Now Playing: December 2013

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This month of video game greatness has had me log nine total games played with four of them finished.

The first up was Dungeons & Dragons: Tower of Doom. This 1993 beat-’em-up arcade game isn’t as exciting as I was hoping. It’s not to say that Capcom didn’t do well on the game. I guess there’s more to the game than I was expecting. I’m sure to pick it back up in the future to get a better feeling for it.

The next three titles, The Mark of Kri, Kirby’s Dream Land 2, and Sleeping Dogs have been talked about in their own blog posts. Check them out at the links provided above.

As gamers know, Super Mario Galaxy on the Wii has been praised much upon its release. One thing I realized while playing it is that I’m not one of those people. I also figured one other thing. I don’t think I’m as interested (or skilled) in platformers than I like to fancy myself as. This was evident while playing Kirby’s Dream Land 2, but much more so with Super Mario Galaxy.

There’s also several issues I think SMG actually suffers from. Here’s bullet-point list of them.

  • The camera isn’t ideal for judging distance of jumps very well.
  • Swimming in most every game is bad, but controlling Mario underwater was particularly craptastic.
  • Spring Mario is the worst in control since the only way to move is by continuous jumping. It doesn’t help the use was normally on narrow paths.
  • The pull stars aren’t all that bad, but when needing to move quickly under a time constraint, like say a race, isn’t exactly what I call fun.

I know I might be seen as a bit too picky about my complaints, but I did stick with the game for over 12 hours.

I played some of the DS exclusive title Space Invaders Extreme 2. Just like the previous game, the music is really great and the visual style gets me in the right mood to shoot some of those pesky classic space invaders. I suggest getting either game if you’re into classic arcade score chasers!

Finally, along with Usagi704, we hooked up our original model PlayStation systems to separate televisions and connected the consoles together with the PlayStation Link Cable. We had some fantastic fun playing co-op in Doom. We finished around ten levels.

Yesterday we played some of the classic launch game Destruction Derby. I still really like that game. Getting through intersections by “threading the needle” (aka close calls) is still as thilling as ever!

We also played some of Mortal Kombat Trilogy (a non-link cable game) and Usagi played his Team Shenanigans in 2-on-2 Kombat consisting of Human Smoke and Kitana. My team was a combination of Scorpion, Cyrax, and Nightwolf. Some characters were given new moves. Nightwolf was given a red Shoulder Charge (←←→HK) which helps a lot to get in and stay in close. Scorpion was given a forward Teleport Punch (↓→HP) to keep opponents guessing. As usual I still get beat more than not, but overall still a fun time!

Enjoy the New Year!

Hart & Usagi Podcast #41: ++Good PS4

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In this episode of the Hart & Usagi Podcast, we welcome back Georgie and, for as a first-time guest, one of the hosts from ++Good Games podcast it’s Anthony!

Our main topic for discussion is our experiences with the recently released PlayStation 4. We also speak on games we’ve played as of late along with a couple of news items.

Strap one on ’cause it’s time to jam with the Hart & Usagi Podcast.

TOPICS:
* Sega 3DS 3D titles
* Killzone: Shadow Fall
* Kirby’s Dream Land 2
* Sleeping Dogs
* Doom
* Shadow Hearts
* Saints Row Twitter contest
* PlayStation 4 experiences
* Windows & Linux
* Pre-orders open for God of War Collection on Vita
* Persona 5 is Just the Beginning: Atlus Goes Persona Crazy
* Save The Last Christmas (For Me)
* Meeting Rob Van Dam
* Pacific Blue

Listen or Download (2:19:14)
New RSS Feed
Hart & Usagi Podcast at the Internet Archive
Matt: @HartKnight | HartKnight’s Archive
Mike: @usagi704 | WP blog
Georgie: @guuthulhu | Squiddy Fun Times
Anthony: @24bitAJE | ++Good Games

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#HartandUsagiPodcast

Games that Need Sequels

A recent Game Sack episode was on the topic of past games which they felt needed sequels. If you listened to the previous episode of our podcast you would’ve heard us slightly touch on this topic.

Well I’m here to give you my top five games which I’d love to see a new entry from.

Burnout Paradise 2
It wasn’t until Burnout 3: Takedown that I’d even heard of this game series, but that didn’t stop me from becoming a fan right away. I’m sure a number of fans would like Burnout: Takedown 2, but I opt for a sequel to Burnout Paradise from 2008. All Criterion would have to do is give me a new city to drive around in.

Prince of Persia: Warrior Within II
Before the reboot of Prince of Persia with The Sands of Time in 2003, I wasn’t a fan of the 2D games. However that all changed once I got a taste of the wonderful wall running and platforming that was on display. The combat wasn’t very good, though, just serviceable. In the follow-up, Warrior Within, the combat received a surprisingly fun upgrade and it didn’t feel ridged anymore. Sure the tone can be lightened up for a Warrior Within II and, no, I don’t count The Two Thrones as this wanted title. It introduced speed kills which made the combat engine mostly useless.

Power Blade 3
Natsume has quite a good track record as a developer. They take what would likely be an otherwise typical licensed game and make the gameplay actually competent. When it comes to the series in question, Power Blade was a fun take on the choose-any-stage-in-any-order style which started with Mega Man. The hero’s weapon of choice, a boomerang, was also quite fun to use. Power Blade 3 for downloadable services, please!

Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks II
In 1997 Midway tried their hand at an action game for their Mortal Kombat fighting franchise. The idea sounds great on paper, but the ultimate result, Mortal Kombat Mythologies: Sub-Zero, was a disaster. However, in 2000, a larger disaster in the form of Mortal Kombat: Special Forces was also created and released. This is why in 2005 their third attempt was surprisingly successful. Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks was a great 3D brawler with all of the usual MK flair along with a huge helping of MK and MKII nostalgia. Maybe for PS4 NetherRealm Studios can try their hand at creating Mortal Kombat: Black Dragon starring Kano and Kabal. I’d be up for that.

Final Fight 4
As a big fan of the beat-’em-up genre, I hold the original Final Fight in high regard. With the two Super Nintendo sequels I loved the series even more. As least where Final Fight 3 is concerned. This third SNES game gave the characters the ability to have fighting game like special moves. Each also had a super bar which could then be used to unleash a super move. A fourth game with Final Fight 3 as a base would be awesome. Also because we still need to wash the taste of Streetwise out of our collective mouths.

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Let Ratchet Fix Those Trophies

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A number of games I’ve played recently with my F.E.A.R. 3 buddy, RivalShadeX. Since the GPY event on the 3rd of July, he purchased the Konami arcade classic beat-’em-up X-Men. We cleared the game a few times and for whatever reason he wasn’t getting some of the trophies he obviously earned. I bought the game when it was originally released in December 2010 and earned all of the trophies in the first 24 hours. I’m not sure what could’ve happened in the meantime to mess things up, but Sony and Konami need to look into this problem as soon as possible.

Another fun romp was in playing Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 against RivalShadeX and Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix against SonicHomeboy. It’s interesting to note that the Mortal Kombat Arcade Kollection (of which UMK3 is apart of) improved its online play experience with a patch awhile back. However SSFIITHDR, while great running once a game has been started, is a pain in the ass to get multiple dudes in one lobby.

We had a total of five of us last night trying to get into a game and only one of the four worked without a problem the first time. I’m sure a good 20 or more invites were sent out and next to none of them connected. Sony and Capcom need to look into this problem as soon as possible as well.

At least one game I’ve been playing hasn’t been giving me any problems and that game would be Tomb Raider: Underworld. It has all of the great Tomb Raider gameplay I loved about Legend and Anniversary with the updated visuals brought on by the newer hardware.

One interesting thing I’ve noticed in my close to three hours of playtime so far is how a small bit of inspiration was taken from Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune released a year and two days before Tomb Raider: Underworld. This is fascinating since Uncharted drew inspiration from the Tomb Raider series. It’s like a bizarre alternate reality to have this reversal of ideas take place.

Lastly I’d like to send well wishes and good feelings to those closest to Ryan Davis. He will be greatly missed and was one of the many personalities I really liked a decade ago as apart of GameSpot. He continued to be as entertaining as always throughout the years.

Thanks for reading!

Peace!

Now Playing: June 2013

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Five games total played for the previous 30 days. Initially I played Wonder Boy in Monster World via PSN, but it was too old school for me despite being of that gaming era myself. Check out my detailed thoughts on the game in the previous update.

In a second update a little over a week ago, I talked about playing with the GPY clan in Burnout Paradise and going through the single player story missions in F.E.A.R. 3 along with RivalShadeX.

In F.E.A.R. 3 we had completed up through Interval 5 at the time. Since then RivalShadeX and I finished the game twice. Both of us played as each character and it was fun times indeed. We also played some multiplayer modes as well. These are co-op too. There’s the typical wave survival mode, a possession mode (Soul King) to get more points than other players, and a mode called “F***ING RUN!” where a “wall of death” is always closing in. Players need to keep moving while taking out enemies along the way. I was surprised as anybody would be that there were a couple others playing this. I had to create the games, of course.

The other two games played was Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 on the Super Nintendo and Double Dragon on the Game Boy. I just played around on UMK3 a little bit with some cheat codes. Shao Khan didn’t allow me to have an easy finished game to add to my list for this year.

Double Dragon also didn’t work out in this fashion either. This edition on the Game Boy isn’t nearly as easy as the sequel was. The first two missions are simple enough. It’s midway through Mission 3 where the pits of death and Abobos come out to play. It wouldn’t be so bad if losing a life started you at least somewhat close to where you died. Not the case here. A life loss means you return to the very start of the mission. I wasn’t able to get any further than the first set of moving platforms in Mission 4. Everyone knows the platforming in the Double Dragon series never worked out well. It’s what sadly does me in and you can watch my downfall in my 18+ minute video.

Thanks for reading and viewing.

Peace!

Pocky Fail, Brotherhood Might As Well

While trying to find Pocky, a failure in and of itself, I found two games at $20.

Midway Arcade Origins has 31 arcade games within and while I’m not as fond of a majority of them, it’s still a good compilation to own. My memories of Smash TV, Gauntlet, and Pit Fighter are the main reasons this set interested me.

Once I had played though Assassin’s Creed I and II it occurred to me to just stick with the numbered titles in the series and get III. This was all thrown out the window when I bought Revelations a few months ago at $10 on a whim. I figured I might as well get the well-received Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood while I’m at it.

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New Releases 2012: Oct. 28-Nov. 17

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WEEK of OCT. 28
007 Legends (PC)
Assassin’s Creed III (PS3, X360)
Assassin’s Creed III: Liberation (PSV)
LEGO The Lord of the Rings (PC, PSV, DS)
Natural Selection II (PC)
Need for Speed: Most Wanted (PS3, X360, PC, PSV)
Okami HD (PS3)
Painkiller: Hell & Damnation (PC)
Professor Layton and the Miracle Mask (3DS)
Rockstar Games Collection: Edition 1 (PS3, X360)
Sports Champions 2 (PS3)
Thundercats (DS)
Transformers Prime: The Game (WII, DS, 3DS)
WWE ’13 (PS3, X360, WII)
Wreck-It Ralph (WII, DS, 3DS)
Zone of the Enders HD Collection (PS3, X360)

WEEK of NOV. 4
Dragon Ball Z Budokai HD Collection (PS3, X360)
Halo 4 (X360)
Harvest Moon 3D: A New Beginning (3DS)
LittleBigPlanet Karting (PS3)
Mass Effect Trilogy (X360, PC)
Midway Arcade Origins (PS3, X360)
Pro Evolution Soccer 2013 (WII)
Rayman Origins (3DS)

WEEK of NOV. 11
Assassin’s Creed Ezio Trilogy (PS3)
Call of Duty: Black Ops Declassified (PSV)
Call of Duty: Black Ops II (PS3, X360, PC)
Karateka (X360)
LEGO The Lord of the Rings (PS3, X360, WII)
Madden NFL 13 (WU)
Paper Mario: Sticker Star (3DS)
Resistance Collection (PS3)
Scribblenauts Unlimited (PC)
Wonderbook: Book of Spells (PS3)