Hart & Usagi Podcast #45: A Landfill of Myths

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We’re back at you with dose number 45 of the Hart and Usagi Podcast. Off the top I let you know of our new Twitter account for the show. It’s @HartandUsagi! So please do follow for updates and notifications on episode releases.

As for the rest of this episode, Usagi704 and I give our thoughts on various topics. We reminisce about the Game Boy which recently turned 25, Adam Sessler leaving video game coverage for other interests of his, the infamous Atari landfill, and much, much more!

NEWS/TOPICS:
* Games recently played
* A Legendary Brotherhood
* In Tangier the Parade Bar is closed….
* Are Video Gamers Athletes?
* Mozilla CEO resigns, opposition to gay marriage drew fire
* Xbox One’s Kinect is “unnecessary” and “a joke,” Molyneux says
* The Game Boy Legacy: A 25th Anniversary Celebration
* Sony Suddenly Makes Almost Every PlayStation Classic and PSP Game Downloadable and Playable on PS Vita
* The Gaming Historian – The Atari Landfill Myth
* Turtle Rock community manager let go after Donald Sterling Twitter remarks
* Net Neutrality R.I.P. (1969 – 2014)
* Think The Cassette Tape Is Dead? Then Why Did Sony Just Squeeze 185TB Of Data Onto One?

Listen or Download (1:46:08)
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Hart & Usagi Podcast at the Internet Archive
Matt: @HartKnight | HartKnight’s Archive
Mike: @usagi704 | WP blog

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@HartandUsagi

The Saboteur: Blow It Up with Dynamite

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Since we last checked in with how I was doing with The Saboteur, I’ve gone from 13 hours of game time to a whopping 42 hours played. It had been quite the ride. I did expect it to be a good game, but I didn’t think I’d enjoy it as much as I am. I only thought this way after the buggy mess that was Pandemic Studios’ follow up to Mercenaries.

I played Mercenaries 2: World in Flames back in 2009 and I uploaded a video you might remember about the crazy car damage values. It’s still a playable game, but it can be frustrating because of the glitches.

The Saboteur, on the other hand, is quite good. It’s nothing to write home about, mind you, but it’s always fun to blow away Nazis. I mean, who doesn’t like doing that?

The side missions, if you can even really call them that, take the form of “targets.” You can purchase maps that mark their locations on you map and once you do you really see how many there are. A lot let me tell you. There’s so many that sometimes I’ll put on a good 2-hour podcast and go to work doing just the targets. Last time I reported 16% of them completed. I can now reveal that in two weeks I’ve raised it to 91%.

Another thing I’ve been doing that you might have seen on Twitter is my screenshots of the game with some comments accompanying them under #PS3share (because the PS4 can’t have all of the sharing fun). Sadly, though, I couldn’t get pictures of everything. One of those funny things happened was when a guard was defensively patrolling an area and walked right into a well and fell down it.

An amusing conversation also happened when the main character, Sean, is asked by a priest to kill a specific Nazi.

Sean: “Father Denis, excuse me for sayin’, but isn’t that sacrilegious?”
Father Denis: “A bullet in the bastard’s head? Maybe. But God does work in mysterious ways, my son.”

With that I take my leave as you browse the screenshots below.

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“Ah, that’s going to bloody hurt in the mornin’!”

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I guess I’m not getting credit for that race. Thankfully the game auto-saved before it froze.

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“Whoa! Fuckin’ deadly!”

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Clearing out targets and froze.

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Pigeons mid-air sitting.

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The Gütmann! I love the Gütmann!

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A soldier patrolling the “air-land.”

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Don’t you just hate it when boxes defy gravity?

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I’m maxed out on frustration when freezes keep happening.

Sean: “In that case, fuck you arseways!”

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

2005 Game of the Year

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NOMINEES
God of War
Mercenaries
Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks
Prince of Persia: The Two Thrones
The Warriors

2005 Game of the Year: God of War
Runner-up: Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks

In a year with God of War overload it’s difficult to look back and remember exactly what made the PS2 original so great. However, rest assured it is great. Despite my dislike for the clearly untested Hades section and the game ending boss fight with Ares which goes on too long, I really took to this game. I’m surprised I never did a speed run at the time, but I eventually did get around to doing so on the PS3 port with a time of 2 hours and 56 minutes.

After trying to play through the first off-shoot game Mortal Kombat Mythologies: Sub-Zero and thankfully completely skipping by Mortal Kombat Special Forces. A game it should be ashamed to call itself as such. We got Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks. It was way better than it had a right to be, but I was glad it was good. Along with a great nostalgic MKII look, it also played well with fun co-op and lots of hidden goodies as you’d expect.

Previous entries: 1985 | 1986 | 1987 | 1988 | 1989 | 1990 | 1991 | 1992 | 1993 | 1994 | 1995 | 1996 | 1997 | 1998 | 1999 | 2000 | 2001 | 2002 | 2003 | 2004

Games Finished In 2009

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The list below shows every game that I finished in 2009. The total number comes to 47 across 11 systems. That’s up 17 from 2008.

PS3
Burnout Paradise
Conan
Crash Commando
Fracture
God of War
Grand Theft Auto IV
Half-Life 2
Infamous
Mercenaries 2: World in Flames
Prince of Persia
Saints Row 2
Street Fighter IV
Streets of Rage 2
Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune
Uno
Viking: Battle for Asgard
Watchmen: The End Is Nigh
Watchmen: The End Is Nigh Part 2

SNES
Fatal Fury
Final Fight 3
Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers
The Ninja Warriors
Street Fighter II

PSP
Captain Commando
Chili Con Carnage
Metal Slug
Metal Slug 3
Sengoku
Tekken: Dark Resurrection

GBA
Super Street Fighter II: Turbo Revival

GEN
OutRun

NES
Contra
Double Dragon II: The Revenge
Shadowgate

PS2
Batman Begins
Burnout Revenge
The King of Fighters ’98 Ultimate Match
The Punisher
RayStorm
TMNT
Unreal Tournament

DS
Biker Mice From Mars
Puzzle Quest: Challenge of the Warlords
Retro Game Challenge

PS
Crash Bandicoot: Warped

GB
Street Fighter Alpha: Warriors’ Dreams

TG-16
Splatterhouse

I also got my first two platinum trophies within the previous 12 months. The first one came along back in March with Burnout Paradise and the second one was captured more recently in November with God of War.

In some interesting trivia about my game collection (idea from DuncanR2N), the oldest game I own is Dodge ‘Em for the Atari 2600. This is an estimate since it’s extremely hard to find more than just the year of 1980 for a release date. GameSpot has it listed for 1978 so it’s obviously not known for sure.

The newest game I own is a lot easier to look up. It would be Pandemic’s final game The Saboteur which was released a month ago.

On my wish list the oldest game that I’m looking to get is the NES version of Konami’s Gradius which was released on December 1, 1986.

The newest game that I’d like to have (mainly because I’m a big fan of beat-’em-up games) is Revenge of the Wounded Dragons on the PSN. It was released 23 years and 9 days after Gradius on December 10, 2009.

Coming up soon I’ll have my Game of the Year announced. Game on!

Now Playing: July ’09

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The Game of the Month award makes its return for this month’s Now Playing.

The game that’s worthy of the award is the fantastic Crash Commando for the PlayStation Network. I really enjoyed the demo and I was about to pay the full $10 for the game until it went on sale for a week at $5. I snatched that up real quick and the online play has been a blast. It’s back up to $10, but still worth it.

Over the past month I somehow was able to keep with Mercenaries 2: World in Flames until I finished the game. Now that it’s out of the way I can play a game that’s at least a little better in that there’s not a ton of glitches.

I’ve also started Fracture, but not recently. I’m sure that I probably would’ve been done with it already, but I made Mercenaries 2 and The Punisher more of a priority. Fracture’s a fairly decent game, but don’t go paying much for it since the online portion of the game is dead at this point.

Speaking of The Punisher, I added another three videos to this ongoing Let’s Play of the game that I’m doing. Part 13 has a really easy battle with a tank since you can lob grenades with a grenade launcher over the cover that’s provided as you’ll see me do in the video.

Finally, the high score challenge that’s been done in the past over on retrowaretv.com’s forums has started up again. The most recent one was Balloon Fight where I scored 50,250. Granted that was just my first and only try. The top score was 428,000. Crazy!

That about does it for me. Until next time, you guys take it easy. :)

Gaming Update incl. Mercenaries 2 + 11 Games

Over the last few weeks I managed an addition of 11 games to my collection. Here they are.

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Double Dragon II: The Revenge (NES)
As I mentioned previously, either twitter, here, or both, I went a little too crazy with the steel wool on my first copy of the game making it no longer work. This copy works great as is and shall remain that way.

Ninja Gaiden II: The Dark Sword of Chaos (NES)
At $5 this was the best deal I’ve ever seen for this game. Usually it goes for at least $9-10. I was going to get Double Dragon II for the Game Boy, but I had to settle for this instead. That’s not a bad thing.

God of War: Chains of Olympus (PSP)
I originally played the copy that was disc only that came with my God of War PSP. I decided that since I see the game all of the time that I’d get a complete new copy. Next for this same treatment is Daxter.

Army of Two (PS3)
I wasn’t aware of this at the time, but apparently someone out there thinks this game has homosexual overtones in it. Please. As the person that I am I had to purchase it because of that. It’s my way of saying “Screw you.”

Soldiers of Fortune (GEN)
This game may sound like a game that you know of, but it’s not. This soldier is plural and not first-person in anyway.

Rest of the purchases:
Valis III (GEN)
Chase H.Q. II (GEN)
Star Ocean: First Departure (PSP)
Mirror’s Edge (PS3)
BlazBlue: Calamity Trigger (PS3)
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Fall of the Foot Clan (GB)

Onto the gaming update portion of this blog post.

I’d recently played some more of the downloadable Super Street Fighter II Turbo and of the just bought BlazBlue against Usagi704. Not a great performance on my part since I’ve not played much of the fighting games as of recently.

Yesterday I did manage to capture Carmona in Mercenaries 2. That mission was a pain for the drive back to the HQ as I’m sure VixDiesel can understand.

I’ve also uploaded a video showing, as best I could, the ridiculous things that happen when simply driving a car in Mercenaries 2. It includes commentary to get across how absurd it all is.

Lastly, another video I uploaded was of some nearby fireworks that I could see just above the distant treeline from my front yard.

More Mercenaries 2 and Punisher Fun!

Let’s get to the fun just as the title says.

First up is the “fun” part of fun with Mercenaries 2: World in Flames. Again while playing and having “fun” in online co-op with VixDiesel, we both were witnesses to a group of AI soldiers shooting at a mounted machine gun for no reason whatsoever. Taker a look at these moronic guys.

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Another thing that I noticed before co-op started was this supply box icon pointing at nothing.

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When it comes down to it you can have fun with this game, but just be aware than many weird things will happen throughout your time playing it.

Now we’re out of the “fun” and into the real deal. The Punisher for the PS2 returns as I played another mission and it produced three new parts to my ongoing Let’s Play series of the game. As always you can check out this playlist for any new videos or for ones you may have missed.

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Finally, I’d like to show off two new games and two new DVD sets.

The interesting first-person shooter Moon and Prince of Persia: The Fallen King were both obtained at a local store for $20 each. The DVD sets are of the 1994 Disney animated show, Gargoyles. I was a big fan of it at the time and I still find the story telling to be top-notch with only Avatar: The Last Airbender being as good if not better.

That’ll do it for my quick gaming update. Until next time.

Now Playing: June ’09

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It’s hard to think that it’s true, but all I played during the last month was a total of three games. None of them really deserve the Game of the Month award so I’m going to be doing it different this time by not giving it out.

The game that I did play the most was Burnout Paradise as Big Surf Island was finally released for $12.99. It’s definitely worth the money if you’re thinking about getting it. I’ve completed everything that there’s to do in the game and I’m officially burned out of Burnout. It’s too easy for me to pop that game back in instead to playing a game I already have and I’ve yet to play. Fun game for sure, but just need to hang it up for a long while.

The Punisher on the PlayStation 2 was started with the idea of recording all of my play time for a series of Let’s Play videos as I’ve mentioned in my last blog post. Currently there’s five videos available here for your viewing pleasure. More to come as I play through the game.

The final game that I played this month if probably the most frustrating game I’ve ever played. This has way more to do with the bug ridden mess that it is. It’s very sad since the prequel is the same game, but just not glitched all to hell and back. This shit mess is known as Mercenaries 2: World in Flames.

I was playing in co-op with VixDiesel and the crap that she mentions in this blog post actually happened while we were playing. On top of that the following also occurred.

– A motorcycle drives by without a driver.
– A car that’s driving in the opposite direction suddenly decides to explode next to you because it felt like it.
– No matter the weapon equipped, it always looks to other players like a rocket is sticking out from it.
– A car you’re driving loses more health hitting another car at 5 MPH than when moving fast down a steep hillside.

Last night I was so tired of this game that I was hoping to playing something else, but I really got out of the mood because of that horrid game. I know that the Angry Video Game Nerd doesn’t do current games, but he still needs to get on this complete pile of crap.

That’s enough of me for one post. Thanks for reading and “see” you next time.

Now Playing: November ’08

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Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix (PSN)
Tekken Advance (GBA)
Capcom Classics Reloaded (PSP)
Street Fighter Collection (PS)
Resistance 2 (PS3)
Mortal Kombat (SNES)
Puzzle Quest (DS)
Mercenaries 2 (PS3)
LittleBigPlanet (PS3)

As you can see from the list above, I enjoyed myself, gaming-wise, this last month.

Resistance 2 is definitely my Game of the Month. The single player portion was good, but the co-op multiplayer was the most satisfying. I even had a blast with others like s0njas0n and VixDiesel. As of now my Medic is at level 20, my Special Op is at level 16, and my Soldier is at level 5. I have yet to play any of the competitive part of the online experience and, to be honest, I don’t really plan to. Co-op is just too much fun.

The runner-up for the month is probably something unexpected. I was ready to name LittleBigPlanet or Puzzle Quest for this honor a few days ago. That was until Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix dropped onto the PlayStation Network. I wasn’t even going to bother getting this downloadable game, but now that I’ve played it I’m glad that I did. It’s so much more fun now than before this update that I now prefer it over my previous favorite Street Fighter game, Street Fighter II: Hyper Fighting.

LittleBigPlanet was an interesting game with fun platforming. A few user created levels are fun like one based on the eliminator course from American Gladiators and others based on Gradius and Mirror’s Edge.

That about does it for me. Until next time.