Nightly News Roundup 2010.11.11

Black Mage & Co. show up in Mario Sports Mix, Viacom talks about selling Harmonix, and more in tonight’s Nightly News Roundup.

By Andrew Hsieh. Posted 11/11/2010 20:00 Comment on this     ShareThis

Nightly News Roundup(Sorry guys, no video roundup this week– my webcam’s broken. Maybe some of you like it that way, though, I don’t know!)

Final Fantasy to Mix it Up With Mario

Back in the aftermath of the 2002 Jump Festa, Nintendo fans were enthused with the idea that Square (no Enix back then) was about to return to Nintendo. Games like Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles for the Gamecube, as well as the various GBA remakes of Final Fantasy classics, brought Nintendo some well-needed Square madness, especially since the last game most could remember from Square was Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars. Since then, Nintendo’s come a long way– Square Enix’s released plenty of Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles games since then, and has even developed another Mario game: Mario Hoops 3-on-3. (Sure, it may not have been the traditional platformer Mario game, but how many Mario games are, really?)

Now, Square Enix’s repeating its sports prowess with Mario Sports Mix, and just like with Hoops, Square Enix is adding its own Final Fantasy games into the, well, mix. Ninja, White Mage, Black Mage, Cactuar and Moogle will be joining Mario & Co., and Square Enix is planning to include the ability to play as a Mii avatar as well. You can check out a video of these characters at the official website here; IGN speculates that, since there is a Dragon Quest copyright notice on the page, the one remaining secret character will be from that series.

Mario Sports Mix will hit Japanese shores on November 25, and other regions next year.

Source: IGN

The Beatles: Rock Band, one of many Rock Band games developed by Harmonix.

Viacom to Sell Harmonix

MTV Games’ parent company, Viacom, has stated in a earnings report released today that they are in the middle of talks to sell Harmonix, the famed game company from Cambridge, Massachusetts that successfully fought off Activision’s Guitar Hero juggernaut with its own brand of music games, including the highly popular Rock Band series. Despite its success, however, Viacom has stated that Harmonix has managed to be a financial liability for Viacom, as for the past few financial quarters Harmonix’s profits have been negligent, if not nonexistent: Harmonix had suffered a loss of $65 million in the last quarter. Thus, Viacom had already marked Harmonix as a discontinued operation, in order to write off a $299 million loss. for its 2010 third quarter earnings statement.

In a call to investors, Thomas Dooley, Viacom COO, said: “Our decision to exit this business reflect our strategy of focusing entirely on what we do best – make great branded entertainment content and deliver it through a variety of platforms. The third parties have a different economic view of Harmonix and we believe that it’s an asset that will be worth more to them than it is to us”

Source: GamesIndustry.Biz

Alexey Pajitnov Responds to Tetris/PTSD Research

According to 2009 article by CNN, Tetris’ particular brand of addictive puzzling is especially useful for treating patients with post-traumatic stress disorder. Tetris, says the study cited from the journal PLoS ONE, playing Tetris after a traumatic experience lessens chances for flashbacks caused by PTSD, by doing what Tetris does best: distracting the brain from everything but the game, “short-circuiting” the brain’s ability to store upsetting memories and images. This is particularly good, say researchers, because therapies that can be easily administered immediately after a traumatic event, such as Tetris, are in high demand.

Destructoid’s Jonathan Holmes spoke to Alexey Pajitnov, the creator of Tetris, on the subject yesterday, and his response was “humble and to the point”, says Holmes. His response was as follows:

It’s a great thing that people are discovering even more of the benefits that video games can provide, but I don’t think that it is just Tetris that can provide these benefits. They are studying Tetris now, and so far, the evidence is strong, but there are many other games that may provide a similar effect. I think that all games should be studied, because all games can be important.

Source: Destructoid

Udon Entertainment Announces Robot Master Field Guide

Udon Entertainment, perhaps best known for its Street Fighter comics and other Capcom-related paraphernalia (mostly art books), has just announced its Robot Master Field Guide, a seemingly coffee table-type book collecting all the Robot Masters in the Mega Man universe. Robot Masters, otherwise known as those bosses you have to fight at least twice (I say “at least” since you’re probably gonna die in a Mega Man game) in every Mega Man game, from Mega Man 1-10, Mega Man and Bass and even the Mega Man series for Game Boy will be included. Special characters, such as Proto Man and Roll, will also show up, and like the rest of the Robot Masters, will have an included profile with “classic CAPCOM artwork” and bios, quotes, likes and dislikes, weapons, and (less awesome) weaknesses.

Source: The Mega Man Network

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