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Profile for Dire Radiant
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1. I am...

...lots of things which usually include pissed-off, hopped up on caffiene, smoking like a chimney and agoraphobic.

On usenet I go by Dire Radiant but my mum insists on calling me Neil. I am 20 years old (if you're counting in Hex...), was born and raised in northern England until about five years ago when I went out to get some milk and got lost, finally ending up in Milwaukee, WI, where the standard of my Queen's English has declined depressingly.

I've been addicted to arcade games since the age of about seven when I first set eyes on a Pong machine in a hotel in Cornwall. Since then I've progressed through Space Invaders, Galaxian, Asteroids and Karate Champ until my teens when the best game of all time was released and I finally achieved a state of grace playing Nemesis. About the same time I was playing asteroids I started fiddling with computers ranging from a ZX-81 through the Amiga 600HD, right up to the powerhouses we have today. Its been a heck of a ride.

2. I got into MAME...

...basically in order to annoy my wife. I encountered MAME a few years back when there really wasn't that much available... played it for a while and promptly forgot all about it until I got reacquainted just after 0.59 was released. Since then I've had a blast playing all the games I used to hammer away on in that smokey back room behind the record shop in Wakefield.

Almost better than that has been discovering a whole load of games that passed me by while I was figuring out what those funny lumps on the front of girls were for.

3. I love playing...

...with my balls! - There's just something about popping coloured balls that floats my boat. Puzzle Bobble, Magical Drop and Uo Poko feature beautifully simple but addictive gameplay. Less testicular favourites include Pnickies and Cleopatra Fortune...

Nemesis - Innovative and brilliantly executed on its release and still a heck of a lot of fun today. Known to American philistines everywhere as Gradius (What the *&!@ is a Gradius?) The first game that always leaps to mind when I think about arcades.

Nutzoid Japanese Shooters - The likes of Cave and Psikyo have turned out some incredible shooters in the last few years. Absolutely insane amounts of enemy fire to dodge, beautiful visuals and ludicrous firepower! Notable titles include the oddly soundtracked but brilliant Dangun Feveron, Guwange, Gunbird 2 and my personal favourite, the astounding, awe-inspiring, jaw-dropping DoDonPachi.

Last Blade - I've never been a great fan of fighting games but this blindingly good game from SNK has me hooked. Capcom also managed to turn my head with Vampire Savior 2.

4. I would like to say to Nicola and the MAME team...

...that you guys rock. Original huh? But there's no other word for it. A thousand thanks. (Oh, and if you can stop Guwange from locking out my keyboard then you can have my sister...really)
Machine specs: 800MHz (AMD Duron) | 512Mb | 20GB (ATA100) H/D
Graphics: MSI Starforce GeForce 2 GTS | Sound: (not specified)
Controllers: Original Sidewinder Gamepad, Logitech Optical Mouse & home-built prototype arcade controller

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