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December 06, 2002 - January 03, 2003 - See More Archived News

Friday, January 03, 2003
[Mac] Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 3 Final Candidate - posted by Erich Becker at 11:26 am CDT

Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 3, the critically acclaimed title from Activision and Neversoft, has entered Final Candidate stage in the conversion cycle and should be ready for release later this month.

Tony Hawk 3 allows you to take on the personna of one of the many personalities in skateboarding and tear up huge skateparks, streets, and other environments that encourages amazing tricks, long grinds, and lots of objectives. For those who have played the console and PC incarnations the game holds true to it's previous games in the series and shines just as bright.

Beenox is performing the conversion which, again, should be done this month. The game is rated "T" for teen and more information can be found on Aspyr's Website.

[Mac] NASCAR Racing 2002 Season Shipping Too! - posted by Erich Becker at 11:20 am CDT

NASCAR Racing 2002 Season is the latest racing game from the acclaimed developers of NASCAR Racing 4 for the PC, Papyrus Racing Games. Sierra Entertainment and Aspyr are bringing the left-turning game to the Macintosh in the next couple of days and soon you will have the chance to take your favorite drivers car around the track for a few laps, or rub tires with your sworn enemy (here's looking at you Jeff).

NASCAR Racing 2002 Season will carry a price tag of $49.99 and is rated "E" for Everyone. Be sure to check out ESCMAG's review of the PC version before heading out to the store. To make it easy on you, the game is highly recommended.

Preorder the game today at Aspyr.

[Mac] The Sims: Unleashed Shipping! - posted by Erich Becker at 11:14 am CDT

The Sims: Unleashed, the newest expansion pack for the million selling The Sims, is now shipping for the Macintosh platform and should be available soon. Conversion on the title was done by Westlake Interactive based on the original game from Maxis and Electronic Arts.

The Sims: Unleashed gives you the ability to add pets to your Sims household that range from dogs and cats, to birds and the already available fish. Unleashed lets you train your animals to do tricks, and to, hopefully, not rinse down your carpet. While you may never see them on a FOX special, you will know just how zanny they can be.

Also added are nearly forty new lots for you to build houses, new parks, and a new Cafe. You will have plenty of place to roam and build as you progress your digital life into the digital future.

The Sims: Unleashed is rated "T" for Teen and carries a retail MSRP of $29.99, you should be able to find it on store shelves soon, or you can preorder it from Aspyr by going here.

Thursday, January 02, 2003
[Community] GamesXtreme Reviews LMA 2003 (PS2) - posted by Erich Becker at 10:02 am CDT

GamesXtreme has put up a review for LMA 2003 for the PlayStation2. Check out this snippet below and hit the link for the full article.

"The actual matches themselves are very entertaining to watch, you are given a side on view of the pitch and see your teams every move. This can be watched speeded up so the games can last just a few minutes, this can become a bit confusing because the action can be so fast that you haven’t got a clue what is happening."

Related Links: Check out the full review

[ESCMAG] Happy New Year from ESCMAG - posted by Erich Becker at 8:21 am CDT

Greetings to everyone, Erich here, hope that your New Years celebrations were in safe conditions and everyone you know is well and merry. I myself found that the last couple months of this year just flew by and it feels like I got nothing done, what so ever.

I know I played a lot of games, but with so many on your plate it is hard to remember them all. I will say that I spent some time with Neverwinter Nights, Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, Metroid Prime, Super Mario Sunshine, and my newest addition Resident Evil: Zero. Who could ask for a better gaming season?

As for everyone here at ESCMAG, we would like to wish you a Happy New Year, and we look forward to making 2003 the best in our site's history. We will try our best to keep you coming back for more and more when you find that "other" sites have reviews and news locked out to the general public. Enjoy what we have to offer for no cost at all, and we will continue to provide just as we have for years and years.

Escape from Reality...

[Multi] EA Releases "Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers" for Xbox, GCN - posted by Erich Becker at 8:13 am CDT

EA GAMES is excited to announce that "The Lord of the Rings, The Two Towers" was released today on Xbox and GameCube.

EA's first "The Lord of the Rings" action adventure game will allow players and fans of the movies to relive the most memorable moments from the first two films, "The Fellowship of the Ring" and "The Two Towers." Players can take control of the motion picture trilogy's main action heroes: Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli, with other members of the Fellowship taking an active role during gameplay.

For more information on EA's "The Lord of the Rings" games, visit the official product website at: www.lordoftherings.ea.com.

Tuesday, December 31, 2002
[ESCMag] News to Return After the Holidays! - posted by Toby Davis at 12:33 pm CDT

News will return after the New Year's Holiday on January 2nd. In the meantime, ESCMag will continue to post the latest previews and reviews. Have a great New Year, fellow ESCapers!

Thursday, December 12, 2002
[PCGaming] ShadowFlare: Episode Two (PC) Now on Sale - posted by Erich Becker at 12:51 pm CDT

ShadowFlare: Episode Two Now on Sale

Redmond, WA, U.S.A, December 10, 2002 - Emurasoft, Inc. announced ShadowFlare: Episode Two is now available for $14.99. ShadowFlare consists of four episodes that will be released worldwide for Windows 98/ME/2000/XP. ShadowFlare: Episode Two can be downloaded from the official ShadowFlare website at http://www.shadowflare.us/download.htm .

ShadowFlare is an action/role-playing shareware game that was released by Denyusha Co., Ltd. in Japan last October. Following its release, ShadowFlare became a craze among Japanese gamers. In ShadowFlare, players take on the roles of mercenaries that help survivors in turmoil and battle a multitude of creatures bent on stamping out humankind. As players adventure through dungeons and remote cities, their fighting skills grow, and eventually they choose their own destiny as a warrior, wizard, or hunter.

Episode Two Summary:

To rescue army groups that are struggling and have been surrounded, and commanders devise a strategy to send more soldiers through mountains to defeat the demons. However, the path through the mountain may be dangerous, so the warriors scout the mountain range.

They find that a fierce, ancient dragon is sleeping in the region, and because of the activities of the enemy, the dragon is about to wake up.

In order for the military plan to be successful, the warriors cooperate with local citizens to defeat the dragon.

About Game Developer (Denyusha Co., Ltd.):

Missinglink Co., Ltd., (parent company of Denyusha Co., Ltd.) was founded in Kyoto, Japan in 1998. Since then, they have created and developed numerous games including original action games, board games, and a Japanese chess game (Shogi) for corporate clients such as Square Co., Ltd, Nintendo Co., Ltd., and The Pokemon Company. Other well-known games developed by Missinglink Co., Ltd., include Mobile Trainer (GAMEBOY) and Pokemon Party Mini (The Pokemon Company). They have also localized action games for the Sony PlayStation and ported a shooting game to the SEGA Saturn. In Aprilof this year, Denyusha Co., Ltd., was founded as a subsidiary of Missinglink Co., Ltd., to focus purely on game development.

About Publisher (Emurasoft, Inc.):

Emurasoft, Inc., a leading custom Windows software developer, was founded in 2000 in Redmond, Washington. Since 1995, Emsoft, k.k, Emurasoft, Inc.'s parent company in Tsukuba, Japan, has created a number of popular shareware products as well as custom software solutions for corporate clients like KDDI, Hitachi Maxell Co, Ltd, and NTT Communications. By April 2002, its shareware products, including the popular text editor EmEditor, had been sold to over 80,000 users worldwide. Emurasoft, Inc.'s services and products include custom software development, localization of software and web sites, and graphic design. For further information, please visit Emurasoft's website at www.emurasoft.com.

Related Links: Visit Emurasoft's Website Today.

[PCGaming] Strategy First Release Prince of Qin (PC) Demo - posted by Erich Becker at 12:45 pm CDT

Prince of Qin is an action role-playing game, set in the last 4 years of the Great Qin Dynasty in China from 210 BC to 206 BC. After the death of the First Emperor, the Qin Dynasty began to crumble and the last 4 years of the Dynasty was a time of great turmoil as various warlords tried to snatch the imperial throne.

This is the Multiplayer Demo based on the POQ Battle.Net version. The POQ Battle.Net version is quite different from the single player version, providing a series of large, new scenes, numerous missions, diverse characters and a variety of items. Newly added functions like Dialogue and Transaction amongst gamers, and the Team and Group functions provide players more complete interchangeability.

Install the Demo, log onto POQ Battle.Net and experience the world of Prince Of Qin. Below is a list of the differences between the Demo and the Full Version:

In the full game, there are five playable characters: Paladin, Muscleman, Assassin, Wizard and Witch. However, in the Demo, players can only select between Paladin and the Wizard.

In the Demo players can only upgrade their characters to level 5 as compared to an upgrade level of 99 in the full game.

In the Demo, players can only reach three low-level scenes: Zhaocun village, the Suburbs of Yangzhou and Tiger-fish Cave, whereas in the full game there are
about scenes.

In the full game, there are about 30 missions for players to accomplish. However, in the Demo, players have only two primary tasks.

[PCGaming] NCsoft Acquires ArenaNet - posted by Erich Becker at 12:44 pm CDT

NCsoft Acquires ArenaNet
Studio with Creative Ties to Hit Games Warcraft, StarCraft and Diablo To Join NCsoft Family

Seoul, South Korea, December 12, 2002-NCsoft(tm) Corporation, the world's largest online game company, today announced the acquisition of ArenaNet(r), a Seattle-based game development studio with a creative pedigree that has connections to some of the most successful computer games ever developed. The announcement was made during the opening day of the Korea Amuse World Game Expo 2002 (KAMEX) taking place in Seoul, South Korea.

ArenaNet was established in 2000 by three key members of the Blizzard Entertainment Development team. The Founders were involved in leadership roles in the creation of the Warcraft, StarCraft and Diablo game series, and were responsible for the creation of the Battle.net gaming network. ArenaNet's mission is to create a state-of-the-art, interactive game network and to design and publish premier multiplayer online games for dedicated game players.

"We are pleased to announce the newest member of our NCsoft family," said Tack Jin Kim, president and CEO of NCsoft Corp. "The people at ArenaNet have an established track record in this industry of creating some of the most innovative and successful game titles ever. We're very excited to bring this gifted and talented team to NCsoft. They will make an already strong online product lineup even stronger."

"We are excited to become part of NCsoft," said Patrick Wyatt, who co-founded ArenaNet with Mike O'Brien and Jeff Strain. "We are confident that our development strengths will greatly contribute to NCsoft's continuing worldwide leadership in the online game market."

About NCsoft
Headquartered in Seoul, South Korea, NCsoft is the world's largest independent online game company. Established in 1997 as a systems integration company, NCsoft has leaped to become Korea's and the world's leading online game software company. In Korea, its blockbuster hit game Lineage(tm) (http://www.lineage.com) commands a 47% market share and attracts the greatest number of concurrent users in the world. NCsoft is a public company and is traded on the KOSDAQ Korean stock exchange. . In fiscal year 2001, NCsoft posted revenues of 124,735,958,000 Korean won or approximately US$95 million. More information about NCsoft can be found at http://www.ncsoft.net.

About ArenaNet
Error! Hyperlink reference not valid.ArenaNet, located in Seattle, Washington, was founded by key members of the creative teams that developed the hit game series Warcraft, StarCraft, and Diablo, as well as Battle.net, the most-successful gaming network in the world. ArenaNet will create a state-of-the-art, interactive game network and will design and publish premier multiplayer online games for dedicated game players. More information about ArenaNet can be found at http://www.arena.net.

Tuesday, December 10, 2002
[Community] GamesXtreme Reviews Rallisport Challenge (PC) - posted by Erich Becker at 3:00 pm CDT

GamesXtreme has posted a review of Rallisport Challenge for the PC. See the full review after reading this snippet.

"Completing career mode is absolutely essential, and is the only way to unlock more cars and tracks. However to help you get more points and to finish the races in first place, Single Mode lets you race any unlocked track against 3 opponents, effectively allowing you to try and try again until your skills on a particular track are up to scratch. Single mode is especially useful in testing out various cars so you can see which one in more suited to a particular event and how they handle on different surfaces."

Related Links: See the Full Review!

Monday, December 09, 2002
[PC Gaming] Impossible Creatures Trial Version Available Now - posted by Andy Grieser at 1:22 pm CDT

Impossible Creatures Trial Version Available Now

Microsoft Game Studios and Relic Entertainment today announced that the Impossible Creatures trial version is now available on the game's official site at http://www.microsoft.com/games/impossiblecreatures/ . Developed by Relic Entertainment, Inc., the Impossible Creatures demo lets g amers who are itching to create the most unique armies ever found in a real-time strategy (RTS) game play through three single-player missions, a tutorial and two "player vs. CPU" maps. The Sigma Combiner is also included, enabling gamers to create their own army of fearsome creatures that are generated by mixing and matching the various parts of two different animals.

Fourteen animals are included in the trial version, while 50 different animals will be available in the retail product.

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 for an estimated retail price of $44.95 (U.S.) . For more information, visit the official site at

[PC Gaming] 3DO Announces Heroes of Might and Magic IV: Winds of War Expansion Pack - posted by Andy Grieser at 1:19 pm CDT

3DO Announces Heroes(r) of Might and Magic(r) IV: Winds of War(tm) Expansion Pack

Expansion Loaded with Fan-Made Maps, All-New Creatures, Six Big Campaigns

REDWOOD CITY, CA -- December 9, 2002 -- The 3DO Company (Nasdaq: THDO) today announced Heroes of Might and Magic IV: Winds of War for the PC. In the second expansion to the best-selling fantasy turn-based strategy game, players battle fantastic creatures and face fierce armies across 40 action-packed maps. The Expansion Pack is scheduled to ship this Spring.

"With the breathtaking graphics and sophisticated storylines of Winds of War, we have continued the Heroes tradition," said Trip Hawkins, founder and chief executive officer of The 3DO Company. "In this pack, players will enjoy hours of thrilling gameplay as they venture through six new campaigns and tinker with the new customization options."

Can You Claim the Throne of Channon?
In Heroes of Might and Magic IV: Winds of War, players are transported to the land of Channon, a large and populous kingdom occupying most of Axeoth's northern continent. The shining capital city has become the target of no less than five invading armies who covet its lands and riches. Players assume the roles of five conquerors, each staging his own uniquely driven invasion, before facing a showdown for ultimate control.

Features for Heroes of Might and Magic IV: Winds of War include:

* New single-scenario maps created by New World Computing as well as contest-winning single-scenario maps created by fans
* Six new Heroes campaigns
* Three original fantastic creatures
* New adventure objects, including six creature generators
* Additional Campaign Editor features, including a customizable object painter
* New storylines for the campaigns
* All new music track

Developed by New World Computing, a division of The 3DO Company, Heroes IV: Winds of War is the latest game in the best-selling Might and Magic line. Selling more than 4.5 million units worldwide and translated into over a dozen languages, the Might and Magic series is a proven success.

Heroes of Might and Magic IV: Winds of War is slated to ship this Spring. For more information about this Expansion Pack and Might and Magic products, please visit www.3do.com.

Friday, December 06, 2002
[MacGaming] NASCAR Racing 2002 Season (Mac) Announced - posted by Erich Becker at 2:39 pm CDT

Aspyr Media has announced that Sierra and Papyrus' NASCAR Racing 2002 Season, the best NASCAR game on the market, is coming over to the Macintosh, be sure to check our our review of the the PC version right here.

Here's a snippet from Aspyr's Mini-Page on the game, click the link below for full information.

"Gentlemen, start your engines!

Battle it out with all of today's top drivers as you race for the 2002 championship!

Get behind the wheel of a 750 horsepower stock car and battle for the championship on real-life tracks. Get under the hood to fine-tune your car or just jump in and race against the best in Arcade Mode. Feel car vibrations, hear the roar of the engines, and sweat it out racing fender to fender at 180 miles per hour."

Related Links: Get the low down on this game!

[PCGaming] Xicat Ships Zanzarah (PC) - posted by Erich Becker at 2:36 pm CDT

Zanzarah ships! Teen fantasy game makes its way to store shelves with support from web promotion

Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. – December 4, 2002 – Xicat Interactive Inc., publisher of the award-winning fantasy, Gothic, announces that Zanzarah, its new fantasy game targeting teenage girls, is shipping. This stunning adventure, set in a mythical world of fairies and goblins, revolves around Amy; a strong teenage heroine who must save the land of Zanzarah.

To support the release of Zanzarah, Xicat is launching a web promotion offering gift items as well as a rebate for the game. This promotion will hit three major teen girl sites (Seventeen.com, gurl.com & teenmag.com), and will run the first three weeks of December. Xicat has partnered with cosmetics company, Tarnished Angel, who will be providing the free nail polish and delivery for the promotion. Xicat will be also offering a $5 rebate card with purchase of the game.

“Zanzarah is a game designed for girl gamers who just can’t identify with the Lara Crofts of the world, but want to play a strong female lead.” Says John Linn, Creative Director at Xicat. “We are expecting some great response from the promotion as well; there really isn’t any competition in this much ignored teen girl market. We’re confident Zanzarah will be a key title for Xicat this holiday season.”

Zanzarah, expected to hit store shelves on Tuesday, December 10th, is available on PC CD-ROM throughout North America, and is rated T for Mild Violence.

About Xicat Interactive:

Publishing award-winning games for PlayStation2®, Nintendo® Gamecube® and Game Boy® Advance, Microsoft® Xbox™ and Personal Computers, Xicat Interactive, Inc., (http://www.xicat.com/) is headquartered in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., with offices in London and Zurich. A fast-growing innovator in the world of interactive entertainment software publishing Xicat’s popular titles include Sniper: Path of Vengeance, Black Stone, Metal Dungeon, U.S. Special Forces: Team Factor, Jane's Attack Squadron, Top Angler, X-Plane, and Gothic which can be found at Target, Wal-Mart, Best Buy, Circuit City, Toys R Us, K-Mart, Best Buy and Electronic Boutique among other retailers.

[PCGaming] Microsoft Launches the Rise of Nations Site - posted by Erich Becker at 2:35 pm CDT

Assemble Your Troops at the Official Rise of Nations Site

Microsoft Game Studios today announced that the official Rise of Nations site is now live at http://www.microsoft.com/games/riseofnations/. Visitors to the newly launched site will be able to learn about the game's features and view screenshots of this ground-breaking real-time strategy (RTS) game. The official site also features information about the nations, units, technology and ages that will be available in Rise of Nations. Budding webmasters can download the Rise of Nations Fan Site Kit, which has everything they'll need to create a top-notch Rise of Nations site.

Rise of Nations combines the epic scope of traditional turn-based strategy games with the fast-paced action of RTS games. The game allows players to create new cities, improve their city infrastructure and expand national borders. Players have the option to win through military might using everything from slingshots to cannons to stealth bombers, corner the market on key commodities, and wheel and deal with a wide variety of Nations. Unlike other historical RTS games, Rise of Nations allows gamers to quickly play through eight historical epochs of time from the Ancient Age to the Information age, covering 6,000 years of history. This latest title from Big Huge Games Inc. founder Brian Reynolds (designer of Civilization 2 and Alpha Centauri*) is scheduled for U.S. release in spring 2003.

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.

* * *

Related Links: Rise of Nations Official Website

[PlayStation2] Ubi Soft Announces Chessmaster for the PS2 - posted by Erich Becker at 2:33 pm CDT

Ubi Soft® Announces Chessmaster® For The PlayStation®2

The Best-Selling Chess Franchise of All Time will Launch with Support for Sony Online

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - December 6, 2002 - Ubi Soft Entertainment, one of the world's largest video game publishers, today announced that it is developing a version of Chessmaster for the PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system. Chessmaster for PlayStation 2 offers novices and experts alike a full curriculum to elevate their game, while introducing them to the fun and strategy of the game of chess. The title is expected to ship to U.S. retail stores in March 2003.

"Chessmaster for the PlayStation 2 is an invitation for console gamers to experience the thrill of chess as they build their skills and unleash the Chessmaster within," said Tony Kee, vice president of marketing for Ubi Soft Entertainment. "With Chessmaster, you can play by yourself against personalities of all strengths, from beginners to grandmasters, or you can connect via Sony Online to find a willing and worthy human opponent anytime."

About Chessmaster for the PlayStation 2:
Chessmaster for the PlayStation 2 brings a grandmaster-strength engine, the strongest ever in a console product, to the PlayStation 2 platform. With opponents of every skill level from beginner to grandmaster, anyone can find a challenge that matches their abilities, or inspiration to become a master. Chessmaster for PlayStation 2 also has a library of tools to elevate your game, including the complete tutorial content from Josh Waitzkin and renowned chess coach Bruce Pandolfini as found in the Chessmaster 9000 PC product. With an entirely new interface specifically designed to take advantage of the PlayStation 2, the new controls make Chessmaster easy to play and fun to learn the secrets of chess.

Chessmaster for PlayStation 2 Features:

" Chessmaster Championships-A new series of tournaments offers a challenge for players of every skill level. As players improve, they are rewarded with special events and new opponents.

" Powerful Tutorials-The complete set of Chessmaster tutorials from celebrated chess coach Bruce Pandolfini and International Master and chess celebrity, Josh Waitzkin.

" Handicap Matches-Provides an easy, elegant and fun way to balance games between players of unequal skill.

" 3D Chess Battlefield-Includes a special 3D chess set that features fantasy characters such as, orcs, elves, knights and monsters that animate as they move on a checkered battlefield.

" Player Statistics-players can measure their growth and improvement using tournament results, tutorial and drill statistics. A tool that anyone can use to measure growth as a chess player.

" Dynamic Playing World-In real life, chess players have good days and bad days and in Chessmaster this applies to the AI opponents as well. Player ratings will vary in a more realistic manner.

" New Chess Sets-A variety of 3D chess sets tailored to the PlayStation 2.

About Chessmaster
Since the first version of appeared for the PC in 1986, Chessmaster has been the dominant chess franchise in the world, selling more than 5 million units and winning numerous awards. Chessmaster for PlayStation 2 builds on the strong foundation of its predecessors by adding many new tools to help players master the game of chess, while offering console gamers the ability to play one of history's greatest games. With a number of multiplayer capabilities for both on and offline play, and AI opponents for every level of skill, Chessmaster for PlayStation 2 offers an anytime challenge for anyone interested in the game of chess.

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.

©2002 Ubi Soft, Inc. All rights reserved. Ubi Soft Entertainment, the Ubi Soft logo and Chessmaster are registered trademarks of Ubi Soft, Inc. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

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