Now Playing: December 2019

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The previous three months has been a trying time to find a game I can get into. I succeeded, but the percentage was low. The racing games of Hydro Thunder (PS), Burnout 2: Point of Impact (PS2), and Flatout 2 (PS2) were more of the usual rubber-banding AI opponents that can make for a frustrating experience.

Flatout 2 had the worst of this issue, but the most annoying problem was the destructible track elements that got in the way on later laps once they were destroyed the debris was laying about. Burnout 2’s deal was solely the issue of the AI being perfect. I was having fun even when not winning, but once a certain mountain area track was what I was currently racing there seemed to be no way to progress regardless of the car I selected. Arcade racer Hydro Thunder was fun, but the bare bones presentation and odd decision to lock tracks behind a currency earning progression system was where I fell off of this one.

I then went to portable side of gaming with my DS Lite and PSP. I was hankering for some Puzzle Quest, but Puzzle Quest: Galactrix was too much of a departure of what made the first game so enjoyable. On top of that they added timed puzzle to complete. This is not what I call a fun Puzzle Quest experience. It was an immediate turn this game off moment.

I had the sequel on hand so I inserted the cartridge for Puzzle Quest 2. It was much more of the traditional fun game with additions that are much more welcome. There isn’t any timed puzzled, thankfully. I didn’t complete the game, but at least I had gotten my fill of Puzzle Quest in a more satisfying way.

Medal of Honor Heroes 2 was a first person shooter, as one would expect, but it’s on the PSP. Because of this everything hinges on how good the controls are. They’re…decent. It’s not a quick reflexes style of the recent Call of Duty titles on home consoles. It’s quite plodding to be very honest. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but it does mainly suffer from AI that can aim accurately. This is bad when you’re under a time limit to get out of a base that’s going to explode! This is precisely the scenario I was in when I hung this game’s boots up and moved on.

The game I moved onto was a 2019 released game, if you can believe it. It was The Ninja Saviors: Return of the Warriors. Not a new game in practice since the original version was from 1994 on the Super Nintendo. I love the original and this is definitely a worthy improvement. I’m not fond of the two new characters or that you can’t grab and throw the level 1 boss, but otherwise it’s excellent. The game didn’t need a two-player mode, but it’s done well enough with both players sharing the life and blaster (battery in the new version) meters.

Finally, I not only bought The Ninja Saviors: Return of the Warriors in the last month or so, but I was also given Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night by Usagi704 for Xmas. My total new games for the year of 2019 is a big ol’ seven.

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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)

Subscribe: RSS | iTunes

Hart & Usagi Podcast at the Internet Archive

Matt: @HartKnight | HartKnight’s Archive

Mike: @usagi704 | Domain of Usagi704 | Instagram

@HartandUsagi

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!