TA Community Interview - Obsidian Rocker

By Jonathan Barnes, 7 years ago
Every once in a while a force beyond the powers of man and machine takes gaming by storm: the Virtual Boy, the SEGA CD, the PSP Go and the Wii’s Vitality Sensor spring to mind. Soon, The Gamish Inquisition will join their ranks amongst the most memorable, excellent things ever to happen to gaming… nee’ the world.

This week furthers the course to global gaming domination with an interview of Obsidian Rocker who was kind enough to submit himself to the enhanced interrogation of The Gamish Inquisition.

So sit back, grab yourself some tea and a biscuit and enjoy.


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obj - There's a story behind every gamertag, what is yours? At a quick glance, I’m thinking that your part volcanic glass and part Dave Grohl.

OR- The tale of my gamertag starts many moons ago. Back in high school. A friend of mine was thinking of the gamertag "Obsidian Ninja". I kinda like the Obsidian prefix so I tried to think of something to put after it. Now, being in high school, what I came up with wasn't exactly creative. I just threw in Rocker at the end since I was a bit of a metalhead at the time. Thus, Obsidian Rocker was born.

My first gamertag was actually "Obsidion Hydra" (Yes, I spelled Obsidian wrong on that one) but I had to create a new one since there was a problem with the e-mail assigned to it. I've been considering changing my gamertag to Obsidian Hydra again. This time with the correct spelling of course. Maybe that's something people reading could comment on? What's better? Obsidian Rocker or Obsidian Hydra.

obj – I believe to qualify as a Hydra you would need multiple heads or swear your allegiance to Hydra, if it helps sway your decision.

Where is home for you and, if I were to visit, what thing(s) would I be legally required by the local magistrate or constabulary to do before I left?

OR- Home is a region in Scotland called Fife. In a town called Kirkcaldy. Some might recognize it as the home town of our ex-bumbling buffoon of a prime minister Gordon Brown. As for things you would have to do? If you came in April you would have to come to an event here known as the "Links Market" It's Europe's longest street fair. It lasts for 6 days and stretches along the waterfront. It's quite fun looking out to sea for a moment as you're thrown around a ride. The only downside is it's a bit pricey. Still, if you can spare the dosh it's good fun

obj – Scotland has a mystical quality here in the States, with manly men (William Wallace), monsters (Nessie) and mystifying meat products, would you do us the favor and dispel (or reinforce) your favorite Scottish stereotype?

OR- Hah, yeah. The American ladies love the accent wink. At least the ones I talk to laugh. My favourite Scottish stereotype is probably that we're all a bit mental (crazy). Because we are. We've adopted our national sport as the "Caber Toss". A sport in which you take a tree and throw it. None of your American "Hit the ball and run away!" sports. That was a cheap shot at baseball if anyone was wondering =P. Of course, the goal of the caber toss is to throw the caber, make it flip and then land straight, with the end the thrower was holding facing away from him and the end that was on the top just in front of him. You have to be a bit loopy to want to throw trees. Or maybe they just hate Greenpeace and other tree hugging hippies.

Hell, let me take you back to 2007. Glasgow airport. A jeep loaded with propane, on fire, drove and crashed into a Glasgow airport terminal. The bollards stopped them from getting inside thankfully. Nearby a baggage handler by the name of John Smeaton was having a cigarette on his break. He saw the ensuing attack and decided to get himself stuck in, in an attempt to stop it. He ran up to one of the terrorists, who was ON FIRE, and started kicking him shouting, and I quote, "Fuckin' mon, then!" as he kicked the attacker. He then dragged a man who was trapped in the car, with a broken leg, after he tried to kick the terrorists before John arrived.

We, as a country, sent a message to any terrorist and that message was "COME AT ME, BRO! COME AT ME!". You know any country to do that? To dare terrorists? I rest my case. As a nation I think we're a bit insane but it's a charming insane. A bit like Dexter Morgan, protagonist of the TV show "Dexter"

obj – In defense of Americans, we do have “hit the ball and run away” sports but we also have ”knock your can down and be the crap out of you sports” and ”shoulder-driving high-speed tackle sports”.

What pays the bills in the Rocker household and does your job have any sweet perks like frequent flashmobs or Bieber sightings?

OR- Unfortunately, being only 19, I still live with the family. My mother, younger brother and younger sister. I'm at college but I'm on break until it starts again in September. It finished early July. I have a part time job as an assistant cook at a golf club. Not really glamorous but it's fun. The guy I work with is a good laugh and when you're working in a hot kitchen all day, making food for intoxicated golfers you need a sense of humour. I'll be finished there in about two or three weeks ready to go back to college. Perhaps if I could get a full time job I'd move out.

obj - When you're not slaving away behind the hot stove at your day job or playing 360, what hobbies do you enjoy?

OR-I'm quite fond of pool. Not very good at it but it's a good laugh. Especially with friends that are usually as good/bad as me. I'm looking at you Simon and Aaran laugh. A friend of mine has also been trying to get me to start jogging with him. I'd probably do it if he didn't go at 6AM. Waking up in time to go jogging at 6AM? Witchcraft, I say. Also I used to write short stories. Never showed them to anyone or put them online. More just to see what I could pull out of my head. Rarely, if ever, do I do that now though. Especially since I had to format my hard drive recently and lost them, amongst other things.

Oh, and last but not least, I'm a big petrol head when it comes to bikes. I'm more of a cruiser man. Classic Harley Davidson's. If I won the lottery I would just buy a bike and hit the road, traveling from country to country. Long way around style, just without that scumbag Charlie Boorman. My disdain for him is a different story, however. One I'll divulge if asked about but won't go into just now.

obj – How’s the home life? Is there a special pet, woman, man, vegetable or mineral that you share your abode with and how do they feel about gaming?

OR- At the moment, nobody. I'm a single gentleman which means freedom. My younger brother games and we'll occasionally play co-op. Heck, he's one of the guys that helped me get that torturous Endure achievement for Halo 3: ODST . The rest of my family is what you would call "casual gamers". Things like Kinect games, driving around aimlessly in http://www.trueachievements.com/Grand-Theft-Auto-IV-xbo....htm . All in all, not too shabby

obj – John Donne famously said, “No man is an island.” With that in mind, if you were stranded on an island with no hope for self-rescue what five things would you take with you to prevent your slow lapse to insanity?

OR- Good question. First off, a deck of cards. With an enough of an imagination you can do more than just play Solitaire. Secondly, it wouldn't be fun being stranded without a good old bottle of whiskey. If you're going to be stranded why not get smashed? Probably a bottle of our very own Scottish malt "The Famous Grouse". If allowed, make it a crate of the stuff wink. Next on my list would be a knife. Something I could use to whittle. Assuming this island is something like in "Lost" I'd get wood and see what I could make to pass the time. Fourth item would be a hand powered fan. I hate the heat. Finally, I'd bring some bacon. Some delicious bacon. Everyone loves bacon. Even the vegetarians.

obj – mmm… bacon… You haven’t lived until you’ve gone to Cleveland and had the Apple Pie, Vanilla Bean, Bacon Milkshake from Michael Symon’s burger joint, The B Spot.

Outside of gaming, what is your favorite form of media and your favorite artist within that media?

OR- A bit cliché but it'd be music. I don't really have a favourite artist, since I move about between artists and genres a lot in an almost indecisive manner. If I had to pick It'd probably be a House artist by the name of Deadmau5 (Pronounced Dead mouse). If you haven't heard any of his stuff I implore you to go and check out his song "Strobe". Listen to it from start to finish and I think you'll agree that it's an amazing track, even if you're not a big fan of that style of music. I'm not but it's a real masterpiece. Listen to it here.

obj – Before we start with The Gamish Inquisition, is there a question you want me to ask that I have not? As always, answers to this question would be helpful… as I won’t be able to get to Delphi for my weekly oracle consultation.

OR- Not off the top of my head, no. If need be people can leave a question to me as a comment, since I'll likely be prowling it anyhow. wink

obj – To kick of The Gamish Inquisition, let’s start with a picture of your setup and a quick description of its features.

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OR- Apologies for the picture quality, couldn't find my camera so I had to take it from my iPhone, accursed thing. To start off, that's a 42 inch HD TV. Dunno what make and I can't be bothered checking. It's not too important :P. Below is the Sky+ HD box which I hardly ever use. It's really just used to record the odd TV show and some films. At the moment all I have recorded is a few episodes of Penn & Teller's Fool Us (Great show, by the way). Underneath is the 120gb xbox Elite. I've been considering buying a slim but I don't really see too many advantgages of buying one. The only pro I can think of is extra USB ports, which wold be handy since there's only 3 on the xbox and I need 4 for all my stuff. Kinect, wireless adaptor, Turtle Beach X11 headset and a play and charge kit.

To the left and right are games and DVD's. The units are higher than the picture so my game collection is out of shot. There's 4 rows of xbox games, two on each side. You can see on the right is about 8 seasons of The X Files, none of them yet watched. I tend to watch stuff on my laptop if I'm grinding or some other boring achievement hunting task. Like at the moment I'm doing conquest mode on http://www.trueachievements.com/DYNASTY-WARRIORS-7-xbox....htm .

obj - Let’s go back in time with Huey Lewis and ask about your first gaming memory.

OR- My first gaming memory, eh? Well I started gaming on the Playstation. Came home from school one day and we had one. Had two games with it: Rayman & Soul Blade, the precursor to what's now known as the Soul Calibur franchise. Now, I'm not sure which memory is earliest but I'm pretty sure it was Rayman. I loved that game and naturally I'm eagerly anticipating the new XBLA title.

obj – If the first game you played would have had achievements, what would have your first achievement been?

OR- My first achievement would probably be something like "Buzz off - Defeat the wasp boss" in Rayman. Never did finish it though. Being young I was impatient and I really loved Soul Blade. Voldo creeped me the hell out. Kicked his arse like fist of the north star though!

obj - Do you own any other gaming consoles/platforms aside from the 360 and, if so, what is your favorite game on that console?

OR- At the moment I only game on the 360 and PC. I don't have many games for the PC but it'd probably be SWAT 4. It's so fun bursting into a room, the shouts of "POLICE DROP YOUR WEAPON" being echoed around the room before being drowned out by the thudding of beanbags shotgun shells thudding against the skin of criminal scum. Amazing game and I recommend it if you have a half decent PC. So much fun. I'm considering getting a PS3 for the exclusives like Infamous but at the moment I don't have one.

obj - What games are keeping you busy this summer and, do you wish there were more “Triple-A” retail releases during this season, or are you happy with Microsoft’s “Summer of Arcade” strategy?

OR- At the moment just my backlog. I've been going back and replaying xbox original games a lot recently like Vexx, Sid Meier's: Pirates! and Jet Set Radio Future. As for releases this time of year? I actually quite like the summer of arcade. There's a fair few games in there that are fun and really push the envelope with games like http://www.trueachievements.com/From-Dust-xbox-360.htm which I'll be buying soon. However, I kind of wish Microsoft would go a step further. Perhaps, during the summer, promote some Indie games.

Now, I know a lot of people are going to dismiss Indie games straight away for not having achievements but quite frankly that's a really stupid thing to do. You're missing out on so many great games! For example, Beat Hazard. Think http://www.trueachievements.com/Geometry-Wars-Evolved-x....htm but powered by your music. The faster the beat, the more enemies start coming after you. The louder your music the more powerful your weapons are and the more intense the background light show is. Here's an example of gameplay on Hardcore with Through the Fire and Flames by Dragonforce. Difficulty affects number of enemies and intensity of lights....and Hardcore isn't even the highest difficulty! Also, here's an amusing video demonstrating the way sounds affects the game.

This game is only limited to the music on your hard drive. Copy your music collection to your hard drive and I promise you that you will not regret it. I could go on about why dismissing the indie market for lack achievements is a foolish move for ages but just go check it out. Every game I've checked out has a demo so what's the worst that could happen? You waste 10 minutes at the most? Get to the indie marketplace as soon as you get a chance and check out some of the great games on offer there. You just have to dig through rubbish sometimes, as with a lot of games.

obj – Community Member, DirtyLittleSith recently sent me a message with some great questions in it. I’d like to break in a new feature here (Community Asks the Community!) and ask you one of DLS’s queries:

Tell me about your most favorite 'WOW' moment while gaming. i.e. - The first time you fired up the M-920 Cain in http://www.trueachievements.com/Mass-Effect-2-xbox-360.htm .

OR- My favourite wow moment in a game is being recreated in glorious HD! This little beauty is from a game called Zone of the Enders 2: The Second Runner. Actually, this thing isn't a little beauty. She's big, she's bad and she will erase you from existence! She leaves my enemies in fear, their resolve destroyed whispering only two words in fear. Vector Cannon. Marvel at the power behind this graceful monster here.

obj – What is your favorite gaming genre and why?

OR- Probably Action/Adventure because I love games that can weave a gripping narritive that sucks you in with fun gameplay. They tend to be experiences you don't forget.

obj – Do you prefer games with a lot of “small-value” achievements or games with a few, tougher “high-value” achievements?

OR- Oh boy, here we go. I'm sure to catch some opposition for my opinions here but I think achievements that offer a real challenge are the way to go. Some take it too far, of course, like Auf Wiedersehen Petrovic in Grand Theft Auto IV but achievements with a challenge are best. If you play a game for an easy 1000 like http://www.trueachievements.com/Avatar-The-Burning-Eart....htm what have you REALLY achieved? I'll tell you what, nothing. You've accomplished something which takes about as much skill as buttering a slice of toast or wiping your arse (PROTIP: Never mix the two up. That's a big no-no!). It diminishes the value of achievements. I'd respect someone with a few thousand gamerscore in difficult games than someone with 200,000 in a load of easy games and stacked, various region games.

The BEST achievements though are ones that get you to play a game in a way you might not normally play it. Like complete a game without killing anyone. If any of you get a chance go and watch a series called Extra Credits on The Escapist. They're a series on how video games as a medium can do so much more and they did an episode on achievements that everyone here should watch.

obj - A few years ago, an episode of South Park featured a storyline where Cartman froze himself so he didn't have to wait for the Nintendo Wii. Since that episode, I've begun using Cartman as an expression for not wanting to wait for something. What is the one upcoming game that you want to "Cartman" yourself for?

OR- Is this for a game that's been announced or a game that's plausible but so far unlikely? I'll give an answer for both

For a game that's definitely coming out it'd probably be Mass Effect 3. I can't wait to see the conclusion of this journey. As for a game that's little more than a dream? A new Jet Set Radio game or Zone of the Enders 3. If one of those should be released then you may melt me out of my frozen blanket. Or maybe a good Splinter Cell game. Not that rubbish like Conviction. That was an insult to the Splinter Cell series for many reasons, most obvious the gameplay going from stealth to kill everything.

obj – You have 39 completed games on your gamercard. Of which one are you most proud and which one are you most ashamed?

OR- My most proud would definitely be http://www.trueachievements.com/Splinter-Cell-DA-xbox-3....htm . Those co-op challenges were a hard fought battle and getting gold on all of them was a true achievement

My most shameful is probably http://www.trueachievements.com/Terminator-Salvation-xb....htm . That pile of garbage wasn't even worth the 1K. I only played it because my younger brother bought it and I thought it might be fun. It was a horrible game

obj – You have both http://www.trueachievements.com/Left-4-Dead-xbox-360.htm and http://www.trueachievements.com/Left-4-Dead-2-xbox-360.htm high on your “Best Games” list. In the event of a zombie apocalypse (we’re talking a semi-permanent, The Walking Dead style apocalypse), what is your weapon of choice?

OR- Machete, without a doubt. Hell, make it a pair of machete's. One for each hand. Danny Trejo eat your heart out! Then again, what kind of Scotsman would I be if I didn't take a big claymore to cleave zombies in twain? Nah, machete.

obj – Do you have a favorite snack or beverage (either alcoholic or non) that you like to enjoy while gaming?

OR- Non-alcoholic would have to be Dr. Pepper. I tend not to eat much when gaming since but I can't sit still. I'm always moving some part of my body and more often than not it's grinding my teeth which is bad. so, usually I'll have chewing gum while gaming with the occasional sandwich. Tuna, mayo & Sweet corn with a bit of red onion if there's any available.

If I'm messing around online, just playing for a laugh I'll usually drink cider. Bulmers No17. It's a cider made from red berries and lime. Really tasty and sweet.

obj - Let’s imagine, for a moment, that you’ve been unjustly convicted of a crime which you did not commit and were sentenced to death. You’ve been allowed a last meal and a last evening of gaming. What is your meal and what is your game?

OR- My meal would be a pizza. A big one. Stuffed crust with pepperoni, chicken, meatballs. Hell, any meat there is slap it on there with plenty of cheese.

As for my game, I'd probably pick that classic Jet Set Radio Future. The beautiful art style, enchanting visuals and upbeat soundtrack would keep me in a good mood before my demise.

obj – And now, OR, are you prepared for the “dragging-your-stocking-feet-across-the-carpet-to-shock-your-sister’s-ear” SHOCK of the Lightning Round?

OR- Am I ready? Get a load of this guy. Are YOU ready sucka?! I was born ready, baby! WOOOOOOO!

obj - Favorite 360 Game

OR- Left 4 Dead 2. It's so much fun with a group of friends that mess about and have a laugh.

obj - Favorite game protagonist

OR- Johnny Klebitz – GTA IV: The Lost and Damned

obj - Favorite game villain

OR- Saren - http://www.trueachievements.com/Mass-Effect-xbox-360.htm

obj - Favorite game ending

OR- Shadow of the Colossus. That ending was heartbreaking.

obj – Favorite game weapon

OR- Singularity Bomb - http://www.trueachievements.com/Red-Faction-Guerrilla-x....htm . It's a black hole for crying out loud!

obj – Favorite developer

OR- Valve. They may have the professionalism of amateurs but they make great games.

obj – If you could spend a “night of passion” with one character from the gaming world, who would it be?

OR- Lara Croft. Dem hips man. Dem hips.

obj - Most disappointing game you’ve ever played

OR- Alpha Protocol . It was fun but too buggy and not as good as they said it would be.

obj- If you could have lunch/a drink with one person from “the gaming world” who would it be?

OR- A character? Ellis from Left 4 Dead 2. I reckon he'd be good fun when drunk off his nut

A real person? Tim Schafer. He seems like such good fun and I loved the sketch he did to promote his Sesame street game, even though I wouldn't touch it with a 10 foot pole. Trailer is here if you haven't seen it

obj – If you could punch one person from “the gaming world” in the face, who would it be?

OR- Ooooooh, so many. How can I choose?

If it was a character it would be Dom from http://www.trueachievements.com/Gears-of-War-xbox-360.htm . Bitch needs to stop whining about his wife when there's Locust trying to kill them.

Real person would be whoever is head of EA for being such an idiot in running them and not taking responsibility for what's wrong with them.

obj - Any final thoughts, shout-outs or soap-box statements?

OR- I'll give a shout-out to IHeartSlampigs since he's a good laugh :P

SijoreX51 for being the cynical bastard he is since High School laugh

Also, LilPumpin3DG because I'm feeling generous 8)

As a final soapbox statement, however, don't play games for achievements. Get achievements because you loves your games and want to play them again and again. You'll enjoy it so much more. At least that's how I've been operating

As a friend of mine, ImpureKing999 says, Live and let game!

A big thanks goes out to Obsidian Rocker for giving his time to submit himself to the Inquisition.

As always:

If you’d like to be featured in a Community Interview, want to be a solid citizen and nominate someone more awesome than yourself OR want to submit a "Community Asks the Community" question, send a PM to me, osubluejacket . FYI - You’re MUCH more likely to be selected if you’re well-written, interesting, funny and/or can erase the memory of Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull from history.
Jonathan Barnes
Written by Jonathan Barnes
Jonathan has been a news/views contributor since 2010. When he's not writing reviews, features, and opinion pieces, he spends his days working as an informal science educator and his nights as an international man of mystery.