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News from October 2010

Minor Forum Update


Caves of Narshe Site News
Just wanted to let you all know that Tiddles and I performed a bit of minor surgery on the forums today. It's really no big deal, it was just something that needed to be done to work out a long-standing kink on the news submission system. In fact, you lot won't even notice it, I don't think - however, part of the fix is that links that you put in your posts will no longer open a new window. Since everyone with half a brain now use a browser that has tabs, this is really no big deal: just middle click links like most people have been doing for years already.

This will impact only posts made from now on. Thanks for understanding the changes we needed to improve the site as a whole!
Posted in: CoN Site News

Playstation Phone in Development?


Playstation
Depending on which source you trust, Sony is either working on some kind of Playstation Phone or isn't involved in a project whatsoever. Engadget has released images of a leaked prototype of the phone, which looks like a typical slideout-keyboard phone, except instead of a keyboard, there's the makings of a Playstation controller. Along with the typical Sony makeup, it also includes a long touchpad in the middle that reportedly supports Multitouch. The machine would use MicroSD cards.

However, according to Gama Sutra, the initial response from Sony said that this was "definitely fake" and didn't offer any further comment. They changed their stance later from "definitely fake" to "no comment" and saying that it was just "rumor and speculation".

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For me, this is interesting on many levels. First off, from the screenshots and the articles, the phone would be running the Android phone OS - potentially 3.0. As a current user (and lover) of the Android system, this would be a big win for both Google and Sony. Second, despite the title of the Gama Sutra article, this does NOT appear to be some sort of PSP - some commenters are speculating that this could be the PSP2, but it definitely will not have any sort of backwards compatibility with the current PSP system, judging entirely on the MicroSD technology. However, and most importantly, the system specs are much more powerful than the current PSP ("...runs on a 1GHz Qualcomm MSM8655 chip supported by 512MB of RAM. The current PSP, by way of comparison, has a 333MHz processor with 32MB of RAM..."), so it could be the next wave of portable gaming for Sony.

I didn't realize until last week the popularity of the current PSP - I had written it off as an unimpressive and unsupported console, but was completely floored when I wandered into the PSP section at Fry's and saw a ridiculous selection of quality games. It would be an incredible risk to ask gamers to switch their phone to enjoy the next generation of games - especially when the people most likely to enjoy this sort of gaming are probably the same people who are already owners of SmartPhones. They certainly wouldn't convert people over from the iPhone, and current users of the Android system would have to be persuaded to switch over to the new hardware simply for the addition of the gaming functionality.

I kinda hope this isn't true.

Source: Engadget, Gama Sutra

Final Fantasy XIV Reviews Are Out


Final Fantasy XIV
The verdict is out, and it doesn't look good for FFXIV. IGN.com gave the game a weak 5.5 out of 10. A quick look at GameStats.com places most other reviews in the same general area: FFXIV received a 4.2 from Gametrailers.com, a D+ from 1UP.com and a depressing 4.0 from Gamespot.com.

Most of the game's failings are attributed (unsurprisingly, given the responses in our own thread devoted to this topic) to the title's gameplay, which spoils what is otherwise called a "well-realized world". The IGN review praised the game's graphics, music, expansive world and class systems, yet concluded that the interface and performance issues that plagued the game entirely spoiled these strong points.

For those here who have been muddling in FFXIV, Square Enix has also recently announced that it would extend the free trial period from 30 days to 60 days, almost certainly in response to the overwhelmingly mediocre reviews.

In addition to this, it appears that the company is busy trying to tweak their latest release, adding a patch to the market system. Given the sour reviews, I would expect many more of these in the near future. Given the nature of the complaints against FFXIV, I think that Square Enix should be able to fix many of the game's failings. At the very least, I would expect a considerably stronger version of the game to be found in the PS3 release, which is still a ways into the future.

Source: IGN, IGN, GameStats
Posted in: Square-Enix News

Final Diablo 3 Class Revealed


Windows
During Blizzcon proceedings today, Blizzard revealed what will be the final class in the upcoming (at some point) epic Diablo 3 - the Demon Hunter. The Demon Hunter joins the Barbarian, Sorcerer, Witch Doctor, and Monk as the five classes that will be available on release date. She appears to be ranged, with crossbows that fire exploding bolts. Not many details have been released yet.

There's a video from Blizzcon available, but it doesn't actually show the class in action - it's an introduction video, FMV-style, and while it doesn't show gameplay, it's still really cool.

Source: Joystiq, Kotaku

Distant Worlds 2011 Dates Coming


Distant Worlds
Distant Worlds: Music from Final Fantasy just keeps trucking along; since the last news about DW, the music production has released a bunch of new dates - however, first to the upcoming dates that were already public:

The next dates in the concert series are 6 and 7 November, 2010, in Tokyo. The shows are sold out, but there's a limited number of held-back seats being sold via lottery. If you want to make a quick trip to Tokyo, anyone worldwide is eligible to put their name in the hat.

After that comes the Toronto show, on 27 November. That's the weekend of American Thanksgiving, so a holiday trip might make this show accessible to Ontario and some Americans too. Uematsu has been confirmed to attend this show, as well, which makes the thought of going all the sweeter.

Then, it's time to start planning 2011. Are you Australian or English? Annoyed that you haven't had a Distant Worlds concert in your country? Worry no more. Sydney's getting two shows, 15 and 16 April of 2011. Tickets go on sale tomorrow, even. After that, London's getting a single show on 5 November 2011; given that it's still thirteen months away, tickets won't be on sale there for quite a while. In between, Chicago's getting another pair of shows, a matinee and evening performance on 26 June 2011. The current plan is for Uematsu to appear at all of these shows, too.

That's all for now in terms of tour dates; however, with the huge gaps in 2011, expect to see more quite soon.

Source: Distant Worlds
Posted in: Square-Enix News

Square-Enix to Announce New MMORPG at NY Comic-Con


Squenix, partnered with a French game company called Ankama, is coming out with a new Tactical Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game called "Wakfu". It's free to play, and appears to be a sequel to Ankama's previous MMO, called Dofus. Wakfu takes place one thousand years after Dofus, and there will no doubt be all sorts of throwbacks to Dofus in-game in Wakfu, but as it's an MMO it's doubtful one will need to have played Dofus to enjoy Wakfu. An overview of the Dofus story can also be found at its wiki below, if anyone wants to read up on the history before they delve into Wakfu. Also, anyone who's interested can register for the beta at their website.

Squenix will be at the New York Comic Con on October 8-10 to announce their game, along with demos and giveaways like t-shirts, posters, and the like. The game itself has interesting characters like "warrior gamblers", "plant summoners", and "protectors" (of animals), as well as time-tested characters like archers, beserkers, regular warriors, and the like.

Finally, anyone who wants to take a look at the game but won't be at the Con can go to Wakfu's site, as they have screencaps, videos, and, if you're really excited about it, wallpapers. The release date is still TBA, though it's likely sometime in 2011.

Source: Wakfu Site, Wakfu Facebook, Dofus Wiki
Posted in: Square-Enix News

FFXIII-2: No, This Is Not A Joke


Final Fantasy XIII
That's right, the team behind FFXIII is interested in making a sequel (for better or for worse, as we learned with FFX)!

In an interview with Yoshinori Kitase and Motomu Toriyama, two of the important folks behind FFXIII, Kitase said that he would like to work on a game that could be referred to as FFXIII-2. The goal of such a game, according to Kitase, would be to explain "additional areas of the Fabula Nova Crystallis mythology" as well as help "players to better understand the FFXIII story."

Equally interesting is that the team behind FFXIII has already been grinding away at a new game. Toriyama hinted that this project would be another entry in the Fabula Nova Crystallis series, which would confirm speculations that Square Enix intends to introduce a new title in the series at their press conference this coming January.

The duo also said that the FFXIII team had intended to produce a large amount of downloadable additional material for the game (you may remember having heard this earlier). This ended up not panning out, but Kitase did say that his future titles would work to develop additional content from the beginning. They also mentioned that some of the added content originally intended for FFXIII could wind up in this mystery title currently in the works.

While it's beginning to look like Square Enix is building up for their Fabula Nova Crystallis press conference as much as Lebron James did for his signing announcement, I have to admit they've certainly hooked my interest.

Source: IGN
Posted in: Square-Enix News

Square Enix News Tidbits: Handheld Action News


Square Enix
With all the news about the 3DS, it's clear that the Square Enix news of the week is going to be handheld-centric. Final Fantasy XIV has been out for Collector's Edition players for over a week now, so it's old news already. What's new is all the gaming on the go - hope you're prepared to take some road trips in the near future to accommodate it all.

Staying first with the week's general trend of the 3DS, it's worth noting that of all the franchises promised for the new Nintendo portable, Squenix isn't giving any release dates at all, yet. The only games officially presented at Nintendo's conference this week were Chocobo Racing and Puzzle Bobble, and there was no dates attached to either.

With regards to games that are being released for systems that actually exist as yet, check out yet another Squenix remake in SaGa 3, coming back to Japan for Nintendo DS in January 2011. This game is a remake of what we in the West know as Final Fantasy Legend III, one of those Game Boy games that was rebranded for North America because Squaresoft didn't think they could sell games that didn't have the Final Fantasy name. No word yet on whether it will make it back across the sea twenty years after its original Japanese release. Also still coming soon, but this time for PSP, is the Tactics Ogre remake. The Squenix store in Japan started preorders for a collector's pack, at the hefty price of about $120. It's got a soundtrack, a signed illustration, a deck of tarot cards and... wait for it... the actual game. Odds of it making it outside of Japan? Not much, I'd wager. There's a "new" trailer for The 3rd Birthday, which is really just the public release of a behind-closed-doors trailer shown at the Tokyo Game Show. As one should expect, it's got more information about the cast of characters and plot, and more gameplay than we've seen as yet. There's a link to an HD version in the comments at andriasang, and while it takes about ten years to load, it's is amazingly pretty for a PSP game and the music and gargantuan monsters really evoke the feel of the original Parasite Eve.

Back to the 3DS to wrap up, it seems that Hajime Tabata, director of Agito and The 3rd Birthday, thinks that the new Nintendo unit would be a good home for Before Crisis. Since this game has never been available to anyone outside of Japan, perhaps this is one overblown, self-aggrandizing rumor that we could all get behind? The real question is, will anyone look to buy this on a new handheld when the game itself will be almost seven years old by the time the 3DS even launches, let alone when a port could be complete?

Wrapping up with CoN news, I finally got around to automating the process to give people their five-year member awards. That only took like nine months.

Source: andriasang, SiliconEra

Caves of Narshe Version 6
©1997–2014 Josh Alvies (Rangers51)

All fanfiction and fanart (including original artwork in forum avatars) is property of the original authors. Some graphics property of Square Enix.