Hart & Usagi #98: The Back Button Overlords

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In episode 98 we welcome Steve back to the show and chat about Joe Biden’s out-of-touch Jack Thompson video game arguments, M2’s plan for the whole Toaplan gaming library, how Steve couldn’t ever get into the classic Resident Evil and Devil May Cry games, plus more.

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

TOPICS:
* M2 to release nearly every Toaplan game for console starting 2020 in Japan
* Bayonetta and Vanquish anniversary bundle is coming to PS4 and Xbox One next year
* Resident Evil 3 Remake officially announced, watch the first trailer
* Xbox Series X is Microsoft’s best-looking and most striking console design yet
* Street Fighter V: Champion Edition adds Seth; Gill available now
* DualShock 4 Back Button Attachment announced
* DOOM and DOOM II updated with add-ons, 60 frames per second support, more; PC version released
* Shopping at GameStop is miserable
* Devil May Cry 3 for Nintendo Switch to include new Seamless Style feature
* Joe Biden calls Silicon Valley game developers “little creeps” who make games that “teach you how to kill”
* Loot boxes push kids into gambling, says NHS mental health director

Listen or Download (2:11:25)

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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: December 2019

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The previous three months has been a trying time to find a game I can get into. I succeeded, but the percentage was low. The racing games of Hydro Thunder (PS), Burnout 2: Point of Impact (PS2), and Flatout 2 (PS2) were more of the usual rubber-banding AI opponents that can make for a frustrating experience.

Flatout 2 had the worst of this issue, but the most annoying problem was the destructible track elements that got in the way on later laps once they were destroyed the debris was laying about. Burnout 2’s deal was solely the issue of the AI being perfect. I was having fun even when not winning, but once a certain mountain area track was what I was currently racing there seemed to be no way to progress regardless of the car I selected. Arcade racer Hydro Thunder was fun, but the bare bones presentation and odd decision to lock tracks behind a currency earning progression system was where I fell off of this one.

I then went to portable side of gaming with my DS Lite and PSP. I was hankering for some Puzzle Quest, but Puzzle Quest: Galactrix was too much of a departure of what made the first game so enjoyable. On top of that they added timed puzzle to complete. This is not what I call a fun Puzzle Quest experience. It was an immediate turn this game off moment.

I had the sequel on hand so I inserted the cartridge for Puzzle Quest 2. It was much more of the traditional fun game with additions that are much more welcome. There isn’t any timed puzzled, thankfully. I didn’t complete the game, but at least I had gotten my fill of Puzzle Quest in a more satisfying way.

Medal of Honor Heroes 2 was a first person shooter, as one would expect, but it’s on the PSP. Because of this everything hinges on how good the controls are. They’re…decent. It’s not a quick reflexes style of the recent Call of Duty titles on home consoles. It’s quite plodding to be very honest. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but it does mainly suffer from AI that can aim accurately. This is bad when you’re under a time limit to get out of a base that’s going to explode! This is precisely the scenario I was in when I hung this game’s boots up and moved on.

The game I moved onto was a 2019 released game, if you can believe it. It was The Ninja Saviors: Return of the Warriors. Not a new game in practice since the original version was from 1994 on the Super Nintendo. I love the original and this is definitely a worthy improvement. I’m not fond of the two new characters or that you can’t grab and throw the level 1 boss, but otherwise it’s excellent. The game didn’t need a two-player mode, but it’s done well enough with both players sharing the life and blaster (battery in the new version) meters.

Finally, I not only bought The Ninja Saviors: Return of the Warriors in the last month or so, but I was also given Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night by Usagi704 for Xmas. My total new games for the year of 2019 is a big ol’ seven.

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Hart & Usagi #97: Corsi Takes Leave

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In episode 97 we chat about Street Fighter V: Champion Edition, Google Stadia reviews, best 50 games of this decade, and more.

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

TOPICS:
* Sony Interactive Entertainment Global Second Party Games head Gio Corsi leaves PlayStation
* “A liar and a bully”: Blizzard’s company values no longer matter to protesting fans
* Overwatch Director Jeff Kaplan Just Threw in His Support for Blitzchung
* Blizzard president clarifies decision to ban Hearthstone player and two casters over Hong Kong controversy
* Street Fighter V: Champion Edition announced alongside DLC character Gill
* Leaked PlayStation 5 dev kit photo hits the internet
* Guilty Gear 20th Anniversary Pack coming to North America
* Google Stadia reviews round-up, all the scores
* The best video games of the decade – the top 50 games from 2010-2020, ranked

Listen or Download (42:45)

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Hart & Usagi Podcast at the Internet Archive

Matt: @HartKnight | HartKnight’s Archive

Mike: @usagi704 | Domain of Usagi704 | Instagram

@HartandUsagi

Hart & Usagi #96: Free Hong Kong

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In episode 96 we chat about Blizzard & the NBA censoring speech and banning players, PS4 cross-play, PlayStation 5 hardware details, and more.

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

TOPICS:
* Kenka Bancho: Badass Rumble
* Puzzle Quest 2 & Galactrix
* Blizzard Suspends Hearthstone Player For Voicing Support of Hong Kong Protests
* Blizzard Reduces Suspension of Hearthstone Player and Casters Following Community Outcry
* Blizzard cancels Overwatch Nintendo Switch launch event without providing a reason
* Blizzard bans US Hearthstone collegiate team after Hong Kong protest
* Epic CEO Tim Sweeney Takes Shot at Blizzard, Says Epic Supports Speech on “Politics and Human Rights”
* Over a decade later, Saints Row 2 is finally getting fixed on PC
* PlayStation 5 Is Official, Releasing Holiday 2020 With a New Controller and Hardware Accelerated Ray-Tracing
* PS4 system software update version 7.00 launches October 8, adds Party and Remote Play enhancements
* Both PS5 and Xbox Scarlett to feature cameras and a focus on streaming – report
* PS4 cross-play is out of beta despite no official announcements
* Counter-Strike deploys X-ray Scanner to get around loot box controversy in France
* Duke Nukem 3D composer Bobby Prince is suing Gearbox Software and Valve over his soundtrack

Listen or Download (1:08:12)

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Hart & Usagi Podcast at the Internet Archive

Matt: @HartKnight | HartKnight’s Archive

Mike: @usagi704 | Domain of Usagi704 | Instagram

@HartandUsagi

Sega Genesis Mini

Just as I did with the Super Nintendo Classic two years ago, I also bought into the hype of the Sega Genesis Mini that was released this year. It features basically the same number of options with double the amount of games. 42 games are included as opposed to the 21 available for the Super NES Classic. The main downside is having to shell out for additional six-button controllers since, in North America, only the three-button version ships with the console. Because of this the $80 price tag is actually higher with the need to add on $20-40 more. The inclusion of Street Fighter II: Special Champion Edition makes the lack of a packed in six-button controller very puzzling.

Speaking of SFIISCE, once I had dropped the extra $40, Usagi704 and I played many matches in the game. The emulation is slightly off and not noticeable in other games, but for a fighting game it can be a problem. This isn’t to say the work that M2 did here is bad. It most certainly is excellent, but it does overall seem a very small bit below their usual high quality work.

I’ll be also getting M2’s next big release next year as I will also be getting the TurboGrafx-16 Mini when it releases on March 19, 2020.

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Hart & Usagi #95: Football Manager Saving Humanity

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In episode 95 we chat about the Football Manager 2020 switching away from plastic cases, PowerA’s new controller, and our time playing X-Men: Mutant Academy and its sequel on PS1.

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

TOPICS:
* Football Manager 2020 Switches to Recycled Paper Cases out of Concern for Plastic Pollution
* PowerA’s Fusion Fightpad For Switch Has Been Inspired By The Sega Saturn Controller
* ‘Addictive’ video game features should be banned for children as they are ‘gateway to gambling’, Church of England warns
* E3 2020 pitch proposes overhaul with ‘queuetainment,’ new floor plan, industry-only day
* Yakuza series general director shares additional tidbits on Yakuza: Like a Dragon battle system
* Nintendo Switch Lite Finds Portable Perfection Without Losing Anything Important
* Microsoft Contractors Reportedly Heard You Talking to Your Kinect

Listen or Download (56:24)

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Hart & Usagi Podcast at the Internet Archive

Matt: @HartKnight | HartKnight’s Archive

Mike: @usagi704 | Domain of Usagi704 | Instagram

@HartandUsagi

Hart & Usagi #94: Action In An Elevator

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In episode 94 we chat about the Yakuza Remastered Collection, Tetris 99 coming to retail stores, and our time playing select games in Taito Legends 1 and 2 on the PlayStation 2.

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

TOPICS:
* Games Won’t Be Any Cheaper on the Google Stadia
* Tetris 99 For Nintendo Switch Coming To Physical Stores This Fall
* The Switch Mini Is Officially the Portable-Focused Switch Lite, Has Multiple Compromises Over Original Switch
* Bethesda’s Classic Doom Re-Release Requires a Bethesda Account
* Three New Street Fighter 5 Characters Leak Ahead Of Evo 2019
* Walmart is Quietly Removing Violent Video Game Advertising From Its Stores
* TurboGrafx-16 Mini Adds Seven More Games To Complete Lineup, Including Splatterhouse
* Phil Spencer Doesn’t Think That Cloud Systems Will Fully Replace Traditional Consoles Just Yet
* Sony Acquires Ratchet and Clank, Spider-Man Dev Insomniac Games
* Ion Fury Developer Donates $10,000 to Charity After Furor Over Transphobic Comments
* Yakuza Remastered Collection For PS4 Announced, Starting With Yakuza 3

Listen or Download (1:31:26)

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Hart & Usagi Podcast at the Internet Archive

Matt: @HartKnight | HartKnight’s Archive

Mike: @usagi704 | Domain of Usagi704 | Instagram

@HartandUsagi