Now Playing: July 2019


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.

Raiden, a King, and The LAW

I’m not the biggest connoisseur of the shoot-’em-up genre of video games, but I have been known to enjoy a few from time to time. One of those games has been the first in the Raiden series. I’m specifically referring to the home version on the Sega Genesis. In various ways I do own all of the games released. This includes the just recently released Raiden V: Director’s Cut on the PlayStation 4. Even so I haven’t played 3-5, but I hope to get to them soon enough.

I’m not a fan of Disney animated films overall, but there are a select few I do enjoy. Aladdin is one and another is the one I got here: The Lion King. It’s the latest version on Blu-ray after the Diamond Edition.


One last thing is on Live Audio Wrestling. This was a weekly wrestling radio show that’s been around since the late 1990s. I started listening around 2003 and I’ve been a fan ever since. Even with the ups and downs of switching radio stations several times, they were mostly the same crew talking about the week in wrestling. Last week, however, it abruptly came to an end without advance notice. Thankfully, because they enjoy it enough, John Pollock and Wai Ting have continued to review Raw and Smackdown on their own. You can check out the newest episode below.

Hart & Usagi #82


Episode 82 of the Hart & Usagi Podcast is here! We chat about a variety of topics like the upcoming Yakuza series of games, revivals like Windjammers and Night Trap, and more.

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

* Yakuza Kiwami
* Shin Ryu Ga Gotoku
* Hokuto ga Gotoku
* Windjammers
* Ys Origin
* Night Trap
* MachineGames’ Wolfenstein series
* Shadow Warrior 2
* Mafia III
* Raiden series
* Micronics ports
* 2005 year in gaming

Listen or Download (1:24:05)

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Hart & Usagi Podcast at the Internet Archive

Matt: @HartKnight | HartKnight’s Archive

Mike: @usagi704 | Domain of Usagi704


The Memory Card Battle


Recently I started to think about how many PlayStation and PlayStation 2 memory cards my Hart & Usagi Podcast co-host, Usagi704, has and how many in comparison I don’t have. It’s time to rectify that. I’m putting him on notice because I’m going to start hording them too! Ok, not really. :D But, I do feel I need a few more. Because of this I bought a official Sony black PS2 memory card at the local gaming store It’s About Games.

Despite not owning a PlayStation 4 system yet, I’m not against getting games for said system beforehand. Therefore I also picked up a used copy of Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag. It was around $20 and seemed like a good time as any.

Speaking of a good time to pick up some games, there’s a holiday sale currently on the PlayStation Network. On there they have several games at a discount to everybody and, if you’re a PlayStation Plus member, you can possibly get a few more bucks off. On my list to get was a shoot-’em-up that was originally only on the Xbox 360. It came to PSN as Raiden IV: Overkill for $19.99. It was more than I was willing to pay, but the holiday sale took 40% off making it $11.99. If I had been on PS Plus, which I’m not, another 10% would’ve been saved.

Check out the sale and thanks for reading!


Hart & Usagi Podcast #44: Arms Dealer


Welcome back to another episode of the Hart and Usagi Podcast. We spend a lengthy amount of time off the top talking about my recent gaming roots sabbatical and then we dive into the news talking about our radical arms dealer and dear, close friend Leland Yee.

* Retro games recently played
* Leland Yee Accused of Buying Campaign Donations With Political Favors and Brokering an Arms Deal
* 3D Realms responds to Gearbox, claims it owns Duke Nukem trademark
* PC Titanfall Cheaters Get PWNED! And I Love It!
* Rumor: Titanfall 2 rights secured by EA, won’t be Microsoft-exclusive
* Shazam: Shaq returns in Shaq Fu A Legend Reborn
* Burnout creators set out to find paradise in new studio
* UK agency violated privacy of webcams, explored Kinect surveillance
* Ultra Street Fighter 4 Adds Character Edition Select
* Raiden 4: Overkill brings its killing over to North America next month
* Brooklyn-based startup Turbo gets SoftBank investment to build ‘cross-screen’ core games
* Binary Domain

Listen or Download (1:36:23)
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Hart & Usagi Podcast at the Internet Archive
Matt: @HartKnight | HartKnight’s Archive
Mike: @usagi704 | WP blog



The Raiden Project


The cases of visiting a video game store are rare for me these days. However, one in particular that I found in Delaware was called Gameplay Unlimited. The experience was top notch in a few ways most every other place isn’t. The store was clean and well lit. The staff was attentive to customers and I never felt I was ignored or a nuisance. A number of shops I’ve been to felt like a place for the owner’s friends to hang out at. I’m glad to say it wasn’t at this shop.

Another thing that always seems to be the case is that games are priced as if gold was falling out of them. The Raiden Project for the original PlayStation is a good example. It’s a compilation of the arcade shoot-’em-ups Raiden and Raiden II and granted it’s an early PS1 game that didn’t sell well and has since been rare and hard to find. Most places, like, will charge $50 or more for a complete copy. I found it in the wild at Gameplay Unlimited for half the price!

For the other three games I bought, they don’t exactly show up themselves all that much. They are:

Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie (GEN)
Space Harrier II (GEN)
Gun Smoke (NES)

Click for a larger view.

Oh and by the way, that’s Delaware the city (Ohio) not the state. Thanks for reading!

Pop That In and Play Some Of That


It’s been awhile since I’ve updated you all on the videos that I’ve made since the end of July.

The Punisher, Let’s Play It! parts 14-27
This is linking to the same playlist that I’ve been attaching all of these Let’s Play videos to. I’ve uploaded a number of new entries over the last few days since I want to get this mediocre game over with.

I already have a quick intro to the next game I’m going to be doing completed and waiting. That game will be Ninja Gaiden. I just can’t get enough of that game even though I’ll probably never beat it, but I’m fine with that.

Shiny Sega Genesis & Sega CD
This is a showing of my Sega Genesis and Sega CD after I cleaned it up as shown in the following linked video by lukemorse1.

Pop That In and Play Some Of That – Raiden (Genesis)
A quick video of gameplay of Raiden for the Genesis. I play until all of my lives are depleted.

The Punisher (PS2) General Keikoff cutscene
When I was playing the jungle mission of The Punisher, I came across this cutscene. It has the most ridiculous quote in a video game that I’ve ever heard.

New Releases 2009: September 6-19


The next couple of weeks are pretty stacked for new game releases. I’m personally not seeing anything that I’d want to pick up outside of a small interest in Dirt 2 for this week and Wet for the next.

I know a bunch of people will be looking forward to Scribblenauts. I’m cautious about the game because it seems like all the hype surrounding the game’s main gimmick might make the novelty wear off sooner than one would hope.

The PC will be getting a trilogy of console ports in two weeks time that include Batman: Arkham Asylum, Red Faction: Guerrilla and Resident Evil 5.

Dirt 2 (WII, PS3, PSP, PC, X360, DS)
Disgaea 2: Dark Hero Days (PSP)
IL-2 Sturmovik: Birds of Prey (PS3, X360)
LittleBigPlanet: Game of the Year Edition (PS3)
Mini Ninjas (PC, WII, DS, PS3)
Muramasa: The Demon Blade (WII)
Raiden IV (X360)
Sonic & Knuckles (XBL)
The Beatles: Rock Band (PS3, X360, WII)
Trine (PSN)

Batman: Arkham Asylum (PC)
Bleach: The 3rd Phantom (DS)
IL-2 Sturmovik: Birds of Prey (PSP, DS)
Mario & Luigi: Bowser’s Inside Story (DS)
Marvel: Ultimate Alliance 2 (DS, X360, WII, PS3, PS2, PSP)
NHL 10 (PS3, X360)
NHL 2K10 (PS3, X360, WII, PS2)
Need for Speed: Shift (PSP, PC, PS3, X360)
Pinball Hall of Fame – The Williams Collection (PS3, X360)
Red Faction: Guerrilla (PC)
Resident Evil 5 (PC)
Scribblenauts (DS)
Wet (PS3, X360)

Anything look good to you?

Like always, I’ll put up another blog here soon. Thanks for reading.

Retro Games That I Continue To Play


The following was my reply to the forum topic “What Retro Game Do You Continue to Play?” on Retroware

The 10+ year old games that I love going back to every so often would have to be the following.

Contra (NES)
This won’t come as a surprise to anybody that knows me. I never owned Contra growing up, but every time that I could play it I did so. When I first beat this game it was with the 30 lives code. Since then I’ve used that code less and less to where I’ve finished the game on one life. Anytime I play this game these days, I always play to the finish. It’s a habit, but a good one to have for such a great game!

Tetris DX (GBC)
Out of all of the puzzle games to come out, Tetris is easily my favorite. I’m cool with just about any version of the game, but if I can choose the Game Boy Color DX version, I do. I’ve found myself wanting to like color matching puzzle games like Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo, which I have, but my slight problem with the differences between green and yellow in that game makes it too hard. Matching horizontal lines is much easier.

Need For Speed III: Hot Pursuit (PS)
I’m not the biggest fan of the Need For Speed series, but once EA started adding cop chases to the game, it became much more entertaining. This was the first game in the series to do that and it’s still my favorite of the bunch. Plus, the El Nino car is super fun to drive!

NBA ShootOut ’98 (PS)
I like coming back to this ten year old basketball game for one thing: the high scores that are achieved by slam dunking your opponents into submission! I know it sounds like a pretty shallow reason, but I oddly enough find that to be fun. I usually play with two minute quarters, but one time I wanted to see just how crazy the final score would be with 12 minute quarters. It was crazy alright. Like 456 points crazy with 130 of those points going to just one player! Even the overall team stats at the end of the game showed a triple-triple in points, assists, and blocks.

Super Castlevania IV (SNES)
Out of all of the old school style Castlevania games, this one is my favorite. I remember getting up to those last few bosses and being really frustrated. I’ve yet to beat the game, but at least I did get to Dracula.

Honorable Mentions:
Mortal Kombat II (SNES/GB)
Final Fight 2 (SNES)
Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers (SNES)
Street Fighter II Turbo (SNES)
Streets of Rage II (GEN)
Raiden Trad (GEN)

Bottom 10 Owned Games


The following list is the ten games in my collection that have the lowest amount of total GameSpot members owning as well.

Raging Fighter (GB) – 16
NBA Action starring David Robinson (GG) – 31
Dragon’s Revenge (GEN) & Pong/Asteroids/Yar’s Revenge (GBA) – 33
Natural Selection (PC) – 36
VR Troopers (GEN) – 38
Raiden Trad (GEN) & Tomb Raider: Legend (GBA) – 39
The Combatribes (SNES) – 41
Fighter’s History (SNES) & Nanostray 2 (DS) – 47
Dragon’s Fury (GEN) – 49
Crue Ball (GEN) – 54

I’m sure that most of you have never heard of Raging Fighter. It’s a Konami fighting game and I think it was the first of that genre to be released for the Game Boy at the time. I was huge into fighting games at the time so it was great to have something on the go.

Natural Selection is actually a modification for the original Half-Life that was very unique in that one team played very different from the other. Another HL mod that was like that was Vampire Slayer.

Hard rock/heavy metal fans will probably be wondering about the Genesis title, Crue Ball. If it sounds like a pinball game with the Motley Crue license, then you’d be correct.

How’s the bottom of your collection list looking right now?