In Memoriam: Ryan Davis
Ryan might be gone now, but he left behind a legacy of video content through his work on Giant Bomb. The lion's share of which are, of course, the Quick Looks: unedited and mostly unprepared playthroughs of the first 20-60 minutes of a new video game, with which to judge its potential merit. This is a list of nineteen Quick Looks for games I remember fondly because of Ryan T. Davis.
With everyone posting beautiful messages and equally beautiful artwork remembering the jerk we loved to love, I figured as the designated "list guy" around Giant Bomb, I'd honor the fellow in my own dumb fashion. His antics helped give me the courage to express myself in odd ways, after all.
- RailWorks 3: Train Simulator 2012: Ryan's elation at the flying train during the Zombie DLC is the sort of memory that endures from his QLs: Just the way he'd suddenly get really loud or start laughing at something he found hilarious. To say his boisterous laugh (that would often then subside into a mischievous giggle) was infectious would be selling it short.
- You're In the Movies: Of course, there were times when he'd feign complete apathy towards a sub-par product that really made me laugh too.
- Apples to Apples: In complete contrast to myself, Ryan seemed to be in his element when there were more people around to play the clown to. His brash gregariousness shone through with guest-populated QLs like this. Dude loved bouncing off Brad Muir in particular, both here and when they checked out Alter Echo.
- Noby Noby Boy: One of the first QLs I ever watched. Loved how enthusiastic Jeff and Ryan were about the game's unique insanity. For a tech demo that was fun for about half an hour, it was the perfect Noby Noby experience in a microcosm.
- The Price is Right 2010: Just one of many of the fantastic game show QLs. Guests and poking fun at a game's inherent jankiness - the two things Ryan excelled at.
- Darkest of Days: "So tell me about sucking up balls, Jeff". It cannot be overstated how good of a comedic team Jeff and Ryan made when presented with the shittiest games for a canvas.
- Amped 3: A shared treasure of Ryan and Jeff, I wouldn't have given this snowboarding 360 launch title a second glance were it not for them championing the game and revisiting its many inexplicably bizarre cutscenes. It now sits proudly in my collection (well, as proudly as a bright green box is able). As well as consistently making me laugh, the guy also directed me towards a lot of games I now count among my favorites.
- VVVVVV: Another fun time with Jeff, Ryan and Vinny. Loved how they kept getting impressed by the game. An example of how a good game could make for a good Quick Look too, in that how effectively Ryan could make his appreciation of something he liked apparent.
- Incredible Crisis: Ryan didn't delve into his beloved old video games often, at least comparatively to Jeff, so it was interesting to hear him talk about some of his favorite Dreamcast games in this brief series of DC Quick Look Throwbacks. It's a shame we never got to see more Bombasticas from him.
- Story Hour: Adventures: Just hilarity from start to finish. A prime example of how good Ryan was on the mic that he and the crew could somehow mine comedy gold from a game so innocuously mediocre.
- Wipeout: The Game: Debatably the funniest Quick Look of all time. Of course, half of that is due to Ryan and the travails of his disturbingly identical avatar.
- Endless Ocean: Blue World: A laid-back ribbing Quick Look that sticks in my memory due to Ryan's response to Jeff's "Red World" riff. Whether he was playing along with Jeff or was truly aghast at the thought of accidentally misleading anyone, either would handily demonstrate the kind of guy he was.
- Motion Sports: You rarely saw Ryan less pleased with a game. Of course, his displeasure was our enjoyment. I dunno if he ever forgave the Kinect after this.
- Intel Discovered: I loved how Ryan latched onto a complete nothing role like "Bruce the Apathetic Stunt Co-ordinator" and made it funny. It felt like he was doing his best to make this odious Advergame not seem like a complete waste of time.
- Sid Meier's SimGolf (Part 2): I think one of Ryan's highlights in a long career was getting the chance to talk to one of his industry heroes about a game he adored. The SimGolf stream was him letting us partake in one of his favorites. Just one of the many personal experiences he shared with us all.
- Six Flags Fun Park: Ryan's "Mary". Ryan didn't do impressions often, but that raspy insane little girl voice burrowed deep into my skull and stayed there.
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince: Just pure magic, as it were. Ryan and Vinny in full irreverent parody mode. Another one of those contenders for "Best QL of All Time".
- Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet: I hesitate to bring up Ryan's lowest point because I certainly don't mean to discredit him, but with all his acerbic barbs, gentle bullying and outspoken opinions it was clear he knew precisely where the line was and would never knowingly cross it. That he was so apologetic after his unfortunate, unthinking outburst demonstrated just how much of a class act he was and how much he hated to make anyone feel worse about themselves unduly.
- Multimedia Celebrity Poker: Ryan kept his cool when Frakes lamentably decided to do what he did, though no-one else did - Vinny collapsed into nervous laughter while Jeff suddenly decided he had somewhere else to be. While it was a funny moment perfectly punctuated by that simultaneous scream, it was also indicative of Ryan's ability to keep the show going regardless of whatever devilry conspired to stop it.
AJ Ingram (@kingmento)
July 07 2014
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