Review: Borderlands 2

Post by Patrick

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.

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Review: Sleeping Dogs

Post by Patrick

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.

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Review: Persona 4 Arena

Post by Patrick


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.

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Review: Spec Ops – The Line

Post by Patrick

Some of you might already know that playing video games is a favorite hobby of mine and now I’ll be able to write about my thoughts on games as they get released here in Kuwait. Mark worked out a deal with the local online game rental service who will be providing the games for me as soon as they’re out. I’ll be reviewing a game every week or two depending on when they get released and if there aren’t any new releases I’ll probably write about an older game I find worth sharing.

This week I’ll be reviewing a fairly new release called Spec Ops: The Line, spoilers will be kept to a minimum.


Spec Ops: The Line is not your ordinary war themed video game. It isn’t anything like Call of Duty, Battlefield or Medal of Honor. Spec Ops: The Line has a proper, mature script that will have you talking about the game long after you put the controller down. The gameplay is flawed and has trouble dealing with the issues that the script raises, but it’s still a lot of fun to play. Think of it this way: if Call of Duty is a Michael Bay movie, Spec Ops: The Line is Apocalypse Now (which it has been compared to). There was some controversy in our region due to the fact that the game takes place in a destructed Dubai. Personally, I don’t see what the big deal is. All major metropolises get destroyed in games and movies; how many times has New York, Los Angeles and Tokyo been demolished by either a giant monster, war or aliens? As far as I’m concerned, the fact that Dubai is destroyed in this game is a good thing. If the UAE government is concerned about the portrayal of their citizens, then they have nothing to worry about. In the game, Dubai may resemble real Dubai, but it’s not an exact replica. You’ll see skyscrapers that look like they should belong in Dubai, but you won’t see an exact copy of Burj Khalifa.

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My trip to Japan

Post by Patrick

I was recently in Japan and Mark thought it would be interesting if I posted about it. Growing up in the late 80’s and the 90’s in Kuwait I was exposed to a lot of Japanese culture from Super Mario, Zelda & Metroid (Nintendo in general), to watching Captain Majid, Voltron and Grendizer on television. So, it was only natural for me to be fascinated with everything Japanese and thats why I decided to take a two week trip to Japan. The plan was to stay in Kyoto over at a friends place for about 10 days and from there I would visit neighboring cities by train including Tokyo where I wanted to spend at least 3 days. Now that I’m back I have to say Japan was a brilliant place to visit, Kyoto is a great city and for the most part the Japanese people were pretty friendly and enjoyable to be around.

One of the things you’ll probably use a lot if you ever go to Japan is the subway. I used it a lot while in Japan and it was super crammed most of the time. It’s ridiculous how many people can fit into a subway train and it’s also incredibly uncomfortable especially after a whole day of walking around and feeling like your legs are about to give out to be then squeezed inside the train. There is actually a guy that stands on the subway platform during rush hour to help push and squeeze people inside the train. One really cool thing I noticed is that the Japanese sleep (or nap) a lot on the train. That’s normal except I saw guys sleeping while sitting, crouching and even while standing. Basically, they can take naps in any position! They also have a great sense of balance while riding the subway, I saw one guy playing on his Sony PSP without holding onto anything while I was standing grabbing onto a rail and swaying around left and right. Some rules that you should follow while riding the subway and trains in Japan is that you should always put your phone on silent, don’t make or answer calls and don’t eat while riding the train (drinking is okay).

Another interesting thing I noticed is that in the Kansai area (Kyoto, Osaka) when people ride escalators they stand on the right side while the left is for people who want to walk up or down the escalators (like in London). On the other hand in the Kanto area (where Tokyo is) people stand on the left side while the right is for walking up and down. Now the reason I was given for this is that there’s an on-going rivalry between the two areas because Kyoto used to be the capital of Japan before Tokyo so they try to do everything the opposite. But, I’m not sure anyone really knows the reason behind this because if you do a quick Google search you’ll find other reasons to why they do things differently. One reason that I particularly liked is that back in the old days the Kanto region were known for their samurai’s who prefer to stay on the left so they could draw their swords easily. On the other hand the Kansai region were known for their rich merchants who prefer staying on the right to protect their belongings that they hold in their right hands. Standing on the right or left is such a minor thing but even that has an interesting story behind it.

I liked a lot of things in Japan but one of the things that fascinated me the most were their plastic food models. Restaurants, pastry shops and places that sell bento boxes all have extremely detailed plastic models of the food they serve on display. The models look very realistic and the first time I saw one I thought it was real and was wondering how they got the food to stick to the plate that was displayed at an angle. And yes the food in Japan is brilliant. I tried a whole bunch of things including Indian food, a falafel place, a Korean burger joint and more while there and didn’t have one bad meal. McDonalds was pretty great there and even their shawerma’s which they call “kebabs” are also really good. Of course I also had a lot of Japanese food and even got to try whale meat (I didn’t want to but my friends insisted). Another thing I liked about Japan is how everything is (as my friend put it) “cartoonated”. You’d have a poster warning you of danger or risk of death but they’d be illustrated and look very cute even though they’re meant to be very serious. Video game fans should also definitely visit a video game themed cafe while there. I went to a place in Osaka called Space Station that has literally every console released that you could play on while enjoying a drink.

I also love their vending machines. There was one I tried while in Tokyo that had a camera built into it. You stand in front of the vending machine and the camera would scan your face and body posture and then analyze the information and suggest what you should drink. Which brings me to the subject of coins… Buy a coin purse if you plan on going to Japan since they use a lot of coins. If you own a Nintendo 3DS, make sure to carry it around everywhere in Japan in you want to blend in. I saw a lot of 3DS’s more than any other piece of tech (except for smartphones).

Things to see? Well in Kyoto there’s the Fushimi Inari shrine, the Manga Museum, Kinkaku-Ji (also known as the Golden Pavilion), Pontocho (which are old streets you can walk through), Teramatchi (a long street that’s just a massive marketplace), the Botanical Gardens, Kiyomizu Dera (another shrine). Then a little bit outside of Kyoto there’s a small city called Nara that has a beautiful shrine called Tōdai-ji that you can visit. Right outside the shrine there are deers that roam around freely and you could feed them if you want.

In Tokyo you have the Mori Art Museum (which is a great art gallery), Studio Ghibli, Akihabara (for the Geeks) and Harajuku (for the fashion obsessed).

Japan was really an incredible place as you can imagine and it would be a super long post if I were to write about everything I did and even then I don’t think it would do Japan any justice. But I did take plenty of photos some of which I’ve shared in this post. If you’d like to see a lot more photos I took while in Japan then check out my Flickr page [Here] or my Instagram account [Here]

Posted by Patrick.

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GulfRun6 – Car Show & Raffle at 360 Mall

Post by Marzouq

The weekend is upon us and the GulfRun 6 car show is around the corner. With that we have the raffle which all donations going to the Hayat Cancer Foundation. The prizes this year are:

1. Polaris Razor RZR800 from Seas & Deserts
2. Can-Am DS450 ATV from Al-Ghanim Marine
3. Can-Am DS450 ATV from Al-Ghanim Marine
4. Mercedes-Benz All Terrain Mountain bike from Albisher & Alkazemi Co.

The Mercedes Benz Mountain Bike is a special limited edition version valued at $3300 from Abdul Rahman Albisher & Zaid Alkazemi Company. Just as the Mercedes Benz perfect their high performance machines this bike is not lacking in any options with disc brakes and a specialized suspension.

Mercedes-Benz All Terrain Mountain Bicycle

  • 9 Speed w/Gear
  • Hydraulic disc brakes
  • Adjustable height and comfort of seat
  • High-Performance shock-absorbers

I would honestly love to get my hands on this bike out of all the amazing prizes in this raffle. Tickets can be purchased during the Gulfrun 6 Carshow this Friday 14th and Saturday 15th at the 360 Mall. The winner will be announced Saturday Evening. Here is the link to the GulfRun page with more details [Link]

Posted by Marzouq

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Core Fitness Introduces 60-Minutes of Hell

Post by Fahad AlYehya

Posted by Fahad

A lot of people crucified Core Fitness thinking that our 20-minute version of a workout was for everybody. As per what Mark has stated earlier, our 20-minutes were meant to cater to those who a) don’t have time for high-volume conventional training, b) new to the world of health and fitness, c) are the center of mockery and scrutiny because they’re too fat and d) hate to pursue health and fitness, but need to lose some weight due to health and Sharm Al Shaikh reasons.

To shed some light on our 20-minute workouts, we are merely a single idea in the fitness industry. We don’t defy ourselves as the be-all and end-all of exercise; we represent a technique that combines both convenience and intensity in one package. One big huge gargantuan awesome incredible package.

Gradual Transition

Back in January when Mark signed up with Core Fitness, I honestly thought the dude was a hopeless case. He looked motivated, but acted kind of lazy. Mark wanted to get in and out and just live life outside of the gym. Gradually, he kept on coming for more and asking for harder diet plans. He even low-carbed his meals without inquiring with me, and refrained from cheating for over a month (which is something I wouldn’t even think of doing).

I remember the day he sluggishly walked into my office. Last Thursday, the dude walked in with his shoulders back and his chest high, ready for what’s next.  I presented him with the idea of signing up for 60-minutes. What shocked me the most is his prompt reply; I even had a list of come backs in order to negotiate him into 60-minutes. Conclusively, Mark now dedicates 5 days of his week to gym and MMA work; he has officially caught the fitness-bug.

By Popular Demand

In order to cope with the  “high volume” and the “we-have-more-than-20-minutes-to-spare” fitness crowd, we at Core Fitness developed a training technique roughly 3 times as intense as our initial 20 minutes, but with 40 more minutes of pain and agony. Keep in mind that we would like our clients to stick to the 20 minutes, so expect 1-hour training to be our way of saying “Today, we will give you 60 reasons why you should stick to 20 minutes. FUL.”

Offering Healthy Lifestyles Since 2008

Does anyone remember the last time Mark posted a burger review? Go ahead and look back at his posts. Taco Bell was a total bust, but they do have a semi-healthy menu. The Abercrombie and Fitch post was LOLingly homorific, but I’ll give him credit for finally setting a target. And what does every strict dieter do? Post about their next cheat meal.

It’s safe to say the fitness-bug he caught also effected his posts, including activity oriented articles and topics pertaining to how people can achieve a healthy lifestyle without sacrificing their current one (Michel Dines in Hell).

The point is, Core Fitness offers lifestyles and not just a means to an end. We at Core want you to be healthy, stay healthy and live healthy, since health and fitness is our business. We promote diversity with our clients by asking them to try out what the market has to offer, and only then can they differentiate a Core Fitness workout from a conventional one. The point is we do lose clients like any other business, but we rarely fail to permanently stamp them with healthier lifestyles.

All top-notch health clubs and gyms in Kuwait already have 60-minute personal training services far before Core existed, but how many of them offer you individualized lifestyles and a training technique?

Training Services

Mark’s currently enrolled in Muscle Building, since he earlier decided to dedicate 30-minutes of post-workout treadmill cardio work to his already activity-infested routine. Mark and cardio don’t mix at all, and I couldn’t convince him to do 10 minutes (I swear to God). Those 30-minutes were his idea.

For the 60-minute personal training workout, we offer 4 training categories specified below:

– Muscle Building

– Fitness Boxing

– Fat Loss

– Sports Performance

20-Minutes is still our Bread & Butter

For those of you contemplating on signing up, I’d advise you begin with at least one 20-minute workout membership to get the feel of the technique. The intensity of our 60-minute workouts are no joke and require a certain level of physical fitness experience. We designed it to transition our current 20-minute clients who have already been through the short torture.

Follow Mark’s foot steps and gradually increase workout intensity and meal planning. You’ll look good, feel good and hopefully live longer assuming a bus doesn’t run into you anytime soon.

For more questions and inquiries concerning timings, prices and location, feel free to contact Core Fitness at 22520407 starting at 12:30 pm to 10 pm, or contact me via my blog here.

Posted by Fahad

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Building the Perfect Female – Part 1

Post by Fahad AlYehya

Posted by Fahad AlYehya | Core Fitness – Kuwait

This generation’s females are anemic, bulimic, and anorexic. They deny those things ad infinitum, of course, but you can’t really trust anything they say. They think cupcake is a food group.

Because I want to be fair and balanced, I will write this post with my “female” voice. (Yes, I do have a female voice. I keep it locked away safe and sound though. And my female voice is still a beast that will scratch your eyes out. Don’t mess with Lupita, yo!) Take it away Lupita:

75% percent of us are ova’weight, ese!
It sucks to be fat and anemic at the same time; it’s like you’re fat for nothing. Malnutrition here translates into eating junk calories devoid of any essential vitamins and minerals, replaced by traditional wholesome food.

But you told us to satisfy our cravings in moderation, homes!
I worked with women who eat nothing but chocolate, cupcakes, muffins and donuts all day long. Eating desserts and sweets all day moderately is anything but moderate. Eat your 2-3 square meals first and enjoy snacking in between them but in moderation.

Psshhh, wha’eva fatty! I have a high metabolism and I can eat wha’eva ah want.
If only I had a fils for every time I heard that, I’d be able to cross all of Lupita’s 160 cousins over the border. Studies conducted in Kuwait have shown that females between the ages of 14-18 are playing Russian Roulette with high cholesterol levels and diabetes. You don’t have high metabolisms; it’s called skinny fat. A person with a high metabolism looks like an anatomy chart. You look like a skinny stripper with extra jiggle.

Like I could care less what you tink. I’m enjoyin’ life and I’m happy! And my momma tinks I’m too SKINNY!
My mother, Allah bless her heart, is overweight and your mother’s also probably overweight. Mothers should set better examples by teaching their children on how to eat properly. Unfortunately, mothers enjoy dessert and sweet consumption more than their daughters. No one wants to be fat alone, so listen to mommy and have that extra cupcake. With whipped cream. And mango juice. And ice cream. With fondue on the side. Maybe cookies. Screw it, I’m adding in cookies.

OK OK! I get it! Save me from my own demise, papi!

I thought you’d never ask.

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Holy Sugar-Cravings-of-Ramadan Batman!

Post by Fahad AlYehya

Posted by Fahad AlYehya | Core Fitness – Kuwait

The first day of Ramadan was a total bust. True epic failure. You guys would’ve been disappointed at the horrors that took place at my family’s futoor table.

Yet, like the phoenix, I rise again and avail in favor of sticking to my plan like every other dedicated fitness enthusiast, which lasted a few seconds right after the kanafa, atayef and cheese cake arrived, where I yet again continued to disgrace my will and testament in keeping my mouth shut and saving dessert for later.

Of course a few cups of sage, thyme, ginger, white tea, gymnema sylvestre and peppermint post pig-out should minimize the gut-damage, at least in accordance to my mother.  On a side note, I’ll be discussing more about those 6 herbs and how they can benefit you when indulging in belt-widening carby and fatty mixtures from hell.

This Post’s About Dessert BTW

I guide you how to eat dessert responsibly, I throw in a few jokes, then you follow my advice by eating dessert responsibly and we all live happily every after. The usual Q&A is available for any necessary inquiries in regards to the subject or any other relevant areas in fitness, health and nutrition.

Snacking Rules:

*Dessert should never go above 300 calories.

*Each snack should contain all macro nutrients, including junk-nutrients such as sugar and fat. Inclusion of all macros balance out the snack, providing a more subtle release of blood sugar.

*This is bullet point #3 and isn’t remotely relevant to the subject at hand.

*Snacks are to be consumed 2.5-3 hours after a meal or before a meal.

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The Super Duper Guide to Losing Fat and Maintaining Muscle in Ramadan

Post by Fahad AlYehya

Posted by Fahad AlYehya | Core Fitness – Kuwait

I would first like to apologize for my long absence from the world of blogging and greatly appreciate all my supporting readers for being patient and understanding. Moreover, I’d also like to send my sincerest apologies to those of you who have emailed me but haven’t recieved a reply. I’d like to thank you all for putting up with my crap and style of writing, which by-the-way will only get worse. I’ve stated this a million times. If you’re not cool with my writing nature, then don’t read me. I should warn you, though; you’re going to miss out on some epic nutrition advice.

Before I begin preaching, I’d like to clarify how this guide will work:

1) I’ll list down all the basics of Ramadan eating and training to provide a brief understanding for the readers.

2) The reader will then post his/her goal, physical stats (height, weight, bf % if available) and Ramadan lifestyle (exercise timing, family gatherings, favorite/worst foods, etc).

3) I will then reply with a customized optimal plan for that reader’s goal

4) Other readers/haters who are too lazy to comment/hate can read/[go-kill-themselves] the Q&A’s below so that they may personally implement on their own.

The Q&A below will serve as a guide to unanswered questions anyone might have about Ramadan. Please refrain from emailing me since the goal of this post is to publicly educate through the written facts/opinions/experiences and the associated comments.

Credibility and Experience

It took me around 3 Ramadans to fully understand how my body works when it comes to losing fat and maintaining muscle when fasting. From eating small portions of food to indulging in every calorie dense food item, I’ve realized the only way to survive Ramadan is by doing the exact same thing.

1st Attempt: I dieted in Ramadan, performing 30-60 minutes of cardio 2 hours prior to breaking my fast, and weight lifting 1 hour after a light futoor, followed by a light dinner and a light suhoor.

Result: Managed to lose 10kg in 1 month.

Damage: Managed to lose a lot of my hard earned muscle. Fail.

2nd Attempt: I gorged on endless calories, weight-lifted with less intensity and did absolutely no cardio.

Result: Gained 5kg.

Damage: 5kg of fat; but I kept my muscle. Epic fail.

3rd Attempt: Dieted 3 months prior to Ramadan (low calorie intake, 60 minutes of cardio, 30-45 minutes of weight-lifting). Stuck to the same level of calorie intake and workout-intensity in Ramadan, eliminated cardio completely.

Result: Nothing. Kept my muscle, maintained my superb condition.

Damage: Refer to the above. Boo-Yeah.

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