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Media Consumption: Deep Fried Entertainment's Steve Tolin

This week's Media Consumption sees Steve Tolin, Engineering Lead on the PSP version of Full Auto 2: Battlelines recommending his favorite influential media, including metal band Three Inches Of Blood, movie Pan's Labyrinth, and games like Chibi-
For this week’s Media Consumption, a column that looks at the media and art diets of our favourite industry personalities, we spoke to Steve Tolin, engineering lead at Canadian developer Deep Fried Entertainment on the company's PSP title Full Auto 2: Battlelines. The title, which launches in the US today and in Europe at the end of the month, is a sequel to Sega’s Xbox 360 vehicular combat game. Full Auto 2 is also available for the PlayStation 3, but Tolin notes that this particular version was “built from the ground up to be a new fresh experience”. The finalization of the game, he adds, means the team is able to get some well deserved rest. “Snowboarding is really popular this week,” he laughs. We spoke to Tolin recently, and asked about the drive through combos in his media diet of late. Sounds: "During this last year the team has attended many live rock shows. Just last year alone: Pearl Jam (twice), Tool, Aerosmith, Rob Zombie, Motley Crue, Audioslave, 3 Inches Of Blood (three times), Nine Inch Nails, Wolfmother, Ben Harper, The Tragically Hip, GWAR, Sam Roberts Band, Billy Talent, Gordon Lightfoot, Theory Of A Deadman, Beck, Xavier Rudd, Michael White & The White (twice), Th' Legendary Shack*Shakers, Gov't Mule, Thunderstruck, and Tenacious D. Upcoming shows include George Carlin. DFE has a diverse crew. The way we operate is everyone can suggest a show that they are interested in attending and then there's always five to ten more who go and discover something new. I'm usually the one suggesting most the shows and purchasing tickets but there's been a few gems from other staff. It's all available in Vancouver; I encourage everyone to participate. I get really involved in each show and take away a highlight from each one. Pearl Jam at The Gorge [were] amazing. Tool's sound live blew me away. Personally, I enjoy the heavier stuff, my roots are in Black Sabbath & Led Zeppelin. One of my first memories is shuffling through the 8-Tracks in the car for Black Sabbath's Paranoid for my dad. Ever since then the loud sound of guys on stage pounding on instruments get my energy pumping. It's a great stress relief. A local metal band Three Inches of Blood has me the most excited in a long time. Three Inches of Blood combines all the best things that made metal great: speedy guitar, pounding drums and bass, dual vocals and lyrics of Dungeons & Dragons, epic fantasy wars, Lord of the Rings, futuristic metallic nuclear dragons built for war... "It's a Wkykydron! Whooaah!" Live performance and stage presence is huge for me. The 3IOB crowds really get going and really get into the show. I spent the last show with my chest up against the stage screaming background vocals as the singers tilted the mics down to my face. Check them out!" Moving Pictures: "I finally got out to watch Pan's Labyrinth. I was expecting more fantasy elements but it was very well crafted. The creativity and imagination of the child to create the fantasy visuals. I think people should escape reality and day dream more often. Video games are a great way to bring you to interactively participate in these worlds that you never thought possible. The Shawshank Redemption and The Big Lebowski are movies I always go back and re-watch. Shawshank captivates drama and emotion. I've also just seen The Departed. These are story telling at its best. Big Lebowski is pure genius. It shows there's a story somewhere about anything, you just need to look for it. The characters and performances define interactive dialog. I still find my self quoting it all the time. Lately I’ve been spending more time watching live comedy shows on DVD, like George Carlin. He vocalizes a lifelong perspective on the way we live and define ourselves as a people. His memory, command of the language and delivery is unmatched. I finally get to see him live right before his 70th birthday! During the end of a project I can squeeze in an hour, about the length of a live comedy show. I like seeing how one person can command an audience with short little jokes/stories and always keep it fresh." Words: "Hotel Dusk: Room 215! I don’t read many novels but its great when a book-like game comes out and captures my attention. I play too many video games! I prefer interactivity in my entertainment." Games: "Zelda: Twilight Princess has my full attention now. It was released while we were finalizing our game. I specifically waited for I can fully immerse myself with undivided attention. Zelda games are why I'm a game developer. Twilight Princess defines action/adventure, interactivity, imagination, vision and creativity. For 20 years now I've continued to design and dream about crafting my vision of a style Zelda game. Stay tuned it will happen one day! Okami, Chibi-Robo, Phoenix Wright, Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin and many Japanese RPGs were favorites this year. I probably play through 40-50 games a year to completion not including my living room party games like Wii Sports or Wario Ware or Super Monkey Ball. I stay up really late! I'm always able to reserve time. Some here have make jokes about me maintaining my gaming schedule when new releases come out. Only seeing the ending credits on the shortest path isn't always seeing the designer's vision of the whole game. Examples are Okami and Castlevania, where I played 15+ more hours each to ensure my save file was 100%."

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