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January 26, 2001 - February 12, 2001 - See More Archived News

Monday, February 12, 2001
Win Based :: Codemasters Ships Insane - posted by Erich Becker at 8:13 pm CDT


New York, NY­ February 9, 2000 --­ Codemasters puts the pedal to the metal with the February 9th release of their new PC racer Insane. Developed by Hungarian-based Invictus, Insane offers a single player and Online Multi-player experience for up to eight players via a LAN or Internet connection. Racing game enthusiasts will be able to push the limits of off-road competition with the release of Insane, which will be available for the SRP of $29.99.

Insane puts racers behind the wheel of over 25 unique off-road vehicles including 4x4¹s, Pick Ups, Trucks and Extreme customised off road vehicles. Introducing a real-time damage model with impacts massively affecting the vehicle in terms of physics, handling and looks. Every vehicle operates with unique and lifelike handling, including fully independent suspension ­ at least on any wheels you haven¹t knocked off!!!

Players will have their choice of seven innovative game modes: Off Road Race, Capture the Flag, Destruction Zone, Jamboree, Gate Hunt, Pathfinder and Return the Flag. Each race type has its own specific challenges, tactics and strategies. Racers will soon discover that getting from A to B is not as simple as it may seem - the shortest route is not necessarily the fastest one!

There are nearly 30 environments to choose from ranging from the rolling hills of Ireland to the treacherous canyons of Colorado. Obstacles, weather, time of day effects and devilish AI Bots are sure to test even the most proficient of racers. As the game progresses players will have to adapt their driving styles and skills to cope with the increasingly Insane challenges.

Established in 1986, UK-based Codemasters, is one of Europe's best-selling and profitable game-makers, developing and publishing titles for the console platform and PC, and is on-track to become one of the top 8 computer/video game publishers in the world within four years time. Codemasters products first appeared on US retail shelves in 1999. The company¹s 2001 slate of titles, including Insane, Blade of Darkness and Operation Flashpoint furthers its goal of providing energetic, compelling and innovative entertainment to gaming fans of all genres. In keeping with the company's mission to remain on the cusp of the gaming wave, Codemasters is developing games for online and next generation platforms. Codemasters can be found at www.codemasters.com

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Evil :: Evil Weekly Interviews *Pist*On - posted by Erich Becker at 8:06 pm CDT

Evil Weekly Links

*Pist*On Interview*
Evil Weekly gets down and dirty with members of hard driving heavy metal band Pist*On in an EW Exclusive interview as well as biography, discography, and MP3's.

Related Links: See the Info!

Industry :: Activision Offers a Chance to Chill with a Pro - posted by Erich Becker at 8:03 pm CDT


Action Sports Fans Have An Opportunity To Meet

Tony Hawk, Mat Hoffman, Shaun Palmer or Kelly Slater

Santa Monica, CA - Feb. 12, 2001 - It is "Chill With A Pro" month with Activision, Inc.'s (Nasdaq: ATVI) February sweepstakes offer. Consumers now have a chance to win a trip for two to meet the action sports pro of their choice - Tony Hawk, Mat Hoffman, Shaun Palmer or Kelly Slater. Secondary prizes include BMX bikes, skateboards, surfboards, and snowboards, as well as a sampling of Activision console games.

Now through February 31, 2001, participants can enter the sweepstakes online at www.activision.com, via official entry forms at participating retailers including Babbages, Best Buy, Comp USA and Electronics Boutique, or by mailing in a 3" x 5" card with name, age, address, phone number to: Activision Sweepstakes, P.O. Box 7308, Newport Beach, CA 92660. Mail-in entries must be postmarked by March 31, 2001 and received by April 15, 2001.

As part of the "Chill With A Pro" sweepstakes, Activision is offering a gift-with purchase, door-sized poster featuring all four athletes with the purchase of any platform version of Tony Hawk's Pro Skater or Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2. The poster will be available at Comp USA, Kmart, Babbages, Toys R Us Canada and Electronics Boutique Canada. In addition, a limited edition lithograph signed poster will be available at Best Buy stores nationwide.

Headquartered in Santa Monica, California, Activision, Inc. is a leading worldwide developer, publisher and distributor of interactive entertainment and leisure products. Founded in 1979, Activision posted net revenues of $572 million for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2000.

Activision maintains operations in the US, Canada, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Japan, Australia and the Netherlands. More information about Activision and its products can be found on the company's World Wide Web site, which is located at http://www.activision.com.

Related Links: Activision

Media :: Napster Ordered to Stop Trading Copyrighted Material - posted by Erich Becker at 8:01 pm CDT

In what is a sad day for the 50 million users of the Napster service, a Federal Court ordered Napster to stop free trading of copyrighted material. The verdict was handed down around 1:30 PM EST today.

The service can stay in business until the previous injunction brought against them is revised in compliance with a Federal Judge's ruling, that it was too vague on the copyright infringment issues. Many feel that this verdict shows the weakness of the American's legal system when faced with a case of this magnitude (see also Microsoft).

It remains to be seen if Napster will exist as a subscription based service, or if the company will fold. No matter what happens to Napster, the influence it has brought to the internet will shape the future's of similar companies.

Thursday, February 08, 2001
Playstation 2 :: Gamepen Reviews Surfing H30 - posted by Erich Becker at 7:00 pm CDT

From what I've heard about this game, it must be really bad. Every website that has reviewed it has giving it a good whallop. I still can't figure out why companies release this crap to the market, they must know it won't sell. Anyway, GamePen was good enough to send us a link to their review. Check it here:

Surfing H3O reviewed @ GamePen

Playstation 2 :: GameCritics Review Gungriffon Blaze - posted by Erich Becker at 6:58 pm CDT

GameCritics.com Review Gungriffon Blaze

Chi and Brad of GameCritics.com take a look at Gungriffon Blaze, the latest in the Gungriffon series. Both critics were thoroughly unimpressed by Game Arts' PlayStation2 release. Here is an excerpt from Chi's review:

"There are so many things wrong with Gungriffon Blaze, I barely know where I should begin. It's like a laundry list of how not to make a next-generation title."

GameCritics.com Review Gungriffon Blaze

Wednesday, February 07, 2001
Weekly Evil :: Evil Weekly posts New Cartoon - posted by Erich Becker at 4:05 pm CDT

Today, affiliate site Evil Weekly, has posted a great cartoon and episode two in the Psycho Bondage Barbie series. Head on over to check it out, and have yourself a good laugh.

Related Links: Psycho Bondage Barbie - Episode 2

Playstation2 :: Armored Core 2 Review @ GameCritics - posted by Erich Becker at 4:03 pm CDT

GameCritics.com Review Armored Core 2

Brad and Chi of GameCritics.com take a look at the latest incarnation of the Armored Core series, Armored Core 2 for the Sony PlayStation2. Both critics found this release to be lacking. Here is an excerpt from Brad's review:

"Until the day the armed forces can offer enrollment in a Valkyrie squadron, or advanced-yet-confused aliens drop off the latest Uniframe hybrid on someone's doorstep, such things will be forever out of reach in real life. However, all is not lost. The Playstation2 is now home to Armored Core 2, a game which is probably the closest most of us will ever come to piloting our very own walking weapons platform."

GameCritics.com Review Armored Core 2

Win Based :: WomenGamers profiles Sarah Kerrigan - posted by Erich Becker at 4:02 pm CDT

This profile comes from one of my favorite games, and WG has done a great job profiling this amazing Blizzard character. -Erich

WomenGamers.Com member Michael B. English takes a look at Starcraft's female protagonist, Sarah Kerrigan. Please be aware that this digital woman review CONTAINS SPOILERS!

"Although in her current form she could never make a positive role model, Sarah Kerrigan remains one of the most convincingly tragic and enjoyably evil women I have ever seen in a computer game. She is every bit as imposing as Darth Vader, whom I am sure she would be more than a match for."

Starcraft's Sarah Kerrigan

Mac Based :: New Mac Games! - posted by Erich Becker at 4:01 pm CDT

Yesterday (02.06.01) two new Mac games entered the arena. Westlake Interactive announced that Monopoly Casino has gone gold, and has been sent off for pressing.

Also from Westlake Interactive, they announced that Escape from Monkey Island has gone into beta. It shouldn't be long until LucasArt's Adventure game enters the Mac market.

Westlake Interactive is premier company in porting PC games to the Mac platform, these games are in capable hands.

Related Links: Westlake Interactive

Win Based :: WomenGamers.com reviews the Oni Demo - posted by Erich Becker at 3:56 pm CDT

WomenGamers.Com member Cat has torn herself away from playing her favorite flight sims to review the demo of the game Oni which shipped on Jan 29, 2001. A review of the game will be available soon.

"...It is supremely addictive, and has a likeable heroine. Oni is going to be a classic, one I will keep for years and return to, in the same fashion that I still play Origin's Crusader once every year or so. It'll be like re-reading a good book. I'm definitely buying this game."

Oni Demo Review

Dreamcast :: GameCritics.com reviews Quake III Arena - posted by Erich Becker at 3:55 pm CDT

GameCritics.com Review Quake III Arena (DC)

Guest critic Mike Doolittle and Ben of GameCritics.com examine Quake III Arena (DC), one of Sega's much-anticipated PC ports. Both critics happily noted that the addictive gameplay has successfully made the transition to the Dreamcast. Here is an excerpt from Mike's review:

"Quake III really has a great feel to it, and the speed and intensity of the matches are second to none. You can get a glimpse of that intensity against the computer, but nothing will get your heart racing like a worthy online opponent. Once you've tried it, it's hard to go back to playing against the CPU."

GameCritics.com Review Quake III Arena (DC)

Win Based :: Fighting Legends Preview at GameGirlz - posted by Erich Becker at 3:54 pm CDT

Here is the latest from GameGirlz.com:

"Last week I had the opportunity to meet several people from Maximum Charisma Studios and check out their upcoming online RPS title, Fighting Legends. Today I have posted a full game preview based on what I saw of the game and info gleaned from the developers. This title is a very unique and ambitious undertaking ... well worth checking out!"

Fighting Legends Preview @ GGz

Win Based :: 3D Spotlight Highlights Windows Updates - posted by Erich Becker at 3:52 pm CDT

Today at 3D Spotlight we've made several updates to our OS Updates page - Comprising of all the latest patches & updates needed for Windows 98 SE, Me & 2000. Over the past several weeks we've added in a lot of new updates comprising of updates such as;

ATA 100 Support for Windows 2000,
SCSIPort driver update for Windows 2000,
New Java VM's,
VIA 4-in-1 drivers,
DirectX 8.0A.

Related Links: The OS Updates page can be found here

Community :: Gamecenter.com Shuts Down - posted by Erich Becker at 3:50 pm CDT

In what comes as a big surprise to me, CNET's Gamecenter.com will be closing up shop at the end of this week.

In a report on DailyRadar, it states that CNET has taken major loses since the merger with ZiffDavis last year. While ZiffDavis' own Gamespot seems to be unaffected by the crashing dot-com industry, Gamecenter will shut down following a few special updates this week.

Gamecenter.com has been online for almost four-and-a-half years and has stood for its professional interpretation of games, and hardware assosiated with consoles and PCs alike.

This is just one of the recent announcements of dot-com gaming site failures as Gamers.com deregulated earlier this month, and now Gamecenter has shut down.

This report will be sad to see the site go, as it was one of the many sites I visited daily.

Farewell Gamecenter.com, and may its employees find work somewhere else.

Tuesday, February 06, 2001
Webmaster: Slowly Fixing Problems... - posted by Toby Davis at 10:05 pm CDT

We have still been going through technical difficulties since our server switchover. We want to thank you for being patient yet again - and bear with us this week as we iron out our tech probs.

Right now we have a temporary fix to our recent outtage, and hope to have a more permanent fix before the weekend.

Toby Davis
ESC Magazine

Friday, February 02, 2001
Escape :: Zeus Review Posted - posted by Erich Becker at 5:05 pm CDT

The second of our two reviews posted comes from Garret Romaine, and he takes a look at the forth game from Sierra Studios and Impression Games, Zeus.

"If city building is your forte, you'll like Zeus: Master of Olympus. Fourth in a series that includes Pharaoh, Caesar III, and Cleopatra, it's bigger and better than anything yet seen in mimicking the ancient worlds.

If you like Greek history or Greek mythology, you'll also probably like Zeus for awhile. It's a fun lesson about the lifestyle and culture of the Grecian world.

However, if you need a lot of action in the timeslice allotted to your gaming habit, you're probably better off skipping this game. Zeus is the epitome of the whole "take your time, build it right, sit back and wait" simulation world. It's slow, intricate and frustrating, like watching paint dry.

Not that there aren't some good points."

Related Links: See the Full Review!

Escape :: Mechwarrior 4 Review Posted - posted by Erich Becker at 5:03 pm CDT

Welcome back to ESC. In celebration of our server change, we have posted two new reviews for you to cherish like your own children. The first comes from Matt Burawski, and he tackles big robots in his Mechwarrior 4: Vengence Review. Here is a snippet:

"Man, being a fairly simple creature, has three basic needs: food, water and giant destructive robots. MechWarrior 4: Vengeance’s two CDs aren’t too tasty, and they aren’t full of thirst-quenching electrolyte carbodrygenoids, but as far as a big robot game, this is as good as it gets on the PC. While it doesn’t necessarily revolutionize the MechWarrior series in any way — choosing instead to improve on the old formula — its single-player and multiplayer experiences both make this game very worthy of any ‘Mech fan’s purchase."

Related Links: See the Full Review!

Escape :: Subscribe Now and Recieve All Issues Free - posted by Erich Becker at 5:00 pm CDT

Introducing the greatest thing since Al Gore brought us the beautiful Internet:


In order to properly experience this wonderful newsletter you must print out the issue and yet it across the house so that everyone in your household can hear the extreme news, tips, and other information that will be locked in this exclusive newsletter!!

So Erich who can join?

Well Everyone can. See that box to the right of our news entries? Well enter your valid email address in there, and BAM! you have news! Hell, it may better than fire, and it won't go away like a dot-com business!

The best part?

It's completely FREE! Yes I said F-R-E-E. What are you waiting for Sign UP TODAY!

[Editors Note: Never drink an entire case of Pepsi before posting the news. You have been warned]

Escape :: EscapeNEWS Returns to the Web (for real) - posted by Erich Becker at 4:54 pm CDT

Yes, some people got a little confused with my last testing post, so here is the real deal here. EscapeNEWS is back online after a server switch, and we would like to think we are better than ever.

Some of the new features you will see in the future include a brand new Newsletter with a brand new staff member, Erica Grossman. You can check her bio on the About US page soon.

EscapeNEWS will be new and improved with more indepth coverage of the issues, and some commentary on the stories. Remember these commentary are the personal views of the author, not the entire site.

Our console reviews will keep on going. Since launching the console reviews in August, they have been met with high acclaim and seem to be a great part of the site. Look for some new reviews soon.

The Mini-review system goes into effect also. If we don't think a game warrents a total review, we will do a mini-review to give you the general gist of it and steer you in the right direction.

The features will be making a dramatic return with some new stuff on gaming hardware, the new console war, and some follow ups to some past features done last year. Look for them very soon.

So there you have it. We may look the same, but we have tons of stuff planned for you in the coming months. We at ESC would like to take this oportunity to thank you for visiting our site, and we hope you enjoy yourself. Its a great time to be gaming, and its a great time to be escaping!

Erich Becker
News Editor/Senior Reviewer
ESC Magazine

Thursday, February 01, 2001
Webmaster :: News & Discussion Is Back! - posted by Toby Davis at 5:16 pm CDT

Great news! After completing our server migration, our news tools and the discussion forums are back on-line. Coming soon is a revitalized poll section and our official ESCMag newsletter to keep you informed on the gaming industry and ESCMag.com itself.

On behalf of our editor-in-chief and co-founder Andy Grieser, as well as the entire ESCMag gang, I want to thank all of you for being patient during our brief one-week hiatus. Stay tuned, more reviews and discussion forums are on the way as I speak.

Toby Davis
ESC Magazine

Friday, January 26, 2001
Community :: XLGaming Posts New Feature - posted by Erich Becker at 2:36 pm CDT

Erich: I just recieved this email from XLGaming.com. They have posted a neat little special, go ahead and check out this preview and the link is below.

We've just posted up a new feature about console gamers playing PC gamers. Two staffers battle it out to argue the good and bad points of the latest development in online gaming. Here's an extract:


Since many Dreamcast owners are in college, and most colleges are on T1’s/T3’s/OC3’s/etc, the LAN adapter is a great idea, but until then, these people are screwed. This problem leaves Dreamcast owners no choice but to play on a puny 56k and I think a lot of us know how unfulfilling that is. Certain problems I have encountered while playing on-line on the Dreamcast were semi-frequent disconnects(every 3 games or so), high ping rates(hey, its 56k), high amounts of packet-loss(loss of information sent from client to server), and the frequent amount of instances where user-abuse of the servers has rendered them unplayable(ex. –players setting the play-time limit to zero seconds). Hey, who here has played Turok 2 multi-player and continues to play it? That’s right, NO-ONE! Why is that? Well, the answer is simple, CONTROLS!


For many years it has been the long held belief that the first person shooter was the sole preserve of the PC. The genre was invented on the format so it stands to reason that it should be the only platform that should be used for playing such games. Sadly, this is a false belief. By taking the blinkers off you can see that back in 1997 Rare came out with Goldeneye for the Nintendo 64. Arriving over a year before the much lauded Halflife it kept gamers glued to their 640x480 screen resolution TV’s for hours on end. The multiplay action was superb as well with people each having a quarter of the screen as they set about blowing bits of each other away. The same team has actually returned with Timesplitters for the Playstation 2 which has got this writer gripped to the screen thanks to its frantic action and, once again, superb multiplay mode.

Related Links: Online Consoles Feature

Playstation 2 :: Project Eden Delayed - posted by Erich Becker at 2:32 pm CDT

Project Eden, Core Designs first try on Playstation 2, has been delayed from its original release date in March to an undisclosed date in May. The only reason for the delay was "more development time." Hopefully, Project Eden can bring Core out of the rut that the Tomb Raider Franchise has created.

Win Based :: Blizzard Shows Warcraft III Gameplay - posted by Erich Becker at 2:29 pm CDT

In a recently released movie of WarCraft III from Blizzard, we finally get to see the game in action. Sure the first two cutscene movies were great in all, I loved the first one, but now we get to see what the game is like to the gamer.

Catch the movie below:

Related Links: Warcraft III Video Footage

Win Based :: Blizzard names Diablo II Expansion - posted by Erich Becker at 2:25 pm CDT

Today Diablo II is breaking records with more than 2.5 million units shipped in just over 6 months in retail. Tomorrow (well actually sometime this year), Blizzard will ship Diablo II: Lord of Destruction the highly anticipated follow up to one of the best PC RPGs ever created.

"We are very proud of Diablo II and its success. It is our biggest undertaking to date, and we are pleased that our customers responded so positively," said Mike Morhaime, president and co-founder of Blizzard Entertainment. "With the expansion set, we are growing the Diablo world by introducing the Assassin and Druid character classes as well creating an all-new Act, complete with new quests. Whether a novice or a hardcore gamer, players will be immersed in exciting new gameplay as they travel through the Barbarian Highlands."

I, for one, can't wait for some more click and kill action.

Related Links: PC.IGN.COM


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