Aran Ryan

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Aran Ryan

Aran Ryan, as depicted in Punch-Out!! for Wii. Designed by Eddie Viser.
Series Punch-Out!!
First game Super Punch-Out!! (Super NES)
Designed by Eddie Viser (Punch-Out!!, 2009)
Voiced by Stephen Webster (Punch-Out!!, 2009)

Aran Ryan (アラン・ライアン?) is a fictional Irish boxer, and one of the characters in the Nintendo-produced Punch-Out!! series. He first appeared in the Super NES video game Super Punch-Out!!. He hails from Dublin, Ireland. He appeared again in the Wii video game, Punch-Out!!. In the Wii game, he was designed by Eddie Viser, and voiced by Stephen Webster. While in Super Punch-Out!! he is mostly sedate and has few Irish stereotypes present, he was made to be louder, boisterous, and a cheater in Punch-Out!!, common stereotypes of Irish people. While the developers of Punch-Out!!, Next Level Games, wanted to focus on characters from Punch-Out!! for the Nintendo Entertainment System, they included Ryan as the game's "resident hooligan".

Since appearing in Super Punch-Out!!, Ryan has received mixed reception. He has been described as a difficult opponent by both Kotaku and Operation Sports. Whereas The Daily Telegraph called him a "deliriously hilarious creation," both GameTrailers and editor Scott Jones bemoaned his inclusion; the former stating that he would have preferred Dragon Chan over him, while the latter calling him "one of the most banal characters in the game." There has been discussion on the Irish stereotypes of the character; GamesRadar stated that he utilized several Irish stereotypes, including being a cheater, having uncontrollable rage, and four leaf clovers. They also included him as one of the six most offensive Irish stereotypes. In their review, Eurogamer referred to Ryan as an "idiotically violent Irishman."

Concept and appearances[edit | edit source]

Aran Ryan is an Irish boxer, hailing from Dublin, Ireland. His first appearance was in Super Punch-Out!! for the Super NES, and most recently in the Wii video game Punch-Out!!. He was designed by Eddie Viser, and voiced by Stephen Webster in that game. He is the only opponent in Punch-Out!! who originally came from the Super NES Super Punch-Out!!. While he was more sedate in Super Punch-Out!!, he was made out to be loud and boisterous, as well as a cheater; in one version, he is seen inserting a horse shoe into his glove, and in another, he uses two boxing gloves tied to a rope as a weapon.[1] While Next Level Games, the developers of the Wii Punch-Out!!, wanted to use mostly boxers from the original Punch-Out!!, they included Aran Ryan amongst others, with developer Bryce Holliday describing him as the game's "resident hooligan".[2] In discussing Ryan's fighting style, GamePro editor Will Herring described it as being momentum-based.[3]

Reception[edit | edit source]

Since appearing in Punch-Out!!, Aran Ryan has received mixed reception. Aylesbury Today editor Damien Lucas commented that fans of the series would recognize Ryan.[4] University Chronicle editor Joe Brown commented that players of Super Punch-Out!! would be familiar with Aran Ryan.[5] In their review, GameTrailers stated that Aran Ryan wasn't the "poster boy" for the franchise, bemoaning his inclusion over Dragon Chan, who they describe as a fan favourite.[6] GameZone editor jkdmedia described him as being unpredictable, stating that while he is not very strong, his sporadic movement can confuse players.[7] GameSpot's guide to Punch-Out!! described Aran Ryan as a "welcome relief after the last few bouts", stating that he is easy to dodge and counter.[8] Operation Sports editor Christian McLeod stated that if players did not know how to defeat him, he would go down in a matter of minutes.[9] Kotaku editor Michael McWhertor echoed this sentiment, stating that he was performing terribly against Ryan. He cited the fact that he had not played much of the Super NES Super Punch-Out!!, making Ryan's fighting style new to him.[10] McWhertor later stated that the "bobbing and weaving" Ryan adds a lot of variety to the cast of characters.[11] In his review, editor Scott Jones criticized Ryan's inclusion in the Wii Punch-Out!!, calling him "one of the most banal characters in the game." He questioned why Nintendo included him, calling him "forgettable".[12]

Racial stereotyping[edit | edit source]

File:Aran Ryan 2.png
Aran Ryan, as depicted in a cut scene to Punch-Out!! for the Wii. Ryan has placed horse shoes in his boxing gloves, and can be seen frothing at the mouth in rage. These two aspects are elements of Ryan's Irish stereotyping.

In their discussion of racial stereotypes in Punch-Out!!, GamesRadar editor Brett Elston commented that his uncontrollable rage, his disposition to cheating, his love for fighting, and his penchant for adorning his clothing with four leaf clovers was a strong stereotype of the Irish people. They added other qualities of Irish stereotypes, which includes red hair and excitability.[1] GamesRadar editor Michael Grimm listed him as one of the six most offensive Irish stereotypes, echoing statements from the above article, while adding his being a boxer and his affinity for green as other stereotypes that he covers. However, he noted that he got off easy versus Glass Joe, who "explodes with croissants when hit".[13] GameSpot editor Tom Mc Shea described Aran Ryan as a crazed Irishman, stating that he has no qualms of using his head to attack.[14] The Daily Telegraph editor Tom Hoggins described him as a deliriously entertaining creation, describing him as a crazy Irishman.[15]

In discussing what he describes as the "coarse caricatures of ethnic and national stereotypes", Eurogamer editor Oli Welsh mentioned Ryan, describing him as an "idiotically violent Irishman."[16] Writer Chad Sapieha discussed an article written by Scotsman Mathew Kumar, over the use of cultural stereotypes of Punch-Out!! to "delineate" the characters. Kumar intended for the piece to be "a poem that ran from Minor to Major Circuit with one choice ethnic slur per boxer." However, he noted that he realized that there may be more to the characters than previously thought. He mentions how he referred to Ryan as a "mick" out of frustration at one point. Sapieha questioned whether Punch-Out!! was colouring our thoughts regarding certain kinds of people.[17]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 Fun with stereotypes: starring Punch-Out!!, Punch-Out!! Wii Features. GamesRadar (2009-05-20). Retrieved on 2010-08-26
  2. Punch-Out Devs Talk Graphics, Difficulty, Nixed Princess Peach Idea. (2009-07-27). Retrieved on 2010-08-26
  3. Herring, Will (2009-05-18). Punch-Out!! Review from. GamePro. Retrieved on 2010-08-26
  6. Punch-Out!!: Reviews, Trailers, and Interviews. Retrieved on 2010-08-26
  7. Punch-Out!! - WII - Review - GameZone - Reviews. (2009-05-25). Retrieved on 2010-08-26
  9. Punch-Out World Circuit Guide - Strategy Guide. Retrieved on 2010-08-26
  10. What Are You Playing This Weekend?. (2009-05-15). Retrieved on 2010-08-26
  11. Punch-Out!! Review: Call It A Comeback. (2009-05-19). Retrieved on 2010-08-26
  12. Punch-Out!! (Wii). Crispy Gamer. Retrieved on 2010-08-26
  13. St. Paddy's Day disgraces: Six of gaming's most offensive Irish stereotypes. GamesRadar (2010-03-17). Retrieved on 2010-08-26
  14. Punch-Out!! Review for Wii. GameSpot (2009-05-18). Retrieved on 2010-08-26
  15. Hoggins, Tom (2009-05-29). Punch Out!! review. Telegraph. Retrieved on 2010-08-26
  16. Oli Welsh (2009-05-21). Punch-Out!! Wii Review - Page 2. Retrieved on 2010-08-26

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