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Friday, April 25, 2003

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Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets Demo
9:39 AM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

Aspyr Media this morning released a demo of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. The demo weighs in at about 18 MB and contains one level from the full version of the retail game. The demo is being hosted on our downloads sister site,

Be Harry Potter and unlock the mystery at the heart of the Chamber of Secrets. With dire warnings from strange quarters and dark schemes afoot, Harry's second adventure will be every bit as magical and dangerous as his first. But this time the spells are more potent, the foes are more fearsome, and Harry's friends are more important than ever.

Features include:

  • Go deeper into Harry's world... explore rich environments from the Great Hall to the dark reaches of the Forbidden Forest
  • Take the flying car to Hogwarts and master new second-year spells, including Skurge, Diffindo, and Spongify
  • Overcome dangerous foes from Aragog to the deadly Basilisk
  • Test your skills in Quidditch and Wizard Duel leagues
  • Interact with new characters from Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, including Dobby, Lockhart, and Ginny Weasley

    Here's the system requirements for Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets:

  • MacOS 9.1 or later (9.2.2 recommended)
  • MacOS X 10.1 or later
  • G3/G4 CPU 350 MHz or faster
  • 128 MB of Memory (256M recommended if running OSX)
  • 3D Graphics Acceleration required (minimum of ATI Rage 128 with 16MB VRAM)

    To download the demo, head over to MGF. IMG Pro users can download the demo via their Hot Downloads page.

    IMG Preview: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
    Westlake Interactive
    Aspyr Media
    Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
    MGF: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets Demo
    Buy Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

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    IMG Reviews ATI Radeon 9000 Pro
    2:17 PM | Lucian Fong | Comment on this story

    Available since August 2002 in Apple’s Power Mac, ATI's Radeon 9000 Pro has begun shipping to retail in recent months. It is a late addition to ATI’s Mac product lineup, but certainly a welcome one, especially since it is the only retail graphics card that sports an Apple Display Connector (ADC). The Radeon 9000 Pro fills the gap between the Radeon 7000 PCI and Radeon 8500, providing solid 2D/3D performance and dual digital display capability for $169 USD.

    Here is an excerpt from the review:

    I played through a few levels in Ghost Recon, Jedi Knight 2, Soldier of Fortune 2, Medal of Honor, and Return to Castle Wolfenstein. As far as I could tell, the performance was indistinguishable from the Radeon 8500 using identical settings (1024x768 resolution, most detail options at high). To confirm my results, I subjected my neighbor to several cruel minutes of experiments using the "blind taste test" methodology. I switched between the Radeon 9000 and 8500 while he was absent from the "labs" and he too, was not able to tell the difference. But then again, this is someone who actually believes Miller Lite is less filling.
    For more information, including 3D benchmark results and game performance testing, read the rest of the review.

    IMG Review: ATI Radeon 9000 Pro
    Radeon 9000 Pro

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    IMG Store: Pre-Order Another War
    1:46 PM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

    The IMG Store has begun to take pre-orders for Virtual Programming's Another War. It's available for $24.95 for IMG Pro/MacGames CD subscribers. Non-subscribers can pick it up for $29.95.

    Another War takes place during World War 2 in Nazi-occupied Europe. It is a colourful story of an adventurer, involved in his own private war in those darkest of times. The game has a very elaborate plot, with its own brand of lively action, style and humour. You will find many allusions to classic books and movies, like "Raiders of the Lost Ark", "Allo, Allo", "Catch-22", "Saving Private Ryan", and "The Dirty Dozen" amongst others.

    Another War is scheduled to be released May 1st. To place your pre-order, follow the link below.

    Another War
    Buy Another War

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    Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 4 Trailer Released
    1:41 PM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

    In addition to releasing a demo of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets today, Aspyr also released a trailer of their upcoming skate-boarding sim, Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 4. The trailer is available in two versions, 320 x 240 and 640 x 480. Both trailers are available for download the our sister site,

    Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 4 is scheduled to be released in May. IMG will be posting a hands-on preview of the game shortly.

    Aspyr Media
    Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 4
    MGF: Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 4 Trailer
    Buy Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 4

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    Everquest Beta Testing Begins?
    1:31 PM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

    A post over at suggests that the Mac version of the Everquest beta testing may have begun. According to one beta tester, there are currently about 25 beta testers online. Sony Online began taking applications to beta test the game back in early March. No official updates have been made since.

    Here's the post regarding the beta test:

    I got confirmation from GM-Grog a few hours back. The Mac test is underway with roughly 25 players.
    EverQuest for the Macintosh is an epic role playing game that you play with thousands of other people over the internet. We'll keep you posted on any future developments.

    Sony Online
    Buy EverQuest

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    Player Manager 2003 Nears Gold, New Screenshots
    1:00 PM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

    Virtual Programming let IMG know this morning that their soccer management game, Player Manager 2003, is in the final phase of test and should be golden master soon. A demo of the game was released in early March and since then the company has been working on finishing up the final version of the game. Here's what Virtual Programming had to say about the latest update:

    Player Manager 2003 is now in final test and moving towards Gold master. The game had been greatly enhanced over the past weeks, adding many new features such as multiple leagues (English, Scottish, Italian, German, Spanish, Dutch, French and Portuguese), enhanced player AI, Fantastic 'Live TV' coverage on selected games with superb new 3D views, Players display in-game fatigue, enhancements to in-game feedback and messages, and much more. We will release a new demo soon!
    In addition, Virtual Programming sent us a few new screenshots of the game from the "Live TV" camera angle. Be sure to check them out below.

    Player Manager 2003
    Screenshot 1
    Screenshot 2
    Screenshot 3
    Screenshot 4
    Screenshot 5
    Screenshot 6
    MGF: Player Manager 2003 Demo 1.0

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    Custer's Desktops: Hole in One
    12:38 PM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

    IMG's Brad Custer has posted a brand new desktop, this week featuring Aspyr's Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2003, which is scheduled to ship in May. Here's what Brad had to say about his latest creation:

    Aspyr Media has a wide selection of games coming out and I've had a steady flow of email regarding this game. So, not being one to let my viewers down, this week is dedicated to Tiger Woods PGA TOUR 2003. I had fun creating this week's wallpaper using art supplied by EA Games. I was quiet pleased with the end result. I simply entitled it "Woods" and I hope you enjoy it as much as I did making it.
    Head over to Custer's desktop to check it out.

    Custer's Desktops
    Aspyr Media

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    IGN Previews The Sims: Superstar
    9:39 AM | Scott Turner | Comment on this story

    The Sims, the incredibly acclaimed people simulator from Maxis is back, and this time it has a little more celebrity in it. The Sims: Superstar, the sixth expansion pack to come to this venerable franchise, expands the genre quite a bit, introducing features that many fans had called for since the games initial release, such as the ability to follow your sims to work, as well as become famous.

    IGN has had a little play time with this new game at the offices of Maxis, and has posted an extensive preview of the gameplay and features to come on their website. Here's a brief clip:

    While your Sim is performing, you'll need to watch the reaction of the producer (or director or photographer). When you do well, you'll see a happy little picture of your Sim's face above his head. When you do poorly, you'll see an X-ed out version of your Sim. You'll get three reactions, one for each part of your song. On the harder objects, you'll get a second chance to rearrange your inspirations to hit those that you've missed. On the easier objects, you'll even get a third try virtually ensuring victory for all but the least attentive Sims. Do well and you'll gain fame and money; do poorly and you might even lose some of the fame you've already earned.
    While no word as of now from Aspyr on this title, porter of the original Sims for the Mac and all the subsequent expansions, an unchanged game engine and incredible popularity of the series make this a likely Mac port.

    Keep checking back with IMG as this title nears its release, and check out the IGN preview at the link below.

    IGN Preview of The Sims: Superstar
    Aspyr Media
    Westlake Interactive
    The Sims
    Buy The Sims

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    Mac OS X 10.2.6 to Contain UT2003 Fixes?
    9:39 AM | Eddie Park | Comment on this story

    In a small newsbyte focusing on the seeded release by Apple of Max OS 10.2.6 6L51 to developers, Mac Rumors also provides a bit of information that may be of interest to Mac gamers. Specifically, it mentions improvements regarding GeForce compatibility with Unreal Tournament 2003, a title that has yet to be officially released:

    USB kernel panic fixed, Unreal Tournament 2003 GeForce video improved compatibility and other minor fixes.
    While this should still firmly be treated as a rumor (i.e. don't start mail-bombing Epic with questions), it's definitely an interesting bit of speculation. There's also a forum thread attached to the article for those interested in reading opinions and observations from other Mac users. One user points out that Apple providing a fix for just one game may help discredit the rumor, though another user points out that UT2003 will most likely not be just any game.

    10.2.6 6L51 Seeded?
    Digital Extremes
    Unreal Tournament 2003
    Buy Unreal Tournament 2003

    Geneforge 2 Interview
    9:39 AM | Eddie Park | Comment on this story

    RPGDot has posted the results of an interview with Jeff Vogel of Spiderweb Software, with a focus on the upcoming Geneforge 2. The sequel to the popular RPG Geneforge, players will create creatures, make enemies, and forge alliances as they progress towards one of several different endings.

    One of the elements sparingly used in the first title at that will be made use of in the sequel is that of barred canisters, which Vogel notes will play a much greater role:

    The canisters change your DNA, writing magical abilities into your being. They have unfortunate side effects, however. For example, they drive you slowly mad. This will make a difference.
    Geneforge 2 will also contain a large variety of NPC Shapers, all with their own beliefs and ideals. The number of zones has also been bumped up to 84, 10 more than the previous title.

    The rest of the interview covers such topics as factions beliefs, new skills and spells, and possible paths to victory. As for a release date, Vogel hopes to have the Mac version out by July.

    RPGDot - Geneforge 2 Interview
    Spiderweb Software
    Geneforge 2

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    Apple Features the Torque Game Engine
    9:39 AM | Johan Hansén | Comment on this story

    Apple has posted a new game feature on their website. This time they look at the Torque Game Engine from GarageGames and four games that use the engine. The Torque game engine is a 3D game engine that supports multiple platforms and has solid networking code. Unlike the well known Unreal and Quake 3 Engines, Torque is aimed at small independent developers with a very low licensing fee. This doesn't mean that the engine is bad, or that it hasn't been used in high profile games. It's an engine with a high profile past.

    From the article:

    The Torque Game Engine started life at Dynamix, a development division of game giant Vivendi Universal Publishing, where the five GarageGames founders - Moore, Tunnell, Frohnmayer, Tim Gift (director of technology), and Rick Overman (director of technology) - created the engine as part of their work on Starsiege, Tribes, and Tribes 2.
    The games included in the feature are Marble Blast by GarageGames and Monster Studios, Orbz by 21-6 Productions, ThinkThanks by BraveTree Productions and finally, Tennis Critters by Nerd Riot Games. Marble Blast and Orbz are already available for both Mac and PC, while ThinkTanks and Tennis Critters are still in development. Read the full feature for more information about the Torque engine and the games created with it.

    Marble Blast Gold
    Tennis Critters
    21-6 Productions
    BraveTree Productions
    Apple Feature: The Torque Game Engine
    Buy Marble Blast Gold
    Buy Orbz
    Buy ThinkTanks

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    Majesty Sequel Shots, Info
    9:39 AM | Alvaro Radigales | Comment on this story

    Majesty Dragon, the Strategy Planet fan site about Cyberlore's fantasy kingdom sim Majesty, recently posted an update on this game's long-awaited sequel, Majesty Legends, along with a handful of screenshots.

    The first screenshot of this upcoming title was revealed barely two days ago by Cyberlore's Jay Adan through a post in their message boards.

    This is what Jay Adan has to say about the latest status update on this strategy game, as quoted from Majesty Dragon:

    Dear Majesty Fans,

    We realize that it's been a long time since we have had any concrete updates on the status of Majesty 2. Most of you have been waiting patiently for the big announcement. While we haven't yet decided on a publisher for Majesty Legends (our working title) we haven't been sitting idle either. The following screenshots show the current state of our work on the sequel.

    For the moment we will let the screenshots speak for themselves.

    -Jay Adan
    Cyberlore Marketing Manager

    While very little has been revealed about the nature of this title, the screenshots show that, unlike its predecessor, Majesty Legends will boast a fully three-dimensional engine, allowing an inmersive and extremely detailed view of our fantasy kingdom and its dwellers.

    For more information on this upcoming sequel and no less than nine exclusive screenshots, head to Majesty Dragon's story on Majesty Legends through the link provided below. No information on the possibility of a Mac port has yet been announced, but stay tuned to IMG for the latest.

    Majesty Dragon's Update on Majesty Legends
    IMG: Majesty 2 Teaser Revealed
    Buy Majesty 2

    Mac Games News for Thursday, April 24, 2003

    IMG Reviews Freeverse Board Games1:40 PM
    Majesty 2 Teaser Revealed10:59 AM
    MacPlay Distributing Another War9:05 AM
    MacPlay's Trivial Pursuit9:05 AM
    Phil Sulak Interview at MacGamer9:05 AM
    Second Medal of Honor Expansion for PC9:05 AM
    View all of the Mac games news for Thursday, April 24, 2003 on one page

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