Playing Pokémon Go in Kuwait

Post by Patrick

pokemongo

Over Eid holiday Pokémon Go was officially released in the U.S. For the uninitiated, Pokémon Go is an augmented reality (AR) mobile game, released both on iOS and Android. The point of the game is to walk around your environment to find and catch Pokémon. When you reach level 5, you’re able to fight at Pokémon gyms that are scattered across the country. The first time you do this you get to choose the faction you want to be a part of, Team Instinct (Yellow), Team Valor (Red) or Team Mystic (Blue). Once you choose a faction and beat the gym boss, that gym belongs to your faction. The game is a massive hit in the U.S. and is about to surpass Twitter in daily active users. It seems to be encouraging adults and kids alike to go outside and walk around, and in some cases make new friends. There are a lot of great stories coming out thanks to this game.

poke2

Sadly since we are in Kuwait we can’t really go out for long walks at the moment because it’s super hot outside. But, that doesn’t mean you can’t still play it. I’ve noticed that the game works in our malls and other places we spend a lot of time in. My wife was shopping and I decided to try out the app indoors and I ended up catching Jigglypuff and a few other great Pokémon while she was doing her thing. I’ve also used the app at traffic lights but please don’t use it while you’re actually driving unless you’re on a Pokémon date. Mark had a power cut at his apartment over the weekend so he was forced to leave the house and ended up killing time by walking around his neighborhood looking for Pokémon until the power came back on. Kuwait has loads of Pokéstops and Pokémon gyms scattered throughout so we aren’t missing out on anything really.

poke1

Here are some quick tips for first time users:

– In the bottom right side of the screen you’ll find icons of Pokémon that are in your vicinity. If you click on the icon you’ll find up to 3 little footprints under each Pokémon. 3 footprints means the Pokémon is in your area, but not close to where you are, while no footprint means the Pokémon is right next to you.

– When you try to catch a Pokémon you’ll find an AR slider on the top right. Switch this off to switch off your camera, which makes catching Pokémon easier.

– As you’re trying to catch Pokémon, hold the Pokéball and twirl it on screen to add a curve to it which will give you more experience points if you’re successful at catching the Pokémon.

– If you have duplicate Pokémon, click on the ones you don’t want and transfer them over to the Professor to get items necessary to make your Pokémon stronger.

poke3

So how is the quality of the Pokémon Go app itself? Well, to be honest, average. The UI is badly designed and the game is known to crash for a few users. The “game” itself is pretty thin, besides walking around and trying to catch Pokémon, there isn’t much else to do. The only time you ever battle is when you find a gym. There is no way to interact with friends, no way to trade Pokémon and no way to challenge a friend to a battle. But ultimately, the quality of the app itself means little when the experience of using the app is making people happy. At the end of the day, Niantich can update the app some time in the future to add the features that are still missing from this game.

If you’re interested in trying out the game it’s available to download in the U.S. iOS App Store and Android devices. You won’t find it in the Kuwait store since it hasn’t officially launched worldwide.

Posted by Patrick


Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

White Tower Arcades (Burj Al Abyad)

Post by Mark

whitetower

Back in the 90s, White Tower in Salmiya used to be similar to Rihab Complex, the whole top floor was full of video game stores but there were also a bunch of arcade shops. It was the place to go to if you wanted to play fighting games against other people but also if you wanted to play now classic games like Metal Slug. Oh the amount of money I spent on Metal Slug…

Anyway, I passed by White Tower a couple of days ago to see if anything was still open and to my surprise there was still one arcade shop still standing. It wasn’t in the best of state but they did have recent games. Some of the games they had were the following:

Street Fighter V
Street Fighter IV
Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike
King of Fighters (all of them)
Marvel vs Capcom

And if I understood correctly they had a bunch of NeoGeo games as well. Best part is it still costs exactly the same as it did back in the 90s to play a round, just 100fils. If you win you keep playing for free of course. If you don’t know where White Towers is, here it is on [Google Maps]


Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Short Documentary on Rihab Complex

Post by Mark

“تفضل” which roughly translates to “come in” is a short documentary on Rihab Complex that was released a couple of months back but I only got to watch it a couple of days ago. For those of you who’ve never been to Rihab Complex, it’s an old shopping complex in Hawalli filled with video game stores. The documentary gives a bit of a rundown on the on the complex as well as interviews some of the shop owners to get their story as well as explanations on why some games are expensive, while EU games are cheaper than US and other things. Sadly the video is in Arabic so if you can’t understand Arabic you’re not gonna get much out of it. [YouTube]

I’ve personally been going to Rihab since the late 90s (when the best gaming console ever the Dreamcast was released). But before Rihab, during my SNES and Game Gear days I used to get all my games from the shops in old Salmiya. There used to be a bunch of great shops in the building right next to mine, I don’t remember their names but I do remember there were three of them, two on the main street and one inside the complex. One of the ones outside used to have a 3DO in the display playing either the Night Trap demo or the original Need for Speed on loop while the store inside the center had a Neogeo on display playing mostly Samurai Showdown. You also had two computer shops upstairs, one called Computer World where I got my original copy of Windows 95 from and the other shop right next door where I used to buy my pirated games from. You’d buy a game and then have to wait for the guy to make copies of it and some games like Duke 3D for example used 13 floppy disks so you had to either go and come back or wait there patiently until he finished copying them. Then you had Burj Al Abyad (White Tower) further down the road which was the gaming center of Kuwait back then with most of the shops also housing arcade machines.

This post is really making me regret selling all my old gaming consoles. All I kept from the bunch are my Game & Watches.

vintagegames

If you really want to step back in time, back in the 80s there used to be a computer shop in Salhiya, I think it was on M1 or M2, it was right across the Korean restaurant that used to be there. I also got my Coleco in the mid 80s from a video game shop in Kuwait City that was located in the hexagon shaped blue glass tower. Kuwait was so different back then.


Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Double Jump: Episode 2

Post by Patrick

Dj_logo

After a long break, Double Jump podcast is finally back. In this episode we discuss Doom, Uncharted 4, Overwatch, Pocket Jockey and a few other things. Since it’s been a long time let me re-introduce what Double Jump is. It’s a gaming podcast I co-created with Yaqoub Al- Hussaini who is one of the hosts of LuckyGG and we’re also joined by Abdullah Boushehri also from LuckyGG. The goal of Double Jump is to discuss games we’ve been playing, news that we find interesting and regional news that we feel our listeners would be interested in.

We’ll be recording episodes every other Tuesday and each episode will be around two hours in length. In between our group shows I’ll be recording a solo show on Mondays so there will be content coming out every week.

So hope you guys enjoy the show, feel free to give us some feedback and don’t forget to subscribe to our podcast.

iTunes | Android | Play in Browser | Download | RSS

Posted by Patrick


Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Game Review: Doom

Post by Patrick

DOOM-B

Doom was one of those games that I wasn’t allowed to play when I was a kid but I did anyways. It was dark, atmospheric and kind of scary. The games were unique at that time and basically laid the foundation for future first person shooters. Since then Id software tried to recapture that magic with various other games like Doom 3 and RAGE but were never really were able to reach the heights of Doom I and II…until now.

There was some hesitation from fans when the new Doom was announced since the market was oversaturated with first person shooters and it would take something special for the new Doom to make a dent. The development history of the game was troublesome, Id Software had completed a Doom game, didn’t like what they had created and then restarted the development process from the beginning. So there were a lot of questions that needed answering, would the new developers be able to design levels as good as John Romero and co.? Would the new developers be able to create the same fast-paced action that were present in those original games? Would they try to create a more immersive narrative even though those older games didn’t really rely on one? Even then, would a first person shooter with a reliance on gameplay over narrative even succeed nowadays when narrative seems important to the consumer and the players?

CiVOlJzWkAEcZGT

I was able to get my hands on Doom a few days before its official release and even though the multiplayer beta was disappointing, I was really looking forward to the single player campaign. As the games release date got closer, it was revealed that no review copies were sent out to any of the major websites so many people were expecting the worst. I wasn’t sure what I was expecting when I put the game in, I hoped for the best though. Thankfully what I got was nothing short of incredible. The game has incredible visuals and art direction, the environments look great, the monsters look extremely detailed and the animation is top notch. The music and the sound design are also fantastic and suit the game perfectly. Another aspect of the game that adds to its value is it doesn’t take itself too seriously. The developers built a ridiculous and amusing lore surrounding Doom-guy. They took this generic guy and turned him into this legendary warrior that demons fear. He has a personality even though he doesn’t say a word, it’s all in his actions. The game plays fast, it’s brutal and the music accompanying the action is memorable. The way the game starts is brilliant and probably one of the most memorable introduction to any game I’ve played.

The developers were successful at modernizing Doom in a couple of ways. First off is you can now upgrade your weapons, thankfully it’s not convoluted. Each weapon has two upgrade paths and the manner in which they’re presented is simple and straight forward. Your armor can be upgraded as well and like your weapons, the process is simple. You can also upgrade the amount of health, armor and ammo you can carry. You’ll also come across demonic runes that present a challenge and if you complete the challenge you’ll unlock a rune that you can equip that will also help you out in some way.

CiVOl4GW0AE7A_C

Other ways the developers were able to modernize Doom is the games level design. The original Doom games had complex level designs that were maze like and contained plenty of secrets to discover. The developers were able to take that feel and successfully modernize it. Levels have a lot of verticality to them and you’ll be jumping around quite a bit. It sort of feels like a Metroidvania kind of game in some ways. You’ll get lost in the levels the same way players did in the original game. The levels have secrets and even when you know where they’re located, some secrets are still tricky and challenging to get to.

The game also features two other modes besides the single player campaign mode which are multiplayer and Snapmap modes. Multiplayer is self-explanatory and I haven’t really touched it since release because I’ve been spending all my time playing through the campaign while the Snapmap mode is where all the user-created content will be. Snapmap lets you create and share your own levels and challenges. I’m actually impressed by how much content Doom has to offer.

Its been a while since I’ve enjoyed a first person shooter as much as I’ve enjoyed Doom. It might just be the best single player first person shooter I’ve played. It’s memorable, it’s fun and it’s very violent. I highly recommend it to anyone looking for a fast-paced action game that doesn’t take itself very seriously. I’m relieved it turned out this good since I chose to play Doom before Uncharted 4. I don’t like giving out perfect scores (I’ve only given 5 games perfect scores), but Doom deserves it.

Score:

Post by Patrick


Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Ordering Video Games Online in Kuwait

Post by Mark

videogames

Last Thursday I felt like playing a new video game but didn’t feel like heading to Hawalli to pick up a new game. So I decided to order a game online but wanted a place that would deliver in an hour. I mean if you can order food, have it prepared and delivered in under hour, I figured it shouldn’t be difficult to find a place that would have a game delivered that fast as well. Turns out nobody delivers video games in an hour and with some places like Blink who offer express delivery, they charge you a premium for it and you need to order before a certain time. Plus by express delivery they mean under 4 hours which is just too long. I was losing hope until I remembered a reader telling me about an instagram account called @alfuhod. They sell games for prices cheaper than the rest of the market and they offer free delivery. So I called them up and ordered Uncharted 4, they told me they’d deliver it within 2 hours. It was 7:50 when I placed the order so I was expecting to get it by 10PM.

A friend ended up coming over to watch a movie and time flew by and I completely forgot I had ordered a video game until I get a phone call at 11:44PM from a driver asking directions for my house. Nearly 4 hours since I placed the order so obviously I was upset and told the driver I didn’t want the game anymore since it was too late. Next day I got a message from them asking me if I received my game, I told them no I canceled it because the driver was 2 hours late. They didn’t apologize or even respond to me so I’m not ordering from them again.

Which brings me to my question, where do you guys order your games from and who has the quickest delivery time? I’m gonna create a list of all the online places you can order video games from and this is what I have so far:

3Rood Q8
Blink
Digumz
Digumz Store (not related to Digumz)
Game Center
GamesQ8
Mr Babu
ProGaming
Q8 Complex
Taw9eel
Tawsel AlFuhod
VG Gurus
X4 Games
Xcite


Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Uncharted 4 and Doom are Out in Kuwait

Post by Mark

doom

The two hottest video games launching this month are already out in Kuwait. Uncharted 4 launched in Kuwait two days before the US release and Doom which is supposed to launch this Friday is already out in Kuwait since yesterday. Both games are available at Rihab Complex or if you’d rather not go to Hawalli you can always get them online from GamesQ8.

redalert

I was planning on getting both but I just downloaded OpenRA, the fan improved C&C Red Alert project and I’m currently addicted to it. Me and my friends used to play Red Alert all day long back when I was in university so it looks like I’m going to busy with this for the next few days. If you’re a Red Alert fan you need to check this out [Here]


Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Cosplay Scene in Kuwait

Post by Mark

cosplay2

Over the weekend the gaming expo GX2016 took place here in Kuwait. I was going through the hashtag #gx2016 on instagram and was pretty impressed at how good some of the cosplay was.

Cosplay, a contraction of the words costume play, is a performance art in which participants called cosplayers wear costumes and fashion accessories to represent a specific character.

It’s pretty impressive mostly because it’s taking place in Kuwait, you wouldn’t expect for there to be a scene like this over here. And I’m not talking about just 10 or 20 people dressing up, based on the photos I’d say there were at least 50 cosplayers who passed by GX2016. Just check out all the photos [Here]

Photo on top by UrbanQ8 Films


Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Event: GX 2016 & Kuwait Battle Royale

Post by Patrick

gx

This weekend gamers in Kuwait are going to be treated to two events revolving around video games that will be taking place simultaneously at the Millennium Hotel & Convention Center. The first event is GX 2016 which is a general video game convention where people will have stalls selling video game merchandise and where you’ll also be able to check out cosplayers (famous cosplayer Tali xoxo pictured below will be there) and take part in some competitions to win prizes. The big news here is that two renowned video game companies will also be taking part: Tecmo Koie and Square Enix. Both will be holding mini-press conferences to announce some important news for this region and Square Enix will also have a special video message for us.

ChD9tLkWYAASHVk

The other gaming event taking place will be the Kuwait Battle Royale. The Kuwait Battle Royale is a local video game tournament featuring 7 of the biggest current fighting games: Street Fighter V, Super Smash Bros Wii U, Mortal Kombat X, Pokken Tournament, Dead or Alive 5, BlazBlue and Guilty Gear Xrd. The cool part about this event is that the organizers have flown in the official EVO commentators to take part and the contestants will be a mix of regional and international talent so it should be pretty fun to watch.

The event will start on at 5PM on Thursday and end on Saturday. The full schedule can be found on the organizers website.

Post by Patrick


Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Game Review: The Division

Post by Patrick

thediv

The Division has been out for quite some time now and it’s taken me this long to write about it because I wanted to make sure my opinions didn’t change the longer I played the game. The game has generally been received well by critics, but as always that doesn’t reveal the extent of a games quality. If you don’t know what the Division is, it’s a cover based shooter with RPG mechanics, that’s a quasi MMO. Think of Destiny, yeah. It’s sort of like that.

The set up for the Division is simple. A lethal virus breaks out during Black Friday and spreads across New York City, ravaging the city and killing thousands. Manhattan is quarantined and the US Government activates sleeper agents known as the Division to assist emergency responders to bring stability and order to the city.

The game puts you in the shoes of an unnamed Division agent. You create your character and you’re forced into action. After a few missions you unlock your base which is split into 4 distinct sections. You have the general area where the stores and your stash are located. You have the medical, the security and a tech area. Whenever you upgrade each section you’ll see your base grow, with more personal and more people populating the base. It’s a great thing to see and very satisfying to observe. Each base upgrade also helps your character by adding perks or abilities. So you have more then one reason to upgrade your base. It also makes you think about what upgrade to choose first. Think of these three sections and the abilities they unlock as different play styles: If you focus on the medical section you should consider yourself a healer, if you focus on the tech, a rogue and if you focus on security a tank. Obviously you can mix and match, but generally this is how I thought of it.

1

I enjoy enemy A.I. that is dynamic and that are smart. Bar some inconsistent moments the A.I. in this game is that. The enemies will try to outflank you so seeking cover in one place isn’t going to guarantee you safety. Your best bet is to shoot, cover and move. Staying out in the open will most likely lead to your death. The game features different groups of gangs that each offer different challenges. Within these gangs you’ll come to be familiar with the different types of enemies you’ll face. There are your melee enemies, who are probably the dumbest of all enemy types. They’ll just run up to you and try to hit you with a bat. They’re easy to kill, but if they do end up hitting you, they’ll deal a lot of damage. Then you have the other typical enemy types: a sniper, a shotgun, and regular grunt who uses automatic rifles. Depending on what gang you’re facing you’ll face more types of enemies. For example there is a gang called the Cleaners. They usually come equipped with flame-throwers and will burn anything that comes close to them. Then you have the boss-type characters who have a ton of armor and take some time to kill. Sometimes you’ll have to fight more than one and these fights can be pretty intense.

Read the rest of this entry »


Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Page 2 of 2812345678910Last



Contribute

If you have anything you think would be interesting to share on this blog
[Email Me]