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Friday, February 6, 2009

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StarCraft II: Unit Abilities
11:39 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Blizzard Entertainment representatives have provided a few more bits of information about unit abilities in StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty. The eagerly awaited return to the sci-fi RTS franchise will give single player fans the chance to explore a new Terran storyline, and multiplayer proponents a fresh set of units and tactics to explore.

Terribledamage: Are there any new abilities/upgrades for Observers?
Cavez: Observer art is still being worked on, but I wouldn’t expect a ton of changes. If you want to post on its current look, please do. As to function, he is such a clean and fun little unit we haven’t felt the need for any changes to how he works. If you guys want to make suggestions on the Observer we will be happy to look at them.
Upgrades are something we are still working on. So I don’t know what is going to happen there yet.

Monklo: Can a Terran Medivac’s “Paladin Beam” heal zerg air units?
Cavez: The ability works on all Zerg units (including air).

Bobod: Will the tournaments that will giveaway beta keys be only on United States?
Karune: There will be opportunities in all our supported regions to attain beta keys. The types of opportunities are still in planning, but some of them we’ll be ready to reveal relatively soon.

Theoblivion: Siege Tanks can’t attack a unit that is too close to it. Will Colossus have a blind spot too? Or can it attack either way, close and far?
Karune: It does not currently have any blind spots. On a side note, we are working to buff up the Colossus a bit more to have more burst attack (more attack damage but slower attack speed). Previously, in order for the Colossus to be very effective, a Protoss player would need several of them on the field attacking at the same time. This change should make the Colossus more effective with smaller numbers.

Read more at the Blizzplanet page below.

Blizzplanet: StarCraft II Forum Quotes
Blizzard Entertainment
StarCraft II: Wings Of Liberty
Buy StarCraft II: Wings Of Liberty

Custer Sits On His Throne
11:39 AM | IMG News | Comment on this story

IMG's resident desktop artist, Brad Custer, is back with an image inspired by Ubisoft's action-adventure title, Prince of Persia: The Two Thrones.

Here's what he had to say:

Prince of Persia: The Two Thrones from Ubisoft was released a few months ago and its obvious you have all been enjoying yourselves royally since then. I know this by the many requests sitting in my inbox here at IMG. So, I decided this week to honor all your emails by venturing into this new realm. There is a lot of great art available for this title so I'm sure it won't be my last trip. I was able to make this wallpaper with the help of Ubisoft and my trusty cable modem. I simply entitled this selection, "Two Thrones", and I hope you enjoy it as much as I did making it. :)
Head over to Custer's Desktops to check out his latest creation.

Custer's Desktops

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Rayman Raving Rabbids Reviewed
11:39 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Macworld has published a new review of Rayman Raving Rabbids. The Ubisoft title follows the plight of Rayman who has been enslaved by bunnies and must fight in gladiator style events to win his freedom. Raving Rabbids features over 70 trials, a variety of finishing moves, and multiplayer action for up to 4 players. Macworld gave the game a score of 3 out of 5 mice.

From the review:

I can’t say that there’s any consistent narrative or thread that really makes the games or the game story coherent or consistent, but the zany insanity is part of the fun, and you take it in stride as part of the game play. The Rabbids themselves are adorable, in a bug-eyed, psychotic sort of way; they’re fond of chattering at you and screaming, and their pudgy bodies and big heads make them squishably adorable, even if they’re rather evil.

Playing the game on the Wii is revelatory, at least for a new Wii owner; it was a great launch title for the Wii, precisely because we were still understanding how the Wii’s remote controls worked. The cow toss, for example, encouraged you to swing the Wii remote around in a circle until the cow took flight. The gunfight game had you pointing at the Rabbids and firing with your Wii remote.

Of course, there’s no Wii remote for the Mac. So instead of using a device that you’re pointing in the direction of the screen—or at least of the Wii sensor bar—you’re simply using your mouse to point and click. It’s simple gameplay, but it’s not nearly as rewarding, fun, or revelatory as the Wii version. Basically, Rayman Raving Rabbids just doesn’t translate very well to the Mac.
Click over to the link below to read the full review.

Macworld: Rayman Raving Rabbids Review
Rayman Raving Rabbids
Buy Rayman Raving Rabbids

Apple Games Features iPod Chinese Checkers
11:39 AM | Cord Kruse | 1 comment

Apple Games has posted a new article examining Chinese Checkers for Apple's iPod multimedia devices. The game recreates the classic board game and adds extras like statistic tracking and a variety of board styles. Apple's article includes an overview of the game's features and a list of tips and tricks for success.

Between two and six, but not five, players can participate. (Five can’t play because someone’s goal will be an empty area, which gives them an unfair advantage.) As in the classic board game, the objective is to move your marbles from their starting area to the opposite side of the board. Moves may only be one space at a time, unless you jump another marble (yours or an opponent’s), in which case you can keep going until there are no more jumps. The first player to move all of their marbles into the goal is the winner.

You can undo a move after making it, and three times per game, you can ask for a hint. Between games, check out the Statistics screen to view your total games, wins and losses, fastest game, and biggest jump for two-, three-, four-, and six-player matches.

And for a change of pace, do something you never could in the old days: choose among boards made of wood, glass, stone, metal, or rock, with a wide variety of images, from an ocean to outer space, available as your background.
Head over to the site listed below to read more.

Apple Games: iPod Chinese Checkers

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Stalk The Night In A Vampyre Story
11:39 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

GameOver recently posted a review of A Vampyre Story, a new point and click adventure brought to the Mac by Virtual Programming. The game tells the tale of opera singer Mona De Lafitte who struggles with her new life after being turned into a vampire. GameOver gave the game a score of 67 out of 100.

From the review:

The best part of A Vampyre Story is the humor. Just about every line contains a joke. The castle’s decorations are “fang shui.” A gargoyle complains that Shrowdy takes him “for granite.” The rats (featuring Sammy, Frankie, and Dean) sing “Bats Amore.” Mona also travels with a sidekick, a bat named Froderick, and the two of them maintain a lively banter throughout the game, including when they discuss whether Mona is really a vampire or merely cursed. Mona prefers the latter explanation, and this leads to funny conversations about her bed versus her coffin, and the special red wine that she drinks every night.

The interface also works pretty well. A Vampyre Story is played using a third-person perspective, where you left-click to do just about everything. If you click on the ground then Mona moves there; if you click on an object then a menu pops up giving you four things you can do: talk to the object, examine the object, use the object, or fly to the object. Most objects don’t actually have four things you can do with them, but the actions are just excuses for the game to toss out puns and one-liners. For example, when you encounter a giant demon statue with “demonic snot” coming out of its nose, you can probably imagine what Mona might say when you try to use the mouth icon on it.

The overall production vales for A Vampyre Story are great. The game looks good, the dialogue is well-written, and the voice actors are terrific (although Mona has one of those voices that starts a grate a bit the more you hear it). The problem with the game is that all the effort went into the production values, and not enough went into thinking up clever puzzles and making sure that everything worked properly.
Visit the link below to check out the rest of the review.

GameOver: A Vampyre Story Review
Virtual Programming
A Vampyre Story
Buy A Vampyre Story

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Discussing EVE Online's Apocrypha
11:39 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Ten Ton Hammer has posted the results of an interview with CCP Games' Arnar Gylfason, Content Director for the company's sci-fi MMO, EVE Online. The interview focuses on the company's first boxed expansion, Apocrypha, which will add a variety of new content including wormhole anomalies and epic mission arcs.

Ten Ton Hammer: What makes a wormhole significantly different than, say, a deadspace instance? Why should players take a break from PvPing to explore these anomalies?
Players need not take a break from PvPing to head into wormhole space. In fact, it might be the best place to ambush juicy targets. For the non-PvPers there will be a whole host of new complexes inside wormhole space with really profitable materials awaiting procurement. Why would you take a break from Empire space? Why leave the safety of your Alliance home? A sense of real adventure. Great riches proportionate to the risk. A chance to be a pioneer all over again in some of the most dynamic, deadly and beautiful space you can imagine.

Ten Ton Hammer: One of the most anticipated features of Apocrypha - especially for newer players - is the idea of epic mission arcs. Will the early stages of these mission arcs be accessible for new players fresh out of the trial? Will the rewards for completing stages of each arc be substantial?
The first iteration of the epic mission arcs will in fact be integral to the new player experience. It will lead you into higher level missions, give you a sense of how big New Eden is and reward you for the time and valor you invest. Rewards? Of course, that’s the only way agents can get pilots to fly for them!
To read more click over to the link provided below.

Ten Ton Hammer: EVE Online Interview
CCP Games
EVE Online

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IMG Reviews Geneforge 5: Overthrow
11:39 AM | Marcus Albers | Comment on this story

Inside Mac Games has posted a review of the last game in the Geneforge series from RPG makers Spiderweb Software, Geneforge 5: Overthrow. This latest release boasts over 30 hours of gameplay, over 80 areas to explore, and dozens of different endings. Here's and excerpt from the review:

The bosses can be extremely challenging if you're new to RPGs like this, however. For example, an eyebeast boss in one of the later zones hits you with an area of effect attack while slowly summoning turrets. If you destroy the turrets, all he'll summon are the initial weak ones. If you don't, however, he'll start summoning devastating ones. The best strategy for him is to have one creature outside of his area of effect attack and have it destroy the turrets while your other group takes the eyebeast out. Of course, at that point in the game, if you've constructed your character poorly you're pretty much doomed to die. The most important tip you could take from any of these boss fights is to put skill points into your combat skills. If you do that, then, with
Follow the link below to read the full review.

IMG Review: Geneforge 5: Overthrow
Geneforge 5
Spiderweb Software
Buy Geneforge 5

GameTree Online Taking EA Preorders
11:39 AM | Marcus Albers | Comment on this story

GameTree Online has begun taking preorders for two anxiously awaited EA titles: the previously unannounced Command & Conquer Red Alert 3 and Spore Galactic Adventures.

New to Macintosh gamers, the Red Alert series of games takes place in an alternate timeline from the main Command & Conquer series. The Soviets use a time machine to go back in time and eliminate Albert Einstein, in the hopes of weakening the Allies' military position in the future. But, not only has the Allies position weakened, but they're actions have spawned a new faction, the Empire of the Rising Sun. In Red Alert 3, you can play as all three factions, each with their own strengths, weaknesses, and technology.


Red Alert 3 brings back everything fans love about the series, the humor, the popcorn style story and the franchise's fast, action-oriented gameplay, while breaking new ground for the genre, with an entirely co-operative, story-driven campaign campaign mode and an increased emphasis on naval gameplay.

Co-Op Done Right - Every mission is designed from the ground-up with co-operative gameplay in mind. Join forces and strategize with friends online or join forces with nine AI commanders, three for each faction, all of whom have their own unique personality and style of play that might come in handy depending on the situation.

Command the Seas, Conquer the World - Experience Gameplay as for the first time in the series, waging war on the water will be every bit as important as dominating by land and air. Gain strategic advantages by controlling resources in the seas and mounting three-pronged attacks from all directions.

A New Threat from the East - The Empire of the Rising Sun is a technological terror, with unit designs influenced by a mixture of science-fiction, martial arts and robot culture. The Empire's futuristic units can transform into alternate forms, and they specialize in naval warfare.

Star-Studded Storytelling - Command & Conquer's trademark live-action videos return in HD, with over 60 minutes of footage featuring the largest cast in the history of the Command & Conquer franchise.

Spore Galactic Adventures takes the final stage of the original game to new depths, as players take on new quests, rewards, and missions designed by Maxis.
Play Maxis created adventures - solve the mystery of the Energy Crystals, help Barbaros defeat Gangor in the Arena of Death and more.

Upgrade your space creature with new game-changing accessories and abilities including the Plasma Pulser and Hypnomelder.

Create and share your own unique missions on personalized planets with the all-new Adventure Creator.

Spore Galactic Adventures requires either Spore or Spore Creature Creator to play.

GameTree Online: Preorder Red Alert 3
GameTree Online: Preorder Spore Galactic Adventures
Electronic Arts
Buy Spore

Mac Games News for Thursday, February 5, 2009

Apple Games Features A Vampyre Story6:00 AM
Cake Mania 3 Released For iPod6:00 AM
EVE Online Skill Queue In Development6:00 AM
The Sim 3 Coming To Mac & iPhone This Summer6:00 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Thursday, February 5, 2009 on one page

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