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Monday, October 30, 2000

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FAKK2 Ships This Week
10:10 AM | Michael Eilers | Comment on this story

Following close on the heels of news that this third-person shooter had gone 'gold,' Ritual Entertainment has announced that Mac Heavy Metal F.A.K.K. 2 should be shipping to stores by the end of this week. This unusual (and somewhat risque) title has turned heads on the PC platform for its gorgeous visuals, blazing weapons and fantastic level design. Thanks to the efforts of Contraband entertainment and the portability of the Quake 3 Arena engine, this title has come to the Mac in a short span of time; there is currently no word on whether there will be a Mac demo, however.

Here are excerpts from the press release:

Prepare to enter the surreal Heavy Metal Universe. Ritual Entertainment today announced that a Macintosh version of its third-person action/adventure game Heavy Metal: F.A.K.K.2 (Federation Assigned Ketogenic Killzone) will ship to stores nationwide this week. The game, which was released for the PC in August, is based on Kevin Eastman's Heavy Metal 2000 movie, the sequel to the explosive and groundbreaking animated film Heavy Metal. Published by developer-driven computer and video game publisher Gathering of Developers and distributed by Take Two Interactive, Heavy Metal F.A.K.K.2 will be available for a suggested retail price of $39.99.

"We are bringing dedicated Mac enthusiasts the twisted fun and action of Heavy Metal: F.A.K.K.2 that took PC gamers by storm," said Robert Atkins, Ritual Entertainment co-founder and art director. "We are committed to being important players in the Mac development community and will continue to bring Mac gamers the best gameplay and action through our games."

Featuring artwork and themes from the Heavy Metal 2000 movie, the game is set in the Melting Pot Universe thirty years after the movie leaves off. The player controls Julie as she fights to defend her homeworld Eden from the marauding Gith Industries despoilers. Heavy Metal: F.A.K.K.2 combines exploration and puzzles with a unique fighting-game style combat system for an original hybrid gaming experience.

Heavy Metal: F.A.K.K.2 for the Macintosh features include:

  • Heavy Metal-inspired worlds that bring the pages of Heavy Metal comics to life.

  • Two-handed combat system allowing players to use 2 different weapons simultaneously.

  • Dozens of fantastical creatures that adapt to the player's attack and change behavior as the game progresses.

  • Over 20 brutal weapons including combo-based melee weaponry, conventional and futuristic tools of destruction.

  • Massive and beautiful environments filled with mind-bending puzzles.

  • Custom music soundtrack featuring over three hours of original Heavy Metal inspired music.

  • Main character Julie has over 7000 frames of animation, including fighting game style multi-tiered attacks, which unlock throughout the adventure.

  • Movie-like storytelling with numerous in-game cinematics, powered by enhanced Quake3 Arena technology.
This title should be a must-have for fans of the shooter genre, and has won over even those who are totally dedicated to the traditional first-person point of view. Currently this game is a solo adventure only, but Ritual is working on a patch which will add multiplayer support for online deathmatching and perhaps capture-the-flag; this patch will also be ported to the Mac version. For more information on this title, be sure and read our preview.

In a related note, you might want to visit the Gathering of Developers web site and vote in the poll which is in the bottom right-hand corner of their main page. The poll asks, "What platform do you think will have the best games in 2001?"; The Mac platform is one of the choices, and is currently in third place.

Heavy Metal F.A.K.K. 2 Preview
Gathering of Developers
Heavy Metal F.A.K.K. 2 Web Site
Gathering of Developers
Ritual Entertainment
Heavy Metal F.A.K.K. 2

MacGamer Grills ATI
3:50 PM | IMG News | Comment on this story

Our colleagues at MacGamer have posted a Q&A with ATI Technologies, creators of the recently-released Radeon Mac Edition AGP 3D card and OEM 2D/3D suppliers for the Mac platform for the past five years. In this interview between Corey Tamas and Deanna Perkins, many details are revealed about ATI's driver support and the perceived lack of communication between ATI and end-users. Here is an excerpt:

People have been complaining about the drivers from ATI which are
both lacking in quality or features and are updated much, much too
rarely. While 3dfx has new drivers out every few weeks, we hear
nothing from you guys. What's up there?

Over the past year getting updates out in a timely manner has been a
challenge due to the nature of our Universal installer. It one thing
to put out releases everytime you fix a bug if you are supporting one
or two products but ATI had been supporting a driver model where each
release supported almost five years worth of products with features
including video capture, TV-out and TV-tuning. We are revamping this
model and working with our support department to get releases out
more often.

Driver support for the Radeon cards on the PC side has been quite robust, with several updates since the card's release. Make sure you check out our in-depth review of the Radeon for all the details and benchmarks on this amazing card.

Radeon Mac Edition AGP Review
MacGamer Q&A with ATI's Deanna Perkins

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Cro-Mag Rally Pre-order
3:30 PM | Michael Eilers | Comment on this story

MacNN has noted that Pangea Software's upcoming 'kart' racer Cro-Mag Rally is available for pre-order from the Pangea web site. This charming title promises to bring the speed and fury of 'kart'-style racers and the stunning graphics of Bugdom together in a single title. With such advanced features as split-screen racing and OpenGL acceleration as well as low hardware requirements, this title is sure to satisfy your urge for some console-style racing.

Cro-Mag Rally recently reached 'gold master' status, and final production of this game should begin quite soon. A demo will also accompany the final release; details on how many tracks/karts the demo will contain aren't known at this time.

For more details on this game, be sure and check out our preview and its accompanying screen shots. Visit the Pangea web site to place your pre-order.

Cro-Mag Rally Preview
Pangea Software
Cro-Mag Rally Officially Gold
Pangea Software
Cro-Mag Rally

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Sim Theme Park Available for Pre-order
3:19 PM | Tom Bridge | Comment on this story

The full-3D sim game Sim Theme Park is now available for pre-order from Aspyr Media. This charming title places you in charge of developing the ultimate theme park, using your ticket and concession stand profits to research and develop even greater rides, amusements and attractions. When your park has reached perfection, you can explore it from a customer's point of view and try out the rides for yourself.

The system requirements for this title are as follows:

-Any Macintosh computer with a PowerPC G3 processor running at 266 Mhz or
faster (333 Mhz recommended)

-MacOS 8.5 or later

-OpenGL1.1.2 (included)

-QuickTime 4.0 (included)

-64 MB RAM (128 MB recommended)

-Virtual memory set to at least 128 MB

-Supported Graphics Accelerator with 6 MB VRAM (16 MB recommended)

-4xCD-ROM drive

Online Requirements:

-Online features require TCP/IP internet connection at 28.8 Kbps or
faster. Players are responsible for all applicable internet fees.

Aspyr is also working to have strategy guides available at time of shipment.

Here is a description of this title from the web site:

Build and manage your own theme park from the ground up. Choose bloodcurdling five-loop roller coasters, lava fountains or graveyards. You're in charge. Dare your customers to come aboard. See for yourself. Risk your own nerves as you ride your own rides. Do you think your guest would like a little salt with their fries? Too much salt gets crowds thirsty. Too much sugar -kids get twitchy. It's your job to manage every nuance of the park.

Pick from four entirely different themes: Space Zone, Lost Kingdom, Land of Wonders and Halloween. Explore fantastic rides, shops, and sideshows from the visitor's perspectives. Design your own rides using a simple and intuitive user interface. A helpful adviser will give you instant feedback to help you create a successful theme park

There is no firm ship date for the title, but the fact that pre-orders are being taken is a good sign that the final release of this game draws near. We understand from developer Feral that the port is in final candidate status, so it should go 'gold' within the next few days.

Feral Interactive
Bullfrog Productions
Sim Theme Park

Official realMyst Site Launched
3:08 PM | Lucian Fong | Comment on this story

Cyan, the makers of the hit adventure game, Myst, have launched an official realMyst site. The Flash-enhanced site features a short introduction to the game as well as a trailer and a demo (PC only); more content will be added in the near future.

realMyst is a 3D-accelerated version of the original Myst, with new freedom of movement, and entire new world and spectacular special effects. Here is a description from their web site:

Right now, an incredible Age you have yet to see is being rewritten. realMYST is a fully 3d interactive version of MYST, the greatest selling computer game of all time.

But now you can experience MYST the way the Miller brothers originally envisioned it: truly immersed in a world that lives and breathes around you, where the weather changes, the sun rises and sets, the trees sway in the wind, and animals scurry by.

The PC version of this game reached 'gold master' status two weeks ago; we expect the Mac version to be completed in the next several weeks. Watch for a release of this title in early December.

Official realMyst Website

Sale on Titanic and Timelapse
3:03 PM | Michael Eilers | Comment on this story

Fans of the 2D adventure genre can enjoy an extra Halloween treat over the next few days, as Hammerhead Entertainment has two Mac adventure games on sale: Titanic: Adventure Out of Time and Timelapse, classic titles from Cyberflix. You can add these two titles to your collection for a mere $9.99 apeice, if you act quickly. Here are the details:

Hammerhead Entertainment, the game publishing division of Barracuda, announced a special Halloween sale for the Macintosh versions of its popular adventure games Titanic: Adventure Out of Time and Timelapse. Titanic: Adventure Out of Time is one of the best-selling computer adventure games of all time with over 1.5 million copies (combined PC and Macintosh) sold worldwide. Timelapse has sold over 250,000 copies (combined PC and Macintosh) worldwide.

Hammerhead Entertainment's Macintosh Halloween sale begins on October 30, and ends on November 5. This exclusive limited time offer is good while supplies last and can only be found online, and is not available at any other retailer. Consumers can purchase a copy of Titanic: Adventure Out of Time or Timelapse for the Macintosh for only $9.99 (U.S. dollars) each plus shipping and handling (and CA sales tax if applicable). In addition, for every copy of either Titanic: Adventure Out of Time or Timelapse purchased, consumers will receive a FREE copy ($20 value) of the official strategy guide for the game.

Sounds like a great deal on two classic titles, ideal diversons for any iMac owner. Visit the link below for access to the special offer.

Hammerhead Entertainment

Ernesto Delayed
2:47 PM | Michael Eilers | Comment on this story

Shareware publisher Cortic has announced that their space shooter Ernesto will not make its projected release date of November 1st, but will instead be released towards the end of this year. Here is their update:

Cortic Software regretfully announced today that their 2D overhead space shooter, Ernesto, will not be released until the 20th of November. The game was originally anticipated to be released Tuesday, November 1. The game is being delayed due to some bug concerns and an attempt to expand the number of ways to connect to multiplayer games. More information should be available from Cortic in the coming weeks.
This shooter seems poised to overhaul and add new life to an old genre; be sure and check out the Cortic web site for more information.

Cortic Software

SNES9X version 1.3.2
11:27 AM | Michael Eilers | Comment on this story

MacEmuScene has reported that the freeware Super Nintendo emulator SNES9X has been updated to version 1.3.2. This update includes two new video modes for improving image quality, and dual-processor support; the emulator is also carbonized to run under Mac OS X Public Beta. Here are the details on this update:

  • SNES9X now has two new video modes called "Enhanced, 2xSAI Mode" and "Enhanced, EAGLE Mode"! Rather than simply scaling up or blurring the SNES image, these new display types actually attempt to add extra detail to the picture, with remarkably good results in many cases. Rather than looking blocky, edges and curves should actually retain their shape much better when using these new video modes. However, they take a lot of processing power—older Macs may see a significant drop in framerate when using these modes.
  • To offset the heavy load of these new video modes, SNES9X now takes advantage of the second processor in multi-processor Macs! The second processor is used to apply the video mode effects. So if you have a multi-processor Mac, you will be able to use the new enhanced video modes mentioned above without incurring any loss in framerate—in fact, SNES9X should run faster than ever before, since even simple video modes take a small amount of CPU power to run.
  • Separate SNES9X binaries for Mac OS 9 and Mac OS X are no longer required. Now, one application will work equally well on both.
  • Super Mario Kart, Metroid 3, Donkey Kong Country and other games once again work properly without glitching! It appears that the only way to fix these titles is to revert to version 3.0 of MrCpp.
  • A previous version added a new "fast-forward" button and I forgot to mention it in the version history. Hold this button and the emulation speed will increase dramatically, so you can skip boring or repetitive parts of a game. Thanks to Lindsey Dubb for adding this feature.
  • Mouse support is broken in this build, and will probably remain broken until Carbon provides a good way to track the mouse cursor past the edge of the screen. Sorry—hope you weren't planning on a huge Mario Paint session any time soon!
  • A handful of fixes in the emulator core bring improved speed and compatibility in specific titles.
SNES9X is ported to the Mac OS by John Stiles; if you haven't taken his addictive game Candy Crisis for a spin, we highly recommend it.

Mac EmuScene
SNES9X Web Site

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Oni Reaches Beta for Mac
9:34 AM | Toby Allen | Comment on this story

Oni Central has recieved another one of Matt Soel's updates on Bungie's upcoming full-contact action game Oni. Oni has reached final candidate stage for PC, and the Mac version has reached beta testing stage. Here is the update from Soell:

Matt's Oni Report - October 27, 2000

Another week passes and Oni looms ever closer. There's not much to say at this point because the team is speeding toward that light at the end of the tunnel, and thus too busy to chat with me. So this will be brief, but brevity at this point is good. There's not much left to do. :-)

- By now you should all know that we've got a final candidate for the PC version and a Mac beta.

- You've also heard that my little [censored] secret from a couple weeks ago is in fact the Oni series from Dark Horse. We were really glad to get Dark Horse on board and we're really looking forward to the books.

- Some Bungie folk up here in Redmond have opined that one of the levels in the game is actually frightening. You'll know it when you play it.

- The Scarecrow wanted a brain. What would a brain want? Discuss. ;-)

According to the latest information from publisher Gathering of Developers, we should expect Oni for Mac in January of 2001.

Bungie Studios
Gathering of Developers
Buy Oni

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SiN Gold... Again
9:01 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

Contraband's Bill "Burger" Heineman has made a recent post to Usenet regarding the status of SiN. This FPS from Ritual (also the people who made FAKK2) was originally announced as being Gold earlier this month, but recent changes with the PC version prompted a new revision of the Mac build as well, moving back the release date. Here's what Heineman had to say about the situation:

Let's see, I'm sending off a new golden master of Sin since I just added
game finding support (There was a rev of PC SiN recently and I incorporated that too). Plus there was a problem with the Sprockets installer (Wonder why apple made the rev of the 1.7.5 sprockets installer hmmm????). Thankfully Apple corrected the problem and now we should be pressing SiN cd's shortly.

Look for some more news from MacPlay shortly. It will blow your mind... :)

Sounds like good news for fans anxious to get their hands on this shooter. SiN will be published by United Developers after Contraband is finished with the port.

The other port possibilities from the newly-founded MacPlay are tantilizing; Giants, Sacrifice, or perhaps even Fallout: Tactics? We look forward to seeing what their three other games might be.

IMG News: Sin, FAKK2 Go Gold!
United Developers
Contraband Entertainment
Sin Gold
Buy Sin Gold

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Black & White Q&A
8:31 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

The Italian site Game ON has recently talked with Lionhead's Peter Molyneux, the man behind the upcoming genre-busting sim game Black & White. They have posted the results of this interview (thankfully in English), which covers a variety of topics surrounding the complex game. Since this is a game which is difficult to summarize, here's Molyneux's description of Black & White:

Black & White as a single player game is a fantasy role playing game where you play the role of god and where the whole world and everything in it changes to reflect the sort of god you are. Within this world, you also have the ability to nurture and give any personality you like to your creature.
The creature (or titan, as they're also called) is an amazing animal which will actually mimick the sort of behavior you demonstrate. For more on the 'extra' features of the title, here's another excerpt from the interview:
JP: Having witnessed a few presentations of the game, I`ve been mostly impressed by the "extensions" of the Black & White world into the real world, or more precisely into the player`s computer. Please describe how this happens and to what degree.

PM: One of the delights of making games is the ability to do things outside of the game, as you can make it all seem more real if you can connect it to bits of the outside world. Some of the ways we have done this, in no particular order: using the player`s Outlook Contact List to give names to the villagers, allowing the weather in the game to reflect the weather outside your window, instant messaging in the single player game, and getting your creature to like the same music as you and to hate the same music as you. At this late stage, I am hoping to include the function for your creature to e-mail you if he`s feeling lonely, although some people think this might get aggravating.

Aggravating or not, he definitely has a fresh vision of what a video game should be. The Q&A is accompanied by two pages of screen shots, so be sure to take a look at those as well. Black & White has been delayed for the PC until the Spring of next year. We've heard many rumors of a Mac port in progress, and will let you know of any official announcements that are made.

GameON Black & White Interview
Feral Interactive
Lionhead Studios
Black & White

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4x4 Evolution Demo Available
6:00 AM | Charles George | Comment on this story

Earlier this Summer Terminal Reality released a public beta for their hotly anticipated 4x4 Evolution. Even with some rough edges, the fantastic graphics and realistic off-roading fun of the beta convinced over 32,000 Mac gamers to download it from Macgamefiles.com

Now that the game is finished and will be hitting stores shortly, Terminal Reality has created has a polished demo to release. The demo features one track in Arizona, a fully customizable Nissan Xterra, and online play. The demo should give one a good idea how the full game will play on your particular system. Also be sure to check out our preview of the game, and watch for a review of the full version soon.

IMG's 4x4 Evolution Preview
4x4 Evolution
Download 4x4 Evolution Demo (21 MB)
Terminal Reality
Gathering of Developers
4x4 Evolution

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New Details on Halo
6:00 AM | Charles George | Comment on this story

This weekend Matt Soell of Bungie Studios kept his promise to keep gamers informed on the development progress of this long-awaited title which is still quite far from completion. Without further ado, here an excerpt from the update he posted to Halo.bungie.org's forums:

- We're nailing down the final elements of the game - lists of
characters, weapons, net game types and options. The weapon list is
pretty extensive; players should have fun finding their favorites.
Things are still uncertain enough that giving out an actual number would
be premature, but I think it's safe to say you'll have a nice friendly
double-digit figure when you add them all up. And those are just the
ones players can use.

- Jaime is speccing out the various net games as completely as possible.
Again, we can't say too much here because who knows how many of them willactually end up in the game. We're trying to cover all the usual basesbut there may be some unusual (read: brand new) game types as well.There are also some interesting ideas being tossed around for how toscale net games up for larger numbers of players, though exactly how many players we're talking about is still entirely up in the air.

Halo should be released for the Mac at some point after the shooter's release on the X-Box console.

HBO (Halo.bungie.org)
Matt's Halo Progress Report
Bungie Studios
Halo: Combat Evolved

Quake 3 Fortress beta F
6:00 AM | Toby Allen | Comment on this story

The Quake 3 Fortress team has released a new version of their mod, beta F. They have made a huge number of changes, bugs fixes and new additions. Here is just some of the best newly-added features:

• 5 new original maps: The Causeway, Last Resort, Spamtech, Got Duck? and King of the Castle.
• Lots of new visual effects for weapons and grenades based on our new volumetric explosions, particle emitters and beam generator.
• Completely new menu graphics, animation, music and sound effects.
• Over 70 new audio effects for weapons, players, ambience, menu music and special FX.
• Tribes-style Radio Communications System.
• Complete overhaul of all class and weapon balancing through 3 months of extensive play testing by our QA Team.
• Over 50 game-play tweaks and bugs fixed.
• Lots of new models and/or skins for weapons/grenades.
• New commands for people on lower spec systems providing control over our new 3D visual effects.
• Improved map-voting system.
• Q3F Extended Entity System now extended further :)
• Anti-cheat protection (both automatic and server administrator controlled)
• The complete 'What's New' list contains over 100 entries!
We have tested beta F and have found no problems with using this mod with the Mac verision of Quake 3 Arena. Quake 3 Fortess is a great reincarnation of the old Quake 1 mod Team Fortress, so check it out if you are fan of old-school Quake action.

Download Quake 3 Fortress beta F
Quake 3 Fortress

Mac Games News for Friday, October 27, 2000

Mac Radeon Has Shipped to Retail4:59 PM
Ferazel's Wand On Sale4:00 PM
More Details on Tribsoft, Hyperion1:14 PM
Six Screens from The Fallen12:56 PM
GameSpot Reviews 4x4 Evolution12:27 PM
Dark Sector Interview, Images11:45 AM
Inside PS2 Games Launches!11:19 AM
Telefragged Rune Preview11:19 AM
Diablo II Expansion Preview at IGN10:44 AM
First Look at Neverwinter Nights10:36 AM
Mac Monkey Island 4 Update10:32 AM
Mac BGEditor 1.0 Released10:09 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Friday, October 27, 2000 on one page

Recent Mac Games News

Thursday, October 26, 2000
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