Now Playing: February 2017


Since I checked in last month with you guys it’s only gotten hotter. It’s February and it’s 71°F as I type this. Unbearable! Despite the fact we’re all going to melt and drown in the rising ocean waters, I’ll try to fill you in on what I was playing recently.

Since last time I had continued to play and subsequently finished Bujingai: The Forsaken City. My thoughts are the same in that it’s a fun action title with a few “huh?” moments. Bujingai comes recommended by me despite it’s faults.

Right after I started to play Die Hard Trilogy 2: Viva Las Vegas on the original PlayStation. It was unlike the first Die Hard Trilogy in that it’s not fun. The gameplay is more in the style of Tomb Raider and Duke Nukem: Time To Kill. It doesn’t work here. It’s too easy to die and there weren’t any mid-level checkpoints. Unfinished forever is fine by me. Moving on…

Back on the PlayStation 2, I played around ten levels of Manhunt 2. It was satisfying to sneak around and take out all of these “bad dudes.” What was less exciting was to have to use melee or firearms against enemies that noticed you. Manhunt 2 does have mid-level checkpoints and save points which helped me get as far as I did. However, some levels just required a bit too much on engagement with guns leaving me wondering where all the stealth went. The controls don’t lend themselves to being a shooter and these sections proved that. The game does have some merit so I don’t regret my time with it. It’s just doesn’t deserve any more.

I then dusted off and charged up my PSP for the next game, Syphon Filter: Logan’s Shadow. I didn’t get far into Syphon Filter: Dark Mirror years ago, but Logan’s Shadow looks to be easier to handle. I’m certainly impressed with the quality of the graphics on display here. Other than that there’s not much to say since I’m still only on the first episode. Wish me luck in seeing this one through.

Game on!


Catch My Spending If You Can


Another week and another load of new additions to the collection.

First up is seven Blu-rays and the first one, Bronson Triple Threat Collection, includes the middle three of the five Death Wish movies. DWII feels like the first film done again and not as good. DW3 is hilariously over the top with a large body count. Death Wish 4: The Crackdown is a mediocre late ’80s action piece. Some of Charles Bronson’s best work is in the original version of The Mechanic and the first Death Wish.

More DVD to Blu-ray upgrades with the fantastic Catch Me If You Can, the missing two Die Hard movies (Die Hard and With A Vengeance), along with Saving Private Ryan.

I also got my first copy ever of Schwarzenegger’s Commando and Inglourious Basterds with the best performance from Christoph Waltz. To paraphrase Jack Palance from Tango & Cash: “Oh, God. Christoph Waltz. How he loves to dance. He waltzes in and steals all the scenes he’s in, then tangos back out again.”

And now for a game? May I present a spur-of-the-moment purchase of Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris. I was interested in the previous game, but I never did get around to it. This one, however, was apart of a flash sale on the PlayStation Network for $8.00. This sale ends today and has a number of other great deals. Here’s some highlights of the 60 titles (many of which are fighting games).

* All three PS1 versions of the Street Fighter Alpha series are $1.20 each.
* Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix is $2.00.
* Virtua Fighter 5: Final Showdown – Complete Edition is $6.00.
* Guilty Gear Xrd is $24.00 and $20.00 for PS4 and PS3, respectively.
* PS2 classic Capcom vs. SNK 2 is $2.50.
* PS4’s Knack is $10.00.

Purchase and download while the prices are good. And don’t forget to listen to either of my podcasts below while doing your PSN shopping. :)


HART & USAGI PODCAST #59 – February 11th 2015 (@HartandUsagi)
HartKnight and usagi704 chat Joystiq, Sega, the latest on Net Neutrality and more.


SPACE SUPLEX #15 – January 27th 2015 (@SpaceSuplex)
HartKnight and 24bitAJE chat the Royal Rumble and Wrestle Kingdom 9 shows.

More Games, More Movies, More Fun!

I’m sure everybody has seen Guardians of the Galaxy by now. I’ve heard many times of people saying it is their favorite of the Marvel films to have come out. I would have to agree. And who would have thought that a movie featuring a team of unknown heroes to the general audience would go over as well as it has? I can tell you why. It’s because of the fantastic dialog scenes and character development throughout its 121 minutes of action. In fact, my favorite scenes are all where the main cast just talks to each other. My favorite line in the movie is when Drax says “Nothing goes over my head! My reflexes are too fast, I would catch it.”

Two other movies I got were Die Harder 2: Die Harder and Detonator II: Night Watch. We all know the former. It’s a Blu-ray upgrade. Something I’ve been doing for a little while now. The latter is based on the book entitled “Night Watch.” It stars Pierce Brosnan before he first took the role of James Bond in 1995. However, the movie was released after Goldeneye which is why it has the silly tagline of “Action and espionage share a common bond.” Another silly thing is Brosnan sporting a beard and mustache and the nonsense story his character is involved in. I found the whole thing a fun so-bad-it’s-good romp when I got it on VHS many years ago. So in a way this is also an upgrade, but to DVD instead.


New games are also here as well. I finally got the last game I want for the Wii. I was able to get Super Smash Bros. Brawl and I did so via eStarland. I also bought four memory cards. Two for PS1 and two for PS2. The PS2 cards were below $5 each, but they had to be the transparent red color to get that price.

Another game I got was for the PlayStation 4 and it’s the Ultimate Edition of Injustice: Gods Among Us. This would be my fifth game for a system I still don’t own. When will I get said system? *shrugs*


Hart & Usagi Podcast #9


Episode nine of the Hart & Usagi Podcast is now available with returning special guest SonicHomeboy. The total time is just under an hour. Enjoy!

* Key Bank check cashing
* Best Buy DVD return (back of case)
* Defective Street Fighter controllers
* Ocean Marketing meme explodes
* Christmas gifts
* Movies recently rewatched

Listen or Download

Gifts of X-mas 2008


Here’s the gifts that I received for Christmas this year!

I got a total of eight games, one downloadable game and seven retail games.

Lightening Force: Quest For the Darkstar (GEN)
Die Hard Trilogy 2: Viva Las Vegas (PS)
Syphon Filter: Logan’s Shadow (PSP)
Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare (PS3)
Bujingai: The Forsaken City (PS2)
The King of Fighters Collection – The Orochi Saga (PS2)
Manhunt 2 (PS2)
Castlevania Chronicles (PSN)


Every year my family puts up two trees. Take a look at the pictures of those trees below.

Christmas Tree (Family Room)
Christmas Tree (Living Room)

Have a happy holiday season!

1996 Game of the Year


There was a number of great games to be released in 1996. I don’t require the games to be played at the time of release to be considered for nomination. However, this time I did play all 11 games that I chose. The final list of five were played quite a bit. Here they are.

Crash Bandicoot (PS)
Die Hard Trilogy (PS)
Duke Nukem 3D (PC)
Street Fighter Alpha 2 (PS)
Twisted Metal 2 (PS)

1996 Game of the Year: Duke Nukem 3D
Runner-up: Twisted Metal 2

Hail to the king, baby. Duke Nukem 3D kept me gaming on the PC during the mid-1990s. It was the reason for me also playing some other decent PC games like Shadow Warrior, Final Doom, and Strife.

At the time I only rented Twisted Metal 2, but I had lots of fun with it. I even played as the boss Minion with the help of the GameShark. I eventually did buy the game and I still own that copy today.

Other games that could have been nominated: Disruptor, Loaded, Metal Slug, Mortal Kombat Trilogy, Resident Evil, and Strife.

Previous entries: 1985 | 1986 | 1987 | 1988 | 1989 | 1990 | 1991 | 1992 | 1993 | 1994 | 1995

Pick 5: Addicting Games


Since there hasn’t been a new Pick 5 feature on GameSpot since back in late July, I figured I’d do a new one myself. This one is about games that were so addicting at one point in time that you kept coming back to it and no other game could take you away from it. Here’s my five most addicting games of all time.

1. Burnout 3: Takedown (PS2)
The first game on this list provided the excitement that no other racing game before it had at the time. I played a lot of Need For Speed III, but once I started playing Burnout 3 nothing was better. And I still believe that to this day. Its sequel, Burnout Revenge, didn’t get me playing it nearly as much. For such a series, I feel it’s actually worse off to give more than one direction to drive on a given track. The point is to battle for position and if there’s more than one direction that just splits up the pack and decreases the excitement. At least it did for me. That’s why I choose Burnout 3: Takedown!

2. Counter-Strike: Condition Zero (PC)
Everybody at this point has at least heard of Counter-Strike. I started playing the Half-Life mod during the Beta 7.0 version. Not long after it was picked up by Valve Software and I’ve since become less of a fan of it. So you can imagine I wasn’t taken in by Counter-Strike: Condition Zero…at first. It took a speed run of the Deleted Scenes portion of the game to get me excited about it. Once I was finished watching that I ordered the game through Steam. I wasn’t hooked on the main part of the game since it was basically the online game with bots and extra objectives. I played the Deleted Scenes missions many times to where I created save points right after the annoyingly long intros to each level.

3. Die Hard Trilogy (PS)
At the time of this game’s release I was really into the Die Hard movies. So when this game came recommended by GamePro (subscribed at the time) I was all about it. The first game on the disc was a third-person shooter, the second game was a light gun game, and the third game was a bomb-finding driving game. The games were fun, but even more so once I was using the cheat codes. The third game is so much more fun if you don’t have a timer consistently nagging you. :P

4. Mercenaries (PS2)
When I first saw Mercenaries in action I knew for the most part that I’d enjoy the game. However, I didn’t realize just how much that would end up being true. Total chaotic destruction is the name of the game and I loved every second of it! Also, cheat codes that would let you stand in the middle of a huge explosion and not die. Now who wouldn’t love that?

5. Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time (PS2) and Prince of Persia: Warrior Within (PS2)
At first I only bought The Sands of Time to see if I’d like the game enough to purchase its two sequels. Sure enough I did enjoy the first game to the point where I finished it four times in a row. I then bought the next two games and played through both of them twice. I didn’t find the combat in the third game, The Two Thrones, to be as exciting as the previous two games since it expected you to use the speed kill system more often than not. I went back to Warrior Within and finished it two more times. Talk about a series that totally had me enthralled.