I was given the amazing opportunity to interview one of our favorite reviewers of all time! That’s right folks, Lazy Game Reviews sat down and answered questions for SimsVIP! Grab a snack and enjoy!
First off, thanks for having me on for an interview! Long-time fan of the site, and highly appreciative of the support of my work over that time, so it’s awesome to be involved in this way.
♦ What is your non-gamer name, and on what continent do you live?
My name is Clint Basinger, I’m 26 years old, I enjoy medium-length walks on the beach, and I live in the southern USA. In the Appalachian mountains actually, so a bit away from most anything of note except… mountains. And bears. And an absurd mansion known as the Biltmore Estate.
♦ Besides being an awesome youtuber, do you do anything else for a living?
Currently, YouTube is my full-time profession! Before this, I worked all sorts of random jobs, from selling makeup to old ladies to designing and building custom picture frames. But as of December of 2012, I was was able to quit my day job and focus on making videos and expanding my “brand”, as it was paying much more and was immeasurably more enjoyable.
LGR’s Editing Station
♦ What inspired you to start, what is now, one of the most popular review sites? What went through your mind when you woke up that day and say “hey, I should review this game…and upload a video”! Where did it all begin?
What inspired me to start making videos, I’m not entirely sure. I’ve made videos for my own and my friends’ entertainment ever since I was a kid, with an S-VHS camcorder or a webcam or whatever I could get my hands on. This continued on through 2006, when I joined YouTube and started uploading random videos I’d made.
Around the time I started getting into people like the Angry Video Game Nerd and Classic Game Room, and thought “hey, I could do this”. So I did, starting with a review of the Sega CD console. Around that time, the AVGN reviewed the same system, my video ended up getting a lot of hits as a result of it being related, and I started reviewing things more frequently as a result!
♦ What was the first game you ever reviewed?
Hmm, well as a kid I reviewed a bunch of games for my own entertainment and for school English papers and such, like SimAnt, SimCity 2000, and Need For Speed III. The first game review video posted online was of The Sims 3, though it was more of a pile of praise than an unbiased review.
♦ What was the first video you uploaded?
Most of them have been taken down, but I think the first was actually a hoax I did of a UFO in the sky, haha. Another was something called “Spider-Wars Forever”, which was done with action figures, where me and my brother voiced Darth Vader, Spider-Man, and Duke Nukem fighting each other.
♦ How many games does your collection consist of?
At last count, there are 2,328 physical games in my collection, most of which are complete in box and range from Apple II and MS-DOS games all the way up through the most modern titles.
And of course, I’ve got a ton of digital games from all sorts of services, which probably add another 900 or so to the tally… plus innumerable freeware and shareware floppies and stuff from over the years, so yeah, I may have a problem now that I see my own words in front of me like this, haha. Ah, I’m a collector and I actually do play them all, so whatever man.
♦ What was one of the first games you ever played?
There are two that stand out in my mind: Commander Keen Goodbye Galaxy and Crystal Caves, both published by Apogee Software for MS-DOS PCs. I don’t remember which I played first, but those are my first gaming memories and dude, what awesome ones they are.
♦ What is your favorite game of all time?
I’d have to go with Duke Nukem 3D today. Normally I might say Out of This World, but today I’m just feelin’ the balls of steel. It’s honestly a toss-up, because both of those games had a tremendous effect on me as a younger lad. I continue to go back to them all the time even nowadays, and own practically every single variant of each!
♦ If I remember correctly, didn’t your impression of Duke Nukem land you a spot in a video game? Tell us about that!
So, a while back I bought a game called Gas Guzzlers: Combat Carnage and did a short video on it on one of my shows, LGR Plays. It was a racing game with a really silly set of drivers in there, one of which was impersonating Arnold Schwarzenegger. Inspired, I started doing some of my usual Duke Nukem impressions and remarked that it would be awesome if the game had a Duke-inspired driver, too.
Well the company behind it, Gamepires, saw my video, liked it and my Duke voice, and asked me if they could pay me to be added to the game! So yeah, if you get the game now and select “Duke” from the driver voice menu, you’ll hear me throughout the game!
♦ What was the first Sims game you ever played? (SimCity, The Sims etc)
I’m honestly not sure if it was SimCity or SimAnt, but I’m going to say SimCity because I had a massive love of skyscrapers, cities, and cityscapes as a kid. I mean, I still do, but certain architecture and architects were some of my heroes even then! And I was also highly into creating and building things, like model cars and anything with Lego bricks.
So when I first tried SimCity (and then SimAnt) on a Macintosh at the local library, I was absolutely hooked. Those games just completely tickled my brain in the right way and I have been loving simulations, sandbox games, and “software toys” ever since.
♦ Are you a PC or Console nut? Both?
Both, for sure. I play games on whatever system they come on, but I do prefer the PC, because anything a console can do, the PC can do better. I have all the main consoles from over the years, and many of the not-so-main ones, so I do love me the good ol’ console experience from time to time. But I also have my PC hooked up to my TV, so if a game comes on the PC and it’s not a pile of junk port, I’ll play it on there instead and get the same experience but better.
♦ What is your overall opinion of The Sims series and how it has evolved throughout the years?
I’d loved watching the evoluation of The Sims core series over the years! It’s still a great game and is seriously an awesome community to be a part of, and even with all the controversies and drama, I wouldn’t have it any other way. That said, I’m a bit put off by the way The Sims 3 has been handled. It seems more than ever that the base game is just a pedestal meant to be smothered in endless amounts of overpriced content, with half-hearted celebrity endorsements and product tie-ins.
I know EA needs their lunch money, but come on now, thirty bucks for a pack of a few ugly candy-coated items? Gimme a break. The continual price gain for packs like these and lackluster store-bought worlds are just irritating. Not only that, but several of the expansions seemed to go more in the direction of what I’d expect from a spin-off title than a core game expansion pack. When packs start to focus more on tangible “game-like” goals and aesthetics, rather than expanding the opportunity for a player to be creative, I start to lose interest.
Plus it seemed to take forever for the most-wanted expansions to come around, like Seasons and Univerity, so I really hope that the future isn’t so stingy in that regard. I hope EA just listens to the player base at large going forward, because once you filter out the noise they actually know what they’re talking about.
♦ What is your favorite Sims 3 expansion and stuff pack to date?
My favorite expansion is probably Late Night, followed closely by Seasons. I love city life and I love rain and snow, so that kind of explains that. I really am all about the atmosphere an expansion pack creates, and I really do enjoy simulations even in their most mundane details, so these tick the right mental boxes for me.
As for Stuff Packs, ehh. I dunno, not a single one of them have been “must-haves” for me. To be honest, I’ve gotten way more enjoyment out of the online store content than I have SPs. But if I had to choose I’d say High-End Loft Stuff, just because it comes with some classic Sims 1 items that don’t suck. Now that I think about it, I guess I want a Mega Stuff Pack with all the online store content together, wouldn’t that be rad?!
♦ Are you looking forward to The Sims 4? What are thoughts on the very little information we know thus far? What are your expectations?
I’m absolutely looking forward to The Sims 4! A new The Sims game is a huge event, as it’s one of my favorites series ever, so I don’t give a crap what kind of stuff is in it, so long as it’s a new game in the series. At least, at first, that’s my fanboy side talking. When I get past that initial excitement, I’m a bit worried about the game.
It seems that the focus with The Sims 3 has shifted more towards scripted events and whatnot, as opposed to complete sandbox freedom. This really limits how much enjoyment I get from the game, as most of my fun comes from making my own way, as opposed to completing lifetime rewards or opportunities. I’m hoping that TS4 is a continuation of what The Sims was all about at its inception: freedom to do anything you want while simulating virtual human life.
I want things to continue to be optional, not mandatory, so as long as I can do that I’ll be pretty happy I think. I know it’ll be lacking on content at first, but base games always are. I’m really hoping for more of the same, just technically improved: far shorter loading times with lots of content installed, an overall better-optimized engine, more involved Create-A-Sim options, better build mode options (curved walls!), few to no rabbit holes, excellent modding support or even an SDK, etc.
♦ What is one new feature you are hoping for in The Sims 4?
Well, I kinda rolled up some answers to this into the previous question! But if I had to choose one, the one thing I’d really want above all is a true concept of time. You know, months, years, decades, and aesthetics to match all of that.
Imagine starting a game, much like the classic SimCity games, in 1900 and dealing with life as it was back then. Then going through the 20’s, the 50’s, the 80’s, etc, and deal with the technology and societal changes throughout. Managing generations of sims would be spectacularly dynamic in a way never seen before, and I’d just cream myself in happiness if this was a thing! Maybe a bit of a pipe dream, but hey, I will continue to dream.
♦ If one were to want to subscribe/follow/like/check out your pages, where would one go?
First up is my YouTube channel for Lazy Game Reviews, where the bulk of my content is posted:
I also have Facebook, Twitter, and my rarely-used website!
♦ Thank you so much for taking the time to answer our questions! Keep up the awesomeness!
Thank you very much for the questions, and keep being awesome at SimsVIP!