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October 26, 2000 - November 06, 2000 - See More Archived News

Monday, November 06, 2000
PC :: Conquest is Not Quite Dead - posted by Erich Becker at 2:32 pm CDT

FGNOnline is reporting that the recently cancelled, Conquest: Frontier Wars could be picked up by another publisher. Early last week we reported that the game has been dropped by publisher Microsoft, but now it seems that the Big M will allow Digital Anvil (Starlancer) shop the title around to pick up a new publisher.

A demo should be released of the game soon, and we will be able to experience first hand the game, and maybe why Microsoft dropped the title. More as it develops.

Related Links: FGNOnline

PC :: Red Alert Review @ XLGaming - posted by Erich Becker at 2:28 pm CDT

Over the last five years the Real Time Strategy (RTS) game has developed from the 2D sprite directing frenzy to the fully 3D graphical tour de force. Despite this progression Westwood, the inventors of the genre still hang on to the 2D isometric view with their latest offering 'Command and Conquer:Red Alert 2' . Read on to find out what XL Gaming thought of this new installment of the C&C franchise. Here is a snippit:

"RA2 is a bit of a throw back it has to be said. No lush 3D visuals here I'm afraid. Instead we're treated to more or less the same engine that drives Tiberian Sun, the last game in the C&C series. Westwood have obviously taken the view that, if it works, don't change it. Which is fine to a degree, but to ignore the progress of the RTS genre into the 3rd dimension is questionable. The graphics are functional, nothing more."

See the full review @ XLGaming.com

PC :: New Happenings Over at GamePen - posted by Erich Becker at 2:26 pm CDT

The folks over at GamePen have three new stories to report today. The first another edition in their Strategic Therapy. You can find that right here:

New Strategic Therapy @ GamePen

The next item is a preview of Bethesda Softworks' upcoming Echelon game. Hit this link to learn all about this game:

Echelon Preview Update @ GamePen

Finally, GamePen has posted their new review of Zeus. Is this a game for the Gods, or the peons? Check it all out at GamePen:

Zeus Review @ GamePen

Friday, November 03, 2000
PSOne :: Driver 2 has Gone Gold - posted by Erich Becker at 9:52 am CDT

PSOne owners have something to look forward to in light of the recent release, and controversy, of the PS2. Driver 2 has gone gold, and Infogrames reports that the game should have no trouble making its November 14th release date.

Pre-orders for the title have reached 1.2 million units, and the game is sure to be a hit with a multi-million dollar marketing campaign. Lets just hope that some kind of shortage of CDs doesn't come up and they only ship 500,000. That would be harsh.

PC :: Conquest: Frontier Wars Canned by Microsoft - posted by Erich Becker at 9:49 am CDT

Today, Microsoft announced that it was ceasing development on Conquest: Frontier Wars. A space based RTS, Conquest, was looking to join the ranks of Homeworld in the Realtime Strategy world.

A PR representative for the company told Blue's News, "Keeping in line with the goal of only delivering top-quality games that bring a fresh and immersive experience, Microsoft has decided to stop work on Conquest and place the development team on other projects.

PS2 :: NHL 2001 Review at Game Rankings - posted by Erich Becker at 9:46 am CDT

Game Rankings has posted a review of NHL 2001 for the Playstation 2:

"After having played NHL 2001 for the Playstation and PC, I have to say that I was really looking forward to playing the PS2 version. Sadly, though, NHL 2001 has the strange feel of being rushed."

NHL 2001 PS2 Review @ Game Rankings

PC :: Blair Witch: Rustin Parr Review @ GamePen - posted by Erich Becker at 9:44 am CDT

GamePen has posted a new review for the first game in the Blair Witch trilogy by Gathering of Developers. The game takes place in the town just outside of the woods thought to be inhabited by the Blair Witch.

Look for ESC's review of Blair Witch: Rustin Parr soon, but in the mean time take a look at GamePen's.

Blair Witch #1: Rustin Parr Review @ GamePen

Thursday, November 02, 2000
Mac :: MacPlay captures Three Games - posted by Erich Becker at 2:45 pm CDT

MacPlay has secured the rights to Giants: Citizen Kabuto, Sacrafice, and Starfleet Command II: Empires at War to be released on the Mac platform.

This is a follow up to the recent surge of PC games being converted to Mac. If this trend continues, this is only the beginning of what could come.

Related Links: FGNOnline

GBA :: 10 Million Systems at Launch - posted by Erich Becker at 2:42 pm CDT

In sharp contrast to the "other" recent launch, Nintendo of Japan announced that they will have 10 million Game Boy Advanced systems ready for the March 21st launch.

The Game Boy Advanced is the next stage in the handheld market evolution with full backwards compatibility and new games that rival that of the Super Nintendo with FMV and primative 3D instructions built in.

This is no big feat for the Big N as they are currently pumping out 2.5 million Game Boy Color units a month.

Now we await GameCube announcments....

Related Links: FGNOnline

PS2 :: Shortage is Worse than Feared - posted by Erich Becker at 2:39 pm CDT

With rampant system theft from retailer's stockrooms, ill manner delievery people, and dishonest employees it's a wonder that the PS2 even launched last week.

Now, as FGNOnline reports, Sony has told several big name retailers to not expect systems "anytime soon." What does this mean? It means that big name retailers like EB and Babbages will not be getting anymore systems in the near future. It means that the hundreds of people who I talk to at Wal*Mart everyday will continue to ask me the same question over and over again: "When are you getting more Playstation 2's?" or "What do you mean you are sold out?"

Sony has dropped the ball on this one, retailers are hung out to dry, the games are coming up just barely above average, and the DVD compatibility and backwards compatibility are mainly a joke from the people whom I have spoken to.

What this all boils down to is, If you don't have a system in your home right now, you won't have one till long after Christmas. Which means kids are mad at parents. Parents are in disgust with retailers, and retailers are utterly hopeless at the hands of Sony.

For all of us waiting for Xbox and Gamecube, all we can do is site back and watch as we know our perferred companies will not let this happen. Then there is Sega who is cashing in big time on this shortage, because the games look better, play better, and the system is plentiful, for now.

Related Links: FGNOnline

Site :: New Column Posted - posted by Erich Becker at 2:31 pm CDT

ESC Magazine is proud to present our latest article: Rage Against the Machine. This rant column is one man's journey to just get a "damn PDA."

"For many months, I was a huge fan of Urbanfetch. Sure, the site began as a sort of knock-off of Kozmo — both promised deliveries of food, movies, entertainment stuff and other gifts within an hour — but Urbanfetch quickly won my heart with added extras like cookies and T-shirts. These little bonus items were tucked into orders, so that every delivery was like waiting for the Easter Bunny."

Rage Against the Machine Feature

DC :: Test Drive V-Rally Review at GamePen - posted by Erich Becker at 2:29 pm CDT

GamePen has posted a review of the critically acclaimed, Test Drive V-Rally, for the Dreamcast. The game has garnered great reviews for the 80+ tracks and dozens of cars. Check out GamePen's review below.

Test Drive V-Rally DC Review @ GamePen

N64 :: Mario Tennis Review at GameCritics.com - posted by Erich Becker at 2:27 pm CDT

Dale and Ben of GameCritics.com take a swing at Nintendo's mascot-filled flagship tennis title. Both critics were extremely pleased. Here's an excerpt from Dale's review:

"With Camelot's uncanny knack for combining the intricacies of a complex sport and translating it to a console combined with Nintendo's own development prowess, it was a cinch that Mario Tennis would be as good as it is. And while it isn't quite up to the level of the last year's Mario Golf, it could very well make even the most stalwart Super Nintendo fan forget about Super Tennis."

GameCritics.com Review Mario Tennis

Wednesday, November 01, 2000
PC :: Metal Gear Solid Review at GamePen - posted by Erich Becker at 2:21 pm CDT

The guys over at Gamepen have posted a reivew of the Microsoft and Konami's PC version of Metal Gear Solid. Here is a snip:

"Finally, Microsoft ported Metal Gear Solid to the PC. Now I know what all the hype was about. MGS has a captivating story... greed, deception, love, sacrifice, betrayal, revenge... it's all there, wrapped in a plot that has so many twists that right up until the end, you'll never know who you can really trust. Not only that, Microsoft has made the graphics even better than before; you can play in resolutions up to 1024x768, and the game had no problems at all with my GeForce card. "

Metal Gear Solid PC Review @ GamePen

PS2 :: Madden 2001 Review at Game Rankings - posted by Erich Becker at 2:19 pm CDT

Game Rankings has posted a review of Madden NFL 2001 for the Playstation 2.

"Once you get on your way into the game, you'll notice the very shiny, state of the art graphics. The lighting effects and reflections off player's helmets are the absolute best ever in a sports game."

Madden 2001 PS2 Review @ Game Rankings

Media :: Fan Fiction now at Gamesurge - posted by Erich Becker at 2:18 pm CDT

This story hits close to home as I have written my fair share of Video Game Fan Fiction. Gamesurge is launching a fan fiction section and we are here to report on the beginnings. Enjoy.

Gamesurge launches a new feature today with the prologue of a Fan Fiction written by Jodias.

"As the complex patterns of light are intensified, she nears the edge of the leaf canopy, making her way out into the sudden heat of the blazing sun, removing herself from the cool, moist atmosphere of the forest. The narrow path that led from the forest now expands into a small road in which she walks steadily down the center, with her white cloak balancing slightly above the ground. She increases her stride and begins to move faster toward her destination. "

Link: Fan Fiction @ Gamesurge

Tuesday, October 31, 2000
MAC :: F.A.K.K. 2 Set to Ship this Week - posted by Erich Becker at 4:34 pm CDT

Macintosh gamers have been missing out on alot of titles lately, but that seems to be changing. One company that is getting on the Mac bandwagon is Ritual Entertainment, and their publisher G.O.D. Games. Contraband Entertainment in assosiation with Ritual will release Heavy Metal F.A.K.K. 2 at the end of this week. Here is a excerpt of the press release, provided by InsideMacGames.com:

Prepare to enter the surreal Heavy Metal Universe. Ritual Entertainment today announced that a Macintosh version of its third-person action/adventure game Heavy Metal: F.A.K.K.2 (Federation Assigned Ketogenic Killzone) will ship to stores nationwide this week. The game, which was released for the PC in August, is based on Kevin Eastman's Heavy Metal 2000 movie, the sequel to the explosive and groundbreaking animated film Heavy Metal. Published by developer-driven computer and video game publisher Gathering of Developers and distributed by Take Two Interactive, Heavy Metal F.A.K.K.2 will be available for a suggested retail price of $39.99.

"We are bringing dedicated Mac enthusiasts the twisted fun and action of Heavy Metal: F.A.K.K.2 that took PC gamers by storm," said Robert Atkins, Ritual Entertainment co-founder and art director. "We are committed to being important players in the Mac development community and will continue to bring Mac gamers the best gameplay and action through our games."

Featuring artwork and themes from the Heavy Metal 2000 movie, the game is set in the Melting Pot Universe thirty years after the movie leaves off. The player controls Julie as she fights to defend her homeworld Eden from the marauding Gith Industries despoilers. Heavy Metal: F.A.K.K.2 combines exploration and puzzles with a unique fighting-game style combat system for an original hybrid gaming experience.

Thanks go out to InsideMacGames for the press release.

Related Links: Inside Mac Games

DC :: Ultimate Fighting Championship Review - posted by Erich Becker at 4:19 pm CDT

GamePen have put up a review of UFC for the Sega Dreamcast. A very cool game, check out their review below.

UFC (DC) Reviewed @ GamePen

PC :: 10 Scariest Games of Recent Years - posted by Erich Becker at 4:17 pm CDT

Student.co.uk feature 10 of the scariest games of recent years! Just visit this site and follow the Halloween link...

Here's a snippett:
* Storyline - how scary is the basic story? If it's naff, you're not going to jump...
* Supernatural-ity - A made up word for the amount of paranormal activity (or just plain weird stuff) going on in the game.
* Gore Factor - Always a good indication of the mentality of the game, a rating for blood and guts.
* Tie-In Factor - Does the game link to existing horror stories, if so, you're already a bit scared before you play it!
* Original Monsters / Enemies - Are they good and scary or just comical and camp?
* Shocks and Surprises - How high did we jump? How much did we spill?
* Concept - Did the game have a scary concept, does thinking about it make you nervous?
* Violence - Not quite gore, but how nasty, brutal and vicious was the action?
* Believability - If you think it might happen, you're already scared.
* Atmosphere - Overall scariness of the game's setting and characters.

Based on these (highly scientific) categories, we will root out the petrifying from the pants and the schlock from the sloppy.

Site :: NEW Review Posted! - posted by Erich Becker at 4:13 pm CDT

After a day of total downtime, ESC bounces back with a new review for you all. Today's game is nothing more than one of the biggest expansion packs to be released this year. Age of Empires II: The Conquerors is an expansion pack to the wildly successful Age of Empires II from Microsoft. Here is a preview:

"More than in any other genre, real-time strategy has been hit with a steady line of expansion packs. Fans of a well-made RTS game are usually in it for the long haul, playing out every campaign and then moving on to multiplayer, giving strategy gaming its hallmark of replay value. Ensemble Studios’ Age of Empires II was a huge hit, and with good reason. It may have been left behind by the huge advances in graphics made in the wave of games released alongside it, but it surpassed the majority of them in pure gameplay. Now another expansion pack along the same lines as AoE1’s "Rise of Rome" add-on comes in the form of The Conquerors. Little is changed or revolutionized from the original, yet so much is added and improved that no fan of AoE2 should hesitate to shell out the bucks for the hours of play this pack will bring."

Check out the full review here.

Friday, October 27, 2000
Movie :: Tomb Raider The Movie Website is Live - posted by Erich Becker at 4:03 pm CDT

I recently was made aware of this news from Coming Attractions. It follows:

"Paramount's Official Tomb Raider movie website just went live this evening. They've got wallpapers, a word from director Simon West, a night shot of Lara's family home, Croft Manor and the new movie logo (on the right!) Every week a new image will go up, giving fans the opportunity to come back and see what new treasures will surface. Ladies and gentlemen, you may now start your engines. [Thanks to our man Gregory for the word.]"

Thanks go out to Coming Attractions for the scoop!

Related Links: Coming Attractions

Site :: New Review Posted - posted by Erich Becker at 3:57 pm CDT

ESC is now proud to present our review of one of this year's best racing games: Midtown Madness 2. Here is a preview of what reviewer Matt Burawski had to say about the game.

"This is what the gamer is greeted with upon starting up Angel Studios’ new urban arcade racing title, Midtown Madness 2, and after playing the game for days, I see where they’re coming from. Like its predecessor, Midtown Madness 2 touches upon that primal urge that arises within us when we’re sitting in endless traffic waiting for a light to change — to floor it, powerslide down the avenue and knock over streetlight and car alike while laughing with maniacal abandon. MM2 doesn’t make any huge leaps or bounds over the first Midtown game, but why change a good formula? The action is fast, the cities are new and full of license-revoking potential, and the game completely fulfills your road rage fix and then some."

See the rest of our 8 out of 10 review here

Thursday, October 26, 2000
PS2 :: Have You Caught Launch Fever? - posted by Erich Becker at 7:37 pm CDT

The following views are those of Erich Becker, and don't represent the views of ESC Magazine:

A collective groan could be heard for miles around last night as stores sold out of Playstation 2 units and retailers that are up to their ears in Madden 2001. The Playstation 2 is more than likely sold out at every store near you but it won't stop people from ditching school or calling into work to have the hope of bagging one of those purty blue boxes.

Despite Sony's lackluster marketing campaign (I saw the first commercial last night) and the blunder of only having half of the demand supplied, the Playstation 2 is looking to be crowned the king of consoles by breaking the Dreamcast's record for sales in one day. Still 10.26.00 doesn't have the ring that 9.9.99 does.

The Playstation 2 has launched, and stores are being bombarded with calls, and angry customers wondering why a "big retail store" like yours doesn't have more systems. For all of you out there that plan on rushing around town to track down a system and yell at the sales reps when they tell you, "Sold Out." Save your energy, your out of luck.

PS: Buy a Dreamcast you will be much happier, trust me.

Erich Becker


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