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 Home -> News Archive for June 2001

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News Archive for June 2001


June 29, 2001
 Visions of Reviews -- Echelon
15:19:05 EDT - Award 
GameVisions takes a look at Buka's bizarre hybrid of a futuristic fighter aircraft sim, and an arcade flying shooter in a review of Echelon.

From the review:

Buka really blended some very unusual genres of games to begin with, and the end result was something totally unexpected, and something twisted and unusual in the game. In the single player campaign, in many battles, the Velians (the enemy) erect SFGs (Suppression Field Generators) and activate them in the field of battle. As soon as you enter the SFG field (a rather cool looking sphere that warps all terrain around you, darkens the horizon, and leaves you wondering what direction you're really facing) your entire HUD disappears.

To check out the entire review, click "More" below, or simply click the Echelon logo in the "featured bar."


June 27, 2001
 Vision's Views
3:04:32 EDT - Award 
Another sluggish day in the world of news so far, though after the past few weeks, how can it be beat?

Games
  • ActionTrip reviewed Operation Flashpoint. Hey Mikey, he likes it!
    View the View



  • June 26, 2001
     Asheron's Call Expansion Coming
    13:58:25 EDT - Award 
    Dark Majesty, an expansion pack for Asheron's Call, will be released in time for the Holiday gaming season (a bit early to be talking about the Winter, isn't it?)

    From the official press release:
    The Expansion Pack delivers on new additions such as housing and storage, two of the features most requested by our customers. Players will be able to purchase their own homes on designated plots of land, as well as use their residence for secure storage purposes. The Expansion Pack also kicks off the next chapter in the ongoing Asheron's Call storyline by introducing the island of Marae Lassel. Marae Lassel is a sprawling new landmass which will contain new quests, dungeons, and treasures which will all be accessible to all levels of players who purchase the Asheron's Call Expansion Pack.

    Though, with Anarchy Online coming out this week, who cares about Asheron's Call expansions?

    To read the entire press release, click "More" below.

     Daily Vision
    13:50:14 EDT - Award 
    It seems every so often game developers try to throw in a little something extra to drive gamers insane. The latest seems to come in the form of a new copy protection scheme.

    I first noticed this while playing Myst III: Exile. Whatever the copy protection does, it causes Windows to "update its setup files" as though installing new drivers every time you reboot after playing the game. Unfortunately, as I work on my Emperor: Battle for Dune review, I've noticed the same pattern there.

    It doesn't seem to cause any problems, though it is annoying seeing it go to console on boot, but with Windows being what it is, I'd think it best not to go playing with files it deems to be for "setup" very frequently.

    Oddly, it seems both of the games that I have observed this in are in double jewel cases. Perhaps it's just the cases retaliating for being under-used for too long...


    June 22, 2001
     Visions of Gold -- Diablo II: Lord of Destruction
    3:03:30 EDT - Award 
    After all the anticipation (and the major patch release to prep for it) the Diablo II expansion pack, Lord of Destruction, has gone gold!

    The expansion will add two new player classes and a fifth act (was there a fourth?), as well as hordes of new items, features, and the addition of runes which will, hopefully, replace the somewhat weak gems of classic Diablo II.

    Check out Blizzard's site by clicking "Visit Site" below for more information.


    June 21, 2001
     Monolith to Release "No One Lives Forever" Source
    1:44:06 EDT - Award 
    In a little news from the open source side of gaming, Sierra released information today that Monolith will be releasing the source code to "No None Lives Forever."

    It's always nice when the source is released for a major game. Not only is it an excellent tool for exploring various methods of game code implimentation, but it keeps the community of that game alive indefinitely (look at Quake!)

    On the unfortunate side of this release, it requires MSVC6-SP3 and DX8. While DX8 is acceptable, for those of you who have not had the misfortune of dealing with MSVC6, you probably don't want to. MSVC5 was really much nicer in many ways. To the best of my knowledge DX8 works just fine with MSVC5-SP3, I use it myself (everything except DirectShow works), so the small portion of VC6 speciffic code present in the NOLF source should be easy to port down to previous versions of MSVC if nessecary.

    If you would like to read Sierra's official announcement, click "More" below.

     Visions of Gold -- Orion Pirates
    1:31:23 EDT - Award 
    Orion Pirates, the stand-alone expansion pack to Starfleet Command II: Empires at War, has gone gold. The game will feature new phaser types, including shield piercing, along with other new weapons such as heavy photons.

    As always, to view the entire press release, click "More" below.

     Throne of Bhaal Shipping
    1:24:16 EDT - Award 
    Baldur's Gate II: Throne of Bhaal, the expansion to Baldur's Gate II: Shadows of Amn is currently shipping to stores. The expansion adds items, features, monsters, and areas to the game, and concludes the Baldur's Gate saga.

    From the official press release:
    Baldur's Gate II: Throne of Bhaal takes players through an all-new storyline
    rich with intrigue and treachery as they unravel the mysteries of the
    Dungeon of Watcher's Keep and explore other new areas such as the City of
    Saradush, the Fortified Monastery of Amkethran, Sendai's Underdark Fortress
    and the player's own Planar Stronghold. Throughout their journey, characters
    may reach up to level 40, made possible with a raised experience cap of 8
    million points, quite possibly the highest level ever achieved by characters
    in any Advanced Dungeons & Dragons computer game. Also included in the quest
    are over 40 new powerful high-level spells and abilities. The Wild Mage
    Character Kit will also be included to the already extensive class list
    allowing gamers to create a powerful new character able to cast spells with
    very unpredictable results.


    To read the entire press release, click "More" below.

     Zeus Expansion Hits Store Shelves
    1:12:46 EDT - Award 
    Sierra announced today that Poseidon, the expansion for Zeus, arrived in stores.

    From the official press release:
    Poseidon expands the scope of Impressions Games' city-building hit, Zeus:
    Master of Olympus to cover more of the ancient world. In Poseidon, players
    build and rule the fabled cities of Atlantis, a kingdom of science and
    technology. They mine the mysterious mineral "orichalc," establish colonies
    in ancient Americas, Africa, Europe, and Asia, and trade with ancient
    civilizations. New industries, massive monuments, and characters unique to
    Atlantis expand the city-building experience presented in Zeus: Master of
    Olympus. Never-before seen gods, monsters, and heroes help tell the tale as
    players build Atlantis into a mighty kingdom. Players can also create their
    own adventures in Greece or Atlantis with a powerful, yet easy-to-use
    Adventure Editor.


    To read the official release, click "More" below.


    June 20, 2001
     Diablo II Patch 1.08
    4:28:58 EDT - Award 
    Blizzard released the Diablo II 1.08 patch today. The patch addresses several cheating issues, and makes uniques a bit more unique. Several player class tweaks were also made.

    The 5.05MB 1.08 patch follows the 1.07 patch in terms of adding much of the coming expansion pack's functionality to the original game as well. New features include a "repair all" function in the armorer's shops, an "auto fill" for scroll and potion purchases, and an "auto-move" for potions in your inventory to your belt.

    Click "Download" below to grab the patch and read the entire list of changes in the patch.

     Vision's Views
    2:04:03 EDT - Award 
    Not much in the views today, so far, and certainly nothing yesterday.


    Hardware

  • Broken Pixel reviewed the AMK LAN-3333 16" ATX CASE. Yeah, case reviews are pretty boring, but unfortunately, they're pretty much required for building a system.
    View the View


  • Sites

  • GameDev.net unveiled their new site design today. I must say it's a bit slower to load now, but the information is a bit easier to read and locate. For all the geeks out there interested in game development, this is the site for news and articles.
    View the View



  • June 19, 2001
     Visions of Gold -- Baldur's Gate II: Throne of Bhaal
    12:35:04 EDT - Award 
    Interplay announced today in a (refreshingly informal) press release that the highly anticipated expansion pack for Baldur's Gate II, Throne of Bhaal, went gold today.

    The expansion seems to have been redesigned a bit from what it was initially supposed to be. I recall reading a Bioware .plan that it was going to be nearly an entirely full game, simply using the same engine, as a gift to the fans that have followed the series, to send it off with a bang. It seems that either I was incorrect in what I read some time ago, or time and budget shifted the title to being a regular expansion pack. Though who can argue with more BG2, regardless of size?

    To read the entire release, click "More" below.

     Visions of Reviews -- Myst III: Exile
    5:07:12 EDT - Award 
    The story of Atrus and his misguided sons Sirrus and Achenar is about as old and ledgendary in the gaming world as the CD itself. For the third installment in this adventure puzzle series, you, Atrus friend, are sent to play with even cooler toys in the mysterious Ages once more.

    But can Presto really hold true to Cyan's tremendous works on Myst and Riven? Click "Review" below, or click the Myst III logo on the featured bar to read the entire review and find out!


    June 18, 2001
     Daily Vision
    18:29:43 EDT - Award 
    Daily Vision? Should be called the Monthly Vision with the frequency that they've been posted lately.

    Don't you just hate when things are highly over-merchandised? It has been for the longest time that as soon as a new Disney cartoon came out, you'd just expect to see nothing but animated commercials including the characters, and a ton of cheasy music as sung by someone who has little more emotion than Eniac. Then, of course, we all remember the horrors of Star Wars: Ep. 1. Perhaps the most merchandised thing to date. The entire movie was designed around selling lunch boxes and action figures. Now we suffer along with watching Tomb Raider the Movie. Now, I'm sure tons of you will rant that you love watching Lara Croft all day, but really, this is a bit much even for those people. Ericson phone commercials, Pepsi sweepstakes, the actual movie commercials, posters and banners, and 90oz. mugs everywhere, all screaming out "I'm a terrible movie!" as far as I'm concerned. To make matters even worse, Disney has Atlantis out now, so we're caught between hideous songs, and the same five scenes of Tomb Raider again, and again. Think we should convince Eidos to stick in scenes from the actual games just to break up the monotony?

     Vision's Views
    18:09:13 EDT - Award 
    Broken Pixel informs us that they have a preview of Kohan: Ahramin's Gift (now there's a title I'm glad I don't have to say all the time...) Unfortunately, it's not hands-on, but it does have sixteen screenshots along with it, and a brief word from the game's designer.
    View the View


    Action Trip also takes a look at Half-Life: Blue Shift (please, someone just put Half-Life out of it's mysery already, PLEASE!!!) Maybe this will be the last time I'll have to post any Half-Life news...
    View the View

     MechWarrior 4 Expansion Pack On It's Way
    17:39:20 EDT - Award 
    Microsoft announced yesterday that it is currently developing an expansion pack for MechWarrior 4 entitled "Black Knight."

    The expansion, slated for a Fall release, will include a new single player campaign placing players in all-new 'Mechs as mercenarys fighting for House Steiner (the nemesis of Mech4.) The pack includes new skins, 'Mechs, and new customization features to load out your 'Mech the way you like it. Big, fast, and deadly!

    To read the official press release in it's entirity, click "More" below.

     Welcome Back...Again!
    15:01:58 EDT - Award 
    Ok, this is the second triumphant return in two weeks, but this time, I hope it's a bit more permanant than the last.

    As some of you who follow the gaming network community closely may know, EGN lost their service provider two weeks ago as a result of scam company called TacidHost. Tacid apparently enjoys re-selling ISP packages at an insane markup, closing down, then re-opening under a different name and pretending they are brand new. Hopefully someone will start up an "anti-Tacid" site or something and track each move they make so that nobody has to suffer the immense amount of data loss we did because of them, again.

    EGN is now becoming S31, and to be sure problems like Tacid don't pop up again, they're doing things correctly and buying their own servers. Unfortunately, it takes a bit of time to gather all the servers and set them up. In the meantime, XGN was kind enough to provide us this hosting via the subdomain at the top of your browser now, and our friends at 2mbit.com are providing a DNS redirect service. Things should be fairly normal except for some missing data (again), and the annoying need to go only to the main page if not using the subdomain.

    Things should be pretty much back to normal by the end of the day.


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