During the first three weeks of Speedrun, these kinds of cathartic stories have become our favorites to cover. Ones where the monotony of isolation lifts, even briefly, when a voice actor hears her performance for the first time in Final Fantasy 7 Remake; when studios double down against cheaters to make games more fun for the rest of us; or when none other than Frodo Baggins himself visits your Animal Crossing island, tips you, and then leaves, as mysteriously as he appeared.
The week was also rife with endings — a sense of finality — as we parsed through Super Mario Maker 2 world creations for the game’s last big update. We even interviewed a professional Overwatch player to reflect on four years of the shooter that finally has its whole roster.
Lastly, we were reminded that even now, developers are toiling away, in their living rooms and bedrooms and quiet apartment corners, making the games that drive this weird, wonderful hobby forward. Gears Tactics is on the horizon, bringing one of the more iconic shooter franchises into the strategy genre. XCOM: Chimera Squad has brought me hours of thoughtful escape this past week, and as an avid fan of the series, it’s more than a little bit reassuring to see so many new ideas arrive at such a seemingly stagnant time.
You should play XCOM. That’s kind of my whole angle here.
Anyway. While it feels off to talk about time in the traditional, non-quarantine sense, the past three weeks have been a blast to cover for Speedrun. And while you’re busy playing XCOM, we’re already prepping our fourth week. I’ll see you then.