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Monday, February 13, 2006

Quake III Released as a Universal Binary
7:51 AM | Andy Largent | 6 comments

Sqonk Online has taken the freely available source code for Quake III and put together a Universal Binary capable of running the game natively on one of the new Intel-powered Macs. While still fairly early in its development cycle, this should give early Intel iMac adopters a way to see the game run at full speed.

There are some known issues in the latest release from February 10, and those running PowerPC Macs will want to hold off on trying this version until the issues with the multiplayer browser are fixed.

To make the 1.1MB download, head over to Sqonk now. You must have an install of Quake III's data files in order for this application to run.

Sqonk Online - Quake III
id Software
Quake III Arena

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Zoo Tycoon 2 Universal Binary Released
12:45 PM | Tuncer Deniz | 2 comments

MacSoft has released a universal binary patch Zoo Tycoon 2, which will now allows owners of Intel Macs to run the game at native speeds on the new machines.

Zoo Tycoon 2 cranks up the excitement, challenge and fun of building the ultimate zoo with 30 animals in incredible detail. Players enjoy fun animations, a dazzling array of building tools and objects, including themed-buildings, moats, photo mode options, easy terrain altering options and rivers. Gameplay has been enhanced from the original title, with a new zoom mode and 3D graphics that allow players to keep an even closer eye on the action and craft more creative zoos.

The 9.6 MB patch is available for download from Please note that in order to install the 1.1 patch, you will need to download the 1.0.1 patch first and install that before applying the 1.1 patch.

MGF: Zoo Tycoon 2 1.1 Patch
Zoo Tycoon 2
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Classic games Emulator Updated
7:51 AM | Anthony Wang | 3 comments

The popular classic games' freeware interpreter and emulator, ScummVM has been updated to version 0.8.2 with loads of fixes and enhancements. ScummVM supports over 25 games including classic LucasArts and Humongous Entertainment games.

ScummVM is a classic gaming interpreter and emulator that includes several interpreters for 2D adventures. There is currently support for several interpreters: AdventureSoft (Simon the Sorcerer 1/2), Revolution Software's Beneath a Steel Sky (not yet playable), and a SCUMM interpreter capable of running classic LucasArts and Humongous adventure games using the SCUMM/SPU engine. This includes titles such as Monkey Island, Day of the Tentacle, Sam and Max, The Dig, and more.
Click on the links below to be directed to the ScummVM download page at MGF or to learn more about this product.

MGF: Scumm VM 0.8.2
ScummVM 0.82 release notes

LEGO Star Wars Sequel Announced for PC
7:51 AM | Anthony Wang | 2 comments

Lucas Arts has officially announced LEGO Star Wars II: The Original Trilogy. Developed once again by Traveller's Tales, the Star Wars universe returns yet again in the form of LEGO bricks following the ongoing struggle between the Rebel Alliance and Galactic Empire in episodes 4,5,6 of the popular film series.

With a comical take on the Star Wars Trilogy that revolutionized pop culture forever (Episode IV A New Hope, Episode V The Empire Strikes Back and Episode VI Return of the Jedi), LEGO Star Wars II follows the Rebel Alliance's battle to dismantle the Galactic Empire and rebuild a galaxy in pieces. From Darth Vader's pursuit of Princess Leia aboard her Blockade Runner to a showdown on the reconstructed Death Star, the game includes even more of the family-friendly LEGO action, puzzles and humor that earned the original LEGO Star Wars such popularity and acclaim.
LEGO Star Wars II: The Original Trilogy has yet to make its way to the Macintosh. The first LEGO Star Wars game was published by Aspyr.

LucasArts: Lego Star Wars II

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Stubbs the Zombie Dissected
7:51 AM | Anthony Wang | Comment on this story

Macologist has reviewed the sci-fi action game, Stubbs the Zombie. Developed by Wideload Games and published by Aspyr, the game follows a zombie named Stubbs on a quest of eating brains in a retro-style city. This review highlights the humor, player perspective, and of course brains as the game's strenghts, while noting the game's pitfalls such as storyline, problematic controls, and limited gameplay. In the end Macologist gave Stubbs the Zombie a 3 out of 5.

In traditional video game form you will find yourself traversing increasingly more difficult levels, using each of your newly learned skills to they’re fullest potential in an effort to finally reach and beat the games final stage. When you get there in Stubbs though, its a little anticlimactic. The Final boss battle is difficult to the point of annoying, and the ending leaves one with something of a “Thats it?” feeling. If the game had been any longer (somewhere between 8-10 hours of play, straight through) this would feel like...
Read more of this review and the game by clicking the links below.

Macologist: Stubbs the Zombie Review
Aspyr Media
Stubbs the Zombie
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Potential WoW Speed-up in 1.9.3 Update
7:51 AM | Evan Holt | 3 comments

In the World of Warcraft forums on Blizzard's web site there is a forum posting that Mac players might find interesting. It seems that in the 1.9.3 patch there is some experimental code added to help improve framerates in crowded areas.

The new code employs a change in drawing strategy for scenes where there are lots of player characters; the technical summary of the change is "take some steps to avoid re-programming the vertex shader hardware too frequently during the processing of a single frame". As such the change has no effect on machines without vertex shader capability, or on machines that have Vertex Animation Shader turned off.
Various users have found 15 to 20% better framerates in areas that ordinarily have been that much slower (non-crowded areas will see no difference).

To read further on how to activate the code, read the thread on Blizzard's web site using the link below.

WoW Mac Forum: Experimental graphics change in 1.9.3
Blizzard Entertainment
World of Warcraft
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Further iMac CD Gaming Benchmarks
7:51 AM | Evan Holt | Comment on this story

The iMac Core Duo has shown a lot of promise in games such as Unreal Tournament 2004 and World of Warcraft, so Barefeats compared the iMac's x1600 against the 6800 Ultra, x800 and the x600 XT.

This test is geared for the gamers who like large resolutions (1680x1050) and want to see the results using the Universal Binaries of Doom 3, Unreal Tournament 2004, Quake 3 and World of Warcraft.

Tests show that the new iMac is definitely an improvement over the previous iMacs however not in the "same league" as the PowerMacs at this resolution.

The iMac Core Duo 2.0 might cost half as much as a comparably equipped Dual-Core G5 Power Mac 2.0, but as you can see in the graphs above, it only runs half as fast when used for hard core gaming.
For all the results and a detailed analysis, visit Barefeats analysis using the link below. There is also a good breakdown of which video card is available for each PowerMac if you are looking to upgrade.

Barefeats: iMac CD at High Resolution

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Artifacts, Spells, And Hero Biographies For HOMMV
7:51 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

The official Heroes of Might and Magic V site has released new information on the game. Those eager for information can view descriptions of some artifacts and spells from HOMM V as well as a collection of biographies revealing the personal histories of some of the game's heroes.

Cyrus was destined for greatness, as from an early age he showed the combination of natural talent and intense competitive ambition that leaders often possess. Mercilessly fighting his way to the top, Cyrus became a young and dynamic First of the Circle. Though over time his brilliance faded under the weight of a huge ego and a tendency to avarice, Cyrus remained a Mage of impressive power.
Freeverse Software will be bringing Heroes of Might and Magic V to the Mac sometime after the release of the PC version. For more information follow the links below.

HOMM V Website
Heroes of Might & Magic V
Buy Heroes of Might & Magic V

Jeff Vogel Reveals Geneforge 4 Info
7:51 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Jeff Vogel of Spiderweb games has posted an early preview of some planned features for the upcoming Geneforge 4. The latest in the adventure role playing game series, G4 will put players in the role of a rebel fighting against the Shapers. Some planned features include new spells, new creations, bigger battles, and the introduction of weather effects.

I want the game to have many more scripted events and big battles. It's a war, and I want you to be mixed up in it.

I've never been entirely happy with how mines and traps work, so I'm tinkering with that. I want to find a way for Tool Use heavy zones to be a more fun experience.

I want to rework stealth so it's clearer what's going on and when a creature can see you.

I want to implement weather. It won't affect play so much, but it'll be pretty.

Vogel said he wants to release the Mac version of Geneforge 4 this year. To read the rest of his comments click on the link below.

Geneforge 4 Potential Features
Spiderweb Software

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The Movies Reviewed
7:51 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

The PC version of Lionhead Studios' The Movies was recently reviewed by GamesFirst!. The game places players in charge of a movie studio which they must manage from the 1920's to present day. Along the way stars will rise, directors will become legends, and classic movies will be filmed. GamesFirst! gave the movies four out of five stars.

From the review:

The Movies is very much a "sim" style game. The advantage The Movies has over other sim games (Sim City, Sim Ant, Sim Theme Park, etc.) is the implementation of a historical narrative. It is one thing to build a city that's "like" New York City, or to create the world's greatest ant colony, or even to manage a single "regular" person's life through birth, job and grave. But it is quite another thing to become a part of the worldwide cultural phenomenon that is the film industry.
Feral Interactive is currently working of the Mac version of The Movies. For the full review click the link below.

GamesFirst!: The Movies Review
The Movies
Buy The Movies

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Universal Binary For Neverwinter Nights?
7:51 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

In response to a question on the Bioware forums Owen Borstad said they are "looking into" the possibility of a Universal Binary for Neverwinter Nights but could offer no promises. Several posters in the same thread, including Borstad, confirmed that the new Intel Macs are capable of playing NWN in Rosetta.

From the testing I've done with my new iMac (intel, at home), NWN does work. It's not as snappy as it could be, but it does work.

As for making Universal Binaries, we're looking into it, but no promises.

To read the entire thread click the link below.

Bioware Forums: Universal Binary?
Neverwinter Nights
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Mac Games News for Friday, February 10, 2006

Halo 2 Coming To Windows Vista (Updated)12:50 PM
IMG Reviews Civilization III Complete11:55 AM
Feral Announces The Movies For Mac9:08 AM
Colossai Studios Announces Frontline Nation8:44 AM
Jack Thompson's Letter to U2's Bono8:31 AM
Custer Completes Another Desktop8:29 AM
Post Morten Civilization IV8:29 AM
Weird Worlds: Return To Infinite Space Reviewed8:29 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Friday, February 10, 2006 on one page

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