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Tuesday, October 24, 2006

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Updated MacBook Pro Sports Intel Core 2 Duo
6:53 AM | Andy Largent | 4 comments

As rumored, Apple has this morning announced an upgrade to their MacBook Pro line of professional portable computers. While the bump from 2.16GHz on the high-end to 2.33GHz might not seem noteworthy, the processors are the next generation of Intel Core 2 Duo, and Apple claims a 39 percent performance increase.

Additionally, the MacBook Pros can now accept 3GB of DDR2 memory and be built with up to 200GB of hard drive space. They still sport the ATI Radeon X1600 graphics chip at either 128MB of VRAM for the lower-end 15" model or 256MB VRAM for the upper two editions, as well as the $2000, $2500, and $2800 price points.

For much more on the new MacBooks, check out the Apple mini-site.

Apple MacBook Pro

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IMG Reviews Hearts of Iron 2: Doomsday
1:36 PM | Tuncer Deniz | 2 comments

IMG has posted a review of Virtual Programming's Hearts of Iron 2: Doomsday. Here's a clip from the review:

HOI2 covers the years of WWII up to 1947 and the “winner” of the game is determined at that point by which forces (Allied, Axis, Comintern) have the most victory points, determined by the number of valuable provinces controlled by each power. The game is played mainly on a global map, accurate for the time period. Military groups are given orders and moved around the map similar to a game of Risk beefed up on illegal steroids. The gamer controls all manner of military units (almost literally ALL possible units) present in that era. Units are named according to their nation and the gamer can control around 20 nations involved in the conflict. Gamers can try their hand with one of the major players, such as Germany or the U.K.; they can take a still important, but less resource heavy role like Canada (I got dinged for downplaying the role of the butt-kickin’ Canucks in my last review… not so this time!); or they can be minimally involved as Argentina or Brazil.
To check out the full review, follow the link below.

IMG Review: Hearts of Iron 2: Doomsday
Virtual Programming
Hearts of Iron 2: Doomsday
Buy Hearts of Iron 2: Doomsday

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World of Warcraft Delayed Until January
7:45 AM | Tuncer Deniz | 3 comments

Blizzard Entertainment today announced that the upcoming The Burning Crusade expansion pack for World of Warcraft has been delayed until January. It was earlier scheduled to ship in December.

Here's what Blizzard had to say about the delay:

We appreciate the enthusiasm surrounding World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade, and we're excited about putting the finishing touches on all of the new content," said Mike Morhaime, president and cofounder of Blizzard Entertainment. "We feel confident that the extra time spent polishing the game will result in the high-quality experience that our players expect and deserve.
For more on World of Warcraft, follow the link below.

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

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The Sims 2: Pets Website Goes Live
6:53 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

A new page for the Mac version of The Sims 2: Pets is now available on Aspyr Media's website. The expansion gives Sims fans the chance to add animal companions to the lives of their favorite digital humans, as well as enjoy new features such as pet career paths and a Build-A-Pet option.

Here is a list of the expansion's features:

- Your Sims Have Pets - Add dogs, cats, birds, or guinea pigs to your Sims family. Whether it’s kids cuddling kittens, adults watching TV with a drowsy Calico, or elders spending a sunny day in the park with their faithful German Shepherd, your Sims will share a lifetime of special moments with their pets.

- Create Pets – Choose from dozens of dog and cat breeds including Pug and Persian. Or, create your own unique cat or dog by modifying its body type, face shape, fur color, markings, and more. Then pick a personality! Is your Boxer gifted or goofy, your Burmese hyper or lazy?

-Pets Have Genetics – Cross different breeds to create designer pets or make new ones and register them to appear in Create-A-Family as a unique breed.

- Sit, Spike, Sit – Your Sims can teach their pets tricks like shake, fetch, roll over, and more. Unruly pets might topple the trash or scratch the sofa, but Sims can change their pets’ ways with the right training.

- Pets Have Jobs – Skilled pets can have careers of their own and earn a living as Movie Stars, Rescue pets, or members of an elite Security Pet Corps.

The Sims 2: Pets for Mac is on track for a November debut, hot on the heels of the PC version's release. For more information about the expansion check out the new page at the link below.

Aspyr: The Sims 2 Pets
Aspyr Media
Buy The Sims 2: Pets

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Looking Back At Civilization
6:53 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Shacknews has posted an interview with Bruce Campbell Shelly, one of the designers involved with the creation of Sid Meier's original Civilization. The interview begins with a short Q&A about the game and ends with a list of anecdotes from Shelly's experiences while working on the classic turn-based strategy title.

TG: Game ideas are dropped all the time. Did you ever doubt that Civilization would work?

BCS: No. It was fun and interesting from my very first experience with it. As it started to take shape I remember thinking that it was incredibly cool to be working on this game because we had a strong feeling that it was something really special. I remember being amused by the idea that the leading edge of game development at the time was Hunt Valley, Maryland, but nobody knew but me and a few others. I was convinced that the game would appeal to a wide audience and be a big success. The only major concern was that the president of the company [Microprose] didn’t understand it and had no faith in it. I believe if Sid had been an employee [rather than a partner] it might have been cancelled...

9. At the time we were working on Civilization the company had a bonus plan paid for projects based on sales and meeting milestones. I believe that because Sid was not an employee and the VP of development’s bonus was tied to projects Sid was not working on, it was very hard for us to get artists and other assets as the game started moving to full production. I remember many meetings when I reported we could not meet the production schedule without help. The game shipped late at least partially because other projects were given a higher priority. I thought it was nuts to hold back on what everyone in development agreed was going to be a big hit. I was really incensed when our bonuses were shaved considerably because we slipped, which I thought was management’s decision.

Check out the full article at the link provided below.

Shacknews: Civilization Retrospective
Aspyr Media
Civilization IV
Buy Civilization IV

Mac Games News for Monday, October 23, 2006

Macgamestore: Robin Hood Digital Download3:00 PM
Arcadrome Reviewed7:57 AM
Armado Video, Company Seeks Beta Testers7:57 AM
Battling Bubbles In Pop-A-Tronic7:57 AM
Diablo: The Sin War Trilogy Q&A Tonight7:57 AM
The Broken Hourglass: Modding With WeiNGINE7:57 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Monday, October 23, 2006 on one page

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