Today“s interviewee is none other that Game Podunk Editor and Silent Hill afficionadoMarcus Estrada!
What's the first game you've ever played?
It's hard to remember what exactly my first game was, but it was either Hi Jacker on Apple IIe or *something* for Atari 2600. I got both of these devices around the same time, so that was how a lot of my formative years were spent (until getting a N64). Hi Jacker is just a really simple 2D game where you shoot people in planes - the hijackers, not civilians. As for Atari, I got a handful of games all at once so I can't say what I played first. All I know is I did definitely have E.T. and found it bad even at that time. Joust was by far my favorite game to play on the system. Overall, my beginnings as a gamer were very simplistic but that made jumping into the "modern" age even more enthralling.
Describe your current gaming setup.
There are three main areas I can game. First is the living room which has a massive TV set (composite/component only though). Hooked up to it are a PS3, 360, Wii, Wii U, and PS2. There is space for one other system but I tend to just use that to quickly test out machines or play something else if the urge strikes that day.
Another TV is smaller, but flatscreen and actually has HDMI inputs. Some of the older systems are housed there such as GameCube, Xbox, PS1, PS2, N64, Dreamcast, Atari 7800, Genesis, etc. Systems that I have but don't have hooked up are ones such as the Saturn. I really would like to revamp this area so it can house more systems at once without swapping.
My PC is not the best, but can run anything out at this time. It's a dual screen setup and I do have a controller plugged in at all times because sometimes I prefer gamepads to keyboard/mouse. I recently bought a new hard drive to house all my Steam games. I've not finished downloading them all yet, but they're around 500GBs so far. PC has steadily become my favorite place to game, but I tend to switch between any devices if the mood strikes. Sometimes I use my second screen for a console but again that's usually to suit a sudden whim. A PS2 is in here right now as well. You may recognize that I have a PS2 in each area and that's because I love the system so much that I want to be ale to play it anywhere without having to lug the system to a different spot.
Name the one game that changed your life, that is, what's the one game that made you into the gamer you are today?
It's a toss up between a few, unfortunately. Grand Theft Auto III and Killer7 are the ones I'll talk about (as I'll have ample time to discuss Silent Hill 2 later). Grand Theft Auto III was a game I saw for the first time at someone's house as their big brother played. It was incredible to me that a game allowed for such freedom. Sure, I had played Body Harvest, which is pretty "open world" too, but this was incredible. It spurred me to get a PS2 alongside a copy of GTA III (even though Vice City was out at the time). This is important because, although I was always a fan of games, the PS2 pushed my love into overdrive. Through that system I was able to recognize a much deeper passion for games and still think it's one of the best systems out there.
As for Killer7, the game was good at showing me a new world of games. I'd played "weird" titles before, but this was the strangest of them all. It had a cool art style and a complex plot that made me play the game through the first two days I owned it. Then I played through again and again to have all modes unlocked. I've never beaten Hopper mode, though. I owe a lot to this game since it spurred my interest in unusual games which persists to this day.
It's no secret that you're a huge Silent Hill fan, what brought about this love for the series?
Well, I've always been interested in the series. When I got a PS1, I made sure to get Silent Hill and Metal Gear Solid as I "knew" these to be the most important games on the system. When Silent Hill 3 was out, I ate up every magazine article about it despite not having a PS2 at the time. I would stare at the cover in Blockbuster/Hollywood Video and wonder about the damn game. One day I finally played SH3 and found it too scary! But then I bought and played Silent Hill 2 to completion.
Silent Hill 2 struck me as it left such an emotional mark on me. It was scary without having to focus on "boo" scares and had disturbed characters inhabiting the world. It also helped that I had a burgeoning love for horror films at the time. The game just stands as one of my favorites of all time because it is so good. I play it through at least once a year, and have overall probably played it 12+ times.
What is your all-time favourite game EVER?
I've basically already answered this question as my favorite game ever is Silent Hill 2. Other games super high on my list are Killer7, Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, The Sims (first), Animal Crossing, and Diablo II.
How about your favourite character?
My favorite character is NOT Pyramid Head, believe it or not. Instead, I am a big fan of Heather Morris/Mason from Silent Hill 3. My favorite game may be 2, but 3 is very close as it is also incredibly scary and has a neat cast of characters. Heather stands out as being such an average teenage girl in an abnormal situation that I can't help but be impressed by how she handles everything. Although it may be silly, I tend to use official game art of Heather across all my devices (Vita, PS3 background, phone, etc).
Do you collect any sort of gaming memorabilia? If so, what and why?
It's probably obvious, but I collect Silent Hill merchandise. I like it because there is basically a set amount of official products you can by. There have only been a handful of games and as such there is only a small amount of things you can buy (comics, strategy guides, novelizations, alternate game versions). I'm not as into collecting it all as I once was, but still add new bits to my collection every so often.
I also like to collect game manuals but only really for games I have an interest in. Oh, and Bowser merchandise whenever I can find it because he is one of my favorite Mario characters.
What's your story? How'd you end up on Game Podunk?
It all was due to me being bored. I was interested in joining forums and chatting with people but all the ones I had ever joined were full of annoying (or worse) individuals. So one day I searched around for things like "intelligent gaming forum" and came across the site GameQuest. Although that site is an online store, they had a small link to GamePodunk (I'm not sure why; it's not the same link that currently exists on the site).
From there, I saw that featured blogs were paid and, after sitting in shocked disbelief, I joined right up and got writing. I met some neat people such as Jason and started to really enjoy the site. Later, when opportunities were open to start writing news and editorial content I was asked to join and did so happily. Of course, I'm still doing that now even though I have risen from "editor" to "managing editor".
Which 3 people, dead or alive, would you want to play a game together with? Which game?
I would like to play a game with Goichi Suda, Akira Yamaoka, and Hidetaka Suehiro. These are some of my favorite people in the world of gaming so it would be hard for me to choose anyone else. If this were to occur, I'd hope at least that translators were present! It would be fun to play Deadly Premonition through with them. I have a feeling Suda and Yamaoka would appreciate it. Of course, Swery actually designed the game, so I'd like to see what he has to say about it.
It's the zombie apocalypse, which person, weapon and music would you have during your final stand?
I'd probably bring along Pinhead or some other horror character with otherwordly powers. You need something like that to deal with the threat of zombies most efficiently, it seems. I'm not sure what he would bring to the table but hopefully a whole lot of suffering for the zombies. As for weapons, I'd like a sword similar to Michonne from The Walking Dead. Sure, I don't know how to use them but in the ideal situation it would actually work out and it doesn't need bullets. In regards to music I can't think of anything specific but probably something from DDR just because.
Anything else you'd like to add?
I'd like to say thank you to everyone who visits the site and sticks around instead of running away. I think it's a great site that has a lovely set of visitors and we could always use more to become new regulars too. Hopefully we keep moving forward with the site in ways that the community likes.
Thank you for your time, Marcus!
What did you think of this interview? Are you looking forward to similar interviews with other members?