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Tuesday, August 7, 2007

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Heroes Of Might And Magic V Update Released
4:44 PM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Freeverse has announced that Heroes of Might and Magic V for the Macintosh, under exclusive worldwide license from Ubisoft, has been updated to version 1.5. Developed for the PC by Nival Interactive, HoMM V brings the popular and long running strategy franchise into a new era with a fully 3D animated world, new Active Battle System for faster play, and a host of new creatures and abilities.

Changes in version 1.5 include:

- Profile corruption fixed
- Save game corruption fixed
- Random crashing fixed
- Memory leak fixed
- Autosave function improved
- Wider range of display resolutions supported
- OS X 10.4.9 or later is now required (originally required OS X 10.4.8)
Follow the links below for more information.

Heroes of Might & Magic V
Buy Heroes of Might & Magic V

Apple Releases New iMac Line
2:18 PM | Eddie Park | 33 comments

Apple has once again redesigned and released a new line of iMacs. Though the general shape remains the same as the previous models, the latest iteration sports professional-grade aluminum and glass in its makeup, giving the computers a considerably sleeker, shinier look. The 17" has been removed, while 20" and 24" models remain in the lineup.

The inside has also been revamped with the latest Core 2 Duo Intel processors ranging from 2.0 GHz to a 2.8 GHz Core 2 Extreme. Graphics are now provided by an ATI Radeon HD 2600 PRO with 256MB of GDDR3 memory or the ATI Radeon HD 2400 XT with 128MB of GDDR3 memory. Firewire 800 is also available for the first time, and the new iMac offers support for up to 1 TB of internal storage space.

Accompanying the new iMacs is a redesigned Apple Keyboard. Receiving the same aluminum treatment, the keyboard is extremely thin and sports a flat surface, reminiscent of the MacBook keyboard. Coming in both wired and bluetooth flavors, a few Apple-specific keys have also been added, including an Exposé key.

The new iMacs are priced at $1199 for the base 20" model, $1499 for a 2.4Ghz 20" model, and $1799 for the 24" model.

Apple PR - Apple Unveils New iMac
Apple - iMac

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The Broken Hourglass: Born In Fire And Water
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Planewalker Games has posted a new informational update for its upcoming RPG, The Broken Hourglass. This time Planewalker takes readers on a trip back to the beginnings of the game's world and explores some of the origin myths popular to the creatures populating Tolmira.

The world began with Fire and Water, primal forces of creation. Together they conspired to create the world and everything in it, beginning with the lesser gods who mortals worship today. In all things they were of one mind, until they forged what was to be their final creation: Man. Humanity was unique in its ability to worship--to recognize its creators and revere them. Both believed they should be revered above the other, though their parts in creation had been equal, but they also knew they could not fight amongst themselves for such a conflict would destroy all they wrought. They decided instead to allow the newborn race of man to choose for itself which god would be worshipped above all--or so it seemed.

Water, ever shifting and treacherous, was unwilling to leave things to chance, and so he stole from his counterpart the Fires of Creation and gave them to humanity to win their favor. Infuriated beyond all reason by this betrayal, Fire took to the sky, fleeing to the opposite end of the world. Without the heat of fire to warm him, Water froze solid--along with all that was left upon the world, including what remained of the humans. Locked within the ice, the fires of creation dimmed within them. Realizing his error, Water gathered what he could of his own frozen essence and departed the world as well in search of his lost companion. Fire saw this and believed he had come to quench her, and began to flee. Water, desperate to make amends, chased after. So it has continued ever since, and so the Moon has always chased the Sun.
To read more of the creation mythology of The Broken Hourglass head over to the site listed below.

The Broken Hourglass: Tolmiran Creation Myth
The Broken Hourglass

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An Interview With WoW Lead Designer Jeffrey Kaplan
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

The MMO Gamer has posted an interview with World of Warcraft Lead Designer Jeffrey Kaplan. The interview focuses on questions about the game's appeal, mistakes made over the course of the game's development, and which players take advantage of raid content.

The MMO Gamer: On the subject of raids, I obviously don’t know the exact numbers, but there are rumors floating around on the internet that only something like under two percent of players in WoW actually make use of the end-game raiding content. How do you respond to the notion that you are catering to a small, vocal minority, while ignoring the large majority of casual players?

Jeffrey Kaplan: I think that's kind of a misconception that we're only creating content for a small group of players. First of all, our statistics show that our most popular instance is Karazhan, that's getting done by more players right now each day we get statistics that show what our most popular instances are, and each day it comes back Karazhan, so a lot of people are doing that. We're coming out with Zul Aman in direct response to the popularity of Karazhan.

Now, in regards to some of the more difficult raid content, like Naxxramas, or like Black Temple, I think there is some validity to what you're saying, that not enough people are getting to see the content. In direct response to that, we want to take Naxxramas, what we felt was possibly one of our best dungeons in terms of game design, in terms of cool encounters, great art, it had some of the best music out of any of our zones, and a lot of people missed it, and I think they missed it for a couple reasons: One, it was super hardcore, it was our hardest dungeon of original World of Warcraft, the other reason is that it came only a few months before The Burning Crusade. I think a lot more people would have gotten the chance to experience it if they had the time to progress, but since they didn't, they missed it.

So what I want to do in Northrend is to take Naxxramas in all of its glory, scale it down to the 25 man raid size, and then take the difficulty and retune it obviously we'd tune for level 80, it would no longer be tuned for level 60, since that would be a little silly and it wouldn't be a lot of fun for people at that point, but I want to put rewards in there that are very exciting to level 80 players, but make it the entry-level raid, very accessible, tune the encounters so that there's something for everybody to do, and let the majority get a chance to see that content that they hadn't seen before.
Click over to the site below to read the rest.

The MMO Gamer: Jeffrey Kaplan Q&A
Blizzard Entertainment
World of Warcraft
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id's Todd Hollenshead Discusses Mac Gaming Viability
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | 9 comments

Joystiq recently had the chance to interview id Software's Todd Hollenshead. The CEO of the legendary game company discussed a variety of topics including id's Tech 5 engine, the company's efforts to branch out into the mobile market, and the status of the Mac as a gaming platform.

The Mac platform, by all accounts, seems to be growing phenomenally, perhaps not as a gaming platform. Are you guys kind of taking a gamble that with something like id Tech 5 you can maybe reinvigorate the Mac as a gaming platform or hope to get some more attention on it?

I'm going to doing something unusual. I'm going to be real frank with you about this stuff. My honest concern about that is that I think a lot of people who are gamers and have Macs will run the games in Windows. So is OS X, is their operating system going to be a platform? I don't know. Can their hardware be a platform? Now, I think, yes.

I think it remains to be seen, i think Apple is saying all the right things and so far they've been doing all the right things to address the long-standing complaint from people, whether they're Mac addicts, the hardcore, the people who will defend Jobs and all the decisions he makes to the death still complain about the Mac as gaming platform which all gets redirected to "Well, developers don't support the platform. I think id has been far more supportive than any random developer or publisher you want to pick, but I think the reason that the reason developers and publishers haven't supported the platform is because the numbers have been tiny. I think there's some push-pull that goes on there, but I think that Apple, to really make the platform grow into something from a gaming standpoint that is going to be something where people are like "I can't wait to play my new Mac because there's all kinds of games I want to play on it," I think there's a lot of work to be done before we're there. But at least, as of now, we're headed in the right direction.

Follow the link below to read more.

Joystiq: Todd Hollenshead Q&A
id Software

The Sims Bowling Reviewed
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Playlist has posted a new review of The Sims Bowling, EA's latest mobile game to land on fifth generation Apple iPods. The game allows players to create a Sim and travel to the bowling alley to compete in a selection of challenges. Playlist gave the game a score of 3.5 out of 5.

But this is a Sims game, so there’s a lot more to it than just knocking down pins. See, the Sim also has aspirations—life goals on the lanes. He or she wants to become a beloved star at the bowling alley, and their aspiration level increases as their skills do. So the better you do at the game, the better the Sim wants you to do. And to that end, The Sims Bowling features four different game modes: Classic, a regular bowling game; Strike-o-thon (how many strikes you can hit) and Spare-o-thon (the same for spares). You can also hone your skills with Practice Mode, a great way of developing strategies for dealing with tricky pin situations like 7-10 splits.

You can even play against another human, in a manner of speaking, using the game’s Pass ‘n Play mode (where you play a frame, then hand your iPod off to a friend who plays a frame—sort of an iPod version of “Hot Seat Mode”-style gaming on the computer.
For the full review click on the link provided below.

Playlist: The Sims Bowling Review

Mac Games News for Monday, August 6, 2007

Apple Posts New Hot Deals1:43 PM
Inside Mac Games Reviews Dodge That Anvil7:47 AM
Aspyr Offers Game Agent Update6:00 AM
Quake Zero Unveiled6:00 AM
Reel Deal Card Games Released6:00 AM
The Queen Of Blades Discusses StarCraft 26:00 AM
Warcraft Movie To Conquer Theaters In 20096:00 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Monday, August 6, 2007 on one page

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