Staff Bio Week 7 – Guy Desmarais

guydesmaris.jpg Name: Guy Desmarais
Nickname: Kapoutman
Location: Montreal, Quebec

Three Favorite Genres:
Platformers
Action-Adventure
Too many genres tied for third

Favorite Console: Nintendo 64

Three Favorite Games:
The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time (N64)
Super Mario Bros. 3 (NES)
Super Mario 64 (N64)

Other Places Their Writing Can Be Found:
kapoutland.net
insidepulse.com
tpww.net (archives)

Bio: Guy Desmarais started on the Intellivision, nonchalantly playing games like Donkey Kong Jr. or The Smurfs. When his parents bought the brand new NES, it was love at first sight. Starting with the Mario series, and eventually moving on to harder games, Guy looked like he was a natural. His only problem was that he couldn’t speak English, resulting in a two-year long quest to finish the original Legend of Zelda. By the time “A Link to the Past” came around, he sat down with an English-to-French dictionary and vowed to make it through the game before he hit puberty. Over the years, he has kept an unflinching love of everything Nintendo, even making it through the dark years of Sony’s dominance. Being more than a video games columnist/reviewer, Guy is also a skilled amateur hockey player as well as the webmaster of his own site.

1. Alexander Lucard- “What about Nintendo makes you foaming at the mouth loyal to them. Even in the dark days of the Gamecube and N64.”

It’s simply because Nintendo has always been the one to provide me with my favorite games. The Mario and Zelda series are at the top, and back when I was a huge wrestling nerd, THQ/AKI games where at their best on the N64. I am not loyal to them to the point of being blind when it comes to other consoles. I still enjoy playing other consoles with my friends, but since my money is a bit limited, I try to concentrate on what I like the most.

You mention the N64 as “Dark Days”, but its lifespan held some of my greatest gaming years. Super Mario 64, Ocarina of Time, Goldeneye, the wrestling games, Blast Corps, Star Wars: Rogue Squadron, Pilotwings 64, Mario Kart 64… My friends and I were hooked. I did stop buying as much games when I entered college in 2001 (which coincides with the Gamecube era), so when I finished my degree in 2004 and had more free time, I bought a Gamecube as well as every good game I had missed. So in a very small time frame, I went through Wind Waker, Super Mario Sunshine, Paper Mario, TimeSplitters and many other fabulous games. All in all, the Gamecube years weren’t too bad for me either because I had a huge backlog of games to go through.

2. ML Kennedy – “Guy, which Canadian pasttime would make for the best Video Game:

A. Going to Tim Hortons
B. Eating Poutine
or
C. Watching beavers build lodges?”

They all have a bit of potential. Watching beavers build lodges could be in the next “Endless Ocean: The Great White North Edition” where divers also stalk salmons going upstream while trying to dodge the occasional bear that’s gone fishing. Poutine could be Quebec’s gift to the upcoming “Cooking Mama: International Recipes”. But I think that Tim Hortons has the most potential, with Tim Horton himself appearing in advergames similar to “Sneak King” and “Pocket Bike Racers”.

3. Dave Olvera – “Can the Habs suck any harder?”

Of course they can! They’ve been on a roll lately, so it’s never as bad as the dreaded years where Réjean Houle was our GM and the team was a heaven for old timers and 4th line players. Right now, they only suck part time, so as long as Alex Kovalev can keep playing good and Huet can continue to play like he does now, I will be satisfied. Plus, we’re even battling for first place right now!

UPDATE: We finished first in the East! YEAH!

4. Misha – “What is the

1) Best
2) Worst

thing about the Canadian caming scene?”

1) The best thing is that the gaming industry is finally becoming a viable career choice for Canadians. If the industry had been as developed when I was in college as it is right now, I’m not sure I would be doing what I do right now. So the success of many Canadian-made titles, like Assassin’s Creed and Mass Effect is only showing that we have the talent necessary to create games on par with any other region of the World.

2) Can we have games at the same date as the USA, please? We’re not that far, you know.

5. Mike O’Reilly – “Guy, do you find it useful that all games in Canada have to have both an English and a French instruction manual?

Also, how do you feel about Quebec taking the blame for Rock Band’s delay launching in Canada?”

For someone like me, there is no real utility considering the fact that I have a good knowledge of the English language. Still, not everybody in Quebec speaks English, so for the sake of trying to sell more games, I can see the point. Games sold in Spain would be in Spanish, so games sold in Quebec should have both languages.

I didn’t know we were taking the blame for Rock Band’s delay. It can’t be because of the in-game translation, as my friend owns it and I can tell you there is none. It’s not because of the instruction booklet, because EA has been including French booklets in their game for a long time now. So what’s their excuse? And why wouldn’t they be able to do something that every other publisher has been able to do without a hassle? Nintendo even releases bilingual games nowadays, without delay.

6. Bryan Berg – “What is the most annoying stereotype Americans have of Canadians? And how true is it?”

I don’t really know any stereotypes that Americans have of Canadians since I am French Canadian. Quebec kinda lives in its own little world, so I’m not really aware of that. The only two I know of is that Canadians are supposed to say “eh” at the end of each sentence or that Canadian beer is supposed to be stronger, but I wouldn’t call them “annoying”.

One thing that American don’t seem to understand though is that “French” and “French Canadian” is not the same thing. I know that sometimes, when Americans notice that I speak French, they start joking about berets, smelling like onions and eating cheese. I usually tell them that they get their stereotypes mixed up and that Quebecers are more like lumberjacks. Quebecers have as much stereotypes of French people as Americans do. ;)

7. Frederick Badlissi – “In your opinion, would an alternate history in which the British crown DID NOT acquiesce to Quebec’s wish to speak French be a compelling game? Why or why not? And if so, what points would you highlight?

Also, if it is apparent that I have no command of French-speaking Canadian history, do let me know.”

Well, British government DID NOT want Quebec to speak French. In fact, with Lord Durham’s report and all that stuff, the recommendation was to assimilate us, which obviously did not work. We earned the right to speak French by revolting and waging war at obviously losing odds. Yeah, we ended up losing, but by resisting, it showed that French Canadians would not settle with being assimilated, so they just kinda let us be in the end.

However, I have to agree that a game about Quebec patriots from 1837 to 1839 could be cool. Lots of battles happened during that time, and while the game would eventually end with the death of its protagonist, it would have a good story of resistance and rebellions. It could have potential.

8. Mark B. – “Is the gaming culture dramatically different in Quebec as opposed to how it is here (with full television ads for high-profile games and 8-bit Mario shirts on sale in every Target and Hot Topic across the country)?”

We always had TV spots and publicity, although not with the frequency and visibility it has in the United States. T-Shirts are also present, but more recent. I wasn’t seeing a lot of it until the last year or so.

I wouldn’t say that it’s very different, just that I know a lot of people who had difficulties playing some text-heavy games in the 90’s because of the language barrier, but I don’t know if that would have shown differences in Quebec’s sales charts from the time when compared to the USA. Nowadays, more and more games are being translated in French, but it doesn’t really matter to me. I still play them in English, mostly out of habit, but also because the translation is often laughable.

9. Chuck Platt- “What is your least favorite game genre and why?”

I haven’t played an MMO game I liked yet. I don’t have the patience to go back to a game with the regularity needed to be effective. I don’t have the will or the interest needed to maintain a character for a long period of time.

There are also other genres that I don’t usually play, like puzzle games or shmups, but even in these categories, I usually find a game or two which I love, while when it comes to MMO games, I have absolutely zero interest.

10. Bebito Jackson – “Rate the following games in descending order of greatness, 1-10:

Super Mario World (SNES)
Mario Teaches Typing (PC)
Super Mario Bros. 2 (NES)
New Super Mario Bros. (DS)
Dr. Mario (NES)
Mario Tennis (N64)
Mario Bros. (Arcade)
Mario Kart (NES)
Mario Kart: Double Dash!! (GC)
Donkey Kong (Arcade)”

Super Mario World (SNES)
Super Mario Kart (SNES)
New Super Mario Bros. (DS)
Mario Tennis (N64)
Mario Kart: Double Dash!! (GC)
Super Mario Bros. 2 (NES)
Dr. Mario (NES)
Mario Bros. (Arcade)
Donkey Kong (Arcade)
Mario Teaches Typing (PC)

Super Mario World is one of my favorite game ever, so that was easy. Super Mario Kart just might be the best kart game to ever exist (although depending on my mood, this could also be Mario Kart 64). The New Super Mario Bros was surprisingly fun, with creative level design that reminds me of the old days. Mario Tennis is in my opinion the best Mario sports game. It’s a shame that the sequel wasn’t as good. Double Dash is another favorite of mine simply for the one screen multiplayer mode. Super Mario Bros 2 is probably the worst of Mario’s platformer, which still places it above 90% of every other platformers ever released. I still get the itch for a couple Dr. Mario games every once in a while, which shows the game’s staying power. Mario Bros. was a favorite of mine when I was younger, but haven’t played it in years. I know Donkey Kong like the back of my hand, but it doesn’t have a lot of replay value. Finally, I never played Mario Teaches Typing, so it gets last place by default.

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