Top Ten Games of 2013

2013 was a great year to gaming!

One Last Farewell to the Ouya

Cya, wouldn't wanna OUYA!

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Dynasty Warriors 8 (PS3) Review

After years and years of battling hordes of enemies, Tecmo Koei continues pumping out Dynasty Warrior games like no tomorrow. Now with its 8th chapter installment is there some edge left in this franchise or has it completely worn out?

Let it be known that Dynasty Warriors is the bestselling franchise from Keoi and for good reason. The hack and slash genre was barely heard of until it introduced it to the masses. Managing and leading a Chinese army into battle never felt as intense as Dynasty Warriors. All of what makes the franchise great is still here. Combat and attacking feels spot on and watching your enemies fumble at your mercy is still as fun as ever.  Adding to the mix is the ambition mode which gives player the freedom of choosing a character and starting their own empire. It’s a good addition that should extend the game time especially when trying to unlock new abilities.

Swords and weapons are found in abundance in Dynasty Warriors 8. Axes, pikes, arrows, and more all add to the variety ways you can dispose your enemies. Each one of them also has their own feel and attack pattern which opens room for strategy.  As expected horses also make an appearance because who doesn’t like  horses and devouring enemies at the same time?

The story mode can now also be experienced online. This feature was lacking in the previous Dynasty Warrior game and is a great addition especially for fans who wish to experience the Dynasty Warriors history and culture around the world. It also makes Dynasty Warriors 8 a slightly more challenging game which should surprise fans of the series. Fans that are familiar with the franchise’s soundtrack will undoubtedly enjoy this one.

Graphics on the other hand are still lacking. The visuals barely look appealing at all and at times it feels like you’re playing a good looking PS2 game.  But visuals in Dynasty Warriors never played a big role to begin with. In the end it was always about quantity over quality. Dynasty Warriors 8 may not have reinvented the wheel but its rich content, online story mode, and addictive gameplay will definitely keep you going for days on end. The battlefield has never felt this good.


Tuesday, July 30, 2013

6,000+ people want NoA's Reggie in Smash Bro U/3DS


Super Smash Bros. fans have begun a petition to put NOA's COO, Reggie Fils-Aime, in Smash Bro U/3DS. Because, why not?!
Reggie Fils-Aime, president and COO of Nintendo of America, is very popular in the gaming world, and he shot to fame in E3 2004 with his opening line: "My name is Reggie. I'm about kickin' ass, I'm about takin' names, and we're about makin' games."His humorous quotes and theatrical antics have made him into a gaming celebrity.

 Wait till you hear the move list
...he would be a unique character. He could use Nintendo controllers and characters to his advantage as attacks.

Reggie has been made famous thanks to other numerous occasions including his infamous "My body is ready!" quote which created multiple memes around the web. As of now it's merely an online petition but the man himself stated he would love to be present in a video game. Well, this is your chance. Make sure to head over to the sign up page right here.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Xbox One will have unlimited storage via the cloud

Well, well. If it isn't our old friend the Xbox One. What bad news do you bring to us to...wait. What's that? You have something good to show us this time?! Well butter my butt and call me a biscuit! Microsoft have

officially revealed that all Xbox Live users (Gold, Silver, whatever) will have unlimited storage thanks to the cloud.
Xbox Live offers Xbox One unlimited storage space in the cloud for all Xbox Live members to store numerous types of Xbox Live content, including your profile, games, Achievements and entertainment. This content is stored and saved in the cloud so you can automatically access it anywhere, anytime, no matter where you are.
Wow, finally some positive news surrounding the black box. I guess we can all skies the limit for Microsoft? (Sorry, couldn't help it).


Friday, July 26, 2013

Exclusive Look at Final Fantasy XIV A Realm Reborn

It seems things might finally be turning up for the Final Fantasy brand. That Final Fantasy XV trailer was downright gorgeous, I totally enjoyed my time with Lightning Returns at E3, and now we have A Realm Reborn coming out in a few weeks. Awesome!

Courtesy of Square, I finally got to give Final Fantasy 14 A Realm Rebron a spin and yes, it looks, feels, plays MUCH better than it's deformed twin. The video above gives you a quick look at the game and what new things fans might expect. Look forward to more Final Fantasy news when it launches August 27th for the PC and PS3.

A Quick Look at Stealth Inc

While the term 2D sidescrolling adventure game may be in abundance (mainly thanks to indie games) Stealth Inc. still manages to do things differently.

If you like what you see you could check the official PSN Play Summer program to get in on the pre-order offers: if you manage to get 2 of the games you'll get 3 dollars back, if you get 3 you'll get 6, and if you all of them you'll get $10 dollars added to your wallet. Oh, and PSN plus members get 20% off on all of these games. Sweet deal me thinks.  

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Rockman Xover may be coming to the west and Europe. Yay? Or Nay?

Welp it seems there might be a chance of Mega Man Xover coming out in the west and Europe. According Game Watch (via Rockman Corner), Capcom are really considering bringing Rockman Xover outside the Japan. Now here's the thing. No one liked Rockman Xover. In fact, it's quite possibly the worst and cheapest official Mega Man game to date. However, if people buy it there might be more reason for Capcom to seriously work on a new Mega Man. So is this Mega Man fans have been waiting or is it just another endless pit? Let me know what y'all think.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Bahrain Indie Game, The Survivalist, gets its first trailer

The Survivalist was a game that I certainly enjoyed watching at the last Bahrain Game Dev meeting. The creator, Hussain Altajer, only showed off bits and pieces of it. What was shown seemed promising--especially coming from Bahrain. Hussein has finally released a short teaser which you can check out below.

While the teaser doesn't offer much in terms of gameplay, it is the first time we see signs of co-op. It only shows how the sprites are actually digital actors of the developer and his friend.

One thing that sets this game truly apart is its environment. Nearly every bit of the background is taken from Bahrain showing players around the world Jan Burger (Google it) and giving it the recognition it deserves.

Look forward to more Bahrain Game Developer news in the coming weeks.

PS4 will run a lot cooler than PS3

*PHHhewwww...beep beep* that's probably the sound many of you heard when playing your fat PS3 on a hot summer day. Will history repeat itself with the PS4? Doesn't seem like it. According to this FCC analysis (Via the Escapist) the new console will run at a much cooler speed.

While the Playstation 3 was said to run between 113 degrees to 131 degrees Fahrenheit, the Playstation 4 will run between 41 to 95 degrees Fahrenheit. That's great but will this stop the overheating issues that plagued fat PS3's? Well based on the info above it should last for quite a while before running into any overheating issues. Of course there's nothing stopping it from running into other kinds of issues. But then again I'm sure Sony is running crazy tests on the system. Let's stay positive and hope for a steady healthy first batch of PS4's.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Assassin's Creed 4 will feature Arabic subs

Assassins's Creed 4's game director, Ashraf Ismail, has confirmed that the game will in fact feature Arabic subs.

[click to enlarge]

While there might not be audio this is surely a win for the Arab game community. There are BIG fans of Assassin's Creed and for the first time they'll finally be able enjoy playing it with a language they can relate. Let's hope the next AC will feature fully voiced characters as well.

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5 Things the Xbox One can do to Regain its 'COOL FACTOR'

The Xbox One has easily become one of the most hated consoles in gaming history. Even after its One Eighty policy change, the system still suffers from bad rep and publicity. In this video, I list the 5 things the Xbox One can do to regain its 'cool factor' back.

Community post: Collecting by Mohannad Ashtar

Game collecting is not a very understandable hobby to outsiders (non-gamers, comics/ manga collectors, parents...etc) to say the least, actually, not only outsiders but to many fellow gamers who can only see games as a software to be enjoyed then discarded eventually. However, if you have the slightest interest in game collecting this small article might help you further shape your final thoughts.

To my friends who are new to the collecting scene, I thought I'd show you a small example of the price difference between 3 copies of the same game, one used, one new and sealed, and finally, one sealed and graded. For this example I picked Super Mario 3, I tried to find the 3 cheapest copies from each category on ebay, as you can see the price ranges dramatically.

A lot of people new to collecting don't understand this or find it "stupid" or "illogical". Also a lot of times especially on online shops like ebay I see people offering what they think is a rare title and they ask ridiculous prices for it, however it would be used and in reality not worth quarter the price they are asking. The logic behind this is simple; the fewer the units, the more expensive the item, let's focus on our example, Super Mario 3 in itself is not a rare title at all, almost everyone who had an NES had that game hence $25 is actually an exaggeration for this one in my opinion, however, how many copies still remain sealed? how many people spent good money on this when it was out and were smart enough to keep it sealed in hopes of owning a historical piece in 15-20 years? how many bought 2 copies just to keep one sealed? how many retailers or shops still have it since 20 years? the answer is surely not many, hence when you do find a factory sealed copy it must be worth 10 times the normal one at least. Moving on to the graded copy, out of these few factory sealed copies remaining, how many are actually truly factory sealed and not refurbished and are authenticated AND graded a decent score, it is very hard to find a 20 year old sealed game graded 90+ or 95+ or 100, which means that when you do find those (if ever), they will probably cost double the price of a sealed copy graded 70+ or 80+.

Is the collectors market crazy? maybe so, but what you may not realize is that it is just blooming and experts say that it will be on par with the comics collectors market within 10 years so if you think it is crazy today, you havn't seen anything yet. This also means that if you pick what you buy carefully you might build a small fortune within 10 years, because some sealed games that may cost you $100 can possibly sell for $2000 some day, of course not every sealed and graded old game is worth a lot, that's why I said if you pick them carefully, in fact some of the stuff listed on ebay for $500+ is hardly worth $50 in the actual collectors market.

If you want to enter this hobby as a serious collector I suggest studying the collectors market well before doing so and always remember prices online are always exaggerated and you can always bargain with the seller, to give you a famous example, the "Legend of Zelda Prototype NES cartridge" which is a 1 of a kind item and is the holy grail of game collecting had an asking price of $150,000, the owner ended up selling it to the first offer he received... $55,000 - record breaking in the collectors market btw - which is a hell lot of money but still 1/3 of what the seller asked.

This article was a community post written by one of my followers. Send me an email at if you'd like to have your content featured here as well. 

Sunday, July 21, 2013

New Xbox One features revealed at Comic Con

The guys at IGN have given us some insight on what exclusive features the Xbox One will have in store for us: 
  • Players will be able to upload the last 5 minutes of their gameplay using multiple platforms such as Youtube. Additionally you can specificy which section you want to record by saying the phrase "Xbox, Record"
  • Kinect 2 will be able differentiate which player is holding the controller and can automatically adjust settings to that player's profile. For example if player 2 prefers inverted aiming it will automatically adjust setting the moment the players holds the controller in his or hands hands. 
  • Kinect 2 will also be able to detect BMI (Body Mass Index) and facial features which will help create the ideal avatar. 
  • Facial expressions will also be able to update your avatar status. For example, if you're frustrated the avatar will act frustrated and if you are happy it will act happy, etc...
These features are also known as baseline features meaning the developer will have the choice to integrate them or not. Look forward to more Xbox One news later this summer. 

Saturday, July 20, 2013

World of Warcraft Movie teased at Comic Con

Warner Bros.and Legendary have just revealed their first teaser trailer of World of Warcraft The Movie. Wow, right?! Unfortunately there is no online trailer but iO9 managed to give us a rundown of what happened.
The footage showcased an alien-looking landscape full of rocky outcroppings, where a sweaty unshaven figure in armor is drinking water from a leather pouch. There's a cage with rocks in it, a squeaking noise, green lightning in the sky. The man tosses the water pouch on the ground, and draws his sword with a loud ringing sound. He takes a shield from an armored skeleton, and bangs his sword against it.And then you see the massive arm of a... creature... heading towards him. We glimpse the green skin and some of the armor, and then finally we get an extreme closeup of the orc as it raises its axe and brings it down onto the man's head.
 With World of Warcraft being the biggest franchise in the last decade, it only makes sense to milk the cow even further with a feature length movie. Let's hope they treat the mythos properly and give fans a Warcraft movie they can write home about.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Here's Seven Minutes of Strider slicing and dicing

Get reintroduced to Strider's memorable gameplay formula in the video aboce. The music, the frantic action--it's all back, baby!

ACE COMBAT Infinity Announced as a PS3 exclusive. Could be related to Ace Combat 4

It's time to jump into the cockpit seat once again. Project Aces has finally revealed their next big action arcade flight sim and it looks good.

One thing I noticed during the beginning of trailer was this scene.

Any Ace Combat fan would know that this is a direct reference to Ace Combat 4: Distant Thunder which dealt with meteorites falling from the sky. The main pilot, Mobius One also had this emblem which clealry show an Infinity Symbol.

Could this mean we'd finally be revisiting Ace Combat as Mobius One? Who knows. One thing that does strike me strange is that this will be a PS3 exclusive which is strange considering Assault Horizon made it on 360, PS3, and PC. I'm hoping a PC port will see the light of day.

Strider Returns in 2014

The long dormant platforming Ninja series, Strider, will finally slice back into action.

San Diego, Calif. – July 19, 2013 - Capcom, a leading worldwide developer and publisher of video games, today confirmed that the ultimate ninja, Strider Hiryu, will return in Strider™,a brand new title in development for Xbox One®, the all-in-one games and entertainment system from Microsoft, Xbox 360®games and entertainment system from Microsoft, PlayStation®4 computer entertainment system, PlayStation®3 and PC. An intense side-scrolling action platformer, Strider’s action begins in the expansive metropolis of Kazakh City, a mix of ornate Russian architecture and hard-edged futuristic high-rise buildings with sprawling energy cables and pipework. Players freely explore the city and beyond, gaining new abilities and items which in turn open access to a truly massive and expansive interconnected game world. 
The game will play similar to the classic series but on for the "HD Generation" but alas the Wii U seems to be left out again. It's funny, we recently got Earthbound back and now Capcom is showing us Strider. What's old is new again, I suppose. Now if only Capcom can do something about Mega Man. 

Thursday, July 18, 2013

The coolest game store you'll ever see

Be it in malls or on your way back from work, video game stores have always been a sort of checkpoint for gamers. It's the place where adventures begin, dreams are made, and fans are born. Now I've been to a lot of these game stores around the world, but during my trip in Thailand I stumbled upon what could be the coolest game store ever.

While we may be slowly entering a digital age it's still good to have these shops around. You know, in case Steam shuts down and I lose all my games...

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

New Ace Combat game in the works. A sequel to 6?

The official Ace Combat site has been updated with a new title. All we have is the teaser above. What could it mean? According to one Facebook comment the Kottos is a reference to 6.

A line from AC6, Kottos was one of the Electronic Support ships with the Aigaion.

Will the new Ace Combat continue using its DFM "COD in the air" formula? Will we ever dance with the angels again? Let's wait and see.

Z.O.E HD Finally Gets Frame Rate Patch for PS3

Almost a year later, Konami and Kojima productions finally did the right thing and patch the highly broken Z.O.E HD collection. Oh, what was wrong with it you ask? The video below should illustrate the problem.

Basically incredibly slow frame rates--especially the PS3 version. Holy crap that game ran like an old pick up truck carrying goats. Seriously, Konami f'd this one big time. Thankfully the new patch (which is a whooping 594 MB download) will finally give ZOE the package they've asked for in the first place. Good things come to those who wait, I guess.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

How Valve Pipeline will Revolutionize Game Development

Valve have just announced Pipeline: a training institute that will more or less teach Teenagers how to make video games. Cool! But you know what can be even cool-er? How about teaching Teenagers globally!

The site and program is still very bare bones but once it's open you can ask Valve to teach its program internationally. The idea would be similar to learning online, except you would be getting tips and guidance from the masters at Valve. I pray this works as some of us here in the Arab world desperately need it.

Batman Arkham Origins Collectors Edition contents leaked

We all knew this was coming. A collectors is simply inevitable for a game as big as Batman Arkham Origins. So what's included in the package this time:

Click to enlarge
- a holographic collector’s box
- unique 3D metal game pack
- an Art of Batman Arkham Origins book
- a gorgeous 23cm tall Batman/Joker figure
- and two codes for ‘exclusive’ DLC.
Cool, I mean who doesn't like to have another Batman/Joker statue? Sarcasm aside, I'm still looking forward to playing this game. The sheer idea of beating the crap out of Black Mask is too tempting to miss out.

Source: Arkham Verse via

Friday, July 12, 2013

Project X Zone (3DS) Review

When it comes to fighting games, cross overs are nothing new. We’ve seen them a lot of times in games such as Marvel vs Capcom and Mortal Kombat vs DC. In comes Project X Zone a game that not only presents franchises from two companies but three. Bridging characters from Bandai Namco, SEGA, and Capcom does this fighting strategy have what it takes to give 3DS owners something to desire or is it just another fan service title?

Project X Zone takes place in a world where characters like Tron Bonne from Mega Man Legends, Akira from Virtua Fighter, and Yuri from Tales of Vesperia cross paths. Granted the idea sounds amazing at first but when the story starts rolling you begin to realize there are some problems.  Worm holes start appearing out of nowhere causing these characters to meet. It’s kinda like a Flintstones meets the Jetsons scenario multiplied by 10.  You can tell the writers had some trouble coming up with a reasonable plot that will bridge all character story lines so the result turns into a jumble mess with tons of plot holes. Regardless of that the dialogue is pretty still amusing that match the characters tones and personality.

Unlike most fighting games, Project X Zone is an RPG strategy fighting game. It’s also the spiritual successor to Namco X Capom a game that never made it across Japan.

So what exactly is an RPG strategy fighting game? Well essentially it works like a game of chess but with an RPG twist and…fighting. Players and enemies go by turns. Each fighter has a limited set of turns and once you come in contact with an enemy you begin brawling.  Combos are extremely easy to pull off and don’t require any memorization what so ever. The strategy comes depending on where you land on the grid. If you happen to be close to an ally you can call them in for support but if you’re surrounded by enemies, well, good luck. Although if you are in a tight spot you can always use healing items and rely on calling your solo players and that’s where the RPG element comes into place. You can exchange solo character or assist characters with different parties and equip various to boost their attributes. The RPG aspect honestly only offers the bare minimum and doesn’t really make the game stand out.

Project X Zone biggest problem though is its repetitive gameplay. Missions don’t offer much variety with the majority of them being kill the leader or kill them all. Players expecting more of a fighting game may ultimately be disappointed.

One thing that Project X Zone does really well is presentation. 2D sprites on 3D backdrops look spectacular especially when the 3D is turned on. Those cross battles also look beautiful but the finishing specials are just downright addicting to watch.

Another great thing about Project X Zone is its soundtrack. Throughout the game you will constantly hear remixes of tunes ranging from the well-known Ken theme to the underrated tracks from The House of The Dead.  The voice acting for better or worse is also completely Japanese. It kinda shows that at one point wasn’t going to even make it outside Japan. It’s not bad although it’s kinda awkward hearing Frank West and Chris Redfield speaking Japanese.

When it comes down to it, Project X Zone is game clearly developed for the fans. Ryu, Ken, Akira, MegaMan X, Chris Redfield, and even Bruno from Dynamite Cop all make an appearance in this game. Yet is enough justify a full purchase? Well that honestly depends on how much of a hardcore fan you are. If the idea of seeing these characters interact with each other interests you--and if you’re fan of strategy games--then you’ll find Project X Zone an enjoyable experience worth the entry fee.


Thursday, July 11, 2013

Final Fantasy XIV A Realm Reborn BETA Giveaway

That's right, people. We're giving away a free BETA code of Final Fantasy 14 A Realm Reborn. All you gotta do is leave a comment in the YouTube video comment section. Subscribe, follow, and like to gain a stronger chance at winning this!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Legendary creator Shigeru Miyamoto is interested in starting a new franchise

The legendary developer and creator of Mario has expressed interest in finally starting a new franchise. Finally, right? Via Kotaku, a translated Famitsu interview with Miyamoto has revealed that after Pikmin 3 he wants to create a new franchise that will most likely take advantage of the Wii U's hardware. 
Famitsu: So, starting with Pikmin 3, you've got a lot of new Wii U titles planned up until the holiday season. 
Miyamoto: With the recent version upgrade [of the Wii U], we've worked on the system side of things and we're planning on further system tweaks ahead, but even as is, [the Wii U] has become a useful item for the living room. However, it's pointless to talk about other features, no matter how fulfilling, without releasing games of our own, so we hope you'll look forward to the games to come. Next Spring, with the release of Mario Kart 8, we'll have a general selection available, so I've been thinking it would be a good time to bring out a new franchise.
Famitsu: A new franchise! An all-new title that you would be working on? 
Miyamoto: I can't say too much in detail right now, but I've been pretty busy with this title these days.
As expected no information was given as to what it will be.

The reason why he hasn't created a new franchise is such a long time is because he beliefs that creating new franchises with new characters don't automatically translate to new gameplay experiences. But now it seems he wants to offer both: new gameplay experiences with new characters. Cool! 

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

GTA V Gameplay Trailer will blow your mind!

Okay, say you're a GTA fan who is eagerly looking forward to playing 5. Lots of ideas are probably swimming in your head about what it could be like and how it would play out. Well I don't think you're dreaming big enough...

Wow, right? To be honest I didn't think they would take it to that level. I mean the whole idea of dynamically switching characters is just a whole new curve ball. Really hopeful, excited, and kinda annoyed why Rockstar hasn't announced a PC version yet. I mean, c'mon! 

How to play using a Gamcube controller on the Wii U

Hate playing Smash brothers with a Wii mote? Well good news. It's now virtually possible to play Wii U/Wii with the legendary Gamecube controller. In the video I demonstrate how you can do this using the Mayflash Wii to GC adapter.

Some things you gotta note is the layout may not work properly for some games. For example, in Call of Duty I couldn't shoot. You see this adapter works by tricking the Wiimote into thinking you're using a Classic Controller and because of that it tends to lose some features such as vibration. Regardless, it's still great for gamers who are eager to play the next smash brothers with a controller they all know and love.

A sample layout
The May flash adapter for Wii/WiiU can easily be found in Ebay or Amazon. Keep living the GC dream! 

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Bahrain Game Developers Meeting 2: playing vs making them, level design and E3, Demos, and the benefits of gaming

Bahrain game developers have finally kicked off their second meeting in Viva headquarters near City Center, Bahrain. Ameen, Baraa, and the usual suspects (as well as some fresh faces) were ready to get game dev hats on, so to speak. The goal this time was to educate gamers on how they can get into game development, talk about level design and my E3 2013 experience, show off some game demos, and finally a segment on how gaming can educate more than stimulate.

Ameen started the first topic by talking about the transition from being a hardcore gamer to a game developer. Naturally it isn’t easy as it involves switching to a completely different mindset—one requiring more thinking and mental strain than the other.

"Every gamer is a potential game developer"

He then began talking about the struggle to identify game development as an art form or as a skill. In the end though we agreed that both elements need to work in harmony and game development can’t be what it is today without having both.

Another key element Ameen touched on was the fact the region wasn’t ready to embrace game development. He stressed that there was a lot of focus on banking, financing, distribution, telecom, but game development presents a curveball to investors. He wanted them to be more educated on the potential of video games and how they can open a new market for many. But the reality is numbers will always speak louder than words so if anyone is willing to invest they would need to see a game from the region which has gained a significant profit. It’s a sad reality but it’s something we gotta deal with when approaching investors.
Education or a lack of thereof, is another problem we are facing in the Arab world. Children today are mostly being educated on how to handle jobs which are not in high demand. Algorithms, music, programming, art, writing, and entrepreneurship are necessary in today’s age even if it’s just for developing apps. They make money and create jobs hence the need to have them in our schools and Universities.

Lastly, the main key point Ameen wanted to talk about was time management. “Time is the nastiest villain” said Ameen. "If you can't manage your time efficiently you'll run into a lot of head aches".

Ameen believes that by knowing you’re team better you’ll be able to manage your tasks more efficiently—saving up on both time and money. As a person who has worked on multiple projects before, I totally agree with Ameen’s statement. It’s sort of hard, nearly impossible, to work on a project properly without knowing your team’s skills/limitations. It becomes even more demanding with bigger projects and bigger teams so picking the right person for the right job is mandatory if you want to make it in the industry.

After Ameen came yours truly talking about level design. It’s an aspect of game development that I’ve always appreciated as it takes cues from real life situations/locations and turns them into, well, games. My prime example was comparing level designing to watching an Iron Maiden concert—where different songs expressed different scenarios and stage props.

I also touched upon my E3 2013 experience. There was a lot to talk about ranging from the flight experience to actually playing next gen systems months before they’re out. The best part of my experience, however, had to be meeting the people and letting them know I come from the Arab world.

Khalid Abdul Majeed then took the stage to show off screen shots of his game Dilmun: the land of eternity.  The journey talked about a man who in search of a mysterious power that can possibly cure his brother’s illness. Venturing deep into Bahrain’s ruins, the protagonist ends up going back in time taking place during the Dilmun Era.

Kahlid showed off some pre-rendered level shots of Dilmun saying that these were based off real life architecture. He really wanted to capture the right setting so he visited the Museum of Bahrain and took some shots of relics. Researching on Google also played a big part. Unfortunately he couldn’t show off any game footage as it was still in the very early stages of development.

Dilmun: The Land of Eternity screenshots: 

Following Khalid was Ameen’s own brother, Hussain Altajer, showing a work in progress zombie side scrolling shooter called The Survivalist. The kick? It takes place in Bahrain.

Hussain lacked the proper art skills to create characters so instead he reverted to using green screen and Photoshop to create sprites. The result is similar to what you see in games like the classic Mortal Kombat where real life actors are digitized as game sprites.

The Survivalist screenshots

While it was rough around the edges, the game looked surprisingly fun. Hussain said that he loves games like Metal Slug and Zombie apocalypse so he wanted to see both come to life in a Bahrain setting. He built it using Unity which means it can be ported to almost any device. There was no official release date but he wished to see it come out sometime next year. It will be episodic with the first one free,  and the rest sold for some cash. A CO-OP mode is also planned somewhere down the line.

The next and final game shown was from a mysterious group of students from the University of Bahrain. Abdulla, Hashem, and Hussain showed of their game which was an FPS Zombie shooter using the source engine. You can check their interview in the video below.

The last presenter was Baraa Abdulla talking how gaming can be beneficial to people. Memory games, surgeon simulators, and many more have all helped mankind one way or the other. He believes that gaming, with or without Bahrain Game Developers, will continue and dominate the Arab world. “It’s the future” he expressed. “It’s coming and it will change the way we think, learn, and develop as human beings.”

Ameen also added an extra point about the benefits of game engines. He recalled that during his time working in Aramco he witnessed business men using the Unity engine (yes, the free engine) for oil simulation. Wow!

This meeting was certainly seen as the next stage in Bahrain Game Developers. The audience was twice as big (barely fitting the room) and even had Alter Ego productions, who are known for that epic Torkaizer trailer and Grim Hearts, show up as well. They felt incredibly pleased with what they’ve seen and are willing to help us any way possible. As mentioned earlier this meeting was held at the Viva headquarters who they themselves invited us to see what the deal is all about. They were pleased.

So what’s next? Game development, of course. Ameen, I, and the group are now slowly beginning planning our next stage and finally start developing an actual game to put it under the Bahrain Game Dev flag. It may take a while but one thing’s for sure though: we’re moving forward and there’s no going back. The future, here we come.

Make sure to visit my Facebook album for all the latest pictures. 

Friday, July 5, 2013

Will game localization play a big role in the future of gaming?

Language will always play big role when it comes to any entertainment industry. While games do generally speak to us with their gameplay mechanics, we tend to miss half of the experience because of the language they speak. For example, In Saudi Arabia, and pretty much most places in the Arab world, gamers tend to lose interest in games that are heavy in text and narrative.

Lately, however, Arab gamers have begun noticing a frequency in the number of localized games. Ubisoft Abu Dhabi have released their second social Smurf game, Smurfs and co. 2: Spellbound, will be fully localized in Arabic. They have also announced an Arabic localized version of Prince of Persia 2: The shadow and the Flame for mobile platforms. Konami will also be fully localizing PES 2014 in Arabic and will include (for better or worse) famed Al-Jazeera commentator Raouf Khlif.

Can we see these as a positive sign and a future where big AAA games be localized in Arabic? Hard to say at this point. But the facts are countries like Saudi Arabia and the UAE have a huge gaming community and international game companies are starting to notice.

 As we slowly begin our journey to the next generation, language barriers need to be looked at in a more serious manner. At the end of the day it's a barrier; one that needs to be taken seriously.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Ouya Retail Version Unboxing

The first ever crowd funded console has finally arrived. Check out my video unboxing below to check out the unique packaging and close up shots of the console and the controller. A quick note: this is the retail version which is a slightly more refined version than the crowd funded (Kickstarter) package.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Resident Evil Revelations 2 poster spotted online

Resident Evil Revelations may actually be getting a sequel. According to this leaked poster the sequel dubbed Revelations 2 will arrive on the 3DS, 3rd December of this year (which seems very unlikely honestly).

While it may not be true, there's still a high possiblity the game will get a sequel. Many fans have claim it to be the last "good" Resident Evil game in years. Even the producer, Masachika Kawata, shared interest in continuing the Revelations story line. So again, while this could very fake, I still see a sequel happening down the line.