Hart & Usagi #87: PS Hits

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On episode 87 of the Hart & Usagi Podcast we chat about a variety of topics like Twitch bans, PlayStation Greatest Hits returns, and more.

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

TOPICS:
* Ninja Warriors Again announced for Switch
* Twitch deals out month-long bans to streamers using offensive slurs
* This Land Is My Land is a Western played from the perspective of a Native American
* Street Fighter 5 Gets Its Own Loot Boxes
* PlayStation Now getting Game Pass-style offline play later this year
* Sony Introduces $20 Budget PS4 Games Line with PlayStation Hits
* Tom Clancy’s The Division 2 ‘is not making any political statements’
* Doom Eternal will drag us back to Hell
* Street Fighter Was Almost Ported to the NES—Here’s What it Would Have Looked Like
* Kiryu Fights Forever With PS4 Remasters of Yakuza 3, 4, and 5.
* PS4 is Entering ‘Final Phase’ of its Life Cycle, Says Sony Interactive Entertainment CEO
* Dark Souls Remastered Fixes Blighttown’s Frame Rate Drops, so No More Excuses
* Report: Sony Will Stop Making Physical PS Vita Games
* Sony changes warranty terms for PS4, PS3, PS VR, Vita to comply with FTC guidelines
* Happy Anniversary to Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow, the Best Successor to Symphony of the Night

Listen or Download (1:12:49)

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Hart & Usagi Podcast at the Internet Archive

Matt: @HartKnight | HartKnight’s Archive

Mike: @usagi704 | Domain of Usagi704 | Instagram

@HartandUsagi

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Game of the Year 2014 – Favorite Revisit

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A number of games I have I’ll sometimes go back to them. This is especially the case if it’s short and going to be a quick session to play through. Arcade games fit this bill perfectly. Whether it be Mortal Kombat Trilogy, Contra, Ninja Warriors on Super Nintendo, or the fun horror game Splatterhouse on TG-16 (played during my Halloween Gaming Event). It’s always great to go back to these titles.

The one which caught my attention in 2014 was the arcade version of Robocop by Data East. It’s a bit tricky when it asks the player to level traversal that’s more than walk to the right, but otherwise it’s fun. It reminds me of a roller skating rink I used to go to and this blog post I mentioned it before in. All of this was spurred on by my purchase of the remastered in 4K Blu-ray edition of the original movie I picked up back in February.

Last year my favorite revisit was Tomb Raider: Legend and this year’s was Robocop!

Games Finished In 2014

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The list below shows every game that I finished in 2014. The total number comes to 46. That’s up 10 from 2013.

March proved to be the best month for beating games with 16 in total thanks to getting back to my gaming roots. The monthly average throughout the year was 3.8.

1. Bayonetta (PS3) – 1/14
2. Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons (PSN) – 1/27
3. The Saboteur (PS3) – 2/4
4. Batman: Arkham Asylum (PS3) – 2/12
5. Mortal Kombat Trilogy (PS) – 2/14
6. Street Fighter II: Champion Edition (VC) – 2/15
7. Robocop (ARC) – 2/21
8. Muramasa: The Demon Blade (WII) – 2/26
9. Soldner-X 2: Final Prototype (PSN) – 3/3
10. Streets of Rage 3 via Sonic’s Ultimate Genesis Collection (PS3) – 3/10
11. Jackal (NES) – 3/11
12. Tetris Plus 2 (ARC) – 3/13
13. Metamorphic Force (ARC) – 3/13
14. Chip ‘n Dale: Rescue Rangers (NES) – 3/14
15. P.O.W.: Prisoners of War (NES) – 3/16
16. Vice: Project Doom (NES) – 3/18
17. Fortified Zone (GB) – 3/19
18. Sunset Riders (SNES) – 3/21
19. Castlevania: Bloodlines (GEN) – 3/23
20. Super Double Dragon (SNES) – 3/24
21. Contra (NES) – 3/25
22. Sparkster (SNES) – 3/25
23. Code Name: Viper (NES) – 3/29
24. Operation Logic Bomb (SNES) – 3/31
25. Wild Guns (SNES) – 4/5
26. Return of Double Dragon (SFC) – 4/8
27. Ninja Warriors (SNES) – 4/8
28. Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood (PS3) – 5/3
29. Assassin’s Creed: Revelations (PS3) – 6/30
30. Klonoa: Empire of Dreams (GBA) – 7/7
31. Castlevania: Symphony of the Night (PS) – 8/20
32. Syndicate (PS3) – 9/3
33. Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode II (PC) – 9/10
34. Hotline Miami (PC) – 9/14
35. Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia (DS) – 10/15
36. Castlevania: Dracula X (SNES) – 10/21
37. Splatterhouse (TG-16) – 10/27
38. Ratchet: Deadlocked (PS2) – 11/6
39. Ratchet & Clank Future: Tools of Destruction (PS3) – 11/16
40. Batman (ARC) – 11/20
41. Crime Fighters (ARC) – 11/20
42. Ratchet & Clank Future: Quest for Booty (PSN) – 11/20
43. Yakuza 3 (PS3) – 12/21
44. RayCrisis: Series Termination (PS) – 12/28
45. Panzer Bandit (PS) – 12/29
46. Strider 2 (PS) – 12/31

Now Playing: April 2014

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Starting out this month of April was a continuation of my gaming roots. I played seven games and of them six where kick ass. You can read the details of those games here.

I also played the one Super Nintendo game I own on the Virtual Console. It was the tough, but never upsetting or rage inducing, Wild Guns. The details are available here and included is the episode of the Happy Video Game Nerd which introduced me to the amazing game.

The final game I played from the old days of gaming was Ninja Warriors. It’s also on the SNES and I’ve finished it previously, but I didn’t do so on Hard difficulty. I used Kamaitachi through most of the game, but I had trouble throwing enemies into the final boss to damage him. This is where Ninja (yes, that’s the character’s name) came in perfectly. His throws are have a bit more of an arc to them than Kamaitachi’s does. This helped a lot and one attempt was all I needed for Ninja to win the day.

I haven’t played any of the more modern games of today since getting annoyed with Onimusha: Dawn of Dreams in early March. It was a month and a half of glory and reminded me of the past which helped out a lot. Well now I’m back as of two weeks ago and my first game back was Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood.

I’ve played the previous two games in the series. My favorite has been Assassin’s Creed II (AC & ACII thoughts). Overall, I think I may still feel that way when Brotherhood is all said and done. I’ve been used to seeing a Viewpoint on the map and being able to climb it and synchronize. In this game you have to kill a specific captain beforehand at some of the Viewpoint sites. This isn’t a problem, of course. My problem is seeing them on my map and not being able to reach them. It’s been awhile since I’ve been able to open up more of the city.

When I was playing ACII I was surprised of the many, many ways to deal death to opponents. Brotherhood brings all of those abilities back, upgrades a few of them, and then adds even more options to your arsenal. Previously, for example, your options for distance kills were throwing knives and a arm-mounted pistol. Now you have those returning along with a crossbow, poison shots, and eventually the ability to call in fellow assassins.

Somewhat annoying as portions of the game might be I still am enjoying my time with Brotherhood.

THIS MONTH’S GAMING STATS:
Wild Guns – 2h56m
Ninja Warriors – Finished on Hard
Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood – 19h41m; 44%; 19 trophies

More Favorite Game Music

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Back in 2009 I linked to eleven music tracks from video games which I enjoyed. I’ve since built up another list of eleven tracks for your listening pleasure.

* Neon Mines from Sidhe Interactive’s Shatter (PS3)
* Intro theme from RED Entertainment’s Gate of Thunder (TG-16)
* Downtown stage of Natsume’s Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers (SNES)
* New Messiah of Konami’s Castlevania II: Belmont’s Revenge/Dracula Densetsu II (GB)
* New Messiah of Konami’s Castlevania: The Adventure Rebirth/Dracula Densetsu Rebirth (WII)
* Opus 13 of Konami’s Castlevania: Dracula X/Akumajou Dracula XX/Castlevania: Vampire’s Kiss (SNES)
* Opus 13 of Konami’s Castlevania: Rondo of Blood/Akumajou Dracula X: Chi no Rondo (TG-16)
* Main theme of Konami’s The Adventures of Bayou Billy/Mad City (NES)
* Boss 2 of Natsume’s The Ninja Warriors/The Ninja Warriors Again/The Ninja Warriors: The New Generation (SNES)
* Boss 5 of Natsume’s The Ninja Warriors/The Ninja Warriors Again/The Ninja Warriors: The New Generation (SNES)
* Lakeside from Konami’s Sparkster (SNES)

Robot Ninjas

The last time I amassed a large amount of games was this time of the month back in May.

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First I’ll start off with a lot of 11 Super Nintendo games I’d purchased off of eBay. All are game only, as you can see, and work great. Four of these games are repeats and they’d be Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles IV: Turtles In Time, Street Fighter II, Donkey Kong Country, and Fatal Fury Special. TMNT IV is the worst looking of the bunch because of the bad label, but as mentioned it still works just fine. You probably don’t see Fatal Fury Special pictured and you’d be correct. The reason being is that I’ve already sold it to Usagi704. He was quite impressed with the port.

Out of the seven remaining games five of them I wasn’t really looking to get, but at least I didn’t already have them. Everybody will notice the quality take a dive when seeing Shaq Fu, but it’ll improve a whole lot once I get to the final two games. Street Racer is roughly a Super Mario Kart clone with a slightly different style of driving to it. NBA Live ’98, MechWarrior 3050, and Super Battleship are all pretty much what you’re probably thinking they are.

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Now these two games where totally worth searching out this lot of games to begin with. I bought the whole thing solely for Ninja Warriors. This fantastic beat-’em-up had eluded me for far too long. If you’re not familiar with this game, then please take about ten minutes of your time to get educated by the HVGN. Oh and it didn’t hurt at all to have Final Fantasy II come along for the ride. :P

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Another game I bought in a separate auction was the Sega CD game The Masked Rider: Kamen Rider ZO. Back when I was crazy about the Kamen Rider series as a whole (I’ve toned my excitement for it down since then), I looked up to see what video games had been released for the various shows. One cool brawler for the SNES was based on the 1971 original show. I gave it a whirl on an emulator and it was pretty fun.

This also lead to my discovery of the Sega CD game in question. It was odd, however, that the game was release in the States. The reason being that the movie, Kamen Rider ZO, for which it’s based on wasn’t released here.

The game itself is simply one of those FMV games where you just press a button or direction on the d-pad when prompted to like in Dragon’s Lair, Road Avenger, or Time Gal.

Finally based on input from the shoot-’em-up encyclopedia himself, Usagi704, I decided to get Final Soldier off of the Virtual Console.

Thanks for reading. Have a good day!

Stealthy Shoot-’em-ups

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I’ve been putting up new blog entries quite a bit lately, but it has been two weeks since I’ve mentioned how the current game playing has been going. Well, allow me to rectify that situation right now.

SYPHON FILTER: DARK MIRROR
This was the game that won the most votes when it was up against Prince of Persia Revelations, Pursuit Force: Extreme Justice, and Space Invaders Extreme for the next game I’d play.

I’ve been pretty slow at playing it, but I really like it so far. The controls are easy to remember and well done on the PSP system despite how much was crammed on there. It also lends itself well to portable play with sections of levels that are pretty short at only a few minutes long.

The only time I had a problem was when I needed to kill the two enemies in the air duct to protect the NPC that was helping me. I initially thought that I had to find a way up there, but instead I just had to shoot them though the duct.

SPACE INVADERS EXTREME
To accompany the sneaking/shooting/spy stuff, I decided to play Space Invaders Extreme as well. After a few days I managed to finish it (#3 for 2010) with a score of 4,045,610 and a rank of B.

INTERGALACTIC SHMUPPRECIATION MONTH
I’ve been wanting to play some more of the shoot-’em-up genre and this ISM thing was suddenly upon me last Monday. I preceded to make an inventory list of all of those types of games I had. With the number of compilations I own, there ended up being 70+ that I can choose from. I’ve played four so far.

*Star Soldier (NES)
*Chariot (Three Wonders via Capcom Classics Collection Vol. 2)
*Gekirindan (Taito Legends 2)
*Gun & Frontier (Taito Legends 2)

I enjoyed Gekirindan the most so far and even made it the fourth game finished for this year.

THE NINJA WARRIORS
Lastly, I must point out the fantastic current episode of the Happy Video Game Nerd where this game was the focus of the praise it truly deserves.

I don’t own it yet, but I did play Usagi704’s import Super Famicom copy last May and bested this overlooked classic beat-’em-up. Even the music is terrific.

Until next time, you guys take it easy. :)