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!

Hobby Corner: Keeping a Sketchbook

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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: art!

Today specifically, though, I wanted to talk about keeping a sketchbook and why doing so can be beneficial not only to those who are visually creative, but also for those that might need a way to escape for a little while.

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I’ve always had sketchbooks of various kinds, but my favorite is the Canson XL mixed media sketchbook in size 5.5 in x 8.5 in. It’s perfect for pencil drawings but can also be used for water color, acrylic, pen, or whatever else you want to use really. (Obviously depending on your medium will depend on the quality of the paper.) The sketchbook I have now is one that I had gotten many months ago but had barely used until very recently because I had gotten into a drawing funk.

Much like a reading slump, a drawing funk/slump happens to me quite frequently now that I’m not taking art classes or anything like that. I’ve always loved to draw and to be creative, but my drawing time fell to the wayside as I became much more of a reader than I’ve ever been. Every time I’ve painted or drawn something detailed or whatever over the last year I’ve had that feeling of “I need more, more, more,” and I’d do it more often around those times, but then it would dwindle and die very quickly.

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So I’ve been following some artists on YouTube and listening to them talk about how much they enjoy art, which made me miss doing art, and then I read an article that really inspired me about keeping a sketchbook. She talked about how not only does keeping a sketchbook keep your creativity flowing, but it can also help with emotional distress and a needed release in the times that I really need it.

And, frankly, she’s right. For someone like me who loves to do creative things regardless of what it is or what medium (making art, listening to music, writing, etc), I think doing something like this will really help to keep my interests and my momentum and desire for drawing going. I won’t feel that dreaded slump or that high and need when I finally do draw or paint or whatever after months of not doing so.

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So I’m taking on one of the challenges she suggested in her post: draw at least one thing in my sketchbook every day for a year. Even if I don’t do it every day, as long as I draw multiple times a week that will be good enough for me.

Art has been such an integral part of my life that I can’t imagine ever not having it be in my life somehow. I may not become a professional artist, but I’ll be able to see my progression, to see what I can create, to do studies and take notes and more.

So why should you keep a sketchbook?

  • It’s an emotional release. If you’re feeling happy, draw something that represents happiness to you. If you’re feeling angry, use dark, bold strokes to represent it. If you’re feeling sad, draw something that represents sadness to you. It’s a healthy way of dealing with emotions, and even if you don’t know what to draw, that’s okay because it leads to my next point:
  • You can make it your own. A sketchbook isn’t going to be graded (unless you’re in school and you need one for a grade), you don’t even have to show it to anyone if you don’t want to. You can write in it, put magazine clippings in it, cut up pages, do whatever you want. No one’s going to judge you for it.
  • It’s a place where you can dream big or small. And by that I mean you can create as much or as little as you want. Getting your ideas and thoughts out can be extremely rewarding and all you have to do is draw what you think needs to be drawn.

Let Nela said in the article: keep the sketchbook with you at all times (sketchbooks come in a variety of sizes, page textures, etc, so find the one that fits you), because if you don’t keep it with you then you’re never going to draw. But if you have a scrap piece of paper or a receipt or napkin, draw on it then stick it in your sketchbook later.

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Art is one of those things that I’m very passionate about, and I know that, for me at least, keeping a sketchbook will help to keep that passion alive.

Let’s Chat! ≧◡≦

Do you have a sketchbook? How do you use it? Do you use it like a diary? Or are your works more open to the public? Tell me all the things!

Hobby Corner: November MUSIC Edition

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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: music!

Everyone listens to music in some form or another, so I think we can all relate to this one in some way. I’ve listened to all kinds of music and my tastes have changed over the years, but I’m always keen on listening to pop music of many kinds. But not only do I enjoy pop music, I also enjoy musicals, K-pop, J-pop, instrumental, electronic, dance. Pretty much anything with an uplifting or cool beat I like.

So today I’m going to talk about some of my favorite music! Each is in it’s own classification, so here we go:

Owl City

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Owl City has been my favorite artist for several years now. I love the albums he puts out and I find them to be so fun and easy to get into. My favorite album is Ocean Eyes as it has some of my favorite songs like Vanilla Twilight, Fireflies, and Tidal Wave. Really, the whole album is amazing, but those are a few of my favorites. I’d classify him as electronic pop and I really suggest giving a listen!

Hamilton

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Is anyone surprised this is here? Anyone? I didn’t think so. I am OBSESSED with this music and I really, REALLY want to see the musical. It’s amazing and I love how it tells some of the history behind America, of course with a little tweaks here and there. It’s crazy. I listen to this soundtrack on a weekly basis, if not daily, and I’ve memorized a lot of the words to most of the first act, and a few parts of songs in the second. It’s amazing and my top favorite song is My Shot, but I also love Right Hand Man, Satisfied, and Yorktown (The World Turned Upside Down). Just watch this performance and tell me you don’t want to see it live:

Lindsey Stirling

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Lindsey’s been around for a while. She’s even performed on America’s Got Talent – and then they didn’t think she’d go far with her violin playing and dance moves after a while. Oh how wrong! Her music is uplifting, powerful, they tell a story, and they’re so fun. Shatter Me is probably my favorite album of hers that’s out and I love songs like Shatter Me, Roundtable Rival, and Heist. Definitely check her out because it’s so good!

Let’s Chat! ≧◡≦

Who are some of your favorite bands/artists? What genres do you listen to? Got any recommendations of your favorites? Let me know!

Hobby Corner: October VIDEO GAMES Edition

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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!

I love playing video games. I haven’t done it as much lately, but that’s just because I really haven’t been in the mood. I’ve always had a preference for first-person shooter games, role playing games like Final Fantasy and Tales of Symphonia, but I’ve also played games like Spider Man, Ray Man, Mario Kart, Pokemon, and more.

Today I’m going to talk about some of my favorite franchises when it comes to games. I can get into more specifics at a later time, but today I’m just going to go into the broad topic of the franchises and why I enjoy them so much.

Assassin’s Creed

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My first game when I started playing this franchise was Brotherhood and it was absolutely amazing. And then I played a lot of the others and I was hooked. I love being able to be an assassin, how there’s a war between two powers, how the stories are told, how the characters are so different in each story arc, but I also really love how you’re able to go and really explore the world as much as you want. That’s seriously one of my favorite aspects about any kind of game. I mean, what’s the point if you can’t explore a little?

I think this franchise is so fun and so elaborate. I love how it places with history and it can take you back to some really beautiful eras. The system of using hidden blades, neat tricks to take out enemies, and the sceneries are just awesome, too.

Call of Duty

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Now, I know a lot of people think the CoD franchise is overrated, but I’ve been playing this franchise since the beginning when it was on the computer, it was old graphics (but really cool for the time), and it was in WWI with Captain Price (who lived through a million games and wars, I swear). I can’t even remember the name of the game or what it was called online, but I played it! I’ve played almost every adaptation since, too, which is a lot but I just find it so cool to not only be a first person shooter, but to also get a look into what people in those situations go through. Obviously it doesn’t compare to the real thing, but still.

I also found that this franchise gets more interesting (and more complicated) as different kinds of weapons are introduced and how different kinds of wars and strategies are thought to play out. It’s very interesting to me to see, but also hella frustrating because when you die 249039048483294240239432 times in the same spot, you get kind of angry.

Final Fantasy

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I. Love. This. Franchise. Now, I’ve only played a tiny handful of the games, but they’re beautiful and glorious and SO intricate in so many ways, it’s ridiculous. I find that the story is extremely compelling and interesting in every game that’s come out so far, and that the systems used in order to gain abilities and experience is really cool and efficient because you can choose what you want the characters to learn, which is awesome. Then there’s the ART. Oh. My. Glorious goodness, the art in these games is unbelievable. I can’t even.

Of the games I’ve played, I’ve only finished one to completion because these games take TIME, and I think it took me over 100 hours of playing to beat the one game. But I also like to go and do as much as I can as I go through the game, and sometimes my characters still aren’t strong enough to beat bosses and it’s just frustrating as all hell. But man, this franchise is simply fantastic.

Pokemon

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LET’S BE REAL HERE. If I hadn’t listed this as one of my favorite franchises, I’d be a liar. I LOVE POKEMON. I have since it first started airing back in 1999 when I was a youngin’. I will admit, though, that I came late to the video game world, so my first Pokemon game wasn’t until Pokemon Gold. I’ve played Stadiums, Snap, Go!, Black, HeartGold, Y, X, Mystery Dungeon, etc. I’ve played a lot of them. And I don’t care if it’s the same kind of story every time, they’re just so fun and so addicting and so nostalgic! I think that’s one of the biggest factors when it comes to playing the games.

Plus, who didn’t want to be a Pokemon Master as a kid and wanted Pokemon to actually be real? I know I did. It was one of my wishes for my birthday when I was a kid. Dreams. Shot. Down.


Not many people know that I like to play video games. I generally surprise them when I say that kind of thing, but I really do. These are just a few of the franchises that I really enjoy playing. The next time I talk about video games I’ll talk about a few more of my favorite franchises and maybe some specific games.

Let’s Chat! ≧◡≦

Do you play video games? What’s your favorite franchise and what’s your favorite game in that franchise? Do you collect anything like characters or cards of characters from that game? Tell me all the things!

Hobby Corner: September ANIME Edition

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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: anime!

I’m pretty sure most people are familiar with anime and have seen at least one episode in their lifetime of some form of it. Whether that be Pokemon, Sailor Moon, Dragonball Z, or something else entirely, you’ve probably seen an anime once in your life.

I find anime to be a really fun and fascinating thing because 1) it provides entertainment, and 2) I love most of the art styles.

Recently I got into anime again after a long stretch of not being into anime or manga (which will be another topic for another day), and I forgot just how entertaining it can be! So today I’m going to talk about my recent favorites and shows I’ve watched.

Orange

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If you’ve seen my review for the manga, then you know just how much I love this series. The anime follows the manga to a T and I just absolutely love it! It’s about a girl named Naho who receives a letter from herself in the future, telling her of events that involve the new transfer student, Kakeru, and how it asks Naho to save him. It’s a story about friendship, loss, suicide, depression, and love.

This anime is so amazing. Because I’ve already read the manga I know what will happen and stuff, but it follows the story line so perfectly and I find that I fell in love with the characters all over again watching this. As of right now it’s ongoing, to eleven episodes and you can watch them on Crunchyroll.

The characters are each amazing and have distinct personalities, the plot is easy to follow between past and future and what is going on with the letters involved, and the animation style is more realistic in a sense, but still has that fun touch to it that makes it unique. I highly recommend you check out this anime!

Ore Monogatari!! (My Love Story!!)

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WATCH THIS ANIME. STOP WHAT YOU’RE DOING AND WATCH IT NOW. This anime is soooo funny and soooo cute and oh my God, I can’t recommend it enough!

It’s about a high school freshman, Takedo, who isn’t your average high schooler because he’s huge, buff, and also the sweetest and purest guy you’ll ever meet. It follows him through his time meeting Rinko Yamato, a high school freshman who goes to an all girls’ school and who is also very pure and innocent. The two of them, along with Takedo’s best friend, Makato Sunakawa, develop a great friendship, and Rinko and Takedo form a beautiful relationship.

I laughed out loud SO MUCH when I watched this series! The entire series is up on Crunchyroll, so I highly suggest you check it out, for sure. 10/10 stars. Adorable story, awesome art, hilarious content, so many cliche things that are too funny, and just an overall good time.

Haikyuu!!

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Never in a million years would I have thought I’d be into a sports anime. BUT OH MY WAS I WRONG. This anime is about volleyball and a boy’s determination to become the best ace (spiker) he can be. But because of his height, he’s often looked at as unfit to play the part, but he shows everyone up with his awesome skills!

This anime has a lot of friendship, teamwork, getting to know yourself, and hilarity. I’ve laughed a lot at the this anime just because so much of it is just sooo funny! But I also love how INTENSE some of these episodes are because OMG. I can’t. Some of the tournament episodes literally have me on the edge of my seat, staring at the screen, chanting, “Come on come on come on…”

I highly recommend this anime even if you’re not into sports because it’s sooooo good! The art style was different and it took me a few episodes to get used to, but the action scenes are flawless and intense, the dialogue is great, and the rivalries that spawn between teammates and opponents can be felt through the screen. Definitely check it out!


Okay, I think that’s good for now. I really suggest you guys check out these anime because they are all so amazing and so fun. Definitely worth checking out each one of them!

The next time I’ll do a throwback and talk about older anime that I was wicked into as a kid (and maybe even now as an adult).

Let’s Chat! ≧◡≦

What are some recent anime shows you’ve watched and would recommend to me? What do you gravitate more towards? I love shoujo anime as it has a lot of tropes that revolve around romance, but I also like the funny ones, too. Share with me all the things!