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Thursday, February 21, 2002



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Early Galactic Battlegrounds System Reqs
8:45 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

Aspyr yesterday launched their mini-site for the upcoming real-time strategy game based on the Star Wars universe, Galactic Battlegrounds. This acclaimed game was created by LucasArts using the Age of Empires engine, so many RTS fans will already be familiar with the basics of the game. Players will be able to control the forces of the Dark Side or the Rebel Alliance.

The mini-site lists some preliminary system requirements for the game. They seem relatively tame at this point, though do keep in mind they could change before the game is released:

  • Mac OS 8.6, Mac OS X 10.1
  • CarbonLib 1.4 or higher
  • 64 MB built-in memory
  • Stock G3 or G4 of 333 MHz or greater
  • 4x CD-ROM compatible drive

For more information on the game or to check out some screen shots, head over to the Aspyr site. Westlake Interactive is currently working on the port and expects to complete its work around April. Pending final testing and approval, it should be released soon after.

Star Wars Galactic Battlegrounds
Westlake Interactive
Buy Star Wars Galactic Battlegrounds



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IMG Store Offers Sims Super Bundle, Harry Potter
1:05 PM | IMG News | Comment on this story

Inside Mac Games and the good folks at Aspyr Media have teamed up to offer The Sims Super Bundle for our loyal MacGames CD subscribers. The bundle comes with the original mega hit, The Sims, plus the wildly popular expansion packs Livin' Large and House Party and is available for just $95. Individually you'd pay over $110 for all three products elsewhere.

A title that just began shipping, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, is also available through our IMG Web Store for $29. Again, you must be a MacGames CD subscriber to order this product from the IMG Store.

IMG Preview: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
IMG Review: The Sims
IMG Review: The Sims: House Party
IMG Review: The Sims: Livin' Large
Harry Potter
The Sims
The Sims: House Party
The Sims: Livin' Large
Buy Harry Potter
Buy The Sims
Buy The Sims: House Party



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Harry Potter Officially Ships
12:41 PM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

In a press release issued today, Aspyr Media announced that Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone has officially shipped for the Macintosh.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone is a magical adventure based on the sensational literary series by J. K. Rowling. Aspyr licensed Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone from Electronic Arts, and the Macintosh Carbon conversion was done by Westlake Interactive.

Here's more on Harry Potter from the press release:

"Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone is a magical adventure filled with wizardry, fun and danger," says Michael Rogers, President of Aspyr. "J.K. Rowling's books are awesome and the game is a perfect complement, allowing players to be Harry."

Explore Hogwart while solving puzzles, casting spells, battling foes and uncovering secrets. Interact with over 20 unforgettable characters from J.K. Rowling's world, including Hermione Granger, Ron Weasley, and Rubeus Hagrid.

Attend lessons to learn all things magical. Collect Wizard Cards, Chocolate Frogs, and Bertie Bott's Every Flavor Beans. Take flight and play a heart-stopping game of Quidditch on your Nimbus Two Thousand. Even win house points for Gryffinor.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone for Macintosh also includes a special Harry Potter trading card game foil-stamped card inside!

"Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone will be a success on the Macintosh," says Linda Chaplin, of Electronic Arts. "We are pleased to continue working with Aspyr to bring great EA games to the Macintosh."

Be on the lookout for IMG's very own review of Harry Potter soon. In the meantime, check out our preview to learn more about this exciting new game.

IMG Preview: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
Harry Potter
Westlake Interactive
Buy Harry Potter


Update on Links Championship Edition
10:46 AM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

It's been a while since we've had any news on Bold's upcoming Links Championship Edition. IMG recently e-mailed Peter Tamte, and he gave us an update on the hotly anticipated golf simulation. According to Tamte, the game is in final testing, but he was cautious about giving any release dates:

Links will ship soon. The game itself is in final testing and the course designer should be entering testing in a couple of weeks. We're holding off on announcing a ship date until we're certain what it will be. But, it shouldn't be much longer.
Links Championship Edition features a completely new graphics engine, new physics engine, a full-featured course designer, new golfer personalities, and 13 of the world's best golf courses, including Oakmont Country Club, The Royal Melbourne Golf Club, Four Seasons Resort Aviara, Chateau Whistler, The Prince Course at Princeville Resort, Westfields Golf Club, and many more.

Be on the lookout for a preview of Links Championship Edition on IMG soon.

Links Championship Edition
Buy Links Championship Edition



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Simon the Sorcerer II Carbonized
9:41 AM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

e.p.i.c. interactive, the company responsible for bringing Simon the Sorcerer II to the Mac, has released a Carbonized version of the game. The update will allow users to play the game natively under Mac OS X and under Mac OS 9 using CarbonLib. The Carbon version also allow users to play the game in full-screen mode.

The update weighs in at a little over 100 KB and is available for download from our sister site, MacGameFiles.

IMG Review: Simon the Sorcerer II
Simon the Sorcerer II
Buy Simon the Sorcerer II



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Pangea Needs Your Help with CompUSA
9:13 AM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

The creators of such hit games as Nanosaur, Bugdom, and the just-released Otto Matic, the folks at Pangea Software need your help. In a post on the Pangea web site, Brian Greenstone calls for fans to write to CompUSA in an effort to get the computer retailer to carry Pangea's games. So far the retailer has refused to carry Pangea's titles, and the game maker warns that "without CompUSA's shelf space it will be difficult for us to stay in business through 2003."

Here's the full post from the Pangea web site:

We need your help to stay in business. Over the years the cost of producing games for the Macintosh has skyrocketed, and as a result we have become more and more dependent on getting our games into the large retail stores to make a profit. Unfortunately, Apple's only major retail partner is CompUSA, and for quite some time now CompUSA has refused to carry any of our games despite the fact that any time you walk into a CompUSA they will be demoing Bugdom, Cro-Mag Rally, or Otto Matic on their iMacs. It seems unfathomable to us that they wouldn't carry a game that they demo all day long, but that's how it is. Unfortunately, without CompUSA's shelf space it will be difficult for us to stay in business through 2003. For the last 10 years we have dedicated ourselves to producing relatively non-violent, family-friendly games for the Macintosh, and we hope to continue doing this for another 10 years with your assistance.

So, we want to start a letter writing campaign to CompUSA to try and urge them to carry our games (most importantly, our new game Otto Matic) in their stores, so we humbly request that you send CompUSA your thoughts on this matter by filling out the Sales Support feedback form on their web site at www.compusa.com/contact.

If you're a fan of Pangea's games, be sure to contact CompUSA and ask that they carry them. Remember, a politely worded, articulate request is always the most effective.

We'll keep tabs with Greenstone on any further developments.

Pangea Software
Otto Matic



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Price Changes, New Updates for WarBirds III
6:00 AM | Tim Morgan | Comment on this story

iEntertainment Network, creators of the popular, massively multiplayer flight simulator WarBirds III, recently informed subscribers of a number of changes to the WarBirds III universe.

First off, new terrain covering the Tunisia region in Africa has been released. The terrain can be downloaded from the WarBirds III web site. Along with this release comes a number of changes at iEntertainment, the most notable of which is the re-hiring of former CEO J. W. "WildBill" Stealey. Stealey will be offering players the chance to "get to know him," as explained in an e-mail update:

To begin with, each week on Thursday afternoons expect to see your favorite Warbirds development team members flying in the virtual skies; here's your chance to shoot down WLDBIL, ICEMAN, DEVINE and the rest of the iEN crew. WLDBIL will soon be accepting sign-ups for "Kill-Bill" where you can fight him one-on-one for a FREE month of Warbirds! (Limited to the first 5 each month. Then you can't do it again for 12 months or until WildBill cries "Uncle.")
iEntertainment also noted a change in the way WarBirds III will be marketed:
On March 4th, 2002, Warbirds III will be released into "paid production." The March 4th release of Warbirds III will include the new KAGA aircraft carrier with player manable guns, new planes, Mac OS X support and a host of other advancements.
March 4th will also see the introduction of a new pricing structure entitled the Gold Plan. For $19.95, players can have 15 hours of access to all paid arenas and free access to other Air Combat Area-type arenas.

WarBirds III allows subscribers to play in a persistent world: the skies over Western Europe during World War II. WarBirds III boasts robust support of fighters and bombers and even limited ground vehicle capabilities.

IMG Review: WarBirds III
WarBirds III
Download Tunisia Terrain (22 MB)



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Warcraft III Undead in Depth
6:00 AM | Eddie Park | Comment on this story

As the beta testing for Blizzard's real-time strategy game Warcraft III proceeds apace, more and more publications are rushing to post their general impressions of this highly-anticipated title.

Rather than rehash the same generalities, however, FiringSquad has posted an article that takes an in-depth look at one of the more enigmatic races of Warcraft III: the Undead. Made up of units from the lowly Ghouls to the sickening Meat Wagon, this race has had many players chattering away in various WC3 forums as to their various units, abilities, and tactics.

The article focuses on a number of aspects, including the roster of Hero units and their corresponding abilities. As with the other races, the Undead have three Heroes available: the Death Knight, the Dread Lord, and the Lich. Each one of these Heroes can learn and utilize several abilities designed either to bolster their own forces or to crush opposing ones.

Some of the regular units mentioned include Ghouls, which act as the basic melee unit, and the Crypt Fiend, which has the unique ability to bring airborne foes down to the ground via an attack called Web. This allows ground-based units to hack away at any air unit that flies within the Web's influence.

Also noted are the Frost Wyrms, which are described as the heavy hitters of the Undead race:

Frost Wyrms are a sort of "ultimate unit" for the Undead — at least, they are supposed to be. Big, tough, slow and with the ability to fly, they can take on almost any other single unit in the game and win. However, they are expensive and very vulnerable to quicker anti-air units. A Frost Wyrm should be treated like a mobile siege engine — get it in position, deploy it and have it do as much damage (or absorb as much attention) as possible before it dies.
The rest of the article covers even more units, the various structures of the Undead, and gives overall impressions as to the current combat effectiveness of each unit. Those seeking more information on the Undead can find the whole article at the FiringSquad.

IMG Preview: WarCraft III
FiringSquad: WarCraft III Undead Overview
WarCraft III
Buy WarCraft III


MacMAME 0.58 Released
6:00 AM | Sean Smith | Comment on this story

Brad Oliver sent word last night that MacMAME, the Mac version of the Multiple Arcade Machine Emulator, has been updated to version 0.58.

MacMAME emulates almost every older video arcade game ever made (and even a number of games as recent as 1998), allowing holders of the ROMs from video arcade machines to play the games on a Mac.

Here are the changes in version 0.58, along with the programmers who implemented them:

  • In sync with the Win32 0.58 build. Many internal changes were made as a result. [Brad Oliver]
  • Fixed issue with the debugger palette. [Kent Miller]
  • Killed a bunch of lingering Mac-specific bugs in some games. [Brad Oliver]
  • As promised in the readme for 0.56, MacMAME now supports a minimum of Mac OS 9.0 and CarbonLib 1.4 or a minimum of Mac OS 10.1. This lays the groundwork for a big push towards adopting a lot of OS X-specific features while still keeping classic support alive. [Brad Oliver]

MacMAME is Carbonized to run natively in both Mac OS 9 and X.

If you have fond memories of playing Space Wars 24 years ago — or any of the thousands of other games supported by MAME — and haven't yet discovered this wonderfully versatile freeware emulator, head over to the MacMAME web site now.

MacMAME
MGF: MacMAME 0.58 (3.9 MB)



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Neverwinter Nights Status Update
6:00 AM | John Rousselle | Comment on this story

IGNPC recently interviewed BioWare regarding progress on Neverwinter Nights, the upcoming role-playing game based on the third edition Advanced Dungeons and Dragons rule set.

BioWare Joint CEOs Greg Zeschuk and Ray Muzyka and Neverwinter Nights Producer Trent Oster all chimed in during the conversation about advances made during production and the ever-popular question, "When?"

IGNPC: So how is progress with Neverwinter Nights going?

Trent Oster: Insane. We have a large team and the game makes massive strides on a daily basis. At BioWare we all work off a "master version" of the game which we all post our updates to. Every day the number of files changed numbers in excess of five hundred. I play the game every chance I get and every time I fire up a new version a new feature is added or some feature is polished up to a higher level.

IGNPC: What are some of the most recent things you've been working on in the game?

Trent Oster: I've personally been fixing "shadow gacks" (yes, gacks is a technical term) in the weapon models in my spare seconds throughout the evenings. I have also been making macro passes through the game interface, the spells and other major game features with other team members. Each pass we identify any weaknesses of the system at hand and come up with a strategy on how to remove the problems. Last night we made a visual appearance pass through the game GUI screens and identified some areas for revision. Later today I plan to play through chapter one in the game and send out some bugs and suggestions.

Earlier this month, BioWare indicated that they are targeting "early summer" as the release date for the game, and Zeschuk and Muzyka confirm in this interview that they are on track for a May or June completion.

For the full interview, follow the link below.

IMG Preview: Neverwinter Nights
IGNPC: Neverwinter Nights Progress Report
BioWare
Neverwinter Nights
Buy Neverwinter Nights


Mac Games News for Wednesday, February 20, 2002

IMG Reviews the FunStick Pro F-10812:12 PM
B&W Support FAQ Posted; Bundle Deal Continues11:42 AM
BlizzMac Site Opens10:26 AM
Baldur's Gate II Updated to Version 1.16:00 AM
Otto Matic Adds FSAA and Truform Support6:00 AM
QuakeCon 2002 Announced6:00 AM
Warcraft III Changes6:00 AM
 
View all of the Mac games news for Wednesday, February 20, 2002 on one page


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Tuesday, February 19, 2002
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