Friday, April 5, 2013

My new website is up!

I will make this post as short and to the point as possible; I have finished my new site. Yes, it is a Wordpress site. Yes, this is still nothing more then a blog I am using to gain credibility in the game industry. And yes; I have been posting. I actually made a special treat for those of you who still read my blog. If you have been reading this blog long enough, you probably don't know a lot about me, and don't have much ways to find out. That why I made this story on my front page. Enjoy :)

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

1000 hits!!!

I can't believe it. After leaving my site unattended for nearly a month, I am still getting hits.

What's more; I continue to amass hits. Ridiculous hits, with the way I haven't been updating. I got 25 hits today and I didn't even post anything yet. this is my first post in months. I guess that means there is only one thing to say...

Thank You. All of you. For all of your support.

When I first started to make this blog, I wasn't even sure what I wanted out of it. I figured that mabye I would have fun with it, just have a few laughs and make a few interesting comments. Then I noticed more and more hits, and I thought maybe I could do more. And then I realized that no one seemed to comment on my work, and for the first time I doubted myself. I thought no one truly appreciated what I did here.

Thank you for proving me wrong.

For your dedicated support, I will give you a rare treat; a brief fable that serves as an analogy to the video game, and what makes it more awesome then most other activities. Enjoy!

            There once were two innkeepers, who ran taverns on each side of the road. The one on the east side was jolly, friendly, and interesting.. The one on the west side was more practical. Both had excellent taverns with delicious mead and comfortable beds. Both had a big sign on each of their taverns. Both were men who worked hard and served their customers well. But the practical innkeeper noticed that more and more travelers seemed to come to his competitors tavern then to his own. 
             He tried making a bigger sign, making the beds even more softer, and making even more delicious mead. But that only seemed to make the other tavern more and more popular. The practical innkeeper got very frustrated  and decided to investigate what was going on before he lost his business. So he went to the jolly innkeeper's tavern on the west side of the road. The first thing the jolly innkeeper did when he walked in the door was ask the practical innkeeper "what would you like?"
            The practical innkeeper decided to be coy, and said what he thought a normal customer would say to such a question. "What do you mean, what do I want?! I want a soft bed, and delicious mead! Why ask such an inane question? That's what it says on your sign, right?"
            "I'm sorry sir," the jolly innkeeper apologized, "It's just that not everyone wants the same thing. Some people want mead, others wine, others song, and some just want bread. Same for a bed; some want a softer bed, others a hard bed, and some need no bed at all. Everyone chooses what they want; I only make those options available. As for my sign, it only says one thing-"

Better options make for a better experience!

For those you wondering what this story has to do with video games, here's another seven word synopsis to explain:

Video Games 
Rock Because
Choices are available!

the jolly innkeeper is the game industry; the practical one is other entertainment industries. The customers are the consumers. it illustrates the point above. 

Hope you enjoyed this little tribute. For those of you wondering what I am working on, here is the logo that's going to be on my new site.

If you have any suggestions or ideas, leave them in the comments.

Otherwise, see you soon!

Sunday, December 30, 2012

My New Years Resolution

Your all probably wondering where the hell is my FarCry 3 video.

To which I have two things to answer that;

1: good things take time

2: I won't promise anything.

My New Year's Resolution this year is to no longer make promises I can't keep. That goes double for my Video game review blog.

I am sick of tired of trying to crank out videos and blogs at the last minute only to produced half-assed, horrible crap that no one wants to read or watch anyhow. I need to step up my game. Give Quality over quantity. And I know just how to do it.

I told you about how I intend to make a new website for this blog, right? Well, I think it's high time I put my money where my mouth is. I will be taking a break from this blog both to enjoy the New Year holiday with my pal Justin Berghier, and so I can research and develop for a brand new webpage that looks and works ten times better then this crappy blogger page. 

I will not make any promises, as per my vow, so I won't be able to tell you when this will all get done until I know for sure and am ready to get started. 

To all of you who helped give me over 800 views in less then 3 months, I thank you very much. My only regret is that I wasn't able to deliver more quality product and that the feedback was so limited. I need to either be more perceptive and/or make a site with a better communication system. 

Don't worry, I will still have the same witty humor, the same signature 7WS (complete with its own twitter page, once all is complete) and will continue to combine video game reviews with more controversial and insight based work. 

I just need to make it look better, give you a nice RSS feed, email list, forum, and a comments section that works like silk. If all goes well within the next month, you will find my new site to be an awesome upgrade and a welcome new addition to your daily readings. 

 I will get back to you when my research is complete and everything is in order. As of now, Ryan's Video Game Reviews is officially under maintenance.

Hope you had a Happy Holiday and have a Happy New Year!

Friday, December 28, 2012

Hotline Miami

Hi everyone.

A lot has happened in the last day or so, so lets get started.

First off, I would like to announce that I have finally FIXED MY XBOX 360!!!


Now that all of my technical issues and faux pas hae been dealt with, I will continue to make reviews of your favorite Xbox 360 Games, starting with my promised Far Cry 3 video review and the Black Ops 2 Mulitiplayer and Zombie mode in the following weeks. Bout freaking time if you ask me.

Next on the agenda, you know Sergey Titov? The executive producer behind The War Z who I told to get his head out of his ass? Well, he must've either gotten a splash of cold water that morning or taken my advice, because he did exactly that a few days after I tweeted him the review.

He made an open letter that listed both his apology and plans to reorganize his staff and implement a new policy. One of the things he admitted to the most was his failure to communicate. I applaud him for this, as admitting fault is one of the bravest, and therefore hardest, things someone in his position can do.

I wrote him a letter right back thanking him and promising a 7WS that will congratulate him properly. While it is unclear weather or not he will keep his promises, I will give him this much for his humble apology.

To Sergey Titov:

Thank You

Very Much

For Being Honest :)

Even Albert Einstein was wrong sometimes. And like Titiov, he made himself great by admitting it. Play your cards right, Sergey old boy, and you just might make history.

Okay, now for the third and final thing before we get to the review, and that is a small disclaimer about the game I will make this review about.

Warning: The following game, despite not being rated by the ESRB, is an extremely violent and contains graphic material. Of which includes harsh language, disturbing amounts of blood and gore, and objectionable content in general. Do not let your children buy this game if you cannot accept this kind of content.

There; the public service announcement is done with. Now lets get to reviewing

Don't let the shiny blue sky and pink palm trees fool you; this is not a game for the meek. It's basically a game about a man who wears a mask while committing violent home invasions against miami vice gangsters. the object of each level is to kill every person in the building. How you do this is up to you. Tactics that work include ambushing them, sneaking up behind them, slamming the door in their face and killing them before they get up, and of course blowing head off with a firearm. Real kids stuff. The only real difference between you and the bad guys is that you have both the element of surprise and a real creepy rubber mask. You get new masks with each level, and each mask is a different animal, with a different and sinister sounding name, each one modifying your abilities and experience.

For today's 7WS, we are going to try something a little different. Instead of making each part of the Synopsis an independent remark, we will combine them as an adjective for the game. 

You see, in the video game industry, we have what are called Game Design Documents, which are basically huge technical documents that serve as an instructions book for those actually making the game. One of the first things written in the GDD is what's called a High Concept. Basically, you describe the game your making in a brief sentence spanning about 20 words or less. Example; Science Fiction action game starring a cyborg soldier warring against evil aliens on a strange ring shaped homeworld.(Halo).  You get the idea.

The 7WS for this review will work the same way, but instead of 20 words or less, I will boil it down to just seven. It will still detail what's good, what's bad, and what you should do about it. Now it also serves simply as an adjective to describe the gameplay experience. Here we go.

Hotline Miami is a:

Fantastic Sounding

Pixilated Looking

Adult Recommended Game.

Now we have both a descriptive text, complete with the good, the bad, and the proper action.

Let's dissect our synopsis.

Fantastic Sounding

I labeled the game Fantastic Sounding only because it combine truly captivating and atmospheric music with frighteningly realistic sound effects. The gunshots sound like true live firearms, the gushing blood and snapping of necks puts you on edge if the creepy music doesn't, and the urban mixes that make up most of the story based scenes and the theme music sounds like something they would play in a club in Miami. Very nice, very stylistic, and very, very engaging. Makes you feel like you are both having a psychological breakdown and living in downtown Miami Florida. The bad side of that city...

Also a good thing about this game; while it can be hard to get used to, the controls are extremely tight and responsive, which makes it easier to deal with the multiple challenges and the fact that it only takes one good hit to do you in. The high difficulty of this game helps make it mature, and the controls turn potential frustration into an interesting challenge. 

Pixilated Looking

This game could almost be called an 8-bit GTA 1 mod made to feel like an acid trip. Because that is what it looks like between the seizure-inducing color flashes and barely discernible visuals. What were supposed to be thugs in milk white suits look like circus clowns at first glance. And if you didn't have that creepy animal mask on, you would basically look like a green, slightly altered version of the bad guys. Plus most of the characters you meet in between missions look like carbon copies of each other. All the bums look the same, as do the people behind the desks. The only pictures that look distinctive are the weapon close-ups in the upgrade screen and the masks, both up close and in game. Makes you wonder if adding a mask was originally just a design decision...

Note to those with epilepsy; this is a game that has a lot of bright, blinking lights and psychedelic visuals that can make you dizzy. Wouldn't recommend it to you. 

If epileptic seizures aren't an issue, however, this might be the closest thing you get to actually dropping acid without ingesting tablets of LSD. It was obviously intentional, as the game tries hard (and succeeds, somewhat) in being deeply psychological. You literally start the game talking to people in masks who explain your missing identity. Yes; it follows the cliche' amnesia story structure. Go figure.

Adult Recommended Game.

Self explanatory, really. Don't let your kids play this game. Or your friends with seizures. If you have a kid with epilepsy, get off this review post right now and clear your history. And uninstall Steam. And make sure they are taking their prescription.
If you are among the 18-35 male majority of gamers who don't have epilepsy or problems with violence, this is something worth an Alexander Hamilton. He's the guy on the ten dollar bill, in case you were wondering. Just remember; you are the one with the mask, and the clowns in white are your prey. Good luck!

That's it for the  Hotline:Miami review. Tomorrow I will give video reviews another shot. I have a new camera, a new microphone, and will make sure the format doesn't do anything weird. Crossing my fingers this time. See you then!

Thursday, December 27, 2012


Now that the holidays are officially over, I will now proceed to fill your broadband space with content concerning the interactive medium we call video games!

Since my comment repellant is still in full effect, I still didn't get a response to my request for recommendations.

Since none of you guys gave a particular request, it looks like I get to pick one for you; here's a review of the game

Never heard of it? Neither have I until I got a hold of this handy little video called "Games you might not have tried", courtesy of the guys and gals at Extra Credits.

Check it out here

Copyright disclaimer: I in no way own any part of this webseries. I just happen to be one of their fans and was inspired to write reviews because of them. 

to Allison, Dan, James, and Kate, take this for what it is; a tribute and a citation.

Okay, now that the legal jargon and proper praise is in order, let's start off this review right.

7WS: Seven Word Synopsis

Greatly Engaging

Minecraft Wannabe

Buy This Game

Okay, now that I put seven words towards the experience, now it is time to break down what I mean.

If you are satisfied with this, come back tomorrow as we delve into the gritty world of

If not, read on for a brief but in depth analysis for each aspect of the 7WS. Here we go.

Greatly Engaging

To be brief on what Terraria actually is, it is basically a 2D adventure game that, like Minecraft, takes place in a world in which you can add and remove blocks that make up the surrounding terrain. You break trees with an ax to gather wood blocks, you chip away stone with a pick ax to get stone blocks, etc. The idea is to survive and explore as long as possible as monsters attack you during the night. Unlike Minecraft, however, the game Terraria features items, weapons, and quests that make it feel like something more then just a virtual lego pile.
Nothing sparks the interest of the public like something that is built exclusively to engage you. Terraria succeeds where Minecraft can often fail only because of a few select design choices that makes the game even more fun then its predecessor that started it all.

You start with tools

You might notice in the interface that you always begin with three things; a sword, a pick ax, and a regular ax. They are weak as you grandma's gall bladder, of course, but they do work, and they can be exactly what you need in a pinch. The pressure is off as far as building a house is concerned, only because you don't need to worry about arming yourself through your crafting skills. You can fight monsters almost instantly, and when you do, you can gather items and coins from their dead bodies. The coins can be traded with certin NPCs for more tools, which allows you to build you inventory over time.

More Tools, weapons, and enemies.

Simply the fact that you can fight right away is a game changer. Mix that with the fact that it not only allows you, but sets you up with enemies (primarily, the jumping green slime) makes it feel more like a traditional platform adventrue game with block building elements rather then just a 2-D Minecraft mod. With wildly radical items like Boomerangs, shurikens, blowguns, and flaming arrows, you begin to get that nostalgic feeling you might get from playing one of those really good Mickey Mouse platformer games, where you were given different costumes that did different things. 
With this kind of "traditional gameplay" mixed in with crafting and building mechanics, I began to realize that this game had just as much in common with The Legend of Zelda 2: the adventure of Link (shown on right) as it did with Minecraft. You have an open world quest, side scrolling action, and special adventures and bosses. Really makes the experience it's own world. Literally
Simplified Recipies
Who hasn't been to the Minecraft wiki? I have, and it usually is because I can't figure out how to build something I need. If I have one block in the wrong place, I will not be able to build anything.

Not so with Terraria; building is streamlined, only because it is simple as having both ingredient A , B, C, etc.
No grid to get you mixed up!
The Depth is Amazing!

No getting bored of this game once you discover every monster; the details I have witnessed only scratch the surface of the game. Both figuratively and literally. There are countless quests, items, and features that become more and more available as you continue on. Reading the Wiki alone is an awe inspiring experience, and you will pee you pants in excitement as you learn just a few things you can do in this game.
Okay, that is the positive aspect of this game. Now lets move on to the negative.

Minecraft Wannabe

You may have noticed that I have been comparing this game to Minecraft a lot. You want to know why? because Terraria is to Minecraft what Eminem is to Vanilla Ice and the Iphone is to the first Blackberry smartphone; a well marketed variation of the same exact idea. Terraria is a great game, but part of what makes it so great is that it does the exact same thing Minecraft did and added it to an action platformer from the 1990s. Harsh, but true. 

Every core mechanic beyond the traditional, from the building and crafting to the day and night system, is borrowed if not downright copied from Minecraft. Even up and coming features of Minecraft, like the experience system and the enchanting of weapons and tools, seem to creep its way into the game like a vile, corrupting snake. While the game stands on its own feet really well, I wish I could see things that it did original that wasn't from circa 1995 and/or Mohang's masterpiece. I often feel that I can get just as much out of my existing copy of Minecraft and my virtual console on Wii that I get from Terraria. This shouldn't be a problem for casual players, who might not even know what I am talking about. But if you don't have a fresh look on adventure platformer games and/or Minecraft experiences, this game might seem like something you already have.

That's the negative. Now Here's what I recommend you do about it. 

Buy This Game

It's only ten dollars; five dollars, if you catch the holiday special. Do yourself a favor; Download Steam if you haven't already, go to their store, search for Terraria, and click buy. It is worth the small amount of money.

That's it for today. Tommorrow we will go over Hot Miami, as mentioned before.

Also remember; I do requests, so feel free to request a review of any video game you like in the comments section below. 

Have a good one, and enjoy playing your Christmas Presents!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Merry Chirstmas

Now is not the time to be reading blogs about video games, let alone writing them. Now is the time to wrap last minute presents for the ones you love. Now is the time to crack open a bottle of egg nog and toast to good tidings. Now is the time to find the one you love under the mistletoe and give him or her the kiss they deserve for being there for you.

Now is the time for Christmas. Merry Christmas to all, and to all goodnight.

I will not be posting on Christmas Eve or Christmas day, so take this time and spend it with your loved ones.

If you are one of those unlucky souls who can't find someone to spend time with, go to your local library and pick up your favorite Christmas Story. Or treat yourself to some holiday sales online and spend the day fragging noobs online.

Either way, enjoy the holidays and see you in two days.

Friday, December 21, 2012

What Game do YOU want Reviewed?

I didn't think my luck could possibly be this bad, but it is.

Once I finished work on Thursday, I noticed my car was stalling. I had to take it to my local mechanic, Quenzel, to get it fixed. The next morning I find out that he is backed up with repair jobs and won't get done until later today. Meanwhile, I need to get to my father's house, get my Xbox 360 running, get a copy of Far Cry 3 to review, and make a video. I walk ten blocks to the local Shop Rite grocery to see if their red box has a copy. It didn't. I walk to the local K mart to just buy a copy. They don't have. So when my Mom gave me a ride to my Dad's house, she takes me to the one in Mullica Hill, which doesn't have it either. I decide that now would be a good day to make those multiplayer videos for Black Ops 2 that I never got around to. I just needed to fix my Xbox 360. So I get to Dad's, turn on Youtube, and follow the Eric the Car Guy video on how to fix your Xbox 360. So I take my Xbox apart, follow the instructions up to the point where they tell you to re-flow the solder (I don't have a heat gun), and I try my Xbox 360. I didn't break it, but the video still doesn't work. So I try using a little jury rig that I also found on Youtube to try to heat the solder. Still no video. It became clear that the Xbox 360 isn't the problem. I guess it's the AV cable. So I give up and take the Wii out that  brought with me to Dad's and connect that up to review Lego Batman 2. Then I realize it needs a nunchuck to play. I didn't bring a nun-chuck to my Dad's, and he isn't coming back until past midnight. So I have no ride, no way to play even a relatively recent game. and no video for Saturday morning. If you want a video of a game review, your going to have to wait a little longer. I am Sorry.

But for those of you waiting patiently for me to get my crap together, I would like to ask you a question that is probably more relevant to this blog then anything else I have asked you. I actually feel kinda bad for not thinking of this question earlier. 

What game would you like to see reviewed?

A student of my mother's suggested this, and I think it's a question worth asking. I am sick of tired of trying to put together last minute reviews of the latest games only to find a general lack of interest in it. 

So tell me; what video game would you like to see reviewed with my Seven Word Synopsis and witty banter?

It can be any game you like, from the AAA Call of Duty to the Steam Store indie game for $0.99.

If you really want to see me review your favorite game, please leave a comment in the section below and tell me which title(s) you would like to see either reviewed or re-examined if I gave it a review you didn't like. 

I already redid my Seven Word Synopsis for Batman: Arkham Asylum. I will gladly do the same for anyone else who would share their opinion politely. 

Thank you for your cooperation and patience :)