Did you celebrate FIFA 15 Friday last week? I did Yes, if you’re a guy who likes football and gaming then you’ll know this years instalment of FIFA, FIFA 15 came out on Friday. As with all massive franchises like this one, there’s always people who’ll criticise and say things like; “It’s just a transfer update” and the likes. So is it?
I have always liked FIFA, and I understand that when you have games like this, or Football Manager, it’s very hard to make changes, or make these games better, because they are already very good, and there’s not a huge amount of things you can change, and in most cases why would you want to change something which works?
In terms of the gameplay there are slight refinements yet again, as there was from FIFA 13 to 14. The dribbling seems to have improved quite a bit, and it’s easier to keep the ball without running and having to make a million passes to get through a team. Having said that, the defending is also improved, as are goalkeepers, and it’s not too easy to get past the keepers. The short passing is different, at times it seems to be better, but I did try a few passes which did not go to the intended player which was annoying. The through balls are also different, it seems they’ve really drilled down on them so better players play better through balls, and some players don’t.
There are 2 new options for adjusting your mentality of your team, there’s park the bus, which is even more defensive than “ultra defensive” and at the other end there’s all out attack, one up from “ultra attacking”. These two settings make a big difference, for instance playing as Newcastle with the all out attack setting Coloccini (a defender) stayed up in attack. These two options are a brilliant addition, as the computer AI also uses these well, when they are in the lead with not a lot of time to go they will park the bus, making it harder for you.
The team management screen has had a bit of an overhaul, instead of going through your players in a list view you go through them via the formation which takes a little bit of getting used to.
I got this on the XBOX ONE and think that the visuals are really good, there’s a whole Sky Sports style match experience which is enhanced once again in this version.
One of my favourite features is the commentary. A previous version of FIFA (I can’t remember which one) let you download additional languages for commentary, this was such fun; Usually the English version of FIFA comes with English commentary and a few others such as Dutch which has always been boring. The Spanish commentary is very good and fun, and is done by Manolo Lama and Paco González. If you play with Spanish teams and want extra authenticity you can now have it again
It’s a good update, and a good game. If you’re a fan of the FIFA series which I am then you’ll enjoy FIFA 15. There’s slight changes, some additions and it does feel like an updated, more refined game which it is, and what you’d expect. The only thing which is missing is the vanishing spray, maybe that will come in a download or in FIFA 16.
So yesterday we went out for a night out in Durham…I like nights out there, it’s a change from Newcastle, and they have some good bars such as The Library (used to be called Varsity) which I really like. We went there, as well as Osbournes, The Water House, The Slug And Lettuce, The Boat House and Wiff Waff. It was pretty busy out in Durham, We had to queue at The Boathouse, first time I’ve ever queued to get in there but it was as good as usual. We usually go to The Bishop Mill too, but there was a ridiculous queue so we didn’t bother going there. It was a good night, lots of drinking and banter, and even a game of Pac Man
I got asked for ID not once, but twice! I love it when that happens, and can’t believe it still happens…The drinking age here in the UK is 18, and I am 30! I think they are taking under age checks a bit too far these days…
After Durham we usually go to a couple of bars back in Newastle, and we went to Jalou, Revolution and The Milecastle. Revs and Jalou were good, and I got the obligatory Cookie Monster from Jalou The Milecastle was so quiet, I expected it to be much better but it was late and I guess nobody goes there anymore on a Saturday night.
Another trip down memory lane in my fragrances takes us to Intimately Beckham For Men By DVB. This was one of the first ventures into the fashion world for “Brand Beckham”, and is one of many of the celebrity fragrances which have been launched.
The bottle is an interesting square shape, which is rectangular on each face side with the top and base being a square, creating a large footprint but a low bottle.
The scent itself is very pleasant, and is warm and inviting, it’s perfect for a cosy night. It’s warm, spicy and slightly woody, you can really smell the amber which gives it the warmth. The only problem I have found with this fragrance is that it is not strong enough, and does not last too long, only a few hours, then the scent is not very noticeable. I would usually only recommend this for the evening, however because it’s so light, you could wear this warming scent through the day.
Since it is now old and as seems to be the way of all celebrity fragrances, it can be picked up for cheap, you can get a 75ml bottle for under £10 which is an amazing deal, and should be considered if you’re looking for something to increase your fragrance repertoire.
Best season to wear – Autumn/Winter
Scent type – Woody/Warm/Spicy
Age Recommendation – 18+
Best Worn – Evening, Formal, Casual, Day wear
Fashion’s Night Out in London was an amazing event, with music, DJs, celebs, fashion and party goers. A huge number of stores, brands and fashion labels from the high street and high end took part, the place to be was Regent Street and Oxford Street.
Kings of L.A. Streetwear, Crooks & Castles have released it’s men’s Fall 2014 collection for this season. Inspired by block colours and prints, the collection features understated looks with an emphasis on high end quality and detailing. The range consists of Tees, jogging bottoms, sweats, baseball jackets, shirts and accessories which carry the attitude of the Crooks & Castles brand.
See some selected shots from their AW14 collection below
Tonight is the night for Fashion’s Night Out in London! Are you going? This year it will take place at the home of fashion in the UK, two of the major shopping streets in London; Regent Street and Oxford Street.
Something which is asked a lot for new bloggers who are either looking to start a blog or thinking of switching their platform is: What is better, Blogger or WordPress? Here I’ll talk about Blogger and both versions of WordPress, which is the self hosted option (.org) as well as the WordPress platform (.com).
Over the past few weeks I’ve looked at why Blogger is better than WordPress, and I also wrote about why WordPress is better than Blogger. Here I will discuss the advantages and disadvantages of each platform.
The advantages and disadvantages of Blogger
Free & Easy to get started – You can get started with a blog in a few clicks, and don’t have to spend a penny!
Customise The Look – There’s plenty of themes and layouts for free, buy premium ones or code in your own with CSS/HTML
Run Adverts – You can run Google AdSense, a huge ad programme and earn money. You’ll be able to run other ads too if you want to earn some money through your blog.
Concentrate on blogging – There is no need to worry about uptime, server settings, latest software or anything as you are on Google’s servers.
Speed & Security – Being on Google’s servers you’ll enjoy their speed and security levels, and don’t have to worry about securing a server.
Large Community – There’s a very large community which means you can easily network with fellow bloggers, comment on their blogs and more.
One Login, All Google – You create an account with Google for Blogger, and can use all the services such as Gmail, AdSense, YouTube, Webmaster Tools and more
Easy To Grow – Whether you have 100 visitors or 10,000 visitors it doesn’t matter, your blog will still work in the same way, there’s no need to upgrade
1MB Page size Limitation – On the homepage and other archive pages you’re limited to a 1mb page size – This should not be a huge problem, but it’s a limitation of the service.
Less Control – All you can do is blog, there are not many bells and whistles, you get far, far less control over how you can run your blog.
Less Features & Freedom - Other platforms such as WordPress are open source and let you install plugins or custom code in your own features, you can’t do this on Blogger.
1GB Picture Storage – If you’re taking a lot of pictures you will only be able to store up to 1GB of them on Blogger.
Permalink Structure – You must use the Blogger permalink structure, which means no true categories, and each post URL includes elements of the date.
SPAM – A large community is good, but there can be a lot of spam.
Deletion Of Account – You could have your account deleted if you don’t follow their rules,
Ideal For – Those who want to start blogging with no experience; Those who just want to concentrate on blogging; Bloggers with no willingness to learn about the web Not For – Those who want something very custom; Those who want a lot of additional features for their blog; Those who want coding flexibility & ability to control every aspect of their blog
The advantages and disadvantages of WordPress.com
Use Of WordPress – It’s a great piece of software to use, it’s FREE and you can get up and running pretty quickly
Themes – There’s a few ways you can change the look of your blog to make it your own
Concentrate On Blogging – WordPress.com look after the servers and everything in between, letting you focus on your blog
3GB Space – Lots of space for pictures
Integrate social media such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn And Tumblr
Large Community – Easily get comments from others & comment on other’s blogs too
A few features including stats are built in
Upgrade to a paid plan and get more features; £70/year or £210/year which includes no ads, premium themes, more customisations, ecommerce, unlimited space & more!
No premium features or themes included.
To unlock more features you have to pay for them (as mentioned above, you can take this as an advantage or disadvantage).
WordPress ads will be displayed randomly on your posts (in the free version).
You can’t run your own adverts including AdSense, BuySellAds or any other ad network.
You can’t take advantages of the huge catalogue of WordPress themes or plugins.
No FTP access or access to files
Deletion Of Account – If you don’t follow their TOS or break rules, you could face your WordPress being removed or deleted.
Ideal For – Those looking for an alternative for Blogger; Looking for a free blogging platform; No blogging/coding experience required Not For – Those looking for complete control; Want to earn money from ad networks; Want lots of custom options; Access to files
The advantages and disadvantages of a self hosted WordPress
Free, powerful, open source software – Run the amazing WordPress on your own hosting/server.
Huge Community – Get help from the huge community of WordPress users.
Unlimited Everything! – You’re only limited by your imagination and the quality/resources of your web hosting/server.
Full Access – FTP access, edit files, edit server config and more!
Custom Design – CSS/HTML access to every file, customise the look of your blog.
Plugins – A huge number of plugins (add ons) available to enhance your blog.
Run ads or anything you like, as long as you stay in your hosts TOS you’ll be fine.
Edit htaccess – Control a lot of things via htaccess including banning unwanted visitors and spam.
It’s 100% Yours! – Every aspect big or small can be changed, if you can think of it, it can be done.
Self Hosted WordPress Disadvantages
Your blog is only as good as your host – There’s good and bad hosts out there.
Web hosting costs money, so this is not an option for those looking for something for nothing.
Pay As You Grow – When/if you blog grows, you may need to move up hosting plans which will cost more and more as you get bigger and bigger.
Learning Curve – You’ll have to learn the basics to get the benefits out of a self hosted option, and to fully utilize the power of a self hosted WordPress you’ll have to learn as you go if you don’t already have the knowledge.
A huge number of options – The limitless features can be overwhelming for some, and you may get distracted with what WordPress is capable of, moving your focus from writing your blog to that.
Maintenance – You’ll need to look after your WordPress, security, settings, files and in some cases hosting/server you’re on.
Ideal For – Those who want the ultimate control for a blog, with endless possibilities, a ton of features and more Not For – Those looking for something totally free; Those with no knowledge or an unwillingness to learn the basics of running a blog/web site, including editing files.
Hopefully those advantages and disadvantages I have outlined will makes things more clear so you can pick the perfect platform for you to blog on. Remember, you can always change your mind, and even move your blog between platforms. There is no right answer, it’s down to personal preference, how much experience and knowledge you have, and what you’re looking for when choosing your blog software.
If you’re Apple then you’re saying that the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus phones are “Bigger Than Bigger”. If you have an iPhone or follow technology, it’s been no secret that the new iPhone would be bigger, and the rumours were true, they did indeed release 2 models which they’ve named the 6 and 6 plus.
I have had a few iPhone now; The 3G, 4, 5 and now 6. This is the first iPhone I have ever bought on release day, and the first direct from Apple. It’s also the first time I have gone back to buying a SIM-FREE phone, and will change from a contract to a 30 day rolling plan. This is expensive up front, with the handset costing £699, however it does work out just over a hundred quid cheaper over 2 years which most contracts are. I got the 128GB iPhone 6 in Space Grey, the same handset would have cost me £209.99 and cheapest tariff of £48/month for 2 years! This is too expensive, I was paying £43 which I thought was also too expensive, so I wanted to bring the monthly cost down; I’ll be getting a plan which is around £22/month. Not only is it cheaper, I will not be locked into a deal for 24 months.
The iPhone 6 Size – Is it too big?
OK let’s get down to it. The biggest noticeable change is the size of the phone. It is bigger, it has a 4.7″ screen whereas the 5 has a 4″ screen. The screen size is very noticeably larger when you’re using it, and that’s a good thing. A bigger screen for apps, games and even email and messages is always going to be better, and let’s be honest, that’s why we use these devices. But we have to consider the fundamentals, this is a phone, and you will be carrying it around with you, day in, day out. The iPhone 6 is very slightly wider, and a little bit taller, however it is a lot thinner. Since it’s a lot thinner it fits in jean pockets very easily, and although it’s bigger, it’s not too big for jean or jacket pockets.
The weight is also only slightly more; The iPhone 6 is only 17 grams heavier, and because it’s a bigger device, the weight is spread across it so does not really feel much heavier if at all. It’s also lighter than the iPhone 4, and in fact all other previous models (other than the 5/5S). The most important factor in the size is that it’s super thin, and has rounded edges rather than a squared block-brick style has before.
What about using the phone, as a phone? Yes, it’s a shock some people out there use their phones to actually talk to people. Holding it in one hand is certainly different. I have large hands, and although it’s fairly comfortable, because it’s so thin and is larger than any other phone I have held, it’s an adjustment.
Another key point for mobile devices such as phone is the battery life. If you’ve got and iPhone or previously owned one, you’ll know that the battery is not great, in fact it’s pretty poor. It’s probably the one thing which has not really made much in the way of development, the standby time is quoted at 250 hours, which has been more or less consistent in the iPhone ranges over the years (the £g/3GS/4 was allegedly 300). In the real world of using it, I have not noticed any improvements, however it’s also not getting worse, and since this is a bigger device and using more power, many may say that it is in fact a net improvement.
Apple still have the internal battery which you can’t remove, it would be really nice to see a swappable battery, where you could always have a spare to swap-out. If Apple ever did this, I am sure they would sell a LOT of batteries for those who want to do this.
What’s it like to use? – Should I upgrade from the iPhone 5/5S?
In terms of using the device, It feels slightly faster, and slightly more fluid, so you can feel a bit of a difference, albeit small, when you’re using it for day to day stuff. The camera is slightly better too, and the speakers sound much better, clearer and louder. It has NFC however there seems to be no option, and it’s said that this will be locked down to Apple Pay only. Other changes which are in iOS8 will be available to the iPhone 5/5S.
I want the iPhone 6 Plus because it’s better – Why did you not get that?
I love technology, and I want the best possible device. The iPhone 6 Plus has a couple of more bells and whistles than the 6. For instance, it’s got a bigger screen, at 5.5″. Not only that, the resolution is better, at 1920×1080 which is Full HD. It’s got OIS (optical image stabilisation) in the camera too, and the quoted battery life is better. There’s no doubt, the tech specs on paper show the 6 Plus as being a more powerful device. However it is far too big! I tested this by using a cut-out of the 6 Plus, and it’s not only a huge amount bigger than the 5, it’s even much bigger than the 6. I decided that it was just too big for me, my pockets and my life. I would love the big screen and the rest of the good stuff, but I think it’s just too big to live with.
How would the iPhone 6 be better & What’s missing from it?
The 6 has a few things missing from it, for instance the front facing camera is still the same 1.2MP FaceTime camera as was on the 5, with slightly better aperture. With everyone taking selfies, you would of thought that they’d make improvements in that area. The camera on the rear is also 8MP, the same as the 5, but with the better aperture and focus pixels which promises to make images better. The battery life is not improved, and cannot be replaced. It has the new A* and M8 for power, but the RAM is still 1GB however it is DDR3 rather than the DDR2 of the iPhone 5.
I like the new iPhone 6. The new size is good, I like the design and the slenderness of the phone, and as usual it’s just a nice device to use, if you’ve got or had an iPhone there’s not much of a transition to make. If you have an iPhone 4 or 4S then it’s definitely worth the upgrade. If you love the latest and greatest thing then you’ll be upgrading. If you have a 5/5S and are happy with it, and aren’t bothered about a bigger screen, then you may not want to upgrade. If you are looking for an upgrade or a new phone, it’s worth considering
Michael, Newcastle, UK
Life lover and Fashion Blogger, Michael84 is my space on the Internet. With men's fashion advice and style guides, male fragrance reviews and the latest trends. My personal style includes everything from streetstyle to high street and high end fashion labels.
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