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Monday, October 9, 2000

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Aspyr Adds Three Titles
6:00 AM | Michael Eilers | Comment on this story

As part of the first Aspyr World 2000, Mac game publisher Aspyr Media has announced they are adding three more titles to their already impressive end-of-2000 catalog: Tiger Woods PGA Tour Golf 2001, Eidos Interactive's Tomb Raider: Chronicles and LucasArts' Escape from Monkey Island. The most surprising of the three titles to be ported is Monkey Island, a 3D adventure game nearing release on the PC side; it is highly unusual for a LucasArts title to be ported and published by someone else, for any platform.

Tomb Raider: Chronicles was an obvious choice for Aspyr, as they have published all of the previous Tomb Raider titles for the Mac (with the exception of Tomb Raider III Gold). Chronicles, an unusual approach to this revered series which features four separate episodes from different points in Lara Croft's 'career,' is thrilling PC fans of the series because it will include the editing tools used to make Tomb Raider maps. However, a conversation conducted on Usenet over the weekend by Westlake Interactive staff indicates that the editor is not a sure thing for the Mac platform, and will only be included if there is time and resources available.

Tiger Woods PGA Tour Golf 2001 is the second in a series, and is still in development. While there is little official information available, this game will feature other PGA pros such as Justin Leonard and Jim Furyk. The game includes many official PGA tour courses, online play, tournament modes and a new international competition mode. GameSpot has posted some screen shots and information recently, so fans of this golf wunderkind should check them out.

Escape From Monkey Island is the fourth title in this famous adventure series and the first to be rendered in realtime 3D. Mac gamers have long bemoaned LucasArts' flighty attitude towards the Mac platform, as the company ported select titles on an 'evaluation' basis and refused to commit to any future development on the platform; recent comments made during an online chat with LucasArts (see related article) seemed to throw cold water on the entire idea of releasing any future LucasArts titles for Mac OS. Aspyr Media managed a Jedi mind trick of staggering proportions when they convinced LucasArts to allow EFMI to be ported to our platform, that is for certain.

The game itself is a mix of 2D prerendered backgrounds and OpenGL-accelerated 3D models, and features all the zany characters, complex puzzles and unlikely plotlines of the famous series. Here is an excerpt from the web site describing the story line and features:

Aye, there be intrigue and monkeys aplenty! When perennial pirate-wannabe Guybrush Threepwood and his new bride, Governor Elaine Marley-Threepwood, return to Melee Islandô, they find out Elaine has been declared dead, the Governor's mansion is to be torn down and a slick-yet-hauntingly-familiar politician is about to take Elaine's job. So begins the next hilarious chapter in the award-winning Monkey Island series of adventures.

  • Fourth in the legendary Monkey Islandô series of graphic adventures.

  • Guybrush and his swashbuckling friends now appear in scurvy-inducing 3D!

  • Dozens of lusciously rendered backgrounds!

  • Hundreds of puzzles to challenge novice and veteran pirates... er, adventurers

  • An original, cinematic story full of drama, sociopathic parrots and a villain with a sinister agenda!

  • New jokes! New puns! New insults! And more monkeys than the three previous Monkey games combined!
But what is most interesting about this development isn't the game itself -- it is the precedent it sets. If LucasArts will allow this title to be ported, they must be open to the idea of other ports as well. While ports of past titles such as Grim Fandango seem extremely unlikely, future titles may indeed be a possibility. When IMG spoke to LucasArts at E3 last May, we discovered (after much badgering of LA staff) that the upcoming title Star Wars Epsiode One: Obi-Wan has a lead programmer who is a big fan of the Mac platform and who was making moves behind the scenes to make the game conform to Mac platform standards, even though LucasArts had absolutely no plans for a Mac release. While this is piling speculation on top of speculation, if LucasArts is indeed friendly to the idea of having their titles ported to the Mac OS, Obi-Wan seems a likely prospect.

In any case, these three titles are an impressive addition to Aspyr's growing catalog of 2000/2001 releases, which includes Star Trek Voyager: Elite Force, the expansion pack The Sims: Livin' Large, Sim Theme Park and Need for Speed: Porsche Unleashed. No release dates for these new additions are available, but it seems certain that Aspyr will try and hit the window of the upcoming Holiday season, traditionally the peak buying season of the gaming market. For more information on these titles be sure and check their official web sites.

Escape From Monkey Island
Tiger Woods PGA Tour Golf 2001
Tomb Raider: Chronicles
Aspyr Media
Aspyr Media's New Titles
GameSpot's Look At PGA Tour Golf 2001
LucasArts President Says No Mac Games
Aspyr Media
Escape From Monkey Island
Buy Escape From Monkey Island

Other Mac Games News for Monday, October 9, 2000

[osX] Site Undergoes Redesign3:56 PM
Mark Adams on Unreal Tournament Patch3:15 PM
New Cross-Platform Engine Announced11:36 AM
Rune Reaches 'Gold' Status10:58 AM
HoMM3 Interview Continued9:47 AM
SNES9X Updated For Mac OS X PB9:39 AM
Marathon/UT Mod in the Works9:37 AM
Reckless Drivin' Updated8:22 AM
Aspyr Adds Three Titles6:00 AM Status Update6:00 AM
Interview With a Vampire6:00 AM
More Interviews on The Fallen6:00 AM
New realMyst Trailer, Information6:00 AM
New Voodoo 5 Drivers Available6:00 AM
Shadowbane Q&A6:00 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Monday, October 9, 2000 on one page

Mac Games News for Friday, October 6, 2000

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New WWII Online Screens4:04 PM
Interview With Ron Dimant of UD3:35 PM
United Developers Giveaway Begins!11:58 AM
Volition on Mac Red Faction Editor10:07 AM
Tribes 2 Reaches Beta9:45 AM
UnF Map Preview, Screen Shots8:44 AM
Shadowbane Feedback Contest8:34 AM
DS9 Deluge8:19 AM
Another Red Faction Interview8:08 AM
FAKK2 CTF Shots6:00 AM
HoMM3 Interview6:00 AM
Raven Chat Transcript6:00 AM
Update on Oni Tools, Beta6:00 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Friday, October 6, 2000 on one page

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