Hello again my fellow Midlife Gamers. How have you been? Good? Good. Me? Cracking. It’s that time again, that time when I back a fellow community member into a corner, look them deep in the eye and get them to reveal themselves to me. And then I ask them some questions about them and video games. This week I get down and dirty with everyone’s favorite artist – EpicToneDogg.
BVP: Hey there Epic. Come on in, put your feet up and tell me and everyone else a little about yourself?
ETD: Mid 30s, 5ft 9”, fair to olive skin, GSOH…. Just joshing. I’m a mid 30s dad of four (count them) and fiancé to one beautiful lady. Graphic Designer/pre-press studio artist by day, artist and gamer in my spare time, which seems to be getting more and more limited as the days go by. My days consist of the 9 to 5 grind, home, kids, paint, maybe a quick game if I’m not too knackered, then bed, rinse and repeat. I’m used to being consistently tired.
BVP: Four kids? Chuffing hell Tony. Well done mate. Big Balls. How did you come across the awesomeness that is the Midlife Gamer Community?
ETD: I was steered this way by way of DangerousDM and heard rumours of it from Adamski for a long time before that. It took me a while to venture over as I was and still am a long-time resident over on the Robojustice Forum. I entered my choice of beverage and biscuit on MLG and haven’t looked back. I’m a bit of a lurker it’s sad to say but I do enjoy a good read and am a long-time lover of the (Pinky and the Brain) podcast. The community has become special to me over the years due to the Eurogamer events, and made gaming for me a million times better than if I was roaming the lobbies all on my lonesome.
BVP: Haha.. We all know who you mean when you say Pinky. What’s your Biscuit and Beverage of choice?
EDT: Weird I can’t see my original post on the forum… Beverage has got to be a classic cup of tea, with a good few chocolate digestives. Can’t start the day without two cups of teas! Let’s not be having any of this Jaffa cake nonsense, give me the old school classics any day.
BVP: Nice. I’m more of a Hobknob person myself. How about adult drinks? What’s your favourite tipple (you never know, you may get bought a few at the next Midlife Gamer meet up)?
EDT: Huhh huhh you said knob huhh huh. I’ve been a cider man for the last few years, with a few lagers too for a palette freshener but I recently put my lips to a few glasses of Port and have to say, I rather like it old bean.
BVP: Huhh knob…Ahem. How did you get into gaming Tony?
ETD: Back in the day I used to go round my mates house and punch in code on his ZX Spectrum, until we typed in a shed load of swear words to see what would happen and got caught by his parents. I would watch the load screens with fascination, hearing the high-pitched load scream while itching to jump on a few platforms in 8bit form. I’d come away thinking ‘there must be more than this’. And there was, oh by golly there was – in the form of a full colour Commodore 64. Our parents bought one and we didn’t look back. That thing was a beauty, and you could grab a game for a couple of quid at the local newsagents if the cover art caught your eye. Mission Impossible, Ghostbusters, Bruce Lee, IK+, Last Ninja, Rambo and Kickstart were all staples of my childhood gaming diet.
BVP: Aaaww man that sounds amazing. Would you drop this gen of console gaming and go back those heady days?
ETD: As much as I would love to, I’d have to say no. Much like the cartoons of the hey-day when you watch them when you’re older they’re always a bit shit and taint your memory of them. Best left behind and treasure the memories
BVP:What was your first gaming setup, back in the day?
ETD: My first gaming set up was our Commodore64 and then properly onto the Amiga. Me and my dad cleared out our loft, hammered up Plasterboard over the beams and decked the floor, it was my first proper gaming cave. Probably my last too unless I win the lottery lol. It eventually turned into a dumping ground like all lofts do, but for those few precious months it was mine, and it was fucking brilliant. I taught myself Poker up there, Sam Fox Strip Poker on the Commodore. I never stripped but I made damn sure she did. My first proper gaming set up as an adult was a PC, had my leather swivel chair surrounded by speakers and played the shit out of Medal of Honour, Battlefield 1942 and Aliens Vs Predator online. It was at the crossover between CDs and DVDs where I gave up on PCs, realising that it would always need upgrading and updating to keep me up to speed with the latest games. There was only so far lowering the graphics quality would get me, I was also on dial-up too which didn’t help the experience.
BVP: Excellent answer my friend. You’re good at this. What has been your favorite title so far this year (any format)?
ETD: I’ve been playing my Vita a lot since Christmas and it’s been my go to machine, mainly at bed time as that’s my only free time so there’s been a lot of Hotline Miami, Metal Gear Solid HD, Tearaway etc. But game of the year for me is Dark Souls II, its one game I’ve made time to play and it’s everything I hoped it would be. Immersive, twisted and freaky hard.
BVP: I love my Vita as well. (Hotline Miami has me at the moment) What for you makes a good game?
ETD: The ability to have fun in one form or another makes a good game for me, whether it be multiplayer with mates, or an all absorbing single player. Dead Space 3 delivered both of these for me. Although the multiplayer may be a bit repetitive at times but when you get a good lobby set up and the shit starts flying it can be hilarious. God of War Ascension being another great game. Saying that I haven’t completed the single player because the bastard game won’t let me drop the difficulty down without having to start all over again, but the multiplayer is good fun. I’m shit at it, but it’s fun. Rainbow 6 Vegas had me playing for ages too purely off the back of the terrorist hunt mode.
I don’t like it when developers try too hard with one thing or another, be it story or purely aiming for the mp market. If they mess it up it can ruin the game, but when it works it can be brilliant, like The Last of Us. Yep sometimes they tack on a multiplayer mode onto an essentially single player game series (Dead Space), and sometimes it doesn’t work, but every now and then it does work and it’ll keep me going back. Modern Warfare had me playing for years because I had so much fun in multiplayer, and the single player mode was awesome too.
BVP: “Retro Remake Time”: If you could have any title from the past giving a definitive version which meant all new graphics and sounds but kept the original gameplay mechanics what would it be?
ETD: They’ve mostly been done and never quite live up to how you remember them. Afterburner, Yi Ar Kung Fu, Speedball 2 etc. I suppose if I were to have one game remade just to hark back to my childhood it would be Robocop 3 on the Amiga. www.youtube.com/watch?v=vYFdgyuv6fU . I love the simplicity of the graphics, the classic Robo aiming mechanic, OK the driving aspect of it was a bit shitty but man I loved that game. It was my first foray into 3D FPS games. I’ve never seen the film as it’s supposed to be utter crap and I don’t want to sully the first film by watching it but the game was brilliant.
Either that or Ghostbusters on the Commodore 64. I could never get past that bastard StayPuft Marshmallow Man, this would give me that chance!www.youtube.com/watch?v=ElJNQxgKZPw
BVP: Do you listen to the Midlife Gamer Podcast? If so, can you tell us about your favour podcast moment?
ETD: I couldn’t put my finger on one moment in particular but I love the fact that Daren’s ‘vague news’ section has gone from Matt not knowing fuck all to him knowing a fair amount. He’s stepping his game up which is nice to hear, although to be fair isn’t as amusing as hearing his clueless answers, cracks me up every time.
BVP: Haha! I think your right. He does seem to be more in the know these days (Congrats Matt).With the next gen consoles reigniting the console wars of years gone by, what are your thoughts on the consoles wars?
ETD: To be honest I’ve never really been one to join in on either side. I was a Commodore boy as a kid, not out of choice, that’s just what my folks bought at the time. Then a Sega Megadrive instead of Nintendo again just because that’s what was bought. I got an xbox360 after playing COD4 on my older brother’s 360. At the time I had no idea of the console wars and just bought it because I loved what my bro was showing me.
It makes me laugh reading the comments on forums about ‘all the Ps’ and draw distances and load times. It’s much the same with the old Plasma vs LCD argument. Who gives a shit just get one, play it for all its worth and have fun, that’s the main thing. It just so happens that I broke onto the scene with a 360, made a bunch of great friends along the way. Now I’m on my PS3 more often because I bought a Vita and the mrs bought me PS+. My Xbox Live has expired now and I can’t warrant spending twice the amount of money for something I only get half the time to play nowadays anyway.
BVP: Your a proud gamer; What has been your proudest achievement/trophy moment in gaming thus far?
ETD: I’m not really an achievement hunter but the main one that had me dancing around the living room was getting the Mile High Club on COD4. Struggled like a bastard for days on that puppy, in the end I managed to do it with my 1 year old on my lap while I was half concentrating. The other was getting 100% on Lego Batman during my unemployed days, and 100% on Call of Duty 2 when I had time off work with a broken bone lol.
BVP: And lastly; What sauce on your sausage and/or bacon sandwich?
ETD: Red all the way man! Brown is all kinds of wrong in my opinion. Yep controversial I know but brown looks and tastes all kinds of wrong…
BVP: Thanks buddy. It’s been a pleasure. Remind me and the community how we can game with you and listen to your thoughts – What are your gamertag and your twitter handle?
ETD: No worries my good man, thanks for the opportunity and pleasure to remember some of my old school gaming classics. My twitter and PSN are EpicToneDogg, and on the 360 it’s EpicArdaSnails. See you on the other side of the mist!
I’m off to sit through the playthrough of Ghostbusters, I never did find out whats behind the Stay Puft Man….
BVP: Excellent Tony. Well, that’s your lot people. Please let me know via either emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org or in the comments below if you want to get involved. Also let me know if there are particular questions you think i should be asking, again, let me know in the comments. I’ve been Baron Von Pleb and you’ve amazing.