Now Playing: July 2019

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This time out the group of games I played are from April through mid-July. There’s 12 in total with only three finished. Here we go!

The first game on tap is also one of the three I beat: Ghost Squad. This home port of Sega’s arcade light gun shooter works well on the Wii. I don’t have the plastic zapper shell for the controller, but you obviously don’t need it since there isn’t any additional hardware built in. It was a very fun and repeatable three mission structure with some alternate paths to take. I particularly liked earning and using the additional weapons and outfits available. The latter can get somewhat comical at times since the player character is the only one who changes outfits with the rest of the squad remaining in normal gear.

I was looking forward to getting into a new beat-’em-up with Batman: The Brave and the Bold (also on Wii). It didn’t pan out well, however. The training before the game actually begins makes the mistake of throwing every ability at you at once. Of course, you’ll eventually forget some of them long before you’ll need them. My biggest issue was with the overall feeling of the brawling. It wasn’t as mindless fun as I was hoping for. There’s more puzzle aspects to this game’s fighting that’s often enough that it feels like the momentum of a level keeps getting interrupted. I had to check out of this game fairly early on.

Two shoot-’em-ups I played for a little bit was the TG-16’s Final Soldier (via VC) and Raiden IV: Overkill on PS3 (via PSN). The former was a fantastic time until I got slaughtered on stage 5. At least it was nice getting to that point. I can’t say as much for the latter game. I didn’t quite understand the new Overkill Mode, but the normal Arcade Mode was the typical Raiden shooting experience. In that to say it isn’t great. I enjoy the original game and the sequel, but after those (like I am with the Contra series) they don’t appeal to me as much.

Next up on the list is Ninja Spirit. The game is pretty tough until you realize that all you need is the explosive weapon 3 and it’s fairly smooth sailing from then on. I got to what I call the “ninja pit” and was stopped fully in my tracks. I don’t know exactly how to reach the bottom without being touched since it only takes one hit to kill you. It’s the last major obstacle before the final boss if I ever clear it.

Speaking of Contra, I also played, but was unsuccessful in beating Contra Rebirth. While I was able to get to level 4, I’m not exactly the best at managing the switching of the weapons. This was a gameplay mechanic that debuted in Contra III in 1992.

I’m not sure exactly what to say about Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris other than it’s available for download on PlayStation 4 and, well, it’s a Tomb Raider game. I liked it for what it was, but I definitely still prefer the traditional presentation of the series in Tomb Raider: Legend or the 2013 reboot.

More recently I’ve been playing some PlayStation 2 suggested games from readers like you. Of course, I have to already own the games because I’m not in a position to be purchasing whatever anybody suggests. First was Lifeline, the USB audio voice directed game from Konami. I knew going in I wouldn’t be playing it very long because it doesn’t always understand was you are saying. Well, I didn’t even successfully get to the title screen as my current USB headset wasn’t compatible. Oh well. It’s not much of a loss.

ICO was another suggestion and it goes without saying that this was a much better idea. I’m not into these more artistic style of games usually so I’m not going to be as impressed with it like so many others have been. I’m happy for those people, but I’m simply not one of them. I’m at the Crane section, but I needed a more action packed distraction.

That distraction was Power Rangers Dino Thunder on PS2. In this game you don’t play as the Rangers themselves, but instead as their Zoids. I think there’s 5-6 total in the game. Zeltrax is the main boss in the game that you fight twice in very similar battles each time. Unfortunately, you never seen the TV show’s main villain, Mesogog. He’s only spoken about. This was the third game I beat.

Another suggestion I’m playing a little of is the arcade version of Bubble Bobble via Taito Legends. The best I’ve done this time around is round 7. I’ve previously hit as high as round 16.

Thanks for reading and make sure to check out my podcasts over in the sidebar.

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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Hart & Usagi #91: The Becky & Jennifer Show

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In episode 91 the new Mortal Kombat 11 shows that loot boxes aren’t needed to have a fun game, Google’s expectations for Stadia don’t live in the real world, and Becky and Jennifer stop by to chat for a bit with each other.

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

TOPICS:
* Sega Stops Sales Of Yakuza Spinoff Judgment In Japan After Actor Arrested For Alleged Cocaine Use
* Google’s New Game Streaming Platform is Called Stadia
* Konami Announces Three Classic Collections: Arcade, Castlevania, Contra
* GDC 2019: Google Confirms Stadia Won’t Allow Offline Downloads
* Google Stadia Boss Is “Absolutely, Unequivocally” Sure Latency Won’t Be An Issue
* Judgment actor Pierre Taki will be completely scrubbed from game’s western release
* Sega Genesis Mini Will Release in September With 40 Games
* PlayStation Store Now Offering Refunds, But There’s a Catch
* Borderlands 3’s expensive editions come with boost mods for loot drop rates, XP
* Valve Stops Borderlands Review Bombing Over BL3 Epic Store Exclusivity
* Mortal Kombat 11 Has No Loot Boxes, Neo From The Matrix Won’t Be Added
* Blind Squirrel was indeed working on Mortal Kombat Remaster but it was cancelled, first screenshots
* Capcom Home Arcade is an Outrageously Priced Plug-and-Play Retro Console
* Exclusive: What to Expect From Sony’s Next-Gen PlayStation

Listen or Download (1:15:58)

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Matt: @HartKnight | HartKnight’s Archive

Mike: @usagi704 | Domain of Usagi704 | Instagram

@HartandUsagi

No Dough Spared

About a month ago I added three games to my collection. One was a Super Nintendo game and the other two were from the PlayStation Store. The latter two first.

They are Galaga and Windjammers. Both were heavily discounted at $1.59 and $1.49, respectively. I don’t play that many games as old as Galaga, but, of them from that era, this is one of my favorites.

Up to this point I’ve never played Windjammers before. I mainly knew of it through podcasts that Jeff Gerstmann was on over the years when he would briefly mention the game. It does look to be one of the many SNK classics!

Finally, I bought King of Dragons on the SNES. This was the final of the three medieval beat-’em-ups made by Capcom that I didn’t have ported to the system. The easiest one to find is Knights of the Round with Magic Sword being a bit more rare. It was $70 for only the cartridge, but I haven’t bought many games in a long time so I had the dough to spare on this purchase.

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Releasing the Unreleased

Over the last few months the number purchases in the movie/TV and gaming realms I’ve made have been piling up. Here they are.

Back in April I reported on getting a digital copy of Double Dragon II: The Revenge via Hamster’s Arcade Archives. Well, this time I also added the original arcade version of Double Dragon. This was one that Usagi704 also picked up and said I’d probably like how it turned out.

Lately I’ve been afraid that the Yakuza games, despite getting a wide release in the West, would dry up sooner than you’d think. It seems to already have happened to Yakuza 0. I didn’t want to miss out on Yakuza Kiwami so I got it and I will be looking to get 0 soon enough.

A used copy of Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End ran me around $20. I was on my wish list long enough and got it along with a unreleased game set to me sent to me in about eight days.

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Onto the movies/TV side, speaking of “unreleased” WWE released a 3 disc set of matches spanning from 1986 to 1995 called Unreleased. It has some decent matches with the two featuring Ric Flair against Roddy Piper and Hulk Hogan being quite fun to watch. I also popped huge for seeing Sean Mooney (who?) in the hosting segments.

I bought and watched Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 and it was fantastic. Yeah, it was another lackluster villain who posed no real threat despite being told otherwise. However, we’ve come to expect the main characters to be fun and relatable and that’s what we got.

A staple of ’80s television was Miami Vice and on a whim I picked up the whole series on Blu-ray despite never really watching it at the time. I mean, I wasn’t even a teenager during its five season run. It’s a huge 20-disc set and was half the original price.

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Other films I bought were Pleasantville, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, Bridge of Spies, and a special edition of Death Wish II with a theatrical and unrated cut of the film.

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On a final topic, I can happily say that the SNES Classic was much easier to obtain than I expected, but it definitely was still on the low end of the quantity of the shipments. The store I work at received only 14 units which was more than the 2-3 they got last year with the NES Classic system. I helped sell an initial 6-7 at midnight, I immediately went on my break and bought mine. A first shift employee asked me if any were left and at 4:30am I sold the last one to him. It might not sound like much, but with just over four hours that supply lasted longer than I expected.

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As far as my experience with the system itself, I’ve only played Street Fighter II Turbo and even did so with Usagi704. It was as fun as a real system and I can’t really complain about the selection of games. Even if some of the games aren’t my speed, it’s understandable why they’re on there. Plus, the quality of the games chosen are of much higher quality than the NES Classic had. Truly less is more in this case.

Thanks for reading and game on!

Ninja Commando Masters of Combat

A few more games this time around for the collection. Not all were necessary, but it’s how these things go sometimes.

The first game is very much in that “not necessary” category. I already have Legend of Kay on the PS2. It was one of those games I didn’t know about, but ebbderelict had fun with it as he’d mentioned in his review of the game he did six years ago. As usual I’ve yet to play that one and bought the PS4 rerelease Legend of Kay Anniversary anyway.

In Neo-Geo news, I picked up Garou: Mark of the Wolves and ADK Damashii on PSN when they were on sale for around 50% off. These both are PS2 imports for play on PS4. ADK Damashii is a compilation of five games: Aggressors of Dark Kombat, Ninja Combat, Ninja Commando, Ninja Masters, and Twinkle Star Sprites.

I also bought a recent disc release of Dariusburst: Chronicle Saviours by Limited Run Games. This is the first time I’ve shopped with them and I also plan to do so for the rerelease of the Sega CD game Night Trap that they’ve announced is coming soon.

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Finally, I picked up the Harrison Ford movie, The Fugitive and the great 1980s series Cosmos by Carl Sagan. This latter is a DVD set since there hasn’t been a Blu-ray version made as of yet. I also have another DVD on the way of Best of the Best 2. Wayne Newton is fantastically cheesy in this film and I loved it.

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Super Combo of Revenge

Recently I had bought three new games. One was a retail release of Mirror’s Edge Catalyst for the PlayStation 4. The other two were from the PlayStation Network. Those were Fu’un Super Combo, consisting of the fighting games Savage Reign and Kizuna Encounter: Super Tag Battle. This was originally a PS2 compilation released in Japan in 2007.

The final game purchased was Double Dragon II: The Revenge. This is the Hamster emulated arcade game original.

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