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Tuesday, December 21, 2010

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LEGO Universe: 86,000 Player Made Creations In One Month
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

The LEGO Group recently announced that 86,000 LEGO creations have been added by players in the past month to its LEGO Universe MMO, and promised the release of more content for the game in 2011. Developed for Mac by TransGaming, the game allows players to create their own custom LEGO minifigure and venture forth to combat the Maelstrom, join with friends to complete missions, and collect bricks to build imaginative creations.

With creative innovation at heart, players rushed to claim over 12,000 personal property areas in the first week post-launch, for building original LEGO creations. Two months later, the pioneering spirit is alive and well in LEGO Universe. More than 86,000 player properties have gone through the game’s moderation team in the past month alone. Players are building and programming just about everything they can dream up – forts, castles, baseball parks, space stations and much more. So LEGO Universe moderators are at it 24/7 to prescreen all player-created LEGO models and properties in-game. With virtually unlimited capabilities for expression, moderation is crucial to providing the safest possible environment possible, without snuffing player freedom to create and share.

Since launch, the development team has already begun massive expansions in LEGO Universe, adding new game content, community events and more each month. Update releases will continue regularly, well beyond the New Year, to expand, evolve and enhance LEGO Universe in 2011 and for years to come. Some of the content additions post-launch in 2010 included: the first LEGO Universe “World Builder League” zones (several official fan-created content areas, unveiled in November 2010); and the limited-edition “Frostburgh” update, released this December, added a new festive world for players to explore for the holidays, complete with wintery missions, models and achievements.

“Since LEGO Universe is a massively-multiplayer online game, players are encouraged to build, battle and explore together with friends and family,” said Mark William Hansen, LEGO Universe Senior Director, the LEGO Group. “Only a few weeks after launch, LEGO Universe, boasts an impressively high NPS score - the rating that measures how likely users are to recommend the game to someone else - above 70% among the core 8-12-year-old audience, which is world class!”

2011 is set to amaze and inspire players with incredible new content, building upon current game worlds and introducing numerous new ones. There will be new opportunities for multiplayer interaction, putting collaboration and competition to work in community-based missions, and giving players new capabilities to share gameplay experiences with friends. Players will find new ways to express their personality and creativity, with new pet features, faction kits, skills, weapons, achievements and beyond.

Significant content updates will push the LEGO Universe storyline forward in 2011, unlocking new worlds and storyline details. The community must come together, building new game elements together, brick by brick. Nexus Force leaders will take players into the most important battles to-date, in an ultimate struggle to push back the Maelstrom for good. New, original LEGO IP will also collide with the LEGO Universe storyline in 2011, offering never-before-seen LEGO models within vivid new game environments in-game.
Read more at the links below.

LEGO Universe
Buy LEGO Universe

Bejeweled 3 Reviewed
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Mac|Life has posted a new review of PopCap Games' recently released Bejeweled 3 gem matching sequel. The game features eight game modes, 65 achievement badges to collect, a variety of new powerups to discover, and improved graphics. Mac|Life gave the game a score of 4.5 out of 5.

From the review:

Classic mode is the same as before. You swap jewels on an 8x8 grid to line up three or more. They disappear. More fall down. Repeat until you run out of moves. No time limit or rushed feeling of panic. Matching four or five gems—including five in a T or L shape—earns you power-up gems. This mode is a favorite of newbies and nongamers, and it’s as great as ever, including the same, cheesy wormhole animation when you level up, and the same deep, reverberating voice that reminds us of the “Sunday, Sunday, Sunday!” announcer in radio spots for monster-truck rallies.

Lightning mode (seen above) adds a sense of urgency by introducing a countdown clock. As the seconds tick away, “time gems” appear on the board, and clearing them extends your time. It’s fun, but reminded us too much of Blitz mode in Bejeweled 2 for iPhone (or on Facebook). Its 60-second time limit is a pain to play with a trackpad, so bring a mouse.

Quest mode has 40 special puzzles, sprinkled with 11 minigames. If you solve them all, you “restore the Lost Relics of Bejeweled.” The idea of questing had us rolling our eyes, but the special puzzles are fun.

Speaking of eye rolls, Zen mode is basically the same as Classic, only it’s endless and it includes features to allegedly relax you, such as stress-relieving breath modulation, ambient sounds (seagulls, dude), “positive mantras,” and “binaural beats” that drone over your headphones and are supposed to put your mind in a trance-like (or maybe trance-lite) state for maximum jewel-matching. We...are skeptical. But again, it’s fun. And all those extras can be turned off.
Check out the full review at the link below.

Mac|Life: Bejeweled 3 Review
PopCap Games
Bejeweled 3
Buy Bejeweled 3

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Diablo III Attribute Changes Explained
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Blizzard Entertainment recently revealed changes to the the core player attributes in the upcoming action RPG sequel, Diablo III. The previous stats of Strength, Dexterity, Vitality, and Willpower will become Attack, Precision, Vitality, Defense, and Willpower. Diablo III will return players to the world of Sanctuary, once again under threat from demonic powers.

Not too long ago we decided to make some changes to how our core player character attributes work. We wanted to share with all of you what problems we ran into, how we want to fix them, and what our new attributes are.

This is a fairly info-heavy write up and takes into account that you're well versed in core attributes of Diablo II, as well as what has been previously shown in Diablo III. If you're not, you'll still get some good information, just keep in mind that this isn't intended as a comprehensive guide, but a design-heavy explanation for those already following the game very closely. (And if you're one of those people you just got real excited.)
Visit the page below for more information about the changes.

Diablo III Core Attribute Changes
Blizzard Entertainment
Diablo III
Buy Diablo III

StuntMANIA Reloaded Now Available
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Sector3 Games recently released StuntMANIA Reloaded, a sequel to StuntMania. The game gives players the chance to perform stunts with a variety of vehicles. Reloaded features eleven cars, eleven levels, several power-ups, and introduces drifting and skidding.

StuntMANIA Reloaded is a fast paced 3D car stunt driving game, where you get to perform the most amazing tricks and stunts in some really cool environments.

New in StuntMANIA Reloaded is the ability to drift and skid when driving to take some amazing corners and to produce some awesome burnouts and donuts!

We have also added the ability to perform many more mid-air stunts, including flips, twists and flat spins. You can also automatically re-orient the car by pressing the Jump button while mid-air to achieve the perfect landing. Stunts are only awarded if you land properly, to practice you landings!

ELEVEN Unique Cars
You can select any of the ELEVEN amazing stunt cars each with differing suspension, weight and handling. Any car can be played in any level in any game mode from an easy to navigate game selection menu (once you have unlocked them).

ELEVEN Amazing Levels
Choose from ELEVEN unique driving environments, filled with stunt and trick ramps, bonuses and hidden challenges including an awesome Power-Ups that will allow you to take your tricks to a whole new level!

Collect COINS to unlock content
Each level in Go Crazy game mode contains 1x Game mode coin, 1x Level coin (in 3 pieces) and 1x Car coin (in 3 pieces). Collecting each coin allows you to spend them to unlock other levels, cars and game modes from the main menu. Can you unlock everything?

Each level has randomly placed Power-Ups for you to find and when you do, you will have some amazing new abilities to help you reach even the highest points in the level, or the hardest to find areas.

System Requirements:

  • OSX 10.4+
  • Intel CPU Only
  • Discrete Video Card (64MB+)
  • 150MB Download
StuntMANIA Reloaded costs $19.97. Click over to the site below to download the demo and learn more.

Sector3 Games
StuntMANIA Reloaded

Mac Games News for Monday, December 20, 2010

Diablo III Previewed6:00 AM
IMG Reviews Sid Meier's Civilization V6:00 AM
Inside Mac Games Holiday Q&A: Basilisk Games6:00 AM
World Of Warcraft: Cataclysm 10 Day Trial Available6:00 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Monday, December 20, 2010 on one page

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