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Monday, October 22, 2001



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Zork Grand Inquisitor Shipping
10:01 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

In the mass of news late Friday from MacPlay, the information sort of got lost in the shuffle that Zork Grand Inquisitor is now shipping. This title, while almost exactly four years old on the PC side, is considered a quintessential adventure title -- and is one of Logicware's "lost" titles rescued from eternal exile. It also has low system requirments, only needing 64MB of RAM and a G3 233 to run properly. Here's a list of features from the MacPlay site:


  • Visit the famous landmarks that made Zork legendary: Flood Control Dam #3, the White House and GUE Tech.
  • Enlist the aid of three fantastic characters on your Magic quest.
  • Confront classis TV and film stars including: Dirk Benedict (The A-Team), Rip Taylor (The Gong Show) and Erick Avari (Stargate) as the Grand Inquisitor.
  • Stunning graphics and enchanting music
  • 30 unique environments
  • Unprecedented 360° freedom
  • Link up with a friend to explore Zork in a multi-player environment.

Check out the official MacPlay page for more info, and look for Zork on store shelves very soon.

Zork Grand Inquisitor Web Page
MacPlay
Zork: Grand Inquisitor


More NOLF Details from MacPlay
6:31 PM | IMG News | Comment on this story

Last Friday we received the exciting news that MacPlay has added the first-person shooter No One Lives Forever to their catalog of future releases. Due to be released in Q2 2002, this tongue-in-cheek title has won rave reviews on the PC side for its diversity, visuals and sense of humor -- imagine SiN crossed with an Austin Powers movie, and you begin to get the idea.


Today MacPlay filled us in with an additional press release that offers more details on this title. The PR contains one important detail that was not in the MacPlay newsletter on Friday -- the game will be ported to Classic (OS 9) as well as Mac OS X. Here's an excerpt:

MacPlay announced today that it has
secured the rights to publish Fox Interactive's The Operative*: No One Lives
Forever*. One of the most critically acclaimed first person shooters, the
title will ship in the second quarter of 2002, on the Mac OS X and classic
Mac OS platforms.
The award-winning game was named "Action Game Of The Year" by PC Gamer,
Computer Games Magazine and Computer Gaming World, and has garnered ratings
of 5 out of 5 from Computer Games Online and Maxim Online, as well as 9 out
of 10 from Happy Puppy and Game Maniacs.


"The addition of The Operative: No One Lives Forever to our already strong
library of titles builds on our partnership with Fox Interactive and will
allow us to continue to bring the best in computer gaming to the Macintosh
and our MacPlay loyal customers," said Mark Cottam, President of MacPlay.
"This game is a refreshing first-person game that offers players a great
storyline, fun game play and a dash of 60's humor."


The Operative: No One Lives Forever is a first-person action-adventure in
which gamers experience the distinct style and locales of the fabulous 60's
in a captivating story of espionage. Taking on the role of Agent Cate
Archer, a beautiful but deadly female operative working for an international
anti-terrorist organization called UNITY, players are challenged to complete
intense assignments in foreign locations throughout the world. Agent Archer
must use her charm and espionage training to find a way to stop the outlaw
megalomaniacs of the H.A.R.M. terrorist group. In this thrilling spy
adventure, Agent Archer must ingeniously use her killer gadgets and weapons
to navigate and survive.


Key Features of The Operative: No One Lives Forever include:


  • 15 single player missions spanning across 60 levels, which wraps
    around an original and engaging story of espionage featuring a sexy and
    sophisticated female operative

  • Over 30 unique and ingenious spy weapons and gadgetry, including a
    missile-launching briefcase, Robotic pheromone poodle, exploding lipstick,
    lock-pick barrette and lethal acid perfume

  • Stunningly expansive outdoor environments and richly detailed
    animation blending

  • Hours of riveting gameplay in diverse and exotic locales around the
    world, such as Morocco, England, Germany, the American Northwest, the French
    Alps and even a secret Russian space station

  • 20 over-the-top characters and outrageous villains with wry humor
    and witty dialogue

  • Multiplay for up to 16 players. Online gamers can take their chances
    in an all-or-nothing Good vs. Evil Multiplayer game or go head-to-head in
    Deathmatch mode
Much more information as well as screen shots can be found at the official NOLF site.

The Operative: No One Lives Forever
MacPlay


Emegency Room: Code Red Announced
3:40 PM | IMG News | Comment on this story

Legacy Interactive passed along this press release detailing another Emergency Room title in development: Emergency Room Code Red. This game attempts to simulate the nerve-wracking experience of being an ER doctor in an emergency situation. The game is available immediately for Mac and PC. Here are excerpts from the press release:

When the entire city is in a state-of-emergency, it's up to you to save the sick and injured as well as manage the staff of the ER. Combining the fast-paced drama of a television show with the interactive realism of a computer game, this emergency experience will get even the most novice gamer's heart pumping. Emergency Room Code Red by Legacy Interactive is the perfect game for anyone – with or without medical training – who wants to experience what it’s really like to be an ER doctor.


Legacy Interactive is a leader in reality-based games providing live-action video, sophisticated content, maximum player control, realistic graphics, and multiple options at every turn. Creators of the successful Real Life Games™ series of interactive CD-ROM simulation games, Legacy Interactive will have Emergency Room Code Red available in retail stores throughout the US and Canada by October 10th, 2001 for a suggested retail price of $29.95. The game will also be available from the company's web site located at http://www.legacyinteractive.com/.


Emergency Room Code Red features:


  • 35 cases ranging from anorexia to stab wounds, hypothermia, head trauma, lightening strike injury, alcohol poisoning and more.
  • More than 50 realistic exam and treatment tools including: chest tubes, oxygen masks, rib spreaders, defibrillators, spinal catheters, CT scan and ultrasounds.
  • Accurate and realistic medical cases created by real ER doctors.
  • Three modes of play – easy, normal and expert.
  • Time triggers that increase the pressure to perform fast.
  • Familiar faces from popular TV shows.
For those of you who want to see if the show ER can hold a candle to the real thing, this sim game might be just what the doctor ordered. Visit the Legacy Interactive web site for more details. For a look at the previous titles, check out our review of Emergency Room: Disaster Strikes.

Review: Emergency Room Disaster Strikes
Legacy Interactive


Aliens vs Predator OS X 10.1 Fix Released
3:29 PM | IMG News | Comment on this story

MacPlay today released a patch that fixes compatibility issues for Aliens vs Predator under OS X 10.1. The patch, consisting of a new application, brings Aliens vs Predator to version 1.0.1. Here's more info about the patch:

This patch addresses an issue in MacOS 10.1 and OpenGL 1.2. MacOS 10.1 was released after Aliens Vs. Predator had been released to manufacturing and while the game did function correctly with all preliminary versions of MacOS 10.1, the final version of the OS did not work properly. No other fixes are included in this patch and it is not necessary to install this patch unless you are planning to upgrade to Mac OS 10.1 or are currently using it.
To download the patch, head over to Macgamefiles.com. Please remember that this patch will only with the retail version of Aliens vs Predator and is only necessary if you plan on running the game under OS X 10.1.

Aliens vs Predator 1.0.1 (1.4 MB)
MacPlay


PlayStation 2 Emulator for the Mac?
11:36 AM | Eddie Park | Comment on this story

Mac fansite Mac Evangelist recently dug up some information on what could very well have a significant impact in the Mac gaming scene -- an emulator for PlayStation 2 games. Programmer David Allouch is currently heading the project, known as "The Grinch Project," and is aiming to make PlayStation 2 titles -- and possibly even Xbox titles --available to Mac owners sometime in the future.


Details on how this emulation will work are sparse, though the header to the article does mention that The Grinch will bring "PlayStation 2 emulation to Mac OS X portables with hardware add-on." Allouch also notes in the interview that "we are looking at making this work with PowerBooks as well as desktops." For technically minded, here's a clip from the interview:

First the data is read from the dvd/cd/media/disc image then it is analysed from what is call the "Risc emulator/Dispatcher" which is in charge of deciding which module to pass the information to. There are two kind of modules, hardware and memory. Memory call are pure memory stuffs... loading in memory data etc, hardware calls are commands to the joystick, network, graphic card... each on a module getting the commands... the big problem in an emulation is to know what call corresponds to what and to get the performances on the modules. There is some tricks we did in the code that could only be done on OSX... that make the emu faster than it would ever be on PC... We are looking at Windows or XBox emulation possibly. the most important thing for us right now is to get the full support we need from Sony. So we will stay on this track for now...
Allouch is currently looking for Sony's blessings with this project, as he is eager (and rightly so) to avoid any legal tangles that many previous emulation projects have had in the past. He notes that current development has yet to breach any patents, though of course this doesn't guarantee the avoidance of a lawsuit.


For those looking for more information on this exciting development, be sure to check out the full article at the Mac Evangelist. Perhaps even more promising than the possibility of PS2 emulation is the fact that Allouch adds that "our module based emulation can be used to emulate anything."

The Mac Evangelist - The Grinch Project



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Yet Another Civilization III Preview
10:55 AM | Eddie Park | Comment on this story

As the release of the PC version of Civilization III draws ever closer, game sites are racing to publish previews of this turn-based strategy title as quickly as they can. Next in line is GameSpot with a preview that manages to reveal some new information on Civ III that should be of interest to fans of the venerable series.


One of the new changes to Civ III is that there are now two kinds of civilian units at the start: workers and settlers. Settlers will cost two population points to create and have the abilties of city founding and moving populations. Workers, at a cost of one population point, will be able to improve terrain, clean up polution and perform other such tasks. Both units no longer require food and are supported like any other unit. Both units can also be captured by enemy military forces, but settlers captured simply convert into two worker units.


As more and more information becomes available on Civ III's new culture feature, its huge role in the game also becomes more apparent. National and city boundaries are now determined by the number of culture points earned:

Culture determines national and city boundaries. For example, at the beginning of the game, your city radius will be only one square. As soon as your first city acquires 10 culture points, its radius will extend to two squares. Thereafter, as it attains higher and higher levels of culture, its radius will continue to expand.
Resources in Civ III are now divided into three categories: strategic, luxury, and bonus resources. Strategic resources are used to construct various units, improve cities, and make technological advances. Luxury resources, such as silk and spices, are used to increase a population's happiness. Bonus resources can be used to increase the food output of a map square currently being worked by a player's population.


Like its predecessors, Civ III is a single-player game only. For those lamenting the lack of a multiplayer feature, it should be noted that Civ II was eventually re-released in a multiplayer version, so it is possible that a future patch or upgrade will make multiplayer on Civ III possible.


The rest of the preview covers the new military and diplomatic strategies and features available in Civ III, including civilization-specific combat units and the use of spies. For those that wish to get a more visual look at Civ III, GameSpot also has a huge Civ III-specific media section full of various movies of this title in action.


As far as a Mac release goes, Westlake Interactive is currently hard at work porting this title. Hopefully, we'll hear word soon as to a guesstimate on its release date.

GameSpot - Civilization III Preview
GameSpot - Civilization III Media
MacSoft
Firaxis Games
Civilization III
Buy Civilization III


IMG Previews EV: Nova
10:50 AM | IMG News | Comment on this story

Ambrosia Software's releases are few and far between these days, but that is because their titles are gaining in ambition and depth with each release. The top of their "most wanted" list has to be Escape Velocity: Nova, the third in a series of epic space action/adventures famous for their branching plots and flexibility of gameplay. No mere sequel, EV:N grafts an enhanced graphics engine and an entirely new storyline onto the classic style of play many EV fans still play today. Here's an excerpt from the preview:

Like the original Escape Velocity and its sequel (Escape Velocity: Override), Escape Velocity: Nova is a game that continues to wrap itself around the player. After the application launches, players can form their own identity by choosing a pilot name, ship name and pilot gender. Configure the controls and sound volume to your desired settings and you’re off to make a difference within the universe.


From this point on, the game is all up to the player. Like its predecessors, Escape Velocity: Nova keeps track of almost everything the player does within the game. The game uses a “big brother”-esque system that remembers the player’s movements. For example, if a player fires on a rebel ship in a section of space that allies itself with the rebellion, that player will be considered a criminal within that system and subject to rebel forces harassment any time they reenter that system. Like the horrors of high school social politics, everything you do can and will have a consequence throughout the rest of the game.

For the rest of the preview as well as screen shots, follow the link below.

Preview: Escape Velocity Nova



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Aliens versus Predator 10.1 Patch Tomorrow
10:05 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

The release of the OS X 10.1 upgrade has delighted a number of people who can now enjoy Apple's next-gen operating system at the speed and ease-of-use it should have had all along. Unfortunately for the folks at MacPlay, the upgrade was release right as their long-awaited title Aliens versus Predator was in duplication to ship out. As those that have tried to play the AvP demo in 10.1 know, that update also managed to "disable" AvP and the demo version. Thankfully MacPlay already has a patch ready for release tomorrow. Here's the scoop:

ALIENS VERSUS PREDATOR Gold was tested thoroughly on all Mac OS platforms including Mac OS v8.6, Mac OS v9.2.1, Mac OS X v10.0.4 andlate betas of Mac OS X v10.1. Due to circumstances beyond our control, the final version of Mac OS X v10.1 that was recently shipped does not function properly with ALIENS VERSUS PREDATOR Gold. We have alreadynotified Apple of the issue and created a patch to correct this problem.


The patch, as of, October 23rd may be downloaded from our support page on our website at www.macplay.com/support. If you have any questions or problems, please contact us directly on our customer support phone number at (214) 855-5955 x20, or e-mail us at support@macplay.com.

You can bet our sister-site Macgamefiles will also have the patch mirrored as soon as its available. Stay tuned to IMG for the latest news as to when when the patch is actually ready for download.

MacPlay October Newsletter
Download Aliens versus Predator Demo
Logicware
MacPlay
Fox Interactive
Aliens vs. Predator: Gold


Baldur's Gate 2 Fan Expansion Released for PC
10:03 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

A huge new fan-made expansion called The Darkest Day has been released for Baldur's Gate 2. While the add-on is not a radical departure from the main game, it does give players of the original RG new areas to explore. There are six new quests in The Darkest Day, and players must find out why dark clouds are killing people while you travel across the continent. While the expansion is only available for the PC at the moment, it doesn't sound like it would be too difficult to port it over to the now-shipping Mac version of Baldur's Gate 2. Here's a quick note from the site about the 266MB download:

This is a Windows only installer. Any Mac version will have to be coordinated with me to have some testing done and a Mac installer made by a Mac developer that is capable and willing.
We also talked a little with MumboJumbo programmer Chris Jacobson --programmer for Baldur's Gate 2-- about looking into The Darkest Day. Unfortunately, he and the other MJ programmers are busy on other projects at the moment. He does seem to think that as long as the binary files aren't changed, it wouldn't be difficult to 'port' at all. A recent interview with The Darkest Day team at Baldur's Gate Haven seems to reinforce this idea:
What sort of technical hurdles did you encounter in building TDD?
What was the most technically challenging?


Well, the main technical hurdle is that we don't have access to the
source code that bioware has. Thus, we can't change anything that is
hardcoded into the game. The best that we can do is combine
scripting, spells, items, and creatures to simulate new effects. It's
all done pretty seamlessly. Making entirely new areas with new
graphics also wasn't really possible until about TDD was 3/4
done.

We'll keep you posted as new details on making The Darkest Day work with Mac BG2 are made available. For Baldur fans, this would definitely give them more to play, as the official expansion Throne of Bhaal has not been announced as a Mac port as of yet.

The Darkest Day Web Site
The Darkest Day Interview at Baldur's Gate Haven


Custer Feels the Payne
9:39 AM | IMG News | Comment on this story

Our desktop artist Brad Custer has crafted another gaming-themed desktop for your downloading pleasure. The subject of the week this time around is Max Payne, the third-person action game coming to the Mac OS from MacSoft sometime next year. Much-praised for its relentless, movie-style action, this game has spent quite some time on the PC charts, and we can't wait to play it. Here are details on the desktop:

Developed by Remedy Entertainment and produced by 3D Realms, Max Payne is a relentless story-driven game about a man on the edge, fighting for his justice while uncovering plot-twists and twisted thugs in the gritty bowels of New York during the century's worst blizzard. As most of you should know by now, Macsoft is bringing us the port of this game. While working on last week's desktop, I came across this Max Payne art that I had almost forgot about on the GodGames Press Kit. I recently tried the PC version out at CompUSA and had a blast so I was really inspired to venture back into this game. "Fugitive" was a combination of box art, screenshots and game art provided by the cd and the internet. I hope you'll enjoy this one as much as I did making it.
Visit Custer's Desktops for more gaming-themed work.

Custer's Desktops


Myth III Desktop Image Contest
9:33 AM | IMG News | Comment on this story

Myth/Myth II file archive The Mill, part of the evihcra.com cluster of sites, is sponsoring a contest for all of you who are both Myth fans and handy with PhotoShop. Those who can submit the best original piece of desktop art will win a copy of either Myth 2 Worlds or Green Berets. Here are the details:

The Mill, in conjunction with evihcra.com, is sponsoring a Myth related
desktop image contest from Friday October 19th to midnight Sunday October
28th. Do you have a cool original graphic that is dying to get out and meet
people? Now is your chance to give your creation its 15 minutes of fame and
to be seen by thousands of gamers, some of them naked! Four winners will
each receive a Myth game, their choice of either "Myth2 Worlds" or "Green
Berets" and everybody else will be put to death and their heads mounted on a
pike... wait, did I read that right?
The official contest rules can be found via the link below. The contest deadline is this Friday, so start pushing those pixels.

The Mill
Desktop Image Contest Rules


Mac Games News for Friday, October 19, 2001

MacPlay to Port No One Lives Forever2:21 PM
IMG Reviews Fly! II11:46 AM
Aliens vs Predator is Shipping11:33 AM
Giants: Citizen Kabuto Goes Gold11:24 AM
Marathon One Meets Aleph One9:48 AM
Apple on Adventure Gaming9:21 AM
Arcane Arena Beta 9 Released9:11 AM
Meggs Talks Mac Myth III, Demo, Tools8:53 AM
Stronghold Team Interview8:49 AM
Galactic Core Coming Soon8:29 AM
Warbirds III Free for a Weekend6:00 AM
 
View all of the Mac games news for Friday, October 19, 2001 on one page


Recent Mac Games News

Thursday, October 18, 2001
Wednesday, October 17, 2001
Tuesday, October 16, 2001
Monday, October 15, 2001
Friday, October 12, 2001


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