A Year of Now Playing: March 2017-April 2018

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It’s been a long time since I’ve typed up a Now Playing blog entry. My last edition was published at the end of February 2017.

At the time I was in the middle of playing Syphon Filter: Logan’s Shadow on the PSP. I don’t remember much from the game other than getting to a point where Logan was on a lift riding it up with enemy forces raining fire down upon him. I didn’t know how I’d ever pass this area so I moved onto another game. I did enjoy the game much more than its prequel, Syphon Filter: Dark Mirror, but eventually I’d had my fill of the black ops stuff.

Remember Split/Second? It’s that Disney published racing game where you triggered explosions (and some other things) to try and wreck your opponents on your way to victory. It was a welcome game during that Burnout series drought. It doesn’t surpass that best ever racing series, but it was still engaging it a similar destructive way.

Another game that went unfinished was Soul Calibur: Broken Destiny. This PSP entry introduced Kratos as a guest character to the roster. This was released in between the pair of PSP God of War titles. A lot of his abilities from the GoW games up to that point were included. I spent most of my time in the trials challenge mode. This would help in learning the character of your choice. I’m not the biggest fan of 3D fighting games in general so I played this more out of curiosity.

Mafia III‘s early trailers had my interest with the protagonist in Lincoln Clay in 1960s Louisiana. It had promise is how the game handled Clay’s dealing with racism, but it never does much of anything with it other than allow for a few slurs here and there to be spoken by some of the non-playable characters. It’s ultimately a GTA-style clone of an open world game, but thankfully it was quite good at that.

I know Shadow of the Colossus gets talked about with glowing praise, but it didn’t take long for me to realize this wasn’t a game for me. In a similar way, but where nobody praises it, I can say the same thing about ActRaiser 2.

Spy Hunter: Nowhere to Run and Crash: Mind Over Mutant, both on the PlayStation 2, are another pair of unfinished games. I can’t remember exactly what the reason I playing them was. It might have been the game freezing up or a particularly difficult section I didn’t want to deal with.

I had downloaded the Trine trilogy off of the PlayStation Network for my PS4 and played through Trine: Enchanted Edition. It was as I remembered from playing the original version’s demo back on the PS3. It was fun to find uses for each of the three character’s abilities.

For an over-the-top third-person shooter that’s a lot of dumb fun, I suggest helping Fifty get back a diamond encrusted skull in 50 Cent: Blood on the Sand. Don’t forget to jump dat big ass ramp!

Onto some Game Boy Advance beat-’em-up action I played River City Ransom EX. This is a slightly updated look to the original game on the NES. The main difference is that you can save your progress to an extent. It doesn’t save were you left off just your character’s stats and items. Regardless, I’d get to River City High as normal, but no boss shows up to fight as they should so I couldn’t progress onward. I remember this being my problem on the NES too.

Sega Arcade Gallery has four ports of Sega arcade games. Two of them are some of my favorites: OutRun and Super Hang-On. These two games are surprisingly well done. While you’re definitely better off playing a version on a bigger screen, the GBA isn’t the worst. For the controls it’s done quite good. The A and B buttons are accelerate and brake, respectively. L and R handle the boost in Super Hang-On and the shifting in OutRun. I finished both of these along with the next game.

That game is also on the GBA and it’s Power Rangers Ninja Storm. It’s a very one-note kids game and not fun enough for even one play-through, but at least I did that. There’s only very slight differences in a few level given which set of Rangers you choose at the beginning. It’s definitely not worth a second go-around to see anything you missed. Not bad just very mundane.

For all of you who enjoy The Revenge of Shinobi on the Genesis, be prepared for an awful 2002 game on the GBA also called The Revenge of Shinobi. It doesn’t amaze with its graphics. It also didn’t keep me very long because of the release of Burnout Paradise Remastered.

On Burnout, I said in my previous post that it was still fun to go back to after much time has passed. What I didn’t mention was that it was my first platinum trophy in six years and my ninth one in total. It’s the first platinum I’ve earned on the PS4 just as the original version of the game was my first on the PS3. All nine trophies can be viewed here.

The most recent game completed was Red Faction: Armageddon. I found myself having fun destroying structures and then repairing them. I had to tell myself to move on because I was doing that too often. It probably wouldn’t have taken 10 hours to beat if I had trucked on through. There’s a new game plus mode, but being a typical action game as it is I didn’t feel the need to replay it.

Currently I just started Yakuza 4. Hopefully it won’t take me until May 2019 to tell you about it. ;)

Once again, thanks for reading. Catch me on the podcasts!

GAMEPLAY STATS FROM SELECT TITLES:
* Syphon Filter: Logan’s Shadow – Ep. 6, Part 5
* Split/Second – Ep. 12; 3215 credits; 22 trophies
* Mafia III – 41 trophies
* Spy Hunter: Nowhere to Run – Mission 10: Derailed
* Crash: Mind Over Mutant – 4h59m; 27%
* Trine: Enchanted Edition – Skill XP 316; HP XP: 271; 17 trophies
* Sega Arcade Gallery: OutRun – Score: 17,414,040
* Sega Arcade Gallery: Super Hang-On – Score: 1,383,970
* Burnout Paradise Remastered – 42h; 100%; 92 trophies (Platinum!)
* Red Faction: Armageddon – 10h26m; 100%; 29 trophies

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Hart & Usagi Podcast #65: Bombshells

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On this episode of the Hart & Usagi Podcast we chat mainly about the game announcements from E3 2015 among a few other things. Join us.

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

NEWS/TOPICS:
* GameStop to acquire ThinkGeek parent company Geeknet
* The First Class of the World Video Game Hall of Fame
* Uncharted PS4 Collection Removes Multiplayer for Uncharted 2 and 3
* USgamer Community Question: What’s Your All-Time Favorite Arcade Game?
* The Jimquisition: Steam Refunds
* Arc System Works buys out Double Dragon, River City Ransom rights
* Bethesda E3 2015 Press Conference News Roundup
* Microsoft E3 2015 Press Conference News Roundup
* Electronic Arts E3 2015 Press Conference News Roundup
* Ubisoft E3 2015 Press Conference News Roundup
* Sony E3 2015 Press Conference News Roundup
* All of the Nintendo E3 2015 Release Dates
* Sony will support development of ‘Shenmue 3’
* Season Passes are Not Good for Gamers, says Hitman Dev
* How Far Can Drawn to Death’s Intriguing Aesthetic Take It?
* Shenmue 3 Creator Also Wants to do Shenmue 4

Listen or Download (1:59:01)

Subscribe: RSS | iTunes

Hart & Usagi Podcast at the Internet Archive

Matt: @HartKnight | HartKnight’s Archive

Mike: @usagi704 | Domain of Usagi704

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Hart & Usagi Podcast #47: A Fascinating Medium

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Despite the heat HartKnight and Usagi704 are back with episode 47 of the Hart and Usagi Podcast! Do we have a show for you? Absolutely. We welcome ebbderelict back for a fourth time and talk about Tetris being the greatest game ever and how maybe Super Mario Bros. isn’t. There’s also more sad excuses for microtransactions and an unlikely opponent of the FCC.

Enjoy the show and remember to subscribe and follow the Hart and Usagi Podcast today!

NEWS/TOPICS:
* God of War: Ascension multiplayer
* Video games are the most fascinating medium ever created, David Cage says
* The FarCry Racism Adventure
++ Mark Cuban: “I’m A Prejudiced Bigot”
* Congressman Funded by Telecommunications Campaign Cash Proposes Bill to Stop FCC’s Net Neutrality Plans
* Own a Piece of Gaming History When Recovered E.T. Games go on Sale
* Hyperkin Retron 5 Review
* 15 Must-Have Games for 3DS Virtual Console
* Game Genie Was More Than The Sum of its Cheat Codes
* Grand Theft Auto Parent Publisher Defends Microtransactions
* Watch Dogs: Finding Morality in Useless Information

Listen or Download (1:44:26)
Subscribe
Hart & Usagi Podcast at the Internet Archive
Matt: @HartKnight | HartKnight’s Archive
Mike: @usagi704 | WP blog
Steve: @ebbderelict | Blog at ipernity

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@HartandUsagi

Beggar Prince

As Gigastormz guessed correctly two blogs ago, I indeed bought a copy of Super Fighter Team’s Genesis RPG Beggar Prince. I ordered it just 5 days ago and it was shipped that same day. :) Here’s some extra photos showing off the well made case, manual, and cartridge.

Cartridge | Manual | Inside Case | Outside Case

I also bought three other games at Gamestop and surprisingly the prices were decent.

Beggar Prince (GEN) – new for $46 from superfighter.com
Conan (PS3) – new for $19.99 from Gamestop
Metal Slug Anthology (PSP) – used/complete for $17.99 from Gamestop
River City Ransom EX (GBA) – used/game only for $4.99 at Gamestop

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A Number of Quality Titles

Yesterday I went to the trusty local store, It’s About Games, and picked up the following four games.

Rush’n Attack (NES) – game only; fair
Super Mario Bros. 2 (NES) – game only; good
River City Ransom (NES) – game & sleeve; fair
Sonic the Hedgehog 3 (GEN) – game & case; great

At the same time I also decided to get Bad Dudes and the 3-in-1 cart of Super Mario Bros./Duck Hunt/World Class Track Meet. Unfortunately, neither game worked even after cleaning them. So instead I swapped them today for a very fine replacement in Super Punch-Out (SNES – game only; excellent).

After talking for awhile somehow we got onto the topic of pinball games. I mentioned that I liked the great TG-16 games Alien Crush and Devil’s Crush. The store owner immediately walked over and picked up a complete copy of Dragon’s Fury (GEN – excellent). I was like “OMFG!!” and added that to the buy list right then and there.

I ended up getting many high quality games and all of them were on my wish list, which is normally a rarity.

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Condition scale: Excellent, Great, Good, Fair, Bad, Poor