Hart & Usagi #101: Many Sense

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In episode 101 we talk about the new DualSense controller, several remakes in the works, and ESRB’s loot box warning.

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

TOPICS:
* Namcot Collection announced for Switch
* Panzer Dragoon: Remake for Switch now available
* Nier is getting remastered for PC, PS4 and Xbox One
* Sony Unveils “DualSense,” the PS5’s Next-Gen Controller
* Resident Evil 4 remake is currently in the works from Capcom
* ESRB ratings will begin warning players of loot boxes in games
* Crysis Remastered Leaks, Coming to Current-Gen Consoles and PC [Update: It’s Confirmed]

Listen or Download (55:48)

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Hart & Usagi Podcast at the Internet Archive

Matt: @HartKnight | HartKnight’s Archive

Mike: @usagi704 | Domain of Usagi704 | Instagram

@HartandUsagi

Hart & Usagi #100: Hyaku

In episode 100 we talk about E3 being canceled, PS5 specs, GameStop ignoring how not essential of a business they are, plus more.

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

TOPICS:

Listen or Download (59:14)

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Hart & Usagi Podcast at the Internet Archive

Matt: @HartKnight | HartKnight’s Archive

Mike: @usagi704 | Domain of Usagi704 | Instagram

@HartandUsagi

Now Playing: March 2020

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Back in December I mentioned that I had played a number of racing games. This time the variety has arrived.

The big game this time was Syndicate’s single player. I enjoyed what I played, but it seemed to not allow the player to utilize the special abilities that it had available at most times. There are these armored enemies that are invulnerable to attack until disabled. The final boss (or at least what I expected) had this issue along with high damaging attacks. Any of those special abilities also can’t be used against these enemies or this boss. This lead to a frustrating fight that felt very cheap and uninteresting to finish. The multiplayer portion I played years ago still remains much more worth playing.

Trine 2: Complete Story was more of the same when compared to the first title. Because of this I felt less interested to continue after 12 stages of a total of 20. The frustration of Syndicate’s last boss fight continued with the PSP version of Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands. This isn’t the same game as the home console versions and I did go into it knowing the difficulty. The first boss here wasn’t hard to figure out. The game cooperating was an issue. It didn’t seem like the animation was programmed for the better.

The rest of my time was spent with the old school side of gaming.

* Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers: The Fighting Edition — I played this against Usagi704 where his Lipsyncher was devastating. I also had a trial mode win streak of six. That’s the game’s survival mode.

* Super Chase H.Q. — I was able to get to the final of five stages (or rounds as the game calls them) on the allotted three continues. It’s quite tough, but it’s still a fun first person style of the third person original arcade game, Chase H.Q. Maybe some day I shall complete that fifth and last round.

* Axelay — The still fantastic looking Super Nintendo shoot-’em-up from Konami. It’s overall more basic playing than other similar shooters at the time. It’s wow factor is from the weapon switching, music, and the superb graphics. I was able to get to the very end on Easy after many tries. Eventually I used a Game Genie (the horror) to get seven lives instead of only three. This did help me in beating the game (and, yes, this still counts, you macho masochists).

* Galaga, Double Dragon, & Double Dragon II: The Revenge — These arcade classics are easy and quick ways to have fun for a few minutes. The Arcade Game Series release of Galaga has the great feature of allowing you to start on the last stage you’ve reached. Mine is currently on stage 88. No online high scores can be set this way, but that’s to be expected. The first Double Dragon can also be called “Back Elbow: The Game.” Just execute that very move on every enemy for the most damage. In Double Dragon II this move is more enemy specific plus the game is overall more challenging. I finished Double Dragon and also effectively did so with an endless game like Galaga.

Now Playing: December 2019

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The previous three months has been a trying time to find a game I can get into. I succeeded, but the percentage was low. The racing games of Hydro Thunder (PS), Burnout 2: Point of Impact (PS2), and Flatout 2 (PS2) were more of the usual rubber-banding AI opponents that can make for a frustrating experience.

Flatout 2 had the worst of this issue, but the most annoying problem was the destructible track elements that got in the way on later laps once they were destroyed the debris was laying about. Burnout 2’s deal was solely the issue of the AI being perfect. I was having fun even when not winning, but once a certain mountain area track was what I was currently racing there seemed to be no way to progress regardless of the car I selected. Arcade racer Hydro Thunder was fun, but the bare bones presentation and odd decision to lock tracks behind a currency earning progression system was where I fell off of this one.

I then went to portable side of gaming with my DS Lite and PSP. I was hankering for some Puzzle Quest, but Puzzle Quest: Galactrix was too much of a departure of what made the first game so enjoyable. On top of that they added timed puzzle to complete. This is not what I call a fun Puzzle Quest experience. It was an immediate turn this game off moment.

I had the sequel on hand so I inserted the cartridge for Puzzle Quest 2. It was much more of the traditional fun game with additions that are much more welcome. There isn’t any timed puzzled, thankfully. I didn’t complete the game, but at least I had gotten my fill of Puzzle Quest in a more satisfying way.

Medal of Honor Heroes 2 was a first person shooter, as one would expect, but it’s on the PSP. Because of this everything hinges on how good the controls are. They’re…decent. It’s not a quick reflexes style of the recent Call of Duty titles on home consoles. It’s quite plodding to be very honest. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but it does mainly suffer from AI that can aim accurately. This is bad when you’re under a time limit to get out of a base that’s going to explode! This is precisely the scenario I was in when I hung this game’s boots up and moved on.

The game I moved onto was a 2019 released game, if you can believe it. It was The Ninja Saviors: Return of the Warriors. Not a new game in practice since the original version was from 1994 on the Super Nintendo. I love the original and this is definitely a worthy improvement. I’m not fond of the two new characters or that you can’t grab and throw the level 1 boss, but otherwise it’s excellent. The game didn’t need a two-player mode, but it’s done well enough with both players sharing the life and blaster (battery in the new version) meters.

Finally, I not only bought The Ninja Saviors: Return of the Warriors in the last month or so, but I was also given Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night by Usagi704 for Xmas. My total new games for the year of 2019 is a big ol’ seven.

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Hart & Usagi #96: Free Hong Kong

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In episode 96 we chat about Blizzard & the NBA censoring speech and banning players, PS4 cross-play, PlayStation 5 hardware details, and more.

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

TOPICS:
* Kenka Bancho: Badass Rumble
* Puzzle Quest 2 & Galactrix
* Blizzard Suspends Hearthstone Player For Voicing Support of Hong Kong Protests
* Blizzard Reduces Suspension of Hearthstone Player and Casters Following Community Outcry
* Blizzard cancels Overwatch Nintendo Switch launch event without providing a reason
* Blizzard bans US Hearthstone collegiate team after Hong Kong protest
* Epic CEO Tim Sweeney Takes Shot at Blizzard, Says Epic Supports Speech on “Politics and Human Rights”
* Over a decade later, Saints Row 2 is finally getting fixed on PC
* PlayStation 5 Is Official, Releasing Holiday 2020 With a New Controller and Hardware Accelerated Ray-Tracing
* PS4 system software update version 7.00 launches October 8, adds Party and Remote Play enhancements
* Both PS5 and Xbox Scarlett to feature cameras and a focus on streaming – report
* PS4 cross-play is out of beta despite no official announcements
* Counter-Strike deploys X-ray Scanner to get around loot box controversy in France
* Duke Nukem 3D composer Bobby Prince is suing Gearbox Software and Valve over his soundtrack

Listen or Download (1:08:12)

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Hart & Usagi Podcast at the Internet Archive

Matt: @HartKnight | HartKnight’s Archive

Mike: @usagi704 | Domain of Usagi704 | Instagram

@HartandUsagi

Hart & Usagi #94: Action In An Elevator

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In episode 94 we chat about the Yakuza Remastered Collection, Tetris 99 coming to retail stores, and our time playing select games in Taito Legends 1 and 2 on the PlayStation 2.

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

TOPICS:
* Games Won’t Be Any Cheaper on the Google Stadia
* Tetris 99 For Nintendo Switch Coming To Physical Stores This Fall
* The Switch Mini Is Officially the Portable-Focused Switch Lite, Has Multiple Compromises Over Original Switch
* Bethesda’s Classic Doom Re-Release Requires a Bethesda Account
* Three New Street Fighter 5 Characters Leak Ahead Of Evo 2019
* Walmart is Quietly Removing Violent Video Game Advertising From Its Stores
* TurboGrafx-16 Mini Adds Seven More Games To Complete Lineup, Including Splatterhouse
* Phil Spencer Doesn’t Think That Cloud Systems Will Fully Replace Traditional Consoles Just Yet
* Sony Acquires Ratchet and Clank, Spider-Man Dev Insomniac Games
* Ion Fury Developer Donates $10,000 to Charity After Furor Over Transphobic Comments
* Yakuza Remastered Collection For PS4 Announced, Starting With Yakuza 3

Listen or Download (1:31:26)

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Hart & Usagi Podcast at the Internet Archive

Matt: @HartKnight | HartKnight’s Archive

Mike: @usagi704 | Domain of Usagi704 | Instagram

@HartandUsagi

Crossed Swords Comes Home

One month ago I bought the last of the games I wanted from my wish list that are available at retail. They are Shadow of the Tomb Raider and Yakuza Kiwami 2.

I enjoyed the initial reboot game of Tomb Raider from 2013. You know, the one that Square Enix claimed was a failure after selling over 3.3 million units. Ha ha ha! Hilarious. I’ve been slowing getting through the Yakuza series. I’ve played the first four titles so far. I’m not one to worry about playing a series in order of release. This is most obvious when I played Saints Row 2 as my entry game and the next time I played Gat Out of Hell. Yakuza is an exception because of how deep the story is with all of the characters interactions with each other.

One other game I’d seen briefly in arcades during the early to mid 1990s was ADK’s Crossed Swords. It was memorable to see such a game similar to Nintendo’s Punch-Out, but instead going with a medieval theme of knights and sorcery. Hamster has released it on Switch, PS4, and Xbox.

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