Now Playing: March 2019

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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. :)

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Hart & Usagi #90: THQ

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Episode 90 is here with THQ’s lack of research. They could learn from others like Rep. Ocasio-Cortez.

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

TOPICS:
* Bungie splits with Activision, keeps control of Destiny
* How Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez wound up on a Donkey Kong 64 Twitch charity stream
* Capcom said Hideaki Itsuno could make Dragon’s Dogma 2, but he chose to make DMC5 first
* Pennsylvania considers a tax on violent videogames to help prevent school shootings
* Activision’s Plan to Cut Hundreds of Jobs Caps Tumultuous Week
* Capcom just added a buttload of its games’ soundtracks to Spotify
* Wrestler Booker T is suing Activision for allegedly putting his alter ego in Black Ops 4
* Tetris 99 is the Crucible That Will Make You a Better Tetris Player
* Xbox’s corporate vice president says criticism of game with exclusive Microsoft marketing deal is “whining”
* A single-player-only game like the original Uncharted “wouldn’t be a viable pitch today,” says Amy Hennig
* THQ Nordic Apologizes For Interview On Website Banned By Google

Listen or Download (1:07:51)

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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: November 2018

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So what have I been up to as far as video gaming is concerned in the month of November? Why is was Mirror’s Edge: Catalyst, of course. I’ve explained some of my thoughts on the game on the Hart & Usagi Podcast recently.

I felt that the open world style doesn’t suit the gameplay of Mirror’s Edge to my tastes as much. It does work in reality, but just not as much for me. I’d rather the linear level design of the first game over this. The combat is much better in that guns are mostly absent. Faith can’t use them and only one type of lower level enemy does use them. The heavy damage dealt with an attack after a wallrun, slide, or the like really feels good. If this sounds somewhat interesting of a game to you, certainly don’t let my mediocre feelings about it stop you from seeing it for yourself.

I only bothered with one other game during this same time period. It’s effectually, what I like to call, Kid Niki 2. This is because this is the sequel on the Famicom to what we got known as Kid Niki on the NES. It’s title is Kaiketsu Yancha Maru 2: Karakuri Land. I played Usagi704’s copy and, as he said beforehand, it’s easily finished on your first try. It’s enjoyable despite being a very average game.

The only other gaming related thing I did was watch Max on Twitch play the Blackout mode in Call of Duty: Black Ops 4. His skills along with something about the Call of Duty version of this battle royale phenomenon has been fun to view. I have no interest whatsoever to watch the other popular games or play any of them myself. Granted, I’m not that surprised I’ve watched him play this for hours and hours. In the past I’ve liked watching his regular Call of Duty multiplayer matches in previous games. So these two things are just great together. :)

Now Playing: August-October 2018

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So I’ve been playing these things called “video games” and I figured I’d tell you about some of them. :D

The Bourne Conspiracy follows the events of The Bourne Identity and adds a bit more to it to lengthen the game. You play just about every major and minor scene from the movie including the big car chase scene. That specific moment, however, is done poorly and is not all that fun. Luckily most of the game is beat-’em-up and shooting style of gameplay. There are opportunities for stealthy takedowns, but it’s not required and is the other part of the game that’s also not done all that well.

Speaking of stealthy gameplay, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2: Battle Nexus on the Game Boy Advance is much better at it than the above game. It’s also much more enjoyable than TMNT 2 on the main consoles of its time like the PlayStation 2. You have to find crystals throughout the levels, but you have to use each turtle because each have different abilities allowing you to access places the others can’t reach. The difficulty of combat is fairly easy, but it’s welcome in this way since the traversal is what keeps you wanting to play some more.

I finally got around to playing *the* Spider-Man game that gets all the praise since it’s 2004 release and that’s, obviously, Spider-Man 2. The praise is pretty much universally for the swinging abilities and it’s well deserved. But, that’s where it ends, in my opinion. The points needs to progress the story from menial rescues are very repetitive. I also didn’t enjoy most, if any, of the boss battles. I don’t dislike the game. I just wish it was as good as its reputation leads you to believe.

Of the four games I played in these last few months, Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End was the most fun. I liked the first two games quite a bit, and I still like them the most, but this game was a step up from the disappointment of Uncharted 3. Sam is a great companion and Sully’s dry wit is as welcome as always. The overall gameplay isn’t much different and that’s okay. It was good to begin with.

Hart & Usagi #80: Shadow of Logan

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Episode 80 of the Hart & Usagi Podcast is here! We chat about a variety of topics like the Nintendo Switch, recently played Syphon Filter: Logan’s Shadow, E3 now being open to the public, and more.

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

NEWS/TOPICS:
* Nintendo Switch Battery Life and Play Modes Confirmed
* Splatoon 2 Announced for Nintendo Switch, Due for Release This Summer
* Nintendo Switch Controllers Prices and Details
* Ultra Street Fighter 2 Announced for Switch, Has New Characters and Mode
* King of Fighters ’98, Metal Slug 3 and More Neo Geo Games Coming To Switch
* Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 Dated for Xbox One/PC, Physical Xbox One/PS4 Versions Coming
* Yakuza 0 Review Roundup
* Trump’s proposed trade tariff could impact the price of consoles, games in the US
* Trump’s Travel Policy: Video Game Industry Group Responds
* PS4 Patch 4.50’s Boost Mode Improves Games That Aren’t Pro-Enabled
* E3 is open to the public this year, 15,000 tickets go on sale Monday
* Steam Greenlight Is Dead, Long Live Steam Direct
* Mortal Kombat/Street Fighter Crossover Game Sounds Unlikely, But Not Ruled Out
* Nioh DLC And Free Updates Detailed
* Crash Bandicoot Trilogy Remaster May Not Be PS4 Exclusive
* Syphon Filter: Logan’s Shadow

Listen or Download (1:19:38)

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Hart & Usagi Podcast at the Internet Archive

Matt: @HartKnight | HartKnight’s Archive

Mike: @usagi704 | Domain of Usagi704

@HartandUsagi

The Movie Boys Best Their Buys

To take a line from Jim Sterling’s movie podcast, it’s time for the Movie Boys. I have here three new movie purchases.

First up is DOA: Dead or Alive. It’s over the top and ridiculous, but that’s to be expected if you know anything about the Dead or Alive gaming series (volleyballs and all). Kevin Nash as Bass Armstrong is the very best thing about this film. I watched it on a second viewing for him alone and it was totally worth it.

The Lost Boys was another movie I was reminded of by a review podcast. This one is called Say You Love Satan (and you know you do) and they talk about the horror genre. As you know, I’m not much into horror, but The Lost Boys is one movie that stuck with me that I saw growing up.

The third film is the 2003 remake of Freaky Friday starring Jamie Lee Curtis and Lindsay Lohan. I think Curtis steals the show here. Sadly I had to settle for the DVD release from the same year.

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Don’t think I forgot about the games because I got you covered. I was waiting for a good, cheap price for Grand Theft Auto V on the PS4, but it didn’t seem like it was ever going to happen. So I bought the used copy eStarland notified me about that they had in stock. I added Transformers: Devastation to complete the order.

Yesterday on Halloween I was at Best Buy and they had the 2016 Ratchet & Clank game for $20. I got it for $16 thanks to Usagi704 for letting me bum his membership off him for a quick moment.

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RE: E3 2016 Reactions

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Below are my thoughts on @ebbderelict’sE3 2016 Reactions” blog post.

• I own a number of Spider-Man games, but I’ve only really played Ultimate. Of course, Insomniac helming this new entry does seem promising.
• So much VR talk these days. It’s like the days of motion controls and stereoscopic 3D in gaming. I feel the need to be against it simply because it feels like it’s being forced on me. Utter crap, I say.
• I only played a little bit of the first Resident Evil. Despite that I have an appreciation of that game because of how much of an impact it had on the industry. I haven’t had any interest beyond that.
• I’m the same. I just want to read reviews of The Last Guardian. There’s nothing more they can really show.
• As I mentioned on the podcast, I don’t understand exactly how the Crash Bandicoot games can be legit remasters. You’d think it’d look particularly bad at a higher resolution than the original game releases. I’m fine with being proven wrong, but it feels simply like too much like a Halo Anniversary style of “remaster.”