HALAL by +Aziz

Post by Mark

HALAL is a new track by Kuwaiti musician +Aziz that deals with women empowerment. The music video is inspired by 90’s video aesthetics and it’s off his SoHo Spirit EP. Check it out on SoundCloud [Here]

halal


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The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

Post by Patrick

Mulbrydale

I like role-playing games, I like feeling immersed and I like getting lost in worlds that other people create. I was excited to try Witcher 3 because it seemed to have the things I wanted in a fantasy game. I’ve been playing it for about three weeks now and I’m far from being done but I think I have a pretty good picture of what the game has to offer and I’m liking it, it’s not without its annoying flaws but it’s still a lot of fun.

Like I said earlier, I love exploring the worlds that game designers create. Especially worlds that have established lore with a certain amount of depth. I like worlds that I explore to have a bit of a variety in scenery. It gets tiring to see one type of landscape in a game that I’m going to be spending 50+ hours in. So far I’ve put in at least 30 or so hours into the Witcher and the majority of the landscape are forests and open plains. The area’s that aren’t those two things are few and far between. I understand the fact that the Witcher has an established lore based on Slavic mythology so the game designers can’t create strange fantasy worlds like Bethesda does with its Elder Scrolls series. What helps keep the environments less bland in the Witcher 3 is the fact that they’re vibrant and the landscape feels alive. You’ll find animals, people and monsters wandering around. The trees also sway in the wind that you can hear howling when the weather becomes stormy or blowing gently when the weather is calm.

Lindenvale

What’s sad is the amount of bugs I’ve encountered. They’re not game-breaking bugs that ruin your save or anything like that but little things that add up to become a major annoyance. In one instance I was talking with a herbalist who was telling me about a girl she was trying to help who was badly wounded in a monster attack. I (being the good Witcher that I am) offered to try and help her. As I turned to face the bed the girl was supposedly lying in, I found it empty. Puzzled, I looked around thinking there was a second bed, but found none. Suddenly the door to the herbalists home opens and the girl casually strolls to the bed, lies down and continues to writhe in pain. In another instance I was fighting monsters in the middle of nowhere and realized that I needed to sell some equipment to free up some space so I could continue hunting for treasure. I opened up my map and found the nearest town. When I got to the town I noticed something strange. I couldn’t speak to anyone. Not the merchant, not the innkeeper and not the blacksmith. It was in the evening so I assumed that it was past their work hours and so I meditated until morning. That didn’t help one bit. I just couldn’t speak to anyone. To make matters worse, when I went back to check on the blacksmith, he wasn’t at his forge where he was supposed to be. I rotated the camera around so I was facing away from it and I suddenly heard the familiar “clunk, clunk, clunk” sound of the blacksmith working, I rotated the camera around again and by some miracle he appeared at his forge. Having these two glitches overlap like that was frustrating and I had to quit my game and reload my save file which solved this particular problem. This next glitch that I came across made an impact on a small quest. While I was competing in the last of the horse races, my opponent magically disappeared into thin air when the countdown to race got to zero. This made the “race” easier, but it was incredibly frustrating to see this happen. But one of the most annoying bugs I’ve come across in the game is a bug that doesn’t allow you to start a certain side-quest. Thankfully it doesn’t seem like this particular side-quest is important, but the fact that I can’t start it just sucks. I’ve encountered plenty of other bugs playing Witcher 3, but they’re the typical bugs that you usually encounter in so many of these open world games: floating bodies, enemies stuck in walls, enemies falling through the floor and enemy loot disappearing, I’ve even had a treasure chest disappear and reappear after re-loading the game and finally, amusingly enough, it rains in-doors in some areas.

Lindenvale

With that out of the way, I’d like to discuss some of the Witcher 3’s finer points. There are three things that I think games like the Witcher need to get right. Quest variety, world building/NPC’s and lastly combat. It doesn’t matter if a game has interesting quests if the world is boring and uninteresting to explore (looking at you Fallout New Vegas). To truly be a great game, not only do the quests and the games world need to be interesting and fun, but you need to have a good combat system to tie the game together (This is where Skyrim did poorly). This is where the Witcher 3 shines. Most of the quests are interesting and even though you’ll still encounter a fetch-quest here and there, they’re uncommon. Besides the main quest, you have side-quests, Witcher contracts and treasure hunts. And besides those quest types you’ll also find questions marks scattered across the world map for you to discover. Exploring these question marks tend to get repetitive because there isn’t a great variety of things hidden behind them. You’ll come across hidden treasure, abandoned towns, a monster nest or a bandit camp. Going after this question marks can be fun for a few hours but not for an entire game. One of the highlights of the game are the side-quests. The stories that you uncover through them are quite entertaining and interesting, the Bloody Baron constantly gets mentioned and rightly so. That particular side-quest is unpredictable and mysterious. The choices you make playing through that side quest matter, effecting the quest in one way or another at some point.

Velen

The environments you’ll be exploring in the game are massive. The first area the game introduces you too which is kind of “tutorial” area, is huge and filled with enough content to introduce you to all the various aspects of the game without getting boring. The area you go to after that is at least four times larger. The developers have done an amazing job at making the environments feel alive. There are a lot of games that have great looking environments. Having wildlife in open-world games is a norm now, but it’s the little details that make the environments come to life. There’s one aspect, an important one that I mentioned earlier that the Witcher 3 does differently than other games and that helps quite a bit and that’s the wind. You’ll be wandering through the environment, seeing the trees gently blowing in the wind, you’ll hear the breeze, it can actually be quite relaxing. Another aspect that helps make this world feel alive is the change you experience as the game goes on. Part of the games storyline involves a war between two empires and you’ll see the effect of war on the land. You’ll see a bridge being patrolled by a set of soldiers and you might come across that same bridge later in the game and find those same soldiers butchered and a camp nearby belonging to the soldiers of the opposing nation. This event wasn’t triggered by some quest or anything, it’s just war.

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt_20150603004321

The combat in the game is engaging and not very button mashy. You can successfully button mash against weak enemies, but most of the time you’ll have to get used to dodging, attacking and effectively using your spells to cast magic. Combat can get annoying at times due to the fact that there isn’t a easy and quick way of changing spells on the go while you’re in the middle of a battle. There is one method where you can change your spells while holding the block button, but it doesn’t work well when you have six spells to flip through, especially when you’re in the middle of combat. Some monster can’t be beaten through brute force, they require you to combine your spells and your physical attacks together. For instance to defeat a wraith, you need to cast a magical trap, lure it in and then you can cause some damage. If you attempt to fight a wraith without casting the trap you’ll either end up dying or end up using too many potions. When you fight a group of humans, you won’t be fighting them one at a time (like Assassins Creed), you’ll have two or three enemies charging at you. Some enemies, like spear wielding solders, can’t be beaten by attacking them head-on, you’ll need to dodge and time your attacks. This is what makes combat interesting, each enemy requires a different style of combat.

Velen

The Witcher 3 is a great game, plagued with annoying little glitches. I definitely recommend it, as the pros outweigh the cons. The game is really long if you try to complete each side-quest, Witcher contract and treasure hunt and it’s decently long if you attempt to stick to the main quest (about 50 hours). I wouldn’t look any further if you’re looking for a new adventure to play.

Score:


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O-ZoNe featuring. Paradox “I Know Why”

Post by Mark

New music video by Kuwaiti rapper O-Zone featuring Paradox. If you like the track you can download it for free from [Soundcloud]

rapvideo


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eyeamsound

Post by Mark

zahed

Zahed Sultan’s sophomore album ‘eyeamsound’ has now been officially released and is available to purchase on [iTunes]


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Hamad Artie – I Was Wrong

Post by Mark

Hamad Artie is a Kuwaiti singer/songwriter and artist. He recently released his debut album, Moody’s Shuffle and has even had his songs play on the radio. A few days ago he released his first music video which you can watch above.

If you’re interested in his music check out his soundcloud page [Here]

artie


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Cinescape Weekend Releases

Post by Mark

tomorrow

Tomorrowland
Bound by a shared destiny, a teen bursting with scientific curiosity and a former boy-genius inventor embark on a mission to unearth the secrets of a place somewhere in time and space that exists in their collective memory.
Ratings: 7.6/10

Poltergeist
A family whose suburban home is haunted by evil forces must come together to rescue their youngest daughter after the apparitions take her captive.
Ratings: 7.1/10

Out of the Dark
A couple and their daughter move to Colombia to take over a family manufacturing plant, only to realize their new home is haunted.
Ratings: 4.7/10

Spooks: The Greater Good
When a terrorist escapes custody during a routine handover, Will Crombie must team with disgraced MI5 Intelligence Chief Harry Pearce to track him down before an imminent terrorist attack on London.
Ratings: 6.8/10


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Frizzy – Tarab Feat. Bader AlHindyani

Post by Mark

Tarab is Frizzy’s new single featuring Kuwaiti Rap artist Bader AlHindyani. It’s an interesting track featuring traditional Arabic music (tarab) mixed with modern hip hop. [YouTube]

tarab


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Cinescape Weekend Releases

Post by Mark

madmax

Mad Max: Fury Road
In a post-apocalyptic world, in which people fight to the death, Max teams up with a mysterious woman, Furious, to try and survive.
Ratings: 9.3/10

Good Kill
A family man begins to question the ethics of his job as a drone pilot.
Ratings: 6.3/10

The Blood Lands (White Settlers)
It’s Ed and Sarah’s first night at their new home – an isolated farmhouse on the Scottish borders. This should be a new beginning away from their stressful London lives. But as darkness falls, the evening becomes a nightmare. It suddenly dawns on them; they do not belong here. And they certainly aren’t welcome.
Ratings: 5.1

Accidental Love
A small town waitress gets a nail accidentally lodged in her head causing unpredictable behavior that leads her to Washington, D.C., where sparks fly when she meets a clueless young senator who takes up her cause – but what happens when love interferes with what you stand for?
Ratings: 4.1/10


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Democrazy by Zahed Sultan

Post by Mark

zahed

Democrazy is Zahed Sultan’s latest track off of his upcoming album eyeamsound which is due out 26.05.15. ‘Democrazy’ tells the story of socio-political challenges that we face as a people with an emphasis on skewed notions of democracy imposed upon citizens by profiteers. Check out the track below:


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Cinescape Weekend Releases

Post by Mark

avengers

Avengers: Age of Ultron
When Tony Stark tries to jumpstart a dormant peacekeeping program, things go awry and it is up to the Avengers to stop the villainous Ultron from enacting his terrible plans.
Ratings: 8.3/10

Monsters: Dark Continent
A soldier enters the infected zone of the city to find his comrade.
Ratings: 4.4/10

Samba
Samba migrated to France ten years ago from Senegal, and has since been plugging away at various lowly jobs. Alice is a senior executive who has recently undergone a burn-out. Both struggle to get out of their dead-end lives. Samba’s willing to do whatever it takes to get working papers, while Alice tries to get her life back on track until fate draws them together.
Ratings: 6.7/10

Kahlil Gibran’s The Prophet
Inspired by the beloved classic, Kahlil Gibran’s The Prophet is a richly-animated story and celebration of Gibran’s book, created by artists, animators and musicians from around the world.
Ratings: 6.8/10


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