Rayman 2: The Great Escape

jack59splat59 on Monday, 12 July 2010. Posted in Retro Game of the Week

Editor's note: Thanks to jack59splat59 for being the first to volunteer for our new Retro Game of the Week community feature. Check out his article then post your thoughts in the comments. And if you haven't played Rayman 2, get out there and do it now! -mossy_11

Released on January 6, 1999 for the Nintendo 64, Dreamcast, and PlayStation, Rayman 2 took the iconic Rayman into 3D for the first time. It has since been ported to several other systems, including the Nintendo DS, PlayStation 3 (PSN), and iPhone, and is on many "Best Games of All Time" lists.


MacScene Wants You...

mossy_11 on Monday, 05 July 2010. Posted in News

cranky-kong-wants-you2To write about old games.

We’re starting a new feature here called Retro Game of the Week (see the first entry here). The basic idea is that someone (you, perhaps) writes an article about an old game, then the MacScene the community discusses said game. Simple, right?

If it’s going to work, though, we need your help. I will organise everything and help the volunteers with their articles (if necessary). But that’s the thing -- this is a community feature, so it has to be community driven in order to work long-term.

I have created a forum thread that will list all games suggested for future entries. Go there to suggest a game for someone else to write about or to stake out your territory on the games you want to do.

If you are willing to write or contribute to a Retro Game of the Week article, you can send me a message, comment on an article, or post on the forums. I’ll be creating a forum thread for tracking the schedule as soon as there is one, so you’ll be able to check when you committed to helping out, or see when there is an opening that might suit you.

Hit "read more" for more information.

Prince of Persia

mossy_11 on Monday, 05 July 2010. Posted in Retro Game of the Week

1197316255-00It’s a simple story that has been told in various guises for thousands of years: the beautiful princess is held against her will by the evil usurper of the throne. The hero must come to her aid and save the kingdom from tyranny, undertaking a gruelling series of trials along the way. Jordan Mechner’s 1989 Prince of Persia added a strong sense of urgency to the plot with a strict one hour time limit. Fail and the princess dies; the kingdom falls to the evil Grand Vizier Jaffar. Succeed and become the champion of the people; the tyrant Jaffar dies.

You emerge in the deepest depths of Jaffar’s dungeons, unarmed and with only your wits to defend you against the many guards and traps scattered throughout. In just one hour you brave perilous drops, retractable spike pits, collapsing floors, armed guards, and several other kinds of traps, all of which can slice and dice your avatar in the most terrifying ways. With the odds so firmly stacked against you, it takes remarkable skill -- and more than a little luck -- to reach the end of the game, where you meet the tyrant Jaffar himself for a fight to the death.

News Round-up: June 3 - July 3

mossy_11 on Saturday, 03 July 2010. Posted in News

ios4_icon_20100624The latest operating system for Apple’s iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch devices -- newly renamed as iOS 4 -- is now available for download from the iTunes store. It is a free update for 2nd-gen iPod Touch / iPhone 3G or newer, although some features are only available on newer hardware, such as the not-really-multitasking-but-still-called-it multitasking. There’s really no reason not to update, as performance has been improved all round.

The iPhone 4 is now available, sporting a high resolution 960-by-640 “retina” display, 512MB RAM, a faster processor, new camera, and a new hardware design. Apple has been heavily criticised over a design flaw related to the antenna placement that resulted in reduced reception unless the phone is held in a specific (and awkward) way. They have released a backhanded apology that blames the problem on an error in the algorithm that calculates signal strength.

mac-miniContrary to popular opinion, the Mac mini is not dead, with Apple releasing a new design and updated internals for its neglected child. Most notable for gamers is the addition of a faster graphics card (NVIDIA GeForce 320M) and HDMI. It’s looking more and more attractive as a dedicated MAME box. Check out the press release here.

Emulator updates after the break.

News Round-up: May 4 - June 2

mossy_11 on Wednesday, 02 June 2010. Posted in News

portalLeading digital distribution platform Steam finally made its way to the Mac on May 12, with around 50 launch games. The Mac Steam library now includes 96 titles, including newly released ports of Half-Life 2, Torchlight, and Portal. Check out the MacScene community’s reaction here, here, and here, in addition to a Portal-specific thread here.

As proof of a drastically changing tech landscape, Apple’s market capitalisation surpassed that of Microsoft last week, making it the largest technology company in the world. This marks one of the most incredible turnarounds in any company’s history, with Apple having been all but dead back in 1997, when Steve Jobs returned as CEO. Don’t celebrate too soon, though, because the happy folks at Microsoft are still way ahead on revenue.

In exciting news for Amiga fans, a new emulator called PUAE has been released. PUAE merges Richard Drummond’s E-UAE 0.8.29 with the latest version of WinUAE, and is available for Unix-based platforms. You can download the latest version from here, or check out Ultimate Amiga for more information.

GameTrailers.com's Pop Fiction

Niemann on Thursday, 27 May 2010. Posted in News

In what might be the most interesting variation of Mythbusters-style investigation, GameTrailers.com launched Pop Fiction.  This video series promises to show experts confirming or debunking some of video games' most popular myths.  Two episodes have aired so far, and while the first was a bit of a 'no duh' for anyone who's a Zelda fan; the second episode proved to be a nearly scientific look at a popular Super Mario Bros. myth.  So far the posts seem to be about three weeks apart, but the first two are entertaining enough to waste a few minutes watching.

Emulation on the iPad

Niemann on Wednesday, 05 May 2010. Posted in News

Emulation has come to the iPad (you owe me five coins if you didn't see this coming).  TouchArcade has pointed out a great YouTube video showing off an iPad playing Super Mario World using a Wiimote as a controller.  If that's not enough to get you excited, you can enjoy how much the person demoing the emulator sucks at Super Nintendo.

If you're looking for more information on how this feat is possible, check out Gizmodo's excellent coverage of iPad jailbreaking.  There is one slight catch; snes4iphone costs $5.99 .

Growing up Mac: Windows to Another Dimension

mossy_11 on Wednesday, 05 May 2010. Posted in Opinion

When Windows 95 came out, I didn’t care. Sure, I was just a kid, but I could clearly see that it was inferior to System 7.5.5. Years later I learned this isn’t strictly true -- although the feature gap was almost non-existent (despite what Windows’ marketing suggested), they each possessed different strengths and weaknesses. But all I saw was an ugly interface, a continued reliance on the dated DOS back-end, and the infamous blue screen of death. And games still looked better on the Mac, even with the aging hardware.

It was like a window to another dimension, where somehow everything bad reigned supreme over all that is good. I didn’t like it. I wanted to close the shutters and pretend there was no other dimension. But there was no escaping Windows, and I soon came to terms with my aversion for the OS, thanks in large part to a game called Civilization II and a little thing called the Internet.