TA Community Interview - rafaelgrn

By Kevin Tavore, 7 months ago
Welcome to this week's community interview! In the past four weeks we've spoken with two rock superstars: The King of Lizards and an agricultural rock (ag-rock) hero. You'd think we really love musicians, but what we most like is superstars, so we're mixing things up and this time we're introducing you to a rock star of the Gamerscore world: rafaelgrn.

Gamertags almost always tell something about their owners. Tell us about yours.
Would be nice to have a good story about this, but no. Rafaelgrn it’s just my first name (Rafael) and the first letter of my surnames (GRN).
Rafael and his son!Rafael and his son!

How long have you been gaming?
I recall playing on SuperGame CCE, a console manufactured here in Brazil that was compatible with the Atari 2600, when I was around 7/8 years old. But it was with the Mega Drive 3 (SEGA Genesis in North America) that I truly remember as a gamer. After that I had a SNES, Playstation, Nintendo 64, Dreamcast, GameCube, Playstation 2, Wii, Xbox 360, Playstation 3 and finally the Xbox One.
Do others in your family game, or are you a first-generation gamer?
I could say that my parents are a bit of casual gamers. My father spends lots of his time playing Solitaire and Zuma on his computer and my mother had her share of Candy Crush and other casual games like that.
What do your parents/significant other/friends have to say about your gaming?
My wife is very supportive to my gaming habits. Before our son was born, she usually helped me following collectible guides while I was playing. She and most of my family understands that right now, the Xbox is an important thing to me. Sometimes I even believe that my mother is a little proud of my gaming by the things she says around me. :D
Assuming you’re not a professional gamer, what’s your day job?
I’m a Trademark Examiner working at the Patents and Trademark Office here in Brazil (called INPI). Although I would love to have someone paying me to stay at home playing video games, I do like my job. However, I’m not very lucky on getting game-related trademark applications.
What other hobbies do you enjoy?
I spend a great part of my working day listening to music and I consider myself as a very eclectic music lover. My playlists includes well-known bands and singers like: The Offspring, Iron Maiden, Muse, Paramore, 30 Seconds to Mars, Bruno Mars, The Black Eyed Peas, Lorde, 50 Cent and a lot more. I’m also a big fan of Sonata Arctica and Nightwish, two excellent Finnish Bands, and J-Rock groups like X Japan, L’Arc~en~Ciel and Luna Sea.

Game music is an important part of the experience and there are three composers’ works that I really love: Miki Higashino (Suikoden 2), Yasunori Mitsuda (Xenogears) and Oscar Araujo (Castlevania: Lords of Shadow).

I also follow a few series and animes with my wife. Right now we are watching Suits, House of Cards and Naruto, and we are watching all of the Marvel movies.
Tell us about your home life – parents, spouse, children, significant other, animal companions?
At home we are a family of six: a dog named Mel and Gabriel, my son’s little fish (he chose this name). There is my lovely wife Luana, who works as artisan and my co-op gaming partner for life and my 5 year old son Rafael (my wife wanted for him to have my first name). We also share the apartment my mother-in-law, her husband and my sister-in-law. Looks a bit crowded, but we go along well.

What part of the world do you live in? If I were to visit, what sights would I have to see?
I live in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, but I’m not much of fan of sightseeing. Despite having both Christ the Redeemer and the Sugar Loaf Mountain very close and seeing them almost every day, I have never visited them (not a fan of heights either). There is also the Maracanã Stadium and the Copacabana Beach as good sightseeing places.

We had the Olympic and Paralympic Games back in August/September and I went to a few events with my family and we even took a picture with an Olympic medalist!
Of what real life achievement are you most proud? Would you give us some details?
I don’t know if that is important, but on my old job (I worked as Exchange Advisor at a Brazilian University), I created a method to compare and choose students on Exchange and Study Abroad application processes. This was not only praised by other university staff, but is also still being used there until now (I left this job three years ago).

I also completed high school (it’s called “Segundo Grau” here in Brazil) at 15 years old.
If you had to pick one spirit animal to describe you, what would it be?
I don’t know much about spirit animals. I did a test on the internet that said “Bear”: strength, confidence, standing against adversity, etc. Yeah, I think that is good.
Internet tests are always accurate so this seems good!

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

That would be Konami’s Genso Suikoden 2 released in 98. I really love every aspect of that game. The story of two childhood friends that are both fighting for the peace, but on different sides of the war. It has more than 100 characters to recruit, multiple endings, permadeaths in army battles, lovely characters, castle upgrades, a crazy evil villain, a heart touching story, kickass soundtrack and much more. It’s really hard to put in words, how much this game is important to me.
His copy of the game!His copy of the game!

Do you remember the first game you played? What’s your fondest memory of it?
I know that I played some Atari 2600 games like Seaquest and Pitfall as a kid with my father, but I was too young to remember it well. The first good memories come from Sonic the Hedgehog 2! I think I was 10 years old, and it was so much of an improvement from the Atari games. I still remember how happy I was when I finished the game for the first time after trying for so long.
If some evil spell allowed you to own only a single game for the rest of your life, what would it be? Why?
I believe that I could spend the rest of my life playing Rock Band 4. It’s fun, and there is so many music to play, that I think that it can be replayed forever. I like to play on every instrument, but my real passion is to play as drummer.
Any games you regret putting on your gamertag?
Not at all. I see my Gamertag as an “Xbox gamer resume” not only for the good things I’ve done, like completed games and Gamerscore, but also for the bad things, like the awful games I’ve played and the games I wasn’t able to complete. So, if I completed Barbie and Her Puppies, let everybody see it, no shame on that. :D
Tell us about your gamer pic. Why did you choose that one?
I believe that since they created avatars on Xbox Live, all my off my gamer pics are using it. That way I can use something more unique, you see? Most of them had no meaning, but my last gamer pic was my avatar pointing up, representing my goal to become the number one Gamerscore in Brazil, a goal that I tried for years, gave up for a few other years, and came back at full strength around a year ago. Last June I finally got there and changed my gamer pic again. Besides not being a big fan of the Captain America, I like his values and moral code, so I took my Captain T-shirt, put some wings and took a new picture.
Number 1 in Brazil!Number 1 in Brazil!

Do you have any particular gaming pet peeves?
One thing I hated: games that don't have the option to invert the Y Axis. However, the last game I played that had this, actually “cured” me from this problem. I started playing Albedo on Xbox One, but the game is so horrible, that I decided to finish later. Since I took a time to get used to play without inverting the axis, I thought that would be better to keep playing games without inverting the axis, until I come back and finish Albedo. It took so long to come back, that I ended getting used to playing without inverting the axis and now I don’t need it anymore.
What upcoming game are you most looking forward to?
I’m really looking forward to play Romance of the Three Kingdoms 13 (JP) that was only released in Japanese and Chinese regions on Xbox One. They released an English version for the PS4, but no news for Xbox One yet. My hope rests on a patch that adds English text on the Hong Kong version.
What game(s) are you currently playing? How are you finding it?
I usually don’t focus all my time at one game, so I’m always playing a few games at the same time. Right now I’m playing Headlander, Clouds & Sheep 2, Skylanders SuperChargers (this one I’m always playing with my son), Lies of Astaroth and all four versions of The Voice.

Headlander is a game that really surprised me. The good thing about getting almost every game for Gamescore, is that sometimes you stumbles in good games like that. Headlander is a Double Fine “Metroidvania” game that's very well done and funny.

Clouds & Sheep 2 is mobile game ported to Xbox One, good for easy Gamerscore. The main problem is that it takes a lot of time to gather the resources and the game gets really boring.

I really like to play Skylanders with my son. Every year they are able to improve the series even more. The only problem is that Actvision isn’t releasing the game here in Brazil since the Swap-Force. So, it takes a little time for me to get the new releases and toys. While I wait the arrival of Imaginators, we keep playing Superchargers, which is one of the best kids' games around.

I must say that I have a week spot for collectible card games. I’ve played a lot of Magic the Gathering as a teenager (still do, when I can) but the last Magic released on Xbox One was not a good game. My first impression playing Lies of Astaroth, was that the game was very boring, but with time it grew on me. It involves some strategy and nice deck building, although it is very hard to get good cards. As with almost every freemium game, I play every day just to collect things and upgrade a little bit.

I think I’ve played all karaoke games released this year for the Xbox One. Although it's not worse than Just Sing (the worst I’ve played ever), these The Voice's (all region variations) are just average games. The old Xbox 360 Karaoke Revolution games did a much better job as a “TV show-based karaoke game” as they had the judges. On this game, there is just some generic text quotes by generic coaches - totally lame. But, is an easy and quick 4000 Gamerscore, so I can live with that.
What game are you most proud of completing? Why?
Stranglehold. I really enjoyed the acrobatic shooting in this game. What makes me proud to complete it is that the Hard Boiled difficulty is insane and extremely unfair! It involves a lot of patience and luck to finish, since it is a rain of bullets all the time. There was an area almost at the end of the game, with a damn chopper that made me scream in rage so many times. It was a relief when I finally completed it.
What single Xbox achievement are you most proud of? Why?
Guitar Hero: MetallicaSecret AchievementThe Secret Achievement achievement in Guitar Hero: Metallica worth 164 pointsContinue playing to unlock this secret achievement
When I first tried this achievement, I thought that I would not be able to do get. Then I read a solution here on TA that would be possible to do on Medium difficulty with an almost Full Combo. That was not easy to achieve, but was less impossible than doing it on Hard or Expert. Took a few days, but I finally got!
In a slightly different vein, do you have a favorite achievement? One perhaps that you just really enjoyed attaining?
Same as before. It was challenging, but was fun to see my improvement and love to play the drums.
If you found yourself dropped into a video game, which video game character would you most want to have your back?
Citan Uzuki from Xenogears. Super smart, tough on bare fists, badass with his katana and if everything goes wrong, he can call the Fenrir, his Gigantic Omni Gear.
In the same scenario, what character/creature would you most/least like to see headed your way?
Luca Blight, the mad villain in Suikoden 2. During the game, a poor woman begs him to be spared while he burns her village. He asks her to act like pig. When she does, he says: “DIE PIG” and kills the poor woman. It takes an army battle and three battles with groups of 6 people to beat him! Definitely this is a guy that I would never like to see heading my way.
Any characters you would like seen thrown into video game hell?
Randall from The Walking Dead: Michonne, General Shepard from Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, and the Emerald Weapon from Final Fantasy VII.
Ever had any bad experiences online? How did you handle it?
I usually don’t play much online and when I do, I only use a headset when playing with friends or boosting, since I’m a bit shy. So my only online bad experience involves people rage quitting on FIFA Soccer.
Do you prefer single player or multi-player?
Most time single, but I do enjoy some multi-player. I love to play Rock Band 4 and some Jack Box Party Games with my wife and friends, and Skylanders/Disney/LEGO games with my son.
Do you have a favorite group of friends you like to play with? If so, how did you meet?
Yes, I have a made a lot of friends on Xbox Live in all these years. I’ve met SECOUTINHO, my “oldest-still-playing” Xbox friend while boosting Dark Sector or BlackSite: Area 51 some game like that, back in 2009. We became real friends, besides living in different cities. Every time I go to São Paulo, I stay at his house and we’ve been helping each other on achievement hunting during all these years.

I’ve met SiegfriedX, AlezidioX and I KRUGER I BR while boosting Army of TWO in 2011, although I knew SiegfriedX for being the 4th Gamerscore in Brazil (before I surpassed him), but was only in last year as we fought for the first place on Xbox One Gamerscore in Brazil. It started as “fierce” rivalry, but we eventually started to cooperate and became good friends. They introduced me to MCWX, who didn’t have much time playing on Xbox but was already growing in achievement hunting.

I have a lot other people that I consider as friends in this almost 9 years of Xbox Live, but these five are the guys that I speak with almost every day. Since almost all of us are dedicated on achievement hunting, we always give each other tips on good games to play, easier and quicker ways to complete games.
If you could have a multiplayer session with anyone in the world, whom would you choose? Why?
Definitely Phil Spencer. The guy saved the Xbox One from a big fiasco and is a class act! It would be an honor to play with a guy like him.
What other consoles do you own? What are your favorites on those platforms?
I have a Playstation 3, which I used mostly to play PS2 games and watch Blu-ray movies, a Playstation 2 and Nintendo Wii. I also bought a Nintendo 3DS for my wife.

On Playstation 3, I’ve played just a few games, so my favorite is Uncharted. On Playstation 2, there are a lot games that I really like, but if I have to choose one favorite, I go with Fatal Frame 2. It’s a game from my favorite “horror series” of all time! I even bought both games released on the original Xbox, to be able to play them on my Xbox 360. On Wii, my favorite game is Fire Emblem Radiant Dawn, love the S-RPGs!
Have you ever had a game you really looked forward to that you were disappointed in when it finally arrived? Tell us about it.
It happens a lot, but there is one that I always remember: Vandal Hearts: Flame of Judgment. The original Vandal Hearts was released on Saturn/Playstation and was awesome. When I saw that they were going to release a new one, I was really excited to be able to play a new Vandal Hearts. When the game came out, there was nothing to even related to the original game. It had a weird history, boring characters and lame gameplay. It was bad in so many ways, that I couldn’t even bring myself to finish it, a real shame.
Tell us about your gaming set-up.
My gaming place is my bedroom, and there is where I keep most of my consoles and games. Right now I have a Day One Xbox One, with a Lunar White as my main controller, 4 Xbox 360s, and a HP Envy X2 for small Windows 8/10 games. I just changed my main phone to an Android, after 5 years with the Windows Phone, but I’m still keeping my old Lumia 640XL, in case I decide to play any WP or W10 Mobile game.

How do you use TA? Tracking, walkthroughs, solutions, sessions?
Tracking, leaderboards and mostly for solutions and walkthroughs.
Do you actively compete in any of the TA competitions? Which ones?
I like GTASC, but it is impossible for me to try to win. I always enter without planning, just trying to stay at the competition as long as I can. When you get in these last weeks, people drop an insane amount of points, I have no way on keeping up with them. I also registered for Leap Frog and UHH, but always got eliminated quickly.
How has your gaming changed or evolved since coming to TA?
I’ve registered on TA almost on the same time that I realized that I liked to hunt achievements, so I think that TA is partially guilty for my achievement hunting habits and is responsible for a big part of my Gamerscore with the guides and walkthroughs.
What do you like and dislike most about the site?
I don’t have anything I really dislike. I think TA is most important website for achievement hunters. I like that TA have the most reliable Gamerscore Rankings in the world and besides all the features that we already have, Rich is always bringing new things to us.
How did you learn about TA? Have you signed up any friends to the website?
I remember that a friend had a forum signature that said something about TA. I went to look what was it about and registered immediately. I have the TA address on my Xbox Bio and I always recommend to anyone interest in achievements.
Have you made friends here?
Sure did, but if I try to list everyone here, I sure will forget someone.
If you could have a game handcrafted just for you, what would your perfect game be?
Hard question… I think that my perfect game would need to have a killer soundtrack, stunning visuals, lots of characters, emotive moments, some plot twists, funny main character no multiplayer achievements and no +100 hours achievements.
Why do you choose TA over other gaming sites?
Because I think is easier to find help about the achievement you want quickly.
Do you have a “claim to fame” in gaming? If so, what is it?
Right now I’m the number one in Gamerscore and completed Games in Brazil. I’m also the 13th Gamerscore here in TA and 18th in TA score. Finally, right now I’m the 2nd in Xbox One games Gamerscore, ahead of Stallion83, a feat that I’m really proud about since that guy is a monster.

Gaming Lightning Round

Favorite 360 game?
Favorite Xbox One game?
Favorite non-Xbox?
Suikoden 2
Least favorite game?
Game you wish you'd never played?
Game you've always wanted to play but haven't?
Valkyria Chronicles (PS3)
Favorite game developer?
Harmonix
Favorite game weapon?
Excalimune (Sunset Overdrive)
Most hated game enemy?
Clustertruck's final boss. Probably I’ve hated others more, but right now, this one is still on my top of my hate list.
Favorite game character?
Francis York Morgan
Favorite game sidekick?
The Darkness
Favorite game ending?
Most hated game ending?
Favorite game music?
Xenogears (PS1)
Most emotional video game moment?
Valiant Hearts ending
Game that shouldn’t have had a sequel?
Yasai Ninja
Non-Xbox game you’d love to have achievements in?
Suikoden 2
End of Gaming Lightning Round

Bonus! Off-topic Lighting Round

Favorite movie?
Sixth Sense
Favorite music genre?
Rock and Roll
Favorite band?
Sonata Arctica
Favorite book series?
All Dan Brown’s books with Robert Langdon as main character ([Ed. Note: The Da Vinci Code])
Place you want to go most?
Japan
NICEST place you'd never want to go?
Paris
Weirdest food you love?
Macaroni with “Feijão” (popular kind of beans here) and “farofa” (Brazilian Food made with cassava flour).
Favorite car?
Lamborghini Gallardo
Favorite super hero?
Hulk
End of Bonus Lighting Round

Final Thoughts

Is there anything in particular you want the TA community to know about you?
Well, I’m a passionate gamer addicted to achievements who gives his best to keep growing my Gamerscore, while being a husband, father and having a full-time job. It’s not easy, but when I see what I’ve accomplished and the friends I’ve gathered along this journey, I see that it was worthy. I’m hoping to be the next person in the world to achieve the 1 Million Gamescore on the beginning of 2017, and much of these points wouldn’t be possible without TA and this awesome community!
Is there anything I haven’t asked that you want to talk about?
No, nothing comes in my mind.
Any shout-outs you want to make before we go?
Thanks for the interview guys, unfortunately it came in a time of the when I’m full of work at my job, so I couldn’t answer all questions the way I really wanted to. I hope that you guys like it and feel free to add me here and at Xbox Live. Thanks also to Eurydace who made this interview and had patience with my delays. Game on!
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, or number one for Gamerscore in your country!
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.