Now Playing: August 2015


I was crusin’ down Phendrana Drifts in my 6-4. Getting those upgrades and knockin’ around foes when I picked up my last missile expansion for 100%. This good feeling was soon trashed as I eventually found myself fighting Ridley.

The first half of the battle was fine, but once he landed and no longer could take flight Metroid Prime’s controls let me down once again. I know I was dodging at the right time when Ridley rushed in with a charging attack, but the controls didn’t cooperate leaving me to get smacked just about every time. I barely had any health left after the fight.

If that boss battle wasn’t annoying enough, the Impact Crater area had more in store. Fission Metroids appear here. They split into two and then are only damaged by the beam weapon of the same color. As you know, the color palate in Metroid Prime is more muted than in some other series titles. Because of this I had a terrible time telling which color they were. It was too much to bear and I decided to end the game there.

I did see a video featuring the boss fight of the game’s namesake. It was the usual consistent switching of weapons to match boss color. It also doesn’t help that bosses overstay their welcome too. Battling them takes way too long to be enjoyable and then to top it off this thing has two forms. Uggh!

I was at least happy with my 100% item collection in the game. Thankfully, Metroid Prime was fun the majority of the 12 hours and 11 minutes I spent with it.


HART & USAGI PODCAST #69 – August 24th 2015 (@HartandUsagi)
Matt and Mike chat top SNES games, cancelled Jak 4, Mafia 3, and more.


SPACE SUPLEX #22 – August 27th 2015 (@SpaceSuplex)
Anthony and Matt chat SummerSlam 2015 and more.

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.


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!


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.


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.


Clunky Metroid


Lately I’ve been playing a suggested game by @NiceGuyNeon and it has been Metroid Prime. He considers it one of the greatest games of all-time. Obviously he isn’t alone. Metroid Prime is consistently ranked in the top games lists just about everywhere you look.

Of the over four hours I’ve played my opinion of the game being less great than its earned reputation has mainly to do with the Gamecube’s controller. I’ve never been a fan of said controller. It’s average, but not great. Sure Nintendo has always used their own odd controllers to greater effect than most third parties have. However, the controls for the game’s camera are just horrible. The plunger-like L button serves as a lock-on for enemies giving you the ability to strafe, but it also allows strafing when held outside of combat too. It sounds great, but feels clunky. The manual aiming on the R button isn’t any better. You’re always fighting against the camera wanting to center itself which makes for a lot of shaky shots that I can’t rely on.

Otherwise, I’m still having fun. Yes, I have been using a walkthrough to minimize my frustrations with knowing where to go and what to do, but I’ve been doing this for every Metroid game I’ve ever played. It doesn’t lessen the experience for me and I liked the Game Boy Advanced titles, Fusion and Zero Mission, quite a bit.

Spinning In Place


I played a bit of the other characters in Sonic Adventure. The most tedious being with Knuckles finding emerald pieces and at the same level, but boring as fuck is fishing for “froggy” with Big. Amy’s levels are okay, but running from a damn robot all the time and only being able to stun it for literally a second is retarded. Tails’ levels are too much the same as the ones played as Sonic. Playing as E-102 is decent only because you can blow shit up, but way too easy.

There’s no reason whatsoever to think this game’s still good. I’d have a real hard time thinking it was in 1999. I can see what people would tell themselves it was good back then. It’s because, at that point, they hadn’t had a new Sonic game in five years since Sonic & Knuckles was released on the Genesis. With nothing on the Saturn it was kind of understandable. Still saying it’s good, however, is nothing but a bunch of nostalgia talking.

Now Playing: September 2010


This past month of gaming has been slim on the amount of games played, but not in the time spent overall with each.

The first up is Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands which I’ve already reported as being finished with my fifth platinum trophy and a speed run of 2 hours and 32 minutes. Out of the five main games in the PoP series released within the last decade this one clocks in at number three. The Forgotten Sands will make a good first impression if you’re looking to play one of these games for the first time.

Ever since Mortal Kombat first arrived on home consoles back on the infamous Mortal Monday in this very month back in 1993 I’d never played the Genesis port of the game. I have experience with the other three versions. Mainly the SNES with memories of the slow Game Boy and somewhat choppy playing Game Gear titles.

Considered the best of the two console versions at the time, I look back after playing it a good bit this month and also finishing it on Very Hard difficulty to realize the blood code was really the only redeeming thing about this version. The SNES version may have been censored, but other than that it’s way closer to the arcade version with accurate music/sound effects, most of the announcer’s lines, more colorful graphics, and better animation.

As I did last month with the SNES game, I also played against Usagi704 on the Genesis port. We didn’t play nearly as long. The number of matches where probably around half of the 50+ from before.

The two games I decided to start playing more recently because of the love it/hate it mentality gamers have toward them are Metroid: Other M and Sonic Adventure. I’m not very far into either game, but so far neither are as bad (former) or as good (latter) as so many claim.

I’ve lightened up a bit on Sonic Adventure (playing the DX Gamecube port). However that doesn’t mean I think it’s good. The camera is overall horrible and glitches abound in this game. In the very first “action stage,” as the game likes to called them, I raced around a corner only to get caught up in said corner and fall though the solid ground to my death. Unlike Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands, this was not a good first impression.

I can see how the game tries to wow players especially when they’re playing the avalanche stage. It was pretty exciting. But then there’s times where some of the cutscenes dragged on with too many moments where nothing was happening and the camera was just a static shot of one of the characters not saying anything.

When it comes to the complaints with the story in Metroid: Other M it seems like not many played the 2002 Game Boy Advance game Metroid Fusion. Quite a bit of the backstory of Samus Aran and Adam Malkovich are mentioned here. So while Team Ninja may not have presented the story is the best of ways, it was already established in Fusion eight years ago. Check out this episode of The Game OverThinker as it overall features how I feel about the complaints.

I haven’t experienced much complex combat in Other M yet to fully know where I stand on that issue. I’ll be sure to get back with you fine folks once I do.

That’s been another Now Playing. Thanks for reading.

Rider Kick!


I haven’t amassed this many games into my collection at one time since the beginning of last August. I guess the good that comes from that shows that I’ve been successful in bringing down the amount of games I get at one time. Let’s get to the eight games listed before you.


First up is Dead to Rights for the GBA. It’s a terribly rated game and rightfully so. However, I couldn’t pass it up when I saw it recently at the local Toys-R-Us. No they don’t sell used games. This is, in fact, a new copy. The damage to the box likely comes from being thrown around in bargain bins since probably the game’s release back in 2001. It was worth it, though, at only $3.


I’m in no way a fan of Star Wars just so you know. I pretty much despise the films for the fanfare they receive. This is because the series is only mediocre at best. Regardless of that Episode III: Revenge of the Sith on the GBA looked interesting thanks to this episode of Video Game Take-Out.

Other games that VGTO has introduced me to that I didn’t regret getting were Hammerin’ Hero and Justice League Heroes: The Flash. I also plan on getting Kid Dracula and Ninja Five-O as well thanks to that show.

The main reason I bought this game was because it looked somewhat interesting and that I noticed it on the shelf a lot when visiting Usagi704. It’s very easy to spot with such large letters on the spine.


With all of my talk in the past of owning, playing, beating, and mastering the SNES version of Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers, some of you maybe thinking that I’ve been a fan of the series all along. I’m sure that this new purchase for the Gamecube doesn’t serve to help much. In reality I was only a very slight fan of a similar series called VR Troopers and never watched any of the Power Ranger shows though I was familar with it when I’d see an image or clip of it.

The main reason I bought this game, despite not knowing anything about it, was the very informative series of videos by Linkara analyzing the Power Rangers series (intro). I’ve since looked into the PR series (shows & games) along with the original Super Sentai series of which they’re based on.

The Power Rangers videos would then lead me to finding this YouTube channel where I’d learn about the long running series called Kamen Rider (1971). It lead me to info about the 2002 show, Kamen Rider: Ryuki, that was adapted into the 2009 show that this game was based on.

Kamen Rider: Dragon Knight was simply another game that interested me solely because of the odd excitement I currently have for such uniquely Japanese entertainment.


Another game I bought through was Gradius V. I was way cheaper than the usual price it goes for ($40) complete, I was able to only pay $18 and it also included the bonus pre-order DVD.

It sounded like fun after reading ebbderelict’s review.

This is the game with the infamous box art that doesn’t fit with the shoot-’em-up genre that this game is from. It also has an interesting mechanic where your shots do more damage when passing close to enemy bullets.

Good day.

The Lost ’80s Tester of the Chaos Tribe


I’ve had a number of topics on my mind over the last few days and I figured that I’d share them. These may or may not be gaming related. You’ve been warned.

’80S Q&A
I participated in an impromptu ’80s Q&A with Usagi704 and a friend of ours recently. I’m more in the background when I talk and I don’t do much of that in the video. The questions revolved around favorites of the 1980s whether it be a TV show, movie, video game, etc. I thought it came off pretty entertaining and I think you’ll find it that way too. :)

From what I understand the television show Lost had its first show of its last season this last Tuesday. I kind of got the hint from all of the updates on Twitter about it.

I’ve never understood the appeal of the show. A smoke monster doesn’t exactly do anything for me. That sounds more like a crappy wrestling angle involving the Ultimate Warrior vomiting or something similar. :lol:

I remember watching one episode a couple of years ago and being, well, for a lack of a better term (or because I really want to make this pun), lost on Lost. I can’t say I’ll miss hearing about the show after this season.

Sony’s PSN exclusive reality show called The Tester had a trailer released earlier this week. After seeing it I can honestly say that I don’t have any interest in watching it.

The people on that show look and act ridiculous trying to compete to get the worst job in the gaming industry. Just watch the trailer and you’ll see a lot of crying! Yes, these idiots actually cry over a crappy job that they obviously don’t understand what it involves. What’s worse is that this job is made to look like it’s hard to get when it’s clearly not after hearing talk about it on the HotSpot.

Even David Jaffe as a judge won’t entice me to watch.

The teaser trailer was released by Sega yesterday and I’m sure it was the biggest news of the week.

I noticed some people mentioning that the animation didn’t look quite right. I’d like to know what those people were watching because I didn’t see any gameplay footage of the game to determine that, though it was said to be in there on Sega’s website.

In fact, I thought that’s what they were going to show, gameplay footage. Because of that I was underwhelmed by the 48 seconds that were shown. I can’t imagine any big fans of the series were any more excited than they previously were.

I don’t mean to disappoint, but I don’t have any new fight footage for you to view.

It’s been pretty frustrating taking on Usagi704, but that doesn’t have to do with any skill he may have over me (which he does). It’s with myself.

I feel like I should be able to take him out with my Kabal or Jarek, but nothing comes of it. It feels like the game’s very limiting in what I can do to retaliate against his attacks. It also doesn’t help that button input can be sluggish from time to time. That’s not lag as I’ve been extremely surprised and happy with the game’s online performance.

I do keep going back to MKA a lot recently so that says something for it. I’m sure I’ll get more fun fights uploaded soon.

I got a few new games and that required a broken promise from me to get nothing new until God of War III. I suck in that regard. At least the games only cost $20 total.

I couldn’t pass up a decent shoot-’em-up that I didn’t know about called Chaos Field. It also serves as another Gamecube game for the very small amount that I have.

A popular PC game that became free a number of years ago was Tribes. I was unaware that there were any console ports of the series. As it turns out Tribes 2 became Tribes: Aerial Assault on the PS2. It has online play and, yes, I did check it out and it still runs too! Nobody was on at the time, though.

Finally I found a cheap copy of Street Fighter EX3. I was never that fond of it, but the game was one that I had years ago so I wanted it back for that reason.


That’s all of the topics I have for this time. Thanks for reading!

Return To Champions

A few days ago I got my first games of 2010. For the PlayStation 2 it was Evergrace and Champions: Return To Arms. For the Gamecube it was Wave Race: Blue Storm.

The latter game was only one of two left that I still want for that system. The other, not surprisingly, is Ikaruga.

I remember saying the following three years ago (from my online archive).

I wanted to get Champions: Return To Arms, but…I never see it.

Well now I can say for sure that I own it.


2009 Purchase Stats


The following stats are for all of my video game purchases throughout 2009.

Total number of games: 140 of 705
Amount decreased by 102 from 2008.

50 New games (36%)
90 Used games (64%)

22 PS2 (15.7%)
22 PS3 (15.7%)
15 PS (10.7%)
13 NES (9.3%)
10 DS (7.1%)
10 GC (7.1%)
9 GEN (6.4%)
9 PSP (6.4%)
8 GBA (5.8%)
8 SNES (5.8%)
6 GB (4.3%)
4 PSN (2.9%)
2 SCD (1.4%)
2 GBC (1.4%)

Last year the Super Nintendo was on top with 40 games. This year none of the systems saw anything near that. Even with the PlayStation 2 & 3 on top this time, they still has 18 less games added this time around. Interestingly enough my PS3 library exactly doubled in size as it tied for the same amount as last year.

New platforms of the Gamecube and PlayStation Network received their first additions to my collection in ’09.

Gamecube (black)
Game Boy Pocket (x2) (blue, green)
Game Boy Advance SP (pearl blue)
Nintendo DS Lite (red/black)

Dualshock 3
Gamecube controller
GBA to Gamecube cable
Game Boy Player
Mad Catz Street Fighter IV Fightpad
S-Video cable (x2)
Gamecube memory card
Hori PSP case

Five Most Wanted Retro Titles


The following was my reply to the forum topic “Your TOP 5 Most Wanted Retro Titles” on Retroware

The question of the topic was the following.

If you could have just five retro games in mint condition, in the box, instructions included, for free right now. What five would you choose?

Before giving my own answer I checked out some of the replies that were already left. Some of the first ones were great, but eventually a number of people were listing games that are cheap to come by like Rocket Knight Adventures.

Complete mint games for free would have to be a list of hard-to-find expensive games. I say aim for the stars if you could get any game for free. I know I would and I did with my selection of games.

Gradius V
This amazing looking PlayStation 2 sequel to the Gradius series is not only hard-to-find, as most shoot-’em-ups are these days, but also pretty expensive. It goes for around $33 US for a complete copy and that doesn’t guarantee it to be in mint condition. And that’s the cheap game of this bunch. :o

Check out episode six of Substance TV for info on this game.

I like my shoot-’em-ups. Rez has a different take on that with a head-on perspective and trippy music. Sure it can be scored easily and cheaply via Xbox Live, but I figure if it was possible to get it complete and free, then the original PlayStation2 release would have to be the way to go. This game fetches around $42 currently.

Everybody knows about Ikaruga. From the style of gameplay to it being one of the more expensive shumps out there. That’s also why it was cool to see it on XBL as well since it can only be found for $45 and up depending on the version you get.

Ninja Five-O
I’m going to guess that a number of you have never heard of this Game Boy Advance game. I hadn’t either until I saw this early April episode of Video Game Take-Out. The game looks like a lot of fun, but does go for just as much as Ikaruga on the Gamecube, $45.

Wild Guns
There have been a number of great games by Natsume over the years. The main one that comes to mind is Shadow of the Ninja for the NES. Wild Guns for the Super Nintendo also has the distinction of being a great Natsume game. It also has another distinction from the rest on this list. It’s the most expensive with a complete copy going for as much as $65! :o

Check out episode two of Substance TV and episode five of the Happy Video Game Nerd for info on this game.

Enough of me. Now it’s your turn. What are your five games if you could get them for free? Remember to aim high for games that are more than you’d like to pay for.