CAPSULE Virtual Experience Center

Post by Mark

Yesterday I got invited with my brother to pass by CAPSULE, a new virtual experience center thats opening next week. A virtual experience center is a place that allows you to experience virtual reality games, basically something like a VR arcade. My only previous experience with VR was using the Sony VR headset, so I was curious to see how much different and better this experience would be.

The moment you walk into the place you’re already in a different world. The interior of CAPSULE was designed to resemble a spaceship and it really adds to the whole VR experience. After getting a brief tour of the place and the different kinds of games they have, I let them know I tend to get motion sickness with VR games. They told me we would start off with a standing game which had a less chance of getting me motion sickness. So they strapped a rumble pack onto my back, handed me two motion controllers to hold and strapped on a VR headset so I could get started right away. I wanted to play a shooting game so they put on a game called Space Pirate in which I have to shoot down droids before they shoot me. My first impression before I even entered the game was wow. I started off in what looked like a living room, I looked down to my hands and I could see the controllers I was holding inside the virtual world. As I moved them around in my hand they were moving in the VR world as well. I then took a few side steps and I was now moving inside this VR world as well. This was exciting because I hadn’t experienced VR this way before, I could walk around in real life and my movement would be replicated in this VR world.

They loaded up Space Pirate for me and I was now on a platform in a space environment with two laser weapons in my hands. If I took my left hand back behind my shoulders and brought it back forward, my weapon would turn into a shield. When I didn’t want the shield anymore I’d take it back behind my shoulder again. As the droids started flying towards me and firing at me, I was moving around shooting them down with my two weapons. When the fighting was getting intense I’d use the shield on my left hand to help avoid the lasers they were shooting towards me. Sometimes as I’m about to get hit by one of their laser beams, the game would slow down matrix style to give me a chance to move out of the lasers way. To move out of the way you literally physically have to move out of the way in the real world. The VR system they have setup can track your movement so on multiple occasions I ducked, or jumped left or right out of harms way. I was immersed inside this virtual world and I finally understood what all the fuss with VR was about. And the best part was, I didn’t get motion sickness.

After playing around with the standing VR for a few minutes I then decided to try one of their virtual racing sims. I asked them what tracks and cars they had and they basically told me nearly all of them. I asked if they had the Bahrain GP circuit and they told me they did and that I could race around it in my Lotus if I wanted to. Since I had raced around the track in my Lotus before I was really interested to compare it to this VR experience. The whole setup is meant to be as real as possible from the seats, to the steering wheel and even the gearbox they’ve installed for these car sims. I sat down, put on the VR headset and suddenly I was inside my Lotus, even the interior color of the car in the game was similar to mine. Once I was done looking around my car I stepped on the gas and headed down the pit lane so I could get onto the track. Once I was out of the pit lane and started turning I started getting motion sickness right away. I figured it might go away and tried to continue on but I just couldn’t take it anymore and removed the headset. I was so disappointed since I really wanted this to work. They told me to take a bit of a break and then they’d put me into their extreme race car sim which tended to cause less motion sickness.

Their extreme race car sim is meant to simulate the experience of driving an F3 race car. It has a replica steering wheel and even two fans that blow wind into your face as you go faster. They were right about the fact it caused less motion sickness and I was able to experience it for a longer duration then the first race sim. But, I think because I was already feeling sick because of the previous sim I couldn’t get through this one. In the end I took off the VR headset again and decided racing sims just weren’t for me.

The whole experience was great and I’ll definitely be going back again to play around with the standing VR unit again. CAPSULE is located in the same building as MAS Arena in Al Rai near Avenues. Here is their location on [Google Maps] and they’re opening this coming Sunday. If you’re interested in checking the place out then follow them on instagram to stay posted on their launch @capsulevec


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Stardew Valley on the Nintendo Switch

Post by Mark

If you have a Nintendo Switch you should really get Stardew Valley. It’s an extremely addictive and entertaining game that reminds me a lot of Minecraft. You start off by inheriting a farm and some seeds and you then need to generate money, grow your farm, mine for minerals and make friends around town. Time really flies playing its and its super chill and relaxing.

The game costs only $15 and if you’re interested, you can buy it now from the Nintendo website [Here]


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Splatoon 2 Out Now in Kuwait

Post by Mark

Splatoon 2 on the Nintendo Switch it out a few days before the official world wide launch. The cheapest I found it out Rihab Complex for was KD20.


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The eSports Scene in Kuwait

Post by Mark

eSports is a form of competition that involves video games and it’s a scene thats blowing up pretty big worldwide with teams making millions of dollars off of sponsorships and prize money. If you do a quick google image search for esports stadiums you’ll find photos of large stadiums and arenas packed with people watching gamers compete against one another (similar to the one below). It’s pretty insane really and regionally it’s also starting to blow up. A number of eSports competitions are being held locally and around the region, and one Kuwaiti team has been making waves recently, Evolve Gaming.

Evolve Gaming was formed early this year and is composed of 6 members aged between 17 and 26. Recently they came first in the largest Overwatch tournament in the Middle East and Africa destroying the competition. Overwatch is a multiplayer first-person shooter and Evolve Gaming beat the popular and more established Dubai based team YaLLa eSports 3-0. Even though YaLLa has sponsors, a large fanbase, more support and a proper e-gaming atmosphere, the Kuwaiti team managed to beat them with ease and just a couple months after being formed.

Evolve Gaming is currently ranked as the #1 Overwatch team in the Middle East and Africa and so I got in touch with them recently to get an idea of what our local scene lacks and how I can help. According to a team member I spoke to, one of the biggest issues we have locally is the lack of awareness. Even though the eSports scene is growing rapidly abroad, locally not a lot of people know about it although its starting to pick up with a few gaming tournaments taking place locally like the Kuwait’s eSports Tournament and the Hydra Entertainment Tournaments. Evolve Gaming is hoping large companies will realize this is a growing market and help it grow even quicker by sponsoring local teams and tournaments. By having large companies sponsor local teams and events, it would bring a lot more attention to this sport which will also encourage more teams to formed and more events to take place.

Hopefully my post will help bring a bit of exposure to their community. If you’d like to follow Evolve Gaming they’re active on twitter @EvolveGamingKW. If you’re also a company that is interested in sponsoring Evolve Gaming or a tournament, get in touch and I’ll pass you their contacts.


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Double Jump: Nintendo Switch, Two Months Later

Post by Patrick

It’s been almost two months since the release of the Nintendo Switch and in this latest podcast we discuss our overall impressions of the console, why we’re loving it, what issues we’ve had with it and how its changed our gaming habits.

Play in Browser | iTunes | Android | Download | RSS

Post by Patrick


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The CitySlicker Case for the Nintendo Switch

Post by Mark

This is just a quick post on what has to be the best Nintendo Switch case you can buy at the moment. One of the best things about the Nintendo Switch is you can take it with you when you leave your house so it’s important you have a really good case for it. I recently purchased the CitySlicker case by WaterField and I love it. I’ve been buying WaterField products since 2001 and I always highly recommend all their products. They make the best laptop sleeves on the market and the only ones I use for my laptops and iPads. Their build quality is so good that the items I had purchased from them back in 2001 still look new today.

The CitySlicker (pictured on top) can fit the Switch with the JoyCon’s attached, has slots to hold 5 games, and a zipped up pouch that can hold your earphones and charging cable. It’s got sufficient padding as well so you can toss the case around with the Switch inside and not have to worry about it. The CitySlicker comes in four colors but I went with the straightforward black mostly because I don’t want it sticking out when I leave the Switch in my car.

The price starts at $79 and goes up depending on what attachments you get for it. I got it with no attachments since I wanted it to be as compact as possible. I preordered the case back in February so they were able to ship it to me when they launched it 10 days ago, but now they’re backordered and the earliest they’ll be able to ship the case to you is by April 21. So if you’re looking for a great Switch case, hurry up and order one before their delivery date gets pushed back even further. [Link]


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A Week with the Nintendo Switch

Post by Mark

I’ve had the Nintendo Switch gaming console for nearly a week now and so I figured I’d give my first impressions on it in case you’ve been contemplating on getting one.

GET ONE!

So far in my short time with the Switch I’m loving it. I purchased two games for it, the first was The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (of course) which has been scoring a 10/10 on all gaming sites. The second game I purchased was the racing game Fast RMX which is similar to the old Wipeout series except a lot faster.

I’ve been spending on average around 5 hours a day playing Zelda and I love how with the Switch I could be playing on my TV one minute, then put a UFC fight on TV and continue playing Zelda off the Switch’s built-in screen. I love how I can be sitting on my couch playing Zelda, but then leave the house and take the Switch with me so I could continue playing while waiting for a friend to meet me at a coffee shop. The Switch is a home console and a portable console at the same time and thats easily my favorite thing about it.

Battery life has been perfectly fine with me since when I do play on the Switch when on the go, its usually for short bursts. Since the Switch uses USB-C to charge, I can charge it with a battery pack if I’ll be playing for longer than 3 hours at a time like when I’m traveling. My MacBook Pro also uses USB-C to charge, so when I travel, I’ll charge the Switch using my laptop charger saving me the need to pack the Switch charger. The size of the Switch is pretty big compared to a phone or a Nintendo DS, but yet it somehow still manages to fit into the back pocket of my skinny jeans. I ordered a case for it from Waterfield which should be arriving next week, so that should make carrying it around easier.

If you’ve been thinking about getting the Switch then just go ahead and make the plunge. There aren’t that many games on it right now but honestly, Zelda alone is worth getting the Switch even if no other games come out on it ever again. Finding a Switch for a reasonable price on the other hand is going to be a challenge. If you can’t order one online then you’ll have to keep looking for reasonably priced one locally. The cheapest I found was on Al Fuhod for KD139 and Konami-X also had them for KD140. But, both are currently sold out and both probably had them that low for promotional purposes. Online is still your best bet.


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Gaming Review: Sony Playstation VR

Post by Patrick

Virtual Reality has been something people have been dreaming of for as long as I remember and it feels like in the past few years, VR has been pushed hard with the likes of Oculus, the HTC Vive, and to some extent Microsoft’s Hololens. What makes the PlayStation VR (PSVR) special though is that it doesn’t require a powerful computer, it’s priced reasonably well and it’s relatively simple to set up without needing you to tinker too much with the settings. So it was easy to take up X-Cite’s offer to send my brother and I a PSVR to test out and write about.

The PSVR headset looks good, the build quality doesn’t feel cheap and its comfortable once you wear it. On the other hand the amount of cables it takes to set it up is unfortunate. This isn’t something you’ll leave lying around once you’re done using it for the night (unless you don’t mind clutter). As someone who is married and has three cats I have to pack it away every time I’m done using it. The reason for this clutter is that the PSVR doesn’t plug straight into the PS4. A processor box is included with the PSVR that includes an HDMI splitter, so you have thick cable running from the headset to this processor box, an HDMI cable from the PS4 into the processor box, another HDMI cable from the processor box to your TV, a USB cable from the processor box to the PS4 and a separate power cable into the processor. Oh and that doesn’t include the Playstation Camera cable which you also need for the PSVR.

Clutter aside, I was excited to try out the PSVR. I had a little bit of experience with the Oculus so I know how cool VR can be. I played a couple of games using the PSVR, Batman: Arkham VR, Driveclub VR, Rez Infinite, the Call of Duty: Jackal Assault VR, Super Hypercube and some games on the demo disc that came bundled with the headset. One thing you have to get used to when using the PSVR is that the visuals aren’t as crisp as what you’d get on your TV, there’s an annoying fuzziness that you’ll notice in most games and in some cases, games blur things in your peripherals (Batman suffers from this).

A concern I had was motion sickness and nausea. I have a sensitive stomach and I tend to get motion sickness quite easily and so was expecting to get sick playing Driveclub VR, Eve Valkyrie or Call of Duty Jackal Assault. Surprisingly though I didn’t suffer from motion sickness in any of the games I tried. Mark on the other hand got motion sickness ten minutes into Resident Evil 7 and then got motion sickness again a minute into his first race in Driveclub VR. This is something you should take into consideration before spending money on VR so find a place to try it out before you buy it.

Read the rest of this entry »


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Cost of Shipping a Nintendo Switch to Kuwait

Post by Mark

If you’re planning to order a Nintendo Switch online and ship it to Kuwait using a forwarding mailbox the, most cost effective way is to use PostaPlus or Aramex Shop&Ship. Below is a cost comparison between different services including customs. Help me fill up the unknowns.

Nintendo Switch (no games)
Aramex: KD17
Borderlinx: KD37.5
MyUS: KD27 approx
PostaPlus: Unknown


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Nintendo Switch is Already Available in Kuwait

Post by Mark

Even though the Nintendo Switch officially launches worldwide tomorrow, they’re already on sale at Rihab Complex. I was just there (technically I’m still there since I’m posting from my car in the parking lot) and they’re selling the Nintendo Switch for KD200 which is double the retail price. They don’t have any accessories yet, just the console and three games which include Zelda. They’re selling the games individually for KD20-25.

According to one salesman I spoke to, there are currently only 31 Nintendo Switches available for sale and they’re spread out across a few stores in Rihab.

The two most popular shops haven’t gotten their shipments yet. Game Center should be getting their shipment tomorrow and they told me they will be selling for less than KD200 (but still at a high price). Kuwait Center on the other hand will be getting their shipments on Sunday.

If you’re not a gazillionaire and don’t urgently need the Switch this weekend, then wait a week or two until their prices settle down.

Last minute I personally ordered another Switch but this time from Geekay in Dubai who agreed to overnight it for me via DHL. It already shipped this morning so should hopefully get it Sunday when customs get back to work. My Walmart order arrives to my US mailbox on the 9th, while my brothers Amazon order arrives to his US mailbox tomorrow.

Update: The best deal as of Friday, March 3rd is Best Electronics, they’re selling the Switch with Zelda and the Pro Controller for KD200 [Link]


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