Hart & Usagi Podcast #58: FPS

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This is a special episode of the Hart & Usagi Podcast. We welcome back ebbderelict. Our main discussion will be about first-person shooters. However, beforehand we discuss some news.

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

NEWS/TOPICS:
* Top 5 Most Violent Games of 2014, According to Consumer Reports
* Hackers Ruin Christmas for Xbox and PlayStation Users
* CISPA To Be Reintroduced in The House This Week
* ESRB Gives Hatred An Adults Only Rating
* Hotline Miami 2 Designer To Australian Gamer: Just Pirate It
* USgamer Community Question: What’s Your Most Anticipated Game of 2015?
* First-person shooters discussion

Listen or Download (3:01:40)

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Hart & Usagi Podcast at the Internet Archive

Matt: @HartKnight | HartKnight’s Archive

Mike: @usagi704 | WP blog

Steve: @ebbderelict | ipernity blog

@HartandUsagi

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U.N.F.E.A.R. 3

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It has been fun this last seven days. On Friday I got back into Burnout Paradise thanks to a GPY game event. I was joined by fellow members RivalShadeX, madtyger, and SonicHomeboy. Sadly usagi704 couldn’t play as planned because his PS3 wasn’t reading discs. He’s in the process of getting it fixed.

The rest of us played on and it was the usual high speed fun that I’ve now racked up 430 hours playing since 2008. That’s about 86 hours a year or around 7.1 hours a month. If you ask me, I won the event based on those hours played alone. :P

The other GPY-ish game I played was F.E.A.R. 3. I started it on Sunday the 9th in co-op with RivalShadeX. Since then we’ve played three different times completing five stages (or as the game calls them, Intervals).

I’ve hosting all the games therefore I play as Point Man and Rival plays as Paxton Fettel. Both play very different and this reminded me of the multiplayer Half-Life modification called Vampire Slayer. I loved this mod as it also played very differently depending on if you chose to play as a slayer or a vampire.

Two things are a certainly about F.E.A.R. 3. It’s quite fun to play this game co-op and it’s not scary in the least. I’ve heard that madtyger finds this game scary to the point that when I asked if she’d like to co-op with me if Rival wasn’t able to I was told “hehehehe…no” and “My nerves are made from cooked spaghetti noodles.” I’m not a fan of the horror genre because I don’t enjoy being scared, but F.E.A.R. 3 just isn’t frightening to me. Regardless, I am having a great time talking and co-oping with Rival.

One last thing.

I bought Batman: Arkham City on Saturday. It only cost $15 at my favorite local game store, It’s About Games.

Here’s the tweet I put out before I bought it.

Below is the game as it is now with replacement case. Beautiful, isn’t it?

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Thanks for reading. Peace!

2012 Award Winners (Part 1)

I somehow came up with 17 award categories. A few of them are joking around and others are serious. In this first part it will feature more of the former. Enjoy.

CRAPPY SHOOTERS I HAVEN’T PLAYED BUT ARE STILL CRAPPY
007 Legends
Battleship
Medal of Honor: Warfighter
WINNER: Call of Duty: Black Ops Declassified

Promises of greatness fell flat for these games (expect for Battleship which was obvious crap from the beginning). 007 Legends ended up not being for Bond fans or shooter fans and Medal of Honor had nothing authentic going for it despite the desperate pleas from its developer. The newest Call of Duty on the PlayStation Vita gets this award for promising a great CoD experience at E3 and being nothing of the sort. Other strikes against it include selling at full price and being included with a system bundle. Stay away from this one.

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OVERHYPED
Journey
Asura’s Wrath
Fez
WINNER: The Walking Dead

A lot of love gets thrown in the specific direction of these four games. Other than Fez, there’s little actual gaming to be had in these titles. Story is great and all, but the game part of a video game really should come first. I know you’re probably already typing up a comment to prove me wrong, but please don’t bother.

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WORST BEAT-‘EM-UP
Alien Storm
Growl
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (GBA)
WINNER: Golden Axe III

I did have a little bit of fun with these games. Growl was decent, but the Vince Russo style swerve at the end with the final boss being some kind of alien was pretty stupid. Alien Storm on the Genesis wasn’t very exciting at all and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles on GBA (based on the 2003 show) was somewhat frustrating. However the classically bad Golden Axe III still remains worst of its respective series.

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MOST DISAPPOINTING GAME
Need For Speed: Most Wanted
Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time (GBA)
Spyro: Year of the Dragon
WINNER: Prince of Persia Revelations

All were disappointing in their own right, but Price of Persia Revelations was the most disappointing. It took one of my favorite games, Warrior Within, and added extra areas to traverse. Sounds great until to see the worse graphics for these areas and how they weren’t as well thought out as the main part of the game. Because of this I don’t expect the new parts of Prince of Persia: Rival Swords to be good either.

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CRAP GAME OF THE YEAR
Prototype
Medal of Honor: European Assault
Batman Forever
WINNER: Indiana Jones’ Greatest Adventures

As impossible as Prototype, Batman Forever, or Medal of Honor: European Assault felt at different times, Indiana Jones’ Greatest Adventures on the Super Nintendo was the most impossibly crap game I played all year. I couldn’t pass the first level and I never felt it would clue me in as to how after trying for an hour. Screw this game.

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FAVORITE GUILTY PLEASURE
Fighting Force
Beyond Oasis (Sonic’s Ultimate Genesis Collection)
Mortal Kombat (Mortal Kombat Arcade Kollection – PSN)
WINNER: Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers (SNES)

I’m always had Mortal Kombat as a guilty pleasure of mine. Fighting Force is another which I played through several times this year. I didn’t give it much of a chance to warm up to it before Usagi704 tackled it. Beyond Oasis was a fun Zelda-style romp on the Genesis. The SNES version of Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers, however, gets this award for being more competently fun than it has much right to be. Thanks for that Natsume.

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BEST SCORE CHASER
Metal Slug Advance
Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater
Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2
WINNER: Super Hang-On

My favorite game to get a high score in and then try and best it was a close race between Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2 and Super Hang-On. Before last year I never seriously tried to play any Tony Hawk game. The original was fun, but I do see why Pro Skater 2 is seen as one of the best in the series.

With that said, I was quite amazed at the fun in besting a friend’s time in Super Hang-On via PSN. It’s a nostalgic trip back to the arcades of old. Now I want to see Outrun!

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BEST SHOOTER
Lost Planet: Extreme Condition
Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare
Max Payne
WINNER: Half-Life 2: Episode Two

I think you could say that these four games were fairly unique when they initially were released. Maybe not so much for the winner, Half-Life 2: Episode Two, but the variety of environments along with the strong gameplay of Half-Life 2 to begin with pushes it to the top.

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BEST BEAT-‘EM-UP
Darksiders
X-Men
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Arcade Game
WINNER: Yakuza 2

While I was disappointed with the overall story of Yakuza 2 as opposed to its previous entry, I did find enough to enjoy along the way to stay entertained. I ultimately can’t be totally down on a game which allows for a Heat move to pick an opponent up and throw him into a glass display case.

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Thanks for reading. Part 2 of my awards are up next.

Games Finished In 2012

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The list below shows every game that I finished in 2012. The total number comes to 51. That’s up 11 from 2011.

1. Metal Slug Advance (GBA) – 1/11
2. Batman Forever (SNES) – 1/14
3. Riot Zone (VC) – 1/15
4. Mortal Kombat via Mortal Kombat Arcade Kollection (PSN) – 1/30
5. Darksiders (PS3) – 2/14
6. Daxter (PSP) – 2/19
7. Super Street Fighter II (SNES) – 2/24
8. Max Payne (PS2) – 2/27
9. Contra (NES) – 3/6
10. Fighting Force (PS) – 3/7
11. Deus Ex: The Conspiracy (PS2) – 3/22
12. Medal of Honor: European Assault (PS2) – 3/26
13. X-Men (PSN) – 4/4
14. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (GBA) – 4/10
15. Super Street Fighter II: Turbo Revival (GBA) – 4/12
16. Assassin’s Creed II (PS3) – 4/17
17. Max Payne 2: The Fall of Max Payne (PS2) – 4/30
18. Yakuza 2 (PS2) – 6/1
19. Super Hang-On (PSN) – 6/14
20. Lost Planet: Extreme Condition (PS3) – 6/23
21. Prince of Persia: Warrior Within via Prince of Persia Trilogy (PS3) – 7/1
22. Prince of Persia: Revelations (PSP) – 7/21
23. Beyond Oasis via Sonic’s Ultimate Genesis Collection (PS3) – 7/24
24. Neo Contra (PS2) – 7/25
25. Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater (PS) – 7/30
26. Tetris DS (DS) – 8/6
27. Tetris DX (GBC) – 8/8
28. Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2 (PS) – 8/17
29. Rise to Honor (PS2) – 8/19
30. Klonoa: Door to Phantomile (PSN) – 8/22
31. Half-Life 2: Episode Two via The Orange Box (PS3) – 8/29
32. Mortal Kombat II via Mortal Kombat Arcade Kollection (PSN) – 9/4
33. Mortal Kombat II (SNES) – 9/5
34. Devil May Cry via Devil May Cry HD Collection (PS3) – 9/7
35. Crash Commando (PSN) – 9/14
36. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Arcade Game (NES) – 9/23
37. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (FC) – 9/24
38. Castlevania: The Adventure Rebirth (VC) – 10/5
39. Marvel Super Heroes via Marvel vs. Capcom Origins (PSN) – 10/10
40. Alien Storm via Sonic’s Ultimate Genesis Collection (PS3) – 10/17
41. Streets of Rage 2 (PSN) – 10/27
42. Growl via Taito Legends 2 (PS2) – 10/30
43. Contra (FC) – 11/1
44. Prototype (PS3) – 11/16
45. Need for Speed: Most Wanted (PS3) – 11/22
46. Burnout 3: Takedown (PS2) – 12/2
47. Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow via Castlevania Double Pack (GBA) – 12/7
48. Super Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition (PS3) – 12/8
49. Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers (SNES) – 12/10
50. Castlevania II: Simon’s Quest (NES) – 12/13
51. Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare (PS3) – 12/18

August, September, and December proved to be the best months for beating games with 6 in total for each with a monthly average of 4.25.

When it comes to earning those fancy trophies, I was able to earn 207 last year. One of them was a platinum from Assassin’s Creed II in April.

Now Playing: September 2012

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I started off this past month with Half-Life 2: Episode Two and Devil May Cry (read) and then moving onto three different versions of Mortal Kombat II and PS1’s Spyro: Year of the Dragon (read).

I also added Crash Commando to my list and played it briefly, but in copious amounts. In a four way deathmatch on September 19 amongst other GPY members, I was able to score the win in the 4-5 matches we had. One specific shotgun wielder was my arch enemy throughout the battles. Our next event is scheduled for the 30th at 5pm Eastern for Borderlands.

For the last game for the month I played Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Arcade Game on NES. I also put some time in on Usagi704’s Japanese copy of the game which was simply titled Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Upon experiencing both I noticed some differences.

* Points: US ver. gives 1 point for an enemy killed regardless of it being a boss or not. JP ver. is a typical system with corresponding amounts awarded for besting tougher opponents.
* Dive Kick: In the US ver. foot soldiers take 2 before going down. In the JP ver. they only need 1. This is either because the kick itself is more powerful or the foot soldiers themselves are a tad weaker.
* Pizza Hut: In the US there was a personal pan pizza offer and I guess that also entailed plastering Pizza Hut signs throughout the game. This is absent in the JP ver.

Overall TMNTII on NES is a fun game despite it’s repetitive gameplay. I still remember my reaction to receiving the game on my birthday the year it was released. I was like WOW! and my face showed it in a photo my father took. I need to find it because it’s equally funny as it is embarrassing.

Thanks for reading as always!

THIS MONTH’S GAMING STATS:
* Half-Life 2: Episode Two – Game #31 finished.
* Mortal Kombat II – Game #32 (PSN) and #33 (SNES) finished. Genesis ver. unfinished.
* Devil May Cry – Game #34 finished. Easy; 4h38m; 29,337 Red Orbs; 1 Retry; Combos: 16S, 57A, 44B, 248C, 223D
* Spyro: Year of the Dragon – Unfinished. 40%; 6636/15000 Gems; 54/148 Eggs
* Crash Commando – Game #35 finished. Lv 18; XP 7340; 2142 Kills; 452 Deaths; Ratio 4.52; Score 2531; Accuracy 27.02%
* Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Arcade Game – Game #36 (NES) and #37 (FC) finished. 753 pts. (NES); 180,150 pts. (FC)

Devil Triggered

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I recently finished up Half-Life 2: Episode Two as apart of The Orange Box. The action was much more fast-paced than what was in Episode One. Overall it was more enjoyable and felt like you actually went somewhere and did things that made a difference in the HL world. By the time the end of the game came around, I was ready to continue to press on, but that was abruptly ended with a shocking death scene.

Those of you who’ve played Episode Two know what I mean and those of you who haven’t played it yet need to get on it! I’m still surprised there isn’t any third episode yet. How can Valve not know where they want the story to go next in all this time. It’s going to be five years this October. It makes you wonder if the follow up is ever going to get released.

After hearing about Devil May Cry from Usagi when he played every single game in reverse order (from 4-1), I decided to jump into the series with the Devil May Cry HD Collection. It’s all three PlayStation 2 games in HD with a set of 34 trophies/achievements for each game. Also the controls were a bit different in DMC1 when compared to DMC3 on the PS2 releases. The controller configuration was changed to be more in line with the later games and similar across all of them.

These types of games usually take a bunch of skill and this is what normally keeps me from them. I’m not an unskilled gamer, but these titles are more for those seeking the greatest of gaming challenges. I died for the first time in the first Devil May Cry at this fight in mission one. Soon after I died again and was offered the easier difficulty. I took it, but it might just be too easy. Since then I haven’t died once and I’m up to mission ten.

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Games Finished In 2011

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The list below shows every game that I finished in 2011. The total number comes to 40 across 11 systems. That’s down four from 2010.

1. Super Street Fighter II (GEN) – 1/8
2. Revenge of the Wounded Dragons (PSN) – 1/9
3. Streets of Rage 2 (GEN) – 1/11
4. Gunstar Heroes (GEN) – 1/18
5. Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time via Prince of Persia Trilogy (PS3) – 1/22
6. Duke Nukem: Time to Kill (PS) – 2/2
7. Rush’n Attack (NES) – 2/4
8. Yakuza (PS2) – 3/17
9. Kamen Rider Dragon Knight (DS) – 4/3
10. Tetris (PSN) – 4/11
11. Uncharted 2: Among Thieves (PS3) – 4/24
12. Kamen Rider Climax Heroes OOO (PSP) – 4/29
13. Gradius via Gradius Collection (PSP) – 5/2
14. Sonic Spinball via Sonic’s Ultimate Genesis Collection (PS3) – 5/21
15. Shinobi via Sonic’s Ultimate Genesis Collection (PS3) – 5/23
16. Power Rangers Dino Thunder (GBA) – 6/4
17. Streets of Rage 2 (PSN) – 6/19
18. Assassin’s Creed (PS3) – 6/20
19. Alien Crush (PSN) – 6/27
20. NBA Jam (PS3) – 7/1
21. Peggle (PSN) – 7/6
22. Half-Life 2: Episode One (PS3) – 7/12
23. Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Vegas (PS3) – 7/21
24. Army of Two (PS3) – 7/26
25. Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers (SNES) – 8/4
26. Run Saber (SNES) – 8/12
27. Knights of the Round (SNES) – 8/19
28. Art of Fighting 2 (SNES) – 9/7
29. Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2 (PS3) – 10/9
30. X-Men (PSN) – 10/20
31. Shadowgate Classic (GBC) – 10/26
32. Final Fight One (GBA) – 11/10
33. Demon’s Souls (PS3) – 11/11
34. Kirby: Nightmare In Dream Land (GBA) – 11/20
35. Borderlands (PS3) – 12/5
36. Contra (NES) – 12/18
37. Mortal Kombat via Mortal Kombat Arcade Kollection (PS3) – 12/28
38. Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 via Mortal Kombat Arcade Kollection (PS3) – 12/28
39. Mortal Kombat II via Mortal Kombat Arcade Kollection (PS3) – 12/30
40. Super Stardust HD (PS3) – 12/31

The PlayStation 3 saw the most finished games appear on its platform with a total of 13 (includes PSN). The runner-up with 4 was the Super Nintendo.

December proved to be the best month for beating games with 6 in total with a monthly average of 3.33.

When it comes to earning those fancy trophies, I was able to earn 159 last year. Two of them were platinums from X-Men Origins: Wolverine and Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time (both in January).