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Wednesday, October 1, 2003



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Mind Rover, Hearts of Iron, Player Manager Ship
9:50 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

With a slight redesign to their website, European publisher Virtual Programming has announced they are now shipping three new titles for Mac OS X; Hearts of Iron, Mind Rover, and Player Manager 2003. In addition to these new games, they are also re-releasing some old favorites like Payback, Wipeout 2097, and KickOff 2002 at a new, lower price point.

MacPlay is already set to distribute the new and re-priced titles to North American customers. In case you're unfamiliar with Hearts of Iron, here's a description of the WWII-based strategy game:

Hearts of Iron is the first ever World War II PC game of true Grand Strategic scope. The game map spans the entire world and allows players to take the War to any new front of their choosing. Any nation in the world is playable, but the game focuses on the epic struggle between the great alliances of the new world orders Fascism, Communism and Democracy.
Mind Rover is a completely different kind of strategy game, with players creating robots to dual it out using a variety of weaponry:
What's particularly new and unusual is that it's not just a matter of choosing weapons -- the player actually gets to control how the robots react through a visual programming metaphor that we call "wiring." In the construction lab, players choose bodies, drivetrains, sensors, weapons, and manipulators for their robots from a large array of possibilities, then visually wire the sensors to the controls to give each Rover a unique set of behaviors. The Rover is then moved to the competitive arena and set free to take on all comers.
Player Manager 2003 is a football (soccer) managing game which lets you take on all the aspects of being a big-league manager. Based on the engine of KickOff 2002, gamers should check out the demo available now for more information.

Stay tuned for much more from IMG about Virtual Programming as other games ship in the future like KnightShift and Crusader Kings.

Virtual Programming
MacPlay
Hearts of Iron
MindRover - The Europa Project
Player Manager 2003
Download Demo of Player Manager 2003
Buy Hearts of Iron
Buy MindRover - The Europa Project



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IMG Reviews the Saitek Cyborg Evo Joystick
11:29 AM | Johan HansÚn | Comment on this story

IMG's flight sim guru Tim Morgan has looked at the Cyborg Evo joystick from Saitek. Like it's predecessor, this mid-priced joystick features an adjustable grip, making it accessible to left handed users as well.

A small excerpt:

Unique to the Cyborg Evo is its three adjustment knobs. These knobs have no effect of the game; they reconfigure the shape of the joystick to suit different sizes of hands. Above the trigger is a knob that lowers and raises the bank of three buttons to be pressed by the base of the thumb. Sitting on the left of the stick is another knob that adjusts the tilt of the entire head of the joystick relative to the base. Finally, nestled within the hand rest towards the base of the stick is a third knob. Loosening this knob allows the owner to remove the hand rest and adjust its height, as well as swapping its side for left-handed gamers.
To read the full review, follow the link provided below.

Saitek
Cyborg Evo
IMG Review: Cyborg Evo



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Aki Status Update
11:09 AM | Johan HansÚn | Comment on this story

Macintosh game developer Ambrosia Software has posted a progress log update on their upcoming Mahjong Solitaire game Aki. The second beta build has been sent to testers and the progress log lists the changes in the new beta version.

Changes include:

  • disabled hint and reshuffle while paused
  • disabled hint when out of pairs
  • changed Command-H for hint to Command-T for tip
  • fixed; reshuffling with no moves available turns music back on
  • fixed; crash when clicking Quit in full screen mode
  • removed "click to continue" and title bar from splash screens
  • on a monitor of 800 x 600 it starts in full screen mode automatically
  • To read more on the status of this game, head over to the Aki Progress Log with help of the link provided below.

    Ambrosia Software
    Aki
    Aki Progress Log


    Blizzard Accounts Closed
    9:18 AM | Mike Apps | Comment on this story

    Continuing their no-tolerance stance against cheaters, Blizzard yesterday closed a large number of Starcraft, Warcraft III, and Diablo 2 accounts, all of which were found to be using cheating and hacking programs. Using such programs is a serious breach of the end-user agreement for Blizzard's games. Here's more info on the announcement:

    A number of additional accounts and CD Keys have been tied to the use of a hack or cheat program while playing StarCraft, Diablo II, or Warcraft III on Battle.net. In keeping with our aggressive stance against cheating, we have permanently closed 276,000 StarCraft accounts, 86,000 Diablo II accounts, and 41,000 Warcraft III accounts. We have documented all of the CD Keys that were used with these accounts. 14,000 Warcraft III CD Keys have been banned from ladder play for one month and 2,000 CD Keys are banned from ladder play permanently. Repeat offenders risk having their CD Keys disabled, which will result in the permanent removal of the respective copy of StarCraft, Diablo II, or Warcraft III from Battle.net.

    We have also identified the Diablo II accounts with which a "map-hack" program is being used. Diablo II map-hack programs give players who use them an unfair advantage over other players. As with any third-party program, using a map-hack affects play over Battle.net and violates our End User License Agreement. Diablo II accounts that continue to be used with a map-hack program are subject to closure and the CD Keys with which these accounts are being used are also subject to being disabled.
    For more information, follow the link below.

    Blizzard accounts closed
    Blizzard Entertainment


    Championship Manager 03/04 Announced; CM Series Ending?
    6:55 AM | Jean-Luc Dinsdale | Comment on this story

    Mixed news for Championship Manager fans today. In a press release distributed on Tuesday, multi-platform game publishers Eidos Interactive and veteran game developers Sports Interactive announced that Championship Manager Season 03/04, to be released for the PC in November, will be the final installment of the popular franchise that both companies will partake in.

    Championship Manager: Season 03/04 will feature an impressive round of improvements over the previously released version of the game. Apart from featuring an updated database of stats for the current football (or soccer, depending on where you read this) season, the game will include four additional leagues, a pregame database editor, and the interesting option of viewing previously saved matches. The game will also feature a number of minor imrpovements, including an enhanced match engine, complete with more weather effects, additional commentary, and visual indicators. Player relationships, scout reports, and the player's training system have also all been updated.

    Ealier this month, Eidos and Sports Interactive announced that the two companies would be ending their long standing relationship. While Eidos will keep the franchise name, Sports Interactive is retaining the ownership of its player database and its source code.

    What this means in laymen's terms is that Eidos will be in a position to publish future Championship Manager titles; indeed, Eidos has already announced their plans to develop an updated release for the 2004/2005 season internally. Sports Interactive, on their part, are expected to announce new football (soccer) projects early next year.

    While we have yet to hear officially from Feral Interactive, Mac publishers of the previous titles in the CM series, on whether or not they plan on bringing this title to the Mac. This writer's guess is that they will try their darndest to secure the Mac rights to this new version of the extremely popular sim management game. Stay tuned to IMG as more news gets revealed.

    SI
    Feral Interactive
    CM4



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    Halo PC Now Shipping; Reviews Posted
    6:55 AM | Jean-Luc Dinsdale | Comment on this story

    As expected, Microsoft Game Studios released the PC version of their highly-anticipated first person shooter Halo: Combat Evolved Tuesday.

    The Gearbox Software conversion of the Bungie Studio title, originally released for the Xbox gaming console in 2001, features the original version's first person shooter aspects, while enhancing the multiplayer side of the game to incorporate internet play. The game's graphics and sound engines have also been updated to take advantage of today's much more powerful computer hardware.

    In conjunction with the game's release, IMG is posting an in-depth preview of the Mac version of the game. Over on the other side of the fence, PC gaming website Gamespot has published a three page review of the new PC title. Click on the link below to check out the article.

    As most IMG readers know, Westlake Interactive's Duane Johnson, Ken Cobb and Phil Sulak are currently working on the Mac port of the game. The port's progress was upgraded to Alpha stage early in September, and is expected to ship for the Christmas season. Veteran Mac game publishers MacSoft, who will be publishing the mac version, have yet to set the game's official minimum system requirements.

    An interesting side note - while the game was only released yesterday, Gearbox is reportedly already working on a patch for the game. While details about the patch haven't yet been released, Mac users can be sure that the upcoming fix will be included in Westlake's port of the code.

    Mac gamers drooling to play through this long-awaited title should head over to the IMG Store and place a an order for an advanced copy of the game. Pre-orders for the Mac version are being offered at $43.99 USD for MacGames CD and IMG Pro subscribers, and $48.99 USD for non-subscribers. Check out the links below for more info.

    Halo PC Review At Gamespot
    MacSoft
    Bungie Studios
    Westlake Interactive
    Halo: Combat Evolved


    The Gamesome Mac Solicits Questions for Bannister
    6:55 AM | Sean Smith | Comment on this story

    The Gamesome Mac, the Mac gaming radio program, is soliciting questions for its upcoming interview with Richard Bannister, best known as the programmer of numerous game console emulators for the Macintosh.

    The Gamesome Mac normally interviews live during its weekly broadcasts on Monday evenings. To accommodate Richard's schedule, however, hosts Sean Smith and Omaha Sternberg will pre-record his interview, so if you have questions you'd like to ask him, please e-mail them to bannister@macradio.com before noon Pacific Time this Friday, October 3.

    To listen to the interview, tune in to The Gamesome Mac via its web page this Monday, October 6, at 6 pm Pacific Time (Tuesday, October 7, at 0100 UTC). An archive of the program will be available on demand thereafter. QuickTime is required.

    The Gamesome Mac
    Bannister


    Mac Games News for Tuesday, September 30, 2003

    IMG Reviews Medal of Honor: Spearhead12:09 PM
    IMG Store: Pre-Order Command & Conquer: Generals8:29 AM
    Cyan Releases Myst First Draft for Anniversary8:24 AM
    MoH Mod: Hell In The Pacific Updated8:24 AM
    More ToySight Information Posted8:24 AM
     
    View all of the Mac games news for Tuesday, September 30, 2003 on one page


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