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Thursday, January 31, 2008

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Apple Games Features Tomb Raider Anniversary
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | 7 comments

Apple Games recently posted a new feature article examining Tomb Raider Anniversary. The action adventure title revisits the territory of the original game using today's technology to give players a new experience. The article includes a description of the gameplay as well as a brief history of the character and franchise.

Lara’s adventure later takes her to Peru’s Lost Valley, where dinosaurs still roam, to various locations in Greece and Egypt, and finally to the lost island where Atlantis’ Great Pyramid sits. If you want to get warmed up before you begin the quest, try exploring Croft Manor, which is available any time from the main menu as a separate level. Solve puzzles to uncover artifacts hidden inside and outside the mansion, all the while practicing many of Lara’s moves, such as using a grappling hook to swing to a hard-to-reach spot, perching on small platforms and jumping to another location, grabbing onto ledges and shimmying along them, and more.

Lara is also capable of other moves that come in handy during her travels: swan diving off rocks into water, tumbling and flipping, evoking adrenaline dodges in response to enemies’ enraged attacks, and more. Of course, she always carries her trademark dual pistols with unlimited ammo, and during the game she gets the chance to swap them out for more powerful pistols, a shotgun, and dual mini submachine guns. They’ll come in handy against wolves, a T-Rex, black panthers, and even flying mutants.
Head over to the site below to read the rest of the article.

Apple Games: Tomb Raider Anniversary
Tomb Raider Anniversary
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Fairy Treasure Reviewed
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Macworld's Game Room has posted a new review of Red Marble Games' Fairy Treasure. The Breakout-style game takes players on an adventure against an evil, greedy troll that has stolen great treasure from the Kingdom of Trollandia and has carefully guarded it in his cave ever since. The Game Room gave Fairy Treasure a score of 3.5 out of 5 mice.

From the review:

Fairy Treasure surrounds the basic Breakout concept with a fantasy story set in the land of Trollandia. An evil, greedy troll has stolen treasure from the kingdom and it’s your job to recover it. To do so, you must travel along the Fairy River in your magic raft, coming up against nasty creatures of folklore like hags, goblins and such. You’ll gather magic scrolls to find hidden treasures, unlock secret areas and collect keys.

The basic gameplay is the same as other brickbashing games: You move a paddle horizontally across the bottom of the screen. You have balls that bounce upward, rebounding either against the perimeter of the game area or against bricks and other objects that take up space.

As the bricks get smashed, you collect points, and you can also grab a variety of bonuses and powerups. Bonuses—falling gems, coins and the like—will give you extra points, while powerups will imbue you with special abilities, like giving you three balls instead of just one, or extending the size of your paddle, or making the balls extra strong. (Some bricks may ordinarily take several hits to destroy.)
Read the full review at the link provided below.

Macworld's Game Room: Fairy Treasure Review
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Exploring Aquaria's Watery Realm
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

GamingHeaven has posted a new review of the Windows version of Aquaria. Created by Bit Blot, the side-scrolling underwater action adventure game follows the adventures of Naija as she embarks on a quest to reveal the history of the the underwater land of Aquaria. GamingHeaven gave the game 90 out of 100.

From the review:

The control method is sublime, Naija defends and attacks through song, and as incredibly lame and uncool as that may sound, in practise it is marvellous. Moving the mouse around the screen changes her direction (check out the videos), and holding the left button moves her in the required direction. Pushing the button with Naija at a distance, gives her a power dash move, escaping the clutches of any enemies nearby. Her Transformation ability is wonderful, holding down the right mouse button rewards you with a radial menu system consisting of a number of coloured icons each associated with a note. If you move the cursor across the icons in a particular order, Naija then transforms into a being of pure energy - Dark Naija. In this form she can fire streams of energy and a homing attack. The changing of form plays an integral role within Aquaria as you turn from the hunted into the hunter often depending on the situation. Imagine you are trapped behind a rock wall. Only Naija in her base form can cast a spell to clear the rocks, however in doing so she is vunerable to attack from nearby enemies. This adds a high tension aspect to the game that is great fun. For those who like to use a gamepad, there is an option to use that instead of the keyboard and/or mouse.

The controls are in fact, just brilliant. Naija can navigate entirely through the terrain with the mouse, or if you feel more comfortable you can use the W,A,S,D method of movement. You can even use a combination of both, much like in a FPS if you feel it works better. There are some caves in the game through which fine control is crucial so having the ability to shoot and move while aiming with the mouse is very much needed. The dash move incidentally if used near a wall, will tell Naija to hold onto the wall, which comes in useful in confined spaces with a multitude of foes on the move. The stellar control system does not stop there however, if you spin the cursor around Naija she creates a mini style whirlpool which can shift smaller creatures in her vicinity, especially those who stick to her to slow her down.
Click on the link below to read the rest of the review.

GamingHeaven: Aquaria Review
Ambrosia Software

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WoW Boosts Vivendi Games Sales To $1.5 Billion
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Vivendi recently reported its year 2007 revenues, revealing that the company's games divsion raked in $1.5 billion in sales. The figure is driven by the continued success of Blizzard Entertainment's World of Warcraft MMO, which recently reached the 10 million subscriber mark.

Vivendi's Blizzard Entertainment and its hugely successful World of Warcraft MMO once again was a major force in driving results. Blizzard's revenues were 814 million euros, 58 percent higher than they were in 2006. As was announced back on January 22, WoW has now surpassed 10 million subscribers worldwide, and with the next expansion Wrath of the Lich King expected to hit the market later this year, WoW doesn't appear to be slowing down anytime soon.
For more information follow the links below.

GameDaily: Vivendi Games Revenue
Blizzard Entertainment
World of Warcraft
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Mac Games News for Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Blizzard's Kevin Yu Discusses StarCraft II6:00 AM
Dominions 3: The Awakening Updated6:00 AM
Football Manager Live Q&A6:00 AM
Guitar Hero III Reviewed6:00 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Wednesday, January 30, 2008 on one page

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