Hart & Usagi #90: THQ


Episode 90 is here with THQ’s lack of research. They could learn from others like Rep. Ocasio-Cortez.

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

* Bungie splits with Activision, keeps control of Destiny
* How Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez wound up on a Donkey Kong 64 Twitch charity stream
* Capcom said Hideaki Itsuno could make Dragon’s Dogma 2, but he chose to make DMC5 first
* Pennsylvania considers a tax on violent videogames to help prevent school shootings
* Activision’s Plan to Cut Hundreds of Jobs Caps Tumultuous Week
* Capcom just added a buttload of its games’ soundtracks to Spotify
* Wrestler Booker T is suing Activision for allegedly putting his alter ego in Black Ops 4
* Tetris 99 is the Crucible That Will Make You a Better Tetris Player
* Xbox’s corporate vice president says criticism of game with exclusive Microsoft marketing deal is “whining”
* A single-player-only game like the original Uncharted “wouldn’t be a viable pitch today,” says Amy Hennig
* THQ Nordic Apologizes For Interview On Website Banned By Google

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E3 2011: Nintendo Press Conference


PLEASE NOTE: This is my comments from Twitter that I made as the conference happened. If you can’t handle a difference of opinion from your own, then please DO NOT read this or comment.

* Zelda montage starts out the Nintendo press conference.

* Shigeru Miyamoto out first talking about the newest Zelda game and the series’ 25 year history.

* The original Game Boy title Link’s Awakening is going to be available on the 3DS shop today. [as in Wednesday]

* Four Swords free download later this year.

* A number of existing games series quickly shown for 3DS. Now Reggie to tell me what I want instead of letting me decide.

* 3DS title announced: Mario Kart. Overly gimmicked more than ever. Nope, sorry Reggie, I don’t want that. Try again.

* RT @Monodo: Mario Kart 3DS… That’s like announcing that the sun will rise in the morning.

* Star Fox 64 ported to 3DS. Traditional controls included! What a bonus!

* Another 3DS title: Super Mario 3D. I’m guessing it’s newer than New Super Mario Bros.

* Story trailer shown for Kid Icarus: Uprising. It will be out this year.

* Luigi’s Mansion 2 is another 3DS title. What was it like around 10 years since the last one? [Yes. It was released in 2001.] I didn’t know anybody really liked Luigi’s Mansion to begin with.

* 3DS Virtual Console with Game Boy and Game Boy Color games. Also 3D Classics: Excitebike.

* Pokedex 3D. Kind of like looking at the girls in Dead or Alive Xtreme Beach Volleyball just with Pokemon instead.

* My new gaming companion is…a new Nintendo home console? The new console name is “Wii U” or is it “WiiU.” [I looked for it in print on Nintendo’s website. It’s written with a space as “Wii U.”

* Another controller gimmick courtesy of the Wii U.

* Screen size on controller is 6.2 inches. That’s what she said.

* The Wii U is like a large home console version of the DS. One screen on the controller and the TV as the other screen. It even has the same d-pad and face buttons as the DS Lite. Not preferred.

* New Smash Bros. game for both Wii U and 3DS only mentioned. A long time before we see anything I’m guessing.

* Darksiders 2, Arkham City, Assassins Creed, Ghost Recon Online all coming for WiiU.

* Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor’s Edge quickly shown.

* Just so all people know, Wii U is a horrible name just as any other.

PREVIOUS E3 BLOG POSTS: Microsoft Press Conference | Sony Press Conference

GoldenEye Is Not The Best Bond Game


When I was thinking of what to exactly say about my gripe with those that consider GoldenEye on the Nintendo 64 to be the end all and be all of Bond games, I didn’t want to just copy and paste what I had said over two years ago. I decided to go to the forums for all of the ammo I needed. Sure enough I found this thread. Enjoy the rant.

Ah yes, Quantum of Solace. It’s the newest game from the James Bond universe. It’s also another reason for fans of GoldenEye on the N64 to start doing their usual comparison only to come to the same jaded conclusion that no Bond game can live up to their beloved game.

I don’t have any problem for those that have played GoldenEye since 1997 and can still enjoy it, but I have a hard time believing that most of those that claim the game’s greatness have played it since then. It really is time to take off the rose-tinted glasses of nostalgia that you’ve been wearing for over the last decade are realize that most all of the Bond games since then have been better. And I’m doing a direct FPS comparison when I say that and not referring to the third-person shooters like Everything or Nothing or From Russia With Love.

It wasn’t until 2001 that another Bond FPS game was released. This game was Agent Under Fire. I liked playing the game, but it definitely wasn’t superb. However, it still was better than GoldenEye solely because of better control with dual analog sticks. A year later NightFire was released and it really felt like a major improvement.

GoldenEye: Rogue Agent was released in 2004. If any Bond game should be compared to the N64 game then it would have to be this one. In the first minute of this developer interview, Chris Plummer, the Senior Producer of Rogue Agent, says that they were trying to recreate the experience of the Rare’s game. Well, if that was the case then you fans of the original can have at him, but I feel that this game does hold its own to a degree.

Now it’s 2008. In four years the progression of first-person shooters has come a long way. To have Quantum of Solace basically play similar to GoldenEye at this point in time would have been a huge mistake. Sure the new game takes a bunch from the successful Call of Duty games and adds a Kill Switch cover system, but the game’s better off for it. You can be sure that it plays way better than GoldenEye ever did.

In closing I have to ask one thing of those wondering why the Quantum of Solace game is more based on the previous film, Casino Royale. Have you seen the latest movie? The story hardly makes any sense. It makes me consider watching A View To A Kill and that one was garbage too.

Now Playing: March ’08


Near the end of February I started playing Odin Sphere and I still have yet to finish it. That’s certainly not because I’ve been ignoring the game. Far from it. It’s been quite the interesting game with a great story and fun beat-’em-up style of gameplay. I’m currently over 26 hours into it and I’m on the fourth of five stories. If you’re looking for another RPG to kill time, then this game will fit the bill perfectly.

Two games that I spent a couple of days on were Mega Turrican and Super Contra. The former game was tough at first and then felt totally unfair the further I got (and that was with cheats on). Super Contra was more fun with Super C except it was on the Famicom.

With everybody being all excitedly playing Super Smash Bros. Brawl, Usagi704 decided to pull out the original N64 game and asked if I’d like to play. I did and I still don’t really like it all that much. However, I did come back several times so that he could own me yet again.

That’s it for this month. By the next time you should be reading what I thought of Odin Sphere as I will be finished with it by then.

2007 Game of the Year


This year, just like last year, I was going to make a number of graphics for the huge awards for 2007. Well, if you’ve seen Usagi704’s awards, then you’ll know that I did all of the graphics that he used. Once I was finished doing that I tried to do mine, but for whatever reason I was less than excited to do them. This lead me to think up a different idea to present my awards or should I say award.

I will only be presenting the big Game of the Year award. There will be 13 nominees and they will come from my monthly Now Playing blog posts (December ’06-December ’07). The 13 games will consist of the games that I enjoyed the most for each month. This rule will be the case regardless of whether or not I’ve played the game before. It also doesn’t matter if the game was released in 2007 or not. So in case you were wondering, yes, a game can win back-to-back Game of the Year awards if I choose to do this again in the future with these same rules.

12/06 — Astro Boy: Omega Factor (GBA)
1/07 — The Incredible Hulk: Ultimate Destruction (PS2)
2/07 — Crackdown (X360)
3/07 — Burnout Revenge (PS2)
4/07 — Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin (DS)
5/07 — Raiden Trad (GEN)
6/07 — God of War II (PS2)
7/07 — Ultimate Spider-Man (PS2)
8/07 — Ratchet & Clank: Going Commando (PS2)
9/07 — Final Fantasy III (SNES)
10/07 — Gradius III (SNES)
11/07 — Mortal Kombat Trilogy (N64)
12/07 — Crash Bandicoot: Warped (PS)

And the winner is: one of these 13 games once I make this difficult decision. :P

Now Playing: December ’07


The list of games I played this month only looks small because of Retro Revival Week. I played 19 games during RRW5 and only five outside of that time frame.

I surely got my fill of Mortal Kombat last month with MKT on the N64 which continued into the beginning of this month. It also included the PS version along with MK3 on the PlayStation as well.

Crash Bandicoot: Warped was the only leftover, if you will, from the week of retro goodness. I proceeded to get to the beginning of the fifth set of levels. The game is still a lot of fun with interesting little brain teasers in the bonus areas. :)

The final game of the month was Soul Blade as I played some against Usagi704. As we all know he wiped the floor with me in most of the matches.

Until next month, GameSpotters.

This Elbow’s For You


Hopefully this will be the last time I post anything more on the whole CNET firing debacle, but I won’t say never. Anyway, onto the topic at hand.

Tor Thorsen worked hard to get permission to post a special news report that talks about the whole deal and includes an FAQ. He also wrote a blog post talking about his personal feelings on the whole situation.

Here’s the comment I left on Tor’s blog post after listening to the HotSpot.

I have listened to the HotSpot and I felt the sincerity that you guys and gals tried to express during it. You all have my trust and it has only strengthened since listening to the show.

I wish you all well! :)

Just as a quick side note. Kane & Lynch: Dead Men received the same score in GamePro last month and you didn’t hear anybody getting fired over there. So it’s pretty safe to say that the review on GameSpot had nothing to do with any of this.

Now with that out of the way. Let’s end on a fun note. The following is a gameplay video of Usagi704 and myself playing Mortal Kombat Trilogy on the Nintendo 64. Thanks goes out to lbl1131lbl for the idea!

Now Playing: November ’07


This past month had a few games that I didn’t get excited about enough to keep playing. Just to make it obvious what games I’m talking about, here’s a quick list.

Timesplitters 2 (PS2)
Dragon’s Revenge (GEN)
Sonic Heroes (PS2)

Timesplitters 2 was odd in that it was fun at first, but soon it was a little boring because it didn’t have much variety. Dragon’s Revenge is a decent pinball game, but it doesn’t have the excitement of crazy high scores like some others of the same genre. Oh and don’t get me started on Sonic Heroes. The control and overall problems with that game make it an unrecoverable mess.

I played some Guitar Hero at one point while figuring out what game I’d like to tackle next. I decided on Super Street Fighter II: Turbo Revival which I’m still playing because it’s just that damn good! I also went for the superior pinball game Dragon’s Fury where the scores really do get pretty crazy.

Fighting games continued to flow during the month as well, especially with vs. mode action. Those games consisted of Street Fighter Alpha Anthology, Mortal Kombat Trilogy (N64), various versions of Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3, and the original Mortal Kombat on the Genesis with the blood code enabled, of course. :)

For single player purposes I got back into Need for Speed Most Wanted. I haven’t completed very much since the last time I played it, but it has still been fun as expected.

I’ve been somewhat interested to try out one of the Sam & Max episodes for awhile now. Telltale Games made that decision easy when they offered episode 4, Abe Lincoln Must Die!, for free on Valve’s Steam platform. I was pleasantly surprised by the type of humor that the game offered. It definitely was the highlight of the whole experience.

I”m sure that some of the fighting games that I mentioned will carry over to December because they’re just that much more fun with another player. What have you been playing as of recent? Hopefully it’s a fighting game too. :D

2006 Game Awards – Platform Awards

Platform Awards are now revealed. Any system that had a game that I played for the first time this year was eligible.

Best Game Boy Advance Game: Castlevania Double Pack

Best DS Game: Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow

Best PlayStation 2 Game: Prince of Persia: Warrior Within

Best Xbox 360 Game: Gears of War

Best Super Nintendo Game: Ninja Gaiden Trilogy

Best PlayStation Game: Medal of Honor

Best Nintendo 64 Game: Mortal Kombat Trilogy

Best Saturn Game: Capcom Generation 5

2006 Game Awards – Genre Awards

Now it’s time for the Genre Awards for the games that I played for the first time during 2006. Enjoy!

Best Action Adventure Game: Mercenaries (PS2)

Best Shooter: Gears of War (X360)

Best Fighting Game: Mortal Kombat Trilogy (N64)

Best Platformer: Castlevania Double Pack (GBA)

Best Puzzle/Rhythm Game: Guitar Hero II (PS2)

Best Compilation: Capcom Classics Collection (PS2)

Best Driving Game: Need For Speed Most Wanted (PS2)