Now Playing: March 2019


Since November I played and completed Mirror’s Edge: Catalyst, which was good, but it wasn’t the amazing experience I remember the original game being. I feel it side loaded a linear game into an open world style that it never needed.

I also played and beat Call of Duty: Black Ops. Oh what a mess that single player campaign was. I didn’t feel like I needed any skill to get through the levels. They were just a cavalcade of spectacle and little else. I never felt like my actions ever had an impact on anything that was going on. The game was setup in a way that with or without the player the levels were going to play out the same.

The last game I played was Borderland 2. If you played the first, as I did, then you were in for more of the same. I was hoping for more of a change in the game’s structure, but that was not to be. Any changes or additions made were minor and meaningless. I played it long enough to realize that doing everything was having it overstay its welcome. Eventually, I only did the story missions and skipped all optional ones (which were a ton). Even then it was too long when what I thought was going to be the final battle turned out to be a fake out. I was done at that point and that’s no fake out.

I’m not sure what I’ll be playing next, but I’m sure it’ll take longer than it otherwise would because that’s how I roll. :)

Merry Winter Solstice

Unlike in 2014 when I had been given lots of movies on Blu-ray for Xmas, this year it was mostly video games. The similarity between this year and that year is they’re all from my wish list. Upon thinking about it, I’m surprised all the games are from this last calendar year. I’m ready to load my BFG to take down the demonic mafia all the while raiding more tombs. Praise the sun!

Mafia III
Doom (2016)
Dark Souls III
Rise of the Tomb Raider


Hart & Usagi Podcast #61: Remastered


Remastering of last generation games — are they worth it? Free-to-play or Free-to-start — which is it? Also, we chat about Gamestop’s horrible recycling program, Nintendo going mobile, and Usagi704 purchases a Bloodborne PS4 faceplate…live! All this plus your feedback and more on episode 61 of the Hart & Usagi Podcast.

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

* Mega Man Creator’s Other 3DS Game Cancelled
* Senate Intelligence Committee Greenlights CISA
* FCC Inspector General launches investigation into agency’s rulemaking practices
* FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler Facing Congressional Scrutiny Over Net Neutrality This Week
* FCC faces first legal challenges to Open Internet Order changes
* Major Loophole To Combat Copyright Infringement Left In Open Internet Order
* GameStop isn’t cheap for throwing out game products, it’s just terrible at recycling
* First Details of Nintendo’s Next System, the ‘NX’
* Atari Lawyers Demand Vita Game TxK is Removed
* Konami Tries to Quietly Erase Hideo Kojima as It Continues to Bleed Talent
* PS4 Getting 1080p God of War 3 Remastered
* Don’t Expect More God of War PS4 Remasters, Sony Says
* Batman Arkham Duo Remastered for PS4 and Xbox One, Report Claims
* Borderlands 1 Could Come to Xbox One/PS4 If Fans Demand It
* Nintendo Mobile Dev Wants to Topple Candy Crush
* Here’s Why Nintendo’s CEO Dislikes the Term “Free-to-Play”
* Full Hard Drives Mean An Uncomfortable Digital Age For PS4 And Xbox One
* Dear Teacher, A Video Game Developer Is A Real Job And Should Be Celebrated

Listen or Download (1:55:44)

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Hart & Usagi Podcast at the Internet Archive

Matt: @HartKnight | HartKnight’s Archive

Mike: @usagi704 | WP blog



Game of the Year 2013


It’s now time for the big award. My Game of the Year award. Three games stood out to me, but only one takes the glory home.

The praise BioShock Infinite got around the time of its release was well deserved as it all worked well together and the game was fun to play. The sudden turn against it later in the year made little sense. It was just a bunch of sheep afraid to continue liking the game because somebody else had a problem with something minor in the story. Sure it’s not perfect, but no video game is in that department. Regardless I enjoyed my time with BioShock Infinite.

In October I played Dark Souls for my Halloween gaming event. It was a fantastic expansion of what From Software started on the PlayStation 3 with Demon’s Souls. I was a bit confused on how to build a good character and ended up sticking with mostly magic attacks as I did in the previous game. Gwyn went down to my Soul Spears.

The winner, as if you didn’t already know what game it was thanks to the above graphic, and my Game of the Year is Sleeping Dogs. This was a game I played in December and I love it. It was suggested by NiceGuyNeon who said he knew I’d love it. And that I did. This was one of those middle-of-the-road titles, as I like to call them, where the production values may not be the greatest in all areas like a Grand Theft Auto game, but it does do things wonderfully where it needs to. A highly recommended game for those looking for a kung-fu fun time!

Thanks for reading my awards posts and if you missed any you can check them out under the “goty2013” tag.

Have a good one!

Hart & Usagi Podcast #39: The Illest


The Hart & Usagi Podcast episode 39 brings you a lively discussion on the issue of a distributor blacklisting Indian gaming website Illgaming, story vs. gameplay, progress in Dark Souls, among other topics. Please join HartKnight (me), usagi704, and our guest lightnarcissus as we get to the bottom of Ludo Discobiscuits.

* The Ugly Truth
* Game OverThinker: Episode 88 – GTA V IS NOT A SATIRE (PROBABLY)
* Hart & Usagi Podcast #31: BioShock Infinite
* Story vs. Gameplay
* How Typing of the Dead: Overkill survived its studio’s apocalypse
* Dark Souls
* DualShock 4 (and PS3 compatibility)
* Ultra Street Fighter 4 adds ‘Ultra Combo Double’ and ‘Red Focus Attack’ mechanics

Listen or Download (1:56:37)
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Hart & Usagi Podcast at the Internet Archive
@usagi704 | WP blog
@lightnarcissus | Narcissist Reality

Power Rangers, Angelina Jolie, and Jackie Fucking Chan!


A recent sale on used games at eStarland where you get $10 off of $40 or more gave me an incentive to tackle my wish list and get some games off of it. I did so with the Nintendo DS titles Power Rangers: Super Legends and Space Invaders Extreme 2 along with Castle Shikigami III for Wii.

Locally I also bought Power Rangers Samurai on DS and a new copy of Borderlands 2. I wouldn’t have bought Borderlands 2 already, but I had a lame Sprint rebate card to use up. Next time send a check.

Over on the movie front I bought Blu-ray copies of Mr. & Mrs. Smith, Dances with Wolves (20th Anniversary), and Tomb Raider. I really liked Dances with Wolves more than I thought I would after the 3-hour version and then I saw the 4-hour version and I was still captivated. This is what lead me to seek out this edition on BD.

Move over BD because here comes DVD and it brings a third helping of Angelina Jolie in Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life. I also picked up Jackie Chan: 3 Film Collection for the purpose of wanting to see Project A. It was quite the entertaining film and as a bonus I also get Project A2 and Dragon Lord. All three movies have Jackie Chan playing the character of Dragon and were all directed by him.


Hart & Usagi Podcast #31: BioShock Infinite


Welcome one and all to a new episode of the Hart and Usagi Podcast. This is episode 31 and I, along with returning guests SonicHomeboy and lightnarcissus, talk about our experiences playing BioShock Infinite.

We do reveal things you might not want to know about if you haven’t played the game to the finish. However, if you’re still interested in what we have to say, then I suggest downloading this episode and saving it until you complete the game. This way you won’t miss out on our thoughts.

Enjoy the episode!

Sorry about the audio quality during part of the show.

Listen/Download (1:24:23)
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* BioShock Infinite
* Strife

Now Playing: May 2013


I played a bunch of games over the month of May. A majority of them were multiplayer sessions with SonicHomeboy and/or Usagi704. Check out this blog post entitled, fittingly so, Much Multiplayer, to read up on my time with Super Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition, Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers: The Movie for Genesis, Mortal Kombat Arcade Kollection, and Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix.

The last two and a half weeks have consisted mainly of BioShock Infinite. I would cover it now, but this Tuesday will be a new recording of the Hart and Usagi Podcast. This will be where SonicHomeboy, lightnarcissus, and I will be talking in depth about this amazing game. Listen in, won’t you?

Back to multiplayer gaming, I played another three fighting games against Usagi. They were JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure HD Ver., Fatal Fury: Wild Ambition, and The King of Fighters ’98.

Just to get this one out of the way, the Fatal Fury game is decent, but lacks enough polish that playing vs. others isn’t much fun.

I actually had much more fun playing JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure and I know nothing about the anime or this game. I chose to play as Black Polnareff simply because I like his theme music. As it turned out the character is also easy to pick up and play. I had a few surprising wins which I can only attribute to my knowledge of many other Capcom fighting titles. I would definitely play Usagi again.

The King of Fighters ’98 was specifically the original PlayStation Japanese port downloaded from PSN. There’s a reason why this game holds up after 15 years. It’s because the game is damn glorious! If you want to play KoF ’98, and I suggest that you do, by all means pick up a copy of The King of Fighters ’98: Ultimate Match. It’s an even better version!

That’ll do it for me as of this moment. Don’t forget to check out the upcoming BioShock Infinite special of the Hart & Usagi Podcast!


Now Playing: April 2013


I don’t always play a ton of games throughout a month, but it has been known to happen. As I mentioned in my “5 Favorite Android Apps” blog post over a week ago, I had good reasons to not be playing much. With that said it’s time to talk about the three games I did play.

My favorite part of Resistance 2 is the online co-op mode. I probably haven’t played it since 2010, but when a GPY event for Call of Duty 4 was screwed up because of Punkbuster not allowing for more than one player from the same IP address, we all switched to Resistance 2. It was just three of us, Usagi704 (Medic), madtyger (Soldier), and myself (Special Ops), but we each played our roles well and prevailed more often than not.

G.I. Joe was another game I played this month. I joined Usagi on MAME to “duke” it out with Cobra in this 1992 arcade title by Konami. If you remember their 1988 game Devastators, then this is pretty much the same thing, but with the G.I. Joe license and much improved in the gameplay department. Duke, Scarlett, Roadblock, and Snake Eyes are selectable. You fight against Metal-Head, The Baroness, the Crimson Twins, Major Bludd, Destro, and Cobra Commander as the bosses. I found it a lot of fun to go back and revisit this arcade classic. I’d love to see it get the X-Men treatment for PSN/XBL.

BioShock Infinite. Now where do I start with this one? I had zero interest in the series before this third entry was released. It’s not easy to miss talk about the series if you visit gaming sites regularly. So obviously I knew quite a bit about BioShock history, but I didn’t go out of my way to care about Infinite.

It wasn’t until the reviews started to roll in that I started to read and hear things I really liked. I’ve had surprisingly fun games come out of nowhere before, but nothing like this. Nothing like wanting to gladly pay the full price of $60. BioShock Infinite made it happen.

The gameplay itself is good. Shooting is fun and the controls make sense. All of that is as expected and of the norm. What took me by surprise was the story. It’s very much set in a highly religious place where racism runs rampant. This crap in real life just ticks me the hell off therefore I knew I was going to enjoy breaking necks or whatever else the game would let me do to these scumbags.

I played for about 55 minutes searching around and listening to the dialog of the people of Columbia all before ever being given a weapon. It was the best buildup ever in a game. Pro wrestling only wishes they could compete with this these days. When it was time to give a baseball a toss I didn’t hesitate for a second to place the ball hard into the announcer’s balls. I think if you let BioShock Infinite’s story take you in from the start, then the choice you make with the baseball, during your first time through, will show what type of person you really are in real life.

I’m currently at the Monument Tower and welcome more of this game without any resistance.

On a side note, I’m planning on doing a reveal all podcast episode for BioShock Infinite once I’ve finished it. If you’ve completed the game and wish to throw your name in the hat for a possible guest appearance on the Hart & Usagi Podcast, then just drop me a line via GameSpot PM or Twitter DM.

Thanks for reading!


DSi Xtreme

If I didn’t have enough Tomb Raider in my life, I bought Tomb Raider II on the original PlayStation. I had an extra copy of the PSP version of God of War: Ghost of Sparta and traded it in in the same visit. I was looking to get the Tomb Raider Trilogy for PS3, but It’s About Games didn’t have any of it. Either way I was walking out with some Tomb Raider.

My pick up of Bioshock Infinite was a simple reason of too awesome sounding to pass up. Bonus is the original Bioshock on the PS3 version. I got it yesterday and plan to play it soon.

More classic TV in Xena: Warrior Princess (Season 1) and Heroes (Seasons 1-2). All three season sets are in the same single DVD case from 4-6 discs each. I love that! The previously bought Hercules season was the same.

The other two items within the last two weeks (not pictured) is a PS2 component cable and a used DSi XL (Burgundy). The latter is complete and was from and in excellent condition for $110. The only thing I’ve done on it is Twitter and I noticed the wi-fi in this thing is quite amazing compared to the DS Lite.

It’s been rich. Peace! :D