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Monday, June 22, 2009

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City Of Heroes Trailer Available
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | 1 comment

Apple recently posted a new trailer for City of Heroes Mac Special Edition, NCSoft's super-hero themed MMO. The game allows Intel Mac owners to join in the action as a hero or villain. The Mac version features both City of Heroes and City of Villains as well an exclusive Valkyrie costume set.

In 2004 City of Heroes® was launched, bringing the world of comic books alive in the first massively multiplayer game of its kind, and winning numerous awards. In 2005 City of Villains® arrived representing the dark side of the struggle between good and evil, and again received heavy critical acclaim.

Today the battle continues. Players have created millions of unique heroes and villains and set off to fight crime in Paragon City™ or become infamous villains in the Rogue Isles™. City of Heroes® Mac Special Edition includes both award-winning titles in one box, along with a set of exclusive in-game items!

The only question is whether to protect Paragon City as a crime fighting hero or help Lord Recluse™ bring it to its knees!

Mac Special Edition includes the following exclusive in-game items:
Mission Teleporter Power - Players can save time and get right into the action by teleporting directly to their active mission.
Exclusive Valkyrie Costume set - Costume pieces include two varieties of wings, a cape, a skirt/kilt, pants, boots, shoulders, chest, gloves, belts, and helmet with multiple details.
Check out the trailer at the link below.

Apple Games: City Of Heroes Trailer
City of Heroes
Buy City of Heroes

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Black & White 2 Reviewed
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | 3 comments

Mac|Life has published a new review of Black & White 2. In the game players take the role of a god who must manage followers and train a creature avatar as it quests to rule the land by either conquering or impressing rivals. Mac|Life gave the game a score of 2 out of 5.

From the review:

You don’t need to have played the original Black & White, since this sequel takes a different path. That prior game was about training and playing with a huge creature, essentially a pet or life simulation. Black & White 2 still lets you pick a colossal lion, tiger, turtle, cow, or other animal, but you only need to give it attention occasionally. Unlike the original, Black & White 2 focuses on building and expanding towns.
Common real-time strategy conventions only occasionally surprised us, for good or bad. You’re balancing resources--ore, wood, and food--against costs to expand. Instead of instantly building houses, granaries, temples, and other structures, your giant god’s hand lays out the pattern on the ground. Your people then decide to build the object, and the creature can even help out.

Unlike other games that follow these rules, you can also micromanage construction, speeding things up with your divine touch. This building process is generally fun, and other resources--”tribute” from accomplishing world tasks and mana for calling down god-like miracles--add more initial variety.

Unfortunately, levels too often follow the same pattern. You’ll build up a town, and either expand the “good” way by enticing neighboring villages to join with your impressive structures, or, if you’re evil, you’ll just roll over them with an army. And the repetition seems worse because it can take hours to beat a single level in the “good” path; we were frequently bored, waiting idly for the town to improve instead of enjoying the process. The game keeps track of your good and evil deeds, but the practical difference is minimal.
Read the full review at the link below.

Mac|Life: Black & White 2 Review
Feral Interactive
Black & White 2
Buy Black & White 2

Elven Legacy Examined
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | 2 comments

VGTribune recently posted a new review of Elven Legacy, a turn-based strategy title set in a fantasy world. The game more than 100 units, five heroes, five playable factions, multiplayer combat, multiple game endings, and a game editor for players who want to create their own missions. VGTribune gave the game a score of 8.5 out of 10.

From the review:

As a wargame, EL is one of the best I’ve seen in recent years. It is balanced and simple to learn, but rewards the player with extended play and by putting some thought into army selection and upgrading units. Further depths can be tapped into in multiplayer and it is these attributes that might make this title a cult classic in years to come.The AI is better than most strategy titles of recent years and the computer can provide a reasonalby stiff test, especially on medium and hard difficulty settings.
The game’s appearance is very easy on the eye. The landscapes and towns that comprise the playing surface are well rendered and colourful. The units are well modelled and their motion in movement and combat is smooth. The artwork in all the game’s menus and loading screens is of a similar standard and this is a real strength of the game.
EL’s only problems are in terms of the plotline, script and voice acting, but these pale in significance to the game’s sheer playability and compulsive qualities.
EL is a game that will delight old school strategy fans and may well convince some younger RTS fans that Total War is not the only game in town (if you’ll pardon the pun). It’s graphics are pleasing on the eye, while the game mechanics lead to a balanced affair with real depth and great multiplayer potential.
Virtual Programming recently announced it will be bringing the game to Mac users sometime this year. For the full review click over to the page listed below.

VGTribune: Elven Legacy Review
Elven Legacy
Virtual Programming

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Introversion's Mark Morris And Chris Delay Interviewed
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Gamasutra has published a new interview with Introversion Software's Mark Morris and Chris Delay. The developers discussed a variety of topics including the company's relationship with the press, the need to focus on gameplay rather than visuals, and the unique styles used by indie developers.

Where more mainstream developers have continually added to their feature lists, boasting about the best new technology or the most gruesome ways in which you can decapitate an antagonist, Introversion's titles are stripped back: simple yet entirely effective, without sacrificing the core experience of becoming involved in their games.

"Chris and I were talking about this on the train on the way up," Mark tells me. "We were talking about Assassin's Creed, and the effort they put into creating those great animations. But when you've seen that animation for the tenth time, it's kind of like a mobile uncanny valley. You know that someone wouldn't climb up that exact same way ten times. They've missed, they've failed somehow: it looks good but there's something wrong with it. So our aim is not to try to simulate the real world; it's to create a self-consistent game environment that provides massive immersion for the player."

"With Darwinia, it was all about the construction of the world," says Chris. "Everything's blocky and chunky because it's a digital world. They haven't put the shading in yet."

These game environments - be it a fully three-dimensional playing field or a futuristic computer monitor - are certainly novel, and seem to exist in a world where photo-realisim does not equate to the most arresting gaming experience. If you can invest in the fiction, even if it's a fiction driven by technological limitations, you'll have a lot more fun than if you're observing the pixel-perfect realisation of something that is, quite simply, not that interesting.
Visit the page below to read the rest.

Gamasutra: Introversion Software Q&A
Introversion Software

Mac Games News for Friday, June 19, 2009

EA's John Pleasants: A Digital Distribution Future For Games6:00 AM
Report Forecasts Impressive Growth For Virtual Worlds6:00 AM
The Most Popular Ships In EVE Online6:00 AM
Vendetta Online: Detail Textures, Graphics Adjustments6:00 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Friday, June 19, 2009 on one page

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