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Wednesday, April 10, 2002

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Rune: Halls of Valhalla Finally Shipping
6:00 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

Glenda Adams, president of Westlake Interactive, has announced the upcoming release of Rune: Halls of Valhalla. This standalone expansion for the popular Unreal Tournament-based Viking slasher was finished months ago, but was caught in a web of complications as the original publisher, Gathering of Developers, went out of business.

A partnership was recently formed between Westlake, original developer Human Head Studios, and Mercenary Studios, the company of Rune diva Tricia "Kazi Wren" Harris, to bring Hall of Valhalla to Mac gamers. The game will sell for $25 and should start shipping by April 22. While Halls of Valhalla expands on Rune, it's not necessary to have the original game installed in order to play it.

Here's an excerpt from the press release:

Two new modes (Headball and Arena) and additional maps, along with a multitude of new, animated creatures including three new fearsome female characters will keep the melee going. The Headball mode is a team based sports game in which players rend the limbs or heads of their enemies and score points by throwing them through a goal. It's kill or be killed in the Arena mode as gamers compete in one-on-one duels against varying opponents. Similar to the original game, HOV will utilize an enhanced version of Epic Games' Unreal Tournament game engine and will feature amazingly life-like animations, a detailed weapon system and a unique combat system.
While Halls of Valhalla is not Mac OS X-native, Adams has noted in the past that a surge in popularity could make it a possible side-project. Check out the pre-order page now to get your copy as soon as it becomes available.

Rune: Halls of Valhalla
Human Head Studios
Mercenary Studios
Westlake Interactive
Buy Rune: Halls of Valhalla

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IMG Reviews CH's Fighterstick USB
12:42 PM | IMG News | Comment on this story

If you're a flight sim buff, you might want to check out our review of CH Products' Fighterstick USB. CH Products offers an aggressive top-of-the-line joystick that, despite some minor setbacks, is sure to please the most demanding of jet jockeys. Is it worth the hefty price?

Here's a snippet from the review:

The Fighterstick is faithfully modeled after the control column used in the Boeing F-16 Fighting Falcon, the US Air Force's premier multirole fighter — and it shows. There are only a few differences between the Fighterstick and the F-16's stick; namely, the tension (which we will get into later) and the lack of a pinky-controlled paddle on the Fighterstick.

Littering the surface of the stick are a trigger, three buttons, an eight-way POV hat, and three four-way auxiliary hats. In addition, there are two trim controls and a third wheel on the base (which should be a crime if used as a throttle). The stick is very large; only a very small number of people will have hands large enough to reach all the controls without stretching his or her fingers. Each hat has a unique design more or less reminiscent of the shape of the F-16's hats. The two trim wheels have center detents, and while the detent on the horizontal trim offers plenty of resistance, the vertical trim's detent was often difficult to find, nor did it hold the trim wheel's position very well.

Be sure to check out the rest of our review by clicking on the link below.

IMG Review: Fighterstick USB

Quake 3 Fortress Test Fix Released
12:33 PM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

On Monday we brought you news that Quake 3 Fortress 2.0, the popular mod that offers primarily team-based capture-the-flag-type gameplay, was released over the weekend. Unfortunately, due to an issue with the Quake III virtual machine interpreter, Mac users couldn't play the mod.

Today, however, id Software released a file called "Quake3-Q3F-testfix.sit" on their ftp server. The Classic and Cocoa applications are labelled version 1.31b5.

If you have Quake 3 Fortress 2.0 and want to give the fix a try, grab the file by clicking on the download link below. Let your fellow Mac gamers know if this version fixes the issues with Q3F by leaving your thoughts in our Comments section on this page.

IMG News: Quake 3 Fortress 2.0 Released, Mac Problems
Quake 3 Fortress
Quake III Arena
Download Quake3-Q3F-testfix.sit

Feral Updates on F1, Black & White, & More
12:07 PM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

The April edition of the Feral Interactive newsletter is out and has some interesting development updates on the long awaited F1, the multiplayer patch for Black & White, and more.

First up is a development update on F1, the racing simulation that has been in development for a while:

It's been a hard task, but F1 is progressing well. Feral expect to bring this definitive Formula One experience to Mac gamers during the summer, although no firm release date can be given. Extra time has been spent concentrating efforts on getting optimum performance from this highly demanding race sim on the Mac.
The newsletter also has an updated on the Black & White multi-player patch:
Very soon Mac players will be able to play Black & White online or over LANs, providing each player has a Black & White CD. Final testing is underway and networking will be possible for 2-8 simultaneous Mac-to-Mac players, although it's unlikely we'll see PC-to-Mac connections. The patch will be available for Mac owners of Black & White to download from Feral's web site - watch this space.
Feral also announced that is has begun development on the Black & White add-on, Creature Isle:
Feral has now started Mac development on this much talked about add-on to Black & White. Creature Isle takes everybody's favourite bits from Black & White and turns them into a whole new game, pitting the player and their Creature against the Trials of the elite Brotherhood. Your Creature can now have an intelligent creature of his very own too. There's the chance to learn new skills and Miracles, as well as potential love interests for the Creatures in the form of attractive female Creatures. No firm release date can be given due to the early stages of development.
And finally, Feral also announced that beta testing of the Mac version of Max Payne will begin in mid-April and should be shipping in June.

Special thanks to Corey at MacGamer for forwarding us the newsletter.

Feral Interactive
Buy F1 Championship Season 2000

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realMYST Ships... Really... for Real
10:50 AM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

Well, it's finally been approved. MacPlay announced today that the highly anticipated Macintosh conversion of Ubi Soft’s realMYST, the realtime 3D adventure, has begun shipping to retail distribution.

Here's a snippet from the press release:

realMYST uses a state-of-the-art real-time 3D graphics engine to present Myst as it was originally intended: a tale of mystery and intrigue, set in an immersive, dynamic world. Wide-open game play allows players to walk and look anywhere they choose in real-time with 360 degrees of freedom. Witness extraordinary 3D effects as day changes into night and weather changes from brilliant sun to dreary rain, creating an entirely new game experience.

"This is one of the most beautiful games I have ever played and with the large installed base of Myst fans, MacPlay is expecting truly great results from the product," said Mark Cottam, President of MacPlay. "realMYST is one of those rare products that anyone can play and enjoy, regardless of age or experience level."

realMYST is available at a cost of $29.99 from MacPlay’s web site or directly from leading Macintosh retailers, including CompUSA, Fry's Electronics, Micro Center,, and Be on the lookout for IMG's review soon!

IMG: realMyst Preview

Apple Checks Out CyberExtruder
9:36 AM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

The Apple games site has posted an article featuring CyberExtruder, the application that gives you the power to put yourself inside your games. With just a few easy steps, you can turn a 2D picture of your face into a 3D skin that can be used in games such as The Sims, iPuppet presents: Colin's Classic Cards, Unreal Tournament, and Quake III Arena.

Here's a snippet from the article:

Frag your friends in Return to Castle Wolfenstein with a character that looks just like you. Upload your best poker face in Colin’s Classic Cards and bluff your pals. Stick your face on your favorite Sims character and throw a house party or go on a hot date. You can even become Max Payne himself, once the game is released for the Mac this spring.

The possibilities are almost endless, and CyberExtruder is working hard to bring their technology to many more titles this year.

Be sure to check out the rest of the article at the Apple games site.

CyberExtruder Feature at Apple Games

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Wipeout 2097 Carbon Coming Soon
9:24 AM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

Italian Macintosh web site is reporting that Virtual Programming is developing a Carbon patch for WipeOut 2097, the popular racing game originally developed by Psygnosis for the Sony PlayStation and ported to the Mac by Virtual Programming. The new patch will allow users to run the game natively under Mac OS X.

According to the web site, the Carbon version also includes some dramatic speed increases and OpenGL enhancements (for example, trilinear filtering and lens flares).

The patch is currently in beta and will be available as a free download sometime next week. Be on the lookout for a review of Wipeout 2097 on IMG soon.

Virtual Programming
WipeOut 2097

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e.p.i.c. interactive Ships Gorky 17
8:39 AM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

In a press release issued today, e.p.i.c. interactive says it has started to ship Gorky 17. The game is a adventure/role-playing game with a sci-fi/horror setting.

Here's a brief description of the game taken from the press release:

Gorky 17 combines the best of three genres: (I) exploration and interaction with your environment (adventure), (II) character development (RPG), (III) engrossing battles with a wide variety of enemies (strategy). Adventure elements are smoothly woven into the strategic battles, to create an exciting world and get you intensely involved in the scheme of things. Here you’re not just an observer — you’re truly part of the action! The horror/s-f story, along with the in-game events and spectacular Softimage-created FMV cut scenes, is central to the game. The plot is realistic and rich, with riveting twists and turns that will keep you glued to your chair.
Gorky 17 is built for Mac OS X and requires at least a 300 MHz G3 , 128 MB RAM and an 8 MB video card. The game will also run under Mac OS 9, but the publisher recommends more RAM and recommends users run it under OS X.

Be on the lookout for an IMG review of this title soon.

Gorky 17

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realMYST Shipping? Not Yet
6:00 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

Many excited readers have written in to let us know that their pre-orders of realMYST, MacPlay's real-time 3D version of the classic adventure game Myst, may have shippped. Many have received emails from UPS that they copy of realMYST is now shipping. Unfortunately, the game isn't shipping yet. In a conversation with MacPlay's Henry Price this morning, Price said that "we are waiting on approval from UbiSoft France. As soon as it's approved, we can start shipping." Price went on to say that in anticipation of shipping, the company had prepared the pre-order boxes and shipping labels. However, due to a glitch with UPS' shipping system, it mistakenly notified those who pre-ordered the game that their package had shipped.

realMYST was originally set to ship nearly simultaneously with the PC version, but publisher changes and optimization problems have plagued the development of the Mac version.

Some of the game's features:

  • Special 3D effects and animations: Day, Night, Dynamic Lighting, Weather Effects, and Special Interactive Effects bring the world of Myst to full vibrant life.
  • Wide-open, walk-through gameplay: For the first time, you can explore whatever you want, with 360 degrees of freedom.
  • New Rime Age ending: Journey into an entirely new realm to uncover secrets and information no one has known before.
  • Every graphic element has been upgraded to brilliant 32-bit color.
  • New sound effects and an original soundtrack enhance the sense of realism.
  • Digitally remastered music heightens the gameplay experience.
  • Larger and higher quality movies and animations.

If you haven't pre-ordered the game yet, you can do so now at MacPlay's new web store for $30. We'll keep you posted once the official word from the company is received.

IMG Preview: realMYST

Falcon V Mac Possibility
6:00 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

Helpful reader Rory Thain sent in very interesting news regarding the possibility of a Mac version of Falcon V. This next installment in the very popular series of combat flight simulators has long been on the wish list of fans of Falcon 4 (published by MacSoft several years ago).

It seems the game's main developer G2 Interactive is considering the possibility of a Mac version. Here's a clip:

We anticipate November, 2003 for Falcon V. Also a MAC release is planned following that date.
So while the game is still off in the distance, a Mac version seems likely. For more information on Falcon V, check out the relevant links on G2 Interactive's web site.

G2 Interactive

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Updates on Max Payne, The Sims: Hot Date
6:00 AM | Jason Sims | Comment on this story

Westlake Interactive yesterday posted a couple of updates to their news page announcing progress on a couple of their upcoming titles.

The Sims: Hot Date has reached beta. Testing should be finished in a couple of weeks and then this much-anticipated expansion pack will head off to duplication for publication by Aspyr. The game is compatible with both Mac OS 9 and Mac OS X; this time, the OS X version will be included on the CD instead of requiring a separate download.

The unique shooter Max Payne has now been declared alpha:

The game runs well and looks great on the Mac. Max's rendering engine really takes advantage of the latest 3D graphics cards, and we're working hard to implement these features in OpenGL on the Mac. We're making good progress now and anticipate reaching Beta shortly.
Max Payne will be published for the Mac by MacSoft.

Max Payne
The Sims: Hot Date
Westlake Interactive: News
Buy Max Payne
Buy The Sims: Hot Date

Mac Games News for Tuesday, April 9, 2002

ATI Releases Driver Update for Retail Cards1:48 PM
Details on EV: Nova 1.0.1 Patch10:32 AM
ATI 8500 Drivers Help Radeon 7000 Owners8:53 AM
Mac Clarification on Retail Tac Ops8:53 AM
MacGames CD 6 in Duplication8:53 AM
Sixtyforce Updated for OS X8:53 AM
X-Plane Up to 6.128:53 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Tuesday, April 9, 2002 on one page

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Monday, April 8, 2002
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