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Friday, June 14, 2002

RTCW Map Pack Released, 1.33 News
6:00 AM | Mike Apps | Comment on this story

The Map Pack, part of Return To Castle Wolfenstein - Game Of The Year Edition for the PC has been posted online at various PC web sites along with a 1.33 patch for the PC version. Luckily for Mac users, the Map Pack is compatible with the Mac version of Return to Castle Wolfenstein. The 1.33 patch for the Mac, however, will probably be out shortly (read below).

The Map Pack includes the following additional multiplayer levels:

  • Trenchtoast (mp_trenchtoast)
  • Icelab (mp_ice)
  • Chateau (mp_chateau)
  • Keep (mp_keep)
  • Tram Siege (mp_tram)
  • The Damned (mp_dam)
  • Rocket (mp_rocket)
  • The map pack can be downloaded via the link provided below. It is 49MB in size. Aspyr Media has posted the following information regarding the Map Pack on their web site:
    Question: What about the new Game of the Year maps? Can I use them?

    Answer: Yes, you can use those maps. You can even download them from the PC sites, but you will have to use an extraction utility to pull files out of the PC exe file. One such utility is UnZipper.

    We are looking at repackaging these map files to a more Macintosh-friendly format and finding a host for them. Watch this space or the downloads tab of the game's page for more information.

    Aspyr also mentions on the web site that they are looking into updating the Mac client to 1.33:
    Question: How about the new 1.33 update, I see servers with that version, but I can't join them, saying something about "invalid .pk3 files". What does that mean, and how can I play on those servers?

    Answer:We are investigating this now, but it does seem as though the Macintosh client cannot join those servers.

    We'll be sure to keep you posted on any more news regarding the Map Pack and the 1.33 patch.

    IMG Review - Return To Castle Wolfenstein
    Return To Castle Wolfenstein - GOTY Map Pack (49 MB)
    Aspyr Media
    Westlake Interactive
    Return to Castle Wolfenstein
    Buy Return to Castle Wolfenstein

    MacGames CD: Free Rune and FAKK 2 Offer
    1:53 PM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

    Subscribe today to the MacGames CD and get a copy of Heavy Metal F.A.K.K. 2 AND Rune! That's right, not one, but two games for free! All you pay is the shipping ($5 USA, $7 Canada, $12 International).

    The MacGames CD is a CD-ROM subscription service featuring the best in Macintosh game demos, shareware, updates, add-ons, trailers, cheaters and much more. Get 8 issues per year (delivered every 6 weeks) and save big bucks! For a limited time, when you subscribe to MacGames CD, you can get a full version of one of eight games; all you pay is the shipping ($5 USA, $7 Canada, $12 International). Each subscription or renewal also includes free registration of the shareware game guide Game Doctor, plus great discounts from Mac game stores and publishers.

    For more information, be sure to visit the IMG web store.

    Click to enlarge
    IMG Reviews Wipeout 2097
    1:00 PM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

    Inside Mac Games has reviewed WipeOut 2097, the classic racing game developed by Psygnosis for the Sony PlayStation and recently ported to Mac OS 9 and X by Virtual Programming. Wipeout 2097 features eight fearsome tracks, an arsenal of weapons including Thunder Bombs, Electro Bolts and Quake Disrupters, and more.

    Here's a snippet from the review:

    Open the game, specify a racer, a track and a difficulty setting and you’re off into the futuristic blue yonder. WipeOut 2097 loads quickly, presenting a status grid and humming right along both on a G3 or a G4. Finally, let the camera wrap around the track, select your racer of choice and you’re free to happily tear down the track at breakneck speeds. Beat each of the primary tracks for each of the three skill levels and the game opens up the Arcade Challenge maps, which function as an elimination level. For each Arcade Challenge map, the player must place fourth or better on what amounts to nothing less than an extremely challenging track replete with trigger-happy opponents just itching to inflict projectile death on your little-racer-that-could. Fail to make the fourth place cutoff mark three times and the game disqualifies you from the remaining Arcade Challenge maps, effectively ending the game. Thankfully, a pause allows players to take a break if you’re in the middle of a campaign to beat the game.
    Wipeout 2097 is available for sale in the United Sates from Freeverse Software. Be sure to check out the review today.

    IMG Review: Wipeout 2097
    Virtual Programming
    WipeOut 2097
    Freeverse Software

    Click to enlarge
    IMG Reviews Kensington TurboMouse Pro
    12:51 PM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

    IMG has posted a new review, looking at the TurboMouse Pro from peripheral-maker Kensington Technology. While trackballs may not enjoy the same popularity as mice in the gaming world, the review points out many positive features for those who enjoy using input devices of this type. The USB TurboMouse Pro features 10 configurable buttons and a scroll wheel in addition to the trackball. Here's a clip from the review with more on the all-important bundled software:

    Often the software that comes with 3rd party input devices is maligned for instability and incompatibility with the operating system and applications. I can happily report that my experience of the Kensington MouseWorks software in both 10.1.4 and 9.2.2 environments on my G4 Mac have been completely positive. In fact, a gamer will find the usefulness of the Pro trackball sans Kensington's software quite limited in OS 9.x (since all mouse buttons are treated equally as just single-button-mouse clicks) and possibly frustrating in OS X (since X will automatically map the right buttons to a right-context-click which will be problematic for left-handed users ... with a note that the OS X MouseWorks allows this default behavior to be changed to suit user preference).

    The X-native MouseWorks software is not yet feature-complete with the 9.x / 8.x version, but I did not find the missing features annoying or problematic at all with the games I have been playing most recently ('Return to Castle Wolfenstein' and 'Red Faction').

    Head over now and check out the full review.

    IMG Review: Kensington TurboMouse Pro
    Turbo Mouse Pro

    GeForce4 Ti Available from Apple
    12:41 PM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

    A reader of XLR8Yourmac recently spotted the availability of GeForce 4 Ti cards from Apple's online web store. This powerful card runs nearly $400 as an add-on, but features 128MB DDR RAM and both ADC and DVI ports. The card requires only a G4 with 4x AGP slot. Here's more from the page specs:

    The LightSpeed II memory architecture uses 128MB of fast DDR RAM more efficiently than ever allowing it to achieve impressive statistics. It delivers a theoretical memory throughput of 10.56 gigabytes/sec, which can deliver over 87 million triangles and over 4.9 billion textured pixels (texels) per second. Using the latest 13 micron manufacturing process it delivers 63 million transistors and can deliver over 1.23 trillion operations/sec. For serious gamers and customer using high-end 3D applications there is simply no better graphics solution available for a personal computer.
    If you're looking to make an upgrade, this is an absolutely top-of-the-line video card (albeit at a premium price). To order the card, go to 'Displays' in the 'Accessories' menu.

    Apple Store
    Accelerate Your Mac

    Actiontrip Gets Unreal
    12:31 PM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

    Actiontrip has posted a new dual-preview of both the singleplayer Unreal 2 and multiplayer Unreal Tournament 2003. This quick new article gives a short rundown of Epic Interative's history with the series, as well as going into where both games will stand upon release in the coming months. By splitting the games into two distinct series, Epic has allowed each to focus on what they do best, storyline and online gameplay, respectively. While neither game has explicitly been announced for the Mac yet, we're hoping to hear something in the future, since they both seem to be likely candidates for porting. Here's an excerpt from the preview:

    The perks to [Unreal Tournament 2003] are the game's impressive graphics engine, diverse weaponry (pretty much the same as the original game) and the improved computer AI. The computer-controlled AI takes orders much more easily in this incarnation of the game - you can designate a specific role to a specific team member (ie, flag defense, escort, attack) before the round starts rather than having to navigate the orders on the fly. Of course, you can switch roles mid-match as well, if whatever battle plan you started with isn't working. Also, if a specific team member isn't pulling his/her weight, he/she can be booted from the team in favor of new blood.
    Head over now to check out the rest of the article, and stay tuned to IMG for any news on Mac versions of either game.

    Actiontrip Unreal(s) Preview

    GameRanger 3.0 Preview Now Available
    10:37 AM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

    Scott Kevill today announced a preview release of GameRanger 3.0, the leading Macintosh online gaming service. The release marks the first look at the native Mac OS X version of GameRanger (it remains backward compatible with Mac OS 8.6 and higher) and has been completely rewritten with ground up. Kevill told IMG that this version of GameRanger "shares no code with the previous version."

    Here's more from the official press release:

    Version 3.0 has been totally redesigned and rewritten from the ground up, featuring full support for Mac OS X in addition to compatibility with Mac OS 8.6 and 9.

    GameRanger provides hours of entertainment for interactive game players around the world, supporting online multiplayer gameplay for over 90 game titles, with highlights including Age of Empires II, Aliens vs Predator, Giants: Citizen Kabuto, Quake III Team Arena, Risk II, Return to Castle Wolfenstein, Scrabble, Stronghold, and Star Wars Galactic Battlegrounds.

    GameRanger is the first and largest internet multiplayer game matchmaking service for the Macintosh. Introduced over two years ago, the GameRanger community is home to over 80,000 registered members playing more than 90 popular game titles spanning classic, action, strategy and simulation. GameRanger Technologies is located in Perth, Australia.

    GameRanger 3.0 requires Mac OS 8.6 or later (including Mac OS X). With MacOS 8.6 - 9.2.2, it requires CarbonLib 1.5 or later.

    GameRanger 3.0 Preview web page

    Mac Hall Comic: Jedi Style
    6:57 AM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

    Today's Mac Hall comic, entitled Jedi Style, pays tribute to Aspyr's recently announced Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast. The game is being ported to the Mac by Westlake Interactive and will be shipping in the next few months.

    Mac Hall's Anthony explains the latest comic:

    I'm kind of excited. I really can't help it.

    I love Star Wars. This isn't exactly a grand confession; among geeks it's a fairly common trait. So even if sources I trust hadn't reported that Jedi Knight II was a good game, I'd be anticipating it. I was there for Dark Forces way back when, and I'm pumped to go back. I could point out some of Outcast's salient points as evidence of its quality, but you and I both know it's just because lightsabers are cool.

    They are, indeed, cool. Be sure to check out the latest Mac Hall comic by clicking on the link below.

    Mac Hall: Jedi Style

    Click to enlarge
    MacGamer Posts Stronghold Review
    6:54 AM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

    Our friends at MacGamer have posted a review of MacSoft's recently released castle sim, Stronghold. Overall the review gives the game high marks, giving kudos to the graphics and sound as well as the game's stability.

    Here's a snippet from the review:

    The game's bright and crisp graphics are rendered completely in 2D in very fine detail. The game can be sized to the 800x600 or 1024x768 resolution, although viewing space appears to remain largely unchanged. Each character in the game displays an original animation or two, such as mothers cradling their babies or children playing pat-a-cake. As far as 2D graphics go, you really couldn't ask much more of Stronghold.

    The game's audio is also quite respectable. The intro music is some of the most memorable I've heard, and the game's actual soundtrack fares well in comparison with Age of Empires II or Warcraft II. The cinematic voice acting is top-notch and rather comical, complete with the traditional Old English accent we all know and love.

    Head over to MacGamer to check out the rest of the review. And, of course, if you haven't already done so, be sure to also check out IMG's review.

    Stronghold is available for order from the IMG Store for just $39. MacGames CD subscribers can order it for $34.

    IMG Review: Stronghold
    MacGamer: Stronghold Review
    Firefly Studios
    Buy Stronghold

    Project Updates from Dreamcatcher Interactive (Updated)
    6:00 AM | Daniel Krechmer | Comment on this story

    Tara Reed, PR/Marketing Coordinator at Dreamcatcher Interactive, makers of Jewels of the Oracle and Traitors Gate for the Macintosh, sent an update to Applelinks yesterday. Dreamcatcher changed the status of three of their games: Fuel, Dracula: The Last Sanctuary, and Necronomicon.

    Sadly, the Mac version of Fuel -- a "motor-head's action/thinking vehicular marathon" -- is been supposedly cancelled (we've emailed the developers to get the story straight). Fortunately, there is twice as much good news.

    Dracula: The Last Sanctuary is set to release this month - June 17th. It is the adventure game sequel to Dracula Resurrection, which was the sequel to the novel by Bram Stoker. The player is once again Jonathan Harker outwitting and battling creatures of the dark trying at last to save Mina.

    Lastly is another adventure game, Necronomicon, based on the writings of H.P. Lovecraft. If you want to get Cthullu going on your Macintosh, the date is set at June 28.

    The year is 1927. William H. Stanton’s life suddenly takes a terrifying turn for the worst. What strange secret is his childhood friend hiding from him? What lurks in the alchemist’s mysterious cursed underground laboratory? What is the meaning of the Necronomicon esoteric formulae? Is this collection of occult secrets the key to the world of the dead? Dare you use these secrets and face the terror, which may lie beyond?
    Confusingly, the Dreamcatcher Interactive web-site still lists Fuel as active, and makes no mention of a Macintosh version of Necronomicon. IMG will be looking into this further and we will update you on any changes when they occur.

    Update: We received the following email from Nathan d'Obrenan regarding the status of the Mac version of Fuel:

    We'll right now we're focusing on getting the Xbox version out the door...and so that means no development is advancing right now on the Mac. I've got a good base already down on the Mac, I just need to devote some weekends to getting it done, but it won't happen until after we ship the Xbox version.

    Project Update from Dreamcatcher Interactive
    Dreamcatcher Interactive
    Dracula Resurrection

    Macworld NY's OS X Arcade
    6:00 AM | Eddie Park | Comment on this story

    Apple's continuing trend of supporting the Mac games industry seems to show no signs of stopping. Their latest showing of support takes the form of a webpage detailing the OS X Gaming Arena currently planned for Macworld New York 2002.

    The game area, which will be open throughout the three days of Macworld NY, will feature a Games Theater and an Arcade by which Mac game developers and publishers will show their wares. The arcade itself will be stocked with the latest iMacs and PowerMacs, with plenty of GeForce 4 cards and Harman Kardon speakers to show off both graphics and sound.

    The arcade will also give con goers a chance to check out the latest upcoming titles:

    Be the first on your block to check out Master of Orion III, Neverwinter Nights, Star Wars: Jedi Knight II, Aliens vs. Predator 2, F1 Championship, Shadowbane, and more. You’ll be the envy of all your friends. All the games on display were built for Mac OS X, and you’ll be able to play them only on the Mac.
    Those interested in seeing a list of attending publishers as well as the arcade schedule can find all at Apple's Macworld NY 2002 Games feature.

    Apple - Mac OS X Games at Macworld New York

    More Info on Commandos 2
    6:00 AM | Eddie Park | Comment on this story

    Astute IMG readers may remember an article published late last year, when we caught wind of a company by the name of Pyro Studios that had plans to port Commandos 2: Men of Courage, published by Eidos Interactive, over to the Mac. However, a Mac publisher has yet to be confirmed, and we haven't heard anything since.

    Recently, however, we received an e-mail from an enterprising reader who contacted Pyro Studios and inquired as to its current status. He received the following reply:

    Thanks for your e-mail, we are working on it, and expect to release it at the end of the Summer.
    This is heartening news, although, as mentioned earlier, we're still in the dark about a publisher. Rest assured that IMG will break the news if we ever catch wind of an interested party.

    For those unfamiliar with Commandos 2, it is described as a tactical action/strategy game set in World War II, where players take control of a commando squad and carry out various missions. More information can be found at Eidos's Commandos 2 site.

    Eidos Interactive - Commandos 2: Men of Courage
    IMG - Commandos 2 Coming to the Mac
    Pyro Studios

    Nvidia Cg Interview on GameSpy
    6:00 AM | Daniel Krechmer | Comment on this story

    Usually when nVidia makes an announcement it means another big jump in video card performance, but not in this case. The big announcement is Cg, a computer language designed for "programmable vertex and pixel processors in modern GPUs." GameSpy has an interview with David Kirk, the Chief Scientist at nVidia. He discusses what exactly Cg has to offer.

    David Kirk: Cg is an opportunity for developers to move to programming GPUs at a higher level. Abstraction to a higher level allows programmers and artists to work more directly on the effects that they want to create, rather than focusing on a specific generation of GPU technology. Cg is a C-like programming language: C for graphics. Developers can write vertex and pixel programs to control geometry and shading at a more abstract level, rather than writing low-level hardware interface code in assembly language.
    The following is from the official press release:
    The NVIDIA Cg Compiler is the heart of the NVIDIA Cg programming environment. Programs written for a standard DirectX® 8- or DirectX 9-compatible Graphics Processing Unit (GPU) can be compiled and run on any conforming hardware.  The resulting program is a highly efficient vertex or pixel shader achieving performance levels equal to or better than hand-coded graphics programs.  NVIDIA’s Cg Compiler was designed to take full advantage of NVIDIA’s GPU features and pipeline, ensuring optimal performance and visual quality.  In addition, NVIDIA’s Cg Compiler uniquely supports OpenGL®. Cg shaders written for OpenGL platforms are compiled and optimized to take full advantage of the extended graphics feature set in NVIDIA GPUs.  NVIDIA’s Cg Compiler is also cross platform, supporting programs written for Windows®, OS X, Linux, Mac and Xbox®.
    Certainly the fact that OpenGL is built into the language is good news for Macintosh gamers. The big question is will developers and other video card makers support it. We think a big yes.

    GameSpy Interview with David Kirk
    Press Release: nVidia Announces Cg

    Click to enlarge
    Custer Preaches Freedom
    6:00 AM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

    IMG's own desktop guru Brad Custer has updated his section at IMG today with a great new desktop of MacPlay's recently announced action game, Freedom Force. Here's an excerpt from Brad's update with more on the game itself:

    From a distant corner of the galaxy, an evil alien race sets in motion a sinister plan to conquer the Earth. They unleash a powerful catalyst - Energy X - that imbues the planet's worst miscreants with super-powers to bring the planet to its knees. Now Earth's only hope lies with a new breed of heroes... The Freedom Force!

    I remember seeing this game at E3 last year and thought it looked really fun. I was very excited when MacPlay made the official announcement that we would have this game to play so I contacted them immediately for some art. This week's selection was created from the art they supplied and is titled, "For Freedom". I hope you enjoy it as much as I did making it.

    Head over to Custer's Desktops to take a peek at his latest creation.

    Custer's Desktops
    Freedom Force
    Buy Freedom Force

    Click to enlarge
    Reaction Quake 3 Beta 2.0 Release Today
    6:00 AM | Tristan Kane | Comment on this story

    In an announcement that is bound to please many FPS fans, a recent posting at has announced that Reaction Quake 3 Beta 2.0 will be released some time today (Friday). Reaction Quake 3 is a mod for Quake III: Arena and is essentially a port of the very popular mod Action Quake 2. Here is an excerpt from the announcement:

    Tonight, we invited some members of the Quake 3 media scene to come to our weekly playtest. Everything went great. Not only were all the bugs (at least the ones I knew about) fixed, but the coders also had a little free time to add some last new eye candy. Some of the features you will see in Beta 2.00 include:

  • teamplay gameplay mode
  • brand new TeamArena user-interface
  • all new physics code (so close to Action Quake 2, you can't notice)
  • 8 brand new maps (for 16 total now), with more on the way that will be hosted on the Backlot
  • much, much more
  • A later posting to the site has revealed that full bot support is also a feature of this mod. And if you still need some convincing that this is a mod worth having, there is a trailer available on the site to get you in the mood for fragging.

    Note that Reaction Quake 3 requires a working version of Quake III: Arena, and advises a machine that is well above its minimum specifications. For further information on Reaction Quake 3 or to download the trailer and the mod when it is released, please follow the first link below.

    Reaction Quake 3 headlines news page
    id Software
    Quake III Arena

    Dracosoft Releases Burst 1.0.0
    6:00 AM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

    Dracosoft today announced the release of their latest shareware game, Burst, the second arcade/puzzle game in a month (behind Avalanche).

    Burst is a arcade/puzzle game where you line up balloons and watch them Burst. In the game, you swap balloons to line up three or more matching shapes. The more balloons lined up, the greater the points. Entertaining bonus items such as Burst Balloons, Lightning, Tornadoes, and Flying Saucers burst even more balloons. Play with ten different high-resolution balloons and point bonuses and you won’t want to stop.

    Burst weighs in at a modest 1.4 MB and is available as shareware for $9.99. Head over to our sister site,, to download it.

    MGF: Burst 1.0.0

    Mac Games News for Thursday, June 13, 2002

    NWN Mac Date, Toolset Clarification3:29 PM
    Max Payne Goes Gold, Ships on July 16th1:43 PM
    Free Space Food Sticks with Galactica A.D.1:17 PM
    Nvidia Announces 'Cg' - C for Graphics9:42 AM
    Warcraft III Goes Gold!8:55 AM
    Billard GL 1.75 for Mac OS X Released8:45 AM
    Night's Edge mod for UT released7:46 AM
    MacMAME 0.60a Released7:45 AM
    Harpoon 3 Updates6:00 AM
    MacGamer Posts the IT list6:00 AM
    Master of Orion III Chat6:00 AM
    Neverwinter Nights Q&A at Gamespot6:00 AM
    View all of the Mac games news for Thursday, June 13, 2002 on one page

    Recent Mac Games News

    Wednesday, June 12, 2002
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    Search for other Mac games news stories or browse our Mac Games News Archive.

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