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September 05, 2002 - September 16, 2002 - See More Archived News

Monday, September 16, 2002
[Console] Pro Skater 4 Demo With PS2 Pro Surfer - posted by Andy Grieser at 1:20 pm CDT


Santa Monica, CA -- September 16, 2002 -- Action sports fans are getting a double dose of high-flying action with the debut of an exclusive one-level playable demo of Tony Hawk's Pro Skater(tm) 4 available on Activision, Inc.'s (Nasdaq: ATVI) Kelly Slater's Pro Surfer® for the PlayStation® 2 computer entertainment system.

After catching big air on the waves of Australia's Bells Beach and Hawaii's notorious Pipeline featured in the groundbreaking surfing title, gamers can hone their skating skills in preparation for the fall launch of Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 4 , the latest installment in the best-selling action sports franchise in the world.

Kelly Slater's Pro Surfer ships to retail stores nationwide on September, 17, 2002, carries an "E" rating from the ESRB, and is available for a suggested retail price of $49.99.

[Community] Gladius Official Site Launches - posted by Andy Grieser at 1:18 pm CDT

LucasArts has launched a dynamic new official web site for its upcoming combat role-playing game Gladius, expected to release Spring 2003. The site

* Comprehensive background information including an FAQ, serialized history
of the world of Gladius, team updates, a designer diary, and more
* Screenshot and concept art gallery
* Wallpaper and other downloadables
* Gameplay information including character bios, a world map, and
descriptions of weapons and other equipment

Visitors to the official Gladius web site can look forward to frequent additions and updates about the game.

[PCGaming] Aaron Hall's Dungeon Odyssey Ships - posted by Andy Grieser at 8:05 am CDT

Shrapnel Games ships Aaron Hall's Dungeon Odyssey
All pre-orders should be shipped by Tuesday, September 17th.

Cary, NC, September 16, 2002 - Shrapnel Games announced today that Aaron Hall's Dungeon Odyssey is shipping today. Aaron Hall's Dungeon Odyssey brings the unlimited gameplay of his previous Space Empires games to the RPG market.

Richard Arnesen, Director of Covert Operations for Shrapnel Games, said, "After several production delays, due to a new fulfillment route for this title, RPG fans everywhere will finally get their hands on this much anticipated title!"

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

* Seven character classes: Fighter, Thief, Paladin, Ranger, Mage, Priest, Druid.
* Nineteen character attributes!
* Rich gaming environment, built with bitmaps for easy modding.
* A multitude of controls that would be daunting if designed by anyone other than Aaron Hall...
* More items than we can count!
* Skills and spells. Yep, you guessed it, more than we care to count...
* Over 40 different monsters (we counted them, they're really cool!)
* Three Manuals: A Users Guide, A Modding Guide and a Reference Guide.
* Everything that is important is included in editable text files for easy modding.
* Support - the kind of support that Malfador Machinations, Aaron Hall, and Shrapnel Games brings to all of their products.
* Have it your way: Available as a Jewel Case Product or via electronic download (download product available 09/30/02).
* And much, much more...

Aaron Hall's Dungeon Odyssey retails for $29.95 and is available at the Gamers Front (www.gamersfront.com). A demo is also available for download from www.shrapnelgames.com.

Friday, September 13, 2002
[Community] Lone Gamers Review Cuboingo - posted by Andy Grieser at 1:41 pm CDT

Though delayed a bit by a redesign (hey, that sounds familiar), The Lone Gamers have posted their review of Cuboingo.

[Console] Microsoft Announces True Fantasy Live Online (Xbox) - posted by Erich Becker at 12:47 pm CDT

Microsoft Game Studios Announces “True Fantasy Live Online™”

Microsoft Game Studios announced today that it is currently developing a massively multiplayer online role-playing game in conjunction with Level-5 Inc., tentatively titled “True Fantasy Live Online™” that is compatible with the Xbox™ online gaming service, Xbox Live. “True Fantasy Live Online” will utilize broadband and voice chat features to provide an online gaming experience only possible on Xbox Live. This game will be shown to the public at Tokyo Game Show 2002 starting on September 20, 2002.

“True Fantasy Live Online” takes place in a world filled with fantastical characters such as high-flying broomstick-riding wizards and armies of armored knights working together to vanquish evil creatures that threaten the innocent. Numerous players will work and play together in one of the largest massively multiplayer online role- playing games created for Xbox Live.

In the “True Fantasy Live Online” world, players can create their own unique alter egos for themselves, tailoring their in-game avatars to fit their playing style and personal preferences. And with the voice chat feature, chatting with others becomes as natural and as easy as talking to friends on the phone ... a far cry from bulky keyboards that require putting down the controller.

Xbox Live is the exclusive online game service for Xbox that will be available in Japan, North America and Europe this year. With its built-in hard disk and Ethernet port, the Xbox was designed for online gaming from the ground up. By connecting Xbox to their local broadband network, users will be able to enjoy games that take them beyond the confines of their homes. Xbox Live’s unique features include the Matchmaking facility which lets players find other gamers to play with, and the Friends list which, lets players find friends and invite them to play their favorite games together. The Xbox Live Starter Kit includes 12 months of online service, the Xbox Communicator, and ready-to-play pack-in demos.

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

[Mac] Jedi Knight II and Ghost Recon Go Beta - posted by Erich Becker at 12:46 pm CDT

Star Wars: Jedi Knight II and Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon: Game of the Year Edition have both gone into Beta testing for the Macintosh. You are able to pre-order Ghost Recon right now from Aspyr Media and they should be taking orders for Jedi Knight II very soon.

Related Links: Aspyr Media

[Online] New Astonia 3 Patch Released - posted by Andy Grieser at 8:16 am CDT

New Astonia 3™ Patch Released

Hamburg, September 13, 2002. Intent Software releases a new patch for Astonia 3™, their successful Fantasy-MMORPG.

The patch adds a new feature to the world of Astonia: The Labyrinth Quest™. Labyrinths are independent mini areas which the players have to solve on their way to becoming an Archmage, Archwarrior or a Seyan’Du. Each Labyrinth is a world of its own with new enemies, NPCs and thrilling and unique quests. Ishtar, Astonia’s mighty God, created these quests to prepare the warriors and mages of Astonia for the fateful fight against the Gate Keeper. The new patch consists of the first two of a total of 20 Labyrinth levels.

Astonia 3™ (www.astonia.com) is a Fantasy-MMORPG that can be downloaded for free (approximately 35 MB). After the free 28-days trial period, the players pay a subscription fee of US$ 9.95 per month.

Thursday, September 12, 2002
[Community] Gamer's Hell Reviews Prince of Qin (PC) - posted by Erich Becker at 9:11 am CDT

Gamer's Hell has finally reviewed Strategy First's Prince of Qin after extensive interview and preview coverage. Check their final thoughts by clicking the link.

Related Links: Full Prince of Qin Review

[Community] Gamer's Hell Reviews Mafia (PC) - posted by Erich Becker at 9:04 am CDT

Gamer's Hell has posted a review of the recently released Mafia for the PC. They seemed to like it, take a look at this snippet and hit the link for the full review.

"When I took the shrink-wrapping off my nice and crispy Mafia box I wasn’t sure what to expect; being a fan of 3d shooters with a bit of depth and a good story, like Max Payne etc. Now I had been reading a lot about Mafia, and was looking forward to playing the game. Let’s just say I wasn’t disappointed You take Max Payne, slap in some GTA III, take a snuff of swinging 30's jazz and voila. You have Mafia."

Related Links: See the Full Mafia Review

[Community] GamesXtreme Reviews Aggressive Incline (xbox) - posted by Erich Becker at 9:02 am CDT

games xtreme have posted a review of Aggressive Inline on the Xbox. Much the same as the PS2 version of the game, this version received as much acclaim (no pun intended) as the PS2 game.

"So is it better than Tony Hawks? Well yes and no. It will take you longer to complete a single character - a LOT longer - but once you've finished everything with one there is nothing left to unlock, and therefore no point in going back and completing it with the others except to try out the unlocked special characters and the cheat codes tucked away in there. The graphics are less impressive but more bubbly, and the levels are considerably more impressive but also a bugger to find your way around at times. It's an excellent game but in the end you pay your money and take your choice!"

Related Links: See The Full Aggressive Incline Review

[Community] Gamer's Hell Mirroring Beach Life Demo (PC) - posted by Erich Becker at 9:00 am CDT

Erich: It seems that Eidos' FTP server isn't as fast as some people would like so the good people over at Gamer's Hell are mirroring the demo for Beach Life. Head on over to take a look.

Beach Life Demo (Gamer's Hell Mirror)

[Console] Microsoft to Buy Rareware - posted by Erich Becker at 8:58 am CDT

While it can't be confirmed as of yet, several websites are reporting that the controversy surrounding the future of Nintendo's second-party developer Rare has been solved. Reports seem to indicate that Rareware will become a Microsoft development studio and join the Xbox development side of the equation. This has lead to the cancellation (although none confirmed) of several Nintendo GameCube games and comes as a great blow to Nintendo and Rare fans alike.

While none of this information can be confirmed at the moment, an official announcement should happen soon. If these rumors are indeed true, I have lost a great deal of respect for Rare to turn their back on Nintendo after everything they have done.

What does this mean for the games? It seems that Donkey Kong Racing and the upcoming GBA edition in the Donkey Kong series have been cancelled or pawned off to another Nintendo developer. Kameo: Elements of Power is said to be released this year, but many have their doubts. The upcoming, and highly-anticipated, Perfect Dark 2 will undoubtfully be scrapped or reworked to remove the Nintendo property from the game.

What comes as the biggest blow to me is I will not be able to play any sequel to my favorite Rare game, Conker's Bad Fur Day. If this game does ever come out it will be on Xbox, I loath Microsoft more by the day, and wonder how Nintendo could have let this happen.

More as it develops.

Thanks go out to Nintendojo for the scoop.

Related Links: Nintendojo

Wednesday, September 11, 2002
[PCGaming] Earth 2150: Lost Souls Ships - posted by Andy Grieser at 1:18 pm CDT

Earth 2150: Lost Souls takes off for store shelves

Montreal, Quebec. September 11, 2002 – Strategy First, Reality Pump and Zuxxez Entertainment are pleased to announce that Earth 2150: Lost Souls, the third chapter in the award-winning Earth 2150 trilogy, has shipped to stores nationwide.

“We are extremely pleased to bring the third installment of this highly successful series to the gaming community and fans will surely enjoy the game,” says Steve Milburn, Marketing Director for Strategy First.

The first two titles, Earth 2150: Escape from the Blue Planet and Earth 2150: The Moon Project were a huge success in the science fiction RTS realm and Earth 2150: Lost Souls brings players back to the same desolate, desperate setting for a new range of nail biting missions.

The latest chapter includes three new extensive campaigns with 30 missions, a map editor to create your own maps, over 25 multiplayer skirmishes for LAN and internet, stunning graphics that take you on a spectacular voyage through several different countries and environments and a built-in fan base that is eagerly waiting to get back to 2150.

Infogrames will distribute Earth 2150: Lost Souls exclusively in North America. For more information please visit www.strategyfirst.com.

[PCGaming] The Partners Ships Nationwide - posted by Andy Grieser at 1:17 pm CDT

Casual Fridays have never been this much fun!

Montreal, Quebec. September 11, 2002 – Strategy First and Monte Cristo are pleased to announce that The Partners, a life simulation game that takes place in a law firm, has shipped to retail stores nation wide.

“This game is a mixture of your favorite soap opera and The Sims,” says Steve Milburn, Marketing Director at Strategy First. “It’s got all the drama of a TV show and the amazing gameplay of the famous PC game.”

The Partners is a life simulation game that puts players in a fast-moving law office where the daily ups and downs are anything but mundane. The water cooler talk is surrounded by deep, passionate love affairs, hateful rivalries and intense jealousy and you write the script. Relationships can be professional or tawdry, friendly or vengeful and the characters can range from sports loving playboys to cultured career men. Now all this and the fate of the firm are in your hands! Take control of the various characters and watch the stories unravel before your eyes – with no commercials!

Infogrames will distribute The Partners exclusively in North America. For more information please visit www.strategyfirst.com.

[ESCmag] ESCmag Remembers the Victims of 9/11 - posted by Andy Grieser at 6:32 am CDT

Dear ESCmag readers --

I hope you'll join Toby and I in taking at least a few minutes today to think about and, if you're religiously inclined, pray for the families of the innocents killed on Sept. 11, 2001. Our own Sunshine Girl lost her cousin, Jimmy Gartenberg, who left behind a young daughter and pregnant wife.

Please also keep in your thoughts the brave men and women in the U.S. and allied armed forces, who are putting their lives on the line every single day so that we can live, love and play computer games without fear.

God bless them, and God bless America.

-- Andy

Tuesday, September 10, 2002
[Community] Shattered Galaxy Celebrates Day of Remembrance - posted by Andy Grieser at 4:50 am CDT

Dear Shattered Galaxy players,

One year ago America was attacked in one of the largest terrorist attacks ever. In memory of the people who lost their lives, as well as to remember personal friends and family, Shattered Galaxy will have a day of Remembrance.

As a symbol of peace and solidarity, at noon PDT on September 11, 2002 will be changing Crater on all planets to a non-battle zone for 30 minutes. Players from all factions will be able to meet and share with each other without worries of combat in this zone.

During this time we are inviting old Shattered Galaxy players back to visit with friends they left behind in the game. All expired accounts will be registered for free starting the evening of September 10th, and ending on the morning of September 12th. People who currently have accounts will have the accounts extended by one day as well.

We invite everybody to attend and hope you will take this opportunity to remember the past, and to cherish the future.

SG Team

[Community] Majorem Announces Development of OPIUM Massively Multiplayer Technology - posted by Andy Grieser at 4:49 am CDT

Bney-Brak, Israel, September 10, 2002 - Majorem Ltd., a developer of massively multiplayer games and technology, is pleased to officially announce the development of a software development kit to provide solutions for both server-side and client-side needs in facilitating the creation and running of massively multiplayer worlds.

Majorem's 'OPIUM' - (Online Persistent Infrastructure for Unlimited Multiplay) employs a proprietary communications protocol to reduce lag, and advanced data compression and filtering technologies in order to save on bandwidth expenses while enabling a new game genre: MMPORTS. OPIUM will also support a dynamic server clustering technology that will benefit the game by improving its uptime-reliability and maintaining a seamless world environment.

Other technologies to be included in the SDK are: independent process technology and process-filtering, hierarchical object infrastructure, smart server resources allocation, dynamic world backup and central content-history management.

Monday, September 09, 2002
[Community] Godzilla: Destroy All Monsters (GCN) Site Launches - posted by Andy Grieser at 4:24 pm CDT

We love us some giant lizard here atop ESCmag Tower. We've been slavering for Godzilla: Destroy All Monsters for a while; the all-new Web site is just making us want it so damn bad. You'll find screens and videos from the game, info about the title and its monsters, and more. REEEEAWWWWW!

[Community] Siege Editor Master Class Contest Begins Today - posted by Andy Grieser at 4:20 pm CDT

Winners to be Trained by Gas Powered Games, Developers of Dungeon Siege

Microsoft Game Studios and Gas Powered Games today announced the Siege Editor Master Class Contest that will bring five creative individuals to Kirkland, Washington to be trained by the developers of Dungeon Siege. The contest begins today and runs until September 20, 2002. Winners will be announced on October 4 and will then be flown to Gas Powered games on November 1 for an intensive training session run by members of the Gas Powered Games development team.

Would-be game developers are asked to submit an essay that describes why they should be chosen to attend this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Entrants should also explain what they would create with the Siege Editor if chosen, how they think the training session would help reach this goal, and how their newfound knowledge could benefit others in the Dungeon Siege community. To help get a head start with the Siege Editor, download the Dungeon Siege Tool Kit and explore the online Siege University at http://www.dungeonsiege.com/su.shtml.

For the official rules and to enter the Siege Editor Master Class Contest, please visit http://www.microsoft.com/games/dungeonsiege/.

Dungeon Siege is an action fantasy role-playing game featuring an immersive fully 3-D environment. The game plunges players into a continuous 3-D fantasy world on a quest to stop a mysterious evil that has been unleashed. Beginning with a single character, players can travel through the world and gather a party of up to eight characters, or choose to face the challenge alone. The action role-playing in Dungeon Siege propels players into one over-the-top battle after another as the storyline unfolds.

Dungeon Siege is available in stores now, or it can be ordered by calling Microsoft at (888) 218-5617, or on the Internet at http://shop.microsoft.com/ for an estimated retail price of $54.95 (U.S.). For more information, please visit the official site at http://www.microsoft.com/games/dungeonsiege/.

[PCGaming] Impossible Creatures Hits Shelves in January 2003 - posted by Andy Grieser at 4:19 pm CDT

Command Army of Thundering Silver-backed Gorilla-whales! “Impossible Creatures” Roars Onto Shelves in January 2003
“Impossible Creatures” On Track To Be Microsoft Game Studios’ First Hot Hit of 2003

Microsoft Game Studios today announced that its new, innovative PC game, “Impossible Creatures,” hits store shelves the first week of January 2003. “Impossible Creatures” is the next 3-D real-time strategy game from Alex Garden and Relic Entertainment, creators of the critically acclaimed “Homeworld.” Building on the popularity of traditional RTS games, “Impossible Creatures” brings two key innovations to the RTS category: the ability to combine capabilities of animals and create thousands of units; and a fast-paced game design based on classic RTS gameplay.

“With tens of thousands of possible animal combinations that players can create and command, we’re set to deliver a fast-paced RTS game that adds a refreshing, creative burst of flavor to one of the most popular genres in PC gaming,” said Alex Garden, CEO of Relic Entertainment. “A January 2003 launch ensures ‘Impossible Creatures’ receives the fine-tuning and balancing that a game of this caliber requires.”

Microsoft and Relic Entertainment are committed to creating an imaginative, fun RTS experience and “Impossible Creatures” delivers on these key features:
· Unique Creature Combiner allows players to merge capabilities of more than 50 of Earth’s most formidable animals to create scores of distinctive genetically-altered beasts
· Players are empowered to take command of their own army of bizarre beasts in a real-time strategy game that focuses on the action of all-out combat
· Players enjoy a compelling, seamless single player storyline starring daring heroes, mad scientists and colorful combined creatures
· Gamers engage in fast and furious multiplayer games, using the “IC Online” match-making service, with all the stats recorded on the “IC Stats” website
· Stunning 3-D world brings alive fast-paced, action-packed animal combat in a world of vibrant environments, ranging from lush savannah settings to volcanic wastelands.

“Impossible Creatures” is the next 3-D real-time strategy game from Alex Garden and Relic Entertainment. Set in an imaginative environment, “Impossible Creatures” pits the player against an evil madman using Earth's most formidable animals as building blocks to create and lead a battalion of unique, mutant monsters in a struggle to protect an unsuspecting world.

For more information on “Impossible Creatures” please visit www.microsoft.com/games/impossiblecreatures and www.impossiblecreatures.com.

[MacGaming] Epic Confirms In-House UT2003 Port - posted by Erich Becker at 1:28 pm CDT

Erich: This is big news for the Mac Gaming Community, Epic has announced that they are doing the port of Unreal Tournament 2003 in-house for the Mac. Here is a snippet from InsideMacGames.com

"Following up this morning's earlier story on the status of Unreal Tournament 2003 for the Mac, IMG contacted Epic Games' vice president Mark Rein to confirm the Mac OS X port is being done in-house by the company. This is huge news for fans of the Unreal Tournament series, as well as those expecting to see it developed by a porting house like Westlake Interactive."

Related Links: Inside Mac Games

[Community] WasserNacht.de Publishes Two Movies of AquaNox2: Revelation - posted by Erich Becker at 1:25 pm CDT

WasserNacht.de, worlds biggest Massive Development (AquaNox) Fanpage, has recently published the first movies of AquaNox2: Revelation, which were picked from german Mags with their authorisation.

They indicate the graphical changes and moving menus and are absolutely outstanding.

You can find the movies, which have a size of 19 and 17 MB, in our Download-Section.

Related Links: See The Movies, Disregard the German

[Community] Gamer's Hell Reviews Beach Life/Virtual Resort - posted by Erich Becker at 1:24 pm CDT

"What do you think about when you hear there is a new game based on Spring Break and partying? I know what I thought. Here comes another Panty Raider. Imagine my surprise when after playing the game for a bit, I realized I like it. So what is this game? Its Rollercoaster Tycoon on the beach. Tropico without politics. You own a resort on a small Carribean island. Your guests want the best possible experience they can get and you are here to give it to them. "

Awarded a "bronze hell award"

Related Links: See The Full Review

[PressRelease] Madden NFL 2003 Predicts the 2002-03 Season - posted by Erich Becker at 1:22 pm CDT

Erich: It seems as though Madden NFL 2003 predicts that the Super Bowl will once again be won by the Rams, and like every year the Cardinals are suckier than suck. I guess we will see what happen.

The NFL season is underway but this year's results have already been released by the Madden NFL Football team at EA SPORTS. Using Madden NFL 2003, the team simulated the entire 2002 NFL season 30 separate times to get a good sense of what we can expect to see on the field in the coming months.

Not surprisingly, the high-powered Rams who have appeared in two out of the last three Super Bowls, were predicted to win Super Bowl XXXVII 8 out of a possible 30 seasons. However, the results show a two-way tie for second place between two AFC teams, with the Raiders and the Steelers winning it all 5 times each out 30 simulations of next season. The Eagles had a strong showing, winning the big game 3 times out of 30 opportunities. The Packers and 49ers each took top honors twice in the simulation. There were a few surprises too. Madden NFL 2003 found that the Titans, Jets, Patriots, Dolphins, and even the Seahawks have a shot at winning the Super Bowl at least once.

At the conference level, there is going to be continued domination of the NFC by the Rams and the Eagles, according to Madden's simulation. The Rams are predicted to win the NFC 11 times and the Eagles 7 times, with those two teams winning more than half of the conference finals games. There is a little more parity in the AFC, but Oakland and Pittsburgh are expected are the two top dogs in the Conference, with 9 and 7 Super Bowl appearances respectively.

At the divisional level, the simulation indicates the new NFL alignment will mix things up a bit, some divisions are wide open and some look slammed shut. In 30 simulated versions of this year's season, the Steelers won their division all 30 times. The only other teams to enjoy that level of domination were the Rams (25 division titles), the Buccaneers (25 division titles), the Eagles (22) and the Raiders (21). The most competitive division by far was the AFC East, with all four teams winning the division at least three times: Jets (10 victories), Patriots (9) Dolphins (8), and the Bills (3).

And what is in store for the expansion Houston Texans, the simulation has them pegged for a rough inaugural season, averaging only 4 wins per season over the 30 attempts, but they did manage a playoff appearance in one year, so there may be some hope in Houston still.

So how accurate is Madden NFL 2003's prediction ability? Only a lot of hotdogs, a lot of chips, and a lot of football watching this season will be able to answer that question. Anyway you cut it, the NFL season will provide more great action and historic moments and Madden NFL 2003 will allow you to get a jump start on that action and play along the entire season. Madden NFL 2003 is available on six platforms.

[Community] ThrustWorld Visits ECTS, Compares Processors - posted by Andy Grieser at 10:17 am CDT

First up is an ECTS 2002 report entitled Sex Lies & VideoGames. The folks at ThrustWorld have also posted an editorial on the ongoing battle between Intel and AMD to become the CPU Daddy.

Thursday, September 05, 2002
[Console] Run Like Hell Goes Gold - posted by Andy Grieser at 9:58 am CDT

Interplay's survival-horror video game set to ship in early October

IRVINE, CA (September 5, 2002) Interplay Entertainment Corp. (NasdaqSC:IPLY) and Vivendi Universal Games announced today that Interplay's highly anticipated game Run Like Hell has gone gold. The game for PlayStation(r)2 computer entertainment system is scheduled to be available at retail in early October and will be distributed by Vivendi Universal Games.

Run Like Hell is Interplay's first original internally-developed next generation console game. The player takes the role of Nick Connor, an exiled military hero sent to work on a mining station in deep space.

Returning from a mission, he finds his crew members wiped out by a vicious and intelligent alien race. Nick must remain alive long enough to thwart the alien's plans for the ship and stay alive in the process.

Described as a sci-fi survival-horror game 'on steroids' Run Like Hell features state-of-the-art 3D environments, third person heroic action and camera works straight out of Hollywood. Veteran film and television actors have all lent the voices to this high profile project.

For information regarding Run Like Hell, please visit the official website at http://www.interplay.com/rlh/.

[Community] Nexagon: The Pit Now Accepting Beta Testers - posted by Andy Grieser at 9:55 am CDT

Montreal, Quebec. September 5, 2002 – Strategy First announced today that they have begun accepting people for the closed beta of their 3D Real Time Tactical game, Nexagon: The Pit.

“At the turn of the fourth millennium, a brave decision is made regarding the treatment of prisoners, one that will supply our galaxy with an extraordinary new form of entertainment…a chance to fight for freedom in the most compelling tournament of all time…the NEXAGON!” Sounds cool, doesn’t it?

Find out for yourself by joining the beta. Follow this link and Good Luck: http://www.strategyfirst.com/beta/

Only a selected few will make the cut so act NOW!

About Nexagon: The Pit

Nexagon: The Pit is a fast paced action packed game of deadly arena combat emphasizing small unit tactics and featuring character and fortress building in a high stakes blood sport. Recruit an unstoppable team of cracker-jack combatants with varying fighting skills and weapons. Construct an impregnable fortress of defenses laden with deadly traps and devastating weaponry. Traverse an unforgiving arena collecting rewards and finally infiltrate your enemy’s sanctum in a desperate bid to destroy his Nexus. Nexagon delivers the full package of character building, strategic resource management, and a never before seen depth of real time tactics.

[Community] Chess Champ Takes on Chessmaster 9000 - posted by Andy Grieser at 9:54 am CDT

The Internet Chess Club Proudly Presents Reigning US Chess Champion Larry Christiansen vs. Chessmaster® 9000

Watch Four Exciting Matches Via Live Internet Broadcast Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 28-29, 2002, Complete With Expert Chess Commentary & Analysis

SAN FRANCISCO, CA – September 5, 2002 – Ubi Soft Entertainment, one of the world’s largest video game publishers, and The Internet Chess Club (Chessclub.com), the world’s premiere online chess destination, today announced that reigning US Chess Champion, Grandmaster Larry Christiansen, will play Chessmaster 9000 in a four game match played over two days via live internet broadcast. These games will be broadcast on Chessclub.com’s website. The games will take place on Saturday and Sunday, September 28-29, 2002, with the first beginning at 10 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time and a second game beginning at 6 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time each day. Mr. Christiansen will take on four different Grandmaster-level personalities from the Chessmaster 9000 retail product, finally facing The Chessmaster on Sunday at 6 p.m.

Celebrated chess players will provide on-going commentary during each of the games, including reigning Women's US Chess Champion and Grandmaster Jennifer Shahade, and Grandmaster Joel Benjamin.
Additionally, Yasser Seirawan, Grandmaster and co-founder of America’s Foundation for Chess will provide post-event written analysis of the four game match.

“Pitting the reigning US Chess Champion against the best-selling computer chess product of all time should make for some very exciting games as chess enthusiasts enjoy a front row seat to witness two great chess competitors in action,” said Karen “KC” Conroe, group brand manager for Ubi Soft Entertainment. “Larry Christiansen has proven himself repeatedly through the years as one of the world’s best chess players, but we’re confident he’ll find Chessmaster 9000 to be a most challenging and worthy opponent when they square off on September 28.”

“Chessmaster has long been recognized as both a powerful chess engine and the world’s finest interactive chess product,” said Larry Christiansen. “I look forward to putting this new edition to the test at the end of this month. Bring it on!”

“Chessclub.com is happy to be hosting this exciting event," said Daniel Sleator, president and founder of the Internet Chess Club. "We have a long tradition of broadcasting major chess events, such as the Kasparov versus Deep Blue.”

“As co-founder of America's Foundation for Chess, I'm delighted to be a part of an event that will expand the profile and reach of the game of chess,” said Yasser Seirawan. “US Chess Champion Larry Christiansen will find it challenging to battle against the four personalities of the Chessmaster program. One is hard enough! Chess fans should enjoy my analysis which will capture the hidden thoughts of the players.”

The schedule for Christiansen vs. Chessmaster 9000 is as follows:
· Saturday, September 28: Match 1 starts at 10:00 am EDT; Match 2 starts at 6:00 pm EDT

· Sunday, September 29: Match 3 starts at 10:00 am EDT; Match 4 starts at 6:00 pm EDT

[PressRelease] Dale Earnhardt, Jr. Named Cover Athlete for NASCAR Thunder 2003 - posted by Erich Becker at 9:03 am CDT


REDWOOD CITY, Calif.- September 4, 2002-NASCAR® superstar Dale Earnhardt Jr. of DEI Racing will become the official cover athlete for the EA SPORTS TM franchise NASCAR Thunder TM 2003. Dale Jr. also contributed to the development of the game and his likeness will appear on all NASCAR Thunder 2003 packaging and merchandising.

"I've been a long time fan EA games, so to be on the cover of the NASCAR Thunder 2003 is quite a thrill for me," commented Dale Earnhardt Jr. "NASCAR Thunder helped me win the EA Sports 500 in Talladega this year and my first season on the circuit I would prepare for the upcoming event by racing my EA game over and over. NASCAR Thunder gives you the true experience and puts you 'in the game.'"

From the moment the 27-year-old Dale Earnhardt Jr. blasted on the scene in 1998, he was considered "the future of NASCAR." Dale is in the midst of his third full year of NASCAR Winston Cup competition for the team and is positioned nicely for another top finish in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series. The 2001 season marked his first top-10 points finish in NASCAR Winston Cup Series racing with the No. 8 team, while adding three victories and multi-million dollars in winnings to his brief but impressive racing resume. This included his win at the EA SPORTS 500 at Talladega Superspeedway® on October 21, 2001.

"Dale Jr. embodies the spirit and competitive edge that EA SPORTS captures in our NASCAR Thunder video games," said Ed Martin, Director of NASCAR video game production, Electronic Arts. "His contribution to the product has been invaluable, giving us design feedback and ideas on improving features and gameplay, we couldn't have a better driver grace the cover of NASCAR Thunder 2003."

ABOUT NASCAR Thunder TM 2003
NASCAR Thunder 2003 surrounds you with the emotion, sound, fury, and risks of the high-speed, high-drama career of a NASCAR star. Feel the adrenaline rush, intensity, and passion of being a NASCAR driver on a quest to become a NASCAR Winston Cup Series champion. Take on various real-life scenarios in Lightning Mode, complete with dramatic pileups, walls of smoke, and constant door-to-door, three-wide racing, to test your nerve and improve your racing skills. Build a racing legacy over the course of 20 drama-filled seasons. The title is slated to ship in fall 2002 on the PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system and the Playstation console, Xbox TM video game system from Microsoft, Nintendo GameCube TM and PC.

EA SPORTS (www.easports.com) is the leading interactive sports software brand in the world. Its top-selling franchises and games include FIFA Soccer, John Madden Football TM, Tiger Woods PGA TOUR® golf, NHL® hockey, Knockout Kings TM, NBA LIVE basketball, Triple Play Baseball TM and NASCAR Thunder TM.

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

The NASCAR Licensing team that is based in Charlotte, NC, is committed to creating programs that provide value to NASCAR sponsors, promotional partners, licensees as well as drivers, teams and tracks. Under the direction of vice president of strategic marketing and licensing, Steve Boguski, and managing director Dee Scott, the department researches new categories, licenses qualified companies, handles quality control, and develops retail partnerships in an effort to drive sales of NASCAR-licensed product.


Related Links: More Information from EA

[Community] Project Nomads Review @ Gamer's Hell - posted by Erich Becker at 9:01 am CDT

Gamer's Hell had a chance to review the newest game from Radon Labs, Project Nomads, check out their full review after reading the short snippet below: (eb)

"Have you ever driven an island? I doubt you have. In Project Nomads however, thing's aren't as we're used to. Project Nomads, which is being developed by Radon Labs is a game that doesn't fit into just one genre. By combining a lot of gameplay elements it requires the player to use the brain in several interesting ways, and recently I got a chance to try the press build."

Related Links: See the Full Project Nomads Review @ Gamer's Hell

[Community] Worlds Apart to Manage Decipher's Online Star Trek Card Game - posted by Andy Grieser at 7:05 am CDT

New System, Organized Play in Development

(NORFOLK, Va., September 4, 2002) -- Decipher announced today it will be ending its distribution and development relationship with Digital Deck and working with a new developer to enhance its STAR TREK Online Customizable Card Game (CCG). The company -- Worlds Apart Productions, based in Denver, Colorado -- has been widely recognized for the creation of the critically acclaimed online roleplaying game "The Eternal City."

Decipher launched the STAR TREK Online Customizable Card Game in May 2001 experiencing tremendous success with the online version of its popular trading card game. Worlds Apart, which will manage the continued development of the online version of the game, has already begun work on redesigning the web site (decipher.com/onlineplay) and on creating new software for the product. The gameplay will retain its one-on-one format and allow players to compete with other players around the globe, but new features will eventually be incorporated into the site.

Decipher's Chairman and CEO Warren Holland said, "We are delighted to be working with Worlds Apart, an online game developer with an incredible reputation within the gaming industry. We plan to expand our online game offerings starting immediately and Worlds Apart will be our key developer for these projects," Holland said.

"Decipher is the industry's leading innovator in TCG design and quality," said Scott Martins, president, Worlds Apart. "Our production team has just returned from meeting with the staff at Decipher, and the energy and enthusiasm across the board for this project is remarkable. We're very excited to be working with such a quality-minded company," Martins added.

The next big event for the STAR TREK CCG Online will be the Online Territorial Open Championship for the STAR TREK CCG on September 21. As previously announced on decipher.com, this will be one of the final opportunities to qualify for Day Two of the World Championships to be held at DecipherCon 2002, October 31-November 3.

About Decipher:
Founded in 1983 by Warren Holland, Decipher Inc. is a worldwide leader in the collectible card game industry and fan club industry. The company's Trading Card Game Studio produces Star Trek, Austin Powers, and The Lord of the Rings trading card games. Decipher also offers digital versions of its Star Trek and, soon, its The Lord of the Rings Trading Card Games.

Decipher's Fan Club Studio operates the official fan clubs for Star Trek and The Lord of the Rings, which includes publishing official fan magazines and managing online stores. Decipher's RPG (roleplaying games) & Miniatures Studio is responsible for the creation of the all-new Star Trek roleplaying games and The Lord of the Rings roleplaying games. Decipher's Games Studio produces leading party, card and board games such as How To Host A Murder, How To Host A Teen Mystery, Scratchees and more. Decipher also produces the popular Boy Crazy! brand for girls which includes a magazine, web site at boycrazy.com, trading cards, and various publishing and licensing ventures.

Visit decipher.com for additional information.

About Worlds Apart:
Based in Denver, Colorado, Worlds Apart is a six-year-old company specializing in the development and operation of multiplayer online games. Its flagship product, THE ETERNAL CITY, was called the consummate MUD by Computer Gaming World magazine and has been praised for many of its innovative social gameplay features. Worlds Apart¹s latest title is GRENDEL¹S REVENGE, a hybrid RPG/RTS in which players take on the roles of monsters.

For the latest STAR TREK news and information, visit the official Internet home of STAR TREK at www.startrek.com.


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