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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Games Finished In 2015

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The list below shows every game that I finished in 2015. The total number comes to 22. That’s down 24 from 2014.

September proved to be the best month for beating games with 5 in total. The monthly average throughout the year was 1.8.

1. Tomb Raider (PS3) – 1/22
2. Castlevania II: Belmont’s Revenge (GB) – 2/19
3. Far Cry 3 (PS3) – 4/16
4. Power Rangers Time Force (GBA) – 4/19
5. CT Special Forces (GBA) – 4/29
6. The Scorpion King: Sword of Osiris (GBA) – 5/12
7. Wario Land 4 (GBA) – 5/17
8. Solatorobo: Red the Hunter (DS) – 6/20
9. Enslaved: Odyssey to the West (PS3) – 7/10
10. Call of Juarez: Gunslinger (PSN) – 7/24
11. Rush’n Attack: Ex-Patriot (PSN) – 9/7
12. Fighter’s History (SFC) – 9/7
13. Fighter’s History (ARC) – 9/13
14. Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon (PSN) – 9/22
15. NBA Give ‘N Go (SNES) – 9/27
16. Demon’s Souls (PS3) – 10/12
17. Evil Dead: Regeneration (PS2) – 11/3
18. Advance Guardian Heroes (GBA) – 11/11
19. Twisted Metal (PS) – 11/17
20. Quantum of Solace (PS2) – 12/8
21. Haze (PS3) – 12/17
22. TRON: Evolution (PS3) – 12/30

Now Playing: April 2015

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My big game this last month was Far Cry 3. I talked about my initial feelings on it during the previous Now Playing article. In an odds and ends blog post I talked about how my supplies were all upgraded. “In The Far Cry South” was about how my progress at that time was going on the southern island in the game. I finally finish up the game at 44 hours in “From Far Cry 3 to GBA.”

In that last link just above I had hoped to take some time dedicated to the Game Boy Advance. The reason being is I plan on chatting on the next Hart & Usagi Podcast about it.

I’ve recently played and finished Power Rangers Time Force. Now granted I’m not expecting an incredible game by any means when it comes to a licensed title. It was a good thing I wasn’t because I definitely didn’t get it. It’s as simple as get to the end of the stage without getting every Ranger killed. Then you take on the boss where the best way I found to defeat them was to use the super move by having full meter, hold B to charge, and then press L or R. Once the megazord battle happens it’s just as simple mash the B button until you win. Anything like “smart tactics” will only get you a continue screen.

I also played some of the GBA version of Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 3. I’ve unlocked level 2 in career mode, but I’ve been having a problem getting any farther. It goes to show, I guess, that I’ve never been very good at the Pro Skater games, but I have always appreciated them. My biggest issue with the game is the isometric perspective. I’ve never been much of a fan of this view because it’s difficult to tell aerial distance for jumps and this game is all about the aerial moves.

My next GBA games to tackle are CT Special Forces and Gunstar Super Heroes. I played the former’s sequel first back in 2004 and the latter’s Genesis classic in 2011.

As always keep gaming!

Games Finished In 2013

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The list below shows every game that I finished in 2013. The total number comes to 36. That’s down 15 from 2012.

November proved to be the best month for beating games with 8 in total thanks to TMNT Month with a monthly average of 3.

When it comes to earning those fancy trophies, I was able to earn 226 last year.

1. Double Dragon Neon (PSN) – 1/2
2. Street Fighter II: Champion Edition (VC) – 1/11
3. Batman (NES) – 1/30
4. Bionic Commando (PS3) – 2/24
5. Shatter (PSN) – 3/6
6. Rocket Knight (PSN) – 3/10
7. Tomb Raider: Legend (PSP) – 3/15
8. G.I. Joe (ARC) – 4/11
9. Resistance 2 (PS3) – 4/13
10. Super Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition (PS3) – 4/26
11. Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers: The Movie (GEN) – 5/4
12. Mortal Kombat Arcade Kollection (PSN) – 5/5
13. Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix (PSN) – 5/5
14. JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure HD Ver. (PSN) – 5/22
15. The King of Fighters ’98 (PSN) – 5/22
16. BioShock Infinite (PS3) – 5/25
17. F.E.A.R. 3 (PS3) – 6/21
18. X-Men (PSN) – 7/10
19. Streets of Rage 2 (PSN) – 8/9
20. Tomb Raider: Underworld via The Tomb Raider Trilogy (PS3) – 8/11
21. Dragon Warrior via Dragon Warrior I & II (GBC) – 8/21
22. Marvel Ultimate Alliance (PS2) – 8/31
23. Dragon’s Crown (PS3) – 9/20
24. Splatterhouse (TG-16) – 10/22
25. Dark Souls (PS3) – 11/8
26. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Fall of the Foot Clan (GB) – 11/9
27. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: Back from the Sewers (GB) – 11/11
28. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (PS2) – 11/12
29. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2: Battle Nexus (PS2) – 11/20
30. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 3: Mutant Nightmare (PS2) – 11/23
31. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Turtles In Time via Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 3: Mutant Nightmare (PS2) – 11/23
32. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Tournament Fighters (SNES) – 11/25
33. The Mark of Kri (PS2) – 12/3
34. Kirby’s Dream Land 2 via Kirby’s Dream Collection (WII) – 12/7
35. Sleeping Dogs (PS3) – 12/13
36. Space Invaders Extreme 2 (DS) – 12/25

The Stories of Vice City

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Back in Decemeber of 2010 I thought I had bought my last PlayStation 2 games in Castlevania: Lament of Innocence and Power Rangers: Super Legends. All that I really wanted I had. However this was not to be the case. I ended up purchasing Burnout 2: Point of Impact the next February and God Hand (plus two others) in May.

I guess it was as Usagi704 say to me: “You are not ever really finished getting PS2 games.” He must know what he is talking about Because I had been thinking of getting Grand Theft Auto: Vice City mainly for the fantastic ’80s soundtrack. When I found the PS2 port of the PSP title Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories, I figured that will do just as good.

Seeing a good cheap price on these other two titles made for an easy decision to buy. I do own the Gamecube version of Power Rangers Dino Thunder, but who wants to actually use that system’s controller for third party games? (Joking, but serious, but still joking.)

Spyro: A Hero’s Tail was one I picked up to see if this entry in that series can be more entertaining than I felt Year of the Dragon was on the original PlayStation.

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Power Rangers, Angelina Jolie, and Jackie Fucking Chan!

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A recent sale on used games at eStarland where you get $10 off of $40 or more gave me an incentive to tackle my wish list and get some games off of it. I did so with the Nintendo DS titles Power Rangers: Super Legends and Space Invaders Extreme 2 along with Castle Shikigami III for Wii.

Locally I also bought Power Rangers Samurai on DS and a new copy of Borderlands 2. I wouldn’t have bought Borderlands 2 already, but I had a lame Sprint rebate card to use up. Next time send a check.

Over on the movie front I bought Blu-ray copies of Mr. & Mrs. Smith, Dances with Wolves (20th Anniversary), and Tomb Raider. I really liked Dances with Wolves more than I thought I would after the 3-hour version and then I saw the 4-hour version and I was still captivated. This is what lead me to seek out this edition on BD.

Move over BD because here comes DVD and it brings a third helping of Angelina Jolie in Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life. I also picked up Jackie Chan: 3 Film Collection for the purpose of wanting to see Project A. It was quite the entertaining film and as a bonus I also get Project A2 and Dragon Lord. All three movies have Jackie Chan playing the character of Dragon and were all directed by him.

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Hey Microsoft! (a collection blog and short story)

Hey Microsoft! I have some TV for you. It’s called Xena: Warrior Princess and this is season 2. It’s funny, but I don’t need your Xbox One to watch it. I have all I need right now multiple times over. You should know about the format. It’s called DVD. I know, I know. That’s SO last generation.

Hey Microsoft! I also bought Power Rangers S.P.D. for the Game Boy Advance from It’s About Games. I bought it USED and I know how much of a criminal I am for doing such a legal thing. But when you look at it as it is in REALITY you find out that these video game stores can’t exist unless they sell used products. It’s not like their $2 profit on a $60 new game is going to keep them in business.

Hey Microsoft! Gigastormz was a really nice dude and hooked me up with a free Steam copy of Hotline Miami. You know Steam, right? It’s that digital platform from Valve Software who know how to price digital versions of retail games. You know, by actually giving a discount. But I wouldn’t want to give you actual good ideas for Xbox Live or anything.

Hey Microsoft! Another free Steam game came along from Devolver Digital in the form of the original 1997 PC game Shadow Warrior. They’re the crew publishing the upcoming remake from the developer Flying Wild Hog. It’s a much better game to give away for free unlike crap nobody wanted like Undertow. Again, I apologize for giving you such great ideas.

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Onto books with actual paper and printed words in them. I picked up paperback versions (because I’d rather that over hardcover) of four of Mick Foley’s books. I did read “Have a Nice Day!” around the time it came out, but didn’t own it. I always wanted to read at least “Foley Is Good” too. I do like this cover for “Countdown To Lockdown” over the original. It had a huge title taking up most of the cover which I didn’t think looked great.

* Mankind: Have a Nice Day! (735 pages)
* Foley Is Good: And The Real World Is Faker Than Wrestling (574 pages)
* The Hardcore Diaries (371 pages)
* Countdown To Lockdown (377 pages)

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Thanks for reading and have a nice day!