By Jamaal Ryan

Writer's Note: This article was also featured on Kotaku. Special thanks to Patrick Klepek, and be sure to check out more thought provoking commentary on games in Worth Reading.

If there was one important theme to pick from the last 12 months, it would be: “Don’t you realize? Everyone’s a gamer!”

Now, this is a two part statement. In one aspect, it succinctly highlights the demographics of the video game community, using the term “everyone” as a way to illustrate exactly who plays video games today. It also acts as an assessment of cultural awareness; a reality-check if you will. The question “don’t you realize?” challenges any form of neglect or dismissiveness in order to re-orient those who choose to remain resistant to progressive diversity. And while signs of industry growing pains have been present throughout the entirety of 2014, game makers have clearly listened, ultimately making significant adjustments as to who is represented in our games. Read more.

GTA V MAKES THESE OLD PEOPLE VIOLENT

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Thursday, January 22, 2015

Shared by Jamaal Ryan
These senior citizens end the debate on violent video games.

SINGLE-PLAYER ONLY: WHY I PREFER SOLO GAMING

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Wednesday, January 21, 2015


By Georgie Catto and Jamaal Ryan
Since the dawn of the information age, people have had the ability to communicate with people half a world away. While the information super highway has brought with it many benefits, this increased interconnectivity does occasionally have its downsides. Here are a few thoughts from two gamers (who incidentally live half a world away from each other), on why this invasive electronic advancement isn’t necessarily a good thing. Read more.

PLAYSTATION NOW: CHEAPER, BUT NOT CHEAP ENOUGH

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Thursday, January 8, 2015


By Jamaal Ryan


Even though video game streaming services have been floating around the industry for quite some time (look no further than OnLive and pre-Sony acquisition Gaikai), PlayStation has made a big splash in the market with their own take on cloud gaming, PlayStation Now.

Earlier this week, Sony announced that players who subscribe to PlayStation Now will gain access to a catalogue of more than 100 PlayStation 3 games, which will stream to various platforms and devices including PS4, PS3, Vita, and selected Sony branded televisions. Read more.

2014 PUG GAME OF THE YEAR AWARDS

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Thursday, January 1, 2015


By Jamaal Ryan
At the start of this year, some friends and I talked about what some of our most anticipated games were for 2014. Alien: Isolation, The Evil Within, Destiny, Batman: Arkham Knight, The Witcher 3, Evolve were but a few of the many titles that were feverishly discussed. The funny thing, though, is that half of those games were delayed until 2015, and the other half were incredibly divisive.
The past 12 months caught a lot of gamers off-guard, including myself. It was a year of broken promises that changed the way that game reviews were treated, and a year where fan favorites appeared seemingly out of nowhere. But by the end of this 52-week wildcard we call 2014, five games have resonated with me the most, earning a spot on my Game of the Year list. Read more.

SUNSET OVERDRIVE REVIEW "MURDER CLOWNS ON THE LOOSE."

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Monday, December 29, 2014


Reviewed by: Jamaal Ryan
We’ve all come to know games that heavily strive for a particular tone that, in the end, often compromises the value of the experience. Azura’s Wrath, Blue Estate, and Anarchy Reigns are just a few examples of titles that really push their over-the-top message to unexpected heights (and lows), but ultimately fail to connect with the player in anything other than the occasional provocative images and sequences.
As purposefully outlandish as Sunset Overdrive’s tone is, such is not the case here. Its aggressive style of internet meme jokes and punkish flavor is evenly matched by its incredibly deliberate and surprisingly accomplished game systems, making it not only one of the best original open world games of 2014, but possibly even Insomniac’s best game yet. Read more.

VLAMBEER FACESA CLONED GAME...AGAIN

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Tuesday, December 23, 2014

By Jamaal Ryan
They say that imitation is the greatest form of flattery; but in this case, imitation is the greatest form of skullduggery as Vlambeer – the talented indie developer behind Super Crate Box and Luftrausers – has had one of their games cloned yet again.
If you’re unfamiliar with Vlambeer’s series of cloned games, last year, just before they launched what would be one of 2013’s best mobile titles, Ridiculous Fishing, dev studio Gamenuts released a near identical rip off of Vlambeer’s previous game, Radical Fishing. Soon after, what was then their upcoming title, Luftrausers, was also cloned; not to mention that Ridiculous Fishing artist Greg Wohlwend then went on to work on Threes! (another successful mobile game) which was also ripped off by multiple clones.Read more.

By Jamaal Ryan
"Nintendo is at their best when they're desperate."
There isn’t a quote that is as timely and relevant as this one, since in the past we've seen some of the best work come out of the house of Mario when they’re cornered and on the ropes. At a time where Nintendo has never quite been in a worse position in the console market, we're beginning to see the company take some calculated risks, much like they did in the GameCube era, and very much unlike what we saw last generation. Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker is the latest title to come out of Nintendo's forced creativity, taking their tried and true concept of a platformer, and flipping it on its head... as well as all sorts of other directions. Read more.

WAIT...SONY'S PLANNING A SUPER MARIO MOVIE?

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Thursday, December 18, 2014

By Jamaal Ryan
In the wake of Sony’s massive security hack that has revealed everything from personal information, to private emails, to films under the Sony label, one movie negotiation deal that has surfaced amidst the leak was a Super Mario Bros. film.
Yes, you read that correctly: Super Mario Bros., as in Nintendo’s biggest franchise, now has a film adaptation being negotiated between Nintendo and Sony Pictures.
It’s shocking enough that Sony seems to be neck deep in striking a deal with Nintendo’s biggest property (but hey, Microsoft is making bank off of Minecraft which is one of Playstation’s best-selling titles), but what’s more unbelievable is that they’re taking another swing at making a Mario film after this ambitious train wreck: Read more.

THE TOP 25 PLAYSTATION 3 GAMES

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Friday, December 12, 2014


By PUG Staff
Since 2006, the PlayStation 3 has hosted an outstanding amount of games that have ranged from awe-inspiring to diabolically shocking. Here at Power Up Gaming, we aren't interested in those bad eggs, so instead we've crafted a list of 25 delicious gaming goodies – both exclusive and multi-platform – for your consumption.
These games may not be tomes of perfection, but they definitely hinge on it. They represent an entire generation's efforts to create masterpieces time and time again, a feat that the PS3 has definitely accomplished.
As PlayStation celebrates its 20th anniversary, we invite you to browse our wares, and to comb a list that is so filled with wonder that you will fall in love with each of these titles, all over again. Enjoy.
25. Catherine
Harry Bowers: If there’s one thing that video games get slammed for, it’s attempting nothing new. Atlus’s Catherine was one of those rare games that truly stepped up to challenge this. The result was weird, to say the least. Catherine follows the romantic inadequacies of its hapless protagonist, Vincent. Drama, heartbreak and indecision ensue as Vincent attempts to choose between long-time partner Katherine and new impromptu flame, Catherine.
Here’s where things get weird. Moral implications are presided over by a mystical body of demonic nightmare-inducing sheep. Gameplay fixes are administered by proxy of tricky gauntlet-like puzzle sequences where a sleeping Vincent meets retribution for his nefarious practices. The game skirts between the mundane and the wacky as Vincent attempts to come to terms with what he truly wants from life.
Call it luck, or call it vision – either way, team Atlus struck gold here. The story was gripping and the cast completely empathetic. Gameplay matched story pound for pound. There was something exhilaratingly epic about monkeying your way up a rapidly crumbling tower to some iconic classical bangers. Catherine entertained from start to finish, all the while offering up searching questions about relationships, people and humanity. Catherine was an ambitious game which succeeded in doing something honestly different. That’s sadly an accolade very, very few console games can claim to. Fancy a change of pace from beefcake bro-shooters? Then give Catherine a spin; you won’t be disappointed.
24. Journey
Jamaal Ryan: Journey is a product of sharpened craft, the epitome of the emotional language thatgamecompany has used to communicate with players since its early days. Its glistening sights, award winning sounds, and freeing controls can melt any hardened exterior with effortless grace.
Journey conveys a wide range of themes quietly and metaphorically: isolation, partnership, fear, struggle, death, euphoria. This complex palette is delivered with the utmost subtlety, made even more impressive by being compressed into 2 hours. Because of this, Journey is profoundly therapeutic, plucking you from whatever mood you're in and gently placing you into a better place within a short space of time.
Journey is a timeless work of art, a multi-purposed classic that isn't just one of the best games on PlayStation 3; it's one of the best games ever made. Read more.

SONY AND NINTENDO'S BIGGEST GAMES REVEALED IN ONE WEEKEND

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Thursday, December 11, 2014

By Jamaal Ryan
It seems that no matter which console you have, 2015 will treat you with a platform defining title; the next gen follow-ups to the biggest franchises the big three have to offer. Last month, Halo 5 showed off some controversial (though admittedly needed) upgrades to its combat repertoire with boosting, ground pounding, and (OH GOD NO!) aiming down the sights, all in which make it my most anticipated shooter of 2015 next to Evolve.
With Sony and Nintendo’s biggest titlesnot yet fully revealed I’ve waited with bated breath to see when I can get my hands on some of my favorite franchises. Read more.

WORTH WATCHING: 25 INVISIBLE BENEFITS OF GAMING WHILE MALE

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Thursday, December 4, 2014


By Jamaal Ryan

Watch some of the industry's most prominent males weigh in on the issue of gender inequality.



Reviewed by: Jamaal Ryan
Even by this current generation’s standards, GTA V’s San Andreas is the most dense, detailed, ecosystem-driven world built in gaming. From its massive skybox, to its immensely populated streets, to the spontaneous wildlife both above ground and below sea level, there’s a seemingly endless amount of activity to witness and partake in.
The city itself was overwhelming when Rockstar released their latest lovechild on last gen hardware, but to see Los Santos and Blaine County through the eyes of your avatar in GTA V’s new first person mode is nothing less than a game changer, and is one of the most daunting and uniquely exhilarating experiences I’ve been privileged to in recent years. Read more.
By Jamaal Ryan
Remember when Microsoft pimped their big television initiative?
Remember how they were going on about turning Xbox Live into a TV programing platform delivering original content, giving us subscribers VIP treatment?
Just a few short months after their huge coming out party back in April, Microsoft had closed down Xbox Entertainments Studios, their internal branch in charge of what was Xbox’s original television program. It was an ambitious, almost adorable attempt on Xbox’s part as we watched them talk about their upcoming original series such as: Every Street United (a show about soccer/football!), Gun Machine (a nail biting detective series!), and of course, another Halo original.
Can you pick up on my sardonic tone? Read more.

CALL OF DUTY: ADVANCED WARFARE REVIEW. NEVER LOOKING BACK.

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Tuesday, November 18, 2014


Reviewed by: Jamaal Ryan
When protagonist Jack Mitchell is first introduced to ATLAS Corp, he’s guided through a facility’s testing area where engineers and scientists are gauging the limits of a new weapon: the exosuit. Test subjects wearing the exoskeleton are found scaling metallic walls, boost jumping from platform to platform, sparring against multiple assailants, and protecting themselves from sentry turrets with erected shields. This posturing display of advanced technology delivers a single message: “Welcome to the future”, thus setting the tone for what’s to be expected from Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare. Read more.

WAS THIS MONTH'S NINTENDO DIRECT THE BEST OF 2014 SO FAR?

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Wednesday, November 12, 2014


By Jamaal Ryan
While Nintendo’s latest Direct followed their tradition of announcing additional information about the titles we already knew about, each and every one of the yet-to-be released games shown exudes the promise of quality on both Nintendo platforms, and that’s not counting the continued support for the already released titles earlier this year. Nintendo’s theme focused on the past, present and future, beginning with the remake of Majora’s Mask… Read more.

GTA V IN FIRST PERSON - I DONT KNOW ABOUT THAT

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Tuesday, November 11, 2014


By Jamaal Ryan

What was first a PC mod in GTA IV a rumor up until a week ago, the re-release of GTA V on PC and new gen consoles will finally bring us first person mode.
Rockstar seems to have gone to great lengths in making an authentic first person experience: from creating new animations for each of the characters (picking your nose anyone?), to adding new details to vehicles such as fully functional dash boards and muffled sound when wearing a helmet in a jet.
This is the obsessive level of detail that we all expect from Rockstar, however I’m concerned that mere aesthetics won’t be enough to make the jump to first person an appropriate way to play GTA V. Read more.

HANDS-ON ON DAY ZERO. CALL OF DUTY ADVANCED WARFARE

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Tuesday, November 4, 2014

By Jamaal Ryan
After spending a better part of my day off with Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, I came to a single conclusion: I don’t ever want to play Call of Duty the same as before again.
Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare is the entry that the franchise needed the most; it is the biggest “No shit! We should have done this before!” since Call of Duty 4. It’s both familiar and different, allowing the franchise to try something new without becoming completely unrecognizable. Read more.

WHAT IS THE MEANING OF HATRED?

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Friday, October 31, 2014


By Jamaal Ryan

Warning: In case you haven’t seen it, this trailer contains some f**ked up s**t.


It wasn’t long after the shooting in Sandy Hook Elementary School where 20 young students and six faculty members were gunned down that I had come across School Shooter. Caught up in the outrage following the tragic mass shooting, School Shooter upset me. Why would anyone swing for the lowest common denominator that even the likes of Postal didn’t stoop to? Why would anyone design a system of actions and rewards that revolves around killing fleeing innocents in a school setting? I was swift to believe that such subject matter was completely off limits in the realm of video games.Read more.

TAKE MY HAND. LETS PLAY TITANFALL'S FRONTIER DEFENSE

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Thursday, October 30, 2014


By Jamaal Ryan

On paper, Horde Mode and Titanfall fit together just as well as peanut butter and pickles (assuming you don’t like peanut butter and pickles). Picture this: Four jetpack boosting, wall-running players defend a harvester beacon against waves of minions and Titans attempting to destroy it. Players are only equipped with static (yet swappable) loadouts, Titans, and the occasional awarded sentry turret.

This format is far flung from the hunkered down, fortress building design that we’ve seen the co-op game-type take shape of from building barricades and setting traps in Gears 3, to ordering missile strikes and AC 130s in Call of Duty’s Survival Mode. Ostensibly speaking, Titanfall’s mechanics of stylish mobility doesn’t quite lend itself to defensive strategies as it does to assault and infiltration. However Respawn knows this; Frontier Defense (by way of Update 8) very much plays to the game’s strengths with “the best defense is a good offense” philosophy. Read more.
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