Blog Posts by Dan Ryckert - www.GameInformer.com
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  • The Onion's Best Gaming-Related Humor

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    Not only is The Onion the funniest site on the internet, it's also one of the best sources of humor from any medium for well over a decade. With no sacred cow too sacred to mock (they were the first major outlet to satirize 9/11, beating even South Park to the punch), they've covered almost every subject you can imagine. I've been a huge fan of the site ever since I discovered it in junior high, and I've gotten the distinct impression over the years that they have some serious gamers on staff. Check out some of the best gaming-related humor that "America's Finest News Source" has put together. More

    My favorite gaming-related articles from America's Finest News Source.

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  • Succeeding In Ow, My Balls!

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    Succeeding in Ow, My Balls! has much less to do with performing in-game tasks well, and much more to do with orchestrating humorous nutshots. Sure, there's a full scoring system, an assortment of achievements, and 27 targets to hit, but that all plays second fiddle when a cartoon man's balls are woefully un-racked. More

    Sure, it features a full scoring system, an assortment of achievements, and 27 targets to hit, but that all plays second fiddle when a cartoon man's balls are woefully un-racked.

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  • Slow News Day = I Get To Color A ModNation Car

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    So it's the end of April, and things are a little slower than usual here at the GI offices. We just shipped the newest issue, and one look at the game release calendar proves that we're in a bit of a pre-E3 doldrum. That's probably why Andy gave me the thing you see above and said "You should color that and blog about it." More

    I forgo the fancy editing tools in ModNation Racers and make my ride with cardboard and markers.

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  • Admitting My Achievement Shame

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    However shameful my "games played" list was at times, the achievements were always genuine. I never employed any method of trickery or cheating to skirt around the necessary task. However, my perfect record is tarnished by what I did last week, and my score may require an asterisk from this point forward.

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  • April Fools On My Dad: GI Edition

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    As some of you may have seen from previous blog posts, I love elaborate pranks. I've pulled a lot in my life, but I've found that my favorite person to prank is easily my father. He's always genuinely annoyed by the pranks, but he also has the sense of humor to recognize how funny a good one can be. Unfortunately, this is the first April Fools since I moved to Minnesota from Kansas, so it was time to enlist some help for this year's joke. More

    I've found that my favorite person to prank is easily my father. He's always genuinely annoyed by the pranks, but he also has the sense of humor to recognize how funny a good one can be. Unfortunately, this is the first April Fools since I moved to Minnesota from Kansas, so it was time to enlist some help for this year's joke.

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  • How I Wish My DOA: Paradise Pictures Would Have Come Out

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    It's been a fairly light month for reviews. After the blitzkrieg of Mass Effect 2, Bioshock 2, Heavy Rain, Bad Company 2, God of War III, and more, it's pretty slim pickings around here right now. That's why I reviewed Dead Or Alive: Paradise this month. If you haven't read my review, I can sum up the game by saying that you creepily take pictures of near-naked digitized women on a beach. That's about it. They lather themselves up in lotion, share ice cream cones, and generally prance around with unearthly (and unnerving) boob physics. It's a bad game. More

    DOA: Paradise is a really bad game. My girl Tina didn't do anything particularly interesting while I was taking pictures, so I had to whip out the Photoshop to create my own fun.

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  • Oh Well...It's Tim Turi #2: Dance Party Edition

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    I sit next to Tim Turi here at Game Informer. Tim Turi likes video game music a lot. He listens to Sonic music incessantly, he can tell you exact track names of Castlevania tunes, and he's prone to humming Mega Man stage music at any point in the day. More

    In this edition, Tim unwillingly (and unknowingly) shoots his first music video.

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  • Quantifying Your Nerdiness

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    I'll preface this blog by admitting its contents could likely earn me an official diagnosis for obsessive-compulsive disorder. For some reason, I've always been obsessed with the "hours played" tally on my games. Some people actively avoid looking at their play time for fear of the "holy crap, I've wasted X hours of my life doing this?," but I'm the absolute opposite. If I'm about to go to bed and I see my hours tally for Mass Effect 2 is at 19 hours and 35 minutes, I think to myself "Well, if I just play 25 more minutes I'll be at an even 20 hours." Back in college, I even made a giant Word document in which I listed every game I could ever remember playing, and proceeded to estimate my hours count for each.

    I'm not really sure where this obsession came from. I think it comes from when I was younger and didn't have much in the way of disposable income, so every game purchase was a huge decision for me. When I would read a review that stated "Devil May Cry should take you 20 hours to beat," that made me more comfortable with a purchasing decision. If I knew I'd be spending at least 20 hours on a game, that made it much easier to talk myself into buying it. After all, I wouldn't want to relive my nightmare of paying $50 for State of Emergency and playing it for about two hours.

    When I look at my Borderlands play time and see 100+ hours, that makes me think "Wow, this game has given me almost a week's worth of entertainment...that's awesome." I don't think of it as time wasted, I see it as an objective reminder of how great a game is. If a game like Mass Effect 2, Oblivion, or Fallout 3 can keep me interested for 30, 40, or 50+ hours, that's a sign of an amazing gaming experience.

    Here's where it gets ridiculous. If I play a game for a certain amount of time and it's not going towards my official tally, I'll let the game run for the appropriate time when I am back on my profile. For instance, if I play Street Fighter IV for two hours at a friend's house, I'll leave mine on the menu screen for two hours when I get home. The most extreme example of this was when 220 hours of Soul Calibur data was mysteriously deleted from my Dreamcast VMU. Sure enough, I left it on the menu screen for over nine days once I started my new file (and then pumped over 200 more hours into the game after that).

    During the last generation of consoles, EA introduced a new feature called the "EA Profile." It was meant to track your stats, records, and play time across all EA Sports titles. I was thrilled when I heard this, and hoped it would be the first step towards all games tracking hours played. Unfortunately, it turned out that I was one of the only ones who gave a crap about the feature, as it quietly disappeared and was never heard from again.

    To this day, I'm still hoping for the next generation of systems to include an hours tally within the framework of the console. Current systems already add up your achievement points and trophies into one overall score (which has unsurprisingly turned into another obsession for me). Imagine being able to see your total hours played of gaming across the board, or even your hours spent playing a specific genre of game. Taking that idea even further, what about stats for total kill/death ratio across all games with multiplayer deathmatch, or total win/loss record throughout all fighting games? I think it would be amazing to see such a comprehensive array of stats that would display your gaming habits in such an objective manner.

    Or maybe I'm just going to turn into that guy who checks to make sure his door is locked 300 times a day.

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    Is your "hours played" count a badge of honor or a scarlet letter?

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  • Overheard: Tim Turi Plays Mega Man 10 Edition

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    Last August, Game Informer hired five new associate editors. They threw three of us (Tim Turi, Phil Kollar, and myself) in the same room, so we've grown very familiar with each others' gaming interests. One thing that Phil and I have learned over and over and over again is that Tim really likes Sonic and Mega Man. The latter obsession may not quite reach the almost-creepy depths of his hedgehog fetish, but it's nonetheless present. Bring up any Mega Man boss to him and you'll be sure to hear him hum the level's tune for a good two or three minutes, followed by hours of him listening to Sonic & Knuckles music on YouTube. More

    Tim really likes Mega Man. Take a look at some of his choice utterances I overheard while he reviewed the Blue Bomber's latest adventure.

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  • Enough With The Skull Masks, Already

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    Ghost looked pretty lame even from the first time you saw him in Modern Warfare 2. He was kind of that cliche, forced "ooh, check out this mysterious badass" character that really didn't add anything to a story that was convoluted and sub-par to begin with. Then Rios and Salem had to come back in a sequel no one wanted, and there they are, right on the cover with stupid skull masks. Enter Halo: Reach, with Emile bringing the skull mask look to space. It's like the video game version of an Affliction or Ed Hardy shirt...they look stupid but you still see them everywhere. More

    Let's end this trend now. They're basically the video game version of an Affliction or Ed Hardy shirt...they look stupid but you still see them everywhere.

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  • Want To Mess With Your Parents? Use Technology They Don't Understand

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    My dad has told me numerous times that I have an uncanny ability to mess with people, and unfortunately for him a lot of my efforts are directed his way. He took a nap yesterday and I decided to pass the time by exploiting his lack of technology knowledge to give him a good scare.

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  • Things In My Mom's House That I Don't Understand

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    I'm back in Kansas City for a couple weeks to spend some time with my family and celebrate the holidays. As such, I'm spending a lot of my time at my mom's house for the first time since high school. Most of my time has been spent playing video games with my sisters, but they're over at their dad's place tonight so I've had a chance to take a look around the house I spent most of my formative years in. More

    Considering that I don't ever plan on living in a place with anything fancier than white walls and a couch for playing video games on, I might as well be visiting Jupiter when I walk into my mom's house. Here are a few of the items that especially confounded me.

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