GeekendWelcome back to The Geekend, where we tell you about the games, anime, and manga that we’ve been addicted to–er, into lately. Some of us are preparing for Valentine’s Day, while others are still playing Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn. Maybe we’ll eventually have enough people to form a Free Company! You’ll have to stick around for future Geekends to find out, though. Meanwhile, get thee to the comments and tell us what you’re playing, watching, and reading!

Jimmy Stephenson — Staff Writer
After facing weeks of peer pressure, people I thought were my friends telling me to “just try it”, I finally gave in to the temptation. I bought Final Fantasy XIV. All kidding aside, I’m interested to see if I can balance my MMO playing between this and Guild Wars 2. I’ve only gotten to about level 10 with my adorable little Lalafell Conjurer, but already I’ve seen some interesting distinctions between those two games. The most obvious is how nice XIV looks; I love the art direction of Guild Wars 2, but on the PC, the amount of polish Square Enix put into their MMO is obvious. However, so far I must say that I prefer the quest structure in Guild Wars 2, which doesn’t force you to run back and forth to town to receive and complete missions. I’ll have more to say as I get a bit deeper into the mechanics. Other than that, I’ve gotten back on my Wii Fit U training regimen, which I’d stopped when my free trial ran out (isn’t that always the way with gym memberships?). I’ve really enjoyed the new version of the game, as it has a good deal more polish and content than the original. I’ll have to wait and see how effective it is as a workout tool, but extended sessions always work up a sweat, which is a good sign.

Michael Riel — Staff Writer
Okay, I’m going to get it out of the way: I’m still playing Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn, and I think I may need and intervention. On a different note, I finally found the time to watch and complete an entire anime series this week. The anime is called Outbreak Company, and it came out not too long ago. Shin’ichi is a hikkikomori aka a shut in and is also a huge otaku. While surfing the net one day, he applies for a job that calls specifically for an otaku, and he automatically gets the job. On the first day of his job, he is told that the Japanese government has found a secret portal that transports them to a different world inhabited by your standard fantasy creatures like elves, dwarves, humans and other man/beast hybrids. Shin’ichi’s job is to help create an alliance between Japan and Eldant (the nation in the fantasy-like world) by introducing them to the otaku culture. Despite how absurd the plot sounds, it is a relatively funny anime that takes a lot of different anime stereotypes like beach episodes, fantasy animal/girl cross breeds, and many other tropes and blows them out of proportion. Though the anime is a comedy, there is a definite advancing plot, which likes to take some sinister turns. Outbreak Company is available for free on Crunchyroll if you want to watch it and experience the insanity.

Ebony Brown — Staff Writer
With Valentine’s Day fast approaching and being in a long distance relationship (he’s in Brazil, I’m in England…) I have to get really creative with my gifts. This year, I’m writing him a story called ‘The Princess and The Troll’ so appropriately named as we continuously love to ‘troll’ one another with pranks and insults. I’ve set the story in a world where fictional characters and anime characters are real and we have to find our way out of there.

Jennifer Griffith — Managing Editor
I recently started up an iOS visual novel called Banshee’s Last Cry, a thriller mystery from Spike Chunsoft (the company behind 999) that Aksys Games released toward the end of January. It’s very different from most of the visual novels I’ve played, in that the art is actually made up of photographs, but I’m intrigued by the murder mystery and I’m curious to see which ending I’ll end up with. I’ve also been playing  a bit of Fate/Stay Night, which has an absolutely amazing story so far. It’s even fully voiced! With Danganronpa, Steins;Gate, and even another Hakuoki game coming out in English this year, I really hope more visual novels finally have a shot at getting localized. I’ve also been putting entirely too much bus time into Super Hexagon, which I picked up on the Google Play store. I forgot just how addicting it is, and now that I’ve discovered it’s easier on the small screen, I’m pretty determined to beat at least the easiest level. We’ll see if this Terry Cavanagh game turns my brain into a psychedelic pudding first, though.