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Wednesday, August 13, 2008

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Halo UB Update Removes CD Copy Protection
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | 11 comments

MacSoft has released an update for the Universal Binary version of Halo: Combat Evolved. In addition to adding bug fixes and performance enhancements the update brings the game to version 2.0.3, puts it in sync with the PC version, and removes CD copy protection.

This update will update the 2.0 and 2.0.2 versions of Halo to 2.0.3. Issues addressed in this update:
• Mac Universal Binary build is now in sync with PC version 1.08.
• Server-related crashing security bugs have been addressed.
• CD-ROM copy protection removed.
This update also improves performance for PowerPC based systems and some Intel systems, fixes graphical errors, custom multiplayer game type issues and also allows the program to run properly from a case-sensitive drive.
As mentioned above this update is only for those with the Universal Binary version of the game. Head over to the link below to download the update.

Halo 2.0.3 Update Info
MGF: Halo 2.0.3
Halo: Combat Evolved Universal Binary
Bungie Studios
Westlake Interactive
Halo: Combat Evolved

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IMG Reviews The Nightshift Code
9:53 AM | Marcus Albers | Comment on this story

Inside Mac Games has posted a review of yet another seek-and-find adventure from the good people at PlayFirst, The Nightshift Code. Here's a clip from the review:

The Nightshift Code does not require stunning graphics and wonderful 3-D rendered cut-scenes to be engaging and entertaining. The still frame, graphic novel-style story line was perfect in telling the story without being overly flashy, any full motion sequences would have felt out of place in a game of still photos and minimal animation games. System requirements are relatively low, 800MHz G4 or better, which was fortunate for my similarly equipped iBook. Even running at the minimum requirements, The Nightshift Code worked perfectly, with the only noticeable slowdown being the loading times.
Follow the link below to read the full review.

IMG Review: The Nightshift Code
The Nightshift Code
Buy The Nightshift Code

Fourth BlizzCast Released
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | 1 comment

Blizzard Entertainment has released the fourth BlizzCast, a series of podcasts created by Blizzard's Community Team and focusing on the company's current and future game offerings. The fourth episode features interviews with World of Warcraft director of audio and video Russell Brower and WoW game designer Jonathan LeCraft. The podcast concludes with the usual Q&A session answering fan questions.

Nethaera: Could you share with the listeners a bit more about what you do?
Russell: Well I feel very lucky because the Sound Department and the Video Department work on every project Blizzard does, so World of Warcraft, Starcraft II, things that are in development, the concerts at BlizzCon the Worldwide Invitational, these podcasts, everything. So, we all wear several hats in this department and so in addition to being the administrator and just keeping all the schedules and planning intact, which I do with a very able staff of producers who without whom I could not even… I just shouldn’t even get out of bed in the morning. In addition to that, it enables me to, as long as they have a tight ship running, I can write music, which is the one thing that I do hands-on here still. There are three of us on staff who write music as much of the time as we can, or full-time, and I’m proud to be one of those folks.

Nethaera: Some people may not realize how much music is in World of Warcraft, The Burning Crusade, and even the latest patch. Could you give us an idea of just how much music has been composed for the game overall?
Russell: When World of Warcraft shipped in 2004, it had, I would say, just shy of about 2 hours of music. And today, with the recent release of patch 2.4, Fury of the Sunwell, we’re just shy of 16 hours of music in the game. I’m also proud to say that probably two thirds of that feature live players at least in part if not all the way up to full orchestra for many many tracks.
Head over to the link below for the rest of the BlizzCast.

BlizzCast Episode 4
Blizzard Entertainment

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Chalkboard Sports Baseball Now Available For iPod
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

D2C Games, a developer and publisher of mass-market downloadable interactive entertainment, has announced that Chalkboard Sports Baseball is now available on the iTunes Store. Developed exclusively for the iPod and its click wheel interface, the game features six ballparks, day and night games, personalized teams, and intelligent computer opponents.

“The iPod is a game platform that offers a remarkably unique interface that is simple and intuitive, with endless possibilities to developers,” said Scott Orr, founder and CEO of D2C Games. “ Chalkboard Sports Baseball is the first game we are bringing to iPod gamers and we have big plans to offer more Chalkboard Sports titles that are easy to play, incredibly fun and user personalized.”

• Easy, Pick-Up-and-Play controls optimized for the Click Wheel.
• Personalized teams thanks to FaceMaker™, a unique web-based tool that allows gamers to easily import their own images into the game via iTunes®.
• I-Think AI™: computer players so smart they literally think on the fly.
• Bonus point home run targets and unlockable pitches.
• Quick Play and Playoff modes, six ballparks, multiple camera views, all the sounds of being at the ballpark – even day and night games!
Sports fans can purchase and download Chalkboard Sports Baseball for $4.99. The game is compatible with iPod nanos (3rd generation), iPod classics, and iPods (5th generation).

Chalkboard Sports Baseball

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Discarded Online Open Beta Launched
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | 2 comments

Urbansquall has released an open beta version of Discarded Online, a new Flash based massively multiplayer online game. The developers describe the game as "the first ever massively-multiplayer online collectible card game beat-em-up." To succeed players must battle to gain credits and achievements. Credits can then be used to equip a variety of cards which provide improvements for player characters.

More about the game:

Q. What are the card collecting aspects of Discarded?
A. Your character isn't defined by some destined class path or progression. He or she will gain all of their powers based on the cards you have equipped. There are many different card types: weapons, abilities, modifiers, and many types of clothing and accessories.
Q. How does equipping cards work?
A. As your character progresses through the game he will earn credits that can be assigned to the three different schools: Athletics, Science, and Mischief. You can redistributed your credit allocations amongst the different schools at any time. Equipping a card will use up credits from the different schools, depending on its equipping requirements.
For example, if you have a baseball bat card that costs 3 athletics credits to use, then you can equip the card and this will deduct three athletic credits from your character. You can unequip the card whenever you would like to have those credits back. Sometimes cards will require a mix of schools before you can use them. An ability that boosts your attack power and defense for a little bit might cost 2 athletics credits and 2 mischief credits.
Q. How do I get credits?
A. The only way to get credits is to prove yourself in battle. As you progress through the game, you will be accomplishing pre-established goals that we call achievements. An achievement might be something like “Kill 200 Foxdrops” or “Defeat Baron Von Baronvon” or “Don't die during a mission”. The achievement will usually also grant you some additional credits to spend on your character, and sometimes even give you a new card.
Q. What are the beat-em-up aspects of Discarded?
A. During missions, your character will need to accomplish an objective while being assaulted from all directions by enemies. Some of them are cute, and easy to kill. Others have teeth and are less easy to kill because they will use their teeth to try and stop you. You need to use your weapon cards, ability cards, and guarding effectively to defeat them.
Discarded Online can be played within a web browser and requires no download. For the duration of the public beta it is free to play. For more information follow the link below.

Discarded Online

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Pirates Of The Caribbean Online Freeplay Weekend
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Disney Online has announced a free preview weekend for Pirates of the Caribbean Online. From August 15th through August 18th (12 PM PT), gamers using free accounts will have unlimited access to the MMO. During the same time those who already have Unlimited Access accounts will receive a 50% discount on customizable items.

Disney Online will host a Free Preview Weekend for Pirates of the Caribbean Online which will include:

• FREE Unlimited Access to the Caribbean - As the Spaniard Garcia de Avaricia and Frenchman Pierre le Porc fight for control of their territories, the battle in the Caribbean rages on! Eager for new recruits to join the fight, the French and Spanish Pirate "Lords" have decreed that for a limited time, free Unlimited Access be granted to all Basic Access Pirates! (After August 18th, accounts that were upgraded for free will revert back to Basic Access status).

• 50% discount on Customizable items for Unlimited Access Players - To reward Pirates that are already Members of the Unlimited Access crew, a 50% discount on customizable items will be available at all Clothing Tailors, Barbershops, Tattoo Parlors, and Jewelry Shops will be offered during this time.
To participate in the Free Preview Weekend, players can download the game as well as additional information at the website below.

Disney Online
Pirates of the Caribbean Online

Mac Games News for Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Apple Games Features Mystery Mansion Pinball6:00 AM
Diablo III: The Gender Debate6:00 AM
EVE Online Starship Speed Controversy6:00 AM
Possible Future Mac Pro GPUs Evaluated6:00 AM
Will Wright Discusses Gaming, MMOs, And Spore6:00 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Tuesday, August 12, 2008 on one page

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