Now Playing: July 2019


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.

Now Playing: November 2018


So what have I been up to as far as video gaming is concerned in the month of November? Why is was Mirror’s Edge: Catalyst, of course. I’ve explained some of my thoughts on the game on the Hart & Usagi Podcast recently.

I felt that the open world style doesn’t suit the gameplay of Mirror’s Edge to my tastes as much. It does work in reality, but just not as much for me. I’d rather the linear level design of the first game over this. The combat is much better in that guns are mostly absent. Faith can’t use them and only one type of lower level enemy does use them. The heavy damage dealt with an attack after a wallrun, slide, or the like really feels good. If this sounds somewhat interesting of a game to you, certainly don’t let my mediocre feelings about it stop you from seeing it for yourself.

I only bothered with one other game during this same time period. It’s effectually, what I like to call, Kid Niki 2. This is because this is the sequel on the Famicom to what we got known as Kid Niki on the NES. It’s title is Kaiketsu Yancha Maru 2: Karakuri Land. I played Usagi704’s copy and, as he said beforehand, it’s easily finished on your first try. It’s enjoyable despite being a very average game.

The only other gaming related thing I did was watch Max on Twitch play the Blackout mode in Call of Duty: Black Ops 4. His skills along with something about the Call of Duty version of this battle royale phenomenon has been fun to view. I have no interest whatsoever to watch the other popular games or play any of them myself. Granted, I’m not that surprised I’ve watched him play this for hours and hours. In the past I’ve liked watching his regular Call of Duty multiplayer matches in previous games. So these two things are just great together. :)

Welcome Back and Zeroing Out


About a week ago the PlayStation Store started their 30 day free games offer to existing members. For the PSP I chose the only two games out of the four choices that I didn’t own already and they are Pursuit Force and ModNation Racers. For the PS3 I chose Super Stardust HD and Wipeout HD with the included Fury add-on content.

I downloaded an additional four games, but this time on the Wii. I had 1100 “points” left and I wanted to get the total as close to zero as possible. I knew I wanted Contra Rebirth (1000) and the TurboGrafx-16 version of Street Fighter II: Champion Edition (700). I bought the latter because I’ve always been interested to see how this port turned out.

To zero out my points total I did the math and figured I needed an extra 2000 to make it work. Now I just needed to figure out which 600 and 800 point games I was also getting. I decided on Ninja Spirit for TG-16 and Wild Guns for SNES, respectively. For quite some time I was holding out hope to find an actual cartridge for Wild Guns that was cheaper than the usual asking price of about $55 for the game only. It’s the only SNES game left on my wish list, but I decided to get it on the Virtual Console just in case I don’t ever find it. I’ll still be looking, though.

While it’s difficult to get a deal on Wild Guns, I stumbled into two great deals while at Best Buy getting the previously needed 2000 points card. The first deal was Tekken 6 on PSP for $12! I enjoy Tekken better on a portable system for some reason I can’t explain and this was a great find. The other game I found a copy of was Bayonetta. It was grouped in with a bunch of games for $20. I wasn’t really keen on spending that much, but unlike the rest it didn’t have a price tag on it. When I took it to the checkout I asked how much it was and the reply came back as $9. Consider me shocked. Once I recovered about an hour later I bought it.


Having A Ball


The last time I checked in with you fine folks I was just starting Burnout Legends and Hammerin’ Hero on the fabulous PSP. I managed to beat both in that time with the following final results.

Burnout Legends — 171 Events Completed; 619 Takedowns

Hammerin’ Hero — 291 KOs; 8 Jobs; 8 Bento; 30 Thank You Letters; 17 Souvenirs; 47 Kuromoku Personnel Files

There’s still some things that I could do to totally complete the games like getting all gold medals and finishing all difficultly level for each stage. However for now I’m going to let them be and focus on Sly 2: Band of Thieves.

When it comes to Sly 2, my progress has only been an extra 10%. I think I’m about halfway done with episode 3, The Predator Awakes with 24% of the total game completed.

I also had fun playing Usagi704 in Tekken 3, but not in the way you’re thinking. We played against each other in the Tekken Ball mode. It’s actually quite entertaining and we’ve even thought of recording some footage to show. It’s quite the riot and Law turns out to be pretty good with his flip kicks.

To recap: Hammerin’ Hero and Burnout Legends became the 14th and 15th games, respectively, that I’ve beaten for 2010, Sly 2 will become my main game for the time being, and Tekken Ball is, well, exactly that…a ball!

Now I leave you with this footage of “a wicked stunt car,” as Darkbeat put it, from Burnout Legends. Later!

Four At Once? Wha?


Something I hardly ever do is split myself between more than two games at a time. Well, this time it’s four in all. The good thing is that they’re all different enough that it doesn’t feel like there’s as many as there are.

As I mentioned in the last blog post, I’m getting on in Sly 2: Band of Thieves pretty well. I’m currently on the second mission with 14% of the total game completed.

I’ve been trying to perfect my shoot-’em-up skills in Capcom’s Varth. My best score so far is 1,215,100 on one credit. In that same single credit I also usually last until around the middle of stage 4 to the end of stage 5.

I started two PSP games within the last few days. If you’ve played Burnout 3: Takedown as much as I have then Burnout Legends will feel mostly the same. Some of the race tracks and crash zones make a return with a few new ones too. It’s good ol’ wreck ’em fun on the go.

12%; 27 Events Completed; 70,915 Burnout Points; 68 Takedowns

Hammerin’ Hero is a pretty unique Atlus platformer and has it’s challenge coming from the older days of gaming. It’s not overly hard, but it may take coming back to a difficult level later that’ll help you get through it.

Kuromoku HQ – 1h46m; 185 KOs; 7 Jobs; 7 Bento; 28 Thank You Letters; 11 Souvenirs; 36 Kuromoku Personnel Files

Hammerin’ A Home Run


I have two quick updates for you all.

First off is more talk about Uncharted. I know, I know. It’s been a main topic for awhile, but I promise this the final time for now.

I completed Hard difficulty yesterday and the main differences were that enemies took more hits, the player can take less, and enemies flank much sooner. Other than that it’s the very same experience, but a fun one nonetheless. I wasn’t speed running this time, but I still managed a good run time at 6 hours and 4 minutes.

With this run I got about 3-4 more trophies that included ones for finishing the game on Normal and Hard.


A few days ago I also received my order from Gamefly. I don’t rent games so that’s not what this is. I bought a used game from them to see how the condition of their games are. I’m glad to report that their used games come in excellent condition with everything accounted for.

The game in question that I got was Hammerin’ Hero for the PSP. It’s an Irem developed and Atlus published game that not many may have heard about. I became interested in the game after viewing the most recent episode of Video Game Take-Out.


NES eBay Lot

About two weeks ago I received the items I bought on eBay. Those items consisted of an NES model 2, light gun (orange), 2 controllers (original), and 14 games.

The only unfortunate thing about the games is that I already own 9 of them. I fell that it was worth the repeats just so I could get the model 2 NES at a decent price.

In addition I also bought Yakuza 2 and a second copy of the original NBA Jam for the SNES. I only did so after demoing it and seeing that it included Charles Barkley. Early versions of this game have him in it. He was taken out in later printings of the game because of his involvement at the time with Barkley Shut Up and Jam.

Here’s the usual wonderful gallery of photos.

NES 2, Light Gun, Kung Fu, Golf, Super Off Road, R.C. Pro-AM, and Rad Racer
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Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Double Dragon II, Super Mario Bros. 2 (w/manual), Tetris, Super Mario Bros. 3, Super Mario Bros./Duck Hunt (w/manual), Bad Dudes (w/manual), Dragon Warrior, and Skate or Die
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NBA Jam and Yakuza 2
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