Meet the Team

Choose your fighter!*

(*meet the Red Barrel Radio team)

Al

Al Newstead is a Melbourne-based blogger, freelance music journo, emerging comedian, presenter, twitter-er, tumblr-er, musician, all-around new media guy and consumer of green herbs and mushrooms alike. But his casting of pods with Red Barrel Radio involves his first love: videogames.

Beginning with a humble copy of Teddy Boy for the Sega Master System, Al’s gaming pedigree contains many milestones familiar to long-term gamers. From a Sega Mega Drive II bundled with Sonic 2 and Toejam & Earl, scraping cents together for a SNES bundled with the invincible Super Mario All-Stars, or recreating his love for the now defunct arcades by making Point Blank (with gun of course) his virgin Playstation purhcase.

His gaming tastes are for the classic with a touch of the hardcore and a pinch of the obscure. Hundreds of hours poured into the likes of Chrono Trigger, We Love Katamari, Super Smash Bros. Brawl and his beloved Ico and Shadow of the Colossus. Many of his favourite games and series can be attributed to studios, rather than consoles. Such as Rare’s golden era of N64 production, Konami’s varied action-adventure series like Castlevania and Metal Gear; to a dedication to Capcom’s exhaustive library of franchises – from Ryu to Redfield – and classic Nintendo icons the likes of Metroid, Mario and Zelda.

A self-described ‘longcore’ gamer, Al has had an epic and illustrious affair with digital entertainment through thick-and-thin.

Top 5 games:

  • The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time
  • Perfect Dark
  • Final Fantasy VIII
  • Bioshock
  • Super Smash Bros. Brawl

 Ben

BenAs a 7 year old Ben wrapped his hands around a SEGA Mega Drive controller to play ‘Wayne Gretzky Hockey’. Graduating to the far superior ‘NHL 95′ soon after, he quickly discovered there was more to video games then just sports with games like ‘Wonder Boy 3′ and ‘Sonic’. Once Ben hit high school he forgot about games, Only returning to them in his late teens, after being recommended ‘GTA Vice City’. Soon after though, he had digested titles like ‘Diablo 2′, ‘Final Fantasy 6′ and ‘Chrono Trigger’. With the release of the Wii, Ben returned with gusto to the past time of gaming and experiencing franchises like ‘Smash Brothers’, ‘Zelda’ and ‘Metroid’ for the first time.
A few years later, and Ben owns all three major consoles as well as a 3DS, and spends his free time playing an eclectic mix of games.The 7 year old Ben that used to while away the hours in front of Wayne Gretzky would be happy, as adult Ben still plays as many sports games as he can get his hands on.

 

Top 5 games:

  • Final Fantasy VI SNES
  • Metroid Prime 3 Corruption Wii
  • Heavy Rain PS3
  • NHL 95 Mega Drive
  • Suikoden II PSX

 Dan

Dan was born from what some might say to be an “immaculate conception”, his “family” found him in their living room late one night attached to their sega mega drive, playing Shining Force 2. This small child, around the age of 5, seemed to have materialised out of thin air, or what was even more likely, out of the game itself, as he had peculiarly square eyes and strange pixel like freckles on his face.

Having nowhere to send the boy they chose to keep him and raise him as their own. From that day forth Danatron has lived to play games, from classics like Sonic and Streets of Rage, to more low key titles such as the Punisher and Havoc on the megadrive, he revelled in the glory days of the PSX with gems like Medieval, Metal Gear Solid, Tenchu, Crash Team Racing and Spyro, until the day, shortly after his 16th birthday, where he was finally able to afford the life dominating PS2 and have access to such awesome titles as Onimusha, the continuations of the Metal Gear series and Tekken, to the genre and era defining classics like God of War and the Shadow of the Colossus. Though often neglected by Danikel the pc has not escaped his attentions, enjoying games like Prey, Quake 4 and the thoroughly amazing Half Life 2…. wow this is getting kinda long winded…

… anyway,  though cared for and loved by his adopted family, Danthony has always longed to return to his digital life, to this end Dantonio Danderas goes by many names, playing games from dusk till dawn, always searching for a way back home, to bring peace to all lands and claim his place as high lord of all games… Bewm!!

Top 5 games:

  • MGS 3: Snake Eater
  • Zone of the Enders 2: the 2nd runner
  • Shinning Force 2
  • Final Fantasy 7
  • Counterstrike Source

Jem

Jem holds the honour of being the first on the team to play a video game. At the tender age of three he could be found playing the original Star Wars trench run game in an arcade on Fitzroy Street, St. Kilda. Later, he swapped homework for many hours of Mega Drive, and has since owned or at least played on almost every console since. He’s too old to get Pokemon and laments the slow demise of Japan’s gaming industry by demonising any game from the land of the rising sun that doesn’t have “VS” in the title.

He’ll generally dig anything that will eat the hours and bag anything you actually like, going so far as to glue several swear words together to make the almighty MEGASWEAR! You know, like Voltron, but if one lion was called Shit and the pink one was called Pussy….. you get the idea. After recording the podcast he’ll usually continue to drink, eventually putting on a dress and later crying on Dan’s shoulder that he really just wants to be understood.

When not Radioing Red Barrels, Jem blogs about comic books at Comic Burger.

Top 5 games:

  • Marvel Ultimate Alliance
  • Bioshock
  • Skyrim
  • Desert Strike
  • Wipeout 2097

Tom

TomTom first began gaming on a 386DX with titles such as “Paganitzu”, “Crystal Caves”, “Halloween Harry” and his first RPG “Quest for Glory II: Trial by Fire”, which he had a lot of trouble playing, since he was only 5 years old at the time and it was a text-command game. To tell the truth, he was just as amazed by the “Flying through space” screensaver (later, pipes).

During his school life, his best friend had an older brother with every LucasArts Adventure game and he would go there constantly to play Indiana Jones, Full Throttle, Monkey Island … eventually he bought his own (most of which played on the ol’ 386, which had since been upgraded to a 486). He continued to only play PC until the N64 came out. Since then, he went on to buy a PS1, GameCube and finally jumped on the current-gen consoles 2 years ago. After the family computer just didn’t cut it anymore (no, the 386-turned-486 was long gone) he eventually sprung for his own PC, always keeping it up to date to fuel his love for First-Person-Shooters, Role Playing Games and anything Star Wars. He enjoys his 360 for racing and 3rd-Person games, and his PS3 for weird and wonderful Japanese games and Uncharted.

He is an ex-WOW addict, seeing the light after 4 years of play and now tries to catch up on the many games he missed out on during that time. Because of this prior [substance] abuse, he is unable to play Star Wars: The Old Republic, as this would be considered a “perfect storm” and would probably result him in losing his job and (irl) friends.

When not gaming, you’ll usually find Tom writing, watching movies or huddled up in a corner, resisting the urge to go and buy SWTOR.

Top 5 games:

  • Max Payne 2
  • Perfect Dark
  • Knights of the Old Republic 2
  • Resident Evil 4
  • Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis