this game is far too pretty

real talk people want so badly to believe that jopseh just has internalized homophobia and that hes only staying with his wife to hide his sexuality when there are multiple people aware that he’s bisexual (robert, mary, and probably more).

joseph lied to you when he got you to sleep with him on his yacht. he told you that he and mary were through which we know wasnt the case because mary was suspicious of you hanging out with her husband when you walk her home from the bar on josephs route. the entire route, he is manipulating your character into believing that he and his wife have issues for just the reason of them not working well together when in reality she’s developed depression and resorted to alcoholism because he is consistently cheating on her with other people. we don’t even know if its exclusively men.

we just know that he’s been doing this for a long time; pampering people and treating them special so he can get into bed with them once and never talk to them again. he tries to make it seem like robert sleeps around like its no big deal all the time and while you do have the option to sleep with robert on the first night, he makes sure you’re okay with it and if you do he doesnt contact you, again. why? because he doesnt like drunken one-night-stands. he was expecting for you to show some kind of interest in sticking around with him when he told you to leave but we didn’t get any dialogue options for it so he just assumes that you were there just for the one-nighter.

and this probably have something to do with joseph cheating on his wife with robert after pampering him and treating him with way too much kindness. hell, he even let robert wear the blue sweater that joseph always has around his neck, that was the sweater referenced in the old picture with all the dads. joseph was manipulating robert, making it seem like it wasnt his fault that his relationship with his wife was bad. and then? he takes him to his yacht and fucks him under the guise that him and his wife are through.

thats why robert, after you do two dates with him, shows up at the beginning of josephs third date to try and warn you. he doesnt want you to get hurt like he has, but robert definitely has some trouble being verbal and explaining what he means and lets his anger get the best of him. they want you to think the marriage troubles are all mary’s fault until you start getting to know mary through the other routes. shes a good woman who has never once outright cheated on joseph. she flirts and drinks to cope with his infidelity.

the way joseph acts from the getgo is some pretty shady behavior so i personally wasnt really surprised to find out how much of a dick he really is. what surprised me is that the writers wrote a very real kind of person into this ‘lighthearted’ dating simulator. josephs abusive and manipulative behavior is an incredibly real thing that happens every day, this game is trying to show you how to identify it before it gets too far or you do something you regret.

theyre not saying ‘gay/bisexual men are unfaithful!’ or ‘christians are going to hurt and abuse you!’ theyre saying ‘some people actually do this and theyre abusive as hell if youre in this situation or feel someone might be trying to do this to you, get out’

mary doesnt leave him for reasons that were never written into the story. probably because she doesnt want to put her kids through a divorce so early in their lives.

basically joseph being an abusive and manipulative partner has nothing to do with his sexuality or religion. he’s just written to be an absolute cock.

How to Annotate Literature

Many times language and literature classes require students to annotate the books that are given to them, but in many cases tips and advice on how to do so is lacking. I will be sharing my personal strategy for efficient and successful annotating that will not only help your understanding of the text but also gain the love of your teachers!

The tips have been divided into 5 components, each with their own explanation.

Sticky Tabs are Your Best Friend

I don’t know how I would manage to annotate without my sticky tabs. They help me organize and navigate the book before the reading, remind me what to look for while i’m going through the text and help me find whatever I may need once I get to further analysis for the class. 

Create a key for your tabs, personally I use five colors each having a few specific purposes based on where I place them in the book. Most stickies are accompanied by a specific note that will remind me of what I wanted to point out, these stick out of the right margin. 

  • Pink- Anything to do with characters, be it development or certain traits to remember. It can also be used for when you have questions about character related aspects of the text.
  • Orange- Refers to setting, in plays it is also applicable for stage directions.
  • Yellow- Is used for literary devices and use of language (tone, diction, patterns) and syntax, if there is a particular word the author used or a structure you want to take note of, this is the color to use. 
  • Green- Applicable to any important plot events, notable scenes or things that you think will be significant later in the story.
  • Blue- Themes and context of said ideas, anything to do with time, place and space in which the text takes place. It can also relate to how your context (a student reading a book for a literature course) impacts your perception of the text.

These are the things teachers usually look out for and it is certainly useful in any kind of further task! 

The top and bottom margins can be used to divide the book in to sections, such as chapters or scenes, mark the most important pages and to also highlight text to text connections. These colors you can pick yourself!

I do not recommend having more than 5 sticky tabs per page, otherwise it gets too crowded and they lose their purpose! (but you will still need to buy aaa lloootttt)

This is my key for the book I am currently annotating, Pygmalion by George Bernard Shaw. 

Don’t Overdo it With the Highlighter

Find one color highlighter that you like the most and use it to mark explicit words or phrases that catch your attention, you can also use them in correlation with you sticky tabs! 

I prefer to use a yellow highlighter because it seems to bleed the least, and I usually use it in relation to the the yellow and blue tabs because those are the ones that relate to the most detailed and minute parts of the text. Once again you can find your own preference! But don’t overdo it, otherwise, like the tabs, the highlighter will lose its function to highlight important points. 

This is an example of how much highlighting I usually do. For non-fictional texts or parts of a book (like in the introduction you see here) I reserved highlighter for dates and names. 

Have a Conversation With the Author

This is one of the first tips that my high school teacher gave me and it’s really one of the most important ones to remember. And I know, it may sound kinda silly, but I find that it really helps me in developing my ideas and remembering exactly how I felt about a certain aspect of part of the text. 

Whether the text is fiction of non fiction, anything in between, you can always do these few things

  • Ask questions- As if you were going to get an answer, ask questions, write them down and write down as many as you want. Writing things down helps people remember so then it is more likely that in a class discussion you will be able to recall your queries or wonders. 
  • If you don’t like something, or you’re surprised by something, write it down! Use exclamation marks, use words that you would use in a regular conversation. I always write ‘WOW!!’ or ‘OMG’ when i’m especially impressed, and having such vocal- well written vocally- emotions will bring you closer to the subject of the text. 
  • Talk to the characters as well, if you are questioning a character’s actions ask them and provide an explanation as to why you speculate they may have acted a certain way. Not only does that further contribute to your involvement (also making things more entertaining) but it also deepens your thought!

What i’m trying to say is write down anything that comes to mind, your first response is your true response, and it is a valuable addition to your notes! And if you want to write a whole essay in between the lines… Actually, i’ll come back to that later! 

Pens, not Pencils 

I used to make notes completely in pencil but my approach changed when I realized that overtime the pencil would rub off and get illegible. I think it was because I used my book so much, but having switched to pen I realized that it helps me in quite a few other things as well. 

The good thing about pen is that you can’t erase it and let’s say you started writing down a note, scan down the page and realize what you are taking a note of is completely wrong. That’s ok! That’s actually really good! Don’t scribble out what you just wrote down, but instead continue and explain why you may have thought a certain way and what your understanding is now. That relates really closely to the previous note. 

Evidently pen also appears darker on the page, then there’s no possibility of it ever disappearing. It also won’t smudge or bleed as long as it’s ballpoint! That’s a good thing when drawing arrows between lines, underlining in addition to your highlights and circling/boxing whatever you deem necessary.

Time, Effort and Commitment

It’s clear that this post took me a while to make, and it took me a while to develop this system with all of the things that I have considered. So it must be self evident that using this type of annotation won’t be quick. It might get tiring at some times, and for me it really does, but at the end I find that it always pays off! You have to stay committed to this technique, you have to put in the same amount of effort for every page, which means you need time. So here are a few final general tips I will leave you with.

  • Don’t procrastinate! As goes for any task, and this one more than any, don’t waste time getting to it! I advice you check how many pages you have in total and make sure that you do a certain amount per day (usually 5-10 pages a day is good!)
  • If you go off on massive tangents in the side bars, make sure that you don’t get too distracted by them because they will take up a lot of your time. But one now and then may be good! Be sure to mark it for later reference!
  • Play mind games with yourself. This one is actually pretty interesting but it personally gets me a long way. If you have 20 pages left, don’t look at it as 20 pages but instead as 4 times 5, then the amount will seem a lot more manageable! It’s a kind of self encouragement!
  • That can also be said by looking now and then at how far your bookmark has moved through the book and giving yourself a pat on the back for all of you hard work!

That’s all I have for now! If you have any further questions for advice or explanation please message me and I will be more than happy to help! And I hope that this helps some people out too! (I’m counting this as 21/100 days of productivity as all I did today was related to annotating.)

High☆Speed Free! Starting Days Event Report

The High☆Speed Free! Starting Days event was held at the Ryogoku Kokukigan Sumo Wrestling arena, the exact same location where the Free! Eternal Summer event two years ago was held. The biggest announcements of the event were the three planned Free! continuation movies:

1) Free! Timeless Medley ~絆 Bonds~
This will be a compilation of scenes from Free! Eternal Summer as well as new scenes relating to Makoto, Haruka, Rei, and Nagisa

2) Free! Timeless Medley ~約束 Promises~
This will be a compilation of scenes from Free! Eternal Summer as well as new scenes relating to Sousuke and Rin’s promise to him

3) Free! Take Your Marks
This will be a completely new full-length feature film following Haruka after he graduates from High School

For those interested in what happened during the Afternoon event, here’s a detailed report, so enjoy~

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Every month or so there’s a new pair of eyes on Tater’s snapchat story and it’s driving everyone crazy. The snapchats are just close ups of the persons eyes with cute little captions in some variation of “the worlds most beautiful eyes!!!” No other part of the person is showing except for a little bit of nose and sometimes the persons eyebrows. It’s sweet that he’s posting these but everyone’s big issue is that it’s never the same pair of eyes from month to month. One month the eyes will be blue, the next green, the time after that light brown and everyone just wants to know how Tater is consistently falling in love with different girls. It becomes such a thing that anytime Tater is seen out with a woman people try and figure out what eye color she has and compare it to that months picture.

People start figuring out that it’s the same person in every snapchat story (I mean come on there’s no way tater could find girls with the exact same freckles.) Tater goes along with it and starts adding captions like “if you guess who’s eyes these are I’ll give you free Falcs tickets for year.” It remains a mystery until one day Tater posts a picture of the eyes and one of them is bruised with the caption “not so pretty today after game (” and the Falcs didn’t have a game but Boston isn’t too far from Providence and the Aces captain definitely got punched out during his game against the Bruins. And then it’s just a wide spread lightbulb flicking on moment.

The next thing added to his story is a video of Tater and Kent squeezed together on a couch and Tater saying “Sorry lot of you message all at once not know who wins tickets. But good guessing!”

[M] Bts Reaction | Degradation

— “could you do a uyung line reaction to a girl liking to be degraded (hair pulling, name calling, slapping, etc) please and thanks!💖” —  

A/N: In this house we love and support all seven members so… 

Requests are open!

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2

Minnow’s Ex-Boyfriends.

Nathan was Minnow’s high school boyfriend back home. He plays guitar pretty good and likes video games. He can be kinda clingy, though. Shortly after graduating, Minnow told him she wants to be a freelance space engineer, and he got angry, so she dumped him.

He works at his dad’s bowling alley now. He sells his CDs there too, near the fire exit.

Djynn (that’s his codename) was Minnow’s first boyfriend after she went to space. He’s a freelance hacker who gets hired for badass space missions. He’s a cool dude, but his schedule never matches hers, and they both fly around the galaxy a lot, so they’re usually far away from each other. He’s also an organic being, which means he can’t teleport to her ship. Their relationship ended up just being occasional chats online, so one day they decided they could do that as friends.

He’s currently still a freelance hacker who gets hired for badass space missions.

Can You Hear Me Now? {Michael Mell x Reader Soulmate AU}

request:  Michael Mell x Female!Reader smut with a soulmate AU? Like Telekinesis… they can hear each others thoughts when they want to, but they can only hear the other persons words in their own inner-voice so they don’t know who it is? And it just starts at the same time as your soulmate, so you both get this TERRIBLE headache. Maybe he realizes it because (Y/N) is the lead in the musical and she’s going over lines, or maybe she’s the jokester and her wit is going at 100 miles a minute? ILY!!❤️

oh my god it took so long but here it is!!!! i hope this is what you wanted because i love my sweet mell!!

warnings: swearing, smut smUT SMUT

word count: 2800




Fuck the fucking thoughts in your damn head. Fuck the asshole who was constantly rick-rolling you, fuck the moron who literally had the Duck-Tales theme stuck in his head all the time.

Your soul mate’s thoughts had been invading yours for such a long time that you’d just learned to accept them. It wasn’t as though you could do anything to make them stop. You’d tried to make your thoughts louder, sharper,  and even those most private ones that you tried to hide- but nothing would shut them up.

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Foxy // Sirius Black // requested

Request : could you do a young!sirius where the reader is american and transfering to hogwarts and he sees her in the train and basically becomes infatuated with her?? maybe you can do a part 2 where they reunite after Azkaban or something too?? + can you do a jealous sirius ?!?

To say I was excited to write this would be an understatement!! I live for Harry Potter and young Sirius, old Sirius, just Sirius in general is what I’m here for. JK Rowling did him so wrong like I cry thinking about it. SO MAKING THIS A MINI SERIES IF PEOPLE LIKE IT. (Taking place in 6th year before he runs away)

And the year is 1976… people seem to forget that they attended Hogwarts in the 70s…

Part Two >>

Requests are closed. xx 

Pairing : Young!Sirius Black x Fem. American Reader

Word Count : Like over 5000….. I got carried away… i just love him sm

Originally posted by imaginesforcharacters

Originally posted by pagewoman

Originally posted by perfectlymeganfox


“So how was your summer, Padfoot?” Remus asked his friend as they made their way through the train, searching for an empty compartment.

Sirius rolled his eyes, “it was shit like it usually is. A boy can only hear how much of a failure he is so many times before it gets old. Like I get it, Regulus is a gem. Let’s throw a parade.”

“You’re always welcome at the Potter household, just so you know. My mum continues to gush about you.” James spoke, a small grin playing at his lips.

The three boys continued searching, not noticing that their raven haired friend stopped and was staring into a compartment. James turned around, realizing that it was too quiet and saw Sirius still frozen in that spot.

“Oi! Padfoot!” James called out, walking back to where his best friend stood.

“What’re you doing, mate?” Potter questioned, Sirius turned to him and let a wide smile take over his features.

“I think I found my new conquest this year.”

James furrowed his eyebrows, before turning to look into the compartment, finding a girl with long hair sitting back with parchment and a quill in her hand. Before he could respond, Sirius opened the compartment door and allowed himself in.

“Pardon me, gorgeous, is this seat taken?”

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local 14 year old draws really generic looking fanart of popular youtube horror game in ms paint more at 11

5

I wasn’t going to bother uploading this since it’s in the zine, but then I remembered I wrote a crack fic to go with it. It’s under the cut.

Warning: I know nothing about soccer. I know nothing about writing.

Rated T for minor cussing lol

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Robert isn’t as sweet as we’re making him out to be.

NOW BEFORE YOU GO BALLISTIC ON ME, I want to preface this with an admittance that I love Robert to death. He is a beautifully written character that portrays some pretty serious themes in a great way - not to mention that his good ending is very positive message for people who are currently depressed/in a bad place in life. He’s funny, he’s got some great qualities, and we all know that Mothman is a total THOT.

However, I find it kind of telling that the entire fandom has somehow collectively agreed that this is just a misunderstood man that’s 100% a sweetheart and has no flaws at all. I understand why, of course. He resonates with a lot of us out there that are struggling as well. I get that, but erasing the fact that this man has some pretty serious flaws is almost as bad as erasing half of his character entirely.

Now that I’ve settled that, I went and played through Robert’s route a couple of times (one perfect, one not so perfect where you leave instead of listening to his problems, and one on the ‘bad route’ that you unlock if you sleep with him on the first night) so that I could write as in depth of a post that I can on this character that acknowledges his flaws while still making sure it’s clear that he isn’t a bad person. I have done the same thing for Joseph and Mary and intend to write longer, more in depth posts on them in the future as well. But, for now, Robert;

So, let’s start with the small things, shall we?

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I’m alive. been pretty busy with that NDRV3 fanartbook doujinshi i’ve been talking about. It’s looking really good so far btw!! I’ve drawn couple chapter themed fanart as well as execution art for characters that wasn’t executed in the game(victims and survivors). i wanted to add my mastermind series to fill up the pages(also bc i like them :) ) but those size were WAAAAY too small for it to be in a book.(the fanartbook is A5 size….but all my old stuff is 600x800px) i never regret drawing pictures in 600x800px this much before… smh

apps i use for language practice

안녕하세요 !! ciao !! helo !! hi! today i though i’d share the apps that i use most often to practice the languages i’m learning (Korean, Italian, Welsh, and French). i’ll provide a quick rundown of the features and links to where you can find each [free !!] app on both the google play store and the apple app store. this isn’t sponsored in any way by anyone, i’m just sharing my feelings and experience with each application. 


app one/two: duolingo and memrise

✧ ✧ ✧ duolingo and memrise form the most well-known and popular language-learning app pair. they’re comprised of millions of users learning a wide variety of languages (there are some that duo offers that memrise doesn’t and vice versa). duolingo offers everything for free, while memrise reserves its most useful features for ‘pro’ users with a paying membership. I personally prefer duolingo’s speaking exercises and skill tree, but memrise has some plusses too, like their native speaker soundbites and aesthetically pleasing app design. 

✧ ✧ also: while they’re very good for basic/conversational knowledge, they’re fairly limited as far as modern vocabulary goes. they serve as an excellent primer, a foundation, something that will get you through grammar and the essentials, but they’re not the only services you need to use !! 

✧ links: memrise on iOS , duolingo on iOS , memrise on android , duolingo on android 


app three: clozemaster

✧✧✧ clozemaster is a fast-paced language game where you type or select correct words to complete sentences in your target language. it’s pretty simple, and even if you don’t have a big vocabulary, you learn via exposure !! i’d recommend the fluency fast tracks! they’re full of useful words. 

✧✧ clozemaster is a very good resource for everyone, regardless of their skill level. they have a pretty big selection of languages to practice, so I’m sure yours will be on their list !!

✧ links: clozemaster on iOS , clozemaster on android 


app four: hellotalk

✧✧✧ hellotalk is a service that connects you to native speakers of your target language. you create a profile with your name, location, native language, age, gender (there are only binary options, sorry nb pals) target language (languages if you get premium, you have to have it to be able to list multiple), and then other users can message you for an online language exchange. 

✧✧ i think communicating with native speakers is a really important part of learning a language, so i recommend this app and others like it for anyone who seeks a balanced language diet. 

✧ links: hellotalk on iOS , hellotalk on android 


app five and six: reverse context and microsoft translator

✧✧✧ reverso context and microsoft translator are both very reliable translation options. reverse context searches textual examples of the phrase you’re translating (context) and presents you with both the examples and the machine translation. small and common phrases are better for this, as you’ll have more text to get your translation from (different cases, genders, etc). microsoft translator is a machine translation service only, but I’ve found it to be more accurate than google in many cases. 

✧✧ translators can actually be really helpful if used in moderation !! don’t feel bad for using translate for some words/phrases, as long as you are just copypasting full paragraphs without looking over anything, you should be good!!!

✧ links: reverso on iOS , translator on iOS , reverso on android, translator on android


that’s all for now !! I hope you found this useful. have a nice day ! :)

so because @bechnaesun​ practically coerced me into exchanging future evak headcanons with her, we present to you everything we screamed about for over two hours. 

even and isak get married. and their life goes a little like this:

  • isak and even adopt twins because they would feel like they should adopt siblings so they never, ever felt alone, even when they inevitably start feeling like maybe if they’re not related by blood they’re not the same, but they’d have each other, always.
  • isak would read so many parenting guides!! and google searches!! one times he just goes on a three hour wild ride of reading parenting blogs online, and afterwards, when even comes to bed, isak is sniffly and whispers, “what if we fuck up their lives forever? what if they end up hating us, and never calling–”
  • and even just presses a kiss to the top of isak’s head and says, “they would never, because they’d have you as a parent, and your love is one of the most powerful things in the world.”
  • isak isn’t totally calm after that, but it helps, a bit, but he also thinks that even may be a little biased. a tiny impressionable toddler is a lot different from your husband, because even’s already seen him at his worst, and has promised to stick with him through the good times and the bad. and besides, he never saw even in his angsty teenage phase, and just think about it they’re going to have to put up with all of that! how are we going to deal with puberty! what if they start dating!
  • even: then we just tell them about how we fell in love.
  • isak: baby, you asked me to smoke weed with you
  • even: it’s okay i figure we have at least a couple of years to develop a clean version of that story
  • so the point is, even with all of even’s attempts to placate isak’s worries, he still insists even follows the parenting guides to a tee, just in case they really fuck up at one point
  • even agrees, but mostly because if they do fuck up, then he’d have something to blame it on

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Not My Type (Beverly Marsh/Reader)

Originally posted by maryjosez

(A/N: I cannot write today this is not good. Still I wanted to do this asap bc I’m gay as hell. Sorry it’s repetitive and bad goodnight.)

Request: “for a beverly x reader: how about the losers got to the arcade and they see the reader all the boys each take turns trying to talk and flirt with her only to be shot down. after all the boys have been shot down, richie makes a joke that bev will be the only only successful at talking to her. while he was saying this no one realized that she was coming towards them. she interupts him by slinging her arm around bev’s shoulder because her and bev have been dating secretly for a couple months.”

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anonymous asked:

Could u do some pidge x Lance headcanons please? Congrats on the 100 followers!!

(idk if you meant platonic or romantic pidge/lance, anon, so i did “could be interpreted as either” stuff)


  • Lance is a fan of pretty much all things small and cute (I mean, come on, he wanted to knit a sweater for Klaizap), so whenever he makes a comment about Pidge or her bayard being small or cute, he never means it in a negative way. 
  • When Pidge finally realizes this, she stops reacting angrily, but does tell him that she doesn’t like being called “small” or “cute” because people always use that to talk down to her.
  • Lance starts calling her “mighty” and “beautiful” instead (it starts as a joke, but now they’re affectionate nicknames) (Pidge calls Lance “pretty boy” in return)
  • They end up going to another shopping planet (not space mall, but more an open market type place) and Lance finds a sauce that taste remarkably like peanut butter. He immediately haggles for 10 jars of it (ends up exchanging the rest of his face mask goo) and surprises Pidge with them. (Hunk ends up being able to make an approximation of peanut butter cookies, too)
  • Pidge found a way to adjust the Altean holographic technology to replicate a view of Earth and different places on Earth. Lance is the first person she shows it to, and she shows him the beach scene she programmed in 
  • (”I’ve never been to Varadero beach, but I hope it’s close.” “It’s perfect.”)
  • Lance cries.
  • When they’re finally able to get the video game hooked up and working (thanks to Hunk and Pidge’s combined genius), Lance and Pidge get very competitive. Luckily, they’re pretty evenly matched in their skills, so neither ever gets too far ahead in number of wins.
  • Pidge has a tendency to fall asleep wherever she’s working (which is never in bed or even in her room), so Lance gets in the habit of looking for her before bed and forcing her to at least go in her room so she can fall asleep on a bed instead of against a wall. 
  • (Sometimes when he finds her, she’s already asleep, so he carries her to her room. At first he couldn’t do it, though, because he didn’t have the upper body strength to left her dead weight, so he had to ask Hunk or Shiro to come and get her.)

I’m celebrating, come send me stuff!

My thoughts and opinions on Xenoblade Chronicles 2 thus far.

The game’s only about a month and a half away from being released, and Super Mario Odyssey releases in just about a week. These are two of my most anticipated games for the Switch. Now, it’s pretty obvious that nearly everyone’s really excited for Odyssey. 

But as for Xenoblade 2…not so much. 

From the artstyle, and character designs, and the voice acting…lots of fans and gamers alike are pretty much giving it The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker treatment. From Youtube comments, social media sites, and game message boards…many fans weren’t happy with it. I was one of those people when the game was first announced. I kinda thought the artstyle looked way too generic, anime, and similar as to games like Tales of Berseria.

However, I did some research and mostly figured out as to why Xenoblade 2 looks the way it does. In the most recent interview with Monolithsoft director/writer, Tetsuya Takahashi said a couple of things as the reason he chose the direction he made with the game.

The Tone:


Let’s start with the overall tone of the story. No doubt that the bright and cheery look of the game has thrown off many people into thinking the plot will be “kiddy” or “generic, shonen, harem, fanservice, etc.” trash. All Xeno games up to this point has stories that were more serious, dark, and adult themed. This here ties in with what Takahashi has to say:


“A young adult story with a taste of boy-meets-girl. Lately it feels like all I’ve been doing are games full of devastation, like where your hometown burns down at the start, or the spaceship you’re riding crashes (oh wait, that is all I ever do). Sometimes I just wanna try something different! I’ll leave the stories about the solemn old men and stylish hot guys to someone else (even though there’s way more demand for that stuff), and go ahead with this.”

“ I want to make something that people can look back on fondly one day as something that really shaped their lives. Something like what I loved as a boy, like Oliver! (by Carol Reed) and Galaxy Express 999 (by Rintaro). — That’s why I started working on this game. “


So it seemed that Takahashi wanted to try his hands on making a more light-hearted, character-driven plot. Which mostly explains the more brighter tone of Xenoblade 2. He draws inspiration from this due to some young adult/coming-of-age books and films he experienced as a kid. Mostly in his case, the 1968 musical, family drama film Oliver!, and the 1977 adventure, space western anime Galaxy Express 999.

In addition, we’ve been getting quite a few JRPGs this year in the similar tones that Takahashi mentioned. 

While it would be nice to have Xenoblade 2 following this trend, I can kinda understand where Takahashi’s coming from. As someone inspiring to become a writer myself, making the different story with the same tone and setting can be tiresome. Sometimes the creators just wanna to go with something different. even if their fans won’t like it.Plus, making original stories in this day and age is pretty hard to do. 


People who’ve read tons of books, watched a lot of story-driven cartoons, movies,or anime, or even play many plot-heavy video games for years already know so many tropes and cliches these days. Writers have to borrow some old tropes from movies and such from the past, and figure out ways to add a unique twist to it. Sometimes it succeeds, while other times it fails. And this is pretty much the similar route Takahashi’s going with.


Sure the story might end up being “shonen,” but knowing the guy…I’m sure the story might end up being good. I can’t say for certain why, but I do have some faith in him. Speaking of such, let me explain the next thing many people have against Xenoblade 2.


The Artstyle/Characters:


If it’s no surprise, Xenoblade 2 has a cast of a mostly kids group instead of young adult and such. Which sets a lot of people off, and makes them think that the cast might not be as likable. Especially the main character, Rex himself. And no, this isn’t about his pants. No matter how ridiculous they seem.

Many gamers nowadays come to conclusions that having a young kid or teenager as the protagonist is a sign of something bad. Mostly due to the fact that they might be whiny, bratty, or angsty. But before I dive deeper into this topic, let me talk the main character of the original Xenoblade, Shulk.

There was a time in JRPGs last gen where many main characters would end up being too unlikeable. They were either very one-dimenional, oblivious, annoying, idiotic, cowardly, or overly negative with zero character development. Takahashi’s goal for Shulk was to make a more likable and relatable protagonist than in most JRPGs. He was originally going to be a silent protagonist, but Takahashi rejected that idea. 


He figured in order to make Shulk a more likeable protagonist, Takahashi tried giving Shulk a bit more of positive interactions and words of encouragement, especially in battle. Takahashi tried to make Shulk react much like he thought players would react to the scenarios. This was followed by giving him a bit more of a intelligent personality so he could interact with the world and characters better. Takahashi even took advantage of getting feedback from the Super Mario Club, whose assured that his intake for Shulk was positive.


Unfortunately, Shulk’s character got mixed reception from game reviewers. Some saying that he was pretty darn enjoyable with a fantastic voice actor and character growth, while others saying that he was rather “a  vanilla, personality-less, unequivocally bland warrior” who “makes other JRPG heroes look like Marlon friggin’ Brando.


However, Shulk does get pretty great responses from the fandom these days. Mostly getting praise for not being an idiotic, whiny brat, or some emo-ish ultra hot obnoxious macho man…who’s very mature, intelligent, and quick-to-the-bone instead.


For the most part, I’m one of those people as well. While Shulk may have seem bland or generic form an outside stand point, playing the game for myself, I was actually surprised by how likable and down-to-earth Shulk was. His interactions with some of the cast was nice as well. For example, with Reyn, him and Shulk felt like real close friends. Brothers even. With Dunban, Shulk looked up to him as a mentor and a hero. Dickson also felt like a father figure to him. Shulk wan’t just some one-dimensional character…he felt like a real person. This, lead by his incredible voice acting, made Shulk one of my favorite JRPG protagonist of all time.


It’s just too bad the Super Smash Bros. version of himself gets a bad rep.


Now where was I…? 

Oh yeah, Rex.


Now it’s no surprise that compared to the more mature/older main characters from the previous games, Shulk and Elma, many people think Rex will probably be some annoying, bratty, angst kid like I said. And as I said before, this is the issue people have with making a kid as the protagonist in JRPGs nowadays.


Although, thinking about what Takahashi said about trying to make Shulk a likable protagonist, I think I can see Rex being handled in a similar manner. For a better example of a kid protagonist done right, Oliver from Ni No Kuni is one of them.

Some of the things I liked about Oliver was his honesty, determination, courage, kindness, strong sense of justice, and character development. He never strikes me as the whiny/bratty type when I got deeper into the game. He stroked me as a brave and sweet kid. And while he may not be the best JRPG protagonist out there, I really did like how his personality and character was handled, especially for someone his age.



I think I could see Rex being as well-developed in a similar way, especially with Takahashi saying that he’s a lot more mature than people let on. But only time can tell how Rex’s character will be handled, since we know very little about him.


Speaking of characters, let’s talk about the artstyle. 

This is the major thing Xenoblade 2 gets a lot of flack about. Compared to the more realistic styles from Xenoblade 1 and X, going to a more “childish” anime look was a major kneejerk to a lot of fans. It’s no surprise that a lot of JRPGs these days are going in for more anime-esque artstyle to gain popularity, which is getting a lot of negative response. Fire Emblem Awakening and Fates being prime examples of this.

It’s no surprise to the older side of the FE fandom out there that the reasons Awakening and Fates get so much popularity is due to the fact that the games went in a more anime-ish approach with the characters and story, while making the games easier for newcomers to play…this choice made the veterans real upset about the direction the series has been going in lately.

And despite Shadows of Valentia going for a more classic approach with the characters and story, the gameplay and lack of many support conversations made the game not sell as much as the previous titles.


The anime artstyle approach that Xenoblade 2′s going with is making the fandom feel the same way. However Takahashi had this to say about the  artstyle change:


“Targeting a wider audience was one of our goals but we wanted to make it to where the characters had more facial expressions. Masatsugu Saito’s character design is a way to make the protagonists more expressive.”


For those of you who don’t know Masatsugu Saito, he was the guy that did the animation for the CGI anime film, Escape From Paradise.


As far as video game designs, I think he only did one character design for Fire Emblem Awkening, which was Celica.

Not sure if this counts, but I believe this is the first time he’s designed characters in a video game. 


Many see this a negative thing, but I think the reason Takahashi chose Saito was probably for the eyes.

In most games, using cel-shading artstyle can be a way to make the character a lot more expressive. Which I think might be a good thing, because if you can recall in Xenoblade X, the characters expression in cut-scenes mostly stayed the same. 


This was a major issue lots of fans and myself had with this game. While there were cinematic cut-scenes, the characters mostly had expressions like this 75% of the time, compared to how much more expressions there were in Xenoblade 1. Now don’t get me wrong, I love the characters in X, I was just mostly disappointed in the lack more expressions in the cut-scenes. And the more realistic visuals, heavy focus of exploration with the lack of a proper main story were probably to blame for this.

Whereas in Xenoblade 2, the characters show more a lot more expressions. The eyes and the artstyle help this out for the most part. 

Visuals also getting improvements for not just the lighting and shading, but also for the facial expressions. While this may not change a lot of minds about how they feel with the art direction in the game…let me show another game that’s gone though a similar processes.


The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker.


This is a game that received a massive amount of negativity for a reason.

Before Wind Waker was announced, Nintendo showed a tech demo in 2000 about how a Zelda game would look on the GCN. This was something Zelda fans were excited for the realistic look. It was every OOT/MM fan’s dreams…but alas…they’re hopes and reams were crushed when Nintendo showed…


This.

The Wind Waker’s cartoony artstyle made Zelda fans cry and scream in rage like never before. Everyone thought that Nintendo was losing their touch. Of course, despite the positive reviews the game got, hardcore Zelda lovers still weren’t interested. Of course, over 10 yeard from now, many people now consider the game to be an ageless classic despite some gamers still not a fan of the artystyle


Later in the years after Wind Waker was out, fans rejoiced when Nintendo announced the more realistic The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess.


While I enjoy both The Wind Waker and Twilight Princess for different reasons, and I promise this isn’t a WW vs. TP debate, I will say there is one aspect I loved in The Wind Waker more:


Toon Link’s facial expressions. 


This easily is one of the reasons why I love this version of Link. Nintendo chose this artstyle to a similar reason of Takahashi’s, to make the characters more expressive. And they nailed it. Even without any dialogue, Toon Link’s face would speak for itself. I could tell if Link was happy, sad, scared, shocked, meme worthy, or even annoyed just by his facial expressions alone. They couldn’t have done something like this in a more realistic artstyle as much.


And this is the same thing with Xenoblade 2. Had they used a more realistic style, the characters wouldn’t be as expressive. Do I still think Monolith Soft could’ve went with a different artstyle? Yes, but now I understand why they went with this style.


TL;DR 


I’m really hoping people will give Xenoblade 2 a chance, instead of giving it The Wind Waker treatment. Yes, the graphics and character designs aren’t the best…but honesty, did the previous Xenoblade games get any praise though for those similar issues?

C’mon now…let’s be real here…

But hey, at least Xenoblade 2 still follows the trend of having some freaking gorgeous environments. Combine that with the gameplay and music, and I’m cautiously optimistic for this game along with Super Mario Odyssey. Don’t let me down, Monolith!


Additional Notice:

Also..the cutscenes in this game look freaking awesome.

Things you didn’t know you could do in Cuphead p.2

Part 1

Using the Smoke Bomb charm in Funfair Fever to dash right through these guys

Parry the Baroness’ peppermint ball

Dash through or Duck the duck in Funhouse Frazzle

Duck or Parry Brineybeard’s ship laser to get extra supers

Duck under the devil’s hooves

Also, just jump over his cronies. It can be easier sometimes.


Bonus!!

This is more of a glitch than anything but staying at the far left of the screen and jumping to the platforms above when Officer Bobby gets too near tricks the game into making him put out bombs in the middle of the screen, allowing you to pick him off pretty easily

These are most of the tips I know so far. If you guys know any more tricks, feel free to message me!