Those were the words that I looked forward to hearing each and every week because that meant it was time for the Bombcast.
Ryan Davis was someone who I never physically knew, but, I feel like I knew him personally. I heard him nearly as much as anyone else who I interact with on a regular basis. My wife knew of my love for Giant Bomb and my daughter who is only two heard the voice of Ryan on many occasions as I listened to the Bombcast while trying to rock her to sleep.
Over the last five years at Giant Bomb (and even long ago during his Gamespot days) I have spent so much time listening to Ryan on podcasts and watching videos that I feel like I got to know him and the rest of the GB staff personally. So, I feel this loss just as many of the other members of the Giant Bomb community does, as if it was a good friend that we hung out with all of the time.
Ryan's snarky personality immediately appealed to me because I am the same way. His quick witted jabs at his colleagues were hilarious and reminded me of how I poke at my family and friends.
I got to know him a bit better on GB and through Twitter through some conversations, albeit short, that we had about a few random things and some helpful things to me. As a young writer interested in maybe breaking in one day he offered advice and some interesting tips along with, without saying... friendship. With just those few conversations my respect for him grew. He became someone to look up to and appreciate.
To me, he became the measuring stick as to what you need to be in this industry. I know I will never reach anywhere near his level but it was great to be able to see what he could do. His writing is an aspect that is often overlooked but it shouldn't be, he was fantastic. He was so dedicated to what he did that it was infectious. His enthusiasm and barbs would really liven up the crew when it seemed like they were down or tired.
Today I learned we lost Ryan Davis. It felt strange to tear up and hurt inside for someone I never actually met, but then it hit me. Those who have been loyal and followed Giant Bomb over the years are a family. We care about each other. While the internet can be a terribly awful place, the members of the GB community can take solace in knowing that in the end, the Giant Bomb community cares. We care about our family.
We cared about Ryan and today let us celebrate the time that we, as a family, were lucky enough to spend with him.
My heart and prayers go out to all of his friends and family. Especially, his new wife. Words cannot express the sadness that I feel for her because of this terrible situation. When you get married you think about all the time that you will be able to spend with your new spouse and how many memories you are going to make with them. This was tragically cut short and I can only wish and pray that she can find any peace in this difficult time.
Ryan, thank you for all the funny moment, the hand holding with Matt Rorie, the amazing banter with Vinny, the insightful conversations with Brad, and the incredible connection that you had with Jeff. I know all of your friends will miss you. So will your family here at Giant Bomb.
In lieu of my previous blog where I stated that I am old from just a few days ago I have decided that I am going to start blogging about my gaming experiences, this will not be a planned blog as of right now because I have a lot of stuff going on and adding another thing to my schedule doesn’t sound too appealing at the time. I will say that I will attempt to make this bi-weekly, and on Friday when I publish it. That is pretty much all I can come up with now, if the reaction is positive or if it seems like a good group of people will be somewhat interested in it then I will make an effort to give an exact day and time every other week that I will release it.
This is where I think the blog can get rather interesting. I will be talking about the games that I have played in between blogs and giving some thoughts and opinions, this is the same with old and new games. The blog that I published on May 4, The Old Guard talked about how I feel like games are trying to pass a generation of us by. My solution to this problem is to not only play newer games and discuss them but to also become more of a collector than I already am. I will be documenting my adventures in traveling to local games shops both new and retro, traveling to flea markets that are fairly local, and scouring the internet to find systems and games to add to my collection. I will also try over the next few days to create a list of everything that I currently own and will add to the list after each blog to show how the list grows. I will not include all of my Steam games on the list right now because it is ridiculous, but I will talk about new Steam games that I purchase if I feel strongly in way or another about them. You guys and ladies may think I am totally crazy with some of the stuff I may purchase but just remember, I have my reasons, even if I don’t fully understand them
Now, I am not digging a huge hole for myself here, I am married and have a one year old daughter so real world monetary situations will not allow me to go insane and constantly buy new games and systems so each blog will not feature something that I have purchased but rather for those blogs I will attempt to fill in that section with what I would like to add to my collection or with a discussion of a game (or games) from a prior generation that I really enjoyed or didn’t enjoy.
Now You Are Playing with Power (or just some games)
Alright, I have some extra time on my hands right now so I am just going to throw in the first edition of the new blog series. This may end up being a slightly condensed edition, or maybe not. This past weekend I went a little crazy and decided to re-download all of the PS1 era Final Fantasy games on PSN, which I wouldn’t have to do if I could just invent a way to cram a PS1 disc into my Vita but that doesn’t exist at this time so I had to spend money on them again and purchase the digital versions. This is one of the main reasons that I am highly anticipating the addition of PS1 compatibility to the Vita, I never owned a PSP and have only been able to play these PS1 games on my flat screen TV through the PS3 and the do not look so hot on the big screen so I am holding off on playing them anymore until I can use the Vita.
I actually have a ton of PS1 games on PSN that I plan to play again or for the first time when I can use the Vita for this. Silent Hill, Resident Evil 2, a ton of JRPG’s, and a number of other games that I either wanted to play or did play during that generation. I think these games’ being available on PSN is a great way for people who didn’t get a chance to play them 15 or so years ago to experience them now. They may be a little hard to stomach in the graphical department but a lot of these games are pivotal parts of gaming history and deserve, at the very least, an attempted play through.
A game that I actually did play recently was the Walking Dead. I downloaded this when it first released but only last Friday got an opportunity to play it and my opinion of the first game is that it is a very interesting start to what could end up being a great series for TellTale. I have enjoyed some of their earlier work and the Walking Dead seems like a very welcomed addition for them especially after the bad taste that Jurassic Park left in everyone’s mouth. The walking dead plays like a traditional adventure game and for me the most interesting aspect from the first game is the persistence in the choices that you make in some very well presented dialogue options and split-second situations that will push you emotionally. I didn’t go into this expecting a psychologically pressing experience but to my surprise that is exactly what I got.
To share a bit of context with everyone, I don’t have a ton of exposure to the Walking Dead series; a little reading of a couple of comics and the first season of the television series is what I brought to the table. So, I knew that it could be interesting but I wasn’t prepared for exactly what it was. I will never spoil anything in any of these blogs because I want people to play these games themselves and the Walking Dead is no exception. I will say that if you enjoy a good story and are a fan of adventure games then this is probably for you, if you are a fan of the series but have never really gotten into adventure games then this could be a very good starting point for you because of the source material.
The main character in the first episode Lee Everett is very likeable and as this episode begins to progress you will come to a better understanding of him as a character and will genuinely feel that he cares for most of the people that he comes into contact with. The set pieces and characters introduced to you are very well done for the most part, the only character that I could not stand and I feel terrible for this was a little boy. You will probably understand what I mean when you play it, he was just so damned annoying. I will say that I really liked this first episode and It excited me with the potential for the remaining episodes and where it could go from here.
That is just about everything that I played aside from some Trials Evolution, which is something that I constantly go back to and I am sure that it will become a running theme throughout the blog. In the next couple of days I will be picking up the Silent Hill HD collection and will be playing through that next. I have heard d some bad things about the port and how it turned out but I will push those opinions to the side and let everyone know what I think of my time with it, probably, next Friday.
Pissing Off My Wife and Buying Some Random Stuff
Here is where my new purchases will be displayed proudly (or not) for the world to see. There is nothing to report this week because I just decided to include this into the blog series but I will say that I am going to be buying a Nintendo 64 for around 20 bucks from a local game store that I have been haggling with over the last couple of days, I should be dropping in there to pick it up later today. I work from home and only live a couple minutes from the shop so it won’t be too hard to get out there. I have also been checking out eBay and trying to get a good copy of River City Ransom for my NES, the cheapest that I have been able to find it for is roughly $20 which is a little bit much in my opinion but I may break down and just buy it, that is the cliffhanger to keep you coming back for next time. Will he or will he not break down and drop a 20 spot on an old ass NES game. Tune in next time to find out. At least I’m not trapped in a shark tank or being held in a rape den by Burgess Meredith wearing a monocle.
I also wish that I could hit up some local markets this weekend to search for some games and still may be able to get a little time in to do that but it is doubtful because my daughters first birthday party is coming up so my whole weekend will be consumed by trying to make a 1 year old happy. Normally I would just throw some fruity pebbles and a stuffed Minnie Mouse at her and she’s fine but my wife wants to throw this insanely huge party that my daughter will never remember but will love nonetheless so I’m in, I have to be or my wife will probably murder me in my sleep. If I am able to get out on Sunday or something and comb through some random stuff trying to get a good deal for a copy of Battletoads I will tell everyone all about it. Now, my rules for going to these flea markets is that I will not check my iPhone to see if I am getting a good deal or not, I will base all purchasing decisions on how I feel about the game itself.
Well, there you have it. Hopefully this isn’t terrible and at least someone has an enjoyable time reading about how a guy in his mid-late 20’s feels about games and wastes his money and if so let me know. Hell, even if you hate it let me know, it gives me more human interaction than I normally get which is always welcomed. If you have any thoughts about games I should play or even games I should look for when I head out on my money spending adventures leave it in the comments, they can be obscure or popular, it doesn’t really matter to me. Anyway, thanks guys… and All Your Base Belong to David Schwimmer. God I hate David Schwimmer.
I have come to a realization lately. I am now a part of an era in gaming that is getting closer and closer to irrelevancy, I love having a digital boxed copy of a game, there is just something nice about going to a store and picking up the latest release. Even in my mid-late 20's not I still get a particular feeling when I open up the case for the first time and pull out the manual to have a peek before I pop the game into my console. The future seems to be digital and while I am not necessarily against having all of your games easily accessible at all times I still feel a bit down at the fact that maybe in five or so years we will have to purchase all of our games this way.
I remember opening up a NES box in the late 80's and pulling out the Castlevania cart, or the Zelda cart and loving every second of taking a look at the box art and the tips in the back of the manual. I think as an industry gaming needs to progress and move forward just the same that all other industries must and as we get older things are going to change. Gaming itself has changed completely even over the last generation. I miss the random RPG's that were released or the lower budget but still well made games. To me story has always been a major selling point to games and because the budget for developing a game this generation has gone so crazy and one bad release can make or break a company we aren't getting as many unique experiences as we did in the past.
This is why I appreciate a company like Atlus so much because they take more chances than most other publishers on console, in the last generation we got some great games from them like the Persona series or the SMT series, and now they are bringing us some unique games on handheld as well as the underrated Catherine last year. It wasn't for everyone but it was a fun and different experience if you were willing to give it a shot. Capcom is someone else who has surprised me recently with the release of Asura's Wrath, I was a huge fan of that and it was nothing that most had seen before. Give these games a shot if you haven't already.