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Old March 31st, 2010, 05:22 PM   #1
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Default Member of the Month - March 2010

After a crazy month, we're starting our second year of Member of the Month. I teased weeks ago that we'd be starting a new interview style this month, so here you go. Some of the same questions appear, but it's more conversational. As it turned out, the interview is a bit longer...and by that, I mean it's twice as many questions, so the interview now takes two posts.

On to our Member of the Month for March. Some months have a quick vote. Some months have a very close vote. This was one of the close ones. In the end, we chose one of the friendliest and most helpful members on the site. He's given a tremendous amount of help to anyone needing it in Final Fantasy XIII. Over the last few months, he's put in considerable time to ensure that the Japanese games are as up to date as can be. He's even taken the time to translate entire lists for the site for fun. That's right. No one asked him to do it. He offered because he enjoys it. Everyone, please congratulate your Member of the Month for March, Aeliana.

Congrats Aeliana!! Let's find out a little bit about the man behind the name...

Can you tell us a bit more about the person behind the PSN ID?

My name is Ryan. I'm 26, Japanese-American, and I live/work in Seattle, WA as a Database Administrator. My degrees are in Economics and Japanese Linguistics, but before that, I always wanted to be a Computer Programmer and work in IT. It's funny how some things can come full circle! When I'm not on the PS3, I love karaoke and hit the bar w/ friends or co-workers several times a month.

Your user name creates a bit of confusion, so let's clear this up once and for all. Why is it "Aeliana" and where did the name come from? How did you come up with it originally?

"Aeliana" was the name of my character from Final Fantasy XI. I created it as a combination of two female names, "Aelia" (from Valkyrie Profile) and "Liana" (from Langrisser 2) because the character was of a female-only race, Mithra. The 'feminine' PSN ID can lead to an occasional misunderstanding, but I assure everyone that I am very much male, lol.

Japanese is part of your heritage, but where and when did you decide that you wanted to learn the language?

I've studied it for 13 Years. When I was in Junior High and had just completed Final Fantasy VII, I wandered into an import store w/ my parents and noticed a new Squaresoft title called "Brave Fencer Musashiden." The clerk mentioned that it came w/ a demo of Final Fantasy VIII and I went "omg!" and had to have it. Thankfully, I had generous and supportive parents who were willing to let me "stretch my wings" by means of a $82 imported video game, and little did they know at the time how far I would "fly" with it.

Unfortunately, I understood little-to-no Japanese at that time outside of a few phrases I had heard around the house and with the relatives, so I went to the bookstore and bought a Japanese-English Dictionary that included a Hiragana/Katakana chart. I slowly memorized it (with the help of a friend who was an exchange student from Japan) and tried to decipher words here and there from Brave Fencer Musashiden and the Final Fantasy VIII Demo.

When I entered High School, I had several years worth of independent study under my belt. I took 3 Years of Japanese but simply spun my wheels most of the time. It wasn't until University that I had challenging classes; not only was I pushed to the limit in my linguistic skills, I was also blessed with the opportunity to meet Ted Woolsey (Squaresoft's head translator in the 16-bit era). And after graduation, I took it a step farther and moved to rural Japan, where I lived/worked for 2 Years.

I'd like to stress that video games were an integral factor in my drive/motivation for becoming bilingual, and I think they're a fantastic way to *have fun* while learning, which makes the learning process much more rewarding.

What sort of setup do you have going back home for your gaming?

I have a 120 GB PS3 Slim, a 46" Sharp AQUOS HDTV, and an Altec Lansing sound system that I'd like to upgrade sometime in the near future. I am a collector of video games and have 14 Consoles and 1000+ Games across all of them. Currently, 8 of the 14 Consoles are hooked up to the TV: 2x PS1 (US and Japan), 2x PS2 (US and Japan), PS3, Sega Genesis, Sega Saturn, and Sega Dreamcast.

If it was possible to play any of those 1000+ games from any one of your consoles on your PS3, what are you playing?

Something from Konami's "Bemani" Series (Beatmania IIDX, Dance Dance Revolution, Drum Mania, Guitar Freaks, Keyboardmania). I'm a tournament-level player at all of the above and have competed throughout the US and Japan, but unfortunately, there haven't been any announcements about new installments on the PS3.

How long have you been gaming and what made you decide PlayStation as your gaming companion?

For as long as I can remember, ~20 Years. I grew up on the Atari 2600, but it was the NES that got me "hooked" for life.

I chose the PS3 over the 360/Wii for several reasons, not the least of which are its dual-functionality as a Blu-Ray Player and also the fact that it is region-free. As an avid importer, it was extremely convenient for me to be able to stick in a Japanese Game without having to bust out the soldering wand (or buy a second system) as I've had to with other consoles.

What was the last game you bought, and what’s the next one you’re looking forward to?

God of War III and Star Ocean: The Last Hope -International- are my most recent retail purchases, and from the PSN Store, Anarchy: Rush Hour and Blue Toad EP1-EP3.

I'm looking forward to Final Fantasy XIV, as I'm a veteran of Final Fantasy XI and spent 6 Years in Vana'diel. In fact, "Aeliana" was the name of my character from Final Fantasy XI. She was a Mithra, so the 'feminine sounding' PSN ID can lead to an occasional misunderstanding, as you can imagine!

If you had the chance to improve the PlayStation and/or PSN store, what 1 thing would you like to see implemented?

I have a laundry list, but one that immediately comes to mind is the ability to sort trophies. If you're like me and have 70+ Games listed under "Trophy Collection," it'd be a convenient (and easy to implement, I would think) feature. We can already do it on - Why not on the PS3?

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Old March 31st, 2010, 05:23 PM   #2
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Part 2 of Aeliana's MoM interview:

How much of a certified trophy whore are you? Does the trophy list play any part in the decision to play or buy a game, or do you base that decision entirely on the game?

I consider myself a "Trophy Completionist." If I'm interested enough in a game to buy/rent it in the first place, even if it disappoints me, I tend to "stick it out" until I've attained 100%, DLC included. There are a few titles that are exceptionally difficult (ie. Lumines Supernova) or exceptionally time-consuming (ie. White Knight Chronicles) on which I'll settle for less than 100%, but on the whole, my motto is "if I'm *able* to obtain the Platinum, then I will." I've actually surprised myself a few times in this regard; I'm a Fighting/Music/RPG Gamer and aren't the best at FPS, but I managed to earn Platinum on Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 thanks to an amazing partner and friend from this site!

Have you ever decided to play a game based on the trophy list?

All the time. If the trophies are easy/fast enough, I'll GameFly it and I often refer to Project Platinum when I add titles to my GameQ. My most recent Platinum, Last Rebellion, falls into this category. It's a mediocre-at-best J-RPG, but I couldn't turn a blind eye to the 10-15 Hour Platinum (and the 8 Gold Trophies that I earned in the span of about 40 Minutes).

What's the next game that you're going to try and get the platinum for?

I think it'll be God of War III. It's still shrink-wrapped on my shelf w/ the rest of the backlog, and I'm feeling guilty that I haven't given it the attention it deserves yet.

What would you say was your proudest platinum and why?

Final Fantasy XIII (Japanese Version) is one of my proudest Platinums. I achieved it on January 6th, two months before the US Release, and it was difficult because there were no Strategy Guides, Trophy Guides etc. at the time. All I had to refer to in troubled times was the limited information on a Japanese Wiki.

As a result, I wanted to share all of my notes and so forth w/ fellow importers who were encountering a lot of the same difficulties in Final Fantasy XIII, so this became my main motivation for writing up the Road Map & Trophy Guide. It was my first venture into the world of Trophy Guides, but I hope that it has assisted many members in their trek toward the Platinum!

Out of all the Final Fantasy games, which one is your favorite and why?

Final Fantasy IV is my all-time favorite if we include nostalgia as a factor; it was the first RPG I really fell in love with, and considering it introduced the ATB (Active Time Battle) System that has become the foundation of literally dozens of other developers' battle systems, I think it was quite revolutionary.

Nostalgia excluded, I love Final Fantasy VI and VIII the most for their character development and cathartic storylines that were head and shoulders above the other installments both at the time of their release and still today.

Other than Final Fantasy XIII, which imported game have you enjoyed the most?

3D Dot Game Heroes is a recent favorite. It's like The Legend of Zelda on the NES, and it makes subtle references to a lot of retro titles (ie. "Puff Puff" from Dragon Quest, "Get equipped with _____!" from Mega Man 2, etc.) in the dialogue. It has *a lot* of nostalgic moments like that and I wholeheartedly recommend it, especially to the mid-20s and 30s crowd who were raised on those games.

If the end of the world was nigh and you had to grab three games/franchises to take with you to play out your final days to, what would they be?

My favorite game of all-time is Xenogears (PS1), so that would be first on my list. Tetsuya Takahashi's character development and story are nothing short of brilliant, and the soundtrack - courtesy of Yasunori Mitsuda - is one of the best ever composed, in my opinion. It's a shame that the development time was cut short (which resulted in the "wall of text" that was Disc 2) and also that the spiritual sequels, Xenosaga Episodes 1-3, were also not fully realized due to lackluster sales.

Aside from Xenogears, I'd also choose the Ys Series (Adol Christin, its protagonist, is my avatar on the boards) and the Langrisser Series. Langrisser might not be so familiar to many members; it's a series of five Strategy RPGs, only one of which was released in the US (Langrisser 1 = "Warsong" on the Sega Genesis).

Xenogears is your favorite game ever. What game makes you want to scream in frustration?

Leisure Suit Larry: Box Office Bust was, hands down, the worst game I've ever played. I thought it would be an easy Platinum, but it had an awful camera, awful controls, awful... everything. I could appreciate the "adult humor" for the 30 minutes or so, but it also became intolerable after a few hours. To this day, I still wonder how I managed to sit through 15 Hours of that nonsense, lol.

Based on your responses, is it safe to say that RPG's are your favorite type of game?

Definitely. I consider myself a "connoisseur" of J-RPGs and devoted the lion's share of my gaming time to them before becoming a Trophy Hunter. Most are 100+ Hour Platinums and are not time-efficient compared to other genres, however so I currently play a much more diverse mix of games/genres compared to my previous years as a hardcore gamer.

W-RPGs are hit-or-miss with me, mostly miss. Diablo, Mass Effect, Morrowind and Oblivion are a few that I've enjoyed, but on the whole, I prefer the linearity and solid storytelling of a J-RPG.

What brought you to PS3T and what keeps you coming back?

I lurked on PS3T for a couple months, March - April 2009, before becoming an official member in May 2009. I originally came for the Resident Evil 5 Trophy Guide (which was also my first Platinum, thanks to this site) and I stuck around for the community. I've made countless friends here and think of it almost as a "sanctuary" that doesn't suffer from the arguments, flame wars etc. that so commonly arise on other internet forums.

You're an admin on PS3T for a day, what do you do?

First and foremost, I'd like to chime in on the discussions around TSL and its sequel, TSL 2. I had a lot of fun in this tournament and I would share some ideas on how to make the next one an even greater success.

Since I'm really interested in the idea of "internationalization," both from a business/marketing and a philosophical perspective, I would also try to make PS3T a truly "international" site and add Trophy Lists in all languages. The default lists would be in English, but I would add a menu which would display the aforementioned lists in Japanese, Spanish, and any other language for which a translation exists. I dare say I couldn't accomplish this in a day, but I could crunch data from our traffic metrics and lay the foundation for the idea in terms of a cost/benefit forecast.

Any final words for the community?

I'd like to thank the staff for all their dedication and hard work, as well as all members who have contributed their time/effort to making PS3T the most comprehensive resource it can be.

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Old March 31st, 2010, 07:50 PM   #3
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Congratulations Aeliana!!!! I thought you were a girl as well though. Guess a few things have been cleared up.........

Spoiler! (click here to reveal)
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Old March 31st, 2010, 07:51 PM   #4
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Congratulations Aeliana.From what i have seen in the Final Fantasy section you have helped a lot of people with the game probably because you platinumed it before everybody else you know nearly everything about it.Also very nice to see you translating trophies lists to help the site.
Well done Aeliana

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Old March 31st, 2010, 07:51 PM   #5
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Way to go Aeliana! Thanks for all your help and being a great member here!

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Old March 31st, 2010, 07:53 PM   #6
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Great interview. Congrats on joining the club! You're welcome for the Last Rebellion help, by the way. We'll say we're even for the help I plan on getting from your Final Fantasy XIII guide.
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Old March 31st, 2010, 07:58 PM   #7
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Congrats Aeliana! Your work here with PS3T is invaluable. Keep up the good work!

On a side note: another reason why many people may think you are female, besides your name, is the fact that you are a member of the PS3T Female Gamers Club. That may also cause some confusion.
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Old March 31st, 2010, 07:58 PM   #8
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Congratulations Aeliana.

Love the new type of interview too.
Trophy Guides and Road Maps:
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Old March 31st, 2010, 08:01 PM   #9
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This is my first Member of the Month result that I've been a member of this site. I'd like to know more about Aeliana, as a new member. I know, you might get a new impression that I'm not really a "new" member, since I have over 100 posts, but I signed up yesterday. Lol, Funkyweed even just sent me a PM saying to tone my posts down a little. So good job, Aeliana. I'd like to see who's Member of the Month for April, and meet new friends and learn what they're like.

Hi Aeliana, nice to meet you

..:: Platinums ::..
SEGA Mega Drive Ultimate Collection | LittleBigPlanet | Modern Warfare 2

No trophies where hacked, glitched, or cheated in any way that could be unfair.
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Old March 31st, 2010, 08:12 PM   #10
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Well congratulations Aeliana

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