Looking back, it’s funny to see how the perception of Klee has changed over time. At the beginning of her banner, many content creators said that she was awkward to play and a waste of money. Mtashed infamously had a saga of clickbait videos where he spent $2000 on Klee only to hate her and quit the game. Over time however, it became evident that Klee is actually one of the strongest DPS characters in the game as long as you understand her playstyle and importantly, learn how to animation cancel.

Basic Animation Cancelling

Around the time that Klee’s banner first came out, there was a lot of debate surrounding her normal attack animations which caused many content creators to write her off as awkward to play. However, players soon found that you are actually able to animation cancel those attacks meaning you could speed up the time it takes for her to fire them off. If you take a look at the gif below, you can see that Klee has a wind-up time for her attack animations meaning there is a delay as she twirls around. …


Over 15 long years, Falcom’s Trails series has developed a cult following in the West and for good reason. Set in the fictional continent of Zemuria, the Trails series is unique because of its overarching narrative within all of its arcs. Think of it like the Avengers: despite starring different protagonists in a variety of different settings, their stories often intersect and come together at certain points. The immense amount of detail that is put into world-building, lore, and callbacks to previous games have generated a cult following in the West.

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In some ways, despite being the third entry in the Trails of Cold Steel series, Trails of Cold Steel III feels like a rebirth of sorts. NIS America takes charge of the publishing this time around and its the first time that XSEED has not been involved with a Trails game in any capacity. Along with these publishing changes, Trails of Cold Steel III features a revamped battle system, a brand new cast of characters, and another engaging story filled with twists and turns. Trails of Cold Steel III picks up where the last game left off as we see the Erebonian Civil War come to an end and our protagonist Rean Schwarzer graduates from Thors Military Academy. Soon enough, Rean is called upon to become an instructor for a new Class VII at the Thors Branch Campus and the game introduces us to his new students: Juna, Kurt, and Altina. With friends and foe both new and old, Rean and his class become embroiled in Erebonia’s political struggles once again. …


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When you think of Toronto music these days, your instinct is probably to think of Drake and the Weeknd. Their brand of moody, atmospheric hip hop and R&B have permeated the mainstream so much in the 2010s that it became known as the “Toronto sound”. In the mid-2010s though, Toronto rap experienced something of a renaissance and began shifting towards the popular sounds of trap and drill. Young rappers like Robin Banks, Roney, Mo-G and Smoke Dawg began making music unheard of in Toronto. Blending all sorts of influences like the autotuned melodies of Future and Speaker Knockerz, UK grime, R&B, drill, trap, and their Somali/Jamaican roots, the young rappers of Toronto carved out their own lane in hip-hop. …


At some point in your life, you fall victim to the routine. You know, that perpetual cycle of school or work that drains the life essence out of your soul. You come back tired every night with only two days of freedom to look forward to before you inevitably end up in the cycle once more. Do you ever dream about running away for a while? To go on some crazy adventure so that you don’t feel like you’re missing out on the best years of your life? You keep telling yourself someday, someday, but that day never comes? Then you need to watch A Place Further Than The Universe. Captivating and inspirational, it instills that thirst for adventure unlike anything I’ve ever seen before. …


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Over the past few years, the underground and independent hip hop scene in Japan has flourished. Like their Western contemporaries, there’s plenty of talent in the online and Soundcloud communities. Rather than focus on the big names of Japanese rap like KOHH, Miyachi, Bad Hop, and JP The Wavy, I decided to take a look at some of the tracks from rising stars and independent artists. In the past few years, Japan has started carving out its own identity in the hip hop world as rappers began developing their own styles and speaking on issues pertinent to Japanese society. Influenced by the big hip hop genres of today like emo-rap, trap, and experimental hip hop, artists give their own unique spin on these sounds as they combine them with their own cultural experiences. …


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Losing an artist too early is not easy. It’s even harder when that person is Mac Miller: a guy who dedicated his life to the art and helped shape the lives of so many others. His life was one of always giving: to the fans, to his fellow artists, and to the world of hip hop at large. Whether it was helping artists like Vince Staples or Joey Bada$$ get their start in the industry or starting a label to shine a spotlight on local Pittsburgh artists, Mac was always giving back. Circles is no different: conceived as the second part of the Swimming In Circles concept, it follows up on his previous album by searching for answers in how to stay afloat in our day to day lives. It’s meant to give us solace, a little music for those who feel lost in the world surrounding them.

And of course, one can’t ignore the lyrics of depression and struggles that plague Mac on this record. But at the same time, Circles is a different approach to those topics than compared to something like Faces. In a way, the Swimming in Circles concept is an antithesis to Faces. On Faces, there’s inner turmoil over his drug use as a way to cope with his depression. He’s wavering, knowing that his drug use can’t be a permanent solution but seems to be the only viable one. On Circles, Mac comes to terms with his depression a bit better: still ever-looming but slightly more optimistic in how he copes. Circles is about working through depression on a day-to-day basis, taking things slowly, and how to reach the fleeting good days hidden among a sea of bad ones. …


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The first time I listened to Fiona Apple, I was not impressed. I think I was 11 or 12 and I picked up the CD of Extraordinary Machine on a whim from a library. I vividly remember picking out Gorillaz’ Demon Days as well and I played that CD nonstop. I wouldn’t come back to Fiona for years. Then a few years down the road, I was going through iTunes when I saw that jelly-like closeup of a green flower. I decided to download the entire album and give it a fair chance. And what would you know, I was blown away. Fiona Apple was an artist that conveyed humanity better than anyone else I had ever heard. Buried deep in those weird sounding augmented chords and odd chromatic movements was poetry, alive and pulsing with her incredible voice. Fiona’s music isn’t always pretty. Despite being classically trained, she favours strange chord progressions and erratic sounding movements. Playing piano myself, it was eye-opening to hear how even the wonkiest sounding notes could hold musicality. …


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The Weeknd has always felt like one of those artists that had peaked early in their career. His debut mixtape, House of Balloons, was one of the most important projects of the 2010s as it would pave the way for the nocturnal, atmospheric sound of modern RnB. Abel also had a hand in shaping the distinct “Toronto” sound by giving several songs to Drake for Take Care. Surrounded in mystique with overly long songs featuring hedonistic lyrics too explicit for radio play, he slowly gained momentum on the Internet before culminating in a Mod Club concert. It was a perfect, organic success story that seemed impossible to replicate. As he gained fame with radio-friendly singles like “Can’t Feel My Face” and “Starboy” over the years, the mystique faded and his music headed in a more pop-oriented direction. Emphasis on hooks, less rapping and a focus on abstract concepts instead of his signature explicitness would cause critics and fans to claim that he had sold out or lost what had made him so great in the first place. …


50. Angel of Salvation — Galneryus (2012)

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For most western listeners, the extent of their knowledge about Japanese power metal band Galneryus starts and ends with Hunter X Hunter. However, they are the most active and proficient Japanese power metal band in the current millennium having released a dozen albums in their career. By the time the 2010s had rolled around, whatever lasting interest people had in power metal had already disappeared. Its brief revival in modern bands like Dragonforce and Gloryhammer didn’t last long. The problem with power metal in general is that there is no room for the genre to evolve. It exists as a niche in the metal genre as a fusion between speed metal and orchestral tendencies. There’s only so many speedy riffs and high fantasy lyrics you can do before it becomes boring. At the same time though, power metal bands rarely retain their magic so to speak. Their consistency wanes, their stage antics mellow, and people forget. …


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In many ways, IGOR is the culmination of Tyler, the Creator’s musical career. Over his past six albums, Tyler has continually developed and pushed his sound further (the last three especially). In particular, IGOR builds upon the creativity and restless energy found on Cherry Bomb with the pop sensibilities found in Flower Boy. IGOR is extremely busy with heavily layered synths, multitudes of pitch shifted voices, and complex bridges. Contrasted by the production however, is the extremely simple singing and rapping from Tyler. He attempts to prioritize production, composition, and arranging over vocals on this album and it’s a very bold move. Up until this point, Tyler has been a rapper first and foremost and stripping most of that away ultimately removes a large chunk of what he does best. …

Jeff Yu

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