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Tuesday, March 8, 2011

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Dragon Age II Available Today
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | 6 comments

Today is the scheduled release date for Bioware's Dragon Age 2 in North America. Brought to Macs by TransGaming using the company's Cider Portability Engine, the game puts player in the role of Hawke and allows them to craft the story of the legend's rise to power.

Experience the epic sequel to the 2009 Game of the Year from the critically acclaimed makers of Dragon Age: Origins and Mass Effect 2. You are one of the few who escaped the destruction of your home. Now, forced to fight for survival in an ever-changing world, you must gather the deadliest of allies, amass fame and fortune, and seal your place in history. This is the story of how the world changed forever. The legend of your Rise to Power begins now.
  • Embark upon an all-new adventure that takes place across an entire decade and shapes itself around every decision you make.
  • Determine your rise to power from a destitute refugee to the revered champion of the land.
  • Think like a general and fight like a Spartan with dynamic new combat mechanics that put you right in the heart of battle whether you are a mage, rogue, or warrior.
  • Go deeper into the world of Dragon Age with an entirely new cinematic experience that grabs hold of you from the beginning and never lets go.
  • Discover a whole realm rendered in stunning detail with updated graphics and a new visual style.
  • Mac OS X 10.6.6 Snow Leopard or greater
  • 1.86 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo or better
  • 2 GB or greater
  • 9 GB of hard drive space required
  • ATI HD2600, NVIDIA 9400, or better graphics card with at least 256 MB of dedicated VRAM
  • Keyboard and mouse
    Video cards not supported: Intel GMA series, Nvidia 7x00 series, AMD 1x00 series, AMD 2400
Dragon Age 2 costs $59.99. Learn more at the links below.

Dragon Age 2
Buy Dragon Age 2

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A Valley Without Wind: New Video, Multiplayer, Energy Lance
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Arcen Games has revealed some more information about its upcoming game, A Valley Without Wind. The latest blog update features a new video trailer as well as information about the game's multiplayer experience, the Energy Lance spell, and the addition of the minimap.

Arcen Games is pleased to share the latest info and footage for its procedurally-generated action-adventure title A Valley Without Wind. This week we reach a multiplayer benchmark, introduce the Energy Lance spell, implement the minimap feature into the HUD, add new regions, buildings, objects and more.

Early multiplayer testing has gone well. In our first foray, two players were able to connect and play together on a server across the Internet with all the basics working. The functionality is certainly a great success, and now the focus shifts to putting in smoothing/prediction and more testing with a varying number of players.

As for what's new in AVWW this week? Plenty! The HUD has seen several new improvements and additions including better organization, official in-game font, and a minimap to show where you've explored in each area. The Energy Lance spell has been introduced, which provides a handy way of slicing through lines of foliage, refuse and enemies; and several new regions, buildings, and objects, along with more densely populated existing areas have been added as well.
Check out the links below for more information.

AVWW Development Blog: Multiplayer, Energy Lance, Minimap
Arcen Games
A Valley Without Wind
Buy A Valley Without Wind

3D Game Shootout: 2010 MacBook Pros vs 2011 MacBook Pro
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | 6 comments

Barefeats recently released a new gaming performance comparison test, this time examining two 2011 MacBook Pros and one 2010 MacBook Pro. The test compared the performance of a 2.7GHz MacBook Pro 13" dual-core i7 and a 2.3GHz MacBook Pro quad-core i7 17" to each other and to a 2010 MacBook Pro 2.66GHz dual-core i7 with dedicated GeForce 330M graphics processor.

We have two 2011 MacBook Pros in our lab: The 2.7GHz MacBook Pro 13" dual-core i7 and 2.3GHz MacBook Pro quad-core i7 17". We are starting to received some 3D game results from our team of remote mad scientists but we decided to post this page right away. This article has two goals:
1. To show how the MacBook Pro with a dedicated GPU (Radeon HD 6750M) compares to a MacBook Pro with an integrated GPU (Intel HD 3000).
2. To show how both compare to a 2010 MacBook Pro 2.66GHz dual-core i7 with dedicated GeForce 330M graphics processor.

The settings are not extreme. We had to make the 13" MacBook Pro the lowest common denominator. So we started with 1280x800 resolution -- its native and maximum setting. Next we chose "quality" settings (shaders, texture, detail, multisampling, etc.) that produced "playable" frame rates on the 13" model. In a future article we will test the high end MacBook Pros at 1920x1200 "high quality" against the iMac and Mac Pro -- for a little perspective.

Head over to the page below for the results.

Barefeats: 3D Game Shootout

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LEGO Universe Reviewed
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Mac|Life recently posted a new review of LEGO Universe. 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. Mac|Life gave the game a score of 3 out of 5.

From the review:

The way your character progresses in Lego Universe is awesome for beginners, though unconventional for an MMO. Instead of gaining levels and XP, you explore the different planets for tokens hidden within every smashable Lego creation. These tokens increase your health meter, armor limit, and imagination points, which let you perform actions like the aforementioned quick builds. You’ll join one of four factions: the Assembly (building), the Venture League (exploring), the Sentinels (fighting), or the Paradox (mystical fighting). Whatever you choose will determine your skills, and you’ll be able to collect wearable objects, weaponry, and armor that enable special fighting and defense abilities.

The most intriguing element of Lego Universe—and the redeeming factor of its monthly subscription fee—is having your own real estate in the game. That’s right: you get your very own planet where you can freely build your own virtual Lego creations with bricks and pieces you pick up by completing quests and smashing objects, or that you purchase from a vendor. Best of all, you can interact with other players’ planets, and they can come hang out on yours too. This part of Lego Universe is the most expansive and really illustrates how this MMO truly understands why people love to play with Legos in the first place: community and customization.
Visit the page below to read more.

Mac|Life: LEGO Universe
LEGO Universe
Buy LEGO Universe

Mac Games News for Friday, March 4, 2011

Avadon: The Black Fortress Status Update6:00 AM
Din's Curse Demon War First Impressions6:00 AM
Dragon Age: Ultimate Now Available6:00 AM
New Diablo III Screenshots Available6:00 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Friday, March 4, 2011 on one page

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