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Thursday, May 11, 2006

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New WoW Crusade Race
7:58 AM | Cord Kruse | 11 comments

Blizzard Entertainment has officially announced the second new race to be offered in the upcoming Burning Crusade expansion for World of Warcraft. The Draenei will be joining the forces of the Alliance. An uncorrupted faction of the Eredar, the Drenai refused to join Sargeras and were forced to flee from the demonic forces. After battling the the Horde the Drenai found themselves mutated by their enemy's fel magics.

From the Burning Crusade website:

Deeply relieved, Velen gathered the other eredar who had thus far refused to join Sargeras. Naming themselves the draenei, or "exiled ones" in the Eredun language, the renegades barely escaped from Argus, with the Burning Legion only moments behind. Kil'jaeden was furious with what he felt was Velen's betrayal, and the demon vowed to hunt Velen and the rest of the draenei to the ends of the cosmos if need be.

The Legion chased the draenei for many thousands of years. The draenei visited many worlds and explored much of the known cosmos in their quest to find safe harbor. Still the Legion would not give up its pursuit. Meanwhile, the enigmatic naaru race blessed the draenei with Light-given knowledge and power. The naaru explained that there were other forces in the cosmos that would stand against the Burning Legion. One day the naaru would forge them into a single unstoppable army of the Light. Deeply affected by the naaru's words, the draenei vowed to honor the Light and uphold the naaru's altruistic ideals.

Blizzard also provided an update on the history of the Blood Elves (the new Horde race included in the new expansion), as well as new screenshots and gameplay footage of The Burning Crusade and the upcoming Naxxramas dungeon.

To check out all the crisp new updates follow the links below.

WoW: Drenai History
WoW: Blood Elf History
WoW: Burning Crusade Screenshots
WoW: Burning Crusade Movies
WoW: Movies
Blizzard Entertainment
World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade
Buy World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade

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Macgamestore: Pre-Order X-Plane 8 Deluxe (7 DVDs)
1:29 PM | Tuncer Deniz | 2 comments has begun to take pre-orders for X-Plane 8 Deluxe, which contains 7 DVDs and is the first version of X-Plane that is a Universal Binary. It is available for pre-order for $59.95.

Plane is the world's most comprehensive and powerful flight simulator available. Welcome to the world of props, jets, single- and multi-engine airplanes, as well as gliders, helicopters and VTOLs such as the V-22 Osprey and AV8-B Harrier. Includes over 29 aircraft spanning the aviation industry (and history), and several hundred more are freely downloadable from the Internet. The package includes 7 double layer DVDs containing the entire world in detailed beauty.

X-Plane 8 Deluxe includes X-Plane + all new worldwide global scenery. The disk requirement to install the entire planet is 60 GIG!

X-Plane 8 Deluxeships on seven dual-alyer DVDs... each of which contains about 8 gig of scenery, each for a different part of the world. Install only USA, Canada, South America, Europe, Africa, Asia, or Australia to use less than the full 60 GIG of hard drive space, if you like.

X-Plane 8 Deluxe will be available at the end of this month. For more information, follow the link below.

X-Plane 8 Deluxe

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IMG Reviews Mystery Case Files: Huntsville
1:07 PM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

IMG has posted a preview of Mystery Case Files: Huntsville, the extremely popular puzzle game by Big Fish Games. Here's a clip from the review:

Puzzle games on the computer have been around for years (anyone remember Tetris?), but it's only in the last few years that they've really started taking off because of broadband, Flash, and cell phones. While Mystery Case Files: Huntsville (MCF) uses none of these technologies for its actual gameplay (except the free Shockwave demo version that is very limited in scope), according to its producer Big Fish Games, MCF has been a monster hit, with more than $1 million of sales in the first three months and the game still being #1 seller almost everywhere.
To check out the full review, follow the link below.

IMG Review: Mystery Case Files: Huntsville
Big Fish Games
Mystery Case Files: Huntsville
Buy Mystery Case Files: Huntsville

Aspyr Posts May Newsletter
12:34 PM | Tuncer Deniz | 2 comments

Our friends at Aspyr Media have posted the May edition of their monthly newsletter. The newsletter provides news on some of Aspyr's upcoming Mac games including Call of Duty 2, Civilization IV, and more. Here's a clip from the newsletter:

Work at Aspyr internally is wrapping up on Civilization® IV for Mac, which if all goes well should be shipping in June. The game is in full testing, and both Intel and PowerPC versions are looking good. Call of Duty® 2 Mac, developed for Aspyr by i5works, is even closer to shipping - it has finished testing and is in approvals.

Things continue to progress on Mac Universal patches of some of our older
games. A Civ® 3 Complete universal patch should be out by the time you
read this, along with patches for Sims(TM) 2 University and Nightlife.

SMP and dual processors/dual core

With more games taking advantage of multiple and dual core processors, we
are often asked if a machine that is below the normal minimum specs for a
game will be able to play a game because it has two CPUs or cores. For
instance, Call of Duty® 2 Mac requires a 1.8 GHz processor, but you may
have a dual 1.5 Ghz machine. If the game takes advantage of multiple
cores/processors, it's possible you may be able to play with a slightly
lower CPU speed. But you will need to have a fast video card. If you are
under spec for CPU and have a low or mid-range video card, you will mostly
likely not have a good game playing experience. And while it's possible the
extra CPU will help enough to make the game playable, remember that Aspyr
can't offer technical support for a game that is running on a machine with
lower than the minimum required specs.

To check out the entire newsletter (or to subscribe to it), follow the link below.

Aspyr Media
Aspyr Media Newsletter
Macgamestore: Pre-Order Call of Duty 2
Macgamestore: Pre-Order Civilization IV

Freeverse Announces Totemball for Xbox Live
12:27 PM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

Freeverse Software and Strange Flavour have announced that they are developing Totemball, a camera controlled musical platform adventure game for the Xbox Live online entertainment network.

"We're excited to be bringing an innovative game to an incredible gaming platform. Totemball will provide a new experience for Xbox 360 gamers," says Ian Lynch-Smith, President of Freeverse.

A preview of TotemBall is available in the Microsoft booth at E3 this week. For more information on Totemball, visit Freeverse Software.

Freeverse Software

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Civilization IV Reviewed
7:58 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Gaming Excellence recently posted a positive review of the PC version of Civilization IV, Firaxis' latest episode in the well known turn based strategy series. Civ IV offers a new 3D graphics engine, the inclusion of religion, and a variety of other goodies for fans to enjoy. Gaming Excellence gave Civ IV a 9.4 out of 10.

From the review:

The graphics in Civilization IV have undergone a complete upgrade and represent a great improvement over the visuals in Civilization III. The ability to zoom the map in and out to extreme distances is a nice feature, and lets the user choose how he or she wishes to view the game. The detail on each individual unit model is vastly improved and makes for a more visually appealing experience. Also, units are now displayed as groups, typically in threes, which is a neat addition. The game’s introductory and ending video are also very nicely done and make it that much more attractive. Another really neat feature is the addition of short in-game videos that play when your civilization completes the construction of a wonder.
The Mac version of Civ IV recently reached Alpha status and should be available from Aspyr Media in June.

To read the rest of the review click on the link below.

Gaming Excellence: Civilization IV Review
Aspyr Media
Civilization IV
Buy Civilization IV

PhysX Cards on Hold For the Mac
7:58 AM | Evan Holt | 21 comments

As reported by MacWorld, PhysX engine maker Ageia has put the Macintosh PhysX hardware card on hold for the time being.

At this year's E3 Gaming Expo, Ageia has a large booth to show just what their new technology can do and the plans to support over 100 new games that are being released in the upcoming months.

"PhysX" works similar to how a video card accelerates graphics, only it crunches the mathematical calculations for in-game physics.

The physics engine itself is already used in OverTheEdge’s Mac OS X-native game development engine Unity, however the hardware acceleration won't be seen for a little while longer.

Here is what Ageia's vice president of content acquisition told Macworld:

Kathy Schoback instead said Ageia is waiting for the right time and the right opportunity to bring more emphasis to Mac gaming, and pointed out that the Mac platform isn’t the only one that Ageia has had to put on hold as the young company establishes its technology in the marketplace.
The Ageia PhysX card was officially launched this week for the PC with an approximate price tag of $300 from companies such as BFG and ASUS.

Hopefully this technology will arrive sooner than later for the Mac. Click on the link below to read the full article from MacWorld.

MacWorld: PhysX engine maker remains Mac friendly, realistic

Mac Games News for Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Macgamestore: Dr. Germ Now Available2:48 PM
IMG Reviews AGON10:13 AM
A Tale In The Desert 3 Preview8:17 AM
A-OK! The Wings of Mercury Updated8:17 AM
Heroes Of Might And Magic V: Inferno Heroes Preview8:17 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Wednesday, May 10, 2006 on one page

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