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 »


Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Getting a Nintendo Switch in Kuwait

Post by Patrick

Nintendo’s new console, the Switch is coming out on March 3rd. There’s a lot of positive hype surrounding the release of Nintendo’s new console which is a hybrid of a home console and a portable console. I pre-ordered one back in January from Amazon US for $299 while Mark pre-ordered his from the Walmart website. If you’re interested in getting one yourself, there are two ways to do so:

The first option is to get it locally. Xcite have a sign-up page to get a notification once they have more information on the Switch, but theres no mention on when they’re expecting to get it. Then there’s Rihab. I paid a visit to Rihab on Friday to ask if they were getting the Switch and how much they were expecting to sell it for. I wasn’t given a concrete answer, but I was told that there would be a shortage of consoles locally, which isn’t surprising since Nintendo is only making two million units available at launch worldwide. I was also told the approximate price of the Switch would be KD150 (approximately $490) which I found hard to believe since I’m expecting it to go as high as KD250 on the first few days of launch. The shops I asked were adamant that it wouldn’t go that high up, but I’m still skeptical.

Your second option is to pre-order a Switch online and ship it to your forwarding mailbox like Shop&Ship or PostaPlus. It’s sold out in most of the US stores but they’re still available to pre-order at a bunch of UK ones including:

Amazon UK
Argos
GAME
Nintendo Store
Tesco

The UK stores are selling the Switch for slightly more than the US stores at KD106 verses KD98 (with tax). But, it should still be cheaper than buying it locally… at least in the beginning.

Post by Patrick


Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Double Jump: The Nintendo Switch

Post by Patrick

In this weeks episode we babble about the Nintendo Switch: is it a home console, or is it a portable device? Will there be a shortage of consoles at launch? And what’s going on with its price and the cost of the peripherals? We also discuss the games announced and our hopes for Nintendo’s future.

Play in browser | iTunes | Android | Download | RSS

Post by Patrick


Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Best Games of 2016

Post by Patrick

Mark posted his top 5 video games last week, but 2016 was a great year for video games and it was challenging for me to narrow the list down to 10 yet alone 5. There were a lot of great games from AAA studios and a lot of great games from smaller studios. There were also few games that I loved playing that didn’t make it to the list, games that people should still check out like Hitman, Dragon Quest Builders, Pokemon Sun/Moon and the Division. 2017 is looking promising as well, so fingers crossed! Check out my favorite games of 2016 below.

Read the rest of this entry »


Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Double Jump: A Pirate’s Influence

Post by Patrick

After a long hiatus Double Jump is finally back. When we launched the podcast we were following an uninspired format that was problematic for a couple of reasons. Recording once every week was an issue and so the topics we’d discuss were outdated by the time we sat down to talk about them. We took a break to figure out what direction we wanted to take the podcast in. What we decided on is to focus more on conversational topics that we think are worth discussing and that are less time sensitive.

In this weeks episode we talk about video game piracy and how it influenced our taste in video games growing up. What genre’s or what games we played that we normally would not have tried if we had to pay full price. Back in the 80’s, 90’s and early 2000’s, piracy in the Middle East was the norm and it was everywhere. As kids we didn’t know any better and our parents didn’t really care, it was something we were all used too. You’d go to Rihab and the majority of the stores sold pirated games until it evolved into what it is today.

Play in browser | iTunes | Android | Download | RSS

Posted by Patrick


Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Game Review: No Man’s Sky

Post by Patrick

No-Man's-Sky_20160817171917

No Man’s Sky is a exploration and survival game that takes place in a procedurally generated universe that features 18 quintillion planets. You have your own space ship that allows you to fly from planet to planet, galaxy to galaxy, discovering new planets, animals and plants, while trading with various different races.

No-Man's-Sky_20160808182018

The game starts off by placing you on a random planet with a broken spaceship. Your first task is to look for resources to help you repair your ship and take off from the planet. This first area serves as a light tutorial that should help you get a grip on the games loop. After you successfully take off from the first planet, the universe opens up to you and you can either choose to follow on the games set path to the center of the universe or you can choose travel to any galaxy and any planet you like as long as you have the fuel.

The problem with having procedurally generated content though is that a players experience is based off luck and chance. I’ve seen people complain that planets look the same, feel the same and there is truth in that, but my personal experience has differed. I’ve been lucky enough to discover a wide variety of planets, ranging from planets that have nearly zero life on them with intense weather to planets teeming with life. So even though I’ve seen planets that look similar, I’ve also been lucky enough to see enough variety that I’m still interested in exploring and taking screenshots of planets I like.

Read the rest of this entry »


Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

No Man’s Sky is Out in Kuwait

Post by Patrick

nomanssky

The long awaited indie game ‘No Man’s Sky’ was supposed to come out in Kuwait yesterday but got held up at customs so I only was able to get my hands on it a few moments ago. The official worldwide release date is August 9th so Kuwait wins again with another early release date. If you want a copy, I got mine for KD19 from @q8_complex

Posted by Patrick


Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

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

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

Page 1 of 41234



Contribute

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