Today, hoo boy cats and kittens, do I have a special treat for you! In the retro gaming community, I have many peers whose work I have the utmost respect for. This installment, we're going to talk to a like minded soul I personally look up to and aspire to one day have a fraction of the talent I believe he owns. The founder of Questicle: The Quest To Review Every NES Game, I couldn't be happier to welcome a man I am proud to call a friend, everyone meet Dylan C.
First off, thanks a ton for doing this, I know you're a busy beaver these days. My opening salvo if you will, when was Questicle founded and what made you decide to embark on such a daunting task?
My pleasure, Mike. Questicle started in July of 2010. At the time, I wanted a writing project that would be fun, and that would force me to write every day or every other day. I've always been a fan of critical reviews and Nintendo games, and I love cataloguing and organizing. Reviewing every NES game in alphabetical order seemed like such a fun, borderline-OCD idea that suited me well. It's been a bumpy ride, but I've enjoyed the majority of it.
What was your first exposure to the NES an were you hooked from the get go or did it take your later years to come around to the passion you so obviously have for our little grey buddy?
My dad came home one afternoon with the NES Action Set – the one with the Zapper, two controllers, and the SMB/Duck Hunt cartridge. I was about four and I don't think it was my birthday or anything; just a random gift that would start me on the path of gaming. After that, I was hooked.
I certainly can relate to that! Being over halfway done with your quest, do you have any plans following a much needed vacation when all is said and done? I often get asked if I will magically transform into SNESquester when I'm done but I'm years off the mark myself. I've always made it a point to call you "The One" as you are so far ahead of the pack it isn't funny. Any future plans for Questicle?
Well, right now, I'd just like to get the site looking a little better. I'm frustrated that I've come so far, number-wise, and don't have a separate page with links to all of the reviews. So the next couple of months is going to be a mix of reviews and overhauling the site. After I finish with all the reviews, I'm going to buy a nice cigar, sit on my porch, and smoke it. I do believe a break is in order after I'm done, but I'm not going to let the site languish. Questicle.net will continue on, and perhaps in the future, take other forms.
Weird question I need to ask. What are your thoughts when you hear of someone else taking on a similar quest such as Eric Bailey, Nintendo Complete, Chrontendo, and that NESquester fellow? Does a part of you go "Copycats!" or do you usually accept things with an open mind?
Actually, I'm pretty sure I'm the copycat out of some of those people you listed! Eric's been doing this longer than I have with NintendoLegend, as has Chrontendo. I'd be lying if I said there wasn't a competitive spirit in me. I'm a guy, that's how must of us are hardwired. I think we all have our own style to offer, though. My writing style doesn't appeal to everyone, nor does Eric's writing style or yours. We all have our own unique audience to reach. As long as we stay true to our respective voices, we'll be fine.
Reaching out to you was one of the smartest ideas I ever had. You could've blown me off like a few others but we started discussing games and bouncing things off of each other to where now we have a pretty awesome rapport in my opinion (agreed). Do you have anyone else in the community you are friends with that could use a mention?
Sure, I'd like to mention Jesse of RetroRevelations.com. He's a really cool guy, with a very unique and well-varied site, as far as content goes. Anyone who revels in nostalgia should go there. We already mentioned Eric Bailey of NintendoLegend. He was one of the first people in the retro gaming community to reach out to me. Also, TomBadGuy of Tombadguy.com is hilarious and supportive. Now that I have a Twitter, I'm discovering the retro community is enormous, so I look forward to meeting some new folks.
Oh, Jesse is certainly one I plan to hit up for an interview very soon. Intresting guy. Back to our friendship for a brief moment, there couldn't possibly be two more different people who live two completely different lifestyles. I'm slightly more public with my life and the things I do that many may not agree with, but you're a little more private. I won't dig too hard here but what do you enjoy doing when you're not gaming and writing the reviews?
Pretty typical stuff – hanging with the wife and cats, reading, hanging out with friends. Perhaps that's why I'm private: my life's too boring for most people to care about! I don't care, I enjoy it. It's simple and quiet.
Time for the ultimate cliche question! Can you think off-hand of any games during your quest you went in thinking nothing of and dragging feet to do it but found yourself a huge fan of afterwards? How about the flipside, anything you went in with high hopes and came out feeling like you just swam in a sewer?
A lot of the games start to blur together after awhile, so I'll try and stick to ones I've reviewed recently. Ninja Crusaders was one I expected absolutely nothing from, and it turned out to be a really fun, difficult platformer. Same with Nightshade, which sounded awful, but turned out to be a great adventure game. Thankfully, the reverse doesn't happen that often. A lot of the games I'm looking forward to playing are games I know are good, like the Mega Man series or Contra or whatever. I guess one example would be Mighty Final Fight. I had heard a lot of good things about it, but it didn't really do anything for me.
Lastly, is there any advice to any hungry upstart up there looking for any words of wisdom from a questing ninja such as yourself?
I'm not sure I'd recommend this particular path of reviewing every game in a system's library, at least not to most people. It sounds like a really fun idea at first – "Oh boy, I get to play a ton of games and write my opinions on them, yay!" - until you realize how much work goes into it. I'm not any better than any one else. I've wanted to quit several times, but I've always just taken it one day at a time. I'd give myself breaks when I needed them, and come back re-focused. If you really want to tackle an endeavor like this, make sure you enjoy it at least 80% or more of the time. Otherwise, it's not worth it.
And there you have it folks! Another edition of "Beyond The Controller" is a wrap! Don't be shy now, join the fun and drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org. As you can see, I keep it pretty clean and professional for these so if you're worried about the 'Quester asking you about your bowel movements and what not, have no fear! Big thanks to my brother from a lighter mother, Dylan C and PLEASE make sure to check out his blog as I made the font huge as heck for the link on purpose to really drive the point home. He's the hardest working cat out there and deserves to be twenty times as well-known as others in the field in my opinion. 'Til next time!
QUESTICLE - The Quest To Review Every NES Game