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Monday, November 24, 2008

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Galactic Assault: Prisoner Of Power Available
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | 6 comments

Virtual Programming has added Galactic Assault: Prisoner Of Power to the Deliver2Mac download service. Based on the sci-fi novel Inhabited Island, the strategy game challenges players to battle for supremacy on the planet Saraksh. Galactic Assault features tactical combat, 4 unique races, more than 70 units, and a 3D environment which includes a day/night cycle and weather effects.

Thrust yourself into a deep and harrowing story as four unique races battle for supremacy on the planet Saraksh. Each race possesses and can easily develop distinguishable technologies, leading to the presence of vastly different heavy armored units, transport units and aviation units on the battlefield.

The battles take place among vivid extraterrestrial landscapes in 3D with day and night changes as well as dynamic weather conditions that affect the gameplay.

In addition to the interesting story line, Galactic Assault offers a revolutionary tactical combat system, more than 70 unique units of great power and high-definition visuals that will immerse players in a horrendous story of war and survival.
• Immersive storyline based on the Sci-Fi novel "Inhabited Island"
• 4 totally unique races: Land of the Fathers, Khonties, Barbarians and Island Empire
• Realistic battle system (camouflage, fog of war, return fire, mine laying, fortifications, land and air troop carriers)
• Advanced technology tree and unit upgrade system
• Realistic full 3D environment with day/night change and weather effects
• Cinematic Camera mode showing the most dramatic moments
System Requirements:
• OS X 10.4.11 or higher
• Intel or PPC G5
• GeForce 5200, Radeon 9600 (not GMA950)
• 64 MB VRAM, 512 MB RAM
• 1.6 GB hard disk space
• Broadband connection for Internet play & Product Registration
Galactic Assault costs $29.95 and is available as a digital download at the link below.

Deliver2Mac: Galactic Assault
Virtual Programming
Galactic Assault
Buy Galactic Assault

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IMG Reviews Jade Empire: Special Edition
8:08 AM | Marcus Albers | Comment on this story

Inside Mac Games has posted a review of Bioware's Eastern-influenced action-RPG, Jade Empire: Special Edition. Bringing an involved storyline and excellent voice-acting, the game is one of a batch of new Cider ports from TransGaming and GameTree Online. Here's an excerpt from the review:

If you have played Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, you'll have a good idea of how the mechanics of Jade Empire work. You walk around areas, talking with various NPCs (non-player characters). Some will give you important information, others simply small-talk. Some characters are there to advance the story in some way, whether it is giving you a new ability, giving you information about your current quest, or accompanying you on your quest. Dialog is handled by giving the player a number of choices for responding to a particular comment. Sometimes, it consists of a list of responses meant to further extract information from a conversation. Other times, the choices are meant to direct your moral alignment. Choose the respectful response, and you will head toward the high path, or Way of the Open Palm. Choose the arrogant response, and you journey down the low path, or Way of the Closed Fist. As you make these choices, you will further direct your alignment and in so doing give your character access to different magic and certain items. The choice is always yours, and, even when you have descended deep down the low path, you can still redeem your character should you choose to do so.
Follow the link below to read the full review.

IMG Review: Jade Empire: Special Edition
Jade Empire: Special Edition
Buy Jade Empire: Special Edition

Jeff Vogel Discusses Avernum Series, Indie Gaming
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Reason Magazine has posted a new interview with Spiderweb Software's Jeff Vogel. The interview covers a variety of topics related to Spiderweb's indie RPG titles including the plot of the Avernum series, and the chances of an online multiplayer title from Spiderweb.

reason: The Avernum series doesn’t have simple cookie-cutter outcomes. The adventures carry ethical overtones, both positive and negative, no matter what options you select. Is there something about that ambiguity that appeals to you?
Vogel: Yes. I’m fascinated by politics, and I’m fascinated by the process of how things get done—how ugly and compromised pretty much any dream can become. I have very little patience, in general, with ideas of some people being absolutely good or absolutely bad, or some race of creature being absolutely good or absolutely bad. In The Lord of the Rings, there are these things, and they’re called “orcs,” and they’re all bad, and they’re all evil, and their only purpose is to be killed. I find that to be extremely boring. Whenever I watch The Lord of the Rings, I find myself wondering, “So what are orcs like? Why are they like that?”
Obviously, there are some cases in real life where people are doing things that are all wrong, like the Nazis, or the genocide in Darfur. But most of the time, once you get under the surface, there are a lot of contests between people where either side isn’t absolutely right or absolutely wrong, and I find that a lot more interesting.
So in the Avernum and Geneforge games, I like to give the players choices. No cut-and-dried solutions, but instead situations where they have to go, “What do I want to do here? What side, what faction, do I think really has more of a point?” If I get to the point where the player has to actually stop and think about it, then I think I’ve made an interesting game.

reason: Do you plan to move toward online play?
Vogel: There are a lot of reasons why we’re never, ever going to do that. First off, I’m not a very good programmer. I’m a pretty good game designer, but to create an online sort of game requires a frightening level of resources far beyond what our tiny shop can manage.
On top of that, it’s not really our niche. When you’re a small indie company, generally, to survive, you have to find some small area where you don’t have to be constantly fighting with the big guys and write games to fill that area. You step out of that niche at your peril.
We’ve been writing single-player role-playing games, so I’m competing with practically nobody. There are only one or two decent single-player role-playing games that come out in any given year. If I write a massive multi-player game, I’m competing against people with $50 million budgets, and they will kill me.
Indie game development is a big, growing thing. It’s a chance for people who live in their basements, small people with a dream, to create something, and that’s really catching on. But if you want to do that, you have to know your limits.
Check out the full Q&A at the link provided below.

Reason Magazine: Jeff Vogel Interview
Spiderweb Software

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Kivi's Underworld Reviewed
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

AtomicGamer has published a new review of Soldak Entertainment's casual action RPG, Kivi's Underworld. In Kivi's Underworld players adventure as one of 20 character classes against a variety of dangerous foes. AtomicGamer gave the game a score of 89%.

From the review:

The graphics seemed a bit dated compared to most games, but don't let this fool you into thinking it detracts from the gameplay. The animation of an enemy lunging at you to attack was one of my favorites. In some parts of the levels there is a sensory overload with so many different items dropping with no frame rate issues at all. I was impressed by this clean implementation, as in some games I have noticed slowdown when too many objects would appear at once.

The controls are very simple with a click to lead the direction of your character. There are 3 spell slots allocated to you which you can activate by either by clicking on them with your mouse or by pressing the appropriate number key. As the game progressed, the need for the spells begins to show as the levels became more and more difficult and the enemies advance their skills. I did wish they had included the ability to rotate the camera in some of the levels, as you only get one view of the level. It's not critical for the game, but would have been a nice to have.

The fantasy-style music kept me in the spirit of the game by adding another dimension to the action. The music itself was not unique but it fit in well with a classic fantasy game. Sounds of slaying and killing also entered my ears for additional enjoyment as I rampaged through the quests on a killing spree. I would get excited when hearing the fall of my foes as the carnage levels increased around me. I also felt the narrator did an excellent job with the voice-over with an almost mystical tone to his voice when describing the quests to you. Being a bit inpatient at time, there is also the ability to skip past these so you can step right into the action.
Head over to the site below to read the full review.

AtomicGamer: Kivi's Undeworld Review
Soldak Entertainment
Kivi's Underworld

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Pirates Of The Caribbean Online Q&A
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Massive Gamer has posted a new interview with Mike Goslin about Disney's MMO, Pirates of the Caribbean Online. The interview examines the state of the game a year after it's initial release, surprises encountered along the way, and plans for the future. PotCO features real-time combat, ship to ship battles, and a variety of other pirate themed activities.

Massive Gamer: When you look back on the last year, what’s been the biggest surprise? I mean, what do you look at today and think, man, a year ago I would NEVER have predicted that?
Goslin: We got a lot of older players. We were focusing on young teenagers as our audience, and hoping for some of their parents. But a large percentage of players are over 18. Some of them are playing with their kids, but a lot are just older, more casual MMOG players. We wound up much more in the competitive space than we thought we would be.

Massive Gamer: What demographic has responded best to POTC?
Goslin: Older players became subscribers, but that’s not to say the younger players didn’t get their parents involved. We’re still trying to tease out the whys behind our demographics.
A lot of players tell us that what drove them to the game were the films. That served as a great bridge for people who hadn’t tried this kind of game before. We have a pretty large number of customers new to the space.
Visit the page linked below to read the rest of Goslin's comments.

Massive Gamer: PotCO Q&A
Disney Online
Pirates of the Caribbean Online

Mac Games News for Friday, November 21, 2008

Book Of Legends Now Available For Mac6:24 PM
Geneforge 5: Overthrow Released For Macs6:00 AM
Lugaru Video Contest: Win A Free Copy Of Overgrowth6:00 AM
New Diablo III Screenshots & Artwork Available6:00 AM
Wrath Of The Lich King Sets One Day Sales Record6:00 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Friday, November 21, 2008 on one page

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