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Friday, December 21, 2007

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Guitar Hero III Update Released
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | 1 comment

Aspyr Media has released an update for the Mac version of Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock, its rhythm based music title. Version 1.1 adds a variety of updates and enhancements to the game including the addition of a co-op quickplay game mode for online multiplayer matches.

Here are some of the updates in 1.1:

• Adds Co-op Quickplay game mode for Online multiplayer.
• The skeleton in the Shanker?s Island venue now displays correctly on all supported graphics cards.
• Fixes a bug that caused the animations for Lou?s puppet to fall out of sync.
• The Leaderboards now update more quickly.
• Fixes an issue that caused some rare instability when joining Online multiplayer games.
• Fixes a bug that caused some finished games to be listed in Online game searches.
For the full list of changes in this patch head over to the page linked below.

Aspyr: Guitar Hero III Patch Info
Aspyr Media
Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock
Buy Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock

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Freeverse Offers Wingnuts 2 To Needy Families
10:07 AM | Cord Kruse | 1 comment

Freeverse today announced that it is offering a free copy of the Macworld "Eddy" award-winning game, Wingnuts 2, to any family in need this holiday season.

Those who might otherwise struggle to afford the game, can simply send an email to Gift (at) between now and December 26th telling us about the best gift you ever gave. We'll send you a download link and registration code for Wingnuts 2.

Ian Lynch Smith, President of Freeverse, said "The Mac community has given us a livelihood these last 14 years, and all of us here are truly grateful for that. Games are meant to be played, and meant to be given. We're happy to offer this game to any Mac user who can't afford it this Christmas."

Wingnuts 2 requires Mac OS X 10.4 or higher, an 800Mhz or faster G4, G5 or Intel Mac. Those with older systems may download the original Wingnuts, which is also free.

Freeverse: The Mac Spirit Of Giving
WingNuts 2: Raina’s Revenge
Buy WingNuts 2: Raina’s Revenge

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Christmas Comes To Dofus
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Ankama Games has released an update for Dofus, its flash based MMORPG. Client 1.21: The Christmas Client adds two new dungeons, over ten new craftable sets, and brand new equipment to collect. Dofus offers players a colorful world to explore and a strategic turn-based battle system.

Have you visited Kwismas Island yet? If your chin is trembling as you mutter a timid "no", well then you’re missing out on a lot more than you think. Remember, it’s closing at the beginning of January!

There will be two new dungeons with hordes of Blops and Fungi ready to strip you of pride and possessions... and over ten new craftable sets!
And please welcome the Livitinem, our brand new equipments which feed on items of lesser intelligence to evolve.
Finally, a clearer, revamped DOFUS game interface frames these new arrivals.
Click over to the links below to read more.

Dofus Official Site
Ankama Studio

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Ambrosia Patches pop-pop
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Ambrosia Software has released a new version of pop-pop. 1.0.6 provides fixes and enhancements to the action arcade game. pop-pop fuses brick bashing action with online multiplayer competition, giving even those with slow internet connections the chance to challenge players from around the world.

pop-pop has over 100 built-in puzzle levels if you want to play solo to sharpen your pop-pop'ing skills, or play against the viciously aggressive computer AI pops for a test of your mettle. The real challenge of your pop-worth, however, is when you enter the Internet arena to play against other pop-pop players all over the world!

pop-pop has a built-in Ambrosia game tracker that allows you to easily find other people to play against. Best of all, pop-pop is playable from anywhere in the world, even over slow modem Internet connections.
The update is free to regiestered users of the game. Follow the links below to learn more about the game.

Ambrosia Software

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Machines At War Updated
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | 1 comment

Isotope 244 recently released version 1.1 of Machines at War, the real time strategy title. The update includes a variety of bug fixes and content additions including the ability to team players in 1v2 and 2v2 battles.

Machines at War challenges players to build an unstoppable war machine to dominate the world. It features streamlined play to allow gamers to spend more time attacking and defending than managing their bases.

Updates in version 1.1:

-New game feature to team players so you can have 1vs2 and 2vs2 battles
- Fixed bertha guns and turrets not firing after a while
- The game can now handle more units on slower machines
- HQ and miniguns were upgraded to help with rushes
- Made the easy AI easier and the hard AI harder
- You can no longer easily rush the AI
- Fixed Smartphone issue not being able to control the tech tree
- Several other fixes and performance increases
More about Machines at War:
Machines at War features a random map system so every game you play is unique and poses new challenges.  Build bridges to cross water, mow down forests to clear a path to the enemy, build walls to defend your position, track tread marks left by enemy tanks to their base, hide under trees for an ambush attack, these are just some of the unique game play elements available.

Expand your city with over 40 structures and units to choose from.  As your empire grows you can research technologies to guide the focus of your strategy.  Choose to be a economic powerhouse and flood the enemy with an endless barrage of units.  Or upgrade your defensive forces and build an insurmountable fortification of turrets and fortresses surrounded by walls and gates.  If blitzkrieg is your style, then embolden your offensive forces with unique weapon upgrades and demoralize the enemy with an unstoppable force.

Build vehicles and aircraft to take control of the land and air including tanks, jeeps, trucks, helicopters, jets, VTOLs, turrets, and more.  After each battle detailed statistics are displayed showing the how the tides of war changed for each player.
Click over to the links below to learn more about the game and download a demo version.

Machines At War
Isotope 244

iGame Radio Reviews Avernum 5
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | 3 comments

A recent iGame Radio podcast has included a review of Spiderweb Software's Avernum 5. The latest in the series, Avernum 5 takes a new direction with the story, allowing players to play as a group of soldiers from the above ground world of the Empire who have descended into Avernum's depths to search for the murderer of their Empress. The game features hundreds of quests, an epic storyline, unique encounters, and a variety of spells and items to discover.

The surface world is ruled by the Empire. Its power is absolute. Its control is unchallenged. And, as a soldier of the Empire, you have a good, comfortable life ahead of you. But then a rebel named Dorikas tried to assassinate the Empress, and everything went wrong for you.

The villain fled somewhere into Avernum, an underworld nation of eccentrics, misfits, and barely civilized monsters, most of whom hate the Empire. And that is where you are going. You must find Dorikas, while dealing with spies, betrayal, and assassins at every turn.

The enemy is waiting for you. You will only survive his attention with the help of these strange cave dwellers. If, of course, they don’t kill you first.
The full podcast is available at the link provided below.

iGame Radio

Europa Universalis: Rome Previewed
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | 17 comments

IGN has posted a preview of Paradox's upcoming Europa Universalis: Rome, the next installment of the popular strategy game series. The game will cover the Roman Era up until the year 27 BC, featuring a map area extending from England in the northwest to Persia in the southeast.

Rome is the third full-blown sequel, and while it's the first to fundamentally depart from that early modern period, it still retains the hallmarks of the series: a forbidding amount of strategic depth allied to an obsessive degree of historical accuracy. "The game starts at the start of the Punic Wars, where Rome is still a power just concentrated on Italy, and ends with the start of the Empire," explains Paradox Interactive's head of development, Johan Andersson. "The game covers the entire Mediterranean World, where you have everything from England in the north to Africa in the south and to Persia in the east."

Like previous games in the series, there are very few clearly defined objectives or goals, but broadly speaking, the object of the game is to take charge of one of the various tribes who were competing for survival at the time, and then contending or co-operating with other tribes and nations in a bid to expand your territory. "Basically the game is about playing a country, and developing that country through the ages and conquering the world and creating an empire," says Andersson. Of course, the obvious challenge would be to take over the Romans and establishing their Empire for them, just like they did in real life, but there are ten different tribal cultures in the game, including Celts and Germanic tribes, among others. "Besides just playing Rome, there's about 50 different factions and countries and states and nations and tribes you can play," continues Andersson. "Everything from small Gallic tribes to Carthage, Egypt, Macedonia and so on."

One thing that's obviously different to previous Europa Universalis titles is the world map. Not only is it now centred on the Roman world, it's also depicted in full 3D, with the colour schematics of previous games replaced by more lifelike hues, and the topography depicted with satellite accuracy. You can zoom right in, and pan and rotate the camera with ease, and as in previous games, the action all occurs in real time, unless you pause it to give yourself time to distribute orders.
Europa Universalis: Rome is scheduled for a mid 2008 release for Windows machines. There is no word yet on the possibility of a Mac version.

To read the rest of the preview click over to the link listed below.

IGN: Europa Universalis Rome Preview
Paradox Interactive

id Software's Hollenshead And Hooper Q&A
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | 2 comments

Computer and Video Games has posted a new interview with id Software CEO Todd Hollenshead and lead level designer Matt Hooper. The interview covers a variety of topics including specifics about the company's new id Tech 5 engine, the upcoming Rage game, and changes in the gaming industry.

Moving away from Rage, how has the development stance changed since the early days of Doom?
Hollenshead: I wasn't at id in the beginning but I know of Quake 2 the development team was 12 people. Now are art team is 11 people and we need to hire two more. So the entire development team on Quake 2 was smaller than the art staff on Rage so that changes a lot of different things in how you work with people.

Before there was John [Carmack], the owners, a couple of programmers, a couple of artists and everybody was talking to everybody. But now it's not really efficient. We've got set of responsibilities, so we've got a lead programmer, a lead designer, a lead artist and all that. We did require some structural changes in terms of how people line up, chain of command stuff and things like that.

The development cycle has increased significantly and we're probably a bit more business-y than we used to be, but when you're getting towards 40 employees and you anticipate getting over that ultimately it requires you to have some rules.

Like before we had no vacation policy; it was like, if you take off too much time you got your ass kicked out. Where as now we have approved vacations, somebody tracks all this stuff and there's a lot more administration stuff
The full Q&A is available at the link below.

CVG: id Software Q&A
id Software

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Madden NFL 08 Reviewed
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Macworld's Game Room has posted a new review of Madden NFL 08, EA's Ciderized version of the popular football simulation. The game offers the wealth of options fans of the series have come to expect. The Game Room gave Madden NFL 08 a score of 4 out of 5 mice.

From the review:

The game features a sharp user interface and a soundtrack of popular music hits. It’s all the production value you’d expect from the glitz and glamour that today’s NFL seems to demand. You have the whole roster of NFL teams, stadiums and players to choose from, and you can play current or historic teams. You can also create your own teams, players, and even populate the stadiums with custom fans if you’d like, using built-in tools.

Once you’re on the field, you have a few different options as to how you’ll control the game. If you have a game controller you can use it; if you prefer to use the mouse and keyboard (or just the keyboard), that’s your choice as well. Playing on my MacBook Pro, I opted for the keyboard route, as the mouse method rather extensively utilized right-clicking, which is awkward to do with the Apple trackpad, and I didn’t feel like using an external mouse.

Gameplay itself is fast and furious. You have an extensive playbook of built-in plays to call from (you also have options there if you want to build your own playbook of favorites), and once you’re on the field playing either offense or defense, you’ll be able to control key players during each play to try to make a difference.
Head over to the link below to read the rest of the review.

Macworld's Game Room: Madden NFL Review
Electronic Arts
Madden NFL 08
Buy Madden NFL 08

Mac Games News for Thursday, December 20, 2007

Apple Games Features GameTap6:00 AM
Hidden Relics Released For Macs6:00 AM
Peggle, Sonic, And Bomberman Now On iPod6:00 AM
Penguins Arena Updated6:00 AM
Pirates Of The Caribbean Online Reviewed6:00 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Thursday, December 20, 2007 on one page

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Wednesday, December 19, 2007
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