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)

Subscribe: RSS | iTunes

Hart & Usagi Podcast at the Internet Archive

Matt: @HartKnight | HartKnight’s Archive

Mike: @usagi704 | Domain of Usagi704

Steve: @ebbderelict | ipernity blog



Ratchet’s Booty Quest


Another day and another stack of games! I know what this sounds like. It sounds like a buy new video games daily. Of course this isn’t the case, but I am happy to see my wish list get smaller. However, the newly released PlayStation 4 is going to see to it that my wish list grows out of control once again. I’m already seeing it sneak PS4 games in.

The games I bought over the weekend weren’t planned. I was out with Usagi704 and he dropped by Target. I didn’t know what for until I asked what he was looking for. As it turned out they were having a buy 2, get 1 free sale. I usually don’t care for these sales mainly because I have trouble finding a third game I really want. It makes you buy something you really didn’t want. Thankfully I did find three titles I did have on my wish list. Those games are: DmC: Devil May Cry, Far Cry 3, and (the new) Tomb Raider. The latter game came in a Steelbook case. Those cases are quite awesome. The only other game I own which is in a Steelbook case is Mortal Kombat: Armageddon on the PS2.

I was surprised by another game a few days before the Target sale. It was a voucher for Ratchet & Clank Future: Quest for Booty from madtyger! I later found out it was because these codes were included with the latest game in the series, Ratchet & Clank: Into The Nexus. At one point I was going to import the European version of Quest for Booty to get it on a disc. For whatever reason I declined to do so. Thanks again, madtyger! :)


Enslaved Princess


After surviving judgment day/the end of the world and not wanting to just be left with a lousy t-shirt, I did some late night video game shopping. At $20 a piece I picked up Enslaved: Odyssey to the West and The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess.


I’ve been interested in Enslaved ever since it was released, but I didn’t feel it was worth the full asking price. The story has me fairly intrigued though I hope the most important part of being a video game, the gameplay/interaction, is also top notch.

When it comes to The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, I really don’t know why I bought it other than the price. I’m not a fan of the series and I’ve only been able to finish The Minish Cap on GBA. I’ve tried all of the others I own and I couldn’t get into them. I guess it’s a lot like how I am with Sonic games. I rarely like them or play them, but I purchase one every so often.

Heavenly Prices

I normally never think to look for video games at Sears. However this time it occurred to me to take a look. They had some pretty awesomely priced stuff.

The highlight was definitely Heavenly Sword. This is a 2 year old game that still fetches the full $60. Sears had it for only $15!

When looking back at my decision to return the used copy of Haze, I was glad I did. It was $16 then and this time it was $10 new.

The King of Fighters 2006 was the other game that goes for quite a bit new. It’s usually about $20-$30. Sears came in great once again at $5!

Shadow of the Colossus was the only one that went for the current regular price of $20. Bionicle Heroes followed suit when it finally arrived from


Retro Revival Week is back. Check out the details here.

The following games do not account for any possible fighting games that I may play. One in particular is on tap: Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 (1995 – ARC via Premium Edition of Mortal Kombat: Armageddon).

Sunday: Beyond Oasis (1994 – GEN via Sonic’s Ultimate Genesis Collection)
Monday: Final Fight CD (1993 – SCD)
Tuesday: Duke Nukem: Time To Kill (1998 – PS)
Wednesday: Virtua Racing (1994 – GEN)
Thursday: Super Punch-Out (1994 – SNES)
Friday: Crash Team Racing (1999 – PS)
Saturday: Ray Storm (1995 – ARC via Taito Legends 2)

Thanks for coming by and as always another blog will follow soon.

In The Anticipation Zone: Post E3

Back in January, I talked about my ten most anticipated games of 2007. Now that we are post E3 it’s changed quite a bit. Of course, four of the games on the previous list have been released. Two other games, TNA Impact and Black 2, are also off the list because of their scheduled 2008 release date. That leaves a lot of room for new additions so let’s get to it.

Contra 4 by Wayforward
DS – TBA 2007

I’m sure that some of you have heard how much I like the Contra series pre-3D. Well, then it shouldn’t be a surprise to you that I’m super excited for Contra 4 on the DS.


Turning Point: Fall of Liberty by Spark Unlimited
PS3, X360, PC – Q4 2007

This is one of the few games that I’m still anticipating from seven months ago. I can thank the great GameSpot stage demo at E3 for retaining my interest. The whole intriguing aspect of this game is based on a “What If” scenario. Here’s hoping that it doesn’t end up feeling too much like all of the other World War II FPS games that we’ve played before.


Assassin’s Creed by Ubisoft Montreal
PS3, X360, PC – November 2007

I love platforming games when they’re done right. Some good examples of this are Prince of Persia and Tomb Raider. In those games it was simply a lot of fun to just move around the environment. Assassin’s Creed looks to take that another step with the free roaming aspect of being able to climb around on anything. I can’t wait!


TimeShift by Saber Interactive
PS3, X360, PC – Q4 2007

I can’t say that TimeShift was on my radar before E3. However, after the show it has a place on my anticipated games list. The stage demo helped with that. I found it cool that the player can stop time and take an enemy’s gun out of their hands.

Burnout Paradise by Criterion Games
PS3 – Q4 2007

The last time my list included Burnout Dominator. It ended up as somewhat of a disappointment. It wasn’t because of the lack of online or crash modes, but rather because of the boost meter being more like the one in Burnout 2. Burnout Paradise looks to be a much more seamless experience with offline and online play. It’s kind of like Test Drive Unlimited, but even more so. It goes without saying that I hope the boost meter goes back to being like it was in the third and fourth games in the series.

Other anticipated games of 2007:
God of War: Chains of Olympus by Ready at Dawn
PSP – Q4 2007

Heavenly Sword by Ninja Theory
PS3 – Q3 2007

Mercenaries 2: World in Flames by Pandemic Studios
PS3, X360, PS2, PC – Q4 2007

Stranglehold by Midway
PS3, X360, PC – August 20, 2007

Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune by Naughty Dog
PS3 – Q4 2007