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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Now Playing: May-December 2016

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In the latter half of 2016 I played a number of games. Doom 3, Max Payne 3, Saints Row IV’s expansion, Infamous 2, Crysis 3, etc. I’m currently on Watch Dogs for the last month and I’ve been enjoying it more than most people did. I’m with Jim Sterling on this game and it’s fun for what it is. I haven’t been expecting more from it. My thoughts on other games are as follows.

I started out playing Doom 3. It was much better than I thought it would be, but it’s still a bit cliche for the gotcha type of horror it went for. However, I did like it and I felt the pace was a small amount faster in the expansions of Resurrection of Evil and The Lost Mission. Those were a welcome addition.

Then I moved onto Max Payne 3. It was the fun Payne gameplay we’ve come to know just with an updated sense about it that’s needed in today’s gaming scene. The story was the good, but I did feel the game lasted longer than I had liked. It was still worth my time regardless of this complaint.

Next up was Saints Row: Gat Out of Hell. The previous game in the series I played was Saints Row 2. I was going to do the usual play them in order since I have SR3 and IV, but I thought screw it. I went for the out the top hellscape adventure because Usagi704 was playing it and it looked wonderfully fun in all of its ridiculous glory. It was certainly that.

Continuing on with the PlayStation 3 marathon I was on, I played and finished Infamous 2. I had tried to start it 2014, but felt the need to get back to my gaming roots at that time. I was worried I would abandon it again, but thankfully that was never an issue this time around. I played on the evil side the first and only time I plan on playing it. It’s just easier to have fun Infamous’ open world that way. In the end I chose to become what I hunted for the whole time.

Crysis 3 was the last game before Watch Dogs and it was pretty much what I expected. The only problem is that eventually I was placed in, what I felt was, an unfair boss fight. I took my sweet ass time throughout the game and since I was ready to be finished with it, I called it “done” when this fight failed multiple times.

In the future I plan on playing every single game I haven’t played that I received for Xmas. This includes the lot I was given this last holiday too. In total it’ll encompass 19 games starting with Bujingai: The Forsaken City. I won’t force myself to beat a game if I’m not entertained by it. But hopefully it won’t be much of a problem. Wish me luck.

Happy New Year!

Sudden Strife

In the last month I have acquired more games and movies. Here, let me show you.

Since the movies are the most obvious in the photo below, I’ll start with those. Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story was a random VHS pick up around 15 years ago. I heard about the film from the commentary track on Rush Hour. I liked it quite a bit, but I only had that format as an option for quite some time. Thankfully a DVD version did eventually come around. The purchase this time is an upgrade to a 2015 Blu-ray release.

The other two films, Sudden Death and Universal Soldier, are also 2015 releases along with both starring Jean-Claude Van Damme. I enjoyed both movies quite a bit and thanks to a review on YouTube I was finally convinced to give the former a watch.

Now it’s time for the games. I didn’t have anymore I wanted for the Game Boy Advance, but I dug through a floor bin at Warp Zone to come up with these five titles. I didn’t know anything about them beforehand. Only after some quick info via the Internet did I make a purchase.

Island Xtreme Stunts is a sequel to a Lego game. You wouldn’t know this by just seeing the cartridge by itself as I did. Stuntman and SSX Tricky are, of course, portable versions of their console counterparts. American Dragon: Jake Long – Rise of the Huntsclan is based on a Disney cartoon that ran for two seasons. This game was developed by WayForward. Ans finally Tak 2: The Staff of Dreams is a platformer by THQ and Avalanche Software.

I also bought The King of Fighters 2002 Unlimited Match and Strife during the big Steam discount sale recently. I got the former because it’s the only way to play it in North America. After the PS2 version of The King of Fighters ’98 Ultimate Match this was released, but it never made it outside of Japan. The latter is the 1996 FPS/RPG hybrid by Rogue Entertainment. I loved me some Doom clones back then and this one always stuck around in my mind because it was very unique for the time. 20 years later I still would recommend it.

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Criticizing Gets Remastered

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“For a lot of companies, remakes are a way to drive revenue. It’s sub-cost, it’s an IP that’s there, you can remaster, and that’s great. We don’t do that here. I don’t think that’s ever been in our culture.”

The above quote is from Electronic Arts’ COO Peter Moore. You know, the same guy who worked at Sega until 2003 where he worked on the Xbox with Microsoft until 2007. This is when he ran EA Sports. He’s been EA’s COO for four years now.

When I hear Mr. Moore criticize the current amount of remaster rereleases of existing games I think he needs to watch himself. He’s certainly correct in that remasters are a low cost way to make easy money. However, I find it difficult to hear him say it since he’s one of the top executives in a company who puts out a yearly sports game in the Madden series.

I know a remaster of a game and a new entry in the Madden football series isn’t exactly the same thing. But when that yearly football release has little differences from the previous year, you can see how the Madden games might feel like a rerelease instead of anything actually new.

On a similar note it’s why I haven’t bought any new WWE games since 2003. They’re also a yearly release with little additions or improvements along the way. In fact, after seeing footage of the newest title, WWE 2K16, I think it looks particularly ugly graphically.

I think remasters are cool, but there needs to be actual effort put into them. An example of no/little effort would be God of War III and an example of real effort would be Devil May Cry 4: Special Edition.

GameSpot news: EA Exec Criticizes HD Remasters