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Monday, May 19, 2003

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Warbirds III: Free Weekend Coming
8:38 AM | Eddie Park | Comment on this story

Gamers interested in trying out Warbirds III may be interested in an upcoming offer. During the weekend of May 23-25, the iEntertainment Network will be opening up Warbirds III free of charge. In addition, free credit and online time will also be randomly awarded:

Join us in the FPA or MAIN arenas in WarbirdsIII for FREE this weekend. Sign up here if you don't have an account - NO CREDIT CARD REQUIRED -

FREE account credits and free online time will be awarded randomly to new and veteran pilots!
Warbirds III is a massively multiplayer online game that puts players in the cockpits of various planes from the era of World War II. Training areas, special events, and team-based battles round out the package.

iEntertainment Network
WarBirds III
Warbirds III Review

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IMG Reviews ThinkThanks
8:30 PM | Johan HansÚn | Comment on this story

IMG's Zack Lipowski has posted a review of BraveTree Productions' third person tank blaster game ThinkTanks that is available for Mac, PC and Linux from the publisher GarageGames.

From the review:

The basic premise of the game is to, in short, obliterate anything that moves. To accomplish this ever-important task, you are given a tank to use. However, this is no ordinary M1 Abraham. Situated where normally a human gunner would be is instead a giant brain with eyes encased in a glass jar. Now, if you haven't already spit your drink onto the screen in bewilderment, it gets even more surreal. A tank is no fun unless you have something to destroy, right? Well, Garage Games gives you "Brain-Bots" as meat bags for your destructive ambitions. Unsurprisingly, they belong to Alien Mind Control, an organization that once had you enslaved by their brain rays, but now that you have been mentally freed, you must escape and rescue your fellow comrades-and stay alive in the process.
To read the full review, follow the link provided below. The ThinkTanks demo is available from, so if you haven't downloaded it yet, go there and do so today.

BraveTree Productions
IMG Review: ThinkTanks
MGF: ThinkThanks Demo 1.0
Buy ThinkTanks

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Dungeon Siege Trailer Released
10:15 AM | Johan HansÚn | Comment on this story

Apple Games has posted a trailer of the recently released action focused RPG Dungeon Siege from MacSoft. The game features a stunningly beautiful 3D engine that is designed so that you will be able to travel through the whole world without ever having to halt the gameplay to load new areas.

From the MacSoft website:

Assemble and control a party of up to eight heroes at a time as you battle your way through the seamless and expansive 3D world of Ehb. From warriors and archers to wizards, and even Packmules to carry your treasure, you and your party will wreak vengeance on an ancient evil. Whether you're playing alone or in multiplayer mode, victory is within your grasp. Let the battles begin.
To view this amazing RPG in action, head over to Apple Games to find the trailer. Should you be convinced to buy the game, just head over to the IMG Store to order your copy today.

Apple Games: Dungeon Siege Trailer
Westlake Interactive
Dungeon Siege
Buy Dungeon Siege

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Gamespot Posts Warcraft III: Frozen Throne Impressions
9:55 AM | Scott Turner | Comment on this story

Gamespot has posted their first reaction to the single player part of the soon to be released Warcraft III expansion set, Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne. Being developed simultaneously for the Mac and PC by developer Blizzard Entertainment, the expansion has been in closed multiplayer beta for some time now. Gamespot admitted that the multiplayer portion of the game had significantly improved since its initial release, but they didn't know how the single-player campaigns were shaping up. When they traveled to E3, however, they were able to get their hands on the single-player portion of this game for a little play-testing.

The hands-on impression gives a quick overview of what new features are to be included, from the new naval units, heroes, brand new campaigns, and an all new RPG style single player campaign.

Here's a quick clip:

The orc campaign follows its own story arc, with the orcs setting up a new nation called Durotar on the continent of Kalimdor, where they fled after the events portrayed in Reign of Chaos. You'll start out controlling a nomadic beastmaster named Rexxar, who ends up joining Thrall's fledgling government in the city of Ogremar. There's absolutely no base building in the orc campaign, making the combat and gameplay style a lot more reminiscent of Diablo than an RTS game. You'll explore huge maps and take on larger groups of creeps and enemies than you would normally see in a Warcraft III mission, and buildings have also been scaled up in size to give the campaign a more RPG-like feel.
You can grab the rest of the preview at the Gamespot link below.

Gamespot's Impressions of WCIII:TFT
WarCraft III: The Frozen Throne
Blizzard Entertainment
Buy WarCraft III: The Frozen Throne

E3 Report and 21-6 on The Gamesome Mac
8:38 AM | Sean Smith | Comment on this story

On tonight's broadcast of The Gamesome Mac, the weekly Mac gaming radio program, host Sean Smith returns from Los Angeles to report in depth on the Electronic Entertainment Expo 2003, the mammoth trade show of the computer and video game industry.

Sean and co-host Omaha Sternberg also talk with Justin Mette, founder of 21-6 Productions, the developers of Orbz (published by GarageGames).

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

The Gamesome Mac can be heard live on MacRadio 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.

21-6 Productions
E3 2003

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X-Plane 6.70 Released
8:38 AM | Tim Morgan | Comment on this story

Austin Meyer of Laminar Research has released version 6.70 of his general-aviation flight simulator X-Plane. The new version, among the last for the 6.xx series, incorporates some new features and optimizations found in the beta 7.00 release. The complete list:

  • New plugins.

  • Some speed optimizations from Version-7 applied for higher frame-rate.

  • C key to bring up sectional chart.

  • FADEC failures now available.

  • Failures now outputtable by udp selection.

  • DME avail to carriers and frigates.

  • Beta prop option in Plane-Maker to get thet reverse just right.

  • World-Maker auto-grid option stays away from the env edges so the env edges are always perfect.

  • In Plane-Maker, put the new water gage in the supplementary folder on the panel of your water bomber... then skim the ocean to pick up water to drop on fires!

  • World-Maker apt/nav search improved... now finds apt and nav ids of even non-standard length.

  • Support for more OS-X joysticks.

  • More fine-tune control over the view in world-maker when using the SHIFT +/-/arrows to really get those runways positoned perfectly.

  • No more crashing when pulling the mixture on lift-fans.

  • Cars and houses and stuff do not turn on their lites quite so easily.. they were turning on their lites even on a cloudy day.

  • Fires can be put out by dropping flame-retardant on them.

X-Plane 6 is the current version of Laminar's massive flight simulator which allows players to take up a seemingly endless number of aircraft around the Earth and into outer space. Meyer is currently working to release the next generation of his simulator, X-Plane 7, while continuing to support version 6.

Laminar Research
X-Plane 6
Download X-Plane 6.70 Beta/Demo (99 MB)

Enable XBox Controllers for Mac Use
8:38 AM | Eddie Park | Comment on this story

An enterprising programmer by the name of Darrell Walisser has recently made available a HID driver that allows use of a standard XBox controller in OS X. The driver can be downloaded free of charge, though optional donations to support future development can be made. The driver also comes with the source code for interested parties to tinker and test.

While the current set only supports gamepads, Walisser notes it could be further developed:

While it currently only supports gamepads, this driver can be extended to support other XBox devices, including wheels, IR receivers, headsets, and memory units.
The driver currently requires OS 10.2.6. Also, due to the XBox's unique connector shape, a USB adapter is required in order to hook one up to a Mac. More information on where to obtain one, as well as user impressions on the driver's functionality itself, can be found in a current forum thread.

XBox HID Driver for Mac OS X
Use Your Xbox Controller with Your Mac

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PC Halo Previews
8:38 AM | Mike Apps | Comment on this story

Gaming networks IGN and Gamespot both recently posted hands-on previews of the upcoming PC version of Bungie's Halo. Gearbox, the company in charge of the PC version of the game, recently showed of the fruits of their labor at E3. The previews focus mainly on the look and feel of Halo on the Xbox, and both are quite positive about the results.

Here's a snip from Gamespot's preview:

Jumping into a familiar single-player level gave us plenty of opportunity to see just how good the game feels with PC mouse-and-keyboard controls. Aiming with a mouse seems to make the game a little easier, given that the lock-on reticle system is the same. The elegant Xbox control scheme translates over to just a handful of keys, with the grenade throw assigned to the right mouse button. Perhaps the one moment we missed the Xbox analog controls was when we climbed into a warthog, but the driving controls were still quite intuitive.
And here's one from the IGN preview:
The first thing to note is control. Mouse and keyboard play makes the game substantially more enjoyable to play (simple aim, leaping shots to the face, better precision for shooting under and around obstacles, more fluid vehicle control, etcetera). This is all pretty obvious. Even though a gamepad option will be included, mouse and keyboard play is all that's needed and all that should be used. Perhaps not so obviously apparent is that for single player, the game can get pretty easy. Randy believes that because there is now no auto aim and you thus have to take more time to lead targets and figure out the ballistics system, that it'll be somewhat more difficult, or at least difficult enough to be a comparable experience to the Xbox version with auto aim, but lacking mouse control. In practice, it doesn't always work out like this.
For those wondering about the Mac version of Halo, its being worked on by Westlake Interactive, and is not too far behind the PC version. For more information on Halo, or to read either preview, follow the provided links below.

IGN Halo PC preview
GameSpot Halo PC preview
Bungie Studios
Westlake Interactive
Halo: Combat Evolved

Mac Games News for Friday, May 16, 2003

E3: Video Tour of Apple's Room5:34 PM
IMG Store: Pre-Order Frozen Throne, Everquest2:03 PM
Saitek Unveils the Cyborg Evo1:56 PM
Is Unreal Tournament for OS X Dead?12:47 PM
Black & White 2 Screenshots12:21 PM
The Sims 2 Impressions12:20 PM
Custer's Desktops: Counting Sheep8:31 AM
E3: Doom 3 Trailer Released8:31 AM
IGN Posts Jedi Academy Impressions8:31 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Friday, May 16, 2003 on one page

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