Another interview, and this time we try to get to know Sympozium a little better.[drop2]
As always, we start with: Who are you, how old are you and where do you come from?
Well my name is Gary McConnell, my age is 19 and I’m from Northern Ireland.
A layer of the enigma that is you is finally peeled back! Where did your user name come from?
I don’t know… I had a previous username on the PSN and I’d grown tired of it so I decided to make a new one. It wasn’t so difficult since I was listening to a lot of Sympozium by Dimmu Borgir, it was quite cool at the time, so I went for that.
I’ve noticed you do occasionally go through a user name every other day on TSA, it seems!
Oh yes! In the early years I would’ve changed it a lot, it was really like my current mood and what I loved the most. Recently I thought it was best to use “Sympozium” just so I won’t confuse anyone.
There were the occasional screams of rage from Alex when you would change it too often, I remember. How did you first get into gaming?
Well I got into gaming because of my Aunt, who gave us a Master System. I was basically introduced to gaming by Sonic and it was great, but then my cousins would have got the MegaDrive, and Sonic was even better on there. I would always go to their house to play on their Mega Drive with them, it was so fun.
Quite a few people seem to have started off with Sonic. Where did you go from there with consoles?
I got a PlayStation for Christmas in 1999, but the games I had weren’t the best. It didn’t really do it for me until I got Croc: Legend of the Gobbos. What can I say? It was well balanced, the level design was great and it was quite addictive. From there I guess I really got into gaming. I would get magazines for demos, read reviews and check out the latest games of that time.
Quite a late adopter of the PS1, then? Did you not get into what we would now consider the absolute classics of the platform? Metal Gear Solid, Final Fantasy, that kind of title?
Well not really, the games I had were the likes of Rayman, MediEvil and WipEout. I got a Dreamcast a year after the PS1, so all the games were traded in. Then the same kind of thing happened with the Dreamcast. Sad times, but I played Soul Reaver 2 on my cousins Playstation 2, where at the time I thought it wasn’t great because of the games my friend had. Then after that it was just Soul Reaver and Gran Turismo 2, on the PS1 again, that really got my time.
Ah, that’s a bit of a shame. Do you ever think you might want to go back, and play some of the games that regularly populate top 10 lists? Perhaps via the recent spate of HD re-releases?
Well I’ve now bought most of them from the Playstation Store.
How have you found them? Which games have managed to stand the test of time?
I just play them if I know they have great gameplay, perhaps the Final Fantasy games have and then Soul Reaver, but I usually play them on the PSP.
Bringing it right up to date, how long have you been a part of the current generation of gaming? Do you have more than one console?
I had a Playstation 3 from its launch, and basically I used it to play hours of FIFA and Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi 2. It really put me off buying new games that were on PS2, but the games for the PS3 was quite good. I enjoyed Resistance and Sonic the Hedgehog, then MotorStorm before the finale that was Oblivion.
I guess 2007 got better by Christmas with the number of games, so it was quite healthy for the PS3 afterwards, and each year since has been amazing.
Yeah, it’s got better since launch and really matured. No Wii or 360, though?
I had a 360 for a while but it was kind of hard to juggle with three platforms, alongside the PSP and PS3. Then once I had money I got a PS2 again to start collecting rare games, and also bought a Wii to play a game series I was fixed on with the PSP, which was Monster Hunter.
It’s often the way, that a single platform takes the lead over competitors. Right, lets head onto that “favourites” section of the interview: What’s your favourite game, or game series?
Thats too easy! While there’s like thousands of games I’ve played, none have quite captured my heart for years. I just love Monster Hunter, and the social part is what makes it shine. The community has been a great help to my ventures towards Hunter Rank 6, and now I return the favour by helping lower ranked players too. Even better I made great friends, its really positive and so full of kind people.
That sounds lovely. I’ve never played a Monster Hunter game before, but I know they’re extremely popular in Japan. Moving swiftly along to the game that you’re most embarrassed to have played? Perhaps it’s a guilty pleasure of yours?
Well everyone hated it at the time, so I guess Sonic The Hedgehog, it wasn’t so bad. it had good boss battles and music.