Blogmas One: Final Fantasy XV First Thoughts

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To ease myself back into blogging, I've decided to throw myself head first right into the deep end by doing Blogmas. And I am so excited to be starting with the game that I feel like I have been waiting for for a very long time: Final Fantasy XV.

I know it's not very Christmassy, but I guess it's an early Christmas present to myself so that counts right?

I've had a Playstation 4 for about a year and a half now, and this is the first game that I have bought for it. Essentially from my side of things (the hubby has a large collection of games, of course), the PS4 has been utilised purely as a glorified TV for Netflix, Amazon and Now TV. But Final Fantasy VX is a BIG DEAL for me.

For anyone who doesn't know, I have been a Final Fantasy geek girl since my older brother forced me to play Final Fantasy VII back in 1997. I'm not a huge fan of the side games, but I do usually enjoy the spin-offs. However, Final Fantasy XIII was a huge disappointment for me. There was so much wrong with it - in my opinion - but that is something that I blogged about at the time, so I won't bore you. Therefore there was a heck of a lot of pressure on this game to win me over, because I was starting to think that maybe I was just getting too old for new games (say it ain't so).

My Reaction? Oh my god, this game is just PERFECTION!



I think I've been playing for roughly three hours, at the time of writing this, and so far I have barely advanced the story at all, and despite my initial concerns about it being a very open world, I absolutely love it. I love having the freedom to explore and run around and drive around.

Hunts


I love that the game has brought back the Hunts that I was a huge fan of in Final Fantasy XIII, although I'm not so keen on them being the main source of money, but I always find them to be a great way of encouraging training to level up and basically become pretty badass!

Scenery


The scenery is just absolutely breathtaking. I have found myself taking car journey's purely just to scan around and look at it. Square Enix have completely surpassed themselves with the beauty of the surroundings.

On that note, I like how free you are to roam around the scenery - climbing up hills etc rather than always being blocked by them (obviously cliff faces are still unclimbable, but it's nicely realistic in that sense).

 Fights


Fights I'm still getting my head around. I've heard a few people compare the style to Kingdom Hearts, with one person saying that it's like a more adult version of the battle system from Kingdom Hearts and I definitely agree. As someone who generally prefers the turn-based systems of 90s/00s Final Fantasy games, I'm finding it admittedly difficult to adjust. It's a lot of button pressing and combos and I think that I'm going to struggle to get used to it. However, unlike the annoying battles of Final Fantasy XIII (in which I died more times than physical sense), I think that over time I will get used to it.

Interaction


I'm definitely a fan of how the characters interact with each other and objects on the field, like running independently, bumping into each other or manouvering around bushes. The realism of the game is just insane. It's crazy how far realism has come when it comes to how characters interact with the world around them.

Overall


I might not be far into the game, but from first impressions I definitely expect to get a lot more from this addition to the Final Fantasy collection than I did the 13th installment. It is visually stunning, and I don't think I can get across how beautiful it is - you all just need to see it!

Whether you're a fan or a newbie to the series, I definitely recommend giving this one a go.

I'm sure that a full-on review will follow once I have played more and maybe advanced the story a little further.


Let's chat, trade tips, gossip and share 

(Go on! You don't know what you're missing!)


Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them *Spoiler Free*

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Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them 
It's no secret that I am a Harry Potter fan, but when I first heard that they were making a film of Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them (a book J.K. Rowling first wrote for charity), I'm not going to lie - I was a little bit skeptical.

Of course, I love the fact that we get to travel back into the amazing Wizarding World that Rowling created, but I do think that things have to end eventually, and for me The Cursed Child was an incredible disappointment (note I'm referring to the book, and not the play which I haven't had the opportunity to see).

That being said I went in with what I would describe as a fairly clear head: I was looking forward to see it, but I didn't know enough about the plot etc to have formed any kind of opinion of what I was expecting.

Eddie Redmayne

Honestly, if you go for one reason, let it be Eddie Redmayne. Redmayne played the quirky, introverted Newt Scamandar so beautifully and perfectly, that it is impossible not to find him just so endearing.

He was a perfect casting, and completely different from any other role that I have so far seen him in.

Plot

The plot for me was a little bit meandering, and lacked a clear path. It's kind of like taking the long route around the field to get home, when it would be much quicker to just cut straight across it, even if it is muddy.

The funny thing is that despite that I don't really know what I would have changed. Like, with Suicide Squad I knew precisely what I would have cut out and moved around, but with Fantastic Beasts it was just messy at times.

There were a couple of "twists" that I found predictable, and one other that took me absolutely by surprise, even though looking back it is so easy to work out if you are a. paying attention and b. have any knowledge of the Harry Potter series.

Will I be going to see the future Fantastic Beasts films? Oh gosh, definitely. I just hope that their careful with some of their castings, which I can't help feel are starting to get a little too big name in roles that they don't entirely fit. So many films do it, but Harry Potter has never been one of them.


Let's chat, trade tips, gossip and share 

(Go on! You don't know what you're missing!)


Dear August: Like Ships in the Night

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Dear August,

I'm starting to think that we are but ships passing in the night, because yet again you have come and gone and we appear to have missed one another. This is becoming a regular thing and I'm not sure how I feel about this situation, but I fear that this is just how it is going to be between us.

Are we still friends?

Vaguely, but definitely not in the way that we used to be when you brought freedom and opportunities. But, I am learning to accept it now, that although you are a little distant from me, you are still an important part of my life - just like all of the other months. Why am I suddenly accepting that? Because our relationship has changed, it has....dare I say it, grown up!

At 32, I finally feel like a grown up. Who knew!?

This year August, you seem to have brought change - good change, and it was definitely one that was unexpected, but so desperately needed. In hindsight that change has given us both freedom and opened up amazing opportunities, so maybe you were more than I realised at the time August.

But isn't that how life is, we don't appreciate things enough until they are over. And I've been trying so hard to change that this year, because so much has happened and I've done so much that I am grateful for.

I guess what I'm saying is: I'm sorry August, I'm sorry that I ignored you, even though you tried so hard, but I see how amazing you were and I am glad that I had you looking out for me this year :-)

I am so glad that we can finally be friends again.

Love you lots August,

Kat xxx

Let's chat, trade tips, gossip and share 

(Go on! You don't know what you're missing!)


Dear August: We've Come So Far

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Dear August,


So here we are again. Meeting like old friends who were once so close but over the past few years seem to have drifted further and further apart. Once my favourite month, August, now you just blend into all of the rest - no different from June or July. When did this happen?  When did our mutual love for one another just fall apart?

A lot has changed since we last met August: I started a new job, made some fantastic new friends, had some amazing experiences and started wedding planning much more seriously - I bet you didn't expect that one did you August? Me getting married is one thing, but actually taking the whole thing seriously - that's a laugh isn't it!

That is what I have always loved about you August - you were always full of laughter and smiles.

But now August, I can't help finding you to be quite a stressful month. Kids everywhere, people everywhere, loud music from all directions, the weather is so erratically hot/cold/windy/wet delete as applicable, probably several times a day - all are theworst ingredients for ultimate anxiety.

I'm trying to conquer that anxiety August, but it seems to be getting harder, rather than easier. I want to start appreciating your goodness again. 

I hope that we can figure things out before you have to go again.

Speak soon August.

Love, Kat x

The Introvert Girl's Guide To Wedding Fairs

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When you're a little bit socially awkward, the words "Wedding Fair" can sound immensely daunting. Trust me, I know, because I have been there. Since I got engaged just over a year ago, I've put off going to Fairs because they sound like my kind of nightmare. I hate crowds, I hate talking to people that I don't know and I hate Sales Pitches!

However on February 15th, I pushed myself hard enough into actually going to a local Wedding Fair and I have to admit that I probably will not be attending another one any time soon. Despite that, I would definitely say that it was worth going and I don't regret it one bit.

So, I basically wanted to put together a guide for fellow introverts to help prepare you for the scary task of attending a Wedding Fair.

Never Go It Alone

It's easy to say that when you are not looking forward to something, the best way of dealing with it, is to never try dealing with anything on your own. I know it's cliche, but the old adage that "a problem shared, is a problem halved" really is true, when it comes to Wedding Fairs.

Wedding Fairs are - quite literally - social events, so don't be afraid to turn it into one, bu involving people who you feel comfortable around (your Mum, Gran, Aunts, Bridesmaids, even your Other Half), because you're more likely to relax when surrounded by people who you know and trust.

Prepare for Sales Bitches

There is no going about it, you will be bombarded by a lot of people desperate for your attention and desperate to sell you everything that you probably don't need. Most Assistants are really lovely, but others - however - really aren't.

There are several ways of dealing with this:


  1. Listen to the Sales Pitch, nod politely, accept all the paraphernalia you are offered (you can always browse it at home) and thank them for their time.
  2. I found that a lot of Sales People tended to ask if I already had a particular aspect sorted (ie the venue, decorations, hair and make up etc). If you don't want to talk to people, put yourself into automatic "Yes I have, thank you!" with a polite smile, and move on. Sometimes, they will get pushy and ask more questions, but generally saying that you have something covered is enough to get rid of them for a little while.


One thing to note here, is that some Sales Bitches (and they really can be Bitches), will try to trip you up by asking you for more details about which venue you're using etc. The best way to handle this is to just throw an answer at them, or if they seem to be particularly rude, consider ignoring them and don't let them upset you. They're not worth it.

The Switch Up

If you find yourself becoming increasingly overwhelmed by the whole thing, it could be worth taking a step back and pretending that you are not the bride.

My friend noticed that a lot of company's were scanning left hands to check for engagement rings, so I started to take mine off periodically. This didn't always work, as I'd been handed a bright pink bag when I walked into the building which my acceptance kind of gave me away.

Nevertheless, if you have a friend or relative who knows what you want incredibly well, it could be an idea to ask them to pretend to be the bride and start conversations going on your behalf. If they (and you) build a rapport with a company, that could help you build up your confidence to speak out as the actual bride.

Building a Rapport

It is incredibly easy to feel suckered into something by pushy sales assistants in most situations, but when it comes to your wedding it's even more important to not be pushed by them, because more often than not we are talking a lot of money.

If there is something that you are keen to purchase and/or put a deposit down for, but are torn between several companies, the best thing to do is talk to them. Even using the switch up method, mentioned above, if it helps.

In my opinion, the Assistants job is to provide you with a service and that service should not include making you feel uncomfortable, because you'll never be happy working with someone like that. Therefore, if you find it easy to talk to the person representing the company, it is more likely that you'll feel more comfortable working with them, and asking questions about the nitty gritty things.


Just remember that Wedding Fairs are there to benefit you. Try not to commit to anything firmly - take time to go away and think about things. If a company has an offer for the day of the event only, there is no reason why you can't go away to think about it and then return later on.

Let's chat, trade tips, gossip and share 

(Go on! You don't know what you're missing!)