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Media Consumption: Atlus' Zach Meston

Today’s Media Consumption, a weekly column that digs deep to find out what our favorite game developers have been devouring in the four basic media food groups of audio, ...

Frank Cifaldi, Contributor

February 16, 2006

3 Min Read

Today’s Media Consumption, a weekly column that digs deep to find out what our favorite game developers have been devouring in the four basic media food groups of audio, video, printed word and games, speaks to Atlus USA Assistant PR/Marketing Manager Zach Meston. "I started writing about video games in 1989, within the pages of a Commodore Amiga fanzine, and landed my first professional assignment (a review of Star Wars for the NES) in late 1990," Meston told Gamasutra via email. "I quickly evolved into a full-fledged freelance weasel, cranking out hundreds of reviews and dozens of strategy guides for various print and web publishers." He continued: "From 1998 to 2001, I took a detour into the world of game localization, authoring a half-dozen English translations of Japanese RPGs for the late Working Designs. It was back to freelance-weaseling after that, until late last year, when I forsook my hand-to-mouth existence for a sweet full-time gig with Atlus U.S.A., Inc." Sounds: “I’ve lately been rawk!-ing out to The Darkness, a British band most easily described as a combination of Queen’s falsetto vocals and AC/DC’s crunchy riffs. When I’m feeling a little more civilized, I’ll soothe my savage man-breast with Andrea Bocelli, an Italian vocalist with a throat so golden that he prompted Luciano Pavarotti to ask, Butch Cassidy-style, ‘Who is this guy?’ And I was recently turned on to the first album of YMCK, a trio that blends J-pop vocals with jazzy arrangements of NES-era synthesized music; it’s the most unique listening experience I’ve had in eons.” Moving Pictures: “On the highbrow side, I’ve been Netflix-ing the best auteur-driven American movies of the 1970s, before Jaws and Star Wars came along and screwed up Hollywood forever. On the lowbrow side, I’m hooked on a bunch of anime series, including the sci-fi serial Planetes and the second season of Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex. As for the boob tube, I very rarely suckle anymore. Mostly, I rent season sets of the shows that interest me—CSI because it makes science sexy, Da Ali G Show because it’s damned funny. The only DVDs I actually own are all the Mystery Science Theater 3000 boxed sets, the first two seasons of Penn & Teller’s Bullshit! (with season three on pre-order), and a smattering of ‘80s comedies with endlessly quotable dialogue (Caddyshack, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, et cetera).” Words: “The last book I read to educate myself was Richard Rhodes’ amazing The Making of the Atomic Bomb; the last book I read for pleasure was Laura Hillenbrand’s Seabiscuit, which got me so interested in the sport and culture of horse racing that I was hooked on Gallop Racer 2004 for a while. And I’m frequently thumbing through my copy of The Art of Seduction, which is a required read for PR peeps. The only fiction I’m reading these days is from Frederik Pohl, author of the Gateway ‘hard’ sci-fi novels.” Games: “I’m a huge futbol fan, so I’ve been playing Winning Eleven 9 since it was released in Europe as Pro Evolution Soccer 5. I recently finished the mostly great Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney, which jumps the shark in the final scenario, when the quality of the localization goes from stellar to sucky. Ouch. On the retro tip, I’ve been playing Military Madness for the TurboGrafx-16 and filling the widest gap in my video game ‘edumacation.’ And I’ve always got time for a four-player game of M.U.L.E., but I’ve yet to figure out how to get three of my friends into the same room at the same time. (I know you can use emulators to play online, but it just ain’t the same.)”

About the Author(s)

Frank Cifaldi

Contributor

Frank Cifaldi is a freelance writer and contributing news editor at Gamasutra. His past credentials include being senior editor at 1UP.com, editorial director and community manager for Turner Broadcasting's GameTap games-on-demand service, and a contributing author to publications that include Edge, Wired, Nintendo Official Magazine UK and GamesIndustry.biz, among others. He can be reached at [email protected].

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