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Thursday, August 14, 2003

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Apple Hits the Waves with Kelly Slater
9:47 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

Apple has posted a new article in their games section, previewing Kelly Slater Pro Surfer, a game destined to hit the Mac soon from Aspyr Media. The preview describes the gameplay of the title, even talking a bit with the game's lead designer on how they consulted Kelly Slater and took hints from the Tony Hawk game team.

They also got a quote from porting studio Beenox's Dee Brown about the technology used in the game. Here's an excerpt:

Dee Brown of Beenox, which ported the game to the Mac, notes that “this is the first Mac game to use vertex and pixel shaders to enhance the visuals.” He adds that the best way to experience this effect is to make sure your Mac has an ATI Radeon 9700 or 9800 or an NVIDIA GeForce 4 Ti video card or better.
Finally, the article gives a rundown of the included surfers, cheats, and system requirements:
  • Mac OS X version 10.1.2 or higher
  • 800MHz PowerPC G4 processor or higher
  • 256MB of RAM
  • 32MB video memory required (minimum of ATI Radeon or NVIDIA GeForce 2 series card)
  • 700MB of hard drive space

For more information check out the full preview, and watch IMG for any status change on the game, which is now considered to be at Final Candidate.

Apple Previews Kelly Slater's Pro Surfer
Aspyr Media
Kelly Slater's Pro Surfer
Buy Kelly Slater's Pro Surfer

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IMG Posts P3000 Wireless Pad Review
1:01 PM | Galen Wiley | Comment on this story

Inside Mac Games has posted a hardware review of the P3000 Wireless Pad, a new wireless game controller from Saitek, and our own Ken Leyden has the inside scoop. The reviews covers everything from the pad's features, its compatibility with games, and more. Here's an excerpt from the article:

The P3000 really shone with MacMAME, however, most likely due to the simpler non-analog control schemes that arcade classics require. I test-played Xenophobe, Tempest, Defender, Asteroids, and Xybots for this review and had a total blast! The whole "MAME" experience is greatly enhanced by using a gamepad over keyboard/mouse control (I don't even think computer mice existed when Asteriods was brand-new to the arcades). One word of caution when using MacMAME and USB device driver software: since each different ROM file uses a slightly different key setup, you will need to experiment with several different configurations until you find one that allows you to play the games you like without having to reconfigure the gamepad between different games.
For more information, be sure to read the full review. A link has been attached to the bottom of this article.

IMG Review: P3000 Wireless Pad
P3000 Wireless Pad

MacPlay to Distribute MindRover
11:45 AM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

MacPlay today announced that it will be distributing Virtual Programming's 3D strategy/programming game, MindRover, in the United States. The game will be available on Septmeber 15th, 2003.

Here's more from the press release:

The action takes place in a research station on the ice-locked moon Europa, where the gas giant Jupiter dominates the sky. Players build robotic "rovers" with parts found in the lab and program the machines for a variety of behaviors. They then pit their creations against each other in one of four types of competitions: races, sports, battles, and puzzles.

"Very few of us have the time and ability to build real robots, so MindRover offers the next best thing," says MacPlay Director of Sales and Marketing Henry Price. "It's better than watching those robot battle shows on TV."

Players create different types of rovers to succeed in different types of events. Small, quick robots with good collision detection are sure bets to win races and puzzles while large, lumbering robots bristling with weapons can be counted on in the sports and battle arenas. The game features a physics system that produces realistic results when two-or more-rovers smack into each other during a contest.

Enterprising gamers can also dig into the object-oriented programming language, known as ICE, that was developed just for MindRover and tweak it to further manipulate their robots' behaviors.

"Our mantra for this game is 'think more, twitch less,'" says Virtual Programming Director Paul Lesurf. "Players' reflexes are far less important than their ability to correctly build the type of robot that is perfect for each situation."

MindRover is available for pre-order through the MacPlay store for $29.99. For more information on the game including screenshots, check out the MacPlay website.

Virtual Programming
MindRover - The Europa Project
MacPlay's MindRover Website
Buy MindRover - The Europa Project

Hillbilly Whack! Head to Mac
11:30 AM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

Small Fry Studios will be releasing Hillbilly Whack! for Mac OS X this Fall. The shareware game is an acade-adventure game that pays homage to the classic side-scrolling games from the 80's.

Here's a description of the game:

Hillbilly Whack! is an arcade adventure game featuring over 13 levels of single play centered around a Hillbilly named Samuel Jones as he tries to find his lost sweetheart Winnie May. The game style is classic gaming on steroids! Hill Billy Whack is based on fighting, building up your shack, and running around at break neck speed, while you encounter lots of obstacles on your way to Save Winnie May. There is also a two player - multiplayer mode - where each Hillbilly can run around and pick up more pieces to add to their shack while fighting it out for pieces.
Screenshots as well as two trailers for the game are available on the official Hillbilly Whack! website.

Hillybilly Whack! Website

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The Frozen Throne Sells Over 1 Million Copies
11:16 AM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

Blizzard today announced that Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne, the expansion pack for Warcraft III, has sold over 1 million copies worldwide, according to EDI sell-through, internal company estimates, and reports from key retail accounts around the world. It marks the eighth Blizzard title to sell 1 million copies and to reach #1 in U.S. sales.

Here's more from the official PR:

"We are very excited about the worldwide demand for 'Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne,'" stated Mike Morhaime, Blizzard Entertainment president and co-founder. "We put a lot of effort into giving players more of everything that 'Warcraft(R) III: Reign of Chaos(TM)' offered, in addition to a host of new features, and the expansion set's popularity tells us that our long hours and hard work have paid off."

"'Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne' is one of the largest PC expansion set releases for us since 'Diablo II: Lord of Destruction' in June 2001. We had high expectations for 'The Frozen Throne,' and it's turned out to be a solid hit," stated Bob McKenzie, director of merchandising for GameStop, Babbages, Software Etc., and FuncoLand. "From what we've seen with previous 'Warcraft' products and other Blizzard games, we expect 'Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne' to remain on the top-10 lists for some time to come."

"Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne" provides gamers with a vast new chapter in the epic 'Warcraft' saga. In the single-player campaigns, players revisit the war-torn world of Azeroth. Several months have passed since Archimonde and the Burning Legion were defeated at the battle of Mount Hyjal, but now a new evil threatens to plunge Azeroth into darkness once again.

"Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne" expands on every aspect of "Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos," with new Heroes, monsters, magical items, merchant shops, tilesets, over 20 new missions for the single-player campaigns, a bonus RPG-style mini-campaign, and an enhanced user interface designed to give players more control than ever before. Players will also be pleased to find that each army has been bolstered with powerful new units that add even more depth and strategic elements to the "Warcraft III" experience. Expanded multiplayer options include support for automated tournaments, extensive clan support, and many new maps to explore and do battle on. The game's powerful World Editor has also received significant enhancements, including the ability to link maps together to create custom campaigns.

Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne is available through the IMG Store.

Blizzard Entertainment
WarCraft III: The Frozen Throne
Buy WarCraft III: The Frozen Throne

ScummVM GUI Utility Available
9:47 AM | Eddie Park | Comment on this story

Following up on Greg Gant's recent guide to utilizing ScummVM under OS X, Accelerate Your Mac received word about a free GUI utility called ScummAqua for those looking to make usage a little easier.

Written by Oscar Gothberg, ScummAqua provides an easy to use GUI interface that allows for features such as game selection, save path directory, fullscreen, subtitles, and graphics filtering. ScummAqua is freeware, and is sized at a mere 39.8 KB. Those interested in downloading either ScummAqua or its source code can find links at Gothberg's ScummAqua page.

For those unfamiliar with the project, ScummVM allows gamers to run games built on the SCUMM engine. Titles include Monkey Island 2, Full Throttle, and Sam & Max.

Accelerate Your Mac - Guide to SCUMMVM Tool

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Gamespot Posts Max Payne 2 Preview
9:47 AM | Jean-Luc Dinsdale | Comment on this story

The internet's Wallmart of gaming sites, Gamespot, have posted a two-page preview on Rockstar Games' and Remedy Entertainment's upcoming sequel Max Payne 2: The Fall Of Max Payne.

According to the preview, apart from the expected graphic engine enhancements, the game, in fall release of the PC version, will re-visit and improve upon many of the aspects that made the first version a hit, including the graphic novel storytelling, the gritty NYC locale, and the game's overall raw edginess. The biggest spoiler, however, is the change to the game's storyline:

(Max) was somehow cleared of the charges brought against him (in the first game) and reinstated as a DEA agent--and was even considered to be a hero by the city. However, the understandably embittered Max cared nothing for those accolades and left the DEA to return to the NYPD as a regular detective. Over the course of the game's story, it will be revealed that Max will get framed once again, but he'll react much differently, considering that he's tired of fighting the system, as well as his own loneliness. In other words, Max Payne 2 will be, as you might have heard, a love story--or as Rockstar describes it, a "film noir love story."
Sounds intriguing. Although there hasn't been any official word yet on a Mac port of the upcoming title, the previous title's strong sales on the platform make the porting of the upcoming release ever more likely. Stay tuned to IMG as news on this title develops; also try out the link below to access Rockstar game's MP2 teaser website.

Remedy Entertainment
Max Payne 2
Max Payne 2 Teaser Website

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Star Wars Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy Goes Gold
9:47 AM | Jean-Luc Dinsdale | Comment on this story

Fans of George Lucas' sci-fi creation will be happy to know that the latest addition to the Jedi Knight franchise has gone gold. LucasArts announced yesterday that Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy is complete and that the PC version of the game will be in stores in just over a month.

The third installment of this franchise puts players in the shoes of students at the Jedi Academy, learning the ways of the force by none other than the farmer-turned-teenage-rebel-turned Jedi Master Luke Skywalker himself. In the follow-up to the highly-regarded JK2: Jedi Outcast, players will be able to re-immerse themselves in the the Star Wars universe and visit some of the more popular of the franchise's locations, while giving players the freedom to design their own characters and light sabers. Another new feature is the game's uniquely tiered mission design, allowing players to pick and choose the missions and levels to play through in order to collect the unique set of skills their character needs to become the ultimate Jedi Knight.

As is usually the case with big-name PC games, a Mac version of this filibuster has not officially been announced.

Star Wars Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy
Buy Star Wars Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy

Mac Games News for Wednesday, August 13, 2003

IMG Reviews Logitech MX31012:27 PM
MacPlay to Distribute Hearts of Iron12:15 PM
WWII Online 1.9.3 Released12:03 PM
ActionTrip Previews Rebublic: The Revolution11:19 AM
Indie Games Con 2003 Registration Opens9:41 AM
New Worms 3D Screenshots9:07 AM
Republic: The Revolution Goes Gold9:07 AM
Urban Terror 3.0 Released9:07 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Wednesday, August 13, 2003 on one page

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