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!
IMPLANTgames, or as he is known otherwise, Kris, runs a retro flavoured channel, with an extremely wide, and varied view on all areas. From the slightly more obscure, Panasonic 3DO and Atari Jaguar, to the obviously more well known Nintendo and Sega consoles, IMPLANTgames has covered them all.
Focusing his efforts on in depth analysis in recent years, and asking the simple, but challenging question of whether a well remembered game is actually still good, Kris has a huge array of content, and has covered hundreds of games on his channel.
But what really makes him strive for perfection, and what made him want to be where he is today in the world of video games. Lets find out...
1. What was it that made you become interested in the world of video games?
When I was a young kid back in the summer of 1988 or-so my baby-sitter and her son were avid Nintendo gamers. I remember spending afternoons and evenings after school watching them play through the original Super Mario Bros. and The Legend of Zelda. I never played either, I just watched. I remember vividly them bombing walls and nabbing all of the secrets in Zelda. I even remember watching them blaze through Zelda's second quest. Even at the young age of 4 or 5, my young mind knew these video games were far more interesting than my Ninja Turtle action figures or anything I was seeing on TV, like Alf. That magical feeling still holds true to this very day. Video game are the king of entertainment.
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?
My passion for video games is still rooted in those early memories and impressions, however my involvement in the scene has certainly changed. I absolutely love the obscure stuff, be it hardware or software. I particularly love the strange 90’s stuff, the Neo Geo CD, Atari Jaguar, 3DO, even the 32x. However economics has shifted my focus to less niche things. Currently the 3D Sonic games have my attention for example. And while Sonic might not be obscure, it has been fascinating to play through the series as it evolved from 1991 to the present.
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 am a terrible collector so I’m not sure how many of my possessions are prized haha. A few months ago I managed to find a translucent green Xbox “Duke” controller which was pretty amazing. When I saw it, I knew it was special as I had never seen one before, and quickly scooped it up for the low price of $15. After doing some research, I learned this was never commercially released and is actually quite rare. As of this writing, the value is around $250.00. With the newfound love for the Duke controller thanks to Hyperkin, and nostalgia, I suspect this controller variant will be even more valued in the future. The controller really doesn’t mean anything to me, but the story does. While it’s more difficult to find scores these days, it can still happen now and again.
4. What genre of game do you enjoy playing even though you would say you aren't good at it?
Definitely shmups, or shoot-em-ups. While I can clear some of these on easy or with extra live codes like M.U.S.H.A., Super R-Type or Life Force, I'm mostly terrible at these games. Still, there is something strangely addicting about them. The best ones have that "one more time" quality to them that keeps me coming back for more. I think it’s the only genre that still harkens back to the old arcade games of the 80’s. Don’t get me wrong, I love how simple things like continues and lives have changed over time, and enjoy new genres like first person shooters or even music games, but shmups still soldier on.
5. What decision do you wish a game company never made and why?
I wish Sega had allocated their money different during the Dreamcast's lifespan. While I love the quirky stuff like Seaman, Shenmue, or Jet Set Radio, I wish their crystal ball had been a bit clearer on the future direction of gaming. Imagine if Grand Theft Auto III had been a Dreamcast exclusive, rather than a PlayStation 2 exclusive. That would have been a game changer.
6. If you could only keep 2 consoles and 1 game for each what would they be and why?
First would be the NES and a copy of Tetris. Second would be an Xbox 360 and Minecraft. I have no particular reason for these two ports other than they are what I have, but I truly believe these might be the two best games ever made. Infinitely re-playable, virtually flawless.
7. Why do you believe video games are still relevant in the world and are still so popular?
Video games can be anything. They can provide competition for competitive types. They can tell a story as powerful as a film. They can transport someone to a distant world to escape the real world. I’m somewhat surprised during the “crash” of the 80’s commentators assumed video games were a dying fad. Video games have woven themselves into the fabric of modern society and culture, I don’t see that changing anytime soon.
8. Growing up, what was the one game that you wished was on the console that you owned but wasn't and why?
When I was young I was always jealous of my friend’s Super Nintendo. More specifically, Super Mario Kart. I didn't really care about anything else the system had to offer and my NES was still satisfying my gaming needs. But Super Mario Kart was just on another level. It was just so much better than the NES racers like R.C. Pro Am and I couldn't get enough of it. It made me a terrible guest because that is all I wanted to do!
9. Who inspires you to continue to better yourself and your channel?
There are many. There is a local musician, Pat McCurdy, who still travels Wisconsin and Illinois singing his song at nightclubs and bars hundreds of times a year. I think it was the first time I realized one really can do whatever they want if they put their mind to it. The nine to five life isn’t for everyone. I appreciate Derek from Stop Skeletons From Fighting's positive attitude. Michael from Retropolis Zone has an attention to detail unmatched by any. And Girard The Completionist seems to have an unrivaled work ethic. There are probably others as well, but these immediately come to mind as each does something better than I can, and push me to try harder.
10. At the end or your time on this earth, what game will you regret having not played, or not dedicated more time to?
Zelda: Breath of the Wild. Honestly, I will likely never own nor play this game. And I know I should.
11. If you had the opportunity to own your own game development studio, and money was no object, what game would you create?
Assuming being profitable was not a goal of said development studio, I would hire a team to continue the Tokyo Xtreme Racer (TXR) series. This was the very first Dreamcast game I ever played on 9/9/99 and a game I've beaten many times over. The sequel is great as well, though for some reason I've never conquered it. The last TXR game, Import Tuner Challenge on the Xbox 360, was ok and it was fun to see the game world again, but I want to see it done properly again, pushing current gen hardware while also paying homage to 90's Japanese car culture.
12. How would you like your audience to describe you and how close do you think you are to achieving this?
I am a pretty flawed person if I’m honest. I’ll never be the funniest, most clever, and I don’t ooze charisma. All I can do is be honest and let the chips fall where they lay.
13. What is your earliest or most enduring video gaming memory?
As a kid I rarely beat video games. I just didn’t have the skill or the patience to see games through to their completion. I’m not sure how many others were like this, but I suspect I wasn’t alone. After losing interest in a game, I would just move onto the next one. Sure I would revisit previous ones but I was never one to sit for an entire day on the same task. However for some reason one day I beat Super Mario Bros. 2 for the NES. I don’t even think I was aware it was going to happen, but I thought it was pretty rad the whole game was just Mario’s dream.
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?
Sonic the Hedgehog 2 was the very first Sonic game I had ever played. It was at a cousin’s house, and my first exposure to Sega hardware, and I just thought the game was incredible. The music was epic, the graphics looked like a cartoon, the gameplay was very anti-Mario. The two-player was really terrific at the time and I just couldn’t get enough of it. Whenever I hear the music for Emerald Hill, I’m taken right back to that living room.
15. What game do you love that is largely disliked by the majority and why do you think it resonates with you?
Sonic R for the Sega Saturn. While I think the game’s reputation is starting to come around, the game is still widely panned by the mainstream. When it was new, gamers hated the music, these days people hate the controls, and I think everyone can agree the game is entirely too small. I think it resonates with me because I’m a fan of oddball racing games. Sure the controls are trash but they are good enough to get through the game. For some reason as an adult I have a much more persistence than I ever did as a kid and I find it easier to plow through some of the world’s lesser games. Seriously though, outside of the controls Sonic R is a fun romp and a real showcase for the hardware.
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?
The Xbox One controller. Fits great in the hand, has wonderful analogue sticks, and perhaps the best d-pad since the 90's. What more could you ask for?
17. If you could have any piece of equipment in real life from any video game what your choice be and why?
I feel this will be the newest personality quiz sweeping the internet. "What your fantasy video game equipment says about your personality!" I'll go with Mario's overalls. These are destined for a comeback, let's start the trend.
18. If you could change your name to any video game characters, what would you change it to and why?
There are so many great gaming names to choose from! Solid Snake or Master Chief seem like good places to start. “I'd like to make a reservation for two.” “Name please.” “Solid Snake.” “Mr. Snake, your table is ready.” Sign me up.
19. What do you think is the next stage of gaming?
I suspect the next stage of gaming is happening without hardcore or mainstream gamers even noticing. Social gaming was a buzzword way back during the Farmville craze but the concept didn't die with Farmville. We saw Pokemon Go really take the public by storm for example, which was clearly one of the most popular social games to date. But there are others that seem off the radar of the gaming press. Candy Crush is still a massive time suck among non-gamer types. Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp is another game that is totally off the radar, but has a massive casual following. If you search Twitter you'll find a ton of celebrities and other folks talking about this game. I think these types of mobile experiences are the future.
20. In life, what would you say or do to inspire someone to achieve greatness?
I raced go-karts for about 5 years. The race track was about a 3 hour drive for me, and I'd leave the house at 6 a.m. every Sunday morning to get to the track for race day, and then drive 3 hours back home when it was all done. Needless to say, I didn't have a lot of time to practice my craft and prep the kart but I did alright. One of my favourite, and arguably best competitors, had a sticker on his nose cone that said, "You will not outwork me." He practices on weeknights all throughout the season, and it showed. That phrase is something that has stuck with me. Will I achieve greatness? In all likelihood, no. But it won’t be for lack of effort.
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