On his blog on March 5, 2008, and again on a broadcast of X-Play, Jeff Gerstmann, best known for his role in the Kane & Lynch debacle at Gamespot in 2007 (long story short — he was fired, essentially for giving an overly negative review to a game heavily featured in Gamespot advertising), revealed that he and Ryan Davis, an editor who had resigned in the aftermath of the review debacle, had joined forces to create a new gaming website called Giant Bomb. Vinny Caravella and Brad Shoemaker, two other resigning Gamespot editors, joined them soon afterward, with Alex Navarro (again, of Gamespot), Drew Scanlon, Dan Ryckert, and Jason Oestreicher (not of Gamespot) having joined since. The site started as a simple blog while the actual layout was being constructed. It is now, in addition to featuring reviews and industry news, a wiki for anything related to gaming.
Giant Bomb had several sister sites that serve similar purposes including Screened for movies (since folded into Moviefone), Anime Vice for anime and manga (site has folded, although fourms still exist; link goes to YouTube page), and Comic Vine for comic books. As well as Tested which is not a media site but rather a foundry for technology inclined news. These websites, including Giant Bomb, were collected under the Whiskey Media banner. In March 2012, the Whiskey Media sites were sold to various companies, with Giant Bomb and Comic Vine being sold to CBS Interactive, which also owns Gamespot. The staff and site stayed the same, only the ownership changed. The site was sold again to Red Ventures in late 2020. And again to Fandom in 2022.
Not related to Big, Bulky Bomb.
This website provides examples of:
- Badass Boast: The beautiful lengthy boast of Jeff Gerstmann made at the 2014 Giantbomb Panel promoting his "client" (read: alter ego) Dr. Tracksuit and the badassitude he will bring to the Royal Rumble.
- Berserk Button:
- Book Ends: Their Forza Horizon quick look has them beginning and ending their look performing continuous donuts with their car.
- Broke the Rating Scale: Fallout 76 was on the receiving end of both a Refusal to Rate and a Meaningless Value from this website. A formal review wasn't able to happen because none of the staff could bear to play it for long enough to review it properly. After explaining this in a podcast, Jeff informally rated it "fucking don't play this game".
- Buffy Speak: In the titles of a few of their features, most notably "The We Just Thought To Do This Live Show" and "Video Thing".
- Butt-Monkey: Brad Shoemaker, especially in the video for the NintendoDSi XL.Brad takes off his blindfold and sees that Jeff and Ryan have made off with all of his things, including his wallet and the keys to his car.
Brad: Awwwww, not again...
- Matt Kessler, because he was the intern. The fact his internship is over has not changed this.
- Cerebus Syndrome: In a wonderful case of Tropes Are Not Bad; GB East is this compared to GB West, the former being more willing to go in depth on the unpleasant issues of the gaming industry.
- Crate Expectations: Jeff Gerstmann shows us how it's done.[Jeff axe-kicks a shipping crate and smashes the top in]
Dave: I hope that totally wasn't something, what if somebody, this is why we don't have pretty things...
Jeff: I... well...
Ryan: And that didn't really help our cause any!
Jeff: This is their fault for sending us a f-f-FUCKING CRATE! [Jeff smashes it again]
- The best part? The crate's top wasn't nailed on, so they could have lifted it off at anytime.
- Department of Redundancy Department:
- The annual Big Live Live Show Live. It's LIVE!
- Mario Party Party.
- Determinator: In the Game Room Quick Look for the week of 10/27/10, Jeff endures a glitchy server and the stench of sewage to buy and play three games.
- Early-Installment Weirdness: If you're used to how the staff looks now, it can be quite shocking to see how they looked in old Gamespot reviews. Ryan with no beard and bleached blonde hair, anyone? Or how about Brad with a full beard and shaggy hair?
- The original Quick Look was titled "A Quick Look at Burnout Bikes", was only ten minutes longnote , and only featured Jeff. The crew will occasionally reminisce about how weird those first few months were for them.
- Demo Derby's first few episodes were only Drew and Dan, presumably because they were both high off the success of Metal Gear Scanlon and because they had the most amount of free time to start a new subscriber feature. Jeff subbed in for Drew in the 5th episode, and it's hard to imagine the series without him now.
- Metal Gear Scanlon actually spun out of the first episode of Demo Derby, which featured a demo of Metal Gear Solid.
- Ensemble Dark Horse: While playing Persona 4, Jeff and Vinny became extremely attached to Chie Satonaka, as well as the Fox and "Funky Student". Likewise, Kanji Tatsumi and Nanako became their Butt Monkeys (though still beloved in their own way).
- As for the site itself, engineers Dave Snider and Drew Scanlon.
- Since its origins in early 2012, the Giant Bomb Flight Club has been one, with the aforementioned Dave and Drew joining up with Vinny to mess with Track IR, joysticks, and all manner of strange Flight Simulators.
- Finger Gun: Has been discussed on the Bombcast, pointing out how holding the index and middle finger out symbolizes a serious gun while the single index finger or "business guns" is more jovial.
- Flipping the Bird: Jeff raises two middle fingers in the Motion Sports Quick Look. Ryan does the same in the QL of Wipeout 2.
- Four-Temperament Ensemble: The original Bombcast crew: Vinny is sanguine, Ryan is choleric, Jeff is melancholic, and Brad is phlegmatic.
- The recent Bombcast crew: Dan is sanguine, Jeff is choleric, Brad is melancholic, Drew is phlegmatic, and Jason is leukine.
- Fun with Acronyms: TANG (This Ain't No Game), WU TANG (Wonderful Universe of TANG), and TNT (Thursday Night Throwdown).
- Gaming Clan: The Space Neon Lobsters in Star Trek Online.
- And the Kessler Run in Star Wars: The Old Republic.
- As well as Kite Co. Space Trucking in EVE Online.
- Gretzky Has the Ball: The guys readily admit they know little about sports, and it shows when they review sports games. In a Quick Look for NHL '12, they spent a bit of time trying to select the Hartford Whalers to play as. The Whalers moved to North Carolina in 1997 (they are now the Carolina Hurricanes). Knowing the audience that Giant Bomb has, most of this is played intentionally.
- On a Starcraft 2 livestream from several years ago, several of the people on the couch began commentating on the match, purposefully mixing up terminology from both real sports and other esports games in the process.
- Curiously, now that G Beast has fully taken off, Alex and CNET's Jeff Backalar have taken up the mantle as defacto sports editors, and have shown themselves to be quiet knowledgeable on the various sports games from year to year.
- Groin Attack: "That was an excellent kick to the genital region."
- As part of the Extra Life 49 Hour Stream Vinny shocked his junk.
- Heel: Dan Ryckert, very much intentionally, being a wrestling fan. Nowhere is it better seen than in his Mario Maker rivalry with former Bomber Patrick Klepek, in which Dan will create a fiendishly difficult Super Mario Maker level (sometimes with input from the audience), and Patrick will meticulously work his way through it during his Mario Maker Mornings livestream. It came to a head during The Ryckoning, in which Dan challenged Patrick to complete the eponymous level in 72 hours with no outside help, and then proceeded to break the spirit of the challenge himself by accepting outside help in the creation of the level. Patrick still defeated him with nearly a day to spare, but not without taking a noticeable toll in exhaustion and mental stress. Dan kept up his Heel persona (if it is a persona) by livestreaming his reactions to Dan's attempts to beat the level, cackling maniacally at particularly satisfying deaths and lobbing grade-school-level taunts at Patrick.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: Most of the crew, but Drew and Alexis are taking it to new levels. They even golf together.
- Hidden Depths: Anything of their lives outside video games has this vibe. Specifically the vast array of Drew's activities, whatever Vinny has gotten into for the month, and at a minimum it's been hinted that they all really know their Star Trek.
- History Repeats: Giant Bomb was started by Jeff after getting fired from Game Spot by new management. Repeated over a decade later when Jeff was fired from Giant Bomb after being sold to Red Ventures. Less of sting this time as he was already planning to quit.
- Hurricane of Puns: Ryan and Vinny fly to Liverpool. Hilarity Ensues.
- In-Series Nickname: Patrick "Trick, Tricky, Scoops" Klepek
- Lame Pun Reaction: Jeff has a pretty big one during the Zelda: A Link Between Worlds Quick Look — he just walks out of the Quick Look.
- Later-Installment Weirdness: Giant Bomb decided to stay permanently work from home instead of return to an office, unlike Game Spot who returned to the office, after being bought by Red Ventures. This coincided with long-term members of site, Vinny, Alex, and Brad, leaving. After over a decade of Giant Bomb being about a core in-person group with a strong rapport playing and discussing video games, it is now comprised of a series of zoom calls about many things, such as bad music and memes, being discussed by mostly contractors. Also, Jeff Bakalar is now the most prominent staff member after years of being a guest on the Beastcast from a different website. Especially now Jeff Gerstmann has been fired.
- Let's Play:
- The Endurance Runs:
- For subscribers, there's the Random PC Game of Phantasmagoria that ended up turning into a full playthrough, Vinny's Bio Forge series of videos, Metal Gear Scanlon (Dan watches Drew play through the Metal Gear Solid games), and Beast in the East, with the GB East team playing through the Like a Dragon series.
- There are also the group's playthroughs of the final hours of The Matrix Online ("Not Like This") and Star Wars: Galaxies ("There is Another"), and the Star Trek Online Open Beta.
- Quick Looks are pretty much mini-LPs.
- Greg Kasavin also marathoned Skyrim for 12 hours, like he did for Oblivion back in their Gamespot days.
- The Giant Bomb East team, between the Playdate and Choose Our Own Adventure series, has so far featured full playthroughs of:
- Also from GB East: VinnyVania features Vinny playing through the Castlevania series, and Blue Bombin' has Alex doing full playthroughs of the NES Mega Man games.
- Brad and Dan are going through a de facto LP of Hitman (2016), starting with their Unfinished of the beta (which contained the tutorial level) and doing Quick Looks of each episode as they come out, with Premium videos showing them the parts of the level they haven't finished.
- Limited Wardrobe: Vinny is almost always wearing a black shirt and jeans when he's on video.
- Mood Whiplash: During the 2011 Game of the Year Deliberations;Ryan: I'm gonna put [my hands] in glue then put broken glass on the tops of my hands so that we can fight about Giantbomb's—
Patrick: Game of the Year: Catherine!
Jeff: Fuck, *incoherent yelling*, goddamnit.
Ryan: —Top 10 Games of 2011. It's gonna be something fierce.
Brad: Not game of the year: TrackMania.
Vinny: Wearin' my Dark Souls shirt.
Ryan: We'll see you guys soon.
Jeff: Burn in your Dark Souls shirt.
- One-Steve Limit: Two of the guys on staff have the name Alexis- a site engineer who appears on video occasionally, and Navarro, who goes by Alex.
- Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping: Whenever Jeff attempts an accent it will inevitably transform the longer he uses it. Most notable during a DSI Ware reading where he goes from French to Spanish.
- Overly-Long Gag: While Game Room in and of itself could be a considered an Overly-Long Gag orchestrated by Microsoft to rob Jeff Gerstmann of all his money, the Game Room Quick Look for the week of 12/22/10 ends with a series of elaborate jokes about the game Venetian Blinds.
- Overly Narrow Superlative: The "Northies", the retired as of 2012, yearly award for best use of/performance by Nolan North in a video game.
- Precision F-Strike: As noted in a 2015 Bombcast, Drew very rarely swears, for the sake of eloquence. So when he DOES swear, it's kind of a big deal.
- Pretentious Latin Motto: "Colluctatio Cervus Reperio Excellantia" for the 2010 Game of the Year stuff. It means something like "Find the Excellence in the Wrestling Deer" (in reference to Luchadeer).
- Real Life Writes the Plot: At the end of 2015 everyone had to move floors to new offices. The Game of the Year videos for that year involved the staff making videos from home because all their equipment was in the process of being moved.
- Running Gag:
- Starting from the Persona 4 Endurance Run, all protagonists in Quick Looks of Shin Megami Tensei games are named variations of "Charlie Tunoku" (Charie Tuna, Chuck Tuna and Charlene, to name a few).
- Brad's tendency to die whenever he's on camera.
- Jeff searching for "broken avatars" in Game Room. One time, there were even two at once!
- For the Chrono Trigger Endurance Run, when given the chance to rename characters, Ryan simply changes the first letter of the name to B. This leads to names like Brono, Bobo and Brog.
- Due to an incident while playing Daggerfall in which nearly a half-hour spent in the character creator was lost due to them forgetting that autosave hadn't been invented yet, Vinny constantly implores Dave to save the game whenever they are recording a Quick Look or a Random PC Game video.
- Driving in circles when in a vehicle; Jeff does this the most, and he likes to do a mock howl while doing it.
- Ever since the ill-fated Sleeping Dogs (2012): Nightmare at North Point quick look, any time Vinny runs into a part of a game where he's stuck, the chat will inevitably advise him to "pick up the purse."
- The 2013 GOTY videos add "P.S. Brad sucks at games."
- Yes, but what is Firewatch?
- Jeff referring to himself as "Brett" in the podcast ads, ever since an email to the Bombcast referred to him as such.
- From the Bombcasts's Crunchyroll ads: "UN! LIMITED! ANIME!"
- "Game of skill!" during the Mario Party Parties, for whenever the game randomly hands out coins and stars.
- Every week is Dan's first week on the Giant Beastcast, at least according to Vinny.
- Screw This, I'm Outta Here:
- While doing a Quick Look for Jurassic: The Hunted, Ryan got so disgusted with the line "What the Foxtrot is going on here?" that he left in the middle of it all and had Brad take his place.
- Ryan does the in-the-middle-ditching again in the quick look of the Star Trek video game, after seeing a late title card. This time, Vinny stepped out of the control room to fill in the missing spot.
- Spell My Name with a "The": Very rarely Jeff will refer to the site as "The Giantbomb", mostly as a panel opener.
- Surprisingly Realistic Outcome: In the 11/10/2015 Bombcast guest starring Dave Lang, Jeff asks the latter exactly what happened with the Batman: Arkham Knight PC Porting Disaster (Lang is the CEO of Iron Galaxy, which was also involved in the port). Lang very politely informs them that despite being a good friend and loving them all, that he cannot say anything because Warner Bros. is "handling all communication" in the matter and one does not succeed in business by throwing partners under the bus (and judging by the others' reaction and responses, everyone was fully aware this would be the answer and merely asked just because of the backlash if they didn't).
- A Taste of Power: Dubbed the "Abilitease" by the site.
- That One Level: Invoked by Dan Rykert in the Super Mario Maker streams. He delights in creating fiendishly difficult levels that require trial-and-error, split-second timing, and obscure tricks to complete. Former Giant Bomb employee Patrick Klepek has taken to accepting the challenge in his Mario Maker Mornings Twitch streams.
- Theme Naming: Patrick named all of his Etrian Odyssey and Dragon's Dogma characters after characters from Stephen King's The Dark Tower series.
- This Is Going to Be Huge: After the release of Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor, they repeatedly predicted that a couple of years later nearly every open world game would have some variation on the Nemesis System. As of three years later, the only game that had explicit inspiration from the Nemesis System was XCOM 2: War Of The Chosen, an expansion for a turn based strategy game.
- Took a Level in Badass: Brad's reputation soared tremendously after accomplishing the Mile High Club achievement in Call Of Duty 4. #teambrad
- Video Game Movies Suck: Ryan Davis' This Ain't No Game segment explores many of the most terrible video game to film adaptations.
- Vitriolic Best Buds: The Quick Look of New Super Mario Bros. Wii by Jeff, Ryan, Vinny, and Brad is spent by them raging at each other for getting each other killed.
- Vocal Dissonance: Jeff and Ryan, in particular, sound much different than they look.
- Referenced a few times on the Bombcast; people familiar only with the podcast have occasionally sent in descriptions of what they imagine the bombcrew to look like, and they are almost always completely wrong. Who gets the most divergent description does change from person to person, however.
- Vocal Evolution: Ryan's voice deepened continually from his Gamespot days until his death in 2013. Compare one of his old Gamespot reviews to one of his last podcasts, and it's hard to believe it's the same guy talking.
- Wham Episode:
- Ryan suddenly passed away on July 3rd, 2013, while on his honeymoon. He was 34.
- Alex, Brad, and Vinny announced they're leaving Giant Bomb on the same day to start Nextlander.
- Jeff Gerstmann being fired a year after them.
- Jason and Jess being fired seven months after Jeff.
- Wham Line:
- Episode 01 of the Giant Beastcast (actually the second episode) has this:Vinny: And Austin, that was fun! ... You did a great job. You know, we've got a job opening here, why don't you take the weekend to think about it and you can start on monday?
- The final discussion of E3 2015 is the usual drunken chaos, with Dave Lang, John Vignocchi and Adam Boyes talking and shouting about nonsense. Then Dave looks at his phone and asks John Vignocchi a question...Dave Lang: Did you fucking tweet my phone number?
- Giant Bomb and Jeff Gerstmann have agreed to go our separate ways.
- Episode 01 of the Giant Beastcast (actually the second episode) has this:
Duder, it's over!