May looks to be a hideously busy month for Mac game publisher
Aspyr Media. The company has sent out the latest version of its electronic newsletter to subscribers, and the company notes a whole slew of product updates — seven in all.
Aspyr’s conversion of BloodRayne, a 3D action game the company licensed from Majesco, is now shipping. BloodRayne puts players in the role of a red-haired half-vampire/half-human with special powers who’s a member of a secret organization. The game is set in the 1930s, where Agent BloodRayne fights an occult faction of Nazis. BloodRayne originated on game consoles, and the Mac version has shipped before its PC counterpart, according to Aspyr.
Aspyr also confirmed that the Mac version of Medal of Honor: Allied Assault’s Spearhead expansion pack is now in duplication, and should be on store shelves soon. Spearhead adds new missions onto the World War II-themed first person shooter, Medal of Honor: Allied Assault. The expansion features nine new single-player levels, 12 new multiplayer maps, new weapons, new graphics and new soldiers.
Other Aspyr-made games are tantalizingly close to being finished, too. The company noted that its Mac conversion of EA’s Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2003 is at Final Candidate, the last development milestone before a game is declared Gold Master and put into duplication. Final Candidate status indicates that the game’s development has, for the most part, been completed; all the parties involved check things to make sure the game works right and sign off their approval before it’s published.
Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2003 — highlighted by Apple’s own Games page earlier this week — features the eponymous pro golf champion and other real-life golf pros as well, and a variety of PGA Tour courses like Pebble Beach, The Royal Birkindale Golf Club and many more.
Another game now at Final Candidate status is SpyHunter — Aspyr’s first announced title for both Mac and PC. It’s another console-to-computer conversion, this time of the next-generation version of the classic 80’s coin-op arcade game. You control the G-6155 Interceptor, a vehicle that can transform from car to motorcycle to boat to jet-ski, as you pursue hordes of foes. The Mac game conversion is being handled by TransGaming, while Midway is handling its PC version — both versions will be published by Aspyr once they’re done, however.
If that’s not enough, there’s another title at Final Candidate status, too: NASCAR Racing 2003 Season, the second NASCAR racing simulation published by Aspyr, coming only a few months after Aspyr published NASCAR Racing 2002 Season. The new game features enhanced graphics and physics modeling, new adaptive AI and more. Aspyr reports that a demo version of this game will be released, too.
Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 4, the most recent version of this long-running popular skateboarding franchise, is also nearing Final Candidate status. Aspyr is also publishing both the Mac and PC versions of this game, and expects it to go into duplication dangerously soon.
Last but not least, Aspyr Media’s conversion of the city simulation game SimCity 4 is now in beta at the studio of i5works, which previously collaborated with Aspyr to bring Ghost Recon to the Macintosh. Aspyr said that the game is expected to be released in May. SimCity 4 features more detailed simulations, better graphics, new “regional” game play and the ability to track the lives of individual Sims as they go about life in your pretend city.