RPG Analysis

Posted on Mar 19th 2015 at 12:00:00 AM by (Fleach)
Posted under People of RF Gen

It's back! Another instalment of People of RF Gen. This time I thought I might take the time to get to know bombatomba. He's been an active member here for quite some time, was recently recruited last year as a staff writer, and has contributed to my interest in indie games. So, let's find out what makes this man tick!


Name(First only):
Jason, although very few people call me that these days.  I seem to be one of those people who collect nicknames.  Currently I am known as bomba, JAM, and Hassen.  Weird, huh?

Metro Detroit, baby!  Home of the excellent Coney Island-style restaurant and possibly some of the worst garage sales (although the excellent thrift store variety more than makes up for that).

Where does your screen name come from?
My name comes from the Russian-accented DJ from the KGBH radio station in GTA II, Bomba Tomba.  I'm not quite sure why I picked this one, as I share none of the personality traits of the character, although I once was a big fan (back in 2002) of ripping radio stations from GTA games and listening to them on headphones at work.

How did you find RFG?
I found RFG one fateful day whilst searching for the promised book sequels for The Video Game Bible.  I'm a bit fuzzy on the details, but I think I saw a review on Amazon for the VGB that pointed me here.

What made you stay and become part of RFG?
The wonderful people of RFG.  While I've not been the most visible person on the forum over the years, the members of RFG have never held that against me, and you can't really say that about many online communities.  I was part of one that once you disappeared for a couple of months on the forum you might as well have been excommunicated as far as membership was concerned. HereÖ  The people here just rock.  You have so many helpful and generous people, that I really don't want to spend time on another website or forum.  Got a question?  Someone will help you.  And the collecting tool.  I've formally given up all other forms of collection tracking.  The amazing work that the DB folk do here is more than adequate for my needs.

Have you ever met or personally know anyone at RFG?
I've only met one member in real life (hi, Raz!), but I've spoken/written/communicated with several more members, most of them on a semi-regular basis (I tend to be pretty chaotic).


Number of Games Owned(at time of printing):
[Checks online tool]  Uh, if you count all my lone boxes and demo discs 957.  But I really need to do an audit.  I know I have more.

Number of Games on Wishlist(at time of printing):
Counting my "2007 Revival" list it is up to 64.  But like my collection I need to sit down and add and delete games from this list.

Number of Systems:
Eh....I think I own about 28 unique console and micro-computer platforms (with revisions), not counting PCs.  Counting my extras it has to be around 40, and close to 55 if you count my plug n' plays and various single-game handhelds (and other assorted goodness).

When did you start collecting?
I started officially collecting in early 2001, at the age of twenty-four years, when I became paranoid about getting laid-off from Ford for an extended period of time and not having sufficient entertainment (which ended up happening).

I guess you didn't have that many games at the time. But I can understand why you'd want to hold on to what games you had. What was your first system you owned?
My parent bought me a NES Power Pad Set for Christmas in 1988.  If you mean bought with my own money, my sister and I saved our weekly allowances for the better part of six months to get a SNES.

What was your first game?
With my NES I received several games, but the first game I opened was The Legend of Zelda, which I opened underneath my pillow about four hours before the rest of the family arose to open presents.  I would consider this my first game.

What was your first game you bought yourself?
Another fuzzy one.  It was either King's Knight or Hydlide, but I think it might have been Hydlide.  Yep, I'll own up to that one.

Haha! What made you decide to buy that particular game?
There is an old advert for Hydlide that uses the phrases, "Role playing," "Action-adventure," and "Password feature."  I loved the first two quotes and I thought the third was implied a long gaming experience.  Man, what a painful lesson (and I didn't learn anything, apparently).

That's a fair assumption to make. I probably would have thought that too. So, what was the first game you ever beat?
It was either Double Dragon or Contra, the arcade games, not the console ports.

Have you ever broken anything due to frustration from a game? Be honest, we won't tell...
While I was a prolific controller biter/twister in my youth I didn't actually break anything until Jak II.  I went through 1.5 PS2 controllers, but I did beat the game.


Are you collecting now, if so what anything specific?
Lately I've only been buying online stuff, but that will change soon, I think.  I've been looking at picking up a few mores games from my "2007 Revival" collection page, and I think I'm about ready to start questing.  Also I've been asking a lot of Retron 5 questions as of late, so there is that.

When did you feel a tipping point from gamer to both gamer and game collector?
When I realized I no longer wanted to sell off any old games to buy new ones, that at some point I would want to play that game again, and it would be cheaper if I just kept it  That simple.

What are your goals as a game collector, how have you developed them, and how do you feel about your progress toward them?
It seems odd, but I don't really have much in the way of a goal.  I mean, I would like to reclaim part of my 2007 collection, but I don't think I have real goals (I couldn't consistently tell you what part I wanted to reclaim). My collecting habits tend to be more cerebral than tactile (I like to call myself a "functional collector"), so I tend to buy things almost randomly.  I think I tend to pay more attention to price than what is it.
Sounds like your habits are somewhat under control... even if it occurs randomly. How many games, systems, etc. are "enough"?
When I realize I likely have only about XX years of life to get through my entire backlog of games.  Even then I don't think I'll be able to stop looking online at the new stuff.

What's your proudest moment as a game collector?
The "salad days" of my collecting, when I went from 20 games (mostly PS2) to over 800 games in only a few years.  There was a great time when EB Games sold used PC games, Funco Land still sold NES games for less than $2, and you could walk into any Target and have your pick of three or four clearance games any week of the month.  I bought so many games I couldn't keep track of them properly, and to this day find stuff hidden away in boxes.

I'm sure there are some nice surprises waiting in those boxes. What, would you say is your least proud moment as a game collector?
2007, when I had to sell off the pricey items in my collection.  I still shake my head even thinking about all that stuff.  Some of it is listed in my 2007 Revival page, but a lot of it is not there, either due to being too pricey or too rare.

Best of luck with your 2007 Revival. I hope you can reclaim part of those good days On a related note, if you had to give part of your collection away for a worthy cause what part would it be, and why?
I think if it came down to it I could give up most if not all of my collection, but it would have to be a good reason, like the health or welfare of a friend or family member.

Where/how do you store it all?
Down in my basement, which is currently armed with two dehumidifiers (both running this time of the year).  Right now pretty much everything is on display, but is in a messy state of flux while I reorganize/audit.  I'd like to build a lot more shelving, though, so that I can organize everything based on console instead of having everything smashed together (as it is now). 

What's your favorite part of your collection?
Oh, man.  Like asking a father which child is his favorite.  I tend to switch my favorite roughly every three or four months (though not consciously).  Until recently it was the C64 and original Xbox, but lately I've been drawn more to my PC games and NES/Famicom games.

It's a tough question Wink. Okay then, what about a favorite series?
Hmm.  I can narrow down to two, I think.  Is that okay?  The X series of space sims, and main series Dragon Warrior/Quest games.

What is your guilty pleasure when it comes to gaming?
I love janky Famicom games.  You know, those early one-death platform games that popped up so briefly, back when no one was really sure how to make games or who they should be for?  Great stuff.

What is the most valuable part of your collection(Value or sentimental)?
The most sentimental part of my collection has to be the NES stuff, and I guess it has as much to do with the coming of age while the NES's popularity exploded in NA.  I went from exclusively scouring the area for returnable bottles so I could play more Victory Road and P.O.W, to scouring the area so I could rent NES games from the local rental store for $3 a night.

What game do you have the most nostalgia for?
The original Final Fantasy.  It was the first RPG experience that I really felt I understood enough to play.  I rented it, got it for Christmas, played it for 1 hour everyday (my time limit) for more than a year, then started all over again whilst waiting for Final Fantasy II to come out.   I also own the NES, PS1, iOS, PSP (I think), and Virtual Console (soon to include GBA and Famicom) versions.

Wow, you really do love that game. What would you like to improve in your collection?
The shelf space.  Iíve been thinking lately why I donít own more Genesis games, then I look at my shelf space and immediately get my answer.

What do you think was your best deal while game buying?
My first fifty or sixty NES games, which I bought for less than forty dollars shipped.  This was of course before the collector explosion that happened due to post-2007 Youtube expansion.

What item in your collection do you feel you overpaid for?
The one thing that I can think of would be the Final Fantasy XII Collectors Edition.  Now, I don't have anything against the game (it is a fine game), but after I bought it I remember wondering just what I had paid all that money for.  A metal case?  An interesting but underproduced disc with FF music and brief videos of games I've already played?  All that for $65-$75 bucks (can't remember)?  The artbook/strategy guide sold separately was far more interesting than the "extras" provided with the main game.  After this I had to ruin some poor Gamestop employee's day when I showed up and cancelled all of my pre-orders (this was a big moment for me).

I don't think I could cancel my pre-orders. Then again, I'm pretty selective about what I reserve. Good spending is crucial in collecting. What do you feel is the strangest or weirdest item in your collection?
I had to dig deep for this one.  Can't really think of what the weirdest part of my collection is. If something comes to mind I'll get back to you on that one.
What item(s) do you not have in your collection that people are surprised to hear you don't have?
Probably the Wing Commander games.  While I don't talk about it on RFG as much as at work, space sim games are a pretty big part of my gaming life, and the sad fact that I do not own a single Wing Commander game is very strange, and would likely elicit a raised eyebrow or two.

Maybe that's the strangest part of your collection. That something you like so much is missing from it. Is there any way you'd ever stop collecting?
If it became financially unviable I would.

Do you have a funny story about your collection?
If I could take the first looks people give me when I mention the amount of games I have and turn it into a video it would be pretty funny.  Keep in mind while I don't have a large collection as far as RFG is concerned, it pretty massive in the eyes of the dude who only has forty Xbox 360 games.

I can picture that in my mind. Maybe you should capture some of those reactions for Youtube or a blog post. Have you ever had to move your collection to another house? What was it like?
My collection was only around two hundred when I moved from my apartment in 2003, so it wasn't too bad.  I don't think I lost any games, but I'm pretty sure I lost a bunch of strategy guides.  The prospect moving all those games now fills me with dread.

That's a bummer. If your significant other told you no more games, what would you do?
No more collecting?  I would dive into my significant backlog and start swimming.  Plus, I can find a lot of free or nearly free Indie games online, not even mentioning the games released into open source that completely rock.

I hear ya! What percentage of your games are still sealed?
I think I might only have one, and if my Wii still played discs (or I picked up a Gamecube) I would have zero.

What percentage of your games have you actually played? Completed?
I've played pretty much all of my games at one point or another.  But completed (or played to a point where I would consider it completed)?  Less than ten percent.

Do you own any complete collections?
Nope.  Even if I had the money I collect too chaotically for that sort of thing.

Am I enticing you to go for a complete collection? Wink  What is your favorite game of all time?
Oh, man, what a brainbuster.  Either X3: Reunion for PC or Final Fantasy for the NES.

Least Favorite?
Chronicles of the Sword on PSX.  Being forced to play this game was considered a form of punishment at the game store I once worked at.  Or Hydlide.


Do you collect anything else besides games?
Nope.  I think at one point I wanted to start collecting toys from my youth, but it wouldn't work financially.

What do you outside of games?
I spend a lot of time with my family and write a lot.  Also do my best to avoid yardwork (I hate the heat).

What other features would you like to see more of at RFG?
A drop-down for sub-genres would be extra cool.

Steven, the previous interviewee, would like to ask you: "What single item in your collection have you owned the longest?"
Until 2001 I really didn't believe in holding onto games that I've already played through.  That being said my sister hid my copy of Final Fantasy III.  In order to get it back I had to promise that I wouldn't sell it (and buy her a copy of Final Fantasy Anthology for PlayStation).

Lastly, do you have a question to ask for the next interview?
What is the most times you've bought a single game (either in editions or the eternal buying/selling of your collection)?  For example, I've bought the original Final Fantasy a total of three times (selling/losing it twice).

Oooh... That's a good question!

Thanks for your time Jason! Hope you had a good time participating in this interview. If you pick up that Retron 5 I assure you, you won't regret it.

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I honestly like this feature a lot more than I thought I would. So very interesting to hear about other peoples' habits and histories. Excellent job Floyd and Jason!

Pick me next! Pick me next!
Ouch spending your money on Hydlide as your first game. So painful!

Great interview Floyd!
I like these interviews.

Keep it up Fleach!
If I survived the apocalypse and had to pick an elite crew for an against-all-odds save-mankind mission... well I sure wouldn't pick Bomba, because I don't know of any useful survivalist/military skills he has and he's just too nice a guy and good friend to choose to likely die.

Mr. Jason and I have had the pleasure to chat back and forth over the years, and while I'm sure we'd love the chance to 'hang out' more, his presence here at RFG has always been warm and welcoming.  He's the friend you'd invite for that road trip that's so long, anyone else would eventually annoy you, but Bomba's so thoughtful and easy-going, his company never wearies.

These interviews are excellent, Fleach!  Please keep 'em coming.
Subgenre drop-downs are already planned. I just need to find some time to convert the current entries into a table, and I'm sure Flee could use a hand with standardization. Smiley
Great interview. It's always fun to hear a little bit more about folks.
You don't have Wing Commander?!?  *nupoile raises eyebrows*

@slackur - Thanks. I'll keep this in mind when picking the team.

Another secret about bomba, the things he adds to his wishlist on Steam are great. It's always worth it to check out what he's interested in (and buy it for yourself ninja)

Mr. tomba and I like to go back and forth on old PC hardware, somehow our conversations always end up being about chilli though......
With or without beans?
Who is this Bombatomba guy?!

Nice info to see from a cool local member. Finally got to know where the username came from as I never really asked,  thought it had something to do with an atom bomb for the longest time. I still post things on this site from the computer he gave to me in a local trade. Very cool guy.
Fun stuff, great to read about how others get into collecting and what they like.  Keep 'em coming!

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Role Playing games are my favourite genre of the gaming library. I feel it is appropriate to take a look at the games that have touched me in my time as a gamer and collector and share them with the community. Feel free to discuss your thoughts, ideas, and challenge my opinions. The conversation is welcomed.
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