Let's Talk with xSRYANx

By Marc Hollinshead, 4 years ago
Hello one and all and welcome back to some more community chatter! Apologies for the delay once again. This week, our guest is xSRYANx, another cat lover who is living proof that gaming does more than you think. Let's give a huge TA welcome to xSRYANx!

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

Mine doesn't have too much meaning. S is the first letter of my name and Ryan is my middle name. I really hate having numbers in my tag, so I went through every possibility before just dealing with having the x's before and after it. My immediate family uses my middle name because my Dad has the same first name.

Marc: What about your signature? (skip if you don’t have one)

It's "I call this my fortress of being alone by myself" from Peggle 2. No real meaning, mostly just made me laugh.

Marc: How long have you been gaming?

Man, this question made me feel old. About 25 years. My first gaming memory is when I was 2.

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

My Papa has always dabbled in it, which is where I played when I was really little. He had a NES, which got me started. My Dad did occasionally while I was growing up. I've also made sure that my little brother started young, so he would appreciate them more. He's 14, and I think a lot of kids his age don't understand the roots. I've had him play from the beginning, so he's a lot more well-rounded!

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

That I should probably do it a little bit less, lol. It's a huge outlet for me, though, so they take it easy.

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

I work a sales job, on commission. Most people roll their eyes, but I'm not much of a salesman. I'm just myself, so it tends to make people more comfortable. I'm also in the process of enrolling for school. Never too late to go back!

Marc: What other hobbies do you enjoy?

Hockey and writing are about as important to me as anything. I'm fairly obsessed with the NHL, probably to an unhealthy extent. As for writing, I do a ton of it... I make music, but it's more for myself than anyone else. It's the easiest way I find to express myself. I love The Walking Dead as well.

Marc: Writing, huh? What kind of writing have you done? You'd fit right at home with us Newshounds if a position opens up wink

I write whatever I feel at the moment. Normally songs or poetry, but I also write about games over at XBLAFans.com every once in a while. Not very often, but I pitch in when I have time. I've written game script ideas and book ideas, but I don't think I'd ever take it that far. I write about sports a lot too. As for writing here, if a position opened up I would probably apply!

Marc: Sounds like you've done all sorts! I'd ask to see some of your poetry but then we could be here for a while :-P. I'm sure you'd make a great addition to the Newshounds as well by the looks of it!

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

Interview 4

xSR: My Dad and I don't have a relationship at all, but I am still close with my mother, and I have a little brother that means the world to me. I do my best to be a good role model for him, but teenagers don't make any sense. Not married, no kids. My roommate and I have a cat named Abel. His owner abandoned him, so we took him in. He can be real jerk, though. Cain may have been the better name, haha.

Marc: It must be hard with your dad, but I'm definitely glad to hear you're still close to the rest of your family :-). Never take them for-granted!

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

As someone who has struggled with anxiety and depression for my entire life, most of the time I'm just proud of myself for getting to where I am today. Most people don't even know that about me, but I consider things to be achievements that may be easy and/or second nature to others.

Marc: Whenever I hear of someone making it through a huge emotional ordeal, I really respect them for it. That's certainly an achievement in my eyes!

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

From a pure gameplay perspective, I think I'd go with Legend of Zelda: Link to the Past. I don't think any other game has matched it, design wise. Although, as far as "special" goes, Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time will always hold my strongest gaming memories.

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

The first game I ever remember playing was Bubble Bobble when I was two years old. It's one of my fondest memories in general, because I played through it with my Nana, who passed away unexpectedly quite a few years ago. I still remember us yelling and laughing at the TV during the final boss. The lightning bubble sounds are legit embedded in my brain! It took us forever, but I was still a little newbie back then.

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

One of the NHL games, dare I even say NHL 15. They never get old to me.

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 the northeast of America, a little less than an hour from Boston. That's where all the sights would be. I took someone for their first trip to Fenway Park recently, and it was pretty great. While Baseball isn't nearly as popular here as it was a few years ago, there is still something really special about going to Fenway.

Marc: Any games you regret putting on your gamertag?

Ugh, yeah. Record of Agarest War, Ninja Gaiden II, Hunted: The Demon's Forge, and Overlord to name a few.

Marc: If you were forced to change your gamertag, what would you change it to?

I actually just changed my tag before the Xbox One came out!

Marc: What does the new tag reflect about you?

I made the change because as fun as an online persona was, I just wanted to be more... Me. Something about simplicity is better as you get older.

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

My public one is Mega Man, mostly because it's one of my favorite series ever (well, 1-6, 9-10... Sorry X fans). I played Mega Man 9 and perfected it to a level I hadn't done with a game in a long time. My personal one is the Boston Bruins logo. About as die hard a fan as you can be since I was a kid.

Marc: Do you have any particular gaming pet peeves?

As much as I'd love to pinpoint stuff, I can probably generalize and just say that I'm tired of every game having some annoying part about it that makes it less fun than it could be. The poll you guys ran a couple months ago hit most of them, but I feel like every game has an annoying mechanic now. For a straight answer - One hit melee kills in MP.

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

Assassin's Creed Unity. I love the series, but I've hated the lack of stealth in recent entries. Not only does it look incredible, but it looks to re-focus on that. I still appreciate the original the most, because it made you feel the most like an assassin. In more recent entries, I've felt more like an untouchable mass murderer.

Marc: Not to mention the absence of multiplayer. Personally, I can't say I'm sad to see it go.

What game are you most proud of completing? Why?

First thing that came to mind was Hexic HD. Took me years to finally finish it. More recently, probably 1001 Spikes. Game is brutal, but has a flow if you stick with it.

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


Hexic HDGrand Pearl Pooh-BahThe Grand Pearl Pooh-Bah achievement in Hexic HD worth 206 pointsSurround one piece with six black pearls.

It is the achievement that took me the longest to finally unlock.

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

One would be:
NHL 14You're The BestThe You're The Best achievement in NHL 14 worth 212 pointsWin the League Title in Hockey Ultimate Team  Seasons.

I really enjoy Ultimate Team, and winning Division 1 isn't easy. Next would be:
DeathsmilesRosa's True PowerThe Rosa's True Power achievement in Deathsmiles worth 159 pointsClear the game using Rosa without continuing.Xbox 360 / Arcade

It was the first time I had ever beat a difficult Shoot Em Up without continuing. And lastly:
Max Payne 3A New York MinuteThe A New York Minute achievement in Max Payne 3 worth 568 pointsFinish In A New York Minute

It was a blast. Maybe one day I'll be able to replace that with "The Shadows Rushed Me"...

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

Sam Fisher.

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

The regenerating enemy in the Dead Space games. Always makes me nervous.

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

Can I say Nolan North as a voice actor? Not that he isn't good at it, but he should do less of it.

Marc: You'd like to see someone thrown into hell for doing a lot of stuff in their job? Harsh laugh

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

A lot. Playing online multiplayer in any competitive setting tends to bring the worst out of everyone. I used to do clan stuff in the Ghost Recon: Advanced Warfighter titles, and people can just be insane. Being anonymous is funny like that. I handle it by egging them on, weirdly enough. I think it's hilarious how much people rage over video games. I'm guilty of it too. It's just a lot more fun when you can rag on someone else, normally just because you're beating them.

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

Single-player most of the time, but overall I play online multiplayer games more. I just enjoy the solo experience better.

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

I mostly play with my roommate, or people I used to work with. I did used to play everything with one person, but unfortunately we don't talk anymore. Then again, I'm a bad co-op gamer. I feel like my space is being invaded. I don't like depending on others either!

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

I know most people pick some inspirational person or celebrity, but for me I'd pick my little brother every time. I could never state enough how important he is to me.

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

I have pretty much all the systems, up until now. I don't have a PS4 or Wii U yet. As far as old school goes, I'd pick mostly Nintendo stuff. Zelda, Mario, etc. More recently, Super Mario Galaxy 2 on Wii was pretty amazing. I really enjoyed Heavy Rain on PS3. I have such a hard time with these questions, because I'll play anything and can normally find something to enjoy from it.

Marc: I agree with you on Super Mario Galaxy. I played the first one to death on Wii and absolutely loved it!

Have you ever had a game you really looked forward to that you were disappointed in when it finally arrived? Tell us about it.

Easily the biggest culprit is Assassin's Creed III. I have never been more excited for a game and been so let down. Building up hype tends to lead to disappointment, but Assassin's Creed III was on a whole other level. So much about it was either glitchy, didn't work, or wasn't what it was talked up to be. I still ended up enjoying it, but it is a love/hate relationship. Gears of War 2 would be an easy runner up for how broken the multiplayer was.

Marc: Tell us about your gaming set-up.
Interview 2

Interview 3

Interview 5

My roommate and I play in the same room, so we have three TVs set up with all our systems on the two tables. Nothing fancy, but people tend to get a kick out of it when they come over. We use the middle TV mostly for sports while we're playing.

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

Everything, really. The site actually made me care less about my actual gamerscore. I still enjoy milestones, but I focus more on trying to get back to 80% completion, and unlocking harder to get achievements. I get a ton of accomplishment when I know it's something a lot of people haven't done. I use all aspects of the site, although I don't actively use guides/solutions while playing through a game at first.

Marc: Do you ever contribute solutions?

I do, here and there. I game outside of the box, so sometimes if a popular solution isn't working for me, I'll post what worked for me, or I'll post solutions when something doesn't have one. If I do, it's generally when the game first comes out.

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

I was all about gamerscore when I first signed up. Now it's secondary to enjoying and completing my favorite games. It also let my OCD have a place to go when needed, haha.

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

I like the idea and what it offers. It's a great place for hardcore gamers to help each other out and really compare their "skills" or achievements to others. I dislike the down-voting of solutions for no apparent reason, and how long winded some of the reviews can be.

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

I was searching gamerscore sites on Google quite a few years ago and stumbled upon it. Loved it since. I've gotten five or so people to sign up, but most of my friends don't game the way I do.

Marc: Achievement hunters like us are certainly a niche group if you think about it. We're the elite few!

Have you made friends here?

There's a couple people I've teamed up with more than once, and still do. Nobody that I really talk to off of the site, though. However, I'm always open to meeting whoever. It'd be nice to have a few more gaming oriented friends, so don't be shy!

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

Probably around 10 when I first started my pro account. Although, I don't force scan because I want to see my stats right away, it's normally to make achievement lists easier to read.

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

Shadow of the Colossus, Bastion (Xbox 360) and Might and Magic: Clash of Heroes are pretty close for me, even if they aren't my absolute favorite games... but I think this would all be genre specific. I play almost every genre, so it's hard for me to come up with some hybrid. Maybe that's it! A game that has every kind of genre in it, that jumps around to different gameplay styles cohesively if that's possible.

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

Not really. Maybe an easier way to meet people besides sessions?

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

I'm big on statistics and lists and this website is a dream for over-thinkers, haha.

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

Ahhhh, I don't know! I have the top TA score and differential in New Hampshire. That's got to count for something!

*Lightning Round*

Favorite 360 game?

Retail: Mirror's Edge /Assassin's Creed series/NHL series - Arcade: Mega Man 9/Clash of Heroes/Bastion

Favorite non-360 game?

Legend of Zelda: Link to the Past/Shadow of the Colossus

Least favorite game?

Angry Birds

Favorite game developer?


Favorite game weapon?

Hidden blades in Assassin's Creed

Most hated game enemy?

Pretty much everything in Dead Space.

Favorite game character?


Favorite game sidekick?

Embarrassingly, Tails. (I grew up on Sega Genesis, sorry!) Or Pikachu.

Favorite game ending?

Shadow of the Colossus

Most hated game ending?

Most games have terrible or anti-climatic endings I think.

Favorite game environment?


Favorite game music?

Mega Man

Most emotional video game moment?

A bunch of stuff from Lost Odyssey comes to mind, especially if you read some of the short stories.

Game that shouldn't have had a sequel?

BioShock 2 (Xbox 360) felt unnecessary.

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

Zelda. Beating it with only three hearts or no fairies would be fun to show off.

*End of Lightning Round*

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

I'm not really sure. I keep my personal life extremely personal most of the time. I'm super introverted! I'm driven by things I'm passionate about. I'm opinionated, creative, sometimes overwhelming. That probably answers that, haha.

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

Yeah. I mentioned earlier about anxiety/depression, and I just wanted to touch on that and how it relates to gaming for a moment. There are obviously different levels to mental health issues, some of which are obvious, and some that aren't. There are times where people do things to seek attention, or are outspoken about it just searching for a response. However, it isn't always like that. If you were to meet me, you'd probably have no idea that I struggled with those things.

It affects everybody differently. For some people they can take medication and it solves their problems, and others can try everything and never find any comfort from it. It can hinder personal and professional lives equally. This relates to video games in that they can be viewed for each person individually. There are times where it has seemed as if games were taking over my personal life, and that's probably true. However, it's because they are the only outlet that has ever worked for me since I was a kid. In times where others may be playing to have fun, I'm probably not. There are times when I don't even feel like it, but I do it because it helps calm me down. This could be viewed as addiction, and maybe that's fair, but I like to think I have a pretty good grasp of it now.

I could probably write a book about it, but I guess my point is mostly to not judge a book by its cover. You never know what somebody else is going through, or their motives for the things that they do. Gaming can have a bunch of negative connotations put to it, but maybe it's worth exploring that it can save lives too.

Marc: That's pretty amazing. It just goes to show that gaming isn't all bad if it's able to do things like this. Thanks for sharing that!

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

Not really. Members Bachlott and iTiPS for being cool enough to game a couple times!

There you have it, folks. Thanks a bunch to xSRYANx for sharing a portion of his life with us. Join me next time where I'll be with my next guest, https://www.trueachievements.com/DrCanadianNinja.htm.

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.