Archived News:

Thursday, Sep 04, 2003

XIII Delay?

A minor change to the XIII Website (thanks Frans) hints that Ubi Soft's upcoming cel-shaded Unreal-engine shooter may be suffering a slight delay, as the listed release date has been changed from September 2003 to now read Fall 2003.

Temple of Elemental Evil Gold

GameSpyDaily has a report up that Temple of Elemental Evil has gone gold, and that Troika's 3rd edition D&D game based on the Greyhawk module is off for duplication. Word is the game will be available on September 23, and to celebrate the occasion, they are planning a GameSpy Arcade chat with Troika's Tim Cain tomorrow at 7:00 p.m. EDT to discuss the game.

DAoC: Trials of Atlantis Beta Sign-ups

The Camelot Herald (thanks Shacknews) is now accepting sign-ups from those interested in beta testing the upcoming Trials of Atlantis expansion pack for Dark Age of Camelot, Mythic's popular MMORPG. Included in the questionnaire is: "What is the craziest thing you would do to get into beta?"

Warcraft III: Frozen Throne Bonus Map

This Warcraft III Maps Page offers downloads of a bonus map for the RTS expansion called Ice Forge. The 127 KB map is recommended for one-on-one or two-on-two play, and here is the description the page carries: "In the frozen tundra, dark powers and magical weapons were forged upon the cold, perilous lands of Ice Forge." Thanks Frans.

Dear Diaries

The Star Wars Jedi Knight Jedi Academy Designer Diary #2 on GameSpot offers thoughts from both animator Jarrod Showers and level designer Justin Negrete about Jedi Academy their now-gold Star Wars shooter sequel. The Middle-Earth Online Website has a new team letter/diary entry from the producers of Middle-Earth Online, Turbine's upcoming Tolkien-themed MMORPG (thanks Frans). The letter outlines the goals they set for the project at its outset, and goes on to describe how they are satisfying these goals. On that same subject, there is also another Middle-Earth Online Diary, in which programmer K80 goes into: "Adding New Features: a few rambling thoughts on private encounters." There is also a new Greyhawk The Temple of Elemental Evil Journal #6 on RPG Vault with a timely entry about The Temple of Elemental Evil, Troika's now-gold RPG: "What's it like when your game approaches completion? Troika's Sean Craig takes us through the final stages."


The ATI Technologies Drivers Page (thanks Krisz) now offers downloads of new version 3.7. They have an extensive list of issues that the new driver addresses, along with the recommendation that the new drivers should only be used by those experiencing one of these problems.

BF1942 Galactic Conquest Patch

A new version 0.1c patch for Galactic Conquest is now available, updating the Star Wars-themed Battlefield 1942 modification (thanks Ant). The new version adds some new features, addresses some bugs, and provides compatibility with the new version 1.45 of BF1942.

MoH AA Breakthrough Gold

The Medal of Honor Allied Assault Website (thanks Frans) has news that the Medal of Honor Allied Assault Breakthrough add-on is gold. Word on availability is the WW2 shooter expansion will be storming store shelves on September 22. Here's a bit on gameplay: "As U.S. Army Sergeant John Baker, players join the battle at Kasserine Pass in North Africa, race to capture Messina in Sicily, and finally repel the German army at the historic battle of Monte Battaglia in the heart of Italy. Armed with a new arsenal of weapons, players will fight alone and with squad mates as they rush to stop the Axis powers. The multiplayer game has been enhanced with the addition of Liberation Mode. In this mode, defeated players must be rescued by surviving teammates to continue the fight. In addition, players can drive tanks, and minesweepers can defuse mines. Players can also choose from American, British, Italian, and German skins in all multiplayer modes."

IL-2 Forgotten Battles Patch

The IL-2 Sturmovik Website now offers downloads of a new version 1.1 (final) patch for the Forgotten Battles add-on for the World War II flight sim. The new version is available as either a 17 MB patch to update version 1.1b or as a 44 MB patch to update version 1.0. The update includes AI and gameplay tweaks, flight model tuning, bug fixes, and more.

Space Colony Demo

The Gigex streaming download service is now offering a 122 MB demo version of Space Colony, allowing the chance to sample Firefly Studios' upcoming management game that puts the player in control of a colony full of space cadets. Word is: "The Space Colony demo allows players to play through three missions and meet six of the 20 wacky space cadets. The Space Colony demo will also be available on CD at GameStop and Electronic Boutique stores nationwide starting in September."

BloodRayne Goes Hollywood

Majesco's 'BloodRayne' Goes Hollywood as Boll KG Acquires Film Rights to Popular Video Game Franchise is the press release announcing that the vampire-themed console action game that's due to make its PC debut shortly is destined for the big screen as well. Word is: "Vierte Boll Kino Beteiligungs-GmbH & Co. KG (Boll KG), the production company responsible for several film adaptations of video games including Alone in the Dark and House of the Dead, has purchased the theatrical film and merchandise rights for the game. Executive producer and director Dr. Uwe Boll, expects to begin filming BloodRayne sometime in 2004 and estimates a budget in the $30 million range. Shawn Williamson (White Noise, Alone in the Dark) of Brightlight Pictures is set to produce."

America's Army 2.0 Soon

The America's Army Website has a brief mention that version 2.0 of Uncle Sam's Unreal-engine first-person shooter is due "soon." There aren't any details, but they have posted some version 2.0 screenshots in their gallery. Thanks Frans.

Morning Q&As

  • PlanetSide: Core Combat
    The PlanetSide: Core Combat Q&A on Gamers With Jobs talks with Dallas Dickinson, producer on Sony Online Entertainment's upcoming expansion for their MMOFPS. They go into detail on some new vehicles, as well as the expectation that this expansion will spur a major influx of new players.
  • Homeplanet Add-on
    HomeLAN Fed's Homeplanet Multiplayer Add-On Q&A chats with 3Map Games' Mike Zubik about recently announced plans for a multiplayer add-on for their space combat game, as well as what they know about plans to release the game itself in the North American market.
  • Temple Of Elemental Evil
    Worthplaying's Temple Of Elemental Evil Q&A chats with Tim Cain of Troika Games about Temple Of Elemental Evil, the upcoming RPG based on the Greyhawk D&D campaigns.

Call of Duty Movies

The Call of Duty Movies on IGN is a series of nine new QuickTime-format gameplay movies showing off Infinity Ward's upcoming World War II shooter. The movies range from simple demonstrations of things like crouching and leaning up to snippets of combat.

Morning Screenshots

Morning Previews


PS2 price cut coming soon on reports "£129.99 is set to be the new PlayStation 2 price within the next three to four weeks" in Europe, quoting some of those blabbermouth "sources." The sources also tell them Halo 2 has slipped to April 2004, but this is backed up by a Microsoft release schedule. Also, here's the entirety of one of the shortest press releases we can recall: "Mesquite, TX - Sept. 3, 2003 - id Software(tm) and Activision, Inc. (Nasdaq: ATVI) have confirmed that Vicarious Visions is developing DOOM 3(tm) for Xbox®, the console version of id Software's highly-anticipated blockbuster title headed to the Xbox® video game system from Microsoft." Also, Gloomy outlook for game console sales (thanks Mike Martinez) reports: "Sales of video game consoles are expected to slump until a new crop of machines is introduced in a few years, according to an industry analyst." Also, Ubi Soft sends along the following about XIII: "PlayStation®2 and Xbox(tm) fans can get an exclusive sneak peak at exciting single-player and multi-players levels along with a full length soundtrack produced by San Francisco-based label Future Primitive Sound. The purchase of this two-disc will be applied to the full product when it becomes available. Nintendo GameCube and PC fans can receive the enhanced CD soundtrack by pre-ordering." Finally: Nokia's N-Gage Gets Second Look (thanks Mike Martinez) on the launch of the N-Gage portable game machine.


The World Cyber Games sends word that their 2004 finals will be held in San Francisco, CA. This will be the first time the finals will be held outside of Korea, where the competition originated.

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews


Out of the Blue

The attacks from the spiders are becoming bolder. Last night I got tangled in a head-high web stretched across the bathroom doorway, and as I disentangled myself I saw the foiled arachnid scurrying up to the ceiling... you could sense his disappointment. I wonder if this taste for people has to do with the generation of crawlers that were born in this house, since we tend to let them go with a warning when we find them. Well, at least we don't have a lot of mosquitoes in the house.

We won't have many mosquitoes living outside soon if the temperature drop continues here. The calendar page had barely settled on September when the cold snap began, and since the New York autumn typically lasts the same couple of weeks that spring does, the heavy rain we've been getting should be turning into snowfall soon.

Play Time: Jedi Wars. Thanks Devster.
The Gender Genie. It thinks my two prior OotB's are female (but not today's), but it's right less often than a coin toss, so...
Links of the Day: Houston teams with McDonald's to fight fat. The "nation's fattest city" and the fast food chain.
Chinese tigers sent to Africa for hunting lessons. They've lost the eye of the tiger.
Stories of the Day: Firecracker stunt backfires on man. Thanks Steve. Truly gruesome. More Jackassery.
Ingenuity Helps Prisoners Cope.
Science!: Amphibious car drives over water. Thanks Halsy. Cue the Bond theme.
Power of Positive Thinking May Have a Health Benefit, Study Says (registration required).
Study: Saving forests best way to cheap, clean water.
Thanks Mike Martinez.
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