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By SarahTheRebel On 12 May, 2012 At 04:23 PM | Categorized As Featured, Interviews | With 1 Comment

No GravatarThis week I had the opportunity to catch up with Will Santiago, better known as AkilleezMight, winner of this season of The Tester. I spoke with the 28-year-old  Brooklyn native after his first official day of work at Sony, so decided to ask him a few questions about his new job and the state of the gaming industry.

So what are you playing right now?

Just finished Prototype 2. I’m also playing my favorite RPG of all time, Legend of Dragoon, and I’m playing Final Fantasy 9 again.

What’s your current favorite game?

Soul Calibur V

What’s your favorite game of all time?

Earthbound. It was the first game I played where I was just captivated and I remember being like oh my God. Wow.

How was your first day at Sony as a Production Associate?

It was very informative. I got to spend time with a bunch of talented people all day. It was cool to really get some one on one time with them and to learn the history of the studio.

You’re moving from New York City. Was it a big adjustment moving to Cali?

I’m used to moving around because of being in the military, but it doesn’t make it any less daunting. Moving from coast to coast was a big transition. Especially with jumping into the real gaming side and seeing behind the scenes of the game industry. It’s totally different than I imagined!

How was your experience on the Tester? Did you ever doubt that you would be the winner?

I cant say that I didn’t think I would be the winner. I tried to stay confident. The really weird thing about the whole experience for me is that I wasn’t nervous. I didn’t get nervous the whole time I mean… I was on a reality show. That can be intimidating but for some reason I just kept my composure.


It wasnt until after the Santa Monica visit that I actually became confident that I was going to make it to the end.

I have to ask: why the Tester?

It was a whim. I was on vacation and I saw the first two seasons. I was just looking at the blogs and thought why not? So I made my profile, submitted my video and the rest is history.

So what do you think of how women are treated in games/gaming culture?

It goes along with the whole race thing. Things are moving forward. I like the way the industry is moving towards being more diverse and more gender friendly. There are more female protagonists now. I definitely support this move because it’s not just good for adults: it’s good for the kids. Gaming helped me stay out of trouble and I think if we can introduce more diversity and culture into our games and teach people not to segregate then it would be a positive thing.

Especially (working with Sony) now, I see a lot of women able to take on roles in the industry as project leads or directors or other prominent roles like that. It’s impressive and it’s the way it should be. I like the improvement I’m seeing.

Is there anything you would change about the state of the gaming industry?

Yes actually I would love for the golden age of gaming to come back. You know, when everything and all parts of the game came with the disc.

It just  seems like there’s too much complacency and dependence on patches to fix errors that shouldn’t be there at launch. I know a lot of it has to do with deadlines from the higher ups but people used to put blood, sweat and tears into games to make them damn near flawless at launch.

If you could be any video game character, who would you be and why?

I would be Dante from Devil May Cry 3.


*looks at me incredulously*

Cuz he’s a f***ing bad***!


Ok, Ok well he’s over the top and he’s this funny, arrogant, crazy character but he is never unlikable.

Keep an eye out for Akilleez as the newest addition to the elite ranks of The Tester winners!


By calanagear On 28 Jun, 2011 At 02:42 AM | Categorized As Featured, Interviews, Tales of Real Otaku | With 2 Comments

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There are many girl gamers in the world, but none are like the one and only AngelEena. A bibliophile, polymath, and major geek, she is a regular gem over at Destructoid, where she blogs on gaming and life.
I have had the privilege to call AngelEena my friend, ever since she found my games list on Amazon. Since then, she visited us in South Korea, along with her wonderful husband Jonathan. I pride myself on being a dork and mock techie, but in reality she surpasses me in every respect.

I decided to hit her up for an interview, as she has much to say about the gaming world.


CA: OK so when did you begin gaming, and what consoles/games were you into?

A: First game system I ever played was an Atari 2600 when I was 4. I have only vague memories of grabbing the joystick and making my own sound effects. When I was right about 5 my family got a Super NES for Christmas that came with The Legend of Zelda: A link to the past. My life changed forever. I would spend hours watching my brothers play. Memorizing dungeon puzzles. Playing it when they were asleep and getting them rupees. I had notebooks full of pictures of special items. Notes on where to find them.  I made my own interpretations of the 7 maidens. Ideas on why Ganon wanted a dark world.
On the weekends when I visited my cousin I got my first real exposures to Role Playing Games. Secret of Mana, Breath of Fire, Earthbound, Final Fantasy 3. He had them all. (Or rather his friend from up the road did lol) Hours of stories at my fingertips. New art styles. Wholly different worlds from what I was familiar with. It was astounding. Later on I went through another phase of PSone RPGs by myself where I really grew as a gamer. I’ve never looked back!

CA: You said in one interview on Destructoid how gaming provided you with so much during hard times, alternate worlds that were vivid and adventures that lifted you up. Can you expound on this?

A: Well. When you grow up like I did. It was really easy to lose hope. I was terribly poor. I was hungry. My body hurt all the time. My siblings were all older enough and could get away from the house. My parents had substance abuse problems and we lived in a very rural area. I had no one to talk to once my siblings got old enough. It got to the point that I could never see a future. When you’re a child and you have no hope. You believe that nothing gets better. Sometimes you even hope the sun doesn’t come up.

But when you can play a game where there’s a world in which fantastic things happen. And even children can go on adventures. They can help someone. You can save that world. Well, you don’t want to give up. Just on the off chance you could save someone else. Help another world. Help another person lost and stuck like yourself. Just the idea that you could be someone’s hero can make you want the sun to come up.

CA: Yes I agree completely. Now you are a designer. How has gaming affected your work?

A: Of course! Gaming pushes me to do better. To try the fantastic! To branch and grow. It’s not really that gaming effects my designs, but really my entire outlook. Gaming should inspire you. Like any adventure.

CA: so what games specifically inspire you?
A:  Well everyone has favorites. I would say Secret of Mana. Silent Hill. Final Fantasy 3/6. Suikoden 2. Mother 3. Definitely on the top.
Final Fantasy 8 has a special inspiration in my marriage. And the more current inspirations would be Enslaved and Nier.

CA: Why the love of survival horror? I think some gamers don’t understand the beauty of Silent Hill and Silent Hill games. What do you find inspiring about them?
A:  What isn’t? It’s about the human spirit distilled to its genuine core.  It’s about surviving. It’s what we’re all made to do, but never have to. It’s an amazing concept. It pulls you to your knees and makes you fight again. With Silent Hill the art direction, sound direction, and isolation increases that strong sense of loss.  Make you fight back harder even though the world seems bleaker.

CA: What are your favorite Soundtracks?
A: Hmmmmm. Final Fantasy 8. Legend of Mana. Silent Hill 3. Mother 3. Nier. Final Fantasy 7. Bioshock. I could go on and ON and ON.

CA: Moving on to other forms of geek… what are your favorite movies?

A: Oh. I like a ton. Camp to Serious and So on. Let’s see. Dr. Phibes Rises Again. Moon. Blackbeard’s Ghost. Super (2010), Event Horizon. The Descent. Yeah, I like a lot.

CA: I didn’t know you like horror movies Angel, you keep giving me more reasons to abduct you…
A:  No I love horror. I used to write a lot of reviews on 70s horror. From the super gory to the camp to the odd supernatural. 80’s horror and I disagree sometimes, but there’s some GREAT campy gems in there.


CA: Tell me about what music gets you off
A: Like music I love or music that literally gets me off?
CA:  both
A: Hah. Some of my favorite groups include David Bowie, Seawolf, Crystal Castles, Garbage, Daft Punk, Andrew Bird, The Beatsteaks. She Wants Revenge, Moby, The Postal Service, La Roux, Chromeo. I could go on and on once again.
As far as the latter is concerned, I put some bands in there that do.

CA: Talk Star Trek to me.
A: What do you want to know? I love it. I’m a blue shirt. Deep Space 9 is my favorite series. The Borg are my favorite bad guys. Andorians are my favorite race.
CA: I still haven’t seen any of them. I want to badly.

A:Well they’re big. The original series is fine if you go into it knowing it’s campy. Next Generation is where I would start if you haven’t seen it. Deep Space 9 is all about characters. It’s not for everyone, but it is by far my favorite. Voyager’s lost out in space against horrible odds. And has some awesomely campy characters. It’s my 2nd favorite.
People hate on Enterprise but I like it. It’s nice and essentially a modern update of the original. And there’s Andorians and Jeffrey Combs is one of them and that makes it all worth it.


CA: where would you like to be in ten years, and doing what?
A: In ten years. Hmmm I’ll be 33. And but of course. I’d really like to be working on my own ideas. I’d love to be publishing my own comics. And working on my own latex designs. See I”m a body painter at heart. But body paint doesn’t last. But with latex. I can take that second skin that latex makes. Applique my designs onto it and have a painting last forever.

Check out AngelEena’s blog to get to know her better, or follow her on twitter.



By otakuman5000 On 24 Oct, 2010 At 02:01 AM | Categorized As Featured, Tales of Real Otaku | With 2 Comments

No GravatarMy name is Pamela, and this is my real otaku tale. I’ve been playing games since I was old enough to use a mouse and keyboard. My dad has a masters degree in computer science so there were always computers around. As you can guess my first gaming experiences were on the pc. I used to play Bubble Bobble, Lemmings, the typing adventures, and Ghostbusters 2 the most. I was lucky, and did not have to share any game time with siblings, as I am an only child. My dad really enjoyed me playing on his computer because I got so frustrated when I couldn’t win. I’m told I was really funny when I threw a fit because i couldn’t figure something out. I have been curious about programming since I was little, and will be attending school for video game development next year when I move to Florida.

My first console was the Super Nintendo system. I was never allowed to get the original NES system because I would play it at my friends house all the time. When I finally got  my own system, I was thrilled. I loved all the games I had for it, Street Fighter, Super Mario World, Bubsby, and many others. My favorite game was Earthbound. Even when I was young, this game stood out to me as genius. I have played through Earthbound around 20 times. I still have a copy, and will pop it in every once in awhile.

The next system my parents bought me was a PlayStation. I loved that system however, my mother did not. I loved playing games that were a little dark, and sometimes really gory (in ps1 standards). This would get me in trouble often. i remember my mom let me rent Silent Hill. I knew it was rated M, and I talked my way into renting it anyways. Once home I put it in, the first screen warns of violent and disturbing images. Unfortunately for me, my mom saw this and made me play it in the living room where she could keep an eye on it. I also got in trouble for blaring the tv when I gamed. As we all know early video game music is very repetitive and would drive my mom and dad crazy.

Some of my favorite games on the ps1 were Dino Crisis, Parasite Eve, Silent Hill, Final Fantasy 7, Final Fantasy 8, and Metal Gear Solid. Then came the PlayStation 2. I amassed so many games, my mom got me a special shelf for them all. I started working at Gamestop, Game Crazy, and Movie Gallery’s video game side. My mom thought it was a good way for me to get a job as well as hang out with others who liked gaming. Most of my friends at the time were into dance. I danced for a dancing company for 8 years. We would preform at Orchestra Hall in St. Paul. I was really glad to go to work and talk about things other than dance; until they made me dress up in a huge inflatable Sonic suit to promote Gamestop’s opening in Rodgers, MN. It was horribly hot and really hard to walk in. I am not a tall or big girl and that suit was about 6 feet tall and really hard to walk in. While I was out standing by traffic in the suit, I saw a huge spider on the outside of my Sonic suit. I never ran so fast in my life. When I got back into the store they had to help me out of it really fast. I hate spiders more than anything. After I got out of the suit, one of the 16 year old boys got into it. He went out to stand by the road.While out there he was harassed by 2 old ladies in a mini van. Those 2 old ladies were my mom and aunt. The poor kid got harassed because they thought it was me. I felt so bad for the kid!

On the ps2, my favorite game was Final Fantasy X. I put 100+ hours into the game, I loved it so much. I also have a tattoo that I recently got in Las Vegas this last March of Tidus’ pendant. The tattoo artist I had played WOW and a few other games. Needless to say we got along well. I’m planning on going back to Vegas and getting a wolverine tattoo from the same artist.

Some of the other games on the ps2 that really stuck with me are the Fatal Frame games, Devil May Cry, and Persona 3. I adore Atlus games, they are always so innovative and immersive. I also got a gamecube around the same time from my future husband as well as a gameboy advanced. I loved Resident Evil 4, and the Harvest Moon games ( I can’t play horror games all the time!). I love the pokemon series, very nerdy but very good. It was a while before i got my Xbox, as I couldn’t afford one until later. When I did get an Xbox, I loved Halo, Jade Empire, and Fable.

As for me and anime, we go way back. I started watching and loving Sailor Moon before elementary school. My dad hated it. I also watched the old X-men cartoon, and a little bit of Transformers. Sailor Moon is still one of my favorite animes because of the mix of humor and silly story lines. I wanted to grow up to be a sailor scout for a long time. When I was older I started getting into serious series. Some of my favorite animes are: Elfen Lied, Serial Experiments: Lain, Boogiepop Phantom, Trigun, Cowboy Bebop, Haibanei Renmei, and many many others. None of my friends in High School really played games or watched anime. The only time I got to talk about the things I liked was either online, or at work.

My favorite anime of all time has to be Bleach. I started watching it when it started on Adult Swim. I didn’t expect to like it, but I just got so wrapped up in the storyline that I couldn’t stop watching. I have seen the first 11 seasons, and am still watching it. I love the characters, and the lore that they have built in. Although, I do admit they use the Yu-Gi-Oh formula of one upping each other every 5 minutes. I still love it. Sure there are a handful of episodes that I didn’t love, but overall it has kept my interest throughout the seasons I have watched.

Thanks for reading! I’m looking forward to working for this site, and hope my articles help you out when looking for a solid game! Cheers! =)