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Wednesday, January 5, 2005

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ATI Announces Mac Radeon X800 XT
7:56 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

As a surprise lead-in to next week's Macworld expo, ATI Technologies has announced a new high-end graphics card for PowerMac G5 owners, the Radeon X800 XT. The powerful card features 256MB of video memory with 16 pixel pipelines, as well as both DVI and ADC connections able to power one of the new Apple 30" displays.

ATI plans to retail the card for $499, so this isn't one for the casual gamer in your household. But for those seeking peak performance, there might not be a better deal.

Barefeats has scored a review of the new card, comparing it to the Radeon 9800 XT and mighty Nvidia GeForce 6800 Ultra DDL. They've taken a look at a number of games with the cards, and come to the conclusion that the X800 can best the 6800 for less money. And while the X800 can't drive two 30" displays at once, it doesn't take up an extra PCI-X slot either. Head over and check out the rest of the article for details.

Stay tuned to IMG for more coverage of ATI and the X800 at Macworld next week.

ATI’s RADEON® X800 XT Single Slot Graphics Solution for the Mac Powers Apple 30-inch Display
Barefeats Review: ATI Radeon X800 XT Mac Edition

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IMG Reviews Ford Racing 2
10:09 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

IMG has today posted a review of Ford Racing 2, the new racing simulation from Feral Interactive which boasts an vast array of Ford cars. If you're a racing fan with an eye for the American car company's efforts from the 40's to today, this could be the game for you.

The article covers the many gaming modes, graphics, gameplay and more. Here's a portion from the review:

The default view in the game is fullscreen, with nothing on it but your gauges and lap indicators. I certainly recommend leaving it at that, because it gives the feeling of absolutely flying over the racetrack. Perhaps what impressed me more than anything was how it seemed to simulate the tenseness of maneuvering corners and tangling with the opposition at the same time. There is no damage in the game, but each car does have weight and velocity, and you hit the wrong car in the wrong way, and your vehicle will, at best, lose speed, and at worst, go crashing off the road or into a deadly spin.
For more on Ford Racing 2, be sure to head over and read the rest of the review now. Ford Racing 2 can be ordered from the IMG Store and a demo is available if you're curious to see how it will run on your system.

IMG Review: Ford Racing 2
Download Ford Racing 2 Demo
Feral Interactive
Ford Racing 2
Buy Ford Racing 2 from the IMG Store for $19.95
Buy Ford Racing 2

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Gordon: UTX in Beta, Postal Sold Out
9:24 AM | Eddie Park | Comment on this story

Ryan Gordon has posted some small updates regarding two Mac titles at IcculusFinger. The first note is in regards to the Unreal Tournament Preservation Group, currently working on setting up the original Unreal Tournament to run under OS X.

My MacNinjas are beta testing this. Do not email me asking to get in on the beta test. We're moving forward, but this isn't close to finished, so don't expect this tomorrow.
The second note centers around Postal 2 and states that the first print run of the game has completely sold out. Running With Scissors is currently waiting on a second printing run, and orders will be sent out on a first-come, first-served basis.

Epic Games
Westlake Interactive
Unreal Tournament
Postal 2
Buy Postal 2

Universal Boxing Manager at Version 1.2.6
7:56 AM | Marcus Albers | Comment on this story

Game developer Winter Wolves has released a new version of their boxing simulator, Universal Boxing Manager. The update brings the sim to version 1.2.6, and includes a previous update to version 1.2.5.

The updates includes the following changes:

•improved boxers database engine, increased speed and fixed small rare bugs
•Fixed the number of KO you get in the first rounds, now is more realistic
•added a new text-only match mode, you now can watch the fight as a detailed text summary instead of animation
•added a quickstart tutorial mode, use F1 to toggle it on/off
•fixed load/save and quickstart problems in pre-match screen
•fixed purse bug, now you get full purse for each fightfixed a bug that sometimes caused a freezing at the end of the season
•fixed a save bug that could overwrite old saved game without warning if you choose to continue from main menu
Head over to Winter Wolves' website to download a demo of the game, or to check out their other games.

Universal Boxing Manager
Winter Wolves

Age of Empires III Announced, Q&A
7:56 AM | Marcus Albers | Comment on this story

After a few sites began reporting it, Ensemble Studios announced the third in the popular strategy series Age of Empires III was in the works for the PC. The official site has some minimal information with screenshots available.

IGNPC has posted a Q&A session with Ensemble lead designer Greg Street and lead programmer Dave Pottinger about Age of Empires III. The new installment in the series builds on the developments made in Age of Kings, involving taking the power the player held in Europe across the seas to the New World.

The article covers the battle systems, campaign modes, nations involved, etc., as well as including some nice screenshots of the new game engine.

Greg and Dave had this to say about what lessons they learned from the highly popular Age of Mythology, a departure from the Age of Empires formula:

We've learned that large, bold features are worth dozens of smaller, nuanced ones. We've learned that while recreating history can make a fun campaign, that a good story is even more important in capturing fans' attention. We've also learned that the difference between a good game and a blockbuster is the amount of polish all the various features have received, so we're saving plenty of time for polish. We're proud of Age of Mythology and how well it is done, but we also view it as a slightly different franchise, and we know fans are going to be really excited to get back to the original Age series.
While Age of Empires III has not been announced for the Macintosh, both of the original games did find their way here. Check out the rest of the interview at IGNPC, and stay with IMG for any new information about this sequel.

Age of Empires III
Dawn of a New Age: Age of Empires III Announced
IGN PC Games: Age of Empires III

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History of Unreal Technology: Unreal Tournament
7:56 AM | Marcus Albers | Comment on this story

Unreal fan-site Unreal Ops has posted part three of a multipart article covering the history of the Unreal gaming engine. From the early days before Epic Megagames was involved, to the original Unreal game release, the articles have given a nice behind-the-scenes view of the development of this ground-breaking game engine.

Part three of the series covers the still-popular Unreal Tournament. Here is an excerpt from the article:

What didn't make it into the game?

I had always joked about our own version of Capture the Cow. In hindsight I'm glad we didn't do it and allowed the community to come up with it. Undermining the seriousness of your franchise is not always a good thing. It's okay to have the occasional goofy "Pancake" and what not, but entire game modes designed around beef herding are probably not a good example of effort to outcome management.

Head over to Unreal Ops to check out all three parts of the History of Unreal Technology, and stay tuned to IMG for more information on future installments of the article.

Unreal Ops: History of Unreal Technology Part Three: Unreal Tournament
Unreal Tournament
Epic Games
Westlake Interactive

Mac Games News for Tuesday, January 4, 2005

GarageGames Interviews 21-611:50 AM
Using The Sims to Teach Languages11:50 AM
Aspyr: Zero Hour in Beta Testing9:23 AM
Freeverse Updates Cribbage9:23 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Tuesday, January 4, 2005 on one page

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