THE GUY ON TREND

A Lifestyle, Grooming & Technology Blog


This time of year is always HUGE for new video game releases! With Christmas fast approaching, game publishers are always keen to get their latest and greatest in the hands of gamers around the world as soon as possible, with a lot of us having a Christmas wishlist full of the latest releases.

I've picked up a couple of new games over the past few weeks, one of which is surely a no brainer for Game Of The Year. Even if you're not a huge video game addict like myself, you've surely heard of this one. So here's a quick look at what I've been playing recently...

Red Dead Redemption 2

I could probably write an entire post about my admiration for this game. I took a day off work to play it when it came out a few weeks ago and literally played it non stop for the first weekend I had it. Red Dead Redemption 2 is a prequel to the original Red Dead that came out almost 10 years ago now for the Xbox 360, and oh man have Rockstar Games been working their magic during that time to make this game a true masterpiece.

You can spend the first chapter marveling at the snow effects and drawing rude pictures by walking about but at some point you have to hit the story which involves riding on horse a bit (you have to hold a button to follow while they give you the story) , shoot a bit and then go back to camp. Repeat this a few times and you're on to chapter 2 where the game opens up into. Well more of the same, just less snow.

Now there are issues, just look at the endless YouTube rants and discussion to see that! Too slow paced, clunky controls, the character is slow, not as good as the first. Some of these comments are true but only to a point! Yes, it is a first slow but that’s story and character building. Anyone used to the current crop of twitch shooters and the hand holding and your character possessing the superhuman abilities of the Assassin’s Creed games will find Arthur lumbering. Controls can be fiddly but patience and a little time in the controls will help. But the key thing here is Arthur feels, well, real! He’s heavy and human and feels like flesh and bone and he fits his world perfectly.

The world itself is vast, being substantially larger than the original (even though it features the top half of the first game, anyway). It varies from alligator-invested swamps to open plains, from an industrialised city to farming commutnies, from mountain peaks to snow-carpeted wilderness; in terms of location, this game simply has it all. And the story takes you to a large amount of the map in an organic way, which is not only relevant to the story, but also gives you a chance to explore different areas out of your own leisure. The light effects are beautiful, especially when the dying light of sundown dapples through the arms of trees. The sound effects add to the immersive world too, with crisp sound quality that makes it again seem more than a video game. Rockstar’s attention to detail is the greatest achievement in video game history as of so far. Even rockstar themselves may not be able to surpass what they have achieved with this game. I play on an Xbox one X and on a 4K TV, and in Native 4K, this game is beyond stunning. Many times (more than I dare to admit), I was staring out into the game’s world in awe. I was simply left with pure wonder at how a game could look, feel and sound so real.

NPCs will carry on with whatever they’re doing or saying whether you’re there to witness it or not. Encounters happen frequently, meaning long horse journeys to and from locations are not mundane or lacking excitement. Rival gangs will ambush you or be up to no good within your proximity. Citizens will ask for your help or try to rob you. So much can happen that you almost can never predict when something will; that’s what keeps it fresh after countless hours of play.

You can pick up Red Dead Redemption 2 on Amazon here 



Overwatch - Game of The Year Edition

Overwatch has now been out for well over a year but I recently decided to pick up the Game of The Year Edition as it came with some cool extras including free loot boxes and an exclusive character skin. This is online only, so you will need an Xbox Live subscription to play. If you don't know what Overwatch is about it is basically a Team vs Team of various game types, and is usually more fun with friends. If you love competitive gameplay you'll enjoy this. It often does start to bore me after awhile due to its repetition, so I will often end up after 2-3hrs sticking in a RPG or something. You will find that you will get better as you play more, and you will start to learn what chararcters suit you most {I personally prefer Soldier, Tracer, Sombra, Hanzo and Widowmaker}, but for a casual gamer you will die, rage and sigh but cheer and feel a great accomplishment when you get your first kill, then your ten and so forth. Obviously not all players play fair, some games will test your patience.

There's a huge amount of variety on offer when it comes to heroes and the unique abilities that they bring to game play. You'll certainly find your favourites but all of them have some cool abilities that can counter those of other heroes. It's super competitive but if you're a casual gamer just looking for something that you can pick up and play then no fear as there's plenty of unranked modes that enable you to hone your skills before taking on some seriously high level players in the ranked match making. If you are up for a challenge then the leveling system on offer here is super rewarding, and offers periodic cosmetic items that can help you show off your level, but importantly never impacts the core gameplay by giving you overpowered weapons or characters. Everything on offer is purely cosmetic. 






*This is a sponsored post. The Warren were kind enough to gift the meal, however all opinions shared here are my own.

Last week, the team at The Warren in Binfield were kind enough to invite me to celebrate the reopening of their premium bar and restaurant. It has been closed for the last week or so whilst undergoing an extensive refurbishment. The pub has also extended the outdoor area including the car park so it can fit even more guests inside! There's also a fabulous new menu on offer, which is what we got to try during the press evening last week.

I've visited The Warren quite a few times over the last few years. It's great for a cosy date night in the Winter or for the Summer months they've got a great outdoor garden space to chill out with a few ice cold drinks with your mates.

The evening started with some fantastic gin cocktails - cant beat that! We were presented with all kinds of interesting ingredients to create our own cocktails. I went with mint, red peppercorns and cucumber and it was amazing. The Warren has a fantastic drinks menu with cocktails from only £6.95, which is a bargain.


There were also some delicious canapés from the bar snacks menu including falafel, goats cheese and more. If you're planning on just popping in for a few drinks with some friends then these would have been perfect.  We then enjoyed a mini tour of the refurbished interior of the restaurant area, which has received a full makeover as you can see from these images. It looks super smart and inviting.

It's not just the surroundings of the pub that have received an upgrade, the menu has been completed overhauled too and now features some great midweek offers including 2 courses for £22 each or 3 for £26 each including a bottle of wine for the table on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. As if you needed an excuse to treat yourself before the weekend!





We were then sat down for dinner at a cosy spot towards the back of the pub just next to the roaring fireplace - perfect. For my starter I chose the Salt & Pepper Squid, which you can see below. The fried squid was crispy on the outside and nice and soft on the inside, not at all rubbery which is sometimes the case with this dish. The lemon was also a nice touch and gave it that extra zing. Just enough to get you started.

Starter - Salt & Pepper Squid
Then it was time for mains and OH MY GOD this was delicious. Honestly one of the best main courses I think i've ever eaten... I chose the pork belly, which came with scallops and the nicest gravy ever. There was also a healthy serving of greens as well just to make you feel better about all that meat. The presentation was incredible and almost made me feel bad about tucking in...well almost.As you can see below the cut of pork we were given was massive and there was also lots of crackling if that's your thing. I could have done with a couple more scallops but only because i'm obsessed with them and they were perfectly cooked.

Main - Pork belly with scallops
We then had a little break after all that food with another round of drinks before it was time for dessert. I'm a massive red wine person so i went with a large glass of Malbec (£8.25) which was really delicious. Then it was time for chocolate cake! Topped with mint and a large helping of vanilla ice cream, the chocolate cake below was really tasty and not too sickly sweet like you sometimes get with similar desserts. There was also a lovely warm salted caramel sauce drizzled around the outside, which was a great way to add another flavour but was also great to dunk the cake into. Yum!

Dessert - Chocolate Cake & Vanilla Ice Cream

We had an absolutely fabulous evening at The Warren. The pub and restaurant opens its doors again on Saturday 24th November so get a table booked ASAP because it's certainly going to be very busy for the first few weeks, especially as we get closer to Christmas.

It's the perfect place to meet up with a few friends just for drinks in the bar area, or even for a work party this festive season. There's an extensive drinks menu that'll offer something for everyone so head over to www.thewarrenwokingham.co.uk and book a table.

Here's a quote from the General Manager, Majka, who's been part of the team at The Warren for over 2 years - "The Warren is a hugely popular pub and provides a hub for the local community so we’re really excited to be part of the team as it begins its next chapter. We have some stunning changes planned that will allow us to create a modern, stylish look and feel to the pub – making it the ideal spot for family and friends to get together or for corporate gatherings. We are so looking forward to unveiling the brand-new pub to guests in November!"

Whilst you're checking out the menu on their website, be sure to sign up for their e-mails and you'll get a FREE drink on your first visit - top tip!







The iPhone XS and XS Max have arrived, and I thought i'd do some first impressions of the model that I opted to pre-order, pending a full review in a few weeks time once i've spent alot more time with it. I went for the XS in space grey with the 256GB storage option. I'm still puzzled as to why Apple has felt the need to add the 512GB option this year - that's massive! I know not everyone pays for additional iCloud storage for all your photos but that still seems excessive unless you want to own every game in the App Store.



Anyway, this year's iPhone refresh is the usual S upgrade that Apple makes every other year in it's development cycle. That means on the surface if you're coming from last year's iPhone X you'd probably struggle to notice any difference in the design of the XS - Apple have even made the call to remove the 'S' branding from the back of the phone so it's just the new gold finish that will make it obvious you're carrying around the shiny new model.



The flagship features of the X like the bezel-less display and Face ID are all still here on the 2018 devices so if you're upgrading from anything other that last year's phone then you're getting some pretty sweet new tech. Face ID has even been improved to make unlocking your phone up to 20% faster, and even from my first few hours of use I can really see the difference. Annoyingly it still doesn't work when the phone is horizontal, which is a shame, but new with iOS 12 you can add a second face to your device so that either someone else can have access using Face ID or it's super helpful if you happen to wear glasses. You can save a speckled and non-speckled version of yourself for easy unlocks.

Spoiler alert: The people who bought the iPhone X last year were either constant early adopters or eager to upgrade then so they wouldn't have to wait until now. They'll either automatically get an XS as part of one of those increasingly common annual upgrade programs or they'll just keep on keeping on until they need the next something new. They know that. Based on how iPhone XS was introduced as a new iPhone X, not an all-new iPhone, Apple knows that. It's just the rest of us nerds who have to get better at remembering it.

Performance is just a little smoother too, thanks to the new A12 Bionic chipset tucked away inside the XS and it's chunkier brother the XS Max. Apps launch a little faster here than on the iPhone X, and in general, jumping in and out of running apps in the multitasking view is speedier as well. When it comes to this sort of mundane use, the changes are noticeable but not dramatically so -- that is, unless you're coming from an older iPhone. In that case, you're in for a ride. Apple says the A12's two high-performance cores are up to 15 percent faster than the CPU cores in last year's iPhones.

Full review coming soon!

It is said that the suit that we all know and love today started in the early 1800s by a gentleman called Beau Brummell. He replaced long-tailed coats and silk stockings with the classic suit jacket accompanied by full-length trousers and it all went from there. But as we’re faced with new challenges (such as the lengthy daily commute) and as we strive to cut out time consuming activities (ironing a suit can be draining), what does the future look like for our tailoring? Charles Tyrwhitt, retailers of  men's shirts, investigate:


Past Innovations

One of the latest in shirt technology is temperature adjusting materials. In many cases, this works by controlling the body heat of the wearer. Researchers across the US developed clothing that changes how much radiation escapes from the shirt and how easily air can circulate around the body. Although heat controlling technology in clothing is not new, it is only in recent years that it has made its way into wearable clothing when it was once reserved for those in space. This sort of technology not only improves comfort levels for the wearer but can potentially have knock on positive effects on the environment. Air conditioning (AC) accounts for an outstanding 13% of energy used in the US. If our shirts become temperature regulated then it is possible we will be in lower need of constant AC — reducing our carbon footprint so we all benefit!

Non-iron shirts are more than convenient. Enjoy an extra 10 minutes in bed as you pull your work shirt out of the dryer and put it on straight away — wrinkle free and no need to haul out the ironing board. The technology behind the non-iron shirt includes a process that strengthens the fabric, preventing the molecules from moving as much and increasing its resistance to creasing.

It’s important to be able to move freely in our suits. Especially when you’re sitting in the same place for a prolonged period of time, such as at the desk, on your way to work or at a fancy dinner. This is where the latest mechanical stretch technology comes in to play. This sort of technology works with the materials of the suit to improve its flexibility. Some suit jackets and shirts achieve this stretch through incorporating a small percentage of elastane in the fabric and this is enough to enhance the comfort of the garment.



Future Innovations

Wearable payment gadgets are something that researchers and corporations are spending a lot of time exploring. Of course, we already have the ability to pay contactless with a smart watch or phone but that’s just not enough! MasterCard paired with fashion designer Adam Selman to explore the idea of inserting a microchip into clothing, perhaps in the sleeve of a jacket or into a bag — allowing you to pay for items with even less effort. This concept could have some effect on our tailoring trends as cuff links and pockets could become payment devices!  

Forget buying multiple of the same suit in different colours, colour-changing fabrics are here to shake up the fashion industry. The research behind it is ever advancing and there are a few ongoing projects developing the idea. One of the projects, explored by scientists at the University of Michigan, is looking at incorporating tiny crystals that react differently depending on the wavelength of light. This affects the crystal’s formation and how they look in terms of colour to others. Other research, carried out in Montreal, is investigating how electricity from human movement can power electric fabric and change its colour. It appears that the research is a long way off from our high streets, but it is paving the way for colour-changing materials in the future.



The price of a high-quality, tailored suit can be quite high and many take pride in keeping it in good condition. It is then unsettling when a sleeve is caught on a door handle or on something sharp and the material is damaged. The latest technology in textiles is addressing this issue through the development of self-healing fabric. It works by coating regular fabric in a special solution that, when ripped, is able to melt back together at low temperatures. Other research has founded that E. coli bacteria has self-replicating properties and this is being explored in order to discover if it can be used to knit broken fabric back together.  


From past to future innovations, it’s clear to see that our wardrobes aren’t what they used to be. Many developments are being made in order to make our lives easier and further enhance our suits to meet our highly digital and busy lifestyles. 

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