RAINDROPS: Jacob Dobbs

Monday, March 9th, 2015

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Raindrops is a Q&A series that examines the contributors of Operation Rainfall. On this edition, we turn to the Heartland as contributor Jacob Dobbs answers some questions.

How long have you been a gamer?

It depends on one’s definition of gamer. If I count the time I have been playing games both casually and not casually, it has easily been 17 years, but if I only count the time I have been invested in a variety of games and consoles, it has only been 7 years.

Favorite genre?

My favorite genre is a three way tie. Growing up, the main genres I mainly played were platformers, RPGs, and Racers. These are still my top three favorite genres I enjoy today. Most of my favorite games of all time are platformers, RPGs, or racers.

Favorite game?

My favorite game is no doubt The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. I know it’s a cliché answer, but ever since I got it back in 2002 for the Nintendo 64, I have been playing it every year except for last year. The only reason I didn’t get to it was last year was because I was playing mostly new titles and games stuck in my backlog. Mark my words, I will be playing Ocarina of Time sometime this year. Its a classic game that never gets old.

Nintendo 64

The system I grew up with and have enjoyed for years- the Nintendo 64

Favorite character?

I have many favorite characters. It’s hard to narrow it down to just one character, but if I have to choose one favorite character, I would go with Mario. He was one of the first video game characters I got to know. He is able to use different power-ups, jump high, stomp on enemies, and take on many occupations. He is a racer, a golfer, a doctor, a chef, a baker, and referee. It’s hard to name an occupation Mario has not done yet. He is basically a jack of all trades character who has a mostly spotless track record with only a few blemishes in his career.

How many hours do you spend gaming weekly?

It varies from month to month. Many factors go into it, but I can at least say it has not been as many hours since graduating college.

Funny/scary/etc. Gaming moment:

I will never forget the first time I gathered the four Wizpig Amulets in Diddy Kong Racing. After collecting the fourth piece, I had to shut off the 64 for the night. When I turned it back on the next day and entered Adventure Mode, I was greeted with Wizpig’s head laughing as the camera zoomed into his face. It was a scary unexpected moment back when I was 8 years old. Today, it’s not scary at all.

Last game you bought:

Alundra for the original PlayStation. Since I got it at a reasonable price, I went on ahead and bought it to cross off my Working Designs list of games I do not own yet.

Last game you played:

The last game I played is Ys Origin. I am currently going through Yunica Tovah’s story. I plan to tackle Hugo Fact’s Story and the third mystery character. If there are more characters, please don’t spoil it for me. This was a great purchase back when I found it on sale. For any fan of Ys, this is an excellent game in the series, even if it does take place in the dreaded Darm Tower from Ys I.

Ys Origin

Ys Origin is a fun game on the PC

If you met a game character in real life, who would you be forced to kill?

I would have to save the world and take out Ghetsis from the fifth generation of Pokémon games. He attempted to murder the main protagonist in Black 2 and White 2 by using Kyurem’s ice attacks. If he came after me with a legendary Pokémon, I would want to defend myself.

If you could make one character come to life to hang out with, which character would you choose?

I would want to hang out with Nall from the Lunar series. Who doesn’t like a wise cracking, cocky, smart ca………I mean white dragon. Don’t ever call him a cat, I hear he doesn’t like it. I would want to hang out with them to find out how he learned to transform into a human. I know it’s implied he learned his transformation from Alex and Luna, but I want to know the specific details. It’s still a major plot hole in Eternal Blue.

If you were stranded on a desert isle with just one game song in your iPad, which would it be?

“I’ll Face Myself” from Persona 4 would be the one game song in my iPad. Since I would be stranded on a desert isle, I would need to use my survival skills to make it in the desert. One of my challenges would be facing against my doubts and fears. In that regard, the song is appropriate.

Favorite Soft Drink?

Coca-Cola. It tastes better than Pepsi.

Favorite Hard Drink?

I don’t drink often and when I do, it’s minimal. On the rare occasions I do, it would either be a Jack and Coke or Rum and Coke. As I like to state, please be responsible and be of legal age. Too many of my friends suffered life changing consequences for not doing so.

Favorite Anime?

I haven’t watched enough anime to pick a favorite, but in order to not get the wrath of the readers, I would have to say Dragon Ball Z. It’s another overused answer, but the other anime I watched does not overthrow Dragon Ball Z.

Favorite animated show (non-anime)?

I enjoyed watching Futurama back when it was on the air. I was a sad man when the show ended back in 2013.

Favorite live-action TV show?

I don’t watch a lot of TV anymore, but when I have the good old tube on, I usually like to watch Big Bang Theory.

Favorite competitive event to participate in or watch?

I do enjoy watching my favorite sports teams on television when I am able to do so. I am definitely a homer when it comes to sports. I am always rooting for my Indianapolis Colts and Indiana Pacers when they play against the rest of the teams in their respective leagues. As for the collegiate sports, I root for the Hoosiers and my alma mater. Apologies to all Purdue fans, but I cannot root for the Boilermakers. Finally, I am always looking to watch races, especially the Indy 500 and the big marquee NASCAR events.

Game you regret playing?

The one game I regretted playing was Vay for the Sega CD. I got the game because I found out it was localized and published by Working Designs. Having previously played Lunar I and II, and Popful Mail, I naturally wanted to play Vay. It was also the last game I needed to finish off the Sega CD portion of my Working Designs collection list. Little did I realize it was an archaic, tedious RPG with balancing issues. I give Working Designs credit for attempting to localize Vay, but it was easily the worst Working Designs game I have played. I have played Vay off and on three different times and I still have not finished it. There are many problems I could describe here, but those need to be saved for a possible retro review.

Game you regret not playing earlier?

I wish I could have played Super Metroid as a young kid. While I had neighbors who owned the Super Nintendo, none of them had Super Metroid in their library. I had to wait until 2008 to play it for the first time. Super Metroid received an honor as the first Virtual Console game I bought off the Wii Shop channel. Eventually, I got a Super Nintendo and a copy of Super Metroid. Super Metroid became both my favorite Metroid game and Super Nintendo game of all time.

Super Metroid became one of my favorite games of all time

From unknown to one of my favorite games of all time

Favorite Video Game Weapon?

The Master Sword is a practical weapon. It has a slick design and is neither too big nor too small. Paired with the famous Hylian Shield, it is the evil destroying sword.

During the Nintendo-Sega Console War, which side were you on?

I was no question on Nintendo’s side. I grew up in a dominant Nintendo neighborhood. I also had a Nintendo 64 growing up. While I knew a few people who had a Sega Genesis, the number of people who owned Nintendo consoles vastly outnumbered those who owned a Genesis. I never knew anyone who owned a Sega Saturn or a Sega Dreamcast.

Game You Like, but No One Else Does?

Super Mario Bros: The Lost Levels/Super Mario Bros. 2 is hard, but it’s not impossible to beat. I primarily play the All-Stars port as it is more forgiving than the Famicom original. The Lost Levels is the reason my skill level with Mario’s 2D platformers improved. Mastering The Lost Levels makes the rest of the Mario series easy.

Game You Don’t Like, but Everyone Else Does?

The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask has never been my cup of tea. I have tried to play Majora’s Mask multiple times over the span of 10+ years and I always put it down in just a couple of hours. I respect the game for what it is and I’m glad the fans enjoy it, but I never enjoyed it. I hear the recent 3DS port made some changes to make it less tedious. Perhaps someday, I will give the port a chance, but it’s hard to buy it when I did not like the original version.

What is the one thing you would like to do in your life that you haven’t done yet?

I would like to go to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and see the Indianapolis 500 at the track. I have been to a couple of Brickyard 400 races, but the Indianapolis 500 is the better race. The race is a big deal to the local area. The only other way to catch the race live locally is to tune into WIBC. Since the 100th race happens in 2016, this will be the perfect time to go.

Make a visit to the speedway.

Indianapolis Motor Speedway is one of several places to visit

Favorite style/genre of music?

My favorite genre is rock music.

Favorite musical group?

To be honest, I don’t have a favorite group at the moment.

What is the disc/cartridge that is in all of your consoles at this very moment?

I would be here all day if I had to answer this question for every console. Since my consoles are rotated, I am just going to list the the consoles I have plugged in and the handheld systems:

  • GameCube: Tales of Symphonia
  • Sega CD: Sonic CD
  • Nintendo DS: Kirby: Canvas Curse
  • 3DS: Pokémon Omega Ruby
  • PlayStation Vita: Freedom Wars
  • Game Boy Advance: Kirby: Nightmare in Dream Land
  • Game Boy Color: Wario Land: Super Mario Land 3
  • Sega Saturn: Sonic Jam
  • Wii U: Super Smash Bros. for Wii U
  • Game Gear: Sonic the Hedgehog 2
  • PSP: Castlevania: Dracula X Chronicles
  • Xbox: Halo

The one food people should try when in your state/province/region?

Instead of one food, I am going to endorse one place with nothing but great food. Since I like to support local places, I highly recommend Ivanhoe’s Drive-In. The small diner is located in Upland, Indiana off of State Road 22/Main St. They have excellent burgers, nachos, and other good grub. The main highlight is the 100 different sundaes and shakes on their menu. The combinations of toppings and ice cream will fulfill anyone’s cravings. I remember the first time I had the Cookie Monster, Trojan Two, and Marshmallow Cloud. That’s only 3% of the menu. The famous 100 club is a group of people who have tried all 100 shakes and sundaes. It’s a popular hangout not only for the local residents, but it’s also popular among college students from the universities in and near the area. I went there a few times as a college student and I have been there a few times since graduating college. At one point, one of my good friends was a manager there.

Ivanhoe's Drive-In

With over 100 different sundae and shake combinations, this is one of my favorite local places.

The one drink people should try when in your state/province/region?

Triple XXX Root Beer. Triple XXX is a famous drive-in located in West Lafayette near Purdue University’s campus. I recommend going there to try their root beer and eat their food.

The one place people should check out in your state/province/region?

Indianapolis Motor Speedway should be in everyone’s bucket list. The best time to go there is during the Month of May when the Indy 500 and the 500 Festival occurs. There is a ton of automotive racing history at IMS. With the track being two and a half miles long, it’s the biggest sports stadium in the word. Every time I have been to Indianapolis Motor Speedway, I always had cold chills and Goose bumps. I have only been there twice to see Jeff Gordon win his fourth Brickyard 400 and Tony Stewart win his first Brickyard 400.

Favorite Doctor?

My favorite doctor has to be my Uncle. But since he doesn’t count for this question. my answer is Dr. Mario. He is one of the few video game doctors to actually practice medicine, even though he would end up being sued for malpractice in the real world. The other doctors either have a doctorate or decided to become evil.

A game you believe needs a remake?

I normally do not care for remakes with a few exceptions such as Metroid: Zero Mission. Metroid II needs a remake. It has aged worse than Metroid. If Metroid II is greenlighted for a remake, I would expect a map and radar to be included so I am no longer lost. While there is lava to prevent you from going too far, it can still be a pain to find the one Metroid to destroy to make the next section of SR388 accessible.

Metroid II needs to be remade

Metroid II would be more enjoyable as a remake

What is one game in your backlog you’re guilty about not having played/finished yet?

One game trapped in my backlog void is Tales of Eternia, a.k.a. Tales of Destiny II in North America. To avoid any further confusion, I am going to refer to it as Tales of Eternia. I was able to get Eternia at a good price and I want to put this game in my PlayStation One. Tales of Symphonia needs to be finished first before I start up Eternia.

How long you have been at oprainfall and/or what got you started here?

I am one of several staff members who were recruited in February. 2014 was a year of challenges and adversity for me. I was looking for new opportunities at the beginning of 2015. I happened to come across an article recruiting new people to join the staff. I expressed my interest to the staff and immediately submitted an old book review I did for a Military History course. Soon after, I began training and now I am writing articles and editorials. I hope to eventually write some reviews, especially retro reviews, in the future. I have to be careful to not stretch myself too thin. Moral of the story: Keep your old college assignments; you never know when you might need it.

Favorite Arcade Exclusive Game?

There are quite a few arcade exclusive games I could list, but the one machine to receive numerous quarters and tokens is Star Wars Trilogy Arcade. This was one of my favorite arcade machines. Back in the day, I wanted this game to be ported to the consoles. It sadly never happened and it remained exclusively to restaurants and arcades. I am lucky to still find this machine out in the wild, but I do have to make a drive to play it today. Maybe it will receive a second chance via a digital release on PSN, Xbox Live, and PC.

Most valuable/interesting/favorite game/item in your collection?

A Replica Hylian Shield. This was an item I happened to find at a garage sale. I tend to have luck on my side when I find potential deals. When I asked for the price, it was only $10.00. I was able to purchase it for a bargain price. It is used and I did have to insert a new Velcro strap, but I was happy to get it cheap for my Link costume for both Gen Con and for Halloween parties.