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Wednesday, May 2, 2007news@insidemacgames.com



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Lego Star Wars II Demo Released
7:40 AM | Tuncer Deniz | 5 comments

The long-awaited demo of Lego Star Wars II has been released. Ported to the Mac by Feral Interactive, the Lego Star Wars II demo allows you to play one full level from 'A New Hope'. The demo weighs in at just under 400 MB and is available for download from Macgamefiles.com.

The demo requires at a minimum:

Mac OS 10.4 'Tiger'
PowerPC G4 1.67 GHz
512 MB RAM
3D Graphics Card with 64 MB VRAM
In other news, Feral has let us know that the full boxed versions on the game have begun shipping and Macgamestore.com will begin shipping the game by early next week.

To pre-order the game and to download the demo, please follow the link below.

Macgamefiles: Lego Star Wars II Demo 1.0
Feral Interactive (add to watch list)
Lego Star Wars II (add to watch list)
Buy Lego Star Wars II



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Inside Mac Games Reviews ANKH
3:17 PM | Tuncer Deniz | 4 comments

Inside Mac Games has posted a review of ANKH, the graphic-adventure developed by Deck 13 and ported to the Mac by Runesoft. Here's a clip from the review:

Ankh does an admirable job of capturing the feel of the old adventure game style. The dialogue is irreverent and at times elicited actual laughter from me. The characters are varied and vibrant and the puzzles are tricky and fun to solve. In short, the game is a lot of fun to play. Unfortunately, it’s a lot of fun to play in spite of a great many shortcomings. Even worse, many of those shortcomings appear to be the result of a remarkably shoddy port from the PC.
To check out the full review, please follow the link below.

Inside Mac Games Review: ANKH
Runesoft (add to watch list)
ANKH (add to watch list)
Buy ANKH


Apple Posts New Hot Deals
2:39 PM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

O'Reilly - has Hot Deals exclusive prices on a variety of Mac related books including: Learning Unix for Mac OS X Tiger by Dave Taylor for only $13.96!; Mac OS X Tiger for Unix Geeks, 3rd Edition by Jepson and Rothman for only $24.46!; AppleScript: The Missing Manual by Adam Goldstein for only $17.46; Modding Mac OS X by Erica Sadun for only $17.46; Mac OS X Unwired by Negrino & Smith for ony $17.46!; Mac OS X for Java Geeks by Will Iverson for only $27.96!; and much more. Get all the details at the following URL: 

http://hotdeals.apple.com/oreilly/index.php

PowerMax - has deals on a variety of Mac compatible hardware and software products including: 8GB Memory Stick PRO Duo media from Sony for only $228!; iPod FM transmitter & auto charger from Kensington for only $42.88!; Airplug G wireless USB adapter from D-Link for only $48.88!; iTV Link for MacBook from Monster Cable for only $26.88!; iPod Voice Recorder w/Dock from Belkin for only $$36.88!; Brenthaven Fusion Messenger Bag for laptop (up to 15") for only $39.88!; Inoi network hard drive enclosure for only $59.88!; G5 Skateboard puts your PowerMac/Mac Pro on wheels from Power Support for only $118.88; and much more. Get all the details at the following URL: 

http://hotdeals.apple.com/powermax/index.php

Small Dog Electronics - has deals on a variety of Mac compatible hardware and software products including Hot Deals exclusive prices on the following: iControl for Garageband from M-Audio for only $129.99!; Pixma MP180 All-in-one - print, copy, scan - USB color printer from Canon $94.99!; PilotBoard wireless keyboard and mouse from Kensington $24.99!; Titan Gear iPod nano attachment pack for only $16.99; Jackpack Redline messenger bag from Ogio for only $39.99!; USB Traveldock for iPod Shuffle from Marware for only $13.99!; Proletariat Noise Canceling headphones from Skullcandy for only $54.99!; and much more. Get all the details at the following URL: 

http://hotdeals.apple.com/smalldog/index.php

Sweetwater Sound - has deals on a variety of Mac compatible hardware and software products including: 003 Rack Factory Pro Tools LE with free video training from DidiDesign $1,549.97!; Monster Power Pro 900 power protection for only $99.95!; Softsynth classic 3-pack from Waldorf for only $79.99!;  PCR-800 MIDI controller keyboard from Edirol from $349.97!; iDrum from iZotope for only $49.97!; Explore Pro Tool with this video tutorial from Brainwerks for only $39.99!; Three classic Korg synths in software form Legacy Collection Analog Edition from Korg for only $199.97!; and much more. Get all the details at the following URL: 

http://hotdeals.apple.com/sweetwater/index.php




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A History Of Fallout
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

No Mutants Allowed recently posted a detailed examination of the history of the classic post apocalyptic RPG, Fallout. Based primarily on quotes from the original developers the history maps out the game's path from its GURPS roots to its eventual release in 1997.

Fallout originally started out as the first computer game based on GURPS , a well-know pen and paper role-playing system. Initially, Tim Cain was the sole person involved in the project, programming the incipient game engine himself. The goal of the project was to create a computer game that was “as close as you can get to playing GURPS, short of playing GURPS.” The game apparently succeeded in this aim, as Steve Jackson Games was very satisfied with the implementation of GURPS. Tim Cain spent plenty of time getting the complex rules of GURPS advanced combat just right, until he was convinced he had developed an engine that "plays very quickly, and accurately reflects actual fighting."

In early 1997, in the midst of Fallout’s development, Steve Jackson Games and Interplay terminated their deal. Apparently, Steve Jackson Games was satisfied with everything but for the Vault Boy pictures in the character screen, and the execution scene in the introduction. As the split between Fallout and GURPS became imminent, Steve Jackson remarked “The GURPS implementation they've created is *worth* saving.” When the contract was referenced over approval rights, Interplay discovered several flaws, which in turn developed into a legal squabble over the contract itself. Eventually, the companies ended with a mutual decision to part ways. Chris Taylor, while agreeing that the split was a blow to the project, said "instead of compromising and making an inferior product -- Fallout will be produced with conviction."

With the loss of rights to use GURPS, the Fallout team worked intensely to develop a suitable replacement, one that would work with the completed combat engine. After a few weeks the team had created SPECIAL (originally named ACELIPS, and changed for good reason), developed specifically to work with the designs originally meant for GURPS.
Check out the full history at the link below.

NMA: The History Of Fallout



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Halo 2.0.1 Speed Test
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | 11 comments

Macs Only! has posted the results of a speed test of the recently released 2.0.1 patch for the Universal Binary version of Halo. Based on frames per second comparisons the test Mac using an ATI graphics card was 25% faster after installing the new patch, while the Nvidia powered machine was nearly 25% slower.

We use the game Halo as one of our standard speed benchmarks so we ran it on both our 15" 2.33 GHz MacBook Pro Core 2 Duo with ATI Radeon X1600 graphics and 24" 2.33 GHz iMac Core 2 Duo with the optional Nvidia GeForce 7600 GT graphics card. Here are the results from both Macs running Mac OS X 10.4.9:

Halo 2.0.1 on the MacBook Pro with ATI graphics is 25 percent faster as claimed by MacSoft. However, on the iMac with Nvidia graphics Halo 2.0.1 is nearly 25 percent SLOWER! Just to be sure no mistakes were made, we re-installed Halo 2.0 and it ran at 94fps as before. After updating it again to 2.0.1, Halo ran at 71 fps, confirming the near 25 percent reduction in speed.
Follow the link below to read the rest.

Macs Only!: Halo Patch Speed Test
MacSoft (add to watch list)
Bungie Studios (add to watch list)
Westlake Interactive (add to watch list)
Halo: Combat Evolved (add to watch list)


Heroes Of First Star Available
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Unfun Games has released Heroes Of First Star, the fifth game in the First Star Online series. The game introduces the ability to control multiple characters in an MMORPG environment, features a variety of quests, and offers tournament play.

Hereos of First Star will remind you of a classic console RPG, but with the ability to support an unlimited number of players at once across the world. You can send your party into tournaments, take down fortresses with your guild, go on a huge number of quests, and attempt to collect the 13 orbs which will take you to new worlds.

You can play Heroes of First Star for free as long as you like. The game is available for PC and Mac. It's a small download and will give you hundreds of hours of enjoyment. The world is constantly changing, too. You don't have to download anything new to see improvments in the game. We have a dynamic, changing world which will always be added to. Play today!
Heroes of First Star requires a Mac OS X. To learn more about the game follow the link below.

Heroes Of First Star
Unfun Games (add to watch list)


Out Of The Park Baseball 2007 Reviewed
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Out of Eight has posted a review of Sports Interactive's Out of the Park Baseball 2007. The simulation game offers a wealth of options to players seeking to manage their own baseball franchise. Out of Eight gave the game a score of 8 out 8.

From the review:

Out of the Park Baseball 2007 is easily the most complete baseball simulation game available. The sheer number of options given to the player is quite staggering, from forming to league to all of the data and stats available in the game. There are a couple of minor issues with scheduling and importing real players, but most of the simulation is impressive in its realistic scope. You can literally change the game to feature any kind of baseball known to man, and even some unrealistic versions with tweaked stats you can come up with. Guiding your teams while you work your way up the baseball ranks is very fun, and playing a minor league team is a different yet rewarding experience. The graphics might need a little polish during games, but all of the data is easily accessible and presented in an easy to use manner.
Read the full review at the link provided below.

Out Of Eight: Out Of The Park Baseball 2007
Out Of The Park Baseball 2007
SI (add to watch list)


Waterstorm Update: Community Tools
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

In a recent developer post Rarebyte revealed plans to add a "community tool" to it's 2D arcade submarine shooter, Waterstorm. The creation of the tool is a response to beta testers asking for a way to communicate with other gamers before and after play. Dubbed the Community Oriented Rally Environment (CORE), the tool will initially offer chat and game launching functions. Planned additions in later updates include statistics, buddy lists, and clan channels.

We really got a lot of feedback and the main “gaming” problem in Waterstorm seems to be that there is currently no place or tool where the gamers can meet, chat or just hang around. In order to solve this, we are currently working on a Waterstorm community tool which is going to ship with the next Beta update (Beta Update #3). Actually, this is also the reason why the update is already taking a bit longer than expected.

The first version of the tool will be basically a community chat where you can meet other Waterstorm gamers and launch the game directly from there. Additionally, launching your own game server is also supported.

For example, if the situation is like “oh, I’m gonna play a quick game”, you can start the game, play the game, quit the game and you will get automatically back to the community tool which runs with nearly no need of resources so that you can have it open all the time while you are doing other stuff (like work? hmm ;) something like that).
Waterstorm is currently in beta testing. Follow the links below for more information.

Rarebyte Devblog: CORE Tool
Waterstorm (add to watch list)


Mac Games News for Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Apple Games Features iPod Royal Solitaire6:00 AM
Blizzard To Announce New Game This Month6:00 AM
Cosmic Encounter Online Introduces 35th Alien6:00 AM
The Sims 2 Family Fun Stuff Ships For Mac6:00 AM
Tradewinds Legends Sails To Macs6:00 AM
Turret Wars Released For Mac OS X6:00 AM
 
View all of the Mac games news for Tuesday, May 1, 2007 on one page


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