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

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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

Saving Gaming History

Recently I wanted to tackle some outlier games that have been eluding my collection. I didn’t get ones such as Captain America: Super Soldier or Painkiller: Hell and Damnation, but I did get a few others.

The first two games, you can see in the photo directly below, are actually not apart of those games I was trying to find. Medal of Honor: Vanguard and ICO were unplanned pickups. The former was released around the same time on the PS2 that Medal of Honor: Airborne was on PS3 and X360. The latter, ICO, I already have via The ICO & Shadow of the Colossus Collection on PS3. I only got it because I felt the need to save it from the unwashed masses. It’s not everyday you come across a complete copy of ICO on PS2 in good condition.

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It’s also not everyday you come across a good conditioned complete copy of The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess either. Okay, actually you do. But not the Gamecube version! I’m not much of a fan of The Legend of Zelda as you guys already know, but I still felt a need to save this game as well. It’s another one I didn’t need because I did already have the ubiquitous Wii version.

Here’s the first game which I did go to specifically to find. It’s Sega Arcade Gallery on the Game Boy Advance. It’s a four game compilation of AfterBurner, Space Harrier, Super Hang-On, and (best of all) OutRun! In case you didn’t know these games are all of Sega’s super sweet superscaler arcade lineup. You can never have enough of those!

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I finally found Ray Tracers, but I did have to go to eBay for it. The game is easily summed up as a polygonal version of Chase H.Q. and that’s okay by me. Both games were developed by Taito.

Iron Man / X-O Manowar in Heavy Metal was another game that wasn’t really on my wish list. I can see it as a very mediocre game, but in some ways it reminded me of Duke Nukem: Manhattan Project from 2002 in how it plays even though the game I bought was from 1996.

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Finally, I picked up a new copy of the 2008 Special Edition of Rambo 4. Yes, I do already own the Extended Cut. However, I was disappointed that the commentary track was cut out of that version. This one has exactly what I was missing.

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Now Playing: June 2015

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In the last month of adventurous video gaming, I had jumped from the Game Boy Advance to the DS and started with Henry Hatsworth in the Puzzling Adventure. As I’d said at the time early on it was an interesting with platforming and a puzzle game together. Unique is definitely the word to describe it. However, as the game progressed it became a bit too daunting in difficulty for its own good. I stopped short of finishing it because I didn’t want to ruin the memories of it actually being fun when it was.

I moved onto Solatorobo: Red the Hunter (CIBfridays). It had a fun story and adorable characters. While the gameplay is basic, it at least doesn’t overstay its welcome like most RPGs do. It may not satisfy long time RPG fans at around 20 hours in total for both parts of the story, but it works well for those, like myself, who don’t play many RPG titles.

At the same time I also was playing Steal Princess. Unlike Henry Hatsworth, this game is exactly what you think of when hearing it’s a puzzle platformer. This wasn’t a game I expected to complete, but what I did get through was enjoyable.

Next up I plan on going back to the PS3 and playing Call of Juarez: Gunslinger and Enslaved: Odyssey to the West.

THIS MONTH’S GAMING STATS:
* Henry Hatsworth in the Puzzling Adventure :: Tealand 5-1; 69%
* Solatorobo: Red the Hunter :: Lv. 14; 20h36m
* Steal Princess :: 12h11m; Volcano 7