The Xbox One is now available in Kuwait and surprisingly it’s priced KD20 cheaper than when the PS4 was available on the first day even though the PS4 is actually a cheaper console. The price is also slightly more consistent across the store with the Xbox One selling for KD260 at Rihab Complex and Blink while Digumz is selling it for KD270. This is the PAL version that includes a digital copy of FIFA 2014 as well as the Kinect sensor.
Like the PS4, the prices should drop considerably once the console becomes more readily available.
People who had pre-ordered directly from Amazon to Kuwait (not via a US forwarding mailbox) have already started receiving shipping notifications. Finally, I have a friend who ordered directly from the online Sony store to his MyUS account and he received his PS4 today.
The PS4 is currently sold out at most online retailers in the States including Amazon and people are selling them on eBay for around KD180 [Link]
Update: Turns out Xcite is not selling the PS4 yet so I’ve updated the post.
Kuwaiti Runner is a new iPhone app that came out yesterday. It’s a simple side scrolling running game where the aim is to avoid various obstacles while collecting different power-ups. What makes this game interesting is the fact it’s based in Kuwait and features the characters and sound bites of Kuwaiti rappers Sons of Yusuf whom I posted about just the other day.
Not the best game in the world but it’s free and available to download from the Apple Store by searching for “Kuwaiti Runner” or you can download it by clicking this [Link]
Firas Assaad is an expat born and living Kuwait and works as a software developer in a small company in the city. Firas had always wanted to make games and so for the past 2 years he’s worked on a side project called Octopus City Blues.
I found out about Octopus City Blues last night when I got an email from a reader telling me about a Kickstarter project based from Kuwait. Firas went on Kickstarter to secure funding to help pay the other team members for their time and was hoping to get just $7,000 but with 6 days left he’s already gotten pledges of nearly $17,000. The game looks super cool and trippy plus it’s 2D which I love. You can watch the trailer on top to see the style of the game and below are some links with more information on Firas and the project:
Secret Stage is a local Instagram business which I find interesting because they rent out arcade machines and deliver them to your home. The arcade machines have over 100 games built in ranging from classics like Donkey Kong and PacMan to newer releases like Street Fighter 4 and Street Fighter x Tekken. They have a bunch of different rental plans but their daily rate starts at KD40 but get cheaper if you rent them for more than a day.
If you’re interested you can check them out on instagram [Here]
If you’re eager to get your hands on a PS4 or an Xbox One on launch day without having to pay ridiculous Kuwait launch day prices this is probably your best option. You can pre-order the consoles from Amazon AND Amazon will ship them directly to Kuwait bypassing your US forwarding mailbox (Shop&Ship/Borderlinx) and saving you a ton on shipping.
According to Amazon, shipping either of the two consoles to Kuwait via their AmazonGlobal Priority Shipping (averages 3-7 days) will cost you just KD14. If you’re interested here are the links to Amazon:
FIVE TWELVE is the largest videogame tournament thats been hosted in Kuwait and it will be taking place next week. The participants will be competing in EA’s FIFA 13 football game and the winner of the competition will be getting KD5,000.
FIVE TWELVE are giving away 3 copies of the FIFA 13 game along with free registration to the event (usually a KD20 fee) and all you need to do to win them is leave a comment in the post below mentioning what gaming system you have. I will then randomly choose 3 winners who each will win a copy of the game and the free registration to the tournament.
For more information on the FIVE TWELVE tournament including the rules and regulations click [Here]
Rules: Only one entry per person and please make sure you use a working email since the winner will only be contacted by email. If winner doesn’t respond another winner will be randomly chosen. Winner gets to choose the console version of FIFA 13.
Update: I closed the post for commenting and using Random.org I chose three winners and one backup. The winners are: #107 vampire, #87 hansel and #14 pickles. The backup in case one of them doesn’t reply is #94 neoark25.
Desert Tycoon is an iPhone game created by two guys one of whom is Kuwaiti Abdullah Al Zabin. The game is similar to SimCity but in this case you are based in the Gulf and you start off as a humble Bedouin. Step by step you build your business empire of real estate, business, energy, and tourism assets with the aim of basically turning your city into an Arabian metropolis like how Dubai is today.
The cartoon graphics are great and the music fits the game perfectly. More importantly the game is free and available to download from the iTunes store right now. [English Version] [Arabic Version]
Update: I got an email from Abdullah with some details regarding who they are. This is what he had to say:
A brief background about us. Myself and my business partner Ali Diab started Lumba in January of this year with a simple premise: build the next generation Arab mobile entertainment company. We are based in San Francisco, actually in the same shared office where many of the [now] large mobile game developers (Pocket Gems, SuperCell, Kabam, etc.) started over the past 3 years.
Our team consists of:
- Product Managers that worked for AdMob, Yahoo, Microsoft, and Bain
- Artists and Illustrators that worked with Pixar, Dreamworks, Fox, and Disney
- Software Engineers that worked for Google
- Music composer and producer who scored music for console game titles on PC, Xbox 360, and PS3. He also produced music for Kelly Rowland, Rick Ross, Black Eyed Peas, and Nicole Scherzinger
We are taking it upon ourselves to tastefully fuse Silicon Valley tech with our Arab cultural roots for all our mobile games. We hope our first, Desert Tycoon, is representative of that.
It’s pretty impressive that a company founded back in 1889 still exists today and is considered one of the most innovative and creative companies in their field. Nintendo has survived throughout these years not by sheer luck, but by being able to adapt to markets and get ahead of the game. Nintendo didn’t always make video games – it started out making playing cards and when that business was waning the CEO of the time Hiroshi Yamauchis decided to move into other businesses like instant noodles, a taxi company, and even a TV network. Eventually, Nintendo made its way in the video game business and released the NES; 27 years later, Nintendo has finally released its sixth console, the Wii U.
Nintendo’s philosophy has never been about creating the most powerful console with the best graphics, but to create a console that anyone could enjoy, developers could create fun games for, and is affordable. They constantly try to innovate without going overboard. The Nintendo 64 was the first console to introduce analogue sticks and 4 player controller ports right out of the box that competitors adapted in the future. We’re seeing similar advancements with motion controls that Nintendo introduced with the Wii and now Nintendo has taken another step forward by introducing the Wii U and the Game Pad.
Mark was able to hook me up with a Wii U from X-cite to review and I got the chance to test it out by playing Super Mario Bros U, ZombiU, Nintendo Land and Batman Arkham City.
The first thing I was curious about was Nintendo’s new social network called the Miiverse and so far it’s been informative, entertaining, and pretty promising. For those who don’t know, the Miiverse is where you interact with other Wii U users through a community for every app or game out for the Wii U. So if you want to discuss some Youtube videos, you can go to the Youtube community and post about it there and other users can reply or give you a “Yeah!” (equivalent to a Facebook “Like”). If you want to discuss a specific game and you’re unsure about buying it, you can go to that game’s community and ask them about it. Other times, people will draw some really elaborate drawings using the Wii U’s gamepad and the community walls turn into a temporary art exhibit. And it works well – comments are posted instantly without delay. People will comment and try to solve things. For example, I was going through the ZombiU community and found a thread with over 25 comments of gamers trying to decipher some code someone found spray-painted on a wall in the game. I wouldn’t be surprised if communities like this sprang up in the next iteration of consoles Microsoft and Sony release.
We live in an age where releasing sequels is the norm because it’s more profitable and less risky than releasing a brand new original title. So, it should be no surprise that some sequels start to feel like expansion packs to the original game instead of a true sequel. They might add a little content here and there but end up using a very similar (or the same) graphics engine and avoid fixing what could have been wrong in the first game. The good developers learn their lessons and attempt to improve every facet of the game instead of rehashing the original. I was a huge fan of the first Borderlands since I felt that it stood out among the other shooters out there mostly for its role-playing elements, random loot, a great shooting mechanic, and stylistic visuals. Even though it did a lot of things right, I felt the game had a lot more potential. The world itself felt small, the towns felt dead, and although the enemy A.I. was decent, there weren’t many variations of enemies. Add to that it had a weak storyline and a brutally disappointing ending. So when a sequel was announced, I was hopeful that Gearbox Software would learn from their first outing and release a sequel that was even better than the original. I had high expectations and I can safely say that Gearbox Software are one of the good developers since they have delivered a solid sequel that improves nearly every aspect of the original, while expanding on the formula they set up in the first game.
The premise of the game is quite simple. The villain, named Jack, wants to open a vault that is said to be home of something powerful. With this power, Jack hopes to become the all-supreme leader of Pandora. The game doesn’t take time to push you into the action; you start off on a train headed to your destination when a “complication” arises.
There was a time when open world games like Grand Theft Auto III were a big deal. Nowadays, it seems like there’s an open world game being released every year. There was also a time when open world games were flat 2D worlds like Super Metroid or The Legend of Zelda. Today, it’s vast and deep 3D landscapes with big cities (or deserts if we’re talking about the great Red Dead Redemption). The problem with most games that share this genre is that they’re automatically labeled a “GTA-clone”, so in order to be successful, the developer needs to create something unique or at least innovative. Sleeping Dogs might not be incredibly unique (a cop and gangster game set in Hong Kong), but it does take the GTA formula further by innovating it, making it its own.
Sleeping Dogs is played as an over-the-shoulder, third-person perspective action-adventure game with role-playing elements. The player controls Wei Shen, a Chinese-American police officer, as he goes undercover to infiltrate the Sun On Yee Triad organization. – wikipedia
There were a bunch of things I really liked about Sleeping Dogs. One example that pops right into mind is that the game lets you cycle through your objectives without the need to pause or go to the map screen. To add to that, it’ll show you how to get to your objective and how far your destination is. It doesn’t seem like a big deal, but it helps with the pacing of the game. There’s no need to pause, go into a menu, and look through a big map. One thing that bugged me about GTA was that there was no reason to pay attention to traffic laws and pedestrians, but in Sleeping Dogs you lose points if you vandalize, steal or kill pedestrians while you’re on a mission. These points can help you level up and unlock more items and moves and they’re part of your overall mission score that gets uploaded and shared with your friends. That’s another thing the developers have added: the “Social Hub”. The Social Hub basically uploads your mission scores and other stats (longest wheelie for instance) and compares them to your friends who are also playing the game.
This past week saw the release of one of the strangest mashups of game genres that I’ve ever come across: a role-playing game transformed into a fighting game. The game is called Persona 4 Arena which is available on the Playstation 3 and the Xbox 360.
I’m just a casual fan of fighting games; I don’t spend hours upon hours practicing to spend even more time in the online modes. Growing up, I was a fan of Street Fighter, Tekken & Soul Edge/Soul Caliber. Later on, I got into Guilty Gear and a little bit of BlazBlue. If you’re a fan of those last two games, you’ll be interested to know that Arc System Works the developer behind them also developed Persona 4 Arena. I love the Persona franchise (as well as the other games in the Shin Megami Tensei series); it was one of the first games to really make me fall in love with role playing games on the Playstation at the time (with the help of Wild Arms and Final Fantasy VII later that year). I was a little skeptical when I read about the game and thought they were just trying to milk the franchise for all it’s worth, but after spending some time with the game I’ve come away quite impressed.