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Monday, August 22, 2005

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Aspyr Ships Lego Star Wars for Mac OS X
9:25 AM | Andy Largent | 3 comments

Aspyr Media sends word this morning that Lego Star Wars, the mashup of two childhood favorites, has shipped for Mac OS X. The game lets players control 30 different Star Wars characters as they progress through the 18 levels spanning the first three movies.

Additionally, the game has a "drop in" two-player mode, that lets a friend join in the action. Here are the final system requirements from the Aspyr site:

System Requirements:
  • Operating System: Mac OS X 10.3.8 or later
  • CPU Processor: PowerPC G4/G5
  • CPU Speed: 1.2GHz or faster
  • Memory: 512MB RAM
  • Hard Disk Space: 2GB free disk space
  • Video Card (ATI): Radeon 9000 or better
  • Video Card (NVidia): GeForce FX5200 or better
  • Video Memory (VRam): 32MB
  • Media Required: DVD drive required to install and play

    Recommended System Requirements
  • This game runs best on an iMac G5 or Power Mac G5
  • Video RAM: 64MB
  • For more information, check out IMG's preview of the game. Also be sure to get your order in at the Macgamestore if you haven't already.

    IMG Preview: Lego Star Wars
    Aspyr Media
    LEGO Star Wars
    Buy LEGO Star Wars

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    Quake 3 Source Now Available
    9:02 AM | Anthony Wang | 2 comments

    As promised last week, the Quake III Arena source code has been released by id Software under the GPL License. Along with the Windows and Linux source, there is a Xcode project file also present in the file to simplify building the game for Macintosh OS X. The download weighs in at 5.46MB, and requires the commercial game assets in order to run properly.

    To download the source code or to learn more information, please follow the links below.

    Download XCode Project File for Quake 3 Source
    Quake 3 Arena Source Code
    id Software
    Quake III Arena

    Civilization IV Q&A, New Screenshots
    9:02 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

    Gamespot recently interviewed Barry Caudill, Firaxis' senior producer for the upcoming strategy game Civilization IV. The interview focuses on changes made to deal with issues which have annoyed players in past incarnations of the series. Firaxis has taken steps to adjust such things as computer artificial intelligence, unit balance, resource distribution, and certain overused exploits.

    GS: What about the cutthroat, ruthless AI that came after you like you had insulted its mother and that knew everything about you, including the location of your every city and military unit? You'd have a huge lead, then suddenly, the AIs would gang up and come after you with a vengeance, even if you had been the most peaceful of neighbors. Have you addressed that in Civ IV?

    BC: We have addressed this in several ways. We have given attributes to the leaders instead of to the civilization. That means that some are more warlike, peaceful, trustworthy, etc. than others. Leaders will appreciate other leaders that share their traits and civic or religious choices, and they will tend to form blocs. If you find leaders that share your tendencies, it will be possible to form lasting (even permanent) alliances. Of course, you won't be able to make everyone happy, so you will have to choose your friends wisely. In addition, our beta testers from the Civ community have been helping us balance things for quite a while now, and they are incredibly thorough in their game testing. Finally, Soren is now at the point where he is totally focused on tweaking the AI, and that's a good thing.

    Civilization IV is scheduled for release in November on the PC. No word is yet available of a Mac version, but it seems like a possibility, given the series' history with the platform. For the entire interview and a few new screenshots click the links below.

    Gamespot: Nitpicker's Q&A Civ IV
    Gamespot: Civ IV Screenshots
    Firaxis Games

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    The Slacker's Guide on Marathon
    9:02 AM | Cord Kruse | 6 comments

    The Slacker's Guide recently took a trip down memory lane, a lane drenched in the blood of untold numbers of Pfhor. The guide takes a look at open source projects such as Aleph One and Marathon Rubicon which have both kept the original Bungie hit Marathon alive, as well as added new experiences for players to enjoy.

    In a cool fall afternoon in the mid-90's, I entered a stage of my life that's arguably persisted to this day. Bungie Software's Marathon series demonstrated what a first person shooter with interesting puzzle elements and detailed story line could be in an era of near-plotless shooter titles such as Doom. As I installed a copy onto my family's beleaguered LC II (complete with a whopping 4 MB of RAM), there was no turning back.

    Here was a title that showed what attention to detail could do, a hungry young company working from a hellish neighborhood in Chicago and pouring everything they had into making their game not merely adequate, but something that pushed the technology of the day to its limits. Intricate plots involving psychotic, megalomaniacal artificial intelligences that play upon and betray loyalties at a drop of a hat are never a bad touch either.

    For the entire article click the link below.

    The Slacker's Guide: Marathon Redux
    Aleph One
    Marathon: Rubicon

    Warcraft, A Game That Changed The World
    9:02 AM | Cord Kruse | 3 comments

    Computer and Video Games recently took a look back at the Blizzard game that started a franchise, Warcraft: Orcs & Humans. Featuring insights from Bill Roper, co-producer on Warcraft and CEO of Flagship Studios, and Michael Morhaime, programmer for the original Warcraft and now president of Blizzard, the article examines the game's origins and its impact on the gaming landscape.

    Most candidates for a 'Game That Changed The World' have a 'Yes!' moment in their development cycle. A point where you get the faintest mental nudge that you have something really good on your hands. According to Roper, that seminal moment happened when two members of the team - Allen Adham (a founder and president of Blizzard as well as the executive producer on the game) and Ron Millar (now with Lionhead Studios) - played the first multiplayer game.

    "After an intense battle, they both came running out of their offices, hands held high in victory, talking smack (boasting) like no-one's business." Although Roper gleefully notes that: "There was a sync error that caused the game to split, thus allowing them both to win, but the point was that playing an RTS against another person was incredibly fun. In that moment we knew we had something special."

    To read the entire feature head on over to the Computer and Video Games website listed below.

    CVG: Games That Changed The World: Warcraft
    Blizzard Entertainment

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    Burning Monkey Solitaire 2005 Reviewed
    9:02 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

    Applelinks recently posted a review of Burning Monkey Solitaire 2005, a Freeverse solitaire game known as much for the antics of its in-game monkeys as for its card game options. Here's a bit from the article:

    That's always been the strength of Freeverse card games, after all: the presentation. As I've mentioned before, the monkey characters became an ensemble cast, and you'll find yourself growing to know their names and welcoming their return in updated versions. Considering that you can click on each monkey on the screen for various comments and animated sequences, you may even soon have your favorite. It's as odd (and disturbing) as when you're watching Family Feud and you realize you actually care who wins.

    It's also a bit telling. I mean, it's kind of like popping some corn for a snack, then snacking on Doritos while you're waiting for the popcorn to finish. Solitaire is a diversion game for most, I'd wager, and yet Burning Monkey Solitaire 2005 is full of its own diversions, you know, in case you're growing tired of that intense solitaire action. Not only can you click on the monkeys, but you can type in secret words to release Easter eggs (hint, learn the names of the Freeverse staff). There was one gaming session where I spent more time trying to release Easter eggs than actually playing the game.

    BMS 2005 features over 26 games of solitaire including favorites like Klondike, Freecell, Pyramid, and 52 Pickup, not to mention the antics of its trademark monkey characters. To read the full review follow the link below. For another opinion on the game check out IMG's review as well.

    Applelinks: Burning Monkey Solitaire Review
    Burning Monkey Solitaire 2005
    IMG: Burning Monkey Solitaire Review
    Buy Burning Monkey Solitaire 2005

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    Gun Roar Released
    9:02 AM | Blake Buck | 3 comments

    ABA Games recently released their newest freeware game, Gun Roar. Gun Roar is an old school vertical shooter featuring some amazing retro graphics. Players pilot a boat and must destroy everything in their path with a barrage of neon bullets.

    ABA Games is a Japanese developer who also created two other freeware favorites: Torus Trooper and Tumiki Fighters. While techinally a PC only developer, a Mac port was recently posted on the Apple downloads page. Gun Roar is freeware, and weighs in just over 5 megabytes.

    To download the game, or visit the website, click the links below.

    Apple Downloads - Gun Roar
    ABA Games Website

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    The Mac Commandos Battlepack Examined
    9:02 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

    Macteens recently posted a review of the Commandos Battlepack. The Battlepack, ported to the Mac platform by Feral Interactive, includes both Commandos 2: Men of Courage and Commandos 3: Destination Berlin. Despite mention of a few bugs, Macteens declared the Battlepack a solid game.

    On a different topic, the path-of-least-resistance movement by the commandos is a great joy. Being able to send your troops in different areas of action and not having to worry about them walking into a barrier and stopping themselves takes away some of the frustration that could have ruined this game. Complexity is fine until a certain point where it reaches insanity. Thankfully, not a single mission in Commandos 3 requires the full half-dozen team of specialists with their incredible order-taking skills, compared to Commandos 2, which sometimes incorporates six of the squad members. In Commandos 3, some are just one-man missions, while most include 2 or 3 men to manage. Now, being able to make multiple cameras on one screen really helps out with the multi-tasking game that Commandos 2/3 is. My personal favorite is to have the camera follow each active team member for the time when they are split up from each other. Please note that this isnít automatic, but a few simple taps of the F2, 3, and 4 keys puts those multiple cameras in action. This somehow reminds me of a reality show with dedicated cameras on each of the dramaís significant players.
    For the full review check out the link below. Another review of the game can be found on IMG.

    Macteens: Commandos Battlepack Review
    IMG: Commandos Battlepack Review
    Feral Interactive
    Commandos Battle Pack
    Buy Commandos Battle Pack

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    Dofus Artbook Announced
    9:02 AM | Blake Buck | Comment on this story

    In addition to Ankama Studio's recent announcement of the release date for their popular MMORPG, Dofus, Ankama also announced the release of the Dofus Artbook. Dofus will be offically released on September 1st, and the current beta will be ending shortly. The Dofus Artbook will ship on the same day, and will feature illustrations from the game. From the Dofus Newsletter:

    DOFUS Artbook is a masterpiece of graphics which presents the whole universe of DOFUS.
    Only 1.000 copies are available and it only cost you $30 to have yours.
    But if you want to save money and benefit special offers, you might be interested to subscribe now to DOFUS.
    The official release of Dofus will also bring with it a new subscription plan, a drawback to those used to playing the free beta. The Artbook and subscription can be purchased together for a discount. To get more information on Dofus, or to order a subscription or art book, visit the dofus website by clicking the link below.

    Dofus Website

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    Six New Screenshots from Incredibles Sequel
    9:02 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

    Worthplaying.com is offering six screenshots of The Incredibles: Rise of the Underminer, the upcoming sequel to the original game. Underminer takes place directly after the end of the movie, detailing Mr. Incredible's efforts to stop the crazed Underminer from wreaking havoc on the citizens of Metroville.

    Here are a few features of Rise of the Underminer:

    - Play as Mr Incredible or Frozone
    - Cooperative gameplay with the ability to change characters at any point in the game
    - Upgrade your characterís moves and abilities as you advance through the game,
    THQ plans to release the game on November 11. To see the new screenshots click the link below.

    Worthplaying: Incredibles Screenshots
    The Incredibles
    Buy The Incredibles

    Mac Games News for Friday, August 19, 2005

    IMG Posts Inside Mac Shareware - August12:00 PM
    Macgamestore Announces Back To School Savings12:00 PM
    Custer Scores A Hole-In-One9:36 AM
    Ankama Studio Announces Upcoming Release Of DOFUS9:35 AM
    BlizzCon Goodies Revealed9:34 AM
    Playing Dress Up With Your WoW Character9:34 AM
    Public Test Realms Available For New WoW Patch9:34 AM
    Stubbs The Zombie Interview9:33 AM
    Unreal Engine 4 in the Works9:33 AM
    Fable: The Lost Chapters Developer Diary9:32 AM
    View all of the Mac games news for Friday, August 19, 2005 on one page

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