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Friday, March 7, 2003

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Mac EverQuest Public Beta Test Opens
8:09 AM | Lucian Fong | Comment on this story

Sony Online Entertainment has announced that it is accepting applications to beta test Everquest for Mac. To apply for the first phase of the public beta test, you must sign up for a Sony Station account, which is free.

Here's more information about the beta test:

Sony Online Entertainment is offering some lucky players a chance to play EverQuest for the Macintosh months before copies of the game show up in stores. During this public beta test, a handful of Macintosh users will enjoy one of the largest, most in depth online game experiences ever created. The best part about the public beta test is that it's free!

The first phase of public beta testing is scheduled to begin in the start of 2003. All you'll need to play is a love of video games and a desire to preview one of the biggest massively multiplayer online games for the Macintosh. Oh yeah, you'll also need the following things:

  • The EverQuest for the Macintosh beta CD
  • An Internet connection and Internet Service Provider - the game may be played using either a broadband or narrowband (dial-up) internet connection (note, end users are responsible for all internet connection services and fees)
  • A valid Station Account
  • Acceptance into the Public Beta Test Program
  • The minimum system requirements are as follows:
  • PowerPC 600 Mhz or higher
  • 128MB RAM
  • Mac OS X 10.2.2 (Jaguar) or later
  • 32 MB Graphics card that supports hardware T&L
  • 2 GB of free hard disk space

    There is no indication of how long the sign-up or beta period will last, although testing is scheduled to begin "soon".

    EverQuest for Macintosh Beta Site
    Sony Online
    Buy EverQuest

    March Madness Sale: MacGames DVD for $14
    8:15 PM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

    IMG's March Madness Sale continues with a special deal on the popular MacGames DVD. Until March 10th, you can order the MacGames DVD for just $14. That's $5 off the regular price of $19.

    The MacGames DVD contains all the best of MacGames CD Volume 1 through Volume 10. This 4.7 gigabyte DVD features the best in Macintosh game demos, shareware, updates, add-ons, trailers, cheaters, and more from July of 2001 to January of 2003. That's right, 4.7 gigabyte's worth of Mac games! You must have a Macintosh with a DVD drive to read the DVD.

    Inside Mac Games

    NASCAR Racing 2002 Updated To v1.0.1
    8:10 PM | Jefferson Regan | Comment on this story

    Aspyr has released an update to Nascar Racing 2002, bringing it to version 1.0.1. The update fixes a number of issues with the retail version of the game that some users have been experiencing.

    Here's a list of bug fixes included in the patch.

  • drafting now works correctly, at times, getting into proper drafting position would actually apply extra drag to your car.
  • at times, the game would penalize you for unsafe entry into the pits, seemingly at random. This is now corrected.
  • skid marks were not showing up during replays.
  • on dual CPU computers, the sound would degrade over time. Pausing the game would temporarily restore the sound. This has been fixed.
  • minor UI and memory tweaks.
  • a revised Read Me file is included.
  • a new version of NASCAR Config is included, correcting some minor HID issues.
  • The file weighs in at 1.8MB, and can be downloaded from via the link below.

    Aspyr Media
    Westlake Interactive
    Nascar Racing 2002
    MGF: Nascar Racing 2002 Updater v1.0.1
    Buy Nascar Racing 2002

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    New Myth II Carbon Beta Released; Myth III Update
    7:56 PM | Johan HansÚn | Comment on this story

    MythDevelopers has released a new beta patch to the classic strategy game, Myth II: Soulblighter. Myth II is now carbonized and should run well under OS X. The current beta doesn't support Open GL, so software rendering is the only graphics mode available in OS X at the moment.

    There is also an update on the status of the work on the new version of Myth III: The Wolf Age. From the update:

    We're also working on your bug fixes for Myth 3 and will be rolling that into the updated builds here soon. There have been some users complaining of chat issues under M3 and we've found the issue and will be applying that fix to the server and client. We believe it's more of a server issue than with the client program. Look for that update to come soon.
    For more information and to download the patch, please visit MythDevelopers homepage, where there is also a beta patch for Myth III available.

    Myth II: Soulblighter
    Bungie Studios

    Custer's Desktops: The Sims: Vacation
    11:52 AM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

    IMG resident desktop guru, Brad Custer, is back with another cool new creation, this time featuring The Sims: Vacation, the expansion pack to the best-selling game of all time, The Sims. Here's what Brad had to say about his latest creation:

    I can finally honor another long-standing request with a desktop from The Sims: Vacation. I went into the vault of Sims art recently acquired to create this week's wallpaper. The Sims were some of my first official desktops that I created for our gaming community so each time I can do one it means a little more to me. I tried to capture the feel of some of my first work in this offering. I simply entitled it "Getaway" and I hope you enjoy it as much as I did making it.
    To check out this desktop (and many others), head over to Custer's Desktops.

    Custer's Desktops

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    SimCity 4 Q&A with Joseph Knight
    6:00 AM | Johan HansÚn | Comment on this story

    The people at The Armchair Empire have posted a Q&A with Joseph Knight from Maxis, one of the lead designers of SimCity 4. This city simulator was recently released for PC and will be coming to the Mac thanks to the folks at Aspyr Media. In the interview they discuss different parts of the game, including the aspects of using 3D in a game like SimCity.

    From the article:

    Technically, SimCity 4 is set in a 3D world. However, the camera views are very restricted in order to keep everything looking its best. The current 3D lets us incorporate more compelling terrain and a host of special effects. I suppose that all comes down to "eye-candy," but I just can't imagine the game would be too impressive without good terrain and effects.

    If you're asking about game play advantages to a free camera in SimCity, able to view things from any perspective, I'll have to admit we haven't given it much serious thought. I can imagine it being a thrilling experience to view your city from pedestrian level, but I don't see any immediate advantages to the current SimCity gameplay paradigm. (And I can imagine a lot of ways in which it might detract!) Not to say that such an experience wouldn't open up new game opportunities. Who knows?

    SimCity 4 for the Mac is currently at the alpha stage of development and has a preliminary release set for May.

    Q&A with Joseph Knight
    Aspyr Media
    Buy SimCity 4

    CrossCards Receives Update
    6:00 AM | Eddie Park | Comment on this story

    Freeverse Software has updated their unique crossword game, CrossCards Deluxe. The update, which brings the title up to version 2.2, contains several new features and addresses a number of bugs.

    CrossCards looks like a crossword game at first glance, but uses cards and poker hands in its gameplay:

    CrossCards is like a crossword game played entirely with playing cards. Instead of placing letters to form words, players place cards to form poker hands. The game features a number of predesigned board variations, with various goals and objectives to maximize scores. The game also features a board editor, so users can easily customize the game.
    CrossWords runs under both Classic and OS X. Those interested in downloading a demo can find one at Freeverse's site.

    Freeverse - CrossCards

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    pop-pop Tournament Mailing List Established
    6:00 AM | Eddie Park | Comment on this story

    Ambrosia Software has announced the creation of the pop-pop Tournament Mailing List. Following up on the success of pop-pop, the mailing list is designed to keep members up-to-date on the latest tournament dates and times. The list is global, and will allow players from all over the world to compete for various prizes.

    Those interested in subscribing can simply follow the link provided to Ambrosia's site. The list is read-only, and Ambrosia promises it will be free of mindless spam.

    For those unfamiliar with the title, pop-pop is a Breakout-style game that features cartoonish graphics, a slew of characters with unique powers, and head-to-head matchups. More information can be found at IMG's review.

    Ambrosia - pop-pop Tournament Mailing List sign-up
    IMG - pop-pop Review
    Ambrosia Software

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    Aspyr Releases Ghost Recon 1.02 Beta Update
    6:00 AM | Mike Apps | Comment on this story

    Fans of Aspyr Media's hit tactical first-person shooter, Ghost Recon, will be happy to hear that a new 1.02 beta patch has been released. For those unfamiliar with the game, Ghost Recon is a tactics-based FPS where players control a squad of elite soldiers, called Ghosts, as they go on varying missions in such locations as the deserts of Africa. The patch makes a number of fixes, including some GameRanger problems and other minor bugs.

    Here's a full list of the changes, along with a note on why the patch is being released as a beta:

    This public beta release of Ghost Recon addresses the following issues. It is being made public to make sure that these issues get adequate testing before the release is made final. If you need to report any problems related to this release, please contact Aspyr technical support.

    o Fixed crash when GameRanger hosted multiplayer game completes.

    o Fixed problem with shift key interfering with scroll wheel.

    o Added support for detecting dedicated server option from GameRanger.

    o Fixed problem with key repeat not working for edit fields.

    For more information on the patch, or to download it, follow the provided link below.

    MGF: Ghost Recon 1.02 beta update
    IMG: Ghost Recon Review
    Aspyr Media
    Red Storm

    Mac Games News for Thursday, March 6, 2003

    Immersion Certifies 12 Force Feedback Peripherals for Mac2:26 PM
    IMG Previews Tiger Woods PGA Tour 20031:44 PM
    Virtual Grand Prix 2 Demo Released8:57 AM
    Mega Man Quake 3 Mod Announced6:00 AM
    Neverwinter Nights Mac Tech Trial Coming Soon6:00 AM
    Shadowbane Goes Gold, Pre-Orders Begin6:00 AM
    Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne Beta First Impressions6:00 AM
    View all of the Mac games news for Thursday, March 6, 2003 on one page

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