Monday, December 23, 2013

End of the year columns and a short story

Now that 2013 is wrapping up, it's time to take a look back at the past 12 months and reminisce about the games that had us playing, smiling, crying and talking the most.

I recently pulled together my five favorite games for Gaming Blend, as well as a column concerning my favorite RPG (Or action adventure game, if you prefer) The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds.

Finally, I also wrote a (very) short story involving the Nintendo 3DS, StreetPass It's a work of fiction, so don't feel too bad for the narrator. This also happens to be one of my favorite things I've written in a while, so, yeah.

Thanks for following along and see you again in 2014!

Best games of 2013: Ryan sides with talking animals

Best RPG of 2013: The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds

Final StreetPass: A Nintendo 3DS short story

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Columns: Game of the Generation, The Minecraft Dilemma

The folks over at Gaming Blend asked me to do a piece highlighting my top game of the previous generation and, without hesitation, I began writing about Uncharted 2. It may not have changed the landscape of gaming like Mass Effect, BioShock or even Angry Birds but, when I look back on the seventh generation, Uncharted 2 will be one of those games that I remember most fondly. To me, it was a perfect dose of entertainment.

 Ryan's Game of the Generation: Uncharted 2

I also did a column for Gaming Blend exploring the idea of whether or not I've simply lost the taste for epic/long/overstuffed games. What most gamers see as great bang for their bucks tends to make me shy away these days, as the thought of spending 100-plus hours with any single title is a rather daunting task when I can only spare an hour or two at a time to actually play.

The Minecraft Dilemma: Can games have too much content?

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Review: Killzone: Shadow Fall

My first review for the new console generation goes to Killzone: Shadow Fall, the latest installment in the long-running FPS series and a PS4 exclusive.

Is the game worthy of all that "next gen" hype? How does it compare to previous entries in the series? The answers to these questions and more once you hit the link.

Killzone: Shadow Fall forges a shaky new path

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Nintendo: My unexpected reunion with Mario and Co. [Column]

Here's my latest column for Gaming Blend, taking a look back at my history with Nintendo consoles, our big break up in my high school days and our eventual reconciliation thanks to the 3DS.

Basically, I became exhausted with Nintendo's constant stream of sunshine and rainbows and unwillingness to do much outside of their staple series. After a number of years away from the Big N, however, that's exactly the kind of stuff I was in the market for; wholesome, fun, colorful, well designed games.

Nintendo: My unexpected reunion with Mario and Co.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Review: Ys: Memories of Celceta

The latest RPG for the PlayStation Vita also happens to be one of the best genre offerings for Sony's portable console.

Find out why in my Gaming Blend review.

Review: Ys: Memories of Celceta is a Vita RPG Triumph

Friday, November 22, 2013

Review: Injustice: Gods Among Us Ultimate Edition (Vita)

And here's yet another review I did for Gaming Blend, this time plowing through the super-powered battle that is Injustice: Gods Among Us for the PlayStation Vita.

I've been pretty lucky as of late, with most of the titles I've had the opportunity to play ranging from pretty dang good to decidedly awesome. Injustice, while a bit muddy in the visuals department, is on the higher end of that scale, offering up a great fighting game with loads of content, all crammed down and stuffed into the palm of my hands.

Review: Injustice: Gods Among Us Ultimate Edition is an ugly Vita knockout

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Review: Tearaway

Here's my review of Tearaway, one of the loveliest games I've ever had the pleasure of playing. Coming from the folks at Media Molecule (LittleBigPlanet), I expected Tearaway to be full of charm and creativity. But they really went the extra mile when it comes to Tearaway, a game that turns the player into a large part of the experience, all in a bright and colorful world made entirely out of papercraft. For my full take on the game, hit that link...

Review: Tearaway utterly delivers

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

PlayStation 4: A launch night diary

So I made the trek out to the local(ish) shop to pick up my PlayStation 4 during the midnight release. You can read all about my first several hours with Sony's new console in a piece I did for Gaming Blend. Unfortunately, 3 a.m. is when my brain stops functioning and I had to call it a night before going too deep. As an update: Nearly a week in and I'm really enjoying the thing.

PlayStation 4: A launch night diary

Friday, October 18, 2013

Pokemon X/Y: I finally jump on the bandwagon

Despite having grown up in the age of Pokemon, I never gave into the hype and played any of the games.

Now, just shy of my 31st birthday, I've decided to finally dip my toe into those critter-filled waters and, because I can't do anything game-related these days without writing about it, I've put together a short series highlighting the events.

The first link will lead you to the pre-game article, giving a bit of background on my (lack of) history with Pokemon, my reasons for ignoring the series all these years, and my reasons for breaking the habit with the latest Pokemon for 3DS.

Article two gives you a rundown of my first day with the game, which was spent lounging around the house with six friends, all of us pouring a ridiculous number of hours into the game on the day of its release.

The third article circles back three weeks following the launch to see how I felt about the game after spending more than a day with it.


Pokemon: Why I'm finally going to play one of these games

Pokemon: My first day with the series

Pokemon X, Y: I've Officially Been Converted

Review: Valhalla Knights 3

I reviewed Valhalla Knights 3 for Gaming Blend. There were a lot of interesting ideas here but, sadly, they were executed poorly in a game that is, to be blunt, a bit of a clunky mess.

For the full review, hit that link.

Valhalla Knights 3 review: Far from heaven

Friday, October 4, 2013

Reviews: Rune Factory 4 and Real Boxing

I've been tethered to my portable consoles these past few weeks, working on reviews for the PlayStation Vita's Real Boxing and the Nintendo 3DS's Rune Factory 4.

Games at the opposite end of the spectrum, obviously, but I enjoyed my time with each of them. Here's the rundown...

Rune Factory 4 Review: A bountiful harvest

Real Boxing Review: A solid contender

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Reviews - Killzone: Mercenary and Sweet Fuse: At Your Side

I've been reviewing like made these past few weeks. The latest games I got to dive into were both played on the PlayStation Vita, giving me lots of gaming goodness on the go.

One is the first portable shooter to get the genre right on Sony's latest handheld device and the other is a niche visual novel title full of mystery and romance. Spoiler alert: I enjoyed them both quite a bit.

Killzone: Mercenary review - The Vita gets its shooter

Sweet Fuse: At Your Side review

Monday, September 2, 2013

Reviews: Killer is Dead and Divekick

My latest reviews for Gaming Blend are now live. I took a look at the latest action game from Grasshopper Manufacture, Killer is Dead, as well as the semi-joke-yet-actually-pretty-dang-good fighting game, Divekick.

Killer is Dead Review: Suda 51's Insane New Ride

Divekick Review: A Narrow Miss

Monday, August 19, 2013

Dragon's Crown: First impressions

My special lady friend and I recently started our adventure through Vanillaware's new beat-em-up, Dragon's Crown.

Find out what we thought about the game (from the controls and classes to the beautiful art and loads of loot) over on Gaming Blend:

Dragon's Crown: First Impressions.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

My Animal Crossing: New Leaf confessions [Column]

In which I discuss how Animal Crossing: New Leaf for the 3DS started out as a fun and lighthearted romp and eventually turned me into a monster, bent on building a perfect city and amassing the greatest fortune the world has ever known.

My first (somewhat shameful) month with Animal Crossing: New Leaf

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Game dev story: Zachary Snader [Interview]

I met Zachary Snader on the flight out to E3 this year and he turned out to be a really interesting guy. He's wrapping up college, interning at a game studio and organizing a game developer's conference focused on the future of the industry all at the same time.

He was kind enough to share his story with me, and now I'm sharing it with you:

Game dev story: Zachary Snader discusses his journey into the industry and the future of games

Friday, July 5, 2013

Gaming with Glass? A look into the future [Article]

With Google Glass gaining steam and The Big G reportedly working on an Android-based gaming console and Smart Watch, Gearburn had me dig into what the future of gaming could mean for Google products.

Gaming with Glass? A look into the future

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

E3 2013 coverage for Gaming Blend

E3 has officially come to a close and my brain is still trying to digest everything that went down in and around the LA Convention Center from June 10-13. I had the opportunity to attend press conferences for Sony, Microsoft and EA, as well as pile on three full days worth of interviews with developers and get in some hands-on time with loads of games.

My coverage of E3 2013 can be found on Gaming Blend or, for your convenience, I've compiled all 16 of my stories from the event here in one handy-dandy little post. Dig in!

An Xbox press conference diary
An EA press conference diary
A Sony press conference diary
E3 2013 made me finally buy a 3DS
Hands on with Dragon's Crown
Hands on with Killzone: Mercenary
Shinsaku Ohara discusses the insanity of Yaiba: Ninja Gaiden Z
Designer David Goldfarb dishes details on Payday 2
Creator Andrew Spinks digs into Terraria for iOS
Creative Director Jens Matthies shows off Wolfenstein: The New Order
Shinji Mikami talks about surviving The Evil Within
Xbox One reps dive into console's potential
Hands on with Saints Row IV
Eyes-on with the Destiny gameplay demo
Behind closed doors with Call of Duty: Ghosts
Exploring the crazy action of Killer is Dead
Tracking down monsters in The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
Narrative Director Steven Gallagher steps out of the shadows with Thief

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Bit Creature: That's a wrap

After nearly a year of bringing readers some of the most original, thoughtful writing in the world of video games, Bit Creature has closed shop. Our fearless leader, James Hawkins, got dealt a pretty rough hand and had to reassess his ability to keep the site going full throttle. In the end, the decision was made to put Bit Creature on a (possibly permanent) hiatus.

For my part, I've absolutely loved writing for the site. Hawkins and my talented editor, Rich Shivener, allowed their amazing staff of writers total creative freedom. I'm humbled to have been among their ranks. It's not often you find a place to work that truly encourages creativity and coloring outside of the line. James and Rich absolutely celebrated that kind of writing, which is what allowed such wonderful pieces to pop up on Bit Creature on a regular basis.

For almost a year, I provided columns on a bi-weekly basis, as well as the occasional review (another area where James and Rich insisted we be creative and have fun with our writing, rather than just roll out the usual product review--it controls great and the soundtrack is lovely!--you find pretty much everywhere else on the internet).

In short, it's been the best writing experience of my life. The crew was amazing and I loved that there was a place where I could read their unique takes on video games and life. I only hope I will someday find a place where I can pursue this type of writing once again. I'm already itching to spill my guts on a variety of topics, but the sad fact of the matter is that there just aren't many places like Bit Creature out there, where I'd be able to cut loose and fly as free as I have for the past year.

It was an honor and a privilege to call Bit Creature my home. And for those of you who are looking for some great writing about the world of video games, the people who play them, and how that all ties into our daily lives, you can always drop by the site and dive into its wealth of content at

As for me, I'm still plugging away at my job writing for The Fountain Hills Times, I still write daily for the fantastic games news site at Gaming Blend, and I'm still finding opportunities to do some freelance pieces from time to time. I'm definately keeping busy, I'm just going to miss my friends and the playground we all got to share at Bit Creature.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

This month in Bit Creature - May 2013

Zombie Tycoon II: Brainhov's Revenge review
I took the PS Vita's latest undead-infused strategy game for a spin. Find out why I think it's a zombie game with a good amount of brains.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

This month in Bit Creature - April 2013

It's dangerous to go alone [Column]
Multiplayer games don't typically draw me in these days. Even in MMOs, I tend to avoid grouping up or tackling instances with fellow players. Defiance, on the other hand, lets you seamlessly interact with other players, making it easier than ever to lend a hand/get rescued and then go your separate ways. In this particular column, I explore Defiance's unsocial social aspects.

Not the world I know [Column]
My thoughts concerning the opening hour of BioShock Infinite, a first-person shooter that lets you experience a living, breathing world before allowing you to tear it apart

Friday, March 22, 2013

The End of Gaming Consoles? [Article]

I wrote another piece for Sci-Fi Movie Hype, this time discussing the skyrocketing success of the mobile gaming market and its evolving relationship with home consoles. (Spoiler: No, I don't think that mobile gaming's success necessarily means the end of consoles.) You can check it out here:

The End of Gaming Consoles?

Thursday, March 7, 2013

This month in Bit Creature - March 2013

The cost of gaming [Column]
In which I discuss game length, cost and the relationship between the two.

Trading fear for bullets [Column]
Three games into the series and Dead Space 3 just can't elicit the same sort of terror it used to. I argue that maybe that's not such a bad thing so long as the developers are still delivering a great experience.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Sci-Fi Movies and Video Games [Article]

I wrote a piece for Sci-Fi Movie Hype discussing science fiction films and their ties to the world of video games.You can check it out here:

Sci-Fi Movies and Video Games: A Match Made in Fantasy

Thursday, February 7, 2013

This Month in Bit Creature - February 2013

PlayStation and me [Column]
In which I take a look back at the past 15 years with PlayStation and ponder what the future holds for the PlayStation 4.

Back to nature: Taking a break with a relaxing classic [Column]
I decided to step away from all of the over-the-top action and abundance of AAA features offered by the current generation of video games in order to curl up with the slower pace of Harvest Moon for the PSX.

Friday, January 4, 2013

This month in Bit Creature - January 2013

Corpse Party: Book of Shadows [Review]
Find out why the PSP/Vita's latest scare-a-thon is a horrifyingly good time.

Love in next gen [Column]
In which I compare the next generation of consoles to going out on a blind date.

The dark days of a new year [Column]
In which I discuss how every new year seems to get me down, making me question how I've been spending my free time and the value of my pursuits.

Stop me if you've heard this one: My favorite games of 2012
I decided to tell a little story with this year's "best games" list, rather than just telling you why they are awesome. I hope you dig it.