Now Playing: March 2020

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Back in December I mentioned that I had played a number of racing games. This time the variety has arrived.

The big game this time was Syndicate’s single player. I enjoyed what I played, but it seemed to not allow the player to utilize the special abilities that it had available at most times. There are these armored enemies that are invulnerable to attack until disabled. The final boss (or at least what I expected) had this issue along with high damaging attacks. Any of those special abilities also can’t be used against these enemies or this boss. This lead to a frustrating fight that felt very cheap and uninteresting to finish. The multiplayer portion I played years ago still remains much more worth playing.

Trine 2: Complete Story was more of the same when compared to the first title. Because of this I felt less interested to continue after 12 stages of a total of 20. The frustration of Syndicate’s last boss fight continued with the PSP version of Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands. This isn’t the same game as the home console versions and I did go into it knowing the difficulty. The first boss here wasn’t hard to figure out. The game cooperating was an issue. It didn’t seem like the animation was programmed for the better.

The rest of my time was spent with the old school side of gaming.

* Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers: The Fighting Edition — I played this against Usagi704 where his Lipsyncher was devastating. I also had a trial mode win streak of six. That’s the game’s survival mode.

* Super Chase H.Q. — I was able to get to the final of five stages (or rounds as the game calls them) on the allotted three continues. It’s quite tough, but it’s still a fun first person style of the third person original arcade game, Chase H.Q. Maybe some day I shall complete that fifth and last round.

* Axelay — The still fantastic looking Super Nintendo shoot-’em-up from Konami. It’s overall more basic playing than other similar shooters at the time. It’s wow factor is from the weapon switching, music, and the superb graphics. I was able to get to the very end on Easy after many tries. Eventually I used a Game Genie (the horror) to get seven lives instead of only three. This did help me in beating the game (and, yes, this still counts, you macho masochists).

* Galaga, Double Dragon, & Double Dragon II: The Revenge — These arcade classics are easy and quick ways to have fun for a few minutes. The Arcade Game Series release of Galaga has the great feature of allowing you to start on the last stage you’ve reached. Mine is currently on stage 88. No online high scores can be set this way, but that’s to be expected. The first Double Dragon can also be called “Back Elbow: The Game.” Just execute that very move on every enemy for the most damage. In Double Dragon II this move is more enemy specific plus the game is overall more challenging. I finished Double Dragon and also effectively did so with an endless game like Galaga.

Hart & Usagi #93: Huge Sprites!!!

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In episode 93 we discuss Bernie Sanders calling for unions for video game industry workers, Phil Spencer’s jealously of not being in first place of console sales, and many games revealed for mini console systems.

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

TOPICS:
* Yakuza: Kenzan Could Be Suitable for a Kiwami-Style Remake, Producer Says
* Xbox Boss Phil Spencer: “The Business is Not How Many Consoles You Sell”
* Bernie Sanders takes to Twitter to endorse video game unionization
* Riot Games Under Investigation by the State of California For Gender Discrimination
* Konami announces the TurboGrafx-16 mini and six of the games it’ll feature
* Mega Drive Mini Games List: All 42 Titles Revealed
* Trump administration proposes 25 percent tariff on game consoles, board game imports
* The Loot Box Bill is Public, And The ESA Says It’s “Flawed And Riddled With Inaccuracies”
* Don’t worry, the Sega Genesis Mini Will Have a Six-Button Controller Available at Launch

Listen or Download (1:17:54)

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Hart & Usagi Podcast at the Internet Archive

Matt: @HartKnight | HartKnight’s Archive

Mike: @usagi704 | Domain of Usagi704 | Instagram

@HartandUsagi

Hart & Usagi #92: Disgruntled CEO

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In episode 92 we discuss Randy Pitchford doing a bad, Mortal Kombat is entered into the Video Game Hall of Fame, and more CEO multi-meltdowns than you’d ever want in your life.

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

TOPICS:
* Castlevania Anniversary Collection to receive Japanese title variants post-launch
* Capcom Confirms Devil May Cry Switch is a Port of PS4 HD Collection Version, No Price Set
* Loot Boxes Could Become Illegal In US If New Bill Passes
* Claptrap Voice Actor Claims Gearbox CEO Randy Pitchford Physically Assaulted Him
* Gearbox CEO Calls Original Claptrap Actor “Bitter and Disgruntled” in Latest Borderlands 3 Twitter Controversy
* Randy Pitchford Tweetstorms Game Informer Over Borderlands 3 Microtransactions
* Mortal Kombat inducted into Video Game Hall of Fame
* “[Crunch] Is Killing People. Something Has to Change”
* Apex Legends is Sticking With Seasonal Update to Not Overwork the Team, Respawn Founder Says
* Igarashi Explains Bloodstained Switch Demo’s Poor Performance at PAX
* Mortal Kombat 11 Is a Good Game Shrouded in a Fog of Tedious Grinding and Microtransactions
* Report: Fortnite Developers Say They Regularly Crunch “70-Hour Weeks”
* Sega Genesis / Mega Drive Mini Includes Sonic 2, Shinobi III; More Classic Games Revealed

Listen or Download (1:26:02)

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Hart & Usagi Podcast at the Internet Archive

Matt: @HartKnight | HartKnight’s Archive

Mike: @usagi704 | Domain of Usagi704 | Instagram

@HartandUsagi

Hart & Usagi #91: The Becky & Jennifer Show

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In episode 91 the new Mortal Kombat 11 shows that loot boxes aren’t needed to have a fun game, Google’s expectations for Stadia don’t live in the real world, and Becky and Jennifer stop by to chat for a bit with each other.

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

TOPICS:
* Sega Stops Sales Of Yakuza Spinoff Judgment In Japan After Actor Arrested For Alleged Cocaine Use
* Google’s New Game Streaming Platform is Called Stadia
* Konami Announces Three Classic Collections: Arcade, Castlevania, Contra
* GDC 2019: Google Confirms Stadia Won’t Allow Offline Downloads
* Google Stadia Boss Is “Absolutely, Unequivocally” Sure Latency Won’t Be An Issue
* Judgment actor Pierre Taki will be completely scrubbed from game’s western release
* Sega Genesis Mini Will Release in September With 40 Games
* PlayStation Store Now Offering Refunds, But There’s a Catch
* Borderlands 3’s expensive editions come with boost mods for loot drop rates, XP
* Valve Stops Borderlands Review Bombing Over BL3 Epic Store Exclusivity
* Mortal Kombat 11 Has No Loot Boxes, Neo From The Matrix Won’t Be Added
* Blind Squirrel was indeed working on Mortal Kombat Remaster but it was cancelled, first screenshots
* Capcom Home Arcade is an Outrageously Priced Plug-and-Play Retro Console
* Exclusive: What to Expect From Sony’s Next-Gen PlayStation

Listen or Download (1:15:58)

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Hart & Usagi Podcast at the Internet Archive

Matt: @HartKnight | HartKnight’s Archive

Mike: @usagi704 | Domain of Usagi704 | Instagram

@HartandUsagi

Hart & Usagi #89: Phone Club

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On episode 89 of the Hart & Usagi Podcast we chat about a variety of topics like Telltale breaking labor laws, breaking and entering to play the NES, and more.

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

TOPICS:
* Only ’80s Kids Remember: Breaking Into Houses to Get an NES Fix
* Sony Says It Has Fixed the PlayStation 4 Message Bug That’s Been Causing Consoles to Crash
* Red Dead Redemption 2’s 100-Hour Weeks Are Nothing New for Rockstar
* Street Fighter V: Arcade Edition update will improve the speed of the game’s inputs
* Castlevania: Symphony of the Night On PS4 Won’t Have The Iconic “What Is A Man?” Scene
* Telltale hit with class-action lawsuit for breaking labor laws
* PS Vita Production in Japan Will End in 2019, No Successor Planned
* Capcom Beat ‘Em Up Bundle Smashes its Way to PlayStation 4
* The PlayStation Classic is Going to Have a Much Harder Time Selling its Nostalgia Next to the SNES Classic

Listen or Download (1:09:39)

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Hart & Usagi Podcast at the Internet Archive

Matt: @HartKnight | HartKnight’s Archive

Mike: @usagi704 | Domain of Usagi704 | Instagram

@HartandUsagi

Now Playing: August-October 2018

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So I’ve been playing these things called “video games” and I figured I’d tell you about some of them. :D

The Bourne Conspiracy follows the events of The Bourne Identity and adds a bit more to it to lengthen the game. You play just about every major and minor scene from the movie including the big car chase scene. That specific moment, however, is done poorly and is not all that fun. Luckily most of the game is beat-’em-up and shooting style of gameplay. There are opportunities for stealthy takedowns, but it’s not required and is the other part of the game that’s also not done all that well.

Speaking of stealthy gameplay, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2: Battle Nexus on the Game Boy Advance is much better at it than the above game. It’s also much more enjoyable than TMNT 2 on the main consoles of its time like the PlayStation 2. You have to find crystals throughout the levels, but you have to use each turtle because each have different abilities allowing you to access places the others can’t reach. The difficulty of combat is fairly easy, but it’s welcome in this way since the traversal is what keeps you wanting to play some more.

I finally got around to playing *the* Spider-Man game that gets all the praise since it’s 2004 release and that’s, obviously, Spider-Man 2. The praise is pretty much universally for the swinging abilities and it’s well deserved. But, that’s where it ends, in my opinion. The points needs to progress the story from menial rescues are very repetitive. I also didn’t enjoy most, if any, of the boss battles. I don’t dislike the game. I just wish it was as good as its reputation leads you to believe.

Of the four games I played in these last few months, Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End was the most fun. I liked the first two games quite a bit, and I still like them the most, but this game was a step up from the disappointment of Uncharted 3. Sam is a great companion and Sully’s dry wit is as welcome as always. The overall gameplay isn’t much different and that’s okay. It was good to begin with.

Hart & Usagi #88: “Coked out of his mind”

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On episode 88 of the Hart & Usagi Podcast we chat about a variety of topics like Dotemu bringing back two classics, Yakuza series turned down by video gaming hardware companies, and more.

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

TOPICS:
* Fighting EX Layer is getting a physical release in Japan, to be shown at Konami’s booth at the 2018 Tokyo Game Show
* In Japan, a Beloved Deaf Composer Appears to Be None of the Above
* Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice Originally Started As A Tenchu Game
* Streets Of Rage 4 Is Finally Happening, 24 Years Later
* Report: Multiple Fatalities in Mass Shooting at Madden NFL 19 Tournament in Florida
* Stormdivers is a sci-fi battle royale shooter from Resogun and Nex Machina’s Housemarque
* Neo Geo cult favourite frisbee-fighter Windjammers is getting a sequel
* Bloodstained for Vita is Cancelled Because the Vita is Dead, Also Delayed to 2019
* The Yakuza Series Was Pitched To Both Nintendo And Microsoft, But Neither Wanted It
* Bethesda blocks resale of a secondhand game
* Capcom is “proud” of DmC, but Devil May Cry 5 will “expand more on the combat philosophies established in DMC1-4”
* Van Damme was “coked out of his mind” during filming of Street Fighter movie, says director

Listen or Download (1:46:21)

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Hart & Usagi Podcast at the Internet Archive

Matt: @HartKnight | HartKnight’s Archive

Mike: @usagi704 | Domain of Usagi704 | Instagram

@HartandUsagi

Hart & Usagi #85: 3 Crude Dudes

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On episode 85 of the Hart & Usagi Podcast we welcome back Dan to the show and chat about a variety of topics like the resurgence of using video games as a scapegoat, anticipating the soon to be released Burnout Paradise remaster, Demon’s Souls fans efforts to keep the game alive, and more.

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

TOPICS:
* President Trump’s Video Games Meeting Included A Violent Game Montage
* The NRA Has a Long History of Scapegoating Violent Video Games
* All the Times Video Games Have Been Linked to Violence
* Trump Raises Issue Of Video Game And Movie Violence, Suggests Ratings Board Is Needed
* Kentucky Governor Suggests Violent Video Games Are Responsible for Mass Shootings
* Demon’s Souls Fans Are Already Testing Private Servers, Here’s How to Join Them
* Free PS3 And PS Vita Games Not Included In PS Plus From 2019
* ESRB Takes Action on Loot Boxes by Creating New Label
* Konami Is Charging Real Money For ‘Metal Gear Survive’ Save Slots
* Burnout Paradise Remastered Microtransaction Listing Is A Mistake, Says EA
* Street Fighter 5’s New DLC Character Release Date Confirmed, See Blanka In Action
* Switch overtakes Wii U lifetime sales as Super Mario Odyssey hits 9 million units sold
* Battlefront II Misses Sales Expectations, Microtransactions Will Return ‘In The Next Few Month’

Listen or Download (1:40:34)

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Hart & Usagi Podcast at the Internet Archive

Matt: @HartKnight | HartKnight’s Archive

Mike: @usagi704 | Domain of Usagi704

Dan: @6h05tly

@HartandUsagi

Halloween Season Is Upon Us

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Welcome to my 6th Annual Halloween Gaming Event. Starting today I will be resurrecting Demon’s Souls from when I last played it four years ago. This time I’ll be trying to play co-op with Usagi704 and JiibayDan. I say “trying” because of my third-shift schedule will try and make this endeavor impossible, but I’ll get it my best shot.

In other game playing news, I played some of Tecmo Super NBA Basketball and it wasn’t very good. The pace was slower than I’d like and there seemed to lack any defense programming.

The same can also be said about the defense in NBA Give ‘N Go as well. This Konami developed Super Nintendo basketball game makes offense trivial which means you need to block shots if you have any hope of winning. Currently I’m playing a shorten season with the 1994 Bulls and my record is 10W-0L as of this blog post.

I hope you’ve been doing well. What game are you playing for Halloween? Have a good one!

Don’t Think Just Rush’n!

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Since the start of September I’ve been playing the first of only two games ever developed by Vatra Games out of the Czech Republic. It was Rush’n Attack: Ex-Patriot. The other game was Silent Hill: Downpour.

Rush’n Attack was a 1985 arcade game by Konami that was eventually ported to the NES two years later. It wasn’t until 2011 that a second game was ever produced. That’s this game, subtitled Ex-Patriot.

The original game’s style was all about the player keeping on the move and stabbing/shooting any enemy running your way. In Ex-Patriot, if you wish for a good ranking at the end of each lengthy level you should play in the same manner. The reason I say this is that the presentation, despite not being very good graphically, seems to suggest through story that you should take it slow and stealthy. It’s fun to play the game in this way, but it isn’t necessary.

Overall, Rush’n Attack: Ex-Patriot isn’t a stellar game by any means, but if you’re looking for some simple game mechanics in a short (less than) five hour game, then it’s not the worst thing you can be playing.

I’ve been playing against Usagi704 in some of his stash of lesser known fighting games as of late. One of those games, which I also have, is Fighter’s History on the SNES. My main character is Ray who is the most Ryu/Ken like fighter, but he still doesn’t play exactly like either of those Street Fighter counterparts.

I also took the liberty of finishing Fighter’s History on the Hardest CPU difficulty level with Ray. I could cheese several opponents with Dynamite Tackle (→ → Punch) again and again. Even the first of two bosses, Clown, was a joke with this tactic (pun intended).

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