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News from October 2003

Forums reach 20,000 posts


Caves of Narshe Site News
CoN forums have reached 20,000 posts, an excellent landmark. The way the posts are stacking up, it's anyone's guess as to when we reach 30,000. If I were to make a guess, I'd say around April or May of 2004, unless the number of posts continues to increase. The 20,000th post was made by the site webmaster, Rangers51, in the Dragon Quest 5 Remake thread.

For those of you that aren't reading this through the forums and aren't members yet, consider joining up.
Posted in: CoN Site News

Tiddles is excellent! Also: Dragon Quest V Remake


Dragon Quest
Square Enix has announced through V-Jump magazine that a Dragon Quest V remake is in progress.

The remake of the 1992 Super Famicom title will be for the Playstation 2. The original was one of the Dragon Quest titles that did not see North American shores as a Dragon Warrior title. It is unclear whether the remake will either. The graphics will be upgraded, but it is not believe they will be even up to par with the PS1 Dragon Quest/Dragon Warrior VII.

Games_Are_Fun has a magazine scan that shows a few scenes from the game.

Source: Games_Are_Fun

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I have only played Dragon Warrior 1. It was probably seven or eight years ago now, but I think I recall enjoying it. So I'll definitely be interested in this if it is reasonably priced. I don't mind some of these remakes as long as they are reasonably priced and the companies are still trying to make other new, innovative titles at the same time that they are working on these.
Posted in: Square-Enix News

FFXI Released in North America


General Final Fantasy
Service for Square's newest addition to the FF series, Final Fantasy XI, began yesterday in North America.

For those not familiar with the title, Final Fantasy XI is Square's first Massively Multiplayer Online RPG (MMORPG) release. The game offers players a myriad of gameplay experiences, from customizable characters to multiple platform support.
Character customization includes race, gender, and job class. Available races include Hume, Elvaan, Tarutaru, Galka, and Mithra. Fifteen job classes have been released on the Official FFXI website (including Final Fantasy classics like White Mage, Black Mage, and Thief), along with allusions that other jobs may exist as well.
FFXI has currently been released on both Windows and PS2. Players on both platforms can play and interact on the same realms; additionally, realms are international, allowing players from different nations to team up to complete quests. Also, Square has included an automatic in-game translation system for common phrases to help facilitate international gameplay.

More can be read at Square's recently revamped FFXI site, The Final Fantasy XI Van'Diel Journal

***

Hype about the game's release seems high among Caves of Narshe members. In a recent poll on the website, over two thirds of the 201 responding members said they would purchase the game for one of the available platforms. Complete poll results are below:

Thinking about getting Final Fantasy 11?

25.4% - I'll buy it for PS2
34.8% - I'll but it for PC
6.5% - I'll buy it, but I don't know for which platform
16.4% - I'll try it before making a decision
16.9% - It's not for me

***

Admittedly, I'm a little skeptical about the game.
After hearing about the major server problems upon initial release in Japan, and after witnessing first-hand the endless shelves of unsold FFXI copies in Japanese gaming stores, I can't help but wonder if the game will really work out to be everything Square's said it will be...
Posted in: Square-Enix News

Sony Cuts 20,000 Jobs


Sony announced today that it would be cutting 20,000 jobs worldwide. The 20,000 jobs constitue 13 percent of the company's total employees. It is not certain where the jobs will be cut, but it is known that the first 7,000 will be from Japan.

Poor sales of the Playstation 2 and Trinitron TV sets are being blamed for contributing to Sony's declining revenue and its thus needed restructuring.

Source: Gamestop

/****/

It's never good to hear about job cuts. Hopfully, those who are getting layed off will find new employers quickly.
(9 Comments – Last by Del S)
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Phoenix Hired as News Editor


Caves of Narshe Site News
As you've already seen if you've read this CoN news article on the healing potential of video games, we have hired Phoenix as a new News Editor. Phoenix will be the third news staffer, working in conjunction with Administrator Elena99 and Moderator SSJ_Cloud.

Phoenix, as noted in his staff biography, is currently a freshman in Uni, having finished high school early. He has a good writing style, has been willing to help whenever possible in the months since his return to the site, and is an all-around good guy.

Everyone, please join me and the staff in welcoming Phoenix to his new position at Caves of Narshe. We're all looking forward to working more directly with him!
Posted in: CoN Site News

Study Finds Therapeutic Use for Video Games


Common video games have the potential to treat and cure phobias, according to a study published in the CyberPsychology and Behavior Journal on October 17.

The study was conducted in Quebec, Canada at the Universite du Quebec en Outaouais. It involved several patients diagnosed with phobias, each treated through exposure therapy.

(Exposure therapy utilizes gradual exposure to a fear. For example, an arachnophobe undergoing exposure therapy might initially be seated in a room with a tarantula at the room’s opposite end; as the patient became more comfortable with the spider’s presence, the therapist would move the spider closer and closer to the patient until finally, the patient would ideally be able to sit next to or hold the spider in his or her hand without fear. Early exposure therapy often involves virtual reality equipment.)

One test group in the study received their initial treatment via expensive virtual reality equipment commonly used for exposure therapy in medical labs, while another test group began their treatment through use of inexpensive, low-end personal computers, head-mounted displays, and common first-person video game software, such as Half-Life and Unreal Tournament.

Surprisingly, the study indicated that PCs running video game software produced similar therapeutic results in patients to the standard medical equipment.

The full study can be read at Ingenta Select.

***

I’m glad to see this bit of news; video games don’t get enough credit for their potential uses and benefits, in my opinion.
For one thing, I believe they can teach young kids all kinds of useful things. I’m quite convinced that Final Fantasy VI supported my basic math skills in elementary school and first taught me how to spell "ghost," for example. I also distinctly remember looking up the word "maintain" in the family dictionary because of that game. (Yet I still don’t know exactly how that dang Dispel thing works.)
So, it’s nice to read about a concrete scientific study being performed and indicating practical benefits of video game software.

Engaging Loss Cutting Formation: N-Gage Price Drop


Gamestop and Electronics are offering a $100 dollar rebate on Nokia's handheld unit until November 2nd.

The rebate is an instant one, not mail-in as well. Because of this, it is not known whether Nokia is behind this price cut, or if it is the two retailers trying to unload their massive inventories. Interestingly, the N-Gage rebate is not mentioned on the official N-Gage website If it is mentioned, it is very well hidden. This tends to point to the latter that pushed for the cut.

Is the N-Gage heading the way of the Jaguar?

Source: Gamespot

/****/

This is still not enough to save the system in my eyes. One can still get both a Gameboy SP AND a Gamecube for that price. This is just a company and some retailers trying to spare what little they can of their investment before it becomes another E.T. from the Atari 2600 age.

Sony Profits to be Lower than Expected


Sony has announced that their profits for this quarter will be about 25% lower than initially projected.

There are two main reasons for this. The first is the relative strength of the Yen right now when compared to the currencies of other nations. Since Sony exports so many products, they do not receive as much of a profit as they should because of these nations' weaker currencies (This is just a quick and dirty explanation of it. I'm just a history major so I know almost nothing about global economics). The second reason is Playstation 2 sales are starting to slow. Europe is the only major market were sales are continuing to grow. Last year for this quarter, Sony's game division had sales of 250 billion Yen. For the quarter this year, the division has only had sales of 161 billion Yen. Sony contributes part of this to a dock worker strike on the US West Coast.

Source: Games_Are_Fun

/***/

I wonder if PS3 news will start picking up because of this...

Real life Tommy Vercetti(s)?


Sony Computer Entertainment America, Take-Two Interactive, Rockstar Games, and Wal-Mart are facing a $246 million dollar lawsuit from the families of two victims who claim their son and daughter were shot as the result of Grand Theft Auto 3 and its influence.

Aaron Hamel, 45, was killed and Kimberly Bede, 19, was seriously wounded after their car was fired upon by two step brothers, age 16 and 14. While in custody, the boys said they had taken rifles that were in their house and shot at cars like one can do in GTA3. The teens plead guilty to reckless homicide, endangerment, and assault in juvenile court and are now serving an indefinite term. The families claim that the game inspires and trains one how to shoot at people and vehicles.

In other GTA 3 news, the title has sold 192,000 copies in its first three weeks of availability in Japan, and has stayed in the country's top 5 for these weeks.

Source: Gamespot

/****/

I feel much sympathy for the two families, but I don't know if this suit wants to make me roll my eyes or agree with it. There are a numerous reasons for the eye roll. Firstly, the game does not teach someone how to use a rifle. Secondly, the game is rated "Mature." If the kids were not able to handle it, they should not have been playing it. If anybody should be sued, it should be the parents for not taking greater interest in what their children were up to (and I'm not saying they should be, necessarily). Thirdly, not one of the companies being named in the suit put the gun in the childrens' hands.

On the other hand, if one is able to sue over the slightest little things in the US (the people who wanted to sue the fast food businesses "for making them fat," I'm looking at you), a person who lost a love one should definitely be allowed as well.

What does everyone else think? I'm especially interested in the non-US members' point of view because I'm not aware of many lawsuits in other countries and how the legal systems handle them.

Status of Pilotwings for the Gamecube Unclear


It appears Pilotwings, Nintendo's popular air-stunt franchise, may not see life on the Gamecube after all. Factor 5, the company developing it, has fallen behind in its production schedule and the title is not expected to be ready until 2005 now.

The "Gamecube 2" may be ready by this time and Nintendo may choose to use Pilotwings as one of its launch titles for the system.


Source: ComputerandVideoGames.com

/***/

I have never played the SNES or N64 versions of this game, but I have heard many good things about them. I'm sure this will disappoint many Gamecube owners.

Disappointing Sales for Nokia's UK N-Gage Launch


Nokia's "answer" to Nintendo's Gameboy Advance sold poorly during its first week of availability in the UK.

6000 stores that had the device available for sale were polled. These stores combined to sell only 500 units. That means only 8% of retailers sold even one unit. In the time period that these 500 N-Gages were sold, 1,500 Gameboy Advance were purchased by UK consumers.

In other N-Gage news, the best selling game for the unit during its first week was a Tomb Raider remake.

Source: Gameforms

/****/

I'm all for competition to the Gameboy Advance. I really am. But the N-Gage isn't going to be it. Reading some of the product reviews, it seems that you basically have to disassemble the unit just to play a game. Even worse is its price which is $300 US.

Has anymore here actually tried one of the units?

FFX-2 Job Classes, in Further Detail


General Final Fantasy
More job classes (14, and 3 special) for the game FFX-2 have been revealed, and are as follows:

Gunner (That common picture of Yuna where her jean skirt is on just one leg.)
Thief
Warrior
Singer
White Mage
Black Mage
Trainer
Dark Gunner
Dark Knight
Gambler
Alchemist
Berserker
Samurai
Mascot
Floral Fallah (For Yuna only)
Machina Muzzle (For Rikku only)
Full Throttle (For Paine only)

Further descriptions, and convenient pictures, can be found at RPGamer

***

My personal favourites here are Dark Knight and Samurai. Although there has been much complaining and anxiety over this new job system, I'm looking forward to it.
Posted in: Square-Enix News

Another Zelda Compilation


Nintendo
Some of you may remember that Nintendo gave out free ports of Ocarina of Time and Master Quest for the Gamecube as a bonus to those who had pre-ordered the Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker.

Well, Nintendo is putting together another Zelda compilation for the Gamecube. The games planned to be included this time around are: The Legend of Zelda, Zelda II: The Adventure of Link, The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, and The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask. Other than the titles to be included, not much else is known about the compilation. There are no release dates for either Japan or North America. It is not even known whether this will be a standalone product or another pre-order bonus.

Source: RPGamer

/~~~~/

I know many are getting upset at gaming companies for the recycling of old titles, but this is definitely some recycling I would enjoy.
Posted in: RPG News

New Mozilla Releases


Caves of Narshe Site News
Today sees three new Mozilla releases. For the uninitiated, Mozilla is the open source software that rose from the flames of once mighty Netscape Navigator/Communicator, though long-time detractors from the frankly awful Netscape 4 will be pleased to note that it bears very little relation to today's Mozilla products.

Along with the main Mozilla Suite 1.5 release (the suite featuring Navigator for browsing, Mail & Newsgroups, Composer, and various integrated bits, much like the old Netscape Communicator) come new versions of the increasingly popular (and highly recommended by many CoN staff and regulars) standalone applications based on Mozilla code: web browser Mozilla Firebird 0.7 and e-mail client Mozilla Thunderbird 0.3. While these are pre-release software, they have both been shown to be extremely reliable in the past, and this should be especially true of these releases, the first to be built from a release branch of the Mozilla code. Should you require the ultimate in stability, you might prefer Mozilla Suite 1.4.1, released earlier this week.

Not even remotely Final Fantasy or even gaming news, but it falls broadly under the umbrella of site news, since we've recommended Mozilla browsers for the best experience viewing the site (and browsing the Web in general) for some time now. Standards compliant, free and, especially in the case of Firebird and Thunderbird, light, fast, and user-friendly. What more do you want?

Download:
Posted in: CoN Site News

Mega fanart update


Caves of Narshe Site News
Sixteen new fanarts were added to the database today, something I should've done for quite a while. I hate making this news because that means I've put off the update until I need to do a ton in one day. wink.gif But check out the new art as well as the rest of the database in the
fanart section.

The database features new art from Katy, Narratorway, Zephir, Hikaroo, Kame, Luna Chan, Yuki Usagi, Denisse, Chris Soleto, and SilverMaduin. CoN's fanart gallery continues to grow into one of the biggest and best on the net thanks to everyone who submits, so again, thanks to all submitters.
Posted in: CoN Site News

New FFVI fanfic by Narratorway


Caves of Narshe Site News
Although this newest installment to Narratorway's Lights series has actually been around since February, it has only been put on the site just now.

This one is about Relm, called Relm: The Wandering Light . It's a very emotional piece, though written in a style that you would not think would convey that sort of emotion. Definitely worth your time to read, as is the rest of his Lights series, which is viewable in our FF6 fanfiction section.
Posted in: CoN Site News

Caves of Narshe Version 6
©1997–2017 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.