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Thursday, November 18, 2004

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Spider-Man 2 Demo Released To General Public
7:56 AM | Johan Hansén | Comment on this story

Fans of the fast-talking webslinger Spider-Man will be happy to hear that the demo for the latest spidey action game from Aspyr Media, Spider-Man 2: The Game, now is available for the masses.

Originally made available exclusively for .Mac members in September, the game is now being hosted on IMG's sister-site Macgamefiles for anyone to play. Before downloading the 174MB large file, it might be worth your time to see if your machine is at last close to the system requirements:

  • Mac OS X 10.2.8 or later
  • PowerPC G3/G4/G5, 700 MHz or faster
  • 256 MB of RAM
  • 1 GB free disk space
  • 3D Graphics Acceleration required (ATI Radeon 7500/nVidia GeForce 2 or better)
  • 32MB of VRAM
  • 8X CD-ROM
You can find the download link right below this article. To find out more about this action adventure game with everybody's favourite spider in the lead, head over to Aspyr's mini-site and read up on it.

If the demo suits your tastes, the full game is available to order from the IMG store for $29.95.

Aspyr Media
Spider-Man 2: The Game
MGF: Spider-Man 2: The Game Demo
Buy Spider-Man 2: The Game

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IMG Reviews Spider-Man 2
11:14 AM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

Inside Mac Games has posted a review of Aspyr's Spider-man 2. Here's a clip from the review:

The story is mostly scenes from the movie stitiched with some rather pointless missions in-between resulting in a final boss-fight with the big man himself: Doc Oct. The missions taken from the movie are actually quite good compared to the rest of the game. Most of the others felt disturbingly like filler and were not much more than something to do while waiting for the story to advance. These in-between missions felt very pained.
To check out the entire review, please follow the link below.

IMG Review: Spider-man 2: The Game
Aspyr Media
Spider-Man 2: The Game
Buy Spider-Man 2: The Game

PacMan-inspired 'aquadot!red' Released
7:56 AM | Eddie Park | Comment on this story

AngelFrogGames has released aquadot!red for the Mac. Based on the venerable maze-and-dots formula made popular by Pac-Man, aquadot adds a variety of new features, including a life bar, different powerups, and various ways to increase one's score.

Some of the listed features are as follows:

  • Touching an enemy does not kill you instantly!
  • there are 10 types of powerups, both good and bad
  • power meters that tell you how much life, special power or munch-time you have left
  • each enemy color has a distinct method of attack
  • doing special things each level can earn you Skill points and dramatically increase your score
Those interested in trying this one out can download a free demo at AngelFrog's site. The full version can be registered for $19.95.

AngelFrogGames - aquadot!red

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Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six 3: Athena Sword Goes Gold
7:56 AM | Johan Hansén | Comment on this story

Texas-based publishers Aspyr Media dropped us a line yesterday to let us know that one of their latest games, Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six 3: Athena Sword, the expansion to the tactical squad based shooter Rainbow Six 3: Raven Shield, has gone gold and will ship on Monday the 22nd of November.

Besides a new single-player campaign, Athena Sword also adds new multiplayer maps, multiplayer modes, and new weapons to the game. To be able to play the expansion pack, players will need:

  • The full version of Rainbow Six 3: Raven Shield for Mac OS
  • Mac OS X 10.2.8 or later
  • G3/G4/G5 Processor at 733 MHz or faster
  • 256 MB of RAM
  • 3.2 GB free disk space (including original game)
  • 32 MB of video ram (VRAM) required
  • 8X CD-ROM
  • Network play Mac to Mac only, GameRanger supported
  • To find more information on this expansion, head over to Aspyr's mini site with help of the link below. The expansion should be available to order from the IMG Store shortly. The full game is available from the IMG Store at the affordable price of $39.95 -

    Aspyr Media
    Rainbow Six 3: Athena Sword
    Rainbow Six 3: Raven Shield
    Buy Rainbow Six 3: Athena Sword
    Buy Rainbow Six 3: Raven Shield

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    Halo 2's Artificial Intelligence Overview
    7:56 AM | Jean-Luc Dinsdale | Comment on this story

    In their continuing spotlight on Bungie Studios, the gaming wing of edutainment website How Stuff Works has posted an in-depth interview with Chris Butcher, one of the studio's Engineering leads responsible for creating Halo: Combat Evolved and Halo 2's advanced artificial intelligence.

    The seven page interview goes deep into the theory, design, and execution of the franchise's much-lauded AI. Butcher explains how the developers got the game's characters to co-operate, how the characters perceive the game's virtual environments, and the many reasons why the enemy AI behaves in a much more realistic way than in most other modern computer games:

    Because the characters are forced to perceive the world around them, they are, in many ways, limited like the player by their senses -- in their overall awareness of what is going on around them. This limitation creates more lifelike behavior for the AI characters, as they can be surprised, make mistakes and decisions based on their perceptions of what's going on around them. As Chris puts it, "there is really very little difference between a player and an artificial intelligence character in Halo."
    The in-depth article is a must-read for budding game designers, fans of Bungie Studios' franchise, and just about anybody interested in what's involved in putting games together.

    Halo's AI Explained
    Bungie Studios
    Westlake Interactive
    Halo: Combat Evolved

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    Upcoming Dark Horizons: Lore Gold Q&A
    7:56 AM | Jean-Luc Dinsdale | Comment on this story

    The folks over at Max Gaming Technologies have announced that they'll be hosting a live chat to discuss the current development status of their multiplayer mech combat game Dark Horizons: Lore Gold Edition.

    During the online chat, which will take place this Sunday, November 21st at 3:00 pm eastern standard time, Max Gaming staff will be unveiling the final feature set for the Gold edition of the title. A special announcement regarding the closed beta for the title will also be revealed, as well as news regarding the communities involved in the continuing development of the title after the game is released.

    In addition, 25 copies of the "Early Adopters" edition of the title will be given away to fans of the game whose questions are selected to be addressed during the event. Fans of the game interested in joining in the discussion can do so by directing IRC client software to, port 6667, and join the #DarkHorizons channel. Players can also join the conversation through the GameSurge IRC Network's Java client, available at GameSurge.

    Final Features To Be Unveiled for Dark Horizons: Lore Gold
    Dark Horizons: Lore

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    WoW North American Beta Test Ends Today
    7:56 AM | Johan Hansén | Comment on this story

    To the disappointment of hundred of thousands of gamers out there, Blizzard Entertainment has announced that they are taking down the open beta servers for their upcoming MMORPG World of Warcraft today.

    While this might seem like a sad event, the good news is that they are preparing the servers for the final retail launch of the long-awaited title next week, on the 23rd of November. A Gold Master disc of the game has already been sent to the pressing facility, so the time for launch is approaching quickly. For readers who will greatly miss their old characters, Blizzard sends word of encouragement:

    We realize that you've grown attached to your characters, and we're sorry that the end of the open beta test will require you to part ways with them. However, with the retail launch of World of Warcraft on November 23 comes the opportunity to begin a new adventure in Azeroth on fresh, untouched servers. Along with that, you'll have the knowledge that you played an instrumental role in the creation of a game of epic proportions that players will enjoy for many years to come.
    You can read all about the closing of the beta at the World of Warcraft community site. To be able to jump on the fresh servers as soon as possible, you are encouraged to pre-order the game from the IMG Store by following the links below. If you never got into the beta and wonder if your machine will cope with this beautiful game, the system requirements are:
  • 933 MHz or higher G4 or G5 processor
  • 512 MB RAM or higher; DDR RAM recommended
  • ATI or NVIDIA video hardware with 32 MB VRAM or more
  • 4 GB or more of available hard drive space
  • MacOS X 10.3.5 or newer
  • 56k or higher modem with an Internet connection
  • As a final note, readers curious about the ongoing European version of World of Warcraft will have to wait for Blizzard's promised update next week. Stay tuned to our news pages to keep in touch with the latest on this amazing game.

    Blizzard Entertainment
    World of Warcraft
    Buy World of Warcraft

    IGDA Addresses Quality of Life Issues for Developers
    7:56 AM | Eddie Park | Comment on this story

    Folks who keep up with tech news may have heard recent rumblings regarding allegations of EA's mistreatment of its employees by various reports, and an impending class-action lawsuit that addresses them. In an apparent response to this, the International Game Developers Association (IDGA) has released a statement addressing the issue.

    Titled "Quality of Life Issues are Holding Back the Game Industry," the statement condemns the unfair treatment of game developers. However, it makes note of the fact that quality of life issues can stem from the developers themselves as well as their employers, noting that a "macho bravado" sometimes causes developers to push themselves unreasonably.

    They also point to companies that have a successful model of both business and employee care:

    The reality is that there are game companies that have proven that a focus on quality of life can lead to great games, AND business success: BioWare, Firaxis, Team17, Blue Fang, Cyberlore and Ensemble are just a few of the studios that put as much effort on keeping their employees happy and healthy as on their bottom line.
    To further help address the issue, the IGDA is planning to hold a quality of life think-tank at the upcoming Game Developers Conference, which takes place next March. They also plan on organizing more related groups and activities.

    IGDA - Quality of Life Issues are Holding Back the Game Industry

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    'Stubbs' Soundtrack Features Death Cab, Cake, more
    7:56 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

    Today Wideload Games and Aspyr Media announced Alex Seropian's upcoming game Stubbs the Zombie will feature a soundtrack with a number of well-known independent artists. Some of the biggest names include Death Cab for Cutie, Cake, The Flaming Lips along with other up-and-commers like The Walkmen, Clem Snide and The Dandy Warhols.

    While many sports-themed games procure heavy metal or R&B artists for a few tracks, it seems Aspyr used some of their recently acquired music publishing talents to get a soundtrack together than will appeal to wide audience.

    The press release describes the inspiration for the game's music:

    The game Stubbs the Zombie is set in a fictional  “City of the Future” in 1959. To complement this theme, the tracks are new versions of songs made famous in this era, with the exception of the zombie inspired original track “the Living Dead” by California’s Phantom Planet. Stubbs the Zombie:  The Soundtrack is one of the first game soundtracks to feature all original recordings, as opposed to the licensed music most games employ today.  The songs are as unique as the game and can be found only on the Stubbs the Zombie soundtrack.
    The soundtrack CD should be made available on March 15, 2005 for purchase.

    If you missed IMG's recent interview with Alex Seropian about Stubbs the Zombie, be sure to give that a read and stay tuned to our news for the latest on the game as it heads towards release.

    Stubbs the Zombie Soundtrack Announcement
    Aspyr Media
    Stubbs the Zombie
    IMG Interview: Stubbs the Zombie
    Buy Stubbs the Zombie

    Mac Games News for Wednesday, November 17, 2004

    Bad Mojo Reaches Gold Master (updated)7:44 AM
    Freeverse's Big Bang Board Games Ship7:44 AM
    Updated GSC: Spearhead Released7:44 AM
    Vendetta Version 1.1.3 Update, Demo Available7:44 AM
    View all of the Mac games news for Wednesday, November 17, 2004 on one page

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