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Wednesday, December 17, 2003

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Aspyr Announces LOTR: Return of the King
9:25 AM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

Aspyr this morning announced that they will be publishing the Macintosh version of The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King. Based on New Line Cinema's film adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien's classic fantasy novel, The Lord of the Rings, The Return of the King game puts the fate of Middle-earth in the hands of the gamer. In the final installment of the blockbuster movie trilogy, players must destroy the One Ring by casting it into the Crack of Doom, freeing Middle-earth from the clutches of the Dark Lord Sauron.

Here's a bit more info on the game:

The Lord of the Rings, The Return of the King will allow players to journey through multiple gameplay paths, taking control of the motion picture trilogy's heroes.

Defend the walls of Minas Tirith as Gandalf, raise the Army of the Dead as Aragorn, Legolas, or Gimli, and with Frodo and Sam, deliver the ring to the fiery depths of Mount Doom.

Based on the environments from the upcoming movie, The Return of the King's third person gameplay will include immersive action and adventure elements set in rich, interactive levels.

An all-new multiplayer co-op mode will let players form their own Fellowship before embarking on their journey through Middle-earth.

Aspyr expects to ship the game in April, 2004. The conversion is being done by Beenox Studios.

Aspyr Media
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Alida Publishing Details Announced
12:09 PM | Jean-Luc Dinsdale | Comment on this story

Multi-platform game publishers Got Game Entertainment have announced that they have secured the North American publishing rights to the first person graphical adventure Alida.

The game, created by Australian developer Cos Russo, is set on Alida, a guitar-shaped, man-made island theme park created by a successful rock band of the same name. Things go awry, however, when money woes and paranoia set in; the band dismembers, and each musician sequesters themselves to different areas of the park, building increasingly elaborate systems to protect their remaining wealth. Several years after the band members have abandoned the island, the wife of one of the musicians asks you to visit the theme park in an attempt to rescue her husband, who has recently disappeared.

Spanning five CD-ROMs, Alida is filled with dozens of unique locations, intriguing puzzles, animated natural elements, and an entrancing original musical score. Five years in the making, the OS X version of the game requires a 350 MHz G4 running 10.1.2 or higher, while the Classic OS version required a 233 G3 or better.

The game, which will be available in North America for $39.99 USD, is expected to begin shipping in Q1 2004. A PC version of the game will be available later in the year.

Dejavu Worlds
Got Game Entertainment

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Jedi Academy Ships To Retailers
12:07 PM | Jean-Luc Dinsdale | Comment on this story

Speaking of prolific, Mac game publishers Aspyr Media have also announced today that the new instalment of the acclaimed LucasArts series - Star Wars Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy - is now shipping to retailers and should be showing up in stores soon.

In the new game, players take on the role of a new Jedi Academy student eager to learn the ways of the Force from Jedi Master Luke Skywalker. The game allows players to choose and customize their characters to their liking, from the look and gender of their on-screen avatar to the creation of their own lightsaber. The level selection playing model even allows players to choose their own ideological path – either fight for good and freedom, or walk down the crooked path that leads to the Dark Side.

The game features new vehicles, new weapons (including the powerful double-bladed lightsaber), new Force powers, and new locations taken straight from the Star Wars movies. The game also includes six multiplayer modes played in 23 new multiplayer maps.

Jedi Academy’s system requirements are listed at a 500 MHz G3 processor or better, equipped with a 32MB video card, 1.3 GB of disk space, and OS X 10.2.6. Jedi Academy was originally developed by Raven Software, and the Mac port was handled by Brad Oliver of Aspyr's internal development team.

Head on over to the IMG Store to order your own copy, where players can order the game for $48.95 USD; $43.95 USD for IMG Pro subscribers.

Aspyr Media
Star Wars Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy
Buy Star Wars Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy

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Aspyr Ships Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six 3: Raven Shield
11:10 AM | Jean-Luc Dinsdale | Comment on this story

In a email sent to our offices this morning, prolific game publishers Aspyr Media have announced that the Mac version of the new tactical first person shooter Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six 3: Raven Shield has been released and is now shipping.

The third title in the Rainbow Six franchise, Raven Shield features a new storyline in which Team Rainbow travels the world in a string of anti-terrorist operations. As with the previous two titles, players command a squad of highly-trained, multinational special operatives fighting against terrorist foes. Missions in this new incarnation of the popular series range the gamut of objectives, including discovering a cache of biological weapons, and stopping an armed gang from terrorizing a London bank.

In the games’ fifteen new single-player maps, the squad will see many diverse locations, including the Caribbean and Rio de Janeiro. The game also features six dedicated multi-player maps, and offers a range of 57 weapons to fight the terrorist rage. The game, built upon a modified version of the next generation Unreal engine, was originally developed by Red Storm Entertainment, and was ported to the Mac for Aspyr by i5works.

Players wanting to get their hands on the game should head over to the IMG Store, where the game is priced at $48.95 USD, and at $43.95 USD for IMG Pro subscribers. Pre-ordered copies of the game are now shipping from the IMG Store.

Aspyr Media
Rainbow Six 3: Raven Shield
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IMG Reviews Microsoft Wireless IntelliMouse Explorer 2.0
10:24 AM | Lucian Fong | Comment on this story

Microsoft has completely redesigned it's new generation of optical mice, complete with Tilt Wheel Technology, longer battery life, a "smart" receiver, a new ergonomic body, and four colorful shells. From glancing at the new features, one might be compelled to upgrade. Inadequate battery life and dodgy receiver reception have long been complaints of wireless mouse users. Microsoft promises to eliminate those two problems, while adding horizontal scrolling and some pizzazz to the styling. But will this be enough to convince mouse connoisseurs to put their old rodent out to the pasture and spring for Microsoft's new wireless wonder?

Here is an excerpt from the review:

I used the Wireless IntelliMouse Explorer for about two weeks and I was never able to find a grip my hand could comfortably maintain for an extended period of time. After an hours use, I experienced a mild cramp in my hand. I was forced to grasp the mouse more firmly than usual because the side grips are nearly frictionless, causing the mouse to slip out of my hand. Exacerbating the problem are short overhangs on the sides and a heavy rear weight bias. The batteries are positioned near the rear of the mouse, causing the mouse to tip backwards when it is lifted.
To find out more about the Wireless IntelliMouse Explorer 2.0, read the rest of the review.

IMG Review: Microsoft Wireless IntelliMouse Explorer 2.0
Wireless IntelliMouse Explorer 2.0

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Neverwinter Nights 1.61 Released
9:25 AM | Johan Hansén | Comment on this story

BioWare has released the new 1.61 patch for their epic role-playing game Neverwinter Nights. The new patch makes it possible for people using the recently released expansion pack Hordes of the Underdark to play on the same servers as people without the expansion, provided that the server doesn't run modules created for the new expansion.

Other changes include:

  • added Demonflesh Golem to game resources
  • added support for custom TLK files for single-player games. Multiplayer support for custom TLK files will be added in a future update.
  • Made damage reduction for DD and barbarians stack.
  • Added dm_visualeffect console command. first param is int for vfx #, second is duration in seconds (float, optional). Can target ground, doors, creatures and placeable objects.
  • Fixed NPCs trying to use items that they were not usable due to race, alignment or class restrictions and standing around looking dumb.
  • Fixed a bug with opening inventory while container is opened on top of open inventory, inventory was open but had no items.
  • Fixed a bug on LAN page where connect button was not being updated when the list is empty and a new server is added.
  • Fixed a crash in the level-up GUI if you had a invalid familiar
  • Fixed a crash when loading saved game when user managed to save between the time an OnHitCastSpell event was signalled and the time it impacted.
  • Fixed a crash when examining object just before area transition
  • Fixed a couple relatively rare crash bugs
  • Fixed a save/load bug when using a custom talktable file
  • Made some fixes to prevent game/character hacking. Sorry, but we will never publically discuss specific changes to the game with regards to hacking the game.
  • Made several game stability fixes.
  • To grab the patch, head over to the BioWare Mac patch page and follow the instructions there to install it.

    While there still hasn't been an official announcement from the Mac publisher MacSoft on whether there will be an official Mac version of any of the two expansions, the new patch makes it possible for impatient RPG fans to buy and install the PC version of second expansion. The first expansion, Shadows of Undrentide, has been possible to install since it was released. Please note that these installations are completely unsupported by both BioWare and MacSoft. For more information on how to install the expansions, read the topics on the BioWare Mac NWN forum linked below.

    Neverwinter Nights
    Neverwinter Nights Mac 1.61
    NWN Forum: 1.32 SoU Installation Guide
    NWN Forum: HoU mac installation guide
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    Mac Games News for Tuesday, December 16, 2003

    Screenshots From Cancelled Game Fallout 3 Posted12:19 PM
    Wall Street Reacts To Slow Games Sales11:53 AM
    Toysight Demo Released11:50 AM
    iDevgames Website Hacked Again11:48 AM
    WarCraft III Patch Released11:46 AM
    Shadowbane Development Plans8:47 AM
    Revolution 7.1 Driver 1.2.9 Update8:46 AM
    Soldier of Fortune II Q&A Posted6:00 AM
    World of Warcraft First Impressions6:00 AM
    View all of the Mac games news for Tuesday, December 16, 2003 on one page

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