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Monday, July 29, 2002

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pop-pop Contest: 'Beat Ambrosia'
6:00 AM | Eddie Park | Comment on this story

Mac gamers currently enjoying Ambrosia Software's latest title, pop-pop, may be interested in a little challenge recently proposed in IMG's forums from the company president himself, Andrew Welch. Tentatively titled the "beat Ambrosia" competition, it basically involves players challenging Ambrosia employees to see how many can be toppled:

Basically, we'd set aside a day where during normal business hours (9-5 EDT), every Ambrosia employee would have a game of pop-pop up. We'd note down everyone that our staff lost to, and award prizes based on how many Ambrosia staff you can beat.
More discussion on the topic is currently taking place in Ambrosia's own forums.

For those unfamiliar with the title, pop-pop is an Arkanoid-style game that not only allows two players to compete against each other over the internet, but also gives a choice of several unique characters to play as, each with their own special attack. More information can be found at IMG's recent review.

pop-pop experts, Ambrosia has thrown down the gauntlet - it's up to you to pick it up and throw it right back at them.

Ambrosia Forums - Even better: a "Beat Ambrosia" day
IMG Forums - pop-pop "beat Ambrosia" competition?
IMG - pop-pop Review
Ambrosia Software

MacSoft's Nate Birkholz on The Gamesome Mac
12:21 PM | Sean Smith | Comment on this story

Tonight on The Gamesome Mac, the weekly Mac gaming radio show, host Sean Smith and producer Omaha Sternberg will be talking with Nate Birkholz of MacSoft.

MacSoft has been on a slow but inexorable march this year, releasing a select number of first-rate games, including Civilization III, Myth III, Stronghold, and most recently, Max Payne, to be followed by the blockbuster Neverwinter Nights.

As they do every week, Sean and Omaha will serve up news, reviews, and commentary, answer listener questions along with their guest, and give away some great games in the show's live chat room.

The Gamesome Mac can be heard on Mondays from 6 to 8 pm Pacific Time (9 pm Eastern; Tuesday, 01:00 UTC) on the MacTV Network.

You can tune in live at The Gamesome Mac's web page, where you'll also find archives of past shows. QuickTime and a 28 kbps or faster Internet connection are required (broadcasts are optimized for 56K modems).


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IMG's First Look at Ghost Recon
10:31 AM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

Inside Mac Games has posted a first look preview of Aspyr's upcoming tactical shooter, Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon. Scheduled to be released sometime in the fall, Ghost Recon puts you you in the deadly, realistic combat of tomorrow's battlefields.

Here's a snippet from the first look:

Ghost Recon uses its own brand new engine. The engine totes vast outdoor areas with expansive hills and valleys. Adding to the realism will be trees that sway in the wind, making it hard to find that sniper who just killed one of your men while hiding in the branches. The impressive character models and the realistic environments create a setting where the camouflage you pick might be a decision between life and death.

Speaking of character models, you won’t find any “clones” in this game. That’s right, every solider and terrorist has his (or her) own unique look. All these small features roll together to create an incredibly immersive game.

To learn more about this exciting game, be sure to check out the rest of the first look. We'll be posting a full hands on preview as the game gets closer to shipping.

Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon is available for pre-order from the Inside Mac Games store.

IMG Frist Look: Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon
Aspyr Media
Red Storm

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Knight & Merchants OS X Patch Released
8:07 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

A new patch for the strategy title Knight & Merchants has been released recently, bringing OS X compatibility to the game from e.p.i.c. Interactive. The Carbonized applications come in two resolution flavors of 800x600 and 1024x768, and the download is very quick at just over 500k. Here are the short installation instructions from the ReadMe:

Simply drag the 2 new Knights and Merchants for MacOSX icons into your existing Knights and Merchants drawer on your harddrive. To start the MacOSX versions of the game simply double-click one of the Knights&Merchants for MacOSX icons.
Fans of the game should be sure to grab the patch now in order to play Knights & Merchants natively under OS X.

Knights and Merchants
Buy Knights and Merchants

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Dragon's Lair 3D Previewed
6:00 AM | Eddie Park | Comment on this story

IGN PC recently attended a press event hosted by Ubi Soft that showed off the upcoming title Dragon's Lair 3D (DL 3D). Based off the original laserdisc title, DL 3D takes the game and brings it up to today's standards while maintaining the artwork and gameplay that made the original so popular.

While much of the preview is spent bringing players unfamiliar with the original title up to speed, it also goes in-depth into what can be found in the new title, including the improved animation and cast of characters:

As much as I was looking forward to seeing the game and playing it, I was a little apprehensive as to whether it could really be turned into a 3D platformer while still keeping the same special atmosphere and feel that the cinematic game possessed in spades. But my apprehensions were given the day off after seeing Dirk and his 150 smooth animations in motion. It looks really good. The environments in the game are all built in 3D. That means walls, tables, chairs, pillars, bookcases, etc... All of the characters like Dirk and our old friend Singe the dragon and any of the other 40 enemies are cell painted giving the game a really beautiful cartoony feel while still giving you the chance to run around in a viable volumetric space. Textures for the 3D world are done in bright colors with great style and flair.
Fans of the original will also be happy to hear that many of the sounds from the original will be transferred over, including Dirk's bevy of high-pitched screams, grunts, and groans. An improved musical score has also been added.

One of the new features introduced into DL 3D is the ability to utilize Dragon Essences. The Dragon's Eye will allow players to find hidden rooms and items, the Dragon's Scale will protect Dirk from fire, the Dragon's Spirit will restore health, and the Dragon's Wing will allow Dirk to fly, complete with ridiculous arm-flapping animations.

The rest of the preview covers the 3D aspect of DL 3D as well as the combat system. A slew of screenshots are also available.

IGN PC - Dragon's Lair 3D Hands-On
Blue Byte
Dragon's Lair 3D

ATI Interview at Gamers Depot
6:00 AM | Tristan Kane | Comment on this story has published an interview with Eric Lundgren and Stan Ossias who are product managers for ATI's desktop division. The interview focusses on their new cards, the RADEON 9000 pro and RADEON 9700. The interview features everything you would expect from an interview with graphics card designers with plenty of technical details and the inevitable comparisons with their main competitor Nvidia. Here is an excerpt:

GD: For our readers who already own a GeForce 4 Ti4600-based video card, what justification can you give them to go out and shell out another 400 bucks for the Radeon 9700?

ATI: I answered this question for myself after playing Jedi Knight II at 16x12/4xAA/high-quality settings with great performance. The power of the RADEON 9700 is most evident when you turn on 4xFSAA which is over double the performance of the Ti4600 in many games. I'm also excited about Pixel Shader 2.0 features which will start to be exposed in games like DOOM3.

As one of the main graphics card producers for both the Mac and PC market, what ATI does with its technology has obvious implications for the Mac gaming industry in general. The implication drawn from this interview is that ATI feels that this card may be the beginning of a resurgence of their place in the market despite the obvious pressure placed on them by the substantial success of the Nvidia GeForce 4. To check out this interview please use the link below.

ATI Interview

NingPo Mah Jong Coming to the Mac
6:00 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

Pyrogon, the independent games company of former id-developer Brian Hook, has added another shareware title to their lineup. NingPo Mah Jong is a new game just released for Windows, but Pyrogon promises "MacOS and OS X versions will be following soon!" Pyrogon's other recently released shareware title, Candy Cruncher, was also available for Mac OS X.

NingPo Mah Jong is a take on the classic Chinese tile-matching game, but it also has many unique features:

  • Eighteen challenging game types!
  • Customize your play with new tilesets and backdrops, including a special theme with all your favorite characters from other PopCap titles!
  • Soothing music soundtrack!
  • High score tables for every layout!
  • Never get stuck again! Unlimited Undo, Hint, and Shuffle features keep things moving!
Stay tuned for the Mac version from Pyrogon very soon.

NingPo Mah Jong Information

Mac Games News for Friday, July 26, 2002

One on One with Glenda Adams (Part 10)10:26 AM
IMG Store: Pre-Order Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon10:15 AM
Bugdom 2 Photo Contest Announced8:48 AM
Custer's Wild Cat Desktop6:58 AM
Cold War for Mac a Possibility6:00 AM
Elite Force 2 Impressions6:00 AM
Heroes IV Expansion Revealed for PC6:00 AM
More Deus Ex 2 Info6:00 AM
Possible B&W Patch Issue?6:00 AM
Unreal Tournament 2003 First Impressions6:00 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Friday, July 26, 2002 on one page

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