R-Type Revengance: Tournament Edition

Back in the early 1990s a lot of the games I enjoyed were Midway arcade titles. When it came time to port them to home consoles Acclaim were usually the ones to do it. I had a Super Nintendo and Smash TV became Super Smash TV, Mortal Kombat II surprised us all with its major improvements over the first game’s conversion, and NBA Jam: Tournament Edition had a larger roster and battery saves.

This brings me to the Game Boy and its many ports of Midway games namely NBA Jam. At the time I had the original game for it and the controls were odd with Turbo on the Start button. Not the most comfortable way to play. Sadly my recent purchase of NBA Jam TE didn’t change this or help with using passwords. At least the roster was larger.

R-Type is the notoriously difficult shoot-’em-up from Irem. Upon a port to the Game Boy the original cartridge had both R-Type I and II. A number of “DX” releases of black and white games were colored when put out for the Game Boy Color. R-Type DX was one such title. It had R-Type I and II in color and had a “combined challenge” (as Giant Bomb put it) for R-Type DX.

I’m not much of a shoot-’em-up fan, but I look forward to getting my ass kicked by this cart nonetheless.

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On a side note, I accompanied Usagi704 to GameStop the night he picked up his copy of Metal Gear Rising: Revengence. Here’s some video footage of it.

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Hart & Usagi Podcast #24

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The first episode of the Hart & Usagi Podcast for 2013 is here! The gun topic isn’t going away anytime soon so get strapped in for another round of discussion on the topic. We also talk about Australia’s new R18+ rating, a very small amount about Django Unchained (don’t worry), and a few other things. The New Year is officially here so take a listen to episode 24!

TOPICS/NEWS:
* Samurai Shodown
* PlayStation 2
* EA games offline in January
* Godwin’s Law In Effect
* Leading media violence expert warns town that game burning could do more harm than good
* Gov. Christie says guns, drugs, mental illness and video games need to be examined in wake of shooting
* Biden talks video game violence with industry representatives
* Politico’s 10 Violent Video Games List is Stuck in the Past
* Xbox Live: No Longer the Gold Standard
* Sony patents tech to block used games
* Iwata: “Customers do not want online games”
* Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor’s Edge first R18+ game in Australia
* US web PS Store launch this month
* Django Unchained

Listen/Download (1:13:24) | RSS feed

2011 Award Winners

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It’s now time to enter the strange world of the 2011 gaming awards from yours truly.

BEST BEAT-‘EM-UP
When it comes to beat-’em-ups, I know what I like. It’s my favorite genre after all. I played a bunch of them this last year and Streets of Rage 2 is still the very best of what this genre has to offer.

To an extent Final Fight One on GBA is my preferred version over the arcade just because it isn’t as cheap and it has a few bonus extras like the Street Fighter Alpha versions of Cody and Guy to keep it fun.

The SNES version of Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers, while simple, has a great music and play mechanics to keep this game out of licence game hell.

Capcom’s Knights of the Round was never one I got into very much before, but last year I played a bit of the SNES port. I was surprised I liked it as much as I did. The character of Percival helped in this with his dashing ability.

Streets of Rage 2 (GEN, PSN)
Final Fight One (GBA)
Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers (SNES)
Knights of the Round (SNES)

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WORST BEAT-‘EM-UP
I also know what a horrible beat-’em-up is. Revenge of the Wounded Dragons is definitely that. Cheap tactics are the order of the day and instead of using Dragon Rage to kill enemies off faster, I was standing still gaining health back. It was a frustrating game and its memory has stuck with me.

The boss fight on stage eight of Streets of Rage against the two women without the backup puts this game here. Plain and simple.

Magic Sword and Rush’N Attack aren’t as bad. But they did have things about them which made them less exciting. The former made you feel like you had to hurry through the stages, but doing so only made you take more damage. The latter was just a bit too simple, but other than that I can’t complain all that much about it.

Revenge of the Wounded Dragons (PSN)
Magic Sword (PSN)
Streets of Rage (PS3)
Rush’n Attack (NES)

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BEST SCORE CHASER
Whether it’s shooting rocks or ice in Super Stardust HD, playing Plinko in Peggle, or block stacking in Tetris, there’s always a friend who’s score you’re trying to beat. With me it was getting over 348 million points in Alien Crush which was the most fun to score high in for 2011.

Tetris (PSN)
Alien Crush (PSN)
Peggle (PSN)
Super Stardust HD (PSN)

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MOST VISCERALLY SATISFYING
Beating down fools is fun in any game, but certain games do it with brutal style be it with hidden weapons in a stealthy fashion like in Assassin’s Creed or street brawling in Yakuza. The most satisfying moves to pull off this time was in Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2.

Yakuza (PS2)
Assassin’s Creed (PS3)
Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2 (PS3)
Demon’s Souls (PS3)

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MOST SURPRISINGLY GOOD GAME
These games are the ones where you have very little, if any, expectations of them being any good. Duke Nukem: Time to Kill is a perfect example of this. It gets hated on for being a Tomb Raider clone and the critics are correct. It’s not a game I would recommend, but I somehow managed to scrape some fun from the bottom of this old crusty barrel.

One game I can recommend, however, is Run Saber. It’s a clone as well, but a decent one similar in most ways to Strider. Atlus even published great games back in the Super Nintendo days!

Duke Nukem: Time to Kill (PSX)
Run Saber (SNES)
Art of Fighting 2 (SNES)
Shadowgate Classic (GBC)

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MOST FUN VS. USAGI704
In one of the most odd award categories, but fitting for me, is which game did I enjoy the most when facing off against Usagi704. Is it the copious amounts of Mortal Kombat matches? What about the surprisingly good port of Art of Fighting 2? It was actually the matches we had on the Genesis version of Super Street Fighter II way back this time last year.

Super Street Fighter II (GEN)
Mortal Kombat Arcade Kollection (PSN)
Mortal Kombat 3 (PSX)
Art of Fighting 2 (SNES)

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MOST DISAPPOINTING GAME
There’s a number of ways for a game to be disappointing. Half-Life 2: Episode One is an example of simply not being as good or memorable as the previous main game. Rainbow Six Vegas was an unfortunate case of not being able to pass a boss which was glitched. It wasn’t a big deal once I viewed the underwhelming small amount of the game that was left.

NBA Jam was very disappointing in its Remix mode. The camera angle wasn’t good at all for 21 or Domination. Being a big fan of the original arcade game and still really liking the Classic Campaign in this new edition made this all the more upsetting.

NBA Jam (PS3)
Half-Life 2: Episode One (PS3)
Rainbow Six Vegas (PS3)
Robocop Versus The Terminator (SNES)

hart11-disappointing

DOWN RIGHT CRAP GAME
I’ve played some crap games in 2011. You’ve already met Revenge of the Wounded Dragons. Now meet GoldenEye: Rogue Agent. It would’ve won this category, but at least I could explain in my review what was wrong with the game. Then I played a game where I couldn’t. This pile of trash goes by the name of Army of Two.

Revenge of the Wounded Dragons (PSN)
Batman: Rise of Sin Tzu (PS2)
GoldenEye: Rogue Agent (PS2)
Army of Two (PS3)

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BEST ACTION/ADVENTURE
It’s no secret I adore Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time. In 2011 I bought the Prince of Persia Trilogy and got the platinum trophy for said game. With that said, I’ve played the game quite a number of times. I needed something new. Uncharted 2: Among Thieves was new, but the experience was similar to the first game. How about new and fresh experience? Assassin’s Creed fit, but it was a bit too repetitive.

This is where Demon’s Souls came in. It was a risk since I usually don’t get into many games of its type. However, the risk paid off. I found the challenge to be overall less than hyped to be, but a challenge nonetheless. The boss fights were very memorable and gave me a sense of accomplishment. No other game I’ve played in recent memory can claim this.

Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time (PS3)
Uncharted 2: Among Thieves (PS3)
Assassin’s Creed (PS3)
Demon’s Souls (PS3)

hart11-action-adv

ABSOLUTE BEST GAME OF THE YEAR
Continuing on the theme of fresh, new gaming experiences, each of these four nominees for 2011 Game of the Year delivered this in one way or another.

Gunstar Heroes is a run-‘n-gun which isn’t new to me, but the amount of variety in the stages and bosses of such a game is. I mean there’s a more traditional shoot-’em-up stage in this game. Treasure’s crazy, but good.

The ultimate winner is Yakuza! It has everything I like about such a game. The story is very good and the fighting mechanics are one hell of a brutally fun time. It’s not often after playing a game that I get a mental reminder to play the next game in the series. This has been the case with Yakuza.

Gunstar Heroes (GEN)
Yakuza (PS2)
Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2 (PS3)
Demon’s Souls (PS3)

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Games Finished In 2011

2011-finished

The list below shows every game that I finished in 2011. The total number comes to 40 across 11 systems. That’s down four from 2010.

1. Super Street Fighter II (GEN) – 1/8
2. Revenge of the Wounded Dragons (PSN) – 1/9
3. Streets of Rage 2 (GEN) – 1/11
4. Gunstar Heroes (GEN) – 1/18
5. Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time via Prince of Persia Trilogy (PS3) – 1/22
6. Duke Nukem: Time to Kill (PS) – 2/2
7. Rush’n Attack (NES) – 2/4
8. Yakuza (PS2) – 3/17
9. Kamen Rider Dragon Knight (DS) – 4/3
10. Tetris (PSN) – 4/11
11. Uncharted 2: Among Thieves (PS3) – 4/24
12. Kamen Rider Climax Heroes OOO (PSP) – 4/29
13. Gradius via Gradius Collection (PSP) – 5/2
14. Sonic Spinball via Sonic’s Ultimate Genesis Collection (PS3) – 5/21
15. Shinobi via Sonic’s Ultimate Genesis Collection (PS3) – 5/23
16. Power Rangers Dino Thunder (GBA) – 6/4
17. Streets of Rage 2 (PSN) – 6/19
18. Assassin’s Creed (PS3) – 6/20
19. Alien Crush (PSN) – 6/27
20. NBA Jam (PS3) – 7/1
21. Peggle (PSN) – 7/6
22. Half-Life 2: Episode One (PS3) – 7/12
23. Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Vegas (PS3) – 7/21
24. Army of Two (PS3) – 7/26
25. Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers (SNES) – 8/4
26. Run Saber (SNES) – 8/12
27. Knights of the Round (SNES) – 8/19
28. Art of Fighting 2 (SNES) – 9/7
29. Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2 (PS3) – 10/9
30. X-Men (PSN) – 10/20
31. Shadowgate Classic (GBC) – 10/26
32. Final Fight One (GBA) – 11/10
33. Demon’s Souls (PS3) – 11/11
34. Kirby: Nightmare In Dream Land (GBA) – 11/20
35. Borderlands (PS3) – 12/5
36. Contra (NES) – 12/18
37. Mortal Kombat via Mortal Kombat Arcade Kollection (PS3) – 12/28
38. Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 via Mortal Kombat Arcade Kollection (PS3) – 12/28
39. Mortal Kombat II via Mortal Kombat Arcade Kollection (PS3) – 12/30
40. Super Stardust HD (PS3) – 12/31

The PlayStation 3 saw the most finished games appear on its platform with a total of 13 (includes PSN). The runner-up with 4 was the Super Nintendo.

December proved to be the best month for beating games with 6 in total with a monthly average of 3.33.

When it comes to earning those fancy trophies, I was able to earn 159 last year. Two of them were platinums from X-Men Origins: Wolverine and Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time (both in January).

Now Playing: July 2011

nowplaying0711

This month was unexpectedly worse in quality gaming than I expected. While I did enjoy my time with Alien Crush, Peggle, Tekken 6 on PSP, Super SFII Turbo HD Remix and a few others, some game just got on my nerves.

NBA Jam was the first to be a lot of fun and then it turned into a travesty when I tried to play half-court matches in Remix mode. It’s also very hard to tell your distance vs. an opponent to make a block. The CPU players don’t help things by being merciless even on Easy. Thankfully the original mode is still fantastic after all of these years!

Of course the biggest problem of all was Army of Two. I kept on calling it dumb via my updates on Twitter. When I looked at reviews for this game from ’08, I couldn’t believe how many were giving it fairly good passing marks. I didn’t play a 8 out of 10 game. Nowhere near it. They all claimed that the AI partner is horrible, but that this was made up for by having a friend play along with you. It’s not. Stay away from this 3 out of 10 BrickBeef McDudeShooter*.

Half-Life 2: Episode One and Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Vegas were the best of the bunch for this last month. The latter I had to consider finished when it didn’t let me continue on with the last two objectives by always saying I failed. I know I was playing the mission in question correctly when I checked out gameplay on YouTube.

The former, Half-Life 2: Episode One, was the great gameplay I liked from HL2 in bite size. This game I actually was able to finish. Being away from this style of game for as long as I have made it feel a little old in how it played. By this I mean I’m used to recharging health, clearly marked objectives, and a very linear path. I’m okay with this since it’s Half-Life after all. It was a fun experience, but, as I’ve read many times, I’m very likely to enjoy Episode Two much more.

In closing, I finished six games this month giving me 24 total for 2011. It’s probably the most in a long time. Listed below are those games and dates. Thanks for checking my blog out!

Alien Crush (PSN) – 6/27
NBA Jam (PS3) – 7/1
Peggle (PSN) – 7/6
Half-Life 2: Episode One (PS3) – 7/12
Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Vegas (PS3) – 7/21
Army of Two (PS3) – 7/26

The NBA Jam Betrayal

nba-jam-betrayal

Over the last three days I went from telling you that the new NBA Jam was quite fun with only a minor grievance of not having a way to configure the controls to having a major hatred for the game’s half court camera angle for some of the events in Remix mode like Domination and 21.

I can’t stand this camera angle at all. It makes it very difficult to see where your player or teammate is when everybody’s position is reset after a basket is made. It’s also very hard to tell your distance vs. an opponent to make a block. The CPU players don’t help things by being merciless even on Easy.

I still love the traditional NBA Jam experience and the Classic Campaign was a lot of fun. I’d regularly win matches by a large margin. The biggest win being by around 22 points. I finished that mode on the 1st giving me my 20th game beaten this year. With that said, I’m not about to consider the SNES version I played many years ago to be outdated just yet.

Also in the previous blog update I brought up that I’d like to play Dragon Warrior again. I was convinced to do so not on the NES, but on the Game Boy Color compilation Dragon Warrior I & II thanks to the most recent HVGN video. I found a game only copy of this locally the very next day.

dw1and2-gbc

Dragons and Aliens, oh my!

dragons-aliens-oh-my

A few days ago I was playing Alien Crush (PSN verison) and was having my best game ever. It was going so great that I had to save where I was and come back to it later. Once I started it again I didn’t last as long, but it did give me my best score ever.

78,533,200

aliencrush-78million

My previous best score was 36,570,300. Quite the improvement if I do say so myself. Because of this I do consider Alien Crush finished making it #19 on the year.

After finishing up Assassin’s Creed last week I wasn’t sure what to play next. I knew I wanted it to be a PS3 game which had trophy support. I let the “Fortune Cookie” on Backloggery.com choose a random game. It ended up being NBA Jam.

So far I’ve just been playing the Classic Campaign with the Utah Jazz. Record is 20-0. It’s a return to form for the series and I’m enjoying it. Despite this I do have a small issue with it: the lack of a control configuration. I prefer turbo on R1 or R2, like I’ve been playing it since the days of the SNES. Unfortunately, it’s stuck on L1 and L2. Like I said, it’s a small problem, but nothing that would lower the score if I were to review it.

I know in the future I’m going to want to experience my first RPG again, but was shown why it shouldn’t be on the NES. The game in question is Dragon Warrior.

I, like most Westerners, got their first taste of the RPG genre through Dragon Warrior thanks to the giveaway by Nintendo Power back in 1990. I remember finishing it twice back then and finding it quite fun. Despite this I didn’t play many RPGs after.

This is where the Game Boy Color compilation Dragon Warrior I & II comes in. The Happy Video Game Nerd makes a comparison of the first Dragon Warrior game on the NES and GBC showing that you can get much further in the first 30 minutes on the portable version than you can on the NES version. On the NES, the player still can’t leave the starting area and some of the minor enemies are still a problem. On the Game Boy Color, the player has already been able to start on the first dungeon. This video of his has me wanting to try the GBC version.