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Newsbriefs: Parappa PSP, VC Gets Mystical, NBA Live Covered

[UPDATED: 3:00pm PST] Today's regularly updated newsbriefs include news of the hip-hop grandfather of rhythm-games, Parappa, making his way to North American PSPs, Legend of Mystical Ninja hitting the Virtual Console, and Washington W
[UPDATED: 3:00pm PST] Today's regularly updated newsbriefs include news of the hip-hop grandfather of rhythm-games, Parappa, making his way to North American PSPs, Legend of Mystical Ninja hitting the Virtual Console, and Washington Wizards all-star Gilbert Arenas on the cover of NBA Live 08. - Sony Computer Entertainment America has officially announced a rebirth of the iconic Parappa, with a North American release of its PSP port of the PlayStation original Parappa The Rapper. Widely considered to be the true grandfather of the rhythm gaming genre that would go on to spawn Beatmania and Guitar Hero, the North American release of the game marks Parappa's 10 year anniversary. Developed by Nanaon-sha's Masaya Matsuura (recently featured on Gamasutra) and illustrated by renowned artist and illustrator Rodney Alan Greenblat, Parappa pitted players against a host of memorable characters in call-and-response style hip-hop battles, pressing buttons to rap and freestyle in time to the music. For its PSP return, Parappa will feature local wireless multiplayer battles, an updated widescreen view, and downloadable remix soundtracks for all of its stages, giving players the chance to rap to updated grooves. Parappa is expected to hit retail shelves in July 2007. - Nintendo has released three “new” games for download over the Wii's North American Virtual Console. Purchasable from the Wii's online Wii Shop Channel, the service has this week added NES platforming classic Castlevania, the first in the decades old franchise that still lives on cross platform for 500 Points ($5). Konami has also brought its Legend of Mystical Ninja Super Nintendo 2D/3D action adventure to the Virtual Console for 800 Points ($8), and Hudson has released its TurboGrafx 16 side-scrolling shooter/platformer Shockman for 600 Points ($6). - Electronic Arts has announced that Washington Wizards all-star Gilbert Arenas will be the cover athlete and spokesperson for its latest in the NBA Live franchise, NBA Live 08, notable for being the first game in the franchise to come to both the PlayStation 3 and the Nintendo Wii. EA calls Arenas "one of the league’s most dangerous offensive players," who has risen to No. 3 in league scoring and led the Wizards into the playoffs for the second straight season." Said Arenas, “This is a dream come true. I’m a huge gamer and have been playing NBA Live since 1995. I never imagined that I would see my face on the cover of an EA Sports videogame.”NBA Live 08 is expected to ship to stores worldwide this fall. - The latest updates on Gamasutra sister alt.gaming weblog GameSetWatch include LGBT content restrictions in The Lord Of The Rings Online, a look at EA's Pogo Island for the Nintendo DS, and a collection of links covering topics such as Raiden 3 localization issues, a postmortem for Little Loki Escapes from Hell, and a look back at classic '80s UK developer Odin Computer Graphics. - The latest updates on Gamasutra sister site Game Career Guide include a feature offering some expert advice on how to become a game writer. - Also updated today: the latest Gamasutra job postings, including openings from Cranky Pants Games, Iron Lore Entertainment, Monolith Productions, Rainbow Studios, Secret Level, Sony Computer Entertainment America, Sony Online Entertainment, Vicious Cycle Software, and Vivendi Games Mobile.

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