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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.

…Why?

*looks at me incredulously*

Cuz he’s a f***ing bad***!

*laughs*

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 Garrett Green On 10 May, 2012 At 03:53 PM | Categorized As Featured, PlayStation, Reviews, Reviews, Xbox 360/Xbox One | With 0 Comments

No GravatarIn this day and age gamers want a good story as well as great gameplay, every now and again there comes a game that story alone can’t save, but the gameplay is so fun that you tend to give it a pass. Prototype 2 is that type of game. While the story line is weak at best, running around causing complete mayhem and carnage is tons of bloody fun.

James Heller, typical angry black man a la Samuel L. Jackson, return homes from an oversees mission to find his wife and daughter dead by Alex Mercer’s hand. Heller, hell bent on revenge, sets out to kill Mercer. However, Mercer decides to infect you and give you powers, telling you that not everything is as it appears to be and Heller sets out to kill everyone involved. If you feel your knees dry as a bone, that’s because this story isn’t very deep. The story isn’t bad; it’s just not very compelling or important. I also found myself having difficulty with deciding if I even Like James Heller or not. He’s just not likable as a character, he doesn’t seem to care about anything until the story calls for it, and his constant swearing get’s old really fast. The “angry black man” was fine at first but ultimately just turns into a bad stereotype, yes he’s upset at the lost of his family, but there is no other emotions that come through. None of the other characters are likable either; it’s hard to find sympathy for anyone. So more often than not you’ll just kill anyone who crosses your path and be glad to do so.

Speaking of killing, it’s very rare that I enjoy running down the street causing mayhem and destruction and killing every single person in my way so much. This is where Prototype 2 truly shines. Heller has five weapons and a shield you get access to throughout the story along with an assortment of movements and super attacks, and they are a blast to use.  The upgrade system is pretty straightforward with level ups through missions and killing certain targets to become stronger.  By the time you max out all your abilities the world is literally your play ground. Jumping from building to building or gliding across the city only to uppercut a helicopter and then pounce on an unsuspecting foe decapitating him never gets old. In fact, it’s so much fun that it disguises that most of the missions are the exact same. Go find person, kill him in gruesome way, sneak into base, destroy everything, rinse and repeat. It can get a little monotonous at times.

In my first playthrough I did just about everything there was to do and got almost all the trophies. It took about 10 – 14 hours to complete with doing all the side missions and collectables. While I had a blast, I can’t tell you to run out and buy it if you haven’t already. It’ll probably take only a weekend to finish and if you are a completionist you can beat the second play-through in about five hours. It’s a ton a fun so give it a try, but I’d say rent it.