spent polishing and testing the game to get rid of bugs and fixing balancing issues. Not figuring out how you could get us sheep to spend more of our hard earned ducats!

obj – I’m going to disagree with you a little there, mainly because games are finished months before they go to retail, so that they can be QA tested and certified, then they “go gold”, get printed, and finally distributed to retailers. Most of the early DLC for those games is developed in those weeks/months of down time between when principal development ends and retail release.

I completely agree that on disc DLC is a sham, though.

Your current “Top Game” is http://www.trueachievements.com/Army-of-TWO-TFD-xbox-360.htm. Tell us a little bit about what makes the game rank so high for you?

A - Talk about a series that EA really screwed the pooch on! I think part of it is because the first game was actually fairly decent. So a lot of people tried out the second game only to find it was a glitchy, buggy mess. It honestly isn’t a terrible game but it could have been soooooo much better. This is especially true in the multiplayer component. The first game’s multiplayer was actually pretty cool but terrible lag and a couple glitches could ruin the fun in an instant. The 40th Day though has a very bad glitch issue with the DLC that is released. If you don’t unlock the achievements correctly and in a certain order, they will glitch out and, for some, become unobtainable. I understand that there is now a fix that you can do if they are glitched but I can’t confirm if it works because I mapped out my procedure for getting them all. Basically, if you get the DLC achievements before you get any other achievements for the game, you should be able to get them all. If you unlock any multiplayer achievements from the regular game first, the DLC will glitch. Way to go EA!

obj – Let’s imagine that you’re Commander Shepard and have been tasked with assembling an elite unit of four video game characters to defend humanity from an oncoming threat. Which four characters do you put on your squad and why?

A - Well, since I’m Shepard, I would go with the following:

Master Chief – He took on an entire alien race, basically by himself. Not too shabby and that armor would be pretty handy when the numbers aren’t on your side. I am by no means a Halo fan boy but let’s face it, the Chief really is a badass.

Anya Stroud – Was going to go Marcus Fenix here, but Anya is nicer to look at. Plus she’s just as badass as he is.

Solid Snake – He would come in useful for stealth missions or if the fate of humanity depended on the availability of a fruit box. Snake can seemingly pull a box out of thin air!

Nathan Drake – This may be a surprise to some. But you’ve got to have at least one character in your group to provide some comic relief. Not only is Drake a funny SOB but he’s also fearless and doesn’t bitch or complain. I almost went Damon Baird with this pick but, he bitches a lot.

obj – Let’s imagine that you could do a series cross-over between games. Which two games would you like to see cross over into each other’s worlds?

A - I could actually think of a couple that would make sense like Mass Effect & Halo. Or maybe even Mass Effect & Starcraft. Can you tell I like Mass Effect?? Or how about Batman and Metal Gear?? Imagine the possibilities!

obj – I’m Commander Shepard, and this is my favorite Spartan on the Halo.

And now are you ready for the SHOCK of The Lightning Round?

A - My excitement is INFINITE! See what I did there?? Oh, wait….the word BIO wasn’t in there anywhere……..crap!! Well, I guess I’m ready anyway!

Favorite Game Franchise

Mass Effect

Least Favorite Franchise

Call of Duty – Multiplayer only! The single-player component is actually pretty good.

Favorite Gaming Universe

The Elder Scrolls Universe – It really is extremely deep and vast. People who have only played Oblivion or Skyrim have just scratched the surface

Favorite Multiplayer Experience

http://www.trueachievements.com/Battlefield-3-xbox-360.htm – My friends and I generally have a good time playing this game online aside from EA’s terrible servers. Gears 3 would run a close second.

Favorite Single Player Experience

Wow! This is tough considering ALL the game I have ever played. But I’ll try to keep it somewhat recent. This is close and may be somewhat blasphemous but Mass Effect would be first. Following close behind would be the Uncharted series on PS3 and then the Batman – Arkham series. I know I may get my hated on by some for including a PS3 series on here but it really is quite amazing.

Favorite Game Weapon

Hmmmm…has the Sword of Omens been in a game yet?? No? How about He-Man’s Sword of Power?? It has? Really?? Oh it was that bad huh? Well hell, how about the Cluckshot from Gears of War 3. There really is nothing funnier than watching squadmates turn enemies into giblets with a flying chicken.

Favorite Game Developer


Favorite Game Site (aside from TA, of course)

GameInformer.com is usually the only other site I go to for gaming goodness.

If you could spend a “night of passion” with one character from the gaming world, who would it be?

Lara Croft

If you could have lunch/a drink with one real person from “the gaming world” who would it be?

Cliffy B – that dude just sounds like he’s a lot of fun. Even with my issues regarding the DLC

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

A - I think the next several months are going to be very interesting and worth keeping an eye on for all of us achievement lovers out there, regarding the next round of consoles. I know a lot of people use used games and/or rental services to get games to play. If Microsoft is serious about the next Xbox not playing used games, it will change everything! And I don’t think it will be a change for the better.

I think the time is perfect for us to unite as a community, as a group, to let developers know how much, not necessarily achievements mean to us, but more importantly, how important it is that those avenues remain open for people who can’t always afford to go out and buy the lastest and greatest. Especially with the economy the way it is. My personal opinion is that the developers really don’t care about achievement hunters anyway, but I think it’s time for us to rise up and make our voice be heard!

Who’s with me?!?


A big thanks goes out to Apokalyp5e for taking his time to be subjected to the Inquisition.

As always:
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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.