TA Community Interview - Aesop Blood

By Jonathan Barnes, 7 years ago
After a one-week hiatus, The Gamish Inquisition is BACK! Hopefully, you enjoyed your reprieve from an overuse of hyperlinks including excessive YouTube videos, ridiculous non sequiturs, and evidence of this writer’s general slip towards insanity.

This week, we interview, http://www.trueachievements.com/Aesop+Blood.htm, a former prostitute who is making good in the world of gaming and, dare I say, life. So, sit back, relax, grab yourself your favorite food or beverage and enjoy this week’s edition of The Gamish Inquisition!

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obj – There’s a story behind every gamertag. What is yours? I’m going to assume you’re a fable fan (the original kind, not the Molyneux kind) and, like myself, are a big fan of Pearl Jam’s hardest rocking song, ”Blood”. Confirm, deny or elaborate.

AB - Well to start, I have never heard any song by Pearl Jam. It’s not that I lived under a rock over the past decade, I just didn't really start enjoying rock till I was in High School. Although I do enjoy the Legendary Fables of Aesop, I call myself that as an Homage to my favorite artist, Aesop Rock. I call myself Blood, because there is something appealing about it. Whether I am drinking it, or spilling it from others, I find it rather unique. Honestly it’s no wonder Dexter analyzes the stuff! So one day I just decided to show my love for the two, so I combined them, and became Aesop Blood.

obj – *sheds a single tear for Pearl Jam*

Where is home for you and, if I were to visit, what kinds of wicked-awesome things would I be required to do before I left?

AB - I live in Worcester, Massachusetts. If you were to visit, I wouldn't allow you to leave, without visiting one of 3 restaurants, from the Worcester Restaurant Group. In my opinion, they're the 3 best places to eat. There's the Sole Proprietor (Seafood), 1/11 Chop House (Steakhouse), and VIA (Italian). Lastly, you must feast your eyes on the "Legendary" Turtleboy Statue. I hope you don't mind if I include a picture:

obj – I’ll allow it.

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obj – What… what… what is he doing to that poor turtle!?

Is there a special woman, man, child, dog, cat or robot that shares your home with you and, if so, how do they feel about gaming?

AB - I used to live with my catdog (combined) who happens to be robot, built by my lovely girlfriend and 3-month old son. We had to send Herman to the scrap heap last month actually. We had uploaded what we thought was a software upgrade. Turns out it was really a virus designed to monitor our every action, built by Skynet, and yes they do exist. But I digress, my girlfriend likes that I have a healthy hobby like gaming, but she doesn't support my habit. I am on my own when it comes to buying games and accessories.

obj – Robotic CatDogs always make me think of Ray Bradbury… and burning books…

What pays the bills in the Aesop home and does your occupation come with any sweet perks like Home Brew Wednesdays, Commando Fridays and/or two-hand-touch Tuesdays?

AB - Well for awhile I have paid the bills with money I saved up from being a highly paid male escort, I eventually exhausted my funds, and now work at my local Walmart. As for sweet perks, I get a lowly 10% discount on most items in the store, which is offset by the sales tax of 6.25%. But I get very steady and plentiful hours, paid a decent wage, and conserve LOTS of brain power so I have plenty to use when I get home!

obj – I look back on my own days as a male escort very fondly.

When you’re not gaming or working, what other hobbies do you enjoy?

AB - I am actually reading "Fight Club" right now, which is the first book I've read (and bought) in over a year. I also go to concerts whenever my favorite bands latest tour brings them to the nearest venue. I would also like to admit to the world, I am one of the few people who still collects Yu-Gi-Oh! cards. Magic the Gathering just doesn't interest me.....at all.

obj – As a big Chuck Palahniuk fan, if you like “Fight Club” you should go pick up “Choke” and “Survivor”… possibly “Invisible Monsters”.

Your bio on TA says that you’re an “average ramblin' gamblin' dude, with a fine taste for some liquor and booze.” What is your casino game and beverage of choice?

AB - I love playing cards, mostly Blackjack (21) but I place the slot machine as my #1 choice. I prefer the slots because the biggest mistake I can make is playing the slots. I make a mistake playing a hand, there goes my money. So instead of blaming myself, I can blame the machine instead for my losses. Beverage of choice? Jack Daniels, because it makes me feel like a cowboy. That or watermelon Bacardi mixed with Sprite.

obj – What is your biggest “real-life/non-gaming” achievement?

AB - I would have to say the biggest is becoming a parent for the first time. There's no other feeling like it, and I cannot wait to see my "little nerd in training" grow up to be the man I can be proud of. But that's still many years off, for now, its poopy diapers and breastmilk for me every day.

obj – Before we start the official Gamish Inquisition, is there any particular questions you would like me to ask that I have not? As always, answers to this question are always helpful and the one time I had to make up an answer… well… let’s just say a member of our community is no longer welcome in Charleston and leave it at that.

AB - Actually I was curious if I could ask you a question if you don't mind?

How many people would you say swarm your inbox to be in my current position this week?

obj – Usually I get about one or two a week. Last week, after our amazing interview with TA Scanner 4, I got about five or six.

To kick off The Gamish Inquisition, let’s see a picture of your gaming setup and hear a quick explanation about its features.

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AB - My gaming takes place in my living room. The TV is about 32" and I am one of those folks still gaming on a dinosaur which is now called a standard. I play on the Xbox Slim, with a 250 Gig Hard drive. My TV stand is but a huge collection or DVDs and Games, after combining what I own with what my girlfriend owns. As some may notice, those are in fact Christmas presents already wrapped and ready to be shipped to Santa for Christmas. That is also a cardboard cutout of Theodore from Alvin and the Chipmunks, he makes a nice conversation piece, and makes that corner of the room much more entertaining. If you thought that stuff was cool, you all should see the line of ducks in the kitchen on top of the cabinets. You will be able to recognize some of the novelty items located above my system, stemming from a Mr. Potato Head, Dubbed "Darth Tater", all the way to a miniature bust of Duke Nukem.

obj – Much like lovers, everyone remembers their first achievement. What was your first achievement and was it special? Was there soft lighting, red wine and a roaring fire with a bearskin rug?

AB - My very first achievement, was the Graduate in Halo 3. I honestly was not aware of what an achievement was. It was my first time playing on an Xbox 360, let alone my first game. But yeah I remember slow dancing with the game at the time, I haven't seen Halo since that gawd awful cliffhanger Halo 2 ended on, and boy did she make up for it.

obj - What is your “console history”? i.e. What gaming platforms have you owned?

AB - Well the first console I played was the Nintendo Entertainment System, but the first one I was able to call my own, that none other than me could claim, was the SEGA Genesis, that came bundled with The Lion King. Then I remember getting the Gameboy and a copy of Pokemon Red for my birthday as a child. Years late the N64 hit stores and I had my first adventure playing Super Mario 64. I still cannot obtain all 120 stars to this day. Next came the Sony Playstation, Dreamcast, Playstation 2, Gamecube, Xbox, and lastly the Xbox 360. I am quite the veteran gamer as you can see.

obj – What is your all-time favorite game that isn’t on the 360 and what makes you love it so much?

AB - I am actually quite torn by this question. I can't decide between Final Fantasy 7 or Metal Gear Solid. Well I guess I have to make the hard decision right now, and side with the Hideo Kojima's pride and joy, Metal Gear Solid. I love this game because it was the first title I played that blended action and stealth, and there was no other game like it. The batch of characters, coupled with the awesome voice-acting just blew my mind. Not to mention the Infamous boss fight between Solid Snake and Psycho Mantis. I died several times my first time playing through at that one part, until the game itself eventually revealed to me (through either Otacon or the Colonel via the Codec) that in order to win, and prevent him from "reading my mind", that I had to switch the controller to port 2. No other game had accomplished this feat at the time, and the experience will always be one of my most cherished gaming memories.

obj – If you could ban developers from putting one type of achievement into their game, what would that achievement type be and why?

AB - Those really tedious and boring achievements that require you to collect X amount packages, tokens, dog biscuits, STDs. I mean I don't gain any benefits whatsoever collecting all the Intel in the latest Call of Duty, other than getting sidetracked from the game itself. But that's my opinion, others may enjoy wandering aimlessly, looking for that one collectible you missed at the beginning of the game, which happens to be located where the sun don't shine.

obj – With both a Call of Duty game and a Halo game in your top games list, I have to ask, are you more of a Halo guy or a Call of Duty guy and why?

AB - I used to be a Halo guy, but then I converted upon the release of the blockbuster http://www.trueachievements.com/Call-of-Duty-4-xbox-360.htm (my first Call of Duty). Ultimately what decided this was how the multiplayer was handled by Bungie and Infinity Ward. I enjoyed the fast paced, action of COD4, mostly because it suits my playing style, Hit em' hard and fast. Halo is more slow paced, and Bungie offers more game types, with the option of creating your own. But their ranked playlists are what turned me off from them. They started to cater to MLG standards more, and restricted access to certain game types because you did not have the proper DLC. Team Slayer eventually became Team BRs/DMRs and all other game types featuring other weapons went down the crapper, along with my patience and interest for the title. I've never felt so betrayed in my life!

obj – Also in your top games list are two X-Men titles (http://www.trueachievements.com/XMenTheOfficialGame-xbo....htm and http://www.trueachievements.com/XMen-Destiny-xbox-360.htm) as well as another Marvel Universe game, http://www.trueachievements.com/Fantastic-4-Rise-of-the....htm. What about superhero games appeals to you and what do you see is the key to making a quality game with a comic book franchise?

AB - Superhero games appeal to me because they allow me to tap into my inner child, and bring back what made me fall in love with them the first time I saw them on my TV screen when I was young. I love the idea of superheroes doing extraordinary things, because I could never achieve them myself. The idea one man, or one group of people with the world on their shoulders, with the power to change it, is what appeals to me most.

The key to making a quality game based off a comic book franchise? I would have to say that in order to do this, you do not overload the game with as many Heroes as possible. An example of this is http://www.trueachievements.com/Batman-Arkham-Asylum-xb....htm. There was just Batman, and it worked flawlessly because they only had to worry about getting you to feel like you were Batman. It’s hard to feel like you playing as the Superhero, when there is no central main character.

obj – In an interesting twist, none of your “Best Achievements” are in your trophy case. What does it take for an achievement to earn a place of honor on your page?

AB - To make it on my Trophy case, the achievement had to have been fun to achieve or humorous. The achievement that is worth the most points, does not always fit into these categories. My highest scoring achievement, Complete 30 Years of Franchise in Madden NFL 06 was by no means any fun whatsoever.

obj – You also have an interesting Gamer Goal to overtake the GamerScore of Newshound, N0T PENNYS B0AT . This is your chance to explain your feud, talk a little smack and throw down the gauntlet.

AB - Alright, NPB buys a 360, I had mine for about two years. My GS is somewhere between 20-30k. For awhile, I notice NPBs GS increasing at a steady rate, but not at a rate that would later come to threaten my spot as the Number One. http://www.trueachievements.com/Modern-Warfare-2-xbox-3....htm is released. The game takes the world by storm. Me swept along with it. During my time where I was mesmerized and blinded to anything that was not a care package, or an enemy combatant, he plotted to take my spot. He rented, he borrowed, and purchased titles, some more embarrassing then others, *Coughs* Hannah Montana The Movie *Coughs*. By the time I noticed his insurrection, he had come from out of nowhere and passes me in Gamerscore, despite the fact that I have owned my Xbox for a much longer period of time. It was embarrassing, He humiliated me. I was so emasculated, no one wanted to be near me, the dog wouldn't even dare to be seen interacting with me. Heck, even the little neighborhood children gathered around my house just to jeer and harass me. I couldn't sleep knowing I fell behind. I had to do something, I decided I had to reclaim my spot as the Number One. But he's good, just always one step ahead of me, but that’s to be expected of my rival, my best friend. Without the goal he set for me, I probably wouldn't be here right now (as a member of TrueAchievements).

obj - In a special (and surprise!) addition, I went to NPB for comment and received the following:

I can tell you that, once again, I'm banking on his addiction to CoD multiplayer this fall. While he plays MW3 for the next six months, I'll be stretching out my lead with games like Assassin's Creed: Revelations, http://www.trueachievements.com/Batman-Arkham-City-xbox....htm, Battlefield 3, MW3, and basically any game I haven't yet played from year's past. He said if he doesn't pass me by year's end he will finally concede and I can FINALLY rest. I've played a lot of terrible games this year. I wish he'd relent, but he's tirelessly trying to catch me.
obj - Since you’re a New England guy and a fan of RPGs, I have to ask what your excitement level and expectations are for Curt Schilling’s Studio’s Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning?

AB - I am interested to see what the former Red Sox Pitcher's game studio has to offer us next February. I want to play this game with Virgin eyes, so I have avoided any trailers pertaining to this title. But from what I have read online, it’s a mix between God of War and The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, so If that does not get a guys pants tight, then I have lost all hope for humanity.

obj – I would actually throw (the good parts of) Fable in with your previously mentioned games as well.

Gamers game for various reasons, some do it to socialize, some do it to unwind and some do it to have some personal time. Where does your “gaming style” fit?

AB - For me, I have been playing for years and it’s become a part of who I am. But in more recent times, I find myself blowing off steam and playing with some of my Xbox Live friends, some of whom I have been playing with for years. It’s a great feeling playing with people I trust, and who I know that with our combined effort, will always prevail.

obj – One of your most-recent completions is http://www.trueachievements.com/XMen-Destiny-xbox-360.htm, a game which is getting critically slammed by most of the games media. What did you think of it? This is your chance to weigh in on its merits for the TA community.

AB - Honestly I felt the game had a great concept. You are a new mutant, whose powers have just activated on the cusp of a war that will change the world. A war between mutants, and humans. Where the game fell short however, was the gameplay. As a new mutant who miraculously fought on par with the X-Men and The Brotherhood of Mutants, despite having no formal training in the use of one’s powers, which all members of both factions had experienced. This approach sucked because there was no character development. The game lacked any real RPG elements (collecting experience orbs to upgrade abilities does not count), with the exception of making a few choices here or there. The Antagonist for the game remained invisible throughout the whole story, even Jean Grey was nowhere to be found, which was not explained at all. Overall I found the game to be very disappointing, but at the very least the achievements were easy!

obj – Do you have a favorite beverage or snack that you like to enjoy while gaming?

AB - Oh my absolute favorite is the disappearing Pepsi. I will walk into the room with can of nice cold Pepsi in hand, start the game, open it up and taste but a sip the caffeine goodness. I put it down, and the next time I go to lift the can, and it’s empty. I question what had happened to my drink, and my girlfriend assures me I drank it. I don't believe her though; I have no recollection of finishing it. Hence why it is called the disappearing Pepsi.

obj – I have similar problems with disappearing beer, wine and whiskey. I’m pretty sure there’s a troll to blame, somehow…

What is the worst game you have ever forced yourself to play to the story’s completion and what made the game so bad?

AB - http://www.trueachievements.com/Phantasy-Star-Universe-....htm . It is soooo bad, I am still forcing myself to finish it to this day. I bought it a few years ago, and still have a hard time finishing it. What makes it so bad is the linear gameplay and its imaginary RPG gameplay which features hack and slash. You level up, but you do not get any actual abilities, you cannot customize your party members in depth, and they lack the ability to use any items. You enter a dungeon, fight a group of enemies, then find two keys to open one gate, that can simply be walked around, if only those invisible walls weren't there. Need I say more? X-Men Destiny is better than this title....

obj – And now, Bloody, Bloody Sunday, are you prepared for the SHOCK of The Lightning Round?

AB - I am ready for The Shocker, does that count?

obj – Ewwwwwww…

Favorite 360 Game

AB - http://www.trueachievements.com/Dragon-Age-Origins-xbox....htm

Favorite Game Weapon

AB - Chainsaw

Favorite Game Protagonist

AB - Solid Snake

Favorite Game Villain

AB - Sephiroth

Favorite Studio

AB - BioWare

Favorite Multiplayer

AB - http://www.trueachievements.com/Left-4-Dead-2-xbox-360.htm

Most-Anticipated Game

AB - Mass Effect 3

Favorite Games Journalist

AB - Brian Crecente

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

AB - Jack from http://www.trueachievements.com/Mass-Effect-2-xbox-360.htm

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

AB - That guy who destroyed my relationship with Nintendo by thinking the Nintendo Wii was a good idea.

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

AB - Actually yes. I have a good friend who just started up a clothing line, and I was wondering if you people could check out his products @ risingyouthclothing.bigcartel.com. Please and thank you.


A big thanks goes out to everyone’s favorite hemophile for his time!

As always:

As always, we're always looking for interesting, funny, well-written community members to be featured in our weekly Community Interview column. If you'd like to be considered, have a question you'd like to see asked at some point or can mystically get the Detroit Tigers to the World Series, please write me (osubluejacket) a message with a few paragraphs explaining why you think you'd be a good interview (spelling and grammar count!).
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.