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Thursday, June 12, 2003

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SimCity 4 Goes Gold
11:55 AM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

Aspyr Media has announced that SimCity 4 for the Macinotsh has gone gold and is now in duplication. The game will begin shipping in the next few weeks. The long-awaited 4th generation of the game SimCity, SimCity 4, 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 are the preliminary system requirements:

  • Mac OS X, version 10.2 or later
  • Power Mac G3/G4, iMac G4/eMac, PowerBook G4 (DVI model or better), iBook (32MB VRAM model only)
  • Processor speed 500 MHz or faster
  • 256 MB RAM
  • 1 GB of free hard disk space available
  • Hardware 3D acceleration required: ATI Radeon or NVidia GeForce card (32 MB VRAM or better)

    IMG's Eddie Park recently got a chance to take a beta of SimCity 4 for a spin. Be sure to check out his preview if you already haven't.

    The IMG Store continues to take pre-orders for this hot new title. It's available for $48.99. If you're an IMG Pro/MacGames CD subscriber, you can pre-order it for just $43.99. Two-day Fed Ex delivery is available for just $6.99! Be sure to place your pre-order today.

    IMG Preview: SimCity 4
    Aspyr Media
    SimCity 4
    Buy SimCity 4

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    IMG Reviews Dungeon Siege
    12:35 PM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

    Inside Mac Games has posted a review of MacSoft's epic RPG, Dungeon Siege. Dungeon Siege delivers, a fast paced game with many of the components that have made up the core of RPGs since the D&D tabletop days. As well as many standard RPG features, Dungeon Siege has many new innovations that set it apart from the masses of pre-existing RPGs lining store shelves.

    To check out the entire review, please follow the link below.

    IMG Review: Dungeon Siege
    Westlake Interactive
    Dungeon Siege
    Buy Dungeon Siege

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    UbiSoft on Shadowbane Issues
    11:47 AM | Eddie Park | Comment on this story

    Like most startup MMORPGs, Shadowbane has had its share of troubles. The problems have included login server reliability, server lag and memory leaks, and disappearing buildings. In an attempt to assuage the SB community at large, UbiSoft has recently released a statement concerning their stances and progress in addressing these issues.

    Login server problems and lag issues, probably two of the most talked-about problems in SB forums, are both marked as being worked on:

     Login Server Issues:  We have narrowed down the problem to two different software related causes and are currently working with our software vendors to get permanent fixes to the problems.  Once we receive these fixes and they pass our QA testing, we will update the login servers.  For those of you that have not been able to login to Shadowbane regardless of the login servers? status, we strongly believe that these problems are related to the same two causes and that they will clear up once the fixes are in place.  In the meantime, we will continue to fix as many accounts as we can manually.

    Server Lag & Memory Leaks:   We continue to believe the underlying cause behind the lag is related to memory usage on our servers.  The programmers are currently taking steps to improve the game's memory usage and have made some good progress that we hope will make it into the next patch.

    Also recently added to the SB news page is a State of Shadowbane statement, which includes a list of upcoming features requested by players. These include more high level MOBs, the addition of a friends list, and the ability to reallocate training points.

    Shadowbane - Shadowbane Issues Update
    Shadowbane - The State of Shadowbane
    Wolfpack Studios

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    Duke Nukem vs Take Two
    10:21 AM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

    Duke Nukem Forever, or as some like to call it, Duke Nukem Never, is now in its fifth year of development. That's right....five years. Last shown in 2001, the game has been druming up recent talk when it was revealed that the game would not be shown at last month's Electronic Entertainment Expo. Has it been cancelled? When will it ship? Those are the questions that have been floating around the Internet recently.

    The game is indeed still in development, but the publisher of Duke Nukem Forever, Take Two Interactive, vented its frustration with the delay in the game by taking a $5.5 million write-down on their earnings due to the game's "extended development time". Take Two CEO Jeff Lapin went on to say, "we're just hopeful that [3D Realms] will finish it."

    What ensued was a war of words from the developer, 3D Realms. In a column on CNN, Chris Morris checks out the supposed rift between the developer and publisher.

    Here's a clip:

    The relationship between publishers and game developers can sometimes be a rocky one. But that animosity is usually kept fairly quiet, at least until the game has been released.

    Occasionally, though, the hostilities boil over - and the resulting public spectacle becomes a titanic battle of egos. We're in the midst of one of those fights these days, with Take Two Interactive and 3D Realms sharing the pugilistic spotlight. For the past several months, the publisher of blockbuster titles such as "Grand Theft Auto" and the developer of the wildly popular "Duke Nukem" franchise have been taking increasingly hostile public shots at each other. And there's no telling where ? or when - it might end.

    To sure to check out the rest of the column by following the link below.

    Duke Nukem Forever
    CNN: Duke Nukem vs Take Two
    Buy Duke Nukem Forever

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    Elite Force II for the PC Goes Gold
    10:01 AM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

    Activision has announced that the PC version of Star Trek: Elite Force II has gone gold and is expected to be released on June 24th. The sequel was developed by Ritual Entertainment, whose previous titles included Heavy Metal: FAKK 2 and Sin.

    Here's more from the official PR:

    Prepare to blast into the heart of galactic evil as Activision, Inc.'s (Nasdaq: ATVI) Star Trek® Elite Force II has gone gold and is headed to retail. Set in the Star Trek: The Next Generation® universe, players take command as head of the elite Hazard Team in this heart-pounding first person action game. Gamers will arm themselves with an impressive array of advanced weaponry as they hack, battle and vaporize a relentless onslaught of enemies including hordes of nightmarish creatures, new never-before-seen alien species and familiar franchise staples such as the Borg and Romulans.
    The Macintosh version is currently at Alpha and is expected to be released in July/August. In a recent interview with Westlake's Glenda Adams had this to say regarding the Mac version, "Elite Force 2 is at alpha, and we're working on the latest PC code, so I think it will start beta testing soon. The previews of EF2 have been very good, so I think it will be a very good game."

    The Mac version of Star Trek: Elite Force II will be published by Aspyr Media.

    Ritual Entertainment
    Aspyr Media
    Star Trek Elite Force II
    Buy Star Trek Elite Force II

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    Larian Studios Announces Riftrunner
    9:49 AM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

    Belgium-based Larian Studios has announced Riftrunner, the second game based on the popular Divine Divinity universe. The company expects to release the PC version in the last quarter of 2003 and a Mac version in 2004.

    Back in March, the company announced that e.p.i.c. Interactive would be porting its first game, Divine Divinity, to the Mac and is expected to be released in the third quarter of this year.

    Here's more from the official PR:

    Larian Studios today announces the first details of their upcoming RPG, Riftrunner. Based on the award winning fantasy universe first introduced in Divine Divinity, Riftrunner is set to capture the imagination of RPG players yet again, and provides a strong stepping stone for the planned extension of the Divinity World.

    Development on Riftrunner secretly started last year and has been borne by the demand from the legion of Divinity fans. Development is nearing completion, and the timing is set for the official announcement. Riftrunner will be part of the growing Divinity Universe, which will also include Divinity 2, later next year.

    Divine Divinity won awards and accolades worldwide after its launch in 2002. Its huge fantasy world, strong storyline, unparalleled levels of interactivity, and unique character development system captured the hearts of RPG players. The feedback from these players convinced Larian Studios that their efforts were worthwhile, and they should continue.

    Swen Vincke, Project Leader, says, "Riftrunner is a continuation of the Divinity Universe. We've had thousands of true fans that loved Divine Divinity, who came to our forums and voiced their appreciation, and subsequently have craved for more. Riftrunner has been developed with these fans in mind."

    Using an enhanced version of the Divinity engine, and incorporating suggestions from the fan base, Riftrunner focuses on the strengths of its predecessor. Featuring a strong and compulsive storyline, a random quest generator, a new and unlimited character development system, and the unique interactive environment, Riftrunner is appealing to the true RPG fanbase. Other enhancements include 3D character animations, a new combat system and the introduction of a party. The main focus during Riftrunner?s development was to extend the RPG experience and universe.

    For more info on this game, as well as screenshots, head over to the official Riftrunner web site.


    Simodifier For The Sims Released
    9:49 AM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

    Lake Group Software has released a utility called Simodifier that allows you to change certain aspects of your Sims characters. The $10 utility lets you edit the personality traits, family money, skills, interests, career paths and levels, as well as relationship values of adult, children, and pet characters.

    A Mac OS X demo version is available for download at It is fully functional butonly allows you to modify the first family in each neighbothood.

    The company will be releasing a Mac OS 9 version of the utility on June 21st.

    Aspyr Media
    Westlake Interactive
    The Sims
    MGF: Simodifier 1.0
    Buy The Sims

    Mac Games News for Wednesday, June 11, 2003

    Unreal Tournament 2003 Ships!1:00 PM
    IMG Store: Pre-Order Zoo Tycoon12:35 PM
    MacMOHAA Fansite Updated12:30 PM
    Another Sims Expansion Ahead?11:57 AM
    Blizzard Closes Diablo II Accounts10:20 AM
    E3 Award Winners Revealed10:20 AM
    IMG Interviews Project Magma10:20 AM
    Macgamer Reviews Spearhead10:20 AM
    View all of the Mac games news for Wednesday, June 11, 2003 on one page

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