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Tuesday, October 24, 2000

Daria's Inferno Ships
11:32 AM | Michael Eilers | Comment on this story

While the actual animated show that inspired it seems to have vanished, Simon and Schuster's release of Daria's Inferno for Mac and PC will surely satisfy fans of this show's sardonic wit and merciless portrayal of high school life in a dull town. From the same company that brought you Deer Avenger 2, Daria's Inferno is yet another satirical title, but this time they didn't have to lampoon anything; Daria's sharp tongue skewers all aspects of life in scenic Lawndale with her dry, droll tone. This value-priced title is an all-new creation, not just repackaged MTV content, as the press release reveals:

"Daria," MTV's hit animated TV show has now become a PC game entitled DARIA'S INFERNO (PC / MAC, $19.95 estimated street, Rated "T" by the ESRB). Published by sister Viacom unit Simon & Schuster Interactive, DARIA's INFERNO features high quality animation, the actual voices of the hit-shows cast members, and more action game play than previously permitted by law. DARIA'S INFERNO is now available at software retail outlets nationwide.

"Daria," which debuted on MTV in March of 1997, was the only character from MTV's incredibly successful animated program "Beavis and Butt-Head's" to get her own show. The often poignant and always hysterical series chronicles the experiences of Daria Morgendorffer, a witty, funny and sardonic teenager blessed with an uncanny ability to turn potential disaster to her own advantage. Daria lives in Lawndale with her stressed-out, career-fixated parents, Helen and Jake, and her relentlessly cute and popular younger sister, Quinn. The students and faculty at the "progressive" Lawndale High School regard Daria with a mixture of curiosity, confusion, casual scorn, and -- every now and then -- respect.

The Game
It's a day like any other in Lawndale High. All is silent, except for the peaceful drone of Mr. O'Neil teaching and the snores of his students. Perhaps a little too quiet...

Ms. Li, the principal, shatters this impromptu nap-time with the announcement of felonious doings at Lawndale High! Five pieces of school property are missing and must be found, or else.

As Ms. Li leaves the classroom, Mr. O'Neil resumes his teaching of Dante's timeless classic, The Divine Comedy, sending Daria off to sleep, out of Dante's Inferno and into DARIA's INFERNO and the greatest dream-state adventure of all time.

The Goal
Starting from outside Lawndale High, Daria must make her way through Hell (a.k.a. Lawndale) in order to get the Five Crucial Instruments of Institutional Education (a.k.a. Ms. Li's stuff). If these five items can be obtained, Daria has a chance of extinguishing the burning fires of Principal Li's rage and making it out of the Inferno alive!

Is it just us, or are there some parallels to Diablo here? In any case, while you probably can't expect a Classical interpretation of Dante, you can expect tongue-lashings of witless jocks and power-mad teachers galore. Watch for this one on store shelves soon; as it is a hybrid release, you may find it in the PC section before it is stocked in the Mac area of your favorite store.

Simon and Schuster Interactive

3dfx Denies Nvidia Buyout
4:32 PM | Lucian Fong | Comment on this story

Late last week, rumors that Nvidia would acquire rival graphics chipmaker 3dfx (and later ATi) quickly circulated the Internet after speculation by a BusinessWeek article. MacWeek contacted Bubba Wolford, 3dfx's senior PR specialist, to set the story straight. Here is a clip from the article:

"The rumors are not true," said 3dfx senior public relations specialist Bubba Wolford. "No one from Nvidia is speaking to us." To underline his point, he added: "3dfx has no interest in being bought out, and no one here is interested in working for Nvidia."

Wolford told MacWEEK that no one from Business Week called 3dfx to verify the story.

The Business Week story suggested that 3dfx, with a market capitalization of only $120 million, would be an attractive target for three reasons: Nvidia could remove a competitor; gain chip technologies that 3dfx obtained as part of its March 2000 acquisition of GigaPixel; and settle a patent lawsuit in which 3dfx recently won a favorable ruling. Nvidia's market capitalization is $4 billion.

A buyout of 3dfx by Nvidia would create an interesting scenario, but for now it looks like it's all rumor.

MacWeek: 3dfx: "We're Not For Sale"
BusinessWeek: 3dfx: "A Potential Home Run"

Click to enlarge
Tomb Raider: Chronicles Teaser Movie
2:52 PM | Lucian Fong | Comment on this story

GameSpot UK has posted a movie from Eidos' upcoming Lara Croft game, Tomb Raider:Chronicles. The pre-rendered movie is an introduction to this fifth installment of the Tomb Raider series. Here is short description from GameSpot UK:

This intro movie sets the scene for the game, which opens days after Lara is announced missing presumed dead having become buried under a pile of rubble at the end of the previous Tomb Raider game. The movie features Lara's confessor Father Dunstan and her faithful manservant Winston riding in the back of a limousine towards the Croft family Estate. They share their worries and concerns about Lara but also their hopes that Von Croy's search for the missing adventuress will be successful.
The movie weighs in at a hefty 33 MB, but luckily, GameSpot UK's American counterparts have posted a smaller (9 MB) movie. Tomb Raider: Chronicles will be brought to the Mac OS by Aspyr Media this Winter.

Download TR:Chronicles Teaser, Large(33 MB)
Download TR:Chronicles Teaser, Small (9 MB)
Aspyr Media
Westlake Interactive
Core Design
Tomb Raider: Chronicles
Buy Tomb Raider: Chronicles

Click to enlarge
Tropico Character Highlight
11:53 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

PopTop has given their site its weekly update with a new character highlight from the upcoming title Tropico. In the game, you will play dictator of a small, tropical island. You have the power to rule your people either with benevolence or fear -- whichever suits your mood. A vast array of characters populate the game, and the complexities of being a ruler multiply when the pros and cons of your actions have an effect on 'human' characters, not just nameless sims. Here's a clip about the most recently-unveiled character, the miner:

One major source of income for Tropico is its natural resources. Mining the ground for iron, gems, bauxite and gold can really help your export balance.

There are other considerations, however. Naturally, the tourists don't want to see such a large eyesore as a mine. And are the environmentally minded citizens okay with the strip-mining damage to their lovely island?

Just in these two quick paragraphs you can see the balance you're going to have to strive to find in Tropico. The game itself is based on a modified version of the Railroad Tycoon II graphics engine, and should be out for the Mac about a month after this PC version is released next March.

Tropico Character Highlight
PopTop Software
Buy Tropico

3dfx Offers $50 Rebate on Voodoo 5
11:46 AM | Lucian Fong | Comment on this story

3dfx and Daily Radar are teaming up to offer a $50 rebate on the Voodoo 5 5000 PCI. The offer is valid from now until October 30, 2000 on any variant of the Voodoo 5 (PC/Mac, AGP/PCI). It may be purchased either online or at a retail location based in the United States or Canada. The rebate must be postmarked by November 30, 2000.

The rebate PDF states that this is an exclusive deal for Daily Radar subscribers, but no where on the rebate form do you have to prove that.

With the Macintosh Voodoo 5 being sold online for as low as $300, this may be a good opportunity to upgrade your aging video card to a more modern one for a relatively low price.

Voodoo 5 Rebate PDF (230 K)

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THQ/Volition Spotlight
11:41 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

GameSpy has posted a report on the recent press event held by THQ, publisher for Voltion. The event featured two highly-anticipated upcoming Mac titles, Summoner and Red Faction. While Summoner has been completed for the Playstation 2's launch later this week, the PC and Mac versions of the game will be released a few months later, and will be quite different. Here's an excerpt from their report with details:

Moving a lot faster than it did at E3, the PC version [of Summoner] is shaping up quite nicely. Visual fill-in issues from before are virtually non-existent now. People thinking this is a complete port of the PlayStation 2 version are in for some surprises. First of all, Summoner for the PC is going to be totally rendered in high-resolution. Also, there is going to be a multiplayer component as well. Although all of the logistics of the multiplayer is still being worked on, we still don't know how multiplayer is going to play out in Summoner.
Check out the article for much more on Red Faction as well, along with screen shots from both games. Red Faction should be released for Mac, PC and Playstation 2 early next Spring, while Summoner for Mac and PC should be out this Winter.

Red Faction Web Site
Summoner Web Site
GameSpy THQ Editor's Day
Buy Summoner

OS X Native Assault Updated
11:38 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

Adrenaline Entertainment has announced a new update to their remake of the classic Missle Command-inspired game Native Assault. This is strictly an OS X app, and will not run under OS 9. Here's a clip with more details:

Native Assault 1.0 for Mac OS X has been released! This new version features several major improvements in Mac OS X compatibility and performance. Full screen display and resolution switching is now handled by native OS X code.
Download the game now at Macgamefiles if you haven't already. Native Assault is a great way to while away the hours, and one of the few native games for Mac OS X Preview Beta -- for now.

Adrenaline Entertainment Web Site
Native Assault 1.0 for OS X

Mac Flight Sim Round-Up
10:13 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

Our cohorts over at MacGamer have put together an impressively-long
article detailing the world of flight sims on the Mac. They give a bit of
background, as well as some advice for those rookies wanting to step into the
cockpit for the first time. A summary is provided of over a dozen popular
titles that are already out or coming soon to the Mac platform. There is also
a handy list of joysticks which you might consider using for your flying
adventures (after all, no one who's anyone uses a mouse/keyboard combination
in a flight sim). Here's a clip:

First an evaluation of your
computer hardware is in order. How
old of a crate will you be flying? If
you've got something older than a
PowerMac G3 or iMac you're going
to be limited in flying capabilities.
Be wary of running programs at the
minimum system requirements
because in many cases, you'll be
plagued with poor performance and
glacial frame rates. On early PowerMacs there are some flight sims that fly well. Anything older
and you may have to scrounge around to locate one of the old classics. Some online sources
for older flight sims are listed below.
This is good advice for other games as well, as the minimum requirements are
usually not optimal for playing a title. Check out the rest of the piece if
you're looking for a flight sim that might suit your fancy.

MacGamer Flight Sim Roundup

More on Bungie Online Community Plans
7:56 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

Another recent update to the web site explains the company's plans to help support the vast online community surrounding many of their games. They've hired new web designers and maintainers, and personnel from other areas of the company are now joining in to help out with the cause. Here's an excerpt from the site with more:

Over the years a very strong community has developed around Bungie with very little help from us. This was the way it had to be, as we all had marketing and PR and customer service jobs, and really very little time to devote to supporting the community. Yet we marveled at what developed despite us, one of the strongest, most intelligent, tightly knit online communities ever, certainly for a game company.

We believe that what we've seen is just the very tip of something huge, a community with enormous potential. We're certainly interested in promoting Bungie, but our interests go deeper. Over the years we've developed friends in the community that we value very dearly. At the same time we've seen the incredible products of groups within our community working together to create extraordinary community-driving web sites, maps and scenarios, even whole new games.

Our greatest interest lies in helping this community become something bigger; a community that's welcoming and accessible to new members, yet complex enough to maintain the interest of existing members. This all sounds pretty vague, but I'm very serious about it. This was the impetus behind this web portal site, and this was the primary reason for forming the online team. Thus the members of Bungie's online team aren't PR reps, we're simply members of the community that have a unique view and the unprecedented ability to take the community to the next step in its evolution.

This seems like a very noble and interesting cause, and we'll keep you posted as they start producing this web portal site. As always, check out the site for much more fan-related information. Web Site

UT Assault Bonus Pack
7:44 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

A new group is about to unveil a bonus pack for those fans of the Assault game type featured in the first-person shooter Unreal Tournament. Even those that don't like Assault maps might want to give the update a try, as it will fix many 'quirks' when it is released. Over the next seven days, the new site dedicated to the pack will be giving out details on the different maps and features to be included in this free download. Here's a clip from the site:

The main goal with the bonus pack is to enhance Assault. Consider it a much-needed update for Assault. That game type has great potential, but some problems have harmed it severely, so I kind of adopted it with Epic's blessings to unlock its full potential. Upgrading using the bonus pack will fix Assault and make it really playable for all kinds of players. It doesn't matter if you're a rookie, veteran, or experienced in other game types, with the bonuspack, you can play Assault the way you want. Another shortcoming of Assault was the limited map selection, only seven maps, and even those have serious flaws that could ruin the game quickly. Not only does the bonus pack fix all of the known map bugs in the original Epic maps, it also includes seven custom maps, stressing quality over quantity. Assault maps are very hard to make, so to ensure highest possible quality, I only accepted levels by critically acclaimed designers for the initial release of the bonus pack. The bonus pack will include some old classics as well as some new favorites. All of the maps and features will be explained here during the following week until the bonus pack is released.
This sounds like a very ambitious goal, but we look forward to see what they're able to do with Assault. It seems like they have Epic's blessing, so let the Assault commence!

Assault Bonus Pack Web Site

Mac Games News for Monday, October 23, 2000

TacOps Updated to Beta 1.6, Mac Crashing Fixed3:37 PM
Red Faction Preview3:30 PM
IMG Publishes BG II, Icewind First Looks11:08 AM
Q&A With Trent Oster on NWN9:48 AM
MacPlay Returns, 5 New Mac Titles9:29 AM
Pirates Ruining Rune?8:37 AM
Weapons Factory Arena 2.0 Released8:30 AM
id Interview with Paul Jacquays8:22 AM
Baldur's Gate Issues, Crash Database6:00 AM Update6:00 AM
id Update on Licenses, Q3A 1.256:00 AM
Oni Update6:00 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Monday, October 23, 2000 on one page

Recent Mac Games News

Friday, October 20, 2000
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