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Entertainment

First Nintendo Direct in Over a Year Misses the Mark

Nintendo DirectIt was Feb. 17, and I, like many Nintendo fans, was excited.

The first Nintendo Direct in over a year came to us on Wednesday, ostensibly to reveal new information about some of the revered video game company’s most highly-anticipated new content, following a lengthy hiatus from announcements since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. Needless to say, many were expecting some big announcements.

So why was it so…underwhelming?

The first announcement made during the 50-minute Direct was a longish cinematic featuring characters from Xenoblade Chronicles 2. It meanders a bit, but one character, Pyra, exclaims playfully: “I got an invitation to join Smash!” Soon after, it’s revealed that her counterpart, Mythra, will be joining at the same time. While I think it’s neat that two DLC characters were announced simultaneously for Smash (which hasn’t been done so far for Ultimate), and I’m sure that Xenoblade fans are thrilled, I think I speak for many when I say that I was hoping for a more iconic character to join the roster of one of my favorite fighting games.

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FINAL FANTASY VII Remake: The Magic of Role-Playing Games in 2021

Final Fantasy 1These past few years in the entertainment industry, remasters, remakes, re-etc. have been produced practically as frequently as original content. It’s certainly easy to diagnose this as a dearth of creativity, but in this age of constantly adapting content for a new generation of consumers, is there a way to make—or, more appropriately, remake—a standalone piece of art based on existing media?

About ten months ago, video game publisher Square Enix released a remake of the beloved PlayStation RPG Final Fantasy VII. The controversy that normally surrounds rereleases, especially those of video games, is often related to the terminology used in promotional material. Video game fans tend to be very picky when it comes to their favorite games receiving this treatment; a remaster usually refers to a new version of an older game whose graphics and/or mechanics have been updated and enhanced for a new generation of consoles or players.

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Sakamoto Days: The Secret Life of a Former Killer

Sakamoto“Sakamoto Days” is a new manga published by Shonen Jump and Viz Media.

It follows Taro Sakamoto, a former hitman who put his career on the backburner after falling in love with a shop clerk. He settled into his new life as a quiet, reserved father and husband, but his reputation comes back to bite him after a few courageous acts reveal his true identity.

The manga is action-orientated on its surface, but a comedy at its heart. The extent of Taro’s hitman skills is pushed to laughable heights, like deflecting a bullet shot his way by spitting out a piece of gum to change its path.

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Framing Britney Spears: The Dark Side of Pop Royalty

Britney Spears 1Britney Spears is arguably one of the most influential pop stars to ever live. So it is a wonder to most how she ended up where she is today.

Framing Britney Spears, a recently-released Hulu documentary from the New York Times, takes a deep look into the situation she is in. Some close to Britney participated in the documentary, and it includes countless interviews from fans, legal teams, and journalists. The documentary tells the story of Britney’s rise to fame as well as her very public personal life. They also delve into her current situation with her conservatorship. Currently, Britney is still under conservatorship of her father, Jamie Spears.

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Bhopal: A Prayer for Rain World Cinema Series

Bhopal 1The World Cinema Series recently held a discussion on the film “Bhopal: A Prayer for Rain” as part of its “A Delicate Balance: Global Communities and the Natural Environment.” theme on Tuesday, Jan. 26. The discussion featured an introduction from Professor Thomas Pearson, as well as words from Datta Naik, Ph.D., Professor of Chemistry, and Marina Vujnovic, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Communication and an expert on global communication.

“Bhopal: A Prayer for Rain,” is a docudrama that analyzes the Union Carbide plant chemical leak in Bhopal, India, that killed as many as 10,000 people in the city and its surrounding areas.

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Phoebe Bridgers Delivers Smashing SNL Performances

Phoebe BridgersMultiple Grammy nominee Phoebe Bridgers took the Saturday Night Live stage Feb. 6, bringing her Midwestern “Omaha sound” to New York City.

Comedian Dan Levy of the acclaimed comedy Schitt’s Creek hosted SNL last weekend. While his spot is well-deserved (Schitt’s Creek having swept the Emmys and garnered plenty of Golden Globe nominations), another rising star, Nebraska’s angsty folk princess Phoebe Bridgers, introduced an audience of millions to her music when she performed her hit “Kyoto,” which is nominated for both Best Rock Song and Best Rock Performance.

For her second performance of the night, Bridgers played “I Know the End,” a song which begins softly but crescendos into cacophony, similarly to the “Wall of Sound” production process originally popularized among Motown artists and the Beach Boys’ Brian Wilson.

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(ever)more music from taylor swift

taylor swiftTaylor Swift has done it again. Evermore, her second surprise album of 2020 following the release of folklore, has already taken the world by storm.

Her ninth studio album overall, evermore was announced on Swift’s Instagram only a day before its Dec. 11 release date. Since then, the album has taken the number one spot on Billboard’s album chart, selling more than a million copies globally in its first week.

Swift introduced the album as the “sister record” to folklore, as it follows the same indie sound, piano-driven melodies, and poetic lyrics where the beauty of these albums truly lie. Swift taps into her storytelling talents to narrate both fictional and nonfictional stories that are nothing less than heartbreaking.

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Can Reboots Save TV in 2021?

Reboots 12020 was unkind to most, but 2021 may still be able to bring some viewers joy with the announcements of reboots of both Sex and the City and Gossip Girl.

Sex and the City was one of HBO’s most monumental series, originally running from 1998-2004. It was recently announced that streaming service HBO Max ordered a ten-episode reboot, and production is scheduled to begin in late spring if the ongoing pandemic allows it.

According to HBO, the show will have a similar premise to the original run. “The series will follow Carrie, Miranda and Charlotte as they navigate the journey from the complicated reality of life and friendship in their 30s to the even more complicated reality of life and friendship in their 50s,” said a statement released by HBO Max.

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The Importance of Christmas Music

ImportanceAs I lay in my bed at night, final exams and the holidays approaching like a festive freight train, nothing calms my nerves quite like Spotify’s “Christmas Cocktail Jazz” playlist.

There’s something simple and beautiful about Christmas music. Almost every single Christmas song revolves around themes of gratefulness and joy. But hasn’t 2020, for lack of a better word, been pretty bleak?

Definitely. And it’s no secret that the holidays are the source of great anxiety and depression for many; this year, perhaps exceptionally so. So, to say that these bad vibes are understandable is an understatement.

This season is different, and a lot of people aren’t able to do the things they normally would; people can’t be home for Christmas, halls will be more sparsely decked, and it just doesn’t feel holly jolly. What is it, then, that makes Christmas music have that almost mystical feeling of happiness?

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Jay Electronica’s Act II: A Project Ten Years in the Making

default article imageFor ten years, Act II: The Patents of Nobility (The Turn) sat in Jay Electronica’s hard drive, remaining an elusive project that teased fans since his groundbreaking single “Exhibit C” was released.

Throughout that decade, the reclusive Jay Electronica did very little, and anything that hinted at an album release made the hip hop community talk. Only a small number of artists could’ve made the initial impact Jay Electronica did. His rise from homeless backpacker to hip-hop’s lyrical savior was meteoric, which gave him quite a brand to live up to. When a picture of Act II’s tracklist leaked on the internet in 2012, people started to murmur that an album was soon to be released. Over the years, it never was released and the buzz dissipated; ultimately the album was largely forgotten.

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AMONG US: How One Game Is Killing Boredom

Among Us 1This lockdown, we have been constantly searching for and craving respite from our increasingly monotonous lives.

Until recently, indie multiplayer game Among Us remained a relatively untouched title on Steam’s Store. The game, which is played with up to ten people (locally or long-distance, with friends or strangers), features a cast of differently-colored little spacemen whose goal is to resolve all their ship’s issues (or “tasks”).

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