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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Music by CarboHydroM

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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Geek to Geek Media Original Content

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Music by CarboHydroM

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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The Patreon is shifting gears a little. We're not putting out a monthly digital magazine for patrons starting in August. Make sure that you read this sample of the exclusive content, and if (read: when) you love it, you can go to geektogeekmedia.com/patreon to support the new publication.

We are always looking to add new value for Geek to Geek Patrons, so if there's something you would like to see, let us know!

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Other Geek to Geek Media Original Content

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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.

Subscribe to Our Digital Magazine on Patreon

The Patreon is shifting gears a little. We're not putting out a monthly digital magazine for patrons starting in August. Make sure that you read this sample of the exclusive content, and if (read: when) you love it, you can go to geektogeekmedia.com/patreon to support the new publication.

We are always looking to add new value for Geek to Geek Patrons, so if there's something you would like to see, let us know!

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Other Geek to Geek Media Original Content

We have expanded the original content on the Geek to Geek Media website. We now have video game reviews, movie lookbacks, geeky toy rundowns, and all sorts of original blogs and livestreams. Not to mention the slate of fantastic podcasts that you know and love.

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Music by CarboHydroM