Lasombra Files Episode 34: Sins of the Past
Welcome to season 3 of the Lasombra Files, PSU’s weekly hit program. Follow the story of Lasombra and V as they try to solve an inter-dimensional murder mystery of ostentatious proportions, while at the same time shining the spotlight on gamers around the world and in our community.
The memories of the past still flood my senses as I try to not collapse from the emotional trauma. There is so much we don`t know about the human mind and what it does to defend itself from attack. Only in time will I know if this mental barrier was a blessing or a curse. I now remember who the killer is. Whatever memories I had of the past year are now tainted with skepticism as I don`t know what is truth and what is fiction in episode 34: Sins of the Past. "Richard" is all I can say under a panted breathe. If only I had remembered what I knew now what I knew then. Torture, incarceration, and a near-complete brain wiping of the events. I thought he was dead but he is back, or was he even dead to begin with? For every question answers three more questions are asked.
Name: Doug Massie
Age: 30 (yep I am old)
Occupation: Childhood education while attending school for degree
Disclaimer: This interview is reproduced as written by the interviewee except for grammar and spelling corrections. Pictures copyright of their artist/photographer/owner. All likenesses used are for parody and/or satirical purposes.
Lasombra: How long have you been gaming?
Yuuichi: Ever since the NES was first introduced in the USA. I recall waking up that Christmas morning to see the package there with Mario Bros/Duck Hunt. I hooked it up to my 13 inch TV and was hooked.
Lasombra: How did you find PSU?
Yuuichi: When I first bought my PS3 I bought a theme for it and the picture changed. Not knowing if that was suppose to happen I came here, found a general question thread, registered and asked. I then browsed more of the section and started to engage in conversation. I liked the people so I stayed.
Lasombra: Are you solely a Sony gamer this generation or do you split your time between multiple systems?
Yuuichi: I started out with an Xbox 360. I am an RPG buff and I worked for Best Buy at the time and was debating between the two. The one game that made up my mind was when I saw Eternal Sonata, which at the time was an exclusive. After reading more about that and Lost Odyssey my choice was made. Then they broke away from the RPG genre. I held hope until I saw a preview for White Knight Chronicles. I traded in my Xbox and got the PS3. I`ve been playing it ever since.
Lasombra: What do you like about the community at PSU that keeps bringing you back for more?
Yuuichi: They can engage in great conversation. Members post articles they find and help each other out if they get stuck even if the game is older.
Lasombra: In your opinion, what needs to be done to help the community to grow bigger and better?
Yuuichi: I am not sure how much advertising PSU does but that is one step. I think Ghost and the rest of the Dust 514 crew are doing great in promoting not only their corporation but also PSU. After E3 I fully expect to see a surge in members and I hope many stay.
Lasombra: Do you have any gaming goals for this year?
Yuuichi: My gaming goal right now is to get a PS4. Hopefully it will be priced at a good point. After that, the flood of games expected to be shipped with console will keep be occupied.
Lasombra: Are you a Trophy hunter, and what do you think about Trophies overall?
Yuuichi: I have around 3 platinum Trophies but have played well over 20 games so I would not say I am a Trophy hunter. Trophies are great, but there are a few BS Trophies I have seen that prevent many players from achieving a platinum. A good example are all the online requirements for trophies. Some Trophies seem to be there to keep you playing the game more (like collect x amount of an item that drops 1:10,000 mobs).
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?
Yuuichi: When you look at the PS2 the one thing that sticks out for it games is variety. There where a ton of games, and many did not have sequels. JRPGs, horror, action, you name it, it had it. Now it just seems too many devs, maybe at the pressure of sales, are just sequel pumping and not taking risks. People will get bored of the same thing so if the PS4 wants success like the PS2 then they need a wide variety of games to appeal to many people.
Lasombra: Do you have a favourite era of gaming? The SNES/Genesis war? The reign of the Playstation Reich? Hail to the NES?
Yuuichi: My favorite era was the PS2. I started with a Dreamcast then eventually got a PS2. The games that kept being released were just so good: Silent Hill 2, Final Fantasy 12, Fatal frame, Dark Cloud, Ico, they weere just so great at stories and gameplay that sucked you in. When online was introduced I played S.O.C.O.M. with some friends. I had a GameCube at the same time and thought it was a very underrated system. Eternal Darkness was one of the best games released for it. The original Xbox had no game I was interested in. That was an era where almost every other week I was playing a new game because there was so many that kept coming out.
Lasombra: Is there a lot of gaming culture in your area of the world? Unique stores, conventions, etc?
Yuuichi: Nope, the part I live in Florida has mostly retirement people. Sure when I wear my Skyrim t-shirt I get a few people who know what it is, but overall we have no unique stores, just GameStop.
Lasombra: Have you ever been burnt out from a gaming session?
Yuuichi: Many times. I keep pushing myself to get that extra level, or go after that last boss to the point my body is like enough. Sometimes I get so burned out I do not touch the game again for a while.
Lasombra: Mentioning that White Knight Chronicles got you into buying a PS3, what is your opinion of the servers being closed for the game? Do you think companies should think about how a server being shut down will affect a game and company`s legacy?
Yuuichi: The server closing is just one of those things that was bound to happen. No server stays on forever. I was actually surprised they shut them down so soon. Companies should always think about the day the server closes. For a game like WKC that relies heavily on online after you beat the main game for guild levels, normal levels, gear, and the final super awesome dungeon, there is now a wealth of players who will never see all that. Sure you can do some stuff online with the AI, but it takes double to triple the amount of time to get everything.
One good thing WKC did was its interface. It is a great groundwork for a company to come along and make a true MMO for the PS3, and I look forward to the day that happens.
Lasombra: Being an RPG buff why do you think it is so hard for the mainstream of Japan and North America to accept each others RPGs? For example a game like Skyrim sells massively here but poorly over in Japan, while a game like Persona 4 sells over in Japan but pales in comparison here in North America.
Yuuichi: It is funny because I have never seen the JRPG vs WRPG debate until this generation. Last generation JRPGs dominated and in all my searching the internet and talking to people I have never heard of this great debate. It is also a matter of what is considered "poor sales." I mean if a game does not sell 4 million copies and only sells 1mill is it truly a failure or are companies just setting high goals because of other games? Back to the question at hand it has to do with culture and how gamers have changed. JRPGs sold great and were dominate last gen, but this gen the gamer has changed and they want something different. Look at the games that sell well outside of Japan and you will see the COD, GOW, Gears of War and so on. People just want something that can relate to their culture and medieval fantasy like slaying dragons and killing big bad demons sells well in the UK and NA. While in Japan they have a completely different culture. Their games have more story depth, and character development. They have some unique games too and it is just made for their culture.
Lasombra: What was it like working at Best Buy? What are some fun stories or horror stories related to gaming you experienced there?
Yuuichi: It sucked. I wasted 7 years with that company and everything that is happening to them now they have done to themselves. I stayed on the usual lies of being promoted and all that fun stuff that I am sure we all have been told before. Eventually I got tired of it and became probably the worst employee you could ever be and then just quit.
Working the gaming section was great. People would come in and we would chat about games and I`d sell them stuff. It was interesting through the course of the PSX and PS2 how many people did not buy memory cards because they thought I was trying to sell them extra stuff. When the PSX was around $50 people would buy them by the cart loads. The ones who did this of course were tax exempt and would ship them to other countries to be sold for a stupid high amount. I recall one day when the original XBOX took a big price cut my manager said one guy was interested in buying all of them, around 200. That sent up red flags in my mind but it was all about the money to the store. Well, that guy did buy all of them. Next day we get a phone call from the FBI telling us do not do it again because apparently what the guy was doing was taking the chips out of them to be used in illegal devices.
Lasombra: With the Xbox being an English centred console why do you think there is a lack of English RPGs in comparison to the conveyor belt of Japanese ones that dominates the Japanese centred PlayStation?
Yuuichi: Because MS knows what sells on their console and it is not RPGs. Skyrim sold very well on the Xbox so I would think MS would go to one of their game devs and have them make a great RPG exclusive to their console. Sure they had the Fable games, which I am one of the few that liked all of them, but other than that they have the Witcher 2. When they released Kinect they completely switched their focus mainly to that. Next gen it is interesting to see if they do make that great RPG exclusive to them. They have everything in place to be able to do it.
Lasombra: What caused you to be burnt out from some of your sessions? What games were they?
Yuuichi: Well when I played World of Warcraft there were some 18 hour gaming days. I would just level until my body said enough. Kingdoms of Amalur is another one, that game has so many side quest and the areas are big I just get burned out easily. I still have not touched it for over two weeks. Skyrim is probably the one I get burned out with the most. I`ll get the urge and will play it for a week straight, then will realize what all I have left to do and just get burned out. It really is a big game and sometimes feels overwhelming. I still need to beat Dragonborn.
Lasombra: To paraphrase yourself, the PS2 had lots of variety while the PS3 had sequel after sequel. What do you predict the PS4 will do with developers and games?
Yuuichi: From what we have seen so far it looks to be another rinse and repeat with sequels. We saw another Killzone. We saw a new inFamous which is fine because we only have two of them so far. We did see great new games like Knack and I am hoping they saved a few more new IPs for E3. If the PS4 is as dev friendly as they say maybe we will see indie games start to gain more ground. Hopefully we will see great new games because people will get tired of the same game over and over. It just takes that one dev to take the chance.
We leave the warehouse to be welcomed by a cascading rain. Maybe if I was leaving the house for work I`d be annoyed, but after the self-inflicted beating the rain was a refreshing distraction from the pain. Each step to the van felt like hell, my head throbbing and body aching, with V not feeling any better. Getting into the van we take a moment to just rest, wordless, letting the rain`s chorus try and sooth our senses. But that tranquil peace is short lived as something crashes onto the front hood of the van in episode 35: Past Partners. For a moment tranquility was trying to make us forget, and the next moment I`m pulled through the front window and thrown like a rag doll. My body hits the ground with such force that not even the mud can prevent me from rolling into the warehouse wall. Looking up, blurry eyed, a misshapen form looks down at me. No smiles, no laughter, no anger, just stoicism as if I were trash being thrown away. "Long time no see, Richard," the words barely audible as I give a chuckle. Devoid of the strength to fight back, lifting me up to the sky was child`s play for my former cameraman.
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