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September 07, 2000 - September 20, 2000 - See More Archived News

Wednesday, September 20, 2000
PSX -- Tony Hawk 2 Has Shipped - posted by Erich Becker at 4:10 pm CDT

The sequel to one of the best games ever created has shipped to retailers. Nuff Said.

PC -- Metal Gear Solid Gone Gold - posted by Erich Becker at 4:09 pm CDT

Metal Gear Solid for the PC has gone gold and entered production. With any luck we should be blasting away terrorists and indulging in one of the finest games ever created.

GC -- Gamecube Software Playable at E3 - posted by Erich Becker at 4:07 pm CDT

Nintendoweb is reporting that Gamecube software will be on display and playable at next year's Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3). Nintendo will also be showing off the Gamecube, Gameboy Advanced connection ability to US gamers for the first time.

Next years E3 is the first show that I will be able to attend, and I plan on having a great time with this new announcment.

Related Links: Nintendoweb

Xbox -- It's Still the Xbox, 160 Games Shown - posted by Erich Becker at 3:37 pm CDT

Microsoft unvieled over 160 games for its console venture, the Xbox. Among the supports where big names like Havas, Midway, Konami, and Square. Yes, Square.

A little over 3 minutes of gameplay footage was shown, and from what various websites are reporting the line up looks very port heavy.

Microsoft didn't show the system itself, but did confirm the name. Xbox.

Thanks to FGNOnline for the story.

Related Links: FGNOnline

PSOne -- Playstation (PS) One (1) Has Shipped - posted by Erich Becker at 3:34 pm CDT

In what is sure to cause some marketing confussion in stores across the country, the Playstation One has shipped to stores. Being refered to as PSOne or "the new Playstation" will have parents and kids alike wondering if this is the majestic, and overhyped, Playstation 2 that is debutting on October 26th.

From personal experience, I work for a retail store other than this site, we have recieved numerious (read: a dozen) phonecalls about the PSOne, the price, and to explain the whole portable bit. Granted some people, like me, are informed on the subject and can tell the people the difference, alas, some are not and there will be some angry parents this fall.

Note: Views expressed in this news article are those of the author and the author alone and does not represent the views of ESCMag.

Related Links: Playstation.com

Tuesday, September 19, 2000
DC -- Capcom Joins All Stars - posted by Erich Becker at 4:58 pm CDT

Capcom announced that two of its most sucessful Dreamcast titles will be making thier way to the All Star line up of games that is already populated by seven Sega games.

Powerstone and Marvel vs. Capcom will be making their way soon to the All Star program with a very attractive $19.99 price tag.

Expect more companies to follow thier lead.

Related Links: Capcom USA

Xbox? -- It May not be Xbox Anymore - posted by Erich Becker at 4:55 pm CDT

FGNOnline is reporting that Microsoft will announce the full third party developer line up tomorrow at a global press conference.

The Big M is also expected to announce the new name for the Xbox and logo. Rumors also prevail to indicate that Microsoft will show the casing, or maybe atleast sketches of the system design. Microsoft is the only company that has yet to show off actual hardware and games other than demos.

Hopefully we will have more information tomorrow.

Stay Tuned.

Related Links: Microsoft

PC -- Asheron's Call News - posted by Erich Becker at 4:43 pm CDT

Have you ever played Asheron's Call? Have you ever considered playing it? Maybe even just wondered how it stacks up against the other MMOGs on the market? If so then you may have heard about the powerful White Rabbit that can be found in Asheron's Call.

"The White Rabbit is a level 503 rabbit which was added to Asheron's Call early on as a spoof of Monty Python and the Holy Grail. In the movie, the feirce rabbit easily annihilates a small group of knights, and in the end must be destroyed by a holy hand grenade. Back in Beta and early release, the White Rabbit was a force to be reckoned with! Now in the day of level 100 characters and Aerlinthe Island, he's just another landmark..."

Seeking greater challenges within the game William "Wi" Seely set out on a campaign to see the once fearsome bunny granted new power with which to once again terrorize the populace of Dereth. Turbine designer Jesse "Nei" Kurlancheek has promised that the bunny will be strengthened if enough votes are received.

A player on the Crossroads of Dereth web site summed up the campaign best with his comments: "Wi's campaign is what this game *should* be about... people doing silly, fun things to enjoy them, not analyzing everything in terms of loot and experience. The white rabbit is a *joke* in the first place.. a very funny joke when everyone was [level] 30 or below, but that has lost a bit of its luster now that there are a ton of characters big enough to defeat the bunny with it's nasty pointy teeth!"

This is another great example of Turbine's continuing involvement with their playerbase and proof that sometimes the voice of that playerbase is truly heard by the folks that make the games they play. So, if you've ever played AC, or maybe just considered it, and even for those of you that have never given it a passing thought, head over to Buff the Bunny Campaign Headquarters for more information on how you can add your vote for buffing the bunny.

Asheron's Call is a multiplayer online role playing game developed by Turbine Entertainment and published by Microsoft and is playable on the MSN Gaming Zone.

See Our Review Right Here!

Related Links: Crossroads of Dereth

Monday, September 18, 2000
Site -- Two New Reviews Posted - posted by Erich Becker at 3:43 pm CDT

Escape Magazine is proud to release two new reviews for your viewing pleasure.

The first is a review of Third Law's KISS: Psycho Circus: The Nightmare Child. Here is a snippet:

"Third Law has done a reputable job of creating your basic run-of-the-mill first-person shooter, but that is where the problem arises. The game is too run-of-the-mill for my tastes. For those of you who know me personally or professionally, I crave games that bring something new to the table, and innovate something that will have developers in the future trying to mimic and copy. KISS: PC has little to none of these qualities, and those that it does possess don’t lend themselves to the 'groundbreaking' end of the innovation spectrum."

See the Full Review!

The second is our second console review for the Nintendo 64. Reviewer John Benedetto gives us the low down on Rally Challenge 2000. Here's a preview:

"Southpeak Interactive, if nothing else, is at least consistent. In my review of Fighter Destiny 2, my general point was that it was a Tekken wannabe that had lost a great deal in the duplication. Now we have Rally Challenge 2000, for the N64. Once again, you have a genre — racing simulators — in which the N64 does not have a definitive flagship title. (Don’t get me wrong, MarioKart kicks ass, but that’s not really a simulator.)

See the Full Review!

Mac -- 3dfx announces Voodoo 5 AGP Card - posted by Erich Becker at 3:37 pm CDT

3dfx today announced that they will be releasing a Voodoo 5 AGP Card for the Macintosh platform. With the recent news that more and more games could be comign to the Mac, and the developer's need of high capacity graphics cards for graphics development and game development. The following is the full press release.

Press Release - 13 September, 2000 - 3dfx announces plans to produce a Voodoo5 5500 AGP graphics card for Macintosh

3dfx is taking proactive steps to respond to strong demand and is committed to innovating the highest performance solutions for Mac users

SAN JOSE, Calif.– September 13, 2000–3dfx Interactive® Inc. (NASDAQ:TDFX) today announced that Voodoo5™ 5500 AGP 64MB graphics card for Macintosh will be available for purchase sometime in October. This decision was made in direct response to strong demand for an AGP version of 3dfx’s award-winning Voodoo5™ 5500 PCI product for Macintosh. Like every 3dfx Macintosh Voodoo product, Voodoo5 5500 AGP will once again reset the level of performance for gamers and graphic design professionals alike.

Voodoo5 5500 AGP is the first consumer graphics board to offer application-independent, 3D API compatible, real-time, hardware full-scene anti-aliasing (FSAA). Anti-aliasing is a 3D-graphics rendering technique that eliminates visual artifacts such as jagged edges, moiré patterns and pixel popping, rendering problems commonly seen on competitive products. The result of utilizing the Voodoo5 anti-aliasing technology is a much more realistic 3D rendered image. MacWEEK.com crowned Voodoo5 5500 PCI with the coveted “Best of Show” award during Macworld Expo New York 2000.

“Voodoo delivers better visual quality, across more titles, at the highest possible frame rates,” said Bryan Speece, director of Macintosh business development at 3dfx Interactive. “Macintosh end users have made it quite clear they are interested in high performance graphics options for their machines and the Voodoo architecture is the sole provider of FSAA on the Mac platform today.”

This new product also means Mac users are the latest beneficiaries of the Voodoo scalable architecture (VSA-100). Voodoo5 5500 AGP for Macintosh exploits the power of two VSA-100 graphics processing chips running in parallel by coupling them in a Scan Line Interleave (SLI™) mode configuration and performing 3D acceleration from both chips simultaneously. The result is a doubling of overall 3D performance. Voodoo5 5500 also features the company’s proprietary T-Buffer™ digital cinematic effects engine as well as 64mb of video memory to facilitate rapid loading of textures and high resolution gaming. The 350 MHz RAMDAC supports resolutions of up to 2048x1536. In addition, it features full support for every major Macintosh API and outstanding QuickDraw® acceleration.

Demand for the Voodoo5 5500 AGP for Macintosh is expected to be high. A pre-order program is planned to begin in the very near future. A complete set of reviews for the Voodoo5 5500 PCI for Macintosh can be found at this site

Related Links: 3dfx Interactive

Friday, September 15, 2000
PC -- Windows 2000 vs. Windows 98, FIGHT! - posted by Erich Becker at 5:06 pm CDT

Windows 2000 vs. Windows 98: How will Windows 2000 affect the games we play?

Gamer's Nexus tech guru, Firestorm takes a look at how Microsoft's newest OS and how it will affect the games we play and to what extent. He details performance of both Win2k and Win98 on Unreal Tournament and Quake 3. He's also taken the time to provide thorough benchmarks of both operating systems with 3D Mark 2000. Should you upgrade to 2000 or stick with what you've got? Come take a look at the facts before you decide.

Windows 2000 vs. Windows 98 -

"Windows 2000 was built off the NT technology, with Windows 98 features in mind. The NT OS was tweaked and upgraded, with added features like web integration and plug-and-play, all with a Win98 feel to it. But NT was never a gaming OS, but a business OS. However, Windows 2000 attempts to close this gap. So the only true way to find out is to benchmark the hell out of it."

Related Links: Gamer's Nexus

PC -- Warlords: Battle Cry Review - posted by Erich Becker at 5:02 pm CDT

XLGaming has recently done a review of the genre blending, Warlords: Battle Cry, for the PC. Here is a preview, followed by a link.

"RPG’s and Real Time Strategy (RTS), surely genres that could never be mixed? RTS titles have you commanding hoards of nameless units all of whom can be sacrificed for the common cause. RPG’s, on the other hand, have you controlling a mere handful of characters, all of which have to survive at any cost. Such gameplay styles oppose one another; you can’t mix them...can you? Well, SSG, the developers of ‘Warlords: Battlecry’ have had a stab at doing that very thing and I have to tell you, they haven’t done a bad job of it either. Read on to find out what XL Gaming made of this unlikely marriage between RPG and RTS."

See the Full Review Here

Related Links: XLGaming

PC -- Covert Ops Essentials In Stores Soon - posted by Erich Becker at 4:59 pm CDT


MORRISVILLE, NC September 15, 2000 --The next exciting title in the Tom Clancyís Rainbow Six line of games, Covert Operations Essentials, has reached gold master status and will be in stores next week. Not only will players will get to experience new and exciting levels, but they will also get an insiderís look at the secret world of covert operations.

Bridging the gap between fiction and real-world special operations, Tom Clancyís Rainbow Six: Covert Operations Essentials is an exciting overview covering the subject of counter-terrorism from 1970 until the present. Covert Ops will contain video interviews with top experts in the field, as well as photos and video footage of weapons and equipment, along with a description of situations where they are typically used. Players will also be able to test their skills and knowledge through ìOfficer Candidate Schoolî testing, as well as by playing the specially created game levels.

Wednesday, September 13, 2000
PC -- Tribes 2 Beta Testers Choosen - posted by Erich Becker at 4:58 pm CDT

Over 40,000 people, me included, signed up to Beta test Tribes 2, the sequel to the sleeper hit multiplayer team fragfest by Dynamix. The game has everything going for it. Great graphics, great soundtrack, and a developer with a great track record. Now over 40,000 people has signed up for just beta testing. This shows that the game is poised to sell many copies when it is actually released later this year.

1200 people where picked out of 40,000. Sierra originally intended only to pick 1000, but upped the numbers at the last minute.

GBC -- Ultimate Fighting on GameBoy - posted by Erich Becker at 4:54 pm CDT

Ultimate Fighting Championship, already released for the Dreamcast, and soon to be for the Playstation, has now been added to Crave's line up for Game Boy Releases.

Crave plans on releasing the game this November.

"UFC is our strongest franchise and the Game Boy Color version represents the third platform in the line-up," said Martin Spiess of Crave Entertainment.

Related Links: Source -- FGNOnline

PC -- Blue Shift May Not Be PC Bound - posted by Erich Becker at 4:47 pm CDT

Recently Gearbox Software, developers of Half-Life for the Dreamcast, hinted that their Dreamcast exclusive mission pack would be ported over to the PC.

FGN Online then contacted Sierra, and they responed with "It definitely has not been determined."

The BlueShift missions are being added on the Dreamcast version of Half-Life due to the lack of a multiplayer mode, even with SegaNet operation.

More information on a PC conversion soon.

Related Links: Source - FGNOnline

Monday, September 11, 2000
Web -- Gamer's Nexus and the Mage - posted by Erich Becker at 4:41 pm CDT

Gamer's Nexus has recently had the chance to talke to a few members of the development team over Magelords, a Kinesoft developed RTS.

Magelords Interview

"GNx: Given the competitive nature of RTS genre, What facets of Magelords do you think will help to distinguish it from the pack - game play elements, graphics, etc?

Jason minor: What distinguishes Magelords from the RTS genre is, that it doesn't hold to any predefined genre. Magelords incorporates many different elements from many different genres, as well as adding some new twist of our own. We are creating a new genre.

T.Ray Isaac: of course being the Art Director I think the art is going to set us apart. We have some really talented and determined team. We want to give the player something totally new."

Related Links: Gamer's Nexus

Online -- Huge Shattered Galaxy Update - posted by Erich Becker at 4:21 pm CDT

Huge Updates At Shattered Galaxy

Sunnyvale, CA USA -- Massive multiplayer game developer, Nexon, announces the release of Phase III of the open beta test of Shattered Galaxy. Major changes are implemented to give the people exactly what they asked for. Highlights include:

1. A clean slate - with a twist. All heroes reset to level 1. The playing field has been leveled to give everyone with an interest to join the fight an equal chance to vie for ruling one of the SG planets with balanced diplomacy or by the titanium fist of military might.

2. More emphasis on fun battles, less emphasis on XP. Greatly increased level advancement, coupled with a much flatter technology curve, takes the emphasis off of rapid leveling. With some persistence, heroes will reach the maximum level fairly rapidly, allowing them to concentrate not on gaining XP, but on fighting and having fun. Meanwhile, lower level players can compete well against the more powerful, allowing superior tactics and unit design to prevail over hero/unit level. Additionally, XP loss from battle has not been increased, making it much less substantial when compared to the amount of XP gained.

3. More strategic objectives. Four 'hot spots' have been placed on the planet. These four provinces are extremely rich in one resource, making them very valuable to hold. The added importance of money and resources in the new Shattered Galaxy make control of these rich provinces very important.

4. More specialization. Because no more than one attribute can be maxed out even at maximum level, players must decide how to specialize their hero. Extensive calculation using the BattleMetrics system ensures that while some attribute choices may suit a specific player's style better, all attributes have equal effects on combat effectiveness.

5. Better Faction balance. No longer do the rich get richer and the poor poorer. Large (many-player) factions must fully extend themselves to gain as much wealth as smaller factions - leaving them open to attack on many fronts. And negligible repair costs combined with no money being exchanged in player versus player combat further even the playing field for the weaker factions.

Join the war today at www.shatteredgalaxy.com

Related Links: Shattered Galaxy

Thursday, September 07, 2000
Online -- Heat.net Closes on Halloween - posted by Erich Becker at 4:04 pm CDT

Not all is good with the launch of SegaNET. The Segasoft owned Heat.net will be closing down on Halloween so Sega can concentrate on SegaNET.

With the closure of Heat.net there is only one of the Big Three online services left. The first TEN.NET closed and turned into pogo.com. Heat.net makes the second service to close, and now only MPlayer remains to battle with Won.net and other services such as Battle.net and Microsoft's Gaming ZONE.

Heat.net will be missed.

Related Links: FGNOnline

Console -- Sega Scream Returns with SegaNET - posted by Erich Becker at 4:00 pm CDT

SegaNET launched today, and already gamers who have gained thier copy of NFL2K1 are playing with others gamers around the country who have done the same. Did I mention this was all being done on a console?

Sega is the first out the door with an online network that almost all future first party, and a number of third party, games will support. The online network is said to be lag free because of the backbone, and architecture. With all gamers on a 56k modem, you won't have someone using a cable and someone using a 14.4 trying to play each other and lag each other out.

Today also marks the return of the fabbled early 90's Sega Scream promotion that was very popular in the 16 bit era. Nintendo told you to Play it Loud, and after you were Welcomed to the Next Level, it was just SEGA! A household name once again with the Dreamcast, the scream returns tonight during MTV's questionable Video (Trendy) Music Awards. I for one am only watching for the Sega ads.

Erich Becker

Web -- Take Two launches PS2 Websites - posted by Erich Becker at 3:45 pm CDT

Take Two Interactive has launched two websites for each of their RockStar published games, Smuggler's Run and Midnight Club.

Anyone interested in these upcoming PlayStation 2 games can check out the sites with the links below.

Smuggler's Run
Check out the Site Here

Midnight Club
Check out the Site Here

Related Links: Rockstar Games

Hardware -- Intel's Rocky Road at CPUReview - posted by Erich Becker at 3:39 pm CDT

CPUReview, a dedicated hardware site, have composed a rather informational and pleasent editorial based on Intel's recent fall from the top. Check out the article today, tell'em we sent ya!

Check out the article,Rocky Road (NOT ice Cream), right here

Related Links: CPU Review

Console -- UFC Review at Game Rankings - posted by Erich Becker at 3:35 pm CDT

Our friends over at Game Rankings have posted an excellent review of Crave Entertainment's fighting game, Ultimate Fighting Championship. Giving the game an 93.1%, it is sure to be at the top of many gamers lists this weekend.

Head on over to Game Rankings today.

Related Links: UFC Review at Game Rankings

Web -- GamersNexus Previews Magelords - posted by Erich Becker at 3:32 pm CDT

Our friends over at GamersNexus have done an extensive and awesome preview on the upcoming real-time strategy/empire building game from Kinesoft. Follow the link below to read up.

Magelords Preview at GamersNexus

Built with talent from such well-known gaming companies as EA, MicroProse and InterPlay, Kinesoft has assembled a team of acclaimed developers dedicated to the same vision: creating incredibly unique and compelling gaming experiences that players will want to repeatedly encounter. "We are pushing the envelope of game development," explains Kinesoft President Ronald Spitzer. "We are bringing these games to life by creating boundless story lines, expansive environments and limitless gameplay that will capture the imaginations of the players and allow them to do new and different things they never had the ability to do before. It's not just where our games will take you, but more importantly, what you will be able to do once we get you there."

Related Links: GamersNexus

Industry -- Breakaway Games Announces Rapid Growth - posted by Erich Becker at 3:24 pm CDT

BreakAway Games Announces Key Appointments
New structure in response to the rapid growth of BreakAway Games

Hunt Valley, MD - (September 7, 2000) - BreakAway Games, an independent game developer, announced several key appointments today. These moves come as a result of the explosive growth that BreakAway Games has experienced since it's inception in 1998. The Company anticipates over 400% growth this year and has grown to over 25 employees.

Ed Beach has been named Director of Software Development and he will oversee the technical aspects of all BreakAway Games' products. Most recently, Ed headed up the development team for Cleopatra: The Official Pharaoh Expansion. He is a long-time game designer with the Great Campaigns of the American Civil War series among his credits. Ed joined BreakAway Games in 1999 and his previous programming experience included NASA spacecraft command and control software, wireless communications, and geographic information systems (GIS).

Stephen Langmead, an eight-year veteran of the computer games industry, has been appointed Art Director. His responsibilities will include developing and implementing a consistent visual style for all BreakAway Games' titles. Prior to joining BreakAway Games earlier this year, Stephen was Art Director at TalonSoft, where he oversaw the production of many critically acclaimed titles, including The Battleground Series, The Campaign Series and The Operational Art of War Series. He got his start in the games business at Avalon Hill.

Ed Fletcher, a recent addition to BreakAway Games, will head up the Company's new Internet Technologies Group. He will be responsible for shaping and implementing BreakAway Games' Internet strategy. Ed is a long-time industry veteran with numerous award-winning titles to his credit. He was a founding partner of both Bethesda Softworks and Meyer/Glass Interactive and also enjoyed stints at MicroProse Software and Electronic Arts. Some of his best-known games include: Wayne Gretzky Hockey, 1942: The Pacific Air War, and NBA Live.

"As BreakAway Games continues to grow, talented and dedicated people like Ed, Stephen and Ed will play key roles in shaping the future of the company," states Doug Whatley, founder and president of BreakAway Games. "Their experience and vision will help BreakAway Games to grow and prosper in the future by producing high-quality, exciting games."

About BreakAway Games
BreakAway Games designs and develops games with particular expertise in strategy, sports and historical simulations for all platforms. BreakAway Games has long-term relationships with several major publishers and their credits include the award-winning Sid Meier's Antietam!, Cleopatra: The Official Pharaoh Expansion and ABC's Monday Night Football. Their highly anticipated Waterloo: Napoleon's Last Battle is currently in production. The Company also develops a proprietary simulation for the military, which is used by all branches of the Armed Forces as well as the Joint Forces and Pacific Commands. BreakAway Games is located in Hunt Valley, MD and more information can be found at www.breakawaygames.com.


Related Links: BreakAway Games Homepage


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