No Dough Spared

About a month ago I added three games to my collection. One was a Super Nintendo game and the other two were from the PlayStation Store. The latter two first.

They are Galaga and Windjammers. Both were heavily discounted at $1.59 and $1.49, respectively. I don’t play that many games as old as Galaga, but, of them from that era, this is one of my favorites.

Up to this point I’ve never played Windjammers before. I mainly knew of it through podcasts that Jeff Gerstmann was on over the year when he would briefly mention the game. It does look to be one of the many SNK classics!

Finally, I bought King of Dragons on the SNES. This was the final of the three medieval beat-’em-ups made by Capcom that I didn’t have ported to the system. The easiest one to find is Knights of the Round with Magic Sword being a bit more rare. It was $70 for only the cartridge, but I haven’t bought many games in a long time so I had the dough to spare on this purchase.

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Hart & Usagi #88: “Coked out of his mind”

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On episode 88 of the Hart & Usagi Podcast we chat about a variety of topics like Dotemu bringing back two classics, Yakuza series turned down by video gaming hardware companies, and more.

Enjoy and remember to subscribe via RSS or iTunes and follow the Hart & Usagi Podcast on Twitter!

TOPICS:
* Fighting EX Layer is getting a physical release in Japan, to be shown at Konami’s booth at the 2018 Tokyo Game Show
* In Japan, a Beloved Deaf Composer Appears to Be None of the Above
* Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice Originally Started As A Tenchu Game
* Streets Of Rage 4 Is Finally Happening, 24 Years Later
* Report: Multiple Fatalities in Mass Shooting at Madden NFL 19 Tournament in Florida
* Stormdivers is a sci-fi battle royale shooter from Resogun and Nex Machina’s Housemarque
* Neo Geo cult favourite frisbee-fighter Windjammers is getting a sequel
* Bloodstained for Vita is Cancelled Because the Vita is Dead, Also Delayed to 2019
* The Yakuza Series Was Pitched To Both Nintendo And Microsoft, But Neither Wanted It
* Bethesda blocks resale of a secondhand game
* Capcom is “proud” of DmC, but Devil May Cry 5 will “expand more on the combat philosophies established in DMC1-4”
* Van Damme was “coked out of his mind” during filming of Street Fighter movie, says director

Listen or Download (1:46:21)

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Hart & Usagi Podcast at the Internet Archive

Matt: @HartKnight | HartKnight’s Archive

Mike: @usagi704 | Domain of Usagi704 | Instagram

@HartandUsagi

Now Playing: June-July 2018

After over three months of playing Yakuza 4 off and on (mostly off), I have finished it. Vets of the series like usagi704 and others will scoff at the fact that I didn’t do any side missions/activities. I enjoyed the main story and I just wanted to focus on that. It took me long enough as it was and I didn’t want it to take any longer.

Of course Kiryu is the best of the bunch simply because he’s had three previous games all to himself. Of the new trio of characters I liked Akiyama the best with Tanimura and Saejima second and third, respectively. All were will written and voice acted. Tanimura’s fighting style was the most divergent from the rest. He used more holds and throws than outright brute strength.

Character progression, I felt, was hampered with the four characters being split up into individual sections of the game, but the story faired much better because of it. You didn’t know how all these guys and their events would tie together, but it was a pleasure in finding out and seeing it through.

I also, during this time frame, played and finished the 2001 arcade game Sengoku 3. I played it via the Wii Virtual Console with the pro controller. It was initially difficult and I did opt for the max of nine lives in the options menu, but eventually I did manage to beat it. Damage dealt to the player is quite high, but it’s doable with the correct battle strategy.

As a birthday gift I received Puzzle Quest: Galactrix from my bro.

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Hart & Usagi #87: PS Hits

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On episode 87 of the Hart & Usagi Podcast we chat about a variety of topics like Twitch bans, PlayStation Greatest Hits returns, and more.

Enjoy and remember to subscribe via RSS or iTunes and follow the Hart & Usagi Podcast on Twitter!

TOPICS:
* Ninja Warriors Again announced for Switch
* Twitch deals out month-long bans to streamers using offensive slurs
* This Land Is My Land is a Western played from the perspective of a Native American
* Street Fighter 5 Gets Its Own Loot Boxes
* PlayStation Now getting Game Pass-style offline play later this year
* Sony Introduces $20 Budget PS4 Games Line with PlayStation Hits
* Tom Clancy’s The Division 2 ‘is not making any political statements’
* Doom Eternal will drag us back to Hell
* Street Fighter Was Almost Ported to the NES—Here’s What it Would Have Looked Like
* Kiryu Fights Forever With PS4 Remasters of Yakuza 3, 4, and 5.
* PS4 is Entering ‘Final Phase’ of its Life Cycle, Says Sony Interactive Entertainment CEO
* Dark Souls Remastered Fixes Blighttown’s Frame Rate Drops, so No More Excuses
* Report: Sony Will Stop Making Physical PS Vita Games
* Sony changes warranty terms for PS4, PS3, PS VR, Vita to comply with FTC guidelines
* Happy Anniversary to Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow, the Best Successor to Symphony of the Night

Listen or Download (1:12:49)

Subscribe: RSS | iTunes

Hart & Usagi Podcast at the Internet Archive

Matt: @HartKnight | HartKnight’s Archive

Mike: @usagi704 | Domain of Usagi704 | Instagram

@HartandUsagi

Now Playing: May 2018 (and Podcast Update)

About a month ago I purchased Horizon: Zero Dawn. The Complete Edition with all the extra DLC was the cheaper way to go and more available than the original version. I don’t know if I’ll even bother with the extra content, but I guess I’ll just have to see if I want more of it to play by the end. This all is considering that I get to it anytime soon which is unlikely.

I’m currently playing Yakuza 4 as I’d mentioned in my previously resurrected Now Playing feature. The initial character you control is Akiyama. He’s a good ol’ chap with the best of intentions and a non-judgmental attitude with the firm belief that helping out others is more important than making money. I like him.

I’m now onto the second new character’s story, Saejima, and they already show a clear sign of them all tying together eventually. Here’s a badass that’s trying to get what’s his. At least that’s my first readings of his motivations.

On the podcast front, there won’t be any new episode for a little bit as I sort out my PC issues as those problems only affect that activity.

Thanks for reading!

hzdce

Hart & Usagi #86: Nintendo’s Night Trap

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On episode 86 of the Hart & Usagi Podcast we chat about a variety of topics like warranty voiding and more collections coming your way.

Enjoy and remember to subscribe via RSS or iTunes and follow the Hart & Usagi Podcast on Twitter!

TOPICS:
* Video Game Hall Of Fame Adds Four More Games
* FTC Warns Microsoft, Nintendo, And Sony About Warranty-Voiding Restrictions
* Night Trap is Coming to Switch 25 Years After Nintendo Said it Would Never Appear on Their Consoles
* Donkey Kong Champion Billy Mitchell Stripped of all Records and Banished to the Shadow Realm
* Mega Man X Legacy Collection 1 and 2 coming to PC and consoles in July
* Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection Gets a Final Release Date and Ultra Special Bonus
* God of War’s Strong Reviews Complete Sony Santa Monica’s Return From the Brink
* Yakuza Kiwami 2 is Getting a Western Release on PS4 This Year
* SEGA “may consider” bringing Yakuza 3-5 to PS4 if there’s enough demand

Listen or Download (53:58)

Subscribe: RSS | iTunes

Hart & Usagi Podcast at the Internet Archive

Matt: @HartKnight | HartKnight’s Archive | Instagram

Mike: @usagi704 | Domain of Usagi704 | Instagram

@HartandUsagi

A Year of Now Playing: March 2017-April 2018

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It’s been a long time since I’ve typed up a Now Playing blog entry. My last edition was published at the end of February 2017.

At the time I was in the middle of playing Syphon Filter: Logan’s Shadow on the PSP. I don’t remember much from the game other than getting to a point where Logan was on a lift riding it up with enemy forces raining fire down upon him. I didn’t know how I’d ever pass this area so I moved onto another game. I did enjoy the game much more than its prequel, Syphon Filter: Dark Mirror, but eventually I’d had my fill of the black ops stuff.

Remember Split/Second? It’s that Disney published racing game where you triggered explosions (and some other things) to try and wreck your opponents on your way to victory. It was a welcome game during that Burnout series drought. It doesn’t surpass that best ever racing series, but it was still engaging it a similar destructive way.

Another game that went unfinished was Soul Calibur: Broken Destiny. This PSP entry introduced Kratos as a guest character to the roster. This was released in between the pair of PSP God of War titles. A lot of his abilities from the GoW games up to that point were included. I spent most of my time in the trials challenge mode. This would help in learning the character of your choice. I’m not the biggest fan of 3D fighting games in general so I played this more out of curiosity.

Mafia III‘s early trailers had my interest with the protagonist in Lincoln Clay in 1960s Louisiana. It had promise is how the game handled Clay’s dealing with racism, but it never does much of anything with it other than allow for a few slurs here and there to be spoken by some of the non-playable characters. It’s ultimately a GTA-style clone of an open world game, but thankfully it was quite good at that.

I know Shadow of the Colossus gets talked about with glowing praise, but it didn’t take long for me to realize this wasn’t a game for me. In a similar way, but where nobody praises it, I can say the same thing about ActRaiser 2.

Spy Hunter: Nowhere to Run and Crash: Mind Over Mutant, both on the PlayStation 2, are another pair of unfinished games. I can’t remember exactly what the reason I playing them was. It might have been the game freezing up or a particularly difficult section I didn’t want to deal with.

I had downloaded the Trine trilogy off of the PlayStation Network for my PS4 and played through Trine: Enchanted Edition. It was as I remembered from playing the original version’s demo back on the PS3. It was fun to find uses for each of the three character’s abilities.

For an over-the-top third-person shooter that’s a lot of dumb fun, I suggest helping Fifty get back a diamond encrusted skull in 50 Cent: Blood on the Sand. Don’t forget to jump dat big ass ramp!

Onto some Game Boy Advance beat-’em-up action I played River City Ransom EX. This is a slightly updated look to the original game on the NES. The main difference is that you can save your progress to an extent. It doesn’t save were you left off just your character’s stats and items. Regardless, I’d get to River City High as normal, but no boss shows up to fight as they should so I couldn’t progress onward. I remember this being my problem on the NES too.

Sega Arcade Gallery has four ports of Sega arcade games. Two of them are some of my favorites: OutRun and Super Hang-On. These two games are surprisingly well done. While you’re definitely better off playing a version on a bigger screen, the GBA isn’t the worst. For the controls it’s done quite good. The A and B buttons are accelerate and brake, respectively. L and R handle the boost in Super Hang-On and the shifting in OutRun. I finished both of these along with the next game.

That game is also on the GBA and it’s Power Rangers Ninja Storm. It’s a very one-note kids game and not fun enough for even one play-through, but at least I did that. There’s only very slight differences in a few level given which set of Rangers you choose at the beginning. It’s definitely not worth a second go-around to see anything you missed. Not bad just very mundane.

For all of you who enjoy The Revenge of Shinobi on the Genesis, be prepared for an awful 2002 game on the GBA also called The Revenge of Shinobi. It doesn’t amaze with its graphics. It also didn’t keep me very long because of the release of Burnout Paradise Remastered.

On Burnout, I said in my previous post that it was still fun to go back to after much time has passed. What I didn’t mention was that it was my first platinum trophy in six years and my ninth one in total. It’s the first platinum I’ve earned on the PS4 just as the original version of the game was my first on the PS3. All nine trophies can be viewed here.

The most recent game completed was Red Faction: Armageddon. I found myself having fun destroying structures and then repairing them. I had to tell myself to move on because I was doing that too often. It probably wouldn’t have taken 10 hours to beat if I had trucked on through. There’s a new game plus mode, but being a typical action game as it is I didn’t feel the need to replay it.

Currently I just started Yakuza 4. Hopefully it won’t take me until May 2019 to tell you about it. ;)

Once again, thanks for reading. Catch me on the podcasts!

GAMEPLAY STATS FROM SELECT TITLES:
* Syphon Filter: Logan’s Shadow – Ep. 6, Part 5
* Split/Second – Ep. 12; 3215 credits; 22 trophies
* Mafia III – 41 trophies
* Spy Hunter: Nowhere to Run – Mission 10: Derailed
* Crash: Mind Over Mutant – 4h59m; 27%
* Trine: Enchanted Edition – Skill XP 316; HP XP: 271; 17 trophies
* Sega Arcade Gallery: OutRun – Score: 17,414,040
* Sega Arcade Gallery: Super Hang-On – Score: 1,383,970
* Burnout Paradise Remastered – 42h; 100%; 92 trophies (Platinum!)
* Red Faction: Armageddon – 10h26m; 100%; 29 trophies