Let's Talk with ScorchPSO

By Marc Hollinshead, 4 years ago
Hello, everyone and welcome back to another dose of TA chatter! Our guest this week is ScorchPSO, a gamer who has done rather well for himself at a young age. Let's give one of our big TA welcomes to ScorchPSO! Were any of you also confused by the strapline this week? If you're good with a certain language, then maybe it'll give you a taste of this week's interview...

Marc: Gamertags almost always tell something about their owners. Tell us about yours.
Interview 1

When I was younger I played Phantasy Star Online A LOT on the Gamecube, eventually I managed to get a modem for my Gamecube and began playing online, previously I had been using my real name as my alias for forums but decided I wanted something new and fresh when joining a Phantasy Star related forum.

So I chose my in-game character name and then added “PSO” on the end of it for my new E-Mail address; It’s kind of just stuck ever since.

Marc: How long have you been gaming?

Pretty much my entire life, my dad used to own an old Atari (Forgive me, I don’t remember which as I was so young at the time!) which I vaguely remember playing Double Dragon on but most of my early memories come from the Sega Megadrive (Genesis for you Americans) era.

Marc: Do others in your family game, or are you a first-generation gamer?

When we were younger my dad used to buy sports games (Madden) and racing games to play but in truth I don’t actually remember seeing him playing any of them and my mum definitely doesn't do any form of gaming.

Both my elder brothers used to game quite a lot and still occasionally dabble in it now, I’m actively trying to convince my eldest brother to buy an Xbox One but so far it’s not working out too well.

Marc: What do your parents/significant other/friends have to say about your gaming?

I guess I was lucky growing up because my parents have never said anything about my gaming or how much time I spent on it. We always went with the philosophy that if you do everything during the day that you’re meant to, you can spend your free time how you want.

I actually met my girlfriend online whilst gaming and she still actively plays Xbox and Guild Wars 2 with me, so that’s never really been a problem for us – She’s super supportive of my hobbies and it’s a lot of fun to have somebody there who shares your passion to some degree.

Marc: Assuming you’re not a professional gamer, what’s your day job?

Currently I’m working as an IT Analyst for Volvo IT in Sweden – It’s a pretty fun job and the workplace/people are super nice so I really can’t complain about it!

Marc: Wow, sounds like you've landed yourself an awesome opportunity there!

What other hobbies do you enjoy?

Scorch: I love writing and drawing, both used to be huge passions of mine. I haven’t drawn anything recently (Last thing was a Harley Quinn picture) but I try to keep up my writing in the form of my weekly blog which I put a considerable amount of time into every week! :)
Interview 6

I would love to get back into drawing again but finding the motivation to begin is extremely difficult.

Marc: That picture is flipping amazing! My brother's a fantastic artist, and it really does take great skill to create something like that. Motivate yourself and do more!

Tell us about your home life – parents, spouse, children, significant other, animal companions?
Interview 7

Interview 2

I live in Sweden with my girlfriend and 3 cats. I moved here around 3 years ago to be with her, as long distance is extremely tough to maintain and I was miserable at my then-job. We live alone in our own house (which is something I consider ourselves to be extremely lucky for, being only 23).

We could technically be considered crazy cat people as we have 3 cats – Their names are Oreo, Ginger and Cupcake – I’m sure you can figure out which ones are which! We tried to keep to a cake/biscuit-themed naming system with them, we also had a Brownie and Coco previously, but Brownie moved across the road (Traitor...) and Coco sadly passed away from sickness.

Worry not! We didn’t have all 5 of these cats at the same time, we’re not THAT crazy.

Marc: Phew laugh. And for 23, you definitely are lucky! As someone who is also 23, I'm very jealous happy for you!

Of what real life achievement are you most proud? Would you give us some details?

Definitely having the courage to quit my job and leave behind my old life, my friends and family (in the physical sense) and moving to a completely different country that doesn't use English as their primary language.

It’s been extremely difficult at times, learning a new language and searching for a job in a country that refuses to hire you (because everybody can speak English here!) but it was made worth it by being with and having the support of my girlfriend.

Now things are a lot brighter with job opportunities, being bilingual with English/Swedish, which is always super fun as it feels like you know a secret language.

Marc: Care to tell us something interesting in Swedish? wink

Scorch: Something in Swedish? Oh jeez! I need to log on my girlfriends computer for this as I still stubbornly use a English keyboard on my own, They annoyingly have 3 extra letters!

I'll say: Flytta inte till Sverige om du är Engelska, det är svårt!

Not really interesting and probably grammatically incorrect but alas, for the Swedes out there - Please be gentle ;)

Marc: *Goes to Google for translation* - "Do not move to Sweden if you're English, it is difficult." Haha, I'll bare that in mind. laugh

What’s your favourite game of all time on any console? What makes it special?

I would have to say The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask on the Nintendo 64.

It’s one of those games I can go back and play an infinite amount of times and never get bored of it. I absolutely adore this game and anxiously await a remake (You know you want to, Nintendo!)

A close second would probably be Batman: Arkham City (Xbox 360) on the Xbox 360 – I’m a huge DC fan so this game is everything I could ask for – I’ve managed to complete it twice over (100%) on both Xbox 360 and PC but I would do it all over again if I could!

Marc: Do you remember the first game you played? What’s your fondest memory of it?

The first game I played to great lengths and have memories of doing so would be Streets of Rage II on the Sega Megadrive; I remember sitting in my brother’s bedroom playing the game with him in 2-Player co-op for hours and hours.

Usually he would just abuse my character by endlessly throwing me but I still thought it was great, I guess that’s what older brothers are for, eh?

Marc: I'm an older brother...to my twin who is 14 minutes younger than me laugh. Still counts, right? :-P

If some evil spell allowed you to own only a single game for the rest of your life, what would it be? Why?

I would have to say something like Guild Wars 2 – It gets bi-weekly content updates so I wouldn't run out of new things to do!

Being an MMO it’s also good social contact as you can play with friends and others you've met in the game. I’m sure I would get sick of it eventually, though, so I hope I don’t get hit with said curse!

Marc: What part of the world do you live in? If I were to visit, what sights would I have to see?

I currently live in Sweden in a smallish town called “Tibro”. In all honesty there isn't much to see here and it often drives me crazy as I was born and raised in London, England. Moving to such a small town from a huge city is really bizarre.

I can show you different kinds of trees and rocks, maybe some snow in winter if you’re interested?

Marc: Think of it as an exciting experience. I've lived in a boring British town all my life so call yourself lucky :-P

Any games you regret putting on your gamertag?

Most definitely, If Microsoft released a way to delete games that you’ve gained gamerscore in off your Gamertag I would be all over that, cost or not!

The games I regret the most are anything with an unobtainable + Street Fighter IV, Grand Theft Auto IV, Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter 2 & Bullet Witch.

Marc: If you were forced to change your gamertag, what would you change it to? What does the new tag reflect about you?

Originally I was going to change it to “Phanstaro” which was kind of a jokey adaptation of the “Phantasy” part of PSO, but I realized it sounded more like a flamboyant wizard than a serious gamertag.

I honestly don’t think I’ll ever change my gamertag, I've had it around 9 years and it’s a part of my gaming universe now!

Marc: Tell us about your gamer pic. Why did you choose that one?

Scorch: There’s a weird story behind it actually – When I was grinding out the Saints Row 2 online achievements I was getting a lot of abuse messages and negative rep as I spent most of my time running around blowing things up rather than helping our team win (this isn’t my usual play-style online, but it was such a grind I needed to find a way to keep myself amused).

I mentioned this to a friend and he made the joke that if I was a girl I probably wouldn't receive any of the hate. I decided to test his theory out of boredom to see how female gamers were actually treated online, so I changed my avatar and gamer picture (The same one I have now but a female).

I began playing online again exactly as I was before, but this time using a female avatar for my Xbox account. My rep went back up by 5% - I received several messages asking if I had a boyfriend and several others offering...”services” to me.

It was slightly disturbing and made me realize just how poorly women are treated online, especially in the gaming environment. Soon after I got the achievements I changed my avatar back to a guy and snapped a profile picture of my avatar looking disappointed due to what had just happened, I've used it ever since (this was a couple of years ago).

Marc: Wow, that is madness. An extremely interesting experiment there. It's sad to hear that there are people out there sending messages like that.

Do you have any particular gaming pet peeves?

I would have to say something similar to above, playing multiplayer games and getting abuse or offensive messages in your inbox. It’s exactly why I avoid competitive games and stick with playing with people I know.

Killer Instinct was a perfect example of this – I would say 30% of the wins I did online were responded with angry threatening messages.

Marc: What upcoming game are you most looking forward to?

Batman: Arkham Knight – I really can’t wait for it to come out and was super bummed out when it was delayed to early next year!

For a game a little closer to release though, I would say that I’m really looking forward to The Crew and hope that it lives up to being the spiritual successor of Test Drive Unlimited.

Marc: What game are you most proud of completing? Why?

Definitely Catherine (EU) – I avoided using guides to help me 100% the game and did it all from beginning to end myself. It was a really difficult game to finish without guides, so for that I’m really proud of myself.

Marc: I absolutely love Catherine but simply do not have the skill to complete all achievements. That is definitely a fantastic completion to have.

What single Xbox achievement are you most proud of? Why?

Catherine (EU)Secret AchievementThe Secret Achievement achievement in Catherine (EU) worth 848 pointsContinue playing to unlock this secret achievement

Definitely this one – I got kind of obsessed with completing the level, it took roughly 10 – 15 hours worth of solid attempts and I couldn't think or concentrate on anything else until it was done (which I understand is a slightly bit crazy as it’s just a game). The following 2 or 3 nights I actually dreamed about pushing and pulling blocks.

Marc: Wow! I found that particular stage to be impossible for my skill, so well achieved indeed.

In a slightly different vein, do you have a favorite achievement? One perhaps that you just really enjoyed attaining?

Batman: Arkham City (Xbox 360)Campaign NightwingThe Campaign Nightwing achievement in Batman: Arkham City (Xbox 360) worth 66 pointsObtain 114 medals on the original Arkham City and Nightwing Bundle Pack campaigns (as Nightwing)

That and probably the other Batman Challenge/Campaign achievements – I really enjoyed doing them and wouldn't hesitate to begin all over again if I had to!

Marc: If you found yourself dropped into a video game, which video game character would you most want to have your back?

Probably Ezio from Assassin's Creed II. He knows how to fight, protect and seems like he would be pretty fun company to have around, assuming he’s not too busy foiling Templar plans or something.

Marc: In the same scenario, what character/creature would you most/least like to see headed your way?

Definitely the Necromorphs from Dead Space – Those things are scary as hell, I wouldn't last 2 seconds against something like that and Dead Space has been one of the few games where I've genuinely felt terrified and threatened by an in-game monster.

Marc: Any characters you would like seen thrown into video game hell?

I will have to say Connor from Assassin's Creed III. He was probably the most boring and frustrating character in any of the Assassin’s Creed games and completely ruined the experience for me.

Marc: Eesh, two interviews in a row that this guy has been the answer. Poor Connor.

Ever had any bad experiences online? How did you handle it?

I’ve had all kinds of bad experiences, I’ve been threatened with death, called abuse and apparently everybody online has had some form of relations with my mother but I just tend to ignore it – I don’t bother responding and just block, report and move on.

Marc: Do you prefer single player or multi-player?

Definitely Single Player! I prefer being able to take a game at my own pace and skill level and enjoy it for what it is, I also hate Multiplayer/Online achievements with a passion.

However I do love multi-player if it’s co-operative play and not competitive for the reasons stated above. I tend to avoid competitive multi-player and either stick with playing with the people I know or not at all.

Marc: Do you have a favorite group of friends you like to play with? If so, how did you meet?

I play with the same group of around 5 friends: Starmunch, Robive, Sonan91, Psych0Alex and LtHovv, the latter 2 of which I've known since I was a kid and have gamed at least twice a week with for the last 11 – 12 years.

Sonan91 is my girlfriend and Robive her brother-in-law who happens to be a pretty big gamer himself. It made meeting the family a lot more comfortable!

Marc: You're very lucky to have so many gaming friends in real life! I only really have the one...

If you could have a multiplayer session with anyone in the world, whom would you choose? Why?

Scorch: Probably Reggie from Nintendo – He seems like a pretty cool guy and I think it would be fun to talk to him about the future of Nintendo and just hang out for a day. Everybody loves some Reggie.

Marc: What other consoles do you own? What are your favorites on those platforms?

I own a Sega Megadrive, Super Nintendo, Nintendo 64, Gamecube, Wii, Wii U, About 6 different Gameboys, Nintendo DS (And Lite), Nintendo 3DS, Xbox, Xbox 360, Xbox One, PS1, PS2 and PS3.

I would probably say my favourite games are anything related to the Zelda franchise. I’m really looking forward to Hyrule Warriors on the Wii U!

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.

Assassin’s Creed III – I was so pumped to finally be getting a new protagonist (as much as I loved Ezio) but ended up receiving a bland and boring character with an ending that made me seriously re-consider purchasing future titles in the series.

I’m glad I stuck with it though because Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag was amazing and Assassin's Creed Unity is looking to be the same!

Marc: Tell us about your gaming set-up.
Interview 3

Interview 5

Interview 8

Interview 4

I have a 42 inch Samsung TV surrounded by a few of my consoles (Wii, Wii U, Xbox 360 & Xbox One), but sadly there isn't room for my Nintendo 64 or PlayStation 3, so they’re currently residing in the resident wardrobe.

Marc: How do you use TA? Tracking, walkthroughs, solutions, sessions?

I use it mainly for Achievement tracking and solutions – It’s definitely helped me out a lot over the last few years and the way it lists all your achievements and completions cannot be beaten by any other site.

Marc: Do you ever contribute solutions?

Only if nobody else has and I know a sure-fire way of doing something, I try to avoid it though as I have a bad habit of over-complicating things in my writing and just end up confusing people rather than helping them.

Marc: Yeah, like this interview... KIDDING! smile

How has your gaming changed or evolved since coming to TA?

I’ve definitely become A LOT more interested in achievements since I joined the site. It added a whole new level of enjoyment for me to try and collect as many as I could.

Marc: What do you like and dislike most about the site?

I like the achievement tracking and solutions along with the ability to set-up boosting sessions if needed.

I only dislike TA when arguments break out and people start spitting venom at other gamers, especially when people start making fun of those who hunt or want to 100% achievements on a primarily achievement focused website (but that’s more of an issue with people than the website itself).

Marc: How did you learn about TA? Have you signed up any friends to the website?

I think I was searching for a way of completing an achievement and stumbled across the website. It was such a long time ago though that I couldn't really say which achievement/game.

I’ve signed up around 7 or 8 other people of whom I know in “Real life”; though in all honesty it was more for my own sake so I could see their achievements on TA than for their own use. The only two who actually use TA are my brother, Sake Jdm and also Robive.

Marc: Have you made friends here?

Not anybody I game with regularly but I met and bonded with S Rankin AllDay after we sat down and pulled a 15 hour, one sitting marathon on Resident Evil 6 (Xbox 360) – Becoming the second and third people on the site to complete it.

We’ve even technically had a romantic dinner date together as we ate dinner whilst playing throughout the marathon (I lit some candles and everything).

Marc: What a name for a Gamertag! And ooh, best not tell the girlfriend about that!

If you have a pro account, what’s the most number of forced scans you’ve done in a day?

I have easily force scanned over 15 times in a single day but it really depends on how much I’m playing and/or how many achievements I unlock.

Marc: If you could have a game handcrafted just for you, what would your perfect game be?

An open-world game in the Arkham Engine but with other DC heroes: Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman etc.

Marc: Is there anything you’d like to see added to TA’s functionality?

Maybe a message notification when new challenges are added to a game, but besides that, nope!

Marc: Why do you choose TA over other gaming sites?

Because the community seems nicer than most and the achievement tracking facilities are absolutely superb, plus it gives me a place to write and publish my blog every Friday!

Marc: Do you have a “claim to fame” in gaming? If so, what is it?

Not really, no ^^

*Lightning Round*

Favorite 360 game?

Batman: Arkham City

Favorite non-360 game?

The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask

Least favorite game?

Grand Theft Auto IV

Favorite game developer?


Favorite game weapon?

Kazooie, She kind of counts as a weapon, Right?

Most hated game enemy?

Creepers from Minecraft

Favorite game character?


Favorite game sidekick?

Sazh’s Chocobo.

Favorite game ending?

Catherine (Especially the one where you meet her dad)

Most hated game ending?

Mass Effect 3 (expected, I know)

Favorite game environment?

All Assassin Creed games

Favorite game music?

Zelda Franchise

Most emotional video game moment?

About 20 minutes before the end of Mass Effect 3

Game that shouldn’t have had a sequel?

Test Drive Unlimited

Non-Xbox game you’d love to have achievements in?

Zelda: Majora’s Mask

*End of Lightning Round*

Marc: Is there anything in particular you want the TA community to know about you?

Nope! Said everything I wanted to! :)

Marc: Is there anything I haven’t asked that you want to talk about?

It would be fun if people checked out my blog as I put quite a bit of time into it every week, other than that, nope! (Shameless Self-Promotion, I know!)

Marc: Well I'll certainly take a look when I can! Deep down we all want to have a popular blog. wink

Marc: Any shout-outs you want to make before we go?

To Psych0Alex & Robive for all the help you’ve given me with mindless grind/multiplayer achievements over the last few years.

There you have it, folks. Do you understand what the strapline means now? Internet cookies for all who do! Let's give a huge thanks to ScorchPSO for taking the time to share his own story with us. Come back in two weeks time for our next guest, UnscathedGrunt.

Come back to see me and, you guessed it... let's talk. wave

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
Marc Hollinshead
Written by Marc Hollinshead
To summarize Marc in two words, it would be "Christian Gamer." You will usually find him getting stuck into story heavy action-adventure games, RPG's and the odd quirky title when he isn't raving about Dark Souls and Mass Effect. Outside the world of gaming, Marc attends and helps out in his church on a regular basis and has a not-so thrilling job in a supermarket.