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.

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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.

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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

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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!

TOPICS:
* 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)

Subscribe: RSS | iTunes

Hart & Usagi Podcast at the Internet Archive

Matt: @HartKnight | HartKnight’s Archive

Mike: @usagi704 | Domain of Usagi704

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The Memory Card Battle

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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!

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Hart & Usagi Podcast #44: Arms Dealer

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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.

NEWS/TOPICS:
* 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

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The Raiden Project

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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 eStarland.com, 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)

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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

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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.