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Friday, November 4, 2005

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Rollercoaster Tycoon 3 Reaches Final Candidate
7:38 AM | Anthony Wang | 3 comments

Aspyr has updated the status of Rollercoaster Tycoon 3 to Final Candidate. This is the last stage in development before duplication.

Rollercoaster Tycoon 3 includes the "Coaster Cam" feature that lets you ride the rides. Design your own rollercoasters or even build your own dream park with loads of customizable options. Afterward, view your guests interacting with your park and satisfy their likes and dislikes. Below are the official system requirements.

Operating System: Mac OS X 10.3.9 or later
CPU Processor: PowerPC G4/G5
CPU Speed: 1.0GHz or faster
Memory: 256 MB or higher
Hard Disk Space: 2.0 GB free disk space
Video Card (ATI): Radeon 9000 or better
Video Card (NVidia): GeForce FX5200 or better
Video Memory (VRam): 32 MB or higher
Please follow the links below for more information.

Aspyr Media
Aspyr Status Page
Buy RollerCoaster Tycoon 3

Macgamestore: RHEM 2 In Stock, Free Stubbs Mini Guide Offer
2:06 PM | Tuncer Deniz is now shipping RHEM 2 for the Macintosh. The game is available for $29.95. RHEM 2 is an intricate pure-puzzle first person adventure game, and the sequel to the popular RHEM. Made for PC and Mac, RHEM 2 rejoins Zetais and Kales as they now explore a hidden city far beneath the earth’s surface.

In related news, today announced that it will be offering a free Stubbs mini guide from Prima Publishing for those who pre-order Stubbs The Zombie through the store (while supplies last).

In this game, players take on the role of the rebel himself Stubbs, a wisecracking Zombie who takes on an ultra-modern city of the future using nothing but his own carcass and the weapons of his possessed enemies. The game's tongue-in-cheek humor, innovative combat and strong storyline keep Stubbs the Zombie's gameplay as bizarre and unpredictable as its namesake.

Macgamestore: Pre-Order Stubbs The Zombie
Macgamestore: Order RHEM 2

Virtual Programming Releases Hearts of Iron II
2:00 PM | Tuncer Deniz | 3 comments

Virtual Programming today announced the release of Hearts of Iron II as a digital download.

Hearts of Iron 2 is the sequel to the most appreciated World War II PC game of true Grand Strategic scope ever made. As in its forbear, the map spans the entire world and allows you to play one of over 175 countries during the course of World War II. The game is completely revised with an updated combat system, a new map, revised and easy-to-use interface, new technology tree and hundreds of other updates and improvements.

• 500 MHz G3 or faster
• 256MB Memory
For more information of Hearts of Iron II, follow the link below to the Virtual Programming web site.

Virtual Programming

Apple Posts Newest Hot Deals
1:52 PM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

The Apple Store Special Deals page has unbelievable deals on the hottest refurbished and new, unopened Apple products. Current offerings include PowerBook G4 15" 1.67GHz with SuperDrive for only $1,599, iMac G5 20" with SuperDrive for only $1,149, iPod 30GB with Color Display for only $249, and much more. But hurry; supplies are limited and sure to go fast.

PowerMax has fantastic prices of superb products for your Mac, including the Canon Pixma IP6000D Photo Printer, MacAlly iKey USB 105-key Extended Keyboard, MacMice MicFlex USB Microphone System, Dr. Bodelin Laptop Bumpers, Marware Bike Holder Accessory for iPod, Microsoft Virtual PC 7.0 with Windows XP, and much more.

IMG Reviews Zoo Vet
12:32 PM | Tuncer Deniz | 5 comments

IMG has posted a review of Zoo Vet from Legacy Interactive. Here's a clip from the review.

The premise behind Zoo Vet is very simple. You are a zoo vet. Done. The gamer takes on the role of the new kid on the veterinary block and must over the course of the game diagnose and deal with whatever problems the animals in the zoo present. Each level consists of a single animal to treat and a level is completed when the gamer's examination has been finished, the medical problem has been dealt with, and the proper diagnosis for the issue has been given. On each level, points out of 1000 are assigned for the procedure as it's performed. A full 1000 points will net the gamer a special trophy for that particular case. The range of points in between simply affect how the zoo staff will feel about your work. Arrive close to the top and you'll get a pat on the back. Do fairly well and you'll be informed that everyone is sure you're trying your hardest. Score low enough (or simply botch the examination) and you'll be yanked off the case quicker than you can say heart palpitation.
To check out the entire review, follow the link below.

IMG Review: Zoo Vet
Legacy Interactive
Zoo Vet
Buy Zoo Vet

Littlewing Newsletter: Fairy Tower In Development
7:38 AM | Cord Kruse | 2 comments

In a recent newsletter, Littlewing discussed development of a new pinball game titled Fairy Tower. Planned for release sometime next spring, Fairy Tower will be the ninth pinball title released by Littlewing. The game has a sci fi theme involving a visit to earth by starships from another galaxy.

On a distant planet, a fleet of spaceships was created to carry seeds of the planet’s life to other worlds. Ultra-intelligent computers were built into the ships and programmed to find planets that would allow these seeds to grow. If intelligent creatures already lived on these planets, however, the computers were programmed to destroy the seeds and help the native beings to develop.

Many of these ships were sent into space. It is unknown how many of them completed their missions—but one of them ended its long journey here on Earth, in ancient times.
Those interested in winning a free key code for the upcoming Fairy Tower should follow the link on this page and answer an online questionnaire about pinball games. Participants will each have a chance to win.

To learn more about Fairy Tower, and view some concept art, check out the preview site listed below.

Fairy Tower
Littlewing Pinball Questionnaire

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Burning Crusade Previewed
7:38 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Ever since Blizzard's announcement of The Burning Crusade, the first expansion for the popular MMORPG World of Warcraft, previews have been blazing a path across the web. One of the latest is from Jolt, which features a collection of screenshots along with discussion of new content.

From the preview:

With all of the new lands, starting zones and dungeons, Burning Crusade should increase the overall size of the game by a respectable 25%. A small amount of the new content will become automatically available to subscribers who don’t purchase the expansion pack, but major features, including the increase in level cap, will require a purchase.

The expansion pack itself probably won’t arrive until the first half of next year, but in the meantime Blizzard has a number of major content updates planned, including real-time weather effects and, quite significantly, Auction Houses in every major city.

For the full preview and screenshots click on the link below.

Jolt: Burning Crusade Preview
Blizzard Entertainment
World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade
Buy World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade

Ventrillo Beta Now Available For Mac
7:38 AM | Anthony Wang | 12 comments

Flag Ship Industries has just released the first beta of Ventrillo, a VoIP chat client for Mac OS X. This client is compatible with all 2.3.x servers and all 2.3.x Windows clients as well. However, not all the features have been implemented yet since this release of Ventrillo is in beta. Nonetheless, Ventrillo will be receiving occasional updates and even Intel Mac support when it comes.

The Mac client is a functional prototype, meaning that it does not have all of the features that are currently available on the Windows platform. However, base functionality has reached the point so that the general public can begin using the program and provide feedback. Over the next several months we will release periodic updates to the Mac client as more features are added and as the new architecture is finalized. This will include Channel and Server admin features, sound events and changes to the User Interface.

System Requirements for Ventrillo Mac:

Operating system: OSX 10.3 or higher
Processor: 1.0 GHz or higher
Sound Input and Output device

Please follow the links below to download Ventrillo Mac and to learn more information.

Ventrillo Mac
Download Ventrillo Mac

Battlefront 2 Reviewed
7:38 AM | Blake Buck | 6 comments

Gamespot recently reviewed Star Wars Battlefront 2 (Xbox), developed by Pandemic Stuios. The sequel to the popular Star Wars Battlefront, which was released a few months ago for the Mac by Aspyr Media, Battlefront 2 improves upon the original with the addition of new maps, characters, and the inclusion of space-based battles. From the Gamespot review:

If Battlefront II seems like it's treading over familiar ground, that's because it is. If you already played the first game, you won't be surprised to see the same maps in this one. You'll keep fighting on the icy wastes of Hoth, the steamy swamps of Dagobah, and among the buildings in the dusty town of Mos Eisley. Some incremental feature improvements, like the new single-player campaign modes, playable Jedi, and space battles have also been tossed in for good measure. While there haven't been any radical changes made since the first game, Battlefront II remains a worthwhile choice for Star Wars fans looking for a good team-based shooter.
While not yet announced on the Mac, given the popularity of the original, a port by Aspyr is a possibility.

To view the entire review, click the link below.

Gamespot Review - Battlefront 2

Bioware and Pandemic Merge
7:38 AM | Blake Buck | 2 comments

IGN recently posted an article announcing the merger between Bioware and Pandemic Studios. Mac gamers know Bioware as the developer of the Baulder's Gate series, Neverwinter Nights games, and Star Wars: Knight's of the Old Republic. Mac gamers know Pandemic Studios as the developer of Star War Battlefront. From the IGN article:

Fans of either studio's work needn't panic: both will retain their own identities, brands, and home offices -- and no currently-announced games are affected by the partnership. Instead, the studios will use the infusion of cash to ensure their titles are ready for the next generation and not rushed out before they're ready. Perhaps more importantly, BioWare and Pandemic will work together creatively.
To view the entire article, click the link below.

IGN Article - Bioware and Pandemic Merge

Reviewing Nemo
7:38 AM | Cord Kruse | 1 comment

Macworld's Game Room has posted a review of Disney Interactive's Finding Nemo: Learning With Nemo. The game is targetted at children who have yet to learn to read and write but are capable with a mouse. The game's different activities are designed to improve pattern recognition and simple math.

From the review:

These are preschool and kindergarten-aged activities, to be sure, and they help reinforce important concepts. Progressive levels of difficulty help keep kids challenged, although the repetition might get frustrating for their parents.

Each screen features objects that kids can click on to see animations and other fun actions. The imagery is fun and colorful, though it lacks the sophisticated graphics of the movie. The game features the original voice of Nemo. However, most of the other characters are voiced by sound-alike actors.

For the full review click on over to the Game Room at the link below.

Macworld Game Room: Finding Nemo: Learning With Nemo Reviewed
Disney Interactive

The Escapist Examines Women In Gaming
7:38 AM | Cord Kruse | 21 comments

A recent issue of The Escapist focuses on women in gaming with articles discussing everything from sexism in games to ideas for creating games which women will buy. An interview with a "girl gamer" is also featured in the issue. As the percentage of women involved in gaming grows, the gender differences in game choice are also likely to grow in importance for the industry.

From "Women In Gaming" by Chris Crawford:

By any technical measurement, today's games are thousands of times superior to Pac-Man. But in one regard, nothing has changed. When somebody decided to build a woman's version of Pac-Man, the best they could come up with was giving Pac-Man a sex-change operation by putting a bow on his head and calling him "Ms. Pac-Man." Nowadays, the best we can come up with for women in gaming is giving them pink guns. Whoop-de-doo.

I have long since given up participating in discussions on women in gaming. The games industry is so out of touch, such discussions are a waste of perfectly good electrons. When Microsoft wanted to publicize an event for women at a Game Developers' Conference a few years back, they splashed around banners showing a woman in a low-cut dress.

To check out the free webzine follow the link below.

The Escapist: Issue 17

Custer Takes A Dip
7:38 AM | Brad Custer | Comment on this story

This week's IMG Desktop features the kid-friendly title The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie game. Based directly off of the popular movie, presents players with a quest that features four playable characters from the movie, including SpongeBob, Patrick, Sandy Cheeks and Mindy.

Here's a snippet of what IMG's in-house desktop creator Brad Custer had to say about this week's creation:

Aspyr Media announced that they will publish The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie game for Macintosh, with an anticipated release this month. This news obiviously has a lot of you fans excited by the amount of email in my inbox this week. I'm a fan of the hero in square pants so it was easy to honor these requests this week. If November wasn't already good enough with Thanksgiving we now get this game too. ;) So, with the help of Aspyr Media I was able to create this week's wallpaper.
As always, those interested in downloading will find multiple resolutions available at Custer's Desktop.

IMG Desktops: Undersea

Mac Games News for Thursday, November 3, 2005

Macgamstore: Pre-Order Zoo Tycoon 211:38 AM
America's Army Winning the Mindshare War7:51 AM
BlizzCon: A Pictorial7:51 AM
Civilization IV Reviewed7:51 AM
Dual Myst V Reviews7:51 AM
EuroGamer Previews The Burning Crusade7:51 AM
The ESRB Responds7:51 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Thursday, November 3, 2005 on one page

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