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Wednesday, Nov 08, 2006


Gold - FLYBOYS Squadron

iEntertainment Network announces that FLYBOYS Squadron is complete, and the MMO flying game based on the already-closed World War I movie is due in stores next week:

CARY, NC, November 8, 2006 – iEntertainment Network, (PINK SHEETS: - News), the award-winning developer of the world famous WarBirds TotalSims series, today announced that FLYBOYS Squadron, the World War I combat flight simulator based upon the MGM movie Flyboys, will be available November 16th on retail shelves. The FlyBoys Squadron retail package will also include 1 month of free online massively multiplayer gaming on IENT’s servers with hundreds of other players from around the world. Also included in the retail package are two free bonus award-winning massively multiplayer games, WarBirds and Armored Assault, a $50 value.

"FlyBoys Squadron is an ideal game for people who enjoy the challenge of flying and the strategy of dogfighting," said retired USAF pilot and CEO of iEntertainment, J.W. 'Wild Bill' Stealey, who has over 4,000 U.S. Air Force military flying hours. “Having taught more than 200 Air Force Lieutenants how to fly in the military, I think we can really teach players how to fly while they are having fun and learning to dogfight with FlyBoys Squadron.”

“With its E (Everybody) rating, FLYBOYS Squadron is a game that kids, dads, moms, and grandparents can play together either at the same computer or networked together over the Internet on multiple computers even if separated by thousands of miles," Stealey added. "They can enjoy the experience and challenge of flying paired with the adrenaline of surviving WWI dogfights."

Gold - Windows Vista

Microsoft finishes work on Windows Vista has word that Microsoft's new operating system has been deemed ready for prime time, and is due in stores on January 30:

SEATTLE - Microsoft Corp. finished work Wednesday on its long-delayed Windows Vista operating system, and said the software would be broadly available Jan. 30.

The announcement means Microsoft will meet — just barely — its revised goal of putting Vista in consumers' hands in the first month of 2007.

Windows Vista's code was released midmorning Wednesday to manufacturing — a step that allows the company to begin making the copies that will be distributed with PCs and sold at stores, said Jim Allchin, co-president of the Microsoft division that includes Windows, in a conference.

"This is a good day," Allchin said.

Microsoft had previously said it would release Vista to big business clients at an event at the Nasdaq Stock Market on Nov. 30, and Allchin reiterated Wednesday that corporations who buy Windows licenses in bulk will get the new system this month. That's also in keeping with the company's revised release schedule.

The release will be the first major upgrade in more than five years to the operating system that powers most of the world's personal computers. Vista boasts improved graphics, more effective tools for finding documents, pictures and other items on personal computers, and a new Internet browser, among other changes.

Black-out Saigon Movie

A new Bet on Soldier: Black-out Saigon movie is now available (thanks Frans), offering a look at the add-on for Kylotonn Entertainment's first-person shooter that's due for release in Germany tomorrow. The high-resolution clip offering three minutes of gameplay footage is available from Frogster Interactive.

NVIDIA G80 Launch

Today's NDA expired after the morning review list was posted. There are NVIDIA GeForce G80/8800 preview/reviews on (drumroll):

There are also previews of the NVIDIA nForce 680i Chipset on AnandTech, Hot Hardware, OCWORKBENCH, PC Perspective, The Tech Report, and X-bit labs.

Evening Preview

  • Medieval II: Total War on IGN.

Evening Legal Briefs

Evening Consolidation

Evening Tech Bits

Evening Mobilization

Evening Safety Dance

etc., etc.

Into the Black

We got heavy rain here today, and clearly we are getting more water in our basement than ever when this occurs. We're realizing that this is a situation that is going to have to be dealt with, which seems equally daunting from the perspectives of both expense and effort (sigh). Oh well, as they say, just part of the joys of being a homeowner.

Damp Links! Thanks Mike Martinez and Ant.
Link of the Evening: Season Shot - Ammo with flavor.
Science!: According to Robot, Humans Taste Like Bacon.
New Techniques Pave Way for Carbon Nanotubes in Electronic Devices.
Tarantulas and chilies share pain target.

Gothic 3 Demo Friday

Aspyr and JoWooD announce plans to release a demo for Gothic 3, saying the sample of Piranha Bytes' RPG sequel is coming on Friday:

Aspyr Media and JoWood Productions will release the North American demo for the highly anticipated PC RPG Gothic 3 on Friday, November 10. The demo includes the beginning area of the game, including the towns of Ardea and Kap Dun and the Rebel outpost Reddock, with all available quests, weapons, spells and NPCs. There will be no time limits imposed on players.

Gothic 3 is scheduled to ship in North America on Monday, November 13. For more information go to or

Titan Quest Add-on Info

FiringSquad reports on a story in the Holiday 2006 print edition of PC Gamer Magazine that sheds a little light on the upcoming Titan Quest expansion (thanks Frans). Word is the add-on's title will be Titan Quest: Immortal Throne, and it will offer 10-15 hours of gameplay, 20 new monsters, over 30 quests, and a "Dream Mastery" system that adds eight new classes to Iron Lore Entertainment's action/RPG.

Dark Messiah of Might & Magic Patches

The first Dark Messiah of Might & Magic retail patches are now available, updating the German and International editions of Akanke's M&M action/RPG to version 1.1 by cleaning up a number of bugs and other issues. Downloads are available on Ubisoft's FTP Server and mirrored on 3D Downloads, 3D Gamers, FileFront, Gameguru Mania, and Worthplaying. Update: The Steam version of the patch is now automatically available, as well.

HOMM5: Hammers of Fate Gold

The Might and Magic Website (thanks Frans and FiringSquad) announces that the Hammers of Fate expansion for the turn-based strategy sequel is now complete, and will presumably make its scheduled November release date. The add-on introduces a new faction, new spells and abilities, , a new adventure, and gameplay improvements.

RoboBlitz Trial

A demo/trial version of RoboBlitz is now available, providing the opportunity to check out Naked Sky Entertainment's new action/shooter that utilizes the Unreal 3 engine. The trial version includes a freely playable segment as well as the entire content of the full game, which is supposed to be unlocked with a key that can be purchased online, but there seems to be a problem with this aspect of the demo (as a result there will probably be some sort of follow-up to this). The demo is mirrored on 3D Downloads, 3D Gamers, FileFront, Gameguru Mania, Internode Games Network, Strategy Informer, and Worthplaying.

New Left Behind: Eternal Forces Demo

An updated demo for Left Behind: Eternal Forces offers a renewed opportunity to check out the controversial post-apocalyptic strategy offering from Left Behind Games. The download is available from FileFront, Gamer's Hell, and Worthplaying.

Arthur and the Minimoys Demo

An Arthur and the Minimoys demo offers the chance to try out the tie-in with the upcoming animated movie of the same name. The three-level demo (direct link) can be found on Atari Italia, mirrored on 3D Downloads, 3D Gamers, FileFront, Gamer's Hell, Internode Games Network, Strategy Informer, VGPRO, and Worthplaying.

Red Orchestra: Ostfront 41-45 Collector's Edition

This press release heralds the coming of a Collector's Edition for Red Orchestra: Ostfront 41-45. The special version of Tripwire Interactive's Unreal-engine shooter is due in stores soon, and word is it will contain two new maps from Tripwire, four new weapons, two new vehicles, a bonus DVD featuring ten maps designed by the Red Orchestra community, sixteen strategy cards, an official metal Red Orchestra dog tag, trailers, desktop wallpapers, and more.

Ships Ahoy - D.I.R.T.

D.I.R.T. The Origin of the Species Ships to Stores in North America is the press release announcing that Nu Generation Games' third-person shooter is now available in North America, a bit delayed from its planned September release date. Here's word, which states the game's release in other territories will happen next year:

Boston, MA, November 8th 2006 - Tri Synergy,, and NuGeneration Games are thrilled to announce that D.I.R.T.: The Origin of the Species is shipping in North America while the rest of the world will have to wait until 2007 to play this highly anticipated PC game.

Nick Bamford of NuGeneration the developer of D.I.R.T. proudly proclaimed, “It’s been a long hard road but we wanted to take as long as necessary to deliver a gameplay experience that could be enjoyed at many levels by all the gamers out there, we are very proud to finally deliver that today!”

“D.I.R.T. has been a long-time-coming but will be well worth the wait,” said Shane Nestler of Tri Synergy. D.I.R.T. will be available at major software retailers as soon as this weekend. The game will be available from retail stores in the US and Canada including Electronics Boutique, Gamestop, Fry’s, CompUSA, Circuit City, and more! Additionally the game will be available from the Tri Synergy website at

Mage Knight: Apocalypse Patch

This page now offer a new patch for Mage Knight: Apocalypse, updating the action/RPG to version 1.02. The Mage Knight Forums outline what is impacted by the update. Thanks Frans.

Stronghold Legends Patch

The Stronghold Forums offer a new patch for Stronghold Legends, updating the besieged strategy game to version 1.11. Also, the annoyingly registration required D2D Patches Page offers a corresponding patch for the downloadable edition of the game. Thanks The Patches Scrolls.

AoE3: The WarChiefs Patch Plans

Ensemble Studios (thanks Frans) announces plans for a patch for Age of Empires III: The WarChiefs, the recently released RTS expansion. The report outlines balance changes and bug fixes.

The Early Show

A pair of new Medieval II: Total War movies show off more of Creative Assembly's now complete strategy sequel. A "gold" clip showing off the game's premise is available on and also offers a new clip introducing the Turkish faction. Also, the Battle for Middle-Earth II Website offers a pair of new movies from The Rise of the Witch-king expansion for the Lord of the Rings RTS sequel. One clip shows off the War of the Ring gameplay mode that's making its return in the add-on, and a second movie introduces the Thrall Master. Finally, a new Dreamlords tutorial movie offers a lengthy narrated look at Lockpick Entertainment's upcoming online RTS game. The clip is available on the Dreamlords Downloads Page. Thanks Frans.

Morning Q&As

  • 2Moons
    The 2Moons Q&A on The Game Musketeers talks with Acclaim's David Perry about their upcoming MMORPG: "In-your-face advertising is tacky, especially modern logos all over a fantasy game. I'm always trying to think of ways we can approach problems from new angles. Advertising can be a nightmare, or if it benefits you, it can be a friend. I ask you, would you like adverts on the Google homepage? I don't. What if it was a choice? Your choice? No adverts if you want, or if you turn them on, the benefit is unlimited free MP3 music from a library of 800,000 songs? Suddenly advertising isn't such a pain, if it's not at your expense. That's my idea for games. Can we come up with a business model were we can give the consumer the control? A model where nothing needs to be forced on them. We think we have found the way. Publishers probably think we're on glue, but I think (long term) and they need to judge us on that."
  • The Future
    On The Wii, The PS3, The 360 And The PC Part 3 on FiringSquad further discusses the future of gaming, this time tracking down Human Head's Timothy Gerritsen and Zombie's John Williamson.

Morning Previews

Morning Screenshots

Morning Legal Briefs

Morning Tech Bits

Morning Consolidation

Morning Mobilization

Morning Metaverse

Morning Safety Dance

Game Guidance

A new Whirlwind of Vietnam: UH-1 FAQ is online for IC's upcoming combat flight simulator. Thanks Frans.

Wednesday Game Reviews

Wednesday Hardware Reviews


Out of the Blue

I never considered myself the type for this, but this was the second election in a row that I more-or-less stayed up all night watching the results and analysis, so I guess on some level I'm starting to qualify as a political junkie. I guess the first step is admitting I have a problem. Hello, my name is Blue and I'm…

R.I.P.: Former star pitcher Johnny Sain dead at 89. "Spahn and Sain and pray for rain."

Links Elect! Thanks Mike Martinez and Ant.
Link of the Morning: Guide to US Newspapers.
Story: Sleep Deprivation Creating 'Nation of Walking Zombies'.
Science!: Mercury crossing the sun Wednesday.
Media: Faith Hill Sore Loser at the 2006 CMA's (closeup).
The Red Balloon. Another blast from the past.
Image: Famous painters copied photographs. Thanks Neatorama.
Teh Funny: FoxTrot.

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