“I am a real American. Fight for the rights of every man. I am a real American. Fight for what’s right, fight for your life!” Welcome everyone to the latest episode of the Lasombra Files! Its pandemonium here in the studio as we interview one of the legends of the sport, in Episode 4: Arctic Blast! We have the immortal Icebrand with us here today. He has taken time out of his busy schedule of Big Boots and Leg Drops to give us a glimpse into his championship world. He is the defacto king of wrestling games. If it has a platinum, he has it. I don’t think I need to list them all. Grab your Icymania signs and enjoy the show, if you can hear it!
Disclaimer: This interview is reproduced as written by the interviewee with the exception of spelling and some grammar corrections. Picture copyright of its artist/photographer.
Occupation: Ring Announcer for local Pro Wrestling Events
Lasombra: When did you start gaming?
Icebrand: My first gaming system was the NES in 1989, although my dad swears I played Freeway on his Atari 2600 from when I could grip a joystick. I moved from Nintendo to Sony with the PS2 and got my PS3 in 2008.
Lasombra: How did you choose your PSN name?
Icebrand: Icebrand is the name of a common ice sword and many other things in the Final Fantasy series, and anyone who knows me knows my favorite series is RPGs. I was born on January 27th but I didn't want everyone to know that at the time so I put a zero at the end to disguise it.
Lasombra: What motivated you to become a trophy hunter? What was your initial spark?
Icebrand: Two games in early 2009 motivated me to become a trophy hunter: Sonic's Ultimate Genesis Collection and WWE Legends of Wrestlemania. I was just getting interested in trophies at the time and easy as they are to Platinum, they showed me that it could be done with enough hard work and dedication. Although it would be several months before I would Platinum Sonic's Ultimate Genesis Collection, thanks to Yatta!, it motivated me to run through WWE Legends of Wrestlemania as fast as I could. I scored my first Platinum with WWE Legends of Wrestlemania, and as they say, the rest is history.
Lasombra: Are you a trophy hunter, platinum hunter, or a specific hunter? (Example: All GoW game hunter)
Icebrand: Trophy hunter, definitely. My interests are very broad and I don't limit myself to one series or genre. That also means I will often go after games I may never get a Platinum or PSN 100% on, but that doesn't bother me because I'm enjoying the hunt and having fun at the same time.
Lasombra: How many hours do you dedicate to trophy hunting?
Icebrand: If I'm not doing a show that week, a lot. I don't watch TV or hang out much. I'd say about 30 hours per week.
Lasombra: What motivates you to go for that next trophy? How do you stay motivated after a long gaming session, particularly with grinding trophies?
Icebrand: I'm a very competitive person when it comes to trophy hunting. I've always said that grinding and collectible trophies are easier for me than most trophy hunters. I attribute that in part to my love of old-school RPGs where grinding is everything and part to an "eyes on the prize" mentality where I emphasize putting my nose to the grindstone and finding a way to get the job done. If I'm not motivated after a long session, it's usually time for a break.
Lasombra: Have you ever gone through any burnout from your sessions?
Icebrand: Of course. Then you know to take a break. A break may not always mean a break from PS3, however. I have bought many PSN games in my 3+ years that allow me to take a break from the big blockbusters.
Lasombra: What is your proudest platinum? Why? Was it your hardest?
Icebrand: My proudest Platinum is definitely L.A. Noire. It's the Platinum that my friends can't believe I was able to do. I guess it's because the cars can be tricky to find, but for me they were fun to hunt down and beautiful to look at. It just shows that I'm not afraid of grinding and collectibles; in fact, I embrace them.
Lasombra: Do you have a trophy goal for the year? If so, how far are you along in it?
Icebrand: My goal is to do my best and to have a good time doing it. So far, so good.
Lasombra: Do you believe gamers should be allowed to make trophy hunting teams? Why or why not?
Icebrand: I don't like people sharing profiles. I believe it takes away from hard-working individuals. "Teams" demean what is supposed to be an individual hobby.
Lasombra: Do you think Sony should create a world database with every user’s PSN trophy info for all to see? Why or why not?
Icebrand: Absolutely, as long as the "trophy hackers" are not included. I'd love to see some stat collation as well: how many have this or that trophy, for instance.
Lasombra: What tips do you have for someone trying to reach the next level and going after a difficult platinum?
Icebrand: Make sure it's a game you like and one that you will want in your virtual trophy locker, first. The fact that you will like the game will make it easier to Platinum. Get your info and strategy together and stick with it.
Lasombra: Mentioning you are a wrestling announcer I took a look at your list and see you've platted almost every wrestling game. Do you have extra motivation to plat them because of your job?
Icebrand: Absolutely! This is especially true when the trophies send me online. I feel excited showing the fans how someone in the industry takes care of online matches. Not to mention beating up your least favourite big-leaguer at the moment is a great thrill.
Lasombra: Have you been able to meet any of your WWE idols? Would you try and get their autograph on one of your WWE game cases?
Icebrand: I've come across many legends of the 80s and 90s who are still healthy enough to tour and do small shows across the US and elsewhere, such as Jimmy "Superfly" Snuka, Tito Santana, Brutus "The Barber" Beefcake, Kevin Nash and Scott Steiner, just to name a few of the many I've had the pleasure of working with. I would never ask for an autograph since it's considered unprofessional when you're in the business yourself; besides, I rent most of my WWE games since I plat them so fast! Still, working with such legends is part of what makes my business special and a dream come true.
Lasombra: If you were the captain of your own Survivor Series team, what four wrestlers would you pick for your team and why? Also, were you able to create such a team when you were platting one of your many WWE games?
Icebrand: I would want people I can trust (since I'm a ring announcer and not a wrestler) so I would pick four of the best to come out of ECPW (the wrestling promotion that I work with) and make the "big leagues": current WWE wrestler Ezekiel Jackson, former WWE wrestlers Nunzio and Sim Snuka and former WCW wrestler Crowbar. I know these guys would have my back since we all had the same man train us, "Mr. Italy" Gino Caruso. I'm actually not very good at creating Superstars in WWE games (I always screw up on body morphing), so no replicas have been created just yet. We'll see in time.
The interview is over but it’s still crazy here in the studio! The champ has left the building to defend his belt tonight at Gamemania VI. Catch it on pay-per-view by calling your local cable company. Next week we will kick it up a notch with Episode 5: These go to 11.
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