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Thursday, August 23, 2007

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World of Warcraft Battle Chest Announced
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | 1 comment

Blizzard Entertainment has announced plans to release a Battle Chest version of its popular World of Warcraft MMORPG. The Battle Chest will include the original WoW, it's expansion The Burning Crusade, and BradyGames strategy guides for both titles.

In early October, we’ll be releasing the World of Warcraft Battle Chest, which combines the DVD versions of World of Warcraft and the game’s first expansion, The Burning Crusade, with the BradyGames strategy guides for both titles all in one package. At a suggested retail price of $39.99, this will be a great value for anyone looking to begin their World of Warcraft experience -- and a great gift for anyone you’d like to share that experience with. The World of Warcraft Battle Chest will beginning shipping on October 2 and should be available in stores nationwide shortly thereafter.
As mentioned above the World of Warcraft Battle Chest is planned for an October release and will sell for $39.99.

Head over to the sites below to learn more about WoW and its expansion.

Blizzard Entertainment
World of Warcraft
Buy World of Warcraft

How Console Development Reflects Mac Gaming
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | 6 comments

Macworld's Game Room has posted a new blog that examines Mac gamer expectations. Using a dramatic frame rate disparity between the XBox and PS3 versions of Madden NFL '08 as a starting point, the article offers speculation on the growing pains EA's fledgling crop of Cider games will have, and the likely reaction of Mac gamers.

Console and PC gaming is an enormously complex process. All the performance differences between versions of Madden illustrate is that EA itself isn’t as far along in refining its PlayStation 3 development tools as it is with its Xbox 360 tools. Given the huge lead time enjoyed by the Xbox, it’s no surprise. Over time, I’m certain that the two platforms will work on parity with each other. I’m also fairly confident that eventually the PS3 will see an edge.

I expect the same to be true for the new Mac games emerging from EA, as well. TransGaming, the developer EA partnered with to bring six games to the Mac, certainly has experience bringing games to market, but it’s bitten off a huge chunk with its EA partnership. There’s going to be learning on both sides of the fence. TransGaming’s CEO told us in June shortly after the EA announcement that Mac gamers won’t see the performance sweet spot of their games until Leopard ships, and clearly EA needs to get up to speed as well.
For the full article head over to the link provided below.

Macworld's Game Room: How Console Development Reflects Mac Gaming

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Lego Star Wars II Reviewed
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Mac|Life has posted a new review of Lego Star Wars II, the second title in the popular melding of the Star Wars universe with the world famous interlocking plastic blocks. LSW II makes use of the storyline and characters of the original movie trilogy, allowing players to take the roles of iconic figures from the films. Mac|Life gave the game a score of 3 out of 5.

From the review:

An idea that seems to have been more likely spawned at a late-night, beer-filled party than between two major corporate brands, Lego Star Wars II re-creates the original Star Wars trilogy with Lego characters playing the roles. Dozens of them are formed in the same basic plastic shape, and even spaceships and other items are built with the classic bricks, scattering apart when destroyed. Answering, “Why not?” to our dumbfounded, “Why?” this strange juxtaposition laughs at itself, creating a game that’s often funny as well as fun.

Cut-scenes and in-game moments cover major movie events from an angled 3D perspective. The animation carries the game ,with defeated Stormtroopers popping apart at their Lego joints ,and cut-scenes telling the story with pantomime and expressive faces .

The game is permeated by this approach - aiming is automatically enhanced, and players just reappear after dying - making it ideal for quick, casual sessions. Some areas feature vehicles, like X-Wings blowing up the Death Star, and while the variety is enjoyable, the controls are terrible and the ships take a lot of effort to maneuver.
Click on the links below for more information.

Mac|Life: Lego Star Wars II Review
Feral Interactive
Lego Star Wars II
Buy Lego Star Wars II

Rob Pardo Discusses Blizzard's Franchises
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

GameDaily BIZ has posted a new interview with Blizzard Entertaiment's VP of Game Design, Rob Pardo. The Q&A offers a range of questions spanning Blizzard's popular franchises. Among other things Pardo discusses possible future games, improvements for WoW's upcoming Lich King expansion, and the importance of StarCraft II's single player campaign.

BIZ: How much of your team is focused on creating an expansive solo experience since a good deal of StarCraft 's longevity is due to multiplayer?

RP: I think that we'll spend the same amount of time. The way that we develop on the RTS side is that we develop the multiplayer first because if you really do want to have the balance and that depth and that strategic complexity, that in a lot of ways is the hardest part of it. We probably spend a lot of our upfront time in early development focused on that; we're still talking about the single player in the storyline but the really hardcore development stuff is usually after the multiplayer stuff is pretty far along [in development]. But the single player is also really important. Without the single player, you just have these goofy different units and races and no one really understands any of them. There's no context to it. There's no understanding or storyline. People normally fall in love with stories and solo experiences and then they keep playing because [they] now understand all those units. So I really think that there's an integration there and we're definitely pretty focused on StarCraft II to kind of one-up ourselves in the single player experience and at BlizzCon we debuted that for the first time. It's definitely one of key integration points with the game.
For the rest of the interview click over to the site below.

GameDailybiz: On The Art Of 'Craft
Blizzard Entertainment
StarCraft II: Wings Of Liberty
Buy StarCraft II: Wings Of Liberty

Mac Games News for Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Neverwinter Nights 2 Heading To Mac10:29 AM
Inside Mac Games Reviews Pat Sajak's Lucky Letters7:35 AM
MacForge: 45,000+ Mac Open Source Projects6:00 AM
StarCraft, Brood War Updated6:00 AM
The Broken Hourglass: Building A Character Point By Point6:00 AM
Turret Wars 1.7 Released6:00 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Wednesday, August 22, 2007 on one page

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