Hart & Usagi Podcast #56: The Rosetta Stone


In this new episode of the Hart & Usagi Podcast we discuss what we played during the month of November, Ted Cruz’s lies about Net Neutrality, and The Game Awards 2014. All this and more so turn in now!

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

* Destiny
* The Wonderful 101
* #RatchetNov
* Super Smash Bros. on Wii U
* Rev3Games
* CoD: Advanced Warfare Lead Developer: Our Fans Are Not ‘Toxic or Misogynistic’
* After Burner 2 leads Sega’s second set of 3DS classics next year
* Blood Dragon 2 Not Happening, Says Far Cry 4 Dev
* President Obama Promotes Trans-Pacific Partnerships on Tour of Asia
* Senator Ted Cruz Calls Net Neutrality ‘Obama Care For the Internet’
* It’s Time To Stop Blaming Video Games For Mass Shootings, Study Shows.
* Rosetta Project Scientist’s Shocking Shirt. Sexist?
* The Game Awards Nominees Announced
* GameStop Will Be Closed On Thanksgiving
* Report: Valve Making Changes to Steam Early Access Guidelines

Listen or Download (1:21:02)

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Hart & Usagi Podcast at the Internet Archive

Matt: @HartKnight | HartKnight’s Archive

Mike: @usagi704 | WP blog



Now Playing: November 2014


If you haven’t been paying attention in the last month, then you missed out on my adventures of #RatchetNov. It was a month where I played three previously unplayed Ratchet & Clank games. Well don’t fear because you can still read my thoughts on those games. I covered Ratchet: Deadlocked on PlayStation 2 and Ratchet & Clank Future: Tools of Destruction and Ratchet & Clank Future: Quest For Booty on PlayStation 3.

The other two games I played I’ve yet to mention are the 1990 Batman arcade game by Atari Games based on the 1989 movie of the same name and the Konami arcade beat-’em-up Crime Fighters. Either are all that good, but at least the Batman game has the licensed property thing going for it.

Other than the Batman license, the game itself isn’t all that exciting. It is entertaining in that it roughly follows the progression of the movie. When fighting the Joker you don’t hurt him as much as push him back. This is done to knock him into the vat of acid on the second stage and, once you get a load of him, to have him fall off of the cathedral.

Crime Fighters was an early attempt by Konami to improve their beat-’em-up titles. This one wasn’t what you’d call a success. It’s a pretty frustrating game to play even once you get a handle on it. The consistent ticking down of your health over time doesn’t make things better. Luckily that same year, 1989, saw the release of a much better 4-player beat-’em-up in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

That’s all for now. Make sure to catch me on the audio side of things in a new episode of the Hart & Usagi Podcast on December 1st and then again on December 8th for Space Suplex.

Ratchet & Clank Future: Quest For Booty


About three hours after the start and Ratchet & Clank Future: Quest For Booty has been completed. I feel like the best way to describe the overall product would be that it’s a playable paid demo for Tools of Destruction despite being the follow up for story purposes.

What’s different between the two games? Well, for one, there isn’t a way to turn off the SixAxis controls. This isn’t much of a bother because it’s only used for the Tornado Launcher. Speaking of weapons, the amount is less than half this time and they’re all holdovers from Tools of Destruction, but all that return are the useful ones. I only missed the shotgun weapon. Sadly it wasn’t available for comment on the situation.

New gameplay elements were based on Ratchet’s wrench. It could be used like a magnet to extend small bridges, move floating platforms, rotate other platforms, and set catapults. Ratchet can also pick up and carry two items with his wrench. One is essentially a flashlight and the other is what amounts to an explosive.

All in all Ratchet & Clank Future: Quest For Booty was a fun bite-sized romp that was definitely over before I knew it.

My next and likely final game to be played for this month of Ratchet & Clank games will their PSP outing, Size Matters.


Ratchet & Clank Future: Tools of Destruction


Well that’s that with regards to Ratchet & Clank Future: Tools of Destruction. It wasn’t much of an ending and was clearly setting up the sequels. I’ve never been a fan of such stories where developers are planning a trilogy from the outset. I mean, how well did that work out for Dennis Dyack and his game Too Human? Not well at all.

Regardless of any planning for a trilogy, Tools of Destruction was a great first outing on the PlayStation 3 for Ratchet and his robot buddy Clank.

The default controls were a bit different from those found on the PS2. I didn’t care for them and changed to what felt more like the older style layout. One thing that was great this time around is that the inverted camera was set to normal from the start. Of course, this title has use of the SixAxis controller motion. I didn’t mind it for the free falling segments, but for most everything else it was a bother. I turned it off for everything and didn’t look back.

The weapons were some old favorites revamped and brand new ones as well. During the whole game you can try as much as you like, but you’ll never fully upgrade every weapon in your first playthrough. A harder difficulty comes with the second time through and includes leveling past the fifth once you acquire a megaton of bolts to purchase the better version of a select weapon.

Next up for me will be Ratchet & Clank Future: Quest For Booty as this month of Ratchet games continues on.



HART & USAGI PODCAST #55 – November 2nd 2014 (@HartandUsagi)
HartKnight and usagi704 chat Bayonetta 2, our comfort games are, PC game Hatred, and more.


SPACE SUPLEX #13 – November 6th 2014 (@SpaceSuplex)
HartKnight and 24bitAJE chat Raw’s buildup to Survivor Series, Hell In A Cell PPV, Lucha Underground and the WWE Network.

My Ratchet & Clank Favorite


What’s your favorite game in the Ratchet & Clank series?

This is the question I decided to ask myself because I have noticed I don’t particularly enjoy absolutely everything about the series. Granted it isn’t necessary to love all aspects since perfect games don’t exist. Here’s what I like and dislike about the series as a whole.

Outside of A Crack In Time, I own all nine games minus the spin-offs. My favorite of the bunch has to be Deadlocked. Despite the fact that I wasn’t feeling this specific title when I played about halfway through it four years ago, I really enjoyed it the second time around all the way through. I finished it up a couple of weeks ago. Once I started up Tools of Destruction, I realized what I like and don’t like about the games.

What I like about the Ratchet & Clank series is the story and combat. Deadlocked focused mainly on combat and I feel it was better for it. Platforming hasn’t been a strong part of the franchise. The amount of variety in the weapons and mini-games has usually turned me off. The mini-games in general, whether it be for opening doors or what have you, feels like it gets in the way of what I’d rather be doing. And what I’d rather be doing is blasting fools to bits and bolts.

Now the weapon variety does seem like it’s something I shouldn’t be complaining about, but I’m going to. Let’s face it. The majority of weapons, especially in later games with the use it upgrade style of system, have either specific uses or aren’t all that effective. Therefore you’re likely to stick with no more than three to five weapons you use on a regular basis. Give me dual pistols, a shotgun, a sniper rifle, a rocket launcher, and automated turrets with cool extra powers. There’s not much more you really need.

When it comes right down to it, the Ratchet & Clank series has been one hell of a fun group of games and I look forward to seeing what the upcoming reboot has in store.

Ratchet: Deadlocked


Three days ago I finished Ratchet: Deadlocked. This was a game I played about four years ago and I was about halfway through and just wasn’t feeling it. I put it down in favor of something else. It wasn’t all that different than when I wasn’t feeling any of the modern games earlier this year around March and went into a month long stroll into my gaming roots playing a bunch of older games.

This time around Ratchet: Deadlocked was much more enjoyable. I definitely like the combat overall much more than the platforming of the Ratchet & Clank series. Not that there’s a whole lot of platforming to begin with, but the earlier games on the PlayStation 2 do have some more. The powering up of the weapons happens the more you use them. This isn’t all that different than what happened in Final Fantasy II. Though here it obviously works for the better. You can also acquire alpha and omega mods for your weapons. I found the dual pistols with the shock mod did wonders on large groups of small, weak enemies. It would chain off of the ones shot to those nearby and take them all out. It was awesome! You’d also have acid and ice among other mods to use.

Your helpful bot bros., sans Clank sadly, are exactly that…helpful. I’m noticed in other games where you have AI helpers than they usually didn’t help fight all that much. Thankfully the more they’re upgraded the better they do.

When I was thinking about doing this month of Ratchet games I knew I’d have to play Deadlocked and I wasn’t looking forward to it after how I felt about it before. Luckily it ended up being a much more fun game than I remember it being. Out of the four PS2 games this one is probably number one or two with Going Commando.



HART & USAGI PODCAST #55 – November 2nd 2014 (@HartandUsagi)
HartKnight and usagi704 chat Bayonetta 2, our comfort games are, PC game Hatred, and more.


SPACE SUPLEX #13 – November 6th 2014 (@SpaceSuplex)
HartKnight and 24bitAJE chat Raw’s buildup to Survivor Series, Hell In A Cell PPV, Lucha Underground and the WWE Network.

Free On Steam

Over the last month these six items are the new additions.

I had $5 of credit to use on eStarland.com and decided to purchase a used copy of Ratchet & Clank: Into the Nexus. It also was what gave me the idea to do my month of Ratchet & Clank games, #RatchetNov, which I am currently in the middle of.

Tempest is one of those classic 1980s arcade games which I find quite fun to play. An upgraded version of the game on the Atari Jaguar called Tempest 2000 is considered one of the best titles for an otherwise horrible gaming system. Well did you know a further updated version of the game was made available on the original PlayStation? It’s called Tempest X3. As soon as I heard about it I had to have it. It was a cheap pick up on eBay.

Finally there’s Sniper Elite V2 and Payday: The Heist. On Steam a few weeks back there was separate 24-hour periods where these games were made available for free. I was somewhat interested in checking the game out and free certainly helped in my decision making.


I also was able to find a couple movies on Blu-ray for a good price with extras included. Top Gun came in one of those sweet Steelbook cases. This is something I don’t have many of. The only other one I can think of that I have is the game Mortal Kombat: Armageddon for PS2.

Mrs. Doubtfire was the other film I got. It has a lot of neat footage of early makeup tests and a good featurette of the idea of what message the filmmakers wanted to say within the story. Recommended for sure.