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Thursday, April 25, 2002news@insidemacgames.com


Macgamefiles Undergoes Major Overhaul
8:24 AM | IMG News | Comment on this story

Macgamefiles.com was launched in May of 2000 and quickly became one of the most popular Macintosh download sites on the Internet. In its brief two-year history, MGF has served nearly three million downloads. Due to its tremendous popularity, MGF was recently rewritten from the ground up and launched yesterday on a speedy new server.

Over the last few months, our engineers ported MGF's code from Tango 2000 to PHP (also used on IMG), which offers dramatically improved load times. In addition to speed boosts, the new code will allow us to quickly add new features to MGF in the future.

One of those new features has already been implemented. The web site now features three operating system preference check boxes: Classic, Mac OS X, or both.

Be sure to give the new MGF a try today!

Macgamefiles.com


The Slacker's Guide to Shareware Returns
12:19 PM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

The Slacker's Guide to Shareware, authored by the wild and wacky Chris Barylick, is back for another run. In this feature, the Slacker looks at four super cool shareware games including Meteor Storm and Moon Lander.

Here's a snippet from the article:

As summer approaches, the Slacker has sat back and pondered the deeper truths of life with the help of some impressive downloads, an oh-so-sexy new Evil Dead shirt and a pile of gray matter made limber by grad school. Having arrived at the conclusions that hip-hugging jeans use a combination of vacuum and adhesive technologies, trampling the feeble is permissible in order to procure a copy of Return to Castle Wolfenstein and an elderly Mr. Rogers teaching kids at the White House seems a bit frightening, the Slacker has decided to enjoy a hard cider and single-handedly try to bring back the 80’s.

Fortunately, some truly great games can always cut through the insanity. The shareware industry has once again earned its stripes as well as your registration fees with four truly impressive games. In the midst of a slew of titles representing the average, the mundane, things you’d never double-click again and a dubious creation that thrashed the Slacker’s screen resolution so hard he had to manually reset the motherboard, a few titles shone above the rest. As for the title that confuzzled his screen settings beyond belief and led to the reformatting of his G4 tower, the Slacker has looked into a team of mercenaries convicted of a crime they didn’t commit that he might be able to hire, if only he could find them…

Be sure to check out the rest of the article today!

The Slacker's Guide to Shareware - Part 2


'The Barrier' Shockwave Game Released
12:00 PM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

ESP Graphics, Inc. today announced a new online Shockwave3D game for Windows and Macintosh, called The Barrier. According to the developer, The Barrier runs better on the Mac:

What's different about this game is, despite Shockwave 3D's PC leanings, this game was built on and for the Macintosh first. While many Shockwave3D games are PC only, this game actually performs better on a Mac.
The premise is a future world where mankind has been conquered by the evil alien "Virilons." The Virilons have turned cities into prisons by encasing each in a giant force-field dome or barrier. Players must escape the city by piloting a shuttle armed with missiles, energy blasts and cloaking devices, against enemy fighters, gun turrets and smart bombs.

Players may then add their scores to a Top Scores list, and may issue email challenges to friends, welcoming them to beat their best score.

System Requirements include: Macromedia Shockwave plugin (www.macromedia.com) and a 400 MHz G3 processor or faster.

The Barrier


Freeverse's Deathground for 50 Cents
11:50 AM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

Freeverse Software is having a fire sale on their remaining copies of their popular mobster strategy game, Deathground. While supplies last, you can pick up this game for just 50 cents, plus $4.50 for domestic shipping.

Deathground is a past Macworld Game Hall of Fame recipient, and was awarded "5 Apples" by MacHome. Its modest system requirements make it great for older Macs too!

System 7.6 - 9.2
PPC 603e or better
20 megs of RAM

If you enjoy Risk, you'll love Deathground!

Just drop by the new Freeverse Store and enter the Coupon Code 8622 when ordering to get the discount.

Don't pass up on this fantastic deal!

Freeverse (add to watch list)



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Tactical Ops Mac Launcher Released
11:44 AM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

Yesterday we brought you news that the PC version of the popular Tactical Ops: Assault on Terror mod for Unreal Tournament began shipping for the PC. Unfortunately the PC version only includes a PC installer, leaving Mac users out to dry, even though the mod is completely playable on the Mac.

That's not to say, however, that Mac users can't play Tactical Ops. According to an admin at the "mTo" Mac Tactical Ops Clan, Mac users can manually install the mod:

You can manual install the files from the cd onto your UT. And use the 2.2.0 launcher and ini's.

If you don't have 2.2.0

You can d/l them from the clanmto.com

http://clanmto.com/download/maclaunchers.sit

This contains launcher and ini for classic and X. A real readme will be released shortly.

If you've purchased Tactical Ops, be sure to give it a try and let us know how it works out for you.

Tactical Ops: Assault on Terror (add to watch list)
Mac Launchers



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Neverwinter Nights Pics at GameSpy Daily
9:41 AM | Richard Porcher | Comment on this story

Gamers interested in the soon to be released RPG Neverwinter Nights will want to pay a visit to GameSpy Daily to take a look at a new series of screenshots and game art that they have posted in anticipation of a full preview slated for release tomorrow on their site. The pics show some extremely interesting scenes (particularly... ahem... shot number nine) which really show off the abilities of the new 3D engine and the artistic talents of the game's designers.

Check out the Balor in shot number eight and pay close attention to the amount of detail that went into the environment that surrounds it.

Neverwinter Nights, for those unfamiliar, is the latest D&D based RPG epic from BioWare, the studio which brought life to the famed Baldur's Gate series. NWN, their first foray into using a 3D engine to design a role-playing game, is based on the new 3rd edition D&D rules, and takes place in the same world as the Baldur's Gate series, but is completely unrelated in terms of story. Another first for BioWare, and perhaps the most eagerly anticipated feature of all, is NWN's built in modularity, which allows players to easily design their own adventures (similar to paper D&D modules) which they can share amongst the gaming community.

Neverwinter Nights is slated for release in Summer of 2002, and will be a multi-platform simultaneous release for Mac, Windows, and Linux.

See these new shots for yourself by using the link below.

NWN Pics at GameSpy
BioWare (add to watch list)
Neverwinter Nights (add to watch list)
Buy Neverwinter Nights



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Europa Universalis II Coming to the Mac
9:40 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

A new announcement in the official Europa Universalis forums brings the good word that Paradox's latest historical RTS game Europa Universalis II will be coming to the Mac. The port will be done by the up-and-coming Vitrual Programming, already known for their port of Wipeout 2097 and soon to release Payback and KickOff 2002.

Many Mac fans will remember the original title was also slated for the platform, but difficulties with the original porting house Hyperion ended up killing the game. With Virtual Programming now establishing themselves with some released titles, we're confident EUII will be released as promised by the end of the year. For much more information on the game, be sure to check out the official web site. Here's a good rundown from the press release:

Europa Universalis has established itself as the ultimate historical real-time strategy game. With its sophisticated audience it is ideal for the Mac and we hope this will lead to more Mac versions of our games , says Theodore Bergquist, CEO of Paradox Entertainment.

- Virtual Programming Ltd are extremely pleased to bring Europa Universalis II to the Mac platform. Our goal is to seek quality, entertaining titles that will reward the Mac gamer, and Europa Universalis II is one such title. It is our hope that we can work with Paradox Entertainment in the future to see more of their great titles on the Mac platform, says Paul Lesurf, Managing Director of Virtual Programming Ltd.

Europa Universalis II has broadened the games horizons. The game spans more than four hundred years (1419-1820) and the player can choose to play any nation that ever existed in the world. That is over 100 playable nations, including the Japanese Shogunate, the Chinese Empire and African tribes! Several key features in the game are open for players to change according to their own tastes, such as historical event flow and scenario constructions, etc.

This is definitely great news for Mac gamers, as it's always good to see PC developers turned on to the platform. We'll keep you posted as Europa Universalis II proceeds towards release late this year.

Success of Europa Universalis spawns Macintosh version
Virtual Programming (add to watch list)
Europa Universalis II (add to watch list)
Buy Europa Universalis II



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Hands-on with Neverwinter Nights
8:24 AM | Eddie Park | Comment on this story

Though the public beta-testing period for BioWare's upcoming RPG Neverwinter Nights has yet to commence, a lucky reporter for IGN PC still managed to get some early hands-on playing of the current build, and has reported his findings. Though most gamers anticipating this title are aware of the general features of Neverwinter Nights, the report divulges many details that may not be so widely realized.

The first part of the report covers character creation, and notes that Neverwinter Nights adheres strictly to the third edition rule set for Advanced Dungeons & Dragons. This gives players eleven classes, seven races, and two genders to pick from. Players unfamiliar with the third edition rule set should find the changes to the character classes interesting, as they go a long way towards balancing them out, mainly by improving ones that were considered fairly weak in previous editions. This is further balanced by a system of feats and skills that players can select for their characters.

One departure from BioWare's previous RPG efforts is the implementation of a customizable camera system:

The basic top-down camera grants you a view much like that of Baldur's Gate. The main difference here is that you can rotate, zoom and tilt the camera through a surprising range. A chase camera follows closely behind you (though with a slight top-down orientation). The final mode is called stiff camera. This grants you a more shooter-oriented movement scheme. Although all three views are practical for different tastes and circumstances, the top-down was the easiest and most adjustable.
Another feature players may not be aware of is that Neverwinter Nights will only allow players full control of a single character. Any NPCs picked up along the way will be computer-controlled, though players can give them basic instructions.

For more information on Neverwinter Nights, including thoughts on the implementation of the third edition rule set, the new graphics engine, and character control, readers are encouraged to read the full report at IGN PC.

IGN PC - Neverwinter Nights Hands On
BioWare (add to watch list)
Neverwinter Nights (add to watch list)
Buy Neverwinter Nights



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Unreal Tournament 2003 Q&A
8:24 AM | Eddie Park | Comment on this story

Unreal Center recently got hold of Pancho Eekels, Lead Designer at Digital Extremes, and pumped him for information on Unreal Tournament 2003, easily one of the most anticipated first-person shooters to date. The interview covers a good number of questions about the game, including map details, graphics, and modding.

One customizable detail that may be of interest to players is a new "species mutator" feature available in multiplayer games. When turned on, this mutator will add some customization to the attributes of player characters, depending on their species. For example, some may be fast and weak while others may be slow and strong.

Those anticipating huge playing fields may be a little disappointed with Unreal Tournament 2003, as Eekels notes that the map sizes haven't changed all that much from Unreal Tournament. However, he adds that the main reason for this is to keep the furious style of play intact, as a map with too much area could lead to a lot of senseless running around.

Unreal Center even manages to squeeze in a question about a Mac version, though the answer is inconclusive:

Q: With Unreal Tournament 2003 being PC based, will it support Linux and Mac right out of the box or will this be something that might come later as UT did?

A: Nothing has been decided on these formats but they will most likely come later after the PC version ships.

For more details on Unreal Tournament 2003, including its fearsome AI, mod potential, and cheat prevention, be sure to check out the whole interview at Unreal Center.

Unreal Center - Pancho Eekels Interviewed
Digital Extremes (add to watch list)
Buy Unreal Tournament 2003


Mac Games News for Wednesday, April 24, 2002

IMG Reviews the Altec Lansing 62112:07 PM
Warcraft III Editor Confirmed for the Mac11:56 AM
Wolfenstein Pre-Orders Ship Today!10:54 AM
Otto Matic, Reckless Drivin' Updated9:38 AM
Tactical Ops Retail Shipping for PC9:38 AM
The Dark Tide II: Nightfall Released9:38 AM
Unreal Tournament 2003 Previewed at Games Radar9:38 AM
 
View all of the Mac games news for Wednesday, April 24, 2002 on one page


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