Final Fantasy XV HYPE

I’m just going to post the video of the Final Fantasy XV Uncovered event from last night and say that I am 100% ON BOARD THIS HYPE TRAIN. I preordered my Ultimate Collector’s Edition and everything. I wonder if I can beat XIII-2 and Lightning Returns before September 30th. I’m not a fan of playing games out of order, even when they’re completely unrelated…

I CAN’T WAIT!!!

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New Mom Cave & Moogle House!

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So remember when I said I was rearranging things? I’m done! I now have everything within arm’s reach and I can more easily stream everything I want. It’s like I have my own little command center or something. I’m so lucky my husband let me take the TV and the consoles from the living room. He really indulges me. ❀ Luckiest woman alive. Seriously.

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After months of work leveling and gearing up, we finally completed our moogle house. I am so happy. There are only three active crafters in our Free Company: my husband, my friend, and myself. When we started working on this, none of us had a single craft at level 60, let alone 60 with gear high enough to even make some of the ingredients. So over the past few months we’ve been plodding our way, leveling up, gearing up, learning rotations, etc. So worth it.

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Here we are in front of our house, basking in satisfaction! Now we’re working on making better parts for our three airships… Need to unlock Sector 24 and get that Zu mount!

It was a weekend of accomplishments. A bunch of us finally got our Bismark Extreme clears. Having better gear certainly helped. And we got The Echo (10% stat increase). My Twitch viewers were cheering us on, so even when I was getting frustrated from dying over and over again, I kept going.

My other big accomplishment over the weekend was clearing A7 Normal or Alexander Midas: The Arm of the Son on Normal difficulty. Yes, I realize this content is considered “easy” and yes, I know I’m late to the party, but I HAD FUN. πŸ˜€ One of my biggest frustrations with being an older gamer is that sometimes I learn things more slowly than younger players. Not all of this is because of age. Some of it is because up until the last few years, ALL my gaming experience was slow paced or menu-based battles. Virtual dice rolls were responsible for determining whether or not I got hit by an attack and NOT my ability to run out of ground telegraphs in time.

Of our group of 8, five of us were from my Free Company. Knowing that we tend to need extra time to learn things, we chose to recruit members using the Party Finder instead of having the game randomly assign players to our group. We explained that we were learning and that wipes would happen so people knew what they were getting into by joining our party. I have to say that I love my server. (I’m on Cactuar, also known as Bestuar.) Every time we’ve recruited people to help us learn content, they have been amazingly helpful, patient, and just awesome.

It took us about two and half hours of trying over and over to finally get it. We had to replace our last dps twice. Once because they had to go and once because they disconnected.Β I was also streaming our adventures on Twitch and having a little cheering section there was great, too! I don’t have a lot of viewers, but the ones I have are so supportive.

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I’m pretty sure this guy’s green subligar was our good luck charm. (My husband took this shot of all the women in our party surrounding the naked Hyur.) After he joined, we cleared real quick! Never underestimate the power of a near naked man to motivate me! LOL I’m so bad.

Today in Game/Nerd News:

Microsoft has a new “cross network” initiative which will allow XBOX players to be able to play with other consoles. Of course, the game has to support it, but this is big news. Honestly, it doesn’t affect ME too much since I always have all the consoles, but for people who only have one console in their house (instead of 5!), this could make multiplayer an even better experience. To be completely honest, I often wish that all games were available on all platforms. I’m getting sick of having so many little machines. When I was moving all my consoles to another part of the house this weekend, I had cables and whatnot coming out of my ears!

There’s an English name and release window for Project Setsuna. It’s called I Am Setsuna and it is scheduled for digital release on PS4 and PC in the summer.Β I’m quite disappointed that it’s not releasing on the Vita here, though. I love my Vita as a JRPG machine. Oh well. By playing it on the PS4, I’ll be able to stream it on Twitch, so that’s good. Chrono Trigger is one of my favorite games of ALL TIME, so anything inspired by that has GOT to be good. And while people like to hate on Square Enix, I feel that lately they’re getting back in touch with their consumers and making GOOD GAMES. So I’m really looking forward to this.

Holy shit! Yes, please. I never played the original, but this looks REALLY COOL!

Unless you’ve been living in a cave, you’ve probably heard about the fight between Apple and the FBI. John Oliver does a fantastic job of explaining why you and everyone else should care about this.

Tonight on Twitch:

I’m hoping to actually work on some game backlog tonight with Fallout 4. Since the DLC is releasing next week, I feel like I should get on this. However, I’ve got stuff I need/want to do in Final Fantasy XIV, so I’ll be working on that first.Β Since Daylight Savings Time started, the non-Hawaii members of my Free Company are now an extra hour ahead of me, so if I want to be able to group up and get shit done with them on the weekdays, I need to log on as early as possible. So my plan is to play FFXIV for a couple of hours, take a dinner break, and then play Fallour 4 for a couple of hours. If I’m not falling asleep, I may log back onto FFXIV and stream the Hatching-tide event. We’ll see… That might have to wait until tomorrow.

Have I mentioned that I HATE DAYLIGHT SAVINGS TIME? Why do we still even DO that?! Ugh. Coordinating with my FC is harder! Chatting with my son is harder! QQ

Anyway… Come by and say hi! πŸ™‚

  • h4tsum1

Figuring Out Twitch

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Since I rushed home from work, I was able to get about an hour and a half of Final Fantasy XIV in before the servers went down for maintenance. Three members of my Free Company and I unlocked The Lost City of Amdapor (Hard) and went in blind. I highly recommend going into any dungeon blind WITH FRIENDS or other people who are interested in figuring out mechanics on their own. DO NOT DO THIS if you’re using the Duty/Raid Finder, especially if the content is more than a few weeks old. (You could totally get away with it right now since the content is still brand-spanking new, though.) The four of us were chatting on Discord, figuring out stuff as we went along, calling out stuff we noticed, etc. It really adds an extra element of fun when you have to figure stuff out on your own. It also promotes teamwork and communication. You know, those real life skills that are useful in jobs and stuff. πŸ˜›

Light Party Dungeons are 4-man dungeons and have a time limit of 90 minutes. I think there were about 20 minutes left on the clock when we finished. Not bad! And we only wiped once on the very first boss. There were some hairy moments on the other bosses, but we were able to learn and adapt quickly enough to keep from dying. I was actually really worried about the last boss because historically, whenever we’ve had to learn a new dungeon, we usually wipe over and over on the last boss. We’ve actually FAILED dungeons multiple times because of this. Other times, we’ve won with literally just a few SECONDS to spare. We cheer really loudly when that happens… Haha! We have a lot of fun.

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I’m not entirely sure WHY, but I really like these floating octopus-looking enemies in that dungeon. They’re beautiful in a dark way to me. Yeah, I’m weird. I liked the sparkly butterflies, too. Hoping to attack The Antitower tonight! Calcabrena!

I didn’t Twitch my adventures last night. I wish I had, especially since we had such a fun time! But I’m trying to figure out a good plan. So far I’ve just been streaming whatever whenever. I’ve been TRYING to stick to a schedule, but I’ve been pretty shitty at it. I want to change that. I want my channel to be a fun place that people want to visit. It excites me when I meet new people who love games as much as or more than I do. So I want to figure out a plan and a schedule. Here’s a list of what I’m working with:

  1. I want to stream every day.
  2. I want to stream Final Fantasy XIV.
  3. I want to stream new games as I get them.
  4. I want to stream my backlog, provided it’s on a streamable platform.
  5. Speaking of platforms… My streaming options are currently only PC, PS4, and XBOX One.
  6. My husband is my #1 moderator.
  7. My husband is willing to help out with other stuff at home to let me do this.
  8. I have an awesome follower who bugs me when I don’t stream. (Arciela, PLEASE keep doing that!)
  9. Available stream times:Β M-Th – 5:30 PM to 10:30 PM, Fri – 8 PM – 11 PM, Sat – 4 PM – 11 PM, Sun – 12:00 PM – 10 PM (HST)

Since Final Fantasy XIV is a MMORPG, regular play is a necessity. Not to mention, I just love playing that game. Since the majority of my FC (guild) is on the mainland, the earlier I play that game during the day the better. On some days, I’ll probably need to spend more time on FFXIV because of weekly cap goals. Other days, I’ll be able to just log on, do a few daily things, and then log off to play something else. Given all this, here’s my new proposed schedule:

(Note: This is a work in progress and I will continue to tweak it until I’m happy with it.)

  • Sunday – Free between Noon and 10 PM (with regular breaks) – dependent on Free Company plans
  • Monday – 5:30 PM – 7: 30 PM – FFXIV; 8:30 PM – 10: 30 PM – Other Games
  • Tuesday – 5:30 PM – 10:30 PM (with a dinner break in there) – FFXIV
  • Wednesday – 5:30 PM – 7:30 PM – FFXIV; 8:30 PM – 10:30 PM – Other Games
  • Thursday – 5:30 PM – 7:30 PM – FFXIV; 8:30 PM – 10:30 PM – Other Games
  • Friday – 8:00 PM – 11:00 PM – Whatever I’m in the Mood For
  • Saturday – 5:00 PM – 7:00 PM – FFXIV; 8:00 PM – 11:00 PM – FFXIV or Other Games (dependent on Free Company plans)

In case you’re wondering why I’m working so hard on this, the answer is simple. This is something I REALLY REALLY want to do. The only people I’ve ever seen who love games as much as I do are the people who stream on Twitch and make YouTube videos. Or people who work in the video game industry like game journalists and game developers. When I thought about which of those things sounded like the most fun, streaming definitely came out on top. Plus I haven’t seen a whole lot of women streamers in their 40’s, so I thought it might be nice to represent that demographic. Not all moms just play Disney’s Tsum Tsum and Neko Atsume on our cellphones, after all. πŸ˜‰ I do play those, too, though… CAN’T RESIST THE CUTE.

Anyway, I hope you join me. πŸ™‚

Today in Game/Nerd News:

Harebrained Schemes’ Necropolis got delayed until Summer. BUT! They’re working with Bandai Namco to also release on PS4 and XBOX One! Excellent! I’m still planning on picking it up for my PC since it’s got full controller support. It was designed with controller in mind, from what I was told. I love that this game will have multiplayer, too.

There are new Pokemon logos. I’m sure we’ll hear all about them in the Nintendo Direct that’s happening at 5 AM (HST) tomorrow morning. I’ll still be sleeping, thank you very much.

Tonight on Twitch:

According to my new and improved schedule, I SHOULD be playing FFXIV from 5:30 to 7:30 and then switching to Bloodborne after I eat dinner. HOWEVER, I’m going to start my new schedule on Sunday. Tonight, I’ll be logging onto FFXIV after dinner. Probably around 6:30 or 7. And that’s what I’ll be playing until I go to bed. There’s a lot of new content and I need to unlock it all. It’s going to take me a long time to actually DO it all, but I at least want to have it available.

Stop by and say hi!

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Unravel

Yarny is adorable. ❀

Last night I spent over 3 hours on Unravel, a puzzle platformer developed by Coldwood Interactive and published by EA. As a testament to how much I was enjoying myself, I spent a good chunk of time figuring out how to alleviate the motion sickness some of the game’s movement caused JUST SO I COULD KEEP PLAYING. Generally speaking, if a game makes me feel like throwing up, I just stop playing. Thankfully, most of Unravel’s movement isn’t nausea inducing. It’s pretty much only when Yarny has to swing. I was able to minimize my nausea by moving my body back and forth in time with the swings. Pretty sure I looked like an idiot, but it allowed me to keep playing the game. Sometimes I’d forget to sway and I’d have to look away from the screen or close my eyes to get rid of the dizziness, but as I played more, I forgot less often.

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My buggy eyes are a good indication of how difficult this game is for me… LOL Beautiful game, though.

I have a love-hate relationship with puzzle platform games. On the one hand, I love the satisfaction of figuring out how to get from start to finish. On the other hand, when I get stuck on a puzzle, it can be absolutely rage inducing. Unlike straight up puzzle games like The Talos Principle, I also have to do things like time jumps or other hand-eye coordination tasks in addition to solving the puzzle. That added layer of complexity makes games like Unravel, rain, or Papo & Yo both more fun and more frustrating at the same time. I would argue, though, that the feeling of satisfaction upon success is also greater. I don’t know if it’s because my brain just doesn’t work a certain way or what, but sometimes I can get stuck on a puzzle for 20-30 minutes at a time. Each level contains several puzzles to solve in order to reach the end of the level. There are hidden items, too. So far I’ve only tackled the first two levels of Unravel, but I spent over 3 hours on that! This isn’t any worse or better than other similar games, fyi. I’m just an idiot, it seems. LOL Thank goodness for the beautiful scenery and serene, relaxing music! Pretty sure that’s part of what keeps me from just rage quitting.

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An entry in the scrap book after a level.

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A photo page before completing a level.

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After.

Still, that a-ha! moment when I finally DO figure something out, is incredibly satisfying. Yarny is using yarn to tie the memories of a family together, so when you complete a level, you feel all warm and fuzzy inside. As you find memories, you unlock photos and entries in an old scrap book. The house that serves as a hub for the different worlds/levels is warm and inviting with tea and cookies on a table, a cozy fire crackling, and the kinds of knick-knacks you’d find in your grandma’s house.

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I miss my grandparents and the memories we made when I was a kid. My relationship with my family now is full of pain and distance, so I often daydream about family vacations and other memories from when they were still alive. I currently live in my late paternal grandparents’ house and I can still remember the ice cream truck that drove through the neighborhood and watching samurai dramas on TV with my grandma while she played Solitaire on a big pillow on her lap. Unravel makes me “yarn” for those times that are long past but still bring a smile to my face. According to the official website, “Yarny is the bond that ties everything together.” I’m a sucker for stories about family bonds. I truly believe that some bonds can’t be repaired, but at the same time I want to experience happily-ever-after. Stories can give me that fantasy that I know I’ll never get in real life. (If you’re curious, Papo & Yo was one of the most heart-wrenching and relate-able games I’ve ever played. Even though I know that Monster will always be Monster, a small part of me still wishes for a magic wand or something to transform him.)

I can’t wait to play more of Unravel. Reviews have been kind of all over the place, but for me, this game is definitely a win. I will definitely take more screenshots of the environments and post them here. I know there’s a snow level coming up! There’s no snow where I live. 😦

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In other news, I got my Final Fantasy XIV: Heavensward art book. It came with a minion of Relm from Final Fantasy VI. Cute, but uninteresting, so I forgot to take a screenshot. I love the art in this game.

Today in Game/Nerd News:

GRAVITATIONAL WAVES!!!

Microsoft has added 4 more games to their list of backwards compatible 360 games on the XBOX One:

  • Sam & Max Beyond Time and Space
  • Lego Batman
  • Alan Wake’s American Nightmare
  • Trials HD

(I’m still waiting for Skyrim.) They’re also going to be announcing them as they become ready/available. That’s cool.

There’s a new trailer for the Batman v Superman movie. I really don’t give a shit about Batman and Superman. They are two of my least favorite mainstream superheroes and this movie looks like 2 kids fighting for dominance on the playground or something. “My dick is bigger than yours! Nya, nya, nya!” HOWEVER, I am a feminist and a HUGE fan of Wonder Woman, so I’m looking forward to her. And the new Alfred. Seriously. JEREMY IRONS OMG. ❀ Totally fangirling out here…

Tonight on Twitch:

I really want to finish The Talos Principle, so I’m going to spend some time on that. I’m also planning on playing more Unravel. I’m hoping to get started around 9:30 PM PST. Come by and say hello!

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New T-Shirt!

A really good friend of mine posted a Teespring link to my Facebook wall several weeks ago. This happens a lot since a number of my friends get new nerdy t-shirt design updates from various websites like Teespring, Teefury, etc. (I’ve learned that it’s bad for my budget and my limited dresser space to follow these websites myself.) I would say that about 98% of the time, I’ll click on my friend’s link, chuckle, briefly consider a purchase, and then remind myself that student loan payments and my goal of moving to the mainland take priority. However, once in a great while, a shirt is just SO GOOD that I absolutely HAVE TO HAVE IT. This was one of those times.

New t-shirt! 😍 This is SO ME! #gamer

A post shared by Hatsumi (@h4tsum1) on

I am a very passionate person. If I love something, my ardor is unmatched. If I hate something, oh man… So it stands to reason that I can have a temper. I’ve learned how to control that temper, but if you’re close to me, you’ve seen it and you KNOW that this shirt is accurate. πŸ˜‰ It’s probably why I love destroying and killing so much in video games. It’s like an outlet for my anger and frustrations. In real life, I’m actually VERY non-violent. The thought of laying a finger on an ACTUAL person is repulsive and sickening to me. (For years, this carried over into my gaming, as well, making certain types of games very difficult, but that’s a story for another day.)

The friend who linked this shirt came over to hang out last night. I hadn’t seen him in person in MONTHS. It was great. πŸ™‚ He brought spicy ahi and tako poke, I cooked dinner, and we drank a nice Syrah while talking about games, Dungeons & Dragons, Star Wars, Star Trek, comics, and other nerd things. I have very few friends in real life that are as passionate about these things as I am, so when I get the opportunity to hang out and talk nerd, it really is the BEST. TIME. EVER. (This is the reason why I signed up for Twitch: to have more opportunities to chat with other people about these awesome hobbies!)

Since he didn’t have to work today, he stayed pretty late, so I didn’t get to play any games last night. I played with my Vita for maybe a half hour while lying in bed before sleep, but that’s it. I hope we get to hang out more often.

Today in Game News:

DOOM has a release date: May 13, 2016. Friday, the 13th.

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And it has a Collector’s Edition. I don’t play first person shooter games because they make me nauseous. If I manage to find one that doesn’t make me sick, I really like playing them, though. But because I have very little experience playing them, I REALLY REALLY SUCK. I’m pretty sure it’s painful to watch, honestly. I want this game. Even if it makes me motion sick, if I move my body around while I play, I can alleviate it for the most part. I have to take frequent breaks, though. (That’s what I have to do when I play Fallout 4.)

One of my favorite games of all time is Escape from Monster Manor on the 3DO. (An EA game back when EA was still just a game development studio and not a corporate giant.) Like other FPS games during that time, character movement wasn’t as complex, so it was easy for me to adjust my body movement to allow for playing for long periods of time. The original DOOM was similar, although there was more head bob. But anyway, after watching this trailer, I really want to play this game.

(Man, it’s another slow news day for me…)

Tonight on Twitch:

Today is one of my viewer’s birthdays! πŸ™‚ So I will be drinking wine and doing normal FFXIV things. Maybe I’ll work on my alt on their server after roulette, etc. I could use a change of pace.Β Of course, I also want to work on The Talos Principle. I miss actually BEATING games. If I didn’t love FFXIV so much, I’d quit playing MMO’s so that I could focus on all the other stuff I have, but that’s just NOT going to happen…

I’m hoping to start streaming at 9:30 PM Pacific Time. Come hang out!

  • h4tsum1

Extra Life 2015 Silver Medal! For the Kids!

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I don’t remember exactly when or where I first learned about Extra Life. Since I am a rabid follower of video game news, it was probably when one of the websites I follow announced that they had a team and that they’d be participating in a gaming marathon to raise money for Children’s Miracle Network hospitals. I remember thinking, “Ooooh, that sounds cool!” I checked to see if there were any groups in my state participating, but couldn’t find anything. Since all of my experiences with fundraising for charity always involved groups of people organizing together and doing things, I didn’t think I could actually participate alone. (I was totally wrong about that, of course.)

So how does Extra Life work? Basically, on one day every year, gamers across the country play games for 24 hours to raise money for their chosen CMN hospital. The rules are very flexible, though. It doesn’t HAVE to be the designated day if that day doesn’t work for you. And you don’t have to play 24 straight hours (although a lot of people do). You can play board games, video games, outdoor games, whatever. You’re encouraged to stream your gaming and post on social networks to raise money and you’re absolutely encouraged to HAVE FUN.

I participated in Extra Life for the first time in 2014. I joined a team organized by the board game store I frequent, The Armchair Adventurer. (If you’re into board games and live on Oahu, this is THE PLACE.) I spent part of my time playing games at home on my computer and consoles and then spent several hours at the store, playing board games with other gamers. Naturally, I dragged my husband along. (That guy really does support me in EVERYTHING I do. I’m so lucky.) We had so much fun and I raised $405.00. I couldn’t wait to do it again.

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So naturally, I signed up as soon as I could for 2015. I even got a special gift for signing up early: a Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals wrist band. I increased my individual goal to $500. I joined the same team, but never actually made it to the store that night. Again, I had a BLAST! This time around, I streamed my gaming on Twitch and even played games with one of my viewers. I beat my goal and raised $610.00 plus a monthly recurring donation of $10/month. That’s how I scored the silver medal – raising more than $500.

I love playing the hero in video games and Extra Life lets me be a hero in real life, too. It doesn’t get any better than that. Did I sign up for 2016? ABSOLUTELY! Game Day is November 5, 2016, but raising money to help sick and injured kids is something we can do 365 days a year. If you don’t already participate, I HIGHLY recommend it. DO IT.

If you want to donate, you can click here for my donation page. (I also have a link embedded on my Twitch channel page.)

For the Kids!

  • h4tsum1

Getting Excited About the Next Gen System Launches

Whenever I get really angry, I get the most bizarre urge to clean. For example, I’ve been known to completely rearrange the bedroom at 3 in the morning, much to the chagrin of my trying-to-get-some-sleep husband. So after I learned that my computer was totally dead, I decided to clean and reorganize the section of our bedroom that has all our recently bought comics, charging cables, and late night snack food. As I was boarding our comics so that I could put them in their boxes, I noticed that we were missing a Wonder Woman. Maybe #22? I forget. I told my husband to log it in his list/spreadsheet so that we can get it in the near future.

He commented, “I can’t wait till we move to the mainland and can visit the comic books stores up there. When I lived in Washington state, I used to love taking my 10 year old nephew to comic book stores and we’d see if we could find any cool, hard to find stuff. Taking Nico when he was little to the card stores for Pokemon and Yu-Gi-Oh cards was just like that. I really miss that.” (Nico is our nickname for my son.)

I replied, “Yeah, I feel like the act of collecting is way more fun than the having. There’s that thrill when you find something you were really searching for, you know?”

Of course, I like HAVING stuff, too. (I’m a terrible, horrible person for liking my materialistic possessions, I know…) But that excitement and anticipation of getting something cool is indescribable to me. The XBOX One and Playstation4 are releasing in a matter of weeks now, so the hype and excitement is building. Microsoft and Sony are doing everything they can to get us excited about it. In case you missed them, here are the latest trailers:

XBOX One

Playstation 4

In addition to all the hype, though, is a veritable laundry list of everything that can and can’t be done on the day these systems release. Whether it’s real name IDs, requiring a launch update, or voice chat support, media outlets just can’t resist shoving all this information down our throats. To be fair, when you’re shelling out this kind of cash for a brand new system, you want to know what it can and can’t do. It’s just that I feel like a side effect of this information overload is that they’re taking the thrill, mystery, and excitement out of it.

I mentioned in a previous post that there isn’t really anything at launch for either system that I want or even plan on buying. Yet I’m buying the systems anyway because that thrill of collecting compels me. November is going to be an exciting month for us. The PS4 comes out on the 15th, the XBOX One comes out on the 22nd, and then my husband and I leave for our vacation on the 26th. I’m doing my best to ignore the majority of the media information overload so that I can stay focused on the anticipation and excitement. I’m definitely getting excited. I can hardly wait. πŸ™‚