Archived News From May 2002

Due to the old age of most of these news items, all hyperlinks have been disabled. It is also not possible to comment on any of news. They are presented in their current form purely for your reading pleasure – it’s the closest thing to a time machine we can offer you!

Scenario Sounds…
Posted by Thunder on May 31st, 2002 @ 8:06 p.m.
One of the things that can really bring a scenario to life, set the mood or wake up a player, are sounds. The SCNPunk site has the wonderful Sound Database, which is loaded with all sorts of music, effects, and voices that are available to use. Recently though, forumer crasher posted his finding of a search engine that seeks out sounds. Just some of your many options when looking to add a new audio element to your creations. …Blacksmith Feature to return next Thursday… ; )

How Do You IM?
Posted by Thunder on May 31st, 2002 @ 7:20 p.m.
The writers of ZDNet have come up with an interesting article entitled Do you have IM etiquette? The author discusses some of his instant messaging experiences and some of the finer points of this great form of communication. As one of many frequent users of ICQ, I rather enjoyed the article.

Although IMing can be frustrating at times, many people, myself included, have made a lot of good friends thanks to programs such as ICQ and I really can’t imagine living out it. …I’m hooked! ; )

HG’s E3 Wrap-up…
Posted by Thunder on May 29th, 2002 @ 9:18 p.m.
At last, Angel Spineman has finished sorting through all of HG’s E3 pictures! You will now find all 200+ of them arranged into galleries on HG main, including Spiney’s thoughts on various games such as World of Warcraft and the many Lord of the Rings inspired titles that were at the show. Great job Spiney!

My thanks to Angel Draco and Angel Spineman for taking all sorts of pictures and hanging out with me at E3. I had a blast! …despite Draco’s really odd choices in games… ; )

Action Tonight…
Posted by Thunder on May 29th, 2002 @ 10:20 a.m.
If you’re looking for a wee bit of rough and tumble tournament action this evening, make sure you stop in and sign-up for MFO’s SMACKDOWN. Things will get underway at 7:30pm EST, but sign-ups will begin an hour in advance. Be there! …lack of sleep put the smackdown on me…night all! ; )

HG’s E3 Images!
Posted by Thunder on May 27th, 2002 @ 10:49 p.m.
The intrepid Angel Spineman has been sifting through his 200+ images from this year’s E3 event. He snapped images of just about anything that moved, or made noises and blinked. Two galleries of pics have just been posted, first and foremost the Age of Mythology Gallery! It contains many images of the Ensemble Studios team giving demos and some shots of the game. (a few more to come as I finish scanning my images)

The second gallery? Well, Angel Spineman and Angel Draco are poor married guys. They took just a few images of the many booth babes that graced the show, which you can view in the Women of E3 Gallery. …there actually seemed to be more women gamers at E3 this year…wearing clothes and all… ; )

AOKH Ladder Standings…
Posted by Thunder on May 27th, 2002 @ 10:30 p.m.
At the start of the week we usually launch into a top ten count of who’s climbing our Ladder, but things are a little different this week. We still don’t have a ladder champion, since Gary__Payton retired with the crown, and the championship tournament is still in full swing. Many of the top players are currently battling for the champion title, so the standings are in a turbulent time! Souyrar_ has been keeping on top of the tourney events with his Tourney Magazine, a great stop to see how everyone is doing. The tourney will be winding down in the days ahead, we’ll let you know who survives to fight for top spot on the ladder! …stay tuned for some E3 pics! ; )

E3 Didn’t Quite Kill Us…
Posted by Thunder on May 26th, 2002 @ 0:57 a.m.
All three HG Angels— Draco, Spineman, and me —have safely returned from Los Angeles and E3! We were armed with cameras and sharp elbows to make it through the crowds, and got to see and try many of the great games which will be heading for store shelves in the coming months. I spent quite a great deal of time picking the brains of the Ensemble Studios crew about Age of Mythology, and will have a write-up posted in the next few days or so. I’m scanning the pictures I took right now, and Angel Spineman is working on getting his 200+ pictures ready for viewing.

Some of the highlights of the show for me was getting to play an AOM scenario complete with in-game movies, winning a tournament and beating Brian Reynolds at his own game (more on that later), and finding two PCs loaded with games that you could play tucked away in a back corner of the show…AOM installed. More to come! …exhausting…but lotsa fun… ; )

Number One…
Posted by Thunder on May 26th, 2002 @ 0:37 a.m.
The MFO crew has wrapped up their top ten list of the best recordings of all time. If you missed it, be sure to watch their number one game of all time which features Kevin “The_Sheriff” Holme pulling off his infamous SMUSH strategy. Mike “Captn” Kidd provides some very entertaining commentary on how the recording plays out, a must read before viewing. …for such a nice guy, The_Sheriff sure is a loko S.O.B. to play against… ; )

Zen Steps In…
Posted by Thunder on May 22nd, 2002 @ 9:05 a.m.
My plane to Los Angeles takes off in about seven hours from now. While I’m out and about, Angel Zen will be doing the news duties here, until my return at the end of the week. Please be sure to send any fascinating news items you come across his way!

Expect a full report on everything I see at E3 when I return, including whatever I can get out of the ES crew on Age of Mythology! …take it away Zen! ; )

Recording Deux…
Posted by Thunder on May 22nd, 2002 @ 1:34 a.m.
Continuing with their top ten best recordings of all time list, the MFO guys have posted number two this evening. This one is an oldie but a goodie from May 2000, featuring the infamous Arch_Koven versus Devilz_sk8er on a baltic map, making for a nice change. They battle over hill, over dale, over dusty trail, and yes, even on the water!

Recording number one can’t be far off now… …*holds breath*… ; )

Championship Tourney Deadline!
Posted by Thunder on May 21st, 2002 @ 10:56 p.m.
For all those participating in the Ladder Championship Tournament, to decide a new ladder champ, be warned that the deadline for round one is tonight at 11:59pm EST! That’s a little over six hours away, so if you haven’t played your round one opponent please do so quickly. Dark Side of Day has posted a reminder in the forum, along with some of the possible outcomes if you don’t play your game. …best not to leave it to chance and play that game… ; )

Numero Three…
Posted by Thunder on May 21st, 2002 @ 2:16 a.m.
Game number three in MFO‘s top ten recordings of all time is available now. It’s another 3v3 rivers game, featuring members of the SHS clan against several top experts from Asia. The game is from April, 2000, so once again we’ll be seeing more than a few Town Centers. …don’t know where LittleKnife went…he used to beat me up in Forum Parties all the time… ; )

Preping For E3!
Posted by Thunder on May 20th, 2002 @ 3:54 a.m.
If you aren’t getting excited about E3 yet, you’ve got to check your pulse. It’s a little over 48 hours away from starting, and the LA Convention Center is currently being transformed into a gamers wonderland. Jaguarundi made a HUGE find over at Planet GameCube, where they have posted a gallery of photos from in and around the convention center. They are already scoping out the scene and were on hand for the debut of the massive AOM banner that will greet everyone as they enter the show! …the gods have arrived in LA! …thanks Jag…you da man! ; )

Recordings 5 & 4…
Posted by Thunder on May 20th, 2002 @ 3:51 a.m.
The MFO crew is still counting down the top ten best recorded games of all time, and are now left with just the top three to reveal. Recordings number five, which shows why AOK was called Age of Buildings for quite some time, and four, a great 3v3 islands game for a change, are now available.

It only gets better from here! Keep your eyes peeled for the top three in the coming days. …a damn shame #5 is only a partial game…and that matty is so old now he can barely remember it… ; )

Forum Party Tomorrow…
Posted by Thunder on May 18th, 2002 @ 3:27 a.m.

We won’t be doing the official announcements for our Forum Parties from here on out. A great many Agers always take extended breaks during the summer, so event attendance always takes a hit. Many of the regulars, and ladder players, will certainly continue to meet for games on Saturdays, so do drop in when you have the chance! All of the details can be found in the current Forum Party Post.

Bruce Shelley will be on the Zone tomorrow too, believe it or not. He’ll be taking questions about Age of Mythology shortly after the Forum Party start time. Visit AOM Heaven for more information!

WCG: Conquerors Makes Cut…
Posted by Thunder on May 18th, 2002 @ 3:16 a.m.
Official game selection is underway for WCG 2002, and once again we will see the best Conquerors players heading to Korea for the finals! The organizers have begun gearing up for events already, as the finals will be earlier this time around, Oct 29 – Nov 3. Be sure to keep an eye on your Country’s WCG site for information on qualifying events.

Blacksmith Feature: The Detective’s Apprentice 2…
Posted by Thunder on May 17th, 2002 @ 1:27 a.m.
Our weekly tradition continues as we now turn things over to BrandNewCar for a look at one of the many top notch Ager created scenarios and campaigns. Take it away Car:

The Detective’s Apprentice 2 is a sequel to The Detective’s Apprentice, which was also rated highly in the Best of AOK section of the Blacksmith. You step into the shoes of James Herefield and his friend Hargreaves.

Let me fill you in on some of the information from the original Detective’s Apprentice so you are up to date on the events of Harlow and surrounding area. The previous work had the two characters in search of El Cid, trying to capture him for all the problems he is causing. As you soon find, El Cid has escaped capture and you must go in search of him but not with the intention to capture him again, oh no… to stop him once and for all.

The author, The Pyromaniac has written an interesting description, with the full version being able to be found here.

“This is the sequel to the 4.6-reviewed Detective’s Apprentice. It tells the story of a man, which has, went from a lowly apprentice to a master of his profession. He met the king, he solved a tough murder, he caught the most wanted criminal in the land. But unfortunately due to a human error he escaped.

James met the king again and again the king told him he needed a favour of him; he wanted him to recapture El Cid. As well as his sidekick Hargreaves he has someone else to help him on his quest, you.”

In game, you take the role of the detectives and must go in search of clues and any other information that might help you to find the whereabouts of the evil El Cid. You soon find yourself travelling through marshes, open plains and other beautiful areas painstakingly made by the author. The excellent use of humour in places makes it that much more fun as well.

As you look for clues it becomes apparent that The Pyromaniac’s work is very original, and this is great. With so many scenarios/campaigns in the Blacksmith you think there are more detective style scenarios, which unfortunately there aren’t. This just helps make the experience even more memorable. At the end of the playable scenario you are given choices as to where you think El Cid is, and if you guess correctly you are treated with a victory screen and an excellent epilogue cut-scene.

A review of The Detective’s Apprentice 2 can be found here by Andres Age. He gives it a 4.4 out of a possible 5.0. The review gives it perfect marks in both creativity and map design. Playing the detective has never been so much fun.. the police are involved too.. but there’s no “‘ello, ‘ello ‘ello, what have we got here then..” ; )

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