Blog Posts by Dan Ryckert -
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  • Don't Take Tim Turi To An Outback Steakhouse In Japan

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    Outside of a trip to England, I had never traveled outside of the country until this last week. That’s why I was thrilled to learn that Tim Turi and I would be going to Japan for the Tokyo Game Show. I was excited about experiencing such a radically different culture, especially when it came to culinary options. To say my diet in America is limited would be generous, as I exist on a diet of frozen pizzas, macaroni & cheese, and peanut butter sandwiches. I knew things would be substantially different in Japan, and I told myself that I’d be willing to try any and all food options available to me. For the first several days, we ate miso ramen, curry, sushi, and other Japanese favorites. Then Tim Turi saw an Outback Steakhouse and LOST HIS ****ING MIND. More

    During my trip to Tokyo, I witnessed an utter freak-out from my fellow associate editor.

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  • Ten Tips To Better Your Jetpack Joyride Score

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    Like many iPhone owners, much of my last week has been spent nervously steering a certain Barry Steakfries away from certain death. Jetpack Joyride released recently on iOS, and my in-game clock is quickly approaching 10 hours. Considering it rang up at 99 cents, I can confidently state that I’ve gotten my money’s worth out of the title (and I have no plans on ending my time with the game any time soon).

    I wouldn’t say I’m an expert at the game, but the sheer amount of time I’ve spent with it has taught me a few things so far. I’ve played 245 games, killed 5,724 scientists, collected 98,075 coins, and flown a grand total of 430,777 meters. My personal best is 6,313 meters, placing me in 585th place out of 261,862 players. Like I said, I’ve got a ways to go but I’ve learned a few helpful hints so far. Below, you’ll find some tips that have helped me out. More

    After playing 245 games, killing 5,724 scientists, collecting 98,075 coins, and flying a grand total of 430,777 meters, I've learned a few things that have helped me in the popular iOS title. Check out my tips here.

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  • The Top Ten Mario Games Of All Time

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    There's a good reason why Mario is the most recognizable face in the history of the gaming industry. His core titles have been, without exception, fantastic gaming experiences and pure platforming bliss. While the plumber has seen missteps in spin-off series like Mario Party, Mario Sports Mix, and his Olympic romps with former rival Sonic, the core series is as close to perfection as we've seen in a long-running franchise. With this blog, I'm inviting plenty of debate in the comments about how it should be ordered. Some gamers hate Super Mario Sunshine, others will passionately debate whether Super Mario Bros. 3 or World is better, and others will trash Super Mario Bros. 2 for not being a "real" entry. Regardless of what your personal choices may be, here are my picks for the ten best Mario titles of all time. I'm not weighing factors such as historical importance...these are ranked strictly on fun factor. Debate away. More

    I break down the ten best entries in gaming's most famous series. No Karts, no Parties, no sports...strictly the core Mario titles.

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  • Watch Me Make My Dad Play Games He'll Hate

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    Many of you know the frustration of having parents that don't really understand gaming culture. If you follow my Twitter account, you've probably already heard many of my dad's musings about video games and what I do for a living. While he's a very smart guy, virtually everything about the video game industry (and technology in general) frightens and confuses him. He flew up to Minneapolis recently to visit me, so I decided to take him to the office and record a Replay of sorts with him. We played five games, and he predictably hated all of them. Watch below to hear his pain. More

    Considering he hates everything about the video game industry, I decided to record my dad and I playing five games when he was in town recently.

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  • What Happened To Cheat Codes?


    I started thinking recently about how I can't remember virtually anything taught to me in college, but I have the blood codes for the Genesis versions of Mortal Kombat and Mortal Kombat II permanently etched into my brain (Down up left left A right down and A B A C A B B, in case you were wondering). My entire gaming experience throughout childhood and adolescence involved cheat codes. If my mom was going to the grocery store, I'd bring a spiral notebook and sit down on the floor of the magazine section, jotting down every secret I could find for Vectorman or whatever game I was playing at the time. More

    In the current generation of consoles, codes are a rarity. I loved all the funny cheats Rockstar put into GTA III back in 2001, but it's ten years later and I honestly don't even know if Red Dead Redemption has any.

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  • Answering The "How'd You Get Your Job?" Question

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    I've been a fan of Game Informer ever since I was nine years old and picked up my first issue in 1993 (although I'm also the proud owner of the one with Andy performing a slam dunk on the cover). I picked it up thanks to my Mortal Kombat obsession, and an odd series of events led to me working at the magazine seventeen years later. Since I get a ton of emails asking how I wound up with this position, I thought I'd explain it here. More

    I answer the most frequently-asked question I get. It involves a Mortal Kombat obsession, a high school gig at Gamestop, running around the office in a shark suit, and making a kinda-crappy Metal Gear Solid video.

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  • Is 2D Gaming Better Than Ever?


    Like most gamers in their mid-20s, I grew up on a healthy diet of games like Super Mario Bros., Sonic the Hedgehog, and Donkey Kong Country. Those were the big-name classics that are first on everyone's mind when it comes to nostalgia, but the 8- and 16-bit era also played host to solid games like Earthworm Jim, Vectorman, Contra, and plenty more. I would even spend copious amounts of time with platformers that probably weren't that great in retrospect, such as Boogerman and licensed games like Wayne's World or Ren and Stimpy. While I'll always have fond memories of the era, I started thinking recently that 2D gaming might be better now than it's ever been. More

    We'll always have fond memories of games like Super Mario World or Sonic the Hedgehog 2, but 2D gaming might be better than ever in recent years.

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  • Somebody Needs To Make Air Force Gator

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    I’m strictly a games journalist. I've never had any aspirations of getting into the development side of things, but inspiration can always strike without warning. Such an event happened yesterday when Joe Juba asked me a question about Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater. I horribly misheard his question, and thought he said something about “Air Force Gator.”

    Most people would have just asked Joe to repeat himself, but not me. You see, I’m an idiot and found myself entranced by this vision of Air Force Gator. I immediately forgot what Joe was actually asking me about and asked him to help me brainstorm a video game based on what I heard.

    It's a little Metal Gear Solid, a little Ace Combat, and a lot of alligator. Here’s the pitch. More

    An office misunderstanding prompts me to write the foundation of an amazing game. It's a little Metal Gear Solid, a little Ace Combat, and a lot of alligator. Read on to see the building blocks of what is bound to be the next AAA franchise...Air Force Gator.

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  • How To Run Your Civilization V City Into The Ground: A Timeline


    I'm a gamer that can find something to enjoy in any genre, almost without exception. Despite my interest in virtually every kind of console game you can imagine, there's one area of gaming history where my experience isn't quite as extensive - PC gaming. Growing up, I never had a computer that could run the latest games, so I was stuck playing classics like Half Life or Starcraft years after they were released. Because of this lack of PC game experience, I'm not very well-versed in the realm of strategy gaming. I absolutely love the Command & Conquer games, but my introduction to the series was with a PSX controller that was obviously inferior to the PC alternative. As you can imagine, I went into my first game of Civilization V thoroughly unprepared. More

    I received a harsh lesson tonight on how not to play strategy games. Learn from my mistakes with a blow-by-blow recap of the fall of Bonertropolis.

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  • How I Wasted Most Of A Friend's Day With Mortal Kombat: Deception


    For those familiar with my blog, it may be apparent that I have a certain propensity for pranks. My favorite target is usually my father, but plenty of dorm residents were on the receiving end back when I went to the University of Kansas. One of my favorite targets was a friend named Ryan, and he lived a couple rooms down from mine. He also happened to be a gamer, and was going through hell trying to figure out how to unlock Liu Kang in Mortal Kombat: Deception. More

    A friend from the dorms desperately wanted to unlock Liu Kang. So much so that he fell for my fake message board posts filled with impossible in-game tasks.

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  • The Expendables Is Great At Being Terrible


    ***There are Expendables spoilers in this article. If you're the type of person that's worried about getting a few parts from a gleefully dumb action movie spoiled for you, don't read it. If you (understandably) don't care about getting "plot" points of this testosterone-fest spoiled, read on***

    There's a reason I review video games and not movies. I've played virtually everything I could get my hands on ever since I was 4, and fantastic games like Bioshock, Metal Gear Solid, Oblivion, God of War, and Zelda are all amongst my favorites. On the movie side of the fence, my history is a bit different. Basically, I just watched any movie with Schwarzenegger, explosions, or fart/d*ck jokes, and my favorites list includes Commando, Big Trouble In Little China, The Rock, Riki-Oh: The Story of Ricky, and Rocky IV. There are a few genuinely great movies that I love (One Flew Over The Cuckoos Nest, The Departed, There Will Be Blood), but it's mostly just **** blowing up. More

    ***There are Expendables spoilers in this article. If you're the type of person that's worried about getting a few parts of a gleefully dumb action movie spoiled for you, don't read it. If you (understandably) don't care about getting "plot" points of this testosterone-fest spoiled, read on***

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  • Breaking Bad's Ten Best Moments (So Far)

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    ***WARNING: This blog is literally nothing but major spoilers for Breaking Bad. Do not read this if you haven't finished all three seasons***

    Over the last two-and-a-half years, Breaking Bad fans have been treated to three nearly flawless seasons of television. Despite being a show filled with despicable characters, we've somehow become obsessed with the ongoing story of Walter White's cancer and meteoric rise through the ranks of the Southwest's drug scene. While every episode does a fantastic job of pushing the story forward and getting us closer acquainted with the characters, here are the top ten specific scenes that make Breaking Bad the best show on television. More

    ***WARNING: This blog is literally nothing but major spoilers for Breaking Bad. Do not read this if you haven't finished all three seasons***

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