Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Geek to Geek S5E46 - PS5 Review - “It feels like a zipper”

In This Episode:

This week Void and Beej do a full PS5 review based on our first week with the new console.  The guys have some radically different experiences and takeaways.  It’s an interesting launch to a new console generation.

Weekly Geekery

For geekery, BJ is starting to read through Tasha's Cauldron of Everything, the new D&D sourcebook that just came out.  Void has mostly just been playing PS5 games but spends some extra time talking about Astro’s Playroom.

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Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Geek to Geek S5E45 - The Mandalorian Season 2 - “He’s a Frog-i-vore”

In This Episode:

This week Void and Beej discuss The Mandalorian Season 2 with the kickoff of the first two episodes and what they anticipate the rest of the season has in store.  There’s a lot to like here even though it’s still early on.

Weekly Geekery

For geekery, BJ spent bunches of time doing a variety of flavors of D&D with friends and family.  Void finished off Hades and wrapped up his goals in this season of Fortnite in anticipation of the new consoles and new AAA games coming out next week.  He also sampled the Hyrule Warriors Age of Calamity demo and found it kind of wanting.

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Wednesday, November 4, 2020

Geek to Geek S5E44 - Watch Dogs: Legion - “Super Spy Old Grandma”

In This Episode:

This week Void and Beej talk about Watch Dogs: Legion and how it just feels out of step with where we are as a culture and a society.  Despite that, it’s a fascinating lens to look through at the world and at the AAA open world genre in general.

Weekly Geekery

For geekery, BJ is still into World of Warcraft and has made more leveling progress compared to last week.  He also got more time to play Dungeons & Dragons in a few different campaign settings.  Void has been revisiting the world of Frozen with Into the Unknown: Making Frozen II and by watching the new Olaf short, Once Upon a Snowman.  Void also finished up the latest two Dresden Files novels and enjoyed them a lot.

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Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Geek to Geek S5E43 - Disney Gallery: The Mandalorian - “The Volume is just a cool branding name”

In This Episode:

This week Void and Beej talk about Disney Gallery: The Mandalorian, especially the episode about the new technology that ILM and Unreal made for Disney to use in making The Mandalorian!  We’re getting really hyped for Season 2 to kick off so this was the perfect subject to get our heads back into The Mandalorian universe.

Weekly Geekery

For geekery, BJ is back into World of Warcraft and is finding a new community to play with regularly.  He also has been dipping back into D&D and has plans for campaigns and one-shots with friends.  BJ finished up Sabrina and loved the dark Halloweeny-ness of it.  Void tried out the Dungeons & Dragons board game with his kids, has Genshin Impact on farm mode, and has finished the first battle pass of his life due to the Marvel season of Fortnite Chapter 2.

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Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Geek to Geek S5E42 - Genshin Impact - “More is More”

In This Episode:

Void is low-key obsessed with Genshin Impact and BJ has been playing too!  This game seems like it came out of nowhere and has blown up in a great way.

Weekly Geekery

For geekery, BJ is back to playing World of Warcraft but he’s also been exploring The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina in time for Halloween and finished The Boys Season 2.  Void was mostly playing Genshin Impact but also has found some time to finally beat a run in Hades and he also read the 99% Invisible City book!

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Wednesday, October 14, 2020

Geek to Geek S5E41 - Star Wars Squadrons - “Power to shields”

In This Episode:

This week Void covers Star Wars Squadrons while BJ is out for the week.  It’s interesting to see how a new Star Wars game holds up in 2020 from EA. He also touches on Genshin impact but that’s a bigger story for next week once everyone is back.

Weekly Geekery

For geekery, Void has completed more of his revisit of the Assassin’s Creed series and recaps a few more games while on the path toward the new Assassin’s Creed Valhalla release later this year.

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Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Geek to Geek S5E39 - Super Mario 3D Retrospective - "The best game that no one should play"

We’ve been playing a bunch of 3D Mario games. Which makes sense because it's the 35th anniversary of the release of Super Mario Bros on NES all the way back in 1985. We even did an issue of PRESS START on Mario at https://patreon.com/geektogeekcast!

Beej has been playing a TON of Mario games, not just 3D ones, either. But he finally beat Super Mario Odyssey and likes it a lot more than he did beforehand. Between Super Mario 3D Land and World, the level-based platforming is covered, the New Wii U Deluxe version is getting some Switch play, and then there's the brand new Super Mario 3D All-Stars that just released that everyone is playing and loving. He's playing that, too! Whew! 

And Void is, too! He's focusing more on the Super Mario 3D All-Stars part of things, but really loves him some Super Mario Galaxy. Enough that he beat it on its own already. He wants Super Mario Galaxy 2 for Switch, and his thinking is that we're going to see it as DLC for the All-Stars collection. Wouldn't that awesome? What do you think?

The guys go into even more depth on all the games in the series, really talking a stroll down memory lane for each and every 3D Mario game (and then some!).

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Weekly Geekery

For Weekly Geekery this week, Beej has been playing with LEGO Super Mario thanks to Elinzia's review on GeekToGeekMedia.com, watching The Social Dilemma on Netflix and spawns a good tangent for you listeners. And Void has been watching the Mandalorian with his kids, so they're finally getting into Star Wars from some of the newest and strongest content imaginable. They get to experience it all for the first time, and we're so jealous! Void then goes on about Fortnite and how the new Marvel content is some of the best stuff the game has ever done. Hands down. Beej agrees. Of course, he hasn't played since Season 1, really, but he likes agreeing. So he did.

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Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Geek to Geek S5E38 - PS5 and Xbox Series X Hype - "What to play on day one?"

In This Episode:

This week Void and Beej are buying into some of the next generation console hype around PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X… and questioning some of the hype too.  From pricing to pre-orders to what we pulled the trigger on, we discuss a little bit of all of it.

Weekly Geekery

For geekery, BJ finished up some comics on DC Universe, played Kirby Triple Deluxe, watched West World Season 3, and started reading Dune again.  Void actually finished an anime for the first time in a long time with Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood and he’s also been dabbling in Crusader Kings 3 on Game Pass for PC.

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Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Geek to Geek S5E37 - Action Reality Shows - “Tom Hanks is good, for sure”

In This Episode:

This week we talk all about the “dumb” fun of action reality shows like The Floor is Lava, Ninja Warrior, Jedi Temple Challenge, Legends of the Hidden Temple, and more!  We also touch on some light Geekery around Howard, Forager, Marriage Story, and Greyhound.

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Wednesday, September 9, 2020

Geek to Geek S5E36 - Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles Remastered - "The first is most excellent"

In This Episode:

This week Void and Beej both tried out Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles and find it… interesting?  But also very wanting.  It channels the Gamecube era but not necessarily in a good way.

Weekly Geekery

For geekery, BJ has been watching Lovecraft Country and Bill and Ted movies while Void has been playing Soda Dungeon 2, , and more Spirit Farer.  He also got some new podcasts in the rotation like Triple Click, What the force, and Friends at the Table.

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Tuesday, September 8, 2020

Assassin's Creed Revisit: Black Flag

Assassin's Creed Black Flag is an interesting entry in the series.  Its main addition is the fleshing out of ship to ship combat into a full gameplay system which, in turn, makes it the best open-world pirate action game out there.

If you're ever looking for an entry in the Assassin's Creed series to go for 100% map completion in, this should be one of your first stops.  The mix of on-foot and on-boat gameplay means that you always have the option of switching your current moment to moment activity while still making progress toward map completion.

As an open-world pirate game, Black Flag succeeds amazingly.  As an Assassin's Creed game, it's fine.  It's not an amazing entry in the context of the series but there's a ton of fun to be had if you set your expectations to "pirate" instead of "assassin".

So, should you play this game?  Well, this is one Assassin's Creed game I can recommend as a very solid open-world game.  It's perfect for throwing in a podcast or audiobook and picking away at open world objectives.  If, on the other hand, you're looking for a core assassin story then you're better off grabbing a different series entry.

Monday, September 7, 2020

Assassin's Creed Rapid Fire 2: Origins & Odyssey

Following up on yesterday's post, I dove into the two latest Assassin's Creed games which represent the pivot that Ubisoft has made in the series.  Both Origin and Odyssey fall squarely into the action RPG genre instead of the stealth action games that the series started with.

Revisiting Assassin's Creed Origin was interesting.  I initially bounced off the game when it first released because it was such a radical departure from the series I loved.  After Origins reset my internal calibration for what makes an Assassin's Creed game, I was able to really enjoy Odyssey on its own terms when it released.

This revisit of Origins made me realize that the game is better than I gave it credit for at the time.  If all you're looking for is an open-world Egypt action RPG then this is a great game.  But, if you are looking for a stealth game with assassination in it, you'll be disappointed.  Removing stealth and instant kills was the biggest thing they did in Origins that I still disagree with.  You shouldn't have a game in a series called "Assassin's Creed" and not have assassinations actually work.  This is mostly due to the leveling system they added to make it more of an RPG and less of an action game.  If an NPC is more than a few levels higher than you, then chances are you can't take them out until you wander off and level up elsewhere.  As a gameplay mechanic, it just feels bad.

In Odyssey they cleaned up some of Origins worst offenses and they also added new things to expand on the core structure that Origins had laid down.  All of this makes for a better game, although I still really miss the stealth and assassination abilities.  There's more stealth here but still nowhere near enough compared to earlier games in the series.  At least the other things that were added feel like they give you more gameplay options in the core melee combat that seems to be the focus.

I dabbled in both Origins and Odyssey for a few hours but decided not to dig as deep as I did in the older game entries.  This is for two reasons.  One, these were both very recent games and I still have fairly fresh memories of them.  Two, I fully anticipate that Assassin's Creed Valhalla is built on this same core gameplay and I really don't want to burn myself out before that game releases.  I want to go into Valhalla excited for a new adventure instead of already feeling like I just experienced the same game.

The biggest positive change that I've seen come from Origins and Odyssey is that they seem to have broken through to an even wider audience than the earlier Assassin's Creed games.  So, for that, I have to give them the credit they deserve.

Sunday, September 6, 2020

Assassin's Creed Rapid Fire: Revelations, Unity, and Syndicate

My revisit of the Assassin's Creed games sped up a bit over the weekend.  I finished my full re-playthrough of Assassin's Creed Revelations and then went into "sampling" mode for the other games in the series.

Revelations is an interesting one, in that it's the most ambitious storytelling they do in the first five or six Assassin's Creed games.  It ties Desmond, Altair, and Ezio together and has them all communicating across time and space.  It works surprisingly well.  The gameplay in it is iterative with some new gimmicks, but it is definitely the strongest gameplay and storytelling of the Ezio collection.

I'm skipping over Black Flag for now since I know I really like that game and it's a great time waster.  My plan is to come back around to it at the end.

Which brings me to Unity.  Assassin's Creed Unity is the worst mainline game in the series.  They tried a lot of new things as they brought the series to a new console generation.  It was ambitious but it doesn't gel into a good game.  I tried to find some fun in it but, after a handful of hours, decided that this is one series entry I'm going to set down for good.  Even after all these years, it's still a buggy mess that isn't very fun to play moment to moment.

It seems like they took everything that didn't work for Unity, fixed it, and mixed it into more of the good systems from previous entries in the series... and that's what gave rise to Syndicate.  I think Assassin's Creed Syndicate is the best game in the old style of AC games.  It's hard to measure it against the later games (when Ubisoft went full RPG with the series) but that's ok.  This is the game I would recommend that series newcomers should try if they want to get a taste for what Assassin's Creed used to be.  It has the highest production values, a solid story, an interesting time period, some fantastic characters, and excellent gameplay systems.

I would still love to know what an evolution of Assassin's Creed Syndicate would look like.  It seems like we'll never get to find out because the series had a major pivot into the action RPG genre with the release of Origins.

It's been super interesting to dive into the backlog of this series again and see all the changes and evolutions.  This revisit has reminded me how much I truly love the Assassin's Creed series overall.

Next up in my revisit will be the jump to Assassin's Creed Origins and the pivot into the RPG genre.

Wednesday, September 2, 2020

Geek to Geek S5E35 - Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 & Recent Game Pass Games - "They don’t know where the birds are"

In This Episode:

This week Void drags Beej into a conversation about Microsoft Flight Simulator.  BJ likes the birds.  Void has also been messing around with a bunch of new Game Pass games on Xbox and has some impressions.

Weekly Geekery

Void played a lot of Game Pass Games!  Beej has been checking out comics on Comixology Unlimited including Umbrella Academy, Batman Court of Owls, City of Owls, Death of the Family, and Birthright.

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Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Geek to Geek S5E34 - DC Fandome - "I’m going to buy more comics now"

In This Episode:

This week we talk DC Fandome and BJ’s surprise full day of watching it when he wasn’t planning on it.  Void watched all the trailers after the fact and has some thoughts on the video games that got announced.  Much hype ensues.

Weekly Geekery

It’s all DC Fandome this week!

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Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Geek to Geek S5E33 - MTG Jumpstart - "Oh yeah, I want the +1 unicorns"

In This Episode:

This week we talk Magic The Gathering Jumpstart, the completely new format that Void loves. We also cover Weekly Geekery including Umbrella Academy, Batman: Arkham Knight, Comixology Unlimited, Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood, Recursion by Blake Crouch, and Eve Echoes.

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Sunday, August 16, 2020

Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood, A Decade Later


I just wrapped up my playthrough of Assassin's Creed Brotherhood in my revisit of series as it exists right now.  This was an interesting one.  I almost didn't stick with it.  I'm still giving myself that out for other games in this series revisit but I ended up sticking it out and finishing Brotherhood.

It's the middle game in the five game Desmond meta arc of Assassin's Creed and, in some ways, it feels like an awkward in-between game (since it kinda is).  Brotherhood picks up right where Assassin's Creed 2 leaves off and ends on a cliffhanger that Assassin's Creed: Revelations picks up.  Not only is it the mid-point of the Desmond saga, but it's also the mid-point of Ezio's story and his time as the main character.

In terms of gameplay, Brotherhood leans hard into the open world.  The critical path in this one is much faster than any other Assassin's Creed game but the open world gives tons of optional things to do.  You spend the entire time in Rome but you truly get to rebuild and reclaim the city as you spend time in it.

Ezio gets some new tricks like a crossbow, but the main draw is being able to recruit initiates to the Assassin's Brotherhood as you rebuild the Assassin's order.  This is the story of Ezio becoming the leader of the Assassin's while he's rebuilding the order in Rome.  It works as a story.

Ultimately, I think I like the open world of Brotherhood better than the open world of Assassin's Creed 2, but I enjoyed the story of Assassin's Creed 2 more than Assassin's Creed Brotherhood.

This is definitely a decent entry in the series and is an easy recommendation if you're looking for a solid open world Assassin's Creed game.

Now I'm really curious to see how Assassin's Creed: Revelations holds up.  I only have vague memories of it but I remember thinking it was a good way to end Ezio's story.  Time to find out!

Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Geek to Geek S5E32 - Fall Guys & Marvel Avengers - “We all fall down”

In This Episode:

This week we talk about the recent release of Fall Guys and our experiences with the Marvel’s Avengers beta. We also cover some Weekly Geekery like X-Files, Trails of Cold Steel, 5D Chess With Multiverse Time Travel, and Paper Mario: Origami King.

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Wednesday, August 5, 2020

Geek to Geek S5E31 - Reading & Audiobooks - “I’ll read this book on paper”

In This Episode:

This week we dive deep into our current approaches to reading in all forms.  We consume books in digital, physical, and audio formats these days so we wanted to chat about it!  For geekery we touch on Legend of Korra, Kickstarter, Ghost of Tsushima, and Good Sudoku.

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Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Geek to Geek S5E30 - Ghost of Tsushima & Paper Mario: The Origami King - “They went all in on the whole paper thing”

In This Episode:

This week we’re both playing major new game releases so we dive deep with our first hand reviews of Ghost of Tsushima and Paper Mario: The Origami King.  Both are super interesting but in very different ways!

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Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Geek to Geek S5E29 - Disney Forever - “Feed Drop”

In This Episode:

This week is a feed drop for the Disney Forever podcast.  Hey, look at that, Void found something for the feed this week!

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Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Geek to Geek S5E28 - Is Assassin’s Creed 2 Still Good? - “Fist fight with the pope”

In This Episode:

This week is a quick geekery episode that veers into Assassin’s Creed 2 for a while.  BJ should be back soon and then we’ll be back with another regularly scheduled episode!

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Monday, July 13, 2020

Assassin's Creed 2 Review & Revisit


I finally decided to write something for the Geek to Geek Media site!  I just posted an Assassin's Creed 2 review over on the site that dives into the question of whether or not AC2 holds up over a decade later.

My Geek to Geek Podcast co-host has been trying to get me to write something over there for awhile and I finally gave in.  Consider this part of my revisit of the Assassin's Creed series!

Now I also need to figure out the balance of writing here versus writing articles on the Geek to Geek site.  I think I'm probably going to continue to use this blog as quicker thoughts that are off the cuff or more personal.  But, I may be tempted to write more in-depth and SEO-able articles over on the Geekery Blog.  I dunno for sure, we'll see.

But, if I continue to post over there I'll definitely make sure I'm linking to that content from this site too.  This is basically the one home on the internet that I own (well, the URL anyway) so this is a good place to capture everything that I do.

Saturday, July 11, 2020

Revisiting The Assassin's Creed Series

Oh hey, look, a wild post appear!

It's been awhile since I wrote a regular post on here instead of just highlighting the latest podcast episode but I kind of... accidentally started replaying the mainline Assassin's Creed series.  So I figured I should put down some sort of record of it similarly to what I did for my Final Fantasy Project all those years ago.

My intention is not to be as in-depth as I was with Final Fantasy.  This is truly supposed to be more of a surface level revisit of Assassin's Creed to see what holds up and how far it's come over the last decade or so.

I accidentally stumbled into this replay because of an episode we did on the Geek to Geek Podcast about gaming shames.  In the course of that discussion I realized that I didn't have much shame about any of the gaming I had done and I really didn't feel like I had missed out on much in the world of gaming over the years.  As I dug into it, I realized that the only thing I truly felt I had missed was playing Assassin's Creed Rogue.  Rogue came out on the same day as Assassin's Creed Unity but it was exclusive to the previous generations of consoles for some reason... which is why I missed it.



This inspired me to immediately pick up the Assassin's Creed Rogue remaster on PS4 and plow through the game in less than a week.

Rogue fits in this weird middle ground between Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag, Assassin's Creed 3, and Assassin's Creed Unity.  It somehow manages to act as a companion piece to all three of those games.  If anything, Rogue is the mainline game that feels the most like a spin-off.  If you want to hear me dive a little deeper into that, check out the Geek to Geek Podcast episode on gaming shames where we discussed it.

Because of the companion piece nature of it, Rogue led me back to the Assassin's Creed 3 remaster that I had started but not finished.  I pushed through and finished Assassin's Creed 3 just in time for the (real) 4th of July since I thought that was fitting given the revolutionary war setting of the game.


And that basically catches us up to... now.  I decided to dip my toe back into the older games in this series and realized how much I still like them even though some are over a decade old at this point.  I'm currently working my way through Assassin's Creed 2 from the Ezio Collection on PS4.  That collection has a remastered version of Assassin's Creed 2, Assassin's Creed Brotherhood, and Assassin's Creed Revelations.


I'm definitely not playing these games in order so I'm not sure which one will inspire me to pick it up after Assassin's Creed 2 wraps up, but I can already tell that I've mentally committed to revisiting every Assassin's Creed game that I can get on modern consoles.

We'll see where that takes me!

Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Geek to Geek S5E27 - Gaming Prides - “How you deal with your girlfriend becoming the moon”

In This Episode:

This week it’s time to talk about what we’re proud about in our gaming history!  After last week’s gaming shames we decided to discuss the opposite.  Beej and Void land in very different places with where they feel proud in gaming accomplishments.  For Weekly Geekery BJ finished Avatar: The Last Airbender and Link’s Awakening as well as sampling some new games like Jump Force, Spongebob Squarepants: The Battle for Bikini Bottom Rehydrated, and Golf Story.  Void watched Hamilton multiple times already even though it only released a few days ago and he also crit pathed his way through Assassin’s Creed 3.

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Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Geek to Geek S5E26 - Gaming Shames - “It actually made me think for awhile”

In This Episode:

What are the games you missed out on or feel shame about not doing a certain part of?  BJ and Void dig into their personal gaming shames and what they’re going to do (or not do) about them.  They also dive into weekly geekery around comics, Dragon Quest, Link’s Awakening, 1917, and Assassin’s Creed Rogue.

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Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Geek to Geek S5E25 - Trying Things & The Weekly Geekery Cutting Room Floor - “A lot of things are just kinda fine”

In This Episode:

This week it’s a quick solo cast talking about some behind the scenes and the cutting room floor of Weekly Geekery.  Void and Beej should be back with a normal full episode next week!

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Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Geek to Geek S5E24 - New Games From Old Games - “My reflexes aren’t what they used to be”

In This Episode:

We talk all about pulling old game concepts and genres up to modern standards and making them feel new!  We dig into the idea of taking an old idea lying fallow and make it new and interesting again.  We also have all sorts of things in weekly geekery like Dragon Quest IV, Hitman 2, Final Fantasy Lost Stranger, Archero, and some off the cuff PS5 reveal impressions.

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Wednesday, June 10, 2020

Geek to Geek S5E23 - Best of the First Half of 2020 - “Wow, I wanna play this game!”

In This Episode:

This week it’s the best of the first half of 2020!  BJ and Void always take an episode to stop and reflect on all the great geeky stuff that resonated with us in the first half of the year.  It lets us touch on all the things that get forgotten by year end!  Find out what we enjoyed the most and what may stick with us all the way until our end of the year episode.

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Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Geek to Geek S5E22 - Maneater, Picard, Minecraft Dungeons, Xenoblade, & More - “Bioelectric Fins and Stuff”

In This Episode:

This week we catch up on weekly geekery with discussions around Maneater, Picard, Xenoblade Chronicles DE and X, Minecraft Dungeons, Phantasy Star Online 2, Star Ocean First Departure R, Crystallo, Crucible, Scythe, and more!  This is one of those weeks that runs the gamut for Void and Beej.

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Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Geek to Geek S5E21 - FFVIIR Spoilercast - “Go Full On Kingdom Hearts”

In This Episode:

We finally do an in-depth talk about all the spoilery things from the Final Fantasy VII Remake that we’ve held back from discussing.  This isn’t even a full overview, it’s truly just our thoughts on the spoilers!  We also talk some Weekly Geekery about Jurassic World, Streets of Rage 4, and Ecobee.

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Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Geek to Geek S5E20 - Playstation Vita Console Lookback - “The Little RPG Machine That Could”

In This Episode:

We do a deep dive console lookback.  This time we dig into the Vita and what we loved about it.  Not to mention how much wish we it were better supported.  We also do our weekly geekery and talk about things like the FFVII Remake, Hitman 2, and Comixology Unlimited.

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Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Geek to Geek S5E19 - Mini Geekery - “Quick Hit Geekery”

In This Episode:

This week Void does a quick hit mini geekery episode while BJ is away.  Topics include Call of Duty Warzone, Comixology Unlimited, The Clone Wars, Hitman 2, and some thoughts on chasing the new vs digging into a single game for a long time.

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Wednesday, May 6, 2020

Geek to Geek S5E18 - Yearly Themes - “You know what you mean by it”

In This Episode:

We talk about setting yearly themes instead of new year’s resolutions.  Void did this at the beginning of the year and now that we’re getting near the half way point (crazy) it’s time to talk about it and check in!  We also discuss DIY Animal Crossing Amiibo creation, Never Have I Ever, Piper, and The Clone Wars Finale.

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Music by CarboHydroM