Hart & Usagi #88: “Coked out of his mind”

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On episode 88 of the Hart & Usagi Podcast we chat about a variety of topics like Dotemu bringing back two classics, Yakuza series turned down by video gaming hardware companies, and more.

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

TOPICS:
* Fighting EX Layer is getting a physical release in Japan, to be shown at Konami’s booth at the 2018 Tokyo Game Show
* In Japan, a Beloved Deaf Composer Appears to Be None of the Above
* Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice Originally Started As A Tenchu Game
* Streets Of Rage 4 Is Finally Happening, 24 Years Later
* Report: Multiple Fatalities in Mass Shooting at Madden NFL 19 Tournament in Florida
* Stormdivers is a sci-fi battle royale shooter from Resogun and Nex Machina’s Housemarque
* Neo Geo cult favourite frisbee-fighter Windjammers is getting a sequel
* Bloodstained for Vita is Cancelled Because the Vita is Dead, Also Delayed to 2019
* The Yakuza Series Was Pitched To Both Nintendo And Microsoft, But Neither Wanted It
* Bethesda blocks resale of a secondhand game
* Capcom is “proud” of DmC, but Devil May Cry 5 will “expand more on the combat philosophies established in DMC1-4”
* Van Damme was “coked out of his mind” during filming of Street Fighter movie, says director

Listen or Download (1:46:21)

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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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Hart & Usagi #72: TMNT Goes Platinum

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In this new episode of the Hart & Usagi Podcast we talk about PlayStation 2 emulation on PlayStation 4, the ghastly phrase “Blast Processing”, YouTube’s Fair Use protections, and a Black Friday rant among other topics.

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

NEWS:
* YouTube Launching Stronger Fair Use Protection Measures
* PS2 Emulation Confirmed For PS4
* The Man Responsible For Sega’s Blast Processing Gimmick Is Sorry For Creating “That Ghastly Phrase”
* Dark Souls 3 Interview: “It Wouldn’t Be Right to Continue Creating Souls”
* You can fight Majima anywhere in the world in the Yakuza remake
* New Onimusha Trademark Registered By Capcom
* Report: New Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Game Leaked, Bayonetta 2 Studio Developing

Listen or Download (1:07:22)

Subscribe: RSS | iTunes

Hart & Usagi Podcast at the Internet Archive

Matt: @HartKnight | HartKnight’s Archive

Mike: @usagi704 | Domain of Usagi704

@HartandUsagi

Game of the Year 2014 – Most Disappointing Game

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There’s been a few games that have disappointed over the previous year and there were many before this with, I’m sure, many more to come. Some are as simple as being a bit too hyped up by time I got around to it and wasn’t as great as I’d hoped (Batman: Arkham Asylum). There’s also the titles that are infuriating (Onimusha: Dawn of Dreams) and others which lacked much of what made other entries in the same series endearing (Ratchet & Clank Future: Quest For Booty). However, Bastion was the one which disappointed me the most.

Upon Bastion’s initial release in the Summer of 2011, I was hoping for a PSN version for the PS3 which was never to come. Regardless, I was still very interested in playing the very first game developed by Greg Kasavin’s team, Supergiant Games. As a former GameSpot editor, I’ve always had a respect for Kasavin’s work. Maybe that’s what put his team’s first game very high on my list and just maybe I should’ve tempered my expectations a bit once I was able to play it in 2014 thanks to NiceGuyNeon.

As I said back in September once I played it via Steam, the gameplay overall was quite boring to me. It felt sort of like the Atari arcade classic Gauntlet without some of the charm of that game. I’m sure fans of Bastion will say it has plenty of charm all its own thanks to the deep-throat narrator. The voices were well done, no doubt, but the combat itself felt like I was going through the motions. There wasn’t any intriguing feedback from taking out the many enemies on the screen, viscerally or otherwise. It was a pretty flat experience and that’s saying something after playing Riot Zone.

Now Playing: March 2014

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After trying to play Onimusha: Dawn of Dreams and getting super frustrated with the game, I started to wonder if I was lacking interest in gaming. I ultimately decided I simply needed a large dose of old school games and went back to my gaming roots. How refreshing it was to do so. I found out what was best on the NES as compared to those same arcade titles and overall just had a great time!

I had previously played a bunch of these games, but I didn’t finish any of them. I rectified that with the first game I chose, Streets of Rage 3. There’s a reason why the second game in this trilogy is the best. While SoR3 does a lot of what made the previous game fantastic. It unfortunately adds a few things which don’t work as well. I didn’t think the music and sound were all that good in this outing. Double tapping forward and the attack button isn’t nearly as reliable as it had been.

The next game I played was Jackal. It was the first of four NES games. An action game from the arcades, Jackal is a superb showcase of the greatness Konami was at the time. It wasn’t until near the end of the final stage when a pair of ground homing missile launchers got me at a standstill. Eventually I got past them and the crazy huge tank at the end!

Chip ‘n Dale: Rescue Rangers was up next. Everybody seems to have played this game and remember it fondly. I hadn’t at the time. Overall things were rather simple until I had to deal with some pelicans. I had to read an FAQ about these Zone I troublemakers to find out about throwing a box at their feet was the only way to defeat them. The other problem I had was the final zone’s finely dressed weasels. It was a crapshoot as to whether they’d take one or two hits to go down. At least Fat Cat was easy enough.

Here’s a game I could never get to level 3 on back in the day. It’s SNK’s P.O.W.: Prisoners of War. The button mashing that goes on in beat-’em-ups doesn’t exactly work here. Slowing down your button presses and doing them in a very methodical way is the best way to start a winning strategy. Another thing to understand is that you’re invincible when performing the jump kick. Using it to your advantage against incoming projectiles is a must to survive. This speed run helped my understanding of this quirky game. Also a 21 lives code didn’t hurt either. It took 27 lives when I first finished it. The following playthrough was much better at 5 lives total used.

The final NES game played was Vice: Project Doom. It does a similar mixing of different genres for separate levels like a few other NES titles did. A majority of the game is of an action platformer, but two levels are top-down driving and another two are light gun. The way the enemies feel like they were just thrown in wherever made me think Vice was developed by a European company. They tended to do that in those days making for some unfairly tough sequences. Surprisingly it was a Japanese developer by the name of Aicom. Usually the enemy placement is thoughtfully planned out by Eastern game makers. Regardless, there’s a bit of fun to be had here. The name of the hero was Hart.

Jaleco makes an appearance with their Game Boy title Fortified Zone. The role you take is that of Masato Kanzaki and Mizuki Makimura. They take down a slew of enemies and sub-bosses in their way to five main bosses in four stages. From a top-down perspective you can switch between the two characters as you solve the key-to-door puzzles. The later two stages are much longer and ascend to completely new floors. It’s all more fun than it may sound at first. Sadly the one thing I didn’t care for was the fixed password system. It doesn’t allow you to continue with any health upgrades you might have picked up along the way. I used a Game Genie to help with that deficiency. Also that Stage 3 music! Amazing!

Finally there’s the wild west themed side-scrolling shooter Sunset Riders. The Genesis version is a bit different in level layout. I played the Super Nintendo version. I was quite amazed at how short the levels themselves were. The longest was probably level two and it’s likely because of it being an auto-scroller. The two bosses that gave me the most trouble was Chief Wigwam (stage 6) and Sir Richard Rose (stage 8 and the game’s final boss). Another speed run helped me in figuring out how to defeat them. Of course my execution of said plan was far less sexy and made of much more failure.

In total I now have 18 finished games for this year. Three of them I’ve yet to talk about are arcade games which I will talk about soon. Thanks for reading!

Lacking Interest

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Onimusha: Dawn of Dreams is a problematic game I was playing recently. I say “was” because I’m not anymore. I advanced the furthest to stage 4 and even started over at one point, but the problems I explained about previously didn’t get better or more bearable. When I was watching Usagi704 play later parts of the game it only confirmed my feelings that I probably wouldn’t have a whole lot of fun.

It’s quite interesting how powerful the characters can get in Onimusha: Dawn of Dreams upon seeing a few minutes of a new game plus speed run I saw on YouTube. Seeing as where you start out at it seems like you have to grind out levels as if this was a role-playing game. I’m not a fan of that and have since moved on.

Ever since I started to play Muramasa: The Demon Blade I’ve been kind of feeling out of it as far as gaming has gone. It would explain for my frustrations with these two games and my unwillingness to put up with what the games offer. I feel almost as if I just want to start a game up and immediately press the win button and not bother with earning that win. I even started up Zombie Apocalypse: Never Die Alone last night and I got disinterested in that game pretty quickly. Granted that Konami title isn’t good anyway.

I’m not typing this up for people to read and give me any sympathy though I’m sure it looks like it. At least I am having some fun with the shoot-’em-up Soldner-X 2: Final Prototype.

Have you ever been in a gaming rut where you want to play something, but nothing seems to catch your interest when otherwise it would? Share below and thanks for reading!

Onimusha IV

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I started playing Onimusha: Dawn of Dreams as I mentioned I would in my previous Now Playing blog post for February. I’ve played the game for two hours and some change.

I’m sure the game will get better over time as I learn how to survive combat better because right now I suck at that. I’m pretty certain I’m not upgrading items correctly either. What I mean by that is my usual problem is I’ll spread out the upgrades instead of focusing them on a few to get those higher more quickly.

The above things are personal problems, but one thing that irks me the most is the lack of direction the game provides. Maybe it’s because I’m very used to looking for things to glow in some way to know I can use them in games of recent years. Onimusha: Dawn of Dreams kind of half-asses it in this regard. You’ll get notified for ladders and such, but not for other things.

An example of this is where I’m stopped at right now. This door needs two keys to open to a boss. One I found in a box, which made sense, by the other key is obtained by striking six lanterns three times each. Unless I was told and simply didn’t notice I’m not sure, but my experience says I wasn’t and therefore I hadn’t any clue what I had to do or where to go to obtain the second key.

This being my first time playing any of the Onimusha titles, I don’t know if these problems exist in the other three games of the series. I hope not as I also have the third game in my library.

Top o’ the World

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I finished up with The Saboteur a few days ago. It was actually quite the fitting ending to not have a drawn out final battle against the main antagonist. It was a simple climb to the top of the Eiffel Tower and one bullet later it was all over.

After the credits rolled I completed the rest of the targets and didn’t need a FAQ to do so. This is a first for me. Despite 100% on missions and targets I didn’t get every trophy. I missed six along the way, but I did get 87% of the total.

This makes The Saboteur the third game finished for 2014. The previous two being Bayonetta and Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons.

The next set of games I plan on playing are the following:
* Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards
* Batman: Arkham Asylum
* Tatsunoko vs. Capcom: Ultimate All-Stars
* Muramasa: The Demon Blade
* Onimusha: Dawn of Dreams

Finally I recently purchased my first game of the new year. It’s the glitchfest known as Assassin’s Creed III.

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