Top o’ the World

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I finished up with The Saboteur a few days ago. It was actually quite the fitting ending to not have a drawn out final battle against the main antagonist. It was a simple climb to the top of the Eiffel Tower and one bullet later it was all over.

After the credits rolled I completed the rest of the targets and didn’t need a FAQ to do so. This is a first for me. Despite 100% on missions and targets I didn’t get every trophy. I missed six along the way, but I did get 87% of the total.

This makes The Saboteur the third game finished for 2014. The previous two being Bayonetta and Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons.

The next set of games I plan on playing are the following:
* Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards
* Batman: Arkham Asylum
* Tatsunoko vs. Capcom: Ultimate All-Stars
* Muramasa: The Demon Blade
* Onimusha: Dawn of Dreams

Finally I recently purchased my first game of the new year. It’s the glitchfest known as Assassin’s Creed III.

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Now Playing: December 2013

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This month of video game greatness has had me log nine total games played with four of them finished.

The first up was Dungeons & Dragons: Tower of Doom. This 1993 beat-’em-up arcade game isn’t as exciting as I was hoping. It’s not to say that Capcom didn’t do well on the game. I guess there’s more to the game than I was expecting. I’m sure to pick it back up in the future to get a better feeling for it.

The next three titles, The Mark of Kri, Kirby’s Dream Land 2, and Sleeping Dogs have been talked about in their own blog posts. Check them out at the links provided above.

As gamers know, Super Mario Galaxy on the Wii has been praised much upon its release. One thing I realized while playing it is that I’m not one of those people. I also figured one other thing. I don’t think I’m as interested (or skilled) in platformers than I like to fancy myself as. This was evident while playing Kirby’s Dream Land 2, but much more so with Super Mario Galaxy.

There’s also several issues I think SMG actually suffers from. Here’s bullet-point list of them.

  • The camera isn’t ideal for judging distance of jumps very well.
  • Swimming in most every game is bad, but controlling Mario underwater was particularly craptastic.
  • Spring Mario is the worst in control since the only way to move is by continuous jumping. It doesn’t help the use was normally on narrow paths.
  • The pull stars aren’t all that bad, but when needing to move quickly under a time constraint, like say a race, isn’t exactly what I call fun.

I know I might be seen as a bit too picky about my complaints, but I did stick with the game for over 12 hours.

I played some of the DS exclusive title Space Invaders Extreme 2. Just like the previous game, the music is really great and the visual style gets me in the right mood to shoot some of those pesky classic space invaders. I suggest getting either game if you’re into classic arcade score chasers!

Finally, along with Usagi704, we hooked up our original model PlayStation systems to separate televisions and connected the consoles together with the PlayStation Link Cable. We had some fantastic fun playing co-op in Doom. We finished around ten levels.

Yesterday we played some of the classic launch game Destruction Derby. I still really like that game. Getting through intersections by “threading the needle” (aka close calls) is still as thilling as ever!

We also played some of Mortal Kombat Trilogy (a non-link cable game) and Usagi played his Team Shenanigans in 2-on-2 Kombat consisting of Human Smoke and Kitana. My team was a combination of Scorpion, Cyrax, and Nightwolf. Some characters were given new moves. Nightwolf was given a red Shoulder Charge (←←→HK) which helps a lot to get in and stay in close. Scorpion was given a forward Teleport Punch (↓→HP) to keep opponents guessing. As usual I still get beat more than not, but overall still a fun time!

Enjoy the New Year!

Hart & Usagi Podcast #41: ++Good PS4

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In this episode of the Hart & Usagi Podcast, we welcome back Georgie and, for as a first-time guest, one of the hosts from ++Good Games podcast it’s Anthony!

Our main topic for discussion is our experiences with the recently released PlayStation 4. We also speak on games we’ve played as of late along with a couple of news items.

Strap one on ’cause it’s time to jam with the Hart & Usagi Podcast.

TOPICS:
* Sega 3DS 3D titles
* Killzone: Shadow Fall
* Kirby’s Dream Land 2
* Sleeping Dogs
* Doom
* Shadow Hearts
* Saints Row Twitter contest
* PlayStation 4 experiences
* Windows & Linux
* Pre-orders open for God of War Collection on Vita
* Persona 5 is Just the Beginning: Atlus Goes Persona Crazy
* Save The Last Christmas (For Me)
* Meeting Rob Van Dam
* Pacific Blue

Listen or Download (2:19:14)
New RSS Feed
Hart & Usagi Podcast at the Internet Archive
Matt: @HartKnight | HartKnight’s Archive
Mike: @usagi704 | WP blog
Georgie: @guuthulhu | Squiddy Fun Times
Anthony: @24bitAJE | ++Good Games

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#HartandUsagiPodcast

(Kirby’s) Holiday Gaming Update

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I finished my 34th game of 2013 just yesterday. It was the game suggested by gamecamiller on Twitter. It was Kirby’s Dream Land 2.

Other than playing the original series release also on the Game Boy back in 1992, I haven’t experienced many of the games in the Kirby series despite most being on Nintendo’s handheld systems. Kirby: Nightmare in Dream Land is the single title which comes to mind and it was a remake of the NES favorite Kirby’s Adventure.

Usagi704 did mention to me that Kirby’s Dream Land 2 is his favorite of the series. I somehow find them much more difficult than he does. In fact he calls them “easy mode.” Maybe I just don’t exploit the bosses in the game as well as one should, but I found most of the later battles to be very frustrating. Part of me is glad I played Kirby’s Dream Land 2 on the Wii via Kirby’s Dream Collection because if it was on a DS system, I might have chucked it across the room.

At least now I’ve moved onto the excellent Sleeping Dogs as suggested by NiceGuyNeon.

The first thing I did in Sleeping Dogs was mainly pressing X to run and jump. It was thrilling and I didn’t need a Kinect (or controller rumble) for that! I usually play games in about 30 minute sessions before I want a break. This game kept me glued to my seat for an hour and 45 minutes. I even went back to it much sooner than most games. It’s really good stuff!

Speaking of great stuff, daBlueWolfy sketched and colored an Xmas themed character from the 1994 animated show Gargoyles. It’s Brooklyn in a Santa outfit! Thanks a lot, bro! :)

Check out more of his fantastic artwork at The Dan StinehART Gallery!

Holiday Gaming Plans

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Last night I was ready to play a new game after finishing up with The Mark of Kri. I wasn’t sure what it should be so I left it up to my Twitter followers.

I asked them to choose from a platformer or an open world game. Both where chosen. NiceGuyNeon went with open world and from the following list picked Sleeping Dogs.

Bully
Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood
Far Cry 3
Infamous 2
The Saboteur
Sleeping Dogs
Yakuza 3

Gamecamiller and SonicHomeboy opted for a platformer and of the four games I had in mind they chose Kirby’s Dream Land 2 and Super Mario Galaxy, respectively.

Castlevania: Dracula X
Klonoa: Empire of Dreams
Super Mario Galaxy
Kirby’s Dream Land 2

My current plans are to play Kirby’s Dream Land 2 and then Sleeping Dogs and Super Mario Galaxy.

On a side note I found a cheap copy of Saints Row: The Third. It’s a Greatest Hits version and it has the new owner of the IP, Deep Silver, on the cover instead of THQ.

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The Legendary Journeys

Throughout the mid and late 1990s a popular show which I saw off and on every so often called Hercules: The Legendary Journeys aired. Once in awhile I’ll still make a joking reference to the show or main actor of it, Kevin Sorbo. I thought of following up my purchase of a season of MacGyver with a season of Hercules. I remembered a very specific episode on the topic of racism and decided I’d get whichever season had it. It turned out it was episode five of season two.

I also figured I’d throw in another video game on my wish list while I was at it being Kirby: Mass Attack.

After a number of videos over the last couple of years on the Wonder Boy series, usually in conjunction with the Adventure Island series, I was getting interested in trying out one of them. Well, as it happens three of those titles, Wonder Boy in Monster Land (arcade), Wonder Boy in Monster World (Genesis), and Monster World IV (Genesis) were released on PSN and XBL last year and were finally bundled on PSN fairly recently. Please share your thoughts if you’ve ever played them.

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I noticed today I got a mention of my awards by co-host Alex Fraioli of No More Whoppers. His show was the winner of my award for Best Podcast Not My Own of 2012.

A Collection of Dreams

In the last week I decided to pick up Kirby’s Dream Collection mainly because I expect it to be pricey in the future like the Super Mario All-Stars: 25th Anniversary Edition. The additional problem is how late in the life of the Wii its release is. It’ll be rare for sure.

Among the six titles included I’ve only played the initial Gamy Boy release. I’ll be getting my monies worth.

Dark Souls is the other title I bought. It was around $20 after shipping which made it worth getting now. I’ll probably keep it to play for my Halloween gaming next year.

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Gamecube

Recently I decided I wanted to play my Game Boy Color/Advance games on my TV. Of course there’s only one way to do this and I didn’t have a thing that I needed outside of the GBA games.

Yeah you guessed it, I bought a Gamecube and a Game Boy Player. But that wasn’t all. I knew that a Gamecube controller wasn’t going to cut it for some of the games, so I also got a GBA to GC link cable.

While I was at it I figured that I’d check out some Gamecube specific games. After some looking around at reviews and video footage, I chose 15 games that seemed interesting. Eight of them were obtained as you’ll see below.

I also picked up a few other things like a GBA headphones adapter and Sly 2: Band of Thieves. The latter was to see if I like it enough to search for any of the other games in that trilogy.

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Gamecube system
AC adapter
AV cables
Black & Indigo controllers

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Game Boy Player
GBP start-up disc
Black GC memory card
GBA to GC link cable
GBA headphones adapter

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Geist
Mega Man Network Transmission
Metroid Prime
Naruto: Clash of Ninja 2
Sonic Adventure DX: Director’s Cut
Star Fox Adventures
Star Fox: Assault
Super Smash Bros. Melee

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Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy’s Kong Quest
Battlefield: Bad Company
Sly 2: Band of Thieves
WWF Royal Rumble

Thanks for checking this blog out. Check out the previous entry if you missed it.

Street Fighter IV Plus Other Goodies

I picked up the much anticipated fighter Street Fighter IV yesterday at that local store I often mention, It’s About Games. While I was there I also selected some other goodies.

The first was The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King for the PS2. After thinking about getting this game in the past and also being disappointed with the Conquest demo, I figured I’d actually get the game this time. I also picked up the SNES shoot-’em-up Phalanx. It’s a decent and serviceable game aside from the odd box art.

On the portable games side I was able to get a second copy of Twisted Metal: Head On. Why another copy? Two reasons: first the copy I had included black cover and red disc and while I don’t care which it is, they still have to be the same. Second reason was that it was new, which the current one wasn’t.

The final two portable games were the remake of Kirby’s Adventure for the GBA called Kirby: Nightmare In Dream Land and a Game Boy game that I haven’t owned in years entitled Fortified Zone.

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Details: Phalanx, Kirby: Nightmare In Dream Land, & Fortified Zone | Street Fighter IV, Castlevania Chronicles, The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, & Twisted Metal: Head On

Today in the mail I also received half of my Amazon.com order consisting of a second Dualshock 3 and Castlevania Chronicles, which was won in an eBay auction last Friday. The condition of the game is really great considering the last few auctions I won.

Games Finished In 2008

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Here’s the list of games that I finished within the boundaries of 2008. Out of those that list of 30, here’s some comments on a few of those games.

Fatal Fury
I ended up beating the arcade version on easy, normal, hard, and insane difficulty levels via SNK Arcade Classics Vol. 1 on the PSP. That sounds impressive until to know how to best each CPU opponent. I didn’t even get a challenge on the insane setting. It still felt like easy or normal. Raiden is really easy once you realize that throwing a punch at a distance will make him do his flame breath that doesn’t hit, then hitting him with a move like Terry’s Burning Knuckle.

Neo Turf Masters
Thanks to SNK Arcade Classics Vol. 1, I was able to play this interesting golf game. It’s actually a pretty competent game of golf. More so than you’d first expect.

Kirby’s Dream Land
I remember really well playing this game at the time of its release in 1992. However, it wasn’t until I bought my own copy last year that I quickly beat it. There’s also a code to make the game more difficult, which is displayed at the end of the game. It ends up being the insane difficulty that Fatal Fury was looking for. :lol:

Stuntman Ignition
There are some games that I really enjoy and I play the crap out of them before moving on. Examples of this are Tomb Raider: Legend, The Incredible Hulk: Ultimate Destruction, and this game. I played the PS2 version a lot until it was completed and then played it some more to five star some scenes that I didn’t the first time. While I haven’t played it yet, I have bought the PS3 version as well.

Power Blade
I didn’t expect to like Power Blade all that much since I didn’t know anything about it when I picked it up last August. Its actually fairly easy when compared to other NES games of the time. Once I understood what to do it was pretty fun. I now have Power Blade 2 on my wish list.

Contra 4
I’ve only finished this game on easy since this game is the definition of hardcore gaming. I spent most of my time on the challenges which were a little frustrating, but ultimately fun.

Mega Man 4 & Mega Man II
Back when Mega Man 9 was released, I decided to get some play time in on older Mega Man games. I played some of Mega Man 8 and Mega Man X4, but I had more fun playing Mega Man 4 on the NES and Mega Man II on the Game Boy. I finished the former with the Game Genie since I’m not all that skilled in the series, but I did beat the latter game without cheats.

The games I recommend from my list of 30 completed games are:
The King of Fighters ’97
Tomb Raider: Anniversary
Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix
Twisted Metal: Head On – Extra Twisted Edition
Justice League Heroes: The Flash
Power Blade
Stuntman Ignition
Kill Switch