Archived News:

Tuesday, Sep 09, 2003

NHL 2004 Demo

EA Sports has released a playable demo for NHL 2004, offering the chance to take to the practice ice with the Anaheim Mighty Ducks and the 2003 Stanley Cup champion New Jersey Devils. The 75 MB demo can also be found on Computer Games Online, Gamer's Hell, and Worthplaying.

Ships Ahoy: Savage

Savage: The Battle for Newerth Ships is the press release announcing that S2's teamplay game that combines the real-time strategy and first-person shooter genres has shipped to stores. Here's the deal on the game: "Set in a unique fantasy world eons from now, where Humans and Beasts violently battle for their very existence, Savage transports PC gamers to the next level in multiplayer gaming. The result of this meld is a truly unique experience that enables the player to opt for either the fast-paced, run-and-gun action of a FPS (playing as a Warrior) or the more cerebral and tactical planning of a RTS (playing as a Commander). Because Savage offers fully developed aspects of each genre, players must work together as a team in order to defeat their opposition."

Raven Shield Patch

After a couple of delays, the promised version 1.41 patch for Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six 3 Raven Shield is now available. The update is available on the game's patches page, where they also detail the changes and fixes the patch offers, including a fix for the memory leak, the immediate firing animation toggle, translation fixes, the promised PunkBuster support, and more. Various assortments of the different language patches and the updated dedicated servers have been posted on 3D Gamers, FileFront (Full patch and Upgrade), FileRush (Bit Torrent), GameCenter.cz, Gamer's Hell, GameSpot (registration required), Games Fusion (Full patch and Upgrade), Loadedinc (registration required), and Worthplaying.

Spartan Beta Testing

The Spartan Beta Test Sign-up Page is now online, offering the chance to apply to be one of the testers on Slitherine Software's turn based strategy game "that builds on the success of Legion & Chariots of War." Applications will be closing September 26, and here's a bit more: "Please bear in mind that beta testing is not all glamour! A lot of hard work goes into it, so be prepared for this. Sometimes you'll be playing the same battle 20 times from a saved game to try and repeat a crash you saw before, other times you'll be click every button on the UI in various ways to try and break it or checking that keys on the keyboard don't cause problems, especially in odd combinations, or reading through many messages looking for spelling mistakes & text overruns."

Ships Ahoy: EQ Lost Dungeons of Norrath

Sony Online Entertainment Launches EverQuest: Lost Dungeons of Norrath (thanks Frans) has word that the Lost Dungeons of Norrath expansion for EverQuest is now available. The MMOG add-on is available at retail stores, and can also be purchased online and downloaded. Here's a portion of the release with some quotes on gameplay:
"With Lost Dungeons of Norrath, we're emphasizing the classic 'dungeon crawl' game play element in the world of EverQuest," said Michael Lustenberger, director of product marketing, Sony Online Entertainment. "This is our largest expansion to date, offering players a new way to experience the world of Norrath with personal adventures, massive dungeons and a unique reward system that's sure to please our most hard-core fans."

Ships Ahoy: BloodRayne PC

Majesco's BloodRayne Sinks Her Teeth into PC Gamers is the press release announcing the blood-sucking action game that's already out for consoles is now available for the PC as well. Here's a bit: "Set in the late 1930s, BloodRayne introduces the sexy, huntress BloodRayne. An unholy union of human and vampire, BloodRayne was raised and trained by a secret government agency to hunt down and eliminate supernatural threats. Now she must take on an occult faction of Nazis to prevent them from unleashing creatures of unfathomable terror in their quest for world domination. BloodRayne's lethal repertoire includes inhuman strength, spectacular leaping and acrobatic skills, aura vision, zoom vision and slow-motion perception that enables her to weave in and out of the path of bullets. She maintains her health by feeding off the blood of other creatures. In addition, blade combat drives her into 'Blood Rage' where she achieves a new set of unstoppable fighting combos and deadly attacks."

Operation Flashpoint 2 Delayed

A story on TotalVideoGames.com cites work on the Xbox version of Operation Flashpoint as the reason that Operation Flashpoint 2 will be delayed. According to the report the sequel to Bohemia Interactive Studios' cold war shooter is not expected until 2005 "at the earliest."

AMD Quake III DLLs

The Athlon Optimized Programs Page features downloads of DLLs said to improve the performance of Quake III Arena, among other apps, on AMD hardware. They have posted new Athlon XP DLLs, saying: "Note to people who think these DLLs are "unfair" in benchmarks. This is horribly incorrect. Quake3 (even with an Athlon XP) forces AMD chips to use 3DNow, not SSE. Little do people know the 3DNow! code is completely broken in Quake3. It does not help at ALL. The Pentium 3 and 4 chips however are both detected as "Pentium 3" chips, which automatically uses SSE which DOES work in Quake3 and gives a significant FPS boost. These DLLs don't enable SSE but do help with Athlons.. and if SSE was to ever be enabled in Quake3 for Athlon processors they would blow Pentium 4 chips out of the water even more. In the tests I ran a P4-2.53 @ 3.32GHz, 175/700fsb lost to a "stock" Athlon XP 2700+(2166MHz, 166fsb) using these dlls..." Thanks rms.

Morning Q&As

IL-2 Forgotten Battles Patch

New IL-2 Sturmovik the Forgotten Battles retail patches are now available, updating the flight sim expansion to version 1.11. The update addresses a few bugs, including the BF-109K-4 rudder glitch. All three versions of the update can be found on the official site and mirrors can be found on 3D Gamers and FileFront (1.1b-1.11 and 1.1 to 1.11).

America's Army Patch

A small fix for the Win32 client for America's Army: Operations has been released to address a few issues with Uncle Sam's shooter. The patch can be found on 3D Gamers, AmericasArmyFiles.com, FilePlanet (registration required), and Worthplaying.

Morning Previews

Western Outlaw Gold

This Jarhead Games News Announcement has word that: "After some last minute balancing, bug fixing and polish, Western Outlaw is FINISHED!" Here's a bit on the story of this western shooter from Jar Head Games, the team behind CTU: Marine Sharpshooter and Navy SEALs: "You are the Stranger, a man hardened by your years as a gunslinger. The only thing harder than you are the rocks you sleep on at night. You have arrived in a troubled town looking for peace and quiet, but you're not that lucky. Framed for a crime you didn't commit, you must use your skills as a gunslinger to evade the law and fight to stay alive in a corrupt western town where everyone wants you dead. Fight your way through ten action packed levels."

Morning Screenshots

Consolidation

Vivendi Universal Games sends word that Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Chaos Bleeds has shipped for the Xbox, PS2, and GameCube. Word is: "Developed as a ‘lost episode’ from season five of the television show, Chaos Bleeds centers around a dimensional bleed that has been enabled by Pure Evil to consume humanity once and for all." Also, there are Counter-Strike Xbox Impressions on GameSpot.

The Mod Squads

The SAS: Into the Lion's Den Q&A on Jolt.co.uk talks with Mulder, project leader on the SAS: Into the Lion's Den moification for Unreal Tournament 2003. They discuss the mod, the segue from developing for the original Unreal, release plans, and more.

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews

Out of the Blue

Well, I'm back at the BlueTower for a short stay, as after getting in late after my grandmother Mimi's funeral I'll be heading out at dawn to attend the burial (I haven't heard why the two events were not on the same day, but it's fairly unusual from my experience, so I assume there's probably a good reason for this). Anyway, the services was simple but sincere, and I take some comfort in my belief that it proceeded much the way she would have wanted it to.

I don't expect to get in as late today as I did last night, and any patience you can muster for the delayed updates is sincerely appreciated.

Media of the Day: Badgers. Thanks Darkhorse.
Images of the Day: FoxTrot. Thanks Payback.
Great Big Kiss. Thanks Ant.
Auctions of the Day: Wolverine Replica Sideburns. Thanks Keith Holjencin.
New Folder for Windows XP. Thanks Allan W and pailhead.
Science!: New technology from 'black world'.
Thanks Mike Martinez.
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