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The Baby New Year Ushers In A New Year Of Gaming
January 2nd, 2001

Randy: Merry Christmas little buddy!

Gary: Little buddy? Perhaps you have had a bit too much of the eggnog my friend. I outweigh your scrawny butt by at least a 30 pack, and you're a week late with those Christmas wishes.

Randy: A thirty pack of what, may I ask?

Gary: Umm, soda. Of course. But thanks for the nice thought. What makes you so cheery on this post holiday column?

Randy: Well I guess it's just the spirit of giving. You know it just makes me all warm and fuzzy inside.

Gary: Smoked jalapeno peppers do that for me.

Randy: No seriously, I just get this way around Christmas time. Watching friends and family opening all the presents under the tree.

Gary: Wait a minute; let me take a wild guess here. You wouldn't be all fuzzy because a certain family member, whose name is Randy, finally got his USB steering wheel?

Randy:Mmmmmm, could be.

Gary: Okay, now that we cleared that up, how much fun is 4x4 Evolution with a steering wheel and petals.

Randy: It's so $%$#@%$ *&%*# #$@^& fun! I almost &%$#@*&% my *%#@$*&% &%$%@#@ all over &*%$%#@#$ &%$%# the &%#$@#@ without even *&*%$#$@#%*&*(edited for space) on the floor!!!!

Gary: Wow! I haven't heard that much explicit language since George Bush Jr. learned that cocaine was not a presidential privilege. So I guess you like your wheel too, uh?

Randy: The word would be love. I love it. It works with so many more games than my old Thrustmaster ADB wheel did and it has lots more configurable buttons. In fact it has even improved my driving.

Gary: Boy! If only that improvement would carry over into your real world driving.

Randy: My Thrustmaster Nascar Pro Digital 2 wheel feels so solid it just may do that. I went from being one of the suckiest drivers in the 4x4 Evo circuit to being a respectable contender. And I can now beat the bot drivers every time!

Gary: Wow! Terminal Reaity's 4x4 Evolution bot drivers are pretty hard to beat. What a difference a wheel makes. I suppose you have tried it with Macsoft's new release, Driver?

Randy: You betcha'. Well, I tried it with the demo at least. I'm still waiting for my full copy to arrive. I've also tried it with Pangeasoft's spiffy new cart racing game, Cro Mag Rally, Monkey Byte's Kawasaki Jet Ski and French Touch's nifty new game Water Race.

Gary: And your verdict?

Randy: I think my feelings can best be summed up in the title from the 80's love song sung by Dion Warwick, "I'll never love this way again."

Gary: Hey, that's pretty strong affection there, you Mary Catharine Gallageresque freak. By the way, speaking of freak doesn't there seem to be a freakish amount of games coming out for the Mac right now.

Randy: And how. Besides the racing games I already mentioned, there's a slew of action games out now too.

Gary: And from what I have played, they all seem to rock. There's Rune from Humanhead Studios, the 3rd person Viking adventure game where you hack and slash your way through mythical beasts to save your village. It looks beautiful, and any game that let's you beat an opponent to death with one of their own limbs always get good marks in my book.

Randy: Your book? Just what book would that be?

Gary: Mad Libs.

Randy: But of course.

Gary: One of my new favs is Ritual Entertainment's hot new title Heavy Metal F.A.K.K. 2. It's being published by Gathering of Developers. You become the magically babelishious she-warrior, Julie Strain, and you wield two weapons at a time to blast your way through a futuristic world gone awry. This title has a very high fun factor, and butt loads of eye candy to push your graphics card to it's limits.


Julie Strain demonstrates her prowess with a bazooka

Randy: And let's not forget the coolio new Elite Force from Aspyr. Sci Fi fans and Trekies will dig this stunning action adventure game built around the Quake 3 Arena engine.

Randy: Another sweet treat for 3rd person action fans is the Mac version of Sin from yet again MacSoft. This took a while to make it to the Mac, but after a spin in the demo it looks well worth the wait.

Gary: Speaking of being worth the wait, Oni from Bungie is finally ready for release. This game has gotten more press than the last presidential election. With a cool animé inspired look, Oni combines gun play and hand to hand combat for you action fans and a great story for adventure game buffs. There's something for everyone.

Randy: And for you tactical mission fans out there, Rogue Spear from MacSoft is out now. It's the next in the Rainbow Six line of games and it blows away the original. Better graphics and more realism in the missions make this one a must have for Tac Ops junkies.

Gary: And if you are too cheap, or too broke after the holidays to by a new game be sure to grab the latest Unreal mod called Tactical Ops. It's a complete makeover for UT. Like Rogue Spear and Rainbow Six, the Tactical Ops mod turns UT into a mission based game with ultra realism. (Can you say, one shot and your dead?)


Say, you are one good lookin' dude!

Randy: New weapons, new game play, new teams. It doesn't even feel like the old UT. You have to become a sneaky terrorist or Special Forces commando and hide in the shadows to stay alive in this game. It should be noted the Tactiacal Ops mod is currently a beta but well worth the 100 MB download if you already own Unreal Tournement.

Gary: But if you game addicts still aren't satisfied, then how about some old fashion arcade blow 'em ups?

Randy: Count me in.

Gary: Then check out another offering from MacSoft, Beachhead 2000. No fancy plots or missions. Just a turret gun and some great explosion effects.

Randy: Also be sure to check out some of the new sim games out now too. Again from the reborn MacPlay comes Majesty: The Fantasy Kingdom Sim. A great kingdom building sim where you build up your kingdom against monsters and magic. Mmmm, power is good. Welcome back MacPlay.


That's just pretty

Gary: Or if power is not what you crave in your sim games then give Sim Theme Park, from good old Aspyr, a spin. You get to build your own theme park from the ground up. Design the crazy rides, and they will come. And make sure you gouge your sim visitors at the food court fort that true to life feeling.

Randy: Man, it's like a new game is released every day. Almost. And I'm sure we missed a bunch in this column.

Gary: And there's a great demo for almost all of them. So if you didn't get one of these great games under your tree this year, then take some of that holiday money and buy a few. After all it's a new millennium and you deserve it!

Gary Randazzo and Randy Soare are the co-founders of IWS Interactive, a New York based game developer for Macintosh. The IWS in IWS Interactive stands for Idiots With Sticks. How that came about is a long and boring story, but suffice it to say that at four in the morning, it seemed like a good idea.

The demo for IWS Interactive's upcoming mystery-adventure game, Manhattan Apartment Hunter, has recently been released to rave reviews. The Idiots have been into gaming on Apple computers even before the Mac was around. Does anyone remember Choplifter on the Apple IIe? (Boy, we know we do.) Now, they are committed to help ensure that the Mac remains the premiere gaming platform on the planet.

You can email your comment and suggestions to Randy at , and Gary at .


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