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January 27, 2003 - February 04, 2003 - See More Archived News

Tuesday, February 04, 2003
[Community] Battlefield 1942 Patch, Gladiator Demo at LoneGamers - posted by Erich Becker at 8:58 am CDT

Ladies and Gents, here is the latest from our good friends over at LoneGamers. See something you like? Hit the link to be taken directly there.

  • RHEM Screenshots (Screenshots - 8.1 MB)
  • The Gladiators Multiplayer Demo (Demo - 108 MB)
  • Battlefield: 1942 v1.3 (Patch - 47.4 MB)
  • Battlefield: 1942 Dedicated Server v1.3 (Tool - 69 MB)

    [PC] Splinter Cell Ship Date Confirmed! - posted by Erich Becker at 8:29 am CDT

    Erich here with a quickie:

    Splinter Cell for the PC will ship on February 18, 2003 and should be available, to most retailers, on February 19th. Look for the game in a few weeks! If anyone is looking to buy me a birthday gift (wink, wink), well you know...

    [Linux] GarageGames Launches Marble Blast on Linux - posted by Erich Becker at 8:28 am CDT

    GarageGames Launches Marble Blast Game on Linux
    Both demo and full versions are now available on Linux, Mac and Windows

    Eugene, Ore. - January 31, 2003 – GarageGames announced today the release of the Linux version of their highly acclaimed 3D game, Marble Blast. The Linux demo features five playable levels and access to several of the game's power up items. The full version of Marble Blast, available at www.garagegames.com for $14.95, includes 72 levels, a variety of power up bonuses and additional hazards.

    Produced by GarageGames in cooperation with Monster Studios, Marble Blast is the first title to use the Torque Game Engine. The arcade-style action game has players racing against time as they navigate their marbles through moving platforms and dangerous hazards, collecting treasure along the way.

    “Linux is a platform that we have always been passionate about creating games for, not just a network server solution to host our multiplayer games on,” comments Jeff Tunnell, President of GarageGames. “We've seen Marble Blast which can be considered a casual game, addicting even hardcore gamers. Having our first game appeal to both the casual Linux desktop users as well as Linux geeks like ourselves is really exciting.”

    “Bringing the Linux version out just six weeks after our initial launch of Marble Blast is the result of extensive work on the Torque Game Engine over the last few years,” comments John Quigley GarageGames Associate. “We also tuned Marble Blast for high performance and compatibility with a wide variety of Linux systems.”

    Marble Blast works on a wide variety of distributions supporting kernel 2.4 and glibc 2.2 including: Lindows 3.0, Redhat 7.1+, SuSE 7.1+, Mandrake 8.x+, Debian 3.0+. To see if your favorite distribution is compatible check www.distrowatch.com. System requirements: Pentium 400, 128 MB RAM, NVIDIA TNT2, ATI Radeon 8500 or better 3D Graphics Accelerator, Linux-supported sound card and XFree86 4.0 or newer with hardware accelerated OpenGL drivers.

    The Linux demo is available widely at download sites including Linux Games, 3ddownload.com, Gamershell, Simply Gaming, FileShack, Worth Playing, PC Gameworld and File Planet. Marble Blast is available currently for the Windows, Mac and now Linux platforms for $14.95 from www.garagegames.com and our ignition system allows players to purchase one license and be able to install and play the game on any platform available for that title.

    About GarageGames:
    Located in Eugene, Oregon, GarageGames (http://www.garagegames.com) is a pioneering on-line game publisher. Their mission is to provide independent game makers with tools, technology, education, team-building... and, even the markets they need to sell great games. GarageGames is most famous for bringing the Torque Game Engine, the technology behind "Tribes 2," to Independent developers for only $100.

    [PC] Get 50% Off Cuboingo for Valentine's Day - posted by Erich Becker at 8:25 am CDT

    For a limited time only, get the addictive puzzle game 'Cuboingo' for 50% off! A great gift for anyone in the family, Cuboingo has novice and experienced gamers rotating that colored cube like there's no tomorrow! Take a free test spin and try one Game Script for a hint of Cuboingo's flavor -- or take advantage of this special offer and play over a dozenGame Scripts and even make your own! Visit www.cuboingo.com for more information.

    [PlayStation2] Splinter Cell Sets New Standards for the PS2 - posted by Erich Becker at 8:22 am CDT

    Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell (TM) Sets New Standards for the PlayStation®2 Computer Entertainment System

    SAN FRANCISCO, CA - February 3, 2003 -First, he infiltrated the Xbox (TM) video game system from Microsoft. Now, Sam Fisher, the shadow agent starring in Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell (TM), has been charged with taking over the PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system. Developed by Ubi Soft's Shanghai studio, the game will be available to gamers in late March 2003.

    Maximum Impact!
    Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell sets new standards on the PlayStation®2, immersing gamers in a deadly world of shadowy conspiracies and heart-pounding intrigue. State-of-the-art technology including the true-to-life dynamic lighting and shadow system, and new weather and ambient environment effects such as hazy heat, reflective surfaces, sea waves and depth and focus blurring, make Splinter Cell one of the most visually enticing titles on the system to date. The 3D sound environment encompasses the player with realistic ambient sounds, through advanced triple-streaming sound technology - separating individual voices, sound effects and music. Then rendered with Dolby Pro Logic II technology, the sound effects in Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell for the Playstation®2 are some of the most sophisticated available to date. Players are submerged into a hyper-realistic world where visual and aural effects add to the tension of high-stakes counterterrorism.

    Since its initial release for the Xbox video game system in November 2002, Splinter Cell has gone on to sell more than one million units in North America alone and 600,000 units in Europe. It boasts an average rating of 94.4 (out of a possible 100), based on a sample of 54 reviews, and was recently awarded GameSpy's Xbox Game of the Year for 2002.

    In bringing the hottest game on Xbox to the Sony's PlayStation®2 game platform, Ubi Soft Entertainment was determined not to deliver 'just another port' from another system. "We have added stunning visual and sound effects that have never before been seen on the PlayStation®2-really maximizing the capabilities of the system," said Tony Kee, vice president of marketing for Ubi Soft Entertainment. "Then we added more of what made the Xbox game so cool, adding new levels, gadgets and cinematics that really make Splinter Cell on the PS2 an incredible gameplay experience in its own right. Yet again, Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell will change how gamers look at their consoles!"

    You are Sam Fisher. A lone shadow-operative in a world where lost seconds can allow terrorist plans to become deadly reality. You operate in the heart of hostile territory. Spy. Steal. Destroy. Assassinate. Just don't ever be seen. Because when the stakes are this high, the choice between leaving a
    witness or a corpse is no choice at all. When two CIA agents mysteriously
    vanish in the former Soviet republic of Georgia, the NSA's secret sub agency, Third Echelon, deploys Sam Fisher-its most capable splinter cell operative-to recover them. Fisher soon uncovers a deeper conspiracy: a plot that threatens to destabilize the world order and spark nuclear conflict.

    Standout Game Features
    " Covert stealth-action featuring a compelling original storyline and characters drawn from the world of the famous espionage author Tom Clancy.
    " Revolutionary lighting, shadowing, animation, physics, and sound effects create an astonishingly realistic, tension-filled experience on the PlayStation 2.
    " Comprehensive stealth techniques including sniping, split jumping, zip lining, rappelling, and using human shields bring gameplay possibilities to a new level.
    " Experimental intelligence gadgets including the all-new binocular vision headset and more (night/thermal vision goggles, prototype weapons and surveillance gear, etc.) give Fisher the edge against his enemies.
    " The Powerplant mission features four new exclusive levels, in addition to the 10 existing missions, plus 30 minutes of new cinematics.
    " An all new four minute cinematic introduction including music recorded specifically for Splinter Cell by the famous Prague Orchestra.

    Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell carries a "T" (Teen) rating from the ESRB and will be priced at $49.99.

    About Ubi Soft® Entertainment
    Ubi Soft Entertainment is a global producer, publisher and international distributor of interactive entertainment products. A leading company in the industry, Ubi Soft's strong and diversified line-up has grown considerably. As well as developing original properties, Ubi Soft has also steadfastly partnered with several high-profile companies and is dedicated to delivering consumers with quality videogame titles while offering blockbuster franchises. Founded in 1986, the company has offices in 22 countries including the United States, Canada, France, Germany, Finland and China and sells its products in over 50 countries. For more information about Ubi Soft, visit http://www.ubi.com.

    [Community] TechSpot Reviews Inspire 6700 6.1 Speakers - posted by Erich Becker at 8:01 am CDT

    The good guys over at TechSpot have put up a review of the Inspire 6700 6.1 Speaker system which is the "perfect companion" for the Audigy 2 soundcard. See what TechSpot thought of these speakers by reading this snippet and hitting the link below for the full review:

    "The Inspire 6700s are the first 6.1 capable PC speakers system to be available in the market. Touted as the ‘perfect companion’ for Creative’s own Audigy 2 soundcard, the most obvious addition is the rear centre channel that takes full advantage of Audigy 2 features and grants you some Dolby Digital® Surround EX support, however what makes this more interesting is CMSS (Creative Multi-Speaker System) that is said to up-mix surround to 6.1 channels when used with a 5.1 sound card."

    Related Links: See the Full Review!

    Monday, February 03, 2003
    [Console] Get a Sneak Peek at Everquest Online Adventures - posted by Andy Grieser at 2:29 pm CDT


    Sony Online Entertainment (SOE), will give the public a chance to experience EverQuest Online Adventures, one of the world's most anticipated massively multiplayer online console games ever created, before it's available on retail shelves currently scheduled on February 12th. EverQuest Online Adventures extends the EverQuest brand to the PlayStation(r)2, the most popular console gaming system in the world.

    The enchanting fantasy world of Norrath awaits as you discover a vast living game world filled with exciting combat, quests and unparalleled character development. Embark on the adventure of a lifetime with people from across the North American continent. Meet the creative talent behind EverQuest Online Adventures and be the first to play the game.

    Throughout the night, Sony Online Entertainment will give away prizes such as: pre-launch copies of EverQuest Online Adventures, a limited number of free subscriptions, gamecards for free play, Logitech(r) NetPlay(tm) controllers , USB keyboards and surround sound systems.

    Learn more about EverQuest Online Adventures at

    WHEN: Friday, February 7th, 2003
    6:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m.

    WHERE: Metreon - A Sony Entertainment Center
    101 Fourth Street
    San Francisco, CA

    PlayStation(r) is on the ground floor.

    [Mac and PC Gaming] Got Game Entertainment to Publish RHEM - posted by Andy Grieser at 2:26 pm CDT


    Puzzle-based adventure game to arrive in stores this Spring

    Weston, CT - February 3, 2003 - Got Game Entertainment and Knut Mueller today announced a North American publishing agreement for "RHEM," an intricate pure-puzzle first person adventure game. Made for PC and Mac, RHEM thrusts the player into a strange land and on an adventure to uncover the secrets of a mysterious letter.

    Featuring non-linear gameplay, non-violent story, and mind-bending puzzles, the player's adventure begins when a commandeered rail car arrives in the land of RHEM. The rail car roams the land of RHEM, allowing the player to discover the mysteries of this place little by little. The player soon learns that the only hope of escaping RHEM lies in the contents of a letter, consisting of four hidden fragments which must not only be found, but also put together.

    Upon disembarking the rail car, and now in search of the letter, the player discovers the world of RHEM is one of twisting and turning canyons, staircases and tunnels, ladders and buildings, and revolving bridges. The game's developer, Knut Mueller, paid particular attention to creating an effective, yet unobtrusive interface and keeping the gameplay truly interactive. "In RHEM, we strove to maintain a seamless visual experience and emphasize the possibilities born from the player's own action," said Mueller, "And I believe we succeeded."

    "RHEM" is scheduled to ship Q1 2003. For more information, visit www.GotGameEntertainment.com/rhem.

    [PC Gaming] Massive Assault Concept Test Milestone Hit - posted by Andy Grieser at 2:24 pm CDT

    Massive Assault Concept Test milestone hit

    New Orleans, LA -- February 03, 2003 -- Secret Allies warfare is coming! Wargaming.net announced today that the Concept Test for its 3D global domination strategy game, Massive Assault is now officially over. 450 people around the world took part in the Concept Test. The participants had a chance to play Massive Assault's single-player scenarios and deathmatches as well as multiplayer deathmatches via the Internet on 3 different maps.

    "We all kept our fingers crossed when launching the Concept Test in December," said Victor Kislyi, the president of Wargaming.net. "We were quite confident about the graphics, effects and the sound, but we needed to test the concept and the gameplay, because we made so many risky decisions while designing the game - and it has just worked out!"

    115 players have completed a 48-question poll. The analysis of the poll results and players' feedback have indicated that Massive Assault has proved to be a solid, dynamic and enjoyable strategy game. Below are some of the poll's results:
    65% were RTS fans, and 35% were turn-based fans
    74% of RTS fans and 88% of turn-based game fans liked playing Massive Assault
    89% liked the strategic concept (Secret Allies, Guerrilla, etc.)
    75% liked the tactical system
    78% liked the terrain graphics
    37% rated graphics and effects as excellent, 44% - as good enough, 4% - as
    68% think that unit parameters were well balanced
    100% admitted that the rules were easy to learn
    37% think that AI is smart, 9% - too smart, 38% think that AI is smart enough but would like it smarter
    47% have already recommended Massive Assault to their friends and 40% willrecommend when it's officially released
    65% agree that Massive Assault can be described as "pure strategy"
    70% are still playing Massive Assault

    "Our team can be very proud of what we have accomplished in just a year of development," continues Victor Kislyi. "And we're really grateful to our testers for their enthusiasm and devotion."

    The players' feedback has provided the development team with invaluable information for further improvements of the gameplay in both single-player and multiplayer modes, as well as for refining the balance. The next milestone is the beta phase.

    Friday, January 31, 2003
    [Mac] Sims, Tony Hawk, and NASCAR All Shipping - posted by Erich Becker at 12:35 pm CDT

    Aspyr has recently announced that they have begun shipping copies of Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 3, The Sims: Unleased, and NASCAR Racing 2002 Season for the Mac.

    The Sims: Unleased puts a variety of pets into the mix as your Sims live out their lives in a virtual world.

    Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 3 gives you a chance to slip into the skater shoes of some of today's hottest athletes as they perform tricks and grinds to your pleasure.

    NASCAR Racing 2002 Season lets you assume the persona of your favorite (or least favorite) NASCAR driver and tear up the tracks as you soar to the championship. This excellent game is worth picking up as you can read in our review of the PC version.

    Look for all of them at Aspyr's website or at your local Mac store.

    [Mac] Medal of Honor: AA Spearhead Expansion Available for Pre-order - posted by Erich Becker at 12:30 pm CDT

    Coming hot off of the recent PC release, Allied Assult expansion pack Spearhead will be available soon for the Mac. You can pre-order the game now for the suggested retail price of $29.99.

    Moving in the same vein as Allied Assult, Spearhed puts you in the shoes of Sgt. Jack Barnes as he endures the final few months of World War II. This first person shooter has won critical praise on the PC, and now Mac gamers will experience the same.

    Spearhead carries an ESRB rating of "T" for Teen.

    [Mac] Harry Potter: Chamber of Secrets Available for Pre-Order - posted by Erich Becker at 12:26 pm CDT

    Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets for the Mac has entered final candidate stage and is now available for pre-order from the Aspyr store. The game carries an MSRP of $39.95 plus additional shipping costs.

    The conversion of this Electronic Arts game is being handled by Westlake Interactive. Fans of the movie and action/adventure games should find something to like. Look for the game to be released soon.

    The game carries a ESRB rating of "E" for Everyone.

    [GameCube] Rayman 3 Offers GameCube/GameBoy Advance Connectivity - posted by Erich Becker at 12:23 pm CDT


    Nintendo GameCube(tm) and Game Boy Advance Players Can Team Up to Enjoy Exclusive Rayman 3 Multiplayer Mini-Game and Content

    San Francisco, CA - January 31, 2003 - Ubi Soft Entertainment, one of the world's largest video game publishers, today unveiled Nintendo GameCube and Game Boy Advance connectivity features for the highly-anticipated title Rayman 3: Hoodlum Havoc, to be released in March 2003. Players with Nintendo GameCube and Game Boy Advance game systems will be able to connect the two platforms to enjoy an exciting multiplayer game and unlock exclusive content.

    "Rayman 3: Hoodlum Havoc is the game to beat, on a Nintendo GameCube or a Game Boy Advance," said Tony Kee, vice president of marketing for Ubi Soft Entertainment. "By taking advantage of the unique connection between the two, we'll be delivering extra content and an even more intense gaming experience that rewards both cooperation and competition."

    Using a cable to connect their Game Boy Advance to their Nintendo GameCube will allow players to enhance Rayman 3 in three exclusive ways:

    1. Multiplayer Game: While the Game Boy Advance player builds a road with Tetris-like blocks, the Nintendo GameCube player speeds forward along the road as it forms. Quick wits and teamwork are a must for this fast-paced mini-game! Three gaming modes make things even more exciting:

    o Great Escape: Put the pedal to the metal to evade a dangerous pursuer
    o Treasure Hunt: Collect valuable treasures as time ticks away
    o Competition: Use two Nintendo GameCube controllers and two Game Boy Advance systems to create a four-person face-off

    " Requirements: Rayman 3: Hoodlum Havoc for the Nintendo GameCube, up to two Nintendo GameCube controllers and two Game Boy Advance systems

    2. New Maps: Unlock and download ten new maps for the Game Boy Advance from the Nintendo GameCube using points collected from Rayman 3 for the Game Boy Advance

    " Requirements: Rayman Rayman 3: Hoodlum Havoc for the Nintendo GameCube and Rayman 3 for Game Boy Advance

    3. Final Challenge: Download and tackle one final Game Boy Advance challenge after completing Rayman 3: Hoodlum Havoc on the Nintendo GameCube

    " Requirements: Rayman 3: Hoodlum Havoc for the Nintendo GameCube and Rayman 3 for Game Boy Advance

    About Ubi Soft Entertainment
    Ubi Soft Entertainment is a global producer, publisher and international distributor of interactive entertainment products. A leading company in the industry, Ubi Soft's strong and diversified line-up has grown considerably. As well as developing original properties, Ubi Soft has also steadfastly partnered with several high-profile companies and is dedicated to delivering consumers with quality videogame titles while offering blockbuster franchises. Founded in 1986, the company has offices in 21 countries including the United States, Canada, France, Germany, Finland and China and sells its products in over 50 countries. For more information about Ubi Soft, visit http://www.ubi.com .

    [Console] Phantasy Star Online Episode I & II Comes to Xbox in March - posted by Andy Grieser at 9:07 am CDT

    "Phantasy Star Online(TM) Episode I & II" Comes to Xbox in March

    First Ever Online Console Role-Playing Game to Feature Voice Chat

    Microsoft Games Studios today announced that it will distribute SEGA(R)'s "Phantasy Star Online(TM) Episode I & II" for Xbox in North America. The award-winning online role-playing series, which had more than 400,000 registered online users on the SEGA Dreamcast, arrives on store shelves this coming March and will be playable through Xbox Live(TM). In addition, the Xbox Communicator headset is fully compatible with "Phantasy Star Online Episode I & II," enabling gamers from across North America to chat with each other with ease.

    To play the game online, Xbox Live subscribers will be required to buy a "hunter's license," which gives gamers the ability to travel on wild adventures with other "Phantasy Star Online Episode I & II" gamers. It also provides access to a plethora of online exclusive content such as seasonal quests, downloads and rare in-game items. The hunter's license is free of charge for the first two months, and after that will carry a service fee of $8.95 per month.

    Developed by famed SEGA game designer Yuji Naka and SONICTEAM, "Phantasy Star Online Episode I and II" features two games in one: Episode I contains all of the content from "Phantasy Star Online(TM)" and "Phantasy Star Online(TM) Ver. 2," while Episode II brings gamers back for an all-new adventure on the planet of Ragol. Gamers will search unchartered areas, battle unique monsters and discover numerous items. Both episodes can be played online or offline with up to four gamers. Additional game modes include Challenge and Battle. Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound is also supported in "Phantasy Star Online Episode I & II." An Xbox Live account is required to play "Phantasy Star Online Episode I & II" both offline and online.

    Xbox Live is the first comprehensive, online game arena fully dedicated to fast-action broadband gaming experiences. Xbox Live allows gamers to play multiplayer Xbox games with other gamers everywhere via a high-speed Internet connection. Xbox Live enables all gamers to find and play with their friends easily; talk to other players during gameplay through the Xbox Communicator headset; and download current statistics, new levels and characters to their Xbox hard drive. With a built-in hard drive and Ethernet port, the Xbox console was built from the ground up to be an online gaming system.

    Thursday, January 30, 2003
    [Console] Vivendi Universal Games and Fox Interactive Announce Development of The X-Files: Resist or Serve - posted by Andy Grieser at 1:50 pm CDT


    Vivendi Universal Games and Fox Interactive Announce
    Development of The X-Files: Resist or Serve

    BELLEVUE, WA (January 30, 2003) -Vivendi Universal Games and Fox Interactive(tm) announced today the development of The X-Files(tm): Resist or Serve for the PlayStation 2 computer entertainment system and the Xbox video game system from Microsoft. The X-Files: Resist or Serve, developed by Black Ops and published by Sierra Entertainment, is a true 3-D survival horror game experience spanning three original episodes created by the executive producers of The X-Files(tm) television show. In addition, The X-Files: Resist or Serve features the likenesses and authentic voiceovers from the majority of the cast, including David Duchovny (Mulder) and Gillian Anderson (Scully).

    The fear begins when Mulder and Scully travel to the small Rocky Mountain town of Red Falls to investigate a string of unusual murders linked to ghost sightings, the undead, and other paranormal phenomena. Mulder and Scully must pursue an inhuman killer to a secret research facility in the Siberian wasteland and finally into the depths of a buried alien spacecraft to unravel the mystery of the black oil and prevent the alien colonization of the planet...for now.

    Maintaining the authenticity of The X-Files, the game features familiar environments and characters faithfully recreated from The X-Files television show, including Mulder, Scully, Skinner, the Cigarette-Smoking Man, The Lone Gunmen and more. The X-Files: Resist or Serve takes the X-Files authenticity one step further by also including the score and dynamic music created by those responsible for the music behind the television show.

    The X-Files: Resist or Serve will be available in Summer, 2003 on PlayStation 2 and Xbox for a suggested retail price of $49.99 with an expected ESRB "Mature" rating. For additional information, log on to

    [Community] Gamingin3D.com Reviews OCZ PC3200 "EL" RAM - posted by Erich Becker at 7:53 am CDT

    OCZ PC3200 "EL" RAM Review

    "To splurge or not to splurge, that is the question. People cut more corners with computers than a cheap drunk with a twitchy left arm. Crappy powersupplies and cheap plastic casing seems to be all the rage today with Joe "I-Built-My-Own-'Puter" Sixpack. So what about RAM?"

    Related Links: See the Full Review!

    [Multi] Pitfall Harry Swings onto Next-Gen Consoles this Fall - posted by Erich Becker at 7:52 am CDT



    Santa Monica, CA - January 29, 2003 - Activision, Inc.'s (Nasdaq: ATVI) legendary Pitfall® franchise is swinging onto the next-gen consoles as the daring explorer Pitfall Harry packs his wits, athleticism and quick reflexes and embarks on an all-new adventure deep in the South American jungle. Featuring over 50 perilous levels including lush rain forests, creature-ridden caves and vast glacial mountains, the game challenges players to explore a dynamic obstacle-filled world. Developed by Edge of Reality, Pitfall® Harry will be available Fall 2003 for the PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system, Xbox(tm) video game system from Microsoft, Nintendo GameCube(tm) and Game Boy® Advance, and is currently rated "RP" (Rating Pending) by the ESRB.

    "Pitfall Harry will let players take on the role of the daring explorer who laughs in the face of danger as he rescues those in distress from deadly foes and searches for lost treasures," said Larry Goldberg, executive vice president, Activision worldwide studios. "This all new adventure delivers highly detailed graphics, fast paced action pathways and a host of interactive goals. Classic vine swinging and pit hopping action combined with Harry's quirky sense of humor will make Pitfall Harry one of the most sought after titles of the year."

    Gamers assume the role of Harry, a fearless, rough-and-ready treasure seeker who battles evil using his athletic ability and a knapsack filled with adventure gear. Harry must race against a rival explorer to find hidden treasures, which in the wrong hands could spell doom for him and his friends.

    The vast landscape, ranging from forests to ancient ruins to subterranean mines, provides players with countless game options as they face the consequences of their decisions. Crossing treacherous jungle terrain and dark areas filled with puzzles, tricks and traps, players swing on vines, avoid crocodiles and dodge rolling logs as they unearth artifacts and use their cunning to defeat dangerous foes.

    About Activision, Inc.
    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 revenues of $786 million for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2002.

    Activision maintains operations in the U.S., 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 www.activision.com.

    The statements contained in this release that are not historical facts are "forward-looking statements." The Company cautions readers of this press release that a number of important factors could cause Activision's actual future results to differ materially from those expressed in any such forward-looking statements. These important factors, and other factors that could affect Activision, are described in Activision's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2002, which was filed with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission. Readers of this press release are referred to such filings.

    Xbox is a trademark of Microsoft Corporation in the United States and/or other countries.

    # # #

    [PC] Splinter Cell (PC) Goes Gold, Mid-February Release - posted by Erich Becker at 7:51 am CDT

    Splinter Cell has gone gold for the PC and is on target for a mid-February release date. While Ubi Soft has yet to give us an exact release date we know it will be out in the next three to four weeks, so be sure to look for it then. Below is the Media Alert describing the game's status.

    MEDIA ALERT: Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell(TM) for the PC Has Gone Gold

    Ubi Soft Entertainment's Award-Winning Stealth Action Game for the Xbox is ready to take the PC Audience by Storm

    Game fans everywhere will be excited to learn that the hottest title to hit the Xbox(TM) video game system from Microsoft this holiday season, Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell(TM) , has gone gold. Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell for the Xbox has won numerous awards since its release in November including Xbox Game of the Year from IGN and GameSpy, and GameSpot's Xbox Editor's Choice Award. The PC version promises the same action-intensity, stunning visuals and distinct sound effects of the Xbox version. Since the release of the demo online, more than 700,000 downloads of Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell PC have transpired. The game is expected to hit store shelves in mid-February.

    Developed by the Montreal Studio of Ubi Soft Entertainment, one of the world's largest video game publishers, Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell was released for the Xbox in November 2002 and quickly became one of the top selling, and most highly rated game for that platform, with an average rating of 94.4 (out of a possible 100) based on a sample of 54 reviews.

    You are Sam Fisher. A lone shadow-operative in a world where lost seconds can allow terrorist plans to become deadly reality. You operate in the heart of hostile territory. Spy. Steal. Destroy. Assassinate. Just don't ever be seen. Because when the stakes are this high, the choice between leaving a witness or a corpse is no choice at all. When two CIA agents mysteriously vanish in the former Soviet republic of Georgia, the NSA's secret sub agency, Third Echelon, deploys Sam Fisher--its most capable splinter cell operative--to recover them. Fisher soon uncovers a deeper conspiracy: a plot that threatens to destabilize the world order and spark nuclear conflict.

    Related Links: Ubi Soft Entertainment

    Wednesday, January 29, 2003
    [PC Gaming] Shrapnel Games to Publish Interstellar Trader 2 - posted by Andy Grieser at 8:13 am CDT

    Shrapnel Games to Publish Interstellar Trader 2

    Cary, NC, January 29, 2003 - Shrapnel Games announced today that they have signed a deal with Stormcloud Creations to publish Interstellar Trader 2. In a partnership with game designer Derek DiBenedetto, Shrapnel Games has cemented a deal to publish the designer's second offering which will be available shipping in late February 2003. Shrapnel Games currently offers DiBenedetto's Thunderpack Platinum, a four pack of strategy games, either as a download or a jewel case product. For more information about Interstellar Trader 2 or Thunder Pack Platinum, visit Shrapnel Games website at www.shrapnelgames.com.

    Tim Brooks, President of Shrapnel Games, said, "We are truly excited to have this exciting strategy game. The plan right now is to offer Interstellar Trader 2 as a Safe Box Product with a retail price of between $19.95 and $24.95. With all that this strategy game offers we believe this is an excellent value for the true strategy game fan.

    Interstellar Trader 2 is the sequel to the original strategy simulation Interstellar Trader (available in the Thunder Pack Platinum four pack) where you become the owner of a start-up merchant business in outer space. You do this by traveling from planet to planet in the galaxy, buying and selling items in the various marketplaces. Just look at what this game has to offer:

    - Improved, more realistic economic engine, with a randomly generated supply/demand system for the galaxy every time you play. Item prices change constantly during the game, so you have to keep on your toes. More items available for trade at each planet.
    - Now 10 planets to visit, instead of 6! Each planet can even have individual modifiers to its economic condition.
    - You can choose your ship, upgrade its gas tank, cargo capacity, and even add NEW unique weapons to it to fight the nasty Pirates. Ships also now have Durability ratings, and wear down over time.
    - 4 Different pirate clans have different combat strengths and priorities as far as taking money or items from you if they win.
    - Pick up passengers, collect fares, buy toll booths to the various planets and get paid for each visitor to the planet.
    - Visit the prime minister of each planet for various benefits, purchase Pirate contracts for a temporary peace time.
    - Purchase and build your own fleet of escort ships from 3 different choices to assist you in fighting the Pirates.
    - NEW IMPROVED combat engine, with more realistic outcomes and more direct choices for the player to make, including self-destructing your ships to use as weapons, new Luck modifiers, using the Suicide Volley weapon on your ship for damage multipliers, and using your installed weapons against the Pirates.
    - NEW Special encounters: Play games at the Galactic Casino to win credits, make deals with Rogue Merchants from other galaxies on rare items, and more random events than before!
    _ And much more?

    Interstellar Trader 2 will be available for preorder within the next week or two from Shrapnel Games' e-Store, the Gamers Front (www.gamersfront.com).

    Tuesday, January 28, 2003
    [Arcade] Decades-Old Super Zaxxon Record Broken - posted by Andy Grieser at 12:40 pm CDT

    NEW HAMPSHIRE - January 28, 2003 - Donald Hayes, a well known competitor in the world of classic arcade gaming has beaten a 20-year-old record on the legendary arcade game Super Zaxxon.

    Considered among the the top ten "hardest games of all time," the world record on Super Zaxxon had not budged an inch since Greg McLeod of Halifax, Nova Scotia, set the benchmark standard of 339,750 points on July 25, 1983 during a Twin Galaxies event.

    Not only will Donald Hayes be recognized as the Super Zaxxon champion in the forthcoming edition of the Official Video Game & Pinball Book of World Records, but he also holds the world records on TRON and Centipede, two of the most highly contested titles of all time.

    The entire story can be found at http://www.twingalaxies.com

    [PC Gaming] Galactic Civ Release Set for March 25 - posted by Andy Grieser at 12:38 pm CDT

    The race for the galaxy is coming?soon

    Montreal, Quebec. January 28, 2003 - Publisher Strategy First and Developer Stardock announced today that the release date for their upcoming 4X space-based strategy game, Galactic Civilizations, has been updated to March 25, 2003.

    The decision to hold back the release of Galactic Civilizations came after the recent delay of Quicksilver/Infogrames's Master of Orion 3.

    "Gamers have been waiting a long time for the next generation of space based strategy games to arrive. By ensuring that these two games come out at different times, players will have the opportunity to get to know each of them," said Brad Wardell, Project Lead on Galactic Civilizations at Stardock.

    "As a result of our close relationship with Infogrames we've been given this unique opportunity that will benefit both of these games and their fans," says Steve Milburn, Director of Marketing for Strategy First. "They are so different in so many ways that we feel the best thing for fans of this genre is to give them time to enjoy each game on its own."

    The Fate of the Galaxy is in Your Hands
    The year is 2178 and the galaxy is evolving at an alarming pace. Years ago, human scientists introduced a new technology, the "Hyper-drive," which vastly improved interstellar travel, but instead of forging closer bonds throughout the galaxy, communication between civilizations has ground to a halt. Colonization and a battle for supremacy have become the primary goals but only one race can dominate ... and survive.

    · Deep immersive storyline

    · Multi-threaded AI that is as sophisticated and challenging as real life politics

    · In the Metaverse, games can be saved onto Stardock.net and the player can allow the game AI to look at strategies used by the top players to make the game smarter

    · Multiple paths to victory - Achieve victory using military strength, economic might, or political power

    · Ships gain experience as they win battles

    · Dominate other players with economic power through trade and wealth

    · Gameplay events are designed to ensure that each game is a different experience

    Infogrames will exclusively distribute Galactic Civilizations in North America and our European distribution partners will be announced at a later date.

    Monday, January 27, 2003
    [PC Gaming] Shrapnel Games Releases Third Space Empires IV Gold Patch - posted by Andy Grieser at 8:24 am CDT

    Shrapnel Games releases third Space Empires IV Gold Patch

    Malfador Machinations and Shrapnel Games continue support of Best Selling 4X Game

    Cary, NC, January 27, 2003 - Shrapnel Games announced today that the the newest Space Empires IV Gold patch is available from their Web site at http://www.shrapnelgames.com. This patch, v1.84, adds features changes and enhancements and fixes bugs.

    Among the changes and additions are two new target types added for components: "Ships\Planets\Sat" and "Ships\Planets\Sat\Drone", option to strategems to control how many drones are launched per target in combat, and changes to weapons platform damage when planets are under attack. There are also over 25 fixes in this patch. A complete list of additions, changes, and fixes can be found at Shrapnel Games website at http://www.shrapnelgames.com.

    Space Empires IV is widely considered the grandest Space Empire Building 4X games of all time, the winner of numerous awards and accolades from the online and print media, with almost $750,000 in sales. Now take your SE IV experience to a whole new level with Space Empires IV Gold! Simply put this is a must have for any fan of 4X games and includes the following new additions to the all-star original:

    * Full TCP/IP Support.
    * Drones fully implemented in code.
    * New System Graphics and Types: stellar core fragments, organic infestations, comets, stars forming, spacial ruptures, red giants, and more!
    * All sounds reworked from 8 bit to 16 bit 44.100 khz Stereo.
    * Along with updated old sounds an entire new set of sound effects and a game option to choose either for game play.
    * New 120+ page manual written by experienced computer game
    industry technical writer.
    * Map Editor included on CD.
    * 200 megs of user created "mods" for the game ? new
    technologies, new components, new race styles, and more.
    * Mod Selection utility on CD.
    * Expanded info and support for SE:IV PBW site (seiv.pbw.cc).
    * Additional features requested by modders ? data file changes history, satellite and weapon platform range bonuses, more empire settings in the AI files, increased number of system types, control over number of starting AI players, more facility families, multiple bitmaps per vehicle size, and more.
    * Improved AI tactics.

    Space Empires IV Gold retails for $39.95 and can be purchased directly from the Gamers Front at http://www.gamersfront.com. A demo is also available for download.


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