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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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. :)

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. :)

Mastering The Remaster

On the previous episode of the Hart & Usagi Podcast, we talked about our excitement to revisit the classic racing game Burnout Paradise with Burnout Paradise Remastered. Well since then I purchased said game and completed it to a platinum trophy with some other goals in between. I can say that the experience hasn’t diminished in the last decade. It’s still as fun as ever. My only disappointment, a minor one, I can think of is that the graphics don’t look all that much better. I guess it just goes to show how amazing the game looked in 2008 that there wasn’t much need for improvement.

Onto other purchases as of late: Puyo Puyo Tetris and Yakuza 6: The Song of Life. The former is the best way to get a Tetris game on a current system. I’ve never been a fan of color matching games like Puyo Puyo so I did buy this title simply for one-half of what it brings which is only the greatest puzzle game ever in Tetris!

The latter was released just last week and while I just started playing Yakuza 4, I couldn’t wait on buying the sixth game. I always do this with the Yakuza series because of how difficult they become to find after not too long.

That’s it for the moment and as always thanks for reading!

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Hart & Usagi #85: 3 Crude Dudes

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On episode 85 of the Hart & Usagi Podcast we welcome back Dan to the show and chat about a variety of topics like the resurgence of using video games as a scapegoat, anticipating the soon to be released Burnout Paradise remaster, Demon’s Souls fans efforts to keep the game alive, and more.

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

TOPICS:
* President Trump’s Video Games Meeting Included A Violent Game Montage
* The NRA Has a Long History of Scapegoating Violent Video Games
* All the Times Video Games Have Been Linked to Violence
* Trump Raises Issue Of Video Game And Movie Violence, Suggests Ratings Board Is Needed
* Kentucky Governor Suggests Violent Video Games Are Responsible for Mass Shootings
* Demon’s Souls Fans Are Already Testing Private Servers, Here’s How to Join Them
* Free PS3 And PS Vita Games Not Included In PS Plus From 2019
* ESRB Takes Action on Loot Boxes by Creating New Label
* Konami Is Charging Real Money For ‘Metal Gear Survive’ Save Slots
* Burnout Paradise Remastered Microtransaction Listing Is A Mistake, Says EA
* Street Fighter 5’s New DLC Character Release Date Confirmed, See Blanka In Action
* Switch overtakes Wii U lifetime sales as Super Mario Odyssey hits 9 million units sold
* Battlefront II Misses Sales Expectations, Microtransactions Will Return ‘In The Next Few Month’

Listen or Download (1:40:34)

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Hart & Usagi Podcast at the Internet Archive

Matt: @HartKnight | HartKnight’s Archive

Mike: @usagi704 | Domain of Usagi704

Dan: @6h05tly

@HartandUsagi

Hart & Usagi #83: Rip Into It

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Episode 83 of the Hart & Usagi Podcast is here! We chat about a variety of topics like new fighting game guest characters, Sony to publish Switch games, loot boxes, and more.

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

TOPICS:
* Nintendo Changes SNES Classic Mini Plans, Supply Will Continue Into 2018
* Street Fighter V: Arcade Edition launches on January 16th, 2018
* Tekken 7’s Next DLC Character Is Final Fantasy 15’s Noctis
* New Injustice 2 DLC Characters Will Include Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
* Fighting EX Layer’s online beta will be available to PlayStation Plus members
* Nintendo Shutting Down The Wii Shop Channel in 2019
* Counterpoint: People Think Campo Santo is Dangerous for Issuing PewDiePie a DMCA Takedown, They’re Not
* IGN’s Purchase of Video Game Publisher Humble Bundle Raises Business Concerns
* Sony Is Publishing Nintendo Switch And PC Games Under New Label
* Opinion: Nominating PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds for Game of the Year is a Terrible Idea
* GameStop “Temporarily Pauses” its PowerPass Used Game Lending Service
* Metabombed: Star Wars Battlefront II Is ‘The Epitome Of Years Of Corporate Greed’
* Belgium Concludes that Loot Boxes are Gambling, Will Try and Ban Them in Europe
* The ESA Pushes Back, Loot Boxes “Are Not Gambling”

Listen or Download (1:12:19)

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Hart & Usagi Podcast at the Internet Archive

Matt: @HartKnight | HartKnight’s Archive

Mike: @usagi704 | Domain of Usagi704

@HartandUsagi

Super Combo of Revenge

Recently I had bought three new games. One was a retail release of Mirror’s Edge Catalyst for the PlayStation 4. The other two were from the PlayStation Network. Those were Fu’un Super Combo, consisting of the fighting games Savage Reign and Kizuna Encounter: Super Tag Battle. This was originally a PS2 compilation released in Japan in 2007.

The final game purchased was Double Dragon II: The Revenge. This is the Hamster emulated arcade game original.

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