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Tuesday, November 11, 2003

Ambrosia Updates Redline and Aki Progress
6:00 AM | Alvaro Radigales | Comment on this story

Legendary Macintosh software developer Ambrosia Software recently updated the progress logs for two of their upcoming titles: the racing arcade game, Redline, said to boast of a magnificent physics engine, and the puzzle solitaire Aki, a Mahjong game much in the lines of the classic time waster Gunshy.

According to the logs, Aki has reached beta 4 and screenshots will be made available soon, while Redline's new build solves some major issues with OpenGL rendering in Panther.

While no official release date has been announced for either title, both seem fairly close to completion, and some screenshots have already been published in the Ambrosia Software web site.

For more information on the status of Aki or Redline, be sure to check the complete progress longs, available through the links provided below.

Ambrosia Software
Aki Progress Log
Redline Progress Log

IMG Reviews The Power Mac G5 Dual 2 GHz
11:58 AM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

IMG has posted a review of the Power Mac G5 Dual 2 Ghz, Apple's latest and greatest line of super computers introduced over the summer. IMG writer Jean-Luc Dinsdale takes an in-depth look at this new speed demon. Included in the review is an inside look at the guts of the Power Mac G5 and various benchmarks.

To check out the review, be sure to follow the link below.

IMG Review: Power Mac G5 Dual 2 GHz
Power Mac G5 Dual 2 GHz

Descent, Descent 2 Ported To OS X
10:12 AM | Jean-Luc Dinsdale | Comment on this story

A group of enterprising programmers have taken it upon themselves to bring Parallax Software Corporation's late 1990's space shooter sim Descent to today's modern operating systems. The OS X version is now ready for download.

D2X version 0.2.6, playable on OS X versions 10.1 and beyond, upgrades the old Descent 2 code to work in today's modern OS environment, with the majority of the programming effort concentrating on implementing the game's original graphics to OpenGL code. The game runs all Descent 1 and Descent 2 levels, including the shareware, OEM, and add-on levels. The port also supports movie playback and multiplayer support over a local area network. The game requires that the Simple DirectMedia Layer 1.2.6 (or higher) multimedia libraries be installed in order to function.

The 8.9 meg file includes the Descent 2 demo files. Click on the link below to download the program files, as well as the Simple DirectMedia Layer OS X installer.

Download Descent 2 X

Videogame Journalism Amateurish?
10:04 AM | Eddie Park | Comment on this story

GameSpot has recently published an article concerning a recent writeup by The Wall Street Journal. The piece, which takes the form of a rebuttal, takes to case a number of claims made in the Wall Street Journal article, which accuses current videogame reviews as being amateurish and shortsighted.

The writer of the Journal article feels that reviews are currently nothing more than jargon-filled pieces and advertisements, and makes comparisons to movie reviews as a framework for how a game reviews should work. In contrast, GameSpot's Greg Kasavin points out that most gamers expect the jargon, including framerates, system requirements, and what not:

Look at it this way: Would you prefer for me to wistfully tell you how Final Fantasy XI made me feel, or would you prefer for me to tell you how it works, what about it works well, and what about it doesn't work well? I expect it's the latter option. For that matter, when was the last time you decided to see a movie based on a movie review? Film critics write to each other. I still make every effort to write to people with limited time and money to spend on gaming. What drives me is the notion that my work is of some real value.
Though the Journal article itself requires registration in order to be read, the gist of it can be conferred from the GameSpot article. Those interested in perusing the whole read can find it via GameSpot's GameSpotting section.

GameSpot - The Wall Street Journal: "Videogame Reviews are Stuck in the Pac-Man Era"
The Wall Street Journal (registration required)

Click to enlarge
Warren Spector Interview Posted
6:16 AM | Johan HansÚn | Comment on this story

Computer and Video Games has posted the first part of an interview with Warren Spector, the legendary leader of Ion Storm, creators of the first person gaming experience known as Deus Ex. While the interview mainly is about the recent completion of the highly awaited sequel Deus Ex: Invisible War that is scheduled to ship for PC and Xbox at December 2nd, it also touches the gaming industry in general.

From the interview:

I wouldn't say I'm optimistic about the games industry [laughs]... I am hugely optimistic and hopeful about the potential of this medium. The future of games could be amazing, but the industry is a whole other story. The industry as a whole is not interested in the potential of games as a medium of communication and expression.

So I would say that you're dealing with two different things. On the one hand I'm very excited and on the other I'm not so.

To read the full review, follow the link provided below. The second part of the interview, talking even more about Deus Ex: Invisible War, will be posted later today.

There still hasn't been any word on the possibility of a Macintosh version of Deus Ex: Invisible War. The original Deus Ex, ported by Westlake Interactive and published by Aspyr Media did well on the Mac, so we can only hope that this will increase the chances of getting the sequel as well.

Ion Storm
Deus Ex 2: Invisible War
Computer and Video Games: Warren Spector Interview Part One

Frag.Ops v1.2 Released
6:00 AM | Chris Stein | Comment on this story

Frag.Ops, a total conversion for the first-person shooter Unreal Tournament 2003 that features semi-realistic team-based multiplayer combat, has been updated to version 1.2. The mod is not complete yet but more updates are expected. Featuring weapons ranging from the Benelli M4 Super90 to the Heckler & Koch MP5-SR and realistic character skins, the mod aims to provide a gameplay experience similar to games like Counterstrike and Global Operations. The basic setup of a match is a battle between the special forces and the mercenaries, each with their own objectives, guns and skins.

When finished, Frag.Ops will feature:

  • Missions based on real world locations and incidents.
  • Dynamic movement which allows for crouch-rolls and dive-rolls which will be used to surprise the enemy.
  • A weapon attachment system where you can add different attachments to different weapons for up to 200 different combinations.
  • Medals that will be awarded for completing certain objectives, which enhance a player's abilities, access to special weaponry and much more.
  • Melee hand-to-hand combat that is controlled by mouse movement and allows fighting with knives or with fists.
  • Realistic deaths using the Karma engine for appropriate player reactions to certain weapons.
  • The download file weighs in around 175 mb available at a variety of mirrors, all of which have links on the Frag.Ops site The mod is available natively for the PC and linux platforms and a utility is available to make the installers mac compatible.

    Unfortunately there is a compatibility issue between Frag.Ops and the new v2225.1 patch recently released for Unreal Tournament 2003. The problem has been identified and will be dealt with as soon as possible.

    Digital Extremes
    Unreal Tournament 2003
    Frag.Ops v1.2 Download
    Buy Unreal Tournament 2003

    Mac Games News for Monday, November 10, 2003

    IMG Interviews Ensemble Studios1:31 PM
    Small Fry Ships Hillbilly Whack! for Macintosh11:52 AM
    Progress Update on F/A-18 Operation Iraqi Freedom11:28 AM
    Apple Posts Burning Monkey Solitaire Trailer11:20 AM
    Elite Force II Moves into Duplication10:20 AM
    Applelinks Interviews Colin Smith6:00 AM
    Feral: CM 03/04 and Total Immersion Updates6:00 AM
    Lionhead Seeks Feedback for Black & White II6:00 AM
    View all of the Mac games news for Monday, November 10, 2003 on one page

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