Hart & Usagi Podcast #42: The Beat Down


The Hart and Usagi Podcast is back for the first episode of the new year to talk about the beat-’em-up genre of gaming. To do so we welcome back Anthony from the ++Good Games podcast.

Join us as we take a trip down memory lane and also talk about today’s evolution of the beat-’em-up genre!

List of games talked about (a portion of):
* Streets of Rage
* Final Fight
* Double Dragon
* Riot Zone
* Sengoku
* Rushing Beat
* The Punisher
* Splatterhouse
* Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
* X-Men
* Knights of the Round
* Magic Sword
* Devil May Cry
* Bayonetta
* Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks
* Ninja Gaiden
* God Hand
* Target: Renegade
* Sword of Sodan
* Rastan
* Guardian Heroes
* Golden Axe
* Dungeons & Dragons
* Ikari III: The Rescue
* Rise to Honor
* Bujingai
* Vendetta
* The Bouncer
* The Combatribes

Listen or Download (2:57:58)
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Hart & Usagi Podcast at the Internet Archive
Matt: @HartKnight | HartKnight’s Archive
Mike: @usagi704 | WP blog
Anthony: @24bitAJE | ++Good Games




Now Playing: March 2011


For the first half of March I played the remaining amount of the original Yakuza game. My initial, middle, and final thoughts on the game should give you a good idea of my experience with it.

After finishing Yakuza I’ve been mostly playing Kamen Rider Dragon Knight on the DS. It’s nothing spectacular, but my enjoyment of the licensed property has made it more fun for me. Last time I had cleared the game with five of the Riders. Now I’m finished with double that amount giving me only three to go. Onyx is up next.

Lastly I played three games online with stripesonfire. It’s been a long time since I played Street Fighter IV and it made for a not very exciting time. It didn’t help that my MadCatz FightPad didn’t work at all. For some reason SFIV is hard for me to get into.

Next we played Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix. It was much more fun since I know the game better. I was expecting my little skills to scare away any challengers as is usually the case despite I hardly play fighting games anymore. Thankfully stripes stepped up and we had a blast.

Magic Sword via Final Fight: Double Impact was the last game of the Capcom blitz. I’ve never been the biggest fan of this game because it’s quite hard to play with any sort of skill. Regardless it was still enjoyable. I hope to play more in the future with or against stripes!

Games Finished In 2010


The list below shows every game that I finished in 2010. The total number comes to 44 across 12 systems. That’s down three from 2009.

1. The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap (GBA) – 1/22
2. Borderlands (PS3) – 2/10
3. Space Invaders Extreme (PSP) – 2/28
4. Gekirindan (PS2) via Taito Legends 2 – 3/6
5. God of War II (PS3) via God of War Collection – 3/11
6. Donkey Kong (NES) via Virtual Console – 4/4
7. Klonoa 2: Lunatea’s Veil (PS2) – 4/11
8. Final Fight One (GBA) – 4/12
9. Final Fight (PS3) via Final Fight: Double Impact – 4/17
10. Magic Sword (PS3) via Final Fight: Double Impact – 4/17
11. Gungrave (PS2) – 4/18
12. Twisted Metal III (PS) – 4/22
13. Final Fight (PSP) via Capcom Classic Collection Remixed – 4/26
14. Hammerin’ Hero (PSP) – 5/6
15. Burnout Legends (PSP) – 5/11
16. VR Troopers (GEN) – 5/13
17. Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers (SNES) – 5/14
18. Sly 2: Band of Thieves (PS2) – 5/30
19. Kamen Rider: Dragon Knight (WII) – 6/10
20. Prince of Persia: The Fallen King (DS) – 6/11
21. Red Faction: Guerrilla (PS3) – 7/10
22. Double Dragon II (GB) – 7/12
23. Mirror’s Edge (PS3) – 7/20
24. Alien Crush (TG-16) via Virtual Console – 7/25
25. Riot Zone (TG-16) via Virtual Console – 8/10
26. Broken Sword: Shadow of the Templars – The Director’s Cut (DS) – 8/15
27. God of War III (PS3) – 8/16
28. Mortal Kombat (SNES) – 8/20
29. Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands (PS3) – 9/13
30. Mortal Kombat (GEN) – 9/18
31. Sonic Adventure DX (GC) – 10/1
32. Power Blade (NES) – 10/11
33. Splatterhouse (TG-16) via Virtual Console – 10/18
34. Castlevania II: Simon’s Quest (NES) – 10/27
35. WWF Smackdown 2: Know Your Role (PS) – 11/6
36. God of War: Ghost of Sparta (PSP) – 11/11
37. Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time (PS2) – 11/18
38. Metroid: Other M (WII) – 11/23
39. Geometry Wars: Galaxies (DS) – 12/3
40. Bruce Lee: Return of the Legend (GBA) – 12/5
41. Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare (DS) – 12/12
42. X-Men (PS3) – 12/17
43. Final Fight 3 (SNES) – 12/26
44. X-Men Origins: Wolverine (PS3) – 12/31

The PlayStation 3 saw the most finished games appear on its platform with a total of 10. The runner-up with 6 was the Wii.

April proved to be the best month for beating games with 8 in total with a monthly average of 3.6.

When it comes to earning those fancy trophies, I was able to earn 268 last year. Three of them were platinums from Borderlands (February), God of War II (March), and Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands (September).

Now Playing: April 2010


Hey guys! Welcome back to another edition of my Now Playing feature. It returns from its January vacation to fill you in on what I’ve been up to as of more recently.

As you know, I’ve already finished Donkey Kong (WVC – NES), Klonoa 2 (PS2), Final Fight One (GBA), both games making up Final Fight: Double Impact (PSN), and Gungrave (PS2). That’s one more than the whole first quarter of 2010 combined. Well, now I can add two more to the list making it 13 total finished for this year.

Twisted Metal III was one of those two games. It’s as advertised in that it’s not as good as the previous game with lackluster arenas to battle in. However, overall I wasn’t that disappointed with it. It still had the fun I’d expect from a Twisted Metal game though I could do without the speed missiles. They’re weak and the only positive about them is that they move faster.

The last game beat was simply another version of Final Fight. This time it was on the PSP via Capcom Classic Collection Remixed which I happened to go through just yesterday. I also played a bit of the block breaking game Block Block and the shoot-’em-up Varth. The latter which had Ryu from Street Fighter II show up doing a Dragon Punch. That was pretty amusing.

The two unfinished games that I mentioned last week, Rage Racer and Ratchet: Deadlocked, will, at least for now, stay unfinished. I wasn’t getting into those games as I was hoping to. At least I was glad that the fortune cookie of Backloggery.com selected Sly 2: Band of Thieves. Now that’s a great game. I really like the structure of each mission divided into several smaller activities. The only problem is that the left and right panning of the camera is reversed from how I’d prefer it. Otherwise, the game is good so far with a great art style.

I’ll now end this blog post with my four recent purchases. You already know about Final Fight: Double Impact. I’m just making it a formal announcement. I also picked up a Classic Controller Pro (black) and locally found Super Mario Kart. SMK was a long time coming. I’m glad to have that one out of the way. It was one of those games I traded away many years ago.


The final one I made this morning. I was going to get it at the same time as FFDI, but decided against it. I’m glad I did because Revenge of the Wounded Dragons was on sale at half price. I didn’t know about the $5 sale price until I watched DeVeAn’s current video blog. I snatched it up right away. :)

That’ll do it for me. I hope you guys got a kick out of it. Until next time!

Nostalgic Ass Kicking


The finished games are getting to be more frequent lately. Along with the two from last week, Klonoa 2 and Final Fight One, I’ve since finished both games in the sweet arcade package of Final Fight: Double Impact offline. I’m hoping to play some co-op online later today.

Final Fight: Double Impact has a great presentation even down to the default screen settings with the arcade cabinet and CRT which I really appreciate. Speaking of appreciation, I never really thought much of Magic Sword until now. I’m enjoying it more and more as I play and it’s not the mindless hammer on the attack button as I’d previously thought.

When it comes to the difficulty of each game, which is adjustable, Final Fight is harder than the home versions I’ve played. This includes the SNES, Sega CD, and GBA ports. On the other hand, Magic Sword is easier than I remembered or expected.

I should be able to solidify my thoughts on this nostalgic package soon after I play online co-op.

Just today Gungrave became my eleventh game finished for 2010. The style of the game is great and the action is fun and furious. Unfortunately it doesn’t last all that long. At least it’s pretty action packed along the way. Not that I needed the reminder, but I did like notice at the beginning of each stage and boss fight inviting the player to “Kick their ass.” A classy touch, indeed.

The story is the basic revenge plot and isn’t anything to get excited about. If you are looking for a quick and fun shooting game experience with style, and that’s all you want from it, then Gungrave just maybe the ticket you’ve been looking for.

Now Playing: June ’08


Welcome to a mostly retro edition of Now Playing. This will cover a total of seven games. Here we go.

Recapping a few games left over from last month. Orcs & Elves for the DS continued to be as good as before only I got stuck on a boss. I briefly played Ultimate Mortal Kombat for about a day. Finally, I had finished the story in Grand Theft Auto IV and played quite a bit of multiplayer for most of the month.

In the middle of the month I played some PSP games with and against Usagi704. First up was the fantastic Street Fighter Alpha 3 MAX. The problems with the d-pad of the older systems are totally remedied with the newer models. Top notch controls as always from Capcom.

The next game we played was Capcom Classics Collection Remixed. This was where we co-oped on four arcade titles: Final Fight, Captain Commando, Mega Twins, and Magic Sword. We finished the former two games.

Over on the NES, once I got it working, I played some of Metal Storm. It’s a difficult game, but I never felt that the deaths came in a cheap way. I always knew that I just wasn’t that good yet.

Indiana Jones’ Greatest Adventures, on the other hand, felt like many of the deaths were cheap. The gameplay is fine and is of the same great quality of the Super Nintendo Star Wars games, but, just like those games, it was still frustrating.

So with all of that said, what’s my Game of the Month? It would have to go to Orcs & Elves. It’s a casual game in nature because of its origins as a mobile phone game. You’ll enjoy it as long as you can get past the not-so-great visuals. If you ever liked the look of Doom, then you’ll have no problem having a fun experience with this game.

Showing The SNES Games

As promised on the previous blog post, here are the Super Nintendo games that I bought at the same time as those other games. All of the games are used and game only.

Magic Sword
Super R-Type
Wolfenstein 3D
Street Fighter Alpha 2
Fatal Fury
Indiana Jones’ Greatest Adventures
Saturday Night Slam Masters
Final Fight 2
Brawl Brothers

Details: Magic Sword, Super R-Type, Wolfenstein 3D, and Street Fighter Alpha 2 | Fatal Fury, Indiana Jones’ Greatest Adventures, Saturday Night Slam Masters, Final Fight 2, and Brawl Brothers

Of course, because I went back to get exchanges for the three NES games that didn’t work for me, I did end up getting more. Those I’ll be showing soon. Next up, however, is photos of the circuit boards for all four Street Fighter games on the SNES.