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Wednesday, August 26, 2009

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Mad Skills Motocross Released
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | 1 comment

Independent developer Turborilla has released its first title for Mac OS X with the unveiling of Mad Skills Motocross. Inspired by classic games of the past the sidescrolling motocross title features a realistic physics engine, 40 racing tracks, a variety of tricks to perform, the ability to play against the computer or friends, and an in-game editor.

Mad Skills Motocross is a game that brings back fond memories from the good old days. Not via ”retro” graphics, but by sheer joy and playfulness. Mad Skills Motocross is meant to be fun, quick and deep.

You will collect achievement-like stars for tricks. You will get power-ups that might seem silly and useless at first. But these power-ups will be very useful once it ‘clicks’ for you and you figure out when and how to use them.

Unlike most other sidescrolling motocross games, Mad Skills Motocross is not about puzzles and obstacles. It is about racing against the computer or against friends. Getting to the finish line in the shortest time possible is the primary goal, while pulling off backflips, frontflips, wheelies and more is the secondary goal.

The gameplay of Mad Skills Motocross has a smooth and heavy feeling enabled by a custom in-house physics engine optimised for vehicle-avatar interaction. It has the best physics and gameplay feel of all motocross/enduro games, according to most of the 35 beta testers, and they have played them all.

An in-game editor and the ability to download and race against other people’s ghosts will increase the longevity of Mad Skills Motocross. You can be engaged for hours in Time Attack mode just to shave a couple of seconds off your personal best. Sharing and showing off is a big part of your life as a madly skilled motocrosser.

• There are 40 racing tracks for you to have fun with
• Even more fun: 12 special challenge tracks
• Enjoy 5 power-ups of varying silliness
• Collect all 30 stars, and you know you have Mad Skills
• The ragdoll crashes will amaze, and sometimes horrify
• Beat all 5 divisions, the last one is called Turbocharged Division

Updates for Mad Skills Motocross will be released continuously, the development does not stop just because the game has been released.
"That is the beauty of independent games, we do not rush on to the next project. We listen to our customers and keep on adding features according to popular wishes", says CEO Tobias Andersson.

• Macintosh, Windows and Linux
• Controls: keyboard, gamepad or mouse
• Mixed 2D and 3D with OpenGL
• 1.2 Ghz, 512 Mb RAM needed
Mad Skills Motocross costs $25.95 for the full version. A free demo of the game is available from the website below.

Mad Skills Motocross

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IMG Reviews Braid
6:17 AM | Marcus Albers | Comment on this story

Inside Mac Games has posted a review of the indie platformer Braid from Hothead Games. This platformer has taken the indie community by storm, with its unique gaphic style and excellent gameplay. Here's an excerpt from the review:

The first thing you'll notice is that there has never been a game quite like Braid. The puzzles often require thinking outside the box, and can look absolutely impossible until you get an inspiration like "hey, that looks like a bridge. I wonder if I can use that..." or "maybe if I sacrifice my shadow to bounce that sheep..." Sometimes you'll get stuck on a puzzle for hours just to realize that the solution was something ridiculously straightforward and sometimes you'll go through a complex series of movements on your first try, but there's no doubt that you'll enjoy every minute of it.
Follow the link below to read the full review.

IMG Review: Braid
Hothead Games
Buy Braid

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World Of Warcraft: Cataclysm Previewed
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | 3 comments

IncGamers has posted a comprehensive preview of upcoming features in World of Warcraft: Cataclysm, the next expansion pack for the ever popular MMO from Blizzard Entertainment. The expansion will allow players to adventure as two new playable races, bring their characters to level 85, take on challenging quests and dungeons in all-new zones, and experience dramatic changes to familiar aspects of the game in the wake of a world-shattering disaster.

Players will also get access to new race/class combinations. The following will finally become available, offering much more choice to players starting new characters or wanting to change old ones:

Human Hunter
Orc Mage
Night Elf Mage
Dwarf Mage
Blood Elf Warrior
Dwarf Shaman
Undead Hunter
Tauren Paladin
Tauren Priest
Gnome Priest
Troll Druid

Perhaps the biggest news about Cataclysm comes from the name; Azeroth as we know it now will cease to exist. Most of the zones in Azeroth will change, some massively, others in more subtle ways. An early Horde zone, The Barrens, will be almost unrecognisable, split into two zones, one half becoming a lush oasis, the second becoming a volcanic landscape. Desolace, a largely unexplored area these days, will also be getting a make-over, becoming green and fertile. Other zones will change their recommended level, as Blizzard revealed that the path of levelling should be smoother. A new character should be able to progress through zones in a much more linear way now instead of having to 'hop' from one zone to another. This also gives Blizzard a chance to revise early quests and quest rewards (no more armor with Spirit and Agility, for example).

There was some big news for guilds; a new guild advancement system is being brought in that will benefit players who are part of a guild. In Cataclysm, everything a guild member does will go towards the advancement of their guild. Things like completing battlegrounds, raiding and heroics will improve the guild's standing, accumulating guild experience points and gaining points in its talent tree. There will be 20 levels that a guild can progress through, unlocking abilities such as a group resurrection spell and guild heirloom item recipes.

Finally, after years of pleading from players, Blizzard is introducing the ability to use flying mounts in 'old' Azeroth. This makes sense, considering that the new content will be based here. We could hardly be able to only fly in some zones and not others, could we?. Many players were shocked to hear this news though, as Blizzard has denied the possibility of flying in Azeroth in the past, claiming it would take too much development time to allow it. Many zones were simply never designed to be seen from above, but this news shows just how much work must have gone into re-designing Azeroth. Almost all of Kalimdor and the Eastern Kingdoms must have been totally re-done.
Head over to the page below to read the full preview.

IncGamers: WoW Cataclysm Preview
Blizzard Entertainment
World Of Warcraft: Cataclysm

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City Of Heroes Reviewed
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Mac|Life has posted a new review of City of Heroes: Mac Special Edition, NCsoft's super hero themed MMO. The game gives players the chance to create the hero or villain of their comic book dreams and venture out to find allies and battle power wielding enemies. Mac|Life gave the game a score of 4 out of 5.

From the review:

Even during the uncertain first few hours of working with a character, City of Heroes is inviting for new players. A good interface makes inventory management easy, and it’s fun to join a pickup group, take out a lair full of assorted bad guys, and walk away with additional experience points, new powers with every level gained, and some extra cash to go shopping with later.

Even though City of Heroes is fun, friendly, and does a good job of avoiding the “grind” of many MMORPG titles (where a player can’t find a team and has to fight a repetitive slew of enemies solo to level up), there’s some room for improvement. Minor bugs affect character motion. There’s no in-game voice chat, so you’ll have to use Skype or iChat for team communication. And previous-generation MacBook owners will be disappointed to find that the game doesn’t support the Intel GMA950 chipset.

The Architect Edition expansion, included in the Mac version of City of Heroes, lets players create their own missions, as well as play and rate missions that other users have created. Oddly enough, this works. Players can enter the Architect Entertainment buildings located throughout the game and browse available missions. Choose one, and the game adjusts the mission’s difficulty for your level.

To create your own mission, enter an Architect Entertainment location and go to a console. There you’ll choose a map, enemies to place throughout the level, and an end goal, such as defeating a boss or rescuing hostages. You can custom-build characters, and fill in the relevant lines of text to tell a story. After testing the mission to make sure everything works as expected, you can publish it to the server.
Read more at the page listed below.

Mac|Life: City Of Heroes Review
City of Heroes
Buy City of Heroes

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New Missions For EVE Online Detailed
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

A new CCP Games developer blog post offers information on four new epic mission arcs recently added to its sci-fi MMO, EVE Online. The article includes a short description of each arc, and explanation of the design ideas behind epic missions, and a list of important things to keep in mind while playing through the arcs.

Caldari arc: "Penumbra"
In the heartland of State space, inter-corporate tensions come to the fore as Nugoeihuvi makes a move for some quick ISK, and you must choose who to trust and who to betray. The moral ambiguity continues through to the end, as the player begins to unravel an even darker side to corporate self-interest and the ongoing conflict in Black Rise.

Amarr arc: "Right to Rule"
For over a century the mighty Amarr Empire has been at an uneasy peace with the enigmatic Sansha's Nation. But the Sansha are pushing further into Amarr space without warning or explanation. Ministry of Internal Order agent Kandus Sandar enlists you to be his primary investigator, to uncover plots and annihilate threats as only a capsuleer can.

Gallente arc: "Syndication"
In the outer reaches of Gallente space, you are enlisted on a mission to escort a Federation Senator's son on his way to a holoreel shoot. En route, the boy is kidnapped by pirates. The chase is on, and you must enter the seedier parts of free-wheeling Gallente society in order to find him. Along the way, you'll encounter embedded Scope reporters, upstart Minmatar gangs, retired flesh merchants, and dubious Black Eagle chicanery as you search for the missing boy.

Minmatar arc: "Wildfire"
The Brutor tribe stands in to support an historical research effort being undertaken by the Republic University, a move bolstered by the presence of a powerful and capable capsuleer - that is, you. Repeatedly denied access to an important historical artifact, the academics are pitted in a constant struggle to uncover ancient truths, and it will be your mission to help them. The histories of conquered civilizations are seldom told in full by the victors, and many organizations will do their best to keep things that way.
Check out the rest of the blog post at the link below.

EVE Online Blog: Epic Is As Epic Does
CCP Games
EVE Online

Mac Games News for Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Diablo III Monk Class Previewed6:00 AM
Todd Hollenshead Discusses All Things id6:00 AM
Two Worlds II: Motion Capture, Player Workshops, Interview6:00 AM
WoW Cataclysm Goblins Examined6:00 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Tuesday, August 25, 2009 on one page

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