On this week’s Geekend, much of our staff has been playing games on some older systems and spending time with classic anime. Some of us finished some titles we’ve been working on for a while, and I even managed to convince one of the guys to pick up an otome game! There’s always a good variety here, so jump into the comments and share what you’re enjoying right now.

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Nathan Franklin, Staff Writer
I’ve recently been delving into some classic platforming with Rayman Revolution for the PlayStation 2. (Unfortunately, lack of money means I can’t buy a next-gen console to play Legends, which looks absolutely awesome!). The game is a genuinely fun and engaging platformer with a great world and fantastic characters. In the same box, I got Rayman M and Rayman 3: Hoodlum Havoc so I’ve got my platforming sorted out for me for a while. On the side-lines, I’m playing Monster Rancher Advance 2 for the GameBoy Advance and am finding it very addictive. I’ve trained two pretty good monsters since I started playing but eventually had to let them go as they were unable to fight anymore. Still, I’m persevering with the game and hoping to beat the S Rank AGIMA Cup with my Suezo. (Ah, such big ambitions!) As for anime, I’ve been revisiting a true classic, The Vision of Escaflowne. I recalled watching this as a kid on Fox Kids and not remembering what exactly it was about, but recent rewatching as an adult has opened me up to its intelligent plot and great characters. If you haven’t watched this yet, I would definitely recommend it, especially if you’re into fantasy-themed anime and people battling each other in giant robotic suits. Heck, even if that’s not usually your thing, try it out.

Michael Riel, Staff Writer
Unfortunately, this week hasn’t been much new for me. On the anime side of things, I started re-watching Bobobo-bo Bo-bobo, mostly for research purposes. This is because I’m going to New Hampshire’s own anime convention, comically named Another Anime Convention, and I am cosplaying as Bobobo. I need to nail down the randomness of the show, which is a challenge in itself. On the video games side, I’ve been mostly playing Mass Effect and WWE 13 still. I also finally started getting into Persona 4 (yes, after years of it came out), and it’s only because I want to play Persona 4 Arena. I did start playing the new PSN game Divekick, a two button fighting game, and of course since there’s already an article about the game on the site, I don’t need to describe it much. Nonetheless, it is addictive and I enjoy the cartoonish art of the game.

Jimmy Stephenson, Staff Writer
Well, 62 hours after I first pushed “New Game”, I’ve finally done it. I finished Shin Megami Tensei IV. As I’ve said in previous Geekends, this iteration of the franchise is the most user friendly by far, with features and additions to the user interface that greatly reduces frustration and almost eliminates the potential of losing a large amount of progress due to random mistakes in battle. One thing that I wasn’t expecting was how much the story grew on me by the end of the game. As more of the mysteries surrounding the characters are revealed, they become much more compelling, and the choice that you have to make in the later part of the game actually feels very significant. Its a measure of how much I got into the story that, after the credits finished, I wanted to start over immediately with a new game +. For now, though, I have other things on my plate, so a second playthrough will have to wait. I’ll be writing up a full review of the game for the site soon.

Dan Furnas, Editor-in-Chief
After giving you all a week’s break from listening to me talk about Tales of Xillia here, I have returned. The story has definitely improved and has started to pull me in. There are a couple very interesting (and spoilerific) events that would have sold me on finishing it out even if I weren’t set to review it. Even at almost 30 hours in, it seems like I have plenty more to play before things get resolved. In addition to finishing that up, I’ll be working on Sweet Fuse. I’m still not quite sure how Jenn convinced me that we should review it together, but I guess we will see how well I can woo some anime guys. There’s a first time for everything, I guess? I do have to admit that it’s been pretty funny thus far, but I’m only about an hour in. I’m hoping the humor will hold up through the game without getting too dumb. Nothing new to report on the anime side, as I haven’t watched anything since finishing up the Poppy Hill review, but I’m planning on catching up on Genshiken Second Season this weekend. It will probably be on while I prep for my fantasy football draft this Sunday.

Jennifer Griffith, Associate Editor
I managed to get in plenty of StreetPasses last weekend at Japan Expo, which was a fantastic convention. They even brought in Noriyuki Iwadare, composer for the Ace Attorney series, all the way from Tokyo, and he performed some of his music live on stage, complete with a keytar. It was epic! I also got in some more multiplayer time with Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon earlier this week, and I finally hit a major story split in Shin Megami Tensei IV. (I tried so hard to be neutral, but alas, I don’t think it’s going to work out that way.) The highlight of my week, though, has been diving into Sweet Fuse. I’ve gotten one of the good endings already, though I did have to go back and snag a few missing CGs for that character, and I’m working on a second one now. So far, the gents seem to pretty much meet your standard otome game tropes, though don’t take that as a complaint. The story is great, and I am loving the main character, Saki, so far. She’s saving everyone’s skins with her explosive insights, which is a refreshing change from the generally helpless protagonist in Hakuoki, the other the other Otomate game Aksys brought stateside. I did also manage to finish up my review on recent anime Red Data Girl, so check it out!

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