A Year of Now Playing: March 2017-April 2018

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It’s been a long time since I’ve typed up a Now Playing blog entry. My last edition was published at the end of February 2017.

At the time I was in the middle of playing Syphon Filter: Logan’s Shadow on the PSP. I don’t remember much from the game other than getting to a point where Logan was on a lift riding it up with enemy forces raining fire down upon him. I didn’t know how I’d ever pass this area so I moved onto another game. I did enjoy the game much more than its prequel, Syphon Filter: Dark Mirror, but eventually I’d had my fill of the black ops stuff.

Remember Split/Second? It’s that Disney published racing game where you triggered explosions (and some other things) to try and wreck your opponents on your way to victory. It was a welcome game during that Burnout series drought. It doesn’t surpass that best ever racing series, but it was still engaging it a similar destructive way.

Another game that went unfinished was Soul Calibur: Broken Destiny. This PSP entry introduced Kratos as a guest character to the roster. This was released in between the pair of PSP God of War titles. A lot of his abilities from the GoW games up to that point were included. I spent most of my time in the trials challenge mode. This would help in learning the character of your choice. I’m not the biggest fan of 3D fighting games in general so I played this more out of curiosity.

Mafia III‘s early trailers had my interest with the protagonist in Lincoln Clay in 1960s Louisiana. It had promise is how the game handled Clay’s dealing with racism, but it never does much of anything with it other than allow for a few slurs here and there to be spoken by some of the non-playable characters. It’s ultimately a GTA-style clone of an open world game, but thankfully it was quite good at that.

I know Shadow of the Colossus gets talked about with glowing praise, but it didn’t take long for me to realize this wasn’t a game for me. In a similar way, but where nobody praises it, I can say the same thing about ActRaiser 2.

Spy Hunter: Nowhere to Run and Crash: Mind Over Mutant, both on the PlayStation 2, are another pair of unfinished games. I can’t remember exactly what the reason I playing them was. It might have been the game freezing up or a particularly difficult section I didn’t want to deal with.

I had downloaded the Trine trilogy off of the PlayStation Network for my PS4 and played through Trine: Enchanted Edition. It was as I remembered from playing the original version’s demo back on the PS3. It was fun to find uses for each of the three character’s abilities.

For an over-the-top third-person shooter that’s a lot of dumb fun, I suggest helping Fifty get back a diamond encrusted skull in 50 Cent: Blood on the Sand. Don’t forget to jump dat big ass ramp!

Onto some Game Boy Advance beat-’em-up action I played River City Ransom EX. This is a slightly updated look to the original game on the NES. The main difference is that you can save your progress to an extent. It doesn’t save were you left off just your character’s stats and items. Regardless, I’d get to River City High as normal, but no boss shows up to fight as they should so I couldn’t progress onward. I remember this being my problem on the NES too.

Sega Arcade Gallery has four ports of Sega arcade games. Two of them are some of my favorites: OutRun and Super Hang-On. These two games are surprisingly well done. While you’re definitely better off playing a version on a bigger screen, the GBA isn’t the worst. For the controls it’s done quite good. The A and B buttons are accelerate and brake, respectively. L and R handle the boost in Super Hang-On and the shifting in OutRun. I finished both of these along with the next game.

That game is also on the GBA and it’s Power Rangers Ninja Storm. It’s a very one-note kids game and not fun enough for even one play-through, but at least I did that. There’s only very slight differences in a few level given which set of Rangers you choose at the beginning. It’s definitely not worth a second go-around to see anything you missed. Not bad just very mundane.

For all of you who enjoy The Revenge of Shinobi on the Genesis, be prepared for an awful 2002 game on the GBA also called The Revenge of Shinobi. It doesn’t amaze with its graphics. It also didn’t keep me very long because of the release of Burnout Paradise Remastered.

On Burnout, I said in my previous post that it was still fun to go back to after much time has passed. What I didn’t mention was that it was my first platinum trophy in six years and my ninth one in total. It’s the first platinum I’ve earned on the PS4 just as the original version of the game was my first on the PS3. All nine trophies can be viewed here.

The most recent game completed was Red Faction: Armageddon. I found myself having fun destroying structures and then repairing them. I had to tell myself to move on because I was doing that too often. It probably wouldn’t have taken 10 hours to beat if I had trucked on through. There’s a new game plus mode, but being a typical action game as it is I didn’t feel the need to replay it.

Currently I just started Yakuza 4. Hopefully it won’t take me until May 2019 to tell you about it. ;)

Once again, thanks for reading. Catch me on the podcasts!

GAMEPLAY STATS FROM SELECT TITLES:
* Syphon Filter: Logan’s Shadow – Ep. 6, Part 5
* Split/Second – Ep. 12; 3215 credits; 22 trophies
* Mafia III – 41 trophies
* Spy Hunter: Nowhere to Run – Mission 10: Derailed
* Crash: Mind Over Mutant – 4h59m; 27%
* Trine: Enchanted Edition – Skill XP 316; HP XP: 271; 17 trophies
* Sega Arcade Gallery: OutRun – Score: 17,414,040
* Sega Arcade Gallery: Super Hang-On – Score: 1,383,970
* Burnout Paradise Remastered – 42h; 100%; 92 trophies (Platinum!)
* Red Faction: Armageddon – 10h26m; 100%; 29 trophies

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Purchase Stats 2015

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The following stats are for all of my video game purchases throughout 2015.

Total number of games: 40
Amount bought increased by 21 from 2014.

9 New games^ (22.5%)
25 Used games (62.5%)
6 Downloadable games* (15%)

16 PS3
Blades of Time^
Mortal Kombat (Komplete Edition)
Saints Row: Gat Out of Hell^
Kamen Rider: Battride War^
Kamen Rider: Battride War II^
Ultra Street Fighter IV^
Guerrilla War*
Ikari III: The Rescue*
Ikari Warriors*
Vanguard*
Victory Road*
Captain America: Super Soldier
Call of Duty: World at War
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2
Call of Duty: Black Ops
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3

7 PS4
Infamous: Second Son^
The Pinball Arcade^
Injustice: Gods Among Us – Ultimate Edition
Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris*
Shadow Warrior^
Watch Dogs
Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection^

4 GBA
The Revenge of Shinobi
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2: Battle Nexus
Sega Arcade Gallery
Rayman: 10th Anniversary

3 PS
Street Fighter: The Movie
Iron Man / X-O Manowar in Heavy Metal
Ray Tracers

3 GB
Dracula Densetsu II
Adventure Island
The King of Fighters ’96

2 PS2
ICO
Medal of Honor: Vanguard

1 SAT
Outrun

1 WII
Super Smash Bros. Brawl

1 GBC
NHL Blades of Steel 2000

1 SNES
Dirt Trax FX

1 GC
The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess

10 MISC.
PS2 Component cables
Saturn (import gray)
Saturn S-Video cables
PS2 memory cards (2 red)
PS1 memory cards (2 black)
PlayStation 2 (model 2; silver)
PS2 controller (silver)
PS4 controller (gray)
PS4 controller (white)
PlayStation 4 (black)

OutRun

You know, OutRun can be a tough game to find. I don’t mean newer additions to Sega’s driving game like OutRun 2006: Coast 2 Coast. I’m also not counting early ports to the Genesis or Game Gear. And I definitely am not referring to the 3D graphics remake on the Sega Classics Collection on the PlayStation 2.

No. What I want is a completely faithful version of the arcade original on a home console. Unfortunately there’s only one way to get such a thing. It’s on the Saturn. I say it’s unfortunate because I didn’t own a Saturn…until now.

The Sega Ages version of OutRun released in Japan is what I purchased. I know it’s apart of a whole collection of games under the same name released in North America, but the price and rarity of US Saturn titles made it obvious I had to look East for my OutRun fix. It was a badly needed one at that.

I willingly dropped a fist full of cash to import a copy of OutRun along with an oval button dark gray model 1 Saturn. I don’t know about the performance of the NA OutRun on NA Saturn systems, but for the import version you absolutely need the original model. If you try to play OutRun on a model 2 Saturn (with the round buttons) it will freeze while trying to load to the main menu.

I’m glad I can finally enjoy arcade perfect OutRun without compromise. I would still like to get the Sega Arcade Gallery compilation on Game Boy Advance. As far as purchasing other games for my newly acquired Saturn? I don’t have any plans at the moment. This was purely to get myself this amazing Super-Scaler driving game.

Have you ever bought a whole gaming console for one game with no plans to get more games for it? Let me know in the comments section below. Also check out larger photos by clicking on the desired one.

Thanks for reading!

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Favorite Game Music: Volume VIII

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Volume number eight is here of video game music that’s pleasing to my ears. Check them out below and see if you agree. Also check out the crazy and informative podcasts at the bottom if you haven’t already.

* Black Polnareff’s Theme from Capcom’s JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure HD Ver.
* Hello Mr. Cyborg from Cave’s Dangun Feveron (ARC)
* Battle in Westside from Capcom and A-Wave’s Final Fight CD
* Bay Area from Capcom and A-Wave’s Final Fight CD
* Zone 3 from Jaleco’s Fortified Zone (GB)
* Magical Sound Shower from Sumo Digital’s Outrun 2006: Coast 2 Coast
* Passing Breeze from Sumo Digital’s Outrun 2006: Coast 2 Coast
* Gold Mine from Natsume’s Wild Guns (SNES)
* Ammunition Depot from Natsunme’s Wild Guns (SNES)
* Level 1 from Sunsoft’s Super Spy Hunter (NES)

*****

HART & USAGI PODCAST #48 – June 24th 2014 (@HartandUsagi)
HartKnight and usagi704 chat the Assassin’s Creed series, the Retron 5, IGN’s “exclusive” on The Last Guardian, live streams aren’t fun for Nintendo, and more.
https://hartarchive.wordpress.com/2014/06/24/hart-usagi-podcast-48-stop-criminals/

SUBSCRIBE!

SPACE SUPLEX #6 – June 21st 2014 (@SpaceSuplex)
24bitAJE and HartKnight review the June 16th RAW and talk about our current thoughts of the (upcoming) Money In The Bank PPV.
https://hartarchive.wordpress.com/2014/06/21/space-suplex-podcast-ep-6-stardust/

Favorite Game Music: Volume VII

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From the popular to the strange to the unknown, he’s another list of my favorite video game music!

* Stage 4 part 2 from Konami’s Metamorphic Force (ARC)
* Lab 1 from from WayForward’s Double Dragon Neon
* Mango Tango from WayForward’s Double Dragon Neon
* Amaterasu theme from Capcom’s Marvel vs. Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds
* Zero theme from Capcom’s Marvel vs. Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds
* Stage 2 & 5 from Data East’s Bad Dudes (NES)
* Stage 2 from Natsume’s Shadow of the Ninja (NES)
* Germany course from SNK’s Neo Turf Masters (ARC)
* USA course from SNK’s Neo Turf Masters (ARC)
* Splash Wave from Sega’s Outrun 2006: Coast 2 Coast (PS2, XBOX)

Hart & Usagi Podcast #30: Mean Streets of Burnout

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Welcome to a brand new episode of the Hart and Usagi Podcast. This is episode 30 and we celebrate by talking about our memories of racing/driving games. And by we I mean Usagi704 and myself along with our guests Gigastormz and ebbderelict!

This is a single topic episode and the longest one to date. We are the record setters around here. :D Below you’ll find a few helpful notes, but otherwise enjoy the show!

Listen/Download (2:13:42)
RSS Feed
YouTube

NOTES:
* Encyclopedia Bombastica: Burnout 2: Point of Impact

List of games talked about (a portion of):
* Pole Position
* Outrun
* Mario Kart
* Need For Speed
* Daytona USA
* Stunts
* Gran Turismo
* Lucky & Wild
* Burnout
* Chase H.Q.
* Jak X: Combat Racing
* MX vs. ATV
* Pure
* R.C. Pro-Am
* Championship Sprint

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Digital Derby Auto Raceway
VIDEO

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Powered By GameSpy

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ONLINE PS2 GAMES
Recently I was wondering if any of my online enabled PS2 games would still have that service up and running. To my surprise quite a number of them still do. Sure it’s less than half, but it still amazed me that 12 of 20 games worked online.

There was one thing that was consistent with my findings. If GameSpy operated the online servers, you could guarantee that those games would still be playable.

Battlefield 2: Modern Combat
Burnout 3: Takedown
Call of Duty 2: Big Red One
Call of Duty 3
Champions: Return To Arms
Flatout 2
Midnight Club II
Mortal Kombat: Armageddon
Ratchet & Clank: Up Your Arsenal
Ratchet: Deadlocked
Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory
Urban Chaos: Riot Response

EA games seemed to be the ones that were the least likely to work. However it was odd that of the Burnout games tested Takedown worked while Revenge didn’t as you can see below in the list of games shut down.

Burnout Revenge
Everything or Nothing
Goldeneye: Rogue Agent
NFL Street 2
OutRun 2006: Coast 2 Coast
Project: Snowblind
TimeSplitters: Future Perfect
The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King

SYSTEM LINK PS1 GAMES
In similar news, I was looking for a list of games that were system link compatible for the original PlayStation system since Usagi704 did buy the cable and I had got one of the original models.

Unfortunately there’s only apparently 30 games that have this option, as listed on Wikipedia, with quite a few being racing games of some type.

Of that list, I have Destruction Derby, Doom, Final Doom, and R4: Ridge Racer Type 4. I’m looking into a few of the others like The Need For Speed, Rogue Trip: Vacation 2012, and Armored Core among a couple more.

BORDERLANDS
Since my last blog post I’ve found some more fun to be had with Borderlands. I’m much quicker when comparing weapons and items and I don’t feel as much like a weakling anymore, though it still happens from time to time. Level 13 must be where the magic is. My current level is 20.

Trophies: 19 / 51 (37%)