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Thursday, April 29, 2010

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StarCraft II: Wings Of Liberty Mac Beta Available To Testers
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | 9 comments

Blizzard Entertainment has announced that the Mac beta version of the eagerly anticipated StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty is now available on North American servers, with releases for other regions coming soon. StarCraft II will pick up a few years after the end of Broodwar and will feature a single player storyline focused on the Terrans, as well as new multiplayer action for gamers to enjoy.

StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty is the sequel to Blizzard Entertainment’s 1998 hit StarCraft, which has been hailed by players and critics worldwide as one of the top real-time strategy games of all time. StarCraft II will once again center on the clash between the protoss, terrans, and zerg, with each side deploying favorite units from the original StarCraft, along with numerous upgraded and brand-new units and abilities that allow for fresh tactics and strategies. The game's new 3D-graphics engine maintains the speed and responsive control of its predecessor while rendering hundreds of units onscreen for massive battles.

StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty's solo campaign will continue the epic saga where it left off in StarCraft: Brood War. The storyline chronicles the exploits of marshal-turned-rebel-leader Jim Raynor and features both familiar faces and new heroes. Players will be able to tailor the experience, choosing their own mission path and selecting technology and research upgrades to suit their playing style throughout the 29-mission campaign.

Several challenge-mode mini-games will also be included, with focused goals designed to ease players into the basics of multiplayer strategies. In addition, dozens of multiplayer maps will be available for competitive play through the new version of Battle.net, which is launching alongside StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty. This new version of the service has been built from the ground up to offer an unparalleled online play experience, with new features such as voice communication, character profiles and achievements, stat-tracking, ladders and leagues, cloud file storage, and more.
UPDATE: Mac System Requirements
  • Mac® OS X 10.5.8, 10.6.2 or newer
  • Intel® Processor
  • NVIDIA® GeForce® 8600M GT or ATI Radeon® X1600 or better
  • 12 GB available HD space
  • 2 GB Ram
  • DVD-ROM drive
  • Broadband Internet connection
  • 1024X720 minimum display resolution
  • Intel® Core 2 Duo processor

Those with beta keys can download the Mac beta client by signing into the Battle.net site. For more information click over to the pages listed below.

Blizzard Entertainment
StarCraft II: Wings Of Liberty
Buy StarCraft II: Wings Of Liberty

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WoW: Cataclysm Echo Isle Preview Unveiled
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Blizzard Entertainment has updated its official World of Warcraft: Cataclysm website with a preview of changes to the Echo Isles and the introductory questing experience for trolls that will be based there. The new content includes new lore and artwork from the area.

As the Darkspear trolls prepare to invade the Echo Isles and reclaim the land bestowed upon them by Thrall, we bring you a first look at these islands as they will exist in Cataclysm. After Zalazane’s fall, a dramatic discord within the Horde leadership will usher in a new era for the Darkspears as they will once again call the Echo Isles home. And this time Vol’jin refuses to run. Read more about the new introductory questing experience for trolls in Cataclysm.
Check out the new content at the page below.

WoW Cataclysm: Echo Isle Preview
Blizzard Entertainment
World Of Warcraft: Cataclysm

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Show Your Bejeweled Love Contest Offers iPads As Prizes
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

PopCap Games has announced the beginning of its “Show Your Bejeweled Love” contest as part of the company’s celebration of the 10th anniversary of its flagship franchise. The contest will continue until May 26th 2010 and is open to residents of the US, Canada (except Quebec), and the UK.

Participants must submit a YouTube video illustrating or describing their affinity for Bejeweled in two minutes or less. 10 winners will have the chance to win prizes such as an iPad or a limited edition notebook PC.

“More than half a billion people worldwide have played Bejeweled over the past decade, which still blows our minds,” said Jason Kapalka, co-founder and Chief Creative Officer at PopCap and co-creator of Bejeweled. “ Their enthusiasm for the game is unquestioned and we thought it would be fun to reward that incredible devotion in some way.”

From the weird and wacky to the fun and fanatical, all sorts of submissions are welcome. US$5,000 in prizes will be awarded to the top 10 entries, including a limited edition notebook PC and two iPads, each with custom-designed, “Bejeweled 10th Anniversary” engravings.

Members of PopCap’s art and game design teams will comprise the judging committee.

Judging will occur throughout the contest period and will be based on three equally weighted criteria: enthusiasm, presentation and knowledge of Bejeweled. Top entries will be posted on the site throughout the duration of the contest.

Click over to the links below for more information about the contest.

Show Your Bejeweled Love Contest
PopCap Games

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Portal 2 Previewed
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Hooked Gamers has published a new preview of Valve Software's upcoming first person action puzzler, Portal 2. The company recently announced that Portal 2 will be making its way to Mac users along with the Steam digital download service and the company's other game titles.

Portal's unique puzzle gameplay and the "charming" relationship between the player and GLaDOS yielded an immensely replayable experience. The only thing that many people could say was missing was cooperative play. While Narbtacular Drop, the Digipen test product that eventually became Portal, experimented with the idea of multiplayer the overall experience turned out to be a hectic and confusing one according to Valve testers. It seems that Valve has worked out the kinks this time around however and recognizes that Portal was one of the strongest non-multiplayer experiences to be had with friends.

While Chell has enough to worry about with GLaDOS intent on making sure that she makes it through the tests or die trying, players who wish to do co-op will find themselves to a logically concurrent separate campaign. Instead of placing players in the shoes of other humans two new test subjects have been jury-rigged from an AI core and a dismantled turret. These two nameless robots each have their own portal gun though the nature of four portals instead of two could potentially lead to a far more perplexing experience than players have ever dealt with. GLaDOS will spend the majority of her time monitoring Chell's progress with murderous intent but she will pop in at the end of a test chamber to insult you; it seems that she doesn't have much love for other metallic beings.

Luckily Valve is looking to make the experience less puzzling than they appear. In addition to allowing both splitscreen and online co-op, online players will have the option of a picture-in-picture screen that shows their partner's point of view. Valve will also be including a context wheel command system that will help facilitate communication between players
Head over to the page below to read the rest of the preview, which includes spoilers of the plot in the original Portal.

Hooked Gamers: Portal 2 Preview
Valve Software

Mac Games News for Wednesday, April 28, 2010

A Few Facts & Speculations About Steam For Mac6:00 AM
Din's Curse Discussed6:00 AM
Eschalon Book II Coming To Mac Users May 266:00 AM
WoW Cataclysm: Badges And PvP Point Changes6:00 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Wednesday, April 28, 2010 on one page

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