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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Hart & Usagi #81: Solitaire Fame

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Episode 81 of the Hart & Usagi Podcast is here! We welcome back Steve to the show and chat about a variety of topics like the Nintendo Switch controller issues, an April Fools joke that might be real, more Hall of Fame worthy games, and more.

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

NEWS/TOPICS:
* Persona 5 streamers asked to adhere to Atlus’ guidelines or be hit with a content ID claim or worse
* April Fools Day 2017 Video Game Joke Roundup
* Nioh is the most successful game Koei Tecmo has ever published in the west
* These 12 Games Could Go Into A Video Game Hall Of Fame
* Nintendo’s Switch Joy-Con Problem a Result of “Manufacturing Variation”
* PlayStation 3 Production Ending Soon In Japan
* PlayStation 3 memories

Listen or Download (1:50:21)

Subscribe: RSS | iTunes

Hart & Usagi Podcast at the Internet Archive

Matt: @HartKnight | HartKnight’s Archive

Mike: @usagi704 | Domain of Usagi704

Steve: @ebbderelict

@HartandUsagi

Purchase Stats 2016

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The following stats are for all of my video game purchases throughout 2016.

Total number of games: 30
Amount bought decreased by 10 from 2015.

18 PS4 (60%)
DMC
Hotline Miami
Wolfenstein: The Old Blood
Assassin’s Creed Syndicate
Batman: Arkham Knight
Bloodborne
Far Cry 4
Just Cause 3
Wolfenstein: The New Order
Broken Sword 5: The Serpent’s Cruse
Transformers: Devastation
Grand Theft Auto V
Ratchet & Clank
Dark Souls III
Doom
Mafia III
Rise of the Tomb Raider
Wild Guns Reloaded

1 PSP (4%)
Kamen Rider Chou Climax Heroes

4 PS3 (13%)
Painkiller: Hell & Damnation
Yakuza 5
Far Cry Compilation
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Danger of the Ooze

2 PC (7%)
The King of Fighters 2002: Unlimited Match
Strife

5 GBA (16%)
Island Xtreme Stunts
Stuntman
SSX Tricky
American Dragon: Jake Long – Rise of the Huntsclan
Tak 2: The Staff of Dreams

1 MISC.
SNES Capcom Soldier Pad

******

I also bought myself one last game in the final week of 2016 which is included in the stats above. It’s Nastume’s Wild Guns Reloaded!

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Games Finished In 2016

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The list below shows every game that I finished in 2016. The total number comes to only 13. That’s down 9 from 2015.

The highest month was January with three games finished. The monthly average throughout the year was 1.08.

1. Gauntlet: Slayer Edition (PS+) – 1/3
2. Donkey Kong Country (SNES) – 1/19
3. Hotline Miami (PS3) – 1/28
4. Jak 3 (PS2) – 2/8
5. Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception via Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection (PS4) – 3/15
6. Doom 3 via Doom 3: BFG Edition (PS3) – 6/24
7. Doom 3: Resurrection of Evil via Doom 3: BFG Edition (PS3) – 7/5
8. Doom 3: The Lost Mission via Doom 3: BFG Edition (PS3) – 7/19
9. Max Payne 3 (PS3) – 8/10
10. Saints Row: Gat Out of Hell (PS3) – 8/29
11. Adventure Island (GB) – 9/6
12. Infamous 2 (PS3) – 9/30
13. Mortal Kombat II (SNES) – 10/15

Now Playing: May-December 2016

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In the latter half of 2016 I played a number of games. Doom 3, Max Payne 3, Saints Row IV’s expansion, Infamous 2, Crysis 3, etc. I’m currently on Watch Dogs for the last month and I’ve been enjoying it more than most people did. I’m with Jim Sterling on this game and it’s fun for what it is. I haven’t been expecting more from it. My thoughts on other games are as follows.

I started out playing Doom 3. It was much better than I thought it would be, but it’s still a bit cliche for the gotcha type of horror it went for. However, I did like it and I felt the pace was a small amount faster in the expansions of Resurrection of Evil and The Lost Mission. Those were a welcome addition.

Then I moved onto Max Payne 3. It was the fun Payne gameplay we’ve come to know just with an updated sense about it that’s needed in today’s gaming scene. The story was the good, but I did feel the game lasted longer than I had liked. It was still worth my time regardless of this complaint.

Next up was Saints Row: Gat Out of Hell. The previous game in the series I played was Saints Row 2. I was going to do the usual play them in order since I have SR3 and IV, but I thought screw it. I went for the out the top hellscape adventure because Usagi704 was playing it and it looked wonderfully fun in all of its ridiculous glory. It was certainly that.

Continuing on with the PlayStation 3 marathon I was on, I played and finished Infamous 2. I had tried to start it 2014, but felt the need to get back to my gaming roots at that time. I was worried I would abandon it again, but thankfully that was never an issue this time around. I played on the evil side the first and only time I plan on playing it. It’s just easier to have fun Infamous’ open world that way. In the end I chose to become what I hunted for the whole time.

Crysis 3 was the last game before Watch Dogs and it was pretty much what I expected. The only problem is that eventually I was placed in, what I felt was, an unfair boss fight. I took my sweet ass time throughout the game and since I was ready to be finished with it, I called it “done” when this fight failed multiple times.

In the future I plan on playing every single game I haven’t played that I received for Xmas. This includes the lot I was given this last holiday too. In total it’ll encompass 19 games starting with Bujingai: The Forsaken City. I won’t force myself to beat a game if I’m not entertained by it. But hopefully it won’t be much of a problem. Wish me luck.

Happy New Year!

Hart & Usagi #78: Switching It Up

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A brand new episode of the Hart & Usagi Podcast is here! We chat about a variety of topics like the Nintendo Switch, The Last Guardian, Mafia 3, and more.

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

NEWS:
* Recent games played
* “Ultimate Gaming Deodorant” Kickstarter Campaign Launches
* Henshin Developing Film Based on ‘Klonoa’ Video Games
* Doom Designer on Video Game Violence and Culture
* The Nintendo Switch Dock Is “Not the Main Console”
* The Last Guardian Has Finally Gone Gold
* Why Beyond Good & Evil 2 Has Taken So Long
* People are mad they have to play a black character in FIFA 17
* Mafia 3 Begins With Statement About Racism
* Triple-A development is not worth it, according to Amy Hennig
* The PS3’s Launch Price Was Way Too Much, Former Exec Says
* Microsoft Among Those Reportedly Interested in Possibly Buying Twitter

Listen or Download (1:14:50)

Subscribe: RSS | iTunes

Hart & Usagi Podcast at the Internet Archive

Matt: @HartKnight | HartKnight’s Archive

Mike: @usagi704 | Domain of Usagi704

@HartandUsagi

You Can’t Beat 100%

In the last month or more I’ve been on a game-free diet of mainly movies as I had explained at the time in Now Playing: April 2016. Despite this I haven’t stopped buying games. I’ve bought five more that have been stuck on my wish list for awhile.

Back in March I tried to get both of the newest Wolfenstein games with only a 50% success rate. I completed in getting the missing The New Order this time. I did a redundant buy as well with the Far Cry Compilation. It includes Far Cry 2, 3, and Blood Dragon. As you might remember, I played and finished both FC3 and Blood Dragon last year. So did I get this compilation for Far Cry 2? Nope. I got it for Blood Dragon. I wanted it on a disc for the impending offline of PS3 on PSN. The disc plays FC3 from it with installers for the other two games. If you’ve experience with other three-game packs from Ubisoft, then you know what I’m talking about.

The other games are WayForward’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Danger of the Ooze, the FC3 sequel Far Cry 4, and the return of Rico Rodriguez in Just Cause 3.

Thanks for catching up with me. Take care!

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