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Tuesday, September 4, 2012

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IMG Reviews Tomb Raider: Underworld
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Inside Mac Games has posted an in-depth new review of Feral Interactive's Tomb Raider: Underworld. Developed by Crystal Dynamics and Nixxes for Windows, and originally published by Eidos Interactive, Tomb Raider: Underworld comes to the Mac for the first time under the Feral Legends label.

Here's an excerpt:

I was very impressed indeed with Tomb Raider: Anniversary's graphics four years ago, and Underworld's are even better. OK, photo-realism hasn't yet been achieved (particularly not in the other human characters who aren't Lara), but the scenery in particular, and the graphics generally, I found pretty breath-taking, actually.

This is all the more impressive when you consider that this game is already four years old. I hesitate ever to give a score of 10 in a category, but I do so here in recognition of the fact that this game's graphics really are something quite special. A rating of 10 isn't supposed to mean perfection, or that the graphics could never be bettered; clearly not. It merely recognises that the graphics are really outstanding, and amongst the best you're likely to see today. Anyway, compare the graphics in Tomb Raider: Underworld to those of Tomb Raider II (both currently on the Mac App Store) to see how far things have come within the space of a decade. Pretty amazing. (And that's not to knock Tomb Raider II: it was, and still is, a great game; one of the best in the series. But by the standards of Underworld, it does look pretty crude now.)

Lara herself is now quite astonishingly lifelike. I particularly like how she glistens realistically when wet (first seen on the Mac in Anniversary). In Underworld, though, she gets dirty from clambering over rocks and so on, and the smut builds up or washes away as appropriate. Her facial expressions are more realistic than ever before, and some of the lighting effects are just amazing; she appears to have a solid, curved body with skin that glows under the right conditions.

For the full review click over to the link below.

IMG Review: Tomb Raider Underworld
Feral Interactive
Tomb Raider: Underworld
Buy Tomb Raider: Underworld

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Crossing Over: The Blackwell Series
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Inside Mac Games has posted the latest article in Justin Ancheta's continuing series of guides. The articles offer detailed instructions for running Windows versions of game titles which either never made it to Macs, or have Mac versions incompatible with recent OS releases. This week Justin turned his attention to The Blackwell Series of point & click adventures.

Here's an excerpt:

This brings us to the meat of the game itself, which isn't necessarily in how the game plays mechanically, but in how the game relates the story. You really get a strong sense of Rosangela (Rosa) Blackwell's character and the major thrust of her struggle in the first fifteen minutes of gameplay, that critical period where a good first impression is always key. She's isolated and alone, an island unto herself not out of circumstance, but remarkably, by choice. She's in a place where many of us in the audience can relate to on some level in our current day and age – drifing through life, detached and alone from others, attempting to make her way in the world but at the same time not possessing a strong sense of direction or agency. The world is changing and passing her by, and apart from the few manuscript rejection letters and job requests from her editor, she's doesn't mind or care about it at all. The fact that that they arrive in detached, impersonal ways – as phone calls with people we never see, and letters under her door left by people we never glimpse – adds to our impression of Rosa's disconnectedness from the world. Then comes the call to action - a death in her family, and the unresolved questions that were left behind from the death of her aunt. All of that leads to a chain of events which serve to bring her out of her shell and into the world, further outward than she ever could have imagined.
Read more at the link below.

Crossing Over: The Blackwell Series

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Paragon Studios Shutting Down, City Of Heroes Ending Soon
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | 3 comments

Paragon Studios recently announced that NCSoft has decided to close Paragon and end its super hero themed MMO, City of Heroes. The closure comes as part of a "realignment of company focus." No specific end date for City of Heroes was mentioned, but it will go offline by the end of the year.

Farewell, from all of us at Paragon Studios

This morning we announced that Paragon Studios will be taking to the skies of City of Heroes for the last time.

In a realignment of company focus and publishing support, NCsoft has made the decision to close Paragon Studios. Effective immediately, all development on City of Heroes will cease and we will begin preparations to sunset the world's first, and best, Super Hero MMORPG before the end of the year. As part of this, all recurring subscription billing and Paragon Market purchasing will be discontinued effective immediately. We will have more information regarding a detailed timeline for the cessation of services and what you can expect in game in the coming weeks.

The team here at Paragon deserves special praise for all that we have accomplished over the last 5+ years. These developers are some of the most creative and talented people in the gaming industry. By now, we've all been given this news internally, but to anyone who may be reading this message after the fact; know that your hard work and dedication has not gone unappreciated or unnoticed. To any potential studios looking to grow your team; hire these people. You won't regret it.

To our Community,

Thank you. Thank you for your years of support. You've been with us every step of the way, sharing in our challenges, encouraging us to make City of Heroes better, more than everyone else thought it could be. We couldn't have come this far without you. I implore you all, focus on the good things of CoH and Paragon Studios. Don't dwell on the "how" or the "why", but rather join us in celebrating the legacy of an amazing partnership between the players and the development team.

Thank you, and I'll see you in the skies, one last time.

Learn more at the links below.

City of Heroes
Buy City of Heroes

The Bard's Tale To Include Original Bard's Tale Trilogy Free
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | 1 comment

In a recent Twitter posting InXile Entertainment's Brian Fargo revealed that the Mac version of The Bard's Tale will be given a free update to include the original trilogy of Bard's Tale RPG titles. This brings the game in line with the iOS version which was previously updated with the classic trilogy.

You are the Bard, a selfish rogue weary of pointless sub-quests and rat-infested cellars. Through magical song you summon characters to join you in battle, heal your party, and take damage on your behalf. Ready your weapon as you embark on a quest for coin and cleavage!
Prepare to immerse yourself in over 20-30 hours of adventure, featuring:
  • 50 enemy types (not counting bosses!)
  • A vast world to explore with towns, wild forests, rivers, castles, towers, secret dungeons, snowy mountains, caverns, haunted tombs and more
  • A full cast of bizarre NPC’s
  • Over a dozen special boss enemies to defeat
  • 16 magical characters to discover and then summon at will to aid you
  • Over 150 unique items of weaponry, armor, instruments, tokens, artifacts and loot!
  • More Song & Dance numbers than any other game, including a zombie dance-off!
  • Over 14 hours of outstanding voice-acting from top Hollywood talent, including Cary Elwes (The Princess Bride) as the Bard, and the inimitable Tony Jay as the Narrator
But wait! That’s not all! Enjoy these great new additions to the original PC version:

New Features:

  • Autosave—option to save automatically when you near a save-book in game.
  • iCloud Saves*—option to save to iCloud, enables sharing saves across all your Mac installations and your iOS devices (iPhone and iPad).
  • Time-Savers*—optional in-app purchases are available to pump up your Bard and save you time! (Note: All such items are attainable through normal game-play, with time and persistence, just as in the original console release.)
  • Full Screen Toggle—Cmd+F toggles between windowed and full screen view.
  • Supports USB gamepads and sticks for controllers in addition to mouse/keyboard.
  • Adaptive Rendering—displays at full native monitor resolution with user-accessible performance options**.

Minimum System Requirements:

  • OS X 10.6.6 or higher (10.7 required for some features*)
  • 3.6GB Hard disk space
    * OS X 10.7 required for iCloud Saves and Time-Savers (in-app purchase) features.
    * * Lowering display resolution may be required for best performance on some pre mid 2007 Mac models.
Head over to the links below for more information.

The Bard's Tale
Mac App Store: The Bard's Tale
Brian Fargo Twitter: Mac Bard's Tale Update
Buy The Bard's Tale

Mac Games News for Monday, September 3, 2012

Avadon 2: The Corruption In Development6:00 AM
Crow Now On Sale At MGS6:00 AM
Krosmaster Arena Coming To Dofus And Wakfu6:00 AM
Labor Day Weekend Sale Kicks Off At Macgamestore6:00 AM
LUFTRAUSERS Set To Conquer The Skies Later This Year6:00 AM
Tengami Will Bring Adventure To A Paper World6:00 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Monday, September 3, 2012 on one page

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