LIVE SEPTEMBER 2017 ISSUE
TO THE CREEPY NEW HORROR MOVIE! Page 42
Board Games Video Games Pop Culture Cosplay
+ more! www.itmovie.com.au
Ever been doing something and all of a sudden you have this flashback to when times were better? Could be a taste, an image, a song or maybe even a scent that gave you that rush of nostalgia. We all get it, that yearning for a return to a past time. It might be a happy time you think of or a sad time. Different triggers can relate to different times in your life. For many of us it may be a movie that we happen to catch on Netflix or maybe an old favourite TV show like Friends, The X-Files or Seinfeld. Maybe for you it’s gaming, thinking back to a simpler time, less stress, less fear and, let’s face it, the world isn’t exactly the same as it was in say the 80s or 90s ... So this month we decided that we would leave all the problems and worries of the world behind and go back to times that were more friendly, simpler perhaps... We looked at games, TV shows and movies from a couple of decades ago when the “politically correct” army wasn’t attacking every single thing you would post... when comedy as comedy. When there was no social media ... We’ve also got lot’s of exciting things happening in this issue with tickets to be won for the Emoji Movie, and the new horror film, IT. Plus a board game special where we look at what’s coming out soon that you’ll want to play! Our gaming section is also huge with lots of news from around the globe and of course our intrepid Retro Editor, who we think lives in a constant state of nostalgia is about to cross the timelines from 1999 to 2000. We’ve also got a cosplay extravaganza thanks to our Cosplay Editor, Chatty Anny and our War Gaming expert, Ben continues his group’s Mordheim story. Lots to read this month, and a big thank you to our amazing team of contributors and to you the readers for making Live Magazine so successful... Rob Jenkins
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Geek Out Win Movie Tix: IT & Emoji Movie!
THE LIVE TEAM Publisher: Rob Jenkins Art Director: Giselle Capobianco Game Contributors: VGChartz Sticky Trigger Entertainment Retro Editor: Paul Monopoli Entertainment Editor: Scott Sowter Cosplay Editor: Anny Simms Wargaming Contributor: Ben Makepeace
NEW PRODUCTS! OLD IS THE NEW AT GAMETRADERS! TMNT (1990 Movie) 1:4 Scale Action FigureS! Cowabunga, dude! NECA is proud to announce its first ever 1/4 scale action figures based on the classic Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie. Donatello is the Turtles’ resident techno-genius, but make no mistake - he’s world-class with the bo staff. This highly detailed action figure stands 16.5” tall and features 30 points of articulation, including double elbows, to fully showcase Donatello’s mastery of the martial arts. It’s entirely accurate to the movie, and comes with bo staff accessory and interchangeable hands.
NECA’s second 1:4 scale action figure from the 1990 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie is the loner Raphael. Of all the Turtles, he struggles the most with anger issues and frequently butts heads with Leonardo. Raphael stands 16.5” tall and features 30 points of articulation, including double elbow joints, to fully showcase his mastery of the martial arts. The figure is highly detailed and entirely accurate to the movie, and comes with sai accessories, a slice of pizza (of course) and interchangeable hands.
Radical, dudes! NECA’s third 1/4 scale action figure from the 1990 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie is Leonardo, the leader of the Turtles. No one works, studies or trains harder than Leonardo. He has the respect of his brothers, and leads by example, not by giving orders. Leonardo stands 16.5” tall and features 30 points of articulation, including double elbow joints, to fully showcase his stealthy moves. The figure is highly detailed and entirely accurate to the movie, and comes with katana accessories that fit in scabbards on the back of his shell, unbroken mutagen canister, slice of pizza (no anchovies) and interchangeable hands.
SUICIDE SQUAD - HARLEY QUINN 12” 1:6 SCALE ACTION FIGURE
Radical, dudes! Completing the team, NECA’s fourth 1:4 scale action figure from the 1990 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie is the easy-going Michelangelo. No one loves being a Turtle (or pizza) more than this guy! Michelangelo stands 16.5” tall and features 30 points of articulation, including double elbow joints, to fully showcase his stealthy moves. The figure is highly detailed and entirely accurate to the movie, and comes with two nunchucks, slice of pizza, bag of pork rinds and alternate interchangeable hands.
The movie-accurate collectible figure is specially crafted based on Margot Robbie’s image as Harley Quinn in the film. It features a newly sculpted laughing expression head sculpt with moveable ponytails and make-up, an all-new specially developed body for Harley Quinn with a large variety of tattoos all over her body, finely tailored costume, and a specially designed Suicide Squad themed figure stand with character backdrop.
WONDER WOMAN - 12” 1:6 SCALE ACTION FIGURE The movie-accurate collectible is specially crafted based on the image of Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman in the film featuring a newly developed head sculpt with long curly dark brown real fabric hair and Wonder Woman’s signature tiara, newly developed female body, specially tailored armour, detail recreation of Wonder Woman’s weapons, and a Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice themed figure stand.
ASK STAFF FOR PRODUCT DETAILS / RELEASE DATES! Get it all at Gametraders!
NEW PRODUCTS! OLD IS THE NEW AT GAMETRADERS! GLOOMHAVEN Gloomhaven is a game of Euro-inspired tactical combat in a persistent world of shifting motives. Players will take on the role of a wandering adventurer with their own special set of skills and their own reasons for travelling to this dark corner of the world. Players must work together out of necessity to clear out menacing dungeons and forgotten ruins. In the process they will enhance their abilities with experience and loot, discover new locations to explore and plunder, and expand an ever-branching story fuelled by the decisions they make. This is a game with a persistent and changing world that is ideally played over many game sessions. After a scenario, players will make decisions on what to do, which will determine how the story continues, kind of like a â€œChoose Your Own Adventureâ€? book. Playing through a scenario is a cooperative affair where players will fight against automated monsters using an innovative card system to determine the order of play and what a player does on their turn.
RETRO CONSOLES - PRE-ORDER AT GAMETRADERS!
RICK & MORTY PORTAL GUN Wubba lubba dub dub! Finally, you can travel between galaxies! Brand new from Funko, introducing a Rick & Morty Portal Gun! Pull the trigger and watch this toy gun emit a variety of lights and noises! This full-size roleplay Portal Gun is primarily used for travel, but donâ€™t be afraid to use it offensively or defensively to avoid your enemies.
ASK STAFF FOR PRODUCT DETAILS / RELEASE DATES! Get it all at Gametraders!
THE GOOD A NOSTALGIC TRIP BACK IN GAMING
The other day a news headline popped up on my Apple News App and across a bunch of online news feeds. It simply said, “Atari confirms the company is working on a new video game console. One source, the Telegraph, put it in a way that kicked my nostalgia feelings into overdrive... “Atari confirmed it is making a video games console for the first time in more then 20 years.” Twenty years! Lines like that not only make you feel... old, but they also make you feel nostalgic. After all, in the mid 90s you had a few consoles to play on, the Nintendo 64 was the must have system along with the Playstation. A bit later in 1999 the Sega Dreamcast hit shelves but sadly it would be Sega’s last console. Earlier in the 90s Atari released the Jaguar and it too would a last system for a console manufacture we’d all grown up with. Only Nintendo and new comers
Sony and Microsoft would continue into the next century. For me, the early 90s were great times for gamers. It was a time of innovation and game developers began the move to full 3D style graphics. Sure they were blocky graphics but somehow your imagination kicked in and your disbelief was suspended just enough to enjoy the game and feel like it was kind of real. Those early 90s saw CDs as media for games delivery. Sega and Nintendo were at war. Game magazines fought hard for newsstand space with headlines screaming exclusives, first looks, and reviews of games that weren’t even released to the public yet. Browsing the newsagent (they were huge back then) I’d spend ages choosing a magazine and ended up buying maybe 2 or 3 and racing home to put my feet up and read about the games I wanted to buy. I also read about new sound cards for PCs, graphic accelerator cards, the 486sx chip and id Software. In 1993 I played around installing MS-DOS 6 on my PC, played Sim City 2000 and had to tell my brother and friends to
D OLD DAYS NOSTALGIA - A Sentimental Longing or Wistful affection for a period in the Past...
Nostalgia is bittersweet, â€œ
you enjoy the feelings of what you loved but long for them too. Being nostalgic is a good thing, it defines who you are today based on who you were. Enjoy the positives and get rid of the negatives.â€?
give me a go of Doom on my own PC cause they hadn’t bough theirs yet. I played Doom til past midnight often, in the dark, wife and kids and bed and headphones on. Some nights I got so freaked out by those blocky monsters I had to switch off and go to bed. Yes blocky graphics and all, it was still brilliant. Virtual Fighter was massively popular even with the big blocky graphics but wonderfully playable on the Sega Saturn. I bought my first 3DFX card for my PC. Windows 95 got released and people lined up outside of software stores to hand over their hard earned money - around $279 US for a CD copy because the $300 million launch campaign was totally brilliant. The internet was getting popular and Bill Gates made sure Microsoft were going to be the choice to browse with Internet Explorer, and using the Rolling Stone’s song, Start Me up to really build awareness was just genius. The guy spinning the CD-Rom, Jennifer Aniston and Matthew Perry from Friends helped and the world went a little crazy for a while. Over 40 million boxes of Win95 sold in the first year - you can work out the cash flow... Take a look at the launch ad here: https://youtu.be/OPyWDMmYJhQ In 1996, Intel released the 100MHz Pentium and the N64 hit shelves. We played Pilot Wings 64, Mario 64 and we were in love with gameing! Quake was all the range with online battles and in 1997 the Rail Gun with its’ spiral trail was awesome fun. I can remember playing against
a guy one on one, rail guns only, I went to bed tail between my legs that night, not a single win. Those were good times in gaming. Political correctness was decades away, there was no ISIS, and TV was, well... limited. If you wanted to see a movie you probably had a VHS video player and later in the 90s DVDs came out with people shelling out big dollars for a DVD player. Movies looked better, sounded better and we thought this was as good as it gets. Nostalgia... remembering those days I get a rush of those nostalgic feelings, remembering my favourite times. Playing PC games late at night, reading quality magazines with great reviews. Browsing the game store that had hundreds of games to choose from. They were a different time. Today I can choose what I want to watch with Netflix or iTunes or Amazon. I have fast NBN and I don’t know of any Video Stores anymore... they all closed up like the corner store of the 70s did. Now we got to the Petrol Station that’s open 24/7 for our bread and milk. We buy movies and rent them online. We store in the cloud and I don’t have to fumble my way through my DVD collection to find my favourite James Bond film. The world has changed dramatically. Some would say it’s better, others worse. It is what it is for now. Nostalgia is bittersweet, you enjoy the feelings of what you loved but long for them too. Being nostalgic is a good thing, it defines who you are today based on who you were. Enjoy the positives and get rid of the negatives.
a wistful desire to return in thought or in fact to a former time in one’s life, to one’s home or homeland, or to one’s family and friends; a sentimental yearning for the happiness of a former place or time: a nostalgia for his college days...” From Dictionary.com
S BE CLASSICS...
Have you ever had a rush of nostalgia, perhaps triggered by a song or some scent? In a split second you’re back in the 80s or whatever decade it triggers, thinking of a moment or a time in your life that was “better.” That’s nostalgia; that rush that gets you all happy and emotional about some better time in your life. It might be late nights with your friend or partner, curled up on the couch watching Mulder and Scully tracking down a ghoul in the X-Files. Or perhaps the guilty pleasure of watching the original Scream with a bowl of popcorn while the rain dances on your window and you snuggled up with the heater on. For some of us it’s the games that take us back. Mario on the Nintendo 64 or SNES. Maybe you’re a PC gamer who remembers the first time you
loaded up DOOM and the music by Robert Prince kicked in and you’re racing around with gun in hand and the lights are off and those blocky pixels have the power to make you jump in fright... How often do we hear people say something like - Those were the good old days...? But were they? We can’t answer that question, it’s subjective. For you they may have been the best times of your life, for others, today is much better. So rather then get into a long boring discussion on whether 1980 was better for gamers then today, let’s take a quick trip back in the Gametraders time machine and look at some of those classic games that trigger nostalgic feelings for some of us...
THE 70’S PONG - 1974
If you were around in 1974 and you could hold a controller, you probably played Pong on your Atari. The game that made the Atari 2600 the popular system it became and yes it was simple but fun.
SPACE INVADERS - 1977 A major classic in video game history. That marching sound track that somehow with those simple graphics, still managed stress you out as the invaders got closer and closer to your canon. It was simple, repetitive but addictive fun and caused many of us to head down to the arcade or anywhere that had a cabinet with the game and a bunch of coins in our pockets.
ADVENTURE - 1979 Again an Atari game that sold by the truck load around 1 million games sold. You controlled a simple square avatar and explored an open environment to find a Enchanted Chalice then get it back to the castle. Three dragons guarded the kingdom and would chase you, trying to eat you. The game featured probably some of the first “easter eggs” in a video game and was an instant hit!
80 MISSILE COMMAND - 1980 Made even more famous by being featured in Terminator 2.
PACMAN (ATARI VERSION) - 1982
Like Space Invaders, the sound track enhanced the feelings of urgency in trying to avoid losing a life.
MARIO BROS - 1983 And amazingly out on the Atari 2600.
THE LEGEND OF ZELDA - 1986 It sold millions on the NES and is still being rebooted today.
90 SUPER MARIO WORLD - 1990 On SNES. It sold over 20 million and featured the first appearance of Yoshi!
SONIC THE HEDGEHOG - 1991 You can’t mention classic games without mentioning the blue hedgehog from Sega. Sonic would be a constant presence on Sega hardware to the very end.
DONKEY KONG COUNTRY - 1994 With 3D pre-rendered graphics and fun gameplay it sold over 8 million on SNES.
PC gaming really came into its’ own in the 90s. 3D cards and sound cards enhanced gaming like never before and yes... never mind in the early 90s you had to mess around with Config.sys and all that business, once you had the game running under DOS you were swept away with games that were better to control with a mouse or a joystick and featured more realism then some console games. SimCity 2000 (published in 1993) was brilliant to play with your mouse. A more isometric view of your city with a bunch of new facilities you could add made it even more engrossing. Mid 90s + PC = Good times...
COMMAND AND CONQUER : RED ALERT - 1996 With 15 missions and a chat room to organise multiplayer matches. Gorgeous cut scenes and quality sound track... brilliant.
SID MEIER’S CIVILISATION - 1996 It’s a turn based strategy game considered one of the best PC games ever. Interestingly this 2nd edition, although featuring Mr Meier’s name, had little to do with him regarding creating it.
DOOM - 1993
QUAKE - 1996
This (to me) is the game that really kicked of the FPS genre. Fast paced graphics, awesome sound and well placed scares that made you jump, especially if playing at night with headphones on and lights out...
Brilliant polygonal graphics, hardware acceleration, and a great multiplayer system that became one of the first eSport games ... the Rail Gun!!!
This list of games from consoles or PC could literally go on for pages. But the point is there were some games that many of us played back then that we will fondly remember and associate with a time in our lives that was perhaps more simple. There was no social media, no online bullying. There was no smartphone holding everyone’s attention no matter where they were. You went to work/school you came home and after dinner you fired up your game system and got lost in the experience. The only distraction back then was not a message on Facebook but more your mum saying time for bed or your wife interrupting an important moment fighting aliens to let you know she’s going to bed... Simpler times with less on our minds? Perhaps. There was little or no terrorism. 9/11 was still a long way away. Jobs were plenty and often secure, and food ... well we had less gluten and lactose intolerant friends it seemed. Music (to me) seemed more original. Sure some of the stuff from the 80s was, to be polite, not great, but it was a time of exploration of ourselves, our identity. We searched inwardly for who we were We didn’t let online comments from others define us... When I think back to those simpler times, remembering the gaming afternoons in winter, I feel a nostalgic twinge of loss. My kids won’t know those times. Maybe that’s the point, each of us will feel nostalgia but with different memories of different times.
THE PLATFORMERS THAT DESERVE A
AND THE ONES THAT DONâ€™T... Games editor Nick Getley shares his thoughts on platformers... some should be remade and well, others...
It seems as though weâ€™re due for a wave of remakes and comebacks to hit the games industry. After Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy proved that people still appreciate a new coat of paint on timeless platforming gameplay, we received a hell of a return to form from Sonic the Hedgehog in Sonic Mania. Two of gamingâ€™s most beloved characters are back in the spotlight, which leaves a lot of gamers wondering who could be next - unfortunately it might just be Bubsy the Bobcat. Not every retro platformer deserves an HD remake or comeback, however, and for every hedgehog we got in the 90s we also got a bobcat. Here are my picks for franchises that deserve a comeback, and franchises that donâ€™t.
Sega’s Wonder Boy was an absolute smash hit when it arcades in 1986. Featuring Wonder Boy (later named Tom-Tom) players were tasked with rescuing their girlfriend from the evil Dark King. Not much of a story was present in the original game, though the gameplay was more than enough to addict arcade gamers, as well as Sega console owners soon after. I should probably state at this point, that there already has been a remake of Wonder Boy, albeit a really, really shoddy one. Wonder Boy Returns from CFK Co., Ltd looks like a early 2000s flash game. It’s overpriced, doesn’t play well and quite frankly, Wonder Boy fans deserved better.
Gameplay was simple, with Wonder Boy (later named Tom-Tom) automatically running from left to right through various environments, with enemies and obstacles throughout. Players had to have fast reflexes and a decent memory to complete the game, though I can honestly say I don’t know many who did. For its time, the visuals were sharp and vibrant, the gameplay accessible and responsive, and the music was catchy as heck. Bringing back Wonder Boy would be simple enough. The gameplay would port well onto mobile devices in a Temple Run like game, or onto consoles if it were expanded just that little bit more. Here’s hoping that Sega dust off this franchise and bring us another return to form like the recent Sonic Mania.
Earthworm Jim was a truly unique game for its time. With slick animations, unique characters and levels, and a sense of humour that many tried to imitate but few managed to come close to, Earthwork Jim was an instant classic, even winning Best Genesis Game of 1994 from Electronic Gaming Monthly. Not bad considering it was Shiny Entertainment’s first game. Players were cast as the titular Earthworm Jim, an everyday, ordinary earthworm who is hit by a super-suit that falls out of the sky. Jim’s worm head and body act as the suit’s head, while the suit itself serves as a superhero-esque body. Jim is then pursued by all manner of baddies, each of them wanting the super-suit back. If coming to grips with super-suit powers and fighting baddies wasn’t stressful enough, Jim also has to rescue a princess! Gameplay was at a much slower pace than other platformers at
the time, as players had to defend themselves from enemies with Jim’s ray gun or by brandishing his worm body at them like a whip. There was also a variety of gameplay on offer, with rocket racing sections between each main level. In an era where platformers constantly attempted to emulate Super Mario Bros. 3 and Sonic the Hedgehog, Earthworm Jim definitely did his own thing, and did it fantastically. Unfortunately for Jim, multiple cancelled projects have tarnished the brand, and Jim’s creator David Perry sold the rights to the franchise and resigned when Shiny Entertainment was acquired by Foundation 9 entertainment. Jim could totally work now, though Perry would need to reacquire the rights and presumably take the project to a crowdfunding site like Kickstarter. Too bad they weren’t around when things started going sour for Shiny all those years ago.
Despite currently starring in the series of Skylanders games, Spyro deserves a comeback in his own right. The Spyro games were one of the few series alongside Crash Bandicoot to truly make waves and stand out in a heavily crowded 90’s platforming scene. In case you didn’t know Spyro before Skylanders, it was actually pretty special. Starring a purple dragon with attitude, Spyro the Dragon was a platformer that combined a sense of speed like Sonic the Hedgehog with vast, open environments, gliding and of course fire-breathing.
Popular Facebook pages such as Unilad Gaming have been spreading videos stating that Spyro might be receiving the HD remake treatment similar to Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy, though at the moment those rumours are completely baseless. It doesn’t take a genius to see that a HD remake of Spyro’s first three games would sell like hot sheep, err...cakes. Let’s hope something official gets announced soon.
Sega’s original mascot, Alex Kidd was a hugely popular character, and even continues to have a loyal fanbase today. Alex is in actuality, the Prince of Radaxia, who went on all sorts of fantastic platforming adventures, as well as one not so fantastic adventure (Alex Kidd: High Tech World). Alex Kidd’s games had everything platforming fans could want: gorgeous graphics, a catchy soundtrack, and gameplay that was easy to pick up but difficult to master. Not only that, but players also defeated bosses with fun mini games of Janken (Rock, Paper, Scissors). While HD remakes of Alex Kidd games would work, part of me still wants an entirely new adventure. The country of Radaxia is one that is home to many monsters and baddies, but also one that is completely obsessed with video games and Sega. I’d like to see a game that takes place in that world, that is packed to the brim with Sega references for die-hard fans. In any case, the hedgehog has been in the spotlight for too long over at Sega – it’s time for the Kidd to make a comeback.
Ape Escape mixed open environments with platforming gameplay, slight puzzles and wacky gadgets. One of the first games to demonstrate the capabilities of PlayStation’s Dual Shock controller, Ape Escape took full advantage of the controller’s two analog sticks and vibration feature, making for a very clever platformer. Players were cast as Spike, who has to recover an army of superintelligent monkeys who have escaped from a monkey park. Luckily for Spike, he has access to a net as well as an array of wacky gadgets to aid him in his quest. The game was met with critical acclaim, receiving an average score of 90 out of 100, according to
Metacritic, and it still has a dedicated fanbase today. Unlike other franchises that deteriorated in quality, Ape Escape was succeeded by three fantastic sequels and a number of spinoffs. It even had a wacky cameo appearance in Metal Gear Solid 3, where Solid Snake was tasked with capturing monkeys. Not much would be needed to bring back Ape Escape, and the first 3 games would be ripe for an HD trilogy, though an all-new adventure would also work. In fact, last year on Twitter, Sony Computer Entertainment Japan stated “2016 Year of the Monkey. Today, SCE will begin working! #Monkey #YearofMonkey”. Unfortunately, there has been no follow up of any kind. C’mon Sony, don’t leave us hanging!
The third Sega-related entry on this list, Jet Set Radio took the platforming genre to the extreme. Set in the fictitious Tokyo-to, JSR cast players as rollerblading graffiti punks. They’ll protect their turf, pull of sweet grinds and tricks, throw up some sweet graffiti bombs, and defeat a corrupt police chief. The whole game was wonderfully eccentric and so incredibly unique, becoming an instant classic upon its release. Jet Set Radio was followed up by the Xbox exclusive Jet Set Radio Future, a game that many consider to have surpassed the original with
amazing music, expanded gameplay and a wildly fantastic setting. Compared to other platforming franchises, Jet Set Radio is a truly unique gem, and it’s a shame that there hasn’t been an entry in the series since 2002. Now that the hedgehog has had his comeback, Sega need to dust off the ‘blades and take us back to Tokyo-to. So I’ve named six franchises that deserve a comeback, but as I previously stated, not every platforming franchise should come back. Here are the guys who should stay retired.
James Pond AKA James Pond: Undercover Agent was developed by Vectordean Ltd and Millennium Interactive, and published by Electronic Arts. It starred the titular James Pond, an anthropomorphic, intelligent mutated mudskipper hired by the British Secret Service to protect the seas. The evil Doctor Maybe (a woeful pun on James Bond’s Dr. No) has overtaken the Acme Oil Company, and has poisoned the world’s oceans.
simply play as a mutated fish that swims vertically through bland level after bland level, collecting keys to free sealife from cages and other banal gameplay. The visuals were mundane, the gameplay boring, and the music was so basic and repetitive I’m almost certain it could send people insane.
Unfortunately, none of this matters. The gameplay does not feature any espionage or shooting (despite Pond holding a gun in the game’s cover art), nor is the story prominent in the game itself. You
Codename Robocod. Don’t let your childlike innocence or nostalgia fool you, this is one fish that needed flushing.
Despite negative reviews, people still remember James Pond and its sequel, James Pond II:
Aero is a bat who is an acrobat at a circus. He’s an acro-bat. Get it? Okay, now try to forget for a second that in actuality bats can fly and that paying to see a bat performing acrobatics would be a scam, that was the basis for this would-be platforming superstar’s character. Similarly to James Pond, Aero was tasked with protecting his home from an evil industrialist and bla bla bla. At least the gameplay and level design made sense in regards to the game’s character, which is more that can be said of even the great Super Mario (has he ever fixed a leaking leak?) as Aero actually performs acrobatic feats in order to complete a level. The levels, however, are incredibly bland, and the music is absolutely atrocious, both in terms of its composition and execution.
When you first boot up Aero the Acrobat, you are welcomed by Sunsoft’s logo splash screen. On the Genesis/Mega Drive version, your ears are torn apart from a MIDI guitar effect’s shredding, followed by an alternative take on the classic circus tune ‘Entry of the Gladiators (Thunder and Blazes). Aero himself descends upon the Sunsoft logo, puts on some glasses, does some bizarre hip hop moves, then moonwalks backwards whilst giving the peace sign with his fingers. And looking back at the game it’s easy to see why it failed to have a lasting impact: he acted and looked like a Sonic the Hedgehog wannabe, never having any unique characteristics or gameplay of his own. Sometimes ‘tude just isn’t enough.
Zool is a “gremlin ninja” from the 9th dimension who lands on Earth in order to pass his trials and become a fully fledged ninja. You’d be forgiven for thinking this isn’t Earth though, as the opening levels are made out of candy, and boy, are they ugly. There are sprinkles, icing, chocolate and candy everywhere, not to mention an insane amount of collectibles. George Allen and the team at Gremlin Graphics must have never heard that less is more. Zool himself might be a ninja, but his primary attack is shooting ball-like projectiles out of his chest. When you’re running, there isn’t even an extra animation, the balls simply fly out of his centre lazily.
Zool was developed specifically to rival Sonic the Hedgehog, which we all know by now was a terrible mistake. Sonic is far from a perfect game, but to simply slap speedy gameplay and attitude into a game isn’t going to guarantee success, and gamers are smart enough to see through that. That’s exactly what Zool did though, though it did not feel the same. Zool constantly slid around levels (even the ones that didn’t feature icy terrain) and the camera struggled to comfortably focus on him. Jumping was unnecessarily difficult and having to correct his sliding was just a pain. The boss battles varied from the uninspired to the bizarre, just look at the weird banana wearing a studded necklace.
What started off in early development as a vehicle for Nintendo’s Yoshi eventually became Croc: Legend of the Gobbos for the PlayStation, Sega Saturn and PC. It’s unclear of how long into its development the project was, but the original concept was to mix the gameplay of Super Mario 64 and Super Mario Kart for an original Yoshi adventure. Croc was adopted and raised alongside the Gobbos by King Rufus, the king of the Gobbo kingdom. One day, the evil Count Dante invades the kingdom, enslaving the Gobbos and overthrowing the throne. King Rufus summons a magical bird to transport Croc to safety before he is captured, and now it is up to
Croc to free the Gobbos, defeat the count and save the day. Now I know what you’re thinking: “How can you include Croc on this list? People love him!”, and you’re right, people do love Croc, but they love Croc the character more than the game itself. Croc himself is adorable, with enormous cute eyes, a determined spring in his step, and a number of adorable catchphrases. He exudes charm and cuteness in every single action, which is quite the achievement. The gameplay, however, simply doesn’t hold up. Everything that Croc did was done better in Super Mario 64 and Banjo Kazooie. Think about it, do you really remember the levels in Croc fondly? Me neither, but I remember Super Mario 64’s Bom-omb Battle-
field and Whomp’s Fortress like the back of my hand. Controlling Croc himself wasn’t exactly a smooth experience either. It felt like driving a shoddy car, as you pressed up to move him forward and left and right turned him. Down made him perform an awkward 180-degree turn. It simply wasn’t as accessible as it could’ve been. Looking back at Croc it’s easy to see what made him a memorable character (which could have been expanded upon), but it’s also apparent that the gameplay wasn’t great. If Croc 2 had some of the vehicle/ racing gameplay they wanted to use in its original concept, we might have had a groundbreaking franchise that stood the test of time and still deserved to be around now.
Bubsy in Claws Encounters of the Furred Kind was a dreadful game that starred Bubsy, an obnoxious and surprisingly fragile bobcat. An alien race named The Woolies have stolen the world’s yarn supply, including Bubsy’s personal collection. There wasn’t much of a story present in Bubsy, and to be honest you probably wouldn’t unless you read the back of the game’s case. Gameplay feels like a mix of Super Mario Bros. 3 and Sonic the Hedgehog, in that there was a sense of speed met with jumping sections that required precision, and of course, jumping on enemies. Bubsy also begins each level with various catchphrases, though the
one he is most known for is “What could possibly go wrong?” which was repeated ad nasueam, and even more so when the annoying critter got his own short-lived cartoon. My biggest gripe with Bubsy is that he can only withstand a single hit of damage. Far too often you’ll just begin to gain speed and enjoy yourself when you collide with an enemy of environmental hazard and lose a life. For some reason, the game also seems to push you forward, you’re constantly having to counter the game’s lousy controls, and can never truly hit the speeds that game tries to offer you. One-hit health and a character that controls like melting butter do not make for a good time.
Now like it or not, Bubsy is getting a remake, one that is guaranteed to be a dumpster fire of a game. Bubsy’s developer, Accolade, is well and truly dead. (Billionsoft, a Hong Kong-based investment company) have bought the rights to the name Accolade and are attempting to not only steal Bubsy’s wool but to also pull it over the eyes of anyone who remembers the bobcat fondly. Mark my words, the only thing worse than a Bubsy game that is too fast for its own good is one that looks as slow and as boring as the upcoming reboot. They say cats have nine lives, and if games are lives, then Bubsy has another four in him. A frightening thought.
ARTICLE BY NICK GETLEY WWW.STICKYTRIGGER.COM
BRILLIANT TV SHOWS!
Back in the 90s there was no Netflix, iTune, Apple TV or any of that stuff. Nope, you watched what you got fed by the networks. During the ads you made coffee, grabbed a beer or as kids, a soft drink... maybe chocolate milk! Or you went to the loo. Then sat back down until the next ad break. Some of those classic shows still stand up today. Some don’t. Here’s a few of our favourites...
Cheers - it ran for 11 seasons and was set in a bar. A group of friends hang out, drink and make us laugh. The writing was brilliant - after all, 11 seasons of folks sitting in a bar!
Everybody Loves Raymond a favourite here in the HQ of Gametraders and Live Magazine. It featured Ray who is married to Debra with their children. Hmmm not so funny until you ad Ray’s overbearing mum, caustic father and slightly loser brother Robert into the mix. It brilliant writing, no need for sex, swear-
ing or violence for the laughs, Still watchable today - I should know, I tape it on my Fetch TV and watch it while eating dinner!
- Take Frasier out of the bar in Cheers and set him up in Seattle where he’s a radio host psychiatrist helping callers who phone in, living in a plush apartment and having dad and his helper move in. Add his eccentric brother Niles and it’s another winner. It ran for 10 seasons and was a must watch program of the 90s.
LA Law - Add in a bunch of high powered lawyers, office politics, sexual adventures and a touch of humour, mix that with the hot topics of the times and you have LA Law. It ran from 1986 to 1994.
- You can’t have a list like this without Seinfeld. One of the most brilliant comedies of all time. Jerry Seinfeld plays himself surrounded by kooky neighbour Kramer, best friend George and exgirlfriend Elaine. It ran from 1989 to 1998 and initially was not popular with audiences. Lucky for us the studio execs stuck with it and the rest is history.
Friends - Maybe I’m wrong but if my memory serves me correctly there were two camps - Friends or Seinfeld. Friends featured 6 New Yorkers growing into adulthood, beginning in 1994 and finishing in 2004, people grew up with Friends and is still popular on Netflix today!
X-Files - for us here in the offices of Live, you cannot possibly mention nostalgia, TV or spooky stuff with-
out mentioning the X-Files. Chris Carter developed the show which ran, initially from 1993 to 2002, featured 2 movies (the first was great... the second not so much) and recently a short tenth season was commissioned and well received by fans, so much so an eleventh season is being produced with both David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson onboard. Fingers crossed it turns our better then some of the recent episodes that were not as well received as the original series. It’s 10 episodes and continues on from the cliff hanger ending of the last of series 10. One thing fans argue about is whether Mr Carter himself should be writing...? Whilst he was the creator, the second movie and some of the 10th season were, putting it politely, not well received by some fans and critics. The team here at Live would also like to suggest the Lone Gunmen be returned! Stop Press: Rumour has it the Lone Gunmen will be back!
WE CAN REBU
The remake, the re-envisionment, the reboot. Dress is up however you like Hollywood has a fascination with visiting the past in order to make a buck. I for one, actually quite like a good remake. They are something of a guilty pleasure of mine. I only have a few simple rules. Just make sure you take the concept/feel of the original and give me a new film. I don’t want to watch exactly the same film again with different actors. Also, don’t be disrespectful to the source material. Don’t just ignore the key elements that made the original work. So without further ado, I present my top five best, and top five worst remakes.
THE BEST: Evil Dead (2013 Original 1981) The 2013 remake of Evil Dead is my all time favourite remake. It stands as one of the best horror films ever made. It is perfect in it’s simple reconstruction. It takes the key elements, a group of kids, a cabin in the woods, the book of the dead and the demonic deadites and gives us a totally new and unique take on the original film. The film also works by not having an avatar of the famous Ash, the lead of the original films played by Bruce Campbell. By leaving out this iconic character the film frees itself to carve its own path. The film is simply savage. It’s one of the most violent films I have ever
seen. Not that it has more gore say than other horror films but it is just ferocious. Not for the faint of heart.
True Grit (2010 Original 1969) “Fill your hand you son-of-a-b****!” A line yelled by John Wayne before charging into battle in the original True Grit, who knew Jeff Bridges would do a way better job? Well most of us I think... The Coen Brothers’s take on the 1969 classic would turn out to be one of the best films ever made and my second favourite western (and I love Westerns! I named my new kid Wyatt, that’s how much I love westerns). True Grit, the new version anyway, is an uncompromising a bleak look at the American old west. It is focused on realism, dark humour and a sense of cynicism. The original film ends with John Wayne letting out a big cheer and rode off into the sunset on his horse, leaping over a fence. In this film... Well it’s a lot darker... You simply need to see it.
The Departed (2006 Original 2002) Yes Martin Scorsese’s 2006 crime thriller is a remake. The original Chinese film Infernal affairs is also an amazing film. The Departed however, is simply stunning and stands as one of Scorsese’s best films. The tension created as Leonardo
DiCaprio and Matt Damon play their cat and mouse game with Jack Nicholson as an insane Irish mob boss is just breathtaking. The twists and turns are non-stop and at full speed. The ending totally caught me off guard even though I had seen the original, it’s just that tense and shocking.
Dawn Of The Dead (2004 Original 1978) Zack Snyder’s 2004 Dawn Of The Dead is so good it almost rivals the original. The film again sees a group of survivors take cover in a shopping mall during the zombie apocalypse. While the original George A. Romero masterpiece takes aim at consumerism and the Vietnam war phenomena. This version is a startling look at terrorism and the ever changing world 9/11 left us with. One moment we are safe and the next there is a zombie running down your hallway and biting your partner’s face off. The characters are all complex and interesting. The tension is high and the gore is intense! That scene in the parking lot... Gets me every time.
The Thing (1982 Original 1951) John Carpenter’s classic sci-fi horror masterpiece is so good its hard to believe it’s a remake. In 1951 the original The Thing From
Another World the alien beast menaced screens. But it wasn’t till John Carpenter took the reigns that he turned The Thing into true nightmare fuel. The creature assimilates people it comes into contact with and assumes their form. The unwitting characters are left asking who is human and who is The Thing. It is a true horror film and a great example of paranoia being the ultimate foe as the team of the antarctic base turn on each other one by one. A masterclass in how to take a good concept and really run with it.
THE WORST: Psycho (1998 Original 1960) This is a hard movie to talk about... Hence why it might be the worst remake of all time. The original Alfred Hitchcock classic is still a phenomenal piece of filmmaking. So they got oscar winning director Gus Van Sant to film the remake. I adore Gus Van Sant, Milk is just one of the best films ever made. However in this case he decided to literally remake Psycho, line for line and shot for shot. It is literally the old film, in colour with different actors... Like... Why even bother? Seriously it’s just so bizarre. It feels like a university assessment, ‘redo shots from a popular film’. It is so utterly strange. Go a head watch it, Vince Vaughn as Norman Bates is just weird.
Clash of The titans (2010 Original 1981) Now here’s a pile of crap! clash of The Titans you say? With today’s technology you say? In 3D you say? Who know this movie would turn out to be so bloody awful? It’s just a garbage film that in no way lives up to the pulpy fun of the original. The whole thing just feels dreadful. Sam Worthington is terrible as Perseus and makes Harry Hamlin look like Marlon Brando. He just can’t shake that Perth brick layer accent. “G’day, I’m Perseus!” It’s just awful. Also if you study Liam Neeson’s performance closely you can see the will to live drain from his eyes.
The Day the Earth Stood Still (2008 Original 1951) The 2008 The Day The Earth Stood Still is just another example of a crappy Hollywood cash in. The original film stands a smart, thought-provoking look at the human condition and the cold war culture that had left the world on the brink of destruction. In this age of eminent doom, an alien arrives and demands that if we don’t as a species, give up war and weapons manufacturing they would destroy our world. As a demonstration of their power they stop all of our electronics and motors for one day. It is a great cautionary tale and has a very optimistic outlook. In the new film, Keanu Reeves is the alien and he has a cloud of alien nanobots
that single handedly destroy pretty much everything, and he has an ark... Or something... It’s rubbish.
The Planet Of The Apes (2001 Original 1968) Ahh Tim Burton... My old nemesis we meet again. My dislike of the all style, no substance filmmaker that Tim Burton is aside, the 2001 Planet of the Apes is just an awful film. It lacks all the cornea charm of the original and then placed side by side with the current series Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes it just falls completely flat. It’s the version of the film that will be completely forgotten with history.
Godzilla (1998 Original 1954)
“I remember being a young lad and seeing the trailer for this film and it
blew my mind”
I remember being a young lad and seeing the trailer for this film and it blew my mind. Now, I really adored this film when I was a kid. It was fantastic and fun! Don’t get me wrong it is still a lot of fun... But the reason it makes this list is simply the complete disregard this film has for the source material. It just ignores everything that made Godzilla special. Not to mention the terrible dialogue and bad acting... Godzilla is a strange mutant, iguana hybrid that terrorises New York City, then has babies... And can be killed through completely conventional means. Still a bit of dumb fun but it really took the GOD out of Godzilla.
BY SCOTT F. SOWTER
geek o GAMES & POP CULTURE TRIVIA
EMOJI MOVIE WIN TIX!
THE GAMER DIARIES: 1999-2000
ANIME: READER CONTRIBUTION
out AVCON INTERVIEWS
BEST SUPERHERO MOVIES MUST-HAVE BOARD GAMES
THE CIRCUS IS COMING part 2 WARGAMING
GAME & POP CULTURE FU
TALKING ABOUT THE GOOD OLD DAYS... HERE’S SOME TRIVA FROM THE 90’S
Who killed Laura Palmer on Twin Peaks? her dad - Leland How long was Jerry, George, Elaine and Kramer sentenced to prison for? One year!
On the X-Files who is Mulder and Scully’s supervisor? Walter Skinner
UN FACTS & TRIVIA
Biggest films of the 90s by box office were.. Titanic Star Wars: Episode 1 Jurassic Park The Lion King Forrest Gump Independence Day The Sixth Sense Home Alone Men in Black
Every issue I search the globe for game and pop culture trivia, I get sent out across the globe, (first class) to scout the world of video games to bring you some fun facts. (Um... no. We gave you a crappy old laptop and told you to search the web... Ed.)
Did you know in the Pilot of the Xfiles, Scully had a boyfriend but the scene got cut. What 80s show is Frasier a spinoff from? Cheers! Images from Wikipedia.
YOUR SAY MOVIES
New Line Cinema’s horror thriller “IT,” directed by Andy Muschietti (“Mama”), is based on the hugely popular Stephen King novel of the same name, which has been terrifying readers for decades. When children begin to disappear in the town of Derry, Maine, a group of young kids are faced with their biggest fears when they square off against an evil clown named Pennywise, whose history of murder and violence dates back for centuries. “IT” stars Bill Skarsgård (“Allegiant,” TV’s “Hemlock Grove”) as the story’s central villain, Pennywise. An ensemble of young actors also star in the film, including Jaeden Lieberher (“Midnight Special”), Jeremy Ray Taylor (“Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip”), Sophia Lillis (“37”), Finn Wolfhard (TV’s “Stranger Things”), Wyatt Oleff (“Guardians of the Galaxy”), Chosen Jacobs (upcoming “Cops and Robbers”), Jack Dylan Grazer (“Tales of Halloween”), Nicholas Hamilton (“Captain Fantastic”) and Jackson Robert Scott, making his film debut.
Muschietti directed “IT” from a screenplay by Chase Palmer & Cary Fukunaga and Gary Dauberman, based on the novel by King. Roy Lee, Dan Lin, Seth GrahameSmith, David Katzenberg and Barbara Muschietti are the producers, with Dave Neustadter, Walter Hamada, Richard Brener, Toby Emmerich, Marty P. Ewing, Doug Davison, Jon Silk and Niija Kuykendall serving as executive producers. The behind-the-scenes creative team included director of photography Chung-Hoon Chung (“Me and Earl and the Dying Girl”), production designer Claude Paré (“Rise of the Planet of the Apes”), editor Jason Ballantine (“The Great Gatsby”), and costume designer Janie Bryant (TV’s “Mad Men”). The music was composed by Benjamin Wallfisch. New Line Cinema presents a Vertigo Entertainment/Lin Pictures/ Katzsmith Production, “IT.” The film will be released in Australia on 6th September, 2017 and is distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Entertainment Company.
YOUR SAY MOVIES
win A DOUBLE PASS! Thanks to Roadshow and Gametraders, you could win a double pass to see IT - in cinemas 7 September. Watch the trailer here: www.itmovie.com.au and tell us what is the name of the boy that goes missing - youâ€™ll find their name on the missing person poster on a telegraph pole. Email your answer along with your name, age and address to email@example.com. Important: you must be 15+ to enter due to the rating of the film. Competition ends 21 September 2017.
IT’S BACK... AND IT’S CREEPIER THAN EVER
In 1986 the brilliant author, Stephen King, released a book that had us avoiding drains during a rain storm at all costs. The thought of a creepy clown being down there just waiting for us to go searching for our toy boat washed down the drain played on our imaginations. Like all good horror and particularly Mr King’s horror stories, it seemed plausible. Maybe not where we lived but somewhere like Derry Maine (the fictional setting for many of his stories) it just might have possibly happened. IT featured the story of a group of kids who named themselves, “The Losers Club.” There was slightly overweight Ben Hanscom who is 11 at the time of one of the two time frames the novel is set (1957), Eddie Kaspbrak, Bill Dengrough, Richie Tozier, Stanly Uris and Beverly Marsh. A group of friends who all realise they’ve encountered the demonic creature they named, IT. The novel is over 1100 pages and in true Stephen King style, grabs the reader with characters you love and characters you despise. You root for The Losers Gang, wanting them to win against the bullies, against the demonic IT. But like any novel to film adaption, can you capture the feel of the location, the characters in a couple of hours? Let’s take a deeper look. In the novel, the IT creature can
shape-shift. But it is the shape of the clown, Pennywise that creeps the kids out the most. And that’s where the original miniseries was so popular, that damn creepy artwork featuring Tim Curry as the Dancing Clown Pennywise. The miniseries adaption had to leave some of the sub-plots from the novel, there simply isn’t enough time to capture the whole novel, so writer of the series, Lawrence D. Cohen wrote for an 8-10 hour miniseries. However the ABC was nervous and agreed to a 2 night and four hour commitment. The series was a major success airing in 1990. IT was shown over two nights and rated incredibly well. Part One was watched by over 17 million viewers and Part Two gained more viewers, just over 19 million. Rotten Tomatoes has it sitting on a 62% fresh rating but some critics didn’t like the effects nor the sometimes slow pace of the series. Now we have a fresh version of IT about to hit the big screen. The trailer features a much more creepy, darker tone. The trailer shows the same friendship of The Losers Club, but with an updated feel to the visuals as expected. Being horror fans here at Live Magazine, we’re excited for IT but...
Red balloons will never be the same...
YOUR SAY SONY PICTURES
THE EMOJI MOVIE The Emoji Movie unlocks the never-before-seen secret world inside your smartphone. Hidden within the messaging app is Textopolis, a bustling city where all your favourite emojis live, hoping to be selected by the phone’s user. In this world, each emoji has only one facial expression – except for Gene (T.J. Miller), an exuberant emoji who was born without a filter and is bursting with multiple expressions. Determined to become “normal” like the other emojis, Gene enlists the help of his handy best friend Hi-5 (James Corden) and the notorious code breaker emoji Jailbreak (Anna Faris). Together, they embark on an epic “appventure” through the apps on the phone, each its own wild and fun world, to find the Code that will fix Gene. But when a greater danger threatens the phone, the fate of all emojis depends on these three unlikely friends who must save their world before it’s deleted forever. Cast: T.J. Miller, James Corden, Anna Faris, Sir Patrick Stewart, Maya Rudolph, Jennifer Coolidge, Steven Wright
WIN A FAMILY PASS! ADMIT 4
Watch this trailer (https://youtu.be/cXcai_9ZqL4) & tell us what Spider-Man says after “someone is collecting stuff from Avengers battles, and building these crazy weapons”... Inbox us your answer (facebook.com/GametradersAustralia) Hurry - limited numbers! ©2017 Sony Pictures Animation Inc. All Rights Reserved. “emoji”™ is a trademark of emoji company GmbH used under license.
MUST-HAVE bo GLOOMHAVEN 1-4 players Play time 60 minutes to 120 minutes Recommended ages 12 up
Gloomhaven is a game of Euroinspired tactical combat in a persistent world of shifting motives. Players will take on the role of a wandering adventurer with their own special set of skills and their own reasons for travelling to this dark corner of the world. Players must work together out of necessity to clear out menacing dungeons and forgotten ruins. In the process they will enhance their abilities with experience and loot, discover new locations to explore and plunder, and expand an ever-branching story fueled by the decisions they make. This is a game with a persistent and changing world that is ideally played over many game sessions. After a scenario, players will make decisions on what to do, which will determine how the story continues, kind of like a â€œChoose Your Own Adventureâ€? book. Playing through a scenario is a cooperative affair
where players will fight against automated monsters using an innovative card system to determine the order of play and what a player does on their turn. Essentially, every turn a player will play two cards out of their hand. Each card has a number at the top, and the number on the first card played will determine their initiative order. Each card also has a top and
bottom power, and when it is a playerâ€™s turn in the initiative order, they determine whether to use the top power of one card and the bottom power of the other, or vice-versa. Players must be careful, though, because over time they will permanently lose cards from their hands. If they take too long to clear a dungeon, they may end up exhausted and be forced to retreat.
D&D Tomb of Annihilation Available Sept 19 (pre-order now!) Recommended ages 14 and up
but steadily sliding toward the death they once denied.
Dare to defy death in this adventure for the world’s greatest roleplaying game.
When they finally succumb, they can’t be raised—and neither can anyone else, regardless of whether they’ve ever received that miracle in the past. Temples and scholars of divine magic are at a loss to explain a curse that has affected the entire region, and possibly the entire world.
The talk of the streets and taverns has all been about the so-called death curse: a wasting disease afflicting everyone who’s ever been raised from the dead. Victims grow thinner and weaker each day, slowly
The cause is a necromantic artifact called the Soulmonger, which is located somewhere in Chult, a mysterious peninsula far to the south, ringed with mountains and choked with rainforests. Adventure design by Christopher Perkins, Will Doyle, and Steve Winter, with additional design by Adam Lee. Story consulting by the awardwinning creator of Adventure Time, Pendleton Ward.
Betrayal at Baldurs Gate Available October 6 Suits age 12 and up
traitor? You’ll have no choice but to keep your enemies close!
As you build and explore the iconic city’s dark alleys and deadly catacombs, you must work with your fellow adventurers to survive the terrors ahead. That is, until some horrific evil turns one—or possibly more—of you against each other. Was it a mind flayer’s psionic blast or the whisperings of a deranged ghost that caused your allies to turn
Based on the award-winning Betrayal at House on the Hill board game, Betrayal at Baldur’s Gate you’ll return to Baldur’s Gate again and again only to discover it’s never the same game twice. Can you and your party survive the madness or will you succumb to the mayhem and split (or slaughter!) the party?
Legend of The Five Rings Ages 12 and up Out October Welcome to the realm of Rokugan: a land of samurai and mystics, mad dragons and divine beings — a land where honor is stronger than steel. Here, the clans serve the Emperor and engage in courtly deceptions and power plays, even as they wage war against each other and the evil forces that plague their realm. This is the world of Legend of the Five Rings! Legend of the Five Rings: The Card Game is a Living Card Game set in the world of Rokugan, the original setting for the Legend of the Five Rings collectible card game. To play a Living Card Game, players create individual decks of cards from a base game with a fixed set of cards; they can then add supplemental card packs to this game world, with each pack also having a fixed set of cards, in order to vary their game experience.
While the connection of Legend of the Five Rings: The Card Game to Rokugan and the Colonies — as well as its pervasive themes of honor, nobility, magic, intrigue, duty, and warfare — should carry over from the original L5R CCG, Legend of the Five Rings: The Card Game is not compatible with that original game and will feature significant changes in the game mechanisms.
D&D Dragonfire deckbuilding game Out October 3-6 players Ages 13 and up 60-90 minute play Dragonfire is a 2 to 6 player deckbuilding game set within the worldâ€™s greatest roleplaying game, DUNGEONS & DRAGONS. Players choose from a number of races, from dwarf to elf, half-orc to human, while assuming the quintessential roles of cleric, rogue, fighter,
and wizard. Equipped with weapons, spells, and magic items, players begin their adventure along the famed Sword Coast, then expand to other locales across the Forgotten Realms, such as Baldurâ€™s Gate, Neverwinter, and Waterdeep, in future expansions. Along the way, players level up their characters, opening access to additional equipment, feats, and more. Join the quest, and build your own legend!
A Game of Thrones Catan Out November Ages 12 and up The Brothers of the Night’s Watch recognize you as a natural leader as you struggle for promotion within their ranks. You hope to gain recognition by improving infrastructure in the area south of the Wall known as the Gift. Drawing sustenance from this unforgiving landscape offers enough challenges, but you must also man and defend the Wall against the onslaught of Wildlings fighting their way into Westeros to escape the horrors that awaken in the North. Build, defend, and rise above your brothers to become the new Lord Commander. But be wary—the north holds many dangers, and winter is coming. The battle to defend the Realms of Man begins in A Game of Thrones Catan: Brotherhood of the Watch, anew strategic game designed by
Klaus and Benjamin Teuber and grounded in the engrossing world of George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series. Take the Black. Defend Westeros. Become the Lord Commander.
READER CONTRIBUTION This issue we feature one of our readersâ€™ anime rooms - amazing collection and thanks for sharing
READER CONTRIBU I have been a fan of Anime for as long as I can remember, growing up with titles such as Astroboy, Tekkaman, Mazinger Z and Dragonball / Z.
I was bullied quite severely as a child and had very few friends growing up. I was nerdy and different and was often picked on and alienated because of that. My mother passed away when I was 11 years of age and because of those unfortunate circumstances, my mind began developing a little differently to most. I gravitated towards Anime because they dealt with things like love and death, war, politics, greed and violence....this wasnt a cat chasing a mouse for 30 minutes (Tom & Jerry). You have to remember, back then Anime was not as popular and “main-stream” as it is today. Finding titles wasnt as easy and in some instances, you didn’t even know that the ‘cartoon’ you were watching as a child was indeed an Anime. Most of the time back then Anime was either kid-like Astroboy and DBZ or the severely mature Ninja Scroll and Evangelion.....there wasn’t ‘too’ much of an in between. Either way, Anime inspired me very early on in my life and connected with me on a very deep and personal level. As I got older, what had started out as an ‘escape’ from reality had soon become nothing but an honest and unbridled respect for the medium....so I made a conscious
decision to support the industry in any way that I could.
I started collecting around the age of 13 when I was given the Evangelion box-set as a birthday gift. From there, a steady collection of dvd’s and figures began filtering into my room. I am 33 years of age at the time of this article, so it’s been a long and expensive 20 years lol. Many of those older figures aren’t even present in my Anime room anymore as they have been put into storage, given away or sold to make way for some of the more detailed and amazing collectibles that have been coming out recently. As Anime is (without a doubt) my biggest passion in life and something I am even working towards with my Millennium Exile project (www.millenniumexile.com), the room serves as something of a man-cave to me....a place I can go whenever I need inspiration. The most prized possession in my
collection is my Gurren Lagann Core Drill (as pictured). This was made by popular YouTube creator “Michaelcthulhu” who makes popular video game and Anime swords.
I reached out and explained my passion for the Gurren Lagann Anime and commissioned him to create a full metal Core Drill from the show. Michael diligently worked and created 2 magnificent Core Drill replica’s...one for me and the other as a backup in case the first build went south. As both turned out amazingly, I was given one and the other went up for Auction on Ebay and fetched a whopping $4,000! Since receiving it, I have had it professionally polished and buffed as well as a gold coating placed over the drill tip. Gurren Lagann is by far my favorite Anime because it spoke to me about chasing your dreams, standing up for what you believe in...
UTION: ty hanson
even if sometimes you find it hard to believe in yourself. I wonâ€™t go on to rant about the show too much but if you are a fan of Anime then you owe it to yourself to watch the series at least once :P Although I love purchasing, opening and gazing upon new figures and collectibles, what I really enjoy the most is the ability to contribute and support the amazing industry that made such a massive difference in my life. We live in a day and age where media is so easily downloaded and stolen, that I think we often take the shows / music we love for granted. Anime saved me from my darkest days and I hope that one day, I too can move people and entertain others with Millennium Exile.
YOUR SAY RETRO
The Gamer In the final lead up to the year 2000 I wasn’t exactly sure where my life was going to lead, though that could be said of a lot of people once they hit their early 20s... or any age actually... I was pretty much going through the motions, going to work and going to TAFE. Seeing Amy on the weekends, and hunting for video games and Star Wars figures filled the void during weekends, or times I wasn’t working or studying. It would be another year and a bit before something big happened. I was still regularly checking out eBay for my retro goodies, but I had noticed a trend among video rental stores. It wasn’t uncommon for the tables in the middle of the store to be filled with ex rental VHS tapes and DVDs, but I was finding that many of them would have video games scattered around the movies. I would find the odd game in these bargain bins, but most of the time they were packed with sports titles that no one wanted to rent, let alone buy. Just down the road from my old school, St Paul’s College, on Paul’s Drive is a collection of shops. Up until recently there was a Network Video. I’m not sure if it’s still there, but it was when I last checked. Back in 1999 they were clearing out their Super Nintendo selection, though there were still a few games left on
THE CONTINUING STORY
the shelf. Clinton and I decided to check the store out, possibly to hire some movies. Clinton didn’t usually accompany me on my retro hunts, so that was probably why we were there. I checked out the ex rental bins and wasn’t too impressed with what I was seeing. On the shelf however I found some very desirable SNES titles, including: Castlevania 5: Vampire’s Kiss Terranigma Secret of Mana Megaman X2 Final Fight 3 I couldn’t believe my eyes! Here were some of my holy grail titles just sitting on a shelf. I eagerly grabbed them and took them to the counter. I asked the female clerk how much these games were, as they didn’t have prices on them. She informed me that they weren’t for sale. For a minute I felt stuck. In my hands were five games that I absolutely had to own but she wasn’t prepared to sell them to me. As Clinton turned to leave my internal filter switched off for a second and I found myself blurting out:
“What about if I hire them and don’t return them? What would the penalty be?” Clinton turned back around, eyes wide open in shock. I was equally as stunned that I had actually said that. The clerk showed no sign of
1999 - 2000
Y OF RETRO EDITOR, PAUL MONOPOLI’S GAMING JOURNEY...
surprise and simply sighed. She said to give her 5 minutes, grabbed the shop phone and disappeared. Clinton went back to browsing the shelves while I eagerly waited at the counter for her to return. After a couple of minutes she emerged from the back area and informed me that I could buy the games for $15 each. Yes, I purchased the five games listed above for $15 each! Boxed! They were in surprisingly good condition, considering they were ex rentals. Even back in 1999 it was unheard of to find those titles so cheap. I whipped my card out of my wallet and paid for them as quickly as I could, before she changed her mind. As we left the store Clinton turned to me and said:
“I can’t believe did that.”
I couldn’t believe it either, but I couldn’t stop smiling. I’m not sure if Clinton remembers it any differently, but as a game collector it’s one of my favourite tales of being on the hunt, so I have told it often over the years.
Clinton didn’t show much interest in playing the games with me, so I had to wait until I got home before I could test them out. I had heard generally negative things about Castlevania 5, so that was the first game I tried. As a Castlevania title
it does the job, the controls feel steady, and the audio and graphics are serviceable. However, the game does feel rather average. Years earlier, before I owned one, Clinton had hired a Super Nintendo with Castlevania 4, and that was a much better game in terms of spooky ambience and level design. Castlevania 5 isn’t BAD, and if it had been released before Castlevania 4 then it probably wouldn’t be seen in such a negative light. As the laws of numeracy goes however, Castlevania 4 was released before 5, and it was the better game. James and I had played Secret of Mana, Final Fight 3 and Megaman X2 years earlier, so I just tested those games to make sure they were working. However, Terranigma was a title I had never played, but had read good things about. I knew that it was never released in the US, and that many US gamers were dying to get their hands on a copy of the PAL release so they could play it in English. A semi-overhead action RPG, Terranigma is about rebuilding a world that was ravaged in a war between God and the Devil. There is a real sense of achievement when you discover a new area, and the combat mechanics feel precise. I played through the game twice, and wouldn’t mind running through it again when I get the time. On the internet I was becoming involved in online gaming communities, and was learning a lot about retro oddities, as well as new systems and games that would clearly never see a release in Australia. One system that grabbed my interest was the Neo Geo Pocket. Already established in the US, UK and Japan, the Neo Geo Pocket was one of those systems that would
I was already more than a little familiar with Capcom’s stable of warriors, and had dipped my toes in the world of SNK a few times over the years. This was the first of several planned crossover fighters, and I scoured the internet, trying to find a place I could order this game when it became available. I found a small import store in Brisbane called Blade Electronics, and they had the game available for pre-order. I sent them my payment details and the game arrived a couple of weeks after its release. If you’ve been keeping up with the story so far you will have noticed one big flaw in my plan. I didn’t own a Neo Geo Pocket system! My Uncle had recently gotten married and moved to Brisbane, and when I expressed interest in going there for a holiday (to visit Blade Electronics, though I didn’t mention this) he happily allowed me to stay with him. Amy was a bit disappointed that she wouldn’t be able to see me for a few weeks while I was there, but I had owned a mobile phone for a couple of years, being an early adopter of the technology, so we would be able to keep in touch. My holiday was a few months away anyway, and before then the world was gearing up for the new millennium. Would it be a big disaster? Would every piece of technology turn on us, a la The Terminator movies? Not really... it ended up being
a big build up to a non event. Amy and I celebrated the new year at Semaphore beach, watching the fireworks. In these Gamer Diaries I frequently discuss my fandom of Street Fighter, particularly the Alpha series. Being a Nintendo 64 owner, I was really disappointed that the Alpha games had been released on the Saturn and Playstation, but that Nintendo’s Silicon Graphics wonder was not going to be receiving Capcom’s latest addition to the Street Fighter saga. During the new year sales I saw that Toys R Us were discounting Playstation games, and that Street Fighter Alpha was one of the titles mentioned in the catalogue. I figured that my console collection was growing and that I would and up with a Playstation eventually. I journeyed down to the Toys R Us store at Tea Tree Plus and purchased the last copy. Little did I know that it would actually be a number of years before I owned a Playstation. During the later half of 1999 my interest in studying IT had waned considerably. I decided to exit the course with a certificate 4. When I look back I was only a couple of subjects off completing the full diploma. While a part of me thinks that I should have just stuck it out, if you look at how my life has turned out so far you would probably say that it wouldn’t have made much difference. I had a problem with the Virtual Boy, and it’s a common problem that many VB users have. That is, the 6 batteries used to power the device don’t tend to last very long during long gaming sessions, so I was constantly buying new packs
1999 - 2000
never be available in an Australian department store. It was one of a few systems I was eyeing off, but the Neo Geo Pocket had a game coming out that I needed to play! SNK vs Capcom: Match of the Millennium.
of Duracels to replace them. I had to find a way of powering it without batteries, but that was easier said than done. The Virtual Boy not only needs an AC adapter, it also needs an attachment that allows it to use the adapter. This is called an ‘adapter tap’. I saw that spare parts could be ordered on Nintendo’s website, so I called Nintendo Australia only to be asked:
“What’s a Virtual Boy?” After being put on hold for a long time I was eventually told that Nintendo Australia would be unable to help me. I tried Nintendo Japan next, and after finding someone who spoke English I was told that they were unable to ship spare parts overseas. Nintendo of America gave me the same response, so all I could do was hit up eBay and see what I could find. Eventually I parted with $40 for a loose adapter tap, which was far more than the official Nintendo AC adapter ended up costing me. For the record, the US Virtual Boy adapter tap uses the same AC adapter as the US Super Nintendo, which is different to both the PAL and Japanese versions of the console. So if you purchase a US Super Nintendo you won’t be able to use your PAL or Super Famicom AC adapters. This would end up being a blessing in disguise however, as I ended up needing that AC adapter for something else. In early 2000 my grandparents decided to go on a holiday, and I was asked to house sit for them. I was quite excited about this, being able
to live away from home for the first time, even if it was only for a couple of weeks. I decided to take my Nintendo 64 to keep me company, and wanted to buy a new game for it. The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time had been marked down to $49, and was on sale at Electronics Boutique (before it was called EB Games). I went into the Arndale store and grabbed a copy off the shelf. As I was browsing through the rest of the store I noticed that it was also available in a double pack with Star Wars: Pod Racer for the same price. I ended up buying the double pack, which gave me two games to play while I was house sitting. The problem was one of them wasn’t very good... No prizes for guessing which one! After purchasing these games I ventured across the road, to the Cash Converters. Sitting on a lonely shelf was an American Super Nintendo, and it was only $5! I asked the store person about it and he said that they had no AC adapter, so there was no way for them to test it. I grabbed it and took it home. I had plugged it into the AC adapter I was using for my Virtual Boy and the red light on the front came on. I didn’t have any US games at this stage, but I was confident my $5 purchase was a win. As for Pod Racer, well it’s a game that people tend to either love or hate. I fall into the latter category, though not being a fan of racing games probably helped there, though I thought a Star Wars themed racer might be more appealing. I mean, it worked for Mario Kart! Sadly it wasn’t to be. Yes, the
Star Wars music and graphics are all pretty decent, but the controls are too fluid and loose. I always complain about controls that was too tight or restricting. This game has the exact opposite problem, plus I just simply don’t find it much fun. Ocarina of Time is a different story. What can I say about that game that hasn’t been said already? The story is brilliant, the graphics are beautiful and the audio is so atmospheric. I did have a long time adjusting to Link’s auto jump, but that was my only gripe with the game. Once I got the hang of it I didn’t even think about it anymore. While I was house sitting Amy would come to stay on weekends and Clinton visited a few times. The three of us rented some movies during one of the weekends, but the rest of my downtime was dedicated to Ocarina of Time. I was so engrossed in the game... until I discovered the horrors of the water temple. The water temple is the end point for a lot of gamers, and I grew more and more frustrated with the rising and dropping water levels. My frustration towards the game, and my time house sitting coming to an end saw me abandon Ocarina of Time... at least for now. That’s all I have time for this issue. If you want to check out what’s happening in my world then I can be found on Twitter @Dizrythmia I am also part of the Retrospekt crew, and the website has been relaunched at: www.retrospekt.com.au
1999 - 2000 WRITTEN BY PAUL MONOPOLI
YOUR SAY INTERVIEW
AVCON INTER exists outside of that as well.’ And she got me an audition. Paul: Wow, OK. Paul: Joining me now for AVCon 2017, I have Jen Taylor sitting across from me. Thanks for joining me. Jen: Thanks for having me! Paul: Take a drink of water, that’s alright. Jen: I’m taking a drink of water. Paul: So, the voice of Cortana. Jen: Indeed. Paul: The voice of Princess Peach... formerly! Jen: Yes, formerly. Paul: So what was your story getting into voice acting? Cos everyone’s got a different story about getting into voice acting. I love hearing... the origins of. Jen: I studied theatre in school at university, and when I came home, unsure of how to move forward in the theatre world my best friend at the time said, ‘I really think you should do voice over’, and I said ‘what’s that?’ *laughs* And she said ‘you know, like The Simpsons.’ And I said, ‘oh, cartoons’. And she said, ‘but there’s a whole other world that
Jen: She was working at a kids radio station, and they had inhouse voices that they needed and she got me an audition for them, and that was the beginning. And I started working there, I did in-house stuff there and then I became a radio DJ. Then I left the kids station and I was DJing at an independent rock station in Seattle, and they started to sort of groom me to become... I was working weekends, I was subbing for people, and they had a new morning guy coming in, and they started to groom me to do the morning show, and I had this realisation of, ‘Oh, I’m going to become a radio DJ if I continue doing this and... I don’t want to do that.’ So I left. I left because I wanted to be an actor, I wanted to still be able to do voice over work in a way that I didn’t feel like it was... I don’t want to disparage radio, because radio is awesome and it’s fun, but it felt to me more like a job, and the work that I do doesn’t feel like a job. Paul: And it allows you to travel. Jen: *laughs* And yeah, I’m here in Adelaide, yay! Paul: So what was your first voice acting role? Jen: My first gig, that they gave me,
I played a hassled mom in a car, trying to get her kids into some car. It was an ad for a Dodge I think, or something. So I played a mom at the ripe old age of 22 who was all upset. But, do you mean my first video game role? Paul: No, just first role in general. Jen: Oh yeah, it was for a commercial. I do a lot of commercial work as well. Paul: We were saying before the interview started that I interviewed Charles Martinet earlier in the year... Jen: Charles lovely Martinet... Paul: He can’t speak highly enough of you. Jen: He’s a dream! Paul: So, how did you get your role with Nintendo? He tells his story, famously, where he crashed, or... doesn’t like to use the word ‘crashed’, but came into an audition at the last minute. Jen: Oh. I don’t think I’ve heard that story. I’ll have to have him tell me that story. They were having auditions in Seattle to replace people who had been doing... I’m not sure if we were supposed to sound like the actors who had been performing it in Japan. As I recall that’s what we were doing. So I was asked to mimic the voices of the people
...Toad is my favourite,
because Toad was so silly and fun and crazy, but they’re all so cute and charming that it’s... I paused because I thought, ‘I don’t know, how can I?’ But Toad!” Jen Taylor
who’d done it before me, and that’s how I got it. Because I could mimic those voices. Paul: And you voiced Princess Peach... Jen: Mm hmm Paul: Princess Daisy... Jen: and Toad... Paul: And Toadette. Jen: I guess. You know, I did so much so many times I don’t *laughs*. We’d come in and those sessions are pretty short, frankly.
Jen: I didn’t even know at the time, no. Paul: And Charles said that you ended up leaving because you moved away from the area. Jen: I moved to LA, because we were recording it in Seattle and I moved to LA, and they moved on. Paul: Fair enough. So who was the favourite out of the characters you did voice? Jen: ... Toad is my favourite, because Toad was so silly and fun and crazy, but they’re all so cute and charming that it’s... I paused because I thought, ‘I don’t know, how can I?’ But Toad!
Paul: They are? Jen: Yeah. You’ve got 4 hours and you crank out... at least for me, I don’t know about Charles, but for me I had smaller roles that I would crank an entire game out in a 4 hour session.
Paul: What was it like working with Charles? Because he seems like he could be a bit wacky, a little bit prankstery at times.
Paul: Now going into that series, you go from the light, happy, poppy Mario series to something quite gritty. What’s it like for you going from one to the other? Do you have a preference over... Do you prefer the light and fluffy, or do you prefer the gritty, more realistic style? Jen: No, you need dessert after you eat your heavy meal, don’t you? Paul: Well, that’s true! So they say. Jen: No, I really love doing all different types of games, because it gives you a... it’s a different kind of outlet. Paul: Most of the other games you’ve done have been a bit... Jen: Darker?
Jen: I never got to work with him.
Paul: Darker! I mean, we have Left 4 Dead, Halo, games like that, so that’s what I was wondering.
Paul: It was all individual sessions?
Jen: Oh yeah. Nope, never got to work with him.
Paul: Ah, drama! The dramatic actress.
Paul: So you only ever met him at conventions?
Jen: *laughs* It’s fun to do the silly, fun things. And I don’t get asked to do that very often, and it’s interesting to me because I started my career playing little kids, and anymore I don’t really get asked to do that, because I think they hear Cortana and they don’t imagine that a little kid voice can come out of there I guess. But one of the first things I did was called Backyard Baseball, and I played a whole bunch of different little kids. I played Sunny Day and it was really fun. I had a great time doing that. Someone
Paul: Wow Jen: It was quick, and yeah, those are the roles I played. Paul: (The voice of) Princess Daisy got replaced by Deanna Mustard a little bit later on and gave her a bit more of a tomboyish feel to the character. Jen: I know Deanna Mustard. I love that. She’s actually a friend of mine completely outside of voice over work, so yes. Paul: Oh OK. I thought there was a reason they gave you for replacing you as Daisy.
Jen: We met at a convention, and that was... oh goodness... 3 or 4 years ago now probably. I can’t remember when we did that. Paul: That recent? Jen: Yeah. Well same with, I’m going to jump to, Steve Downes who plays Masterchief. We only met in 2011, 6 years ago.
was just interviewing me about the Backyard Baseball games, so it’s on my mind.
Paul: That’s what I wasn’t sure about. Is it a different character altogether or just a slight variation?
Paul: So Halo was an audition for you?
Jen: Well, it’s just Cortana on her very best, happiest day.
Jen: Halo was an audition! Yep. In 2000 or 2001. Maybe the beginning of 2001, I can’t remember.
Paul: A little less sassy?
Paul: The voice of Cortana obviously went across to the Microsoft operating systems. Jen: Yeah. Do you have it in Australia? Can you hear me? Paul: I believe it is your voice. We do have a different Siri, for the Apple products, but I think it is you for Cortana. Jen: OK. Well, if it’s an American voice then it would be me I’m guessing, yeah. Paul: I don’t know, because this (computer I’m recording on) is an Apple Mac. Jen: *gasps* Paul: I know... Jen: *laughs* Paul: So what is it like, voice acting for a video game vs voice acting for the Cortana system? Jen: It is entirely different. It is completely different, and even the character is a little different. In the beginning they said, ‘we love Cortana, and there is a place for her... the Cortana of games, but this is a slightly different Cortana.
Jen: Yeah, a little more helpful *laughs*. And a little brighter. Because we thought about the fact that if somebody asked Cortana to sing them a song, the Cortana of the games would be like, ‘are you kidding Chief? I’m not gonna sing you a song. Forget it.’ Or, ‘tell me a joke.’ So yeah, we’ve decided it’s Cortana on her very best day, so it’s slightly different. I make her a little different. Paul: So what are the voice over session like? Is it a case of, you have to read the same thing over and over in different ways? Jen: It’s really technical, and with the Cortana of the games I’m telling a story. For the phone it’s much more technical than that, and what I do is I read a lot of different things. A lot of it is directly addressing, you know, ‘sing me a song,’ I’ll record a song. ‘Tell me a joke’ and I’ll do that. ‘What’s going on?’ I’ll tell you what happened a hundred years ago today or whatever it is. Whatever news you want, there’s a lot of direct response. Then they also have to, so that they can make me say whatever they want me to say, I read random sentences. I think they get them off the internet, I don’t know, but they have a collection of sounds they want. So it’s not words they pick out or it would sound all chopped up, it’s a collection of sounds.
Paul: So they take the sounds and formulate the words around them? Jen: Mmm, hmm. Paul: OK. Because I was wondering every time they do a little bit of an upgrade to the operating system are you then called back to talk about those upgrades, or do they just move those sounds around to formulate new sentences? Jen: They’re constantly working on the new technology, and frankly, I don’t know very much about the technology. I should learn more about it. But they bring me in when they’re working on new stuff, to see
if they can upgrade things, but they also bring me in just to do new silly stuff, because they’re constantly trying to figure out what people are looking for and to give them what they’re looking for, so what kind of questions are you asking? What information do you want? What can Cortana give you that we don’t already give you? So they’re paying attention to what people are asking for. When you ask the phone something and I don’t have a response, they note that because they want me to. So they’ll come back and say, ‘OK Jen, we need you to give an answer.’ Paul: OK. Well you’ve done many roles over the years. What role do
you wish you’d had?
Jen: I want to do animation.
Jen: And I don’t want to live in LA. *laughs* I don’t like LA. It’s not my town. I love the people! I’ve met so many wonderful people in LA, and I like to go and visit, then I like to go home where it’s green and raining. The constant sunshine’s a little hard on me. Isn’t that weird?
Paul: More animation? Jen: I want to do animation. And I live in Seattle, so we don’t have the opportunity to do animation in Seattle. At least, I haven’t had the opportunity to do it there. Paul: That happens in Texas and LA I believe. Jen: Yeah. And I really feel like we were talking about with some of the other voice actors recently, we were talking about in LA, they want you to live in LA.
Paul: I’ve got pale skin and red hair, so I understand that. Jen: So yeah, you hear me. I grew up in the Pacific Northwest, and so the moisture, the darkness, the greenery, and the coffee... it’s my world!
Paul: Any future projects you’re working on that you’re allowed to tell me about? Jen: *shakes head* Mmm, mmm. Nope
you and I’m the madam there. I also worked on a Netflix show called Everything Sucks, which is set in the 90s and that comes out in 2018 and I have a very small part in that. Blink and you miss me, but I play a teacher.
Paul: OK, fair enough... Jen: Actually, that’s not true. I did some stuff on film that I can talk about. I did something called Automata for Penny Arcade. You guys have PAX that comes here? Paul: We do. *Shows Jen the PAX T shirt I can currently wearing. Jen: Oh, OK. Yeah, see. There ya go! Wearing your PAX shirt, good for you. They did some online... cartoons I guess you’d call them? And they have bought one of them to life, and it’s called Automata, and I’m in that. It’s set in the early part of the 20th century, the 1920s, 1930s, and there are Automata that exist. So it’s a different kind of reality. It’s a different kind of history basically, and so they’re trying to... I don’t want to say rewrite, but they are, they’re sort of rewriting history as if, what would have happened if this... And I play a madam! Paul: *laughs*
Paul: Any particular episode we should watch out for? Jen: I’m in episode 1 and episode 4. I’m in 2 episodes. I think, unless they switch it around and then I’m in episode 1 and episode 6. Paul: That’s true. Because it’s... what do they call it? Not filming order... Production order! Jen: Yeah. Paul: It can be very different to broadcast order. Jen: Yeah. Paul: So we look forward to seeing that. Thanks very much Jen Taylor, it’s been a pleasure speaking with you. Jen: It’s so nice to speak to you. Thank you. Paul: Thank you.
Jen: It’s true, I play a madam of a... I don’t want to call it a whorehouse but yeah... that are peopled by Automata. So they will pleasure
INTERVIEWED BY PAUL MONOPOLI
YOUR SAY INTERVIEW
AVCON INTER thrilled to death just to be a small part of this whole thing, as I’m sure you are, because you’re doing this yourself...
Paul: Joining me here at AVCon 2017, it is Chris Pope. Pleasure to be speaking with you. Chris: Hey, you too Paul, Great to be here. Paul: Now, you are a man of many talents... Chris: *laughs* Paul: ...you are a PR person, you are a social media guru, and you like exploring new forms of entertainment. So, explain to me how these new forms of entertainment are slowly overtaking more traditional forms, like your TV, your movies and things like that. Chris: Oh yeah, definitely. Over the years you’ve seen this huge shift, say, in the last 10 years especially. In the last 10 years you’ve gone from most media being on TV, to pure social media driven, through Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, all these other different platforms that people are just consuming, non stop. You know, walking around with their gadgets, interacting with each other, and it allows everybody all over the world to quickly get feedback on the stuff they’re producing and the things they’re working towards, and it’s really been an amazing shift. I’m
Paul: That’s true Chris: Doing this sort of entertainment industry work. It really is amazing to see it explode. This power shift, actually, has occurred, away from the normal PR strategies of getting the word out to now, anybody can throw their project out there and get the word out. It’s an exciting time, it really is, just to see where everything’s going. Paul: What was your personal background getting into it. When did you start? Chris: It was one of those things, I guess I started about 10 years ago. Well, I guess you could say it started around 15 years ago. I did a really geeky thing, as they say. I decided to go after the Pacman Turbo world record, right? Paul: From Twin Galaxies? Chris: Yes. ‘Cause I used to collect arcade machines, so I had one in my garage and I was like, “I think I can do this”, and I ended up breaking the Pacman (Turbo) world record and it kinda slung my name out there. So I got my name out there a little bit doing that, and when podcasting got popular I really took interest in that, ‘cause I could definitely see
the shift I was talking about, like, I could kinda force it happening. Like, ‘this is gonna be huge, people are going to be able to get out there and interact with people all over the world using the internet, not using traditional advertising methods, and all of that.’ And sure enough, I started doing all these different podcasts, and I started my own network called the Tech Jives Network at one point and we had something like, 15 different shows going on all of the time. Of course I eventually realised I couldn’t do it all myself, so I started having people working with me on all of it, and kinda fell into it I guess you could say, and having my name out there with that whole Pacman thing really kinda helped launch things a little bit. Paul: What kind of commitment did you need to have to get a high score on Twin Galaxies? Because that would be a colossal effort I would imagine. Chris: Well, I wasn’t going up against people like Billy Mitchell. He holds Ms Pacman all of those scores... Paul: Donkey Kong on and off...
Chris: Oh yeah. So I wasn’t going after someone like him, but it was one of those things. At the time my wife was pregnant, and she thought I was insane. She’s like, ‘are you kidding? We’re about to have a baby and you’re gonna try to...?’ And I was like, ‘I can do it, I know I can do it!’ It
took a couple of weeks, because I was already getting some pretty high scores on there, just playing it. It took a couple of weeks and sure enough I broke it, and finally, I set up the video camera and videoed it, and away we go. Paul: Is it still the current high score? Chris: No, no, somebody’s broken it. Actually, I was telling my wife about this recently. I ended up, about 1213 years ago, selling off the arcade machine because was a rough time of year, we didn’t have a lot of money coming in, and we were like, ‘how are we gonna pay for Christmas, for our daughters?’ So I sold it, and so everybody always asks me, ‘are you gonna take it back?’ I’ve thought about it. Paul: That was my next question... Chris: Yeah, getting another machine and going. I definitely think I could probably do it, it just... it would take time. You know, to get back into the swing of things, and all that stuff. Paul: Do you get sick of playing the same game over and over again? Chris: You really do yeah... you really do. I was actually thinking about doing Joust and a few, I had a few other cabinets as well. I had Joust and Crystal Castles, and Galaga and a few other things. I thought about going for high scores on those as well, and I started practising. I broke the Pacman (Turbo) world record and my daughter was born, and fatherhood kicked in and I’m like, ‘OK, I really can’t do this anymore.’
Paul: No, that’s fair. Now the nickname ‘SpacePope’. Where does that come from? Chris: So ‘SpacePope’ was given to me... my last name is Pope obviously, so yeah. It was given to me by some of the fans of video game I’m involved in. So, about 5 years ago I teamed up with these guys. They’re called ‘The 2 guys from Andromeda’. Paul: Space Quest Chris: Yeah! Known for making the Space Quest series, and myself, Mark Crowe and Scott Murphy teamed up and we formed a company. From there we Kickstarted the SpaceVenture game, and we raised something
like $547,000 on Kickstarter. And so, I was kinda the face of the company, getting the thing out there and getting it Kickstarted using my background with social media and all that, so a lot of the fans... I don’t know specifically who came up with it, but one day I woke up and the next thing you know everyone’s calling me SpacePope, so just kinda embraced it. People are like ‘Are you Catholic?’ No, I just kinda embraced the name and you know, just kinda run with it since that’s what everybody calls me. But, you know, they’ve got a sense of humour. Paul: Do they have any plans to bring another Space Quest game out?
Chris: Well, we... Paul: And you could be the third guy from Andromeda! Chris: *laughs* Well, I’ve always said I don’t want to necessarily step on any toes there and try to... you know because I wasn’t part of the original Space Quest series, I was just a fan of the series. In fact growing up I always wanted to work for Sierra Online, that was like, my big dream, and as I graduated high school I was actually about to go to college to work towards becoming a game developer at Sierra and that was right at the time the company took a nosedive. So, I found another outlet into the whole
thing by getting hooked in with the 2 guys. And I’m sorry, what was the original question you were asking? Paul: Oh, you’ve pretty much answered it. That’s fine. Now, you’ve had a lot of involvement with Rob Paulsen, who I’ve interviewed before. Lovely, lovely man. Chris: Oh yeah, one of the greatest guys on the planet! Paul: Oh, he is! Chris: Yep, yep. Paul: And he’s happy to just snap out voices.
Chris: Yep. Paul: How did you get involved working with him? Chris: He was on a podcast I was doing. I had him on a podcast with me, and after the podcast we were talking about social media and he was, ‘man, I’m just really impressed with all you know about social media, and I don’t know anything.’ And so we just kinda teamed up, and I flew out to LA. I did this whirlwind LA trip where I was meeting with some people from a web series, and then I had a friend who invited me to meet with some people from Disney, and while I was there we met up for dinner one night. And I was
talking to him, and I was like, ‘you know, Rob, with all these people you know you should do a podcast.’ And he just kinda ran with it, and we started his podcast, I hosted it... I’m still hosting it really, well actually, he’s moved to the Nerdist now, the Nerdist network with his podcast but for the longest time I hosted it on the Tech Jives Network for him, and it just exploded. He gets tens of thousands of listeners a month on the show and Chris Hardwick, the Nerdist Network, just picked it up and now he’s doing this live thing, but we just kinda built a friendship from that original podcast thing I did with him about 6 or 7 years ago. Paul: Now you’ve been involved in a little bit of voice acting. I see you tend to do more of the behind the scenes stuff... Chris: Yep. Paul: ... how do you find voice acting? For someone who is normally being the scenes, taking the role of the actor. Chris: Well, it is just another one of those things you fall into. You don’t really set out to... I’ll always tell people I only know a couple of different types of voices; the
southern dialect and the redneck dialect, that’s pretty much it ya know. *laughs* But it is one of those thing you kinda fall into, there’s a need there and you’re like, ‘ya know, I could do that!’ And you’re in a position where, you know, I was talking to my partner. For example, I did the newscaster voice on the Cluck Yegger video game, and I was talking to my partner and I’m like, ‘you know, I think I could pull that off.’ I recorded an example of it and he said, ‘that’s fantastic, yeah’. And we recorded the voice for it and put it out there. I’m probably going to do a couple of things in SpaceVenture as well and we have an area of the game called The Holotube where the main character, basically he lays down on the couch and he can watch this holographic TV. It’s really all just audio, you don’t see what’s happening on the screen, but I’m gonna do my own SpacePope channel, and it’s gonna be like, ‘No donations, no salvation’ kinda thing. You know, ‘give us your money’...
into. I know a lot of voice actors, I’m friends with lots and lots of voice actors so...
Paul: Sort of the televangelist?
Paul: Well thanks very much for your time Chris. It’s been an absolute pleasure talking to you.
Chris: *laughs* right, exactly, yeah! And I think my southern accent’ll work great for that, so I’ll work on that as well. But yeah, it is just one of those things you just kinda fall
Paul: You represent some of them as well, don’t you? Chris: Yeah, and that’s yet another thing you just kinda fall into. Like, I represent Rob Paulsen as his agent, so that’s another thing you fall into from the standpoint of one day somebody says, ‘you know, I don’t have anybody representing me doing that particular job. Would you do it?’ And I’m like, ‘I’ve never done it, but yeah, I’ll give it a shot.’ And next thing you know, they introduce you to another person and then you get introduced to another person and next thing you know, with me I’m representing something like 60 or 70 people, something like that. Paul: Who represents you? Chris: *laughs* For now I just represent myself for the most part.
Chris: Oh, you too Paul, it’s been my pleasure.
â€œIn fact growing up I always
wanted to work for Sierra Online, that was like,
my big dream,
and as I graduated high school I was actually about to go to college to work towards becoming a game developer at Sierra and that was right at the time the company took a nosedive.â€? Chris Pope
INTERVIEWED BY PAUL MONOPOLI
YOUR SAY INTERVIEW
AVCON INTER call promo work for the radio station I used to work for, but as a full time DJ I retired about 2 years ago, so now I play a lot of golf. *laughs*
Paul: So, joining me for interview number 3 at AVCon 2017 is Steve Downes. Steve: Hi Paul, how are you? Nice to meet you. Paul: I’m good. It’s a pleasure to meet you. Steve: Thanks. Paul: I find your story very interesting. A couple of months ago I finished a bout of radio school, 13 weeks. And you got your start as a DJ. Steve: Yes I did. Paul: You were a DJ for many years, and still are. Steve: Well yeah, part time now. I was full time for 44 years, and now I still do a syndicated radio show that actually runs in Australia. Although, if you ask where I don’t know, because I didn’t do my homework. *laughs* But I know it airs in certain cities in Australia, called The Classics, which is a 2 hour syndicated, sort of retrospective on classic rock kinda thing. It’s all over the United States, Australia, New Zealand, I think Ireland, a few places. So I still do that. I still do some of what we
Paul: I was talking to Jen before, and she said she had a bit of a stint doing DJ work. Jon St John, Kyle Hebert, voice actors who got their start in radio. How did you get your start in radio itself? Steve: Well I was a frustrated musician as a youngster, and it’s sort of the classic story. When the Beatles came out it was like, ‘OK, I want to do THAT!’ *laughs* Mainly because of the whole ‘girl action’ thing. It’s like, ‘oh, that’s how you get girls! OK, I’ll learn how to play guitar and grow my hair long and all that.’ When I was in college, at some point I realised that maybe being a drummer in a rock band wasn’t the most secure career choice one could make, but I wanted to do something that kept me close to the music, and originally I thought being a music producer would be a good outlet. So, the closest thing I could get to that was working at the college radio station and starting to take some courses in radio and I just fell in love with it. Between being close to the music and satisfying my ever expanding ego, it just seemed like a dream come true that I could actually make a living doing something that I truly love, and that was really the beginning of that radio part of it. It morphed into voice over, again because of the production element,
because I loved, initially, the technical hands on producing of a radio spot, which I would do and also at the time, voice, and fell in love with that. Then the voice part of it sort of took over and I left the producing part behind. But that’s really how it began, and I was blessed to have a very nice career in it for a number of years, and thoroughly enjoyed it. Paul: And you must have been good at it. I mean, you had a drive show for 9 years. That’s a huge achievement.
Steve: I was actually on The Drive for 14 years altogether. I was in Chicago. I came to Chicago in ’97 and worked at a station called “The Loop”, who eventually bought The Drive, and then I started on The Drive when The Drive went on the air and did that until 2015, and before that I was in Los Angeles for quite a long time. So yeah, I’ve been very fortunate and very blessed to have that kind of run. Paul: Now I read that you had a call in show. Steve: Yeah, Rockline. Paul: What were some of the more memorable calls that you got? Because I imagine some of them would have been a bit interesting. Steve: Well there were a few! *laughs* My favourite one, the most infamous one... I mean, we in-
terviewed everybody at one point or another, but the one that I recall, I would say with fondness, but it’s more with terror... We were doing an interview one week. This was a 90 minute call in show, live all over the United States and Canada, and we had Slash from Guns ’n Roses on, and you know, Slash is a bit notorious. Nice guy, but we were doing a show, and as we would often do at some point during the show we would have, when we could have, the next week’s guest call in. Anyway, it would sort of be setup as a surprise, ‘oh, look who it is. It’s Eddie Van Halen. Hey Eddie, how’re ya doin? We’re gonna have you on next week.’ It was a way of promoting the following show. So in this particular case it was KISS. Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons were going to be the guests next week. So I’m talking with Slash and we go to commercial break, and then the producer talked to me in my headphones so that only I could hear it and he said, ‘ OK Steve. The next call coming out of the break will be Paul Stanley from KISS. Say hello, we’re gonna welcome him for next week, blah blah blah.’ Fine! Well, unbeknownst to anybody, me, the producer, the engineer, or Slash, the accidentally had left Paul Stanley’s line open so he could hear everything that we were talking about from that moment on in the break. So Slash hears this (and says) ‘Oh, Paul Stanley. I hated that guy. He was such an a-hole, such a jerk and KISS wanted to produce us and you know, I think the guy’s a homosexual.’ And all this stuff, and unbeknownst to us, Paul Stanley is hearing all of this and nobody knew it. So we come back out of the break and, ‘OK, we’re back. Let’s
take our next caller. Oh my god! It’s Paul Stanley. Paul, how are you?’ He goes, ‘fine Steve, I was just enjoying your conversation with Slash.’ And I went white as a sheet. I mean, you talk about seeing your career flash before your eyes, because not only had he heard all this stuff. Next week he’s going to be sitting right where Slash is sitting, along with Gene Simmons, and they’re gonna slice and dice me for days! Plus, I’m trying to think, ‘what did I say?’ I can’t control what Slash is saying, but did I agree with him? Because personally I was never a big fan of KISS. I mean, you know, I appreciate who they are but I was never a big fan of their music. Did I chime in? Did I say they suck? You know, what did I do? Slash, who at this point was stoned out of his mind, literally rears back on his chair and falls over, and this is all live on the air. He’s rolling around on the floor laughing! I’m dying a thousand deaths, but I will say that Paul Stanley was an absolute, consummate gentleman. He didn’t do what he could have done, which is repeat what was said on the air, refuse to be on the show next week. There’s all kinds of things he could have done. He did none of those, and my respect for him went way up, because he not only was a gentleman then. The next week he came in and I’m apologising up and down, and he says, ‘Steve, don’t worry about it. It’s nothing, forget it.’ Paul: It’s rock n roll. Steve: Exactly. You know what? I believe that may have been his exact quote. But I will never, ever forget that moment when my career went aaaaaand over! But we had a lot of good times and a lot of great
moments. We had Howard Stern on the show once, we had all of the Van Halen guys. We had a lot of cool experiences that I was lucky to have. Paul: Do you miss it? Steve: I miss Rockline. I don’t miss the day to day of radio. I mean, as I said, I did it for 44 years, and the vast majority of that time was spectacular, but the business has changed to a point where the things that got me into it no longer exist, and by that I mean the creative aspects of it. When I first started you’d bring your own music in. And that’s the way it was when radio was in its
infancy. The DJ came in and had a stack of albums, usually a joint, and you’d sit there and boom! You did a radio show. You’d take calls and all, but you decided what music was going to be played, and that made it fun, as it would for anybody. You get to turn other people on to the music and that’s fun,. Who doesn’t like to do that? The bigger that genre became the more corporatised it became, and so the less input the DJ had into what was being played until now, as far as terrestrial radio is concerned, the DJ has no control. The good news is that with the rise of the internet, and podcasts and all that, that sort of stuff is returning for men and women who want to
do that kind of work. The problem is you don’t get paid for it. *laughs* Or you don’t get paid very much. So it’s hard to make a living out of it, but at least there is now an outlet for people who are excited about the creative aspects of the job and not just the fame and fortune part of it... so the short answer is no, I don’t miss it. *laughs* Paul: And I believe you were recognised on radio. That’s what got you your first voice acting gig? Steve: Surprisingly, and that never happens. You would think that being on the radio would help a voice over career. Now Jon St John may
have a different opinion and others, but it was my experience that it actually worked against me, because with radio you develop a certain style, that in my case I would do 5 hours a day, 5 or 6 days a week, and then you get out of that and go to auditions to sell power tools, or whatever, and you have to do a different delivery, and it was hard for me to disconnect the radio guy and set that aside, and be able to put on another hat that would come from a different place. So often times I found that it got in the way, with the one exception of Halo. Strangely enough, Marty O’Donnell, who was part of the original Bungie team that put Halo on, and he cast all
the voices. Well he lived in Chicago at the time where I was on the air and he heard me on the radio, and was a fan. He thought that my voice would be the right voice for Master Chief. So I obviously say that it’s the biggest gig of my career and the only one I never auditioned for. He just called me and said, ‘go! Here we are. Let’s do it.’ Paul: Are you surprised at the level of fandom the game series has? Steve: Shocked! I don’t think any of us, even the Bungie people were going to have any idea it was going to become what it became. The massive, immediate success of Halo: Combat Evolved, and then the subsequent games after that, not only was it a huge success for Bungie. It was a game changer, to use a coin of phrase, of the entire industry, and it changed the way video games are produced and marketed and presented, and we had no idea. When I did Halo 1, the day after the session if you were to ask me the name of the character I did I probably couldn’t tell you. Because you move on, always looking at what’s next. It was months later that I realised that the game had become what it was, and then we were called in for Halo 2 and the subsequent games after that. It just became a run that, here we are 16 years later talking about it, so it’s pretty amazing. Paul: How do you feel about the isolation of recording in a booth, compared to recording in a radio station where you can bounce off people? Steve: Well you can, although for
most of my career I worked alone. The latter half I had a partner and we would work together, but for most of it, it is an isolating experience, and voice over is a completely isolating experience most of the time. You’re usually by yourself. Sometimes I’m recording at home and I am literally by myself, and there’s just someone on the other end in my headphones. But even in a studio you may have an engineer, you might have a director or a writer on the other side of the glass who’s directing you but it is an isolating experience and I think that’s where you have to draw on... it’s not just enough to have a good voice. In fact I often say the quality, the technical quality of your voice sometimes has nothing to do with it. It’s ‘can you get those words off the page?’ Is what we say. ‘Can you get them off the page and into somebody’s head or heart?’ Depending on what it is you’re trying to convey. Many times you have to do that alone and be able to draw on things, and that’s where voice workshops, acting workshops come into play as to help to teach you to be able to tap something without somebody telling you how to do it. You have to create those characters and sometimes you’re creating something for Master Chief and sometimes you’re trying to sell a drill bit, but you gotta figure out what voice is, that will get you on the other end to buy that drill bit, because that’s your job. But that’s what also makes it exciting and fun, is that every day, every job is a new experience. It taps something different in you every time, and that’s exciting to be able to come in and be like, wow, OK. I get to try on this shirt, or these boots or whatever. In fact, when I do Halo I have a specific pair of cowboy boots that
I only wear when I’m recording for Master Chief. Paul: Really? Steve: Because I learned this from a voice coach years ago who said, ‘whatever it is that helps you get into character. If it’s a hat, if it’s a shift, if it’s a pair of shoes. Whatever it is that helps to give you a physical cue to be in the place you want to be, use it.’ And so for me it was this pair of cowboy boots that I had for 10-15 years before I ever did Halo, but I happened to have them on the first time, and maybe part of it’s a good luck thing. I don’t know. Maybe it’s superstition but it helps but helps me. It’s just like the character putting on his armour. For me it’s a physical cue that reminds me of where I’m going, and so whatever works, that’s what I do. I’m just glad it’s not a tutu! *laughs* It could have been that! At least it’s cowboy boots. Paul: Exactly. Any future projects you can tell us about, or is it NDAs (non disclosure agreements) and all of the rest of it that prevent you from... Steve: Yeah, unfortunately none that I can tell you about. When people ask I say, ‘well I can tell ya, but I’ll have to kill ya.’ Unfortunately I get way too many fans who will take me up on that and say, ‘fine!’ *laughs* But yeah, with the NDAs being what they are you’re not really at liberty to discuss it. All I can tell you is that I believe that there will be a future, and I hope I will be part of it, and it will be exciting to continue this sort of amazing journey that we’ve been on with Halo.
“It taps something different in you every time, and that’s exciting
to be able to come in and be like, wow, OK. I get to try on this shirt, or these boots or whatever. In fact, when I do Halo I have a specific pair of cowboy boots that I only wear
when I’m recording for Master Chief.” Steve Downes
Paul: Fantastic. Thank you very much for your time Steve. Steve: Thank you Paul. Paul: It’s been an absolute pleasure. Steve: I appreciate it. Thank you very much. Thanks for having me. Paul: Thank you
INTERVIEWED BY PAUL MONOPOLI
YOUR SAY INTERVIEW
AVCON INTER Paul: Did that lead to any stage work initially?
Paul: OK, joining me for interview number four at AVCon 2017, it is Quinton Flynn. Thanks for joining me. Quinton: It’s my pleasure. How are you? Paul: I’m good thanks. You? Quinton: I’m well mate. Paul: Enjoying Adelaide? Quinton: Oh, loving it. Paul: Now, you’ve been involved in so many things. I interviewed Vic Mignogna earlier this year who has been involved in over three hundred series and I was struggling to pick things to talk to him about, and I had the same problem with you. So we’ll just cover the broad spectrum as much as we can. Quinton: Sure, that’s fine. Paul: Now starting out you’ve got a BA in Telecommunications, concentrating on film and theatre I believe I read that somewhere. Quinton: Yes, that’s correct. I graduated cum laude from Kent State University.
Quinton: Well actually before that, as a child, I was on a show called Romper Room on TV for a week. Paul: We had a version of that here. Quinton: Did you? Yeah! Then I did drama in school. In high school, in four years I performed in eleven of twelve plays, and did production on one. I formed a rock band that played around the local clubs. I was lead singer for that. Did promotions and marketing for that, and then got into university where, yeah. I did radio, TV, film and theatre. I was a DJ, I was also a VJ which was a video jockey or video host for an alternative video music program called The Alternate Beat.
of the work was going, and I moved. And it just so happened that after checking out New York City and Chicago, it seemed I knew a few more people in Los Angeles, and if I was going to be struggling and maybe homeless in the beginning, it would be better to do it somewhere warm. *laughs* And that’s why I went to LA. I went there for a vacation and it turned into a permanent residency, and from the get go I just got a steady job and I started doing everything else that anybody else in the business has done. I did extra work, I did stand in work, I worked as a production co-ordinator, and yet I got all of these jobs through people instead of through my degree. Now, it helped with the degree, that I have a broad spectrum of knowledge and experience, but it didn’t lead to any job in particular in the industry, no.
Paul: Sort of an MTV kinda thing? Quinton: Exactly. We were out at Cleveland at the time. Then I found an ad for taking voice over workshop classes, which I didn’t know there was a such a thing. I started taking them and that led to more skills I could use my acting for, and I’d started doing impressions from the time I was a child. And basically, once I got out of university, for a career in show business a degree can help but it doesn’t give you a fast track unless you know someone. So I picked one of three places to go, either Chicago, New York or Los Angeles, which was where a majority
Paul: OK. You worked with Burt Reynolds I read. Quinton: I did actually, yeah. I performed on a gameshow called “Win, Lose or Draw” and it was a Burt and Bert production. Burt Reynolds and Bert Convy put that game together, and because Burt always wanted to have good guests, or somebody sharp to play with, I had auditioned for that and they called me up and asked me. They said, ‘Burt Reynolds is coming in this week. Would you be up to playing with him?’ And I was like, ‘are you kidding?’ I was a huge fan, and so yeah, I’m sitting
I love playing Axel in Kingdom Hearts “
who has more of a slow and deliberate speech, and he’s probably more human than any of the other roles that I’ve ever played, and he’s closer to me.”
on a couch all of a sudden in a TV studio in Los Angeles next to Burt Reynolds, and I was so nervous, I was terrified, because I’d only been out there a few months, and I was kinda running around looking for jobs and getting on a gameshow where you can make some quick cash would be a way to stay afloat and keep your apartment. So I was in heaven, and he was the nicest guy, and he said to me, ‘Quinton, I like that name. It reminds me of the journalist Quinton Reynolds. You know him?’ And I said, ‘no.’ Then he goes, ‘I’m gonna name my son Quinton, just like yours.’ And he did. Paul: I did read about that. I didn’t know if it was a true story or not. Quinton: True story, yeah. Then I ran into his ex wife Loni Anderson about two years ago and asked her about their son, Quinton, and she said, ‘he is now directing.’ So crazy. And I told her how Burt and I met and she said, ‘oh yeah, and did you know Burt was on Gunsmoke (which was a TV show in America in his early days) and he played a character named... I don’t know if it was Quinn or Quint.’ I didn’t know that! Paul: I didn’t know that either. I’ve never seen Gunsmoke. So you obviously left an impression on him. Quinton: Apparently, yeah. Paul: You’ve also worked with Will Ferrel. Quinton: Yes, that was our early days of improv and sketch comedy in Los Angeles. Paul: I think that was before he was on SNL.
Quinton: Correct. Paul: Was he just the same? Quinton: He was, to be candid... odd. So I guess the answer would be, yes! Will was very quiet. His eyes as you see in the movies, they kinda move back and forth, left to right, and he’s got that odd look on his face where you don’t know what he’s thinking about, and that’s how he was in person. I was working with Will and another guy who’s a comedian and a radio disc jockey named Mike Hogan. We were doing a show in which we had to provide different voices to do dubbing for this old movie and make it funny. Mike and I were both on board and sharp as a tack and Will just seemed to be in another world. He really couldn’t do impressions to save his life, but he got by and he was OK, but communication wise we really didn’t connect, and then he disappeared. Then I ran into him at a place called “The Groundlings” in Los Angeles. So the next time I spoke to him he was taking classes there and I asked him, ‘hey, how are things for you?” And he was like, ‘Oh, good, fine, yeah, OK, see ya, bye.’ And kinda ran away the same way he does in the movies, so it’s not an act. That’s Will, but he’s a nice, nice guy. I saw him after his first season on SNL and I complimented him on a very obscure scene he did that not many people would remember. He was one of three contestants, or guests on a show. He was playing a mime in a wheelchair, and I just said to him, ‘that’s brilliant.’ And he said, ‘Oh, thanks. Thanks.’ So yeah, he’s a humble guy. Paul: I had no idea he was just like his characters.
Quinton: He is. I mean, that’s not an act, that’s Will. So bizarre, and at the time we thought, ‘there’s something wrong with this guy. He’s never gonna go any place.’ He created his own brand. There’s no one like Will Ferrel but Will Ferrel. Paul: Well that’s true. Now, you’re musical background led you to play Paul McCartney, I believe twice? Quinton: Two movies, yeah. (In the voice of Paul McCartney) I played Paul McCartney in two movies, I also did him as a guest on a radio show. We kinda pranked these guys who didn’t know, and then I played Paul for Jimmy Kimmel and his TV show and a couple of other things. Of course as Paul’s gotten older now he’s got a bit more of a craggy voice. (In the voice of an older Paul McCartney) So you put that on and you say, ‘hey, great to see ya, be good, go veggie, wingspan, WOOOO!’ Paul: *laughs* Have you ever actually met Paul McCartney? Quinton: Not yet, but that’s my dream.
Quinton: Well, there was a certain point in my first year, well my first or second year in Los Angeles... Maybe it was may first year. There was a girl I was seeing and she said to me, ‘you’re doing stage work with your comedy, you’re doing extra work, you’re doing stand in work, you’re working in a video store, you’re auditioning for TV and film roles, you’re all over the place. Why don’t you pick one thing and nail it?’ She said, ‘you did that voice over workshop for characters and animation, and your teacher, Bob Bergen, told you how great you were and that’s just a really good fit for you. What do you think about focusing on that, and then later in your career branching out more? Just do one thing and nail it.’ And I said, ‘OK.’ So because of her, that was Terri Ann Phillips, I did just that. I put everything else aside , I saved my money to put together a voice over demo. I got some help from a director, producer, casting director who also gave me a list of referrals, and I literally went around Hollywood knocking on doors, making submissions, hoping for a lucky break, and that break happened. Paul: And it led you on to being Mickey Mouse, of all things!
Paul: He is coming here later on in the year I believe.
Quinton: Oh my god! Get me back stage! Come on, hook me up baby.
Paul: How did that happen? That’s pretty prestigious.
Paul: Would that I could. Quinton: I know, right.
Quinton: (In Mickey Mouse’s voice) Oh, it was kinda weird, you know. Just an audition. Haha!
Paul: Getting into voice acting from there. You had a bit of stage work, a bit of other work with other people. Now, getting into voice acting. How did that start for you?
Paul: Because from what I’ve heard from Bill Farmer Disney have their lot of voice actors that they... keep basically, and they are the voice actors for those characters.
Quinton: Bill’s right and (Does Goofy voice) Bill is Goofy, hyuk hyuk (Normal voice) which I can do, but I will never be because Bill Farmer is THE Goofy for them. So with their stable, unless they go off book like they did with me for this one Mickey project, they have certain people who they want to stick with for their original branded characters. So that is correct. That, like many of my roles, came from many auditions, and I can’t even remember them, you know, I’ve done so many. I’ve gotten fewer jobs than the jobs I’m famous for, because our jobs as actors is to be available to audition 5 days a week, and we might be auditioning for up to 5 projects a day. Paul: And of course, those auditions don’t get you any money either. Quinton: No. Paul: Now, video games. Kind of your specialty area. Looking at your catalogue of things that you’ve done, video games are the most expansive.
Quinton: Yeah, that was it. I got it. Paul: Just like Crash Bandicoot and all the rest of them. Quinton: Yeah, and I think I Crash Bandicoot I remember doing... I think I was doing an announcer for a race. I seem to remember drawing upon this 70s sports announcer in American names, Howard Cosell. (Impersonates Howard Cosell) Here he comes, he’s going around the bend (Normal voice) and actually, the character was a bird of some kind in a suit. With a jacket and a microphone. So I also pull from impressions for characters. I was on an animated TV show called “Billy and Mandy” and this director bought me in specifically to play the role of an attorney in court, who was a snake and she wanted me to do him as Christopher Walken (Impersonates Christopher Walken) So I did him as a snake. Your honour, you’re out of order. Paul: *laughs* Everybody loves a good Christopher Walken impression.
Quinton: That’s what it’s turned into. Quinton: Who doesn’t, right? Paul: It has. So what, we’ve got Crash Bandicoot, Final Fantasy, Sonic the Hedgehog. Quinton: (Silver the voice) It’s no use!
Paul: So you are Silver the Hedgehog. Quinton: Yeah. Paul: How did you get involved in Sonic? Again, was it just another audition?
Paul: Exactly. So, Silver the Hedgehog is in the Mario Olympic Games. I think you missed Jen Taylor by a good six years, so she’d already left the role of Princess Peach by the time you were Silver the Hedgehog in those Mario olympic games. So how often do you do voice overs? Is it a case of they reuse your stuff regularly for those games, or every time there’s a new game in you are doing the lines. Quinton: The latter. If it’s a new game
they have to bring us in because it’s new lines. Hopefully they’re not doing anything... side projects and reuse without my knowledge because if they are then I wouldn’t be getting paid for it. So Jen and I have worked on the same project but not together, and even though it’s been years apart you could say we’re part of the same universe. And this is the first time we’ve met in person, and that’s kinda cool. Paul: I think she said a similar thing about Steve. She only met him a couple of years ago, but they’d been doing Halo since 2000. Quinton: Yeah, bizarre.
Paul: That’s the voice acting world. Quinton: Well yeah. Like Jen Hale and a number of us other actors out of Los Angeles did a video game project called Mass Effect. Well, there’s a gentleman named Mark Meer who’s in Mass Effect and he’s from Canada. So I met Mark a number of years go at a convention and loved the guy! And just this past year in Atlanta, at Dragoncon, he and I and two other gentlemen Dino Andrade and DC Douglas were called upon to do an improv show, and so we have all done improv but not together, and we did a full hour (to an) hour and a half show of improv with again, never having ever worked to-
gether and it was so much fun. So Mark, who I only knew from guesting at conventions were suddenly bonding on stage in the moment just like this and it was magic. Paul: Sort of a euphoric moment I guess, where you have an immediate connection? Quinton: Yeah. Paul: That you can play off. Quinton: Like you and me. Paul: Exactly! *laughs* So you’ve done some cutesy games, the Sonic series. You’ve done some more
serious ones as well. What’s your preference? Do you have a preference, or just whatever the work is? Quinton: I prefer more dramatic games like the Metal Gear series, where I play a character named Raiden. (Does Raiden’s voice) You know, I am lightning! The rain transformed! Now it’s time for Jack to let ‘er rip! Come on Colonel, we’ve gotta get this thing going (Normal voice) I love the dramatic world that he is in, and there’s also some comedy, because there’s nothing I do where I won’t throw in a bit of comedy. They’re longer, you get to live with the characters more than some of the short spin offs, like
the Crash Bandicoots, Sonic the Hedgehog or Monkey Island, which was my first video game back in ’97 where I play Mr Fossey. I enjoy Jhin, a character I play in League of Legends. I enjoy Prince Kael’thas from World of Warcraft and League of Heroes, who should actually have a bigger part. I love playing Axel in Kingdom Hearts who has more of a slow and deliberate speech, and he’s probably more human than any of the other roles that I’ve ever played, and he’s closer to me. Except for Reno in Final Fantasy who’s a hot-headed, sarcastic prick! Most people consider me that. Paul: Do you actually play any of the games you’re involved in or games in general? Quinton: I don’t. I played games as a kid, growing up at the arcades. We didn’t have Playstations or games consoles in my house growing up, so I never played that. I was more of an athlete and I was outside a lot, running about. I’ve tried a few of the games as an adult, but I’ve not taken to them like a fish to water so mostly I do the acting and I leave the gaming up to the pros. Paul: Fair enough. Of all the series you’ve been involved in; Final Fantasy, Disney, Star Wars, you’ve been in the Star Wars series. Quinton: Yeah!
Paul: Naruto. Do you have a favourite?
a YouTube series called “Cartoon Hookups”.
Quinton: Whichever one I’m doing at the time, but you just reminded me that I played Gollum in the Lord of the Rings video game, which is pretty amazing to be a part of the Lord of the Rings family as well as the Star Wars family, and the Disney family. And Marvel! I’ve played Spiderman, I’ve played Venom...
Paul: Oh, OK.
Paul: Star-Lord? Oh wait, that was Steve Downes... Quinton: The Human Torch, Johnny Storm. Then I’ve played other villains like Malekith the Accursed who was in the Avengers, Banshee, Arcade. So to think growing up I loved Marvel Comics and read them all voraciously. Huge Spiderman fan, BECAME Spiderman, and then his alternate nemesis, Venom and then the next think you know I’m doing Gollum in this world, then I’m over in Star Wars. It’s just wild, man. It’s crazy to think, but it’s so amazing, such a gift. Paul: Speaking of people who do Marvel things, I was speaking to Nolan North who plays Deadpool in a lot of the Marvel games. Anyone who does Marvel, they just seem to love it. Quinton: I’ve always loved it, and actually, similar to Nolan I’m currently playing a version of Deadpool in
Quinton: So if you go to Cartoon Hookups and put in Deadpool and Harley Quinn, that’s me. Cartoon Hookups, Deadpool, and I love it! Right now he’s one of my favourite characters to do. Paul: I’m recording that so I’ll check it out later on. Quinton: Yeah, it’s kick ass man! And I wrote some lines in there that are kinda naughty, so it’s good. Paul: Oh, you wrote that as well. Quinton: No no, I don’t write it, but the writer allowed me to do some writing for it because I’m really into Deadpool and I loved what they presented in the feature, so I kinda know the way his mind works and I’m really good with foul language so I came up with some good fun stuff. *laughs* Paul: And on that note I think we’re running out of time. Thank you very much for your time Quinton, it’s been a pleasure. Quinton: Your interview was fantastic, thank you my man. Paul: Thank you
INTERVIEWED BY PAUL MONOPOLI
YOUR SAY WARGAMING
THE CIRCUS IS COMING
WARBAND: KIN OF T Warband Creation My warband is a Viking-inspired, Ostlanders warband; Kin of The Ferret-Beast. The Kin are firmly pro-circus, and are doing all that they can do bring the circus to town. As poor folk, as simple farming folk, they welcome the amazing entertainment and unbelievable feats they hope to see. They are also fond of a healthy street-brawl or two when they can! I have almost only used a Witch Hunter warband, so running Ostlanders felt like a massive jump out of my comfort zone! I liked the themed elements, such as animal affinity, prayers of Taal, and the “Nouveau Riche” special rule. At inception, this warband was made up of the following:
• Warband Leader, Bekan Ferretstomper, Ostland Elder • Stephnir Beastlover, and Gudrod Grindson, Blood Brother & Blood Sister • Plokki Houndsfather, Priest of Taal • 2 Jaegers, Daughters of the Beast • 3 Ruffians, Scoundrels
• 2 Kin, Kin of the Beast The idea was to have a little bit of shooting, and close with the enemy to overpower them in combat. Stay together in groups and survive the first few games. I wanted some XP under my belt, grab some warhounds, and be able to close even faster/better with the opponent.
“have a little bit of shooting, and close with the
to overpower them in combat.”
Last issue you met Ben and Will, here are their warbands...
THE FERRET-BEAST BY BEN Models and Inspiration I watched a lot of Vikings in the leadup. It’s a great show! I even found some minis inspired by Ragnar and Lagertha at Hasselfree, and a few other appropriate minis, as well as the best warhound! I sourced a bunch of other stuff from Blood Rage (the board game) for the rest. I went through and converted most of the warriors, so that they had the correct weapons or slightly different posing. I added drinking vessels to each of the ruffians, and cut off a lot of the ‘fancy’ stuff on a few of the sculpts, just replacing it with fur. I wanted to make sure there were apple cores, and fish, on every base. This was part of the old Mordheim that I loved and wanted to maintain. I didn’t feel like there was quite enough weird in the
warband, so that was a little way I could connect with the strangeness of Mordheim. The rest of the base elements were cobblestones, ruined walls from acrylic sheet, and exposed floorboards sculpted from putty. Painting-wise I kept the colours muted, natural tones, keeping to a limited pallette of browns and greens, with metallic silvers. I did choose a dulled purple as a statement colour to use sparingly throughout the warband just whenever I felt the model needed it. I really enjoyed including the lantern and the torch, just another way of tying them into the City of the Damned.
The Journey So-Far... Well things didn’t go entirely to plan. Over the course of the first 6 campaign games, and a few extra twoplayer and multiplayer games, I have seen almost every member of my warband die. It really began when we were having a friendly all-on-all, and Sean (my ally in the campaign) casually decided to take a friendly pot shot at my Captain, with a friendly crossbow. The shot hit Bekan Ferretstomper, took him out of action, and killed him. It was a friendly death. Friendly fire. As seasoned veterans of Mordheim would know, it’s hard once you get down to three heroes, and if you actually can’t buy a fourth, then you’re in a tight spot. Then we randomly played a beast hunt scenario, and I went in with two objectives; destroy a building with Earthshudder, and survive. I achieved BOTH! When it came to rolling up the hoard we found, my partner shared her blessing upon the die and we rolled up a Magical Artefact! Sean took all the gold, and equipment, and in return I took ownership of the All-Seeing Eye of Nu-
mas. I gave the artefact to Plokki, and painted an information symbol on his forehead! And so it was that I was able to get a better income with only three heroes. However I am fortunate that Stephnir, Plokki, and Gudrod have all survived, providing a solid core of experience, skills, and gear. One hench(wo)man survives from the original warband; Yelga, Daughter of the Beast. I recruited some warhounds, but none survived. I had to up the my shooting in response to Jamie and Will’s warbands having so much shooting. Jamie is running Middenlanders and has a group of Halflings who achieved BS5 very early on in the campaign. They’re the object of much hate. It also doesn’t help that Jamie has a supernatural ability to roll critical hits... So speedy movement, lots of hiding, and shooting back, have all come in handy. It’s been amazing how much the warband tactics were forced to change in response to having a small group of hairy-foot snipers gain such notoriety.
Reflections on the warband choice Neuveau Riche has been more of a challenge than I envisioned. Often because of the item costs not tessellating well. It has been a minor issue though, as mostly I’ve been on a continual ‘“buying replacement warriors” journey. The prayers of Taal have been fantastic, and the skills have been thematic as I had hoped. I have also missed using hired swords, which are not allowed as part of the ‘Self Sufficient’ rule.
Where we’re at now, and The Plan? Looking back I was lucky and things could have been so much worse. To put you in the picture going forward, the warband is currently this: • Gudrod Grindsson (who assumed leadership) - Combat Powerhouse who hates Volpe. • Stephnir Beastlover - Employes finesse in combat • Plokki Houndsfather - The AllSeeing • Sonofa (Ruffian) - Great to have a hero Ruffian • Harald - Lanterbearer • 4 Jaegers with Bows and Axes I needed up up the shooting • 2 Kin with Spears • 2 Ruffians Moving forward I really want to add in a pack of dogs again, I’m going to keep bolstering my ranged numbers, and hoping to get that last hero! Wish me luck!
YOUR SAY WARGAMING
WARBAND: MESSERS GREIFSW This warband changed several times over the course of its inception. Originally it was planned as a noble’s quest to earn enough gold to revive the realm of Solland (only recently destroyed when Mordheim was set). The noble was some descendant of the last Elector, and he’d finally built up the courage to search Mordheim for the funds to set himself up in Solland. There were certain elements of this that I couldn’t nail down sufficiently, so the warband evolved into its current form. The main elements I wanted in there were feathers and hats, and pride in the uniform. These are grizzled fighters, but they are grizzled fighters who look fashionable doing it. They are fervently anti-circus, for such a rampant display of uncouth and downright dirty performers should not be allowed to earn a living with uncivilised and vulgar displays. These traveling infestations appeal to the lowest common denominator and overshadow the works of greater artists. So I introduce the Messers Greifswald & Schleck Proprietors, a Marienburger warband led by Otto Greifswald and his business partner Gottfried Schleck. Greifswald is a pompous, arrogant man, not a dandy by any means, but
still very particular in how he is received by others, whereas Schleck is a canny ex soldier turned merchant, happy to let Greifswald be the face of the company. They and a small retinue of guards were in Mordheim prior to its destruction on work purposes. Greifswald saw the chaos and mayhem that followed as an opportunity to build a reputation as an heroic figure holding to the ideals of the empire, while also increasing his wealth. At the time of the catastrophe that befell the city, Greifswald had his children with him, they now stay with the warband lending their help where they can. Sveltan is young and strong and sees in himself a great warrior, Clara and Eben, twins barely 8 summers old are argumentative and mischievous. As a father, Greifswald is outwardly cold and distant with his children, everything is a
lesson, and both Clara and Eben will have ‘built a lot of character’ by the end of their travels. The starting warband consists of: Captain: Otto Greifswald (dueling pistol, sword and helmet) Champion: Gottfried Schleck (brace of pistols) Champion: Luthor von Jaunt (sword and pistol) Youngblood: Clara and Eben Greifswald (spear) Youngblood: Sveltan “Not Valten” Greifswald (2x hammers) Warriors (2): Greifswald House Guard, Rudi and Gaert (halberd) Warrior (1): Sparring partner, and tutor, Stonespine Strauss (great hammer) Marksmen: Dubrek’s Sureshots, Starn and Emil (crossbow)
WALD & SCHLECK PROPRIETORS BY WILL
“I’ve had many, many warbands
over the years,
but none have been painted to completion (with extra models ready for expansion), plus white and yellow was a pain to paint!”
The plan is to let Sveltan and Clara & Eben grow quickly and earn some cool skills. Youngbloods are so great in campaigns, they learn quickly and can easily outshine the rest of the warband. Seeing two young children sprinting, diving charging, pulling off amazing trick shots, or Sveltan clobbering people and taking a tonne of punishment, would be awesome. For the rest, they support and protect Clara & Eben – providing the fatherly care that is somewhat lacking, and look good doing it. I’ve got the engineer with long rifle model ready to go, so hopefully one of my marksmen can get ‘Lads got talent.’ I’ve never really played more than 5 or so games with a warband, so I’m keen to watch this one grow and change over 14 plus scenarios. I love
the post game side of mordheim and how characters evolve with both skills and injuries. I’m keen to try and model injuries for this warband, and by the end I’ll take a before and after shot. I also had a rather ambitious plan to model small vignettes for each character’s death scene, these will then be grouped together in a diorama showing the story of my warband. Just quietly, I’m quite impressed with this warband. I’ve had many, many warbands over the years, but none have been painted to completion (with extra models ready for expansion), plus white and yellow was a pain to paint! Now, let’s put a stop to this horrible excuse for entertainment (the circus I mean - not the article)
So, how’s it going? So, Messers Greifswald & Schleck Proprietors are 9 campaign scenarios and 3 side-battles in, and things don’t look too grand... For one, the company should now be called Schleck Proprietors, since the entire Greifswald line has ended. From my original warband, I have lost all but one starting character including a lad with talent from game 2, Gaert. All except Gottfried Schleck, the wily weasel. His leadership (of 7, making route tests difficult) has seen the warband limp from battle to battle. But things were starting to look up. While Jamie and I were only winning the odd game here or there, I had stopped losing characters, and spending all my earnings trying to bring them back. I had an ogre, who died in his first battle, and I hired the flamboyant Luca Dondalo, duelist supreme of Tilea, who died in his first battle, his death however served a purpose, slaying the foul goat beast that killed Otto. I have since hired a wizard, and Gotfried Schleck has forbidden anyone to discuss the fate of other hired swords. Then in the recent game I had three characters all suffer injuries that cause them to miss the next game (or three).
So the Greifswald line has ended, Gotfried Schleck has taken control of the business and made a few changes. He has promoted Dubrek to the position of champion and hired some swordsmen, going for quality over quantity. I’ve found swordsmen to be worth their weight, re-roll attacks on the charge is handy, double parry with sword and buckler helps keep them alive a little longer and they have received a WS and Attack upgrade, taking them to WS5. To top it all off, one of their number has been recognised for his prowess and become a hero. So Mathias the Broad Swordsman joins the board of directors at Greifswald and Schleck Proprietors. I’m hoping Mathias will build up his skills in the combat sphere with a view to creating a strong and dynamic young swordsman. So after Scenario 9, the warband now looks like this: Gotfried Schleck Champion Dubrek Champion on Crutches Mathias The Broad Swordsman Up-and-coming hero Millie Starker Youngblood Ulf Froschstock Dubrek’s Sureshots - 2 Marksmen Greifswald Houseguard - 2 warriors Parry Brothers - 2 swordsmen Zorn Night-Wing - Wizard Gryph (Wardog)
YOUR SAY WARGAMING
SEAN Sean has been involved with tabletop wargaming since 2003. After spending his youngest years peering longingly through the windows at Games Workshop Liffey Street (Dublin, Ireland) at the “blue space-men” in the early 90s he’d eventually get his first taste of the hobby almost a decade later. The extremely popular “Battle Games in Middle-Earth” magazines would be his entry-point and he has been actively engaged with the hobby since... ...Understandably, the range of miniatures and games he collects have diversified since then. He spent
many of his teen years working for Games Workshop in Adelaide, where he met, and was inspired by, some wonderful hobbyists and great friends. Ironically enough he has still never painted a Space Marine army for Warhammer 40K - an achievement he’s stubbornly proud of. Instead, the majority of his focus would turned to Warhammer Fantasy, Blood Bowl and, of course, Mordheim. His other passions include Exploitation cinema, independent music, board gaming, history & literature and whiskey. Keep up-date with Sean’s latest goings-on on Instagram :@essenjay75
JAMIE Jamie is lover of anything geeky, sci-fi, fantasy or downright unusual! Whether itâ€™s computer gaming, board gaming or tabletop wargaming, Jamie will be there to immerse himself in the rich backgrounds of the various universes out there!
ing an obstacle against all odds. In addition, his hobby room at home is filled with bookshelves stacked with painting guides, lore books, and countless novels. From there you can find a portal that will lead you to almost any realm!
Jamie was first introduced to Games Workshop almost 19 years ago from a classmate which then kick-started his enthusiasm of the hobby, to even work for Games Workshop for 3 years under BenSquig. Converting and painting models is a large part of the hobby that Jamie really enjoys, but at heart he is a gamer that really takes pleasure in the challenge of overcom-
His favourite pastime is sitting down reading a good book based on some far away land or extra terrestrial world, and drawing inspiration to be used elsewhere. Whether thatâ€™s creating a themed army, a character with a cause, or a warband in Mordheim on a mission to defend the innocent and defenceless, there are countless stories out there to be discovered.
WARBAND: PFUNGZ I have the great honour of using the Pfungzig Island Foxes for this campaign. Once they were a seasoned fighting regiment defending the land against Orc incursions. Now a little past their prime, they were diverted to Pfungzig to defend the River Aver against any Orcs that may think of pillaging the local villages. To reflect this esteemed posting their new uniforms incorporated a wide use of green to hide all of the Orc guts (plus black material is for the young fighting men). However Orc pirates were few and far between and they ended up capturing more litter than anything else. To this point, time stretched along and the men stationed in Pfungzig spent more time helping farmers with their troubles. To make matters worse they had to watching the younglings run amok with lute music, horrible sense of fashion, and blind bravado! The youth of today. Hmpf! Mind you, it’s not all bad. Due to close proximity to the Moot the more adventurous Halflings travel the road to Pfungzig to trade. They tend to stay a few days bartering with the locals and some of them help the local Inn dish out some meals to the stationed soldiers. Some even enjoy the compliments so much that a few of them decide to stick around sometimes. Ahh, the Halflings make
a mean stew that would make your mammas taste like cold gruel (but don’t tell her that!). The Halflings are also fiercely proud of their cookbooks. Many a ruffian has tried to steal a peak of the famous Halfling cookbooks, and many of those leave after they receive a frypan to the face, or an arrow in their buttocks! So who are the Pfungzig Island Foxes? Loyal sons of Empire, great warriors, but a little past their prime, coupled with a few Halflings to make the day just that bit more bearable. They are firmly Anti-Circus as those colourful fools just cause too much trouble. And the noise! By Sigmar, 2 hours past nightfall and they are still making a ruckus. No respect. Hmpf! Okay look, these old bears mean well. They are set in their ways, but they are fantastic fighters. I envision these brave men as possessing great knowledge, honour, integrity, and the will to do what is right. Also being older men not quite satisfied with their posting at the backwater village of Pfungzig, I see them as grumbling and grumpy guys with far too much free time and not alot of action to keep them entertained. This is where the Halflings fit in nicely and bring some light-hearted fun to the group.
My Aspirations The Averlanders Warband runs under the guise of a generic human warband. However there is one major exception. Halflings! The Averlanders themselves start with a higher weapon skill than the average fighter, which is great early on to get some extra hits in. My hope is that with a better chance to hit with my guys, and some high strength weapons to follow through, I should be able to whack my way through most things without too much of a challenge early on. That’s the plan anyway! The Halflings themselves are quite the opposite. They are neither strong nor tough. They are pathetic fighters and couldn’t save themselves against a stray dog, let alone an opposing fighter. But, they are fantastic archers, and my aim with them is to take out anyone that should threaten the rest of the warband.
Now here are Jamie and Sean’s Warbands
ZIG ISLAND FOXES Current play So after several battles, my warband has suffered a few deaths along the way, but thankfully all of my heroes have been protected by Sigmar. Except my Youngblood Wisanger who became too impetuous and found himself peppered by arrows when he launched an attacked single handedly, in the open, with no cover... He will be missed. The theory of throwing strong weapons on skilled fighters seems to be paying off. Together with Will we have had some mixed success. However we have been struggling to close at the end, so unfortunately the circus has gained more traction than what we would like. Thankfully The Three Cooks have survived unscathed so far. They have proven to be the superiour fighting force of my warband. To that end, even though in combat they are a bit soft, they have taken out a number of overconfident soldiers. They may be short, but daggers to the knees and groin will still hurt! After playing for many months, this is where our warband currently stands:
• Captain Zaniros Sartor- Blinded in his left eye, but capable of scaling large buildings • Sergeant Gilberto Volpe – horribly scarred, blessed by Sigmar, and really hates that dastardly dog Gudrod Grindsson • Berjaegers Vixia and Shoal – Trappers and back-up Archers to the Halflings • Newly promoted hero, Itas the Mountainguard • The Three Cooks – Halfling archers of much renown • The Distant Familiars – Halberdiers of great merit • Zaniros’s Skewerers – Excellent pokers. From here we need to make back some ground and evict these foul smelling freaks fromSigmars great land before the grand finale. Together with our skilled fighters, and strong resolve, we will bring order back to our people and they can focus on more important things, like honest work, and going to bed early. Hmpf!
WARBAND: THE PROCLAMATION Warband Creation The spoils of Mordheim attract bands of adventurers not only from the numerous states of The Empire, but also from foreign lands. The affluent seek glory and renown, whilst the poor simply seek to make their riches. My warband draws inspiration from the latter: a struggling band of Bretonian peasants who’ve cast aside the shackles of feudalism and abandoned their lands (and Lords) in search of a better life. Lead by the gutsy (yet mildly incompetent) Sylvain D’Fleur, they would become The Proclamation of Peasant Emancipation! As there is no exclusively Bretonnian Peasant list for Mordheim, I felt that the Reiklanders Mercenary list (from the main rulebook) would best suit my needs. This list offers add ballistic ability for the cowardly peasants whose preference to remain at a distance; and added leadership range for Sylvain D’Fleur whose orations of rebellious agitation are enough to inspire
hope in his empowered comrades. The initial rag-tag warband would look like this: • Sylvain D’Fleur, Mercenary Captain w/ Bow, sheild, sword. • Jaurn D’Large, Mercenary Champion w/Bow, two-handed mace. • Pierre Chagnon, Mercenary Champion w/Sword, mace, sword. • Fat Jacque, Youngblood w/Bow, mace. • Laurent Le Migoux, Youngblood w/ Spear, shield. • Stiffon and Hardon, the Axemen of Mourning Wood, Mercenaries w/ Axes. • Cross-eyed Clement, Crossbowman of Mourning Wood, Marksman w/Crossbow and mace. • Gaston R’Tract, Blunderbussman of Mourning Wood, Marksman w/ Blunderbuss and mace.
ON OF PEASANT EMANCIPATION BY SEAN Models and Inspiration I have a massive range of Games Workshop bits and pieces lying around so there was no real requirement to venture outside of my bits box. Sylvain, Jaurn and Jacque were the only new additions; I managed to score the old out of production Bertrand Brigand, Gui Le Grux and Hugo Le Petite models from Games Workshop’s Bretonnian range on eBay for a reasonable price. I’d been looking for an excuse to buy and paint them for a long time so this project offered some justification. The remained of the models were sourced from the plastic Bretonnian peasant bowmen range with some Empire bits and pieces thrown in here and there. Whilst Bretonnians don’t usually use crossbows or black-powder weapons, I felt such items would be appropriate for a band of revolutionaries who have rejected Bretonnia’s chivalric ideals and become a little bit more pragmatic in their approach... however not everyone has gotten the hang of things: the arrow jammed in Gaston’s blunderbuss is a testament to that.
I wanted each model to be individual, yet easily identifiable as part of the group. For this reason, the size and shape of everyone is different. Some are fatter than others; Laurent is a little person; Jaurn is massive; there’s a range of poses. To tie them all together I chose a common paint scheme: green, white and brown to reflect the mundane carnalities of the land they once worked. Additionally, there’s a subtle hint of red running through the warband... they’re Marxists after all! Finally, I added some farm-yard animal iconography and imagery to emphasis their class origins. Instead of the exotic animals found on the shields and livery of Knights and Lords, these guys bear depictions of pigs, sheep, rabbits and rats!
“I wanted each model to be
individual, yet easily identifiable as part of the group.”
The Journey so far...
We’ve played a number of games now and overall things have been positive. Whilst henchmen have come and go, overall the core of the warband has survived and gathered valuable experience. Sylvain has become a combat machine: gaining attacks, strength and finding valuable Gromil armour! Pierre bought a dog, Spot L’Melanoma, and he’s been an invaluable member of the warband. Quite early on they managed to afford two Hired Swords: a Warlock and an Ogre... both have proved to be rather useless... but I painted the models so they’re not going anywhere!
If I’ve learned one thing from this warband it’s that I don’t have enough “bums-on-seats”, and it makes combat difficult. I spent too many Gold Crowns early in the campaign on Hired Swords who haven’t performed. Their “up-keep” cost after each game has made it difficult to grow the warband, and without the numbers to engage in combat I miss out on a lot of the campaign’s action. I suppose, in short, I future I’ll look to build a warband which is more aggressive – relying less on key character’s shooting with an emphasis on taking the game to my opponent. This has been our first campaign for almost 15 years, so naturally there was always going to be growing pains!
By far the stand-out performer of the Warband has been Cross-eyed Clement who, after a copping a splintered arrow shaft to the left eye, has become One-eyed Clement. Despite his mild injury the guy is an amazing sniper and is responsible for an incredible 14 Out of Actions in 7 games – including 5 in his last outing!
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YU-GI-OH! TCG Circuit Break - OUT 19 OCTOBER! Halloween may be over, but horrors live on in Circuit Break, November’s 100-card booster set! Marionettes that move on their own, a mad scientist, and vengeful spirits returning to walk the earth are just the beginning of what you’ll find in Circuit Break! This booster is also home to more Link Monsters, including a terrifying new 3000 ATK Dragon that can brainwash monsters it attacks, giving you control over them until their minds burn out. Here’s a little taste of what else is lurking in the shadows... What’s that chill crawling up your spine? Circuit Break is infested by a strain of insectoid Mekkstrosities that emulate the human nervous system. They cluster rapidly, attempting to take the form of neurons, and if they succeed, all enemy monsters freeze up and become unable to defend their controller!
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gameS MICROSOFT EXPLAINS THE PRICE OF THE XBOX ONE X
TOP 10 GAMEPLAY TRAILERS OF E3 2017
IO INTERACTIVE NOW AN INDEPENDENT STUDIO, KEEPS RIGHTS TO HITMAN IP
5 ORIGINAL XBOX GAMES THAT NEED TO COME TO XBOX ONE
AN INTERVIEW WITH RAINBITE ON THEIR UPCOMING VITA GAME ‘REVERIE’
KINGS GAMING CLUB REMAINS UNDEFEATED IN COUNTERSTRIKE: GLOBAL OFFENSIVE
MICROSOFT EXPLAINS THE PRICE OF THE
XBOX ONE X Microsoft’s corporate vice president of Xbox and Windows Gaming Mike Ybarra in an interview with Polygon explained why the Xbox One X will launch at $499 on November 7. Microsoft talked with developers and they provided a long list of what they wanted in the box.
nology we need to deliver real 4K experiences in the living room?’ We could have come out with something last year similar to what a PlayStation 4 Pro is today, but that value proposition to us wasn’t clear at all. It isn’t true 4K in the sense of what we’re delivering and the power that developers told us they need.
“When we created this box we weren’t thinking about price,” said Ybarra. “We said ‘What’s the tech-
“When we talked to developers, they said, ‘We need the following.’ It was a long list. We had to figure
out when can we could come out with that box at a price point that made sense. This was the best product. “The Xbox One S is something that we’re still 100 percent behind, because as we introduce hardware more often, not only the games, even 15 years ago with original back compat, but all the games, all the hardware, the look and the feel of this box ... for us it’s a choice. You have $249, $499. I you want
to go spend $1500 or whatever on a PC, rock and roll. Gaming is gaming to us. “And I hope much like Minecraft announced yesterday, we can get to a point where it doesn’t matter what glass you’re on, people are playing together and sharing those experiences together.
We feel good about the price points we’re hitting.” BY WILLIAM D'ANGELO FROM VGCHARTZ.COM
IO INTER INDEP KEEPS RIGHT IO Interactive is now an independent studio and has retained full control over the Hitman IP, announced CEO Hakan Abrak. Read the full blog post from Abrak below: “In its 19 years of history, Io-Interactive has brought you original and exciting entertainment; from Mini Ninjas and Freedom Fighters to gaming’s most notorious criminals Kane & Lynch and of course our beloved Agent 47. With our latest game, we have not only transformed Hitman, but also moved our entire studio into the AAA digital era. Our live product has disrupted the video game business and has received recognition and praise from press, community and our fans. There are many tales of hope, dreams, hardship and joy within these walls. We have never strived for the expected or predictable.
Instead, we are always in pursuit for what feels original and real. Our passion and determination has never been greater and so that is why we have decided it is not the time to stop as we have many more exciting and original tales to tell. Therefore I am proud to announce today that IOI is now officially an independent studio. We have successfully concluded our negotiations with Square Enix and have agreed to a management buyout. Crucially, we will keep all of the rights to the Hitman IP. This is a watershed moment for IOI. As of today, we have complete control over the direction for our studio and the Hitman IP – we’re about to forge our own future and it’s incredibly exciting. We are now open to opportunities with future collaborators and partners to help strengthen us as a studio and ensure that we can produce
the best games possible for our community. I would like to say a big and sincere thank you to all of our players, community, friends in the media and everyone else connected to the studio for the messages of support that we have received in the last few weeks. I would also like to thank Square Enix; it has been a great family to be a part of and we are proud of what we have achieved together in the last eight years. IOI started as an independent studio and we will now return to those roots with an extremely passionate and talented team. We are counting on the continued support of all our players; simply by having fun with everything we’ve released so far for HITMAN – and we want to encourage more of you to try our game. We have more details to come on our plans for that next week.”
RACTIVE NOW AN PENDENT STUDIO, HTS TO HITMAN IP FROM VGCHARTZ.COM
BY WILLIAM D'ANGELO FROM VGCHARTZ.COM
YOUR SAY gaming
TOP 10 GAM FROM E3... THESE GAME It’s that time of the year again. E3 has come and gone and now fans are left sifting through the good, the bad, and the ugly. Well, I’m here to help. Welcome to the third annual “Top 10 Gameplay Trailers of E3.” For reference, here’s last year’s list: vgchartz.com/article/264675/top-10-gameplay-trailers-of-e3-2016/.
As always, only gameplay trailers are eligible. So don’t expect Beyond Good & Evil 2 to make the list. This E3 was arguably the weakest in recent memory, but it did provide a few surprises, a couple of plot twists, and a whole lot of interesting game footage. My picks for the top ten gameplay trailers are as follows. Please enjoy!
MEPLAY TRAILERS . CANâ€™T WAIT FOR ES TO COME OUT! FROM VGCHARTZ.COM
BY EVAN NORRIS FROM VGCHARTZ.COM
Monster Hunter World https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i7oI4ixJCm0 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i7oI4ixJCm0 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i7oI4ixJCm0 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i7oI4ixJCm0 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i7oI4ixJCm0 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i7oI4ixJCm0 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i7oI4ixJCm0 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i7oI4ixJCm0 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i7oI4ixJCm0
One of the more buzz-worthy gameplay reveals of E3 2017 belongs to Monster Hunter World, which is coming to PS4, XOne, and PC next year. The game looks to keep the core mechanics of the series intact, while bringing in larger, more open worlds with no loading screens. In World, monsters can provoke and attack each other, and apparently some monsters will only appear if a rival enters its territory. Capcom has confirmed that Monster Hunter World will support cross-region online multiplayer.
Dragon Ball FighterZ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oBI0MU73nlc https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oBI0MU73nlc https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oBI0MU73nlc https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oBI0MU73nlc https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oBI0MU73nlc https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oBI0MU73nlc https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oBI0MU73nlc https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oBI0MU73nlc https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oBI0MU73nlc
Developed by Arc System Works, the studio behind Guilty Gear and BlazBlue, Dragon Ball FighterZ looks to be another excellent 2D fighter. The game will support 3 vs. 3 tag-team matches and will include many famous scenes from the Dragon Ball anime. In addition, it will feature destructible stages and 60 FPS action. Characters announced so far include Goku, Vegeta, Gohan, Cell, and Frieza.
kirby https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cc3PAAije0Y https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cc3PAAije0Y https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cc3PAAije0Y https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cc3PAAije0Y https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cc3PAAije0Y https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cc3PAAije0Y https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cc3PAAije0Y https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cc3PAAije0Y
Nintendoâ€™s hot hybrid saw several new announcements at E3, including a brand new Kirby game with the unimaginative working title Kirby. The trailer showed the pink hero fighting with melee weapons, inhaling enemies, and even transforming into an adorable curling stone. One of the more interesting mechanics in the game allows Kirby to befriend and recruit enemies, who will fight alongside him.
A Way Out https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yGZGSdgJVPM https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yGZGSdgJVPM https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yGZGSdgJVPM https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yGZGSdgJVPM https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yGZGSdgJVPM https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yGZGSdgJVPM https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yGZGSdgJVPM https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yGZGSdgJVPM
EA’s conference at E3 was one of the weaker events, but there was a stand-out game: A Way Out. Developed by the makers of Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons, A Way Out is a split-screen co-op prison-break adventure. It tells the story of Leo and Vincent, two convicts who need to work together to escape prison and live life on the run. “I wanted to make another game that pushed the boundaries on how to tell stories without compromising on gameplay,” said creator Josef Fares.
Shadow of the Colossus https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pdZQ98mWeto https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pdZQ98mWeto https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pdZQ98mWeto https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pdZQ98mWeto https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pdZQ98mWeto https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pdZQ98mWeto https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pdZQ98mWeto https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pdZQ98mWeto https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pdZQ98mWeto
Sony made waves at E3 when it announced a remake of one of its most celebrated games, Shadow of the Colossus. The game won’t feature any new content but it will include remade assets and an optional “modernized” control scheme. Bluepoint, the studio behind the PS3 remaster of Ico and Shadow of the Colossus, is responsible for the remake.
Spider-Man https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K4zm30yeHHE https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K4zm30yeHHE https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K4zm30yeHHE https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K4zm30yeHHE https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K4zm30yeHHE https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K4zm30yeHHE https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K4zm30yeHHE https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K4zm30yeHHE
Fans have been waiting patiently for new footage of Insomniac’s Spider-Man since last year’s E3, and this week their patience was rewarded. The game looks gorgeous and dynamic, although a little heavy on scripted quicktime events. Spider-Man promises to allow many different gameplay choices, including stealth and high-flying action. Insomniac also hinted at an upgrade system whereby Peter Parker can create new gear.
Far Cry 5 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WX_h8rneDxU https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WX_h8rneDxU https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WX_h8rneDxU https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WX_h8rneDxU https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WX_h8rneDxU https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WX_h8rneDxU https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WX_h8rneDxU https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WX_h8rneDxU
Ubisoft promises Far Cry 5 is the “largest, most customizable” Far Cry game ever. Set in rural Hope County, the game pits players against a fanatical and deadly cult called Eden’s Gate. Based on footage from the trailer, players will be able to recruit guns-for-hire to help do their dirty work. They can even recruit fangs-for-hire in the form of dog companions. One of the highlights of the Far Cry 5 demo shows a loyal canine attacking a cultist and then returning to his master with gun in mouth.
Metroid: Samus Returns https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UhOx-FpEAQk https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UhOx-FpEAQk https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UhOx-FpEAQk https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UhOx-FpEAQk https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UhOx-FpEAQk https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UhOx-FpEAQk https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UhOx-FpEAQk https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UhOx-FpEAQk
Nintendo fans have been clamoring for a new mainline Metroid game for a long time. This E3, they got two! While Metroid Prime 4 is still just a glimmer in Kensuke Tanabeâ€™s eye, Metroid: Samus Returns is ready for primetime. A remake of Metroid II, Samus Returns will include a structure similar to the original game but with new controls, graphics, and gameplay. Among other additions, Samus can now perform a melee counter attack against enemies.
Metro: Exodus https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7cTJKH1-_sE https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7cTJKH1-_sE https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7cTJKH1-_sE https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7cTJKH1-_sE https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7cTJKH1-_sE https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7cTJKH1-_sE https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7cTJKH1-_sE https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7cTJKH1-_sE https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7cTJKH1-_sE
The gameplay trailer for Metro: Exodus was one of the more explosive revelations of this yearâ€™s E3. Viewers saw classic Metro gameplay woven into huge, non-linear levels. The game pledges to provide opportunities for both stealth and deadly combat, in addition to scavenging and crafting opportunities. Moreover, player choices will affect the fates of fellow survivors.
Super Mario Odyssey https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wGQHQc_3ycE https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wGQHQc_3ycE https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wGQHQc_3ycE https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wGQHQc_3ycE https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wGQHQc_3ycE https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wGQHQc_3ycE https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wGQHQc_3ycE https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wGQHQc_3ycE
As the first sandbox-style Super Mario in 15 years, Super Mario Odyssey is a major event. The footage shown this E3 only made it look more consequential. The game seems exceptionally ambitious and extraordinarily weird, with wacky transformations and levels that include a frozen desert and an urban landscape â€” which seems to share more in common with Grand Theft Auto than Super Mario.
BY EVAN NORRIS FROM VGCHARTZ.COM
YOUR SAY gaming
AN I RAINBITE ON TH VITA Starting with my interview last week with Nitoris Media, I was interested in seeing whether I could start a series of articles interviewing the developers that are continuing to make Vita content, as it provides a fascinating insight into the minds of these teams. Among my first choices was Rainbite, developers of the upcoming 2D topdown RPG Reverie, who jumped at the chance to respond to my interview request. I was interested in finding out what made them choose Vita and why they love the platform so much, what inspired Reverie’s New Zealand setting, and what we can expect from their upcoming game. First off, tell me a bit about yourselves! Who makes up Rainbite and what do you all do? Rainbite consists of three recent Software Engineer graduates. Although we all did the same degree
we have all picked up other skills that have helped us through the process of building Reverie. Daniel does all of the art and business management, Jared does the vast majority of the programming, and Tom does all of the marketing and promotions. We all contribute to the design process and help each other out with our respective jobs if possible. I’ve been following the development of Reverie across social media for some time and you have an extremely high level of engagement with your fans. How difficult has it been pushing forward development while taking fan feedback on board? It’s been pretty easy and enjoyable for us to interact and engage with the audience. We have been, and continue to work on Reverie full time so this makes taking feedback onboard quite easy as we can make changes on the fly. We
try and respond to all Twitter messages and replies as we appreciate the interest in us and the game. Have you managed to raise awareness of the game in the broader gaming media, given a large amount of outlets no longer cover Vita news? Many large video game sites don’t tend to report much Vita news. Our main source of raising awareness is through Twitter where we try to post content consistently. From this, niche Vita specific sites have picked up on Reverie and have been publishing articles on us. We also get some of our Twitter followers posting some content on Reddit where we have reached the top post multiple times. How has the feedback from the Vita community been to your project so far? Getting feedback from others is al-
INTERVIEW WITH HEIR UPCOMING A GAME ‘REVERIE’ FROM VGCHARTZ.COM
ways appreciated in game development and it’s hard to get a fresh look at the game with only a 3 man team. The feedback itself is really good, we try to take all of it into consideration and it often leads to good group discussions about a certain mechanic or feature. Aside from people like Gio Corsi, it seems like Sony have all but given up on Vita at this point. Did this public withdrawal of support deter your development? We only started developing Reverie at the end of November 2016 so we already knew Sony wouldn’t be releasing more first-party titles. At that stage we had all but finished with university and were dedicated to the idea of creating a game for the Vita. This was the ideal time for us as recent graduates to make a game that we wanted to make, for a console that we all love. How has the support from Sony been in bringing your game to the handheld? Sony still has a strong Vita development support team. The process has been smooth so far and we’re sure it’ll stay that way when we move into the approval process. Reverie is a 2D Zelda-esque game which is a genre that is sorely lacking on Vita. Was this genre choice a reaction to that or a natural decision for the team? A bit of both. The three of us love the 2D Zelda games and we wanted to fill the gap for this type of
game on the Vita. We are proud with what we have managed to accomplish with Reverie so far and are pleased to see the Vita audience has been so receptive of the project. You seem to have based the game heavily on New Zealand culture and folklore. What inspired you to use this setting and how easy was it to adapt this into a game world? We were inspired to set the game in New Zealand as we were born and raised here. Any environmental or cultural aspects in Reverie are easy for us to implement as we have been exposed to it for the majority of our lives. We also have used a lot of our own memories and experiences of summer holidays as children to influence some of the buildings, people and environments you explore on the island. You previously worked on a student project named Slick: Ruff Justice. How did the lessons learned from that game affect the development of Reverie? Nearly every aspect of development has been improved since
Slick. We all improved our individual skill sets in different fields during the development of Slick which has led each of us to be more proficient in our roles while creating Reverie. Also we’ve found that a smaller team is easier to manage in some ways, especially with a very focused title like Reverie. We could list each lesson learned but there are too many to count! How far along in development are you at present? We are well past the halfway mark in development. Setting up the base mechanics of the game took some time out of creating the content but at this stage we are all focused on finishing the world.
What engine is the game built in and have you had any difficulties getting things running on Vita? Reverie is being built in Unity, which we understand has some negative connotations in the Vita community. We’re confident that we can provide a quality experience. We’ve been working hard to make sure the game is as efficient as it can be, and at this stage the game is 60fps with no drops. What elements are you adding to ensure Reverie remains unique in the genre? The main difference is the setting and time period. Reverie is set on an island off the coast of New Zealand in the early 2000s. Most games in the action/adventure genre are in a fantasy world,
however, Reverie is set in more modern times. This influences the design of the items, dungeons and other areas of the map. What is the estimated length of the game going to be? Anything to encourage multiple playthroughs? We’re looking at 5-8 hours for the main story, and 7-10 hours for completionists. There aren’t extra difficulties, but there is some postgame content for players to enjoy. If we get a platinum trophy we want it to be achievable in a single playthrough. Will the game be PlayStation TV compatible? Yes absolutely. It looks great both on the Vita screen and on a big TV.
With the advent of physical indie releases through publishers like Limited Run Games, will you be looking towards a physical release of Reverie? We’d certainly love to do a physical release, we hope to have something to announce in this area over the next few months! Is there a chance we will see more Vita games from you beyond Reverie? There’s definitely a chance! It’s a fantastic console and we all love handhelds, so if we can, we will. What are some of your favourite games that you’ve played on Vita? Let’s go by person for this one!
Daniel: I’ve been playing Tales of Hearts R and Muramasa recently, which are both great fun. World of Final Fantasy, Ys Celceta, Yomawari and Disgaea 4 are on my backlog to finish, and I’m anticipating the release of Demon Gaze 2 this year. My all-time favourite is Persona 4 Golden though. Hatoful Boyfriend needs a special mention too! Jared: My overall favourite Vita games are Severed, Uncharted: Golden Abyss, Tearaway. Recently I have been playing some of the more realistic racing games which I have been enjoying quite a lot. My most recent platinums are Need for Speed: Most Wanted and WRC4.
Tom: I like playing some of the trilogies that come out like Ratchet and Clank and Jak and Daxter. Recently though I have been playing Bastion and I’m really enjoying it.
I want to thank Daniel, Jared, and Tom for agreeing to hold this interview with me. You can follow updates on the game via the developer’s Twitter account as they get closer to release.
Finally - which of Vita models is your favourite (LCD or OLED)? The team is split on what we think is the best version. We wish we could take the screen of the OLED with the design of the slim model! Any Vita is a good Vita though!
BY ADAM CARTWRIGHT FROM VGCHARTZ.COM
YOUR SAY gaming At E3 2017, Microsoft announced that Xbox Original games would soon be compatible with Xbox One. The announcement was met with unanimous praise, with Xbox’s Phil Spencer going on to say that the Xbox Original games would “look better and play better across the Xbox family”. Unfortunately, Microsoft also went on to say that the Xbox Original library on Xbox One would be smaller than the Xbox 360 library on Xbox One. We here at Sticky Trigger love the original Xbox, and have chosen the OG Xbox games we feel need to be playable on Xbox One.
5 XBOX ORIGINAL GAMES THAT NEED TO COME TO
XBOX ONE ARTICLE THANKS TO STICKYTRIGGER.COM
SID MEIER’S PIRATES! - Nick Getley Xbox and Rare’s upcoming Sea of Thieves looks like it’s going to be a massive hit, and what better way to get people excited for the swashbuckling MMO than by releasing Sid Meier’s Pirates! On Xbox One? With a fantastic mix of sailing, plundering, trading, sword-fighting, cannon-fire and festive dancing (yep, you heard that right), Pirates! Has something to offer everyone. Players are cast a young boy on a quest to avenge the murder of his father and kidnapping of his mother and sister. After overthrowing the cruel captain of a ship, players are able to become career pirates, pirate-hunters, traders, treasurehunters and more. They’re also able to solve mysteries and reunite their family, if they’re able to locate and defeat the infamous Bartholomew “Black Bart” Roberts. As serious as Pirates! Narrative is though, the game itself is very accessible and humorous. Characters
speak almost identically to the language spoken in The Sims, and the game’s animation and art style is bright and charming. It’s very easy to get sucked into the game, and it isn’t long before players find themselves capturing more powerful ships, upgrading them, hiring rare crew members and acquiring rare loot. It’s also refreshingly non-linear in its design – you can complete the main quest in your own time or leave it all together. After all, having a family means having to share all that loot, right?
THE ELDER SCROLLS III: MORROWIND - Nick Getley Many people regard The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind as the finest entry in the series, and the game that put Bethesda on the map. Cast as an outlander who would go on to save the entire continent of Vvardenfell, players will experience a mix of exploring, combat, magic and mystery that only an Elder Scrolls title can deliver. With people experiencing what made Morrowind so special in the latest Elder Scrolls Online expansion, ‘The Elder Scrolls Online: Morrowind’, there’s no better time to jump into the original and experience what made it so special. In a time when RPGs were very similar and even then, quite rare, Bethesda dared to create a first and third-person RPG that reflected real-life social issues such as politics and racism. It had a unique art style,
massive sense of scale, almost 200 fully readable books, a massive set of skills and abilities, and it was quite challenging. It was the perfect openworld game that didn’t hold your hand every step of the way – for some quests you were simply given notes on how to get to your destination, there weren’t any magic compasses or quest markers, you had to learn the environment and trust your instincts. While Oblivion and Skyrim were thoroughly enjoyable games, many gamers hold a special place in their heart for Morrowind. It was harsh and unforgiving, but that’s what many gamers crave. Perhaps even more so these days.
TIMESPLITTERS 2 AND TIMESPLITTERS: FUTURE PERFECT - Nick Getley Xbox and Rare’s upcoming Sea of Thieves looks like it’s going to be a massive hit, and what better way to get people excited for the swashbuckling MMO than by releasing Sid Meier’s Pirates! On Xbox One? With a fantastic mix of sailing, plundering, trading, sword-fighting, cannon-fire and festive dancing (yep, you heard that right), Pirates! Has something to offer everyone. Players are cast a young boy on a quest to avenge the murder of his father and kidnapping of his mother and sister. After overthrowing the cruel captain of a ship, players are able to become career pirates, pirate-hunters, traders, treasurehunters and more. They’re also able to solve mysteries and reunite their family, if they’re able to locate and defeat the infamous Bartholomew “Black Bart” Roberts.
As serious as Pirates! Narrative is though, the game itself is very accessible and humorous. Characters speak almost identically to the language spoken in The Sims, and the game’s animation and art style is bright and charming. It’s very easy to get sucked into the game, and it isn’t long before players find themselves capturing more powerful ships, upgrading them, hiring rare crew members and acquiring rare loot. It’s also refreshingly non-linear in its design – you can complete the main quest in your own time or leave it all together. After all, having a family means having to share all that loot, right?
THE ELDER SCROLLS III: MORROWIND - Nick Getley Many people regard The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind as the finest entry in the series, and the game that put Bethesda on the map. Cast as an outlander who would go on to save the entire continent of Vvardenfell, players will experience a mix of exploring, combat, magic and mystery that only an Elder Scrolls title can deliver. With people experiencing what made Morrowind so special in the latest Elder Scrolls Online expansion, ‘The Elder Scrolls Online: Morrowind’, there’s no better time to jump into the original and experience what made it so special. In a time when RPGs were very similar and even then, quite rare, Bethesda dared to create a first and third-person RPG that reflected real-life social issues such as politics and racism. It had a unique art style,
massive sense of scale, almost 200 fully readable books, a massive set of skills and abilities, and it was quite challenging. It was the perfect openworld game that didn’t hold your hand every step of the way – for some quests you were simply given notes on how to get to your destination, there weren’t any magic compasses or quest markers, you had to learn the environment and trust your instincts. While Oblivion and Skyrim were thoroughly enjoyable games, many gamers hold a special place in their heart for Morrowind. It was harsh and unforgiving, but that’s what many gamers crave. Perhaps even more so these days.
TIMESPLITTERS 2 AND TIMESPLITTERS: FUTURE PERFECT - Nick Getley After the success of GoldenEye 64, many of Rare’s designers left the company and founded a new studio, Free Radical Design. Free Radical are possibly best known for the Timesplitters series of games, two of which were available on the original Xbox. Timesplitters see players fighting in a war that takes place throughout a number of different time periods and locations. The titular Timesplitters are a race of aliens (or are they?) that wreak havoc as they travel through time using the Time Crystals. While the original Timesplitters cast players as a number of different characters, Timesplitters 2 saw players cast as Sergeant Cortez and Corporal Hart, who leap through time portals in order to recover the Time Crystals and end the war. It also introduced a number of different objectives that players must complete in order to beat a level. Timesplitters 2 has a fantastic cartoon-like art style that perfectly compliments its sense of humour. While fans certainly appreciated the campaign, the series was all about multiplayer, and featured a staggering 192 different characters to unlock – each with their own unique voice acting and dialogue! There
was also a map editor included, as well as the ability for 16 player multiplayer through LAN. Timesplitters: Future Perfect somehow had even better multiplayer features (including online play), but also had a much improved campaign mode. Instead of Cortez and Hart blending into different time periods with disguises, Cortez partners up with people from different time periods, making for some hilarious interactions. Timesplitters 2 and Timesplitters: Future Perfect are two of the best FPS games that were on the Xbox Original. We desperately need a new game in the series (don’t even get me started on how impossible that would be) but re-living all that addictive multiplayer and brilliant singleplayer on the Xbox One will definitely suffice.
STAR WARS: KNIGHTS OF THE OLD REPUBLIC - Caleb Whelan Bioware’s smash hit Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic has become a cornerstone for not only RPG’s but all games that wish to captivate and inspire their audience. KOTOR’s well written story and beautiful environments still hold merit in today’s gaming community but it isn’t just the incredible environments and excellent narrative that made KOTOR an instant hit, building from the Star Wars mythos Bioware built on and introduced new concepts within the Star Wars narrative, this in turn inspired a sequel, a MMORPG and countless books. All this being said, the characters are what truly make this a hit, the introduction of favourites like Bastila and Darth Revan and showing their development throughout the story is what truly captured the hearts and minds of so many who played this title. KOTOR not only inspired people to explore and expand upon its own narrative, but it would later help inspire the Epic space adventure franchise, Mass Effect. It is without any doubt in my mind that without the introduction of Knights of the Old Republic the gaming industry would not be what it is today and we as gamers would have missed many of the franchises we hold dear today. Knights of the Old Republic with its immense story, beautiful scenery
and interesting character development make it a must have game to be on the Xbox original backwards compatibility list, it was also my entry point into the exciting and everchanging worlds of RPG’s and will always remain a title I continue to go back to.
JET SET RADIO FUTURE - Hope Corrigan Jet Set Radio Future is the best game on the original Xbox and I will straight up graffiti anyone who argues otherwise. If you havenâ€™t guessed it Jet Set Radio Future is a game about graffiti, rollerblades, and sweet street soul. The game was an Xbox exclusive made by Sega and is the sequel to Jet Set/Grind Radio on the Dreamcast. Opinions are quite divisive on which is the better game, but I feel that the Xboxâ€™s JSRF blows the original out of the water due to its incredible flow and more open world. Set in a futuristic re-imagining of Tokyo you play as a street punk equipped with rocket skates and spray cans. Along with your crew full of unlockable characters you take to the streets to bring down a harsh regime and corrupt police by covering their propaganda with street art. A complex series of grinds, wall rides, and jumps are often required to reach all the targets and unlock all the secrets in the world and no game for me has ever matched that feeling of accomplishing the perfect combination of moves.
Along with fighting the man other street gangs can get in your way, so races, ball games, and literal tag battles also come into play as you explore the world. Accompanied by the funkiest soundtrack ever to grace the Xbox and levels as crazy and beautiful as an actual rollercoaster or pyramid city JSRF never fails to entertain. It would be a real shame for this game not to make it to backward compatibility with its unique style, unbeatable flow, and fairly large cult following. Additionally, I would probably cry.
RISE OF THE TOMB RAIDER XBOX ONE X ENHANCEMENTS REVEALED FROM VGCHARTZ.COM
Square Enix and Crystal Dynamics have released the list of Xbox One X enhancements for Rise of the Tomb Raider.
Xbox One X players can choose from one of three visual modes, including:
• Native 4K: (full 3840 by 2160) for highest fidelity resolution • Enriched Visuals for stunning graphic upgrades • High Frame Rate for the smoothest possible gameplay
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2TvYAlSNEk8 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2TvYAlSNEk8 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2TvYAlSNEk8
New Xbox One X tech enhancements for Rise of the Tomb Raider include: • HDR display support for more vibrant and accurate color representation technology • Spatial audio support, including Dolby Atmos, for true 3D audio • Enhanced texture resolution for Lara Croft, NPCs, and environments, leveraging additional memory offered by the Xbox One X • Improved anti-aliasing for immersive realistic details
Additional visual enhancements include: • • • • •
Improved volumetric lights Improved reflections Enhanced foliage Upgraded polygonal detail Amplified texture filtering
Rise of the Tomb Raider is available now for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Windows PC.
BY WILLIAM D'ANGELO FROM VGCHARTZ.COM
YOUR SAY gaming
KINGS GAMING CLUB REMAINS UNDEFEATED IN COUNTER-STRIKE: GLOBAL OFFENSIVE
August 23, 2017 – After forming as an organization less than two months ago, Kings Gaming Club’s male Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO) team has already scooped up two titles to their name. This past weekend the team took out both the Unikrn Australian Showdown and the ESL AU/NZ 2017 Season 2 CS:GO Championship, picking up over $7,500 in prize money in the process. In addition, the men’s team remains undefeated across every tournament they’ve entered, winning 33 maps and only dropping 7. The team did not drop a single match over the course of the two tournaments. These results have not gone unnoticed by the international community, with Kings rocketing from 180th to the 69th ranked team in the world.
In the Unikrn Australian Showdown, Kings beat Athletico and the number-one-ranked Australian team Chiefs to qualify for the finals. In the finals Kings once again beat Athletico two maps to one in order to pick up the title and the AU$5,000 top prize. At the ESL Seasons 2 Championships, Kings had the highest number of points and won the most maps throughout the qualifying stages, and went directly to the tournaments finals. In the finals, it was a tense best-of-five series against Avant Garde, with Kings managing to take the title three maps to two and taking home over $2,500 in prize money. The team is hoping to continue this success across 3 more tournaments that they have entered, which includes the Extremesland 2017, which the team has already
qualified for the ANZ finals and a chance to attend the tournament finals in China, and the ISEF Australian Finals, which is for a chance to represent Australia in the International e-Sports Federation finals in South Korea. Celebrating this incredible achievement, Annabelle Harper, Kings Gaming Club Founder and CEO said, “The team has been performing better than I could’ve hoped for and this is only the beginning. Only seven weeks after forming the org and already taking home two titles is amazing, and I can’t wait to see what the future holds.” Follow Kings Gaming at: www.facebook.com/kingsgamingclub/ https://twitter.com/kingsgclub
The first new
Dragon Ball TV series
in nearly 20 years!
PART 1 AVAILABLE ON DVD & BLU-RAY, SEPTEMBER 6TH. ORDER YOUR COPY TODAY!
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Photographer: Straight 8 Photography
Welcome back to LIVE Magazine Sara! You’ve been cosplaying for a while now- what, if anything, have you seen change in cosplay?
Probably Gamora because the paint to take so long and costs me money every time I wear it! But I love being her so it’s hard to pick!
More than anything, I’ve just seen growth. There’s no stereotype of what the average cosplayer is or looks like anymore. That, I love!
Let’s talk about social media for a minute, you’ve got a large following, what social media channels are you using and what do you feel suits you best?
What about changed?
Cons are getting bigger and bigger and they’re looking more and more the same. This is unfortunate because before each event had its own unique spin. I’d like for that to come back. Just on change, many cosplayers buy wigs, are they better then when you first started?? I learned to understand the importance of a good wig as I started moving along. The quality ones were always there, I just didn’t want to shell out the cash! Ok on to your costumes, what’s been your favourite cosplay so far? Probably Silk because it’s so easy and comfortable! And your least favourite?
Since Facebook has limited their organic reach so drastically, Instagram has become my new go to. I never really had a presence on Twitter, but I’m seeing an increase there as well. Are you doing many self portraits? We hear you’ve got your own camera and have been experimenting? I’ve been trying, but it’s so hard for me to carve out time. I really want to get to a point where I can shoot all of my costumes and not have to worry about scheduling with photographers and getting print rights etc. I want to be my own woman! One thing we see many cosplayers do is open a print store, how difficult is that and do you feel it’s generating many sales for you? It isn’t difficult so much as it can be time-consuming. I work on it a little bit each week if need be. I have never pushed sales since that was
never my goal for getting into costuming. People kept asking for prints, so I open the store. Everything I get from prints just goes back to the craft fund. One question we get is - do cosplayers make an income from their art? What would you say? Some can. As far as full-time goes, there are very few that can do that successfully. Usually it’s supplemented by other types of modeling. Costuming full-time would be the dream for me, but I don’t think my style would be as lucrative as some of the others out there. Talk to us about the Arizona Avengers... I’m coming up on my fifth year of being a member! It’s so exciting and are growing so much in the Phoenix area and in Tucson. Our busy season for events is coming up and I can’t wait to meet all of our new recruits from Phoenix Comicon. If people want to know more about you or the Arizona Avengers group where should they go? Saramonicosplay.com IG @saramonicosplay Twitter @krayolakid
www.saramonicosplay.com www.instagram.com/saramonicosplay www.twitter.com/krayolakid
Photographer: Tony Julius Photography
Photographer: M3 Photography
Photographer: Courtex Studios
Photographer: Patrick Sun
Welcome back to Live Magazine, it’s been a while since we caught up, tell us what you’ve been up to? Thank you so much for revisiting me! It has been a little while! I have been sewing nonstop, both for my business and for myself! With that and a bit of a move, I’ve been going nonstop! I hope you guys have been doing great, as well! Now just in case a reader missed our first interview, where are you based and what do you do with regard to cosplay and costuming? Well, now I’m based back in the northeastern US...I think during our last interview I was still in Florida? I have been cosplaying for almost 15 years now, and I am a full time seamstress! I make costumes, gowns, and anything else clients need full time. I love it, honestly. Being a costume designer and cosplayer, have you ever had a commission that turned out so well you wanted to keep it? There’s definitely been a few that I was like “Ahhhhh man, I kind of want to wear this!!”, but it’s honestly probably more rewarding to see someone else get to wear it, and see how much fun they have in it! Seeing someone feel strong, sexy, beautiful or cute in something I made for them, and how it changes how they carry themselves...there’s nothing like it. I LOVE seeing that. ....but there’s still some that’d be fun to wear! *laughs*
What’s been some of your favourite cosplays you’ve done? This is always such a tough question. I love the ones that are a challenge to make (like my Queen of Hearts or Armored Wonder Woman, but those ones also tend to be really difficult to wear! I also just love the ones that REALLY change my appearance: like painting myself to be Hera the Twi’lek, or my Draenei! But truthfully, I’ll always be partial to bad-ass women!! What about commissions, what’s some highlights? This is going to sound so silly, but probably my favorite one this year was a K2SO Motion Capture suit I made for RobbyIdol, since he looks so much like Alan Tudyk! It was amazing to see people respond to it at Star Wars: Celebrations! Other than that? All of the Yuri On Ice costumes I’ve been able to make for people! I just love the costumes in that show, and my customers look SO GOOD in them!!! Is this a full time role for you or a part time passion? Oh, full time! I have always worked for myself doing creative and productive jobs (before this I owned a business as a decorative painter/ faux finisher/restoration). Stepping into doing sewing full time just seemed natural, I loved to sew so much, and as soon as I started taking commissions, it took off to
the point where I was overwhelmed. I feel really grateful to be able to do this full time, even if owning your own business is nonstop!
Tell us about your Ms Marvel costume, you had some reservations right? I did! I hadn’t really seriously considered doing her, though my friend Yaya kept encouraging it. I kept making excuses to put it off-until she literally mailed me fabric to make it *laughs* she’s kind of amazing like that! So I made it, and the response shocked me. People seem to really like it, and I love the character’s designs so much I made a second outfit of hers, as well, putting more of my own personal spin on it! What’s coming up for the rest of the year, anything you can share with us? I have a few I’ve announced, and a few I hope to do but haven’t in case I don’t have time in the next few months *laughs* I’ve got Captain Phasma from Star Wars: The Force Awakens well under way, as well as the Flowerstorm King Danaan from Berserk (a fairy with way too many wings everywhere!!), and the beautiful Hippolyta from the Wonder Woman movie. I post lots of progress photos on my Instagram (AmazonMandy) if anyone wants to see how they’re going, as well as tutorials!
Photographer: Robby Idol
a financial priority. If you have to choose between fabric and eating, please eat!!! Cons and cosplay can always wait. 5) Sounds cheesy, but follow your heart, in cosplay & in life. If it feels uncomfortable or bad, don’t do it. If your cos-pals make you feel bad, time to step back. If you feel unsafetime to remove yourself. Cosplay should be a positive experience. Don’t lose sight of yourself. We’d love to share more of your work, where can readers see more? Thank you so much! I post just about everything on my Instagram: AmazonMandy! What about some tips for readers who are working on costumes, can you share say 5 quick tips? 1) Practice, practice, practice! It takes years of different techniques and experiments to learn skills! 2) Use tutorials & follow directions! There’s so many more resources out there now than there were just a few years ago...take advantage of that!
I’m easiest to contact for commissions by messaging on my Facebook: CommissionsByAmazonMandy And to just chat and see what is going on in my day: Twitter: AmazonMandy Thank you so much for the chance to talk with you again! I hope more and more people come to fall in love with this quirky hobby I love so much! Mandy
3) Don’t get discouraged! We ALL make mistakes, still do! It’s the only way to learn and improve! 4) Prioritize. I have customers who tell me how tight their budget is, or they can’t afford this or that... that’s OK!! I tell them: Cosplay isn’t
www.instagram.com/amazonmandy www.twitter.com/amazonmandy www.facebook.com/CommissionsByAmazonmandy
Photographer: Robby Idol
Photographer: Robby Idol
Photographer: Robby Idol
This interview is very much overdue. When you think of cosplay video you think of artists like JATSTV - who’ve been creating brilliant videos for a while now- Adem, tell us how it all began.
from our day job, if he would like to take photos for us and has been with us since. I personally have been dabbing into photo manipulation myself to develop my skills and help bring characters to life.
It all began in March 2014, I met my business partner Carl through our day job. He pitched an idea to create an episodic gaming and tech news show called JATSTV, which stood for ‘Just Another Tech Show TV’. I got excited for the opportunity and we were trying to figure out when to have our debut. Since Oz Comic Con was in April 2014, I suggested we should go there, make our first episode, interview people and make a cosplay music video. We had checked out other cosplay videos on Youtube in the US, figured with our skill set, we could something similar or better, here in Australia.
Video is a very different medium for cosplay - you see dozens of photographers at cons and then sharing on social media, but video not so much... why is that do you think?
Once we got there, I quickly realised I wasn’t cut out to be an interviewer or a news reporter, so we quickly switched our focus towards the cosplay music video. On April 11 2014, we released our first video and it was a hit locally. We were surprised at the positive reaction and clear lack of this kind of media in the cosplay community, so we decided drop acronym and focus on gaming and cosplay content. You do video and still - what’s the main media you favour? We live for video! Although we’re not media racists, the photos are nice too. I asked James, who I also knew
Video is both more expensive to produce (the gear costs more, unless your doing it on the cheap, and the results reflect this), and time consuming in post production. A photo can be taken in an instant, but video is 25 or 50 photos a second, each and every one having to be perfect. Videography in general is more of an aquired skill as opposed to picking up a (photo) camera and giving it a shot. If you look at our very first video vs our recent work, you will probably notice we’ve been learning! Tell us a bit about your gear - what do you use to create your videos and what software? We primarily shoot with a Sony A7s MKii body, various lenses, a Ronin-M for nice smooth shots, a Phantom 4 Pro for nice smooth aerial shots, a Sony RX10ii for additional angles or super-slow-mo shots. We put it all together in Adobe Premiere Pro CC and use Adobe After Effects for special effects.
How long does a video take to create? Depends on the amount of footage, how much special effects are required and if we’re away. The PAX 2016 video was done in about an hour, back at the hotel room in Melbourne and our most recent video for Supanova Perth 2017 was overnight. We have been leaning a bit away from special effects in favour of releasing videos in a timely manner. What’s been your favourite project so far? Carl and I are really happy with our latest video for Supanova Perth 2017. We only decided the music track the night before the convention and had no idea what to expect at the convention. While we had plans for the type of shots we wanted, we pretty much winged it on Saturday. When we checked the footage that night, we knew we had something really special coming together and this was our 2nd time trying lip syncing, which added another layer of difficulty. The Perth community was very passionate and supportive about the idea, which made it much easier to edit and release overnight. Ok the big question - why do you spend so much time and money doing this? Is there an income here? You could say it’s a passion project of ours. As a cosplayer myself, we know the amount of time and effort is put into cosplay, with very little return. So we wanted give back to
the community a montage of their hard work, a sense of recognition. It is also a good way for a community to get together for a common cause and have fun. A cosplayer from Perth named Terranous has the line ‘It’s called CosPLAY because it’s meant to be FUN’ on the back of his cosplay card, we couldn’t agree more and believe video is the best way to capture and represent that. 2 years ago, Carl and I started a company together called AC Films, JATSTV is a brand of that. We bought our own equipment and get income from wedding videos, covering 4WD events and making corporate videos, such as adverts and real estate. The problem with video production industry, it’s not consistent income and there are times where things get tight. This obviously has an effect of which conventions we can go to, since Carl lives in Perth, managing the business, while I live in Adelaide focusing on JATSTV.
What’s coming up for you guys in 2017? Now that Supanova Perth is done and dusted, we believe our next project will be PAX again. We are looking forward to going to other states such as Sydney and Queensland sometime soon. Finally where can readers go and see your work? www.facebook.com/JATSTV www.youtube.com/JATSTV Instagram @JATSTV
From a business point of view, we are treating these cosplay videos as advertising for what we are capable of and bring positive attention to conventions and cosplay. It has lead us to amazing opportunities, such as filming/editing a local indie short film Are We Heroes last year and getting Carl’s flights covered to come to Adelaide and film cosplayers for advertising purposes. In an ideal world, we would love to travel Australia and maybe even internationally, making cosplay videos full time, quit our day jobs. The only way we could see this working, would be if there was some sort of sponsorship or advertising write offs from conventions or expos.
www.facebook.com/JATSTV www.youtube.com/JATSTV www.instagram.com/JATSTV
WRAP UP BY CHATTY ANNY
International cosplay guests: Jin (behindinfinity) www.facebook.com/Jin.behindinfinity Miguel (merkymerx) www.facebook.com/miguel.merkymerx All photos by Charmaine Morgan Photography www.facebook.com/charmaine.morgan88
When I was invited as a panelist and guest this year at NexusCon in Coffs Harbour, I wasn’t sure what to expect. Previously known as Level UP!, it was NexusCon’s third year running and they brought a warm, inclusive and fun atmosphere to the table. With a range of activities on display including a cosplay competition, video game tournaments, tabletop games, archery, LARP, Quidditch, a children’s costume parade, zombie extraction run, artist alley, cosplay and photography booths, and various guest panels. Supported by Mid Coast Communities and Headspace Coffs Harbour, NexusCon is one of the most inclusive cons I’ve ever attended. With an area by Coffs Harbour Autism set aside for chilling out and recharging, as well as toys to stim or charge your phone, NexusCon made an effort for every attendee to be able to enjoy it. With international cosplay guests Jin (behindinfinity) and Miguel – merkymerx all the way from the Philippines judging the cosplay competition this year, the cosplay was inspirational this year. Armour, fabrics and glitter were all out in full force as the community dressed up in costume to celebrate their nerdy side. Thank you NexusCon for inviting me this year, and I can’t wait to attend again soon! #NexSquad Chatty Anny www.facebook.com/ChattyAnny
WRAP UP BY CHATTY ANNY AVCon: Adelaideâ€™s Anime & Video Games Festival truly showed off the cosplay abilities of its visitors last July. With friendly crowds, a welcoming atmosphere and interesting entertainment, AVCon is a must-see for any local (and I heavily recommend travelling if you love good, good cosplay). Chatty Anny www.facebook.com/ChattyAnny
All photos by: Creed Photography - www..facebook.com/creedphotography SFX Images - www.facebook.com/SFXImages Ellen Lily Photo - www.facebook.com/ellenlilyphoto Quackpot Media - www.facebook.com/QuackpotMedia
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