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Thursday, April 5, 2007

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Apple Releases 8-Core Mac Pro
11:23 AM | Eddie Park | 48 comments

For those readers that may have missed the scoop, yesterday Apple quietly released the desktop we all knew was coming: an 8-core Mac Pro. Sporting two 3.0Ghz Quad-Core Intel Xeon "Clovertown" processors, the 8-core build's hefty power comes with a price to match - $3,997.00 for the base model.

Some of the tech specs include:

  • Two 3.0GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon 5300 series processors
  • Intel Core microarchitecture Intel Xeon
  • 8MB of L2 cache per processor (16MB total; each pair of cores shares 4MB)
  • 128-bit SSE3 vector engine
  • 64-bit data paths and registers
  • 1.33GHz, 64-bit dual independent frontside buses
Apple also continues to offer the quad-core Mac Pro models with no price changes. Buyers can opt for two Dual-Core Intel Xeon "Woodcrest" processors in 2, 2.66, or 3GHz flavors.

Apple - Mac Pro

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SketchFighter 4000 Alpha Updated
12:49 PM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Ambrosia Software has released an update for SketchFighter 4000 Alpha, the 2D arcade action shooter with a retro pen and paper graphics style. The update brings the game to version 1.0.2.

Changes in the latest version:

-- Restored ability to post high scores for 2-player games.
-- Textures now load properly from folders with ASCII-unfriendly names.
Download the latest update at at the link below.

MGF: SketchFighter 4000 Alpha 1.0.2
Ambrosia Software
SketchFighter 4000 Alpha

Apple Cuts Cinema Display Prices
11:22 AM | Eddie Park | 4 comments

Accompanying their release of the 8-core Mac Pro, Apple has also lowered the prices of their Cinema Displays. The 30" model saw a $200 price drop and now goes for $1799. The 20" and 23" models each saw a $100 price drop, and go for $599 and $899 respectively.

UK news sources are also reporting on seeing the price drops, with the 20", 23", and 30" models going for £399, £599 and £1.199, respectively.

Specwise, the displays remain unchanged.

Apple - Cinema Displays

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Peter Molyneux Knighted
10:15 AM | Eddie Park | 5 comments

In an interesting bit of videogame news trivia, Lionhead's own founder Peter Molyneux has been knighted by the French government. The creator of games such as Black & White and The Movies, Molyneux received the Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, translated into English as The Knighthood in the Order of Arts and Letters, from the French minister of culture Renaud Donnedieu de Vabres.

“…I see this as a credit for everyone at Lionhead Studios, all our games are a team effort,” he said in a statement. “I am just the figurehead. It is fantastic to see video games honored in this way.”
It never hurts to see prominent figures in the games industry receive recognition for their contributions.

Next Generation - Peter Molyneux’s a Knight
Feral Interactive
The Movies
Buy The Movies

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Apple Games Features The Sims Life Stories
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Apple Games' busy feature week continues with an examination of The Sims Life Stories. Created by Aspyr Media, the laptop friendly Sims spin off is the first in a new series offering compelling storylines and a more user friendly experience. Apple's article offers a review of the game and a list of cheat codes for those needing a helping hand.

In addition to streamlining the gameplay mechanics by introducing keyboard shortcuts for important commands and making relationship development easier, Life Stories was designed for quick sessions. The game runs in a window, allowing you to check email and surf the web while playing, and its graphics were optimized to run on laptops, so you can take Riley’s and Vince’s drama anywhere. Life Stories even features a laptop battery indicator.

Life Stories doesn’t mesh with The Sims 2 and its expansion packs, but it offers plenty of its own content, with more available for download. Bitville and Four Corners both include community lots where Riley and Vince can go shopping, work out at the gym, enjoy a nice meal, and, of course, meet other Sims. Riley and Vince can also get to know their neighbors while hanging around their homes, building amorous and platonic relationships in the process.

Sims in Life Stories earn special rewards as they achieve their goals. You’ll find those objects in their inventory panels; you can drag them to the appropriate spot in their homes, or leave them there for easy retrieval later. Riley and Vince start their stories with cell phones that make communication with other Sims easier when they’re visiting community lots.
Head over to the site below to check out the rest of the feature.

Apple Games: The Sims Life Stories
Aspyr Media
The Sims Life Stories
Buy The Sims Life Stories

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Geneforge 4: Rebellion Reviewed
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

RPG Watch has posted a new review of Spiderweb Software's Geneforge 4: Rebellion. The latest in the popular shareware RPG series, G4 drops players into the middle of a war between the Shapers and the Rebellion. RPG Watch gave the game a score of 4 out of 5.

From the review:

Another approach is to avoid combat with the surprisingly effective stealth system. Creatures in Geneforge 4 have a line of sight – getting too close to a nasty looking your way will disturb them (indicated by a “?” floating overhead) – getting out of the way fast enough will calm them down. Watching the movement of enemies from out of sight and applying some careful timing (and quick reflexes if spotted) to slip by is quite satisfying. Spiderweb claims the game can be completed with absolutely no direct combat (presumably with a combination of allies, leadership, mechanics and stealth), although I didn't test this fully.

Geneforge 4 differs from nearly every RPG in recent times by presenting a serious challenge - the early areas are treated as a tutorial of sorts but from the middle of the game on, Spiderweb throws several difficult encounters at the player. As mentioned, backtracking and finding an alternative path or rethinking an encounter and deciding to slip past a raiding party isn’t uncommon. Some of these encounters (indeed, whole maps) are entirely optional or designed to suit particular character types, all of which makes for a very different feeling to the strictly linear, carefully balanced play of many RPGs and provides opportunities for different character types to strut their stuff. Balance is a delicate thing and Geneforge 4 flirts with occasional frustration and excessive combat but usually manages to offer something absorbing just around the corner.
Click on the link below to read the rest of the review

RPG Watch: Geneforge 4 Rebellion Preview
Spiderweb Software
Geneforge 4

Winter Wolves Releases Spin Around As Freeware
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | 2 comments

Winter Wolves has announced the freeware release of Spin Around, the company's first puzzle title for OS X. The game gives players the task of aligning colored balls into groups of like colors by moving rows left or right on the board. Spin Around offers three game play modes and online scoring.

Spin Around is a variation of the classical align three coloured balls. You have a board of 9 rows x 9 columns, filled with random coloured balls. There are 7 different colors in total. Slide any row of the board left or right trying to align them, or if you're stuck, try to rotate it! With this simple but powerful innovation, new gameplay possibilities open up to you! Three different gameplay modes: Time Attack, Top Score and Puzzle!
To download the game head over to the Winter Wolves site listed below.

Spin Around
Winter Wolves

New Waterstorm Screenshots
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | 1 comment

A recent update of Rarebyte's Waterstorm developer's blog offers a handful of new screenshots from the upcoming 2D multiplayer submarine combat game. Currently in beta testing the game features underwater scenarios, intuitive controls, and high-tech weapons.

It’s great to have the beta out and to see responses from the community. We’ve already played a bunch of maps with the community (that was great fun!) and we are going to release an update including the latest fixes very soon. New maps will also follow very soon. Meanwhile, here are some high-res screenshots from Ribo
Follow the link below to check out the screenshots.

Rarebyte Devblog: Waterstorm Screenshots

World of Padman Stands Alone
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | 3 comments

The World of Padman, which began as a Quake III Arena mod, has been released as a stand alone game. Available for download from the Padman website, the game comes in Windows, Linux, and Mac versions. The multiplayer shooter can be played online or over a LAN and offers 12 maps, unusual weapons, and new game types.

It's been many exciting years, during which the PadMaps developed to the PadMod, and the PadMod finally evolved to the PadGame, and now, now it is actually here, the PadGame, the standalone version of "World of Padman".

So what awaits you?

A cool fun shooter, in liliput style, that including 12 maps, along with new crazy weapons, colourful player models, and new game types. Furthermore, everything is musically accompanied by the bands dieselkopf and Green Sun.

The “World of Padman” is a multiplayer game, in which you can fight your opponent online or have some fun at home playing with some friends and bots. A single player part doesn't exist yet.
For download links and more information about the game click on the links listed below.

World of Padman
World of Padman: Description & Download Links

Mac Games News for Wednesday, April 4, 2007

PeaceMaker Strategy Game Released3:16 PM
Inside Mac Games Previews DEFCON1:43 PM
Lego Star Wars Goes Universal12:48 PM
Apple Games Features Out Of The Park Baseball 20076:00 AM
Beta Registration Opens For The Continuum6:00 AM
Pro Gaming Comes To Azeroth6:00 AM
Unreal Tournament 3 Previewed6:00 AM
WoW Updated, Improvements For Mac Version6:00 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Wednesday, April 4, 2007 on one page

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