Staff Bio Week 9: Frederick Badlissi

Name: Fred Badlissi
Nicknames: …they exist. Inquire within.
Location: Austin, TX

Three Favorite Genres: At the moment…
2D Fighters
Light Gun games.
Anything with RPG elements outside of traditional RPGs

Three Favorite Games
Samurai Shodown 2 (Neo Geo)
Dr. Mario (NES)
Legacy of Kain: Defiance (XBOX)

Favorite Console: Sega Saturn

Other Places Writing Can be Found:
The Daily Texan
411 Mania
Inside Pulse
Artisan News Service (my pieces are most likely retired)
Various classes for various people at a “major research university” in Texas.

…and other venues as the wind blows.

AUTO-BIO: My name is Fred Badlissi. Professionally, I have sold, packaged, helped produce, helped design, tested and written about video games. I’m also quite the idealist. With these things in mind, one might wager that I have a thing or two to say about the industry every so often. I’ve also got a kind of affinity for popular culture and events surrounding world history and current events, and have some credentials to that effect. So if you come across an analogy like “Rare is the Metallica of game developers” or “Microsoft’s coyness about XBOX 360 reliability rivals Israel’s policy of nuclear ambiguity,” I assure you- it makes sense. You’re welcome to email me about it :)

Q&A with other DHGF authors:

ML Kennedy asks “If you could have any animal from a video game as a pet, which would it be?”

This is a damn good question. Please allow me to qualify it.

If we’re going for real animals, I’d wager I’d probably like to have either Poppy, Galford’s dog from Samurai Shodown, or Mamahaha, which is Nakoruru’s falcon from the same franchise. If I ever tragically lost my sight, Poppy would be easier to explain to libraries and businesses as a visual aid -a helper animal- than Mamahaha. However, how f’in sweet would having a trained falcon be? I’d never have to ask for fries again.

If we’re rockin’ fictional creations, I’d have a Snorlax. Bar none. He’s the greatest icon of rampant consumerist capitalism in the Pokemon universe. He eats whole banana trees and then sleeps for what- 18 hours in the day? He’s the ultimate leisure companion, and he could ease the process of any roof repair within hours. We’d also make a killing at elementary school Halloween carnivals and esoteric bar mitzvahs.

Guy Desmarias asks “For some unknown reason, this is the last day you will be able to play video games in your entire life! What do you play”

It’s not really what I’m going to play, but rather who I’m going to play it with. When you get like-minded heads together over a well-designed or a product with like-appeal across tastes, you really can’t go wrong. Based on who I’d play games with, it would probably be with friends between a Samurai Shodown title, Dr. Mario or a sweet 2-player game of Ms. Pac-Man.

Charlie Marsh asks “If you could sit and have a beer with any video game character, who would it be and what is the first thing you’d talk about?”

At this point, I’d probably want to sit down with Kain from the eponymous Legacy of Kain series. Here is a character that was charged with being a messiah to his world, and threw it all away into a near irreparable mess. I’d just love to meet a personality who literally had a sure bet to save the entirety of his world and all it’s life, then throw it all away for greed. (at least, until the latest game)

As for a question, I’d ask him point blank why he did it, and more specifically, the circumstances that surrounded it. How did the guy grow up? Did he feel a sense of entitlement? Did he live his days dejected? Those curiosities and more would linger over what I would hope would be a great lager or a decent ale.

Bryan Berg asks “Your columns, while rather infrequent, are awesome. Why the hell don’t you write more?!?”

I’d like to say that I haven’t stopped writing. However, the lack of a product is a lack of a product. God forbid I’m going to be GameFAN’s resident Duke Nukem. However, the reason behind the infrequency is twofold: a lack of real inspiration from an industry that has turned it’s back on creators and consumers alike, and my personal delusional quest to write good pieces.

Having been in and out of different aspects of the console gaming industry, I’ve seen the high points of real pride and jubilation around the creation of a product and I’ve also seen the lows that surround the business end of things. It sounds notoriously Marxist, but there is a paranoia surrounding the collection of profits that kills creative energy in the industry. There’s only so much praise you can dole out before it degrades from ‘valid’ to ‘ceremonial.’ With that in mind, perhaps my muckraking dreams can find a place here.

Also, if I feel that I can’t do a topic justice, I simply won’t write about it. If you’re spending your precious time and energy to read my thoughts, I want to give you something unique and thought-provoking. If I can’t give you that, then I’ll move on to the next topic. That’s why I love writing about topics – almost 6 years ago – that most mainstream gaming sites are only now beginning to tackle. Stuff like the homebrew scene, and the collective consciousness of surrounding gaming culture. However, if I can’t bring something genuinely new to the table, I’ll keep in wait until I can do so.

With that in mind- wanna do a piece on the opportunity costs behind selling off your entire collection? ;)

Bebito Jackson asks “Bryan took my question. So I’ll do another: If you had to choose another writer on the site that is the exact OPPOSITE of yourself in relation to your work, who would it be & why?”

Why are you asking me to finger Liquidcross? :) (I jest!)

But seriously, that’s a hard, hard question. There are aspects of differences. Lucard is far more prolific, Misha is more charmingly stranger, but I think that it just might be Alex Williams.

A-Will’s writing style comes at you head on like a freight train. Or a non-doping Norwegian Athlete (!). While I couldn’t put a finger on it, and this may make me sound like a punk, but I read his stuff and I think “I don’t write like this.” And that, friends, is a good thing.

Misha asks “SDCC is having a Video Game section this year, and you’re in charge. What guests do you book for panels/speeches/signings/etc and why?”

I have no idea what SDCC is, so I’m going to go out on a limb and say “San Diego Community College.”

Then I’d ask “what on Earth does the student body want to learn about the games industry?” And with that in mind, I’d ask the following. You’ll find one or two sentences following each name for your reason:

-Randy Linden (The guy that wrote the bleem! program): That cat was WAY ahead of his time, and dared to go in the face of a behemoth like Sony to innovate new ways to play games that you already paid for. Platinum respect for this man.

-Koji Kondo (composer for Mario Bros, Zelda): I’d have him talk about crafting the perfect score to a title, with attention not only to subjective stuff like ‘crafting the mood’ and telling us about his composition style, but also the hard and heavy stuff- like why the only Mario tunes that come to my mind are in major keys, and what key signatures and stuff mean for game tone and design.

-Bernie Solar (former president of more companies than I care to remember): This guy would be a riot. Not only did he helm many of the most memorable companies to pop into gaming from our generation, but he’d have a wealth of stories to share about the business and personalities.

-Steve Ballmer (CEO of Microsoft, methinks): Just for the sheer satisfaction derived from hooking him up to a lie detector test and coming clean about Xbox 360 malfunctions.

And if there were time, probably anybody connected with Sony and marketing.

(Addendum: Misha later clarified the meaning of SDCC…

“SDCC = San Diego Comic Con

One of the key dates in the Worldwide Geek Calendar.

Does that change your answer at all?”

…to which I replied…

“Not really. However, I’d fear for the innocent fanboys and girls among the crowd who risk realizing that the brands they so passionately love and follow are run by fallible business people.”)

Chris Pankonin asks “What is your most memorable video game moment or achievement?”

Most memorable? Probably the time I beat Ninja Gaiden 2 on the NES for the first time. Two or three years ago.

After a time that usually describes the length of Toyota reliability or life prison sentences, I decided to try playing NG2 and actually beating it- something I had never tried to do when I was younger. When I did, I thought “Finally!”

Most gratifying would probably have been beating Bionic Commando. ReArmed is probably the title I’m most psyched about this year.

Geli Warner asks “What is your favorite food to eat when you’re glued to a game?”

Would you believe I don’t eat when I play games?

Crazy. But there was a time, way back when, during which a really good friend of mine would be the best host in the LA-area and buy massive amounts of Costco-brand pretzels, Trader Joe’s brand frozen pizzas, and too much Diet Coke, the last of which I don’t ingest due to an irrational fear of osteoporosis.

Although I do relish a good glass of water. Keeps me rooted in reality that only the cleverness of Eternal Darkness can pull me out of.

Mark B. asks “What video game genre actively repulses you the most, and what would you do to make it acceptable to your tastes?”

Actively repulses? I’ve gotta admit I’ve never collapsed upon hearing someone say “Fred! Take this controller! It’s connected to a Madden title!,” but I tend to stay away from turn-based strategy games and traditional RPGs. That happens basically for the same primal reason I enjoy other types of games: if I hit a button, I want to see something happen.

The notable exception to the 2nd genre would have to be Xenogears. Religious overtones and giant robots are as awesome as other combinations I love. Like putting “orange” and “chicken” together.

Michaelangelo McCullar asks “What game gave you the biggest sense of satisfaction when you beat it and why?”

Biggest sense of satisfaction? Man, that’s a doozy of a question. But if I had to narrow it down…

It was probably Bionic Commando for the NES. Probably for the same reason as Ninja Gaiden 2– that is, it was a bitch to attempt to beat when I was younger. Then, as the years passed and my internal rage towards the game grew, I told myself “I’m going to beat this game.” Upon doing so, I felt a minor chapter of my being was finally closed.

Felt pretty good when I finished Link’s Awakening. That, and Sonic Adventure with all of the characters including Super Sonic.

I know you asked for one game, but there’s lots of love to go around.







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