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Wednesday, June 10, 2009

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The Movies: Superstar Edition Coming June 30
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Feral Interactive has announced The Movies: Superstar Edition. The upcoming game package will include Lionhead Studio's The Movies, the Stunts & Effects expansion pack, and a bonus music soundtrack featuring 30 original tracks.

“The Movies has become a blockbuster favorite among Mac gamers and the Stunts & Effects expansion pack added a new range of movie-making magic, which players really appreciate," said Feral Interactive’s David Stephen. “Releasing the two in one box is an attractive double feature, but being able to include Dan Pemberton’s brilliant original music as a bonus, along with new costumes and sets, makes The Movies: Superstar Edition an essential release.”

With The Movies: Superstar Edition, players can have their cake and eat it too as they take complete control of a Hollywood studio, from coming up with an initial idea to filming the action to releasing a finished movie to theaters. Box office numbers, critical reception, and award shows serve as barometers of their success.
This big budget bundle features not only the original game and the Stunts & Effects expansion pack, but also more than 30 original cuts from composer Dan Pemberton’s BAFTA-nominated music. Mimicking a wide range of styles - from silent movie piano ditties to soaring, John Williams-esque orchestral pieces – Pemberton’s music traces a century of cinema history.

Developed by Lionhead Studios®, The Movies: Superstar Edition harkens back to the era of the Hollywood moguls, allowing players to oversee stables of screenwriters, directors, movie stars, and stuntmen. Beginning in the early days of silent film and carrying into today’s special effects-laden epics, the game tracks movie history as players grow their Hollywood studio from fledgling venture to major industry player.
Minimum System Requirements:
• 1.6 GHz PowerPC or Intel-based Mac
• 512MB RAM
• 64MB graphics card
• DVD drive
• 8GB of hard disk space
• Mac OS X v10.4 or later.
The Movies: Superstar Edition is scheduled for a June 30 release date. It will retail in North America for US $49.95, £34.95 (inc VAT) in the UK and €39.95 (inc VAT) throughout Europe.

More details and selected trailers of the game are now available at the link below.

Feral Interactive
The Movies: Superstar Edition
Buy The Movies: Superstar Edition

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Avernum 5 Reviewed
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Jay is Games has posted a new review of Avernum 5. The fifth installment of the long running RPG series takes a new direction with the story, allowing players to explore as a group of soldiers from the above ground world of the Empire. Jay is Games gave the game a score of 4.5 out of 5.

From the review:

Earlier, I mentioned the vision involved in a developer's creative process. When it comes to games like Avernum 5, I think it's important to try and recognize what the developer envisioned (and of course, whether or not he or she succeeded in that vision) the game to be. Specifically, my preconceptions about this genre (old, tired and cloned to death) would probably have kept me from even giving this game a shot, if it weren't my job. But then I never would have seen what this game is really about; a surprisingly-detailed dungeon-crawl/action-RPG that serves as a retro indulgence for all the old-school hack-and-slash fans out there who would rather sit down and play something that reminds them of the games they loved than many of the modern, graphically-intensive monster-RPGs trying to reinvent the wheel.

I'm not gonna yank your chain— if you're not even the slightest fan of this genre and you never have been, there's a better chance you'll get struck by lightning than enjoy this game. It's old-school R-P-to-the-G all the way; micro-managing, drawn-out reward progression and all. Avernum 5 is a bit less action-centric than many RPGs of its kind. But it excels at the other end of the spectrum, in strategy, character-building and story presentation. That's not to say you won't get anything more out of the experience than pulling out an old tabletop dungeon-runner; there's plenty of fun to be had here, and the game is decently polished. But it's one game that's definitely made for a specific audience, and I think that's exactly what the developer had in mind.
Click over to the page below to read the full review.

Spiderweb Software
Avernum 5
Jay is Games: Avernum 5 Review
Buy Avernum 5

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StarCraft II: Ghost EMP, Protoss Arsenal
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

In a recent post on Blizzard Entertainment's forums StarCraft community manager Karune revealed that the EMP ability has been added back into StarCraft II, this time as a tool of the revamped Ghost unit. Karune also discussed some of the abilities available in the Protoss arsenal. StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty will include all new multiplayer challenges, and give players the chance to pick up the Terran's storyline several years after the end of Broodwar.

EMP is currently on the Ghost and does 100 shield damage to all units and drains all energy in that area of effect. Having a Ghost presence in any TvP match up is crucial, especially if there are casters in the opponent’s army. In the original StarCraft, the EMP used to kill all shield hit points, but since in StarCraft II the ability has been added to the Ghost, which is more easily attainable unit than in the original StarCraft, we have reduced it’s potency a bit.

Plus a one-click ability that reduces an opposing army to half health near instantly isn’t something that we want to promote.

To combat EMP, Protoss players have huge new additions to their arsenal that can help them attack, defend, and buy time for tactical retreats (to allow shields to recharge since they recharge 2x as fast as the original StarCraft). These new additions would include but are not limited to: Force Field (Disruptor), Temporal Rift (previously known as Time Bomb) (High Templar), Colossus AoE lasers (with upgradable range), Phase Shift (Disruptor), Shield Regeneration (added to Obelisk [known previously as the Dark Pylon] replacing ‘cloak’).
Read more at the Blizzplanet page below.

Blizzplanet: Ghost EMP And Protoss Shield Regeneration
Blizzard Entertainment
StarCraft II: Wings Of Liberty
Buy StarCraft II: Wings Of Liberty

Rod Humble Discusses The Sims
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story has published a new interview with Electronic Arts' Rod Humble about the successful Sims franchise. In the interview the developer discusses his early involvement with The Sims franchise, the impact of expansions, and offers his favorite moments playing the game

Q: The Sims pretty much invented the expansion business, and EA came under a fair bit of stick for the whole monetisation of a franchise idea... which was a bit unfair wasn't it? Looking at any franchise now and expansions, DLC, sequels - it's all an assumed part of the business.
Rod Humble: I've heard it over the years - when we opened the Store, which enables you to buy selected items of furniture, and now with Sims 3 I hear it a bit as well.

My perspective is that first of all, this is additive stuff - so if we weren't making the expansion packs or the extra content and charging for it, we wouldn't be building it. It's not like anybody is losing anything if they're thinking they could have gotten it for free - I assure you, I've seen the profit-and-loss, we just couldn't afford to do it from a business perspective.

The second thing is, from a player perspective, I've always been in the opposite camp and I just don't get it. I just wanted more stuff for my game that I loved. I like my extra Burnout cars, I like the extra content I get in the games - I like the extra content in Fallout, I like the game so much I want more stuff.

So to me, I like it, and I think that for a lot of our core players they'd say they love it. I just think that for the players that don't have it, they feel like they're falling behind if they don't have all the expansion packs, and to help serve them is over time we put out a value price compilation - say the first two expansions bundled for a lower price. There's a significant proportion of players who wait for that, they know it's coming and they can afford to wait a year or two, get the whole lot in one go.

The majority of Sims 1 sales, for example, happened after The Sims 2 had launched. It just kept going, and going, and going. With the Sims 2 sales we still see the same thing - they're still tracking incredibly strong, and this is happening the week before the launch of The Sims 3. There's just so much value in those games - if you bought The Sims 2 compilation now it would keep you busy for a very, very long time, and I think that value is recognised.
Visit the site below to read more of the interview. Rod Humble Talks Sims 3
Electronic Arts
The Sims 3
Buy The Sims 3

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IMG Feature: Inside iPhone Games Vol. 1
6:00 AM | Marcus Albers | Comment on this story

Inside Mac Games has posted a new feature. Titled Inside iPhone Games, this feature will look at a few of the thousands of gaming titles available for the iPhone and iPod Touch. This edition takes a look at three impressive titles for the handheld devices: Flight Control, A Robo Riot!, and Solebon Solitaire. Watch this space for future installments of the series, and follow the link below to read the current article.

IMG Feature: Inside iPhone Games, Vol. 1

Mac Games News for Tuesday, June 9, 2009

EVE Online: A Glimpse Of Future Updates6:00 AM
Lessons Learned From Prince Of Persia6:00 AM
Peggle Nights Reviewed6:00 AM
Spore Galactic Adventures Trailer Available6:00 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Tuesday, June 9, 2009 on one page

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