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Newsbriefs: Mercenaries 2, Lamplighter & Flashman, Sega's Latest VC Titles

[UPDATED: 3:38pm PST] Today's regularly updated newsbriefs include multiplatform plans for Mercenaries 2: World in Flames, a partnership between digital art provider Lamplighter Studios and agency Flashman Studios, and Sega's newest addition
[UPDATED: 3:38pm PST] Today's regularly updated newsbriefs include multiplatform plans for Mercenaries 2: World in Flames, a partnership between digital art provider Lamplighter Studios and agency Flashman Studios, and Sega's newest additions to the Virtual Console. - Sega has announced its four latest upcoming additions to the U.S. Virtual Console, due over the coming weeks through Nintendo's regular Monday updates. The four games include overhead/first-person RPG Sword of Vermillion, first released for the Genesis in 1990 and platforming action game Vectorman, which sees your character morphing into a train, power drill, mechanical fish, and dune buggy over the course of your adventure. The updates will also include Sonic Spinball, in which Sega's classic Sonic and Tails characters travel through an 'elaborate Pinball Defense System' to recover Chaos Emeralds, and 1994's cult hit adventure game Beyond Oasis, with a soundtrack by legendary game composer Yuzo Koshiro. The games are expected to cost the Genesis standard 800 points ($8) each. - Though to date Electronic Arts and developer Pandemic have been coy as to the target platforms for the upcoming action game Mercenaries 2: World in Flames, both companies have confirmed that the game is currently in development for four separate formats, including the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 2, and PC. The game is correctly expected to ship during the 2007 holiday season for each platform simultaneously. “Mercenaries 2: World in Flames delivers the next evolution in explosive open world gameplay – regardless of the system you play it on,” said Pandemic Studios CEO Andrew Goldman. “All four platforms are incredible gaming machines, and from the beginning we designed an experience that accentuates their individual strengths and delivers the interactive freedom and explosive action Mercenaries fans demand.” - Lamplighter Studios, a digital art group specializing in 3D models, environments, and animations for game development, has announced that it has enlisted the help of agency Flashman Studios to represent the studio identify new opportunities, partners and projects within the video game industry. Lamplighter is perhaps best recognized for its Daylight production system, which acts as a “glass factory” that allows Lamplight to work with companies that do not have artists, but require art direction, concept and modeling. This online tool allows tracking and monitoring of assets, and facilitates real-time input. “Flashman’s numerous contacts and years of experience are a perfect match to bring Lamplighter’s passion for gaming and their unique technical capabilities to the next generation of console and game platforms,” said Josh Rose, founder and CEO of Lamplighter Studios. - Hudson Entertainment officials have revealed plans to bring the classic TurbofGrafx-16 puzzle game Chew Man Fu to the Wii's popular Virtual Console download service. The game, which is also planned for release over mobile phones as well, is expected to make its debut “within the next month.” While no price was announced for the upcoming title, traditionally TurbofGrafx-16 titles released for the Virtual Console have cost 600 Wii Points ($6) each. "Chew Man Fu represents an era of gameplay during which Hudson established itself as a creator of fun games that were easy to pick up and play, and also appealed to a wide range of gamers," said John Greiner, president of Hudson Entertainment. "With such a fantastic catalog of games released over the last 30 years, Hudson is in a great position to bring back some of these classics to a whole new generation of gamers." - Square Enix has announced that it will release Hand's Final Fantasy Fables: Chocobo Tales exclusively for the Nintendo DS in North America on April 3, 2007. The portable title will make extensive use of the handheld's touch screen, and will feature gameplay based around dozens of minigames as well as somewhat less involved microgames. "The chocobos and all their friends are going to explode onto the Nintendo DS," said Executive Producer Shinji Hashimoto. "Since the game contains references to the series going back as far as Final Fantasy, I am confident that fans of both Final Fantasy and Nintendo alike will enjoy this exciting title." - Norwegian-headquartered developer Funcom has announced that long-time Anarchy Online devotee and Funcom community manager Craig Morrison has been appointed as the MMOG’s new game director. Morrison replaces the previous game director Morten Byom, who will occupy a new position at Funcom, leading the development of the Xbox 360 version of the upcoming MMORPG Age of Conan: Hyborian Adventures. “It is a true joy for me to be working on Anarchy Online, and I am very eager to begin the job building on the remarkable success that the game has had for the last five years,” said Craig Morrison. “The game is still a top priority for Funcom, and we aim to provide both new and existing players with an abundance of new and exciting content in the years to come.” - The latest updates on Gamasutra sister alt.gaming weblog GameSetWatch include a breakdown of G.I Joe games, a look at Suda 51's Out of this World gaming influences, and a discussion on whether or not Australia needs an R rating for games. - The latest updates from Gamasutra sister website Serious Games Source include a new feature offering a comparative analysis of several prominent engines currently used for developing serious games. - The latest updates from Gamasutra sister website Game Career Guide include a student postmortem of IGF Student Showcase finalist Base Invaders, and a recent educational event organized by Codeworks GameHorizon’s "I Love Games" on Valentine’s Day at Northumbria University. - Also updated today: the latest Gamasutra job postings, including openings from 3G Studios, Bedlam Games, Blizzard Entertainment, Guerrilla, High Moon Studios, Kaos Studios, LeapFrog, LucasArts, Merscom, Nihilistic Software, Play Mechanix, Sensory Sweep, Sierra Online, Vivendi Games Mobile, and Yahoo! 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