Hobby Corner: Final Fantasy XV – Favorite Game of 2016

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Welcome to another edition of Hobby Corner, a monthly edition I introduced to talk about my hobbies and interests other than reading. It’s always important to not forget these things, so here I am to talk about some of mine.

This month’s topic: video games!

More specifically I’m going to be talking about this epic game called Final Fantasy XV and OMG I LOVE IT SO MUCH I CAN’T EVEN HANDLE THE EMOTIONS.

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Final Fantasy XV is pitched as a Final Fantasy game for first timers and long time fans and I have to agree with that statement. I’ve been playing the games since FFIX and though I’ve never beaten on other than FFX or FFXV, I still love the games, the gameplay, the stories, the worlds, the characters, the art. There’s so much about these games that I love and adore and I think that FFXV didn’t hold back when it came to all of these.

FFXV is an open world roleplay game (RPG) that follows four young men on a road trip style journey to save the world, essentially. It follows a prince named Noctis and his three men retinue: Gladiolus, Ignis, and Prompto. Each of these young men have skills and strengths in different areas, and though you play only as Noctis, you get to spend so much time with all of the characters and learn and grow with them.

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P.S. Yes, this photo is from my own gameplay.

So these four goobs are just the best group of friends and I love them to pieces. Noctis (the far left of the picture) is kind of brooding, but he’s also got a lot of weight on his shoulders since he’s the prince and he’s going to be marrying Lunafreya to make ties with another country. So he’s got stuff going on, but I also love using him in battles because he’s really strong and has awesome weapons that you can get throughout the game.

Gladiolus (or Gladio, who is next to Noctis and Ignis) is the strong one of the group and also the oldest. He’s been Noctis’s guard for many years now and they’re very much like brothers. He’s a softy, though, but he can get angry at times.

Ignis (the one with the glasses) is the brains and the voice of reason in the group. He’s also the cutest, in my opinion. He also loves to cook, so there’s a huge meme online in the FFXV fandom about Ignis and him always shouting out, “Aha! I’ve thought of a new recipe!” It’s hilarious and OMG HE MAKES SO MANY PUNS IT’S PAINFUL.

Prompto (the one holding the camera) is the goofball and the one who’s got a very interesting backstory and secret about him. I love him and he’s a precious cinnamon roll and deserves all the love of ever.

The open world concept plus the road trip aspect is SO BEAUTIFUL. The landscapes are very detailed and well laid out, and the battle system is also open concept unlike some of the earlier games where you would go and get stuck in a battle when the screen “breaks.” It just makes it easier to escape battles when you don’t want to fight, and also gives you more room to be kickass.

The story is also a tragic one, but also beautiful and fun, and it goes from just the four guys wanting to go out and drive to Altissa so Noctis can get married, but there’s a LOT that happens right from the get go and it’s making me emotional just thinking about it.

There’s TONS of side quests to level up the characters as well as just gain experience and see more of the world. I love iiiiiiit.

I think the biggest and best part of the game that fans old and new love: YOU GET TO RIDE THE CHOCOBOS. Don’t know what a Chocobo is? It’s the most adorable thing of ever and you get to ride them and they’re cute and so useful! AHH!

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At the Wiz Chocobo Outpost.

All in all this game was amazing. I became incredibly attached to the characters and I bawled like a baby at the end of the game. I recently started a new game and all of the emotions came flooding back and I can’t wait to play through it all again and cry again.

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Certificate of Completion upon completing the game. You get to choose from any of the pictures that Prompto has taken and you’ve saved along your journey.

Let’s Chat! ≧◡≦

Have you ever played a Final Fantasy game? Which was your favorite? Have you played FFXV? Who’s your favorite character? I can’t really choose between any of them because I love them all too much. What about the chocobos? Did you enjoy that feature? Tell me all of your thoughts on the game!

The Guilt of Not Reading

Today I wanted to talk about something that’s been on my mind and heart lately, and that is the guilt I feel when I don’t read.

If you haven’t noticed I’ve been on kind of a hiatus for the last two months. I’ve done blog posts here and there, participated in events and all of that, but I’ve barely read anything and I’ve barely blogged outside of those events and such. I needed time away from the reading and blogging worlds for a while and that’s really because the book community has become kind of a scary place as of late. I mean, that’s a whole other topic in and of itself, but it needs to be said. I’m glad people are speaking their minds and everything, it’s just very tense in many places right now and I have enough of that in my personal life right now that I don’t want it to be in something that I’m so passionate about.

I’ve noticed other readers and bloggers have said the same thing when they take breaks: that they feel guilty – or would feel guilty – when/if they take a break from the reading/blogging world. As readers we’re reading almost everyday, trying to get in as many pages, books, genres, etc. as we can. We want to explore what the world has to offer and we want to explore the different kinds of books that are out in the world. We love reading and being able to share that love and those experiences with others.

So when we’re not reading, that guilt starts to set in.

For some people they don’t feel guilty and they can just go about their lives doing whatever they want, but for a few of us we feel like we have almost an obligation not only to our audience, but to ourselves to read all the time. I know I’ve been feeling this way, personally, and I’ve talked with a couple other people the last few weeks that said they’d probably feel the same, too.

Why is it that not reading makes us feel guilty? What about not blogging makes us feel like we’ve given up an obligation?

So let me tackle the two questions I presented above.

1. Why is it that not reading makes us feel guilty?

The obvious answer is that we’re readers! We read because we love it and it’s very hard for some of us to just stop and take breaks once in a while. There are some people who read over 100 books in a year, so reaching those goals means they’re reading constantly, while other people may only read a handful in a year, and for them that takes time that they might have to squeeze in somewhere in their schedule.

I think for me I’ve been comparing my life to what it was a year ago, when I had a lot more free time to myself and I was able to read to my heart’s content. A few months ago my husband and I moved back in with my parents for personal reasons and it’s been much harder for me to find that free time again. Emotional distress aside, I have a much longer drive home than I used to from work (I used to live only 10 minutes away, and now I’m 50 minutes away from work), so I’m usually exhausted at the end of the day because of that, and I have other obligations where it’s been leeching me of any motivation to read.

But since I’ve barely been reading (and I miss reading, trust me), I’ve been feeling the guilt set in, which leads me to the second question:

2. What about not blogging makes us feel like we’ve given up an obligation?

I personally feel like blogging is a second full time job for me. I’ve been faithfully blogging since the summer of 2014, and I’m just really happy doing it. I sincerely love it and it makes me so happy to have an audience who’s interested in my words and thoughts and opinions. So not really putting in much effort to blog these last few months has really been putting a strain on me, I think. I miss you all because I love you all and you rock. Feeling guilty for not reading leads to feeling guilty for not blogging for me because I’ve been doing this for so long and it’s such a fun job for me to do.

Of course it’s not a “job” and I’m not really “obligated” at all to be doing this. I could just up and quit one day and no one would probably notice. And that’s fine, but because I love doing this so much I don’t want to stop putting in the effort to blog or to read. It’s part of my life – a huge part of my life – and I don’t want to give it up anytime soon.

I do want to say, though, that so, so many of you are so supportive of me taking a break because, let’s be real, we all get burnt out from time to time and need that time to sit back, reflect, relax, and enjoy ourselves outside of something for a while. But I want to come back to this and I want to make an honest effort to do what I can each month.

Let’s Chat! ≧◡≦

Have you ever stopped reading/blogging for an extended period of time? How have you felt as a result? Did you find it easy to get back into it or was it harder than when you first started? Tell me all of your thoughts!

February 2017 Wrap Up

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Hi guys! I’m really sorry I’ve barely been posting this year. I’ve just kind of been in a huge blogging and reading slump, but I feel guilty for not posting or reading, but at the same time I’m really glad I’ve been taking the break. I feel like it’s really been needed but I really miss you all and books and everything so I think I’m ready to get back into it. I hope. Please be patient with me during this time!


Books I’ve Read

Click on the cover to be taken to its respective review!

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  • A Silent Voice Manga Series – What a great series that includes a deaf girl, a boy who was a bully who became bullied, friendship, acceptance, forgiveness, and love. 4.5/5 stars for the series.

Books I’ve Gotten

Click on the cover to be taken to each respective Goodreads page!

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Other Blog Posts

I participated in Love-a-thon this month and it was a really fun event again!

Writing Related

  • Nada.

Fun Things

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Again, the 2017 Flights of Fantasy reading challenge didn’t really exist for me this month. 0/30 fantasy books read so far

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Beat the Backlist, if you don’t already know, if a challenge that I’m participating in this year to read books that have been published prior to 2017. So far, I’ve been in the process of reading a couple, and I know I’m going to have a lot on this list, but for now, I have 8 completed.

Instagram

I didn’t do much on Instagram again this month, but I did so a few that I’m really happy with!

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Around the Internet

This is a feature I’ve seen in several other blogger’s wrap ups and I think it’s a fun way to show what else I’ve been reading/seeing around the internets!

Life Updates

  • It’s been a pretty uneventful month, BUT lots of planning has been happening! My husband and I are going with one of his friends to Anime Boston at the end of March/beginning of April, we’re going to a Miyavi concert, we might go to a Kari Jobe concert, and there’s just a lot going on! I’m kind of pumped about it all.

Let’s Chat! ≧◡≦

Did you spend Valentine’s Day with a loved one? What did you read this month that was your favorite?

Love-a-thon Mini-Challenge #8: On the Road (Trip!)

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Hello lovely people and welcome to Love-a-thon 2017, hosted by these lovely ladies: Alexa @ Alexa Loves Books, Cee @ The Novel Hermit, Kristin @ Super Space Chick, and Mel @ The Daily Prophecy.

Well, it’s the last mini-challenge for the Love-a-thon and I’ve gotta say, I’m sad to see it come to a close. But it was so fun participating in this event again! I’ll have my wrap up post tomorrow, but for the last mini-challenge, it’s a road trip!

The objective is to bring along three to four people – characters, fellow bloggers/grammers/etc, or authors – along with you on a roadtrip. You pick the destination and then talk about what you’d do on this road trip, such as discussion topics, who’s driving, who’s in charge of the music, who made the lunches, etc. So here we go!

I’d take some of my fellow blogger friends along with me because I think it would be really fun to be on a road trip together! They are:

Okay, now that I’ve got my road trip buddies, where will we be going? Well, we’d have to get Cait over from the other side of the world, but once that’s settled, I think we’ll road trip to Walt Disney World! (Because if you don’t know me, Hi, I’m Rayna, and I love all things Disney.)

Destination: Walt Disney World in Orlando, FL

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Photo taken by me

Who would be driving? Honestly, I don’t trust anyone to drive, so I’d be the driver. I mean, I’m fine when other people are driving, I would just prefer to be the one in control.

Person in charge of music: Sarah because she always makes cool book trailers and I think she’d know just what we’d need to listen to at the right times.

Person in charge of lunches: Cait, because I know she’d also bring the cake so, duh. Obviously.

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Topics of Discussion: I’d leave Austine to come up with some fun topics and such, but I’m sure we’d talk about recent books we’ve read, why we’re excited to go to Disney, what we plan to do there, if we should make a few sight seeing pit stops along the way, our current favorite TV shows, and more. Lots of room for discussion and it would be super fun, too!

I think this would be a really fun road trip. Too bad none of us live near each other, but oh well, that’s what makes it fun! xD

And that’s it for the mini-challenges! Thanks for joining me these last two days and I’ll see you tomorrow with the wrap up!

Let’s Chat! ≧◡≦

Who would you take with you on a road trip? Would you be able to relinquish control over anything, or do you have to be the one to decide? What kind of music would you listen to? What about lunches?

Love-a-thon Mini-Challenge #7: Let Me Sing You a Love Song

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Hello lovely people and welcome to Love-a-thon 2017, hosted by these lovely ladies: Alexa @ Alexa Loves Books, Cee @ The Novel Hermit, Kristin @ Super Space Chick, and Mel @ The Daily Prophecy.

Welcome to the second to last mini-challenge of this event! I’m having a lot of fun doing these challenges, as I hope you are, too, and I’m sad that there’s only two left. But for this challenge you bring in your musical talents and dedicate a love song (or two or three or ten) to your favorite characters and tell us why.

Okay, here are three of my favorite characters and the love songs I’d dedicate to them:

Aeduan from Truthwitch by Susan Dennard

I would dedicate My Immortal by Evanescence to Aeduan. This is more of a tragic love song than a romantic one, but I think it really fits who he is as a character. Plus this song is just beautiful and I love it and him so it works.

Rhysand from A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

I mean… do I really even need to explain this one? I’m pretty sure I’m one among many who would want to dedicate this song to Rhys, let’s be real.

Okay, those are the only characters I could come up with for love songs. I was seriously having a hard time and my mind decided to forget every long song I’ve ever heard. Oh well, at least I got two!

Let’s Chat! ≧◡≦

Who would you dedicate a love song to? Would it be a sad song or a happy one?