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February 01, 2002 - March 04, 2002 - See More Archived News


Monday, March 04, 2002
 
[MacGaming] 4x4 Evolution 2 Streets for Mac - posted by Erich Becker at 12:56 pm CDT

4x4 Evo 2 for the Macintosh shipped earlier this month, developed for both the PC and Macintosh by Terminal Reality.

Leave your worries behind and tear up the open road with over 120 different vehicles to choose from, from Jeep, Dodge, Nissan, Lexus, Infinity, Toyota, Mitsubishi, Chevrolet and GMC. There are 32 exotic locations to choose from, including the swamps of Louisiana and the great Pyramids. Win races and get the cash to get cool parts for your off-road monster, with parts from over 30 part manufacturers. Roll bars, race tires, shocks snorkel and more, get the off-road machine you've always dreamed of. And when you are ready to get some "live? competition, 4x4 Evo 2 offers head to head online multiplayer competition, pitting you against Mac or PC racers. Jump on the internet and have them eat your dust!

Mac System requirement are:

-MacOS 9.1 or later
-MacOS X compatible
-450MHz or faster
-128 MB of memory
-8X CD-ROM
-Hardware 3D Acceleration required (ATI Rage 128 or later, Radeon or GeForce recommended)

4x4 Evo2 is available via our web site (www.aspyr.com), for $39.95 plus shipping and handling.

Related Links: Aspyr Media


 
[PressRelease] Ubi Soft Announces Rainbow Six: Raven Shield (PC/XBox) - posted by Erich Becker at 12:55 pm CDT

Ubi Soft Unleashes The Next Generation Of Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six

San Francisco March 4, 2002 Ubi Soft® Entertainment, one of the worlds largest videogame publishers, today announced plans to develop and publish the next installment of the best-selling Rainbow Six series of games with Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six®: Raven Shield. Ubi Soft will release Rainbow Six®: Raven Shield on both the PC and the Xbox video game system in the fall of 2002.

Rainbow Six®: Raven Shield is the sequel to the immensely popular Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six®: Rogue Spear, 2000 Action Game Of The Year, and Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six®, 1999 Action Game Of The Year*. It will be the third game in the Rainbow Six line, which has sold more than 6.7 million copies worldwide.

The Rainbow Six franchise is known for its action-packed game play and heart-stopping realism, and Rainbow Six®: Raven Shield will continue the tradition. Developed by Ubi Softs Montreal studio, in close collaboration with Red Storm Entertainment, Rainbow Six®: Raven Shield features a brand new Tom Clancy storyline in which Team RAINBOW is led all over the world in a string of dramatic operations. The game will utilize graphics technology provided by the next-generation Unreal? engine to power 15 new single-player missions that include the discovery of a cache of biological weapons and stopping an armed gang from terrorizing a London bank.

Fans have been pleading with us for a long time to come out with another chapter in this blockbuster series of games, and Rainbow Six®: Raven Shield will be worth the wait, said Laurent Detoc, president of Ubi Soft Entertainment Inc. The secrecy behind this project has been crucial to the evolution of the game. We?ll be ready to unveil all the action at the Electronic Entertainment Expo in Los Angeles this May.

* Tom Clancy's Rogue Spear named 2000 Action Game Of The Year by PC Gamer and Computer Gaming World. Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six named 1999 Action Game Of The Year by PC Gamer.

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 publicwith games of excellent quality that allow the sharing of thrilling experiences. Set up in 1986, Ubi Soft has a presence in 20 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

© 2002 Red Storm Entertainment, Inc. Red Storm and Red Storm Entertainment are trademarks of Red Storm Entertainment, Inc. Red Storm Entertainment, Inc. is a Ubi Soft Entertainment company. All Rights Reserved. Xbox is a trademark of Microsoft Corporation in the United States and/or other countries. Unreal Engine is a trademark of Epic Games Inc.


Friday, March 01, 2002
 
[Community] Metal Gear Solid 2 (PS2) Review at games xtreme - posted by Erich Becker at 1:50 pm CDT

Todays review on games xtreme is for Konami's Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty, the sequel to what many regard as the best Playstation game ever, Metal Gear Solid. Konami have truly outdone themselves this time, and the reviewer could hardly find a fault with the game, giving it 100%.

And a snippet:
"The texturing on the models, characters and props is also fantastic.I really get a kick out of the laser sighting on the USP and Socom Pistols, not to mention the M9 as it snapshots a dart into the body part of a hapless guard. But what really makes the game for me graphics wise is that the guards react to the actual environment as they're shot, apart from gouts of blood and pain animations galore.they actually topple over railings and slump against the walls. Yes that's right I said slump, there are no parts in the game that I could see the deadly 'arm into graphics' or 'head into wall' syndrome that plagues so many other PC and Console shooters. It seems that Kojima has really gotten on the ball with this aspect of the game. Blood? Yes there is blood and it's there in flowing rivers of Crimson abandon, when you're shot, when you shoot someone, it sprays the floor and the wall behind with a nice red gush."


Related Links: Heres the link:


 
[PressRelease] Microsoft Announces Combat Flight Simulator 3 - posted by Erich Becker at 7:25 am CDT

"Combat Flight Simulator 3" Takes to the Skies

Microsoft Announces Latest Installment of the Popular "Combat Flight Simulator" Franchise

LAS VEGAS - Feb. 27, 2002 - Today at the MicrosoftR PC Games International Games Festival, Microsoft Corp. announced that "Combat Flight Simulator 3," the latest installment in the "Combat Flight Simulator" franchise, is in development and scheduled for release this fall. "Combat Flight Simulator 3" features an advanced graphics engine designed to showcase realistic terrain, ground objects and detailed aircraft during high-speed, low-altitude combat missions. Coupled with the "Flight Simulator 2002" physics engine, "Combat Flight Simulator 3" continues to build on Microsoft's reputation for building the world's best-selling PC-based flight simulators.

"Combat Flight Simulator 3" also incorporates new role-playing aspects, giving players pilots' attributes that can be developed during the course of the war. As the war campaign continues, pilots will experience increased tolerance to G-forces, improving or declining vision, and fluctuations to physical health.

"Combat Flight Simulator 3" takes place from 1943 to the end of World War II, putting players in the role of a fighter, ground attack or bomber pilot in an assortment of combat scenarios. Featuring 18 World War II aircraft, including the first jet fighters in history, "Combat Flight Simulator 3" allows players to fly with the U.S. Army Air Force, Britain's Royal Air Force (RAF) or the German Luftwaffe in a variety of missions focused around air superiority, close air support and tactical bombing.

"'Combat Flight Simulator 3' is as real as it gets without actually sitting in the cockpit of a World War II bomber," said Tucker Hatfield, producer, Microsoft Game Studios. "We've taken a leading franchise and incorporated design and gameplay elements we've always dreamed of using. New features like low-altitude bombing, role-playing elements and a completely redesigned graphics engine will give players the most exhilarating combat flight simulation experience to date."

One of the most significant additions to "Combat Flight Simulator 3" is enhanced cooperative multiplayer capabilities, enabling up to 16 friends to work together to achieve campaign goals. Gamers also will be able to fly a medium bomber with friends, allowing each person to play as bombardier or gunner. Players can now host their own campaign and mission servers to simulate a "persistent" multiplayer game, allowing them to continue to fly World War II missions in an ongoing campaign for as long as the server is running. Battles won or lost during an online game will reflect on the mission server and will significantly impact the outcome of the campaign.

For further information about Microsoft PC Games International Games Festival, please visit http://www.microsoft.com/games/gamesfestival/.

About the Microsoft PC Games Group

The Microsoft PC Games group, part of Microsoft Game Studios, comprises many of the industry's top development studios. Committed to publishing a diverse PC games portfolio, Microsoft Game Studios develops, publishes and distributes such award-winning franchises as "Flight Simulator," "Age of EmpiresR," "LinksR," "MechWarriorR" and "Zoo TycoonT," as well as original titles across all genres. More information is available at http://www.microsoft.com/games/

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.

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[PressRelease] LucasArts Announces Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic for XBox and PC - posted by Erich Becker at 7:24 am CDT

LUCASARTS CHOOSES XBOX AND PC AS PLATFORMS FOR STAR WARS KNIGHTS OF THE OLD REPUBLIC

Xbox Version of Star Wars Role Playing Game Expected Fall 2002; PC Version Slated for Spring 2003

SAN RAFAEL, Calif. -- February 28, 2002 -- LucasArts Entertainment Company LLC today announced its upcoming role playing game (RPG), Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic, will debut on the Xbox video game system this fall and release on PC early 2003. Developed by BioWare Corp., the dramatic game features an original story set some 4,000 years prior to the timeframe of the Star Wars films in an era dominated by an epic conflict between the Jedi and the evil Sith.

"Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic will be available on two dynamic platforms, Xbox and PC, both of which are perfectly suited for the incredibly compelling and high action role playing experience this game will offer," says Simon Jeffery, president of LucasArts. "As always, LucasArts' goal is to determine the best platform fit for each game. In this case, BioWare's tremendous expertise in the PC RPG genre makes that platform an ideal showcase for the game, while an Xbox version provides a great opportunity for LucasArts to establish the first major RPG franchise on that platform."

"BioWare has been fortunate to develop role playing games that have been well received over the years," says Ray Muzyka, BioWare's joint CEO and co-executive producer of Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic. "In Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic, we'll be able to bring BioWare's strengths
- engaging story development, striking art and animation style, and rewarding character development - to the Star Wars universe in a way that will deliver an amazing game play experience."

Added Greg Zeschuk, BioWare's other joint CEO and co-executive producer, "The Xbox and PC are both fantastic game machines, and the development team is committed to pushing the boundaries of both platforms to make Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic the best role playing game possible." Additional information about Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic can be found on the LucasArts web site at http://www.lucasarts.com/products/swkotor

About LucasArts
LucasArts Entertainment Company LLC is a leading international developer and publisher of interactive entertainment software for a variety of computer and console platforms. Based in San Rafael, Calif., as well as on the Internet at www.lucasarts.com, LucasArts is one of five companies in the Lucas group which include Lucasfilm Ltd., Lucas Digital Ltd. LLC, Lucas Licensing Ltd., and Lucas Learning Ltd. Lucasfilm is one of the leading film and entertainment companies in the world. Lucasfilm's businesses include George Lucas' film and television production and distribution activities as well as the business activities of the THX Group. Lucas Digital, which consists of Industrial Light & Magic (ILM) and Skywalker Sound, provides visual effects and audio post-production services to the entertainment industry. Lucas Licensing is responsible for the merchandising of all Lucasfilm's film and television properties. Lucas Learning creates engaging interactive entertainment products that provide learning opportunities through exploration and discovery.

About BioWare Corp.
BioWare Corp. is an electronic entertainment company that develops computer and console games. Our published projects include: Shattered Steel, the genre-defining Baldur's Gate role playing game series, MDK 2 for Dreamcast and PC, and MDK 2: Armageddon for PlayStation 2. Recently, BioWare released the award winning Baldur's Gate Throne of Bhaal, a massive expansion pack to Baldur's Gate II Shadows of Amn. BioWare's developers are currently hard at work on two titles to be released this year; Neverwinter Nights( - a Dungeons and Dragons( fantasy role playing game for single and multiplayer (to be published by Infogrames), and Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic (to be published by LucasArts). As well, development is under way on a new, unannounced, third project. BioWare information can be found online at www.bioware.com.

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[Community]Need OS Updates? - posted by Erich Becker at 7:18 am CDT

Just a quick note for letting you know that we just uploaded a heavily modified OS Updates page, as usual bringing you up to date the page with all latest patches available for most MS' Operating Systems, we have fixed/optimized links & such, as well as add some to the chipsets section.

Related Links: Take it a look


 
[Community] NVIDIA Tweaking Tips from 3DSpotlight - posted by Erich Becker at 7:17 am CDT

NVIDIA Graphics cards are widely regarded as being the most technologically advanced Graphics cards you can buy for Gaming today. They are also one of the more configurable Graphics cards around, with literally dozens of settings available to set in the Drivers, some selectable in Display Properties, others via the registry or 3rd party Applications.

3D Spotlight's guide will take you through using one such utility to configure your NVIDIA Graphics card as well as other troubleshooting/BIOS information to get it all running stably.

Related Links: View the Full Article



Tuesday, February 26, 2002
 
[Community] Gaming-Unlimited Reviews Parappa the Rappa 2 (PS2) - posted by Erich Becker at 3:24 pm CDT

Gaming-Unlimited, part of the 3D-Unlimited Network, has posted a review of Sony's new game, Parappa the Rappa 2 for Playstation 2. Check out our review! Also, tomorrow we will be featuring our second video review of this game! Look for that!


Related Links: See The Full Review!


 
[PressRelease] Strategy First Aquires the Rights to Dragon Throne - posted by Erich Becker at 3:23 pm CDT

TRAVEL BACK IN TIME TO ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT BATTLES IN CHINESE HISTORY

Montreal, Quebec. Feb, 26th, 2002 - Strategy First is pleased to announce that they have acquired the worldwide rights to Dragon Throne: Battle of Red Cliffs after recently signing the North American publishing agreement with developers, Object Software.

?We are looking forward to bringing Dragon Throne to a worldwide market," says Stewart Braybrook, Director of European Operations for Strategy First. ?We see a great potential for it to do very well with both European and Asian audiences. It focuses on a highly celebrated and recognized time in Chinese history and does a great job taking the success of Fate of the Dragon and expanding on it."

Dragon Throne takes players back in time to one of the most significant battles of the Three Kingdoms - the Battle of Red Cliffs. Based in a turbulent and chaotic era, this real-time strategy game follows the collapse of the Chinese Empire - at the end of the Han Dynasty where war and opposition divided China into three kingdoms - Shu, Wei and Wu, led by the warlords Liu Bei, Cao Cao and Sun Quan. Although this tumultuous period lasted less than 100 years, it was so full of rivalry and epic conflict that it still remains one of the most celebrated eras in Chinese history!

Through individual campaigns, players will control their kingdom?s armies and wage war for supremacy as either one of three warlords. They must lead their kingdom by building their own regime, develop new technologies, establish strategic alliances and create powerful armies in an attempt to control the three kingdoms and reunify the nation.

Strategy First will release Dragon Throne throughout North America in Q3 2002 with Infogrames. To discuss potential publishing and/or distribution agreements for Dragon Throne: Battle of Red Cliffs in your respective territory, please contact Strategy First's Business Development department at business@strategyfirst.com.

About Object Software
Object Software Limited (?Object Software?) is a PC game developer, with a Studio in Beijing?s Haidian District that has 30 employees engaged in game production. Object Software has been operating in China?s capital since February 1995. Object Software specializes in PC games set in ancient Chinese historical contexts and is best known for ?Fate of the Dragon,? a real time strategy game set in the famous Three Kingdoms Period of China?s history about 1800 years ago, which was released around the world by Eidos in March 2001.

About Strategy First
Strategy First Inc. is a leading developer and worldwide publisher of entertainment software for the PC. Founded in 1990, the company has grown rapidly, publishing major games in the industry and simultaneously developing its own in-house titles such as O.R.B., Disciples II, Nexagon: The Pit and Zero-G Marines. After winning numerous awards for games such as Disciples: Sacred Lands, Europa Universalis, Kohan: Immortal Sovereigns and Steel Beasts, Strategy First continues to push the gaming envelope with its own groundbreaking titles, while maintaining its reputation as a unique alternative for independent developers seeking to market their games to a worldwide audience.


 
[PressRelease] Kohan Nominated for Computer Strategy Game of the Year by AIAS - posted by Erich Becker at 3:22 pm CDT

KOHAN DOES IT AGAIN ADDING AN AIAS NOMINATION FOR "COMPUTER STRATEGY GAME OF THE YEAR" TO ITS REMARKABLE LIST OF ACHIEVEMENTS

Houston, TX. (February 26, 2002) - TimeGate Studios and Strategy First are pleased to announce that Kohan: Immortal Sovereigns, the critically acclaimed and award winning real-time strategy game is nominated again, this time for "Computer Strategy Game of the Year" by the Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences (AIAS) 5th Annual Interactive Achievement Awards. The Award ceremony will take place February 28th, 2002 at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas.

"We are honored to be recognized by one of the most influential organizations in our industry," said Adel Chaveleh, Managing Director of TimeGate Studios. "To be nominated in a fiercely competitive category such as ?Strategy Game of the Year? is quite an accomplishment. We are very proud."

Since its release in March 2001, Kohan: Immortal Sovereigns has won over 20 awards and nominations, including the coveted ?Real-Time Strategy Game of the Year Award? from three of the most influential gaming magazines in the industry - PC Gamer, Computer Gaming World and Computer Games Magazine. It has graced virtually every Holiday Buyer's Guide and End of Year List for 2001 and continues to receive recognition for its innovation and depth of gameplay from top media
critics:

- Computer Gaming World Magazine - Strategy Game of the Year
- PC Gamer Magazine - Real-time Strategy Game of the Year
- Computer Games Magazine - Real-time Strategy Game of the Year
- GamesDomain - Strategy Game of the Year
- Gamepen - RTS Game of the Year
- GameVortex - PC Game of the Year

For a full list of awards and reviews, visit the TimeGate Studios website www.timegate.com or the Kohan: Immortal Sovereigns dedicated page www.timegate.com/kis.

Kohan's unique blend of strategic and innovative gameplay will appeal to any strategy, tactical or RPG gamer. While adhering to some of the basics of traditional RTS style games, Kohan's distinctive economy model eliminates the need for micro management of resources, leaving the player with more time for strategic combat. With its company based combat system, use of military concepts such as formations, visual range, supply range and even morale, in addition to its gripping storyline and role-playing elements, players will become immersed in the lush and visually stunning fantasy land of Khaldun where dragons, spells and swords are common place.

About TimeGate Studios, Inc.
TimeGate Studios, Inc., http://www.timegate.com/ is committed to being a premier content provider for all popular gaming platforms. Founded in 1998 in Houston, Texas, TimeGate has gained the recognition of industry leaders by meeting the demands of fantasy real-time strategy players over the demands of commercialists and marketers. Their debut (RTS) project, Kohan: Immortal Sovereigns, has earned nearly 25 awards for its innovation and superiority. Future projects for TimeGate Studios include expanding its existing line of strategy titles and entering the online multiplayer market.

About Strategy First
Strategy First Inc. is a leading developer and worldwide publisher of entertainment software for the PC. Founded in 1990, the company has grown rapidly, publishing major games in the industry and simultaneously developing its own in-house titles such as O.R.B., Disciples II, Nexagon: The Pit and Zero-G Marines. After winning numerous awards for games such as Disciples: Sacred Lands, Europa Universalis, Kohan: Immortal Sovereigns and Steel Beasts, Strategy First continues to push the gaming envelope with its own groundbreaking titles, while maintaining its reputation as a unique alternative for independent developers seeking to market their games to a worldwide audience.


 
[PressRelease] NCSoft Unviels Episode 10 of Lineage - posted by Erich Becker at 3:20 pm CDT

NCsoft Invites Lineage Players to Enter the Lair of Valakas


Episode 10 of the Most Popular Online Game in the World Debuts Today

Austin, TX, February 26, 2002 - Northeast of the Dragon Valley and the northwest of Giran lies the Lair of Valakas the fire dragon. Dominated by an imposing and rumbling volcano, it is a location filled with mythical beasts and magical creatures. It is also the location introduced with Episode 10 of Lineage(tm), the most popular online game in the world.

NCsoft(tm) Corporation, the world's largest independent online game company, today announced that this new episode in the continuing Lineage epic is now available for exploration, interaction, and play in North America. "Episode 10 continues the story of Lineage and will further immerse players in this wondrous and compelling online world," said Richard Garriott, executive producer for NCsoft Austin. "Lair of Valakas promises many new surprises for Lineage players and will advance the storyline, introduce new characters and provide a challenging gameplay environment."

At the base of the Lair of Valakas are two large cave entrances. Players who enter the caves will discover the largest living place of the dwarves in Aden - the underground dwarf kingdom and the Steel Gate guild. In the underground dwarf kingdom, the heat of the volcano's lava is used to forge steel in the blacksmith shops. With this steel, the dwarf blacksmiths are able to create special weapons and defensive items.

In addition, the familiar Lineage siege system exists in the dwarven kingdom, and players can attempt to capture control of the Steel Gate guild and its resources. Players must also constantly be on the lookout for volcanic activity, for it heralds the emergence of Valakas, the fire dragon. With Episode 10, Lineage introduces the MMORPG genre to Macintosh fans with an all-new game client designed for Mac OS X (v10.1.2). For the first time, Mac and PC gamers will be able to play side-by-side in an online graphical fantasy world.

Lineage players can choose from four different character archetypes-a heroic knight, clever wizard, nimble elf, or royal prince/princess. Creating a character is quick and easy. New players can immediately jump into the game and learn the ropes in a Lineage new player area where they may quickly level up and learn the basics in preparation for the adventures and perils that lie ahead. And unlike other subscription-based games, Lineage offers FREE updates that expand the game world to exotic new lands filled with fierce creatures.

Lineage is distributed via FREE download from the Internet at the Lineage web site, http://www.lineage.com. Free Lineage CDs can also be ordered from the web site. Subscribed customers will receive future CDs free as part of the service. The Web site has helpful information about playing Lineage and also includes online manuals, account management tools, news, game support areas and community message boards.

Lineage comes with a 30-day free trial. After the trial period, players are charged US$15 per month. Players can save money by purchasing four months at a rate of US$11.25 per month. An Internet connection is required to play Lineage.

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 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.

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Thursday, February 21, 2002
 
[ESCMAG] ESCNews Tool Fixed - posted by Toby Davis at 9:06 pm CDT

We have been having recent problems with our news section due to technical difficulties and buggy code libraries. As of this writing, our news tool has been updated with new libraries and successfully tested.

Thank you for your patience.


Tuesday, February 19, 2002
 
[Community] 3DSpotlight Reviews $1700 Flat Panel Display - posted by Erich Becker at 7:40 am CDT

Dimension Technologies has been working for years in flat panel displays that can simulate 3D environments without the need of using glasses, head trackers or helmets. Even though its applications can go from Medical to Business use, DTI 3D LCDs are also aimed to hardcore gamers looking for a complete new experience... so, here we bring you our complete review of this $1700 piece of art, so how did it perform?

Here's a snip:
The original “virtual window” 15” display was designed in 1998, followed by an 18” display adopted by NASA. These original units were expensive and not really intended for the average home user. A few years later (2001), DTI released the 2015XLS 15” 3D display at an affordable $1699. It’s bigger brother, the 2018XLQ 18” display unit weighs in at a hefty $6,999.


Related Links: See How This $1700 Toy Performs @3D Spotlight


 
[PressRelease] G3 Studios Announces First Pocket PC Game - posted by Erich Becker at 7:38 am CDT

G3 STUDIOS ANNOUNCES FIRST POCKET PC GAME TITLE

G3 Studios prepares launch of its product catalog with the release of "Black Jack Pro" later this month

Laguna Niguel, CA (02/18/2002) - G3 Studios, a developer and publisher of video games for handheld devices, Pocket PC and other platforms, today unveiled its first title, "Black Jack Pro," scheduled for release later this month. It marks the first title in a series of video games specifically designed and developed for handheld devices, such as the Pocket PC platforms and Sharp Zaurus.

"Black Jack Pro" is an upscale Black Jack game that has a number of features that set it apart from the typical shareware-style crop of similarly themed casino games. Apart from 16-bit graphics and animation, the game accommodates different game styles and rules, while also teaching winning strategies.

"We tried to capture the essence of a real casino Black Jack game," G3 Studios' CEO Guido Henkel says. "Whether you want to play according to the Las Vegas Strip Rules, or feel like you're in Atlantic City, the game accommodates these games."

"Black Jack Pro" allows players to select from Las Vegas Strip, Las Vegas Downtown, Reno and Atlantic City rules, all of which are faithfully implemented in the game. The game is highly customizable, allowing the player to turn various features on and off at any time, while also selecting the number of decks in play and the minimum bets for tables.

"And while you're at it," Henkel adds, "Black Jack Pro will help you become a better player with its tutoring and help modes."

Setting it apart from other Black Jack games, "Black Jack Pro" contains a tutor to help players understand and play basic strategies for Black Jack games. The game will teach the player to make the right decisions, when to hit, when to stand and when to double-up.

"The real gem of the game is the card counting support." Henkel says. "We have implemented support for two levels of card counting strategies that every player can learn. It is no secret that card counting can give you a significant boost over the house, especially in Black Jack, but most players are intimidated by the prospect of learning how to count cards. Black Jack Pro introduces a simple system that anyone can learn, teaching players to keep track of the odds and adjusting their betting and playing style accordingly."

"Black Jack Pro" allows players to learn card counting at their own pace before putting their skill to the test at the real tables. It makes card counting easy and efficient, allowing players to notably improve their playing skills.

About G3 Studios

G3 Studios is a developer and publisher of video games for PCs and handheld devices. Formed in 2001 by industry veteran and award-winning producer Guido Henkel, G3 Studios consists of a team of highly experienced and skilled talent which in the past have been involved in the creation of award-winning games such as "Realms of Arkania: Blade of Destiny," "Realms of Arkania: Star Trail," "Realms of Arkania: Shadows Over Riva," "Fallout 2" and "Advanced Dungeons & Dragons: Planescape: Torment" among many others.

G3 Studios specializes in producing high-quality game titles for handheld platforms, such as the Pocket PC, Nintendo's Gameboy Advance, Symbian platforms, as well as the next generation of Linux/Java-based handhelds, such as Sharp's Zaurus. The company has a varied palette of products in preparation, including original content, as well as licensed properties, which will be ported from other platforms.

In addition to developing titles for release, G3 Studios is also a publisher of video games on a variety of platforms. Apart from traditional retail distribution channels, G3 Studios puts an emphasis on electronic distribution for its upcoming catalog of titles, offering its releases for download via the G3 Studios website as well as on other established electronic software delivery websites.


 
[ESCMAG] New Review Silent Hill 2(PS2/XBox) - posted by Erich Becker at 7:33 am CDT

Coming off that long holiday weekend must have really twisted EIC Andy Grieser's head because he dishes the wealth on mentally insane video games during his excellent review of the Playstation 2/XBox thriller, Silent Hill 2: Restless Dreams. This Konami released title earned a 9 out of 10 score. Here is a small preview. Click the link below to see the full thing:

"All leave one emotionally exhausted, as reality is peeled back to reveal truths about both the characters and the player/watcher. Also, all were doubtless inspiration for Konami’s incredible survival-horror game Silent Hill, which still has folks debating the actual plot. When Silent Hill 2 was released for Playstation 2, the folks at Konami promised a less ambiguous plot. Well, they delivered, but that doesn’t make the game any less involving or draining."

Related Links: See the Full ESCMAG Review

 
[ESCMAG] We're Back! Miss Us? - posted by Erich Becker at 7:30 am CDT

After a long three day weekend, for some at least. Well we are back and have some good stuff cooking for our readers this week. Check out the site today for a new review, as well as the resuming of our regular news updates.

-ESCMAG Staff


Tuesday, February 12, 2002
 
[PressRelease] Termite Games Now Part of Project 3 Group - posted by Erich Becker at 12:51 pm CDT

TERMITE GAMES NOW PART OF PROJECT 3 GROUP

Dutch publisher Project Three Interactive today announced they have acquired 100% of the shares in Swedish development studio Termite Games, who are currently developing the highly anticipated tactical first person shooter game "New World Order" for PC.

With the take-over, fast growing Project 3 underlines its ambition to become a groundbreaking developer and worldwide publisher of high quality games software. Project 3 CEO Robert Ercevic said: "We already considered Termite to be a very talented team, so when the opportunity arose for this take over, we moved in very quickly. They have really created a revolutionary 3D engine and with New World Order as the first game being made with it, we think the FPS community will be absolutely amazed. We are just thrilled they're now part of us and look forward to bringing their superb technology and games to various gaming platforms for years to come."

Project 3, who already had the rights to publish the game worldwide, also said the development of the game will now be accelerated and that a May 2002 release is still very much in the cards. Project 3 further announced it is looking to expand the Termite team and start working on Xbox and PS2 versions of New World Order in the very near future.

Jim Malmros of Termite Games added: "We're extremely pleased to have joined a solid and successful publisher like Project 3 and are eagerly looking towards the future. We have worked with them up close and personal in the past and are glad to now be family. With the team expansion, scheduled console versions of New World Order and then hopefully building on the New World Order franchise, all my dreams seem to come true."

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[ESCMAG] Where has the News Been? - posted by Erich Becker at 12:43 pm CDT

Truth to be told, I have been wrapped up in other projects (i.e. My Birthday tomorrow, Valentines Day, Paying the Bills, Playing games till my thumbs hurt) you know the usual stuff.

Rest assured that regular (or irregular depending on how you look at it) news updates will resume this week. Today to be exact.

 
[Community] New Contest At G3D - posted by Erich Becker at 12:40 pm CDT

New Contest At G3D - Win 28 nVIDIA Case Badges & More

G3D is throwing up a small shin-dig and giving away a couple freebies. Hey, there are over 28 prizes to win, your odds can't be that bad eh? Check it out.



 
[PressRelease] Mace Griffin Bounty Hunter Announced for Xbox and PC - posted by Erich Becker at 12:39 pm CDT

WANTED:
MACE GRIFFIN BOUNTY HUNTER

Crave’s Presentation of First Person Shooter/Adventure So Good It’s Almost Criminal

LOS ANGELES, CA – February 12, 2002 – Crave Entertainment today released details regarding its future generation title, Mace Griffin Bounty Hunter. Mace Griffin, a former government ranger, seeks revenge on land and in space. Melding both the first person shooter genre and vehicular combat on land and space, the game reaches far beyond any game currently available.

“The focused story combines with our proprietary engine technology to provide gamers an experience they could only dream about until now,” said Mark Burke, Senior Vice President, Development at Crave Entertainment. “Mace Griffin Bounty Hunter presents the leap forward the current generation of gamers has been anticipating. With deep and varied gameplay and a rich story, this title fully reflects Crave’s dedication to creating cutting-edge entertainment.”

“Mace Griffin Bounty Hunter” is scheduled to ship fall 2002 on Xbox and PC. The Xbox product will be published by Crave, the PC product will be co-published with Electronic Arts. Both games are being developed by Warthog Entertainment.

Backstory
Hundreds of years in the future, several dominant races (Human, Jaldari, and Velleakan) occupy a host of solar systems and discover new planets on a regular basis. Huge conglomerates vie for rich resources on every new world, resulting in fighting, smuggling and the emergence of pirate clans. To combat this growing trend towards war, the government sets up a group of highly elite Rangers, who are quickly brought down by an unknown traitor. Mace Griffin, the only surviving ranger, becomes a bounty hunter and sets out to discover the truth behind his team’s ruin.

Technology Behind “Mace Griffin Bounty Hunter”
“Given its ground breaking capabilities and architecture the Xbox game system is the ideal platform to enable this type of advanced game technology. With sprawling space landscapes and vast indoor environments, we are creating immense new worlds for this game,” said Paul Chapman, Producer at Warthog.

To make this possible, Warthog developed the Tusk engine. The new engine allows two key gameplay innovations. Tusk employs scene-graph principles that allow movement within and between different types of environments -- currently impossible in other games. Additionally the advanced portal technology will allow gamers, for the first time ever, to be able to seamlessly transition between first person combat and space flight action.

Features
“Mace Griffin Bounty Hunter” offers a wealth of innovative features, including the following:
• Seamless transitions between first person combat and space flight action
• Bespoke animation system allows motion blending and animation of detached parts of objects (“Motion Blending”)
• Consistent flight control and weapons management systems in both space and on the ground
• Modular player vehicle system with a vast array of equipment and upgrades
• The ability to pilot a wide range of ships
• Lifelike NPC reaction depending on their intelligence, bravery, health, etc. and in combat will adjust their strategy based on their numbers, types of weapons, available cover, and numerous other conditions
• Diverse missions, some story driven, some incidental create a dynamic, realistic universe for an immersive experience
• Large number of player weapons from low to high tech, many unique to this game
• A huge variety of walk-around environments with different physics, obstacles, inhabitants and creatures
• High level of visual effects, lighting and sound, utilizing high-spec, optimized Xbox/PC capabilities
• Multiple weighted skinned animation system
• Per polygon collision systems
• Skinned deformable skeletal characters, Skeletal snapping
• Pixel shading for stunning graphical effects such as phong lighting, dynamic reflections and refractive transparency (Xbox Only)
• Vertex shaders will be used for skinning and dynamic level-of-detail (Xbox Only)

About Crave Entertainment:
Based in Los Angeles, California, Crave Entertainment is a privately held publisher of videogame entertainment products. The company's best-selling line-up features top brands and franchises such as Ultimate Fighting Championship and Tokyo Xtreme Racer.

Crave produces games for the major console platforms including Game Boy® Advance, Nintendo GameCube, the PlayStation® game console, PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system, the Xbox™ video game system from Microsoft, and for the PC. For more information about Crave Entertainment, please visit http://www.cravegames.com.

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 $1.3 billion for fiscal 2001. 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 SPORTS™, EA GAMES™, 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.

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 at the suggested retail price of $299.99.*
* Reseller prices may vary.
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Friday, February 01, 2002
 
[PCGaming] World War II Online Free for 14 Days -- Join the Discussion! - posted by Erich Becker at 1:27 pm CDT

World War II Online Free 14 Day Trial Available At Gigex

Bedford, Texas - February 1, 2002 -- Playnet.com, Cornered Rat Software and Strategy First announced today that a 14 day free trial of their massively multiplayer online game, World War II Online is available for download through one of the web's leading download services, Gigex.

"This is a tremendous opportunity for us to expose World War II Online to players who haven't experienced the virtual battlefield and we're excited at the opportunity to see thousands of new players join our growing player base," says Al Corey, Marketing Manager for Playnet.

Gigex's extensive network, including such popular sites as Yahoo!, AOL Canada, PC Gamer, CGW, Stuff, and Men's Health allows Playnet and Strategy First to gain exposure from a diverse range of consumers, in both the hard-core gaming community, as well as the more mainstream market.

Players can download the free trial version of the game and play for up to 14 days with all the game's features including operating tanks, field guns, aircraft, supply vehicles and boats or choose to play as a trooper- all with and against thousands of other players in the 3D world set in 1940 war-torn Europe. At the end of the 14 Day trial, players will be able to retain their characters by getting a full retail version of the game and activating their full subscription.


Related Links: Join our Discussion on this Topic!


 
[Community] 3DSpotlight Tweaks Your Startup - posted by Erich Becker at 1:22 pm CDT

Even though Microsoft do their best to lower the boot time with each successive release of the Windows OS, after a while things will tend to slow down a bit as more applications get set to load at start-up unnecessarily, whether you wanted them to or not.

3D Spotlight's guide will take you through configuring Windows 9x, Me, 2000 & XP to load as quickly as possible & also have the benefit of loading with more memory available for use.

Erich's View: This is a great article on some minor tweaks you can do to increase start up time on your system. If you are not working on a laptop, and don't have the ability to hibernate the system by caching the memory to disk, or don't run your system 24-7, then this is a great read.

Related Links: Check out the Full Article


 
[PressRelease] Boundless Entertainment Announces New MMORPG - posted by Erich Becker at 1:19 pm CDT

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

BOUNDLESS ENTERTAINMENT, INC. ANNOUNCES FIRST PRODUCT IN NEW GENERATION OF MASSIVELY MULTI-PLAYER ONLINE ROLE PLAYING GAMES

WINTER HAVEN, FL - JANUARY 31, 2002 - Boundless Entertainment, Inc. introduced today BOUNDLESS ADVENTURES, the first entry into a new generation of Online RPGs and the company`s flagship project.

BOUNDLESS ADVENTURES joins a tradition of MMORPGs such as Ultima Online, EverQuest and Dark Age of Camelot, while expanding on current technologies to deliver an unparalleled gaming experience. BOUNDLESS ADVENTURES will offer players true world dynamics and more control in creating and developing characters, resulting in the ultimate level of game world interactivity. Players will be able to interact with all objects they see in a dynamic environment, as cities and towns--even the land itself--transforms throughout the course of play. This heightened gaming experience is a product of Boundless Entertainment`s HyperDNA Game Engine, an innovation the company plans to integrate into future Boundless Entertainment projects.

In a related announcement today, Boundless Entertainment unveiled the official BOUNDLESS ADVENTURES web site at www.boundless-adventures.com . The site features updates about the upcoming game and will allow fans to sign up for a chance to participate in beta testing.

After a year of researching and creating the new generation of game models for BOUNDLESS ADVENTURES, the company is ready to move to the second stage of game development. "We`ve spent the last year testing, developing, and implementing many of the next generation concepts we had planned for the game that many have said could not work in an MMORPG environment," says Boundless Entertainment co-founder Bryon Quackenbush. "We have enough confidence in the fact that these new concepts will work that we are ready to move forward with the next stage of the project, which involves linking everything to the 3D environments." Boundless Entertainment estimates that the next phase of the project will take about a year to complete. There is no timeline for completion of the final stage, which will include beta testing, before commercial release.

ABOUT BOUNDLESS ENTERTAINMENT

With offices in both Florida and Texas, Boundless Entertainment is a company that has been co-founded by Pat Henderson and Bryon Quackenbush for the purpose of developing and producing next generation massively multi-player online role playing games. Boundless Entertainment's development team includes developers with many years of both computer game development, as well as paper-and-pencil RPG game expertise.

Boundless Entertainment can be contacted by visiting the BOUNDLESS ADVENTURES website, or by calling the Florida field offices at (863)298-0209.

BOUNDLESS ADVENTURES, and HyperDNA Game Engine are trademarks and property of Boundless Entertainment Inc. All other trademarks are property of their respective owners. Copyright 2001-2002 Boundless Entertainment Inc., All rights reserved.


 


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