Archived News:

Thursday, Sep 23, 2004

Half-Life 2 Deee-luxe?

Half-Life 2 Collector's Edition Revealed? on IGN is a speculative article based on listings for a Half-Life 2 Special Edition on Gamestop.com and a Half-Life 2 Collector's Edition on EBgames.com, each listing similar contents: a DVD version of Valve's shooter sequel, Counter-Strike: Source, Half-Life: Source, a limited edition t-shirt, and a book on the game. Each listing carries a price of $79.99.

New UT2004 Demo

A new version 3334 demo for Unreal Tournament 2004 is now online, offering an updated sample of Epic's multiplayer shooter sequel. Word from Epic is: "The new UT2004 demo has all the fixes and updates in the latest full version of UT2004, and also includes two additional maps, ONS-Primeval and CTF-FaceClassic, as well as the Instagib CTF game type. In addition, new demo servers are compatible with full version clients, so if you run a demo server, anyone can join it. The master server is going to stop advertising old demo servers, so if you are currently running a demo server, you need to replace it with the new version." The 282 MB download is available on Atari Unreal Tournament 2004 Product Page and mirrored on 3D Downloads, 3D Gamers, FileFront, Gameguru Mania, and Worthplaying.

UT2004 Editor's Choice Edition Bonus Pack

Epic Games has released the Unreal Tournament 2004 Editor's Choice Edition Bonus Pack. Here's word: "It includes six new characters, three new vehicles (the Paladin, the Cicada, and the SPMA), and four unique new Onslaught maps. Unreal Tournament 2004 must be patched to version 3323 to use this bonus pack." The pack is an 84 MB download, available on 3D Downloads, 3D Gamers, FileFront, and GameSpot DLX (registration required), Gameguru Mania, Gamer's Hell, Game's Fusion, Tiscali Games, and Worthplaying.

Richard Burns Rally Patch

SCi Games has released the first patch for Richard Burns Rally, updating the racing game to version 1.01. Word is: "It is recommended that any user modifications that have been installed to the Richard Burns Rally directory be removed before installing this update. These modifications are not supported by SCi Games and may not be compatible with some of the new features that are included." The 4.6 MB download is also available from 3D Gamers, FileFront, and Worthplaying.

18 Wheels of Steel Patch

The ValuSoft Technical Support Web Site now has a new beta version 1.04 patch for 18 Wheels of Steel: Pedal to the Metal. Thanks Frans.

Dungeon Lords Beta

DreamCatcher games announces plans for an open beta for Dungeon Lords, though. like so many "open" betas, this one will actually be somewhat closed. Here's the deal on how to apply to test the upcoming action/RPG:
Toronto, September 23, 2004 – DreamCatcher Games today announced that it is accepting applications for the Public Beta Test of its Combat-RPG, Dungeon Lords. The application process will begin on Monday, September 27th at 12:00 p.m. EST and close at 12:00 p.m. EST on Monday, October 4th.

The test will include both single and multiplayer components and entrants may apply for one or both. Testers will be chosen based on applications and ability to play RPGs. The minimum system requirements for the test are a 1ghz proc with 256 RAM and a Geforce 2. The application can be found at http://www.dreamcatchergames.com/dci/forms/betatester/.

Colin McRae Rally MP Demo

A new demo for Colin McRae Rally 2005 is now available, allowing the chance to check out the multiplayer play in Codemasters' latest rally racing game on a pair of tracks. The demo is a 166 MB download, available on the Codemasters Website and mirrored on 3D Gamers, ActionTrip, Boomtown (registration required), FileFront, Gameguru Mania, Gamer's Hell, Real Gamer, and Worthplaying.

Arena Wars Patch

The Arena Wars Website now offers downloads of a new version 1.08 patch for Arena Wars, exDream Entertainment's action/real-time strategy game. The release note outline the changes in the new version, which is said to address some problems with version 1.0.7 while adding additional support for the new French and Russian editions of the game. Thanks Frans.

Ships Ahoy - Deer Hunter 2005

Atari's Best-Selling Hunting Franchise Hits New Targets with Deer Hunter 2005 (thanks Frans) is the press release announcing that Deer Hunter 2005, the latest installment in the hunting series, is shipping to stores throughout the U.S. for an MSRP of $19.99.

Pirate Ships Ahoy - Port Royale 2

Port Royale 2 in Stores is the press release announcing that that Ascaron Entertainment's trading simulation sequel set in the Caribbean is now available in North America:
An adventurous trader in the Caribbean during the 17th Century; trade with over 60 towns and create your own production facilities. Increase your trading empire, and influence development of the New World.

Trade is not everything though: pirates and military fleets threaten your trade convoys. Build and command escort ships for the convoys. Turn the tides and hunt for pirates or capture the military ships. Become famous and expand your own fleet as well as your stocks of goods.

If that is not enough, take on missions for merchants, diplomats and other characters. Use a letter of Marquee to gain the most desirable missions of the vice-kings; to attack and conquer enemy towns. As a sign of gratitude you will be awarded land, to be used later for the building and growth of your own towns.

Command and engage in sea and land battles: Decide, which ships you, take to battle, and which ships are on escort duty. The 3D Sea Battles provide the choices of protecting your merchant ships with battleships; Sink, plunder or the capture of enemy ships. Planning and commanding sea or land based attacks on the towns of your foes, or even your friends.

Morning Q&As

  • Valve vs. Vivendi
    Valve And Vivendi Battle In Court on GameSpy has some brief comments from Valve's Doug Lombardi about the litigation they are involved in with VU Games (story), confirming that "Valve is the owner of the Half-Life intellectual property" and "Valve has provided all the funding for Half-Life 2's development."
  • Microsoft
    Microsoft talks Longhorn, XNA, and Xbox 2 on GameSpot is an article-format Q&A on those topics with Windows Gaming general manager Dean Lester: "Then we asked Lester one final question: Considering how the next version of DirectX released with Longhorn will essentially be a new development platform similar to a new console release, would Xbox 2 be based on Longhorn? Unfortunately--but unsurprisingly--Lester declined to comment."
  • MoH: Pacific Assault
    There's a new Medal of Honor Pacific Assault Q&A on the Official Website (thanks Frans and Voodoo Extreme) as EA Games talks with themselves about the upcoming WW2 shooter sequel: "Medal of Honor Pacific Assault will be released on PC-CD. However the Medal of Honor Pacific Assault Director's Edition will be available exclusively as a PC-DVD. We expect that the most ardent MOH fans will likely choose the Director's Edition because of all the great bonus content-which not only includes information on the making of the game, and an interactive presentation of the music of MOH, but also an exclusive single player weapon that won't be available anywhere else. The Director's Edition will also appeal to history buffs who will enjoy the interactive WWII timeline, veteran interviews, and other historical content. It's jam-packed with extra goodies, and well worth the extra ten bucks."
  • Empire Earth II
    The Empire Earth II Q&A on HomeLAN Fed talks with Adam Kahn of Sierra/VU Games about the upcoming sequel to Stainless Steel Studios' Empire Earth that's in the works at Mad Doc Software: "Empire Earth was an extremely successful game when it was released in 2001. Parting ways with Stainless Steel Studios was difficult, but at the end of the project both sides decided to move on. After talking with Mad Doc® after Empire Earth shipped, it was clear that they understood what made the original Empire Earth great and could take the helm and create an awesome sequel. They’re well on their way to doing so."
  • Dark and Light
    RPG Vault's Dark and Light Status Q&A talks with NP Cube's Stephane Quilichini about their upcoming MMORPG, including an updated release date: "Our launch date is now aimed for April 2005, with all the game major functions ready in January 2005. Three more months are necessary to fine tune the game and add graphic diversity. To date, we are confident about the release date, since our first milestone was reached on time without problems. The next flag will be in about a month's time, with the first system skill test."
  • Project Snowblind
    The Project Snowblind Q&A on HomeLAN Fed chats with Zak McClendon of Crystal Dynamics about their upcoming action/RPG: "The game takes place in and around Hong Kong, but it was extremely important for us to get away from a lot of the drab, gritty environments that you see in so many FPS games. We tried to make sure that each environment has its own unique look and would really be something striking that players may not have seen before."
  • Music
    Myst IV Revelation Composer Jack Wall Gets Musical with GameZone Online discusses the tuneage in the latest Myst game, while on a related note, Myst IV Revelation Features Original Peter Gabriel Song and Voice Talent (thanks Frans) has word that the former Genesis front-man is lending his musical talents to the project as well.

Railroad Tycoon 3 Patch

This Take 2 Games Support Page proffers a new version 1.05 patch for the various international editions of Railroad Tycoon 3. Word is: "This latest patch updates Railroad Tycoon 3 to version 1.05. This patch does NOT require you to have any prior patches installed. Whether or not you have installed patches 1.01 to 1.04, the RT3 - Coast to Coast expansion, or none of the above, this patch will work fine in any of these scenarios. If you have already downloaded and installed the RT3 Coast to Coast expansion, all you need is the stand-alone 1.05 patch." Thanks Frans.

Morning Previews

Morning Screenshots

New RtCW FritzBot

Mal's Whorehouse (and they say all the good website names are taken) now offers downloads of the second preview release of the FritzBot CapturePoint AI mod for Return to Castle Wolfenstein. Word on the new version is: "It has support for 3 maps (mp_base, mp_destruction, and mp_trenchtoast), improved A.I., support for all classes/weapons, etc."

Help Wanted

The Troika Games Website mentions some new openings on their Jobs at Troika Page (thanks Frans). Word is: "Troika Games offers a great, down-to-earth work environment where your creativity can flourish. We work as a team, so in addition to your basic job, you will be able to contribute to all aspects of game development."

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews

etc.

Out of the Blue

Inspired by links found in the recent announcement of a 64-bit version of Shadow Ops, I decided to experiment yesterday with installing the 64-bit evaluation version of Windows XP on my AMD 64-based PC to check it out. I guess I am already spoiled with how smoothly most of my XP experiences have gone prior to this, as I was shocked by the rough ride I encountered. I was actually able to easily find the 64-bit versions of my RAID drivers to start with, but it all went downhill from there (or uphill, it's hard to keep track of what's supposed to be bad in that expression). My willingness to continue to suffer though any of this ended when I tried installing DOOM 3 and was met with an error message saying that the game must run under Windows 2000 or Windows XP. At this point I realized I didn't have as much patience for the joys of early adoption to put up with this as I imagined I did... if my games don't think the 64-bit beta is WinXP, then it might as well not be. Of course, on reinstalling the 32-bit version, I had to call someone to get the activation feature to activate a second time (man is that ever a kludgey system), so if I was looking for an adventure, I got one. I'm sure glad it's over.

R.I.P.: Pioneer Adult Filmmaker Russ Meyer Dies. Thanks Devicer.

Link of the Day: Craziest.
Stories of the Day: Interstate Bakeries files for bankruptcy. Twinkies in jeopardy.
Soviet Scientists Planned “Invulnerable” Military HQ on the Moon.
William Shatner auditioning Iowans for low-budget sci-fi movie.
Science!: Refreshing Drinks of Fresh Air.
Personality predicts politics.
Auctions of the Day: Jean Pierre Le'pine pen from Ex-Wife. Thanks Joe Sabatini.
Thanks Mike Martinez.
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