Interview: Beatbox

You might not know him as Beatbox, but you’ll have seen his PSN ID, eFertLISdotcom, atop of the leaderboards on the PS3’s toughest score-based games. His times on Gripshift are ridiculous and his skills on Super Stardust HD legendary. So what does he think of Trophies? Read on to find out.

So, you’re what we’d call a hardcore gamer – roughly how long do you spend in front of your PS3 a week?

Just playing games, I’d say about 20 to 25 hours a week. A bit more if we include listening to music, watching Blu-Ray movies, and internet use.

How long have you been playing games for, then?

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I was born in 1978, so I probably started right away with my parents Pong clone – Wonder Wizard. My family went on to purchase a Magnavox Odyssey 2 with the voice module and a Commodore 64 before getting into Nintendo Gameboy and Sega Genesis. Also spent as much time and quarters as I could in the arcades here in the US before they started disappearing.

Do you still have the Commodore 64?

I wish! Can’t believe my family gave it away! My current line up includes PS3, PSP, PS2 slim, Xbox, Dreamcast, PS1, Phillips CD-I, Genesis, NES, Odyssey 2000 and a Wonder Wizard. I once owned but no longer have a Gameboy, Game Gear, Gameboy Advance SP and the Commodore 64.

You were the first person (that we know of) to 100% Super Stardust HD’s Trophies. How did that feel?

I doubt I was the first one overall since I didn’t get the Team Pack Trophy until the next day. However, it felt great when my friend BobTheFork claimed he beat me to it and took a picture showing him at 100% Trophies and me at 81%. I counter attacked with a picture of the Compare Trophies screen showing that I actually beat him to the last Trophy by 9 minutes.

Was that the hardest one for you to get?

The toughest Trophy for me was the ‘Late Boomer’ Bomber mode one since I refused to use my bombs as defense when I was completely surrounded. Probably took me close to an hour of trying.

What’s your opinion on Trophies at the moment?

I definitely like the concept and how it will likely increase the replay value of games that offer them. The Home integration with 3D Trophies and the newly added ability to link your PSN account online should further enhance the system. Can’t wait to see what it takes to unlock Trophies in upcoming games and patches offered for released games.

Do you see them being a major factor in the future in determining multi-format game buying decisions?

For some people sure. I still believe the differences in game performance, your preferred online commuity of friends, and exclusive features would play a bigger role in determining which console to buy them for. However, I can see people becoming addicted to increasing their Trophy count/level – much like people do with their Gamerscores.

What’s your favourite PS3 title, and why?

Resistance: Fall of Man. Amazing game all around. The lengthy single player campaign kept me interested enough to beat it on all difficulties and then go back to get the rest of the skill points as well as numerous co-op play throughs. The multiplayer was an instant hit for me. Extremely smooth framerate, incredible net code, dedicated servers, awesome party/clan support and a great variety of weapons and game modes. Insomniac’s dedication to offer post release support for the balancing of weapons and game modes, offering additional features and game modes and the whole myresistance.net community was second to none. I wouldn’t have played 8600 rounds (and counting) online if the game wasn’t amazing.

Any others deserve a mention?

There’s a few PSN titles that definitely deserve mentioning and have provided countless hours of fun. Namely Gripshift, PixelJunk Monsters and Super Stardust HD. All are must haves for any PS3 owner.

How long have you owned a PS3 for?

Funny enough, thanks to NeoGAF, I found out about the Game Stop PS3 pre-orders the night before they took place. I stayed up way too late that night and overslept [laughs]. Didnt find a 60GB system until a month after launch.

What do you think of the PSN Store just now, in terms of the titles available and the pricing structure? Do you wish there were more games available?

Definitely satisfied with the selection so far as I own at least 15 PSN games. There’s even a handfull of others on my wanted list that I’ll eventually pick up. The variety, quality and pricing are all great in my opinion and that makes a good combination for impulse purchases. More games are always welcome as long as they aren’t added as filler and offer unique quality gaming experiences. The only thing lacking for me personally is online multiplayer PSN games and PS1 games here in the US. I never got into Warhawk, didn’t buy the Tekken online add-on and can’t even think of a PSN game that I played much of online. Bring on Fat Princess!

Which game would you most want to see Trophies for?

I’d love to see them added to Everyday Shooter and Hot Shots Golf: Out of Bounds. I’m excited to go back through Uncharted, Burnout and PixelJunk Monsters with their announced Trophy support.

Speaking of Monsters, we see your name up there on numerous leaderboards. How do you feel about leaderboards? What’s your secret?

For the most part Leaderboards can give a game infinite replay value. Bringing back the concept of High Scores to those who lived through the arcade era is definitely appealing and just being able to compare yourself to the rest of the world is a wonderful thing. I can’t reveal any secrets since there aren’t any universal ones. Tips would depend on the specific game but fully understanding the game’s scoring system and ways to maximize points/minimize time would be essential to work your way to the top of most games. Persistance is key and excellent reflexes and hand eye coordination can only help. Good luck!

Finally, who’s the most famous person you’ve played with over PSN, and was he/she any good?

I had a chance to play against David Jaffe in Calling All Cars but unfortunately his Bluetooth mic was dead. He kicked our ass though. Also, James Stevenson (Insomniac Community Manager) and Eric Ellis (Insomniac Multiplayer Team Lead) were both part of the NeoGAF Resistance clan. James had his moments but I’m not afraid to point out his negative Kill/Death ratio. Eric Ellis could hold his own and had a positive Kill/Death. The best part about playing with the Insomniac guys was hearing interesting tidbits about the development of Resistance and having direct communication with people who were actually listening to our requests and complaints and using that feedback to make improvements. Both are great guys doing a great job for a great company.

Thanks for your time, Beatbox. I do seem to remember holding the top score on the first PixelJunk title for a little while, but the experience was short lived…

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