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Friday, September 1, 2006

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Trainz Mac Still On Track
12:19 PM | Tuncer Deniz | 6 comments

According to the latest Auran newsletter, the Mac version of Trainz is on schedule to be released prior to the end of the year. Interestingly enough the game is currently being ported to the Mac by U.K. based Feral Interactive and will be released for numerous languages including Japanese.

Auron has also posted a screenshot from the Mac version of Trainz. Be sure to follow the link below to check out the newsletter and screenshot.

Buy Trainz

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IMG Reviews Plantasia
2:44 PM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

IMG has posted a review of PlayFirst's Plantasia. Here's a clip from the review:

Plantasia is a game based on a concept similar to some other PlayFirst titles that our glorious readership may be familiar with; games such as Diner Dash or Mystic Inn. However, in this game the goal isn’t to serve as many patrons as possible in the time available. Well, not quite, anyway. The gamer takes on the role of Holly, a fairy in training who has one last step on her quest to become full-fledged. She’s already managed some awesome feats, like solving the Riddle of the Sphinx (hint: the answer is man), and for her final trick she must grant a wish. After she comes across a run-down old estate, she finds its owner, the surly Jack. He shrugs off Holly’s request for his wish, telling her to repair all the gardens at the estate. And so… Holly and her relationship with Jack are off to a rocky start.
To check out the full review, follow the link below.

IMG Review: Plantasia
Buy Plantasia

Apple Posts New Hot Deals
2:31 PM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

ClubMac has deals on a wide variety Mac compatible hardware and software products including: transform your paper documents into electronic files with ScanSnap from Fujitsu, includes Adobe Acrobat 7 for only $369.99 after $50.00 mail-in rebate!; need a great flat bed scanner? For the budget minded, get professional quality scans with the Epson Perfection 4490, only $199.00 after $50.00 mail-in rebate!;  Microtek's ScanMaker i800 FireWire/USB 2.0 (cables included) flat bed scanner w/8"x12" transparency adapter is perfect for those needing high quality and high performance - only $499.99 after $50.00 mail-in rebate!; Wacom Intuos 3 12"x12" USB digitizing Pen tablet with wireless mouse for only $509.99!; and much more. Get all the details at the following URL: 


Ramjet has Hot Deals exclusive prices on a wide variety Mac compatible RAM upgrades including: 2GB RAM Kit (2x 1GB modules) for MacBook Pro for only $244.00!; 1GB RAM Kit (2x 512MB modules) for Dual Core PowerMac G5 for only $106.00!; 1GB RAM module for the iBook G4 for only $182.00!; 2GB RAM Kit (1x 2GB module) for the iMac G5 w/iSight for only $262.00!; 2GB RAM Kit (2x 1GB modules) for the original iMac G5 for only $234.00!; and much more. Get all the details at the following URL:


Sweetwater Sound has deals on a wide variety Mac compatible hardware and software products including: Samson C03U studio quality mic for only $129.97!; Roland SH-201 49-key analog modeling synth for only $595.97!; quick, easy 1-in/1-out MidiSport compact MIDI USB interface from M-Audio for only $39.97!; connect your mic, instrument and line-level signals to audio inputs to digital audio workstations and analog devices with the ART Tube MP Project Series USB tube pre-amp for only $99.97!; Phonic Helix Board 12 FireWire 6-channel mixer w/Digital FX for only $299.99!; get a collection of 8-new instruments based on Reaktor 4 w/standalone or Plug-in capability with Electronic Instruments 2 XT from Native Instruments for only $99.97; and much more. Get all the details at the following URL: 


ioquake3 for OS X
7:10 AM | Cord Kruse | 1 comment

ioquake3 for OS X is available for download at Macgamefiles.com. The project aims to improve upon the Quake 3 source code released last year and to provide the best open source option for builders and players.

(Since the Quake 3 code was released) we have been cleaning up, fixing bugs, and adding features.
Our permanent goal is to create the open source Quake 3 distribution upon which people base their games and projects. We also seek to have the perfect version of the engine for playing Quake 3: Arena, Team Arena, and all popular mods.

This distribution of the engine has been ported to many new platforms and has had a slew of new features added, along with massive bug extermination. While we don't have PunkBuster (and never will), we do have more security for servers and clients from various bugfixes which aren't in id's client.
ioquake3 requires a Mac running OS X 10.0 or higher. Follow the links below for more information.

MGF: ioquake3
ioquake3 website

Another Night In Neverwinter
7:10 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Applelinks has kicked off its new Reviews Revisited feature with a look back at Neverwinter Nights. The popular role playing game is still going strong years after its initial release, having spawned two expansions, several premium modules, and a dragon's horde of fan made content. Applelinks gave NWN a heroic score of 5 out of 5.

Neverwinter Nights begins as all such games do; with the creation of your character. There's plenty from which to choose here, so much so that newcomers to the genre may feel a little overwhelmed, although seasoned pros will be happy: gender, race (seven options), class (eleven options), abilities, etc. Have no idea what an uncanny dodge is? Neither did I, and I didn't want to learn, so not a Barbarian, me. There's no shortage of Neverwinter Nights fan sites that offer tips on creating your character, so go to them if you're felling inundated. I found GameBanshee to be quite helpful, but there are others.

Your character created, you start the adventure, and you'll be starting it for quite a while. You think you're in the introduction, but that becomes the entire first part of the story; you end up about a quarter of the way through the game before you even leave town. Did I mention this game is long? Bioware claims 60 hours of gameplay, and that's if you play straight through without, you know, exploring and saving and dying and restoring. I probably took 60 hours just to get through the first part, but they were 60 solid gaming hours. The type of gaming hours that make you want to thump your chest and shout "I'm 15 again!" while seated at the dinner table.

Head over to the link below to read the rest of the review.

Applelinks Reviews Revisited: NWN
Neverwinter Nights
Buy Neverwinter Nights

CrossOver Public Beta Available
7:10 AM | Cord Kruse | 14 comments

Codeweavers has released a public beta of CrossOver, software which allows the running of Windows applications on an Intel Mac computer without the need for a copy of Windows itself. The public beta will only be available for 60 days.

We are providing a free time limited beta version of CrossOver Mac to anyone that is willing to test CrossOver.
CrossOver Mac will be the very best way to run your Windows applications on your Intel based Mac. It will let you install and run Windows programs as though they were native, all without having to buy or run a copy of Windows itself.
This beta version will give you a taste of the promise of CrossOver, but should be considered an early test release - we intend to make substantial further improvements before we ship a production version.
As is always the case with beta versions of programs, the CrossOver trial should only be installed by those willing to take the risk of installing unfinished software.

For more information check out the links provided below.

CrossOver Mac Public Beta
CrossOver Mac Public Beta FAQ
CrossOver Mac
CodeWeavers Forums: CrossOver Mac Gaming Issues

Eschalon: Book 1 Screenshot & Forum Q&A
7:10 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Basilisk Games has updated its website with new information about Eschalon: Book 1, the company's upcoming fantasy roleplaying game. A new screenshot is now available, as well as a question and answer thread on the official forums. Basilisk encourages anyone curious about the game to post questions.

Eschalon: Book 1 is the first in a planned trilogy which hopes to recapture the epic feel of classic games in the fantasy RPG genre. In Book 1 players will control a single character as he struggles to uncover the mystery of his identity. The game will feature strategic turn based battles, a large variety of character building options, and a non-linear storyline.

Click on the links below for more information.

New Eschalon: Book 1 Screenshot
Eschalon: Book 1 Q&A Topic
Eschalon: Book 1
Basilisk Games

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Civilization IV: Warlords Reviewed
7:10 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Gamezilla recently posted a review of the PC version of Civilization IV: Warlords. The expansion introduces warlord units to the mix as well as new scenarios and nations. Gamezilla labeled Civ IV: Warlords a Recommended Buy.

From the review:

There are new units, including the trebuchet and the trireme, and new world wonders, including the Temple of Artemis, and the return of the Great Wall.

A new type of Great Person has been added, the Great General, who can appear after winning a battle. A Great General unit then can be moved around and converted into a warlord (thus the game's subtitle) by attaching it to a military unit. The stack in that square then immediately gets 20 experience points to spread promotions around. The attached unit also gets free upgrades for the rest of the game, a nice benefit. A Great General can also be spent to erect a military academy or become a super specialist that gives all units created in a city an experience bonus. And, last but not least, the warlord feature includes the possibility of attaching to naval units, so even though it's called a Great General it can be made into a seagoing warlord, to correct that glaring lack of admirals in the base game.

The Mac version of Warlords is currently in progress at Aspyr Media.

The full review is available at the site listed below.

Gamezilla: Civilization IV Warlords Review
Aspyr Media
Civilization IV: Warlords
Buy Civilization IV: Warlords

A Short History Of id Software
7:10 AM | Cord Kruse | 2 comments

In the last of its "A Short History of.." series, Next Generation offers a look into the formation and growth of id Software. The article reveals the history of the company's creators, examines the gaming revolution sparked by Doom, and finally offers comment on the company's perceived failures.

Where it all went wrong is where id began to push the technology further than current systems knew how to handle – then started intentionally designing years into the future, just expecting the hardware would catch up with them. This started a mad rush for the fastest, most expensive systems and graphics cards, in turn creating an expectation that every game had to milk the newest hardware to its limit, creating a spiral that sent PC games back into their niche, where only the hardest of the hardcore could keep up with them and only the flashiest games had a chance of selling to this increasingly narrow audience. Today the cycle has kind of hit a lull – to the point where a halfway decent card from a few years ago is more than adequate to play the biggest games released last week, and where a bunch of subsided genres have started to make a comeback. Still, yikes.

And the other silly thing is that after the perfection of Doom, id began to pay less and less attention to the actual designs of its games, figuring its energy was better spent on the technology. Compared to Doom, Quake was a dreary and no-frills package (however impressive the engine and Nine Inch Nails were); Quake II barely had a single-player mode. Somewhere in between, John Romero got himself fired and stormed off in a huff, determined to prove the dominance of design over technology. (Tom Hall had already left, over squabbles with Romero.) In 1998 Half-Life exploded into prominence; since there was no competing with that, Quake III moved its emphasis fully over to multiplayer, resulting in criticism that it was more a ridiculously elaborate game engine than a videogame – much like, come to think of it, id's last couple of games. Even as a multiplayer sports event, the game was to some extent overshadowed by Epic's Unreal Tournament.

Read the full article at the site listed below.

Next Generation: A Short History Of id Software
id Software

Mac Games News for Thursday, August 31, 2006

Macgamestore: Massive Assault Digital Download4:32 PM
Myth II Universal Binary Released11:44 AM
No Open Beta for WoW: Burning Crusade10:33 AM
Apple Games Features Legion Arena9:52 AM
Excalibur: Morgana's Revenge Reviewed9:52 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Thursday, August 31, 2006 on one page

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