May Update and Music

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Exams are over! I’ve finished my second year of university now and I’m feeling much more positive since my last update ūüôā

Several blogs that I follow have grown almost as quiet as mine over the past few months and I don’t think that’s a coincidence, but now I’ve got several months of freedom I should be posting much more regularly.

As mentioned in my last update, I’m very close to celebrating my first year of blogging, with my first post about my video game origins being posted on May 28 2014. I have no idea how bloggers usually celebrate this but I’ll try to think of something interesting!

So what’s happened since April? Only that Leicester performed a miracle and survived with a game to spare! I can’t get over how amazing this fightback was and it will hopefully get remembered as one of the best of all time.

I’ve barely played any games with all my revision occupying most of my time but I did finish Cognition: An Erica Reed Thriller which was a traumatic and engaging story I recommend you check out. I seem to be a bit obsessed with ‘point-and-clicks’ at the minute as I’ve also finished the first Deponia game and I’m currently working my way through the Inner World.

Just looking at my recent posts on the right makes me realise how little I’ve been posting this year, hopefully I’ll make this up over the summer. I’ve got my final Premier League review I’d like to do after the season ends, obviously I’ve got to cover Leicester’s survival in detail at some point, and I really want to go back to posting more game reviews as my last one was back in October :O

I’m not sure what your thoughts are on my monthly music update feature but I’m deliberately only using one artist once so hopefully I’ll find something for everyone. Here are my three favourite tracks that I’ve been listening to this month:

What an album.

I love songs with layers like this.

If you haven’t seen the TV comedy show Friday Night Dinner then you should! Catchy theme for it.

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Premier League Review 2014/15: January/February/March

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Apologies for the delay in writing this, we’ve just past the 3/4 mark in this Premier League season but hopefully it’s not too late¬†to write my third review of it.

I’ll be looking how my pre-season predictions compare with the current table at this stage, with just eight games remaining for the majority of the clubs, and consider if each clubs league position matches their expectations.

You can find the pre-season predictions here

August, September and October review here

November and December review here

I realise it may look a bit confusing if you haven’t seen my earlier reviews, but basically¬†the number in brackets is the difference between the current league position and my pre-season predictions. An example would be I predicted Manchester United to finish 6th, they’re currently 4th, so that’d be (+2).

Hopefully you’ll find it interesting to look back at how the Premier League teams have progressed throughout the season, I can happily say that despite a couple of exceptions (thanks Southampton!) I wasn’t as far off with my predictions as I had feared!

Who do you think will finish in the top 4?

Premier League

1st (+0):¬†Chelsea¬†–¬†The top 2 has almost perfectly matched my predictions throughout the season but I don’t think there were many doubts this year would be a joint battle between Chelsea and Man City. Chelsea’s position doesn’t look as secure as it did a couple of months ago but it would have to take something special for anyone to reach them at this stage.

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March Update and Music

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This is my monthly update for March where I talk about what’s coming up on my blog and briefly about the video games I’ve been playing and what the mood is like regarding football.

I’m pretty much at the half way point of all my assessments before Easter, but fingers crossed I’ll be posting some content finally in the coming days as I’ve got a lot to talk about!

I’ve just finished Kingdoms of Amalur and I want to write a review for that as I was actually quite disappointed with it. Deciding to gives RPGs a rest for the time being, I’ve been playing a bit of Crusader Kings II, I don’t think there is a more rewarding game once you grasp the basics.

I’ve been doing a quarterly review of the Premier League throughout the season, roughly every 10 matches, with comparisons between my pre-season predictions and the current table. I really need to post in time for the final quarter of the season, so I’ll aim to write this in the next few days.

Since my last update, Leicester have managed a 2-2 draw away at Everton – so easily could have been a win – and a closely fought 2-0 defeat at the champions, Manchester City. If this was the start of the season these results would be perfectly fine, and to be honest, who expected us to get a single point here? Yet the gap to reach safety widens. The only thing left to cling on to is the final ten games are all very much winnable, and if we do find our form and produce results our performances this season have warranted, then perhaps relegation isn’t so nailed on.

Anyhow, I’ve decided to theme the music this month on Leicester’s current situation…

The soundtrack for Inception is great, and as you can guess from my avatar, I do quite like the film too.

I’ve been listening to quite a bit of Florence + the Machine with her new album coming out soon. This track was a real gem from her debut album, and I think I’m right in saying it wasn’t released as a single.

Ben Howard is one of my favourite artists and I love the build-up you experience in this song.

February Update and Music

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A new (and hopefully great!) idea I’ve had to keep you up-to-date with what to expect on my blog is a monthly ‘update’ I plan to do. This means you’ll know what to look out for and I’ll be able to briefly talk about video games, football, work etc in a few paragraphs.

At the end I’ll embed some youtube links to three of my current favourites songs that I’ve been listening to a lot this past month and that I highly recommend you give a listen to, I’ll try to include a range of genres for everyone!

Hopefully I’ll be able to keep this going throughout the year as they shouldn’t take too long to write, and it will more importantly keep you from thinking the blog has died when there has¬†been a long gap in posting!

Starting with uni work, if there is ever a noticeable delay in my posts then this will no doubt be the reason why! March is full of assessment deadlines that they conveniently crammed together so I’ve been working hard the past few days getting started on them. With the last deadline being the 20th of March, I’m going to be busy for another few weeks.

Unfortunately all of this work largely involves typing away on my laptop so to be writing reviews (I know it’s been a while sorry!) or anything else really, it’s just a struggle to motivate myself to do it.

With so much work I surely don’t have time for gaming right? Well I try to keep myself logged out of steam throughout the day, and play maybe a couple of hours in the evening as a relaxing way to end… I’ve just finished The Wolf Among Us which was great and really quite funny in a dark way in places. I really really want to get started on Dragon Age Origins but I think I need to set aside a good few hours for several weeks to get the most out of it.

I was preparing to write a review on Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning having put 63 hours into it and had just the Legend of Dead Kel expansion left to complete, but my controller had finally stopped working after quite an impressive life literally just as I had arrived on the beach! I’ll get a new controller soon and hopefully write that up near Easter.

Finally, football… Liverpool have been on a remarkable rise which has been a welcome relief but Leicester sadly look in serious trouble. I’m sure you’ve seen the Pearson sacking mess Sky made which was just awful but I’m not sure where I stand with him. We’re bottom of the league yet we haven’t truly been convincingly beat so far this season I don’t think, I’m relieved to see Kramacic get a couple of goals as that was a big risk signing.

Music time, feel free to comment with any recommendations of your own or games you’ve been playing. Enjoy!

I haven’t played Transistor yet but I did buy it in the Steam Winter Sale so I’ll get round to it at some point. The soundtrack has received great praise so I had give it a listen and ‘We All Become’ really did stand-out, I can’t wait to hear it in-game!

Holy Fire is such a complete album full of tracks that could easily be released as singles, it’s hard picking my favourite but ‘Stepson’ just has something about it that feels special.

Yeah this song just makes me smile!

Premier League New Signings Round-up: Winter 2015

Well I think it’s safe to say it wasn’t the deadline day that everyone was hoping for but there were still several key signings this window in the hope of improving the team for the second half of the season.

In this post I’ll be doing a club-by-club round-up for every major signing or exit made this winter transfer window as well as offering my thoughts as to who is the best and worst piece of business for each¬†football club.

I tried this out last summer and was met with good feedback so I thought I’d do it again, plus for some reason I always enjoy making lists! You can visit my Summer 2014 Transfer Round-up here.

Finally it’s worth noting that you should take the transfer fees with a pinch of salt. While the secrecy of ‘undisclosed’ is annoying, it means some reported figures may¬†be less accurate. I have however looked across several sources to try to get a good feel¬†for any undisclosed¬†fees.

Arsenal

Total spending: £13.7m, Total sales: £0, Winter net spend: £13.7m

Summer net spend: £56.3m, Total net spend: £70m

Ins 

21 January 2015 Krystian Bielik, signed from Legia Warsaw for £2.4m
28 January 2015 Gabriel Paulista, signed from Villarreal for £11.3m

Outs

5 January 2015 Lukas Podolski, moved to Internazionale on loan
13 January 2015  Yaya Sanogo, moved to Crystal Palace on loan
27 January 2015 Joel Campbell, moved to Villarreal on loan

Starting with Arsenal, the Gunners certainly came into the transfer window filled with optimism being one of the most in-form teams combined with improving performances. It’s perhaps therefore understandable to see Arsene Wenger choose to keep faith in his squad with the exception of the young defensive midfielder¬†Krystian Bielik who is tipped to be something special in the future, and Gabriel Paulista, a 24 year old Brazilian centre back from Villarreal.

Paulista seems a logical signing in a position only previously occupied by¬†Mertesacker and Koscielny. I imagine fans will be sad to see Podolski leave as he has¬†always struck¬†me as a fantastic player to have in your squad, but with so many attacking players now available after recovering from injury, I doubt he’d have much game time.

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Premier League Review 2014/15: November/December

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Happy New Year everyone! Sorry for a pause in my posting, I hope you’ve all had a good Christmas! The Premier League has just past the half way point and I thought I’d continue my season ‘review’ after the positive reception last time.

I’ll be looking how my pre-season predictions compare with the current table at this mid-point, and consider if each clubs league position matches the expectations.

You can find the pre-season predictions here

August, September and October review here

Hopefully the layout isn’t too confusing! Basically the number in brackets is the difference between the current position and my pre-season predictions. For example I predicted Leicester City to finish 13th, they’re currently sitting bottom at 20th (that’ll soon change!) so there is a difference of -7.

Let me know what your thoughts on the Premier League are so far!

Premier League

1st (+0):¬†Chelsea¬†–¬†Well Chelsea are still top but their position is no longer as secure as it was back in October. Man City are now level on points but I still believe the squad that Mourinho has is the strongest of the two. I highly doubt we’ll see another ‘Liverpool’, a club which dramatically rises up this second half. They’re¬†almost in a league of their own.

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