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March 19, 2003 - April 02, 2003 - See More Archived News


Wednesday, April 02, 2003
 
[PC] EA and Digital Illusions Annouce Battlefield 1942: Secret Weapons of WWII - posted by Erich Becker at 1:20 pm CDT

EA AND DIGITAL ILLUSIONS ANNOUNCE DEVELOPMENT OF BATTLEFIELD 1942: SECRET WEAPONS OF WWII FOR THE PC

Award-Winning World War II Game Expansion Pack Ratchets Up Excitement With New Battlefields, Vehicles and Weapons

Requesting reinforcements! There are new battles to be fought and won. Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ: ERTS) and Digital Illusions today announced that development is underway on the latest expansion pack for the award-winning Battlefield 1942 PC game series. Battlefield 1942: Secret Weapons of WWII, scheduled for release in fall 2003, will significantly enhance the multiplayer combat experience by bringing the most unique and deadly weapons from the German and Allied laboratories to life on the battlefields of World War II.

From classified, cutting edge weapons to secret forces and clandestine places, Secret Weapons of WWII, will add a new level of drama and excitement to the Battlefield 1942 experience. The expansion pack will feature many new vehicles and weapons that were extremely powerful, yet experimental. While these armaments and vehicles are rooted in World War II history, many never saw actual combat-until now.

In Secret Weapons of WWII, players will engage in war with a choice of up to 46 vehicles to control. In addition to the 30 vehicles introduced in the original game such as fighter planes, tanks, and aircraft carriers, players can operate16 new vehicles including the Horton HO 229 "Flying Wing" that is equipped with 30 mm machine guns and missiles. Other vehicles consist of a US Sherman tank with a T-34 Calliope rocket launcher, U.S. T95/T28 Super Heavy Tank, the Sturmtiger (naval gun mounted on Tiger tank), U.S. Goblin jetfighter, C-47 cargo plane that will serve as a mobile spawn point, the American Armstrong Whitworth AW-52 advanced fighter, the German Wasserfall guided anti-air missile and the German Natter rocket plane. Also, for the first time, Secret Weapons of WWII will give players the chance to fly and fight at the same time with a top secret German prototype Rocket Pack.

There will be seven new weapons including one-shot kill knives. Other weapons include the Bren light machine gun, Remington Auto 5 shotgun and the Mauser K98 grenade rifle. Players can put these weapons to use in eight fresh World War II combat campaigns including Peenemüende, a V2 research facility, and The Eagle's Nest, Hitler's hideaway. All new battlefields offer unique settings ranging from nightfall during the summer in Prague to a winter battle in Norway.

In addition to offering innovative weapons and vehicles, the game introduces British Commando and German Elite troops while enriching gameplay by adding a new "objective based" gameplay mode. In this new mode, players will be tasked with a specific objective such as destroying a secret facility in order to win the battle.

Battlefield 1942: Secret Weapons of WWII is being developed by Digital Illusions Canada, a subsidiary of the original Battlefield 1942 Sweden based developer, Digital Illusions. Electronic Arts will publish and distribute the game for the PC under the EA GAMES™ brand worldwide. The original Battlefield 1942 game is required to play Secret Weapons of WWII. More information can be found on the game's web site at www.battlefield1942.ea.com.

 
[PlayStation2] Ubi Soft Announces Ape Escape 2 for PS2 - posted by Erich Becker at 11:43 am CDT

Ubi Soft Entertainment Announces Ape Escape(tm) 2 Exclusively for the PlayStation®2 Computer Entertainment System

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - MARCH 31, 2003 - Those crazy Ape Escape(tm) monkeys are back on the loose and plotting to take over the world as Ubi Soft Entertainment, one of the world's top videogame publishers, announces plans to publish Ape Escape(tm) 2 exclusively for the PlayStation®2. Developed by Sony Computer Entertainment Inc., Ape Escape 2 promises the same fun gameplay as the original version including advanced game features, amazing 3D graphics, and plenty of monkey pandemonium! Ape Escape 2 has an ESRB rating of "E" for Everyone and will have a suggested retail price of $39.99. It is scheduled to ship July 1, 2003.

 
[Community] Games Xtreme Reviews Rainbow Six 3: Raven Shield - posted by Erich Becker at 11:42 am CDT

Game Xtreme has pumped out a review of the latest game in Tom Clancy's long running Tactical Ops series, Rainbow Six. Take a look at the review of Raven Shield, by clicking the link below after checking out this snippet.

"But R63 isn’t just about fragging the AI, no; it’s about a smoothly realised, if a little buggy at the moment, Multiplayer game that leaves Counter Strike as a Dinosaur in a closed Jurassic Park. And I am sure some of the die-hard CS fans will burn me to a crisp for that, but I know many CS fans who have been seduced by the dark side of the Clancy and joined with Darth Ubi Soft to convert to the ways of Raven Shield MP, for it is a tasty and gorgeous experience that will have you fragging for more and more. "

Related Links: See the Full Review @ Games Xtreme


 
[Multi] NDL Issues Gamebryo License to DreamCatcher - posted by Erich Becker at 11:40 am CDT

NDL Issues Gamebryo™ Publishing License to DreamCatcher

3D Graphics Toolkit Provides More Freedom and Flexibility to Developers

(Chapel Hill, N.C. – April 2, 2003) - NDL, a leading developer of 3D graphics technology for the computer and video game industry, announced today that it has issued a publishing license of its Gamebryo 3D graphics engine and toolkit to DreamCatcher Interactive. The agreement, which covers multiple game platforms, will allow DreamCatcher's development teams around the world to create unique and compelling computer games for the PC, Xbox™, PlayStation®2, and GameCube®.

"We chose Gamebryo based on NDL's proven technology, the success that many developers have had using NDL's products, and the new capabilities of Gamebryo," said Richard Wah Kan, CEO of DreamCatcher Interactive. "By using Gamebryo, our developers will reduce risk with their projects. They can focus their time on gameplay and content, while saving time and money in the process."

The Gamebryo 3D graphics toolkit and engine empowers game developers to focus their energy and resources on what is most important to them: Creating great gameplay and compelling 3D content. Gamebryo's extremely flexible framework enables developers to more efficiently create cutting-edge, compelling titles for Windows, Xbox™, PlayStation®2, and GameCube®, Gamebryo is based on NDL's NetImmerse technology, which has been used to develop more than 60 titles; including blockbuster hits that have won numerous industry awards, such as Mythic Entertainment's Dark Age of Camelot, Bethesda Softworks' The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind, and Irrational Games' Freedom Force.

"Gamebryo is a flexible game development framework that allows development teams to expand their production pipeline so that they can build better games," said Lars Bishop, Chief Technology Officer of NDL. "Because of this, developers using Gamebryo can spend their time making their games look great and play well, saving time and money in the process."


Thursday, March 27, 2003
 
[Linux] GarageGames and Lindows Launch Marble Blast for Lindows 3.0 - posted by Erich Becker at 10:37 am CDT

GarageGames and Lindows.com Successfully Launch Marble Blast for Lindows 3.0

March 27, 2003 - Eugene, OR - GarageGames celebrated the successful launch of Marble Blast as the premiere download from Lindows.com's Click-N-Buy Warehouse. Marble Blast was first available on Linux in February, and now Lindows.com is the first site to distribute directly a GarageGames game. (www.lindows.com/marbleblast)

“GarageGames is excited to partner with the visionary efforts of Lindows.com as they work to bring 'choice to computer users',” comments Jeff Tunnell, President of GarageGames. “We believe that the market needs to be opened up, with greater choices in operating platforms and in games for the family. If we don't innovate and support new online business models like Lindows.com, it will be the monopolies that dictate the platforms we use and games we play.”

“Making great software like Marble Blast accessible to all computer users is what we at Lindows.com, Inc. set out to do,” said Michael Robertson, Chief Executive Officer of Lindows.com. “Marble Blast is an example of all the quality gaming software that our customers ask for and we glad to provide in our Click-N-Run Warehouse.” (www.lindows.com/marbleblast)

Marble Blast has achieved high ratings and acclaim in its online reviews and has been very well received by players on the Linux platform, accounting for nearly 20% of online sales. This was the first game built on GarageGames' own Torque Game Engine to be published. Originally based on the technology behind "Tribes 2" the Torque Game Engine has multi-platform support for Windows, Mac and Linux built-in.

 
[Community] Tenchu 3 Goes Under Review at Games Xtreme - posted by Erich Becker at 10:36 am CDT

Games Xtreme reviewer Mad MacRae (Kurt) has just put up his review of Tenchu: Wrath of Heaven for the PS2. You can check out this snippet before diving into the full thing below.

"The aforementioned game, Tenchu: Wrath of Heaven - also called Tenchu 3 - is a real mindblower. It grabs you by the head, pulls you forward, and knees you right in the face with excellent gameplay and a veritable multitude of moves that would make Bruce Lee wet his baggy kung fu pants."

Related Links: Slide into this killer review...


 
[Community] Games Xtreme Reviews Mark of Kri (PS2) - posted by Erich Becker at 9:15 am CDT

Games Xtreme have put out their Mark of Kri review for the PS2 and given the game a very respectable 90% score. Take a look at this snippet, and hit the link below for the full reveiw of the PS2 title.

"It might look like a Disney game at first glance with the colourful backdrops and simplistic looking characters, but this isn’t close, it isn’t some namby pamby let’s go and collect the magic tome to save the mouse from oblivion game, or another endless platformer where you’re spending hours wondering ‘Do I jump here?’ or not. No it’s an action/stealth game that’s as brutal as it is wonderfully animated, and there are so many nice touches in Mark of Kri I don’t know where to begin to be honest."

Related Links: See the Full Review


 
[PC] Wolfenstein "Battle on the Beachhead II" Tournament Announced - posted by Erich Becker at 9:14 am CDT

ACTIVISION, NVIDIA AND ID SOFTWARE ANNOUNCE THE RETURN TO CASTLE WOLFENSTEIN "BATTLE ON THE BEACHHEAD II" TOURNAMENT

Santa Monica, CA - March 26, 2003 - Activision, Inc. (Nasdaq: ATVI), NVIDIA Corporation, eVGA.com Corporation and id Software(tm) have teamed up with the Online Gaming League (OGL) to host the Return to Castle Wolfenstein(tm) "Battle on the Beachhead II" tournament. Gamers from across North America will hit the battlefield in a struggle for frontline domination and exciting prizes including NVIDIAŇ GeForce(tm) FX graphics cards from eVGA.com, limited edition RTCW prints signed by id Software, Nintendo GameCube(tm), Nintendo Game Boy® Advance and hundreds of popular games. The tournament will run from April 7 through May 12, 2003 at http://bob2.worldogl.com, on the Speakeasy Network http://www.speakeasy.net, home of the largest broadband gaming community and the official ISP of the OGL.

To register for a chance to compete in the "Battle on the Beachhead II" tournament, captains can sign-up their six-person team at http://bob2.worldogl.com between March 31 and April 5, 2003. The OGL will choose a total of 64 teams throughout the week.

The Battle on the Beachhead II tournament pits teams against one another in an Axis vs. Allies battle against time. Each map includes a set number of mission objectives that must be completed as quickly as possible. Teams play four rounds, both as the attacker and the defender, with the team winning the most matches advancing to the next bracket. The tournament finals are scheduled for May 12, 2003.

Prizes will be awarded to each member of the top three winning teams and include the following prizes for each team member: Grand Prize - NVIDIA GeForce FX graphics cards from eVGA.com, a limited edition RTCW print signed by the id Software team, Nintendo GameCube(tm), select game prizes from Activision and a dedicated port on a Return to Castle Wolfenstein game server with administrative access for one year from Speakeasy; Second Place - a Game Boy® Advance hand-held video game system and copies of DOOM© and Commander Keen©; Third Place - A collection of Activision's award-winning PC titles. A complete list of tournament rules and prizes can be found at http://bob2.worldogl.com.

Anyone not on the front lines can track the action by going to http://www.castlewolfenstein.com or http://bob2.worldogl.com. Spectators can view ladders, schedules and statistics and even experience live broadcasts of matches in progress. Fans can also listen to the action on a live internet shoutcast by Team Sportscast Network at http://www.tsncentral.com.

Developed by Gray Matter Studios, Return to Castle Wolfenstein plunges players into a maelstrom of action, espionage and mayhem, as an American soldier tasked with single-handedly stopping the darkest plans of the Third Reich. Throughout the game, players will be locked in combat with waves of Nazi storm troopers, undead Teutonic knights and the twisted products of genetic experimentation. In addition to an action-packed story-driven single-player experience, Return to Castle Wolfenstein's multiplayer mode enlists gamers to hone their tactical skills in a series of combat scenarios. Gamers can join the fight as an axis or ally soldier and be challenged to intense, realistic campaigns like storming beachheads, infiltrating military installations, holding strategic positions, and more. Developed by Nerve Software, the online component features multiple objectives spanning a variety of maps, including an Allied airbase, a war-torn German village and a secret Nazi laboratory.


Wednesday, March 26, 2003
 
[GameCube] Splinter Cell Release Date Moved to April - posted by Erich Becker at 3:25 pm CDT

This just in from Ubi Soft, the GameCube version of Splinter Cell will ship on April 8 alongside that of the PlayStation2 version.

The Game Boy Advance version (which links up with the GCN version) will make it's debut two weeks later on April 24.

We will have more on Splinter Cell soon.

 
[PC Gaming] New World Order Ships in North America - posted by Andy Grieser at 2:05 pm CDT

New World Order makes it debut in North America

Montreal, Quebec. March 26, 2003 ? Co - Publishers Strategy First and Project Three Interactive with developer Termite Games announced today that their tactical, team-based first-person shooter, New World Order , has shipped to retail outlets across North America.

In New World Order , players meet Agent John Dobbs, one of the best military operatives in the world and GAT?s (Global Assault Team) newest recruit. Formed by some of the world?s most powerful nations, the GAT is a top-secret organization that has been brought together to stop The Syndicate, a group of militant separatists and terrorists who have set out to fill the world with fear, chaos and destruction?unless Agent Dobbs and his team get to them first.

New World Order serves up over 15 real life weapons including the M-16, Desert Eagle and AK-5 in 5 different game modes: team deathmatch, hostage rescue, plant the bomb, team escape and fallout. Players can also take on the AI-opposition together in cooperative gameplay. The Next-generation DVA? engine features spectacular and accurate effects that immerse you into the world of international terrorism on three different levels of difficulty: easy, normal and hard in singleplayer mode or you can take on fellow gamers in multiplayer mode on a LAN or the internet.

For more information on New World Order or to play the official demo, please visit www.strategyfirst.com or http://www.p3int.com/center.asp .


 
[PC Gaming] Strategy First Ships Galactic Civilizations - posted by Andy Grieser at 1:57 pm CDT

The race for the Galaxy has begun

Montreal, Quebec. March 26, 2003 ? Publisher Strategy First and developer Stardock announced today that their highly anticipated space strategy game, Galactic Civilizations , has shipped to retail stores nationwide!

"With Galactic Civilizations we've really tried to create a strategy game that provides players with a unique experience every time they play ," said Brad Wardell, Project Lead on Galactic Civilizations at Stardock.

"Fans of 4X strategy games have been waiting impatiently for Galactic Civilizations to hit store shelves," says Steve Milburn, Director of Marketing for Strategy First. "Gal Civ is a truly immersive game experience that lets you manage an entire galaxy putting your military, strategic and diplomatic talents to the test!"

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

Features

·
Deep immersive storyline

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

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

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

·
Ships gain experience as they win battles

·
Dominate other civilizations with economic power through trade and wealth

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

Look for Galactic Civilizations at your local retail store as of today. To download the already available bonus pack, please go to http://www.galciv.com/update.asp



Tuesday, March 25, 2003
 
[PC] CSI: Crime Scene Investigation (PC) Ships To Retail - posted by Erich Becker at 2:47 pm CDT

CSI: Crime Scene Investigation(tm) PC Game Ships to Stores Nationwide

Classic adventure game based on the hit CBS television show is now available at retail

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - March 25, 2003 - Ubi Soft® Entertainment, one of the world's largest video game publishers, announced today that CSI: Crime Scene Investigation is now available for the PC. Based on the hit television series from CBS, the CSI game challenges players to solve a series of crimes, acting as a new member of the Las Vegas CSI team. CSI: Crime Scene Investigation is rated "M-Mature" and is available for a retail price of $29.99.

In the CSI: Crime Scene Investigation game, you become a CSI agent working alongside Gil Grissom, Catherine Willows and the rest of the CSI team. A classic, first-person adventure, the CSI game will test players' nerves and intellect as they question witnesses, examine crime scenes, and analyze evidence utilizing the latest in forensic equipment.

"We are pleased to offer an authentic game that features all the voices and likenesses of the entire CSI cast," said Tony Kee, vice president of marketing for Ubi Soft Entertainment. "CSI fans will appreciate the attention to detail we put into developing this game."

The CSI computer game features include:

- Starring Cast: Featuring the voice talents of the entire cast, including William Petersen
and Marg Helgenberger.

- Detailed Forensic Equipment: As a CSI agent you will have access to a variety of forensics and lab equipment including fingerprint dusters, UV lights and casting kits.

- Five Crimes to Investigate: Put on your CSI badge, gather your forensic equipment, and steady your nerves as you investigate five baffling crime scenes.

- CSI Featured Author: Max Allan Collins, an award winning author, wrote the scripts for cases in the game.
- True CSI Experience: Featuring music, sounds and accurately modeled locations from the show.


 
[GameCube] The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker First Impressions - posted by Erich Becker at 2:46 pm CDT

I booted the game up and was instantly mesmerized by the look and feel of it all. It finally set in that I was playing a new Legend of Zelda game, something I have longed to do when I beat The Ocarina of Time on Christmas Eve 1998. Sure I had fun along the way with Majora’s Mask, and dabbled in The Oracle of Ages and Seasons, but none of these were true, console adventures that continued the story of Link in his epic quest to rid the land of evil.

The biggest thing you notice about The Wind Waker is it actually acknowledges the existence of The Ocarina of Time and refers to the game’s Hero of Time (Link). I could be mistaken, but I do believe this is the first Legend of Zelda game to show some continuity with it’s previous incarnations. Since a hero always comes around named Link, as the game’s producers have put it, it seems feasible that the game could take place nearly 100 years in the future, and still fit in perfectly with the previous game.

Many where on the fence when looking at the game’s new, deformed, anime look, but to those who have never played the game, shame on you for judging a book by it’s cover. The Wind Waker plays perfectly, the world looks beautiful, it is bright, colorful, and rich. Grass flows in the wind, water effects are awesome, and the character’s expressions are unmatched. Watching the facial expressions of Link and those on his home island is something to behold.

So far I am a little more than an hour into the game, after picking it up last night in the first batch of pre-orders at my local GameStop, and I didn’t want to put the game down to go to bed and be ready for work in the morning. I didn’t even realize that an hour had gone by, a game hasn’t done this since my five hour binge of Vice City last year. The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker, so far, is an excellent game. I will hold of on any real review elements till my review actually appears, but the game is awesome in any respect.

If you are sitting around arguing over how the game looks, pick up a copy in it’s golden glory and play it for even 10 minutes and you will be pleasantly surprised how much fun the game is, and how you completely forget why you were undecided as the nature of the graphics fit in perfectly when you are engrossed in the living, breathing world that is The Legend of Zelda. Pick your copy up today!


Monday, March 24, 2003
 
[Community] Battlefield 1942 National Championship and others slated for Book of Records - posted by Erich Becker at 1:32 pm CDT

Battlefield 1942 National Championship and other PC Championships slated for Book of Records

Champions of the forthcoming "official" Battlefield 1942 National Championship, hosted by iGames.org and Firingsquad.com, will be appearing in the next edition of Twin Galaxies' Official Video Game & Pinball Book of World Records.

As part of a broad campaign launched by the editors of the Book of World Records to identify the top players on all PC, arcade and console games, the champions of the Battlefield 1942 event will receive 2-3 pages of coverage in the record book, including player biographies, photos, statistics and a table displaying the final rankings of the national champions.

"PC gaming has become a major part of the electronic gaming universe," explains Walter Day, editor of the record book, "and we plan on publishing the complete results of this contest and other national championships, too, like the MechAssault and Medal of Honor championships, also created by iGames.org and Firingsquad.com."

Related Links: For the complete story click here!


 
[Community] Big Round-up at Games Xtreme - posted by Erich Becker at 1:30 pm CDT

Games Xtreme, recovering from some server trouble, has layed out a whole bunch of new reviews for you to enjoy. You can find reviews of Contra, Freelancer, and Unreal 2. You can find them all by clicking the link below.

Related Links: Head on over to Games Xtreme


 
[PC] Schanz and Mayhem Studios Bring Empire of Magic to Europe and Asia - posted by Erich Becker at 1:28 pm CDT

Schanz signs with Mayhem Studios to bring “turn based strategy”, Empire of Magic to Europe and Asia.

Schanz International Consultants (SIC) and Mayhem Studios take great pleasure in presenting Empire of Magic, a turn based strategy in the game world of powerful demons and brave knights, doom and salvation. A land of many faces where marvellous adventures await in different types of terrain. It takes you into the snow- covered mountains, fiery deserts, rainy hills and idyllic meadows.

Gerhard Schanz, MD at Schanz International Consultants says, “sharpen your swords and gather up enough magic power because at the end of this summer a strategic delicacy arrives- Empire of Magic
. We are very glad to represent Mayhem Studios which boasts a very talented team. Empire of Magic, will enchant many publishers in our territories.”

Tomáš Benčík, Chief Executive Officer of Mayhem Studios says: “we welcome our cooperation with Schanz International Consultants and we are confident that together we will manage to successfully distribute our upcoming title, Empire of Magic in Asia and Europe.”

 
[Console] Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance II Announced - posted by Andy Grieser at 10:52 am CDT

Baldur's Gate(tm): Dark Alliance(tm) II ...The Epic Continues
Baldur's Gate is plagued by evil once more, and in dire need of heroes strong and bold

Los Angeles, CA -- March 24, 2003 -- Vivendi Universal Games and Interplay Entertainment Corp (OTCBB:IPLY) today announced the development of Baldur's Gate(tm): Dark Alliance(tm)II, the sequel to the award-winning hit Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance. This unique action/role-playing game is being developed by Interplay's Black Isle Studios, known for their high quality role-playing games, and will be released for the PlayStation(r)2 computer entertainment system and the Xbox(tm) video game system from Microsoft. Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance II will be distributed by Vivendi Universal Games.

Set in the Forgotten Realms(r) world, the most popular Dungeons & Dragons(r) campaign setting, Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance II will use the 3rd Edition Dungeons & Dragons rules set. Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance II will feature more monsters, graphically stunning environments and five new and unique customizable player characters to choose from, hidden areas to explore, as well as a new item creation system that will allow players to create their own ultimate magical artifacts. Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance II is scheduled to be available at retail for holiday 2003.

"The move to develop for the console systems with Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance allowed the team to bring new adventure and life into the series and enhance the franchise," states Feargus Urquhart, president of Black Isle Studios.

Darkness gathers yet again in the sprawling port city of Baldur's Gate and the city's most recent saviors vanished along with the Onyx Tower, foul bastion of Eldrith the Betrayer. In heroic tradition, adventurers throughout the Western Heartlands make the journey to Baldur's Gate to meet their great and unknown fate. The threat of Eldrith has been eliminated, yet sinister, enigmatic forces still rally against the city. There are many intrigues to unravel, enemies to butcher, and characters to meet -- both old and new -- before Baldur's Gate is saved from a fate far worse than utter destruction.

Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance was released on the PlayStation(r)2 in 2001, Xbox and the Nintendo GameCube(tm) in 2002 and has sold over one million units worldwide across all three platforms. In the fall of 2002 it became a Greatest Hits title for the PlayStation(r)2. For more information on Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance II visit the website at
http://bgda2.blackisle.com.



Thursday, March 20, 2003
 
[ESCMAG] EXCLUSIVE PlanetSide Beta Report [Issue 1] - posted by Erich Becker at 1:21 pm CDT

PlanetSide Beta Report Issue 1

ESCMAG was recently asked to join in the fight to beta test Sony Online Entertainment’s new Massively Multiplayer Online First Person Shooter (MMOFPS) and by doing so we are helping to create a better world for all the gamers out there who won’t get to play the game till later this year when it is released.

Let’s get a few of the nick picky stuff off of my chest first. The game’s interface makes booting it up and jumping right in quick and easy to do. So far I haven’t run into any problems with getting the game running, it’s keeping it there that may cause some problems, but I have been told they are working on several crash bugs that drop you to a highly distorted desktop at the least opportune times.

Once I was actually able to get into the game, and the servers were opened by SOE things we uphill from there. The basic controls are the same of any first person shooter, and the default system worked for me. I entered the world in front of several console stations where you can buy supplies like guns, armor, etc. and get yourself ready for battle. I then journeyed outside and found a beautiful environment, only hampered by the stale, blatant use of fog to keep you from seeing too far into the distance. It was eerily reminiscent of my days playing the original Turok: Dinosaur Hunter on my beloved N64.

Outside found transport ships loading up gunners, passengers, and pilots to make our way to the first battle in the scheduled beta contests. I’m assuming we made it to our base okay because I was dropped to the desktop in one of those unfortunate crashes and had to reboot my system several times.

At our new post we had the objective of taking over one of the other factions bases, which can be hard to do because each of these bases is enclosed in a nice big wall with gunners and machine guns located around the perimeter. Anyone can jump in these guns and fire away at incoming troops or ships.

The whole point of the match is to take over an opposing base by hacking into a central computer hiding deep within the base and assume control for your faction. I, being a member of the Terran Faction, choose to take up defense on my first couple of lives. But it seemed that everyone was more interested in infiltrating the enemy base, than our own, so I paired up with another guy and took the turret gun of a huge Caterpillar Tank which was summarily blown to bits because the driver didn’t know where in the world he was going.

Vehicles are an added addition to the game which is very similar to Tribes 2 in which you pilot vehicles and take them into combat. The problem is many people simply don’t know how to drive, much like everyone in Arizona, so the first part of the match was “pilots” (and I use that term loosely) attempting to bring their ships off of the group to make it to a warp gate and bring us to the front lines.

I’m not exactly sure how the battle turned out because through a series of hard crashes I could only play the game for about an hour before I was so frustrated with the constant crashing, I couldn’t accomplish anything more than stare at the icons on my desktop and admire the amount of care Papyrus went in to when designing the illustrious NASCAR Racing 2003 Season tire logo.

Beta Battle 2 commences tomorrow, look for a new Beta report, hopefully, this weekend as the Terrans will triumph!

 
[Hardware] Hardware-Unlimited Reviews Gigabye "Granite Bay" Motherboard - posted by Erich Becker at 1:18 pm CDT

Hardware-Unlimited, part of the 3D-Unlimited Network, has posted a review of the Gigabyte GA-8INXP "Granite Bay" based chipset motherboard. We awarded this board a rating of 9.5/10 and gave it our "Hot Product" award!

Quote: "Intel is still continuing to crank out new product lines like crazy and their latest chipset, the Granite Bay (E7205), is turning some heads with its Dual-DDR compatibility. Although the chipset has been out for over a month, we finally got a hold of a sample from Gigabyte and ran a few tests and compare it to the other leading Intel Pentium 4 chipsets - 850 and 845. We are very excited to take a look at this motherboard for many reasons, which we'll outline later. However, the board has a nickname "the 6-Dual Miracle" for its bundled features, which offers redundancy, security as well as performance. Let's get the review started with the specifications and features of the board.. "

Related Links: See the Full Review Today!



Wednesday, March 19, 2003
 
[Multi] John Daly Signs to Appear in EA Sport's Tiger Woods PGA TOUR 2004 - posted by Erich Becker at 3:16 pm CDT

Longest Driver on the PGA TOUR, John Daly, Hits the Links in Tiger Woods PGA TOUR 2004 from EA SPORTS

REDWOOD CITY, Calif. - March 19, 2003 - John Daly, the longest driver on the PGA TOUR, has signed a deal with Electronic Arts Inc. (Nasdaq:ERTS) to appear in EA's interactive golf software products, including Tiger Woods PGA TOUR 2004. The winner of four PGA TOUR tournaments, including two majors - 1991 PGA Championship and 1995 British Open Championship, Daly joins Woods, Adam Scott, Jesper Parnevik, Charles Howell III, among others on the virtual links in the latest installment of the best selling golf title from EA SPORTS . He will be motion captured today by EA to ensure the game has the most accurate representation of his powerful swing.

"I'm really looking forward to teeing it up against Tiger and the rest of the PGA TOUR gang in Tiger Woods PGA TOUR Golf," Daly said. "Working with EA SPORTS is definitely a lot of fun and I'm really looking forward to seeing how true-to-life both my swing and my character look in the game."

Last season Daly won his 11th Driving Distance crown with a record mark of 306.8, topping his own 2001 mark of 306.7.

Scheduled to launch this fall, Tiger Woods PGA TOUR 2004 will feature some of the most prestigious PGA TOUR courses, including Pebble Beach Golf Links, St Andrews Golf Links as well as new courses, and 15 of the best golfers on the PGA TOUR. EA, continuing its exclusive partnership with the PGA TOUR and the world's best and most famous golfer, Tiger Woods, delivers the most realistic golf simulation for fans of PC as well as console golf on the PlayStation 2 computer entertainment system, Xbox(tm) video game system from Microsoft and Nintendo GameCube(tm).

 
[Community] GMX Media On The Acqusition Trail - posted by Erich Becker at 3:10 pm CDT

GMX MEDIA ON THE ACQUISITION TRAIL

LONDON, UK (March 20, 2003) - GMX Media has today announced it is on the lookout to acquire a European publishing company. The company plans to make one major acquisition but has also stressed that it has no intention to abandon its "cautious" expansion plan.

"Up till now we have grown steadily and cautiously and have absolutely no plans to deviate from that. However we are in a situation where we can easily make one major acquisition without disturbing our growth plans. We are looking to grab more market share and ultimately become the largest independent publisher in Europe. We want to acquire a company which already has a sizeable back catalogue and titles yet to be released" Commented Barry Leonard COO of GMX Media "Our company is well known for getting the best deal for developers and our research has shown that developers are unhappy with the very limited options they have when looking for a publisher. The opportunities are incredible, not just for us but also for the developing community."

GMX has also confirmed that it is currently in take-over talks with 2 European publishers.

 
[PlayStation2] Ubi Soft to Publish Ape Escape 2 in Japan this Summer - posted by Erich Becker at 1:04 pm CDT

Ubi Soft obtains publishing rights for Sony Computer Entertainment Japan's Ape Escape(tm) 2

Sequel to Best Selling Game To Launch This Summer

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - March 18, 2003 - Ubi Soft® Entertainment, one of the world's leading video game publishers, today announces that it has signed a deal to obtain publishing rights of Sony Computer Entertainment Japan's (SCEJ) Ape Escape(tm) 2 in North America. The game will be made exclusively for the PlayStation 2 computer entertainment system for release this summer.

"We are very excited to sign this publishing agreement with Ubi Soft to bring one of our exciting game titles, Ape Escape 2, to our North American fans," said Tomikazu Kirita, Senior Vice President, Sony Computer Entertainment Japan.

Ape Escape 2 features addictive creature-catching gameplay and is already receiving positive early reviews from the gaming press. Ape Escape 2 is the sequel to the Ape Escape(tm), a highly popular game franchise series developed by SCEJ. The original game shipped more than a million copies worldwide.

"We are thrilled to be working so closely with SCEJ on one of their featured products," said James Regan, Ubi Soft's Director of Business Development. "A classic brand with a strong following like Ape Escape 2, rounds out Ubi Soft's impressive mix of titles."

 
[PC] The Adventure Company Ships The Omega Stone: Riddle of the Sphinx II - posted by Erich Becker at 1:03 pm CDT

The Adventure Company Ships The Omega Stone: Riddle of the Sphinx II

Players Continue an Unforgettable Journey

Toronto, Ontario, March 18, 2003 – The Adventure Company announced today it has shipped The Omega Stone: Riddle of the Sphinx II for the PC. The second in the Riddle of the Sphinx series, this title takes gamers on an incredible adventure.

The Omega Stone sends intrepid explorers on a quest to prevent a terrible disaster prophesized by the ancients. Beautiful rendered scenery from Stonehenge, Easter Island, and the Lost City of Atlantis sets the tone for this evocative mystery.

“Omni Interactive has done a beautiful job,” said Richard Wah Kan, CEO of The Adventure Company. “The compelling storyline and incredibly realistic graphics faithfully capture the experience of the original.”

The Omega Stone offers a historically and archaeologically accurate world of adventure, complete with full real time screen animations, cut scenes and full motion video. Gamers can investigate each area in full, with a full 360 degree camera. The original Riddle of the Sphinx has sold in excess of 225,000 copies to date.

 
[PC] Strategy First and Paradox Introduce Chariots of War - posted by Erich Becker at 1:01 pm CDT

Strategy First and Paradox Introduce Chariots of War!

Montreal, Quebec. March 18, 2003 – Publisher Strategy First and developers Paradox Entertainment and Slitherine Strategies have teamed up again and are pleased to announce Chariots of War, their new strategy title, scheduled to release in North America in Q2 2003.

“We are very happy to be bringing another Paradox title to North American gamers,” says Pro Sotos, Product Manager for Strategy First Inc. “Chariots of War promises to deliver the same strategy gameplay people love in a new, unique setting.”

"Strategy First and Paradox have a genuine reputation for delivering solid strategy titles together. We are pleased about the continuous support we receive for our line from SFI,” says Fredrik Malmberg of Paradox Entertainment.

4000 years ago in the Cradle of Civilization, mighty Empires fought for water, resources and the arable land in the Fertile Crescent. In Chariots of War, gamers can play as the Egyptians, the Babylonians, screaming Nubian warriors, or the Assyrians behind their walls of stone.

Key features include:

--Play one of 58 different nations on a huge beautiful map covering the entire Middle East including 164 cities and 80 minor settlements.

-Build hundreds of buildings and city improvements, and refine 9 different resources such as Myrrh, Gems and Horses
-Assign Generals to command your army, in real-time battles
-A Random Event System depicts the era in colorful detail, recreating historical phenomena such as earthquakes, floods and locusts storms
T-he happiness and welfare of your cities’ inhabitants will depend on overpopulation, recruitment levels, garrisons and food. Keep revolters at bay by developing temples, entertainment and other buildings

Strategy First Inc. and Paradox Entertainment have worked together in the past on several award-winning titles including Europa Universalis II and Hearts of Iron.

For more information on Chariots of War, please visit www.strategyfirst.com.

About Paradox Entertainment

Paradox Entertainment was created to build science fiction, fantasy and alternative history brands in cross-media platforms. The company management has a long experience in publishing, interactive media, film and TV entertainment. Its brand portfolio contains successful brands such as Conan the Barbarian, Mutant Chronicles, Europa Universalis and Heavy Gear. In less than two years the interactive games branch has earned worldwide recognition for producing best selling and award-winning PC games such as Europa Universalis I and II and Airfix Dogfighter and is currently producing Hearts of Iron, Crusader Kings and Mutant Chronicles Online.

About Strategy First Inc.

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, and Nexagon: Deathmatch. 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.

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

Here is the latest from Khabal Gaming:

Halo (Xbox)

"Living up to its promise"

The overall storyline is pretty interesting till it begins to fall short in the later part of the game. Halo builds up the story so much, you tend to expect a graphically epic ending. Unfortunately, that is not so. As it turns out, Halo started out as a project by another group of aliens that existed in the distant past, in order to contain yet another alien conglomerate known as the Flood. The story ends much like a Michael Crichton novel. It begins with a fantastic promise of what is to come, then blows everything up just to end the story. No one survives at the end of the game when your character destroys everything (including the Pillar of Autumn and Halo) just to save the galaxy.

See the full review by clicking right here..

Battlefield 1942: Road To Rome Expansion

"To Rome we go..."

Welcome to the Italian front. As stated in the title, Rome is the name of the game in this new expansion pack for battlefield 1942, a definite plus to the current “booms and bangs” that you experienced in the game. This expansion pack introduces two new armies, namely the French Free Forces and Hitler’s ally in World War II - the Italians. Most of the gameplay in this expansion pack remains the same as the original Battlefield 1942, with a few noticeable differences, the most significant being the new Refractor 2 engine that boosts the in-game performance to a much higher level.

Read Khabal's review of this expansion pack, by clicking right here.

 
[PC] Strategy First Launches Big City Games Division - posted by Erich Becker at 12:53 pm CDT

Strategy First launches new games division!

Montreal, Quebec. March 19, 2003 - Strategy First Inc., worldwide publisher and developer of PC games, announced today that it is launching a new games division, Big City Games, which will publish top quality value priced software in the North American market.

Established in February 2003, Big City Games strives to bring high quality, fun games into the spotlight at a reasonable price and will publish a wide variety of titles including children?s software, strategy games, action adventure games, sports games and more.

"We have come across so many good titles that have not found their way into the market," says Don McFatridge, President of Strategy First Inc. "Now we can bring these games to the consumer at a great price. We are very excited about the Big City Games lineup and believe gamers, both hardcore and casual, will find many of these titles very interesting."

Big City Games' titles will range in price from $9.99-$29.99 MSRP and will be found in retailers across the country including Electronics Boutique, Gamestop, Best Buy, Wal-Mart and others.

The 2003 Big City Games lineup includes exciting titles such as Pet Soccer, Pet Racer, Indiana Jack, Bridge 3000, Chess 2003, Rocko's Quest, Space Haste II, FIM Speedway Grand Prix and more.

For more information on these titles, please visit www.bigcitygames.com.

About Big City Games

Established in 2003 as a division of Strategy First Inc., Big City Games publishes top quality PC games at value prices. Benefiting from SFI?s years of experience in the industry and dedication to the market, Big City Games strives to bring consumers the best games at the best prices. Big City Games will publish a wide variety of titles including children?s software like Pet Soccer and Indiana Jack, action adventure games like Rocko's Quest and sports games like FIM Speedway Grand Prix. For more info on Big City Games and the lineup, please visit www.bigcitygames.com.

 


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