Welcome to the Geekend, where we share with you what games, anime, and manga we’re into for this week. It’s MMORPGs across the board as we go into the holidays, with a high chance of more fun stuff in the coming week. What’s in your lineup for the holidays? Come tell us in the comments!
Jimmy Stephenson — Staff Writer
This week, I’ve continued to reacquaint myself with Guild Wars 2. After an absence of more than a year, it took me a little while to get back into my comfort zone, but it remains a great time with friends and strangers alike. For example, a friend of mine and I were exploring one of the middle-level areas of the game when we noticed a lone player doing the same. After traveling together for a while, we invited the mysterious stranger into our party, and we all had a grand time slaying centaurs for a few hours. These little mini adventures (and how easy it is to arrange them) are one of the greatest things about GW2. On a slightly different note, the game also has a ton of well-hidden areas for players to find, as I found out last night when one of my guild-mates showed me the way into a secret cave that contained a sweet zeppelin and other steam-punk features. Unfortunately, the only way to progress through this area was by completing a difficult jumping puzzle. I am only a little bit ashamed to admit it kicked my ass, and we eventually retreated with our tails between our legs. Other than Guild Wars, I also played a bit of Rogue Legacy, a Castlevania-style rogue-like that has you taking control of a clan of warriors as you, generation by generation, increase your abilities, find new classes, and try to explore the ever-shifting dungeon. The game’s controls are precise, and the amount of randomness that comes with each new offspring makes it incredibly addictive. After telling myself that I would stop after “Just one more run,” I looked up to find that another hour and a half had gone by. For now, though, I’m looking forward to seeing family members for the holidays, and attempting to not allow yet another Steam sale to bankrupt me.
Jennifer Griffith — Managing Editor
I managed to squeeze in some more time for Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn this week, and even though I’m still not out of my starting city yet, I’m having fun learning what some of the crafting classes are about. This game is just stunning and really fun, and I’m hoping to log some more hours over the holidays. Time to go kill some squirrels and ladybugs for the new battle classes I unlocked! In the handheld department, my Vita is actually seeing more use than my 3DS lately, with games like Tearaway, Limbo, and Runner 2. Tearaway has been consistently excellent, and I was quite pleased with how Limbo and Runner 2 play on the Vita. Runner 2 in particular feels like it was made for this system; I’ve also played it on PC, PS3, and iPad, and the experience wasn’t as smooth on any other platform. I’ve also been dabbling in our next Visual Novel Club game, Analogue: A Hate Story. I’m really not sure what’s going on yet, but the story of these families and their political struggles on a giant space ship is certainly intriguing, and I can’t wait to see where it’s going.
Dan Furnas — Editor-in-Chief
I spent most of my game time this week pouring over Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn. Like Jennifer, I’ve been delving into the crafting system and enjoying it a lot, having leveled all of the crafting classes up past level 15, ahead of most of the combat classes. While we’re trying to stick together, I ran ahead of Jennifer a bit to unlock more story, so I’ve had a chance to explore all of the major cities and unlock all of the base classes. Beyond the crafting classes, thus far I’m enjoying the Arcanist, mostly because you get to summon a little Carbuncle to help you fight, and the Archer. In games I’ve always preferred ranged classes, and these ones seem to work pretty well. The story and quest progression thus far has been pretty good, but it has all been independent. I’m just getting into quests that require partying up (“It’s Probably Pirates” for those of you who are playing along), so we’ll see how that goes. Unfortunately, I’m not deep enough into the game to enjoy most of the features added by the 2.1 patch, but I have collected all the gear from the Starlight Celebration and can now run around dressed as Santa, a reindeer or a snowman. Other than FFXIV, I did pick up Long Live the Queen again as a refresher before we recorded our inaugural episode of the Visual Novel Club (coming soon!), and if you want to count it as a game, I did spend some time this week on my fantasy football team since I’m in the championship game this weekend. We’ll see whether or not I’m going to Disney World after Monday’s game.