Hart & Usagi Podcast #51: Pile of Secrets

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On this edition of the Hart & Usagi Podcast we welcome back JiibayDan to chat about favorite controllers, 25th anniversary of the Genesis, and some hot Tetris pillow action.

Enjoy the show and remember to subscribe and follow the Hart & Usagi Podcast today!

NEWS/TOPICS:
* Castlevania: Symphony of the Night
* USgamer Community Question: What’s Your All-Time Favorite Controller?
* Sony: ‘EA Access’ Offers No Value to PS4 Owners
* Report: GameStop Changing Game Trade-In Program
* The Greatest Games for NES: 1988-89
* Microsoft Still Bullish on Kinect
* If Tetris Were Made Out Of Pillows
* Poll: What Should ‘Night Trap’ Have Been Rated?
* Debunked: Most Downloaded Games Per State Not What It Claims To Be
* Happy 25th birthday, Sega Genesis
* Playtotle 001: Character Design

Listen or Download (2:18:05)
Subscribe!
Hart & Usagi Podcast at the Internet Archive
Matt: @HartKnight | HartKnight’s Archive
Mike: @usagi704 | WP blog
Dan: @JiibayDan | That Dan Stinehart Blog | ~Natively Awkward

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Hart & Usagi Podcast #49: EA’s Uncomfortable With Change

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On this edition of the Hart & Usagi Podcast we talk about how awesome Platinum Games is and how much EA isn’t. We also give our thoughts on what being an “indie” game is. All this and more can be yours with a simple download of the episode below.

Enjoy the show and remember to subscribe and follow the Hart & Usagi Podcast today!

NEWS/TOPICS:
* Assassin’s Creed IV, Code of Princess, Shovel Knight, and Klonoa: Empire of Dreams reviews
* Phil Spencer: Consumers love Kinect, they’ll still buy it
* Microsoft Arc and Logitech K750 keyboards
* The Legend of Korra: as told by Bayonetta dev Platinum Games
* Gamers Uncomfortable with Change, Says EA’s Peter Moore
* EA Mobile Says Dungeon Keeper May Have ‘Innovated Too Much’
* It’s Impossible to Define “Indie” So We Should Stop Using It Altogether
* The Best and Worst Character Reboots and Redesigns
* The Greatest Games for NES: 1985-87

Listen or Download (1:51:16)
Subscribe!
Hart & Usagi Podcast at the Internet Archive
Matt: @HartKnight | HartKnight’s Archive
Mike: @usagi704 | WP blog

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@HartandUsagi

Hart & Usagi Podcast #47: A Fascinating Medium

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Despite the heat HartKnight and Usagi704 are back with episode 47 of the Hart and Usagi Podcast! Do we have a show for you? Absolutely. We welcome ebbderelict back for a fourth time and talk about Tetris being the greatest game ever and how maybe Super Mario Bros. isn’t. There’s also more sad excuses for microtransactions and an unlikely opponent of the FCC.

Enjoy the show and remember to subscribe and follow the Hart and Usagi Podcast today!

NEWS/TOPICS:
* God of War: Ascension multiplayer
* Video games are the most fascinating medium ever created, David Cage says
* The FarCry Racism Adventure
++ Mark Cuban: “I’m A Prejudiced Bigot”
* Congressman Funded by Telecommunications Campaign Cash Proposes Bill to Stop FCC’s Net Neutrality Plans
* Own a Piece of Gaming History When Recovered E.T. Games go on Sale
* Hyperkin Retron 5 Review
* 15 Must-Have Games for 3DS Virtual Console
* Game Genie Was More Than The Sum of its Cheat Codes
* Grand Theft Auto Parent Publisher Defends Microtransactions
* Watch Dogs: Finding Morality in Useless Information

Listen or Download (1:44:26)
Subscribe
Hart & Usagi Podcast at the Internet Archive
Matt: @HartKnight | HartKnight’s Archive
Mike: @usagi704 | WP blog
Steve: @ebbderelict | Blog at ipernity

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@HartandUsagi

Best On NES

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If you’ve played some of the arcade games by Konami and/or Capcom, you’ve probably noticed some of the differences between those and the later home versions of the same games on the NES. Granted some of the differences might be minor, but those changes still make all of the difference in the cosmos.

When looking for some examples of these differences, one can easily see it in Ninja Gaiden. The thing with Ninja Gaiden is that the arcade beat-’em-up and the NES action platformer were likely developed at roughly the same time. Another game mentioned by JiibayDan was Dragon Spirit. I don’t know enough about the game to know if it had a better home port.

I recently played and finished the NES version of Jackal. This Konami game was originally an arcade game which I never saw or played until I briefly tried it out via MAME. The differences in this title are mostly in the controls of the jeep the player uses. Popping off a grenade takes a fraction of a second longer than on the NES. Because of this it doesn’t always fly in the direction you intend it to. This is the sole reason why Jackal is best on the NES.

Another game which also has smaller changes is Gun Smoke (That’s right, I don’t type it as “Gun.Smoke.”). The differences here is mainly the difficulty. There’s four fewer stages, smaller amounts of enemies, and your quarters stay in your pocket. :D Shops were added to the game to make the money displayed at the top of the screen mean more than just as a score. The music is also better too!

Bionic Commando is up next and this is one NES game that is known and loved far and wide. If you’ve ever played the arcade game, then you truly are familiar with probably one of the greatest examples of best on the NES. The graphics are artistically better, there’s a fleshed out story, and the damn thing just controls great! There’s also more variety in this version than compared to its quarter-munching cousin.

Finally there’s two Konami games which are some of my personal favorites of all time. They are the pair of run-‘n-gun titles Contra and Super C! I’ve played a bit more of the arcade original than that of Super Contra, but both of them run off of the same hardware and therefore had pretty much the same issues. The vertical screen didn’t help with the view of oncoming enemies. When aiming in a different direction while shooting you needed to wait a few seconds for the bullets to feel like it. I also felt that the arcade versions color palette was drab.

Best on the NES fits Contra and Super C well. The problems with the arcade versions were dealt with perfection. More stages were added and lengthened, but the challenge is very much still there. The difference being that the precise controls make it possible to have the character do what you want. There’s no more of the nonsense waiting for the bullets to go in the direction you intend them to. All you have to worry about on the NES is where and how much of Red Falcon’s ass to kick!

If you have any other potentially fun arcade games which, once on the NES (or another system), finally paid off on that potential, please, by all means, regale me with your story below.

Game of the Year 2013 – Favorite Guilty Pleasure

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This year for my awards I thought I’d try doing a single blog post for each award. I realize this might be a good idea or the worst I’ve ever done, but here it goes anyway.

Of all the games I’ve played in 2013 a few were fun enough to where I enjoyed them much more than the average person. The number one title to do this for me was Bionic Commando. No, not the NES game. Obviously that’s a classic and nobody would consider it something to feel guilty for playing. This honor goes to the 2009 release.

Yes, the new Bionic Commando does have it’s shortcomings, but everybody seems to forget the original 1988 classic has the same problems. They’re both forgettable stories with weak gun mechanics and are very linear. You don’t play the NES game for these things. You play them for the sweet, sweet arm swinging platforming. In this regard the game is a success in both eras.

Games Finished In 2013

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The list below shows every game that I finished in 2013. The total number comes to 36. That’s down 15 from 2012.

November proved to be the best month for beating games with 8 in total thanks to TMNT Month with a monthly average of 3.

When it comes to earning those fancy trophies, I was able to earn 226 last year.

1. Double Dragon Neon (PSN) – 1/2
2. Street Fighter II: Champion Edition (VC) – 1/11
3. Batman (NES) – 1/30
4. Bionic Commando (PS3) – 2/24
5. Shatter (PSN) – 3/6
6. Rocket Knight (PSN) – 3/10
7. Tomb Raider: Legend (PSP) – 3/15
8. G.I. Joe (ARC) – 4/11
9. Resistance 2 (PS3) – 4/13
10. Super Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition (PS3) – 4/26
11. Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers: The Movie (GEN) – 5/4
12. Mortal Kombat Arcade Kollection (PSN) – 5/5
13. Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix (PSN) – 5/5
14. JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure HD Ver. (PSN) – 5/22
15. The King of Fighters ’98 (PSN) – 5/22
16. BioShock Infinite (PS3) – 5/25
17. F.E.A.R. 3 (PS3) – 6/21
18. X-Men (PSN) – 7/10
19. Streets of Rage 2 (PSN) – 8/9
20. Tomb Raider: Underworld via The Tomb Raider Trilogy (PS3) – 8/11
21. Dragon Warrior via Dragon Warrior I & II (GBC) – 8/21
22. Marvel Ultimate Alliance (PS2) – 8/31
23. Dragon’s Crown (PS3) – 9/20
24. Splatterhouse (TG-16) – 10/22
25. Dark Souls (PS3) – 11/8
26. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Fall of the Foot Clan (GB) – 11/9
27. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: Back from the Sewers (GB) – 11/11
28. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (PS2) – 11/12
29. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2: Battle Nexus (PS2) – 11/20
30. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 3: Mutant Nightmare (PS2) – 11/23
31. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Turtles In Time via Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 3: Mutant Nightmare (PS2) – 11/23
32. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Tournament Fighters (SNES) – 11/25
33. The Mark of Kri (PS2) – 12/3
34. Kirby’s Dream Land 2 via Kirby’s Dream Collection (WII) – 12/7
35. Sleeping Dogs (PS3) – 12/13
36. Space Invaders Extreme 2 (DS) – 12/25

Top 18 Middle-of-the-Road Video Games

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Today’s video game industry doesn’t care much for the modest budgeted titles of just the last generation. The focus is always on the gimmicky no-budget or the all sizzle no steak of the million dollar titles.

What I’m going to focus on here is my favorite eighteen mid-tier games I’ve played. These will be listed without description, but they will have reviews linked for more information. These aren’t usually the best rated games, but if you go in being forgiving of some of the faults you’ll no doubt find, then you may just realize you’re enjoying yourself. But who am I kidding. It’s not like we’d want that to happen. Let’s get to it.

* Batman Begins
* Black
* Guitar Hero
* The Incredible Hulk: Ultimate Destruction
* Kill Switch
* Klonoa 2: Lunatea’s Veil
* Mercenaries
* Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks
* NightFire
* Stuntman Ignition
* The Warriors

* Bionic Commando
* Conan
* Demon’s Souls
* Lost Planet: Extreme Condition
* Mirror’s Edge
* Viking: Battle for Asgard
* X-Men Origins: Wolverine