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Monday, May 5, 2003

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Championship Manager 4 Hits Europe
9:09 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

In the latest update to their web site, Feral has announced the Euopean version of the hit football simulator Championship Manger 4 is Gold Master. Localized demos of the game have been released in a number of languages, and a promised 4.0.4 patch is now ready for OS 9 users.

Here's the scoop on the game's status:

The European language versions of CM4 have today gone gold and will be in distribution within two weeks. Already a huge hit in the three weeks since it's release in the UK, the European Mac version of CM4 plays in French, German, Italian, Spanish, Dutch, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Scouse and Cockney.
The new demos themselves each run between 21MB and 26MB downloads. Six are available now, and here's a quick note on what each contains:
Each demo runs in the language of its country and contains a quickstart for its domestic league, except for the Scandinavian which contains the English and Scottish quickstart leagues.
Head over to the main Feral site to download any of these new demos.

Lastly, for those users already playing Championship Manager 4 under OS 9, Feral has made the 4.0.4 Enhancement Pack available for the older operation system. The update has been out for Mac OS X for a while, so if you've already grabbed it, there's no need to do so again.

Feral Interactive
Download 4.0.4 Enhancement Pack for Mac OS 9/OS X (6.5MB)

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IMG Previews SimCity 4
12:19 PM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

Inside Mac Games has posted a preview of SimCity 4. The game, scheduled to be released by Aspyr Media sometime in May, features new simulation and graphics engines, new regional game play and the new ability to track the lives of individual Sims as they go about their daily routine.

Here's a clip from the preview:

When I received a copy of the current build of SimCity 4 in the mail via the moguls at Aspyr Media, I didn't immediately install and run it like I do most betas. While I was definitely interested in trying it out, the idea of creating and running a city seemed almost to be an exercise in monotony, something that I thought could only appeal to those who enjoy playing as a god.

The first time I tried SimCity 4, however, the 30 minutes I thought I would spend with it stretched into 3 hours, and probably would have gone even longer if I didn't force myself to stop and tend to other matters. The developers at Maxis seem to have done the impossible - they've created a micromanagement sim that, while maintaining a highly complex amount of data, conditions, and options, still manages to be highly accessible to beginners such as myself. Which is saying something, considering the fact that I still dislike micromanagement sims.

To check out the entire preview, be sure to follow the link below. And don't forget to place your pre-order for SimCity 4 through the IMG Store!

IMG Preview: SimCity 4
Aspyr Media
Buy SimCity 4

EA Announces The Sims 2
9:41 AM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

Electronic Arts today announced The Sims 2, the sequel to the best-selling PC game of all time. The game is being developed by The Sims' original creator, Will Wright of EA's Maxis Studio and will be unveiled for the first time at this year's E3 in Los Angeles.

Scheduled to ship in early 2004, The Sims 2 will allow players to control their Sims over an entire lifetime. The Sims 2 will also feature genetics, allows the DNA of Sims to be passed down through generations. In addidition, The Sims 2 will feature a brand-new 3D engine and all-new gameplay.

Here's more info on The Sims 2 from the official press release:

"The Sims, themselves, always have been the most interesting part of the game experience for me. Giving them DNA makes them even more life-like and increases the personal connection between players and their Sims," said Will Wright, Chief Game Designer at EA's Maxis Studio, "The strategy of playing Sims across a lifetime and experiencing their emergent traits and behaviors will give players a deeper and more realistic experience."

Next Generation Simulation
Guiding your Sims through "Life's Big Moments" takes on new importance, as players now get a "Life Score" to measure how well they are playing each individual Sim. The decisions that players make throughout the lifetime of their Sims now have an impact on their long-term success or failure. A choice made as a toddler has a direct effect on the teen and adult Sim they become. Will players be able to successfully lead their Sims through such important events as a first step, first crush, or marriage proposal, all while the clock is ticking?

Next Generation Sims
The Sims in The Sims 2 are more aware and responsive to both other Sims and their surroundings. Sims truly come to life expressing moods and feelings through more realistic body animations and for the first time facial animations. They form complex relationships and are able to distinguish between family and friends, platonic friendships and romantic love. Sims in The Sims 2 now have DNA. Passing along physical characteristics and traits to their offspring, Sims both resemble and behave like their ancestors. As in real life, the appearance of the Sims now changes over time. In addition to getting older, a Sim that spends too much time on the couch will develop a paunch and a Sim that works out will enjoy rock solid abs.

Next Generation Features
An entirely new 3-D engine makes the world of The Sims 2 more life-like and dynamic. The Sims 2 will also introduce an all-new "Create-A-Sim" feature. This allows you to customize the facial features of your Sim with a few simple clicks, to a level of detail never realized before. In The Sims 2, players are now able to build dwellings over two stories and have the ability to coordinate and customize the homes of their Sims to a new degree of design with all-new furniture, lighting and objects.

The original Sims for the Mac and its five expansion packs were published by Aspyr Media. There's no word yet on whether Aspyr plans on porting The Sims 2 to the Mac, but we'll sure to keep you posted.

Aspyr Media
Westlake Interactive
The Sims
Buy The Sims

GameSpot Posts Spy Hunter Impressions
7:51 AM | Galen Wiley | Comment on this story

Online video gaming publication GameSpot has posted a "first impressions" article on the upcoming Mac and PC arcade racer, Spy Hunter. The article gives readers a glimpse at what to expect in the final product, and includes information regarding storyline, gameplay, game performance, game development, estimated shipping dates (for the PC version) and more. Below is an excerpt from the article:

Spy Hunter is based on the 1980s arcade game of the same name, and it shares the same James Bond-like superspy premise that will have you take on an evil organization in an incredibly powerful vehicle, the G-6155 Interceptor. Many of the mechanics of the original game remain intact--you'll take out enemies with the smoke screen, oil slick, and front-mounted guns found in the original, but you'll also have more potent weaponry, such as heat-seeking missiles, defensive flamethrowers, and an electromagnetic pulse cannon. The interceptor proves to be a very adaptable vehicle, as it can switch from car to boat and back, and if it takes too much damage, the outer shell will fall off to reveal either a slim motorcycle or a Jet Ski, depending on whether you're on the road or in the water.
For more, be sure to read the full feature.

Spy Hunter is being developed by Aspyr Media and according to their April newsletter is nearing final candidate status. It is already available for pre-order at Aspyr's online store and the Inside Mac Games store.

Spy Hunter Impressions
Aspyr Media

Composer Alex Dimitrijevic on The Gamesome Mac
7:51 AM | Sean Smith | Comment on this story

On tonight's broadcast of The Gamesome Mac, the weekly Mac gaming radio program, hosts Sean Smith and Omaha Sternberg talk with composer Aleksandar Dimitrijevic about computer games and music.

Alex is well known for his outstanding scores for Otto Matic and Bugdom 2 from Pangea Software. He has also written music for the upcoming Pangea game Billy Frontier and the eagerly-awaited Unreal Tournament mod SAS: Into the Lion's Den.

Sean and Omaha will also offer Mac gaming news, reviews and commentaries, and along with their guest will take live questions from listeners in The Gamesome Mac's chat room.

The Gamesome Mac can be heard live on from 6 to 8 pm Pacific Time, 9 to 11 pm Eastern (Tuesday from 0100 to 0300 UTC), and on demand thereafter. You can tune in at The Gamesome Mac's web page, where you'll also find archives of past broadcasts. QuickTime 5 or 6 and a 28 kbps or faster Internet connection are required. Aleksandar Dimitrijevic Demo
Pangea Software

iDevGames Interviews NoSTalgia Creators
7:51 AM | Scott Turner | Comment on this story

iDevGames has put up an interview with Philippe Gerin and François Menu, developer and sound programmer respectively for their Atari ST emulator, NoSTalgia. With its newest release bringing native support for Mac OS X, these two review NoSTalgia's history, from their first Ataris and games to modern Quicktime and developer tools. The two reminisce about their favorite games, systems, and also discuss their support and continuing development on NoSTalgia.

Emulation has come a long way, and today's emulator fan can even emulate computers and consoles that were recently placed into the market place, such as Nintendo and Sega consoles. Do you think the interest in emulation for older classic hardware is fading?

Not really. I have alot of feedback from NoSTalgia users. They like the old games better than the new ones, even if they do have much better graphics and sound. I think these games are appealing to users because their concepts were easier to grasp and get right into. The game Elite is a great example.

You can check out the rest of the article at the iDevGames link below.

iDevGames NoSTalgia Interview
NoSTalgia Homepage

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New Majesty Legends Info
7:51 AM | Johan Hansén | Comment on this story

GameSpot has posted a short interview with Jay Adan from Cyberlore Studios, talking about Majesty Legends, the upcoming sequel to the classic strategy game Majesty: The Fantasy Kingdom Sim. One thing that set the original game aside from the other strategy games was that Majesty never gave you direct command over the units, instead you had to express you needs through reward flags. This feature will be included in the sequel, but a bit more advanced.

From the article:

The reward flags were one of the key innovations of Majesty, and we are planning to expand that concept quite a bit. More specifically, we want to make it apply to more actions than those that involve combat or exploration. Let me give you a hypothetical. Let's say that a giant spider has taken up residence in a nearby forest. It periodically waylays travelers to your kingdom but isn't assaulting the walls of your kingdom. You could place a reward for its destruction, and your warriors would go out and attempt to destroy it, or you could place a reward for its capture, and your rangers will attempt to bring it back for display in your menagerie or to study it for other uses. We see a large variety to the number of rewards that you could place that would depend both on the target of the reward as well as what heroes that you have to encourage. This provides you, the sovereign, lots of options when it comes to dealing with your kingdom at large.
Head over to GameSpot to read the whole article.

So far, Majesty Legends is in a prototype stage and nothing has been said about a Macintosh version of it. Majesty: The Fantasy Kingdom Sim is available for the Mac thanks to the publisher MacPlay. We will keep you informed as more information about Majesty Legends is revealed.

Cyberlore Studios
GameSpot: Majesty Legends Q&A
Buy Majesty 2

Mac Games News for Friday, May 2, 2003

IGN Previews Tony Hawk 48:00 PM
IMG Reviews Worms Blast11:58 AM
Contraband: Uplink Port Complete11:56 AM
Aspyr April Newsletter Posted9:54 AM
Aspyr Posts Kelly Slater Mini-Site9:54 AM
Custer's Desktops: Creature Isle9:54 AM
New Elite Force II Trailer Released9:54 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Friday, May 2, 2003 on one page

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