Lasombra Files Episode 16: The Finnish Flash
Welcome to the Lasombra Files, PSU’s weekly hit program. Follow the story of Lasombra and V as they try to stay alive in Shadow City, unraveling its secrets, while at the same time shining the spotlight on Trophy hunters around the world and in our community.
A week passes as V and I are demoted to remedial reporting. From clown rodeos, women’s mud wrestling, elementary school recitals, Mayoral speeches, and worst of all…shudders...traffic duty, whoever is pulling the Boss’s strings definitely wants to try and break our spirit. I’ll never criticize O’Bannon again for his traffic reporting. Who knew you got so many death threats for only reporting the early morning traffic. Don’t people realize I am not Scotty and can’t beam the cars to their destination? In the little spare time I get from moving from gig to gig as if I were as green as an Orion slave girl, I manage to track down the source Captain Li wanted me to contact. Thank you year 2012 and our new age technology called Skype in Episode 16: The Finnish Flash. Yes people, we do have picture phones…mobile picture phones in the future. One quick call to Finland to set-up a meeting with this mysterious contact and we’ll be one step closer to solving this mystery…if only our internet was working…Great, now to spend money on over inflated long distance charges.
Occupation: Studying to be an architect
Disclaimer: This interview is reproduced as written by the interviewee. Pictures copyright of their artist/photographer/owner.
Lasombra: How long have you been gaming?
Spyrde: I'm a fairly new guy to gaming, as you can see from my age. I really got into gaming in the PS2 era as a kid so I've been playing for around 10 years or so. I've introduced myself to some older systems as well later on though.
Lasombra: How did you find PSU?
Spyrde: I used to hang out in the Gametrailers forums, but I really didn't like the community that much and I wanted a forum that focused more on PS3 so it wasn't hard to find this place.
Lasombra: Are you solely a Sony gamer this generation or do you split your time between multiple systems?
Spyrde: Solely a Sony gamer, got no reasons to get other systems right now. The future is open though, I'm not a fanboy so I pick the system that suits me the best and go with that. Sony's been the better one for me so far.
Lasombra: What do you like about the community at PSU that keeps bringing you back for more?
Spyrde: The community is very tight and it kinda feels like everyone knows everybody. The amount of positivity and helpful people is beyond anything I've seen at other forums! Also the warmth between the staff and the members is amazing. If you have anything you want to discuss you just put up a thread and it's guaranteed you'll get a good discussion of it. Even if arguments break out they are usually very civilized and people here seem to have built some mutual respect for one another. I know I have.
Lasombra: In your opinion, what needs to be done to help the community to grow bigger and better?
Spyrde: I think the forum layout needs a bit more work, as it's a bit strange and some parts are hard to use. The system back in the day worked fantastic and I'm sure others agree with this as well.
Lasombra: Do you have any gaming goals for this year?
Spyrde: Just to get back into it more. As a busy student I have a lot on my to-do-list constantly, so gaming has really been on the sidelines for me. I've been getting back into some older games that I've missed, for example I picked up Bioshock a few weeks back because I really felt like I missed out on one epic series. I was thinking of picking up Dead Space soon as well, as that's another title I've missed for some reason.
Lasombra: Are you a trophy hunter, and what do you think about trophies overall?
Spyrde: Used to be; spent hours getting plats on a few games like Fallout 3, MW2 and the Uncharteds. Kinda left trophies on the sidelines as well once my life got busier. I like trophies. They add tons of length and replay value to a game. Some can be a b*tch though; resorting to glitches is a controversial topic and honestly sometimes I say it's justified: for example Ratchet and Clank and Mortal Kombat had trophies that are almost impossible for a normal human being to accomplish.
Lasombra: The PS2 dominated a console war like no other system. What tricks does Sony need to pull out of their hat to create the same magic with the PS4.
Spyrde: Been out of the zone with this stuff for a while, but it seems like casual gaming is the new hit, and if Sony could step out of that and let the other companies battle over the casual market then Sony might attract a nice chunk of those real gamers. The market is massive with casual games though (unfortunately lol), so it's understandable that Sony wants a slice of that pie. I think learning from this era is a good way for Sony to improve with the PS4 as well: for example XBOX Live was a hit and Sony should learn from things like that when thinking of the PS4.
Lasombra: Do you have a favourite era of gaming? The SNES/Genesis war? The reign of the Playstation Reich? Hail to the NES?
Spyrde: Ha, well I've only experienced two eras, but I really, really enjoyed the PS2 era. Before all the DLC, before the massive online gaming, before all the casual games.....those were the times. There is nothing like a good single-player game with a fantastic story and tons of replay value. Sadly those games are not as common anymore…
Lasombra: Is there a lot of gaming culture in your area of the world? Unique stores, conventions, etc?
Spyrde: Even though Finland is a small country, it's massive in the gaming industry. Angry Birds, Max Payne, Alan Wake, Trials, Trine, Dead Nation, Shattered Horizon, Flatout etc. all come from here. Finland has been very familiar with the newest technology ever since names like Nokia and Linux became world known, so gaming goes hand in hand with that. There are a few conventions here and there, but the Finnish online community is where it's at: it's MASSIVE and there are tons of Finnish forums dedicated to games and different games. Any gaming forum you visit you'll be bound to find a Finnish dude there.
Lasombra: Have you ever been burnt out from a gaming session?
Spyrde: You bet; playing MW2 all Sunday night with a few buddies really takes the juice out of a guy. Especially when you have school the next day…
Lasombra: Being from Finland, Finnish is your native language but you also are fluent in English. How many languages do you speak, and why is it so easy for people from the Nordic countries to learn English when it is so much more difficult for other countries like those in Asia?
Spyrde: I speak Finnish and English fluently. Swedish is the second language here so i obviously speak that as well and I've also studied French for many years. Education is world-class over here according to the PISA-tests so that plays its part on why English comes fairly natural to us. That isn't the main reason though, as the Asian countries do pretty well in those tests too. The main reason why English comes fairly natural to us is probably a consequence of the whole western computer society that most of us Finns have adapted; we watch English TV-shows, play our games in English and talk about our hobbies in English on different websites. The Asians have their own cultures in their own languages, but as such a small country we kind of have to rely on the western cultures.
Lasombra: Do you prefer to play your games in English or Finnish, or do games even come translated in Finnish?
Spyrde: I play all of my games in English. Some games come translated, but I just prefer to play the games in their original language. A lot of ports also just sound and feel awful.
Lasombra: What is the proudest platinum you have and why?
Spyrde: I have many platinums, but Fallout 3 is probably the one I'm most proud of. It's such a large game so getting the platinum is a lot tougher than with normal games. That platinum also required many playthroughs and after getting it I pretty much had covered every nook and cranny the game offered.
Lasombra: Do you think you will ever go back to being a trophy hunter if you had more time away from being a student?
Spyrde: Probably, as there are a few games that I'm just a few trophies away on getting platinum. For example I'm just 2 shards away on getting my plat on Infamous. They're just so damn hard to find…
Lasombra: Regardless of the system, what game without trophies would you automatically buy if it came out with trophies tomorrow?
Spyrde: I don't really buy games for the trophies; I play them if they're good. Of course they're a nice plus, but trophies don't determine my purchases.
Lasombra: You make a lot of signatures, and also made the banner for my other series "Skip and Max's Prime Time Gaming". Is art a passion of yours or a fun hobby?
Spyrde: Signatures and banners are more of a hobby, but art overall is a passion for me and I constantly need to be creating something. Whether it's writing, making music, drawing or photomanipulating, I just have to do something with these hands. I'm planning my future in an artistic direction now that I'm finishing school and architecture has become a big interest of mine lately.
We finish our gig early and the Boss’s new decker shows up to get our memory stick. If I knew I could Shadow Run myself it would make finding my files a lot easier, although scratching the USB port in your skull must not be very healthy when you have an itch. As V and I head to the next spot, the tenth so far today in this mind numbing reenactment of a career going down the drain of mediocrity and unimportance as if I’m working for CNN, I get a call from the contact at our designated time in Episode 17: Fighting The Man. He informs me of a plot to monopolize the news from a shadowy organization called the OMNI Syndicate, and what Captain Li gave me was part of the information. As he tells me all he can, it makes me wonder why calling him is a favour when all she had to do was call him herself. He finishes his story, and what a work of fiction it is. Only someone on a cocaine and ecstasy induced acid flashback could even comprehend it, it is so convoluted, and I've already done that episode.
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