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Monday, October 10, 2005

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Myst V Soundtrack Forthcoming
7:25 AM | Eddie Park | Comment on this story

Music 4 Games notes that the recently resurrected developer Cyan Games will be releasing the Myst V: End of Ages Original Sountrack. The album contains over 50 minutes of music from the final episode in the venerable Myst series, and will be available for sale directly from Cyan's website.

The featured composer for the soundtrack is Tim Larkin, who has also worked on other titles such as Uru: Ages Beyond Myst and Pariah.

Listeners will find an evocative taste of the isolated and eerie moods, the vivid and bursting orchestral productions, and the unique combinations of world music that have been present in past soundtracks combined into a new and invigorating 17 track album, woven together to carry the wonder and beauty of MYST V, and to bring the series to a masterful and worthy end.
Some of Larkin's compositions are currently being used in the Video Games Live 2005 Tour currently circulating around the U.S. More information on his works can be found at his personal site.

Myst V: End of Ages
Music 4 Games - Cyan to Release Myst V Soundtrack
Tim Larkin - Composer - Sound Designer
Buy Myst V: End of Ages

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Macgamestore: Crusader Kings In Stock
10:03 AM | Tuncer Deniz has begun shipping Crusader Kings. The game is available for $39.95.

Crusader Kings is a strategy game that focuses on the feudal kingdoms of medieval Europe in the time period of 1066 to 1453 A.D. Take control of one of the Great Christian Dynasties of Europe and forge the bonds of your vassals from a circle of friends into a Nation. Play Dynasties as the Houses of Normandy, Gorm, Plantagenet, Rurik, Capet, Salian, Luxemburg, Navarre, Piast and the Ducas. The goal of the game is to become the most powerful dynasty of medieval Europe.

For more information, check the Buy link below.

Virtual Programming
Crusader Kings
Buy Crusader Kings

IMG Reviews Football Manager 2005
9:58 AM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

IMG has posted a review of Football Manager 2005. Here's a clip from the review:

From the outset, Football Manager 2005 is a niche market game. Gamers are expected to know a good amount about the dynamics of soccer, as well as the current global state of the game from hot players to transfer strategies. Admittedly, for much of the world this point is moot as soccer is the lifeblood of many a nation, but for a Yank like me who might not be a soccer fanatic, this is a major consideration. Gamers also need to not care that the entire game is played by selecting items from menu screens. The former is what will be a problem for most gamers. However, the user interface for Football Manager 2005 is surprisingly friendly considering the amount of information it needs to be keeping track of and is one of the game's saving graces.
To check out the entire review, follow the link below.

IMG Review: Football Manager 2005
Football Manager 2005
Buy Football Manager 2005

Pangea: Universal Binary Beta of Nanosaur II, Enigmo 2 Info
8:45 AM | Tuncer Deniz | 1 comment

Pangea Software today announced that they have released a public beta of Nanosaur II: Hatchling for Intel based Macintoshes. The company notes that developers with the latest Dev Kit hardware should be able to run the game almost flawlessly despite a few known issues with the beta OS’s video drivers. Being a Universal Binary, it should also run fine on all PowerPC Macs running MacOS 10.4 or later. The updater itself is a PowerPC application, but it should run correctly under Rosetta on the Intel Macs.

“We want to make sure that we’ve got something ready to release the day that Apple releases their Intel-based hardware, so to be sure that Nanosaur II is stable we decided to release a public beta to let other developers with Dev Kit hardware to hammer on it for us.” says Brian Greenstone, President of Pangea Software.

Greenstone also notes that Pangea Software intends on updating most of their other OS X native games to run on Intel hardware, and that their current game that’s in production, Enigmo 2, should also be Intel-ready when it gets released sometime in the not too distant future.

Pangea Software

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A Look Into World of WarCraft PvP
7:25 AM | Anthony Wang | 2 comments has posted a feature on the Player vs. Player (PvP) combat system known as Battlegrounds in Blizzard's popular game, World of WarCraft. In this feature, the author voices his experiences and crititism with the PvP in the game. In addition, he also discusses Blizzard's rank system and how it ties into the PvP combat.

Next we enter Warsong Gulch, the simple Capture the Flag scenario that Blizzard added to its ten vs. ten Battleground. Warsong can be the perfect place for a quick PvP experience. The games do not last too long and you can have fun in several ways. Fighting in small groups or running the flag across the board both give players a thrill. One of the main issues with Warsong for many players is actually getting into the instance for a fight. Many times the queues say “Unavailable” or have a long wait. Also, once the Frostwolf Clan rewards for Alterac Valley were revealed players began to ignore Warsong in favor of better loot. This has led to a drop in members for Warsong causing less chance for the casual player to find a good PvP instance...
Please follow the links below to read the entire feature and to learn more about World of WarCraft. World of WarCraft Feature
Blizzard Entertainment
World of Warcraft
Buy World of Warcraft

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Two Reviews For Black & White 2
7:25 AM | Anthony Wang | Comment on this story

Gamesradar and Yahoo! Video Games each bring you their own review of Lionhead Studios fantasy RTS game, Black & White 2. Gamesradar has a quick review by highlighting the contrasting outcomes of an evil and peaceful god. On the other hand, the Yahoo Video Games review is more in-depth. Yahoo Video Games reviews everything from the tutorial to resource management and even the white path to victory which is the way of a peaceful god.

From the Yahoo Video Games Review:

Like the theme of Black & White 2, many things with this game are both good and bad, including the interface. Navigating the map is a joy: as you zoom and pan your way around the island, you'll really feel omnipotent. Casting miracles, doing that Old Testament stuff like slinging hellfire, water, and lightning around the place -- it hits the nail on the head. Placing building templates and roads is very slick, too...
Gamesradar gave Black & White 2 a score of 91% out of 100%. Yahoo Video Games gave Black & White 2 3.5 stars our of 5 stars. Please follow the links below to read both reviews and to learn more about Black & White 2 so you know what the game is all about whenever it comes to the Macintosh!

Gamesradar: Black & White 2 Review
Yahoo! Video Games: Black & White 2 Review
Lionhead Studios
Black & White II

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Inside the Doom Movie
7:25 AM | Anthony Wang | 2 comments recently visited the movie set of the upcoming Doom game to film adaptation. The movie set visit covers nearly a decade of struggles to create a Doom movie, the flurry of activity in filming a scene and has a few screenshots.

At another end of the stage is the Mud Room, a mine chamber as dark and dank as anywhere I have ever been - made up of Styrofoam carved into rock and filled with various industrial implements, including a rack of malicious looking rubber chainsaws that someone will find useful later on. It is here, early on in the film where John Grimm will have a flashback to his parents working in this same room shortly before their deaths.
The Doom Movie will be in theatres on October 21, 2005. Please follow the links below to read the entire movie set feature and to learn more about the Doom video game. Doom Movie Set Visit
id Software
Aspyr Media
Buy DOOM 3

Click to enlarge Website Renovation
7:25 AM | Anthony Wang | Comment on this story

The surprise Blizzard brings us from the 10.7.05 teaser is a redesign of, the multiplayer service for Blizzard's games. It features a new interface, images, easier access to rankings, downloads section and much more. Furthermore, the website now has a section devoted to modding Blizzard games.

Please follow the links below to view the redesigned website and to learn more information.
Blizzard Entertainment

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Sims 2 University Expansion Available For Preorder
7:25 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

On Friday Aspyr announced the upcoming expansion pack The Sims 2 University is now available for preorder from their website. This add-on features the option for young adult sims to head off to college where they can attempt to become the Big Sim on campus. Partying, joining fraternities and sororities, and pulling outrageous pranks will be part of the fun as well as the struggle to keep grades high in one of 11 possible majors.

From Aspyr's site:


New Young Adult Age Group
All-new university age Sims leave home and take over campus. Now they can relish their new-found freedom by setting a new life goal.
Become the Big Sim on Campus
Your Sims have all-new wants and fears tied to their social and academic life. Develop their ability to influence friends, classmates, and faculty.
Earn Degrees to Open Up New Careers
Choose from 11 majors for your Sims and keep their grades on track. Secure the final degree and open up four new career paths.
New "College Town"
Now your Sims can live the ultimate college fantasy whether it's living in dorms, rushing a fraternity, or shacking up with friends in their very own pad.
College Lifestyle
Join a band, crash parties, find a part-time job, or get initiated into a secret society, print money, and cheat on your studies. How will your Sims enjoy their college years?
Over 100 New Objects and Décor Items
Take a fun study break with the Arcade Game or polish your skills on the Drum Kit. Hustle your pals on the Pool Table, milk the cow plant and extend your Sims life span, or take a photo with the new Camera and use it as a wall-hanging.

System requirements for the game expansion are not yet finalized. For more information about University check out Aspyr's website at the link below.

Aspyr Media
The Sims 2
The Sims 2: University
Buy The Sims 2
Buy The Sims 2: University

Freeverse Announcing New Titles This Week
7:25 AM | Cord Kruse | 3 comments

Freeverse Software is planning to announce new Mac products and other information every day this week. Four new titles and three special announcements are planned.

“We and our partners have been working incredibly hard and its time to take the wraps off these exciting projects,” said Freeverse president Ian Lynch Smith.
Keep an eye on IMG for more information and check out Freeverse's website at the link below.


Bill Roper Interviewed
7:25 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Total Video Games recently had the chance to sit down with Bill Roper of Flagship Studios and talk about the gaming industry. The interview covers a range of issues from the future of PC and console gaming to a brief mention of Flagship's upcoming game Hellgate: London.

Despite an image problem, Roper feels the PC platform still has a number of strengths:

The PC market appears to becoming smaller and smaller, with an almost “unsexy” image against the likes of the PS2; would you like to see a change in this perception and what can the PC giants do to continue enticing developers?

See, that’s what I am talking about! Seriously, the PC does suffer from not being a sexy platform although it is the leader in some areas of gaming. The MMORPG and RTS genres are unrivalled on the PC, and Internet play is still the domain of the home computer. Microsoft made a huge announcement when they hit one million XBOX Live players, but there are a host of individual PC games that have many times that number of players, and even paying subscribers. If you want to see where all the PC gamers are, just head online. This is still an area where PC games are setting trends and breaking new ground.

To read the entire interview follow the link below.

Flagship Studios
Total Video Games: Bill Roper Interview

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Myst V Reviewed
7:25 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Myst V: End of Ages is the grand finale to the Myst series. Today we have another review of the game, this time from Yahoo! Video Games. Despite a few glitches with dialog and some story confusion YVG gave Myst V 4 out of 5 stars.

From the review:

One of the more interesting game-play mechanics is the addition of mythical stone tablets, known as Slates, that can be used to solve puzzles and cause necessary environmental effects (such as rain) by drawing symbols and other patterns on it with your mouse. They're also necessary for helping you communicate with the bizarre Bahro creatures seen early on in the game (who will help you solve puzzles) and the stones can also help teleport you to other worlds. There are some limitations to holding a Slate, such as limited movement--you can't climb ladders, for example--and you must put it down to perform some other tasks. Sure, gamers can expect the traditional local puzzles, such as figuring out a contraption or placing runes in the correct order, but Slates are a welcomed addition to the game series.
For the full review click on over to the link below.

Yahoo! Video Games: Myst V Review
Myst V: End of Ages
Buy Myst V: End of Ages

Judge Sentences Convicted Gamer to Death
7:25 AM | Blake Buck | 17 comments

Gamespot recently posted an article stating that a verdict as been reached in an ongoing legal battle over video game violence. The Devin Moore trial has been quite possibly the largest trial involving video game violence.

Back in 2003, the defendant Devin Moore was arrested for stealing a car, and while in police custody, grabbed and officer's gun and shot three police officers. Afterwards, Moore claimed that his deeds were inspired by the video game Grand Theft Auto III.

After the jury reached a verdict in August, last Friday the judge layed down the maximum penalty of lethal injection. From the Gamespot article:

Moore will be put to death by lethal injection. Defense attorney Jim Standridge will appeal the case. The victims' families have sued Take-Two Interactive (parent company of Rockstar), Sony, Wal-Mart, and GameStop for their parts in the manufacturing and selling of the game.
As video game violence has now come into the spotlight of mainstream media, the effects of cases such as this could have an impact on video games as a whole, even Mac games.

What do you think about video game violence? Post your comments by clicking the comment link above. To view the entire article, click the link below.

Gamespot Article - Devin Moore Trial

Are Game Designers Pandering to Lowest Common Denominator?
7:25 AM | Cord Kruse | 21 comments

The firestorm of controversy surrounding computer and video games containing mature content has been raging for years, with games like Doom and Grand Theft Auto raising questions from concerned citizens and inspiring legislative action. CNET News is one of the latest to jump into the fray with a new column from executive editor Charles Cooper. With Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger's recent signing of a bill designed to prevent minors from playing games which "depict serious injury to human beings in a manner that is especially heinous, atrocious or cruel" as a backdrop, Cooper takes aim at game designers.

The American Psychological Association in August came out in favor of a reduction in video game violence. It found that "exposure to violence in video games increases aggressive thoughts, aggressive behavior and angry feelings among youth."

Critics say the APA relied on a flawed methodology and that it is just more evidence that the video game industry is being unfairly singled out. Maybe that's true, but it also ignores the unease most middle-of-the-road types feel about the horrid content found in some of the games marketed by the industry.

You can hide behind the protections offered by the Constitution--which is every American's right--and maybe a smart lawyer will win the case. That still doesn't explain why the common denominator of quality has to begin in the gutter--and work down from there. Not that it's lurid but that it's simply lousy.

For the full article follow the link listed below.

CNET: Why Don't Game Developers Get It?

Mac Games News for Friday, October 7, 2005

Apple Updates Hot Deals8:46 AM
Macgamestore: Gangland In Stock7:49 AM
IMG Posts Inside Mac Shareware - October7:18 AM
Battleground Europe Goes Gold7:17 AM
Custer Goes Small7:17 AM
Friday Surprise From Blizzard?7:17 AM
Incredibles: Rise of the Underminer Screenshots7:17 AM
New Making of Myst Video7:17 AM
Playable World of WarCraft Expansion7:17 AM
Salvo! Reviewed7:17 AM
Wideload's Matt Soell Interviewed7:17 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Friday, October 7, 2005 on one page

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