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Wednesday, September 3, 2003

Aspyr August Newsletter News Bits
9:56 AM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

Aspyr recently published their August newsletter, which contains a rundown of some of the company's recent releases and upcoming games. First up is news that Kelly Slater's Pro Surfer, Star Trek Elite Force II, and X2 Wolverine's Revenge are all in the final candidate stage and should be going gold soon. Other Aspyr titles,James Bond 007 Nightfire and Indiana Jones and the Emporer's Tomb are both at alpha and should be going into beta testing soon.

Here's what Aspyr had to say about Star Trek Elite Force II:

Star Trek Elite Force II is at Final Candidate. Conversion is being done by "Speedy" Duane Johnson of Westlake Interactive. The game is expected to be released in September...A demo and trailer are in the works..."
The newsletter also covers the announcements of Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Raven Shield, and Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell, which were both announced exclusively on IMG Chat not too long ago.

For more information on these products, be sure to visit the Aspyr web site.

Aspyr Media

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Aspyr to Publish Wakeboarding Unleashed for Mac, PC, GBA
3:01 PM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

Aspyr has announced plans to publish Mac, PC, and Game Boy Advance versions of Wakeboarding Unleashed. The game was originally published on the PlayStation 2 and X-Box by Activision. The conversion to GBA is being done by a UK-based company called Small Rockets while the Mac version will be done by Beenox.

Here's more from the official press release:

With a ton of innovative objectives, the game gives players the option to compete in a variety of competitions and unlock secret challenges. The unique rope mechanics enable players to let go of the rope in order to find secret areas and venture into unexplored territory. Gamers can then grab a hold of the rope again to continue exploring exciting new areas.

The game features exciting water graphics with realistic shapes and appearances. There are six levels of action, complete with tournament-style challenges. Each level features interactive objectives including boat races, water balloon battles and ferrying animals around a flooded city. The real world locations from Hong Kong Harbor to Lake Powell provide ideal destinations for world-class wakeboarders Shaun Murray, Parks Bonifay, Dallas Friday, Tara Hamilton, Cobe Mikacich, Darin Shapiro and Colin Wright to show off their unique moves.

Aspyr will be releasing the GBA version this month with the Mac and PC versions to follow later this year.

Aspyr Media
Wakeboarding Unleashed
Buy Wakeboarding Unleashed

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Total Immersion Reaches Beta, New Screenshots
12:25 PM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

Feral Interactive let us know that their upcoming racing game, Total Immersion Racing, has reached the beta testing phase of development. In addition, the company has sent along 4 new screenshots of the game that feature dynamic lighting and anti-aliasing.

Here's a more in-depth description of the game:

Total Immersion Racing; when intelligence meets high quality driving.
Total Immersion Racing is the Mac’s first Grand Touring game. Immerse
yourself into one of the finest and most evolved car game ever. Grab
one of the numerous real licensed GT class cars from highly regarded
marques (including Lister Storm, BMW, Audi, McLaren and Bentley),
choose from one of the 12 real world racetracks and climb your way to
the top of the career-based championship.

Sign a contract with a team and be ready to fight real artificial
intelligence. Computer-controlled drivers each have their own
personalities, memories, behaviors and grudges to bear. Be careful that
you don’t block a rival on track, as he will remember your actions
going into the next race and beyond… Remember, rivalries never die.
Don’t be afraid, if the AI is too much pressure for you, invite a
friend and discover the fun of a good race with an uninvolved

Push your machine to its limit. Total Immersion Racing features state
of the art physics and graphics with a high-quality visual engine
allowing advanced weather effects, particle, light reflection, highly
detailed cars, and high speed driving.

Be sure to check out the four screenshots linked below.

Feral Interactive
Empire Interactive
Total Immersion Racing
Screenshot 1
Screenshot 2
Screenshot 3
Screenshot 4
Buy Total Immersion Racing

IMG Reviews G-Celerator G4/1Ghz
11:33 AM | Alvaro Radigales | Comment on this story

Today, IMG's magnificent hardware reviewer posted an in-depth, hands-on analysis of Giga Designs' new processor upgrade, the G-Celerator G4/1Ghz, which will no doubt bring new life to many an old, game-hungry PowerMac. Complete with an array of 3D benchmark tests, IMG's review of the G-Celerator is a must-read for any gamer out there planning on bringing his or her PowerMac one step closer to today's gaming needs.

Here's a snip from the review:

With the increasing system requirements of games, a 1.2 GHz G4 might be the bare minimum sooner than you think. For now though, the G-celerator 1 GHz should be enough to run most of today's games at acceptable speed and it will certainly make your Mac OS X experience more smooth.
To read the full article, follow the link provided below.

Giga Designs
G-celerator G4/1 GHz
IMG: G-Celerator G4/1Ghz Review

Vivendi Games Not For Sale
10:31 AM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

Vivendi has decided not to sell its gaming assets which includes Blizzard Entertainment. After many months of speculation (rumor had it that both Microsoft and Electronic Arts were both interested in purchasing it), the company announced it would instead split its music and games business into two.

Here's a clip from the Yahoo story:

Fourtou also said that Vivendi has decided not to sell its video games and music businesses, which had previously been earmarked for disposal, for the time being.

However, Vivendi is considering splitting its activities into two separate companies: one including the telecoms assets, and one including the remaining entertainment assets.

A decision on the potential split will be taken within the next few months, Fourtou said.

For more, check out the full Yahoo story.

Yahoo: Vivendi Sale

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World Of Warcraft Beta Delayed; New Screenshots
9:56 AM | Jean-Luc Dinsdale | Comment on this story

Blizzard Entertainment's World Of Warcraft website was updated late last week with some content updates and a small piece of bad news.

First, the sad part: Blizzard has announced through a post on their forums that the starting "window" for their Beta of the upcoming MMORPG World Of Warcraft has been delayed. Originally slated to begin in August, the Beta test has now been shifted to begin in October. Reaction to the news has been generally positive, with fans of the franchise happy to let the Blizzard coders work away in order to ensure the quality of the project.

Next, the cool part; Blizzard has updated their website with additional information regarding the content of the game. Seperate from the announcement last week of the game's new races and classes, the game developers have updated the Tauren mini-site with additional character pictures, as well as new information regarding the Tauren's starting location in the game. Blizzard has also released two new screenshots of Stormwind Keep, one of the game's locations. The first shot shows a low-angle establishing shot of the street, while the second depicts a weapon store interior.

While a release date for the game has not yet announced, fans of the game are expecting a simultaneous Mac/Windows release sometime in the first half of 2004. Stay tuned to IMG as more news on this new title gets announced.

WOW: Beta Window Delayed
Blizzard Entertainment
World of Warcraft
Buy World of Warcraft

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Halo Preview at Gamesdomain
9:56 AM | Mike Apps | Comment on this story

Gaming site Gamesdomain recently got a chance to sit down and try out the PC port of Bungie's hit Halo. While the preview mostly covers the new features included in the PC version of the game, it also briefly goes into the history of the games development. Here's a snippet from the preview:

Co-operative play was a major draw for the Xbox version. Our preview version didn't include any indication that this mode will be included in the PC version at release - a shame, as playing with a group across a LAN would be fantastic. (Although the Xbox version did support LAN play for deathmatches, the co-operative modes were split-screen only.) Word is that co-op will possibly be patched in after release, but you'll have to wait for the official word on the matter.

Thankfully, there's plenty of new content in the other multiplayer modes. New maps, new options for game configurations, a new vehicle (a rocket-launcher-equipped jeep) and new weapons are all included. Two Covenant vehicles from the single-player game, the stationary gun turret and the Banshee aircraft, will also be included in deathmatch and team games for the first time. The new weapons are the fuel rod gun as used by the Hunters, and a flame-thrower, which overheats quickly like the Covenant weapons, but could become the tool of choice for close-combat situations.

To check out the full preview, follow the link below. For those who've fallen off the face of the earth for awhile, Westlake is currently working on the Mac version of Halo.

Halo Preview
Bungie Studios
Westlake Interactive
Halo: Combat Evolved

Mac Games News for Tuesday, September 2, 2003

IMG Reviews Burning Monkey Solitaire 3, Demo Released4:00 PM
GtkRadiant for OS X Update11:33 AM
America's Army Q&A8:39 AM
Medal of Honor: Breakthrough Announced for PC8:39 AM
New Shadowbane Map Coming8:39 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Tuesday, September 2, 2003 on one page

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