It’s a great feeling interviewing someone you are a fan of and, I am lucky enough to experience this with today’s guest. Honestly, it would be belittling to call him “just” an avid gamer and an avid collector; James is someone who lives and breathes games 24/7!
To put it in the words of his real-life friend Mark Bond, my very first guest for the “We are gamers” series: “He is a top bloke, very chilled and loves all things gaming”.
Ready to find out why he is Much More? The floor is yours, James…
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1. Welcome James and many thanks for accepting my invitation. For a starter, please introduce yourself to RGL’s readers.
Hi Andrew thanks for having me and hello to all the RGL’s readers! So about me?! Where do I start? My name is James and I primarily make videos for my YouTube channel, which is known as ItsMuchMore however, I’ve recently started to take my gaming equipment on the road to attend events, community days and pretty much anywhere someone wants to add gaming to the mix of their event.
I’ve been gaming since as long as I can remember, having an older brother who got an Amstrad CPC 464, which was then handed down to me and then a younger brother. I’ve shared all gaming consoles and systems with over the years, so gaming was a big part of my childhood.
I class myself now more as a collector than a gamer. Yes I do try to play games when I can, but I quite enjoy picking up a game for my collection that I need to tick off the list and if I get a chance, will fire up the system for a quick game or three.
2. What was the first video game you ever played?
Ooohh that’s a tough one, it would have been something on the Amstrad, so off the top of my head I will say something like Oh Mummy! But it could have been something on the Sega Master System then it would have been Hang-On, which was built into my Master System Mark I.
3. What about the first gaming system you ever owned?
As most of the gaming systems I played were either given as a birthday or christmas gift for all three of us brothers, the only system which as just my birthday gift was the original Nintendo Gameboy! Which only had a handful of games for, but still some real fond memories.
4. Were you an arcade gamer? If you were, what about your favorite titles back in the 80s and the 90s?
Yes! I was and still am an arcade gamer. Side tracking for a moment when the Sega Dreamcast launched here in the UK, I loved it as it was like having an arcade machine in your own home! Getting back to the question, when growing up I always remember playing arcades at holiday parks/camps with the family and I always remember playing WWF Wrestlefest and Michael Jackson’s Moonwalker, those were and still are incredible arcade games and are my favorite to this day.
I remember going to Sega World London and playing so many great games there also, SegaSonic The Hedgehog hearing Sonic scream across the whole of the 8 floors is something I always think back of and laugh!
5. I am going to name a few video game genres: please tell me your favorite retro title for each of them:
Ok sure, let’s do this!
a) Adventure – I don’t or haven’t played many adventure games in my time, I was more of a back seat gamer for that game genre, but I’ll go with Shenmue on the Sega Dreamcast, watching my brother play through the story was very good.
b) Platformers – Sonic The Hedgehog on the Sega Mega Drive, seeing that for the first time in a toys store called Children’s World here in the UK and the brightness and colours were jacked up – my eyes were hurting by just seeing it, but couldn’t wait to play it.
c) Puzzle Games – Gotta go with Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo! had this on the PC in a nice big box and mixing Street Fighter 2 with Columns was a perfect hit combo!
d) RPGs – Like Adventure games, I don’t tend to play too many of them. If I was to choose it would be something from my Sega Game Gear collection and it is a game called Crystal Warriors!
e) Racers – Now here is a though one, so many amazing retro racers, I’ll go with Sega Rally Championship on this one.
f) Soccer/Football – International Super Star Soccer Deluxe on the Super Nintendo, so many laughs had on this game and that’s only due to the commentator.
g) Sports Games – Sports Jam on the Sega Dreamcast – this mixed loads of sports titles into arcade mini games.
h) Any other games whose genre I did not mention? – I know wrestling is classed as a sport but, if wrestling/beat em up was included, I would have said WWF Wrestlemania 2000 on the Nintendo 64 as my favorite wrestling game and best beat em up game has got to be Street Fighter II Championship Edition.
6. While growing up, what gaming system did you have the most fun with? Are you still a regular gamer?
Growing up it was the Sega Dreamcast and I am still a regular gamer of this system and collect games for it still to this day.
7. What is your relationship with the online gaming world? Do you play online with your friends/family members/random gamers?
I used to run an online gaming clan/community called UKRockers which took part in online tournaments and ladder matches on PC games and console games so years ago a I quite competitive now, I just play online games for fun and meetup with friends online or just jump into an online lobby with random gamers to see what happens.
8. What are your finest memories related to video games?
I really enjoyed playing The House of The Dead, so I wrote a letter to Sega asking if they were to make a sequel, if I could be a named character in the game. I received a letter back from SEGA (which I still have to this day) saying “It could happen”, then when The House of the Dead 2 came out ‘James’ was a named character in the game… 🙂
9. What prompted you to start a YouTube channel?
Before YouTube I was recording all my gaming moments with a TV and VHS combo, just to watch them back. These were online gameplay footages of the Sega Dreamcast online and also the Sony Playstation 2, then YouTube came along and I started to upload videos to there instead of taping over important episodes of Crystal Maze.
10. What is the goal of Itsmuchmore?
The dream many years ago was to have my own internet cafe, now times have changed internet can be accessed anywhere on pretty much anything so that idea is out the window. However, the dream still kinda continues, as one day I would like to open up my own Retro Gaming Cafe where people can come along play games, chat and bring back the good old days how I used to remember when in the arcades and seeing people just having friendly competition with a random person who also shares the same interest in gaming.
The first step of this is going to events and hiring my equipment for parties and gathering so who knows, one day your RGL readers could pop by for a cuppa and a game of whatever they remember from growing up and bring back fond memories.
11. Last but not least: any future plans or secret wishes?
Future plans are to continue to grow across my YouTube and social platforms, I’ve just become a Twitch Affiliate so going to ride that band wagon to see where it takes me, but just continue to enjoy gaming and making people happy, if they attend an event I’m at or making engagement and interesting videos 🙂
Thanks again for letting me be a part of your great website with the amazing guests you’ve already interviewed.