Game of the Year 2015 Nominees


My thoughts on a personal 2015 Game of the Year for myself will be brief. I will be foregoing the usual series of gaming award blog posts that I’ve done in recent years. I’m going to present a single Game of the Year award to my top pick like I did the last time for 2010.

Until I figure out what the winner will be I’ll give you my list of nominees.

Tomb Raider (PS3, 2013)
Far Cry 3 (PS3, 2012)
Enslaved: Odyssey to the West (PS3, 2010)
Fighter’s History (SNES, 1994)
Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon (PSN, 2013)
TRON: Evolution (PS3, 2010)

Now Playing: July 2015


The main game I just finished playing yesterday for the month of July was Call of Juarez: Gunslinger. It has a lot to like about it. The shooting feels good. The selection of weapons, while small, are all fun to use and it doesn’t make you think you’re missing any additional firearms.

I’m personally not a fan of the old west setting, but when a game like this one is as well crafted as Call of Juarez: Gunslinger is, even I can come around to enjoy it. I did feel the story interrupted the action a bit too often, but it was an interesting way to narrate so I let that slide. On a new game plus playthrough, however, I can’t be as forgiving.

The one aspect of Gunslinger I can’t be in a forgiving mood for is the one-on-one gun duels. These are pass or fail scenarios and while I’ll admit they fit the setting perfectly, they don’t translate into a fun experience for a video game.

It’s all about the majority of the game as a first-person shooter in Gunslinger and if you can fight your way past the duels, you’ll find a fun and satisfying romp through the tales of the old west.

Onto some multiplayer Street Fighter action against Usagi704. At first we played a number of rounds of Alpha 2, but the controls were a lot stricter than I remember or liked. I convinced him to change the game to Hyper Fighting. I had a much better time with the classic turbo update of The World Warrior. We had played about 80+ matches on that game and it was quite fun. We had also put in around 30 matches on Champion Edition too. I think my Guile skills have slightly improved from complete scrub.

I had also played Enslaved: Odyssey to the West. I’ll spare you any repeating of my thoughts here. My review can be heard in a discussion with ebbderelict on Hart & Usagi Podcast episode 66 at 2:07:50.

Hart & Usagi #66: A Westward Odyssey


Steve returns oh so soon to review Enslaved: Odyssey to the West with us along with news of Atlus, Sega, Nintendo, and more. Tune in today!

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

* Australia passes controversial anti-piracy web censorship law
* takes aim at TWC at shareholders meeting
* Europe bans roaming charges, adopts stricter net neutrality rules
* AT&T promises cheap internet for the poor if FCC approves merger with DirecTV
* Sega Learned About Making Quality Games From Atlus, Aim To Regain Trust From Players
* PewDiePie: “Money Doesn’t Make You Happy”
* Shenmue 3 Creator Says Sony Won’t See a Cent of Kickstarter Funds
* Starting Today, GameStop is Selling Retro Consoles and Games
* GameStop Still Wants to Sell Secondhand Digital Games
* Wii U Exclusive Devil’s Third Dev Responds to “Lies and Rumors”
* Acclaimed Shovel Knight Getting Physical Release on Xbox One, PS4, Wii U, and 3DS
* PlayStation 20th Anniversary DualShock 4 Getting Standalone Release in September
* The Rock to Star in New Movie Based on Arcade Classic Rampage
* Sony Explains Long Wait for The Last Guardian, and Big Changes to Team Ico
* Nintendo Pitched F-Zero Wii U to Burnout Dev
* Ken Announced for Street Fighter V, Additional Beta Phases Planned
* Prototype SNES PlayStation Found In The Wild, Unicorn And Big Foot Expected Next
* Franchises that Deserve the Platinum Treatment
* Enslaved: Odyssey to the West

Listen or Download (2:32:23)

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Hart & Usagi Podcast at the Internet Archive

Matt: @HartKnight | HartKnight’s Archive

Mike: @usagi704 | Domain of Usagi704

Steve: @ebbderelict | ipernity blog



The Collection Grows

Several weeks old purchases are finally being shown off. These are the Disney movie based on a stage play and the last of two import games I was waiting on. I give to you Into the Woods and Kamen Rider: Battride War on PS3, respectively.

My total movie collection is at 252. 30% (or 76) of them are Blu-ray.

On the other side my total video game collection is at 978. 15.64% (or 153) are on the PlayStation 3. Only the PS2 bests it by less than 20.


If you’d like to be in the running for our digital movie contest which includes Into the Woods, then please check out Hart & Usagi Podcast or Space Suplex below.


HART & USAGI PODCAST #62 – April 20th 2015 (@HartandUsagi)
HartKnight and usagi704 chat Mortal Kombat X, Comcast, and more.


SPACE SUPLEX #18 – April 28th 2015 (@SpaceSuplex)
HartKnight and 24bitAJE chat Extreme Rules 2015 and more.

Odds and Ends and Far Cry 3


Two weeks after I started Far Cry 3 I’m having a much more fun time after, as Usagi704 would say, “getting good.” My problems with driving in the first-person perspective are no longer an issue. Hunting is also no longer an issue or even a thing I do on purpose anymore. Unless there’s future billboards with special hunts on them, I don’t need to do it because I’ve successfully crafted everything from the wallet to the lootsack including all upgrades. All of this was finished before I’d even landed on Hoyt’s southern island. How’s that for progress, SonicHomeboy?

Most of the story has been pretty lame. This is especially the case with anything regarding Jason Brody’s rise and acceptance as a warrior. Whenever a cutscene would play talking about this I only starting thinking about Ultimate Warrior’s entrance theme. Only three characters have been interesting and they’re Vaas, Agent Willis, and Sam Becker. Willis leaves for Russia halfway through the game which was unfortunate.

Recently on the podcast Twitter accounts (@HartandUsagi, @SpaceSuplex) I did a giveaway contest for two of the digital movie vouchers I got with Blu-ray purchases. One was for Gangs of New York and the other was for Total Recall (the 1990 edition, of course). I have a few more to giveaway and I’ll be doing that in the future on the shows. If you’d like to be in the running for them, then follow the podcasts on Twitter and look for when I’ll announce more.

It’s a long story for this final odd and end. I’ll try and keep it short.

My usual experience purchasing from Play-Asia is problematic in several ways. 1) I need to notify my bank I’m making an international transaction so they don’t block payment, 2) Endure a small fee for said payment, and 3) Wait an ungodly amount of time for Play-Asia to ship any items bought.

In this case I purchased Kamen Rider: Battride War and Kamen Rider: Battride War II for PlayStation 3. Of course I would buy more Kamen Rider right, JiibayDan? *wink* They’re basically a Dynasty Warriors clone with the Kamen Rider license.

I got the sequel to arrive first because it’s availability was 24 hours where as the first game was labeled as 1 week. As you can see below the second game arrived. The other game has yet to be charged or shipped to me and the order was placed on March 13th.


So that’s what I’ve been doing (or waiting for). What are you guys/gals up to?

New Releases 2014: Feb. 23-Mar. 15


WEEK of 2/23
Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 (PC, PS3, X360)
Pac-Man Museum (PS3, X360, PC)
Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare (XBO, X360)
Tales of Symphonia Chronicles (PS3)
Thief (PS4, PC, XBO, PS3, X360)
Resident Evil 4: Ultimate HD Edition (PC)
Shadowrun: Dragonfall (PC, MAC)
Professor Layton and the Azran Legacy (3DS)

WEEK of 3/2
South Park: The Stick of Truth (PS3, X360, PC)
XCOM: Enemy Unknown – The Complete Edition (PC)

WEEK of 3/9
Atelier Escha & Logy: Alchemists of the Dusk Sky (PS3)
Dark Souls II (PS3, X360)
Ragnarok Odyssey ACE (PS3, PSV)

Now Playing: November 2013


As you would know if you’ve been keeping up with my gaming habits of this fine month of November, you’ll be familiar with my TMNT Month gaming event (#TMNTNov on Twitter). I played through all sorts of games bearing the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles license. From beat-’em-ups to fighting games (mostly beat-’em-ups) here’s a summary of what I played and links to blog posts with more details.

I did spend about the first week finishing up Dark Souls from my previous 4th annual Halloween gaming event. It took me 61 hours and 45 minutes to beat the game at level 99 as a Sorcerer. Check all those juicy details under the “dark souls” tag.

My main focus for TMNT Month was the PlayStation 2 and original Game Boy trilogies.

I first finished Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Fall of the Foot Clan and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: Back from the Sewers. They were as basic as beat-’em-up get and I had fun though we can all do better. Then I made my way through the 2003 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Again it wasn’t much more than following the story of the show and giving shallow gameplay.

I had mentioned how I was going to play Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III: Radical Rescue on the Game Boy. Try as I might it was just too confusing for me to find my way through. It also didn’t help to have Mega Man style respawning enemies and a short health bar. I simply left it listed as not started.

My most frustrating time with any game that I finished was Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2: Battle Nexus. It really is not fun on any level and I was happy to be rid of it when it was over. However, I was surprised with how not frustrated I was with Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 3: Mutant Nightmare. It was a much more friendly and welcoming experience. I liked how it was more upbeat than the previous two games. It was much easier, but I’ll take that any day over making me want to pull my hair out or kick the cat. I also explain TMNT3’s port of Turtles In Time. The sound/music is all kinds of screwed up. Check out the above link for more on that.

Finally I ended on an overall good note for the month with Usagi704 kicking my ass in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Tournament Fighters on the Super Nintendo. 16-bit Turtles games are where it’s at! Regardless of them being on the SNES or Genesis you just can’t go wrong with any of them. Everything since is garbage in comparison though you may find a little bit of fun with TMNT from 2007.

My final blog post for TMNT Month will be a Complete In Box Fridays article tomorrow with said game based on the 2007 CG movie. See ya then!