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Thursday, January 15, 2004

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Apple Posts Rayman 3 Preview
7:47 AM | Jean-Luc Dinsdale | Comment on this story

Apple's games website has posted a new feature for the recently released, family-oriented platform game Rayman 3: Hoodlum Havoc.

Penned by Apple's prolific Brad Cook, the feature lays out the quirky story of the unlikely hero, and speaks on some of the wacky adventures awaiting players willing to venture into the strange, funky world of Rayman. From the article:

...a Dark Lum Lord has marshaled his forces — known as Hoodlums — and set out to turn the Heart of the World black, thus infesting it with evil forever. Lucky for you, the ever-clumsy Globox (voiced by actorJohn Leguizamo) accidentally swallows the Dark Lum Lord, leaving his plans on hold until his Hoodlums can free him. While Globox complains of gastrointestinal difficulties, you must guide Rayman through his world to find a doctor who can extract the Dark Lum Lord, hopefully without allowing him to complete his diabolical machinations. But first you must find Globox, who ran off with Rayman’s hands in a fit of panic after he swallowed the Dark Lum Lord.
Rayman 3: Hoodlum Havoc, distributed by British gaming publishers Feral Interactive, has been rated E by the Entertainment Software Review Board. Players wanting to get their hands on the new title should head over to the IMG Store, where copies of the game are available for $48.95 USD, $44.95 for IMG Pro/MacGames CD subscribers.

Apple's Rayman 3 Feature
Feral Interactive
Rayman 3: Hoodlum Havoc
Buy Rayman 3: Hoodlum Havoc

Blizzard Q&A Talks World of Warcraft
12:00 PM | Jean-Luc Dinsdale | Comment on this story

A new Q&A with Blizzard insiders regarding the company's upcoming MMORPG World Of Warcraft was posted yesterday on community forum site

The post, which contains answers to almost thirty questions, addresses fans' enquiries regarding the progress of the multiplayer game, from the availability of the game's beta to specific content and game behavior questions. Here's a brief sample:

After I sign up for the beta test, how long will it be until people are selected and testing begins?
I could tell you what we’re shooting for, but considering our track record for keeping dates … you know that we’d end up missing it and then you would all be screaming, “Katricia said!!!” The development team wants to ensure that things are ready for the beta test. While they are working hard to make this happen (and happen by a specific date), there are always unexpected things that might happen which delay this or that. Rest assured that we want you folks to start testing just the moment that things are ready and everyone here is striving to make that happen soon.

What is the time cycle in WoW?
Currently, the game is set to run on a 24 hour time cycle which is dependant on where each server is located. This is one of those things that is being looked at closely and is subject to change before the game is released.

Can you summon a cute cuddly kitten in the game?
No, but I’m still working on this one! I just know if I keep bringing the dev’s donuts, they will eventually give in. (A little bribe can go a long way!)

Hmmmmm..... Donuts..... I wish my staff thought along the same lines. Check out the thorough Q&A by clicking on the link below.

RpgForums.Net: New World of Warcraft Q&A
Blizzard Entertainment
World of Warcraft
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Aspyr Debuts Mini-Site For SimCity 4: Rush Hour
11:21 AM | Jean-Luc Dinsdale | Comment on this story

In conjunction with the announcement last Thursday at the MacWorld Conference & Expo that Mac game publishers Aspyr Media will be bringing the new SimCity 4: Rush Hour expansion pack to our platform, Aspyr is now hosting a new mini-site for players looking for further information on the project.

The Rush Hour expansion pack expands player's transportation options in SimCity 4 by adding elevated train rails, monorail networks, and even a ferry system. The expansion pack will feature new "U-Drive-It" missions, in which players will get to race through canals and waterways, navigate their Sims through the city's railway systems, and even use a plane to perform some skywriting tricks. From the new webpage:

Your City is on the move! Take complete control of your city's transportation system including roads, rail, air, and waterways. Watch you approval rating skyrocket as you get your Sims on the go. Test your nerves with a new UFO disaster, snarl traffic with car accidents, and wreak havoc with train derailments. Seize control of vehicles and complete the all-new U-Drive-It Missions to improve your Mayor rating, unlock new buildings, and earn other rewards. Name streets, neighborhoods, mountains, and bodies of water to personalize your city.
The port, currently underway at Californian porting house i5works, is in early development, and is expected to be completed "later this year", according to Aspyr's Amity Lesko.

Head over to the website for more info, and to pre-order the game directly from Aspyr. Readers wanting to take advantage of their IMG Pro/MacGames CD discounts should wait a day as our very own IMG Store will start taking pre-orders shortly.

Aspyr Media's SimCity 4: Rush Hour
Buy SimCity 4: Rush Hour

Phelios Posts Abracadabra Trailer
10:36 AM | Chris Stein | Comment on this story

Puzzle game developer Phelios has released a trailer for its upcoming puzzle/action game Abracadabra. The trailer features colorful graphics and gamplay similar to such classics as Solomon's Key and (that game with the blue guy and the red guy and the shot boxes and they battled toys and whatnot. Anyone know what its called?). As in the previous variations of the box-shooting formula, money collecting is one of the core values present in Abracadabra. But in Abracadara, the money can be used to gain new powers and extra lives for your character.

Abracadabra Trailer and Gamespace
Phelios Mac Games

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IMG Reviews Throne of Bhaal, New Patch Released
9:30 AM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

Inside Mac Games has posted a review of Baldur's Gate II: Throne of Bhaal, the long-awaited expansion pack to the popular RPG. Here's a clip from the review:

Created by the now defunct Black Isle Studios, ToB continues the saga that began back with Baldur’s Gate when your character learned that he was one of the progeny of the evil god Bhaal during his time on Toril during the Time of Troubles. Through the course of that first game, your character learned that the evil behind all that was happening to him was his evil half-brother Sarevok. In a final showdown, you defeated your brother and rid the city of Baldur’s Gate of a great evil.
In related news, MacPlay has released a minor update to Throne of Bhaal. There are no details one what issues have been fixed with this latest patch, but MacPlay recommends that all users update their copy of ToB to 2.1.2. The patch is available at

IMG Review: Baldur's Gate II: Throne of Bhaal
Baldur's Gate II: Throne of Bhaal
MGF: Throne of Bhaal 2.1.2
Buy Baldur's Gate II: Throne of Bhaal

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New Shadowbane Server/Patch Launch
7:47 AM | Jean-Luc Dinsdale | Comment on this story

Game publishing powerhouse UbiSoft and RPG developers Wolfpack Studios announced the launch of a new Shadowbane server and client patch early Wednesday.

The new server, named Entropy, was put online in the morning, and, for the game servers, a good part of the day was spent uploading the new patch to clients. Apart from using the new Vorringia strategic map and fixing a number of PC and Mac bugs, the complete list of features for the new patch is staggering. From the Shadowbane website:


  • Nephilim can no longer use the Animator, Enchanter, Runecaster, and Undead Hunter disciplines (existing Nephilim with those Disciplines, however, will be able to keep them).
  • Centaur armor can no longer be created with the magical property of "Windlord".
  • Nephilim have been granted a power that dispels their human transformation.
  • A white Minotaur skin option has been added to character creation.
  • The Experience Curve for Restricted Races has been removed.
  • Female Half-Giants have been added to Character Creation.
  • The Nephilim power Mundane Eidolon has a longer duration.
  • Minotaurs can no longer wear Infernal Cloth Boots.


  • Curse of the Flayed Lord, the Doomsayer Single Target Stamina Transfer power, has been updated with a cost of 21 Mana.
  • Divine Word, a Sentinel Power, has been updated to state that it affects all in range, including the caster.
  • Templars can no longer use the Master of Polearms rune (it was redundant).
  • Templars, Crusaders, and Sentinels have been granted the Challenge power.
  • Scouts can no longer use the Master of Daggers rune (it was redundant).
  • Braialla's Blade, a Ranger-Only One-Handed Sword has been added.
  • The Storm Spear, a Fury-only spear has been added.
  • Scouts have been updated with the following: Grant dagger powers at 20, Grant throwing powers at 25, Grant defensive stance at 40, Pathfinding castable while moving, and Rapid Shot is mastered at a 40% haste


  • Updated the Huntsman, Werebear, Wererat, and Werewolf Disciplines with new Skills and Powers.
  • Wereforms no longer dispel on the use of ‘skills’, such as weapon powers and stances, but they do on the use of spells.
  • The Huntsman discipline now includes a power that will dispel Were-form transformations. This Huntsman power is now the only power which dispels wereforms.
  • Added the new Disciplines of Berserker, Blood Horn, and Valkyr.
  • The Traveller discipline now grants the Spirit Gate power.


  • Refined the Guard Behavior and Kill On Sight (KOS) lists. The KOS List can be reversed, so that players put 'Friended' guilds on the list, not enemies. Any Guilds or individuals not on the list will be considered Kill On Sight. Guards have been increased in strength and abilities.
  • The various Faction Shields (Chaos, Death, Dragon, Dragonscale, Dwarven, Elven, Holy Church, Morloch, Templar) have been added to the various Racial Shieldsmiths.
  • Fixed exploit allowing an avatar to join a guild with a closed Tree of Life without being invited.
  • Created an Irekei Builder, all Irekei building deeds have been removed from Human Builders.
  • Player Cities can now use Northmen Architecture with the use of an Invorri Builder.
  • Trees of Life must be Rank 5 or higher before being able to become an "Open City".
  • Increased the number of protection slots that a city gets from their Runemaster.
  • Bundled Scrolls of Identify and Tomes of Identify should be available on sages.
  • Guards will teleport back to their city if they wander too far off.
  • On top of all these gameplay changes, the patch features a whole host of system and performance enhancements, including respawning improvements, memory management fixes, and graphical enhancements.

    While more information about the new patch is available through the links listed below, players wanting to get in on some hot Shadowbane action should head over to the IMG Store, where the game can be purchased for a mere $19.95 USD.

    New Shadowbane Server/Patch Released Today
    Wolfpack Studios

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    World of Warcraft Preview Posted
    7:47 AM | Johan Hansén | Comment on this story

    GameSpy has posted the first of an ongoing series of previews of Blizzard Entertainment's upcoming MMORPG World of Warcraft. Part one of the preview discusses how Blizzard tries to avoid some of the things that make a lot of people avoid other MMO's, such as grief play and "mindless level hunting". To avoid this, a lot of the gameplay in World of Warcraft circulates on the quests.

    A small excerpt from the article:

    The difference between this and similar quests in other games was the definite sense of progression. The undead general who offered the quests would acknowledge your growing skill and importance as you performed more tasks for him -- as would other characters who were offering quests. The feeling was that you were actually a part of the world and that what you were doing mattered. Now, most MMOs offer this in newbie areas, but World of Warcraft takes this design paradigm for the whole game.
    To read the rest of the article, head over to GameSpy with help of the link below.

    World of Warcraft is currently in Alpha, but signups for the public beta is scheduled to start by the end of this month. A Macintosh version of World of Warcraft has already been confirmed and looking at Blizzard's history, we can at least hope for a simultaneous release.

    Blizzard Entertainment
    World of Warcraft
    GameSpy: World of Warcraft (Part I)
    Buy World of Warcraft

    Mac Games News for Wednesday, January 14, 2004

    Brad Oliver To Appear At Biltmore Apple Store1:14 PM
    GameSmith 3.4.2 Released8:44 AM
    Hangman Pro v1.03 Released8:44 AM
    'How To Break Into The Game Industry' Workshop Announced6:22 AM
    Blizzard Offers New Job Openings6:22 AM
    Ed Fries Leaves Microsoft Games Studios6:22 AM
    European Shadowbane Dev Log6:22 AM
    Warcraft III Mac 1.14b Patches Posted6:22 AM
    View all of the Mac games news for Wednesday, January 14, 2004 on one page

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