Now Playing: July 2019

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This time out the group of games I played are from April through mid-July. There’s 12 in total with only three finished. Here we go!

The first game on tap is also one of the three I beat: Ghost Squad. This home port of Sega’s arcade light gun shooter works well on the Wii. I don’t have the plastic zapper shell for the controller, but you obviously don’t need it since there isn’t any additional hardware built in. It was a very fun and repeatable three mission structure with some alternate paths to take. I particularly liked earning and using the additional weapons and outfits available. The latter can get somewhat comical at times since the player character is the only one who changes outfits with the rest of the squad remaining in normal gear.

I was looking forward to getting into a new beat-’em-up with Batman: The Brave and the Bold (also on Wii). It didn’t pan out well, however. The training before the game actually begins makes the mistake of throwing every ability at you at once. Of course, you’ll eventually forget some of them long before you’ll need them. My biggest issue was with the overall feeling of the brawling. It wasn’t as mindless fun as I was hoping for. There’s more puzzle aspects to this game’s fighting that’s often enough that it feels like the momentum of a level keeps getting interrupted. I had to check out of this game fairly early on.

Two shoot-’em-ups I played for a little bit was the TG-16’s Final Soldier (via VC) and Raiden IV: Overkill on PS3 (via PSN). The former was a fantastic time until I got slaughtered on stage 5. At least it was nice getting to that point. I can’t say as much for the latter game. I didn’t quite understand the new Overkill Mode, but the normal Arcade Mode was the typical Raiden shooting experience. In that to say it isn’t great. I enjoy the original game and the sequel, but after those (like I am with the Contra series) they don’t appeal to me as much.

Next up on the list is Ninja Spirit. The game is pretty tough until you realize that all you need is the explosive weapon 3 and it’s fairly smooth sailing from then on. I got to what I call the “ninja pit” and was stopped fully in my tracks. I don’t know exactly how to reach the bottom without being touched since it only takes one hit to kill you. It’s the last major obstacle before the final boss if I ever clear it.

Speaking of Contra, I also played, but was unsuccessful in beating Contra Rebirth. While I was able to get to level 4, I’m not exactly the best at managing the switching of the weapons. This was a gameplay mechanic that debuted in Contra III in 1992.

I’m not sure exactly what to say about Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris other than it’s available for download on PlayStation 4 and, well, it’s a Tomb Raider game. I liked it for what it was, but I definitely still prefer the traditional presentation of the series in Tomb Raider: Legend or the 2013 reboot.

More recently I’ve been playing some PlayStation 2 suggested games from readers like you. Of course, I have to already own the games because I’m not in a position to be purchasing whatever anybody suggests. First was Lifeline, the USB audio voice directed game from Konami. I knew going in I wouldn’t be playing it very long because it doesn’t always understand was you are saying. Well, I didn’t even successfully get to the title screen as my current USB headset wasn’t compatible. Oh well. It’s not much of a loss.

ICO was another suggestion and it goes without saying that this was a much better idea. I’m not into these more artistic style of games usually so I’m not going to be as impressed with it like so many others have been. I’m happy for those people, but I’m simply not one of them. I’m at the Crane section, but I needed a more action packed distraction.

That distraction was Power Rangers Dino Thunder on PS2. In this game you don’t play as the Rangers themselves, but instead as their Zoids. I think there’s 5-6 total in the game. Zeltrax is the main boss in the game that you fight twice in very similar battles each time. Unfortunately, you never seen the TV show’s main villain, Mesogog. He’s only spoken about. This was the third game I beat.

Another suggestion I’m playing a little of is the arcade version of Bubble Bobble via Taito Legends. The best I’ve done this time around is round 7. I’ve previously hit as high as round 16.

Thanks for reading and make sure to check out my podcasts over in the sidebar.

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Purchase Stats 2015

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The following stats are for all of my video game purchases throughout 2015.

Total number of games: 40
Amount bought increased by 21 from 2014.

9 New games^ (22.5%)
25 Used games (62.5%)
6 Downloadable games* (15%)

16 PS3
Blades of Time^
Mortal Kombat (Komplete Edition)
Saints Row: Gat Out of Hell^
Kamen Rider: Battride War^
Kamen Rider: Battride War II^
Ultra Street Fighter IV^
Guerrilla War*
Ikari III: The Rescue*
Ikari Warriors*
Vanguard*
Victory Road*
Captain America: Super Soldier
Call of Duty: World at War
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2
Call of Duty: Black Ops
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3

7 PS4
Infamous: Second Son^
The Pinball Arcade^
Injustice: Gods Among Us – Ultimate Edition
Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris*
Shadow Warrior^
Watch Dogs
Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection^

4 GBA
The Revenge of Shinobi
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2: Battle Nexus
Sega Arcade Gallery
Rayman: 10th Anniversary

3 PS
Street Fighter: The Movie
Iron Man / X-O Manowar in Heavy Metal
Ray Tracers

3 GB
Dracula Densetsu II
Adventure Island
The King of Fighters ’96

2 PS2
ICO
Medal of Honor: Vanguard

1 SAT
Outrun

1 WII
Super Smash Bros. Brawl

1 GBC
NHL Blades of Steel 2000

1 SNES
Dirt Trax FX

1 GC
The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess

10 MISC.
PS2 Component cables
Saturn (import gray)
Saturn S-Video cables
PS2 memory cards (2 red)
PS1 memory cards (2 black)
PlayStation 2 (model 2; silver)
PS2 controller (silver)
PS4 controller (gray)
PS4 controller (white)
PlayStation 4 (black)

Hart & Usagi #70: Feel The Electricity

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It’s time for another scintillating Hart & Usagi Podcast episode. We talk about Edge’s top 100 video games list, Nintendo against Fair Use, and the greatness of the original PlayStation among other topics.

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

NEWS/TOPICS:
* Mortal Kombat X for Xbox 360/PlayStation 3 Canceled
* Mega Man Movie is in Development at Fox
* 20 Brilliant Things About PlayStation
* Wow, Umihara Kawase games coming to PC
* Nintendo’s cracking down on speedrunning and ROM hacking videos
* 3 ways the original PlayStation changed gaming forever
* TGS 2015: Sony Reveals Fresh New PS4 Wireless Headset, Controllers, HDD Bay Covers
* Edge Special List: The 100 Greatest Video Games
* Former ESPN Host Criticizes Gaming Again
* Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 5 Day One Update Is Reportedly Bigger Than Game Itself
* Burnout Spiritual Successor Teased By Ex-Criterion Founders
* New Street Fighter V Character Laura Leaked
* What Are the Best Video Game Remakes?

Listen or Download (1:26:41)

Subscribe: RSS | iTunes

Hart & Usagi Podcast at the Internet Archive

Matt: @HartKnight | HartKnight’s Archive

Mike: @usagi704 | Domain of Usagi704

@HartandUsagi

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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Quality Gifts

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These are the video games I was given this holiday season. The amount is only three, but the quality is quite high. Check out the recently released episode 23 of the Hart & Usagi Podcast for more gift getting goodness at the end of the show.

Friday the 13th Part 3
The ICO & Shadow of the Colossus Collection
Red Dead Redemption

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Usagi704 gave me The ICO & Shadow of the Colossus Collection. I was surprised by this and here’s how that was the case. While not on my wish list I did mention that I wouldn’t mind getting it. After making my purchases for him at the Gamestop in the local mall, I waited outside for him to get whatever he was buying.

A couple of days later we went out to It’s About Games and I got gift certificates for the niece and nephew. I joked about the game being something I wouldn’t mind when I saw a new copy on the wall. He proceeded to purchase it in front of me and said it was for the kids with this knowing look. I thought they wouldn’t necessarily appreciate it like I would, but left it be and didn’t think much of his facial expression.

On Christmas Eve the kids got said game. The next day I opened his gift to find out I also received the same game. As it turned out he did buy it for me at the mall and when buying the second copy had the aforementioned look for the obvious reason. The only difference was that I did get the new copy versus the used one.

Happy Holidays!

New Releases 2011: Week of Sept. 25

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This looks like the week of rereleases, but at least they’re all good. You could easily spend a bundle of money on just these reissues of Phantasy Star on PSP, Code Veronica X, ICO, Shadow of the Colossus, and Splinter Cell.

My pick is one of the final DS games worth getting: Solatorobo. It has a connection to a 1999 PS1 game called Tail Concerto by the same developer.

Atelier Totori: The Adventurer of Arland (PS3)
Castlevania: Harmony of Despair (PS3)
Civilization V – Game of the Year Edition (PC)
Driver: San Francisco (PC)
Phantasy Star Defender’s Pack (PSP)
Pro Evolution Soccer 2012 (PS3, X360)
Resident Evil Code: Veronica X HD (PS3, X360)
Solatorobo: Red the Hunter (DS)
The ICO & Shadow of the Colossus Collection (PS3)
Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell Classic Trilogy HD (PS3)
X-Men: Destiny (PS3, X360, WII, DS)

Hart & Usagi Podcast #6

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Episode six of the Hart & Usagi podcast is upon you with an hour and 14 minutes of conversation about gaming and whatever else comes to mind.

Please note that my mic volume is a bit higher than in past episodes. I apologize for this. I was trying to make it better, but failed to do so. It has been corrected back to the way it was before for next time.

* Mega Man Legends 3
* ICO and Shadow of the Colossus Collection
* New game systems with diminishing returns
* PlayStation Vita, PSP, 3DS issues
* Bastion
* Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3
* Evolution 2011
* F.E.A.R.
* Netflix on 3DS
* Saints Row: The Third
* Bullying
* Campy action films

Listen now or Download.