Hello one and all! Apologies for anyone who was expecting an interview this time last week. Life doesn't stop for anyone, not even for yours truly. This week, our special guest is CovetousCash64
, a gamer from down under who has a lot to tell us. Let's give one of those fabulous TA welcomes to CovetousCash64!Marc: Gamertags almost always tell something about their owners. Tell us about yours.CC:
Covetouscash64 is the randomly generated gamertag allocated to me when I first subscribed to Live. As such, it doesn't have any special meaning although I do think that I got really lucky. I love this gamertag, both Covetous (how cute was Covetous Shen in Diablo III
?) and Cash (which often gets used as a nickname during TA sessions).
Apparently the hereditary motto associated with my surname is Quod Tuum Tene (Keep what is yours), which is an amazing coincidence.Marc: How long have you been gaming?CC:
My introduction to gaming came with Super Mario Bros
on the NES, so [checks google] 25 years. Damn that makes me sound old!
I remember going to a Lego expo with my Dad that was on the top floor of a department store and they had a playable NES display nearby. I think we made it to the Lego expo, but I was hooked by Mario, and I've been a gamer ever since.Marc: Do others in your family game, or are you a first-generation gamer?CC:
Definitely first generation. My parents aren't gamers at all and even my younger brother isn't into gaming.Marc: What do your parents/significant other/friends have to say about your gaming?CC:
I don't think my parents understand the attraction, but I'm old enough, successful enough and mature enough that they accept it for what it is. Most of my friends are or were gamers, so I don't have much trouble on that front either.
My wife tolerates my gaming, although she can't believe how often I stay up late gaming. Fortunately, she enjoys the occasional game with me, so I buy games we can play couch co-op as often as I can (Diablo III
kept us occupied for weeks, as did Dungeon Siege III
).Marc: Assuming you’re not a professional gamer, what’s your day job?CC:
I am lawyer by trade (known as a solicitor in Australia), focusing on wills & estate work and employment law. I'm part-owner of the law firm I work at.Marc: Wow! You're must be doing well for yourself then.What other hobbies do you enjoy?CC:
I like reading. Both reading and gaming are time sinks, and generally my gaming cannibalises my reading, but I'm making an effort this year to get back into it and am part way through a self-imposed challenge of 12 novels in 12 months. I've made it through Room, In Cold Blood and We Need to Talk About Kevin, and have just started on The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas. Doesn't sound like I'm doing to well, but I made it hard for myself by starting at the end of March.
I love movies (I'm the guy on our trivia team who knows all the movie quotes), but between work and family life I don't get to see as many as I'd like.
I also play volleyball once a week and absolutely love it. Before we had kids, I played soccer, touch football and volleyball, but I don't have as much time these days and had to drop it back to just the volleyball.Marc: Tell us about your home life – parents, spouse, children, significant other, animal companions?CC:
I'm married with two kids.
My wife and I just celebrated our 10th anniversary, which was pretty special. It's probably cheesy to say it but (to steal from Jerry Maguire) she completes me. She complements my personal strengths and shores up my weaknesses. We make each other laugh. I couldn't be luckier.
My daughter is 7 and my son is 4 and they're both delightful. Judging by how often he bugs me to play LEGO Batman
with him, I'm sure my son is on the way to being a gamer. I think my daughter will avoid the bug, probably because she takes after her mother.Marc: That looks and sounds like a fantastic family you've got there. Congratulations on the anniversary! And don't worry about being cheesy; it's called love! Also, may I ask what the story is behind the camel? That's awesome!CC:
My wife and I decided in 2006 to go on one a big trip before having kids, and we ended up spending 13 days in Egypt. That photo was taken near the Great Pyramid in Giza, just on the outskirts of Cairo. They are phenomenally big structures, and no matter how many times I'd read or heard about them, I wasn't prepared for just how massive they are.Marc: I'm very jealous! That must have been quite the experience. Maybe one day I'll see them too...Of what real life achievement are you most proud? Would you give us some details?
The clichéd answer here would be to say the birth of my children, but I don't think it's any great achievement for most people to simply have a child. If and when they grow up to be well-adjusted and successful adults, my answer might change.
I think my greatest achievement is probably making partner in my law firm, but when I asked my wife for her opinion she said "you can fit a Dorito in your mouth sideways" so let's go with that!Marc: Your wife sounds awesome. What’s your favorite game of all time on any console? What makes it special?
Ooh! So hard to choose! If I had to choose, it would probably have to be one of the Mass Effect
games. I'm not sure which. I've always been a fan of RPGs, and the melding of RPG and shooter really blew my mind.Marc: You've already won me over then. I love Mass Effect too!Do you remember the first game you played? What’s your fondest memory of it?
Despite my mention of Super Mario Bros
above, I think Ms. Pac-Man (Xbox 360)
was probably the first game I ever played. It was on a yellow handheld device rather than an arcade cabinet and I remember sitting on the floor for hours playing it while listening to bloop bloop bloop bloop bloop...Marc: If some evil spell allowed you to own only a single game for the rest of your life, what would it be? Why?
It would have to be something with longevity and variety, and I don't think I've come across a candidate yet. If I had to choose right now - and assuming that I can play co-op with others - I'd likely choose Bungie's upcoming shooter Destiny
. That game has enthralled me since E3 2013 and I cannot wait to play it.Marc: What part of the world do you live in? If I were to visit, what sights would I have to see?
I live in Coffs Harbour, Australia, (about 6 hours north of Sydney) formerly known as a prime Banana-growing area but now slowly transforming into more of a tourist/sea-change area.
If you visited, I'd take you to see the Big Banana, a landmark that spawned a flood of "big things" in rural towns around Australia. We'd also check out Muttonbird Island in the harbour, from which you can get amazing views of annual whale migrations up the east coast of Australia. If you were a scuba diver, we'd go on a couple of dive trips to nearby marine parks that offer amazing diving. Apart from that we'd just hang out at the beach.Marc: Sounds much better than where I live! All we have is cafes...Any games you regret putting on your gamertag?
CC: Alone In The Dark
. It's opening scene was so atmospheric and seemed to promise an amazing game. Its 'scene' structure was a great idea, but then I got to experience the controls and simply could not go on. To this day it's the game in which I have my lowest completion percentage. I just can't bring myself to go back to it, and I curse those 2 achievements I unlocked.Marc: If you were forced to change your gamertag, what would you change it to? What does the new tag reflect about you?
I honestly don't know. I've thought about changing the tag many times (first one's free after all) but I just can't come up with anything better. In all honestly, I'd likely stick with Covetous Cash but drop the 64 off the end. I like it that much.Marc: Tell us about your gamer pic. Why did you choose that one?
Both my Xbox 360 and Xbox One gamerpics are shots of my Xbox avatar. That probably says that I don't like choosing from designs made by other people.Marc: Do you have any particular gaming pet peeves?
I hate meaningless collectibles, particularly ones that are stupidly hard to reach (I'm looking at you, agility orb on top of the Agency tower in Crackdown
) or which don't add anything to the game (I'm looking at you, film reels in L.A. Noire
If a collectible adds something to the game or offers some emotional payoff, I don't mind them. For example, I loved the collectibles in Tomb Raider
when I realised that Marc: What upcoming game are you most looking forward to?
for the co-op and MMO aspects. Batman: Arkham Knight
for more awesome Rocksteady / Batman kickarsery. Tom Clancy's The Division
for the RPG and co-op. I'm seriously contemplating taking time off work to play each game.Marc: What game are you most proud of completing? Why?
It's a tie between Batman: Arkham City (Xbox 360)
and Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell Conviction
.Batman: Arkham City
because the predator challenges were damn hard and the combat challenges couldn't be faked. You either had the moves or you didn't. The fact that only 3.29% of tracked gamers have completed it suggests that most didn't so I'm proud to say that I did. Of course, it helped that I adore the freeflow combat system.
As for Splinter Cell: Conviction
, most of the game wasn't too difficult but the Perfect Hunter
achievement was a real pain. Completing a map solo (I think you can fudge it by playing co-op but I didn't) without being detected at all was a real test of patience, skill and concentration so I was really proud when I got that one completed.Marc: What single Xbox achievement are you most proud of? Why? CC:
Competitive multiplayer is really not my strong suit, so I'm proud of myself for hanging tough and grinding out the roughly 200 handgun kills this achievement requires. I struggle to get kills with a reasonable weapon; handicapping myself with a pistol was a real imposition. I'm proud that I did it without the handgun unlock pack and without having resorted to private servers or having much of a boost from pistol-only lobbies (they were always empty or filled with idiots using shotguns!)Marc: In a slightly different vein, do you have a favorite achievement? One perhaps that you
just really enjoyed attaining?
I don't really have a favourite achievement, but I love achievements that make me laugh. For example, some of the achievements in The Bureau: XCOM Declassified
are named after famous movie quotes: "Clever Girl
" from Jurassic Park
, "What Are You Without Your Armor
?" from The Avengers
, "Welcome to Earth
" from Independence Day
" from LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4
also tickled my funny bone. You needed to go to the in-game library, then open the options menu and set sound and music to 0. Very meta!Marc: If you found yourself dropped into a video game, which video game character would you most want to have your back?
If I thought about this logically, I'd have to say something silly like Superman because he's almost omnipotent, so I won't do that.
Instead - despite not being a Halo
fan - I'll instead answer Master Chief. That man has been to hell and back and is still marching. Who wouldn't want a 7 foot tall genetically engineered super soldier watching their back?Marc: In the same scenario, what character/creature would you most/least like to see headed your way?
I'd most want to see Mumble from Happy Feet Two: The Video Game
headed my way. That game got sooooo boring by the end that I'd love to slap him around a bit.
I'd least like to see a brute from Dead Space
headed my way. I'm not a big survival horror fan but I played through that game for the completion (its amazing production values didn't hurt!) and whenever those things appeared I started to sweat.Marc: Any characters you would like to see thrown into video game hell?
Almost all of the kings from The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings
. It was hard to play through that game hating everyone whose bidding you were doing. They were all such [male members]. That scene where Phillipa was blinded made me very uncomfortable.Marc: Ever had any bad experiences online? How did you handle it?
Until recently, no. And then in the space of an hour in Battlefield 4
I came across two. The first was a ranter. Every time he got killed he would loudly proclaim something stupid like "Ooh yeah, kill me from halfway across the map with your LMG" in a singsong voice or sarcastically proclaim "Oh, you're so good with your AK51!" Not only was he annoying me but I don't think BF4 chat even allows you to speak to the opposition, so he was wasting his time.
Then I was teamed up with someone playing obnoxiously loud music through his Kinect and arguing with someone in his living room. Fortunately, both experiences were short-lived and I got reshuffled away from them when the next game started.Marc: Now this is why I stick to my single player RPG's and Adventure games. No need to worry about all that nonsense!
Do you prefer single player or multi-player?
Single player. Story is one of the things I love about gaming, and the story is almost always better in single player games.Marc: You love Mass Effect, you prefer single player and you enjoy a good story. I think we're gaming soul mates...
Do you have a favorite group of friends you like to play with? If so, how did you meet?
Just one, HollowPonds
. We met in a Dungeons & Dragons
group in Sydney almost a decade ago, and have been friends since.Marc: If you could have a multiplayer session with anyone in the world, whom would you choose? Why?
I think I could have an amazing time having a few beers and playing games with Jack Black. His irreverent sense of humour would make some games really fun.Marc: What other consoles do you own? What are your favorites on those platforms?
I own a 360, an Xbox One and a Wii. I don't really like any of the games on the Wii that much (it was an unexpected present), although Mario Kart
can be a good party game.Marc: Have you ever had a game you really looked forward to that you were disappointed in when it finally arrived? Tell us about it.
. I borrowed it from Hollowponds, who spoke highly of it, but it just didn't grab me at all. As I once heard it described: "Everyone loved it, but I just found it to be ploughing through bandit camp after bandit camp to get from one piece of brown terrain to another to fetch something for someone so they could give you the next flimsy reason to trudge brownly across the brown for another brown. Not a fan!"Marc: Tell us about your gaming set-up.CC:
I'm fortunate enough to have a big screen TV and a set of Turtle Beach stereo headphones, so pretty much everything a gamer could ask for. The only thing that would make it better is if I didn't have to share the TV.Marc: How do you use TA? Tracking, walkthroughs, solutions, sessions?
I mainly use it for solutions to help me feed my completionist bug. Marc: Do you ever contribute solutions?
Whenever I have something meaningful to add. I'm particularly proud of my solution to Let the Boys Have Their Fun
in XCOM: The Bureau Declassified
because I think that was the first real time I discovered something and thought "wow, I have to tell people about this!"
It in some part inspired me to write the walkthrough for the game, and I'm proud of that walkthrough too.Marc: Ah, I didn't realise you wrote it! It helped me a fair bit when going for the 100% on the game myself. Thumbs up from me :-)
How has your gaming changed or evolved since coming to TA?
When I first joined TA, I was happy to play through a game and move on when I finished the story. I chase completion now much more than I ever did before. I also take part in sessions more often now, too. Previously I would have completely ignored multiplayer achievements.Marc: What do you like and dislike most about the site?
I love the solutions, walkthroughs and sessions.
The thing I like least is the nastiness of some of the threads. I'm very empathetic. Even when I disagree with someone, I can often understand why they feel the way they do and I go out of my way to avoid upsetting or trolling others. I'm often disappointed that others can't behave the same way. The flagrant disrespect shown for each other in the forums surrounding the launch of the Xbox One nearly drove me away.Marc: That's the internet for you. My motto is if you have nothing nice to say, don't say anything at all.
How did you learn about TA? Have you signed up any friends to the website?
Hollowponds introduced me. I haven't signed anyone else up because he's really the extent of my gaming friends. I will be linking some fellow Destiny
tragics to this interview so maybe they'll join.Marc: Have you made friends here?
Not friends in the real-life sense, but I do have a number of Xbox Live friends that I met through TA and I discovered were genuinely nice people. It's actually what surprised me the most. You hear such bad things about online play, but almost everyone I've met through TA has been a blast to play with.Marc: That's because TA'ers are the best kind of gamers
If you have a pro account, what’s the most number of forced scans you’ve done in a day?
I think it would be 5. When I pop an achievement I've been working towards for a while, or whenever I complete a game, I force a scan so I can see the fruits of my labour.Marc: If you could have a game handcrafted just for you, what would your perfect game be?
Probably a combination of stealth, RPG and brawler. In fact, now that I say it, I think it already exists: the Arkham games. I love the freedom to tinker that RPGs give you, the analysis and planning of stealth games, and the power fantasy of a smooth brawler.Marc: Is there anything you’d like to see added to TA’s functionality?
Nope. There's a reason I'm still here!Marc: Why do you choose TA over other gaming sites?
The solutions, the sessions and (mostly) the community. Marc: Do you have a “claim to fame” in gaming? If so, what is it?
Nothing that's too impressive. In my World of Warcraft
days I (and HollowPonds) was in the first group in our guild to complete the Baron Rivendare 45 minute run, which was pretty impressive at the time.Marc: Ahh, World of Warcraft, I remember thee well. Lucky we both escaped its clutches and discovered the joys of Xbox, eh? ****************
****************Favorite 360 game?
A tie between Arkham City
and Tomb Raider
. Both rocked my world.Favorite non-360 game?
I still occasionally get hankerings to play Battlefield 4
.Least favorite game?
Words with Friends. I like Scrabble face-to-face, but I can't play it by correspondence.Favorite game developer?
I don't really follow developers, but Rocksteady have sure forced their way into my heart.Favorite game weapon?
The Penetrator from Saints Row: The Third
is ridiculously humorous.Most hated game enemy?
Galactos in Marvel Super Hero Squad: The Infinity Gauntlet
. Who thought flying an ice cream truck or taco van away from a planet-eating super villain was an appropriate boss fight?Favorite game character?
Wheatley from Portal 2
. That game was amazing!Favorite game sidekick?
Dogmeat from the original Fallout
. I almost cried when he got gunned down by super mutants.Favorite game ending? Mass Effect
. My heart almost burst out of my chest when Shepard clambered out of that rubble.Most hated game ending? Red Dead Redemption
. Either I wasted 30+ hours only for John to get riddled with bullets or I wasted 40+ hours to see an anti-climactic showdown with Jack. This game almost ruined open world games for me.Favorite game environment? Arkham City
in free roam. I could glide around for hours.Favorite game music?
The drum track from Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary
when you first jump in the warthog. I also loved the music in the 2013 Tomb Raide
r. Masterful stuff.Most emotional video game moment?
When our save game got corrupted halfway through our second co-op playthrough of The Lord of the Rings: War in the North
. We'd put so much effort into that game to get that far and had encountered so many problems that this was the final straw. I almost threw down my controller in disgust.Game that shouldn’t have had a sequel? Star Wars: The Force Unleashed
. The first game was passable, but not much more.Non-Xbox game you’d love to have achievements in? Uncharted
sounds like it would be right up my alley.**********************
*End of Lightning Round*
**********************Marc: Is there anything in particular you want the TA community to know about you?
I'm an active member of the Destiny Overwatch community, so anyone who's interested in Destiny
should come and check us out. It's a good bunch of people and I want to have as many allies as possible when the game launches in September.Marc: Is there anything I haven’t asked that you want to talk about?
Nope. Surely I've taken up enough of everybody's time.Marc: Any shout-outs you want to make before we go?
Of course to Hollowponds, my frequent partner in crime.
I'd also like to shout out to Plaguewielder87
. While I haven't gamed with him in ages, he was the first TA'er I had a session with, and that experience lead me to try more sessions. If he hadn't proved to be such a nice guy, I likely wouldn't have gamed with most of the cool gamers I've met through TA.
So there you have it, folks. A huge thank you is in order to CovetousCash64 for sharing his own story with us. For scheduling purposes, we'll be back in three weeks time with my next guest, Lavindathar
Come back to see me and, you guessed it... let's talk.
I'd like to remind everyone that because of the huge waiting list for candidates, I am currently not taking any applications for the Community Interview. When some of the backlog has been worked through, I'll let you know. ~ Marc