Why Xenoblade Chronicles 2 is My Favorite RPG of All Time

Roleplaying Games are my favorite genre in video games. I love how you feel apart of the game. The stories, gameplay, and music help emerge someone in the game. You feel like you’ve gone on a real journey with your character. I have played tons of RPGs, from the best Final Fantasy games to Dragon Quest, and my favorite RPG series, Xenoblade Chronicles. Xenoblade Chronicles 2 is my favorite RPG of all time. Here’s why.

Story

I won’t give too much away, but Rex meets Pyra, who needs to get to Elysium. They meet memorable characters like Tora, Zeke, Poppi, Pandy, Nia, and Dromarch, to name a few. What makes the story incredible is the amount of depth and how the story presents different points of view. The story also deals with poverty, war, death, and philosophy. I watch the cut scenes over and over to soak in all the story bits there is to digest.

Characters

Look at those gorgeous designs!

I have never seen a game that has so many great characters. Nia is tough but has softer qualities too. Zeke comes off as the comic relief, but then he talks about how bad people have it. One character can seem hilarious one minute, and heartbreaking the next. More games need to give their characters this kind of depth.

Game Play

Gameplay makes or breaks a game. XC2 thrives with great gameplay and depth. It takes time to get used to the gameplay, but it is worth it. You combine elements and form attack chains. That is the base of how the gameplay works. There is a lot of depth, and some fans have been put off by that. There are tutorials to help the gamer learn the complexities of the gameplay. Once you get used to the gameplay, you will find it easy and accessible.

Music

The soundtrack to XC2 is my favorite soundtrack in any video game that I have played. Even over Breath of the Wild’s grand music. From the quiet, peaceful tracks, to full-blown orchestras blaring out memorable beats. The daylight theme of Mor Ardain is my favorite. It is so royal and epic sounding.

Mythology

I love the mythology of the Xenoblade Chronicles series. What I love about XC2 mythology is how complete the mythology is, but it is also easy to follow. They explain the blades and how they work. How drivers are chosen and how everything came into existence. It sounds like a lot to take in, but the layers are added a little at a time, so the player isn’t overwhelmed.

The Art Style

Look at that gorgeous landscape!

Each landscape has a gorgeous and unique look to them. I could sit back and look at the scenery for hours and not tire of the sights. The monsters are grand and scary. The titans will blow your mind. The landscapes will make your jaw drop, and the characters are memorable. The artists at Monolith Soft are legends, and this is my favorite art I’ve seen in any of their other games.

The Amount of Content

Fire Emblem Three Houses have a lot of content, but it has nothing on XC2. The regular run-through will take over one hundred hours. Then the game plus mode will take thirty hours, and the wonderful DLC Torna the Golden Country that takes over twenty hours to complete. That is one hundred and fifty hours of content, at least. Then there are all the blades to find and all the side quests to complete. If you want a content-rich game, XC 2 is the game for you.

Final Thoughts

I have played Xenoblade Chronicles 2 more than any game I have played in my life. Everything about this game is perfect. The characters, the music, the gameplay, and the gorgeous landscapes are awe-inspiring. I can play XC2 over and over again and not get tired of it. XC2 is almost at 2 million copies sold in the Nintendo Switch. Give this game a look and help it get over 2 million copies sold. That is why XC2 is my favorite RPG of all time. Buy this game now!

Photos Courtesy of: https://pixels.com/featured/xenoblade-chronicles-2-dorothy-binder.html?product=beach-towel

https://www.press-start.com/en/3158-buy-key-nintendo-xenoblade-chronicles-2-expansion-pass-switch/?currency=CAD

https://www.ign.com/games/xenoblade-chronicles-2

Ariana Grande Dress Is Legendary! Best Looks At The Grammys!

Ariana did not win a lot of Grammy’s, but she did win our hearts with her adorable dress. She looked like a billion dollars. Airana stole the show. Rock it girl! Here are some other great looks at the Grammy’s.

The Gloves cap the look off Ariana! Fabulous!

Photo Courtesy of: https://www.eonline.com/news/1115067/ariana-grande-stuns-in-a-massive-tulle-ballgown-on-the-2020-grammys-red-carpet

Lizzo Looks Fabulous!

Photo Courtesy of: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/01/26/style/red-carpet-grammy-photos.html

Dua Lipa Looks fabulous

Photo courtesy of: https://www.harpersbazaar.com/celebrity/red-carpet-dresses/g30647540/grammys-best-dressed-2020/

Alicia Keys looks like an angel!

Photo Courtesy of: https://www.harpersbazaar.com/celebrity/red-carpet-dresses/g30647540/grammys-best-dressed-2020/

Photo Courtesy of: https://www.elle.com/culture/celebrities/a30647399/ariana-grande-dress-grammys-2020/

She-Ra Princess Of Power Review: A Modern LGBTQ Classic

I remember the original She-Ra from my childhood. It was corny, funny, plus it had one of my favorite heroines ever. It is outdated by today’s standards, but the original She-Ra still has a place in my heart. When I heard a new version was in the works, I was skeptical. I didn’t want them to ruin one of my favorite cartoons from my childhood. I’m happy to say they get it.

Animation

The art style is stunning. Gorgeous colors, big eyes and expressions bring the characters and world to life. The colors are bright, but they can be darker to give a sinister look to the villains. There are some scary monsters in the show, so I don’t think I would let a really small child watch this.

Characters

One of the brightest spots of this show is the characters. Fan favorites like Catra, She-Ra, Bow, and Glimmer lead the charge with Hordak and other members of the evil horde making appearances. The characters have a surprising amount of depth to them. The show is not black or white on morality either.

Writing

The writing is sharp, clean and witty. Each character is vividly bought to life with distinct personality traits, and a clear sense of morality. The stories are fresh avoiding cliches that bring down too many shows aimed at younger people. She-Ra shows that shows aimed at younger people don’t have to insult their intelligence.

Flaws

Some of the dialogue can be corny. The first episode takes a little long to get going, and some of the twists are a predictable. This doesn’t sink the show, not by a mile.

Final Verdict

If you’re looking for a show aimed at LGBTQ yough that’s funny, action packed and intelligent, look no further than She-Ra and the Princess of Power. The pace moves fast, the jokes are funny, emotional moments and complex morality make She-Ra a top-notch show for the whole family. She-Ra is available for streaming on Netflix.

Grade: A-96

Photo Courtesy of: https://www.whats-on-netflix.com/news/she-ra-and-the-princesses-of-power-season-3-coming-in-august-2019/

Billie Eilish Song Review: Everything I Wanted

By Michelle Lynn Tackett

Billie Eilish is considered a trailblazer for modern music. The problem with this statement is, she sounds a lot like Fiona Apple from the past. Billie’s new song sounds straight out of the Fiona Apple playbook.

Lyrics: We’ve heard em before. It is a song about how all we ever wanted was right in front of us. It is a tribute to her brother, which is nice, but the lyrics are nothing special.

Music: Not bad, but nothing that stands out either. I hate Bad Guy, but that song does stand out. This sounds too much like a Fiona Apple song called Across the Universe. There is nothing original about the sound.

Singing: Billie’s voice is smooth and the delivery is good. Her singing is probably the best part of the song.

Final Verdict: This is not the worst song Billie has done, but it is not the best either. Billie isn’t a great artist, but she can do some good music when she wants. This song is lazy and uninspired I am sad to say.

Grade: C-70

Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qCTMq7xvdXU

Photo Courtesy of: https://www.billboard.com/articles/news/8531799/billie-eilish-never-thought-fans-would-like-bad-guy

My Favorite Music Artist of the Decade

This is a list that talks about my favorite artist from 2010-2019. They don’t have to start from this decade, but they have to done at least 1 album this decade. Here we go.

10: Katy Perry, the decade started out great for Katy, but her last album was a dud. Oh well, She had some great songs this decade. Roar is an anthem for strong women.

9: Clint Black, songs like Nothing’s News shows Clint still knows how to tell a story. His new album sounds great as well.

8: Brandi Carlile, a real country artist who sings from the heart and writes with passion. What a great job she has done with highlighting social issues.

7: Kacey Musgraves, she is one of the best writers I’ve seen in a long time. Progressive, smart and fierce. Musgraves can write any man under the table. Biscuits is a highlight for me.

6: Miranda Lambert, with attitude, sass and great writing. Miranda is one of the best. She makes you afraid to make her mad, and that’s great. We can be Friends is a classic.

5: Ashley Monroe, the voice of an angel and writing that pierces the heart. Ashley deserves more attention than she gets. Like A Rose is a masterpiece.

4: Oak Ridge Boys, their Dave Cobb music has been some of the best country music of the decade. They are in their 70s and 80s and can put most acts to shame when it comes to singing. Seven Nation Army is a masterwork.

3: Ariana Grande, such a gorgeous voice and soul. Her songs are vibrant, colorful and thoughtful. She can do some of the best pop music on the planet. Focus is my jam when I want to dance.

2: Vince Gill, a true master. Gill can sing, write and play instruments. His guitar playing is unmatched by most players today and he’s not afraid of taking a chance and singing controversial songs. Nothing Like A Guy Clark Song will send chills up your spine.

1: Lady Gaga, was there any doubt? She has so much range, she can do any type of music well and she can write up to the heavens and sing as well. Born this Way made me cry and made me feel proud to be me. I can’t wait to see what she does next.

How was this decade in music? It wasn’t great, but it was good. The decade started out slow, but the explosion of You Tube and indie artist helped the music industry avoid a dark decade. This ended up being a good decade for music. Let’s hope the next decade is better.

Grade: B 85

Photo Courtesy of: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YXYoX2bMru0

Ariana Grande Is the New Mariah Carey

Voice like an angel? Yep. Gorgeous production for her songs? Yep. A lot of no1 hits early in her career? Yep, yep, yep. Heck, Airana has sone All I Want For Christmas. Mariah’s perennial Christmas classic. Ariana is on her way to being the new Mariah. I hope her PTSD don’t make her retire. She can have a long career if she takes care of her voice and her health.

She can be better than Mariah. Sing more personal songs and expand her writing to darker subjects. Don’t get boring. Mariah got stale for awhile until she changed it up to get her grove back.

If Ariana can avoid the mistakes Mariah made, she can have a long career. She has the talent and looks to carry her a long way. The only thing that could stop her is her severe PTSD. I hope she gets it under control. She could be a great artist for decades to come.

Link to All I want for Christmas is You: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1HGetdu0XPc

Photo Courtesy of: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3YyIsl8-5zE

Astral Chain Review

By Michelle Lynn Tackett

What a great year it’s been for the Nintendo Switch. Link’s Awakening, Fire Emblem and Mario Maker 2 highlight some incredible games, but what about new IPs? That’s where Astral Chain comes in. Like a blaze of fire burning through the sky, it delivers a streak of action and excitement.

Story
Humanity is being invaded by interdenominational creatures who threaten to wipe them out. Only an elite strike force called Neuron can stop them. You play as one of the twins who try to take down the demons. Your character has to stop Jana Anderson, who serves as the main villain in the game. The story has a Bladerunner flair to it. I won’t give away too much. This story needs to be experienced. It is a good story.

Graphics
This game is gorgeous. The blue hues and the art style are amazing. The reflections and lighting bring the world to life. It’s like watching a stylized anime on your Nintendo Switch. The details are amazing from the sparks from the fire to the facial animations of the characters. Everything is lovingly detailed, making the world feel alive. You’ll feel like you’re living in this world.

Combat
This is where Platinum Games shine. The combat sounds complicated on paper, but you’ll figure it out with some practice. You control your character and call your legion out when you need them. The legion attacks by itself, but you can do certain attacks by button presses, or moving the control stick. This gives the game a fresh feel. It does take a while to get the hang of but flows like butter when you get the hang of it. The combat never feels overwhelming. It follows the old easy to learn, but hard to master philosophy that works so well for games like Bayonetta.

Sci-Fi PI
One of my favorite aspects of Astral Chain is the detective work. The Iris helps you see things to help you solve cases. Some cases are simple, while others take a while to complete. There are so many cases to solve, so it will take some time to solve them. Some think they slow down the flow of the game, but I find them refreshing. Solving cases will help your character get new clothing and upgrades.

Music
One of the best soundtracks ever for a video game. The thumping techno, glaring punk rock and soaring rock will stick with you for a long time.

Challenge
This is a challenging game, especially when you turn up the difficulty. There is a casual mode for noobs, but you can take the wheels off for experienced players. The boss fights are epic. The final boss is one of the best boss fights I’ve ever experienced. It takes skill to beat this game, but when you do, you’ll feel a sense of accomplishment.

Flaws
The camera is distracting at times. When you’re in a firefight, the camera will get too close or go behind a wall and get stuck. This can be annoying, but it isn’t a deal-breaker. Some of the plot twists were predictable, and some of the moves will take lots of practice to get down. That may turn some newer players off.

Verdict
Astral Chain is one of the best action games you’ll ever play. The gorgeous visuals, engaging plot, colorful character, and rich combat will keep you coming back long after the single-player campaign is over. If you own a Nintendo Switch, get it. If you don’t own a Switch, get one and get this masterwork of an action game from one of the best developers in the industry.

Grade: 4 Stars! Buckle up! You’re in for a wild ride!

Photo Courtesy of: https://xboxplay.games/news/astral-chain-how-to-beat-enceladus-tips-and-tricks-3037

Weekly Sales Charts

Aladdin went no1 this week on the home video sales. Borlderlands 3 was no1 on most of the charts on VGCartz, Post Malone was no1 on the Billboard 200 and Stephen King’s new book, the Institute was no1 on the NYT best sellers list. The links will be below if you want to read all of them.

Link: https://www.mediaplaynews.com/research/top-20-sellers-for-week-ended-9-14-19/

Link: http://www.vgchartz.com/

Link: https://www.billboard.com/charts/billboard-200

Link: https://www.nytimes.com/books/best-sellers/

Photo Courtesy of: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gangnam_Style

Vince Gill: Nothing Like A Guy Clark Song Review

By Michelle Lynn Tackett

The music industry is going through a phase were most artist gotta have auto tune for their voice and big production to hide mediocre songs. This is what makes artist like Vince Gill special. Vince gill doesn’t need auto tune or a big production. Give him a guitar and watch him go.

Lyrics

They are simple and paint a brilliant picture of an artist who misses one of his idols. The writing is brilliant with Vince singing like he is talking to people telling them a story. Lines like, “That work bench was a holy place.” Will stick with you long after the song is over.

Music

The music is very clean, beautiful and clean. This is the antithesis of what Nashville and 95% of the music industry does now. Vince has enough confidence in the brilliant lyrics he wrote, that he doesn’t need to hide nothing. Like one of his heroes Johnny Cash, Vince strips down to get to the human element of music and it is a sight to behold for your eyes and ears.

Singing

It’s Vince Gill. That’s all.

Final Thoughts

Nashville needs to hang it’s head in shame for not playing legends like this on the radio. Gill is doing some of his best work and it’s a dang shame Nashville is ignoring incredible artistic expression in favor of generic bro country. Gill’s mastery will be remembered long after bro country is dead.

Grade: A 96 A masterpiece of writing and music that will send chills up your spine. Take notes music industry. This is how you do music. Take notes and learn.

Photo Courtesy of: https://www.billboard.com/articles/columns/country/8528039/vince-gill-okie-interview

Link to video:


All The Good Girls Go To Hell: Song Review

Billie Eilish has a new song called all the good girls go to hell. She also put out a new video of it, so I am here to review it.

Lyrics
Billie is known for her creative writing, so I am sad to say this song has nothing memorable to it. The lyrics are the standard faux pass for rebellion. We never get to know why all the good girls go to hell. There is no clear message in this song. Very disappointing.

Music
Nothing special. The music sounds like grunge mixed with pop. Nothing stands out about the music, and the song takes itself too serious. This could’ve been a fun tongue-in-cheek song, but the music is too bland and boring for that.

Video
The video shows Billie growing wings in the beginning. Is she supposed to be a fallen angel? This video is drab and void of life. Music videos are one of Billie’s weakest categories. Watching her videos is the equivalent of watching paint dry. Never mind, the paint may give you something different to look at.

Final Grade
Billie has a few good songs, but this isn’t one of them. Forgettable lyrics and bland production sink what could’ve been a great song. I know Billie wanted to do a girl power statement, but we have to be invested in the lyrics and music to care. This could’ve been a great song showcasing how society looks at powerful women. Instead, it’s a forgettable song with nothing to remember.

Grade: 1 Star

Billie shows her young age on this song. A better songwriter could’ve made this a satirical masterpiece, but this is forgettable and bland.

Photo Courtesy of: https://www.seventeen.com/celebrity/music/a28831446/billie-eilish-sleeps-through-wins-russia-2019-mtv-vmas/

Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-PZsSWwc9xA