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I picked up the September 1993 issue of Game Informer when I was nine years old, and I immediately knew what I wanted my career to be. The idea of being an adult that gets paid to play, write about, and talk about video games on a daily basis sounded unbelievably awesome, and I wanted every major decision in my life to point towards that defined end goal. Between then and 2009, I got a job at Funcoland the day I was eligible at age 16, shot a commercial for the company, bought a shark suit and ran around the Game Informer offices at 18, wrote over 600 video game reviews in college, and paid my way out to E3 every year to check out new games and bug Andy McNamara about hiring me. That path paid off, and he hired me in August of 2009. Five years later, it’s time to say goodbye.
After five ridiculous and rewarding years, I'm moving on.
It's that time of year again. Everyone's favorite Kansas-based mailman came up to visit me for our annual Super Bowl weekend tradition, and I had five games ready for him at the Game Informer offices. I tried to mix AAA with some indie titles this year, but he wound up hating everything and I had to put in an admittedly-awesome baseball game from 1994 to make him happy. Regardless, Paul Ryckert is back in all of his cranky glory in this fourth installment in the series.
Paul Ryckert is back in town, and we threw him in front of The Last of Us, The Stanley Parable, Beyond: Two Souls, Octodad, and an SNES title he actually likes.
Ever since its 2010 release, I've screamed to anyone that would listen about how hilarious MacGruber is. I've always understood the skepticism...it's based on an SNL sketch, after all, and that tends to be bad news for any movie that isn't called Wayne's World. Somehow, I managed to convince a group of Game Informer editors and friends to watch it with me, and they reacted exactly how I expected.
Just shut up and listen to me here. MacGruber is super hilarious, and not enough people have seen it.
Last November, I released my first book. It was a ton of fun to write, so much so that I began work on its sequel immediately. I’m proud to say that six months after the original went on sale, Air Force Gator 2: Scales of Justice is now available for purchase.
The next chapter in the Air Force Gator saga is now on sale, featuring a foreword from total idiot Jose Canseco.
Last year at E3, we heard quite a bit from Microsoft about their mobile and tablet app SmartGlass. Representatives from the company told us it would be utilized in numerous ways, from displaying Halo stats and Madden plays to interacting with our favorite television programming. While I was initially intrigued by the possibilities of the “second screen experience,” I hadn’t really given it a shot until recently. For the last couple of weeks, I’ve started to realize what it can offer.
After utilizing the SmartGlass app while watching Game of Thrones, I came away impressed with what it has to offer.
Ever since I moved to Minneapolis, my father Paul has made an annual tradition of visiting me on Super Bowl weekend. I've started my own tradition to go along with his, and that's bringing him in to the Game Informer office to play games (watch the 2011 and 2012 games here). Dad hates games, and frequently describes the entire industry as "stupid and weird." Despite his aversion to my favorite hobby, he's been a good sport once again this year. Here are his predictably prickly observations on this year's selection of titles.
The game-hating father is back, which means it's time for more of his predictably prickly observations on a new selection of games.
Viewers of Replay are familiar with my abysmal eating habits. For 28 years, I've survived on a steady stream of McDonald's, soda, Totino's Party Pizza, candy, Taco Bell, Hot Pockets, and other awful foods (I say awful in terms of nutritional value, as all of those are delicious). On our recent and lengthy Stress Test of me fighting Mike Tyson, I was coming off a few days of being sick and ingesting almost nothing but Airheads and soda. Apparently, the folks at TheFruitGuys.com are Replay viewers and wanted to help me not die.
A mystery shipment at the office will hopefully extend my lifespan a bit.
Back in November of 2005, I spent an entire cold Kansas night in a lawn chair outside of an electronics store. I wasn’t alone, as dozens of other gamers waited in line to be among the first owners of the Xbox 360. As I sat there with my bottle of Jim Beam and gigantic bag of sunflower seeds, I eagerly anticipated driving my new console home once the sun came up, loading up Call of Duty 2, and playing long into the day. Like others, my thoughts were on the gaming experiences. Everyone wanted to play Oblivion, Gears, and the other huge titles on the horizon. What I never expected was to become obsessed with a new feature that numerically displayed my gaming accomplishments.
After several years and countless hours performing menial tasks in games I don't like, I've finally had a change of heart.
Each year, Game Informer editors are tasked with coming up with our top ten lists for the best games of the year. Most of our lists are filled with the obvious blockbusters. This year, you'll see a lot of Mass Effect 3, XCOM: Enemy Unknown, Borderlands 2, and others. While I included those as well, there was one anomaly I wouldn't have predicted. Robot Entertainment's Hero Academy is the best mobile game I've ever played, and landed at number 7 on my Top 10 of 2012 list.
Robot Entertainment's turn-based tactical strategy game is the best mobile title I've ever played.
Over two years ago, I wrote a really dumb blog post. Long story short, I misheard Joe saying "Tony Hawk's Pro Skater" as "Air Force Gator" somehow, and it got me thinking of a really stupid story. I spent a couple of hours writing a fake description of a game called Air Force Gator and made some dumb photoshops. I hadn't really thought of it much until two months ago on a bus to Kansas City. It was about four in the morning, and I was sleep deprived and half drunk. Needing something to pass the time, I randomly decided to start laying out the outline of an actual book based on the idea of Air Force Gator. Two months later, and it's available for purchase right now on Amazon (both in print and on Kindle)
Air Force Gator is now available in print and on Kindle. I assure you that it's the best book about a terrorist-killing flying alligator on Amazon.
Bashing a game in a review is never fun, but sometimes it's completely necessary. Whether it's the lowest score I've ever given, or a widely-liked game that I wasn't too hot on, no one here at Game Informer gets off on bashing a game just to bash it. This week, I posted a review for a very bad game. 007 Legends was riddled with bugs during my playthrough (on a final retail build, no less), but the comments on our recent Test Chamber episode demonstrated that some people didn't understand why it received the score it did. It seems that Reiner and Tim didn't run into many issues during their twenty minutes with the game, but I thought I'd make this blog to directly show what kinds of bugs I'm talking about.
I saw a few comments asking about why I gave 007 Legends such a low score. Here are some examples.
Anyone familiar with the dumb things I say on Replay and Twitter knows that I’m a lifelong pro wrestling fan. Thankfully, it’s an industry that’s always had its toe in my other favorite industry, video games. Pro wrestling’s video game history has seen its fair share of highs and lows, various series from different promotions, and publisher/developer changes. In my history of playing wrestling games, I’ve been a young fan of sub-par grapplers, a high school fan of Nintendo 64 classics, and a cautiously optimistic adult that’s anticipating the release of WWE ‘13. With THQ’s big release hitting stores at the end of this month, I looked back at my personal history with the genre.
As I anticipate this month's release of WWE '13, I look back on my long history with the genre.