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Thursday, April 26, 2007



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Postal 3 Coming To Macs? (Updated)
6:05 AM | Cord Kruse | 14 comments

Information revealed in a recent Running With Scissors newsletter offers good news to Mac fans hoping for a native version of the upcoming Postal 3, the latest in the controversial first person shooter series. The newsletter lists a 2008 release date for "Xbox 360 and PC/Mac."

Additionally, the company newsletter is being completely re-launched as an online magazine dubbed POSTAL NATION that will debut next month. And finally, as the franchise’s tenth anniversary comes to a raucous climax, RWS is deeply involved in the ongoing development of the long-awaited console premiere of POSTAL III , which will arrive on Xbox 360 and PC/Mac in 2008.
Head over to the link below to read the entire article, which features information about Postal's 10th anniversary and the upcoming movie.

Update: We contact Running With Scissors' Mike Jaret about Postal III and the Mac version. He had this to say, "We have supported the mac OS since the original Postal, and we have our crack Mac experts working on making POSTAL 3 work for Mac! I'm a mac owner myself."

Postal 10th Anniversary
Running With Scissors
Postal 2
Buy Postal 2


Macgamestore: Real Deal Casino High Roller
3:18 PM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

Phantom EFX's Real Deal Casino High Roller is now available as a digital download through Macgamestore.com.

The journey to high-roller riches begins here, with more realistic gaming excitement and tournament action than ever before in the Reel Deal series. Featuring Craps Roulette, the hottest new game that combines the action of the two popular games into one, High Roller is a thrill ride you won't want to miss. Combine it with Reel Deal Slots: Mystic Forest software (not included), and you'll have a high-stakes experience that just won't quit.

A new ranking system has been introduced for every table game and slot, which leads to invitation-only tournament play and the chance to earn a belt to drape over your player box to let everyone know you are the boss. For fun, you can buy a suite and decorate it with items from the mall, then host your own tournaments. In Quest Generator mode, you can obtain awards that will increase your winnings and give you special powers over games and slots. The Looking for a Party function lets you seek out other players who share your interests. If you can't make it to Vegas, let Vegas come to your Mac and let the games begin.

For more on Real Deal Casino High Roller, follow the link below.

Macgamestore: Reel Deal Casino High Roller


Apple Posts New Hot Deals
3:07 PM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

ClubMall - has deals on a variety of Mac compatible hardware and software products including: 320GB Monsoon external hard drive with FireWire/USB 2.0 from EZQuest for only $99.99!; 8" digital photo frame from Tricod works with most memory cards for only $119.99; ScanSnap S500M duplex color sheet fed compact desktop scanner from Fujitsu for only $449.99!; Kensington USB Wireless Presenter with Laser Pointer for only $49.99!; Photoshop Lightroom from Adobe for only $189.99!; Epson Stylus Photo 1400 13" x 19" dye-based color photo inkjet printer for only $339.99; and much more. Get all the details at the following URL: 

http://hotdeals.apple.com/clubmac/index.php

MacMall - has deals on a variety of Mac compatible hardware and software products including: 500GB My Book Pro Edition triple interface external hard drive from Western Digital for only $219.99!; EyeTV Hybrid USB-powered digital/analog TV converter for your Mac for from Elgato for only $127.99!; Signature Suit form-fitting leather case for 15" MacBook Pro from Case-Mate for only $149.99!; EndNote X from ISI Researchsoft - new way to manage PDF files for only $193.99; SyncMaster 941BW 19" wide-screen display from Samsung for only $164.98 after $20 mail-in rebate!; 18x external multi-format DVD +/- R burner from Sony, FireWire and USB 2.0 for only $199.95; and much more. Get all the details at the following URL: 

http://hotdeals.apple.com/macmall/index.php



Apple Shares Crack $100 Mark
12:27 PM | Eddie Park | 1 comment

Shareholders with investments in Apple have plenty of reason to be happy, as Apple's shares topped over $100 in today's market. Bouyed by Apple's recent announcement of an 88% increase in earnings for the year, prompting investors to jump on what seems like a sure thing.

Sales of both Macs and iPods continue to strengthen, with Apple reporting improved numbers in both:

Apple shipped 1,517,000 Macintosh® computers and 10,549,000 iPods during the quarter, representing 36 percent growth in Macs and 24 percent growth in iPods over the year-ago quarter.

“The Mac is clearly gaining market share, with sales growing 36 percent—more than three times the industry growth rate,” said Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO. “We’re very excited about the upcoming launch of iPhone in late June, and are also hard at work on some other amazing new products in our pipeline.”

According to USA Today, Apple Chief Financial Officer Peter Oppenheimer confirmed that this is Apple's most profitable March quarter ever. The recent surge also flies in the face of accusations brought up earlier this week by the Securities and Exchange Commission against two former Apple execs for improper stock option backdating.

With the iPhone getting ready to roll out, Apple isn't showing any signs of slowing down anytime soon.

Apple - Apple Reports Second Quarter Results
USA Today - Apple shares leap past $100 on strong earnings
Apple



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Halo 2.0.1 Patch Released
11:48 AM | Tuncer Deniz | 12 comments

MacSoft has released a new patch for Halo that includes significant speed improvements among other things. The 2.0.1 patch will update the Halo Universal Binary version 2.0 to 2.0.1.

Here's a list of fixes and changes:

• Overall performance on PowerPC Macs has been improved by up to 35% over the original Universal Binary version, depending on graphics configuration.

• Overall performance on Intel Macs has been improved by up to 25% over the original Universal Binary version, depending on graphics configuration.

• Cinematic full-screen effects run much faster.

• Now using hardware occlusion query for much faster performance when "Lens Flare" is set to High or Extreme.

• Fixed intermittent flashlight and vehicle headlight problems for all configurations.

• Flashlight and vehicle headlights fixed specifically for Intel GMA 950 video, and overall rendering much improved on Intel video.

• Fixed hanging bug when editing multiplayer game type.

Please note that in order to install the patch, you must already have Halo 2.0 installed. If you have any previous version of Halo before 2.0, you can upgrade to 2.0 from Macgamestore.com.

Macgamefiles: Halo 2.0.1
MacSoft
Halo: Combat Evolved
Macgamestore: Halo Universal Binary



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Multiple Paths To Success In Eschalon: Book 1
6:34 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

RPG Vault has posted a new developer-written informational article describing the upcoming Eschalon: Book 1, an RPG in development at Basilisk Games. The article reveals some of the alternate paths to solving missions available to players of the game depending on their character's abilities.

E:B1 is an RPG in the turn-based tradition of classics of the genre such as the Ultima, Might & Magic, and Wizardry series. The first in a trilogy, E:B1 will send players into massive outdoor environments and plunge them into dozens of sprawling dungeons as they quest to uncover the mystery of their character's origins.

Throughout the development of Eschalon: Book I, we have studied many other RPGs to figure out what makes some of them stand out above others. An obvious conclusion we came to is that a good RPG is one that allows players to exploit the game using the strengths of their character. More specifically, a good RPG will allow players to figure out for themselves the best way to achieve in-game goals using their character's abilities rather than the game simply presenting the player with prefabricated solutions based their character's class.

In this article, we'll take a look at one quest within Eschalon: Book I, and see how the flexibility of the game allows players to complete the quest using their character's unique abilities. This particular quest is given to the player very early on in the game; your character is told that he is required to enter a specific crypt to retrieve an item, but you soon discover that it is sealed with a reinforced, locked door. Now then, how you decide to get inside is up to you.
Head over to the site below to read more.

RPG Vault: Eschalon Book 1 Preview
Basilisk Games
Eschalon: Book I
Buy Eschalon: Book I



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Enemy Territory: Quake Wars First Impressions
6:20 AM | Cord Kruse | 1 comment

Eurogamer recently posted a preview of the upcoming Enemy Territory: Quake Wars in development at Splash Damage. Quake Wars is an online multi-player, team-based shooter that will travel back in time to the Strogg invasion of Earth, the catalyst for the Quake series. The forces of Earth will face off against the evil Strogg in a violent struggle for survival.

Despite having big maps (which, thanks to Quake Wars' megatexture technology, run exceedingly smoothly) any fighting that's going on is almost always happening in the same area. This is because maps consist of strings of objectives that have to be taken one at a time. For example, Refinery, the new map we played set in North Africa started, with the GDF escorting an MCP through a suburb, then them hacking a shield generator in a city centre and finally advancing into an oil refinery to blow up some Strogg machines. Over the twenty minutes the match lasted we'd ended up in every corner of the map but we were never, ever alone. Even the optional sub-objectives like capturing a forward spawn point or hastily assembling a bridge were always just on the outskirts of the current flashpoint - there was always a chance for someone on the other team to spot what you were doing.

So you've got up to 32 vicious, angry players funnelled into one area. Making carnage from there is easy - you just give each and every one of them the firepower to topple a Third World dictator. Take the Strogg Oppressor class. As well as possessing a rapid-fire Lacerator rifle and a pistol, he packs grenades that create force fields, grenades that call in a huge, we mean huge laser from orbit and shrap grenades. He can also summon an anti-infantry Rail Howitzer, a Plasma Mortar or the mighty Strategic Strike Gun from orbit, and once these have touched down they can be fired at targets miles away. And of course he has the option of commandeering any of a half dozen Strogg vehicles, like the Icarus jetpack or Hog buggy that comes complete with an energy 'ram' on the front that activates when it speeds up that lets it turn tanks into roadkill.
Aspyr Media recently confirmed work on a Mac version of the game. For the full preview follow the link below.

Eurogamer: Enemy Territory Quake Wars


Finding An Audience For Interactive Novels
6:12 AM | Cord Kruse | 3 comments

Macworld's Game Room recently examined Hirameki International's struggle to find a U.S. audience for it's AnimePlay line, a series of interactive visual novels. Like the "Choose Your Own Adventure" book series, the novels allow users to affect the outcome of the story.

Donnaloia told Macworld that despite the genre’s huge success in Japan, traditional software retailers in the United States have been very reluctant to give shelf space to Hirameki’s titles, to see if American retail consumers are interested in trying something new.

“They look at the titles and they see that they’re not games, and they don’t understand,” said Donnaloia.

As visual novels, Hirameki hoped that its software might appeal to bookstores and libraries as an alternative to traditional printed content. But it’s been a tough sell there, as well. Librarians and book buyers don’t quite get it, either, Donnaloia said.

“I’ve been up and down each coast and everywhere else,” he added, exasperated..
The full article is available from the site listed below.

Macworld Game Room: Visual Novel Publisher Woes



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Dominions 3: The Awakening Reviewed
6:10 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Shrapnel Games' Dominions 3: The Awakening was recently reviewed by Tacticular Cancer. The turn based strategy game offers a large number of units and spells, a customizable game setup, and both single and multiplayer excitement. Tacticular Cancer recommended the game to fans of in-depth strategy games who value options over graphics.

Unfortunately, not knowing anything about the game, the first impression is of something really ugly and way too complicated. It literally takes hours of patience of playing the tutorial to understand the basic concepts if you've never played Dominions. The graphics and user interface are on par with the first Civilization when it was released way back when. And then it takes several more hours to become good enough to not make any glaring mistakes. Once that barrier is broken though, the game begins to really shine with its strategic depth and richness. In today's terms having such a steep learning curve explains why this game is only for the few who are willing to put more time into *learning* a game than others are willing into *playing* a game - what with those recent shooters which take only 10 hours to play through? It'll take you 10 hours to really get into this game and then at least 200 hours to have played enough of it!

Generally, this game is most about your own imagination and your strategic thinking. After a while you stop noticing the ugly graphical representation (just as you did when playing Civilization I) and it all plays in your head. After a while even when not playing you begin to think about whether your newly summoned fiends will hold back that Jotunheim invasion. And the strategic part in you will constantly plan new strategies, think about whether playing that race is better than playing this race or whether you should concentrate on summons or on mighty mages. All that sums up to a much more intense role-playing experience than what you get from recent so-called rpg games such as Oblivion. The skills of your pretender god really influence your way of winning (or losing) and vice versa during time you influence the skills of your god. Having stats for every single unit in the game and them having a significant influence on the outcomes of battles certainly helps.
Check out the full review at the link below.

Tacticular Cancer: Dominions 3 Review
Shrapnel Games
Dominions III: The Awakening
Buy Dominions III: The Awakening



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World of Warcraft's Rob Pardo Interviewed
6:05 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Businessweek recently posted an interview with Blizzard Entertainment's Rob Pardo about the company's world conquering MMORPG, World of Warcraft. Pardo discusses his creative process and the difficulties involved with feeding the voracious appetites of gamers eager for new content to devour.

To a certain extent, it’s a matter of limited raw materials – the imagination and willingness of top-level developers. He explains, “Someone might say ‘hey Blizzard why don’t you just hire 500 developers and do expansions every three months?’ Well, great developers don’t grow on trees. It’s also a content challenge for us [internally]. As a creative person, how long can you make WoW content when you’re ready for something else? So not only do we have to find a lot of people who are really talented and who are willing to do this, we have to take some time to think about the team so that they’re always challenged.”

I ask him if getting these expansions out on a regular basis is a matter of survival. After all, if gamers aren’t getting fresh content, they’ll start looking elsewhere and WoW’s subscriber base will dwindle. “Calling it a matter of survival makes it sound grim,” he says, “It’s more a matter of entertainment. Of course we want our gamers to stay in the world for as long as we can. But I look at this from the positive angle of us trying to entertain them.  We’re trying to give them new experiences. One of my favorite analogies is how much an MMO is like a TV series. We’re developing episodes just like Lost or Seinfeld. We’re always trying to come up with something that’s true to the theory; that’s true to the content that people love; but that is new. From the moment that the series starts re-treading the same ground over and over again… well, that’s what we’re trying to avoid.”
The full article is available at the link below.

Business Week: WoW Interview
Blizzard Entertainment
World of Warcraft
Buy World of Warcraft


Mac Games News for Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Kudos Life-Sim Released9:38 AM
Apple Releases iQuiz for iPod, Aspyr Offers iQuiz Maker6:09 AM
Aspyr: New Sims Content On The Way6:09 AM
Myth World Cup 2007 Coming Soon6:09 AM
Pandala Comic Book Released6:09 AM
pop-pop UB Update In Progress6:09 AM
The Sims 2: Seasons Reviewed6:09 AM
 
View all of the Mac games news for Wednesday, April 25, 2007 on one page


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Tuesday, April 24, 2007
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