Before the clock strikes 12 and the world turns a new, we’d like to take this moment and look back at the crazy wonderful and absolutely geeky stories and moments that happened in 2021. While we’re still in pandemic mode, gaming, tech and geekery marched on and continued to do what they’re good at and churn great games, gadgets and entertainment.
We’re truly grateful for these as we underwent another revolving-door series of lockdowns and whatnots and somehow these great innovations, games and stories helped us stay sane and kept our geekery burning throughout the year.
ROG Flow X13
One of the best tech achievement this 2021 is this nifty compact gaming laptop from ASUS ROG. The ROG Flow X-13 packs all the goodness of bigger, flashier flagship machines into a 13-inch display frame. Even with the size, the machine packs a 4K AMOLED display, 16GB RAM, a 1TB SSD and a GTX 1650 Max-Q graphic cards. It’s also powered by a Ryzen 7 or a Ryzen 9 depending on the variant you get. You can also flip the screen and use the device as a large tablet or prop it up in Tent Mode for presentation purposes. With the update from Windows 10 to Windows 11, the transition from Laptop, Tent to Tablet is now seamless.
But what makes this device a truly gaming marvel is its ability to hook itself up to ASUS ROG’s proprietary external GPU, the XG Mobile that houses either an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 or RTX 3080. O_O
That’s a full-fledged gaming rig that you easily carry with inside your backpack for some next-gen gaming!
Resident Evil Village
Speaking of next-gen gaming, one of the most anticipated multi-platform next-gen game came out earlier this year with the sequel to 2017’s Resident Evil 7. This is the game that Capcom decided to go back to its horror roots. While Resident Evil Village (RE 8) follows the same format of 7 where you view everything from a first-person perspective, we also get to go deeper into the lore of the franchise and have fan favorite Chris Redfield join you in on the fun.
But perhaps what made this installment the more memorable is the inclusion of a certain tall vampire lady that churned out so many well-loved memes! Capcom sure does know their audience! Ara-ara!
Year of Video Game Director’s Cut and Half-Expansions
While 2020 was start of next-gen consoles and next-game gaming thanks to the release of both Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5, 2021 is really the test of whether next-gen gaming is indeed worth it. With re-releases of pre-next gen consoles with updated graphics and additional content, we’re still ways in before we find ourselves getting a truly massive tentpole triple-A extravaganza for the PS5 or Xbox Series X.
While we’re waiting for those, devs and publishing companies treated us to a barrage of Director’s Cut games like the Kurosawa-inspired Samurai game, Ghost of Tsushima and Hideo Kojima’s masterpiece, Death Stranding. Two standout games brought to life with a fresh coat of graphical paint for next-gen systems.
We also got treated to a welcomed update to 2020’s most anticipated JRPG of the year, Final Fantasy 7: Remake. While 2021 isn’t a direct sequel, Final Fantasy 7 Remake: Intergrade offers a suitable side story starring another beloved character from the franchise, Yuffie Kisaragi – a mischievous thief (of sorts) and ninja princess from the Wutai. Intergrade expands her involvement as we find her in Midgard before the fall of Sector 7.
While Intergrade isn’t a full game per se, the Yuffie story mission is a great companion piece to the original game and somewhat helps us wait for the release of Final Fantasy 7: Remake part 2 (hopefully sooner than later).
Trese – First Filipino Comic Animation Adaptation by Netflix
One of the monumental achievements of the local comic industry was when Netflix adapted and released an animated series based of on Trese – a supernatural horror action-noir comic created by Budjette Tan and Kajo Baldisimo. Trese utilizes a lot of local supernatural folklore and imbues it with current events set in modern Manila.
On June 10, 2021, Netflix officially released the first season consisting of 6-episodes with Jay Oliva helming the Executive Producer chair (and directed the first and last episode). The hype for the animated series reached fever pitch when Trese billboards on Edsa were “defaced by Aswangs and Malignos” and even ABS-CBN compound’s façade was changed to ABS-ZNN, the fictional television station in the comic.
While the adaptation got mixed reviews, thirsty Pinoys all around the globe seemed to agree that the real winner here are the Twins. I mean…
While we’re still reeling from lockdowns and are itching to meet up in person, online meetups are still the safest way to enjoy each other’s company – that is until Back4Blood happened and while sure you won’t get the virus, you will get plenty of laughs, cursing and shenanigans in between. Back4Blood is a cooperative zombie-survival shooter game made in the spirit of Left4Dead. It’s also created by the same development team – but different publisher.
We were thoroughly surprised with the reception that this game got especially within the local gaming community. It’s a whole lot of fun especially with a full squad in tow and somehow busting mounds of zombie hordes help release any pent-up anxiety with what’s happening in the real world.
Pre-Testing Elden Ring
One of the hotly anticipated games of 2022, From Software’s Elden Ring got massive press coverage and story highlights in 2021. We were one of the few local media chosen to get a hands-on playthrough of the closed-network test of the game.
This souls-like game is impressive on next-gen consoles, with stunning graphics, eerie atmosphere and sprawling music, we can’t wait to get our hands on the full game. In the meantime, we can always go back to Melina’s soothing voice from our initial closed network playthrough.
Arcane and Riot at 2021
One of the best things to come out of Netflix this year, Arcane is a celebration of how massive League of Legends is as a game. The Netflix show has been lauded by both critics and fans alike. From impressive Art Direction, fluid animation, excellent voice work and a story that’s hard to not be emotional about, Arcane just ticked every box on what a great film should be. I’d be very surprised and disturbed if Arcane did not win any major industry awards – and I’m speaking as someone NOT familiar with League of Legends and its lore. I just know it’s a MOBA game.
The writing, character introduction, smart release schedule all made for great story telling. Internally, the editors of UnGeek agree that Arcane season 1 felt exactly the same as Game of Thrones Season 1 – you know you’re watching something truly special.
Arcane is also the reason why UnGeek got to fly out and attend a World Premier right at Los Angeles, California, USA. Wild!
Aside from the top-performing Netflix Show, Riot released a couple of games that expand the lore of League even more with a traditional turn-based strategy RPG called the Ruined King, and a rhythm-runner game called Hextech Mayhem where you boom-to-the-beat and cause mayhem all over Piltover.
2021 is Riot Game’s year and we’re all here for it!
There are obviously more geek stories that made 2021 quite memorable but these are our favorite highlights so far. To everyone that stuck with us, viewed our page, shared our memes, laughed with us on our videos, we’d like to express our heartfelt gratitude. Here’s wishing more geekery and gaming this coming 2022! Cheers!