Now Playing: February 2017

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Since I checked in last month with you guys it’s only gotten hotter. It’s February and it’s 71°F as I type this. Unbearable! Despite the fact we’re all going to melt and drown in the rising ocean waters, I’ll try to fill you in on what I was playing recently.

Since last time I had continued to play and subsequently finished Bujingai: The Forsaken City. My thoughts are the same in that it’s a fun action title with a few “huh?” moments. Bujingai comes recommended by me despite it’s faults.

Right after I started to play Die Hard Trilogy 2: Viva Las Vegas on the original PlayStation. It was unlike the first Die Hard Trilogy in that it’s not fun. The gameplay is more in the style of Tomb Raider and Duke Nukem: Time To Kill. It doesn’t work here. It’s too easy to die and there weren’t any mid-level checkpoints. Unfinished forever is fine by me. Moving on…

Back on the PlayStation 2, I played around ten levels of Manhunt 2. It was satisfying to sneak around and take out all of these “bad dudes.” What was less exciting was to have to use melee or firearms against enemies that noticed you. Manhunt 2 does have mid-level checkpoints and save points which helped me get as far as I did. However, some levels just required a bit too much on engagement with guns leaving me wondering where all the stealth went. The controls don’t lend themselves to being a shooter and these sections proved that. The game does have some merit so I don’t regret my time with it. It’s just doesn’t deserve any more.

I then dusted off and charged up my PSP for the next game, Syphon Filter: Logan’s Shadow. I didn’t get far into Syphon Filter: Dark Mirror years ago, but Logan’s Shadow looks to be easier to handle. I’m certainly impressed with the quality of the graphics on display here. Other than that there’s not much to say since I’m still only on the first episode. Wish me luck in seeing this one through.

Game on!

Now Playing: November 2015

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The original Twisted Metal from 1995 was the game I asked for votes on and it won. I played it and it definitely has the core of what made this car combat game a success, it doesn’t always do it well. The sequel certainly did it better and what I’m talking about is the arenas you find yourself in for battle. Most are large open areas, but the first level is inside a large circus tent which is much too small for what you need to do. World Tour did this much better with more varied and smart design choices. It’s not to say you can’t have fun with this initial outing, but it certainly doesn’t compare well against the much improved Twisted Metal 2.

Quantum of Solace is the current game I’m focusing on. This is the PlayStation 2 edition which differs from the PS3 and Xbox 360 versions. It’s a third-person shooter with some stealth sequences. Those stealth portions aren’t very good in practice during the 30 minutes I’ve played so far. I don’t think I can melee an enemy once they see me. Also, aiming a precise shot is more difficult than it needs to be. I’ll see how this game continues before I call it a done deal.

Advance Twisted Solace

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A few days after I gave my thoughts on Evil Dead: Regeneration in my Now Playing: October 2015, I ended up finishing the game. My thoughts haven’t changed so you can read them at the link provided.

Onto another game I wanted to play and it was Advance Guardian Heroes on the Game Boy Advance. It’s a Treasure developed beat-’em-up in the same series as the Saturn classic Guardian Heroes. Unlike that game, Advance Guardian Heroes gets a bad rap and I never knew exactly why.

Once I played and finished it I figured it might be due to the different times throughout the game where the framerate takes a big hit. Trust me when I say that this isn’t as big of a deal as it may seem. I’m sure it’ll bug some gamers to no end, but those people are going to be few and far between.

I played on Easy and built my characters stats in a style of a “glass cannon.” It was all about the damage for me. If you want a considerably higher challenge, then I suggest you play on Normal or higher. I played purely for enjoyment and you may want more than the simple, easy-going satisfying experience I had.

Moving on I tested out the new poll feature on Twitter and I asked what other game I should play. The original PS1 Twisted Metal was the winner. I doubt I’ll get very far in it, but I’ll give it a shot. I also have Quantum of Solace on tap and ready to go after seeing Spectre earlier this week. It’s the version on PlayStation 2 which is a 3rd person shooter and not in 1st person like its counterpart on PS3/X360 is.

*****

HART & USAGI PODCAST #70 – October 7th 2015 (@HartandUsagi)
Matt and Mike chat Edge’s top 100 video games list, Nintendo and Fair Use, the original PlayStation, etc.
https://hartarchive.wordpress.com/2015/10/07/hart-usagi-70-feel-the-electricity/

SUBSCRIBE: RSS or iTunes

SPACE SUPLEX #24 – November 3rd 2015 (@SpaceSuplex)
Anthony and Matt chat Hell in a Cell 2015.
https://hartarchive.wordpress.com/2015/11/03/space-suplex-24-to-hell-and-back/

Hart & Usagi #70: Feel The Electricity

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It’s time for another scintillating Hart & Usagi Podcast episode. We talk about Edge’s top 100 video games list, Nintendo against Fair Use, and the greatness of the original PlayStation among other topics.

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

NEWS/TOPICS:
* Mortal Kombat X for Xbox 360/PlayStation 3 Canceled
* Mega Man Movie is in Development at Fox
* 20 Brilliant Things About PlayStation
* Wow, Umihara Kawase games coming to PC
* Nintendo’s cracking down on speedrunning and ROM hacking videos
* 3 ways the original PlayStation changed gaming forever
* TGS 2015: Sony Reveals Fresh New PS4 Wireless Headset, Controllers, HDD Bay Covers
* Edge Special List: The 100 Greatest Video Games
* Former ESPN Host Criticizes Gaming Again
* Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 5 Day One Update Is Reportedly Bigger Than Game Itself
* Burnout Spiritual Successor Teased By Ex-Criterion Founders
* New Street Fighter V Character Laura Leaked
* What Are the Best Video Game Remakes?

Listen or Download (1:26:41)

Subscribe: RSS | iTunes

Hart & Usagi Podcast at the Internet Archive

Matt: @HartKnight | HartKnight’s Archive

Mike: @usagi704 | Domain of Usagi704

@HartandUsagi

Saving Gaming History

Recently I wanted to tackle some outlier games that have been eluding my collection. I didn’t get ones such as Captain America: Super Soldier or Painkiller: Hell and Damnation, but I did get a few others.

The first two games, you can see in the photo directly below, are actually not apart of those games I was trying to find. Medal of Honor: Vanguard and ICO were unplanned pickups. The former was released around the same time on the PS2 that Medal of Honor: Airborne was on PS3 and X360. The latter, ICO, I already have via The ICO & Shadow of the Colossus Collection on PS3. I only got it because I felt the need to save it from the unwashed masses. It’s not everyday you come across a complete copy of ICO on PS2 in good condition.

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It’s also not everyday you come across a good conditioned complete copy of The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess either. Okay, actually you do. But not the Gamecube version! I’m not much of a fan of The Legend of Zelda as you guys already know, but I still felt a need to save this game as well. It’s another one I didn’t need because I did already have the ubiquitous Wii version.

Here’s the first game which I did go to specifically to find. It’s Sega Arcade Gallery on the Game Boy Advance. It’s a four game compilation of AfterBurner, Space Harrier, Super Hang-On, and (best of all) OutRun! In case you didn’t know these games are all of Sega’s super sweet superscaler arcade lineup. You can never have enough of those!

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I finally found Ray Tracers, but I did have to go to eBay for it. The game is easily summed up as a polygonal version of Chase H.Q. and that’s okay by me. Both games were developed by Taito.

Iron Man / X-O Manowar in Heavy Metal was another game that wasn’t really on my wish list. I can see it as a very mediocre game, but in some ways it reminded me of Duke Nukem: Manhattan Project from 2002 in how it plays even though the game I bought was from 1996.

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Finally, I picked up a new copy of the 2008 Special Edition of Rambo 4. Yes, I do already own the Extended Cut. However, I was disappointed that the commentary track was cut out of that version. This one has exactly what I was missing.

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Ultra Street Fighter: The Movie

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This is my game purchases for the month of June. I didn’t get any digital titles because, you know, Team Hardcopy. However, it was tempting to get Dungeon Explorer, a TG-16 classic, for $1.20 off of PSN.

What I did get was a spur of the moment purchase of Street Fighter: The Movie for the original PlayStation off of eStarland.com. I was watching this video from Game-Rave. I was reminded of the two other times in high school I bought and then eventually sold this Street Fighter game. This time it’s in my collection for good.

The other game I also bought in the same order as SF: The Movie is Watch Dogs. I know, I know. It’s a bad game, but I’m a sucker for its hacking premise despite it’s basic implementation of it.

I was able to also pick up Ultra Street Fighter IV at Best Buy. It was another unplanned purchase, but not overall as I was going to get it once the price was right. At $20 it was.

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Igarashi’s Magnum Opus

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I was quite amazing news recently when Koji Igarashi asked if fans wanted a new game in the style of Castlevania: Symphony of the Night. Fans responded in droves showing support for Igarashi’s vision to do this type of game when Konami wouldn’t. Not only did the fans say “Yes, we want to play what you have on offer,” but they also showed it with cold hard cash. As of this blog post the project has 20 days to go on Kickstarter and it has gained over $2.6 million!

The game in question is called Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night. I know a number of gamers personally that have given some of their hard earned cash to Iga’s game. I, myself, not being one of them, but I’ll gladly purchase the game once it’s released to show my support. In fact, I know I’ll be buying the version for the PlayStation 4 that’s going to be released into retail stores on disc. Team Hardcopy for the win!

I’m a big fan of Igavania games. I enjoyed the initial classic in Castlevania: Symphony of the Night and going so far as to give it my Game of the Year award for 2014. On episode 52 of the Hart & Usagi Podcast, we chatted awhile about out favorite Castlevania games. Mine, in addition to SotN, were Aria of Sorrow and Portrait of Ruin. Add to those Super Castlevania IV and Castlevania II: Simon’s Quest from the “classic-vania” titles and you have my top five all-time favorites of the entire series.

Get hyped because you don’t see games like this anymore!

Interviews with Igarashi:
GameSpot | USgamer | The Jimquisition