TA Community Interview - TheGearGuardian

By Kevin Tavore, 1 year ago
Two weeks ago, Sam introduced us to RandomlyEvasive. Today it's time to meet a new member of our community.

His name is TheGearGuardian. He's a family man with a love of gaming and a green thumb to go along with it. There's certainly more than meets the eye with this guardian - so read on to find out!

Gamertags almost always tell something about their owners. Tell us about yours.
Well, my Gamertag is a reflection of my favourite Xbox franchise Gears of War with a little mix of being a father. Being a guardian to my children and also I generally play a support role while co-op or competitive gaming.
The guardian himself.The guardian himself.

How long have you been gaming?
I started gaming May 18th 1998, some might consider me a late bloomer but I was only 6 years old at the time. My parents bought me a Gameboy Colour for my birthday and I haven't stopped since.
Do others in your family game, or are you a first-generation gamer?
I came from a larger than average family, I have 8 other brothers and sisters all from the same parents, so for us keeping a hobby to yourself was difficult. Console based gaming has kind of always been my thing but over the years. Even my mother and father have played and completed a Pokemon game and they've also played online PC based MMORPG's.
What do your parents/significant other/friends have to say about your gaming?
The only opinion I can offer is probably my wife's. She hasn't really got an issue with it. I try to only get time in once my children are in bed so not to leave a negative taste in her mouth. Overall I think it keeps me out of her hair when I sit down with a single player game and she can scroll through Facebook endlessly.
Assuming you’re not a professional gamer, what’s your day job?
The dream of being a pro gamer, twitch set up earning me some income etc hasn't died. Alas, I am Service Desk Coordinator for a medium sized IT firm. But always looking to try and break into gaming if I ever found the time.
Tell us about your home life – parents, spouse, children, significant other, animal companions?
My home life consists of my 3 young daughters and my wife of almost 6 years. My wife Emma is/was my co-op partner on Xbox, LancerLust. My small people are; Yuna Lesca, Eevee Fyra & Sapphire Mei. They age 5,3, and nearly 2, so as you can imagine it's a very busy house with a lot of noise. I try and find time to bribe my wife into playing our Xbox One's together but we mostly very tired from work and kids.

What part of the world do you live in? If I were to visit, what sights would I have to see?
Well I use to live in Central London, UK, so sites would have been more interesting. But of late I traded it in for Northwich which is a small town outside of Manchester, UK. Sites are generally just greenery and parks. There's a lot of natural beauty to be had.
What other hobbies do you enjoy?
When I'm not between my 2 desks of work and play, I find myself in my garden. Earning myself a green thumb. I'm also an big fan of anime - I watch a lot and collect some memorabilia.
Gardening! Don't hear that every day. How did you start that and what kind of plants do you grow?
While living in Central London I never had a garden so always wanted one. The moment I moved into Northwich and saw my new place had a garden it just hit me. I currently grow my own herbs and alot of flowers. Obviously with 3 daughters, flowers are the big winner. Well, that and my current patch of 6 foot sunflowers which I am adamant are out to get me O_O.
The man loves gardening and his daughters.The man loves gardening and his daughters.

Of what real life achievement are you most proud? Would you give us some details?
Having children. Parents on this site will understand. The moment you hold your first born child something changes in you. My real life achievement would be them.
If you had to pick one spirit animal to describe you, what would it be?
I'd see myself as a penguin, devoted father and part of a team. Sure I have a few predators but that just makes life worth living.
Ok, I didn't see that answer coming but I love it and I can tell those qualities do suit you! What’s your favorite game of all time on any console? What makes it special?
My favourite game of all time would have to be Final Fantasy X on PS2. The story, the characters, the music. I was only around 12 years old when I played it and I feel it made a massive influence to my life. A lot of the meanings still sit with me to this day. I even named my first born daughter Yuna Lesca to always keep that memory alive.
Do you remember the first game you played? What’s your fondest memory of it?
The first game I ever played was Pokemon Red on the Gameboy Colour. Pokemon was at its peak and this was more or less just released. It was love at first play-through, there wasn't a time after that, that I wasn't found with a smile on my face catching another Pokemon.
Pokemon huh? Have you been playing Pokemon GO then?
Sadly no, as a Microsoft purist I have a windows phone much to my own dismay right now. I own an andriod phone but not a recent one so not powerful enough to run it. Managed to get my wife to play it though so I'm not completely out of the game. But I fear she has gotten into it more than me.
If some evil spell allowed you to own only a single game for the rest of your life, what would it be? Why?
Wow, that is quite tough. I think I would go with The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, between Gwent, horse racing, bar fights plus the overall story and DLC there's a lot to do. The characters are interesting and it definitely took me quite a while to 100% it.
Any games you regret putting on your gamertag?
Several -_- We all had the stage of buying or renting games we had no idea about. But my pet regret is Dark Souls. I am awful at it. The game could be the greatest experience to someone but it's my nemesis. Dark Souls would be closely followed by Risen 2: Dark Waters. If you have finished that game you are a better man than me. I instantly get lost and have no idea where the game is trying to lead me. I have tried playing it around 4-5 times and never get very far.
Tell us about your gamer pic. Why did you choose that one?
I do change it kind of often but more or less the same. I change between normal clothes and the COG armour. But ultimately, its me holding a Lancer as I enjoy doing so in game (plus goes with my Gamertag).
Do you have any particular gaming pet peeves?
Controller layouts!! The greatest game can be destroyed if the controls don't fit. I never appreciated Gears of War: Judgment because of the control change. Driving games which use cn_A and not cn_RT. Call it OCD but it's what grinds my gears.
What upcoming game are you most looking forward to?
After E3 this year there are a few which I can't wait for. South Park: The Fractured but Whole looks like a laugh to play and Gears of War 4 of course for me. But my white whale of a game is KINGDOM HEARTS III.

This video was released 10 years ago and I have a comment on it from 10 years ago. I have a 10 year old pre-order at GAME. Since then I've married and had 3 children and my oldest is nearly 5 years old. KH3 is what I'm really looking forward too.
Well that certainly is dedication to the future! I hadn't realized it had been that long. What game(s) are you currently playing? How are you finding it?
Currently I'm on Zombie Army Trilogy, it's a good game with a great mechanic. But it really has to done in multiplayer to appreciate it properly, which is an invitation to anyone reading this with the game to play with me.
What game are you most proud of completing? Why?
I know people on this site have mixed views but I don't count DLC's into my 100%'s. To me it's all about the base. So on that basis it would be Resident Evil 5 (Xbox 360). It was the first game me and girlfriend at the time played and completed together and she went on to be my wife.
What single Xbox achievement are you most proud of? Why?
Fallout 3ReaverThe Reaver achievement in Fallout 3 worth 17 pointsReached Level 8 with Bad Karma
Was the last achievement I unlocked on Fallout 3. Fallout 3 was my first 100%, finally unlocking that after doing a complete DLC playthrough and it lead to me seeking more and more completions.
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 a favourite game for achievements. Fable II had so many fun-based achievements which had no real part of the story. Having to go out of your way to do something ridiculous or pointless just for the "blip" was worth it every time.
If you found yourself dropped into a video game, which video game character would you most want to have your back?
To be fair I would only use a supporting character. I would have to pick Dominic Santiago from the Gears of War series. He is the support NPC in a game that never under-performed in my opinion. Sure I could pick Marcus Fenix or Geralt of Rivia but Dom knows how to have your back.
In the same scenario, what character/creature would you most/least like to see headed your way?
In terms of an enemy, a Berserker from Gears of War. The overall invincibility if you don't have fire and the blood curdling screech, it's definitely not an enemy I would want to face in person.
Any characters you would like seen thrown into video game hell?
Shiva from Resident Evil 5. The worst support NPC in a game. Constantly dying and making you start again. Sure she was fine when my wife played her, but if you were ever brave enough to play Resident Evil 5 solo and relied on Shiva, YOU DIED.
Ever had any bad experiences online? How did you handle it?
Not that I can think of to be fair.
Do you prefer single player or multiplayer?
Multiplayer on the sofa with my wife is my preferred option. But Xbox One has taken that mostly away from me so now mostly single player or some online co-pp. I prefer co-op to competitive.
Do you have a favorite group of friends you like to play with? If so, how did you meet?
Don't currently have much in online friends (always looking for more). I generally found myself playing a lot more than most people I know in real life and I have met online. Currently I played regularly with http://www.trueachievements.com/IPsec.htm and TheOneTrueGlenn. We met through a Plants vs. Zombies Garden Warfare session that was created on TA. We've played various games since and plan to continue to do so. But seriously would really enjoy some more members of the TA community considering I often play and use the site on a daily basis.
If you could have a multiplayer session with anyone in the world, whom would you choose? Why?
I think a clone of myself. Getting multiplayer rage at myself and complaining about my own skill level or kill stealing would be a laugh.
Well that's an interesting twist on an answer to that question! What other consoles do you own? What are your favorites on those platforms?
Only have my 360, my WP and Xbox One. Call me a MS purist in my gaming age.
Have you ever had a game you really looked forward to that you were disappointed in when it finally arrived? Tell us about it.
Fallout 4. The game was good but other than a graphic revision since Fallout 3, the game felt like copy and paste at it's finest. It was an easy 1000G and wasn't overly enjoyable. After all this time I expect Kingdom Hearts 3 will fall into that category.
I hope your decade of waiting doesn't end in misery. That would be sad. Tell us about your gaming set-up.
It's not much - being a dad, it has to be compact and all together. My desk area holds both Xbox's and my PC. I have a basic dual screen set up for TA while I play and for working from home use. I'm trying to collect some Vinyl POP!'s which sit next to my Kinect. Wouldn't mind larger screens perhaps but it's my little corner of me.

How do you use TA? Tracking, walkthroughs, solutions, sessions?
I use TA daily. I use it as a social media more than anything to be fair. Definitely interests me more than Facebook. Otherwise I write a few solutions and use them myself for achievements I can't figure out straight away. I set up a few sessions here and there, definitely want to do more though.
Do you actively compete in any of the TA competitions? Which ones?
Done a bit of Leap Frog for the last 2 years. Not really for competing sake but to prove I can do a generally around 10 days and a full time job, wife and 3 kids.
Well you've bested me in Leap Frog! How has your gaming changed or evolved since coming to TA?
When I joined TA I thought I was a decent achievement hunter, but once I had my page setup my completion was around 70%. Wasn't really happy with that and since I have tried to become more of a completionist than a hunter. Still trying to get to 200k Gamerscore this year and completionist does make that restricting.
I wish you luck with that goal! What do you like and dislike most about the site?
I like seeing all my stats in one place and comparing myself to others who are clearly more devoted or with more time than me. The site has a great community and generally easy to get along with. The biggest like of this site though has to be the session making. Meeting players on this site is incredibly easy, even on games which are slightly dated.
How did you learn about TA? Have you signed up any friends to the website?
I found TA when looking online for a solution for Halo 3 skull locations. Didn't sign up straight away but kept visiting from time to time. I signed up and started really using the site almost 2 years ago, since I got my wife on board and a colleague at work. Most of my colleagues are PS3/4 users so not much else I can do there.
Have you made friends here?
I have met a few people on this site I would actually consider a friend and not just an online acquaintance. The site gets gamers together in the best way and I'm hoping to meet more avid gamers like myself in the future.
If you could have a game handcrafted just for you, what would your perfect game be?
A Pokemon style game on Xbox One. Say 150 unique creatures which you can catch and train (sound familiar?). A story with the epic magnitude of Witcher 3 where you have to save the world. So really a game which was like the Pokemon TV series which lead into any of the movies. Get it on kick-starter and I'll back it.
Why do you choose TA over other gaming sites?
This is the only site I found which has a proper homepage/profile which is really user friendly and shows me against a large community of gamers. The site gets news just as fast as others but offers me just that little bit more.

Gaming Lightning Round

Favorite 360 game?
Plants Vs Zombies: Garden Warfare
Favorite Xbox One game?
Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
Favorite non-Xbox?
Pokemon series
Least favorite game?
Dark Souls
Game you wish you'd never played?
Dark Souls
Game you've always wanted to play but haven't?
Minecraft, funny enough
Favorite game developer?
Favorite game weapon?
Lancer Mk2 from Gears of War
Most hated game enemy?
The unexpected Ticker in Gears of War on Insane
Favorite game character?
S117 Master Chief
Favorite game sidekick?
Dominic Santiago
Favorite game ending?
Most hated game ending?
Favorite game environment?
The Witcher - Northern Kingdoms
Favorite game music?
Halo 3, the end warthog run
Most emotional video game moment?
In Gears of War 3....
*** Spoiler - click to reveal ***
Game that shouldn’t have had a sequel?
Was never a fan of Halo 4, so any sequel to the Bungie Halo series.
Non-Xbox game you’d love to have achievements in?
Pokemon series
End of Gaming Lightning Round

Bonus! Off-topic Lighting Round

Favorite movie?
Shaun Of the Dead
Favorite music genre?
While I play I generally have a dubstep mix playing. A good steady beat with a massive drop keeps me focused. Otherwise I listen to alot of rock (hard and soft).
Favorite band?
Don't really have a favourite band as such but I do find myself listening to remixed eminem dubstep more often than not.
Favorite book series?
Lord Of The Rings
Place you want to go most?
Tokyo, Japan
NICEST place you'd never want to go?
The obvious answer to me is Australia due to its wildlife. But I think America would be a close second, every horror film and zombie outbreak starts there, now that can't be a coincidence ¬¬.
Weirdest food you love?
I went through a phase, while my wife was pregnant. Apple pie, stuffed with fruit pastilles and covered in milk. Kind of a cereal, call it a man craving.
Favorite car?
Not a massive gear head myself, but if I could have any car with no budget would be a Ford Shelby GT350.
Favorite super hero?
I will always consider Goku a super hero.
End of Bonus Lighting Round

Final Thoughts

Is there anything in particular you want the TA community to know about you?
I'm always on the look out for more friends that play as much as me.
Is there anything I haven’t asked that you want to talk about?
Being a parent is really, really, really hard work, especially when things go wrong. Earlier this year I had to go through any parent’s worst nightmare. My wife and I lost our 4th daughter, one day after her birth due to hospital incompetence. This was the single hardest moment of my life, especially when your family needs you to be stronger than ever. There were falling outs with family and my wife over it and things were in a mess. You truly start to appreciate;

“A wife who loses a husband is called a widow. A husband who loses a wife is called a widower. A child who loses his parents is called an orphan. There is no word for a parent who loses a child. That’s how awful the loss is.”
Jay Neugeboren, An Orphan's Tale

The reason I’m telling everyone this is to offer anyone who wants to talk about anything going on in their life, someone to talk too. I was lucky enough to have made friends on TA who I felt I could talk to and it helped me massively. This community has a real strength behind it and it’s not wrong to reach out and talk to a perfect stranger, who happens to share your taste in games. People have met in weirder ways.
Any shout-outs you want to make before we go?
Big shout out to my TA friends, TheOneTrueGlenn, Illdizzog & IPSec.
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 the ability to bring life to soil.
Kevin Tavore
Written by Kevin Tavore
Kevin is a lover of all types of media, especially any type of long form story. The American equivalent of Aristotle, he'll write about anything and everything and you'll usually see him as the purveyor of news, reviews and the occasional op-ed. He's happy with any game that's not point and click or puzzling, but would always rather be outdoors in nature.