So, zombie dogs, hallucinatory ninjas, the DeLorean, and now a giant Stay Puft Marshmellow man. If this isn’t a blueprint for getting sued by Paramount Pictures I don’t know what is. Richard...Richard...RICHARD! Stop eating the marshmallow droppings. You don’t know where those could have been, or where they came from. Okay, think, think, think...snaps finger...thats it. I have to still be on cocaine back in Episode 8. It’s the only explanation for me running through the streets from a Ghostbusters’s villain in Episode 14: Stay Puft! Charcoal! Where is the charcoal? I’ve got to puke it all up. Where is a burger joint in Japan?
Name: Edmund (Cocoasg)
Occupation: Final-year engineering undergraduate, balancing studies and work as a freelance waiter/accountant. My dream job goal is to travel the world and be a niche author, and also teach English to less fortunate people (I am actually hearing-impaired and wear a cochlear aid on one ear but I am perfectly able to communicate normally). Great friends are important in life! =3
Country: Sunny Singapore
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.
Lasombra: When did you start gaming?
Cocoa: At the tender age of 4 or 5. I was introduced to Sega Saturn and some sweet games, like Virtua Fighter and Nights into Dreams (that was such an enthralling game for its time). After thoroughly beating my uncle at Virtua Fighter *chuckle*, I then opened up my game repertoire, as I grew up, to include Final Fantasy 7 and the start of my Final Fantasy addiction. I would run up screaming to my little brother when I caught a chocobo for the first time, swooning in a Victory Fanfare tune, and soon, I was absorbed into the beautiful world of Midgar and Cloud and Co. That was also the seed to my RPG-loving side. I then continued on to FF8, 9, X, X-2, XII and XIII, evolving into the FF genius that you see here today. Other classics and games that I also loved throughout the years were Suikoden, Grandia, Musashi, Diablo 2, Guild Wars and many more.
Lasombra: How did you choose your PSN name?
Cocoa: 'cocoa' because I simply love coffee! It always excels in keeping me awake under stress. 'sg' as a reference to my country. I would have chosen another name like 'sakesg', because I love warm sake too! But that does sound weird, no? Either way, 'cocoasg' became very easy to type in whenever logging in and so the rest is history.
I made a mistake thinking that you were referring to my website gaming handle here, 'cocoasg'. Just add to that that my PSN username 'LiveAndLetEDO_SG' came about as I was playing a monk in Guild Wars during my teenage years (and providing so much healing support in my clan's glory days) that they kind of gave me that moniker, hehe. Live and let Edo (my nickname), right? That still holds true today whenever I play multiplayer over PSN; I like to help out my team as much as I can. ^o^
Lasombra: What motivated you to become a trophy hunter? What was your initial spark?
Cocoa: My first trophies arrived with my purchase of a PS3 upon the release of FFXIII which I had been anticipating for such a long time. Fuelling my FF addiction never felt better, and soon, I was sinking a hundred hours into the game, and finding out more about the trophies that were totally new to me at that time. I was intrigued in particular by that trophy that required me to 5-star every single Cieth Stone mission; it sparked the completionist in me, and that was the beginning of my trophy adventure.
Lasombra: Are you a trophy hunter, platinum hunter, or a specific hunter? (Example: All GoW game hunter)
Cocoa: I would view myself as a platinum hunter, being the completionist that I am. I do not care about how many trophies I obtain but rather prefer to complete each game to its fullest potential, uncovering all the secrets so hidden in them. I also only play games that I am genuinely interested in or love to play.
Lasombra: How many hours do you dedicate to trophy hunting?
Cocoa: Up to 12 hours on each Sat and Sun (what better day than a weekend to spend at home, right?), and up to 4-6 hours on every weekday, given my schedule.
Lasombra: What motivates you to go for that next trophy? How do you stay motivated after a long gaming session, particularly with grinding trophies?
Cocoa: I take care not to get burnt out at all. I play games to enjoy the experience, not stress myself over trophies. Thus, you can see that I am still missing one trophy in Vanquish; I love that game to death, but I value my enjoyment over a single platinum trophy (and endless hours of frustration). I may, however, finish my Star Ocean platinum one day, but it is one of the most demanding RPG's I have ever played. There are exceptions, though, like FFXIII where I still stayed up for endless Adamantoise grinding despite it being a chore (Lightning, Vanille and Fang, being the pretty ladies that they are, making it so much easier *wink*).
Lasombra: Have you ever gone through any burnout from your sessions?
Cocoa: Very rarely. One time, it was most certainly Yakuza 3! Oh my gosh, the minigame trophy in that game was murder. A friend here, by the gaming handle of Venias (PSN: Kunagiri), can testify to the many, many times I kept complaining to him over PSN about pool, darts and golf, HAHAHA. I kept delaying the platinum completion of Yakuza 3 so many times until one day, I was enlightened and with the power of a mysterious being, I aced that trophy finally. Whew, what a relief. =3
Lasombra: What is your proudest platinum? Why? Was it your hardest?
Cocoa: My proudest platinum....would, no doubt, be Demon's Souls! By far the most satisfying platinum I have ever obtained, not because it was the hardest but because it was such a perfect game. To this day, I can say that I earned this platinum all on my own, doing endless research on any missables and without any item drops from friends. Two other candidates would be Final Fantasy XIII and Shadow of the Colossus (due to its excruciating 3rd Hard Time Attack Trial). To those who have not yet played Demon's and Dark Souls, please do so, especially the upcoming Prepare to Die edition for Dark Souls! =3
Lasombra: Do you have a trophy goal for the year? If so, how far are you along in it?
Cocoa: Nope, no trophy goal for myself. =) I just play games as they come along.
Lasombra: Do you believe gamers should be allowed to make trophy hunting teams? Why or why not?
Cocoa: Hmm, that is a matter of personal preference. It is up to them whether they want to unite under a common cause to achieve something akin to a virtual pixel, but the sense of achievement is certainly worth fighting for. Satisfaction in life comes far too few and in-between.
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?
Cocoa: Why not. This way, we can become closer to each other as gamers. As of now, there are several websites scattered around the Internet, but with their own leaderboards. What we need is a global database where we can discover all other gamers like us, whether to compare trophies, for competitiveness or just to play with new-found online pals; it can only benefit us in the long run.
Lasombra: What tips do you have for someone trying to reach the next level and going after a difficult platinum?
Cocoa: Do not focus on the platinum itself, but rather ask yourself whether you are enjoying every moment of the game that you are playing. If yes, by all means, go for it! If not, diversify your gaming options and enjoy other games in the meantime. Read up on trophy guides to get a feel for what you can expect, but most importantly, just have FUN!
Lasombra: Regardless of the system, what pre-trophy game would you auto-buy if it was released on the PS3 with trophy support?
Cocoa: That dream was already achieved for me with Shadow of the Colossus. Well, if there was another such game, it would be...Valkyrie Profile 1 and 2! *One can only dream...*
Lasombra: Being from Singapore are you multi-lingual? Do the the games released in Singapore come in Chinese too or just English?
Cocoa: The games released here come in R1, R2 and R3 as well (referring to regions, i.e. US, Europe and Asia) so beside English editions, there are also Japanese and Chinese editions as well. More commonly, Chinese and English versions merge together as Asian versions, with the option to choose either Chinese or English text/subtitles. As for multi-lingual, my mother tongue is English, and I know a basic level of Japanese and French while still learning them. Unfortunately, Singapore Mandarin (Chinese) is not my strong forte due to my hearing impairment and it is hard for me to pronounce or understand it properly. The official four languages here in Singapore are English, Malay, Tamil and Singapore Mandarin.
Lasombra: What's the gaming scene like in Singapore? Are they just chain stores? Please fill in the viewers on the ins and outs of the Singapore scene.
Cocoa: The gaming scene here is pretty vibrant. While PS3 and PC players make up the majority of the community here, Xbox gamers are not as common. Though, Blizzard games are very popular here, especially Starcraft 2, Dota 2 and Diablo 3; the original Dota mod of Warcraft 3 was, in the past, one of the most-played competitive games in LAN centres (or PC bangs, as you would call them in South Korea). There are both official game stores and large game retailers (like Challenger, etc.), and to a larger extent, more smaller game shops that specialize in importing PS3 and Xbox360 games, especially R1 and R2 versions since R3 is the Asian version of course. My own favourite game haunt is just near where I live, called GamePlus, and it is really, really good at stocking up on just about everything, provided they do not run out of stock.
Lasombra: Are you the kind of gamer who likes the culture of gaming or do you just buy your game and get out?
Cocoa: I am an absolute lover of this kind of culture. In fact, I have been watching professional Starcraft: Brood War tournaments from South Korea religiously (and also visiting them), which have been very popular in the 2000's; alas, it is now dying out due to the emergence of Starcraft 2. The progamers, and proteams, that still play on will be continuing on into Starcraft 2. If you are interested, follow teamliquid.net to keep up-to-date on the current Starcraft professional scene. I balance my work and studies but I also show my PS3 gaming equal love. You will often see me online on PSN, as those on my friend list can testify, and I also frequent game arcades with RL friends to play fighting games. I hope to one day compete in EVO 2013, teehee; it is the biggest international fighting championship, only held annually.
Lasombra: Having a disability would you like to see games start to have heroes that have disabilities too, or do you want your gaming fantasy world to stay a fantasy?
Cocoa: That would be interesting if you ask me and I honestly do not mind if a game developer wants to try new things. Was there not already a game featuring a hero who is able to lose limbs and get them back... ah, that was NeverDead? Either way, though it would be nice to have a hero with a disability, would that not lower its selling potential, haha? Nowadays, opening impressions are quite important when selling games and so if a developer wants to take the risk with this approach, it would be wise to make the disabled hero able to turn his/her disability into something greater... like they say, a blind man has a better sense of hearing and so is able to have better fighting prowess and to dodge more attacks (in movies at least).
Puking Noises...thank you Daniel Craig. And who said watching James Bond movies would not help me survive a life or death situation? Although I think my cholesterol is shot from all that salt I just ate. If you’ve not cancelled your subscription already loyal viewers I don’t know where I am, or why I’m lying in a puddle of ooze in a bathroom stall. What did that stupid doctor put in that coffee? I need to get to a different hospital in Episode 15: Second Opinion. Why do I have a feeling Cam Neely will be coming through that bathroom stall door? Shudders
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