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Interview - TerminalPhoenix (Checklist Spotlight #2)

This is a discussion on Interview - TerminalPhoenix (Checklist Spotlight #2) within the Features and Editorials forum, part of the Trophy Guides, Reviews & Articles; Congratulations on your win ! How do you feel? Originally Posted by TerminalPhoenix It feels amazing. Having a checklist of ...

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    Interview - TerminalPhoenix (Checklist Spotlight #2)


    Congratulations on your win! How do you feel?

    Quote Originally Posted by TerminalPhoenix
    It feels amazing. Having a checklist of about 120 games takes a lot of work to put together - and even though it's not quite all done - I feel humbled that people like my work. I appreciate the time people take to visit the CL. I feel much like accepting an Oscar for an unfinished movie, but it's amazing!
    I know it might be a bit of a sore subject, but you've twice now (narrowly) missed out on Checklist of the Year in our EoY awards. I hope this goes some way to easing that pain! Do you, perhaps, feel a little vindicated?

    Quote Originally Posted by TerminalPhoenix
    In all honesty, I started the checklist for selfish reasons. It was a place that I could go to that would visually stimulate me, and make me reminisce about the gaming experiences I've had. At first, having visitors dropping by was an added bonus. I was pleasantly surprised that people enjoyed my CL enough to vote for me and, to be frank, I never thought my CL was good enough to win. But with every vote, I got more inspired and determined to put something out there that was unique. It's an awesome feeling to stand at the top of the mountain, even if it is just for one glorious month! All of the other nominees are very deserving and we all enjoy each other's work.
    Your "About Me" is about as enigmatic as your screen moniker. Tell us a bit more about yourself.

    Quote Originally Posted by TerminalPhoenix
    Haha. My name is Alex, and I am a 26 year old Canadian. My background is 100% Romanian, but I have a dual-citizenship, and I love both countries immensely; the good and the bad. Living in Toronto, I am quite ashamed that the world knows our mayor to be who he is, but I digress.

    I am a Human Resources Business Partner for a large book retailer in Canada. I love travelling and meeting new people; although there is something about Toronto that always has me coming back.

    I'm a big food lover, which I find surprises people, because I look like any average person. High metabolism - in yo' face!

    I am also a HUGE sports fan, which is ironic because I live in a city that thrives on mediocrity on that front, but hey, can't win at everything.

    I love reading a good book and it's probably my most favorite thing to do in my spare time and I love losing myself into them.

    I am a big advocate for literacy and I'm lucky I work for a company that does so much for it; you wouldn't know it, but public schools in Canada have very small budgets when it comes to their libraries, and I heavily participate in fundraising for them. Some of my most favorite moments in life have been reading to a few kids in their kindergarden or elementary schools. There is a quiet strength about it that just makes me happy.
    Wow that's awesome! Definitely a job that you'd feel good about at the end of each day. Got a favourite author?

    Quote Originally Posted by TerminalPhoenix
    This is going to further cement my status as a nerd but Isaac Asimov is one of my favorite authors. He's written maybe a trillion sci-fi books and not one of them has an alien in it.
    I've actually never had the pleasure of reading one of his works. I've seen I, Robot though!

    Quote Originally Posted by TerminalPhoenix
    Haha. To this day, I still want to beat Will Smith up and get that sexy Audi away!
    ...the robots are cool too I guess.
    That dude's pretty huge. I wouldn't wanna mess with him. I want his car, though.

    Where did your PSN name come from?


    Quote Originally Posted by TerminalPhoenix
    I wish I could say it was a nickname that came about from an epic "something," but the truth is Terminal Phoenix is simply a play on words. I think it's an evocative symbol for the human condition. And it doesn't hurt that the Phoenix is a cool mythical creature!
    Deep.

    Now that we've established that you're a colossal nerd (don't worry - you're amongst friends), let's delve into the gaming stuff.


    When did you first start playing games? What got you into it?


    Quote Originally Posted by TerminalPhoenix
    Even though I'm fairly young, I have played many-a game on my Atari, NES/SNES, Genesis, N64, Gameboy and PS2. I didn't get into hardcore gaming until I started playing Counter-Strike. I was very competitive and a few times I was in the top 5 players in North America. But if I go back to the beginning, I have to say the first gaming experience I truly remember was good ol' Mario. Dem pipes yo!
    A fellow CS fragger! Which version did/do you play?

    Quote Originally Posted by TerminalPhoenix
    I spent thousands of hours on 1.5. I've oompa loompa-ed my way to victory ever since. The new versions are nice and all, but 1.5 will always be the best.
    Ah. A purist. I think Global Offensive, which I play, fixed a number of the issues that people had with Source. It's really something quite special, and as a result it's really taken off in popularity.

    Not the console version, though. That's a bastardisation of Counter-Strike. Didn't stop me getting the Plat, mind you!


    Quote Originally Posted by TerminalPhoenix
    I loved GO. I agree it fixed a lot of shenanigans!

    You have a fairly substantial trophy collection. What got you into trophies, and what is your philosophy with regards to trophies?

    Quote Originally Posted by TerminalPhoenix
    Trophies happened organically, and they fit right in with my OCD. I have this urge to explore and see everything that's there to be seen, so trophies complemented that really well. And getting a shiny platinum at the end of it all is nice, as well. It's like that stamp that tells you that you've done everything worth doing and now you can trade/sell the game without having any regrets about missing out on something.
    You don't hold on to your games, or collect them?

    Quote Originally Posted by TerminalPhoenix
    I tend to collect many-a thing; unfortunately games are not on my radar. I used to, but after a while I found the collection gathering dust. Books and movies, those I tend to re-read and re-watch, but some games have little to no replayability, so I try to take advantage of whatever $ value they have to support my gaming addiction

    To finish answering the original question, I try to enjoy the game first, and then go for the platinum. Trophies just guide my gaming into a certain direction. Gosh darnit, ain't it addictive though!
    I feel the same way. Trophies help me get the most out of a game before I move on, as well as encourage me to try modes or styles of play that I ordinarily would not have considered.

    Quote Originally Posted by TerminalPhoenix
    There are a few out there that pissed me off considerably, though, like the shards in the first inFamous; I was missing one and it took hours before I found that little bugger. There are also some really stupid trophies out there, but all in all, I love you digital shiny things!!
    I had 349 Blast Shards and couldn't for the life of me find the last one. I nearly had a panic attack. I can't remember why, but I decided to climb the tallest building in the game (the one located in the middle of ground zero), and low and behold, there it was... Lil' bastard.

    Quote Originally Posted by TerminalPhoenix
    Winner! Gagnon! - sorry, Canadian inside joke. Any Canadian will know what that means
    *tags in Luckay*

    *Editor's Note: Luckay failed to come to my aid, so I still have no idea what he's talking about. *

    So which game brought you here?


    Quote Originally Posted by TerminalPhoenix
    It's been such a long time that I can barely remember. I'd like to say it was during my playthrough of Heavy Rain. I wanted to look up the times where I need to make alternate saves just to make things easier. I came for the gaming advice and stayed for the wonderful company.
    Apart from your desire for a creative outlet, as you mentioned earlier, what else inspired you to begin a checklist?

    Quote Originally Posted by TerminalPhoenix
    For selfish reasons. I think most people like to showcase their achievements and, at their core, I think most checklists are virtual trophy rooms. That was part of the reason I started putting one together, but then I found it to be an amazing conversation starter. As the checklist grew, and I played more games, the more people I met that I could chat about games and experiences. It's now become my virtual water cooler, and I love it!
    As followers of your Checklist will know, the version we can all see now is not the same one that you began with. How many times have you reinvented your Checklist, and why?

    Quote Originally Posted by TerminalPhoenix
    Overall, I think the checklist has gone through 3 or 4 complete makeovers. I get bored sometimes of a design or I'll want to express my creative spirit in a different way. In many ways, my checklist's evolution runs in parallel with that of my photoshop skills. I can do much more now than I could a few years ago, and as I learn new things I want to share them with the world! The current design though is something that I'm very happy with and I plan on keeping that for a while.
    And a real beauty it is. How would you best describe the style of your checklist, and your approach to creating it?

    Quote Originally Posted by TerminalPhoenix
    Thanks! I try to go for a clean look, that is visually stimulating, but not heavy on the eyes. I'm still thinking of new sections and interesting compilations to add to it and not have it look like just a long list of games. But I find that people who visit tend to want to read everything. At the end of the day, I'll spend a few weeks working on a template and then populating it with content.
    Yeah. If I had to describe your Checklist in one word, it would be "minimalist."

    Quote Originally Posted by TerminalPhoenix
    That's a fantastic word to sum it up!
    Your banners are easily my favourite part. I love that style of foreground-focused photography. What made you pick it?

    Quote Originally Posted by TerminalPhoenix
    Thank you! I think I've evolved a lot as a gamer and I've had the pleasure of playing a wide variety of games. I like to think of the checklist as a snapshot in time and those banners really emphasize my state of mind at that time. I tried doing them in groups of 10, so as to not overshadow the games. I love art and while I consider myself an amateur in many ways (photography, design etc.) I can't stop inserting little snippets of my favorite work in the checklist.
    You said that you've done 3 or 4 remakes, so you're probably one of the best people to ask about this: what's your advice for someone looking to start a checklist?

    Quote Originally Posted by TerminalPhoenix
    Good question! I think you have to decide how you want to do it: do you want to use the forum code or do you want to design your own through pictures? I, for one, am not smart enough to create the things that I want through BB code, so I went the Photoshop way. I treat my checklist as a sum of smaller parts. My best advice is to work on it one piece at a time. Even if you have a lot of ground to cover, you'll be amazed at how much you achieve if you take a piece by piece approach.

    Also, don't feel the need to immitate others. Do your own thing; the more unique checklists we have out there, the better. Take neospoon and Ant1, for example.
    Don't feel bad about the BBcode. I think the Photoshop method yields far better looking results!

    What are your hidden trophies?


    Quote Originally Posted by TerminalPhoenix
    It's essentially one hidden trophy, and that is from good ol' NHL 14. One of my buddies brought that over to play and a few days later I realized he used my account instead of the guest one. I'm not a huge fan of sports games, which is ironic, because I'm such a big sports fan in general. I think it's recycled content that EA constantly forces people to buy so they can play on their servers.
    Oh damn. That sucks. Whenever my friends come round they think I'm insane when I insist on using one of my spare accounts!

    Quote Originally Posted by TerminalPhoenix
    C'est la vie! He's been disowned - just kidding!
    What are your favourite/least favourite games?

    Quote Originally Posted by TerminalPhoenix
    Least favourite games are usually sports games. Favourite games are often RPGs, but truth be told, I find myself playing such a wide array of games that I have favorites in each genre. I think overall, though, RPGs (in whatever form they come) are the ones I enjoy playing the most.
    Any standouts?

    Quote Originally Posted by TerminalPhoenix
    Demon's Souls is probably one of my favourites. As for my least favourite games, NHL/Madden/MLB the show - I don't enjoy. I know a lot of people who like them, and good on them; they're just not for me.
    In your opinion, what ingredients are necessary for a great game? Which aspect is most important?

    Quote Originally Posted by TerminalPhoenix
    I would rate a game by the overall gaming experience I've had with it. There are games like "Brothers" that don't have the privilege of voice acting, incredible visuals or complex story, was able to make me emotionally invested in its characters. I would feel what they felt and that was a strong connection that is the mark of a good game. I put a lot of value in fluid game mechanics, strong acting, and beautiful graphics. One of the main reasons why I got a PS4 was to experience a more fluid beautiful world. But at the end of the day, if the sum of all of the parts doesn't connect with me in some way, whether emotional, phylosophical, or just plain fun, then the game is a bust, no matter how preety, polished or high-budget it is.
    What's a game of the PlayStation 3 generation that you think everyone missed out on?

    Quote Originally Posted by TerminalPhoenix
    I'd like to say Enslaved. I don't think it stands out on its own very well and I myself fired that game about two chapters in, only to revisit it a year later and fall in love with it. I think most people can get it for very cheap nowadays. It's a solid gaming experience, and while not at all a tour de force, it's unique and visually stunning, with a strong cast. The story is decent, but it shines in that it tries something new. I'd recommend it to most people. The platinum is a bitch, though - a few too many things to collect.
    How's next-gen treating you?

    Quote Originally Posted by TerminalPhoenix
    I'm loving it so far! I feel like the PS3 has such an amazing roster of games that I've yet to play, like the Last of Us, that I still haven't gone both feet into PS4-world. I'm looking forward to playing inFamous Second Son and Watch Dogs on it. I think the best is definitely yet to come, but I love the hardware, and the fluidity of the OS, and I think it has a bright future.
    What are your proudest/Hardest/Easiest plats? Are there any you regret?

    Quote Originally Posted by TerminalPhoenix
    Had I platinumed Demon's Souls, that would definitely have been it. I think it's a tie between Batman: Arkham Asylum and ModNation Racers. Batman: AA was something I struggled with - for some reason I couldn't get over the challenge maps. I had to take a break from it and revisit it to get the platinum. I think it represents my evolution as a gamer. ModNation Racers, to this day, is my rarest platinum, and I think it's hands down the best kart racer ever made. It was a difficult platinum because it was incredibly time-consuming. I think both of them stand out to me because they required a level of perseverance and patience that I didn't have a few years ago. I used to play a lot of games like CS, Dota etc. that only took small chunks of time.

    I'm ashamed at my X-Men Destiny platinum; I took a risk in giving that a shot, and I regretted it almost the moment I started it. But I stuck with it and earned the platinum. The easiest platinum to this day goes to Trine 2. It's just such a quick gaming experience and you don't even need to finish the game to get the platinum. Still a fantastic game worthy of finishing, but seriously, make a gold for finishing the game! - mini-rant over-
    You have quite a number of Comic-inspired games. Which is your favourite? What sorta comics are you into?

    Quote Originally Posted by TerminalPhoenix
    I think Batman Arkham City is arguably the best of the bunch. I love superhero characters as much as the next guy, but my joy with graphic novels lies really in series like Hellboy, BPRD, The Goon etc. They're gritty, dark, have awesome art and writing, and less costumed/caped heroes. I'm currently reading Fables - on the 4th Deluxe hardcover - still a while's away from catching up. Those are my cup of tea.
    Your trophy list suggests that you like to complete series and franchises. Do you feel compelled to play sequels?

    Quote Originally Posted by TerminalPhoenix
    That's a good catch. I am emotionally attached to franchises that I enjoy the first time around, so I'm almost always eager to give the sequel another go. More of a good thing is always a good thing!
    Do you feel the same way about DLC?

    Quote Originally Posted by TerminalPhoenix
    I think a lot of DLC packages are overpriced and few companies do them well, but yeah, if it keeps the soul and charm of a game I've enjoyed, I will definitely give them a go. Castlevania Lords of Shadow probably had the hardest DLC (for me) to date and it was a very rewarding challenge to beat it on the hardest difficulty.
    To what extent does a game's trophy list factor into your desire to play the game? Have you ever played a game purely for the trophies? Have you ever shied away from playing a game because the trophies are too hard?

    Quote Originally Posted by TerminalPhoenix
    Every game I play I try to plat or 100% for PSN titles. With that being said, I have my share of incompletes because at a certain point I felt it wasn't worth it anymore or I got what I wanted from the game. Trophies have a say in how much time I spend with the game, but not in the overall buying decision.
    I have a question from the audience!

    ChrisValentine
    asked the following:
    "You've been SkyDiving? What height did you jump from? I've done 14,000ft and it's an incredible feeling! Would you go again, or was it a once in a lifetime thing?"


    Quote Originally Posted by TerminalPhoenix
    Audience! Wooo!

    I have been skydiving and it was an amazing experience. I've jumped from 11,000 feet and I've only done it once. It was a tandem jump so I was strapped on to another person who had way more of a clue of what they were doing than I. I would do it again in a heartbeat. Young or old, the feeling you get as you fall through the air is incredibly liberating.
    To finish off, what games are you most looking forward to, whether in the near or distant future?

    Quote Originally Posted by TerminalPhoenix
    Nooo, you can't go. If you go it means I have to do other stuff, like laundry! Haha.
    Alas, it's 2 a.m. and my mattress beckons...

    Quote Originally Posted by TerminalPhoenix
    I am looking forward to Shadow of Mordor; the more I see of it, the more excited I get to play it. Dragon Age: Inquisition and The Witcher 3 are also on my radar. All three of them are coming soon. The one game I am DYING to play is Child of Light. It looks absolutely stunning and it feels like a lot of love and care was put into it. I was sold from the first 5 seconds of gameplay and I can't wait to get my hands on it.
    Got any projects you'd like to plug, or shoutouts you'd like to make?
    When can people expect to see the next update to your CL?


    Quote Originally Posted by TerminalPhoenix
    Not anything in particular. I want to thank everyone who makes PS3T such an amazing gaming community. I've met some fantastic people and I look forward to spending as much time gaming or chatting with them in the future, as I have done so far. The CL is a constant work in progress, but I hope to have the next 10-20 platinum reviews up by the end of the week. The goal is to do a review for every platinum and then find an innovative/unique way to share my PSN experiences and my thoughts on games I haven't fully completed. More to come!
    Alrighty. Thanks for that chat, Terminal, and congratulations again on your win! Looking forward to that next update!

    Quote Originally Posted by TerminalPhoenix
    Thank you, Faust. Now go to sleep!
    Don't have to tell me twice...

    If you haven't already, do yourself a favour and check out TerminalPhoenix's Checklist now!

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    Congrats, Phoenix. And congrats to Faust on another great interview. I agree with your assessment of Batman Arkham Asylum and Modnation Racers being fun, challenging, and rewarding plats. Keep up the good work

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    Congrats man, great checklist!
    I had a threesome last night, there were a couple of no shows but I still had a good time!


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    Congratulations on your win! I really like the interview, it was a good read
    I still look up to your checklist it is one of the best, and I know you will always find a way to make it even look better!

    Faust you're getting good at this I'm already looking forward to the next one!

    Working on: The next platinum trophy!

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    Faust u ostrich, Gagnon = Winner in French. We see it on every label that says "Winner" (Coca-Cola for example with their iTunes shit) cause bilingual countries op.

    Anyway, well deserved win, TerminalPhoenix. Nice to know more about you, and as I've said many-a-time, lovely checklist m8.

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    Glad my vote counted towards your win
    Another great interview.
    Yep, I'd do another SkyDive in a heartbeat too. Plus my tandem diver was a sexy Aussie girl

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    Great interview lads. So that's how you answer "Tell us a bit about yourself" . My first instinct is always "I take a breath, I let it out, I take another breath."

    I'd also like some of what you're smoking TP. You seem like one big, fat chill pill. I'm at the other end of the spectrum (stupid brain won't shut up!) and envy those who are in a Zen frame of mind.

    Keep up the great work on the CL. As I've said before, it's inspired me to scrap mine and start again, but I won't have time to do that for a couple of months. I'm not going the arty route next time though, it'll be as plain vanilla as vanilla gets (flat & minimalist), but hopefully the content will be useful. So I think CotY will be between your good self and neospoon this time around

    PSN | Steam | XBL | Wii U | 3DS | iOS | OUYA : ant1th3s1s | Checklist of the Year (2012,2013)

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    I stopped reading the moment you mentioned Isaac Asimov was one of your favorite authors. I need not read any other answers to know you're an awesome dude .

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    Awesome interview guys. Such an awesome checklist and its great to learn more about Phoenix

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    A well deserved win for sure Terminal, glad to see your hard work finally pay off and you get the recognition you deserve. Great interview by Faust, if this doesn't get some more action to the site it won't be for your lack of trying. Congrats to both of you.
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    Beautiful checklist and nice to know more about you. Congrats Terminal!
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    Thank you all for the wonderful comments. All the credit goes to Faust, what an incredible asset he is to this community!

    The Road So Far And The Road Ahead
    `2nd place Trophy Checklist (2013)
    `Checklist Spotlight #2 Winner (2014)

    Currently Playing
    `NFS Rivals [64%]
    `Diablo 3: Ultimate Ed. [64%]

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    Quote Originally Posted by TerminalPhoenix View Post
    All the credit goes to Faust...
    You're too kind

    The secret to being a good interviewer is lucking out and getting a great interviewee, and I certainly had that in TerminalPhoenix.

    A big thanks to everyone for reading and commenting. These interviews are as much for you as they are for the Checklist authors, so it's great to see people enjoying them and sharing their support.

    See you all in two months for the next Checklist Spotlight!

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    Congrats to TP and great contribution to the both of you to the site.

    Awesome interview guys.






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