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Tuesday, July 22, 2008

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Summer Session Dating Game Released
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | 20 comments

Tycoon Games has announced the release of Summer Session, a Manga dating simulation game featuring multiple endings. Developed in collaboration with Hanako Games, Summer Session puts players in the role of Julius who struggles to find love while keeping up with his classes and a variety of other activities.

Riva Celso, programmer/designer of Tycoon Games stated "I am very happy about the result we obtained with Summer Session. It is a fun game with hilarious dialogue and intriguing characters, and very replayable thanks to the multiple endings."

Summer Session is available for PC and Mac platforms, and was made in collaboration with Hanako Games, a well known site for anime games fans. In the game you play the role of Julius, a socially-awkward young guy taking summer classes at his university. During his time at the campus he'll meet several characters, from his cute classmates to his sexy biology teacher. What will it take to get a date with one of them? Every choice you make affects Julius's skills and his reputation with the other characters. Lift weights and buy new clothes to impress the ladies, but don't forget your schoolwork Ė if you fail the final exam, you'll lose your chance at love! Play your cards right and you'll unlock special endings.
Summer Session is a Universal Binary application and requires OS X 10.4 or higher. It costs $19.95 for the full version of the game. A free demo is available from the website below.

Summer Session
Tycoon Games

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IMG Reviews Darkwind: War on Wheels
7:18 AM | Marcus Albers | Comment on this story

Inside Mac Games has posted a review of the Massively Multiplayer Online RPG Darkwind from Psychic Software. The game, which takes cues from classics like Car Wars and Roadwar 2000, is a turn-based car combat game. Here's a clip from the review of the game:

Darkwind is about vehicle combat, yes, but vehicle combat is a means to an end. There really is no "You" in the game- your in-game entity is your gang. Through vehicle combat, you advance your gang's skills and equipment loadout. Vehicular combat isn't without perils, as the in-game injury system is harsh. No sickbays, no curing spells, no magical tonics. Got a bad wound? That member might be out for two weeks. While time passes quickly in the Darkwind universe, that's a long time for your star race driver to be out. One of the more valuable sets of gang statistics is your Fame and Reputation. Reputation advances positively for hunting down raiders or other miscreants, but negatively for smashing the more law-abiding members of society. Fame just continues to spiral upward as you progress in the land of Evan. Both are public statistics, and influence both human players reactions as well as NPC reactions to your gang.
Follow the link below to read the full review.

IMG Review: Darkwind: War on Wheels
Darkwind: War On Wheels

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Retro iPhone RPG Vay Reviewed
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Touch Arcade recently posted a new review of Vay, an iPhone port of the SegaCD original. In the game players take the role of Heibelger, Prince of Lorath, in his quest to find his kidnapped bride and avenge his slain subjects. Touch Arcade recommended the game to fans of old school RPGs who aren't concerned with dated graphics.

From the review:

Gameplay in Vay is fairly straightforward and consistent with the typical top-down RPG of old.† The game involves trekking about a vast world consisting of castles, towns, caverns, and most every sort of terrain.† Several other characters found in the game world can join Heibelger (as heís known in the iPhone version) on his quest and aid him in battle.† And battles, there are many.† Character leveling is achieved through victory in the gameís turn-based battle system in which characters can attack with weapons and spells or protect themselves with shields.† At times it seems that the heroís party is attacked every five paces.† While I find this to be a bit excessive, character leveling is important when it comes time to battle the various bosses encountered in the game world.† Die-hard RPG hounds, however, may take the frequent skirmishes as par for the course.

The various towns strewn about the land are full of characters who can be engaged in conversation in which helpful information may be found to aid Heibelger in his quest.† Weapons, armor, and other items may be purchased with gold found in treasure chests or obtained in battle. The high level of character-to-character dialog ads a nice degree of depth to the game.

One of the particularly nice points of this title is its soundtrack.† The music is wonderful.† Every setting seems to have its own score and the sound quality is superb, thanks to the original title featuring CD-based audio tracks.† The music adds a great deal of atmosphere to the overall Vay gameplay experience.
Click over to the site below to read the full review.

Touch Arcade: Retro RPG Vay Arrives For iPhone

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Wakfu: New Screenshots, Video
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Worthplaying recently posted several new screenshots from Wakfu, an upcoming tactical MMORPG from the creators of Dofus. A new trailer of the game is also available.

Taking place in the same world of the flash based Dofus, although far in the future from the events of the original game, Wakfu will feature a cartoon based visual style and an environment which responds to player actions.

The story of Wakfu takes place a long time after that of DOFUS. An ogre named Ogrest gathered all the six Dofus and gained boundless powers. The ogre offered his beloved the dragon eggs. But she turned down the present though worthy of the gods themselves, and Ogrest started shedding tears of rage and pique. The tears of the ogre made the ocean level increase so much that parts of the World are now submerged to the inhabitants' great displeasure. Now gods and heroes of the World are starting a new adventure before reaching Ogrest and confront him in an ultimate fight!

In Wakfu, the player will discover a vast world inhabited by all sorts of surprising creatures. Game servers will be able to host up to 25,000 players simultaneously.
View all the new visuals at the sites linked below.

Worthplaying: Wakfu Screenshots
Wakfu Video

Activision Blizzard CFO Discusses Merger
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

MVC has published a new interview with Activision Blizzard CFO Thomas Tippl. In the interview Tippl discusses the merger's impact on the new company including job cuts, autonomy of existing teams, and possible future game projects.

How much autonomy is Blizzard going to retain Ė and is there scope to use Activison and Vivendiís licences within that division?
Blizzard has established the most successful business in all of video games. Itís not like we need to go there and fix something. Blizzard will continue to operate as they have done in the past Ė fairly independently.
They have a top notch management and development team and we have a very high degree of confidence that they know how to run the business and a track record to prove it. In addition, they have an extraordinarily strong product pipeline, with Starcraft, Wrath of the Litch King and Diablo 3.
Itís tremendous, and it would be a big mistake for us to distract them with new ideas. But there are some opportunities we will be exploring, especially relating to their expertise in Asia. If you consider that Guitar Hero is not in Asia yet and that the only way to create a business there is figuring out ways to work in internet cafes, etc., we hope to benefit from their expertise.

Whatís going to be the main effect of the merger on your studio network?
Itís not about the size, but the quality of the developers. If you look at Vivendi Games, Blizzard is top notch, and within their business, thereís some very good development talent there that can complement what we already have. Weíll be going through a portfolio review process and the idea is to come out with a stronger team than each company had on a standalone basis.

Read the full Q&A at the page listed below.

MVC: Activision Blizzard CFO Interview
Activision Blizzard

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Blizzard Game Info Roundup
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

SCLegacy has posted a complete list of articles from its coverage of Blizzard Entertainment's recent Worldwide Invitational event in Paris. Articles in the collection include information about the upcoming StarCraft II, the recently released Diablo III, and commentary from Blizzard developers.

From Comprehensive StarCraft II Review:

The backbone of all great Protoss forces, the Zealot, has been reinstated with the upgradeable Charge passive ability. It's a fantastic and necessary component to this classic fighter. The Zealot still does remarkably well against both Zerglings and Marines. The Charge upgrade is a necessity as early as you can get to it. With the Terran's rolling out Marauders, Charge is the only chance Zealots have to be useful. They do better all the way through the game against the biological Zerg.

The Stalkers are one of the more fun units to use. Their Blink ability makes them incredibly useful, especially in the first half of the game. They're a must-have unit as it's the earliest unit that can attack air as well as ground. While they aren't especially hearty, Blink gives them a new lease on life and makes them a dangerous force in groups of four or more. In groups, their focus fire is enough to take out Roaches with ease and their extra mobility makes sneak attacks or harassment an enjoyable addition to the game. Stalkers were present in every game I played or witnessed; they're a worthy addition as a new staple of the early to mid-game Protoss force.

Nullifiers are actually more useful than I had anticipated. Their Anti-Gravity ability was very useful in destroying chokes and taking key enemy units out of commission. While Anti-Gravity removes chokes, Force Field excels at creating them. In many of my games my force fields funneled the Zerg into Psi Storms or Colossi beams - creating the perfect death trap. The Nullfier's attack, while not overly powerful was enough to make them useful even if they didn't have the energy to cast their abilities. It could attack air and ground, which complemented any force and made a nice supplement to the early game Stalker air defense.
Head over to the link provided below to read more.

SC Legacy: 2008 WWI Article List
Blizzard Entertainment
StarCraft II: Wings Of Liberty
Diablo III
Buy StarCraft II: Wings Of Liberty
Buy Diablo III

Mac Games News for Monday, July 21, 2008

Eschalon Book II: Weapon Equipping Speeds6:00 AM
Neverwinter Nights 2 Reviewed6:00 AM
Spore Hands-On Preview6:00 AM
SteamTRAIN On Sale Now6:00 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Monday, July 21, 2008 on one page

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