Hart & Usagi #78: Switching It Up

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A brand new episode of the Hart & Usagi Podcast is here! We chat about a variety of topics like the Nintendo Switch, The Last Guardian, Mafia 3, and more.

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

NEWS:
* Recent games played
* “Ultimate Gaming Deodorant” Kickstarter Campaign Launches
* Henshin Developing Film Based on ‘Klonoa’ Video Games
* Doom Designer on Video Game Violence and Culture
* The Nintendo Switch Dock Is “Not the Main Console”
* The Last Guardian Has Finally Gone Gold
* Why Beyond Good & Evil 2 Has Taken So Long
* People are mad they have to play a black character in FIFA 17
* Mafia 3 Begins With Statement About Racism
* Triple-A development is not worth it, according to Amy Hennig
* The PS3’s Launch Price Was Way Too Much, Former Exec Says
* Microsoft Among Those Reportedly Interested in Possibly Buying Twitter

Listen or Download (1:14:50)

Subscribe: RSS | iTunes

Hart & Usagi Podcast at the Internet Archive

Matt: @HartKnight | HartKnight’s Archive

Mike: @usagi704 | Domain of Usagi704

@HartandUsagi

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Games Finished In 2014

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The list below shows every game that I finished in 2014. The total number comes to 46. That’s up 10 from 2013.

March proved to be the best month for beating games with 16 in total thanks to getting back to my gaming roots. The monthly average throughout the year was 3.8.

1. Bayonetta (PS3) – 1/14
2. Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons (PSN) – 1/27
3. The Saboteur (PS3) – 2/4
4. Batman: Arkham Asylum (PS3) – 2/12
5. Mortal Kombat Trilogy (PS) – 2/14
6. Street Fighter II: Champion Edition (VC) – 2/15
7. Robocop (ARC) – 2/21
8. Muramasa: The Demon Blade (WII) – 2/26
9. Soldner-X 2: Final Prototype (PSN) – 3/3
10. Streets of Rage 3 via Sonic’s Ultimate Genesis Collection (PS3) – 3/10
11. Jackal (NES) – 3/11
12. Tetris Plus 2 (ARC) – 3/13
13. Metamorphic Force (ARC) – 3/13
14. Chip ‘n Dale: Rescue Rangers (NES) – 3/14
15. P.O.W.: Prisoners of War (NES) – 3/16
16. Vice: Project Doom (NES) – 3/18
17. Fortified Zone (GB) – 3/19
18. Sunset Riders (SNES) – 3/21
19. Castlevania: Bloodlines (GEN) – 3/23
20. Super Double Dragon (SNES) – 3/24
21. Contra (NES) – 3/25
22. Sparkster (SNES) – 3/25
23. Code Name: Viper (NES) – 3/29
24. Operation Logic Bomb (SNES) – 3/31
25. Wild Guns (SNES) – 4/5
26. Return of Double Dragon (SFC) – 4/8
27. Ninja Warriors (SNES) – 4/8
28. Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood (PS3) – 5/3
29. Assassin’s Creed: Revelations (PS3) – 6/30
30. Klonoa: Empire of Dreams (GBA) – 7/7
31. Castlevania: Symphony of the Night (PS) – 8/20
32. Syndicate (PS3) – 9/3
33. Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode II (PC) – 9/10
34. Hotline Miami (PC) – 9/14
35. Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia (DS) – 10/15
36. Castlevania: Dracula X (SNES) – 10/21
37. Splatterhouse (TG-16) – 10/27
38. Ratchet: Deadlocked (PS2) – 11/6
39. Ratchet & Clank Future: Tools of Destruction (PS3) – 11/16
40. Batman (ARC) – 11/20
41. Crime Fighters (ARC) – 11/20
42. Ratchet & Clank Future: Quest for Booty (PSN) – 11/20
43. Yakuza 3 (PS3) – 12/21
44. RayCrisis: Series Termination (PS) – 12/28
45. Panzer Bandit (PS) – 12/29
46. Strider 2 (PS) – 12/31

Now Playing: July 2014

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This month’s game playing time was filled up with Assassin’s Creed III, Gradius Galaxies, and Klonoa: Empire of Dreams. The Klonoa game I talk about my thoughts on finishing it here. I also mention the differences in the controls of Assassin’s Creed III vs. the previous games in the series here.

As far as more ACIII thoughts? I don’t particularly want to bother with the hunting or the shipping goods from the homestead for expanded cash flow. The latter activity feels needlessly complex. I mean, is it really necessary for completing the game?

Another thing I’m not as high on, as I said in the previous blog post, is the naval missions. I’m heard many, many times about how it was the best part of the game. It can be fun, but it also can be frustrating to deal with some of the scenarios.

Overall ACIII is sadly a downturn in quality of the series. That’s why it’s great to hear that Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag is excellent.

The other game played was the Game Boy Advance shoot-’em-up Gradius Galaxies. It’s your typical classic style Gradius game. The missiles and shots fired can be assigned to the same button and has an auto fire option. These are great for play-ability. It did progress well enough with the help of the game’s continue option, but this option doesn’t extend to the final two missions. I didn’t finish it, but Gradius Galaxies is fun for those looking for a great GBA shooter.

THIS MONTH’S GAMING STATS:
* Assassin’s Creed III – 17h19m; 40%; 17 trophies
* Gradius Galaxies – Stage 8-3; Score: 65,500

Hart & Usagi Podcast #49: EA’s Uncomfortable With Change

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On this edition of the Hart & Usagi Podcast we talk about how awesome Platinum Games is and how much EA isn’t. We also give our thoughts on what being an “indie” game is. All this and more can be yours with a simple download of the episode below.

Enjoy the show and remember to subscribe and follow the Hart & Usagi Podcast today!

NEWS/TOPICS:
* Assassin’s Creed IV, Code of Princess, Shovel Knight, and Klonoa: Empire of Dreams reviews
* Phil Spencer: Consumers love Kinect, they’ll still buy it
* Microsoft Arc and Logitech K750 keyboards
* The Legend of Korra: as told by Bayonetta dev Platinum Games
* Gamers Uncomfortable with Change, Says EA’s Peter Moore
* EA Mobile Says Dungeon Keeper May Have ‘Innovated Too Much’
* It’s Impossible to Define “Indie” So We Should Stop Using It Altogether
* The Best and Worst Character Reboots and Redesigns
* The Greatest Games for NES: 1985-87

Listen or Download (1:51:16)
Subscribe!
Hart & Usagi Podcast at the Internet Archive
Matt: @HartKnight | HartKnight’s Archive
Mike: @usagi704 | WP blog

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@HartandUsagi

Klonoa: Empire of Dreams

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Klonoa: Empire of Dreams for the Game Boy Advance is my 30th game finished this year. I started it on July 4th and finished the final boss on July 7th.

If you’re familiar with the Klonoa series, and shame on you if you aren’t, Klonoa: Empire of Dreams isn’t the style of game that you’d find on the PlayStation or PlayStation 2. Those games are platformers through and through. However, Empire of Dreams (and its sequel, Dream Champ Tournament) introduces a lot more puzzle solving into the mix. These are brain teasers that’ll certainly test your mental capacity. If this style of game sounds interesting to you, then by all means give it a try.

Empire of Dreams certainly has no problems using its puzzles to make you feel a little stupid and out of your league at times. But this isn’t something you can’t overcome. I was stumped by the simplest thing on one of the levels. I needed a block and I didn’t realize how easy it was to throw it over the obstacle I needed to get around. I had to have Usagi704 show me how it was done. It literally took him seconds to figure out what I wasn’t noticing to do.

There’s still one other thing that’s troubling me where three sections where raised water was the obstacle. I couldn’t figure out how to get past these parts without taking the easy way out and taking a hit and abusing the invincibility afterward. It felt like that was the solution, but I have a hard time believing it to be the case.

All in all, Empire of Dreams definitely still retains that Klonoa charm. It just now adds a bunch of fiendish puzzles. For $12 cart only you can’t go wrong.

Special Note: I typed this blog using the Microsoft Arc keyboard. There’s definitely things I like about it, but it can’t beat the k750.

*****

HART & USAGI PODCAST #48 – June 24th 2014 (@HartandUsagi)
HartKnight and usagi704 chat the Assassin’s Creed series, the Retron 5, IGN’s “exclusive” on The Last Guardian, live streams aren’t fun for Nintendo, and more.
https://hartarchive.wordpress.com/2014/06/24/hart-usagi-podcast-48-stop-criminals/

SUBSCRIBE!

SPACE SUPLEX #6 – June 21st 2014 (@SpaceSuplex)
24bitAJE and HartKnight review the June 16th RAW and talk about our current thoughts of the (upcoming) Money In The Bank PPV.
https://hartarchive.wordpress.com/2014/06/21/space-suplex-podcast-ep-6-stardust/

Top 18 Middle-of-the-Road Video Games

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Today’s video game industry doesn’t care much for the modest budgeted titles of just the last generation. The focus is always on the gimmicky no-budget or the all sizzle no steak of the million dollar titles.

What I’m going to focus on here is my favorite eighteen mid-tier games I’ve played. These will be listed without description, but they will have reviews linked for more information. These aren’t usually the best rated games, but if you go in being forgiving of some of the faults you’ll no doubt find, then you may just realize you’re enjoying yourself. But who am I kidding. It’s not like we’d want that to happen. Let’s get to it.

* Batman Begins
* Black
* Guitar Hero
* The Incredible Hulk: Ultimate Destruction
* Kill Switch
* Klonoa 2: Lunatea’s Veil
* Mercenaries
* Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks
* NightFire
* Stuntman Ignition
* The Warriors

* Bionic Commando
* Conan
* Demon’s Souls
* Lost Planet: Extreme Condition
* Mirror’s Edge
* Viking: Battle for Asgard
* X-Men Origins: Wolverine

2012 Award Winners (Part 2)

It’s now time for the final half of my 2012 awards!

BEST PODCAST EPISODE (eps. 10-23)
13
15
18
WINNER: 19

Lightwarrior179’s first time on the Hart & Usagi Podcast was fun talking about mainly the Mass Effect 3 debacle (#13). Episode 15 was a post-E3 show. Madtyger was a welcomed guest for the first time in our post-PAX show (#18). The most fun, however, was the jumbo 19th episode with SonicHomeboy and midway through a call to madtyger.

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BEST PODCAST NOT MY OWN
Giant Bombcast
The Jimmy Dore Show
MLW
WINNER: No More Whoppers

All of these podcasts are fantastic for different reasons. The Giant Bombcast for gaming, The Jimmmy Dore Show for a comedians take on politics, and MLW for pro wrestling talk featuring former WCW talent Konnan. No More Whoppers is the winner for being a consistently entertaining mix of gaming and life in Japan. It’s fun stuff!

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MOST FUN WITH GPY
Mortal Kombat Arcade Kollection
Crash Commando
Borderlands
WINNER: Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare

Madtyger runs a gaming clan (GPY) which I’ve played with on several occasions. I won several of these events. Most notably Mortal Kombat Arcade Kollection and Crash Commando. I ultimately had more fun playing Call of Duty 4 and that was after Usagi704 couldn’t join us because his PS3 rejected the online portion of the game. It was fun to get owned by madtyger.

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FAVORITE UNPLAYED GAME SUGGESTED
Darksiders
Daxter
Deus Ex: The Conspiracy
WINNER: Assassin’s Creed II

Thanks to all of the responses from everyone in early 2012, I played a number of games I owned but hadn’t yet started. Of all of them these were the four I enjoyed the most with my lone platinum trophy gained in the last calendar belonging to the most fun of these being Assassin’s Creed II. I also have to give props to Deus Ex: The Conspiracy. It gave me a lot to think and talk about during the time I played it.

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FAVORITE MASTERED GAME SUGGESTED
Burnout 3: Takedown
Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers (SNES)
Castlevania II: Simon’s Quest
WINNER: Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow

In a similar fashion to the award above I asked which of the games on my Backloggery mastered list I should revisit. All are great fun and were so once again, but, man, if I don’t love Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow and its copious amounts of replay value.

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BEST PLATFORMER
Castlevania: The Adventure Rebirth
Daxter
Spyro: Year of the Dragon
WINNER: Klonoa: Door to Phantomile

I don’t consider myself big into platformers, but that might have more to do with the downplay of them in today’s gaming environment. Regardless, I do love the greats and Klonoa: Door to Phantomile is certainly one of those.

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BIGGEST SURPRISE
Lost Planet: Extreme Condition
Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2
Beyond Oasis
WINNER: Deus Ex: The Conspiracy

Last year’s winner was Run Saber. It easily took the crown, but this is a bit of a closer race in that I didn’t expect to be surprised by as many this time. Lost Planet was more exciting than I thought, Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2 went better once I seriously tried to play it, and Beyond Oasis was less confusing than it seemed initially. If anything Deus Ex: The Conspiracy was thought provoking enough to inspire four blog posts my yours truly. It also had several ways to tackle most missions making for a unique experience (one I didn’t feel was hampered by being on the PS2).

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ABSOLUTE BEST GAME OF THE YEAR
Assassin’s Creed II
Klonoa: Door to Phantomile
Half-Life 2: Episode Two
WINNER: Devil May Cry

A great open world game, platformer, shooter, and action game. All I’d highly recommend with Devil May Cry being at the top. I put this game off as being not for me for a long time. But when seeing it again with fresh eyes and via the HD collection, I had to give it a shot. It didn’t disappoint and I now see why it was and still is highly influential and considered a classic in the truest sense.

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