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Friday, October 27, 2000

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Mac Monkey Island 4 Update
10:32 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

Earlier this morning, Blues News published the news that the PC version of Escape from Monkey Island 4 had gone Gold Master and was ready for store shelves. We decided to get in touch with Westlake Interactive president Mark Adams to see how the just-announced Mac version of this adventure game is coming along.

Westlake is currently in the preliminary stages of getting the code up to speed on the Mac, and the completion of the PC version means work should progress even more quickly. Here is Mark's status update on the game:

Monkey 4 is coming along nicely, its not quite to first playable but we
do have all the code up and compiling on the Mac, and the a lot of the
Grim engine working.

We haven't set an official ETA yet, although it definitely won't be in
2000 (probably not far into 2001, but not this year).

Now that the code is complete on the PC that will help us immensely. We
can now have a relatively stable target to shoot for.

This is great news for Mac fans anxious to try out this 3D addition to the Monkey Island series. Aspyr Media will be publishing the Mac version of this game early next year, if all goes well.

Aspyr Web Site
Westlake Interactive Web Site
BluesNews Web Site
Aspyr Media
Escape From Monkey Island
Buy Escape From Monkey Island

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Mac Radeon Has Shipped to Retail
4:59 PM | Michael Eilers | Comment on this story

As our review of the ATI Radeon Mac Edition AGP reported that the cards would be available in the near future, we though we would confirm this with ATI staff. Several online retailers have been shifting around the ship dates for these cards, so we thought we would get the news straight from the source.

ATI's Deanna Perkins was quick to confirm that the cards were indeed shipping:

The boards have shipped from our warehouse and I anticipate they are in the
midst of their journey through the distributors and on to the resellers as
we speak. Most likely they will hit store shelves next week.
Looks like the cards will arrive just in time to play the amazing array of 3D titles that will be released for the Mac over the next few months! If you haven't read our review or checked out our Radeon screen shot gallery, be sure to follow the links below. We've included special uncompressed screen shots of the card in action, so you can see it as accurately as possible without the degradation of JPEG compression.

Mac Radeon Screen Shot Gallery
Radeon Mac Edition AGP Review
Radeon AGP

Ferazel's Wand On Sale
4:00 PM | Michael Eilers | Comment on this story

Ambrosia Software has announced that one of our very favorite games, side-scroller adventure Ferazel's Wand, is now selling at the reduced price of $20. This limited-time offer includes a very special bonus -- a level editor for the game is also included, so you can make your own challenging dungeons, caverns and infernos to travel through. Here are more details from the press release:

Ambrosia Software, Inc. announced today a special Ferazel's Wand Fall promotional sale, offering Ambrosia's highly popular side-scrolling action/adventure game, Ferazel's Wand, for $20 -- that's $10 off the normal $30 price tag. Just $20 gets you the Ferazel's Wand CD sent to your doorstep, shipping and handling included!

Ferazel's Wand has been quick to rack up the accolades from the Mac gaming press. 4 stars from MacWorld. "Ferazel's Wand is quite simply a title that no gamer should be without... and as beautiful to look at as any 3D game to date..." raves MacAddict. 4 1/2 Joysticks from Inside Mac Games. MacHome says "Ferazel's Wand is the best two dimensional platform game ever. Forget Mario, Sonic, Crash, and all the other console buffoons."

Need we go on? Ferazel's Wand is a game that endears itself to people of all ages, and now's your chance to get a copy on the cheap. But you'd better get it quick -- this Ferazel's Wand sale is for a limited time only.

As an added bonus, Ambrosia also released a level editor for Ferazel's Wand, available on the Ferazel's Wand web site. The 23 mammoth levels in Ferazel's Wand will definitely keep you running, jumping, and hurling fireballs for some time to come, but if you ever manage to finish the game, you can now play levels created by other people or make your own!

This is an excellent way to extend the life of an already engrossing title -- truly the perfect Powerbook and iBook game. Check out our review for more details on the game, and grab the demo if you are still not convinced; then hurry up and buy this title while the offer still stands.

Ferazel's Wand Demo (22 MB)
Ferazel's Wand Web Site
Ferazel's Wand Review

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More Details on Tribsoft, Hyperion
1:14 PM | Michael Eilers | Comment on this story

We recently reported that Linux game porting house Tribsoft would be sharing the source code from their port of Europa Universalis with Hyperion Entertainment, allowing for Mac OS and Amiga ports of this game of conquest. GameSpy has posted a joint interview with Mathieu Pinard of Tribsoft and Ben Hermans of Hyperion Entertainment detailing the relationship between the two companies. While conducted from a pro-Linux point of view, the article and interview reveal some significant facts -- namely that US and European publisher Titan Interactive will be distributing Europa Universalis and other titles. There is also some speculation that cross-continental relationships such as these might open the door for many Europe- and Asia-only game releases to be brought to the US.

Here is Hermans' take on the advantages of the Tribsoft/Hyperion partnership:

Ben Hermans--Hyperion Entertainment: Our partnership produces a lot of synergy for both Hyperion Entertainment and Tribsoft. As we are great believers in choice for consumers, we have adopted a multi-platform strategy which means we are not only active in the Linux market, but also in the Mac and Amiga markets. Working with Tribsoft, we not only have access to more industry contacts, but we can also cut down significantly on "time to market" for our Mac and Amiga ports by using Tribsoft's Linux code. Likewise, Tribsoft can use our Amiga and Mac code to dramatically cut down on the development time of certain Linux projects. This will produce clear benefits for the users of all these platforms because it means more titles, sooner. We are confident the results will become fully apparent in the course of 2001.
For more details on Europa Universalis, jump back in time to our original article on the game. Hyperion is currently finishing up the first-person shooter Shogo: Mobile Armor Division for the Mac OS and will follow this with a port of Raven Software's Soldier of Fortune; there is no given release date for the port of Europa Universalis, but we assume this will not be available until the middle of next year.

Europa Universalis Coming to Mac
GameSpy Interviews Tribsoft, Hyperion

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Six Screens from The Fallen
12:56 PM | Michael Eilers | Comment on this story

GameSpot has posted six new screen shots of The Collective's upcoming third-person shooter Star Trek Deep Space Nine: The Fallen. The gallery features the first still images taken from the in-engine cutscenes, which feature voice work from original DS9 cast members with the exception of Avery Brooks (Benjamin Sisko).

This title was recently delayed until November 16th for final polishing, and perhaps also to avoid being launched in the shadow of the 'other' Trek title Voyager: Elite Force, an entirely different first-person shooter. DS9: The Fallen is as much an adventure game as it is a shooter, with a mix of puzzles, plot elements and huge levels to explore as well as three full-length solo adventures.

We have recently learned that the Mac OS version of this game is about a month behind the PC version, and is expected to be released in mid-December. Watch this space for more details on this Trek-themed title.

DS9: The Fallen Web Site
New DS9 Screens at GameSpot
Mac DS9: The Fallen Delay
Simon & Schuster
The Collective
DS9: The Fallen
Buy DS9: The Fallen

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GameSpot Reviews 4x4 Evolution
12:27 PM | Lucian Fong | Comment on this story

GameSpot has taken Terminal Reality's recently released off-road racing game 4x4 Evolution for a spin. One of the most attractive features of the game is the ability to take almost any sports utility vehicle (SUV) or truck in recent production for a virtual test drive -- or reproduce your real-world SUV in exact detail. GameSpot loved the game, and offered this description:

Once you see the stunning scenery and terrain graphics, you'll probably wish there were some sort of explore mode that lets you drive around the countryside without having to worry about lap times or prize money. Even on a midrange system with a decent video card, the frame rates tend to be very smooth even with all the graphics options turned on. The terrain is very lifelike whether you're slinging mud in a swamp or stirring up a cloud of dust in the desert, and you'll be impressed as all sorts of other vehicles like hang gliders, jets, big rigs, back hoes, and more go about their business as you fight to keep your car on the road and in the race. These other vehicles aren't just there for show, as you'll learn if you happen to go head-on with a 16-wheeler (don't worry, you don't get crushed - it just pushes you back) or if you slam into a bulldozer crossing the racetrack.
4x4 Evolution is now available on store shelves across the country for $39.99 for Macintosh, PC, and Dreamcast. Watch for a Mac-specific review with details on performance and controllers on the pages of IMG in the near future.

4x4 Evolution Review at GameSpot
4x4 Evolution Rolls Into Stores
Terminal Reality
Gathering of Developers
4x4 Evolution

Dark Sector Interview, Images
11:45 AM | Toby Allen | Comment on this story

On Wednesday we brought you the news that there is a strong possibility that the upcoming massively-multiplayer online game Dark Sector will come to the Mac OS, thanks to the fact it is based on the portable Unreal Tournament engine. PC news site Voodoo Extreme has found a new home for their page, and celebrated the re-launch with an interview with Pancho Eekels from Digital Extremes who is working on this MMORPG. Digital Extremes, the co- designers of Unreal and Unreal Tournament with Epic, have been working on this game for quite a while. Here's an excerpt that sums up the game and their design goals:

First of all -- what is Dark Sector? What makes it different from previous first person shooters?

Dark Sector is a massively multiplayer online persistent game. This means that the game is always running, even when you log off. It is different from previous first person shooters because of the persistent nature of the game. In Dark Sector you will be able to build up and evolve your character in different ways throughout playing the game. Such as becoming famous or infamous all over the gaming world (just the tip of the iceberg!). With traditional first person shooters, your character never evolves.

Sounds intriguing! The interview is accompanied by several concept sketches of what the final game might look like. Be sure and read the rest of the interview, and keep your fingers crossed for a Mac port of this innovative title. Currently, there is no official release date, but they hope to show the game in some form at the next E3 in May of 2001.

Dark Sector for Mac?
Dark Sector Interview at VoodooExtreme

Inside PS2 Games Launches!
11:19 AM | IMG News | Comment on this story

Yesterday we launched a sister site to IMG called Inside PS2 Games. Covering everything PlayStation 2, Inside PS2 Games is a member of the Future Games Network and owned and operated by many of the same people who brought gamers the wildly successful Inside Mac Games Internet site.

"We plan to give console gamers the absolute best in Playstation 2 reviews, news, previews, features, and contests," said Tuncer Deniz, Publisher of IPG.

The site currently features an Unreal Tournament preview, Madden 2001 review, a Playstation 2 giveaway contest, and much more. Be sure to stop on by and check it out!

Inside PS2 Games

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Telefragged Rune Preview
11:19 AM | Charles George | Comment on this story

As the release date for Human Head's game of Viking combat grows closer, the buzz over this game mounts ever greater. Most recently Telefragged took their shot at the game. Their preview, based on the golden master version, focuses on the single-player experience. If you are interested in Rune's level design, this quote should pique your interest:

The amount of effort that has been put into the level design/architecture is stunning, and is some of the best I've seen. There are no simple blast-through areas (or in this case, no swing-your-weapons-madly-through-the-levels gameplay). With vines to climb, and walls to scale, and slopes to slide, there is always enough variety to keep you interested. Human Head have certainly put a lot of effort into make Rune an extremely memorable game. "
This game will be hitting the Macintosh platform on November 15th, if all goes well. Mac Gamers should give a hearty thank you to Westlake Interactive and Gathering of Developers for the extremely quick progress of the port.

Rune Preview at Telefragged
Human Head
Gathering of Developers
Human Head Studios
Westlake Interactive

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Diablo II Expansion Preview at IGN
10:44 AM | Tom Bridge | Comment on this story

Now that Blizzard's next project has a name, and Bill Roper is traveling from place to place promoting Diablo II: Lord of Destruction, many more previews are beginning to appear. PCIGN's preview delves a bit deeper, offering more details on this upcoming release, including tidbits about the new character classes. Here are details on the Assassin class:

The Assassin

Bill describes this character as a "sort of a combination fighter/magic-user." Her Martial Arts skills allow her to get in close and do some heavy damage to anyone that gets in her way. She's got a lot of kick attacks with words like Dragon at the beginning and words like Claw and Breath at the end. She also has access to numerous Shadow Disciplines. Her Psychic Hammer does a moderate amount of damage to enemies but bypasses all protection. The Fist of Will does very little damage but knocks back a whole group of enemies. As cool as these skills are, the Assassin's coolest skill set is Traps. She can lay snares and hazards all across the map. The traps range in complexity from the exploding Fire Spikes to the turret-like Shock Field. There's also a Blade Sentinel that floats back and forth along a single path damaging all enemies it contacts.
Some plot details are also revealed. Apparently Baal has discovered the location of the Worldstone, and with it, the power to release Hell onto Earth; your job (of course) is to keep him from getting the Worldstone.

All in all, this preview gives the Diablo II fan a lot to salivate over and dream about until this expansion is released some time in the first half of 2001.

Diablo II: Lord of Destruction Preview at PCIGN
Blizzard Entertainment
Diablo II: Lord of Destruction

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First Look at Neverwinter Nights
10:36 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

RPG Planet has posted a preview of Bioware's upcoming RPG Neverwinter Nights. Even though the game won't likely be released until late next year, this 3D real-time RPG is already garnering a lot of attention from excited gamers. Bioware is hoping to accurately recreate the group experience of pen-and-paper AD&D on the computer, allowing you do play as Dungeon Master for a party of adventurers, or adventure online with a human DM shadowing your every move. Here's a clip from the preview describing the interface used in this title:

The transparent interface also promises to be slick, simple and effective. All players, non-player characters and monsters have portraits and these will appear in many of the interfaces. Besides the quick slots at the bottom and a menu on the right, the major method for interaction with the world is the radial menu that is brought up by right-clicking. When the player wants to fight, cast spells, or perform other actions, they bring this menu up and then simply drag the mouse in a certain direction to select. These menus are several layers deep and commonly used actions can be put in quick slots. The game is real-time; only the DM will be able to pause the multiplayer game, thus an intuitive, easy interface is a must. There are also two chat text boxes at the bottom so you can follow different things like the action and a conversation.
Read through the rest of the article for juicy info on this amazing (and amazingly gorgeous) title. Be sure and check out the Neverwinter Nights web site if you want to find out even more about the game.

RPG Planet Neverwinter Nights Preview
Neverwinter Nights Web Site
Neverwinter Nights
Buy Neverwinter Nights

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Mac BGEditor 1.0 Released
10:09 AM | Jay Swartzfeger | Comment on this story

Barry Waid has released version 1.0 of his Baldur's Gate editor for the Mac. It's small (40k), java-based and requires very little ram (1MB). This program allows you to edit and tweak nearly every aspect of your Baldur's Gate character. Version 1.0 fixes or adds the following features:

  • Percentile strength added.
  • Fighter/Mage added to class drop down.
  • Warning message added when trying to save over existing file.

The following features are being considered for an upcoming version:

  • Allowing people to choose innate abilities to their character permanently
  • Creating an Item maker

Before you download the editor, please note that it requires Apple's MRJ and Sun's JFC/Swing 1.1.1 (an 11.2MB download). Once you download the JFC/Swing class, head over to Mac Baldur to grab the editor.

Apple's Mac Runtime for Java
JVC/Swing Java Class (required)
Mac Baldur
Baldur's Gate

Mac Games News for Thursday, October 26, 2000

Details on Oni Audio4:48 PM
New Centurions Public Test4:23 PM
RTS Quake 1.1 Released12:39 PM
Freeverse Carbonization Report11:56 AM
Mac Elite Force is Release Candidate 110:30 AM
New D2 X, Warcraft III Previews10:15 AM
Update on D2 Expansion and Warcraft III9:54 AM
4x4 Evolution Rolls Into Stores9:45 AM
Diablo II Breakdown9:21 AM
New Black and White Shots6:00 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Thursday, October 26, 2000 on one page

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Wednesday, October 25, 2000
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