Lasombra Files Episode 28: My Enemy’s Enemy

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.

14 days have passed since we arrived in this parallel world, one where everything was the same but different. In that time one more of our alternate world colleagues were found dead, decomposing as he hung from some grimy, ghetto high rise. ‘Do you remember me?’ etched in his blood around the body. I don’t know how this world’s Max will react having to go solo now that Skip is but a corpse, an afterthought in the minds of this instant gratification society in episode 28: My Enemy’s Enemy. Two dead from the same studio, while all the rest were scattered across other departments. Was it a pattern forming or just a coincidence? One thing was made clear, the killer would kill anyone and we had no clue as to the identity. He was a shadow stalking us, waiting for a moment to strike.

Name: Patrick D Scoggins aka scogg34
Age: 30
Gender: Male
Occupation: Bank Manager
Country: Home of the Red, White and Blue, US of A!

Disclaimer: This interview is reproduced as written by the interviewee. Pictures copyright of their artist/photographer/owner. All likenesses used are for parody and/or satirical purposes.

Lasombra: When did you start gaming?

Scoggs: I’m the youngest of 3, so I got my brother’s hand me downs. I played Atari 2600 for the first time when I was 4. I`ve been playing ever since. I’ve had one if not all the major systems of each generation, minus the Xbox/X360 of the current gen.

Lasombra: How did you choose your PSN name?

Scoggs: (scogg34) In the navy everyone said my last name wrong, people add an R here, change the g’s to l’s etc, etc. I eventually told everyone to call me Scoggs, and its fit ever since. My favorite baseball player of all time, Nolan Ryan, wore the number 34. Every sport I’ve played, I too have used that number.
Now why is the second ‘s’ missing you ask? When typing in my name on the PSN for the first time, I had just finished my 4th Captain and Coke, and the last ‘s’ magically floated away, or so the story goes, lol.

Lasombra: What motivated you to become a Trophy hunter? What was your initial spark?

Scoggs: I was playing Sega Genesis Collection on PS3, and I realized I had popped a Trophy for getting a high score in Super Thunder Blade. I looked at the other Trophies and realized I could get all these with no problem. Shortly after I looked at my other games and realized this whole Trophy thing was pretty exciting. I then came across PS3trophies.com, and was warmly welcomed by two fellows, Chambers35 and NeroRadec, and the rest is history. I’m up to 19 plats now, and still counting.

Lasombra: Are you a Trophy hunter, platinum hunter, or a specific hunter? (Example: All GoW game hunter)

Scoggs: I’d say I’m a combination of Trophy Hunter, and a Specific Hunter. My goal is to have all Lego games eventually, Ratchet and Clank, horror games, and a few others. I’ve finished up Sly 4 recently to have all those Trophies under my belt.

Lasombra: How many hours do you dedicate to trophy hunting?

Scoggs: I game for at least 20 hours a week each week. Some are more, some are less, depending on family plans but usually 20 hours a week.

Lasombra: What motivates you to go for that next Trophy? How do you stay motivated after a long gaming session, particularly with grinding Trophies?

Scoggs: It’s just coming naturally to be honest. I’ve found myself getting more games for my backlog, and printing/looking at Trophy guides before even playing the game. The Trophies are almost more important than what the game is going to play like. Does that mean I’m obsessed? lol.

Lasombra: Have you ever gone through any burnout from your sessions?

Scoggs: I had a brief meltdown while grinding items to sell, in order to finish making weapons in FFXIII. I had realized that I had missed a whole section of weapons, and wanted to put my controller through the TV. Needless to say that game is now on the shelf, and I took a week or so off to avoid breaking my TV.

Lasombra: What is your proudest platinum? Why? Was it your hardest?

Scoggs: Even though it’s an easy one, The Sega Genesis collection is proudest because it’s my first. The hardest would be Rainbow Moon because I wanted to quit a few times as I didn`t level my characters enough, and a certain point of the level grind was near impossible for me, but I persevered and that shiny plat is mine!

Lasombra: Do you have a Trophy goal for the year? If so, how far are you along in it?

Scoggs: Going into 2013 my goal was to have at least 30 plats. I think I can still achieve it, but I’m on a RPG kick right now and I like to do EVERYTHING in RPGs. Right now I’m at 19 plats, so I’d need to do at least 1 a month with 3 extra coming from somewhere. Its gonna be tough!

Lasombra: Do you believe gamers should be allowed to make Trophy hunting teams? Why or why not?

Scoggs: I say sure, but they should have separate leaderboards, just like people that hack Trophies. Your team will blow me away of course, but if it’s mano-a-mano I’ll give you a run for your money. I’m all about ranking myself against friends or peers on how fast I got a plat, but when I see the first 3-5 got the plat within hours of starting, yeah right. Give me a break.

Lasombra: Do you think Sony should create a world database with every user’s PSN Trophy info for all to see? Why or why not?

Scoggs: I think so, as for similar reasons above. I may have a polar opposite in South Korea or Australia that we can compare Trophies, stats, and games with, and compete. On that same idea, there may be a Dutch team of Trophy hunters going against a Czech team of hunters on top of the database. Also, I can judge if my "rare Trophy" is really that rare, based on the entire world, not just certain users of a certain website.

Lasombra: What tips do you have for someone trying to reach the next level and going after a difficult platinum?

Scoggs: Keep trying. There are tons of sites out there that can give you advice, tips, tricks to get what you need to. I believe there are no games that are unplattable, you just need to find the right friend, or group of friends, to help you get it.

Lasombra: Regardless of the system, what pre-Trophy game would you auto-buy if it was released on the PS3 with Trophy support?

Scoggs: Hands down, Final Fantasy 7, my favorite RPG of all time. I spent 100 plus hours probably 5 times on this game, playing start to finish. I’d also like to see the original Suikodens, Vandal Hearts, and PS1 classic RPGs brought back with Trophy support. I’d scoop them all up day one as well.

Lasombra: What is the gaming culture like in your area? It is Las Vegas so there must be an awesome, mind blowing, game shop that consumes souls like a casino consumes quarters?

Scoggs: Honestly its all about the Casinos, clubs, and night scene. Off the strip, we’re just any old regular town. There is a bar on Fremont Street (a popular tourist street) called Insert Coin. They have classic games built into your table, and at the bar. In casinos, you can play a video poker game at the bar while you drink. Well at Insert Coin, you can play some Pacman, Galaga, or Street Fighter at the bar while drinking your beer. When I was younger the casinos all had huge arcades, but as times change, the casinos have developed "Kids Quests" which are built in day cares for parents to drop their kids off to gamble. Pretty sad to be honest.

Lasombra: What was life like in the navy for a gamer? It must be hard to find a free TV when you`re stuck on a battleship.

Scoggs: Just to clear things up, I was on a submarine. We consider ourselves different then the rest of the fleet. With that said, there is no time for anything. I had my laptop in my rack (bed) that I watched DVDs on, but no real game set up. When I was in Japan or South Korea, I hit up a few arcade type places, but that’s it. I was in for 5 years, and this was my peak WoW time. If we were in port, I was either at a bar getting hammered, or at home getting hammered playing Wow. I didn`t start my PS3 days until 2009.

Lasombra: What kind of RPGs are you playing right now? Do you think all the equipment grinding Trophies are fair in RPGs, or just mindless time wasting once everything is done?

Scoggs: Right now, I’m playing Sleeping Dogs, Demon’s Souls, and trying to avoid anything else because Injustice should be in my mailbox tomorrow. I enjoy the grinding, like in Rainbow Moon, but I hated the grinding in FFXIII for the weapons, and that’s why I’ll never finish it. I guess it just depends on the game. I can play FF7 even today for hours on end, or FF4 for that matter.

Lasombra: Does your family join you in your love of video games and/or Trophies?

Scoggs: LOL, far from it. My daughter (she is three) has a leapfrog tablet, and likes to play her educational games, and likes to play some girl games on my phone but that is it. My wife, yeah, she hates the PS3 and the PC. She hated me when I played WoW, and she hates me now playing PS3. I usually play PS3 when either she is away, sleeping, or in a good mood to leave me alone, lol

Lasombra: As a family man and being ex-military, what is your take on the violence in video game debate?

Scoggs: I think it’s fine. I was raised by a very strict ex-military father, but I could watch any horror, war, action, drama, suspense movie I wanted. My father would watch it with me of course when I was younger, and always asked me questions of what I was watching, and what I thought of it. I watched Faces of Death when I was 10. I thought it was gruesome, sure, and didn`t watch it again until I was an adult. On the flip side, I will not let my daughter watch me play, or her play, any of the games I play that have lots of blood, guts, killing. That`s my responsibility as her parent to shield her from it. I can’t rely on the game makers, congress, or anyone else for that matter to do it. I think parents or adults that think otherwise are just lazy. If you don`t like it, don`t watch or play it and don`t let your kids either. Be the parent, be the adult. OK, off the soapbox now. LOL

Lasombra: Is the character from Splatter House your favourite, as your avatar and signature has been him since the dawn of time?

Scoggs: Yes, Mr. Rick from Splatterhouse is ME in my opinion. In High school I was a nerd. Sure I played football and wrestled, but after practice or games or meets I would go home and do homework, read, or just play video games. When I play a game, I’m in the game. I put myself as that character, just as I would when reading a book. Honestly, if you saw a picture of me from high school, I would be a mirror image of Rick from Splatterhouse pre-mask. Pretty cool. So of course, when I write or play on forums, I consider myself the alter ego, The Mask, and all the badassness that comes with it.

Following around our alternate-selves turned into a fruitless endeavor as there was no follow-up to the attempted hit two weeks ago. A never ending line of reports, all on mediocre and mindless drivel that would make anyone turn the channel. I don’t know if I should be happy or sad that they are more boring than we are. Using fake identities we work out of a small, cramped apartment in a mediocre part of town. Not rich enough for people to notice random, sketchy events but not so poor that we’d be picking out needles from our newspapers. As we are home, searching the Internet for any form of clue to the meaning of the message, an envelope is slipped under our door in episode 29: Faces of the Self. Opening it revealed a single piece of paper, with a single word: Kage. The name meant nothing to us, but it did reveal we were being watched by someone, somewhere. Friend or foe? Ally or enemy? They held the next piece of this puzzle and whatever mystery lust I had, considered it quenched as reading the name felt like someone walking over my grave.

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