Getting to know people is important in all walks of life. Taking the time to appreciate the different nuances of people personalities, what makes someone tick, and the different passions they have, can be one of the most interesting, and rewarding parts of living.
With this in mind, welcome to 20 Questions. A recurring feature where Electronic Bit Byte interview well known, or even up and coming, YouTubers, with the most in depth and informative questions available to the world!
Nitro Rad, also known as James, has been a fixture on YouTube since 2013, and in that time has built a substantial following. Having a clear direction is always admirable, but being able to turn that into any form of success whilst sticking to your original goals is challenging, and therefore it is commendable that James has been able to achieve both.
James has an approach that lies in focusing on genres that he enjoys, and allowing that passion to shine through, even if it does mean having to play games such as Bubsy 3D!
You see, Nitro Rad focuses on specific categories such as, platform, horror, and RPG Maker games and infuses his dialogue with nostalgic and witty narrative to help explain why he feels the way he does about a game.
But enough from us, lets find out more about what makes Nitro Rad interested in what he does, and strive to be....Rad!
1. What was it that made you become interested in the world of video games?
When I was like 2 or 3 my older sister showed me Super Mario Bros 3 on the NES. Over the years it just became something I did regularly, especially with friends. I had close friends that lived down the street from me, and we'd play multiplayer games after school all the time.
2. Is your passion for video games still due to that first topic of interest or has your reason for being involved in the video game scene now, changed?
Video games have been something I've always been interested in. I suppose different kinds of passion sparked much later in my life, like the passion for horror and atmosphere, and games with very enthralling and poetic themes. But as a whole, I don't think I really play games for much of a different reason. My favourite series was Mario when I was 3, and my favourite series is still Mario 20 years later, and that's because of how fun the games are to play.
3. What is your most prized video game possession, that is not a game or a console, and why does it mean so much to you?
I've got a physical copy of LSD Dream Emulator for PS1. I bought it for like $350 on ebay with my first paycheck from my retail job as a pharmacy cashier. From what I've seen, just four short years later it's going for prices even higher than that, so I'm glad I grabbed it when I did. It's a game I played a lot in high-school and has always fascinated me because of all of the references to real dream psychology, and I bought it so I could make a video about it.
Though I wanted to wait until I was much better at making YouTube videos before I tackled something so rare and important. I've actually been meaning to do a vid on it for like a year now but I still haven't.
Other than that, I've got a physical copy of Rule of Rose I got for a pretty good price locally. It's one of the rarest games on the PS2, so that's pretty cool.
(James gets a pass for LSD Dream Emulator, it's less of a game and more of an experience! - Ed)
4. What genre of game do you enjoy playing even though you would say you aren't good at it?
I don't really play much of genres I'm not good at. If I find myself invested in a genre, I typically get at least somewhat decent at it. I'm absolutely terrible at fighting games, but a big part of that is because I don't like them, so I don't play them.
If I had to pick something, then RPG's I suppose. I'm absolutely terrible at figuring out how to do all of the stuff to make the most out of a battle system or skill set or whatever. I'm usually just too lazy to read into it.
5. What decision do you wish a game company never made and why?
This is a pretty obvious answer, but Konami giving the axe to Silent Hills. I've been dying to see a new, good Silent Hill game for years. And when it was finally about to happen, Konami pulled the plug. That just really hurts.
6. If you could only keep 2 consoles and 1 game for each what would they be and why?
A Gamecube with Pikmin 2, and a Wii with Majora's Mask downloaded on it. Pikmin 2 is my favourite game ever, I can replay it any time and still enjoy it as much as the first time I did. Majora's Mask has such an amazing world that I love exploring. It's also one of the few games I know how to do some glitches in, like bomb hovering. Stuff like that really gives a game a lot of replay value.
7. Why do you believe video games are still relevant in the world and are still so popular?
Video games are one of the very few popular, and publicly accessible things that are so rapidly evolving. Movies have too, but I feel technology in film has somewhat hit its peak, all there's left to do is increase the resolution. Video games however are still changing drastically as tech gets newer, and that sort of thing keeps people interested in seeing what's coming next.
8. Growing up, what was the one game that you wished was on the console that you owned but wasn't and why?
VERY good question. When I was a kid I really wanted to get Sonic 06, because it was the new big Sonic game, but I couldn't because I only had a Wii. (A blessing in disguise.)
9. Who inspires you to continue to better yourself and your channel?
Support from friends and family. Everyone seems to be really proud of me, which is equally as embarrassing as it is appreciated haha. Otherwise, (not to sound mean), but sometimes I'll see some content creators with much lower production values seeing WAY more success than I do. I often think “if this fricker can get this big, I can get twice as big.”
10. At the end or your time on this earth, what game will you regret having not played, or not dedicated more time to?
Right now the answer would be the Witcher 3 DLC. I loved the absolute hell out of that game, and I have the DLC installed on my PlayStation 4, but I just have never found the time to go back to it.
11. If you had the opportunity to own your own game development studio, and money was no object, what game would you create?
I would create a 3D platformer about a balloon animal who can fill his body with different fluids (helium, air, water, oil, etc) to give him different moves. But doing so would also change the character's physics and how you navigate your environment. Somewhat similar to the idea in Glover, changing the material your ball is made out of to give it different physics and properties. I had this idea ever since I was a kid, playing Mario and Luigi: Superstar Saga for the first time. The part where Mario fills up with water and you hit him with the hammer to make him spit it out to extinguish fire. I thought that was a cool mechanic, and thought of tons more you could do with it.
12. How would you like your audience to describe you and how close do you think you are to achieving this?
I've seen some people decribe me as “down to earth”, which is nice. I always try to have a very casual vibe to my videos, not overwhelming the audience with jokes and gags. Just talking to them about a game I think is cool. Though at the same time I'd like to be viewed somewhat professionally. I try my best to make my production value as high as possible, and I always treat serious subjects with respect. Perhaps I want to show people that someone professional and serious can be a chill dude idiot as well.
13. What is your earliest or most enduring video gaming memory?
When I was super young I couldn't progress any further in Donkey Kong 64 because I was too scared of the pufferfish boss. I wanted so desperately to see what was further in the game. I had the player's guide, and I would look at pictures, maps, and details of the proceeding levels, wishing so badly I could play them.
Eventually my Mom got my older sister to beat the boss for me. My whole family sat around the TV and watched, and we all laughed when the Pufferfish deflated like a balloon. It was awesome, and I could finally play the rest of the game.
14. What one scene/section of gameplay in any game tweaks your nostalgic interest, and when you think of it, or play it again, makes you feel good?
In Rayman 3, during the Desert of the Knaaren level, there's a part where the hallway in front is totally blocked by Knaaren. So you have to turn to the right and use the wall shimmy move between two close walls to get upwards.
As a kid, I totally forgot about that move, and I got stuck on that level for a couple of months. I had no idea what to do. I would pop the game in probably once a week and walk around that small space for an hour wondering what to do. I got frustrated and mashed all of the buttons, until I happened to press A when Rayman jumped between the two walls, and he entered the wall climb animation. I was so excited that I finally figured out how to finish the level.
Every time I play that part, I remember how satisfying it felt to finally figure out to go up that wall.
15. What game do you love that is largely disliked by the majority and why do you think it resonates with you?
Sonic Adventure 2 is a pretty easy answer. I still think that game is decent. But if you want a real hot take, Star Fox Adventures. I loved that game as a kid! Though I never really cared about the series (I find games where you primarily pilot a plane or spaceship kinda boring), so to me it was just like a Zelda game but with dinosaurs and Fox McCloud, and I thought it was dope.
Years later, I still think the game is decent. Doesn't hold a candle to Zelda of course, but it absolutely does not deserve the intense hate it gets.
16. If you could only use one controller from the history of all consoles but it worked on all systems, what would your choice be?
Man that ain't fair. I love the Dualshock 4, I think it's the best controller ever made. But would I want to play an N64 game with it? Nahhhh. Lots of N64 games really need those c-buttons to be buttons, rather that a stick. I've played tons of stuff on virtual console using controllers without c-buttons, and for a lot of games, it just don't work. But other than N64 games, yeah I guess I'd have to go with the DS4.
17. If you could have any piece of equipment in real life from any video game what would your choice be and why?
I've always wanted the hookshot from Zelda. Though I suppose in real life it'd probably be more likely to tear your arm off than propel you to where you grappled. Otherwise, it'd be something I could use to leap really high, like the Roc feather or something like that. I'd love to be able to jump over fences as high as me, that'd be sick.
18. If you could change your name to any video game characters, what would you change it to and why?
Harry Mason. It's just a really nice sounding name to me. And my current name also belongs to a Silent Hill character, so there's that too I guess.
19. What do you think is the next stage of gaming?
Virtual Reality. It's easy to brush off as a gimmick if you haven't played much of it yourself, but play through Resident Evil 7 entirely in VR and tell me it's not the next big thing. You'd probably have a pretty hard time doing that.
There has been some incredibly innovative stuff in VR, stuff that can only play the way it does in VR. Superhot VR is an amazing example of this. If you play Superhot VR, you'll never be able to go back to the normal version.
All it needs is more AAA companies to have entire, full length adventure games totally playable in VR. So far Capcom is the only company that has really done that with RE7 as of now. Get EIDOS to make the next Deus Ex playable in VR, something like that. That's what we need.
20. In life, what would you say or do to inspire someone to achieve greatness?
Just find something you want to make happen, and make it happen. It doesn't have to matter if anyone else thinks it's cool, or of value. As long as you value it, you can pull it off. Tony Hawk is who I really look up to in this regard. That interview he gave when he first did the 900 is so inspiring to me.
The dude straight up says he was gonna keep trying until he broke all of his bones and had to go to the hospital, or he did it. Can you imagine that? Trying over and over until you either do it, or cannot physically do it anymore. And what even is a 900? You turn around a couple of times on a skateboard. Why does that matter to anybody? How does that help, or change the world in any way?
The answer is, it doesn't. It doesn't matter at all. But it doesn't need to matter. As long as it matters to you, that's the only thing that's important. Doing a skateboard trick doesn't matter to most people living on this planet. But it mattered to Tony, and that's why he did it. I think that's something everyone should take after.
Electronic Bit Byte is in no way affiliated with Nitro Rad and no payment was received, or made, for the production of this article.
Sharing this article via social media is a fantastic way to support us, and introduce us to people who don't know that we exist!
Follow us on Twitter @ElectronBitByte to stay up to date with the latest news as it happens.
We hope you enjoyed reading this article and thank-you for taking time out of your day to do so.