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Monday, June 30, 2003



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MacSoft Debuts Neverwinter Nights Page
9:00 AM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

MacSoft has taken the wraps off of the official Neverwinter Nights page on the company's web site and has for the first time posted a release date: July 2003. The new NWN Page includes a wealth of information including the storyline, screenshots, and more.

Here's a description of NWN from the web site:

Six years in the making, Neverwinter Nights for Macintosh is an epic realization of the fantasy setting of Dungeons and Dragons. Set in the turbulent world of the Forgotten Realms™, and using the most comprehensive adoption of the 3rd edition rules to date, BioWare has brought the pen and paper game to your computer.

You are the hero in a quest to save the city of Neverwinter itself as it topples toward oblivion. This is only the beginning of your journey as you plunge into a tale of faith, war and betrayal. Adventure through an amazing 60+ hours of the Official Campaign rising from a humble student to champion and savior in an attempt to stop a terrible evil.

Unlimited adventures-join a thriving community of over a million members in adventures with friends from around the globe though BioWare’s Neverwinter Nights Community Site.

To check out the web site, be sure to follow the link below. NWN Mac is now available through the MacSoft web site as well as the IMG Store.

Be on the lookout for an extensive preview of the game based a on recent beta on IMG soon.

BioWare
MacSoft
Neverwinter Nights
Official NWN Mac web site
Buy Neverwinter Nights


IMG Reviews MacAlly Noise Reduction Headphones
12:36 PM | Lucian Fong | Comment on this story

In an effort to diversify IMG's hardware coverage, Greg Gant has explored MacAlly's first audio product, the Noise Reduction Headphones. Despite the not-so-original product name, MacAlly has a solid product on their hands. Here is an excerpt from the review.

I didn’t expect noise reduction to alter the soundscape but it made an incredible difference. MacAlly should rename the noise-canceling feature to suckiness on/off (suckiness off being noise reduction on). It’s not fair to review the headphones without the noise reduction enabled. The 'phones sound thin and feeble without noise reduction enabled. As soon as the noise reduction is turned on, they jump to life; the bass becomes defined and powerful, the midrange is more pronounced, and the stereo separation is enhanced. Strangely enough, the 16 dB of noise reduction is hard to notice. Simply cupping your hands and tightly placing them over your ears will provide around 10 dB of noise reduction. It’s hard to say if the noise reduction occurred because I was wearing the headphones or if they actually were reducing noise.
Read the rest of the review to find out more about MacAlly's Noise Reduction Headphones.

IMG Review: MacAlly Noise Reduction Headphones
Noise Reduction Headphones
MacAlly


New Max Payne 2 Screenshots
11:45 AM | Mike Apps | Comment on this story

A Max Payne fan site, Max Payne Headquarters, recently posted some screenshots of the upcoming sequel to Max Payne. The screenshots feature some impressive 3D visuals, and there was originally some question as to if they were real in game screenshots. The folks at Max Payne Headquarters posted the following in regards to that:

Just incase you were doubting that these shots are real ingame pics of MP2, Mika Reini, Remedy's Office Mangager said this on 3D Realms's boards:

Some have asked the question whether the screenshots are pre-rendered or realtime.

All screenshots are realtime. We never do pre-rendered.

Follow the link below to check out the shots yourself. While there are currently no plans for a Max version, there is always a possiblity. Stay tuned to IMG.

New Max Payne 2 Screenshots



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Duke Nukem Forever FAQ Updated
11:42 AM | Galen Wiley | Comment on this story

Planet Duke, a web-based community for the popular Duke Nukem series of games has updated their official FAQ for the upcoming Duke Nukem Forever. The update includes more than 40 new or revised entries, including developer and publishing rights, pre-order information, gameplay related topics, and much more. Below is an excerpt from the full FAQ:

2.1 - How many weapons will DNF have? What will they be?
Not much is known yet, but it is almost certain that there will be roughly 13 or 14 weapons in the game, according to an interview with George Broussard. You can expect some of the old favorites from Duke Nukem 3D to be back in updated forms, such as the Shrinker and Pipe Bombs.

Based upon what we can tell from the E3 2001 DNF video, the Mighty Foot is back, as is the shotgun, a machine gun, the RPG, and of course the laser trip mines. We can also assume the Shrinker is in the game since we see Duke squash a shrunken guy in the video. In addition to these, we see a sniper rifle, a variety of turret guns, and a riot shield.

Other new weapons are not known at this time, but chances are that they will be just as innovative as those in Duke Nukem 3D, and will most likely feature multiple firing modes.

Check out the official FAQ for more. Duke Nukem Forever is currently slated for a Windows-only release, but a Mac version is highly anticipated, should initial sales do well. Stay tuned to IMG as we keep you up to date.

The Official Duke Nukem Forever FAQ
Duke Nukem Forever
Buy Duke Nukem Forever



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PlayMyth Mac Client News
11:41 AM | Galen Wiley | Comment on this story

The news section at PlayMyth.net has been updated once again, with an article concerning the Mac client of Myth II v1.4. The announcement reveals that a new build of the Mac beta is currently available (the older one having expired over the weekend). PlayMyth also plans to release an OS X version of the Myth II installer, as to avoid running the the CD installer in OS X's Classic Mode.

In general news, the article also announces that the PlayMyth servers will only be accessible for clients using Myth II 1.4, as to prevent previous problems with security.

Here's the article:

The Mac beta installer expired over the weekend and I neglected to upload the new version - my bad. I have since done so and all should be well with the Mac installer. Coming soon we will have a direct from CD-installer from OS X so that if you don't want to use classic mode to install from CD, you won't have to. Use the download link in the next story down to get the Mac or PC build of the Myth II Beta.

Also, we've had to take some further steps to protect PlayMyth from those would hold us hostage to their demands. As many of you know we had someone causing problems on the server by crashing hosts, ghosting in rooms and booting people off the server by crashing rooms. We cannot allow this to continue. The reason why these things happened is because the server still supports the now legacy 1.3 method of Myth networking. This was done to ensure that 1.3.2 and 1.3 clients could play on the same server. With 1.4 out and everyone using it, there is no reason to support these legacy functions. From this date on, only the 1.4 networking protocols will work. This will affect only those trying to connect using v1.3.x of Myth II and those attempting to connect with a third-party hack.
For more information about PlayMyth and Myth II v1.4, check out the links below.

Myth II Mac Beta Installer & Other News
Myth II v1.4
PlayMyth



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Blizzard's Bill Roper Interview
11:11 AM | Mike Apps | Comment on this story

homelan recently got a chance to sit down and chat with Blizzard's Bill Roper. The interview talks mainly about Blizzard's upcoming games, which include Warcraft III:The Frozen Throne, the console only game Starcraft Ghost, and of course World of Warcraft.
Here's a snippet from the article:

Of course, the biggest current news event concerning the company is Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne, the expansion pack to their hit RTS sequel of 2002. The expansion is due to be shipping to stores worldwide tomorrow with a whopping 2.5 million copies heading to retail store shelves. Even though huge shipments of games are now normal for Blizzard, Roper still seemed amazed at the sheer numbers for Frozen Throne. “I remember when we shipped our first PC game and we came out with 200,000 copies,” Roper said of a number that would still be a respectable figure for most PC games today. “We asked ourselves, ‘Can we really sell that many copies?’” Frozen Throne has turned out well, according to Roper, “We got it all in,” he said, referring to all of the new content and features they have included in the expansion. “I’m amazed with the sheer work and content the team put into it.” When asked, Roper would not completely discount Blizzard putting out a second expansion pack to Warcraft III, saying they will make that decision after evaluating the success of Frozen Throne.

Another release of a somewhat smaller scale is due out soon but is still important to millions of players: the 1.10 patch to their action-RPG Diablo II. Roper told us, “We are down to a few bugs..” in testing the patch, which will likely be the last that will add new content to the game. As far as the patch’s release dates, Roper will only say that it will be soon after the release of Frozen Throne in order to give some distance between these two major releases on Battle.net. “We want to make sure the two products don’t collide,“ he said.

To check out the full article, follow the provided link below. If you'd like to Pre-Order The Frozen Throne, then head on over to the IMG store.

Blizzard's Bill Roper Interview
Blizzard Entertainment
WarCraft III: The Frozen Throne
Buy WarCraft III: The Frozen Throne


Beenox Secret Project 'Twister' Announced
11:06 AM | Galen Wiley | Comment on this story

Mac and PC developer Beenox Studio has just announced another future development project, codenamed Twister. While the actual product is yet to be revealed to the public, Beenox's game information webpage reveals that the game will be Windows and Mac compatible, and is expected to be released sometime this year. Here's the official word:

CODENAME: TWISTER
Coming in 2003 for Windows and Macintosh
Current status: Undisclosed

Yet another great title in the work. Visit this page often as more details become available
Beenox in the past has ported various Aspyr titles including Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 4. Stay tuned for more information.

Beenox



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New Redline Progress
10:46 AM | Mike Apps | Comment on this story

Ambrosia software today made an update to the progress log for their upcoming game Redline. Redline is an original racing game, featuring an impressive physics engine along with detailed 3D graphics. Here's the latest update to the log:

new build..
changes:
-brake discs are now displayed, and they will glow under heavy braking.
-motion blur for wheels.
-car lights are no longer visible through walls
To check out previous log updates and more info on Redline, follow the below links. Be sure to stay tuned to IMG for more information on Redline as it continues to be developed.

Redline Progress Log
Ambrosia Software
Redline



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Warcraft III 1.10 Update Coming Soon
9:19 AM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

Blizzard on Friday announced that they will be released a significant update to Warcraft III: The Reign of Chaos. The 1.10 patch will add clan support as wel as many of the interface enhancements found in the Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne expansion set.

Here's what Blizzard had to say about the update:

As a way of saying THANK YOU to the Warcraft III community, which has been so supportive of the game both during development and after it went live in July of last year, Warcraft III players connecting to Battle.net will receive a significant patch to Reign of Chaos in the days ahead. This patch will add clan support and many of the interface enhancements found in the soon-to-be-released expansion set, Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne. For a partial list detailing a few of the upcoming upgrades to Reign of Chaos, please read this forum post.

Due to the sheer number and scope of the changes going into Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos, the upcoming patch will move the game’s version number from 1.06 to 1.10. Listed below is a small sampling of some of the upgrades that players can expect after logging on to Battle.net and downloading the patch, which we are planning to make available very soon. After downloading the patch, please see the patch text for the full list of changes to the game.

- Upgrades and units can be queued in the same queue chain.
- Buildings can now be queued.
- A creep camp minimap filter has been added. When it is used, small circular
graphics are displayed on the minimap, representing the location of creep
camps.
- Upgrade & Research Complete alerts now include text messages that indicate
which upgrade has just finished.
- Added player handicaps that allow players to limit their units' maximum hit
points prior to a game starting.
- Battle.net: Players can now select their icon from icons they have unlocked. They can also see how many wins are required for each icon.
- Observers can now use minimap pings to alert other observers to points of
interest.
- A new type of observer has been added called the "referee." A referee can
chat with the players in the game.
- Battle.net: Players can now filter custom games to only show game types they
want to play.
- Players can now transfer resources to the allied army of a teammate who
left the game.
- Much, much, much more.
We'll be sure to let you know when the update is released.

The much-anticipated expansion pack for Warcraft III, The Frozen Throne, is scheduled to be released tomorrow, July 1st. Be sure to place your order for it through the IMG Store.

Blizzard Entertainment
WarCraft III
Blizzard: Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos to Receive Upgrade Patch
Buy WarCraft III



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The Sims: Vacation, Unleashed Updates Released
9:11 AM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

Aspyr has released two beta patches for The Sims: Vacation and The Sims: Unleashed. Both files are available for download at Macgamefiles.com.

Here's what's included in The Sims: Vacation patch:

This is a beta version of an update to The Sims Vacation. It fixes one specific bug in the Macintosh version. This is the English version of the game only.

If the picture-in-picture window pops up and you are choosing an action with a Sim (the interaction radial menu is open), the game will crash.

There are other issues we are still working on, but this application will give you a fix to the most annoying issue with the game.

Here's a description of The Sims: Unleashed beta patch:
This is a beta version of an update to The Sims Unleashed. It fixes two specific bugs in the Macintosh version. This is the English version of the game only.

  • If you breed your pets, and choose to keep the baby animal when it matures, the game would crash under certain circumstances.
  • Certain actions by strays that come onto your house lot would also cause a crash.

    There are other issues we are still working on, but this application will give you fixes to these two known crashes.

  • To grab both files, be sure to head over to MGF.

    Aspyr Media
    Westlake Interactive
    Maxis
    The Sims: Vacation
    The Sims: Unleashed
    MGF: The Sims: Vacation 2.4.1b3
    Buy The Sims: Vacation
    Buy The Sims: Unleashed


    New Video Games Ratings on the Way
    9:00 AM | Eddie Park | Comment on this story

    According to Yahoo! News, the ratings that gamers in the U.S. have gotten used to seeing posted on their game boxes will be receiving an update in the future. Reported to be in response to the series of actions taken by various parts of the government to control the sale of violent games, the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) plans on making the revised rating system more descriptive, particularly in terms of violence:

    The Entertainment Software Rating Board said in a statement issued on Thursday that depictions of violence in games would be described by one of four new categories depending on where the action falls between slapstick caricature and more realistic portrayals of injury and death.
    Some of the categories that fall under the violence label will include cartoon violence, fantasy violence, and intense violence. Minimum recommended ages will also be displayed on games rated Mature or Adults Only.

    Yahoo! News - Video Game Industry to Change Ratings System


    New OS X Aleph One Build Available
    9:00 AM | Eddie Park | Comment on this story

    The Marathon Open Source team has recently released a new build of Aleph One, the ongoing volunteer project to keep the Marathon series alive. The latest OS X version of the build features various fixes and enhancements:

    These builds include various enhancements and bug fixes in addition to the new player-prediction mechanism. Prominent bugs fixed include one that prevented Aleph One from launching on Windows 98 Special Edition, Windows NT 4, and earlier versions of Windows (error: Missing export - KERNEL32.DLL:OpenThread), one that prevented Aleph One from launching on certain Mac OS X systems (error: 13" display required), and one that affected looking up and down with the keyboard.
    In related news, the Marathon Infinity demo Mac fileset has been tweaked so that Aleph One can once again start up with it with no problems. The dev team adds that the fileset is useful only to people who don't have actual Marathon 2, Marathon Infinity, or comparable files available.

    Those interested in downloading any of the team's latest work can find it at the official Marathon Open Source site.

    Marathon Open Source
    Bungie Studios
    Marathon Infinity


    The Gamesome Mac Talks with Glenda Adams
    9:00 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 welcome back Glenda Adams to talk about EverQuest and about her new role at Aspyr Media.

    EverQuest, which Sony Online Entertainment shipped for the Mac last week, was converted by Westlake Interactive, mostly by Glenda while she was still president of the Mac game porting house. Glenda recently left Westlake to accept the position of director of PC and Mac development at game publisher Aspyr Media.

    Sean and Omaha will also offer Mac gaming news, reviews, 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.

    The Gamesome Mac
    Aspyr Media
    EverQuest
    Buy EverQuest


    Mac Games News for Friday, June 27, 2003

    IMG Reviews Tropico: Mucho Macho Edition2:45 PM
    IMG Store: Pre-Order Star Trek: Elite Force II12:51 PM
    Indie Developer FAQ Available12:36 PM
    Simodifier Sims Utility Updated to 1.512:25 PM
    EVONE Nova Editor 1.0pb2 Released12:23 PM
    Aspyr Ships SimCity 411:52 AM
    Bond, Worms, Star Trek Media Posted11:22 AM
    Snood 3.0 Released9:52 AM
    Apple Features SpyHunter7:49 AM
    Custer Serves Up Some Fish7:49 AM
    New Blizzard Insider7:49 AM
    PowerLogix Posts Price Reductions, G5 Analysis7:49 AM
     
    View all of the Mac games news for Friday, June 27, 2003 on one page


    Recent Mac Games News

    Thursday, June 26, 2003
    Wednesday, June 25, 2003
    Tuesday, June 24, 2003
    Monday, June 23, 2003
    Friday, June 20, 2003


    Search for other Mac games news stories or browse our Mac Games News Archive.



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