Now Playing: August-October 2018

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So I’ve been playing these things called “video games” and I figured I’d tell you about some of them. :D

The Bourne Conspiracy follows the events of The Bourne Identity and adds a bit more to it to lengthen the game. You play just about every major and minor scene from the movie including the big car chase scene. That specific moment, however, is done poorly and is not all that fun. Luckily most of the game is beat-’em-up and shooting style of gameplay. There are opportunities for stealthy takedowns, but it’s not required and is the other part of the game that’s also not done all that well.

Speaking of stealthy gameplay, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2: Battle Nexus on the Game Boy Advance is much better at it than the above game. It’s also much more enjoyable than TMNT 2 on the main consoles of its time like the PlayStation 2. You have to find crystals throughout the levels, but you have to use each turtle because each have different abilities allowing you to access places the others can’t reach. The difficulty of combat is fairly easy, but it’s welcome in this way since the traversal is what keeps you wanting to play some more.

I finally got around to playing *the* Spider-Man game that gets all the praise since it’s 2004 release and that’s, obviously, Spider-Man 2. The praise is pretty much universally for the swinging abilities and it’s well deserved. But, that’s where it ends, in my opinion. The points needs to progress the story from menial rescues are very repetitive. I also didn’t enjoy most, if any, of the boss battles. I don’t dislike the game. I just wish it was as good as its reputation leads you to believe.

Of the four games I played in these last few months, Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End was the most fun. I liked the first two games quite a bit, and I still like them the most, but this game was a step up from the disappointment of Uncharted 3. Sam is a great companion and Sully’s dry wit is as welcome as always. The overall gameplay isn’t much different and that’s okay. It was good to begin with.

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Now Playing: June-July 2018

After over three months of playing Yakuza 4 off and on (mostly off), I have finished it. Vets of the series like usagi704 and others will scoff at the fact that I didn’t do any side missions/activities. I enjoyed the main story and I just wanted to focus on that. It took me long enough as it was and I didn’t want it to take any longer.

Of course Kiryu is the best of the bunch simply because he’s had three previous games all to himself. Of the new trio of characters I liked Akiyama the best with Tanimura and Saejima second and third, respectively. All were will written and voice acted. Tanimura’s fighting style was the most divergent from the rest. He used more holds and throws than outright brute strength.

Character progression, I felt, was hampered with the four characters being split up into individual sections of the game, but the story faired much better because of it. You didn’t know how all these guys and their events would tie together, but it was a pleasure in finding out and seeing it through.

I also, during this time frame, played and finished the 2001 arcade game Sengoku 3. I played it via the Wii Virtual Console with the pro controller. It was initially difficult and I did opt for the max of nine lives in the options menu, but eventually I did manage to beat it. Damage dealt to the player is quite high, but it’s doable with the correct battle strategy.

As a birthday gift I received Puzzle Quest: Galactrix from my bro.

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Now Playing: May 2018 (and Podcast Update)

About a month ago I purchased Horizon: Zero Dawn. The Complete Edition with all the extra DLC was the cheaper way to go and more available than the original version. I don’t know if I’ll even bother with the extra content, but I guess I’ll just have to see if I want more of it to play by the end. This all is considering that I get to it anytime soon which is unlikely.

I’m currently playing Yakuza 4 as I’d mentioned in my previously resurrected Now Playing feature. The initial character you control is Akiyama. He’s a good ol’ chap with the best of intentions and a non-judgmental attitude with the firm belief that helping out others is more important than making money. I like him.

I’m now onto the second new character’s story, Saejima, and they already show a clear sign of them all tying together eventually. Here’s a badass that’s trying to get what’s his. At least that’s my first readings of his motivations.

On the podcast front, there won’t be any new episode for a little bit as I sort out my PC issues as those problems only affect that activity.

Thanks for reading!

hzdce

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

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