g1 Interviews: Dig Bicks
|PRODUCER:||g1 Alpha Unit|
Hey, hey, hey! What up, g1s? How ya doin?
Well, is it me, or is g1 Features just getting better and better? I don't know. It was originally reserved solely for video features, but once it opened it's doors up for stuff like collaborative blogs, hot diggity damn! The g1 community absolutely set itself on fire!...Not that kind of fire... I mean it in a positive connotation....
What I'm saying is: This version of ScrewAttack is slowly growing more tightly knit than when it once began. G1s cried foul when this iteration first hit, but with g1s such as JETZ, Gaijin Goomba, Flapperdoodle and many, many more arising (Sorry if I didn't mention you), this place is just getting a whole lot better. I guarantee a positive future for all, and g1 Features is there to helm together and speed up the process.
|Favorite games of 2011 (10-1)|
|Favorite games of 2011 (20-11)|
Atsinganoi: Hey fjveca, how's it going?
Fjveca: pretty fine thanks, how are things on your end?
Atsinganoi: Not too bad, starting a cold, but it's supposed to be nice out tomorrow, so it’s not all bad. So, you working on anything lately?
Fjveca: actually I have a series of unfinished blogs that I have to force myself to finish since I always seem to lose interest in them and something new spark my interest and I start a new one, it's some kind of vicious cycle I have to break
Atsinganoi: I have the same problem with starting things, losing interest, and moving on to something else. It's terrible. Anyway, what got you into blogging in the first place, and better yet, what brought a Venezuelan such as yourself to ScrewAttack?
Fjveca: well that's going to be a long answer
Atsinganoi: Well, just answer them one at a time, I guess.
Fjveca: I discovered ScrewAttack through GameTrailers.com, while the first videos I saw of ScrewAttack were AVGN the really first thing that made me consider to actually go into ScrewAttack were the Video Game Vaults, at that time the crew makeing the vaults were Stuttering Craig himself and Handsom Tom, the humor was really good and it got me curious about what else they had in their site, after that the first actual content that made me create an account were Life in a Game and Nametags, I still insist to this day that we need Nametags season 2, then I started seein the Clip of the week every now and then and I started getting much more into what happened in ScrewAttack.
So one day I started to check out the user blogs on the site and the first thing that caught my attention was a blog from Elmo3000 I think it was a parody of a Lady Gaga song with Pokemon, if my memory doesn't fail me, still what really put me into blogging was a series of blogs that MadHero15 made, it was named From Pixel to Polygon it was a series of representations of how some videogame characters evolved from their pixel forms to today poligonal models those were really good blogs so I wanted to actually make something but was short on ideas. Until one day a very infamous law was approved by the congress here, due to the Mercenaries 2 setting our dear dictator decided that every Video Game that depicted violence was actually a murder simulator, and of course he saw the game Mercenaries 2 as a plot to train assassins in order to kill him, and the resulting law is so severe that made illegal to sell any game that as much as had a nail cutter in it or as part of the gameplay. I was so angry at the time that I made a very poorly elaborated list about what kind of games were banned here, starting from FPS like Portal (it has a gun), racers like Mario Kart (the turtle shells are considered animal torture), adventures like The Legend of Zelda (the main weapon of the game is a Sword), and finished with Cooking Mama, yes that game is actually banned here since you have to use a knife to cut things so that could totally turn you into a murderer.
Atsinganoi: Wow, that was indeed a very long answer, but a very interesting answer, and it allows me to perfectly segue into the next question I wanted to ask you, though you've partially answered it already. In what ways would you say gaming is different where you live compared to the rest of the world?
Fjveca: well while Videogames are "officially" banned here and to find "banned" games you have to know where to look for, things have actually calmed down since then, for starters that law while it was innitially heavily enforced some months later the poice started to look the other way, since overall they actually have more serious trouble to take care of, but a gaming here has a definitive sad face, piracy, while not everyone buys pirate every store here actually mods consoles, and the stores even updates the mods every time the big releases come out so they can sell pirated games, overall because they earn a lot more money from those sales and those are way more cheap than buying legal copies of the games.
as for what kind of games are popular here, there are some reallyheavy RPG players but there are also a big chunk of Gramers who play MLB and COD games
Atsinganoi: That's crazy! I had no idea. So, are you telling me that you are a badass criminal, playing illegal video games every day with your cool street gang? I'm joking mostly because i don't even know how to react to the information you just gave me.
Fjveca: I have a friend who is actually a lawyer and we spoke about this a while ago, the fun thing is that this law if that the only person who gets punished by this law is the seller, if you are the buyer they can't actually do nothing to you, and of course if you buy a game from say Amazon.com and import it via a curier it's completely legal
Atsinganoi: Wow, that...sounds...retarded.
Fjveca: well you just described our revolutionary government in a nutshell
Atsinganoi: Don't tell Chavez about this. It's possible that my Venezuelan boss is a spy. So, say you go into one of these purveyors of illegal goods, would you find most of the same games you'd find anywhere else?
Fjveca: yes, although as I said before something like Tales oof Xilia it's going to be harder to find, you are better off finding FPSs and sport games, but there are people who can take request but it adds to the final price of the games
Atsinganoi: Which is what I was going to ask next: because of all this, I assume games are likely much more expensive?
Fjveca: yeah pretty much, at our legal exchage rate is about 4.30 BS=1 USD but if you can find USD at that price you actually are a wizard or something since our country is in what is called (control de cambio) "Exchage Control" which again created a second marked for US currency and the price for 1 USD is about 8 to 10 BS per USD and at that rate we pay around 600-750 per game which give us around 75-80 USD per game using the second market for USD, that's for each 60 USD game but thing is that every collection that's sold for 40-50 USD is sold also at that price. now you can picture my anger when capcom decided to announce Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3
Atsinganoi: Yeah dude, that sucks. If you go with the online options (either the physical copy through someone like Amazon, or digital with PSN/XBLA), is it just as bad?
Fjveca: well as I told you before we have a "Monetary Exchage Control" which means that even if we have the money is not as easy (or legal) to find US currency but in online sells is where we are hurt the most since we cannot use our money freely to buy things online, we have a yearly cuota of how much we can spend and that couta is in 400 USD per year which I'm saving to order a WiiU when it comes out, so we as a country don't have a PSN option I actually have 2 PSN accounts my main account is from Spain, and I use one from the USA since here I the people who sells consoles and games also sell PSN cards that you can change in a USA account and that's how I've managed to get digital distributed games from the PSN, but for something like Steam I actually can only use our yearly couta of 400$
Atsinganoi: Oh for fuck's sake, this is getting ridiculous! I'm surprised anyone over there even bothers with video games considering all the hassles that are involved. Venezuelans are some dedicated gamers, that's for sure.
Fjveca: while I don't support it we have a lot of piracy I have a friend who has a 360 that decided to call it quits with the legal ways and he even got to play Mortal Kombat 9 2 weeks before if actually came to stores in the whole world so it has it's ups and it's dons but I can tell you one thing there is a HUGE market here of consoles and since those are not illegal to sell or mod the hardware sells here is huge tons I see everyday in my rout to work in the subway people with DSi XL or 3DS or PSPs, some of them with R4 cards or hacked PSPs some with original games, I have a friend who bought a PS3 recently and I lent him a lot of my games since is cheaper for him and he lend me Need for Speed Hot Pursuit in exchange
Atsinganoi: Sounds like when I was a kid and no one would buy a game their friend already had since you could just trade for a few months or weeks. Speaking of being a kid (again with the perfect set up), what was the first game you ever played?
Fjveca: ok I started gaming at a very yung age, since my dad has a degree in Computer Science and shortly after I was born he bought the first computer I used which was an original Machintosh I can't remember if the first game I played was a Frogger port or a game called Ground Zero it was a Missile Command clone here is a gif so ou can actually see the game http://www.d4.dion.ne.jp/~motohiko/groundzero.htm, so I actually started gaming on a Mac which now seems like a very bad way to start XD
Atsinganoi: Wow, you've really been at it for a long time then. Let's folow up with your favorite game. I'll allow you to name more than one if needed, since I don't think I could limit myself to a single game either.
Fjveca: that's easy my favorite game is Ocarina of Time from the Nintendo 64 I absolutely loved that game and since it was like nothing I have played to date I actually went through every corner of the game
Atsinganoi: Excellent choice! Well, I don't think I really have anymore to ask, do you have anything you'd like to add? Last words, as it were?
Fjveca: it was actually a pleasure to be here so thanks for the invitation
Atsinganoi: The pleasure was mine, my friend. I learned way more than I expected, so thanks!
|Nirreman Covers: RIDE THE SCORPION (GET THE LASER DAWG!!)|
|Nirreman Covers: Super Mario Bros. 2 - Overworld Theme|
Atsinganoi: Hey Nirreman, how's it going?
Nirreman: Nothing much man, going through old Harry Partridge animations. How're you?
Atsinganoi: At the risk of sounding super uncool, I'm going to admit that I don't know who that is. I'm doing alright. Got a bit of a cold, but I'll survive.
Nirreman: I'll forgive you for that...just this once
Atsinganoi: Thank you, kind sir. You are very gracious. You working on anything cool these days? Nirreman: Oh all sorts of things It's mostly music, music and more music, but that's what I enjoy doing
Atsinganoi: And you are very good at it, I might add. How long have you been playing? Nirreman: Which instrument are we talking here?
Atsinganoi: Haha, that was going to be my next question: what instruments do you play?
Nirreman: Hah, well I'll just give a list of things here What most people know me from is probably my guitar stuff, and that I've been playing for about 5 years now, although I don't consider the guitar to be my main instrument The drums are the thing I think I do best at, and those I started playing when I was around 13 years old, so that would make it 7 years now I also played piano when I was younger, but I haven't played it in a while. I took lessons for it for about 10 years. Besides that, I doodle on the bass, harmonica, you name it
Atsinganoi: Wow! Now that you've probably just made everyone reading this feel like they've been wasting most of their lives, when did you start with the metal covers of video game music?
Nirreman: That would be when I was 15 years old I believe (5 years ago), and I started with a metal cover of the boss fight theme from Sonic the Hedgehog 2 Which is still to date my most watched song on the internet, almost 100,000 views on that, which completely weirds me out
Atsinganoi: Well, I'm listening to it right now and the only thing I find weird about it is that it doesn't have even more views.
Nirreman: Haha, well thanks for that Atsinganoi: When did you start posting your stuff on ScrewAttack?
Nirreman: That was at 2007 I believe, around v3 I believe Back then you couldn't really upload anything there or have blogs or anything, but they used to feature g1 songs in SideScrollers every once in a while, so that's really how I started to post my music outside of YouTube
Atsinganoi: Of all the stuff you've done, do you have a personal favorite?
Nirreman: Hmm, well two specific ones definitely come to my mind, and both are from last year One would be my collab with another g1 named Lee Duffy, with whom I did a cover of Dr. Wily's Stage 1 from Mega Man 2. The reason to that is that it was the first time I collaborated with anyone, and another reason being of course is that that theme has a special place in my heart, and is one of my favorite video game tunes. Another one would be the cover of Sabrewulf's theme I did, and the reason for that is because I did it really fast and it ended up sounding really good considering my situation at the time. I was in the army back then and was home for the weekend, so I just pumped that song out from start to finish in around 1 day.
Atsinganoi: You also started MLP-centered account: Bronyfied. Other than most likely being a fan of the show, what gave you the idea to cover it's music?
Nirreman: Simple...boredom. Pure boredom. I honestly thought no one would ever listen to that project, but 5000 subscribers later I'm starting to realize that I was wrong.
Atsinganoi: I've got to admit, I'm surprised, not by how good it comes out, but by how amazing it comes out.
Nirreman: Haha, thanks man
Atsingnoi: I wouldn't have imagined that something from MLP could sound so good when metalified.
Nirreman: Yeah, it's a pretty weird idea when you think about it, isn't it? Atsinganoi: Indeed, but that's what so original about it.
Nirreman: I suppose so!
Atsinganoi: Considering that both of your music projects involve metal covers, I'll take a stab in the dark and assume you like metal?
Nirreman: Well damn, what gave me away?
Atsinganoi: Just a hunch. Nirreman: But yeah, I love metal, and it's a type of music I grew up with, although nowadays I do enjoy pretty much anything.
Any bands in particular that influence your work? Nirreman: Well it's kinda hard to say any specific bands who would influence my style, but there's of course several video game composers, can't go wrong with them. Besides that there's of course your basic thrash type from the 80s and so forth, like Anthrax, Slayer, older Metallica, Iron Maiden etc.
Nirreman: And as for production wise, I try to draw influence from more modern metal bands who really know their way around the studio and how to make crisp recordings, bands like Periphery, Decapitated, Behemoth and stuff like that
Atsinganoi: What, no Stratovarius, Sonata Artica, or Nightwish?
Nirreman: Hah, well I do love those too, although I'm kinda getting sick of hearing about Nightwish whenever they have a new album coming out. You hear SO much about it in such a short while, it always gives me a kind of "do not want" reaction.
Atsinganoi: Yeah, I was just teasing you for not giving a shout out to your fellow countrymen
Nirreman: Fair enough I'M THE BIGGEST MUSICIAN IN MY COUNTRY, NO NEED TO SHOUT OUT THE PEASANTS
Atsinganoi: That's the spirit. You mentioned the military earlier, so I'm gonna use that to segue into this next question. First of all, for those who don't know you or those who just plain don't know, you are from Finland, correct?
Nirreman: Yes, I indeed live in Finland
Atsinganoi: In what way do you believe gaming is different where you live?
Nirreman: Modern gaming here I believe doesn't really differ all that much from the States or whatever, since it's something that has become really popular over the last decade or so The only thing I'd imagine that could be different is the whole arcade culture thing, since there really was never any arcades around here, apart from the ones in amusement parks and such, but nowadays since arcades have gone way down in popularity in general, I really don't think it differs all that much Part of that I believe has to do with Finland being one of those countries which is kinda known for producing some fairly well known games, such as the Max Payne series, Angry Birds, Trials HD etc. I think that's just about all I have to say about that
Atsinganoi: Nothing in terms of prices, release dates, censorship or other legal issues particular to your country?
Nirreman: Well censorship has never been an issue here, we've never really had any games censored or pulled out of shelves or anything. At least as far as I can remember. As for release dates, that's always a thing where the entirety of Europe kinda gets fucked hard. Especially with Kirby games. Those who are from Europe and are fans of Kirby probably know what I'm talking about. And for game prices, I believe they're a bit more expensive than in the states, with new games going around 70€ at worst. But there's actually a pretty cool thing which has become fairly popular among gamers and game collectors and whatnot in buying new games around here. We have this island here which is part of Finland, but you can order games and other stuff from there without any taxes, which cuts the price of the games pretty harshly. You can get new games that way for around 35€, which is almost half off most of the time.
Atsinganoi: Haha! Awesome loophole!!
Nirreman: I abuse the shit out of that system
Atsinganoi: I do not blame you. Alright, here's some quick questions for you: first game you ever played?
Nirreman: Super Mario Bros./Duck Hunt combo cart yeah, you know what I'm talking about
Atsinganoi: If someone doesn't, GTFO!
Atsinganoi: Favorite game ever?
Nirreman: Hmm, tough one. I might have to go with Kirby Superstar Deluxe for the DS.
Atsinganoi: You can mention several. I wouldn't be able to limit myself to just one.
Nirreman: Well let's say that and Doom. Those two have very special places in my heart.
Atsinganoi: Ah yes, two very similar games!
Nirreman: I know, right? Well hey, I enjoy MLP and b-class splatter horror movies, so it all comes to cute and cuddly things and things that die violently
Atsinganoi: Can't go wrong with the splatter horror.
Nirreman: Yup, love that stuff.
Atsinganoi: Well good sir, I believe we've come to the end of this here interview. anything you wanted to say but didn't get a chance?
Nirreman: I love cheese.
Atsinganoi: Noted. Anything else?
Nirreman: Nah, just wanted to get my cheese fetish out there to the public.
And of course I gotta thank you for the interview, it was fun.
Atsinganoi: You're welcome, but you're sure you don't want to add that you're super disappointed that a francophone and a Finn such as us didn't commemorate this entire interview with copious use of umlauts?
Nirreman: You just started speaking in fancy, didn't you?
Atsinganoi: Dude, I was born fancy and you know it!
Nirreman: That's the way to do it
Oh I do want to give a shoutout to a certain group of people though You ready for it?
Atsinganoi: Sure go ahead.
Nirreman: TEAM SAM!!!!!!
Ol' Stickman is way too sexy to give his info to you!
|Top 10 Unloved and Underrated Video Game Characters.|
Atsinganoi: Mr. Stickman, how's it hanging?
The Stickman: It's hanging low and lazy duuuude, you?
Atsinganoi: Droopy and slimy? I'm not sure we're making sense anymore. Anywho, you working on anything fun and exciting that you plan to bring to the g1s soon?
The Stickman: Well, I just posted my Top 10 Unloved and Underrated Video Game Characters, and that's doing super at the moment, coming up over the next couple of weeks will be reviews of Metro 2033 and de Blob 2, as requested by the g1's. And I also have a special announcement incoming that people who follow me on Twitter will already been in the loop about. So, yes, yes I do. Also some other shit probably.
Atsinganoi: Awesome! As usual, I can't wait to see what you've got planned, and as for the special project, I sure do hope it involves space travel and a flightless bird. So tell me, what brought a man such as yourself to ScrewAttack in the first place?
The Stickman: It may or may not involve an intergalactic avian...I mean, it's not really a secret but it's nice for my loyal Twitter followers/bitches to know something before the rest of the g1's. What brought me to ScrewAttack? That's a long but boring story, like a lot of people I was drawn in by the Angry Video Game Nerd when he first started up on GameTrailers, I went on the ScrewAttack site afterwards, lurked about for a little while before setting up an account on V3.
Atsinganoi: What made you decide to start blogging, I mean, other than the desire to share your wisdom and brilliance with the Internet?
The Stickman: Ohohoh! Oh you! Well, I'd done a little bit of "blogging" on some older sites I'd been on (which I won't name), and I posted my first Review on V3, which was on Resident Evil 5 and was, frankly, shit. Nobody read it because on V3 blogs were nothing, but when V4 came along, I tried again, I just enjoy writing and getting feedback on stuff like that, it's like a drug, blogging, you keep wanting to do more and more. Atsinganoi: Well, here's to you being addicted to this drug for many more years. Now, without asking you for your postal code or anything, you live in the United Kingdom, correct? The Stickman: That's correct, born in Wales, and currently living in England. Atsinganoi: Now that we've established that, what would you say is different or unique about gaming where you live? The Stickman: Not a whole lot really if I'm honest, hard to say since I haven't really experienced foreign gaming culture. Suppose gaming as a medium isn't as big in the UK as some other places, rather certain titles such as Call of Duty, Halo, Mass Effect, Assassin's Creed and Mario are the ones people talk about, there's, at least from my experience mainly interest in the adult titles between normal teenagers rather than Mario or Sonic or anything like that.
Atsinganoi: Anything in terms of prices, release dates, law, regulations, or censorship you can think of?
The Stickman: Things have calmed down as of late, particularly in terms of release date gaps, back in the earlier days you'd be waiting for a game to come out months or possibly years after America got it. I can remember as recently as Metroid Prime 3, where there was a gap of 3 months between America and Europe, which for someone like me was truly agonizing. Nowadays most games release within the same week, unless we're talking Konami, in which case they bend us over and fuck as up the ass regularly on lack of promotions or even proper announcements of release dates. As for Law and Censorship, again things have calmed down recently, there's been a lot of talk about Ratings because at the moment we have two ratings boards, one being the BBFC which also rates films and DVDs, the other being PEGI, who are designed purely to rate games. Problem is PEGI are constantly overrating games, for instance the original Mass Effect was a 12 by film/BBFC standards, but the PEGI rated it an 18. There's been a lot of talk about scrapping the BBFC in favour of PEGI, and being 19 years old now I don't really care anymore, but it's still stupid. Censorship isn't really a big problem here, games get protested in Parliament but nothing really comes of it thanks to the sane headed folks at the BBFC.
Atsinganoi: Glad to hear there are still some sane folks over there. It never ceases to amaze me how kids who grew up with parents yelling at them for reading comic books or listening to satanic music can still end up turning into adults who fail to see they've become the same narrow minded authority figures they hated in their youth when they blame video games for often made up or imagined societal problems.
The Stickman: We've still got those kind of people, they just don't have any power anymore. The last gaming controversy I can recall was Modern Warfare 3 and its train crash sequence that took place in the London Underground, it obviously had connotations of the July 7th Train Bombings, but at the end of the day, it's an 18 rated game and so nothing really came of it.
Atsinganoi: I can only imagine what would have happened in your country if today's games had come out in the time of Thatcher or Mary Whitehouse.
The Stickman: Chaos, chaos and stupidity.
Atsinganoi: Most likely. Alright, how about a couple of quick questions? You ready?
The Stickman: Shoot, well, not literally, but...in a manner of speaking...just...just give me the questions... *Sighs*
Atsinganoi: What's the first video game you ever played?
The Stickman: First ever game? Play-Doh Activity Centre or something. First proper game? Either Pokemon Yellow, DOOM or Tomb Raider.
Atsinganoi: What is your all-time favorite game?
The Stickman: Again, tricky. Used to be Resident Evil 5 but I've worn that one out for myself. Metroid Prime 3 or Dead Space 2. Yep.
Atsinganoi: I regret to inform you that I've yet to play any of those games, though I've been looking to get all of the Metroid Prime trilogy for a while now. I've heard good things
The Stickman: The Metroid Prime trilogy is the greatest trilogy in gaming, period. Retro Studios are da bomb.
Atsinganoi: Duly noted. Well chap, I believe we've reached the conclusion of this here interview. Do you have any parting shots, words of wisdom to share, or any general stuff you'd like to say before skulking away into your dark, dank cave?
The Stickman: Don't judge a Stickman purely by his comments on the internet. That, and watch the skies, WATCH THE SKIES FOR COSMIC FLIGHTLESS BIIIRRRDS.
Today is the start of a new future, but tomorrow will not signify a new era. One day, something truly great and special shall arise. It will truly strike the internet. You don't know what I mean, but maybe, you will...Just wait. I'm getting sidetracked a bit, as I've said last week, I'm not it considering this such a bad thing...You'll see. You can call me crazy...But you will understand what I'm talking about quite soon...
The era will begin momentarily, friends.