Posted by: Edward Fairclough | July 24, 2010

101arena interviews: NXTGamer’s Matty Boosh (part 1)

We’ve recently been talking to up and coming games journalist Matthew Stewart, or Matty Boosh as he likes to be known. In the first of a two part interview Matt’s told us all about how he got into gaming and the reason behind his dislike for online shoot-em-ups.

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Q: So Matt, tell us little bit about how you got into gaming.

A: “Well I first started playing the Commodore 64, it was about 1985 and I must have been around 5 years old when my parents bought it. Loved it from as soon as I could understand how to play games, they just completely blew me away. A good thing about the Commodore was that you could copy games to an audio tape, and I remember being able to fit maybe 20 to 30 games on one audio tape so I virtually had an unlimited supply of games.

The Commodore 64

Then in 1991 when I reached 10 I remember selling my Commodore 64 and buying the Super Nintendo Entertainment System (S.N.E.S) and after buying the S.N.E.S I’ve never looked back from console gaming.”

Q: So was gaming a big part of your childhood?

A: “ Definitely yes but as I got into my teenage years gaming just didn’t seem as important to me, I was out playing football with mates and things and I found myself renting games a lot more opposed to buying them. My console just turned into something I played when I was bored. This all changed though when I turned 16 and Sony brought out their first console; the PlayStation. Me and a Friend of mine went out and bought one and straight away I remember playing some absolute stunning games, games like Tomb Raider, Ridge Racer and one of my Favourite’s Destruction Derby were all amazing.”

Q: Would you say the PS1 was your favorite console?

A: “The PlayStation 1? No. You see the problem with the PlayStation was that it was extremely easy to play copied games, you didn’t need to get it chipped or flashed like you would now. I remember having crazy amount’s of games, I was probably getting 2-3 games a week and the downside with this was that I never completed a game, I was always moving on and constantly buying the latest games. So as much as I loved the PS1 I brought the downfall myself by having to many games for it.”

Q: So did you go on to buy the PlayStation 2 when it was released?

A: “Ohh absolutely yes, no question about it. I sold my PS1 and and got a PS2 as soon as it launched in the UK. I got into games Like Silent Hill and Pro Evo but eventually just like when I was a teenager I got bored of gaming, I had no enthusiasm for it and spent most of my time going out with friends and partying. It just stayed in my room gathering dust and was only turned on when I was bored. I even got it chipped!”

Q: So what were your thoughts when you heard news of the Xbox?

A: “Well again I wasn’t too fussed about it. A problem for me as well was I didn’t like the size of the pads, even when I was playing on the N64 it felt uncomfortable since I was used to the small PlayStation pads, and when I saw one of the Xbox pads at a friends house I remember laughing hysterically at the size of them. Although I remember being blown away by how good the games looked graphically and eventually when I had some spare cash I went down to Game and bought one.”

Now thats a big guide button!

Q: What were your views on the Xbox first time you played it?

A: “I loved it, absolutely loved it, but I struggle to remember what games I first played, probably Tomb Raider or Silent Hill. This was until I was round at a friends house and he showed me Fable for the first time. As soon as I saw it I had to get it, and I wasn’t even an RPG fan. So I went out and bought it that day and I absolutely loved it!”

Q: Do you think fable was the game that brought you back into gaming?

A: “Yeah I think your right there, I think it would have done. I just spent so many hours playing it and then my house-mate went and bought an Xbox just so she could play Fable, it was honestly that good!”

Q: You mentioned earlier about how playing copied games ruined your PlayStation experience, did you ever play copied games on your Xbox?

A: “I did actually get my Xbox chipped but not so I could play copied games but for two reasons; 1) I could store more games on it ( I actually got a 80gb hard drive installed) and 2) I could play games that I previously played on other consoles. I had so many emulators on there, I even had a Commodore 64 emulator on there. So all the games I played throughout my childhood were all on this little black box of dreams and I could play them any time I liked.”

Q: So did you move straight on to buying the Xbox 360 when that was released?

A: “Well I actually sold my original Xbox because I was broke, and I went for about 3 months without a console. But this all happened in 2005, and of course this was when the 360 was first released. The 360 was a definite buy for me and about 4-5 weeks after its release I saved up some cash and went and bought one.”

Q: So did you have any interest going back Sony’s PlayStation?

A: “I didn’t no, I had no interest of going back to Sony. I had become such a Microsoft fan-boy and I loved the whole Xbox Live thing. Many of my friends went and bought one on launch and I talked to them via Live.”

Q: As you know the 360 is regarded as being the best console for online gaming, what were your thoughts first time you used the 360 for online gaming?

A: “Well I first played online multiplayer gaming on the Dreamcast, but that was more or less playing with friends or people you already new. Anyway the first game I played online on the 360 was Halo, and because im not much of a FPS fan I didn’t really get the whole point of it, all you did was shoot other players, or get shot! When I first started playing online properly it was with FIFA, and I started to understand all the different leagues and leaderboards that were involved with the games, and at that point a really started to get into online gaming. I started playing different types of games online like Tony Hawk and Forza, and I remember when CoD 4 came out and all my mates were playing it and I felt a bit left out, and even though I hate first person shoot-em-ups I went and bought it and I honestly really enjoyed it. It was such a laugh running around and stabbing your mates in the back of the head, and then talking the p*ss out of them afterwards. I really got into Call of Duty for that aspect but it was when I went on open online games with it I realised it wasn’t for me.”

Q: What’s your reason for not liking online FPS game’s much?

A: “ I think people just talk it far too seriously. I mean if your playing online and your, say, rank 3 your considered a ‘noob’, but if you go and kill someone that ranked really high or prestige they scream at you! Its just a game, i bet most players are probably 14 years old, not even old enough to play those sort of games and they’re sat there playing it 23 hours a day sniping people! I tell you what if people are that much into it they should go down to a careers office and join the military for real.”

Q: So are you not much of a fan of the open online aspect of gaming?

A: “I do enjoy it but a lot of it comes down to the people your playing with. People that cant take defeat in a game is something I cant stand. Take FIFA for example, I consider myself to be pretty good on it but I’ve played against some people and I’ll find myself being 6 nil down at half time, but I don’t quit out, ill carry on going and yeah I might take the p*ss and shoot from all angles but if I quit out its not fair on the other person that may be trying to build their rank up. Sometimes I may be say 3-4 nil up and you can tell your opponent is going to quit out on you, its so frustrating. Also EA don’t make it any easier. I mean there’s a 0g Xbox achievement that you get awarded for quitting out of a game 5 times, which in my opinion encourages it and I don’t agree with that.”

Q: So do you prefer the single player experience over online play?

A: “If im honest I actually prefer online co-op. There’s nothing more fun that playing through a campaign or career with a friend, games like GTA or Saints Row are absolutely ace on co-op. I remember me and a mate used to rush home from work to play Saints Row 2 on co-op, we’d play it all through the night and we’d be turning up to work the next morning feeling ruff as hell. Its great fun! I do love the whole community feel when it comes to the online world, some of the features on Xbox Live are great, but when it comes to the online gaming aspect im not that big of a fan.”

Ahh, so much fun.

Q: Well your obviously a big console user, what’s your views on PC gaming?

A: “I think PC gaming can be very good but nowadays it’s more for pro gamers. Unlike console gaming where you can just pick up a pad and play, there’s so many different peripherals you need to really enjoy PC gaming. For racing games you need a decent steering wheel, for FPS or simulation games you may need a decent joystick. I personally used to love Football Manager on the PC, its something I’d play if I fancied a change from the Xbox or the PlayStation and I’d often play it for hours at a time. But yeah console gaming will always be my favourite out of the two.”

Q: One question I’ve got to ask, of all the games you’ve played what would you say is your favorite and why?

A: “Erm, well there’s so many different games, and so many different reasons why the could be my favourite. Back on the Commodore 64 there was a game, which in my eyes will be champion till the day I die, which was called Exile. It was a very basic side scroller, where you were an astronaut on an alien planet and you just had to explore. You’d look at it now and laugh; a black background with the odd star here and there. But back then, which was about 1988, it was classed as being really quite dark. More modern games I really enjoy would probably be the Fable series, the GTA series and I enjoy a lot of sports games as well, like FIFA. I even like playing the odd FPS, like Left for Dead, which I found fun as it wasn’t too serious. I just enjoy games in general, if you look at my Xbox games list I’ve played that many games I cant remember them all, some probably better not to remember.”

Its better than some of todays cover art..

You can read Matt’s latest reviews on NXTGamer.com. Look out for part 2 of the interview when Matt will be telling us how he got into the world of gaming journalism and whats involved in the job. Coming soon.

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