Recently we brought back Community Interviews here on TA with Sam
's interviews. Originally we were just going to have Sam
handle these once a month, but the will of the people is a powerful thing and you guys have spoken. We can't make any promises, but we will try to get these out more regularly, so long as the number of nominees remains high enough to facilitate such a schedule. So keep sending in suggestions, whether it be your friends or yourselves.
That brings us to today's interviewee, the infamous Oddworld X
. Who is he and what are his motivations? You'll have to read on to find out.
The InterviewGamertags almost always tell something about their owners. Tell us about yours.
Originally I was going to go for something along the lines of 'TheBlackChihuahua' but due to the character limit I was forced to choose something a bit shorter. As you'll soon find out, I'm a massive fan of the Oddworld series on the PS1, and thought that choosing something relating to it would make the perfect Gamertag for me. Unfortunately 'Oddworld' was taken, so I added a 'X' to the end which I like to think stands for the difficulty I play my music games on, Expert!
How long have you been gaming? TheBlackChihuahua himself.
I've been gaming for as long as I can remember, so easily around 15 years. I'm only 21 so that's most of my life with my eyes stuck to a screen, they're still not square though so I must be doing something right!Do others in your family game, or are you a first-generation gamer?
What do your parents/significant other/friends have to say about your gaming?
When I was younger I'd sit on the bed and watch my big sister play games for hours on end. When she moved out I began to pick up the controller and my younger siblings would take my place sitting on the bed and watching me play. Neither of them are too interested these days so the only other person I know in my family who loves gaming is my Nephew. Since he's too scared to come up to my room without my big sister, you'll normally find him downstairs playing Mario & Sonic at the Olympic games on the Nintendo Wii whenever he comes for a visit, what a scrub.
Recently I had a discussion with my Dad about games, I found out that we had both played River Raid, the only difference being that he played it years ago on the Commodore 64 and I played it very recently on Game Room
, so that's kind of interesting.
On occasion you might even hear my Mum imitating Abe from the Oddworld games...
Other than that, I'm the only one who's really a gamer in this family.
Ahh boosting late into the night when you should be studying. I think quite a few of us can sympathize there. Assuming you’re not a professional gamer, what’s your day job?
When I was at College my parents often suggested putting down the controller and studying a little harder, looking back I probably should have taken their advice a bit more seriously. My grades were never terrible and I'm quite proud of what I achieved but I think I could have done better if I spent a couple of more hours each week with my head in a book rather than ring boosting on Gears of War 2
at 2am in my underpants.
Most of my friends are casual gamers but every now and then I'll rope one or two of them into helping me with a ridiculous co-op achievement. The different kinds of methods we've come up with in order to unlock a particularly difficult achievement have been really entertaining and it's still something we'll speak about to this day. They understand the thrill I get when unlocking a really difficult achievement and earning that full completion on a game, but perhaps they think that the hours I've put in could have been put to much more productive use.
I'm currently working as a Stock Controller at a local supermarket. I count things, investigate products that are under or over stocked and sort out delivery notes. You'll often find me wondering the shop floor with a PDA in my hand or out in the warehouse sorting out bits of paper.I'm not really sure this is the right place to apply but maybe! What other hobbies do you enjoy?
I don't intend on staying there much longer, I'm uncomfortably comfortable. I'd like to challenge myself and move onto bigger and better things which is just natural.
Something I really hope to achieve in the future is creating a popular channel online. I've experimented with making my own Youtube channel dedicated to gaming and funny sketches, but I'm always extremely critical of myself and end up scrapping any footage and ideas I have. I'd love for this to be something that actually brings me in an income one day but I can't seem to get my head stuck in. I have the passion and determination for it, but finding a comfortable space to do it and feeling positive about it are hurdles I look forward to getting over.
Any chance the TA YouTube Team are still hiring?
When I'm not on the Xbox, you'll most likely find me sitting on my bed playing on my guitar. I'm completely self taught so I'm not the best in the world, however I'm not too shabby either. For those wondering I have a Jackson Rhoads JS32T but I'm looking to sell it on to get something a little less... extreme?Tell us about your home life – parents, spouse, children, significant other, animal companions?
When I'm not on my guitar, I'll be jotting down ideas for creative film pieces I want to experiment with when I'm out and about. I've uploaded a couple of my A Level coursework pieces to YouTube but they're nothing special. Most of my ideas have yet to be brought to life, all it takes is for me to wake up feeling in a bad mood one morning and all my ideas will be thrown in a bin, it's something I have to stop doing if I'm going to see myself progress in any way at all.
Quite recently I've found a love for poker, my friend introduced me to the game and took me to the casino shortly after, I only lost £10 but it was still an extremely intimidating experience. Since then I've been practising in my spare time and managed to come 4th place in a Tournament of 40 players only a few weeks ago! It's something I'd love to take to the next level, but I don't think I'll be ready for anything like that for a long time to come.
Home life is nice, I get on with my parents for the most part and I don't feel too pressured living here right now. I used to have a Cat called Wesker (he preferred Weskerpants), but sadly he passed away last year.
I've also managed to get myself a girlfriend (See, the Gears of War 2
ring boosting in my underpants did get me somewhere after all). She's actually really great for showing interest in my hobbies and getting involved, she'll come over with original Xbox games she got from CEX and kick me off the Xbox every now and then which I don't mind. She's also been going back to her gaming roots since she met me and ordered herself a PS1 with the Rugrats and Southpark games on she played in her childhood. We're currently going through Resident Evil 5
together and she seems to be enjoying that, I would have hoped she would have jumped a bit more at the 'scary' parts though so apparently she's braver than I am.
What part of the world do you live in? If I were to visit, what sights would I have to see? Oddworld X and his girlfriend. I imagine that log was quite comfy.
I live in the South-West of England in a rural town called Tavistock (That's where Sir Francis Drake was born!). I live right on top of Dartmoor which covers 368 Square Miles so the area is quite nice for walks, bike rides and even a paddle in a stream if the weather is appropriate. Stonehenge is a few hours to the right, the Eden Project is a few hours to the left and we're home to The National Marine Aquarium which is the largest aquarium in the UK. We're famous for things like Glastonbury Festival, Cornish Pasties, Cream Tea and having funny accents.
If anyone was in the area I'd highly suggest visiting The Highwayman pub in Sourton. I guarantee it's the strangest pub you'll ever visit. The side of the building is designed to look like a giant shoe and the entrance is made to look like the side of a carriage. The dining area is quite literally the interior of an old wooden ship and each room you can stay in overnight has a completely different theme to the next. The owners have shrunken heads behind the bar, the walls basically bleed coins and the interior is full of strange objects, suits of armour and weapons. The visitor's logbook even includes notes and signatures written by Richie Blackmore of Deep Purple and Noel Fielding!
Of what real life achievement are you most proud? Would you give us some details? Tavistock, England from the eyes of Oddworld X
Getting a job or maybe getting some half decent grades for my A-Levels... not very much really. You could say I'm still fairly new in the world of 'real life achievements' but I'm still young and there's still plenty to accomplish. The good thing is that I'm full of drive and I'm perfectly capable of climbing to bigger and better things. My goals for the near future include moving out, starting to take my creative ideas further than a notepad and finding or creating myself a fantastic job.If you had to pick one spirit animal to describe you, what would it be?
Definitely a Cat. I'm fairly irritable, tend to be quiet and love a good nap.What’s your favorite game of all time on any console? What makes it special?
Oddworld: Abe's Exoddus.With an answer like that, I can tell the passion is real. Do you remember the first game you played? What’s your fondest memory of it?
I first played this game when I was a few years short of the age recommendation of 11+ and as a result many of the game's elements were absolutely terrifying to me. Oddworld Inhabitants did a superb job at creating a dark and creepy atmosphere throughout the game's various locations, it's realistic and gritty artistic design mixed with the horrific themes and brutality of the game contributed to 90% of my nightmares as a child. This was probably the first time I was exposed to these kinds of themes as a child and it's stuck with me ever since.
In my opinion, well structured sound and ambience are key elements to any great game. Abe's Exoddus has some of the most advanced sound design you'll ever hear in a game from the Playstation 1 era, so good in fact that a blind man named Terry Garrett was able to complete the game using only his ears as a guide.
The puzzle elements were a welcome change to the usual platforming I was used to in games such as Crash Bandicoot, Croc and Spyro The Dragon. Another welcome change was the vulnerability you were forced to endure through the game as Abe had no immediate way to fight the gun wielding Sligs or the native creatures of Oddworld. Running away, distracting or possessing enemies was the only way you could fight back and in most cases those options weren't always available.
No game has managed to engulf me in the lore and universe or made my heart race as fast as Abe's Exoddus game, so that's why it's my all time favourite.
The first ever game I remember playing was Porsche Challenge on the Playstation 1, it wasn't even a game I played frequently because I was never really good enough to finish a race.If some evil spell allowed you to own only a single game for the rest of your life, what would it be? Why?
My fondest memory of Porsche Challenge were the days when I'd sit on the bed and watch my big sister play, I was always amazed at how good she was at the game compared to me. These are some of my earliest memories in life so they hold a lot of sentimental value to me.
You've managed to make both Morrowind and Skyrim fans weep in one swoop. Any games you regret putting on your gamertag?
Definitely The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion
. I could easily put thousands and thousands of hours into that game just by getting a little creative. Obviously the DLC packs would have to be included,
I'd start with optimizing each of the three basic classes to their maximum potential before starting any quests to benefit from the levelled reward system. Next you have to consider keeping every character on your good side but more importantly keeping every character alive from random bear encounters. Then there's silly little things like picking every plant, closing every Oblivion gate, naming your weapons as if they were your children, owning the biggest watermelon collection in Tamriel and making 1,000 of every potion. Let's not even go into how much time I'd spend making a pixel perfect character, we've all had that moment where we spend 2 - 3 hours on the character creation screen only to foolishly start the game without triple checking the pixels on the left hand side of your character's nose.
I know the feeling - I had a similar experience with NCAA College Football 09. Tell us about your gamer pic. Why did you choose that one?
I've not personally put any games onto my Gamertag which I regret, however one time I was hosting a little Guitar Hero Tournament in Secondary School which meant my Xbox was left there overnight. One day I came into College and some guys come up to me all excited like 'Joe, we've just unlocked you some achievements on FIFA 12
You know that smile you make when you meet eyes with someone in public who you don't know? That's the kind of face I was pulling when I was given the news.
It's whatever you want. Nothing Else Matters. Do you have any particular gaming pet peeves?
I've been flitting between pictures in the Guitar Hero: Metallica
picture pack for many years now, there's no reason other than I think they look pretty cool and you don't often find other people using the pictures so they feel a little more personal.
For my Xbox One I'm using a picture of a colourful flower tree on a white background. I think it's a really refreshing picture bursting with colour, plus it reminds me of Talk Talk's masterpiece 'Spirit of Eden'.
What upcoming game are you most looking forward to?
My biggest gaming pet peeve is giving up or settling for less. Sure, we COULD change the difficulty down to Advanced, but that wouldn't create nearly the same feeling it would if we just stuck it out, changed our tactics and went for it on Expert. I used to run through Left 4 Dead 2
Expert campaigns with my IRL buddies just to see how fast we could complete them, or if we could complete them without ever having failed a chapter. Let's put it this way, no completed Advanced campaign ever made me jump up shout out "Yes!" and leap over to hug my friend.
What game(s) are you currently playing? How are you finding it?
I'm remaining hopeful for the upcoming remake of Oddworld: Abe's Exoddus but due to the lacklustre nostalgia value of it's predecessor I'm not expecting an absolute masterpiece. I really enjoyed the Gears of War 4
beta so I'm currently trying to knock out Gears of War 2
and Gears of War 2 (JP)
before it releases this October! That new Rock Band Rivals announcement may have caught my interest too, but don't let Harmonix know that, I'm still supposed to be upset with them.
I just started up Resident Evil 5
. The Xbox 360 version was a highlight of my Xbox 360 gaming era so it's a little nostalgic right now. I loved the 360 version so much that I named my Cat after the main villain (I still think I should have gone for Albert Whiskers).
It's great and all but I find myself thinking 'was it always this cheesy?'
What game are you most proud of completing? Why? Wesker. A fine cat. Green Day: Rock BandWhat single Xbox achievement are you most proud of? Why?
. This is easily the most difficult Music game to complete when done without cheesy methods. When going for:
I swear down I nearly fainted because I was concentrating so hard that I forgot to breathe during the last 30 seconds of the song. It's my most proud game completion because it took me many hours of blood, sweat and tears... well minus the blood and tears... and overall I think it's the most difficult game I've completed in terms of achievements.
In a slightly different vein, do you have a favorite achievement? One perhaps that you just really enjoyed attaining?
My arms are crying in pain right now just thinking about this achievement. The most difficult music achievement of all time? Maybe. Just maybe.
I'm 100% positive you are the only person to ever have something positive to say about this achievement. If you found yourself dropped into a video game, which video game character would you most want to have your back?
I have great memories of messing around for countless hours with my friends, most of the time we weren't even attempting to find the orbs. My favourite game was attaching C4 to a little civilian car and trying to cross the broken bridge before being taken down by someone in a cop car. Crackdown 2
was awesome for this kind of creative gameplay and is really quite underrated.
In the same scenario, what character/creature would you most/least like to see headed your way?
Quan Chi from Mortal Kombat
, so much bad-ass and swag in one bundle.
Any characters you would like seen thrown into video game hell?
I'd love to bump into that Owl who doesn't stop shitting in Castle Crashers Remastered
. I'd plant him in trees and leave little signs asking people to stand underneath him so anyone who did would drown and die.
Rilla Roo from Crash Bash, what an abomination!Ever had any bad experiences online? How did you handle it?
Actually, DJ Qbert from DJ Hero 2
is such a sweaty little nerd, he can go f*** off to Video Game hell.
Do you prefer single player or multi-player?
There have been plenty of hackers in Call of Duty: World at War
which have been a real pain, but there's very little you can do about that. Then there's the occasional DJ mixing his new tunes over his Kinect which everyone is clearly interested in hearing. It's just what you have to expect on a service like Xbox Live sometimes, I've had much more friendly encounters during my 7 years of Xbox Live than unfriendly encounters.
Do you have a favorite group of friends you like to play with? If so, how did you meet?
On massive open world games like The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion
or Red Dead Redemption
, single player. I like hoarding weapons, completing missions and ticking off that endless to-do list without any other distractions.
With games like Left 4 Dead
when there's not much else to do other than get to the end goal I prefer multiplayer.
Despite living in a small village I've been very fortunate in meeting a great group of friends mostly through Secondary School. They're all into music games as much as I am so that's our ideal chill out scenario. Getting a four player band together on Rock Band hasn't been easier!If you could have a multiplayer session with anyone in the world, whom would you choose? Why?
What other consoles do you own? What are your favorites on those platforms?
I'd play one of those really dodgy Japanese visual novels with The Pope. If he declined then I'd get that local co-op going on Rocksmith 2014 Edition (Xbox 360)
with Chris Poland!
I own a Playstation 2 and have a nice collection of Mint Condition Playstation 1 games. My favourites other than the obvious include Crash Bandicoot, Spyro the Dragon, Rapid Racer, Demolition Racer and Hydro Thunder. Playstation 2 favourites include Pac-man World 2, Burnout 3, Burnout: Revenge and Pitfall: The Lost Expedition.Have you ever had a game you really looked forward to that you were disappointed in when it finally arrived? Tell us about it.
Tell us about your gaming set-up.
For me, Rock Band 4
was the biggest gaming related disappointment I've ever had. It was the only reason I bought an Xbox One in the first place so I felt robbed of £500 (Band Bundle and Xbox One) when it arrived in the state it did. The drums were unplayable at Hard and Expert difficulty levels due to software problems and are still really dodgy to this day. Something even more basic was that game wasn't even a fraction of what Rock Band 3
was on release day and that was the real disappointment.
Nothing special really, my Xbox 360 and Xbox One live on the right and my Playstation 2 lives on my left. My TV sits somewhere in between them and my plastic instruments live behind me in a corner with my NTSC Box. There is just enough space to for single player Kinect in my room at the right angle, but normally my Kinect lives in my drawer.It doesn't look like you haven't cleaned the place in a decade, so I think that's a +1 for you. How do you use TA? Tracking, walkthroughs, solutions, sessions?
Do you actively compete in any of the TA events? Which ones?
I'm often on it for social reasons but occasionally I'll use the achievement guides if I'm stuck on any tough achievements or make use of the boosting sessions on achievements that require a good 100 hour grind. I've written my own walkthroughs for Hydro Thunder Hurricane
and Beat'n Groovy
and have also written a handful of reviews and achievements guides too.
I've joined the GTASC for two years running now but each time I don't feel like I've been committed enough to help take the team anywhere. Maybe next year I'll take it a bit more seriously?"There's always next year!" I've been known to say the same. How has your gaming changed or evolved since coming to TA?
Since joining the site I've taken a strong interest in music leaderboards so I find myself starting games that not even my worst nightmares could handle like the Disney Sing It games. I also like to work on my ratio so I'm always on the lookout for notoriously difficult games to complete, even if I don't enjoy playing them.What do you like and dislike most about the site?
As an end result, I find myself being put off by playing my Xbox, sometimes I treat it like a second job. In recent months I've definitely taken it a lot more casually and I'm starting to go back to games just for fun.
I've really warmed to the community in recent years so that's definitely my favourite aspect of it.I swear I did not tell him to say that! How did you learn about TA? Have you signed up any friends to the website?
There's still plenty of things that need polishing but more importantly I think we're at the stage where staff members should be compensated for their time working here. Obviously I don't know the ins and outs of TrueAchievements as a business but I'd like to see all the hard work of the staff rewarded.
I was originally signed up by my friend dalix72 and since then I've slowly grown to love TA. I've signed a handful of my friends to TA but I'm pretty sure that almost no one I signed up uses it as regularly as I do. Saying that, two or three of my friends will use the achievement guides when they're stuck on an achievement but are otherwise fairly inactive on the website. Don't look at me like that, I tried!Have you made friends here?
In the summer of 2013 I made the long trip up to Scotland to see hoLLowPoint75 and his family. We went on a nice walk up to Culzean castle, played drunken poker and played a lot of Guitar Hero together. It was one of the greatest summers I've ever had and would happily do it again despite feeling like I overstayed my welcome just a little bit. The greatest thing about it was that there was a massive heatwave that year so I actually departed from Scotland with a tan!
In October the following year I had Awoo
(Formerly RazorPriest) over for my birthday week. I travelled up to London to meet him and watch Haken play, after a fantastic set we were forced to leave during the encore because our coach was leaving at 11:45pm. After Awoo
managed to leave his laptop on a train and thankfully find it again shortly after, we were running late and had to jog the rest of the way to the coach station. We strolled up at 11:45pm on the dot and asked someone who worked there where our bus was which was when we were given the bad news. Apparently I read the ticket wrong and our bus left at 11:30pm, I don't think I've heard my mum more furious.
Long story short we wondered the streets of London all night and ended up waking up on a bench with a homeless man. My friend jedishaw managed to buy us tickets for the 7am bus and we had a nice sleep on the way home. The week we spent at my place was pretty awesome too, we mostly played Guitar Hero, knocked out some co-op Kinect and I introduced him to all of my IRL friends on a night out.
Finally, in October 2015 and more recently June 2016, I had Dang3R Gaming
down from Brighton to stay over for a week. We played a lot of Guitar Hero co-op got drunk a few times down the pub and played a lot of pool. Last month we went to an escape room and managed to escape with less than two minutes to spare! If there's one in your area grab a group of friends or work colleagues and try one, they're awesome team!
If you could have a game handcrafted just for you, what would your perfect game be? Oddworld X, his family, and Dang3R Gaming after solving the puzzle!
Here are some things I think it would need...Why do you choose TA over other gaming sites?
1) Awesome soundtrack that I'd choose to listen to over my favourite artists
3) Hydro Thunder Hurricane 2
3) Gameplay time equal to or greater than The Elder Scrolls series
4) Creating and building you own character
5) Decisions that actually matter
TA is very user friendly and I can navigate around with no trouble at all. I have loads of friends here and the gaming session feature is awesome.Do you have a “claim to fame” in gaming? If so, what is it?
Very recently I met UKOGMonkey75 at a Guitar Hero Competition for charity in my local area. I saw that the 'world champion' was advertised to be there and laughed to myself at the thought. After sitting down and watching him play One on Medium for whatever reason I finally realised it was him and to no surprise I didn't feel like playing anymore.
We played three songs together but he only managed to beat me at two of them because no one beats me at Cult of Personality! Anyway we shook hands, took a selfie together and he gave me his number, I think I was a little star struck!
Gaming Lightning RoundFavorite 360 game?Favorite Xbox One game?Favorite non-Xbox?
Oddworld: Abe's ExoddusLeast favorite game?Game you wish you'd never played?Game you've always wanted to play but haven't?Favorite game developer?
Oddworld InhabitantsFavorite game weapon?Most hated game enemy?Favorite game character?
Spyro the Dragon (Original Trilogy)Favorite game sidekick?
Benjamin CarmineFavorite game ending?
Oddworld: Abe's ExoddusMost hated game ending?Favorite game environment?Favorite game music?
Spyro The DragonMost emotional video game moment?
Shutting down Soulstorm Brewery in Oddworld: Abe's ExoddusGame that shouldn’t have had a sequel?
Croc: Legend of the GobbosNon-Xbox game you’d love to have achievements in?
Pac-Man World 2End of Gaming Lightning Round
Bonus! Off-topic Lighting RoundFavorite movie?
In BrugesFavorite music genre?
Experimental/Jam/Instrumental e.g. Tool/Goat/Grateful Dead/BucketheadFavorite band?
At this moment in time, BudgieFavorite book series?
Darren Shan's Vampire seriesBest place you've been?
Pollença in MajorcaPlace you want to go most?
Canada seems nice, eh?NICEST place you'd never want to go?
AustraliaWeirdest food you love?
Butter and Marmite on toast with a generous sprinkle of white pepperFavorite car?
Lotus EliseFavorite super hero?
Captain QwarkEnd of Bonus Lighting Round
Final ThoughtsIs there anything in particular you want the TA community to know about you?
Is there anything I haven’t asked that you want to talk about?
Once upon a time I used to butt heads with various community members over the way people unlocked achievements, I just want people to know that I'm not about that anymore. You can unlock achievements any way you want as long as your having fun which is what it's really about at the end of the day.
Yes! I dare somebody to find a bigger Oddworld fan out there than me!Any shout-outs you want to make before we go?
And that's it! I think this legend certainly showed he's someone everyone could love to know. Thank you Oddworld X for taking the time to tell us a little about yourself!
Firstly, I have to give a shout-out to everyone part of The Hydro Thunder Hurricane Army
, the comments on that leaderboard never fail to make me smile. Thanks to everyone for encouraging me to continue what's been described as 'the most annoying thing on TA' on one side and 'The best thing on the website!' on the other, good job to everyone who helped keep the joke running for as long as possible!
For those who are unaware, don't ask
Secondly, all of my IRL friends. minimonkeyk
, you're all amazing friends and I wouldn't know what I'd do without you.
Finally, to everyone that I've met through this website, you're all awesome! For anyone who I haven't met, feel free to add me, send me a message or invite me to a game session, I'd love to meet you!
Cheers, and happy achievement hunting!
The TA Community Interview will be posted every two weeks if we have enough nominations! If you have a friend you'd like to nominate to be interviewed, or if you'd like to nominate yourself, please send a PM to kintaris
. You’re more likely to be picked if you’re well-written, interesting, funny or have an impressive array of plastic instruments.