(Edit 8/7/2019: Some minor edits to help make the reading experience a bit more enjoyable – Jason)
Our very own Sterling recently had the opportunity to interview someone we consider knowledgeable on all things gaming from an industry and enthusiast perspective. Growing up different, possible titles in the Switch’s future and much more can be found below. Enjoy, dear readers!
Sterling: OKAY. First. How are you, Stealth? How was your work week?
Stealth: My week was good. I’m always quite busy during the week.
Sterling: You do market analysis correct? How in the world does one get into that profession?
Stealth: I work in Market Research yes, and it’s funny: I just sort of fell into it when I wasn’t really as interested in Finance as I was in College. I started from a junior position and worked my way up.
Q: So it’s not something you saw yourself doing when you were younger? Do you work with a lot of like-minded people? (Like gamers/nerds)
A: No, it isn’t something I ever saw myself doing when I was younger, but I can’t imagine doing anything else now, as I get to work with many different people in many different industries. I feel like a lot of times in the workplace, at least in the workplaces I’ve been, if people are gamers they tend to hide that aspect of themselves.
Q: Do you hide it a bit at work? I work at a restaurant during the day, and most of my coworkers would rather party than play games, so I tend not to talk about it at work either. It always makes me kind of sad.
A: Do I hide it now? Not so much. Did I feel a bit self-conscious about it for whatever reason when I first started working? Yes. It’s important to be who you are, even if it’s something that someone else couldn’t imagine participating in.
Alright, I’m definitely taking that philosophy and applying it to my life.
Q: Something I don’t understand is that, from the way you talk about and have worked your way up at your job, I have no idea how old you are. You seem very young, and I saw you on Bobby the Nintendo Guru’s show and you looked very young. So just how old are you, Stealth? You’re wise like an old-timer but have the passion of a young man.
A: I’ll just say I’m over 30. Haha. A man does not reveal his age. I’ve been playing video games for a long time and have experienced this industry from the early days to current times.
Well, that’s not even that old! But I respect your will to keep the mystery!
Q: You’ve tweeted many times that, because of your job, you don’t have a lot of time to play games during the week. Does this upset you ever or do you just kind of grin and bear it?
A: I think it’s the nature of being an adult sometimes. I would have loved nothing more than to retire at 22 and play games constantly but unfortunately, life doesn’t work that way.
Q: You’re making me nervous. I’m 22. Does it not get any better from here?
A: In terms of free time? I don’t believe so. Haha
Well, now I’m just sad. Haha
Q: I remember you saying that you like to spend time going through your game collection/Nintendo Power and game guides collection. Do you find this just as therapeutic as playing games? What’s your favorite item in your whole collection?
A: I enjoy reading old game magazines to see where the industry was and to see where they thought it was going. I find it very valuable to look into the past to understand the future.
It’s hard for me to pick out one item and say, ‘This is my favorite,’ but I have a collection of over 700 games and many JRPG imports that are just very very hard to find.
Q: Spoken like a true analyst! And oh my lord. That’s a fair answer. Well then, what system do you have the most games for?
A: I’d say my collections for my handheld systems are probably the biggest, GBA, DS, 3DS. I have hundreds and hundreds of games.
Q: This sound like it takes up a butt-load of space. Do you live alone?
A: I do live alone, yes.
Q: Does this mean Stealth is a single man?!
A: Stealth is single.
I may be young, but I know dating can be incredibly hard. Especially the older you get.
Okay, let’s get into the deep stuff.
Q: You recently opened up on Twitter about your disability, and you were born with one ear and have a lot of trouble hearing. When I saw you on Bobby’s show, I honestly could not tell at all. Is it more noticeable in person?
A: It is more noticeable in person, but I actually have a surgically grafted implant. Now rather than it looking like I have no ear, it looks like I have a weird ear. Haha.
Q: I can only imagine how it affected you growing up. What was your school-life like?
A: My school life was great at times and very rough at other times. When you’re a kid that pretty much has anything different about them at all; it can put a bullseye on your back for bullying.
Q: Not to bring up bad memories, but do you have any stories involving it? I honestly find you can get a good sense of who someone is by the shit they have had to go through.
A: That’s all in the past. Haha. But needless to say, I really discovered things through it all that made me happy — i.e. video games, anime, comics, and hobbies where I could escape when the day wasn’t great.
Q: Did you have that one game/comic/show that really helped you when times were tough?
A: Nintendo games and JRPGs just like they are today.
Isn’t that just the most wholesome answer. Haha. Okay, one last question on this topic and then we will move on.
Q: I have some trouble hearing so I like to turn the TV louder than regular people which can be a problem when I’m watching a movie or playing games with friends. Does the same thing happen to you?
A: Yes, but instead, I keep the sound off.
Q: Woah, woah, woah. So you watch and play things without sound?
A: Sometimes, for me, it is about preserving the hearing I have.
Q: Anime…subbed or dubbed?
A: I enjoy Anime with subtitles. I like Japanese voice actors/actresses.
Okay let’s talk about the games. The good stuff.
Q: Now I’m about seven hours into Xenoblade Chronicles 2, and I’m not liking it as much as I thought I would. But I like getting other people’s perspectives so that it might make me appreciate aspects I wouldn’t have noticed. So why is this game one of your favorites?
A: I don’t even know where to begin with this game. The characters are interesting, the battle system is great, the enemies are fun to fight, the towns are well designed with interesting NPC’s to talk, the quest lines are fun and unique, and my god, man, the music.
Q: Okay, let me tell you my issues with the game. And maybe you can go into more detail and give context? One of the things for me in the battle system: I find it kind of dry? Like you’re just waiting to use special moves. BUT like I said, I’m pretty early in the game and definitely going to play more. Does the battle system get more interesting?
And I’m a turn-based JRPG fanatic, so I’m used to slower-paced battles.
A: The battle system is very nuanced, and later on, you will find out that it is a game that makes certain things happen mid-battle
Q: Okay. That excites me. Do you think Rex will ever be added to Smash?
A: I think Sakurai wanted that, but the roster was decided well before Xenoblade 2, and it’s pretty clear the DLC is going to be third party only.
Q: I meant more so in possible future Smash games?
A: Yes, I think he’s very likely.
Q: I know you sometimes have insider knowledge of certain things, but you also willfully don’t want to know certain aspects. Do you know anything about the last two characters?
A: I knew the characters who would be in the base roster, most of them anyway, but nobody knows who will be in the DLC.
Q: Would you want to know if you could? Or is the reveal aspect so special that you wouldn’t want to know?
A: I used to want to know these things, but now, I am perfectly happy to be surprised. When older, you realize the surprise is more rewarding!
Q: I know you’ve gone through a lot of the Final Fantasy games on Switch. Have you played FF13 and do you think it will get a Switch port?
A: I do like FF13 and it feels like almost everything Square develops comes to Switch so I’d say it’s likely
I like the sound of that very much.
I’m going to quickly list off some games, you give me a score out of ten for how likely they are to come to Switch.
- Octopath Traveler 2
- A new Mario Strikers game
- Grand Theft Auto 5
- A second 3D Mario game
- Persona 5
- A remaster of an older Fire Emblem game
- Final Fantasy 6 remade in the Octopath engine.
Octopath Traveler 2: 10/10
A new Mario Strikers game: 3/10
GTA 5: 0/10
A second 3D Mario game: 5/10
Persona 5: 1/10
A remake of an older Fire Emblem game: 10/10
Final Fantasy 6 remade in the Octopath engine – Dunno, but I wish this becomes true.
Q: I find it fascinating that you don’t think Persona 5 will come to the Switch? What’s your reasoning?
A: Nothing other than I feel like if it was going to happen it would have. Atlus seems to like the idea of Persona being a Playstation IP and Shin Megami Tensei being exclusive to Nintendo now.
There is just such a strong outcry from fans. I think it’s really up in the air, but you’re probably right, and I’m just grasping at straws.
Q: Another series you really love though is Fire Emblem. So what is the one thing you’re looking forward to in Three Houses?
A: I’m looking forward to the story, to understand how friends going to school can somehow become enemies in a big war.
Q: So which house will you choose first?
A: Black Eagle. Edelgard is the queen of this game.
Alright, alright. I mean… she is definitely no Claude, but I guess you’re allowed to have your opinion. But honestly, I think they did a great job of making every house look varied so that your choice feels personal and different each time.
Q: Now to wrap things up. Stealth, if you had this one chance to give some definitive words of wisdom to the world, what would they be?
A: Treat people how you would like to be treated, even people you dislike. Life is too short for negativity.