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November 06, 2002 - November 15, 2002 - See More Archived News

Friday, November 15, 2002
[PC Gaming] EA Announces Battlefield 1942 Expansion: The Road to Rome - posted by Andy Grieser at 2:02 pm CDT

EA "Paves" the way with Battlefield 1942: The Road to Rome

Electronic Arts is excited to announce the expansion pack, Battlefield 1942: The Road to Rome for the PC. The multiplayer-focused expansion pack will give players more of what they have grown accustomed to with the original BattleField 1942 title, including more maps, more vehicles, and more fighting forces.

The Road to Rome will focus exclusively on the largely underpublicized Italian and Sicilian campaigns of WWII. Players can choose to fight on six new maps including Operation Husky (Sicily) and the battles for Anzio and Monte Cassino. Each map comes with highly detailed environments such as Italian houses, Mediterranean trees and even the Monte Cassino Monastery.

Controllable vehicles are the heart of the Battlefield 1942 experience and The Road To Rome will feature eight new vehicles in addition to the more than 30 in the original title. These include the German BF-110 and British Mosquito twin-engined fighter-bombers. Also debuting are Italian and new British and German tanks and anti-tank guns. New hand-held weapons include the Italian Breda assault rifle, British Sten SMG and bayonets on rifles.

Staying true to the Battlefield 1942 massive multiplayer legacy, The Road To Rome will support up to 64 players (on select maps) and give them the ability to fully experience World War II combat. Playing as several infantry classes, gamers can control many weapons available to the Axis and Allies and command numerous land vehicles, ships and aircraft. Two new fighting forces include the Free French Forces and Italian forces.

Currently under development by Swedish-based Digital Illusions. The Road to Rome is scheduled to be released in early 2003 under the EA GAMES brand. The original Battlefield 1942 is required to play The Road to Rome.

[PC Gaming] Robin Hood Patch Released - posted by Andy Grieser at 2:00 pm CDT

Montreal, Quebec. November 15, 2002 – Strategy First and Spellbound announced earlier today that they have released a small patch for their game, Robin Hood: The Legend of Sherwood.

“We recognize that there is a lag problem while running on Windows 98 or ME and this patch will rectify any and all of the issues the consumer might encounter,” says Adam Phillips, Executive Producer of Third Party Development.

You can find the patch and more details here:

Robin Hood: The Legend of Sherwood comes from the same team that brought us Desperados and it features all the famous characters depicted with incredible accuracy, from Little John’s jubilant laugh to Maid Marian’s soft kindness, and historical locations such as Sherwood Forest and Nottingham Castle are recreated with a detailed realism that brings the legend to life. A legendary story with an adventurous twist!

[GameCube] Rocky Ships for GameCube and Game Boy Advance - posted by Erich Becker at 12:50 pm CDT


Rocky Knocks Out Nintendo GameCube(tm) and Game Boy® Advance Competition

San Francisco, CA - November 15, 2002 - Ubi Soft® Entertainment, one of the world's leading videogame publishers, today announced Rocky for Nintendo GameCube and

Game Boy Advance has shipped. Developed by UK-based Rage Games, LTD, Rocky lets gamers relive each dramatic fight and memorable moment from the Rocky through Rocky V movies. Rocky is rated "T-Teen" on GameCube and "E-Everyone" on Game Boy Advance, and is available for a suggested retail price of $49.99 and $29.99, respectively.

"Rocky is a pop culture icon for millions of people, now a new generation can experience this memorable hero that made movie history and inspired Americans," said Tony Kee, vice president of marketing for Ubi Soft Entertainment. "Nintendo gamers will feel Rocky's emotion and adrenaline-pumping action like no other Nintendo game this holiday!"

Undisputed Boxing Champion of the World!
Officially licensed by MGM Interactive, Rocky the videogame is the closest fans can get to the real thing. The hard-hitting, adrenaline-pumping, sports game holds true to the look and feel of the Academy Award® winning movies with everything from accurate boxing styles to gritty arenas. Rocky lets players take on the role of the 'Italian Stallion' who must fight against the most infamous opponents in movie history - Apollo Creed, Clubber Lang, Ivan Drago and Tommy Gunn. Rocky features more than 20 individual fighters pulled straight from the movies, plus special hidden characters including Rocky's trainer 'Mickey.' Rocky also features realistic damage including bruises, facial swellings, blood, sweat and tears as the action heats up. Additional game features include:

" Multiple Gameplay Modes -- a variety of single and multi-player game modes, including: Movie Mode, Knockout Tournament and Exhibition Bout

" Build Skills through Training - play through a variety of training modes to enhance your boxer's skill and stamina

" Rocky-style Boxing Action -- players can utilize more than 250 fight moves ranging from attacking hooks, jabs and uppercuts through to defensive blocks, ducks and weaves

" Famous Locations - varied fight locations from rundown gyms to the world's best-known arenas
About Ubi Soft:
Ubi Soft Entertainment produces and publishes interactive games worldwide. The group is a leader in its field, and offers a diversified product range that is constantly growing. Ubi Soft develops its own products, and also works with famous developers. The group's ambition is to supply the public with games of excellent quality that allow the sharing of thrilling experiences. Set up in 1986, Ubi Soft has a presence in 22 countries, including the United States, Canada, Germany and China. The group distributes its own products and those of other publishers in more than 50 countries. In the 2000-2001 financial year, its sales reached 260 million euros, an increase of 39.4% over the previous year, with net earnings of 4.6 million euros. www.ubi.com

About Rage:
Rage Software plc, based in Liverpool, UK and established in 1992, is a publisher and developer of interactive entertainment software. Rage publishes and develops games on the Sony PlayStation®2, Microsoft Xbox(tm), Nintendo® GameCube(tm), Game Boy® Advance(tm) and PC CD platforms and is also working on gaming content for new and emerging platforms including mobile phones and interactive digital television. Rage has the exclusive worldwide licenses rights to produce a series of officially licensed games featuring the Manchester United and England soccer star, David Beckham, the MGM Rocky movie anthology featuring Sylvester Stallone, world champion aggressive inline skaters Cesar Mora, Fabiola da Silva and Jon Julio and former SAS soldier and best selling author, Andy McNab. Rage has relationships with Microsoft, Sony, Nintendo, Nokia, Orange and BSkyB and is listed on the London Stock Exchange (FTSE: RGE). http://www.rage.com

About MGM Interactive:
MGM Interactive, a unit of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc. (NYSE: MGM), manages business development and production of interactive products for a variety of multimedia platforms, as well as talent and developer relationships. MGM Interactive's upcoming games include this fall's latest installment to the James Bond videogame franchise, James Bond 007: NightFire, from Electronic Arts; Rocky, from U.K.-based Rage, based on the unforgettable Academy Award® -winning film; The Great Escape, from SCi, derived from the action-packed cult classic; and Robocop from France-based Titus Software. For more information about MGM, visit MGM Online at http://www.mgm.com.

[Console] EA Ships Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets - posted by Andy Grieser at 12:38 pm CDT


Redwood City, CA - November 15, 2002 - Take the wheel of a flying car and don't be late for a second term at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardryä! Electronic Arts (Nasdaq: ERTS), the world's leading interactive entertainment software company, announced today it has shipped Harry Potter and Chamber of Secrets™, J.K. Rowling's second book in the worldwide best-selling series on seven game platforms. The games will be on store shelves November 15, 2002, the same day the highly anticipated movie sequel from Warner Bros. Pictures is released in U.K. and U.S. theatres. Debuting for the first time on next generation game consoles, players get to "Be Harry Potter" on the PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system, Xbox™ video game system from Microsoft and Nintendo GameCube™ in addition to PC, Game Boy® Advance, PlayStation and Game Boy Color.

Since the release of EA's Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone™ last November, the games have sold nearly 10 million units worldwide. This holiday season, the Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets videogames will transport fans from the non-magical world to an even richer, deeper interactive adventure of wizards and wonder, while representing an interactive adaptation of the book's story line. With the help of returning friends Hermione, Ron, Hagridä and Hedwigä, players attend new classes to learn second-year spells that will aid them in a quest to uncover the true identity of the "Heir of Slytherin" and protect Hogwarts from the evil force within the Chamber of Secrets.

Under the supervision of EA, The KnowWonder™ studio of Seattle-based entertainment software developer Amaze Entertainment™ developed Harry Potter and Chamber of Secrets for the PC and Game Boy Color; Argonaut Games, based in London, developed the PlayStation game; Eurocom, based in Darby, England, developed the Xbox, Nintendo GameCube and Game Boy Advance games and EA UK Studio developed the PlayStation 2 game.

The J.K. Rowling Harry Potter books have become a publishing phenomenon with more than 174 million books in circulation worldwide.

[Console] XBox Predicts Rams Win Over Bears - posted by Andy Grieser at 12:37 pm CDT


For most teams it's "you win a few... you lose a few." For the St. Louis Rams this year it's been slightly more dramatic. "You lose five ... you win five."The Rams erased the memory of their dismal 0-5 start and crawled back to the .500 mark by winning their fifth straight game. And for the second straight week they did it with an improbable last second comeback,posting a thrilling 23-20 overtime victory of the Bears on "NFL Fever on Monday Night."

This week "NFL Fever on Monday Night" features the red-hot St. Louis Rams hosting the Chicago Bears.

The teams battled to a 10-10 tie at intermission with Chicago scoring on a Chris Chandler 67-yard touchdown strike to Marcus Robinson and a Paul Edinger 34-yard field goal. St. Louis matched the Bears with Marc Bulger's 50-yard touchdown pass to Terrence Wilkins and Jeff Wilkins' 42-yard field goal.

In the second half, the Bears took a 13-10 lead with Edinger nailing a 41-yard field goal. Chicago then looked to put a nail in St. Louis' coffin as Chandler hit Anthony "A-Train" Thomas for a 7-yard score. Chandler's second touchdown pass of the day gave the Bears a comfortable 20-10 advantage.

But 2:58 left in the game was still plenty of time for Mike Martz's high-powered Rams offense. Bulger proceeded to pick apart the Bears' secondary as St. Louis drove the length of the field. Bulger found Isaac Bruce in the end zone for a 6-yard score cutting the Bears lead to 20-17. The Rams' defense then took over forcing Chicago to punt after a frustrating three and out. St. Louis began their final possession with on their own 21 yard line with just over a minute remaining. Bulger continued to decimate the Chicago defense, hitting Wilkins and Bruce on consecutive 20+ yard pass plays setting up Jeff Wilkins' for a game-tying field goal attempt. Wilkins made good on the effort, splitting the uprights for the 40-yard field goal with no time remaining, completing the comeback and sending the game into overtime.

Chicago won the toss and elected to receive, but continued to struggle on offense. Forced to punt after another three and out, the Bears clearly had nothing left to give. St. Louis easily gained three first downs putting them well within field goal range. Wilkins proceeded to hit the 36-yard game-winning field goal to give the Rams their fifth straight win, 23-20. Bulger was named Player of the Game finishing 22 of 37 for 310 yards and 2 touchdowns.

Today, Microsoft announced the results of week 11 of "NFL Fever on Monday Night."
"NFL Fever on Monday Night" is a simulated highlight reel, game summary and statistics which appears every Friday on www.xbox.com previewing the upcoming Monday Night game. All games are played in incredibly realistic replicas of NFL stadiums, using Microsoft Game Studios' "NFL Fever 2003" for Xbox.

Last week, "NFL Fever on Monday Night" returned to its winning ways with a correct upset prediction of Oakland over Denver and has now correctly predicted six of the last seven Monday Night contests.

To see this week's simulated highlight reel, game summary and statistics visit www.xbox.com. Be sure to check back in Week Twelve when the Philadelphia Eagles travel to Candlestick to take on the San Francisco 49ers.

"NFL Fever 2003", which features cover athlete and spokesperson Peyton Manning, is available in stores for the suggested retail price of $49.99 exclusively for Xbox.

[Console] Impossible Creatures University Marks Launch of Relic Developer's Network - posted by Andy Grieser at 12:34 pm CDT

Impossible Creatures University Marks Launch of Relic Developer's Network

Modding These Creatures is Anything But Impossible

Microsoft Game Studios and Relic Entertainment held the Impossible Creatures University (ICU) in Vancouver, Canada last week to herald the launch of the Relic Developer 's Network (RDN), a site dedicated to modding Relic’s games. Seven modders were invited to get acquainted with the Impossible Creatures mod tools at Relic Entertainment's headquarters for three days of intense, personal training by the developers.

On the RDN site (http://www.relic.com/rdn), new members are invited to download Impossible Creatures mod tools well in advance of the release of the game. The IC Tools Installer comprises a suite of tools including the Mission, Objects, FX and Sound Editors. The animal combiner test application and complete documentation are also included in the package.

Set in the 1930s, Impossible Creatures is a 3-D RTS game that pits players against an evil madman in a desperate campaign across a chain of remote and diverse islands. Using Earth's most formidable animals as building blocks, players create an army of genetically altered mutant monsters in a struggle to protect an unsuspecting world. Impossible Creatures takes the RTS genre to the next level with streamlined, fast-paced combat gameplay. Developed by Relic Entertainment Inc., the title is scheduled for U.S. release on January 7, 2003. More information about Impossible Creatures is available at

[Community] GamesXtreme Reviews Colin McRae Rally 3 (PS2) - posted by Erich Becker at 9:19 am CDT

The good folks over at GamesXtreme have reviewed the latest from Codemasters on the PS2. Check out a clip of their review of Colin McRae Rally 3 and then hit the link below for the full review.

"CMR3 is fantastic and i (sic) feel ill (sic) be playing it for a long time. This is the best driing game of recent times."

Related Links: See the Full Review!

[Education] New Game Art & Design Degree at Ai of California - posted by Erich Becker at 9:17 am CDT


-Art at foundation of The Art Institute of California-Orange County’s unique new academic program to develop talent for Southland video game industry-

SANTA ANA, Calif., Nov. 7 – Parents across America will be relieved to learn that their teenage video game aficionados could turn their obsession into a college path and eventual career. The Art Institute of California-Orange County has joined its sister schools in San Francisco and Los Angeles to offer a unique new bachelor’s degree program in Game Art & Design to bring a new generation of talent to the computer game industry.

Launched in July, the Game Art & Design bachelor’s program is designed for students who want to prepare for entry-level art positions in the game development field. Geared toward 3-D animation and game level design, the program’s students will learn character animation techniques, complex modeling, texture mapping, game level design and how to script within the game. Through traditional art and design courses like life drawing, color theory, illustration and sculpture, students also will create interactive game levels and learn to make computer game animation come alive with movement, color and action characters.

Students will apply knowledge of video and animation to produce game products using 2-D software to create backgrounds, 3-D modeling and animation software to create game art, and 3-D software to apply textures. The students also will receive a broad-based education that will include classes in art history and the humanities. By exposing students to classic art forms, they are able to incorporate more variety into their writing styles and animation sequences.

With nearly 50 current students, the program will prepare future game developers to produce story lines and animations filled with creativity and inventive cleverness. The action and suspense that challenge people as they play video games can be accomplished through intelligent story writing. The curriculum also includes general education courses in areas such as mathematics and the social sciences.
The growing field of companies producing computer games is actively seeking artists trained in the art of computer animation and experienced with computer technologies—in Orange County alone there are
game entertainment companies like, Interplay Entertainment, Bizzard Entertainment, Shiny Entertainment, and GameSpy Industries. Computer and video game sales could approach $17 billion in 2003, with another $1.1 billion in online gaming revenues, according to IDC. The game industry includes
video games played on console game systems, personal computers and handhelds. According to Forrester Research, nearly 49 million American homes today have at least one video game system. Nearly 75 million homes are projected to have systems by 2005, achieving a 70 percent penetration level.

The Art Institutes’ Game Art & Design program was designed by a faculty curriculum committee and professional advisory boards of industry experts, including specialists with work experience at Sega of America, Macromedia, Konami, Pixar, LucasArts, Sonique, Terra Lycos, PDI/Dreamworks and Apple. The program gives students a curriculum that responds to the ongoing changes in the game development and multimedia industries, ensuring that students graduate with the skills and knowledge that employers need. Students learn about the changing demands in the business world through a regular series of guest speakers.

Potential students interested in the Orange County Game Art & Design program are invited to call 888. 549.3055, 714.830.0200 or visit www.aicaoc.aii.edu for curriculum and admissions information.

About The Art Institute of California-Orange County
The Art Institute of California -Orange County offers bachelor’s of science degrees in Graphic Design, Interior Design, Game Art & Design, Media Arts & Animation and Multimedia & Web Design; and associate’s of science degrees in Culinary Arts, Graphic Design and Multimedia & Web Design. Located in the heart of Orange County’s South Coast Metro region, the newly built 55,000 sq. ft. school is one of The Art Institutes (www.artinstitutes.edu), a system of 24 education institutions located nationwide, providing an important source of design, media arts, fashion and culinary professionals. The parent company of The Art Institutes, Education Management Corporation (EDMC (www.edumgt.com) is among the largest providers of private post-secondary education in North America, with 40 primary campus locations in 26 major cities, and with approximately 39,000 students as of fall 2001. EDMC’s education institutions offer doctoral, master’s, bachelor's, associate's and non-degree programs concentrated in the creative and visual arts, the behavioral sciences and education fields. EDMC has provided career-oriented academic programs for 40 years, and its education institutions have more than 135,000 alumni.
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[Xbox] UbiSoft Teams up with SoBe, Palm for Splinter Cell (Xbox) Marketing - posted by Erich Becker at 9:15 am CDT

Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell™ Attracts Co-Marketing Deals In Anticipation Of Consumer Frenzy

San Francisco, CA – November 14, 2002 – Ubi Soft® Entertainment, one of the world’s leading video game publishers, today announced multiple co-marketing deals for Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell™, one of the most highly anticipated games of the holiday season. Generating huge buzz among consumers who set the trends and wield major buying power, Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell for the Xbox™ video game system from Microsoft has attracted SoBe Adrenaline Rush, owned by Pepsi, as well as Palm, Inc., for in-game marketing programs.

“The technical intensity of Sam Fisher’s character is a perfect fit with SoBe Adrenaline Rush,” said SoBe Sr. VP of Marketing, Renee Coughlin. “The relationship with the game makes sense, because similar to ‘Splinter Cell,’ SoBe Adrenaline Rush is engineered to deliver a fun, energizing experience to consumers.”

Both SoBe and Palm will be featured in the actual game, with Sam Fisher getting his top-secret assignments via his special Palm handheld. Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell is now featured on SoBe’s website at http://www.sobeadrenalinerush.com for a pre launch promotion where prizes include Xbox video game systems, games and more. The game will also be featured at Comdex, which runs November 18-22 in the Las Vegas Convention Center in Palm’s theater presentation (booth #7961). Splinter Cell will also be featured within Palm’s Software Connection newsletter sent out to approximately 800,000 Palm handheld owners.

“Associating Palm with Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell gives us access to a strong, loyal fan base who are typically the early adopters of the latest technology,” said Caitlin Spaan, Director of Marketing Programs at Palm, Inc.

“We’ve been approached by many companies looking to take part in the anticipated success of Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell,” said Jill Steinberg, Media and Promotions Director of Ubi Soft Entertainment. “We believe SoBe and Palm epitomize the spirit of this exciting game and we look forward to their involvement.”

Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell is the most recent addition to Ubi Soft’s Tom Clancy franchise, which includes top-selling games such as Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon, and Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six series. The Clancy games are recognized throughout the game industry for consistently delivering a top-notch game experience, earning the Clancy franchise the distinction of being the number two best-selling shooter franchise across all platforms. Each game is stamped with Clancy’s signature style: heightened reality, elite forces, the best equipment and the theme of good vs. evil in the struggle against terrorism. Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell is the first third-person stealth-action game in the series and is expected to broaden the Clancy game fan base by attracting a diverse mix of hardcore and casual gamers.

Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell ships to retail stores on November 18th.

[PlayStation2] EA Releases The Simpons: Skateboarding (PS2) - posted by Erich Becker at 9:12 am CDT


REDWOOD CITY, Calif., November 14, 2002 - Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ: ERTS) and Fox Interactive today announced the North American release of The SimpsonsTM Skateboarding for the PlayStation 2 computer entertainment system. Join Bart, Homer, Marge, Lisa and Maggie and other famous neighbors from the popular television show, as they enjoy a wild skateboarding ride through Springfield.

The Annual Skate Tour has come to Springfield, and the entire town has gone skate crazy on the half-pipes, ramps, and rails. Springfield has been converted into a skate park jammed with skate-able objects and landmarks that mirror images in the TV series, from Itchy and Scratchy Land to Sir Putt-A-Lot's from the Springfield Gorge to Krusty-lu Studios. The Simpsons world comes to life with characters' voices recorded by the actual voice talent from the television show.

Players will play one of nine characters from the television show, as they compete for the grand prize. Each character has over 40 unique moves such as Bart's "In Your Dreams," and Homer's "Stinkyfish" Players can test their skills in a two-player head-to-head skate off or go for broke in the fast and furious modes: Freeskate, Skate Fest, Trick Contest, and a good game of skateboard H-O-R-S-E, unlocking additional characters and locations as well as dozens of hidden skateboards. Players will also have a unique opportunity to learn all the moves and tricks before they begin the game in the Skillz School mode.

The Simpsons Skateboarding was developed by United Kingdom-based The Code Monkeys. The game is rated "T" (Teen) by the ESRB and carries an MSRP of US $39.99. More information can be found about the game at http://info.ea.com/internal.php?id=131 and http://www.simpsonsskate.ea.com

About Electronic Arts
Electronic Arts (EA), headquartered in Redwood City, California, is the world's leading interactive entertainment software company. Founded in 1982, Electronic Arts posted revenues of more than $1.7 billion for fiscal 2002. The company develops, publishes and distributes software worldwide for the Internet, personal computers and video game systems. Electronic Arts markets its products under four brand names: EA SPORTSTM, EA SPORTS BIGTM, EA GAMES TM and EA.COMSM. More information about EA's products and full text of press releases can be found on the Internet at http://www.ea.com.

About Fox Interactive
Fox Interactive, an operating unit of Fox Filmed Entertainment, a News Corporation company, produces and co-publishes video game and computer game software based on Fox franchises as well as new and original properties. Fox Interactive hit releases include: The Simpsons Road Rage, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Aliens vs. Predator 1 & 2 and the highly anticipated sequel to The Operative: No One Lives Forever, which garnered critical acclaim and received numerous awards worldwide including "Action Game of the Year" by PC Gamer, Computer Gaming World & Computer Games magazines. Upcoming products include: Dark Angel and Die Hard Vendetta.

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Related Links: See More at EA.com

[Xbox] Kakuto Chojin (Xbox) Heads to Stores - posted by Erich Becker at 9:11 am CDT

"Kakuto Chojin" Busts Heads Onto Store Shelves

Microsoft Game Studios today announced that "Kakuto Chojin," the brutally realistic 3D fighting game created by Dream Publishing for the Xbox video game system, is now available in stores across North America for the estimated retail price of $49.95 (U.S.). Players will take to back alleys, burned out warehouses and the streets for a chance to prove their worth in the ultimate fight club.

"Kakuto Chojin" features 12 different fighters, stunningly realistic strikes and a revolutionary Battle Royal mode, which allows four players to compete at the same time. For more information, visit http://www.xbox.com/kakutochojin/

"Kakuto Chojin" is a gritty street fight. Dark, edgy and mysterious battles take place in dark alleys and on rain-soaked rooftops. Combatants fight with raw emotion using their own styles. There is nothing cute, comical or cartoon-like about these battles. It's a life-or-death battle for survival. When a fighter strikes, his or her opponent will know it. "Kakuto Chojin" represents the next level in street-fighting realism.

Dream Publishing was established in 2000 by Seiichi Ishii, who previously worked as the designer for "Tobal" and "The Bouncer".

Xbox (http://www.xbox.com/) is Microsoft’s future-generation video game system that delivers the most powerful games experiences ever. Xbox empowers game artists by giving them the technology to fulfill their creative visions as never before, creating games that blur the lines between fantasy and reality. Xbox is now available in North America, Japan, Europe and Australia.

Related Links: See More at Xbox.com

[Console] XBox Live Arrives in Stores - posted by Andy Grieser at 7:55 am CDT

Xbox Live Arrives in Stores, Sparking the Next Revolution in Video Games

The Ultimate Online Arena Opens for Xbox Game Players To Play and Talk With Each Other Throughout North America

LOS ANGELES — Nov. 15, 2002 — Microsoft Corp. today announced that tens of thousands of U.S. and Canadian video game players are expected to rush to retail stores today to purchase the Xbox Live™ Starter Kit so they can enter the first comprehensive, online game arena fully dedicated to fast-action broadband gaming experiences. Once at home, players will be able to come together online on Xbox Live to connect, play and talk with each other during their game sessions and join the thousands of beta testers already playing nine launch titles.

“The online arena is officially open, and the days of sitting alone silently playing video games in the living room are over,” said J Allard, general manager of Xbox at Microsoft. “We’re thrilled to be bringing the next step in social entertainment and community to console gaming. This is uncharted territory for most players, and we can’t wait to see friends connect and have rivals duke it out to become the superstars and heroes of Xbox Live.”

With Xbox Live, players can connect with each other across the country, chatting with old friends and meeting new ones to share game experiences online, no matter where they are or what time of day it is. With a broad lineup of sports, action, racing, first-person shooters and role-playing games set to roll out in the coming months, Xbox™ players will be able to test themselves against a wide variety of opponents on a unified service.

Today, more than 10,000 U.S. and Canadian retail outlets began selling the Xbox Live Starter Kit for an estimated price of $49.99 (U.S.)/$79.99 (CDN). For the average price of a new game, the kit includes a one-year subscription to Xbox Live, the highly anticipated Xbox Communicator headset, and online trial versions of THQ Inc.’s “MotoGP” and “Whacked!™” from Microsoft Game Studios, so players can start competing against their friends right away. All Xbox units come with a built-in Ethernet port and hard drive, enabling any Xbox owner to plug into Xbox Live through almost any high-speed Internet service provider.

Retail programs will be supported by a multimillion-dollar marketing campaign that will include advertising, retail communications and promotional activities.

“There’s a tremendous amount of anticipation around online gaming this holiday,” said Peter Roithmayr, vice president of merchandising at EB Games. “Our presales indicate that gamers can’t wait to get connected to Xbox Live. We’re on track to sell our entire allocation on day one.”

Nine Xbox Live-enabled games are already on retail shelves, and up to 14 total are scheduled to be available at retail by the end of the holiday season. Among the titles expected this holiday are these:

“MechAssault” (Microsoft Game Studios). In “MechAssault™,” players pilot the most powerful weapon of the 31st century, a 40-foot-tall walking tank known as a BattleMech. In this third-person action game, players can destroy every structure in the world. Players choose from 10 BattleMechs, ranging from quick 30-tonners to menacing 100-ton war machines, all with different weapon configurations and armament. Players will challenge themselves in more than 20 single-player missions. “MechAssault” also launches as one of the premier titles on Xbox Live. Players can enjoy an onslaught of high-intensity multiplayer action, with enough downloadable content to keep the destruction fresh for a long time to come.

“NFL Fever 2003” (Microsoft Game Studios). Easy to pick up and start playing, “NFL Fever 2003” delivers all the action and excitement of the National Football League, allowing gamers to create, play and control their ultimate NFL team. With the opportunity to earn all the accolades and honors of an NFL superstar, “NFL Fever 2003” challenges hard-core football fans and gamers to be the best in the world. The realism and gameplay of “NFL Fever 2003” provide gamers and football fans with the ultimate NFL experience.

“Unreal Championship” (Infogrames Inc.). The latest addition to the “Unreal” universe will immerse console gamers in the adrenaline-packed first-person frag-fest that has revolutionized PC gaming. Designing the game specifically for Xbox and the Xbox controller, developer Digital Extremes has incorporated console-specific features such as joypad-activated special moves, double jumps and power-ups to keep gamers glued to their couches with knuckle-whitened tension.

"Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon™” (Ubi Soft Entertainment). Eastern Europe, 2008. War has broken out on the borders of Russia, and the fate of the world hangs in the balance. That’s when the call goes out for the Ghosts: an elite handful of specially trained Green Berets, armed with the latest technology and trained to use the deadliest weapons. Their mission: Spearhead the way for a NATO peacekeeping force and keep the lid on the conflict before it mushrooms.

“Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell™” (Ubi Soft). “Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell” has won numerous awards, including the E3 Game Critics Award for best action game and the ECTS overall best game of the show award. The tension-filled stealth action espionage thriller also earned the highest game review score ever given by Official Xbox Magazine, a 9.6, which earned it an Editor’s Choice Award. Downloadable content of this game will be available for Xbox Live.

“SEGA Sports™ NFL 2K3” (SEGA Sports). Building upon championship-caliber gameplay and presentation, “NFL 2K3” raises the bar with new lifelike player animations, convincing play-calling intelligence, an on-the-fly audible system, a redesigned Franchise Mode, and a brand-new ESPN broadcast system with the famous overlays, scores and highlights beloved by all sports fans.

“SEGA Sports NHL® 2K3” (SEGA Sports). With more than just familiar faces and numbers, “SEGA Sports NHL 2K3” delivers player realism down to size, skill and behavior, resulting in individuals that exhibit accurate styles of play. Now grinders battle for pucks in the corners and against the boards, elite players see the ice and create opportunities, and fast skaters exploit their speed. The only online hockey video game this season, “SEGA Sports NHL 2K3” is the closest thing to actually stepping onto the ice.

“SEGA Sports™ NBA® 2K3” (SEGA Sports). Imagine jump shots so real players actually adjust their movement in midair based on distance from the hoop and defensive pressure; a passing touch that gives players the control to skirt a defender or start a fast break; and dribble moves that let them jab left, rock right, cross over, spin and much more. SEGA Sports “NBA 2K3” has captured the essence of true NBA-style basketball and given the gamer complete control in the ultimate pro basketball simulation.

"SEGA Sports NCAA® Basketball 2K3” (SEGA Sports). SEGA expands its library of sports simulations by bringing its dominant basketball lineage to the college hardwood. Complete with more than 300 Division I teams, authentic rankings system including a weekly top 25 and bubble watch, classic and custom tournaments and a comprehensive Legacy Mode, “SEGA Sports NCAA College Basketball 2K3” delivers the most-authentic college basketball experience this winter.

“ToeJam and Earl™ III: Mission to Earth” (SEGA). Gamers can join ToeJam, Big Earl and Latisha as they set out on a mission to recover the 12 sacred Albums of Funk. Utilizing Funk-Fu and a zany assortment of gadgets, players will battle the evil Anti-Funk to pump funk back into the world. Downloadable content of this game will be available for Xbox Live.

“Capcom® vs. SNK 2: EO” (Capcom® Co. Ltd. ). Players now have the opportunity to fireball, uppercut and trash-talk any challenger from opposite ends of the continent. Players can join 44 brawlers from Capcom’s legendary “Street Fighter” and SNK’s world-renowned “King of Fighters” series as they battle for universal domination. To settle the score, a massive martial arts event is arranged to eliminate all conflicts. Many of the world’s most famous warriors have entered, and the public is crazy with anticipation. This will be the ultimate collision of strength and power.

“MX Superfly Featuring Ricky Carmichael” (THQ®). This next installment in the top-selling motocross series boasts several new features, including an enhanced freestyle mode with all-new tricks, expansive environments and wide-open worlds for gamers to explore. A powerful freestyle stunt track editor allows players to create and design the ultimate motocross course. Players will reap the rewards of racing through an entire season of pulse-pounding motocross action and be able to download new tracks, bikes and rider skins through Xbox Live. Numerous hidden characters, including rock-rap superstar and motocross enthusiast Vanilla Ice, and bikes, add to the mix while ESPN commentators Cameron Steele and Davey Coombs join in for all the fun. Downloadable content of this game will be available for Xbox Live.
Full versions of “Whacked!” from Microsoft Game Studios and “MotoGP” from THQ, two online trial games included in the Xbox Live Starter Kit, also are available at retail.

“Whacked!” (Microsoft Game Studios). “Whacked!” is a fast and furious combat game in which eight demented contestants are pitted against each other in the world’s most irreverent and dangerous game show. When contestants take the stage, all hell breaks loose as free-for-all combat ensues. Contestants must use power-ups and zany weapons such as giant staplers and rubber-ducky grenades to flatten their opponents to win a once-in-a-lifetime grand prize.

“MotoGP: Online Demo” (THQ). In “MotoGP: Online Demo” players will have access to 23 riders as well as three courses: Jerez, Mugello and Sachsenring. The demo version lets gamers check out two gameplay modes: “Play Live” allows them to race against 16 other Xbox Live players and trash talk with the three closest riders using the Xbox Communicator, while “Time Trial” lets them attempt to set the best lap time in a solo race. For those who already own the full version of “MotoGP,” the Xbox Live Starter Kit will completely unlock online play for all the tracks in the game.
More than 50 Xbox Live-enabled games — including “Counter-Strike,” “Midtown Madness® 3,” “Halo™ 2” and “Project Gotham Racing™ 2” from Microsoft Game Studios and “Star Wars® Galaxies: Empire Divided™” from LucasArts Entertainment Co. — are scheduled to launch in 2003 and beyond. More than 60 game publishers are currently working on Xbox Live-enabled games.

Gamers who sign onto Xbox Live will benefit from consistent features the service provides across games from all publishers, including these:

Gamertag. Players have a single identity across the entire global gaming service. Gamertags are a player’s call sign or alias. Players only get one gamertag per account, so their reputations will be on the line.

Friends list. Using the gamertags, players will be able to find their friends online and invite them to a game, no matter which Xbox Live game they’re playing.

Xbox Communicator. Voice communication is integrated into all Xbox Live multiplayer games, enabling teammates and opponents to speak to one another during games. Key elements of this feature exclusive to Xbox include voice masking, global muting and parental control.

Matchmaking. QuickMatch allows players to enter a multiplay experience with a single button click, and with the OptiMatch™ game matchmaking system, an Xbox Live exclusive, players will be able to select games and opponents based on similar skill levels.

Ability to download content to the Xbox hard disk. Only Xbox enables console players to download and permanently store both free and fee-based content that can include new levels, characters, missions and statistics.

A beta program of Xbox Live service is scheduled to be launched in Europe and Japan this year. Gamers in these markets will have the opportunity to join Xbox Live players in North America when the service completes beta testing in early 2003. Xbox Live is scheduled to launch in Japan on Jan. 16, 2003, and in Europe on March 14, 2003.

Thursday, November 14, 2002
[MacGaming] World War II Online (Mac, PC) Announced for Mac - posted by Erich Becker at 2:17 pm CDT


Montreal, Quebec. September 17, 2002 – Strategy First, Playnet and Cornered Rat Software announced today that they will be bringing the World War II Online game experience to a new audience: Mac addicts.

“We are thrilled to be bringing this unique gaming experience to all those Mac gamers out there,” says Steve Milburn, Director of Marketing at Strategy First. “Now a whole new audience will be joining the virtual battlefield, adding even more excitement to the game.”

World War II Online Mac Edition is an online combined arms simulation set in a relentless, action-packed environment where players can command and crew a variety of accurately modeled vehicles and aircraft, sling weapons, and fight as foot soldiers with and against thousands of other gamers. Set in the early war years, it includes equipment and major battle points: strongholds, fortresses, forests, rivers and more – much as it was on the battlefields of Europe.

WWII Online is still the first and only massively multiplayer first-person virtual battlefield that covers a ˝ scale map of Europe with accurate terrain modeling. It allows thousands of players to fight 24/7 in a persistent world in which character advancement and career paths provide a rich RPG layer, and strategic systems are driven by player missions and command structures. An extensive web-based player services package provided by www.playnet.com is integrated with gameplay. Players from around the world can take part in creating new history while fighting on the battlefields and in the skies of Europe.

“Our development team has worked to ensure that gameplay is identical across all platforms and we’re excited to welcome fresh recruits to the battle,” says Al Corey, Executive Producer at Playnet. “The response by the Mac community to our beta tests showed us that the Mac community has been waiting a long time for a MMOG like WWII Online and we’re ready for them”.

World War II Online Mac Edition also contains special bonus items, such as a large foldout wall map of the game world, the official music track, and 20 original illustrations and wallpapers inspired by the game.

World War II Online Mac Edition will be distributed throughout North America exclusively by Infogrames and is set to ship in early November.

Related Links: Visit Strategy First's Website

[GameCube] Zelda: Ocarina of Time on GameCube (Japan) - posted by Erich Becker at 9:05 am CDT

The Legend of Zelda: The Ocarina of Time will be available for the Nintendo GameCube through a pre-order campaign in Nintendo's home country of Japan.

Those who pre-order the new Zelda game for the GameCube will recieve a disc that contains The Ocarina of Time and it's 64DD add-on pack that was never released, due to the 64DD's death.

The disc will also contain movies for Biohazard 4 (Resident Evil 4) and the new F-Zero game developed by Sega. It remains to be seen if any enhancements will be attributed to the game, or if it will be released in the United States, but the game is rumored to be in development by US based NST which previously developed WaveRace: Blue Storm and Ridge Racer 64.

More as it develops.

Erich's Opinion: Hell freaking yeah!

[Community] Hardware-Unlimited Reviews P4 3.06GHz Processor - posted by Erich Becker at 9:00 am CDT

Hardware-Unlimited, part of the 3D-Unlimited Network, has posted a review of the new Pentium 4 3.06Ghz with Hyper-threading technology! In the review, we run the processor through a million benchmarks and test hyper-threading to see how much performance increase it actually offers and we were quite suprised! Check it out!

Quote: "Today marks a day very many people have been waiting for: the arrival of the new Pentium 4 3.06Ghz with Hyper-threading technology. This is another milestone for Intel for two reasons. First, they are the first to reach the 3Ghz mark, second, they have finally implemented their hyper-threading technology into their desktop line of processors, which has performed very well in their server and workstation processors."

Related Links: See the Full Review!

[Community] Download Raven Shield Multiplayer Demo Early - posted by Erich Becker at 8:59 am CDT

The demo isn't suppose to be available to 5PM GMT, but fellow review site Gamer's Hell has posted three mirrors for the multiplayer Raven Shield Demo. Hit the link below to download it early!

Related Links: Proceed to the Mirrors!

[Community] Khabal Gaming Reviews Frontline Attack (PC) - posted by Erich Becker at 8:57 am CDT

Fellow review site Khabal Gaming has reviewed Frontline Attack: War Over Europe for the PC. Check out this snippet of the review, and hit the link below for the full thing.

"One of the greatest things about Frontline Attack is the amount of effort put into detailing the units and structures. Infantry units are designed in scale with vehicles and buildings, and all their movements are extremely lifelike."

Related Links: See The Full Review at Khabal

[Xbox] MechAssault (Xbox) with Xbox Live Support in Stores - posted by Erich Becker at 8:55 am CDT

“MechAssault” Offers Xbox Players the Ultimate Action Experience

Microsoft Game Studios Delivers the Highly Anticipated “MechAssault” With Xbox Live Capability

REDMOND, Wash. — Nov. 12, 2002 — Piloting a futuristic massive battle tank while in the living room has never been so thrilling. Microsoft Game Studios today announced that the breakthrough action game “MechAssault™” is in stores for the Xbox™ video game system and Xbox Live™, Microsoft Corp.’s premier online game service scheduled to launch in North America Nov. 15. Subscriptions to the service, including the Xbox Live Starter Kit, are available for the estimated retail price of $49.95 (U.S.). “MechAssault,” developed by Day 1 Studios LLC, is one of the most highly anticipated games of 2002 for the Xbox video game system and Xbox Live service.

With “MechAssault,” players pilot the most powerful weapon of the 31st century, a 40-foot-tall walking tank known as a BattleMech. In this third-person action game, players can destroy every structure in the world. Players choose from 10 BattleMechs, ranging from quick 30-tonners to menacing 100-ton war machines, all with different weapon configurations and armament. There are also variants of the 10 BattleMechs, each containing an alternate weapon loadout.

“With ‘MechAssault’ launching this holiday season, players will find a brilliantly designed single-player game and the rush of nonstop action,” said Ed Fries, vice president of Xbox Game Content at Microsoft. “‘MechAssault’ also launches as one of the premier titles on Xbox Live. Gamers can enjoy an onslaught of high-intensity multiplayer action, with enough downloadable content to keep the destruction fresh for a long time to come.”

Combining the rich 19-year BattleTech history with engaging heroic characters and nonstop action, “MechAssault” features advanced graphics technology that highlights a gorgeous 3-D world with jaw-dropping graphics and amazing special effects. Players will battle it out in intricate cityscapes, massive war-torn battlefields and beautiful natural environments.

“Day 1 Studios and ‘MechAssault’ have benefited from a collaborative relationship with Microsoft Game Studios, and I can’t thank them enough for their support,” said Denny Thorley, executive producer at Day 1 Studios. “We’re very proud of everything that we’ve done with ‘MechAssault’ and are confident that the collaborative efforts have produced an outstanding game that is not only great fun to play, but shows off Xbox and Xbox Live in amazing ways.”

“MechAssault” offers players incredible multiplayer experiences available only on Xbox. “MechAssault” will ship with complete Xbox Live software (subscription sold separately), System Link and split-screen multiplayer capabilities. Players who have subscribed to Xbox Live can find friends online, interact with the competition or strategize with a teammate using the real-time voice communication feature found on the Xbox Communicator. Utilizing the “MechAssault” multiplayer matchmaking system, up to eight players can play together via QuickMatch or OptiMatch™ system on Xbox Live, or on a local area network (LAN) via System Link.

“MechAssault” also will allow subscribers to Xbox Live to download new content through the service after the game is released. By providing fresh game content periodically, Xbox Live brings players new, action-packed worlds of excitement. Players across the world can update “MechAssault” with new multiplayer environments, game types and BattleMechs. With the Xbox Live service, players have access to “MechAssault” updates that will continually expand their gameplay experience.

More information on “MechAssault” is available online at http://www.xbox.com/mechassault/default.htm. “MechAssault” is available in stores at an estimated retail price of $49.95 (U.S.).

About Day 1 Studios

Day 1 Studios is an independent developer dedicated to the craft of creating revolutionary, interactive entertainment through superior design, artistic and technical processes. With a heritage spawned from premier development houses, Day 1 operates studios in Chicago and Hunt Valley, Md.

About Xbox Live

Xbox Live is the first comprehensive, online game arena fully dedicated to fast-action broadband gaming experiences. Xbox Live will allow gamers to play multiplayer Xbox games with other gamers everywhere via a high-speed Internet connection. With a built-in hard drive and Ethernet port, the Xbox console was built from the ground up to be an online gaming system.

Xbox Live will enable 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.

About Xbox

Xbox (http://www.xbox.com/) is Microsoft’s future-generation video game system that delivers the most powerful games experiences ever. Xbox empowers game artists by giving them the technology to fulfill their creative visions as never before, creating games that blur the lines between fantasy and reality. Xbox is now available in North America, Japan, Europe, Australia, New Zealand and Mexico.

About Microsoft Game Studios

Microsoft Game Studios is a leading worldwide publisher and developer of games for the PC, Xbox video game system and online platforms. Comprising a network of top developers, Microsoft Game Studios is committed to creating innovative and diverse game portfolios for the PC (http://www.microsoft.com/games/), including such franchises as “Age of Empires®,” “Flight Simulator” and “Zoo Tycoon™”; Xbox (http://www.xbox.com/), including such franchises as “Halo™,” “Project Gotham Racing™” and “NFL Fever”; and Zone.com (http://www.zone.com/), the official games channel for the MSN® network and home to such hits as “Bejeweled” and “OutSmart™.”

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and Internet technologies for personal and business computing. The company offers a wide range of products and services designed to empower people through great software — any time, any place and on any device.

[PCGaming] EA Ships Medal of Honor: Allied Assault Spearhead (PC) - posted by Erich Becker at 8:53 am CDT


REDWOOD CITY, Calif. - November 12, 2002 - Help the Allies win victory in freedom's finest hour and to liberate occupied Europe from Nazi tyranny. Electronic Arts (Nasdaq: ERTS) announced today that it has shipped Medal of Honor Allied Assault Spearhead, the new expansion pack for the highly acclaimed WWII PC action title, Medal of Honor Allied Assault .

The Medal of Honor Allied Assault Spearhead expansion pack* has owners of Medal of Honor Allied Assault assuming the role of Sergeant Jack Barnes while continuing their fight from behind enemy lines in Normandy on D-Day to the Battle of the Bulge to the Fall of Berlin and the defeat of the thousand year Reich. More over, the game includes nine new single-player levels and over 12 new multi-player levels. Players can play as British, American, German and Soviet troops in an enhanced multi-player mode. Additionally, players have the ability to choose from a vast arsenal of authentic Soviet, British, American and German weapons.

*Requires Medal of Honor Allied Assault to play.

Medal of Honor Allied Assault Spearhead for the PC carries a "T"(Teen) rating from the ESRB and is priced at US MSRP $29.99. Medal of Honor Allied Assault Spearhead was developed by EALA. More information is available on the product site at http://www.mohaa.ea.com/.

About Electronic Arts
Electronic Arts (EA), headquartered in Redwood City, California, is the world's leading interactive entertainment software company. Founded in 1982, Electronic Arts posted revenues of more than $1.7 billion for fiscal 2002. The company develops, publishes and distributes software worldwide for the Internet, personal computers and video game systems. Electronic Arts markets its products under four brand names: EA SPORTSTM, EA GAMESTM, EA SPORTS BIG™ and EA.COMSM. More information about EA's products and full text of press releases can be found on the Internet at http://www.info.ea.com.

Related Links: See More Info on Medal of Honor for the PC

[PlayStation2] EA Ships Shox (PS2) - posted by Erich Becker at 8:51 am CDT


REDWOOD CITY, Calif. - November 12, 2002 - Electronic Arts (Nasdaq:ERTS), the world's leading interactive entertainment software company, announced today that it has shipped Shox for the PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system. Racing rookies as well as seasoned speed demons will hit the circuit to compete in amped-up arcade-style off-road car racing.

Jumping into one of 24 licensed high voltage vehicles from Porsche®, BMW®, Subaru®, Toyota™, Ford™, and other manufacturers, players race through three-lap circuits on dirt, snow, and asphalt. Sliding through dusty roads, slipping on ice, and shredding through tree-lined dirt trails, it's crowded on the open road, as six competing cars try to muscle into prime position, wreaking havoc along the way. Additionally, up to 4 players can compete for top rankings in a multiplayer split-screen mode.

Shox for the PlayStation®2 carries an "E"(Everyone) rating from the ESRB and is priced at US MSRP $49.99. Shox was developed by Electronic Arts UK.

About Electronic Arts
Electronic Arts (Nasdaq: ERTS), headquartered in Redwood City, California, is the world's leading interactive entertainment software company. Founded in 1982, Electronic Arts posted revenues of more than $1.7 billion for fiscal 2002. The company develops, publishes and distributes software worldwide for the Internet, personal computers and video game systems. Electronic Arts markets its products under four brand names: EA SPORTSTM, EA GAMESTM, EA SPORTS BIG™ and EA.COMSM. More information about EA's products and full text of press releases can be found on the Internet at http://www.info.ea.com.

Wednesday, November 13, 2002
[Mac Gaming] 3DO Ships "Heroes of Might and Magic IV" for Macintosh to Retail Stores - posted by Andy Grieser at 2:19 pm CDT

3DO Ships "Heroes of Might and Magic IV" for Macintosh to Retail Stores
Fantasy Turn-Based Strategy Title Now Available Nationwide

REDWOOD CITY, CA - November 13, 2002 - The 3DO Company (Nasdaq: THDO) today announced that "Heroes(r) of Might and Magic IV" for the Macintosh(r) has shipped to retail stores. The latest in the award-winning "Might and Magic" series, "Heroes IV" features six campaigns, over 60 new creatures and stunning graphics.

About "Heroes of Might and Magic IV" for Macintosh
In this fourth chapter of the "Heroes" series, Emilia Nighthaven must battle the evil immortal King Gavin Magnus and his horde of Dragon Golems. Featuring six campaigns, Emilia matches wits with Magnus for control of all of Axeoth, encountering over 60 new creatures, five schools of magic, six town types, and more than 180 artifacts.

[Mac Gaming] World War II Online for Mac Ships - posted by Andy Grieser at 2:18 pm CDT

Mac players recruited to award-winning virtual battlefield…

Montreal, Quebec. November 13, 2002 – Publisher Strategy First with Developer Cornered Rat Software and Playnet.com are happy to announce that their latest online offering, World War II Online Mac Edition ¸ has shipped to retail stores nationwide.

“We are very happy that a whole new audience can finally get in on the World War II Online experience,” says Steve Milburn, Director of Marketing for Strategy First. “It’s going to make the game even more exciting.”

To see it for yourself, check out the dedicated page at apple.com and make sure to watch the Brand New Trailer!

World War II Online Mac Edition is a combined arms simulation in a persistent, online 3D environment that brings the action-packed days of World War II to life on your Mac. Players can c reate a character, climb the ranks and gain experience to create and l ead combat missions with and against thousands of other players in the most dynamic, first person war game ever!

“The Mac players have waited over a year to join the fight and the interest shown is incredible, ” says Al Corey of Playnet. “For the first time the Mac guys have a true massively multiplayer virtual battlefield. There’s nothing else like it.”

· Elements of FPS, RPG, Sim and Strategy in one game – a first for online games.

· Largest virtual terrain, Europe in ˝ scale with accurate terrain modeling.

· Thousands of players fighting in the same battlefield simultaneously.

· Over 50 vehicles and weapons- tanks, planes and boats!

· The first massively multiplayer first person shooter

· Goodies such as fold out maps, wallpapers, illustrations and WWII era music.

[PC Gaming] Shrapnel Games Ships ATF: Armored Task Force - posted by Andy Grieser at 2:15 pm CDT

Shrapnel Games Ships ATF: Armored Task Force
All backorders expected to ship by end of day, Nov. 14th.

Cary, NC, November 13, 2002 - Shrapnel Games announced today that ATF: Armored Task Force, has begun shipping. Shrapnel Games expects all pre-order units to ship by end of business tomorrow. More information on Armored Task Force can be obtained at the Shrapnel Games website at http://www.shrapnelgames.com.

Richard Arnesen, of Shrapnel Games, stated "We have had quite a few pre-orders, including many games going to the US Military, and we are adding some temporary help to make sure all games ship by end of business tomorrow."

Armored Task Force represents a whole new approach to wargaming. We have modeled the entire battlefield, practically down to the bolts on the road wheels! Here is a look at some of the things you can expect to see in the final release:

* Terrain. We've started where we left off with BCT: Brigade Combat Team adding even more detail to the most detailed terrain ever included in a wargame. Maps are not abstract hexes or grids, but a continues elevation terrain model, complete with 3D representations of special terrain like trees, roads, and buildings.

* Single vehicle resolution. You aren't fighting platoons or sections anymore. Each icon on the map represents a single vehicle, right down to chassis and turret facing. These are real, physical objects, with more detailed modeling than any wargame ever created!

* Vehicle Smoke. Smoke isn't just the purview of artillery and smoke generators any more. Many vehicles carry their own smoke grenade systems. Your dismounts will pop smoke and try to disengage. HE (high explosive) fire missions and destroyed vehicles will produce smoke, too.

* Another innovation we have included in Armored Task Force is the improved Artificial Intelligence engine. You thought BCT was hard? Well you haven't seen nothin' yet.

* Friendly AI. Armored Task Force features "layered" friendly AI support. You can tell a company formation, "Attack here!". Or you can tell it, "Attack here, along this route, in this formation". Or you can tell it "Attack here, along this route, in this formation, setting support by fire positions here, with these units..." Well, you get the idea. You concentrate on the big picture and let Armored Task Force handle the details.

* Enemy AI. The enemy has a new, "big picture engine", which makes tactical decisions about the implementation of his combat power based on what he sees about your battle plan. We're talking decision point tactics here, just like the Russians use.

* Flexible command levels. Fight your force at whatever level you choose. Give orders to companies and watch them execute or manage the movement of individual vehicles. It's up to you. Armored Task Force allows you to fight the fight at the level you want.

* Adjacent Units. When we tell you that your company must cut the breach for the battalion attack, we mean it! The battalion will REALLY be rolling up behind you. Your victory conditions will depend on how many of THEM make it through.

ATF: Armored Task Force is available for direct from Shrapnel Games at http://www.gamersfront.com and retails for $39.95. A demo is also available at the Shrapnel Games website.

Tuesday, November 12, 2002
[PCGaming] Dragon's Lair 3D (Xbox, PC) Goes Gold! - posted by Erich Becker at 12:56 pm CDT


Dirk the Daring Returns in an All-New, 3D Adventure for the Xbox and PC

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - November 11, 2002 - Ubi Soft Entertainment, one of the world's largest video game publishers, announced Dragon's Lair 3D: Return to the Lair has gone gold for the Xbox(tm) video game system from Microsoft and the PC. Developed by Dragonstone Software, Dragon's Lair 3D features the same fun, pick-up-and-play gameplay that made the arcade version a blockbuster hit in 1983. Now gamers will be able to experience Dragon's Lair 3D with the highest quality graphics and sound available today. The game is targeted to launch for both versions on November 18.

The Legend Continues!
True to the classic arcade phenomenon, Dragon's Lair sets players against the menacing dragon Singe and the evil wizard Mordroc to save the beautiful Princess Daphne. With full control of Dirk the Daring, a valiant but clumsy knight, Dragon's Lair 3D players fight their way through the castle's treacherous, labyrinthine-like halls to overcome new monsters and obstacles lurking in the shadows. Incredible new gameplay includes jumping over flaming pits, climbing ropes to fly across chasms, and battling swarms of the wizard's minions with Dirk's sword and crossbow. Other game features include:

-- 18 large, detailed, action-packed levels featuring more than 40 environments to explore and 250+ rooms with numerous puzzles, traps, power-ups and hidden secrets to uncover

-- A real-time, 3D modeled and hand painted, textured world features new next-generation visuals
-- The first Xbox title to feature 1080i High Definition TV graphics mode, along with 5.1 Dolby Digital Audio and 16:9 anamorphic widescreen support

-- New intro and ending movies hand-animated by legendary animator Don Bluth

About Ubi Soft Entertainment
Ubi Soft Entertainment is an international producer, publisher and distributor of interactive entertainment products. A leading company in the multimedia industry, Ubi Soft's strong and diversified line-up has grown considerably, as has Ubi Soft itself. As well as steadfastly continuing to partner with several high-profile companies, Ubi Soft has also confirmed its presence on the global market by developing its own exceptional properties. Founded in 1986 in France, Ubi Soft is now present on every continent, both through offices in 22 different countries including the United States, Brazil, Morocco, Germany and China and through sales of products in over 50 countries. The group is dedicated to delivering high-quality, cutting-edge video game titles to consumers around the world. To learn more, visit www.ubi.com.

About Dragon's Lair LLC
Based in San Diego, California, Dragon's Lair LLC is a joint venture between Digital Leisure and the original creators of the 1983 arcade smash hit Dragon's Lair. Dragon's Lair LLC is comprised of legendary animation professionals Don Bluth, Gary Goldman and John Pomeroy, as well as veteran video game creator Rick Dyer. Rounding out the partnership is multimedia industry veteran David Foster, president of Digital Leisure Inc. and the publisher of the Dragon's Lair 2D versions. Dragon's Lair LLC is committed to creating state-of-the-art interactive titles that are supported by motion picture, broadcast and toy ventures.

Related Links: Learn More...

[Community] Khabal Gaming Reviews NOLF2 - posted by Erich Becker at 12:55 pm CDT

Khabal Gaming has put up a review of Monolith/Fox/Sierra's latest offering, No One Lives Forever 2: A Spy in H.A.R.M.'s Way. Check out this snippet below, and hit the link for the full review.

"Retro- that's the first thought that filtered into my thoughts when I saw the main menu of the game. I have to admit, this is a refreshing change from all the games that I have reviewed so far. What actually enticed me to pay the game was the sight of Cate Archer strutting across the menu."

Related Links: See the Full Review @ Khabal Gaming

[Console] Rally Fusion (PS2, Xbox) Races to Retail - posted by Erich Becker at 12:53 pm CDT


Santa Monica, CA. - October 11, 2002 - The cheer of the crowd, the roar of the engine and the satisfying slosh of tires tearing through mud can mean only one thing, Activision, Inc.'s (Nasdaq: ATVI) high-octane racer Rally Fusion: Race of Champions has gone gold and is on its way to manufacturing. Based on the Michelin Race of Champions, which is held annually in the Canary Islands, the game lets players take on the top racers from the world of motorsport with the ultimate goal of becoming the "Champion of Champions." Developed by Climax, Rally Fusion: Race of Champions for the PlayStation 2 computer entertainment system and Xbox video game system from Microsoft has been rated "E" (Everyone) by the ESRB.

Rally Fusion: Race of Champions features nine different environments including authentic road, desert, mountain and arctic conditions for players to test their talent as they careen through hairpin turns on their way to the checkered flag. With incredibly detailed damage modeling and dirt effects, Rally Fusion: Race of Champions allows players to select their dream machine from 19 of the top makes and models in the sport. Additionally, nine different modes and 20 different tracks offer an incredibly diverse gameplay experience and near endless replayability for the player.

About Climax
Established in 1988, Climax has become one of the world's leading interactive software development companies. Over the last 12 years Climax has developed many successful computer and video games, delivering high quality game experiences in both its' original products and conversions Climax bring with them a wealth of experience of developing for the Racing Genre to the partnership with Activision.

About IMP
IMP (International Media Productions) is a client focused sports management company based in Monaco. IMP specialize in Event Management and Marketing and Sports Celebrity Management. More information about IMP can be found on the company's World Wide Web site at www.imp.mc

About Activision

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, Scandinavia 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.

Related Links: Get More Information!

[PCGaming] KnightShift (PC) Reaches Beta-1 Status - posted by Erich Becker at 12:50 pm CDT

KnightShift reaches Beta-1 status

Worms, Germany, November 11th , 2002

Reality Pump Studios announces:the upcoming top title KnightShift has just reached Beta-1 status.

"KinghtShift" is a RPG/RTS genere mix playing in an ancient world of fantasy mysticism and magic, boasting fantasy pure

Check them out and ask yourself if this is not the eye catcher of the year, or the most beautiful gaming environment you have ever seen?

“KnightShift” will reach master status in February 2003 and is due to be released at the end of the first quarter 2003.

Related Links: See Screenshots, More Info!

Monday, November 11, 2002
[PCGaming] NDL's Graphics Engine Nominated for Front Line Award - posted by Erich Becker at 12:27 pm CDT

NDL’s Graphics Engine Nominated for Game Developer’s Front Line Award

Annual Awards Ceremony Honors Excellence and Innovation in Game Development Tools

(San Jose, CA – November 11, 2002) - NDL’s 3D graphics engine and game development toolkit has been selected as a finalist for Game Developer magazine’s Front Line Awards. The NDL graphics engine, which also received a Front Line Award in 1999, provides game developers with tremendous flexibility so they can create environments unique to their game.

Game Developer’s annual Front Line Awards are the industry’s premier awards honoring excellence and innovation in game development tools. "Every year, the best of the game industry’s development tools mirror the evolution of the game industry itself," says Jennifer Pahlka, Game Developer publisher. "The Front Line Awards recognize those software and hardware companies whose tools enable faster and more efficient game creation for advancing the state of the art."

Front Line Awards finalists are chosen by a judging panel of experienced professional game developers working closely with the magazine’s editorial staff. Winners will be announced in the January 2003 issue of Game Developer, available December 27, 2002.

NDL’s NetImmerse 4.2 is a comprehensive set of software tools that can save approximately six months of development time and a year or more of engineering costs. It can be used for a wide variety of game genres and platforms. NetImmerse includes the C++ run-time API, plug-ins that allow developers to easily import content from the leading modeling packages, and optimization tools that enable the developer to quickly combine high visual quality with the most efficient use of computing resources.

NDL’s NetImmerse 2.2 received a Front Line Award in 1999 as the top product in the "Libraries, APIs and Engines" category.

About NDL
NDL, with offices in North Carolina and California, has been responsible for major developments in 3D graphics technology incorporated into leading PC and game software. NDL-based game titles include Mythic Entertainment’s Dark Age of Camelot, Irrational Games’ Freedom Force, Bethesda Softworks’ The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind, and Totally Games’ Star Trek Bridge Commander. For more information on NDL, visit ww.ndl.com.

Related Links: Visit NDL's Website

[PCGaming] TechSpot's Soldier of Fortune II Tweak Guide - posted by Erich Becker at 12:25 pm CDT

Apparently one hit sequel wasn’t enough for Raven Software this year, they have released just another. Soldier Of Fortune 2 has been similarly well received as other recent Raven games, boosting far more detailed graphics than Jedi Outcast, the game has come around with its problems, too.

TechSpot's guide will take you through the mass of options available in the game, updated from last time a new Multiplayer Tweaking section, and massive amounts of data for tweaking graphics settings.

Related Links: See The Full Guide!

[PCGaming] 3rd Annual Twin Galaxies Video Game Festival - posted by Erich Becker at 12:24 pm CDT

The 3rd Annual Twin Galaxies Video Game Festival has been scheduled for the Mall of America for the weekend of July 18-20, 2003.

There will be four major championships: The 3rd Annual Console Video Game World Championship, the Annual Classics Video Game World Championship, the 1st Annual Mall Pinball Championship and a PC Games world Championship. As was last year, thousands of dollars in cash prizes will be awarded during these four events.

Plus, a classic games arcade as well as a midway filled with PC and console games on free play for public enjoyment.

Related Links: See More, Click Here.

[Online] Wargaming.net Announces Massive Assault (PC) - posted by Erich Becker at 12:23 pm CDT


Wargaming.net announces Massive Assault, a full 3D global domination strategy game

New Orleans, LA -- November 8, 2002 -- Wargaming.net announces the development of Massive Assault, the first 3D global domination strategy game. The official web site launches today at: http://www.massiveassault.com/.

A player will act as either "Axis-of-Good" or "Shadow Clique" Commander-in-Chief, operating with divisions of various ground war machines, battle structures, fleets and air squadrons, struggling for total control over distant colonized planets. The game is powered by Wargaming.net's proprietary high-performance 3D engine, giving unprecedented look and feel to a turn-based global-scale strategy.

* Full 3D Graphic Engine
* Huge 3D Landscapes
* 28 Detailed 3D Units
* Realistic Lighting, Explosions and Effects
* 3D Sound
* 6 Different Worlds (planets)
* AI, Hot Seat and Internet Play Modes

The game contains original political system, preserving the intrigue throughout the whole war. Each side has a bunch of allied countries, unknown to the enemy. Secret allies can disclose and provide troops at any moment, surprisingly shifting the power balance in particular region.

"We decided to avoid creating yet another WWII simulation monster or use traditional RTS scheme based on routine resource collection, city construction, building upgrades, etc," says Victor Kislyi, the president of Wargaming.net. "Instead we propose totally new war-for-global-domination gaming concept where players are supposed to employ strategic, political and tactical skills in their pure meaning".

The game is set in dynamic strategic environment, where the tide can turn for several times, giving the winner an impression that the victory was snatched from the jaws of defeat. The secret alliance concept provides endless replayability - in each game the world is re-shaped differently, providing unique strategic situation.

A player should employ the eternal principles of warfare, such as: usage of terrain advantages, outflanking moves and envelopment, troops concentration in the area of main strike, cutting enemy supply routes, screening maneuvers, guerrilla tactics and sabotage.

Conquering the continents, the player will be involved into huge naval landing operations, will learn how to operate carrier battle groups, provide artillery support and will face other non-trivial challenges.

Massive Assault has been under development for 8 months. The release is planned for Q1 2003. The worldwide on-line beta test (via game server) is planned for the end of November 2002.

The web site contains additional info, the first screenshots and the artworks. It will be updated every 3-4 days: http://www.massiveassault.com/

About Wargaming.net

Wargaming.net is a game development company based in New Orleans, Louisiana. Its development department is located in Minsk, Belarus. Since 1998 Wargaming.net specializes in creating quality strategy games with strong orientation to Internet play. Wargaming.net's corporate web site will be officially launched on November 25.

Related Links: Click Here for More Information

[Music] Chris Vrenna To Remix Toxic Grind (Xbox) - posted by Erich Becker at 12:21 pm CDT

Chris Vrenna tapped to remix soundtrack to Toxic Grind

Kabuki Digital has tapped former Nine Inch Nails founder CHRIS VRENNA to remix the first single from the original music soundtrack to the just released BMX game TOXIC GRIND. The single will be available as an exclusive bonus track on the soundtrack CD.

CHRIS VRENNA is the famed producer and remixer noted for his work remixing U2 for the movie Tomb Raider, P.O.D. for the movie Scorpion King and Gavin Rossdale of BUSH for the movie xXx as well as producing and remixing artists including Weezer, Rob Zombie, Cold, Nelly Furtado, Adema, and Green Day. This is Vrenna's first foray into remixing a song for a video game.

"I had a great time doing the remix", says Vrenna. "Mesmer remixed one of the songs I did for the game American McGee's Alice, and I felt a trade was in order. Having them appear as bonus tracks on the soundtracks seems like a nice thing to add. It's cool that regular record producers are doing this kind of thing more often."

The original music score was composed by MESMER (A/K/A Peter Reardon) who is best known for his work in the hip hop and rock world with artists including Ol' Dirty Bastard (Wu Tang Clan), Barenaked Ladies, Tweaker, Geto Boys, Scarface, Insane Clown Posse, Josh Wink and Control Machete vs. Buena Vista Social Club.

The Toxic Grind soundtrack will be available in November on Kabuki Digital Records at www.waxploitation.com/store among other traditional retail outlets.

Mesmer will be making a number of appearances on behalf of the game, including an appearance on TechTV in November.

[PCGaming] Shattered Galazy 1.5 Beta Test Opens - posted by Erich Becker at 12:20 pm CDT



(November 8, 2002 - Santa Clara, CA) The next evolution in the universe of Shattered Galaxy, "SG 1.5", has just been opened for limited-time open beta play testing.

Among the many advancements open beta testers can look forward to in SG 1.5 is renovated and rebalanced units, a completely overhauled item library, new and visually striking in-game interfaces, and a host of other new game play features. The upgrade is scheduled for launch late November. To register for the beta test and to download the new SG 1.5 game client, please visit http://www.sgalaxy.com/mini_1.5/minisite.stm.

Set in deep space in the distant future where the remnant of humanity fights for survival and glory with cybernetic armies, Shattered Galaxy is an award-winning massive online warfare game for the PC. To download the current version of Shattered Galaxy and to find out more about Shattered Galaxy 1.5, visit http://www.sgalaxy.com.


Nexon (www.nexon.com), an international game developer, is a pioneer and trendsetter in the field of massively multiplayer online gaming. Since the establishment of Nexon USA in 1997, Nexon has introduced online worlds of great sophistication, magnitude and excitement to the computers and imaginations of North American gamers. Nexon's games include titles such as Shattered Galaxy (www.sgalaxy.com), Dark Ages: Online Role-playing (www.darkages.com) and Nexus: the Kingdom of the Winds (www.nexustk.com). In this new gaming age in which many developers and publishers are rushing to establish themselves as online game makers, Nexon, with these games and more to come, blazes onward as an experienced veteran in developing and providing service for the best massive multiplayer games on the Internet.

Related Links: Join the Beta Test Today, Click Here!

[PCGaming] Microsoft releases MechWarrior 4: Mercenaries - posted by Erich Becker at 12:15 pm CDT

MechWarrior 4: Mercenaries combines the popular gun-for-hire theme with a dynamic storyline and several features never before seen in the MechWarrior universe. Following the rise to power of a newly formed Mercenary MechWarrior Company, MechWarrior 4: Mercenaries allows players to affiliate with the Northwind Highlanders, Gray Death Legion, Kell Hounds or Wolf's Dragoons to experience a captivating story line that evolves based on players' actions during the game. Features include the ability to command up to eight 'Mechs at one time, as well as new multiplayer options and a new dynamic single player campaign with more than 40 missions. Developed by Cyberlore Studios Inc. in conjunction with Microsoft's FASA Studio, MechWarrior 4: Mercenaries challenges players to decide whether to remain a neutral party in the conflict or intentionally accept contracts that will set them firmly against one of the great Noble Houses. Completing missions for either side ultimately determines the fate of the players' band of mercenaries and the path they choose determines how their quest ends.

Related Links: See More on MechWarrior 4: Mercenaries

Thursday, November 07, 2002
[PC Gaming] Strategy First Signs New World Order for North American Market - posted by Andy Grieser at 1:59 pm CDT


Montreal, Quebec. November 7, 2002 - Strategy First announced today that they have struck an exclusive co-publishing agreement for the North American market with Dutch publisher Project Three Interactive for the first person shooter game New World Order for the PC .

“We know that New World Order will amaze the gaming community with its realistic gameplay and we’re sure it will do great things for both of our companies,” says Steve Wall, V.P.of Acquisitions for Strategy First.

New World Order is a single- and multiplayer tactical team-based shooter developed in Sweden by Project Three’s studio Termite Games. This title stands out in the crowded FPS genre because it is one of the first built on next generation technology and promises to take the first person shooter genre to the next level by combining uncanny graphic detail with adrenaline pumping action and fun. Realistic gameplay and unparalleled game physics are brought to life by the in-house developed DVA-engine from Termite Games. The game also introduces new features like per pixel damage detection, tons of real life weapons which are available by rank, and a weight system that influences the player’s actions, thus adding even more realistic gameplay. The game will have 12 HUGE levels in both single- and multiplayer mode, all very different by design and lay-out, set out all over the globe.

“We are extremely pleased to have signed a deal for North America with a dedicated company like Strategy First. We think their background as a publisher makes them an excellent fit for this product, which really involves a lot of strategy and tactics by the player in order to become successful. We are looking forward to jointly turning New World Order into a real hit on the North American continent,” says Robert Ercevic, CEO of Project Three Interactive.

And the story goes…
The story sees the player as John Dobbs, a decorated Navy Seal but a rookie member of the Global Assault Team (GAT), a commando squad formed by the world’s powers in answer to the rise of freelance terrorist factions better known as The Syndicate. The GAT has the mandate to operate on a global level, prevent terrorist actions and dispose of The Syndicate any way they see fit. As John Dobbs the player will go in alone to try and prevent terrorist actions in 12 fierce missions that challenge even experienced FPS players. In multiplayer mode, gamers can choose to play as either The Syndicate or the GAT on a LAN or via the Internet, with up to 64 players on a server. Players can choose to take each other on as two teams or operate as one team and play against computer generated opponents.

Look for New World Order to ship in Q1 2003 in North-America.

[Console] EA Ships Medal of Honor Frontline for XBox, GameCube - posted by Andy Grieser at 1:57 pm CDT


REDWOOD CITY, Calif. - November 7, 2002 - Storm the beaches of Normandy to defeat the dreaded Nazi scourge. Electronic Arts (Nasdaq: ERTS) announced today that Medal of Honor FrontlineÔ, the highly acclaimed first person shooter where players travel from the shores of France to the heart of Nazi Germany, has shipped for the Nintendo GameCubeÔ and XboxÔ video game system from Microsoft.

In this latest installment of the award-winning Medal of Honor™ series, Lt. Patterson returns and must use the confusion of the real-world offensive Operation Market Garden to infiltrate the German frontline and steal the HO-IX flying wing, an experimental Nazi weapon so powerful that it could turn the tide of World War II. The player will choose from a cache of weapons in their quest to steal the HO-IX flying wing. Players can select a single-player experience or battle friends head-to-head in the split-screen multi-player mode for up to 4 players.

Medal of Honor Frontline for the Nintendo GameCube and Xbox consoles carries a "T"(Teen) rating from the ESRB and will be priced at US MSRP $49.99. Medal of Honor Frontline was developed by EALA.

[PC Gaming] Project Nomads Ships to Stores - posted by Andy Grieser at 12:12 pm CDT

Aerial Adventure-Strategy Game for the PC Takes Flight in the U.S.

CARY, NC - November 7, 2002 - CDV Software Entertainment, one of the leading German publishers and distributors of gaming software, today announced that "Project Nomads" for the PC is now available in stores. Winner of Best PC Game Award at ECTS 2001, "Project Nomads" is a unique science fiction title that balances the best of real-time strategy and action-adventure games. Featuring a breathtaking world with spectacular graphics, this latest offering from CDV Software promises stunning aerial battles and mysterious quests high in the sky.

"From the orange blush of the twilight sky to the soft wisps of nimbus clouds, 'Project Nomads' plunges the players into a beautiful floating world," said Robert Pickens, chief executive officer of CDV USA. "With ornate architectures, an inventive storyline, and innovative gameplay, 'Nomads' is a solid winner this holiday season."

About "Project Nomads"
A once-proud civilization is destroyed, a terrible disaster leaving their home planet shattered. The remnants, an archipelago of flying islands, are all that is left for the survivors. To negotiate through this floating world, players must turn islands into powerful fortresses with the help of arcane artifacts.

Features for "Project Nomads" include:

* Three unique heroes to choose from - John, Goliath or Susie
* Eight main quests with numerous sub-quests
* More than 40 different opponents
* Two spells for personal combat
* Multiplayer game for up to eight players via LAN or Internet

[Community] Go to Hell, Gamer's Hell... - posted by Erich Becker at 11:08 am CDT

Gamer's Hell has tons of good stuff posted today including movies, demos, and reviews. There is too much stuff to list, so overload their servers and head on over there today. Just hit the link and let the magic of the web do the rest, it couldn't be simplier!

[PCGaming] SmallBall Sports Returns Baseball to the Fans - posted by Erich Becker at 11:07 am CDT

“SmallBall Sports” Returns Baseball to the Fans
Free Baseball for the USA (and the World) with the Click of a Mouse

Half Moon Bay, CA (November 4, 2002) AndNow LLC, a developer of interactive games, today announced that they have launched SmallBall Baseball, a unique, massively multi-player on-line baseball game featuring the tiniest players to ever strap on cleats. SmallBall Baseball allows participants to own their own team (or teams), train their players in the skills of throwing, fielding, running and hitting, and compete against other teams from around the world for fame, fortune, and international bragging rights. Most importantly, team ownership in SmallBall Baseball is absolutely free of charge for anyone – and there are no player salaries, arbitration, work stoppages, or any of the other negatives that have come to be associated with America’s pastime.

SmallBall Baseball is a labor of love for two former Sega game designers and hardcore baseball fans, Ed Annunziata and Gerry Blau, who became fed up with how money has ruined the sport they both love. “Our goal when we created SmallBall Baseball was to capture what makes the sport great, while leaving out the things that have plagued the game over the past couple decades,” said Annunziata. “SmallBall Baseball is America's pastime in its purest form - hitting, fielding, running and throwing -- without mega salaries, work stoppages, lawyers and free agency.”

The strategy of SmallBall Baseball is deep. Your “living” players will grow and evolve over time. As you observe their abilities you will determine their strengths and weaknesses, and how to train them. SmallBall Baseball is played in a public arena with an active community of other players that will see your every triumph, and your every failure! SmallBall Baseball is not about reaction time. You don't hit or pitch. It’s not a video game. SmallBall Baseball is a hobby based on one of America’s greatest pastimes.

About AndNow LLC
AndNow is a privately owned developer of interactive entertainment located in Half Moon Bay, California. In November 2002, AndNow will launch their latest SmallBall Sports product, SmallBall Soccer. More information about AndNow and SmallBall can be found at www.SmallBall.com

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[Portable] Doomworld.com Giving Away GameBoy Advance w/ Doom 1/2 - posted by Erich Becker at 11:06 am CDT

Doomworld.com is giving away GameBoy Advance systems and copies of Activisions Doom 1 and Doom 2 for the GBA. All you need to do is correctly identify what level is pictured over at DoomWORLD.com, easy enough right? Head on over there today and check it out!

[Consoles] Free Prizes and Cool Stuff in the Dragon's Lair - posted by Erich Becker at 11:04 am CDT


"Dirk's Damsels & Dragons Giveaways" offer fans the chance to win Don Bluth artwork, action figures, and next-generation console systems

Los Angeles - Nov. 6, 2002 - Dragon's Lair fans can now register to win cool prizes and discover more behind-the-scenes information about their favorite game at the newly re-launched www.dragonslair3d.com. This official site, dedicated to all things Dragon's Lair, now offers fans bi-weekly opportunities to win next-generation console systems from Microsoft and Nintendo, as well as Dragon's Lair memorabilia ranging from game posters and original cels signed by Don Bluth. Dragon's Lair 3D : Return to the Lair will launch for the Xbox(tm) video game system from Microsoft and the PC on November 18.

The website also includes a new "Cool Stuff" section with e-cards, a trivia game, wallpapers and an interactive timeline. This augments an already extensive range of information about the legendary franchise - from the latest on the upcoming Dragon's Lair 3D : Return to the Lair videogame, action figures and strategy guide, to fascinating trivia, background and history on the arcade game. In addition, a forum is on the site for Dragon's Lair fans to exchange messages.

Dragon's Lair 3D is a completely new, built-from-the-ground-up game that will dramatically expand upon previous Dragon's Lair videogames, laser disc games and arcade games. Players will experience true 3D gameplay; complete control over Dirk; over a dozen new characters; 43 massive areas and more than 250 new rooms to explore; new intro and ending movies created by acclaimed animation director Don Bluth; an original music score; and much more.

Opportunities to Win Dragon's Lair Memorabilia
The "Dirk's Damsels & Dragons Giveaways" kicks off today and continues through March 2003. Prizes will be awarded every other Friday to randomly selected winners who register at the www.dragonslair3d.com site. Sure to create excitement among long-time Dragon's Lair fans and newcomers alike, these prizes include:

-- An Xbox video game system from Microsoft with a copy of Dragon's Lair 3D and the Strategy Guide from Prima Games

-- A Nintendo GameCube system with a copy of Dragon's Lair 3D and the Strategy Guide from Prima Games

-- 20th Anniversary Dragon's Lair DVD set, signed by the game's creators

-- An original cel signed by Don Bluth

-- A Dragon's Lair 3D poster, signed by the game's creators

-- Wall-sized artwork of Dirk, Daphne and Singe, autographed by Dragon's Lair 3D creators Don Bluth and Gary Goldman

-- A set of four Dragon's Lair 3D action figures (Dirk, Daphne, Singe and Mordroc), signed by the game's creators and Chris Dern, the sculptor behind the figures

Free, New "Cool Stuff," Direct from the Lair
The site now offers a new section called "Cool Stuff," where visitors will find:

-- Interactive Timeline - Players scroll across a timeline that covers 20 years of Dragon's Lair - from the first storyboarding of the Dragon's Lair concept to the present. Clicking on any of the years in between will reveal fascinating background about the game's evolution.

-- Trivia - Players answer 10 questions on a variety of Dragon's Lair-related topics, and are awarded more points the faster they correctly answer the questions. The top 5 players are listed on a leader board, and the name of the top player of the week will appear on the home page.

-- E-cards - Two cool scenes from the game are the backgrounds for personalized electronic greeting cards. Recipients will love hearing Singe's roar and seeing him animate in a personalized e-mail.

-- Wallpapers - Two wallpapers are available in different resolutions, each featuring the game's legendary characters (Dirk, Daphne, Singe) and painted backgrounds.

The Dragon's Lair 3D website also includes:
-- A two-minute trailer previewing the game, hand animated by Don Bluth

-- Dragon's Lair 3D message board

-- Screenshots and character art, all hand animated by Don Bluth

-- Recent press releases, feature lists and other updated information on Dragon's Lair 3D

-- Biographies on the original creators, who are actively involved in designing the new videogame

-- Links to Encore and Ubi Soft, publishers of the videogames; Digital Leisure, the publisher of Dragon's Lair DVDs and distributor for AnJon action figures; and Prima Games, creator of the Dragon's Lair 3D strategy guide

The Dragon's Lair 3D Videogame

The Dragon's Lair 3D: Return to the Lair videogame will follow the basic storyline of the arcade classic: Dirk the Daring, a goofy but courageous knight, is on a mission to rescue Princess Daphne, who has been kidnapped by the evil dragon Singe and hidden in the wizard Mordroc's castle. The game will stay true to the design of the1980's arcade classic, but is seven times the size of the original, and includes several new plot twists.

In this version, players will have full control of Dirk, who must overcome challenges such as navigating through a cave of lava, swinging from burning ropes and unlocking hidden chambers in the castle to find Daphne. Princess Daphne also plays an integral new role in the game, acting as a guide for Dirk's journey. Singe, the Lizard King, the Giddy Goons, the Crypt Creeps and other characters familiar to players of the original arcade game have starring roles, along with over a dozen new characters created by Don Bluth that add new dimensions to the plot.

About Encore
Encore, a subsidiary of Navarre Corporation (NASDAQ: NAVR), is a leading interactive publisher in the videogame and PC CD-ROM markets. The company's upcoming releases include such highly anticipated console games as Phantom Crash , Dragon's Lair 3D and Daredevil . Encore also offers a broad range of PC titles under internationally recognized brands such as Sesame Street , Dragon Tales , National Geographic and Kaplan .

Encore products are sold in over 35,000 stores nationwide, and in major international markets. For more information on Encore and Navarre Corporation, visit www.encoreusa.com and www.navarre.com.

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 lineup 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 and China and sells its products in over 50 countries. For more information about Ubi Soft, visit http://www.ubi.com

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[PC Gaming] Shrapnel Games Releases Second Demo Scenario for Mark H. Walker's Lock 'N Load - posted by Andy Grieser at 7:50 am CDT

Shrapnel Games Releases Second Demo Scenario for Mark H. Walker's Lock 'N Load
Fans are raving over Lock 'N Load!

Cary, NC, November 7, 2002 - Shrapnel Games announced today that a second demo scenario is available for Mark H. Walker's Lock 'N Load. The second demo scenario entitled "Undeniable Courage" is available for download from Shrapnel Games website at www.shrapnelgames.com. Mark H. Walker's Lock 'N Load Demo marks a milestone for board wargames, being the first ever demo available for a physical board game.

Timothy W. Brooks, President of Shrapnel Games, said, "Since release of the Lock 'N Load demo, we have had fans contacting us wanting more. This board game is garnering a strong following just from the demo. We are happy to be in a position to release a second scenario for the fans. This game has the potential to be a huge success, which goes to show that Mark Walker has come up with a solid board game design."

Born of thirty years of gaming experience and an equal amount of frustration with dry-as-dust rules, Mark H. Walker's Lock 'n Load is all about fun, all about the experience. Touted as a game with "more game, less guff," its rules are concise, yet complete.

[PC Gaming] RalliSport Challenge Races to Store Shelves - posted by Andy Grieser at 7:49 am CDT

“RalliSport Challenge” Races to Store Shelves

Critically Acclaimed Off-Road Racing Game Is Now Available on PC

REDMOND, Wash. — Nov. 7, 2002 — Microsoft Game Studios today announced that all the action-packed off-road racing in “RalliSport Challenge” for the PC is hitting retail shelves. Delivering the exhilarating experience of its Xbox™ predecessor, the PC version goes into overdrive with new features including Internet multiplayer capability, improved graphics due to higher PC screen resolution, and realistic driving action available with a force-feedback wheel.

Microsoft’s first title to be brought from Xbox to PC, “RalliSport Challenge” was developed by Digital Illusions CE, the same developer that created the critically acclaimed title for Xbox.

“RalliSport Challenge” incorporates four types of Rally competition into one game: Hill Climb, Rallycross, Ice Racing and Traditional Rally. With 48 tracks from which to choose, gamers can compete in safari challenges in East Africa, on frozen Nordic roads or on the treacherous hills of the Pacific Northwest, attempting to conquer four classes of racing: Pro, Expert, Classic and Unlimited.

Featuring 29 Rally vehicles from manufacturers such as Audi, Citroën, Lancia, Ford Motor Co., Subaru and Mitsubishi, as well as “unlimited” vehicles including a modified 850-horsepower Toyota Tacoma and a modified 900-plus-horsepower Suzuki Grand Vitara, “RalliSport Challenge” will put players’ driving skills to the ultimate test.

“Microsoft is thrilled to bring the excitement and beauty of ‘RalliSport Challenge’ to PC users,” said Chuck Frizelle, product manager for “RalliSport Challenge” at Microsoft Corp. “The spectacular graphics really add to the adrenaline rush of this white-knuckle off-road racing game.”

“RalliSport Challenge” takes advantage of the latest processor and video card technology, resulting in stunning graphics and photorealistic detail. Players are rewarded with a beautiful and highly detailed racing experience including swaying trees, animated crowds, animals avoiding the car’s path and realistic particle effects as players race through mud, dirt, snow and water. More information is available at

Wednesday, November 06, 2002
[PC Gaming] Aaron Hall's Dungeon Odyssey Patch No. 1 Released - posted by Andy Grieser at 11:20 am CDT

Aaron Hall's Dungeon Odyssey Patch No. 1 Released
Patch includes new playable module, a vastly improved player inventory system and fixes for Windows XP users.

Cary, NC, November 06, 2002 - Shrapnel Games announced today that the first Aaron Hall's Dungeon Odyssey patch is available from their website at http://www.shrapnelgames.com. This patch includes, among other things, a new playable module entitled "The Crack Of Doom", a vastly improved player inventory system and fixes for Windows XP users.

Aaron Hall's Dungeon Odyssey is an RPG where you will adventure to far off lands and encounter a multitude of different creatures. But once you complete the game, the fun is not over. Dungeon Odyssey creates a random world for you each time you play. So no two games are ever the same. And to add to the fun, the game is completely customizable (moddable) so that players can create their own modules for others to play.

You will become a character within the game and will play the role of that character as you venture through the world. You will have one main quest to complete in the module, and many other smaller quests to complete if you wish. As you decide on a style of playing, you can shape your character towards that style with different items, skills, and spells.

[PC Gaming] Bugbear Entertainment Announces Flat-Out - posted by Andy Grieser at 11:18 am CDT

Bugbear Entertainment announces Flat-Out, a new generation racing title with convincing driving feel, plenty of attitude and shredded bits of car ricocheting around.

Flat-Out is a adrenaline-inducing racing game with a story, spectacular crashes and not too serious attitude in the best movie-like fashion. The thrill and terror of racing light, cheap and often very dented cars in constant close proximity and contact with other cars brings out white-knuckled racing spirit as the player faces rapidly changing situations all the time. In third person mode, player can rummage around the pit areas eyeing out competitor's cars, stop by at a bar for the latest gossips, fix and tune his car and interact with other characters in game, executing small missions related to the story behind player's character.

What further enhances Flat-Out is not only the new level of graphical quality and convincing physics, but the overall interactivity of the world around the player. Player can crash sideways into a safety wall made of tyres, sending dozens and dozens of tyres flying and bouncing away. Wooden fences shatter and splinter into easily hundreds of pieces, barrels and marker cones tumble and fly from the impact, opponent car parts lying on the track inflicting damage to other cars and so forth.

Damage modelling of the cars is impressive, with virtually every bodypanel of the car bending, crumbling and peeling away in accidents showing engine, transmission, working suspension, cockpit with driver and everything you'd expect a car to have beneath it's skin. Cars themselves, being the highlight of the whole show, are meticulously modelled with plenty of detail. Player has 16 cars to choose from, all with different behaviour, driving feel and ability to take (or give) abuse if your dear opponent ahead of you just won't give you room to pass.

Flat-Out will be published for PC, XBox and other game consoles on the second half of 2003.

- First racing game with a 3rd person mode where the character can repair his car, walk around the pit area and interact with other characters.
- Captivating character-driven story bringing new depth to the career mode and driving games.
- Fast-paced and adrenaline filled racing experience. Races consist of 8 banged up and rusty cars battling it out without mercy on varying racetracks.
- Accurate feel in the vehicle dynamics giving enough feel of presence for the most dedicated racing enthusiast with a console.
- Realistic and extensive damage modeling affecting both visuals and vehicle dynamics, separately damaging different parts of the car.
- Cutting edge technology. Optimized for racing games. Game graphics will be of previously unseen realism on Xbox and PC.
- 45 varying and different racecourses, from sandy and hilly courses with plenty of jumps to ice courses on frozen lakes, along with asphalt racetracks and combinations of asphalt/dirt tracks.
- 16 different cheap and rusty banged up car models.
- Garage. Player can buy new parts to his car or purchase entirely new car.
- Multiplayer racing in various game modes utilizing both linked and splitscreen multiplayer modes for single console multiplaying and XBox Live for internet multiplaying
- Advanced AI that makes mistakes and learns from them, developing its skills during the seasons.

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