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Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Age Of Empires III: Asian Dynasties Announced For Mac
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | 12 comments

Destineer’s MacSoft recently announced that Age of Empires III: The Asian Dynasties, the second expansion pack for Ensemble Studios’ award-winning strategy game, is headed to Macintosh computers with new playable Civilizations, new units, campaigns, game modes, and more.

The Asian Dynasties brings the triumph and turmoil of some of history's greatest Asian civilizations to life. Wielding the symbolic power of immense Wonders of the world, lead the armies of China, India or Japan in a struggle for dominance against each other or the European powers. Crush opponents with new military units such as the Chinese Flame Thrower, the Indian Siege Elephant, or the fierce Japanese Shogun. Or play the role of master diplomat, and befriend your allies at the Consulate, biding your time and building a force of foreign weaponry that will topple your enemies. In Age of Empires III: The Asian Dynasties, players use the might of the East to bring the world to its knees.

Age of Empires III: The Asian Dynasties adds three new civilizations, 15 monumental Asian Wonders, the new Export resource, new random maps, three original campaigns that feature all new Age of Empires III characters, Eastern native tribes, and a wealth of exciting new Home City content.

Playable Asian Civilizations: Command one of three fierce Asian civilizations: the Indians, the Chinese or the Japanese. Each features its own unique armies led by special units like Monks, Daimyo, Mansabdars and more.
Exciting New Single Player Campaigns: Play through three new campaigns with original heroes and villains and relive both Asia's most pivotal historical events and all-new original stories.
New Ways to Play Age of Empires III: The Asian Dynasties adds a new layer of depth to the classic Age of Empires III gameplay with the addition of the new Expert resource and Wonders of the World! Challenge your opponents with new game modes like King of the Hill, Regicide, and Treaty No-Blockade.
An Immersive World: Featuring eleven new Random Maps and three new Home Cities, The Asian Dynasties immerses player in the exotic world of the Far East.

System Requirements:
• Macintosh computer with a G4/G5 or Intel processor running at 1.2GHz or faster
• Mac OS X v10.3.9 or higher
• 512MB RAM
• 64 MB Video Card or Intel Integrated Graphics
• Broadband internet access required
• Faster processor speed may be required depending on the number of players.
Age of Empires III: The Asian Dynasties is rated T for Teen and will be available as a Universal Binary release in July for an MSRP of $29.99.

Age of Empires III
Age of Empires III: The Asian Dynasties
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Spore Creature Creator Released
12:04 PM | Cord Kruse | 2 comments

Maxis, an Electronic Arts studio, today released the Spore Creature Creator, an introduction to the highly-anticipated video game, Spore which will ship worldwide this September.

Available today for both PC and Mac, the Spore Creature Creator is a stand-alone product and creativity toy box where players create their own unique creatures, bring them to life with entertaining animations, and share them online with friends around the world.

The free trial version features 25% of the creature-making parts from Spore and lets players shape, paint and play with their custom-created creatures. Creatures made in the Spore Creature Creator can also be imported into the full Spore game, allowing players to populate their own galaxies when the game ships worldwide later this year.

The Spore Creature Creator lets players create their own creatures, take them on a test drive, snap pictures, and make movies of them. Sharing pictures or videos with friends is as easy as the click of a button. Players can also share their creations with others by uploading to the Sporepedia™ at . The Sporepedia is an extraordinarily vast online destination where people worldwide can search for and share Spore creations, comment on other player’s designs, check out celebrity creature creations and much more.
The full version of the Spore Creature Creator will be available for $9.99 at retail stores or by visiting the official website. The free trial version of the Spore Creature Creator is also available today.

Spore Creature Creator Trial Version Download
Electronic Arts
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Apple Games Features Monopoly For iPod
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Apple Games' latest game feature focuses on the recently released Monopoly for Apple's iPod multimedia device. The game features the classic play of the original board game along with new additions like adjustable difficulty levels and customizable rules. Apple's article provides an overview of the game as well as a history of the popular board game.

Many of us have played Monopoly with our own house rules over the years, and the iPod version obliges by allowing you to tweak certain settings. For example, you can increase the payday for the Go space up to $400 (with the option to double it if the player lands there), change all players’ starting cash reserves, decide how to conduct auctions when someone passes on purchasing a property (or whether to conduct them at all), and so forth. You can even start a game with all properties randomly distributed to the contestants, allowing you to get right into house and hotel building.

In addition, you can trade properties and cash with other players, another time-honored tradition of those Sunday evenings spent around the dining room table. The computer-controlled participants will also get in on the action, their trading savvy dictated by the difficulty level assigned to them.

Monopoly also tracks your statistics, allowing you to view your overall record, the most money you’ve ever earned in a game, and the most hotels and houses you’ve ever owned at one time. Unfortunately, it can’t tell you how you’ve fared in those metrics since childhood, when you and your siblings argued over who got to be the race car. Perhaps it’s better to leave such things to the pre-digital part of your life. Now you can merely save your progress in the middle of a Monopoly marathon and pick it up again any time. You can even be the race car every time you play.
Check out the entire article at the link below.

Apple Games: iPod Monopoly

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Neverwinter Nights 2 Reviewed
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Applelinks recently posted a new review of Neverwinter Nights 2. The RPG once again returns players to the Forgotten Realms setting using the Dungeons & Dragons rule set. Applelinks gave the game a score of 4 out of 5.

From the review:

Unlike in Neverwinter Nights, the sequel doesn't confine you to hiring just one other character at a time to accompany you on your journey. Rather, various characters are introduced throughout the story, and you can decide to allow up to three others to tag along when dictated by the story. You get complete control over their actions while they're in your party, and, even better, over their inventory as well. In other words, your support characters can schlep around all those axes and thief toolkits you've found, and when you go to sell them to some merchant who apparently can never have enough thief toolkits, you get the cash. Controlling the inventory and behavior of four characters can be quite a chore sometimes (the inventory management system in Neverwinter Nights 2 has taken a turn for the worse), but the positives of multiple characters outweigh the negatives. In the original Neverwinter Nights, if you were a fighter, you'd generally want a magic user as your partner. Here, you can take along said magic user, but also throw in a thief to help you disarm traps and unlock chests, and a bard to help talk enemies out of fights or into revealing important secrets. Better yet, your recruitable characters break from the mold a bit, including even a giant spider that lives in the basement of your castle. Very, very cool.

The good news for hardcore gamers is that Neverwinter Nights 2 is huge. With the vast number of side quests to divert you from the main story, there's plenty of game to be played here. Although I've read complaints about the surprising linearity of the various levels, to provide a truly open world in a game this massive would've just led to total confusion. Also contributing to the smooth flow of the game, for better or worse, is the fact that the battles seem to be much easier than in the original Neverwinter Nights (or even the Baldur's Gate and Icewind Dale games). In fact, numerous PC gaming sites recommend you crank up the difficulty to hardcore in order to get any real satisfaction from the game. Without that, it seems you're mostly just working your way through a story with numerous light battles getting in the way. If you prefer the story side, fine. If you prefer the fights, adjust the difficulty level accordingly.
Head over to the link provided below to read the rest of the review.

Applelinks: Neverwinter Nights 2
Aspyr Media
Neverwinter Nights 2
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StarCraft II: Tychus Findley & Worker Units
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

IncGamers recently posted two new previews of units from the upcoming StarCraft II, the highly anticipated next installment in the popular sci-fi real time strategy series from Blizzard Entertainment. The previews offer an examination of new hero Tychus Findley as well as a look at the lowly SCV, probe, and drone worker units.

We have been hard at work to compile all information that is available on one of the new main characters in StarCraft II, namely Tychus Findlay, the ex-con friend of Jim Raynor, who can be seen in the opening cinematic as well as in the single player gameplay video from BlizzCon 2007.

Tychus was also the subject of a Limited Edition statue that was sold during 2007. The statues were sold out in very short time, and are now almost impossible to get hold of.
To read more head over to the sites listed below.

IncGamers: Tychus Findley
IncGamers: SC II Workers
Blizzard Entertainment
StarCraft II: Wings Of Liberty
Buy StarCraft II: Wings Of Liberty

Mac Games News for Monday, June 16, 2008

Aspyr Updates Enemy Territory: Quake Wars6:00 AM
Barefeats Examines The ATI Radeon HD 38706:00 AM
Crumb Released For Mac OS X6:00 AM
Eschalon Book II: New Food & Water Requirements6:00 AM
The State Of EVE Online6:00 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Monday, June 16, 2008 on one page

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