Satlazer talks to AVGN’s Mike Matei
1. Seeing as this is Rare Gamer, let’s start with this: how many RareWare (or Rare Ltd.) games have you played, and what would you consider your favorite?
I loved GoldenEye on N64 back in the day. But I guess my favorite would have to be Donkey Kong Country. It had some of the best character detail and backdrops I had seen up until that point. I've always been big into platformers, and DKC was one of the best in its day.
Before that everyone thought of Donkey Kong as it was in the arcade. Rare took a game that was already cemented as a classic, and redefined it for a new generation. It was such a good idea that they're still doing spin-offs to this day like "Donkey Kong Country Returns" which is my favorite game for the Wii.
On another note, my LEAST favorite game developed by Rare would have to be Taboo: The Sixth Sense! Oh, God!
2. What’s your first memory of playing a video game?
It's hard to remember exactly, because it was the early 80s. But I believe the first video game system I ever played was my sisters Atari 2600. This had to be about 1982 or 1983. We only had a handful of games. I remember playing Boxing, Star Voyager and Jungle Hunt. We also had a Commodore 64 and I remember playing B.C.'s Quest for Tires, Lazy Jones and the Commodore version of Ms. Pac-Man.
Also, we used to go to the local Roller Rink back then. And I remember them having a small room with some arcade machines on the side. I recall playing Professor Pac-Man and Super Pac-Man. There really was nothing like arcades back in the early 80s. As a kid, they were the coolest thing in the world. (Ok. As an adult too)
3. You made it quite clear you aren’t a fan of the “White Tanooki Suit” mechanic in Super Mario 3D World, and for good reason. What approach do you believe game developers should take in making games more accessible for kids and new players, but keeping the old-school difficulty and charm of the games of our childhood?
I don't think they need to do anything to make games MORE accessible for new players. Keep it the way it was. New players need to try harder. Failure is part of playing video games. If all you do is win, then you will never get a sense of accomplishment. The fact that they are designing games these days so that everyone can be a winner is disgusting. Lets go back to Donkey Kong the arcade game again. If you're not good at it, then that's YOUR fault. Not the games fault. The whole point is to keep playing and get better at it. The new generation needs to learn that practice makes perfect. And not to expect everything handed to them on a silver platter. (Yes, I sound like an angry old grandfather... back in my day!!!)
4. What would you consider your greatest achievement in all your years of playing games (be it overcoming something particularly challenging or perhaps adding something very rare to your collection)?
One of my better gaming accomplishments was making it to Ganon in both quests of the original Zelda with no sword. And defeating Super Monkey Ball on Gamecube. The master levels are insane!
5. Let’s talk AVGN – something a lot of fans are wondering is if the movie will truly be the finale for the Nerd series. Is this the case? If not, how long do you see the show carrying on for?
There will always be crappy games that deserve the Nerds treatment. So the show must go on!
6. Up until the 100th episode you hand-drew a title card for each and every AVGN episode, but since then it seems this tradition has come to an end. Can you shed any light on why this decision was made, and if we’ll ever see the fan-favorite title cards return?
The main reason is this - I have so many videos to edit, I don't have the time to spend 3-5 days a week drawing a title card. I edit Monster Madness which is 31 videos in October. I edit James & Mike Mondays every week and there are 52 weeks in a year. So we're already at 83 videos a year that I have to edit. Then there are lots of other miscellaneous videos that I edit for the site. Like convention videos, trivia videos Top Tens and so on. Not to mention doing my own solo game reviews on occasion. So that's why I stopped.
Also, there's really no need for there to be title cards in the first place. If we need to show art we can just use the cover to the game.
7. There was a point where we were seeing you quite regularly on AVGN in the form of costumed characters (the Joker, Bugs Bunny, etc.), but it seems this has slowed down the last few years. Can you say if there are any plans to continue with these roles in the future? Possibly even in the upcoming AVGN movie...?
Not unless James decides to make a theatrical style AVGN episode again. Lately, he's been focusing more on the games. And that's fine with me, since that's what the show is about. It's possible though, maybe someday in the future.
8. One last question; of all the old-school games you’ve played that haven’t been acknowledged in decades, what game would you say is the most deserving of a sequel or reboot?
I'd like to see Ghouls N' Ghosts make a comeback. That game had some of the most appealing graphics on the SNES. I'd love to see what it could look like with some sort of stylized modern graphics.
Categories: Donkey Kong Country, GoldenEye, Interviews, Taboo: The Sixth Sense