Sebastian Guinness Gallery | Articles By Ben Aspland

The Dragon Age Series

The Dragon Age Series

What has its origins with people sitting around a table and pretending at a certain role has given rise to an entire genre of video games that fans highly anticipated each year. With panels at San Diego Comic-Con and a loyal following of fans who follow each and every bit of news about the games, the RPG genre is widely loved. Even those who wouldn’t claim to love the whole genre have occasionally been pulled in by a game that looks interesting to them. For some, it’s an isolated situation of interest but for some, it’s the beginning of RPGs becoming a fan’s favorite genre. Here’s a list of upcoming RPGs that any video game enthusiast should keep on their radar no matter what they like.

Dragon Age: Inquisition

The Dragon Age series developed by Bioware has a great reputation among fans for its great storytelling, innovative combat style and loveable characters. It started in 2009 with Dragon Age: Origins and continued in 2011 with Dragon Age II, both released on Microsoft Windows, PS3 and Xbox 360. The series will continue with Dragon Age: Inquisition a hotly anticipated new adventure on the continent of Thedas.

Inquisition will be released on Microsoft Windows, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One, giving players a large variety of choices when it comes to how they’ll experience this game that’s expected to receive just as many Editor’s Choice awards as the previous two installments in the series. The planned release date is November 18th, 2014 for North America, which might make it a great game to play for younger fans on a holiday break from school or adults looking to escape from the stresses of hosting family for the holidays.

Pokémon: Alpha Sapphire & Pokémon: Omega Ruby

Pokémon Has Been Popular Since The Late 90s

Pokémon Has Been Popular Since The Late 90s

Remember in the late 90s when Pokémon sprung up seemingly out of nowhere into immense popularity? You couldn’t walk anywhere in a toy store without seeing those booster packs of cards and there were tournaments held for fans of all ages to test their skills against each other, and it seemed like everyone with a Game Boy had some version of a game. Nintendo intends to bring out remakes of the third-generation Pokémon games Sapphire and Ruby, long considered to be fan favorites, into Alpha Sapphire and Omega Ruby. The games will continue their tradition of being released for Nintendo’s handheld consoles, in this case the 3DS line. The plans were announced in May of 2014 and the release date for these remakes is slated for November 21, 2014 in North America.

Kingdom Hearts HD 2.5 Remix

Kingdom Hearts HD

Kingdom Hearts HD

Vastly popular Japanese game developer and publisher Square Enix intends to impress fans yet again with an HD re-master of one of their most beloved games. Intended as the successor to the September 2013 release of Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 Remix, the HD 2.5 remix is a combination of Kingdom Hearts II Final Mix and Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep Final Mix with the addition of Kingdom Hearts re:coded as a theatre mode so fans can experience the whole story. Since the announcement of their intentions in October 2013, Square Enix has kept their fans waiting on the edges of their seats for more news about this beloved RPG featuring popular and iconic characters from the Final Fantasy series as well as characters from Disney films and a cast of entirely unique characters as well. Slated for a December 2014 release in North America, Kingdom Hearts HD 2.5 Remix is a great buy for those who want to experience the games all over again or those who want to play them for the first time.

Final Fantasy XV

Although it doesn’t have a release date set yet, Final Fantasy XV is worth a mention on this list and worth keeping on your radar. For fans who have been playing each installment of the Final Fantasy games since they began or fans who are new to the series and are drawn in by the allure of a fantasy series with impressive graphics, this is bound to be a great installment. After having been in production for years as Final Fantasy Versus XIII, developer and publisher Square Enix announced its new name and its release for the PS4 and Xbox One instead of the PS3 and Xbox 26 as originally projected. Many die-hard and casual fans alike are keeping an eye on what the Japanese company does with this installment to their most iconic series.

Become A Highly Successful Sale Shopper

Become A Highly Successful Sale Shopper

You can’t afford to not be a sales shopper these days. However, just because you buy something right before it goes on sale doesn’t mean you have to miss out on the deal. While vigilant coupon clippers are good at predicting and spotting when to get that extra percentage off or free shipping, not everyone has the time or energy to pay attention. However, when you do, there’s usually a window of time when you can catch up with the sales mavens. Here are three tips about how to get the deals that you deserve, even when the sale is technically over.

How to Identify a Missed Sale

You may not religiously watch newspaper and circulars for sales, but you should devote some attention to it when you have time. This is especially true if you’re purchasing big ticket items, like furniture or appliances, because you could potentially save a lot of money if you buy at the right time. If there’s no obvious sale when you need to buy the item, or if you don’t want to wait because you find a version you like, keep your eye out for a few weeks to see if it goes on sale. This is when spending time and energy looking online to see what new sales the retailer your item is from is offering is worth it, because you can then go back and ask for the sale price if it’s within a certain timeframe.

Store Policies

Honor Is Important With A Business Deal

Honor Is Important With A Business Deal

Most stores will offer a markdown if the merchandise they sold at full price goes on sale within 14 days of the transaction. In other words, if you buy a pair of summer sandals at the end of summer for full price, but then, within the next two weeks, they go on sale, you’re probably entitled to a discount. You can call the store beforehand, since often this policy isn’t listed on the receipt itself, and find out whether this rule applies. You’ll have to go back into the store to get the price adjustment, but if it’s something big, it can be worth it. Whenever you buy something for full price, always keep your eye out to see if it goes on sale in the subsequent two weeks. The vast majority of retailers will honor their policy and refund you the difference in price.

Rain Checks and More

Place Your Order

Place Your Order

Rain checks are when you see a sale advertised for a particular product, but when you go to the store, the item is sold out. This is when you can request a rain check, which basically means that when the item comes back into stock, the store has to honor the sale price even once the sale ends. However, in order to do this, you need to actually ask for the guarantee. All it takes is going up to a register and asking. Bring the ad and show it to the cashier. They’ll give you a written statement saying that you’ve been given a rain check, and then the next time you go in, you can have that same item at the sale price.

Good Carbs VS Bad Carbs

Good Carbs VS Bad Carbs

If you’ve been dieting for what feels like forever and haven’t gotten the results you want, it’s not because you’re not working hard enough. The truth is, you might be ingesting carbs in places you never though of. Though they might not be significant enough to notice in one sitting, over time these things add up and can totally ruin your progress. Instead of insisting that your diet’s not working, take some time and evaluate what you’re ingesting every day. Especially pay attention to these three things, because these are the top-secret carb sources that are keeping you from reaching your weight loss goals.

Alcohol

Don't Drink And Diet

Don’t Drink And Diet

For those who aren’t aware, alcohol (or beer at any rate) is just fermented wheat. That’s why it has that yeasty taste. Instead of mourning the loss of your beer, start thinking of it in a different light. The next time you go to have a beer, think instead that you’re just drinking liquid bread. You just shoved a whole slice of bread into a bottle and left it in some water until it became liquefied. If that’s not enough to scare you away from beer forever, I don’t know what is. Even if you don’t want to think of it that way, you’re getting the same amount of carbs as you would if you had shoved a slice of bread in a bottle. If it helps, download an app that counts calories for you when you eat something. Put in the kind of beer you drank, and let that pour into your daily calorie intake. It’ll really put a damper on your drinking habit, that’s for sure. A beer here and there won’t hurt you, but don’t make it a regular thing if you actually want to lose weight.

Fillers

Start A Healthy Diet That Works

Start A Healthy Diet That Works

Fillers are the processes bits in all your food. If it’s not organically made, your food probably has these in them. All the glycerides and things like that, even in foods that claim to be fat-free, aren’t calorie-free. Keep an eye on the ingredients list on everything you ingest. If you can’t pronounce the ingredients in your food, then you probably shouldn’t get that item. Instead, opt for something organic or something raw. These food items are becoming more and more popular, so it’s not that much more expensive to go organic. Most places have farmer’s markets on some days of the week, so you should start hitting those up, too. Getting some homegrown fruits and vegetables will help you cut down on calories in a big way.

Coffee

Coffee Is Not Helping Your Diet

Coffee Is Not Helping Your Diet

Whether or not it helps you wake up in the morning, coffee is not your friend when you’re on a diet. Coffee is completely riddled with calories, and since the average adult consumes two to three cups a day, if not more, this adds up quick. Especially if you can’t do your coffee without cream and sugar, you’re pretty much making yourself two to three cups of liquid dessert a day. Even coffees that claim to have lower calories still have way too many to be considered a staple of any diet. If you need a pick-me-up during the day or in the morning, try tea instead. Green tea is a great weight loss agent, and has plenty of caffeine. If green tea isn’t your speed, try something a little stronger. Chai tea is actually consumed like coffee is in India, and it has the same effects only with fewer setbacks. Not only does chai tea have way fewer calories, but it also has a much better way of caffeinating the body. Instead of having a big crash when the caffeine wears off, tea lets you off the hook slowly, so you can avoid that 2 p.m. sleepiness.

Dumb First Date Move... Don't Go To Fast

Dumb First Date Move… Don’t Go To Fast

There’s a careful art to the first date. It’s all about expressing yourself and getting to know each other to try and figure out if you have any chance of succeeding at having a relationship, but there’s a certain set of rules to follow. The most important thing to remember is that there are certain topics that are probably not the best thing to get into on the first date, or even maybe the second and third dates as well. Some just aren’t important to discuss with someone you’ve only just met and others are so serious that you should avoid talking about them on the first few dates to avoid sending someone the wrong message about the direction you see the relationship taking.

Future Plans

Probably one of the worst things to discuss on a first date. Talking about future plans for the future automatically sends the message that you’re planning a future together, which is the opposite message that you want to send for a first date or a causal relationship. Avoid discussions like big changes in your living situation, changes in your job unless they’re small and seemingly insignificant and especially kids. Never work talk about whether or not you want to have kids into a first date conversation unless you already have kids and talk about them. Even then, it’s a tough road to walk because you don’t want to scare a potential date away by making them think you’re looking for more commitment than you are.

Finances

Don't Bring Up The Money Topic

Don’t Bring Up The Money Topic

Although there are exceptions to this rule, talking about anything financial is a bad idea for the first few series of dates. Unless you’re going out on expensive, elaborate dates (or, on the flipside, cheap dates) it’s easy to hide how much you make and what you do for a living. Finances aren’t something that needs discussed on a first date because they’re such a heavy topic. Talk about them the wrong way, and you sound like you’re bragging or complaining, based on your financial situation. Worse, just like with future plans, you could risk sending the wrong message. If you’re discussing finances, you must be preparing for a life of shared finances, right? It can make things get too serious, too fast.

Past Relationships

Avoid The Ex Partner's Topic

Avoid The Ex Partner’s Topic

Honestly, no one wants to hear about past relationship on a first date. Usually, breakups are too heavy and no one wants to spend their first date unloading all of their issues with past relationships or having a lot of things unloaded onto them. It’s not fun, so if you want a successful first date avoid talking not only about finances and the future, but the past as well. Once you start developing a serious relationship that goes beyond a few casual dates, you can start talking about past relationships so you can avoid repeating history. With a first date, though, it’s best to keep your mind on the present and keep focused on what’s happening with your relationship then. First dates are best kept casual, so any topics that are serious should be avoided at all costs.

Dealing With A  Difficult And Challenging Co Worker

Dealing With A Difficult And Challenging Co Worker

Every workplace has employees that get away with breaking the rules. However, the worst damage that’s caused isn’t due to the employee’s antics, but to their coworkers’ attitudes. When a staff member isn’t properly reprimanded or held accountable for their actions, people notice. If you find yourself in this position, then you might be feeling angry and distracted. This isn’t good for your mental health or your professional life. It will lead to poor work quality and create a miserable experience you have to endure every day. Unfortunately, feeling demoralized by a fellow coworker will inevitably happen at some point, but you don’t have to let it drag you down. Here are three tactics of how to deal with this frustrating issue.

What Defines an Demoralizing Coworker

Do They Take Away The Joy Of Going To Work?

Do They Take Away The Joy Of Going To Work?

The major element that defines a demoralizing coworker is someone who you think receives preferential treatment. This could be for any number of reasons. They might be allowed to come in late without repercussions, or get away with breaking the rules somehow. What pushes this from being annoying to demoralizing is when you start to feel that you’re being held to a different standard. This is where problems start, and your attitude might start to go downhill without you even realizing. Before that happens, it’s important to be able to recognize who is—or will become—a demoralizing coworker. Brace yourself for the behavior and don’t let it ruin your work environment.

Evaluating Your Relationship with Your Coworker

Learn To Ignore Them

Learn To Ignore Them

Sometimes, it can be helpful to focus on the positive points of your relationship with your fellow rule-breaking coworker. This is much easier if the person doesn’t approach you with any spite. For example, if there’s a fellow employee who consistently comes in late without comment, try thinking about a good conversation you recently had with them. Don’t focus on the negative and get wrapped up in it, or else you’re only shooting yourself in the foot.

The Do’s and Don’ts of Reporting Your Coworker’s Misdeeds

Confront That Annoying Co-Worker

Confront That Annoying Co-Worker

If you get to the point where you feel the need to formally say something to your supervisor about your coworker’s issues, there are a few do’s and don’ts of doing so. Bear in mind, also, that your supervisor might be giving your coworker preferential treatment for any number of reasons. For example, some people in positions of authority don’t like dealing with conflict. This is a surprisingly common reason why employees get away with breaking the rules. Another possibility is that the employee in question has something to offer that the supervisor wants, and so they’re allowed to get away with things. This is the pinnacle of demoralizing, so it’s your choice whether you care or not. When you bring up the topic with your boss, don’t make it a tattle-tale event. Don’t come right out, either, and accuse your supervisor of giving the other employee preferential treatment. You can be honest, though, and say upfront that you feel demoralized at your fellow coworker’s behavior when you’re held to a different standard. Be polite, direct, and professional, and it will serve you well.