Game of the Year 2014 – Favorite Revisit

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A number of games I have I’ll sometimes go back to them. This is especially the case if it’s short and going to be a quick session to play through. Arcade games fit this bill perfectly. Whether it be Mortal Kombat Trilogy, Contra, Ninja Warriors on Super Nintendo, or the fun horror game Splatterhouse on TG-16 (played during my Halloween Gaming Event). It’s always great to go back to these titles.

The one which caught my attention in 2014 was the arcade version of Robocop by Data East. It’s a bit tricky when it asks the player to level traversal that’s more than walk to the right, but otherwise it’s fun. It reminds me of a roller skating rink I used to go to and this blog post I mentioned it before in. All of this was spurred on by my purchase of the remastered in 4K Blu-ray edition of the original movie I picked up back in February.

Last year my favorite revisit was Tomb Raider: Legend and this year’s was Robocop!

Games Finished In 2014

2014-finished

The list below shows every game that I finished in 2014. The total number comes to 46. That’s up 10 from 2013.

March proved to be the best month for beating games with 16 in total thanks to getting back to my gaming roots. The monthly average throughout the year was 3.8.

1. Bayonetta (PS3) – 1/14
2. Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons (PSN) – 1/27
3. The Saboteur (PS3) – 2/4
4. Batman: Arkham Asylum (PS3) – 2/12
5. Mortal Kombat Trilogy (PS) – 2/14
6. Street Fighter II: Champion Edition (VC) – 2/15
7. Robocop (ARC) – 2/21
8. Muramasa: The Demon Blade (WII) – 2/26
9. Soldner-X 2: Final Prototype (PSN) – 3/3
10. Streets of Rage 3 via Sonic’s Ultimate Genesis Collection (PS3) – 3/10
11. Jackal (NES) – 3/11
12. Tetris Plus 2 (ARC) – 3/13
13. Metamorphic Force (ARC) – 3/13
14. Chip ‘n Dale: Rescue Rangers (NES) – 3/14
15. P.O.W.: Prisoners of War (NES) – 3/16
16. Vice: Project Doom (NES) – 3/18
17. Fortified Zone (GB) – 3/19
18. Sunset Riders (SNES) – 3/21
19. Castlevania: Bloodlines (GEN) – 3/23
20. Super Double Dragon (SNES) – 3/24
21. Contra (NES) – 3/25
22. Sparkster (SNES) – 3/25
23. Code Name: Viper (NES) – 3/29
24. Operation Logic Bomb (SNES) – 3/31
25. Wild Guns (SNES) – 4/5
26. Return of Double Dragon (SFC) – 4/8
27. Ninja Warriors (SNES) – 4/8
28. Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood (PS3) – 5/3
29. Assassin’s Creed: Revelations (PS3) – 6/30
30. Klonoa: Empire of Dreams (GBA) – 7/7
31. Castlevania: Symphony of the Night (PS) – 8/20
32. Syndicate (PS3) – 9/3
33. Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode II (PC) – 9/10
34. Hotline Miami (PC) – 9/14
35. Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia (DS) – 10/15
36. Castlevania: Dracula X (SNES) – 10/21
37. Splatterhouse (TG-16) – 10/27
38. Ratchet: Deadlocked (PS2) – 11/6
39. Ratchet & Clank Future: Tools of Destruction (PS3) – 11/16
40. Batman (ARC) – 11/20
41. Crime Fighters (ARC) – 11/20
42. Ratchet & Clank Future: Quest for Booty (PSN) – 11/20
43. Yakuza 3 (PS3) – 12/21
44. RayCrisis: Series Termination (PS) – 12/28
45. Panzer Bandit (PS) – 12/29
46. Strider 2 (PS) – 12/31

Falling Blocks and Robocop

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As I promised I now give you those three arcade games I finished in the last two months I’d mentioned at the end of my last blog post.

Around the time I had purchased the excellent new Blu-ray edition of the 1987 Robocop, I had thought about my memories of playing the Data East arcade game from 1988. Those few times playing said game was in the very early ’90s at a local rollerskating rink as I recalled before. I also watched a video on Retroware TV’s site covering this game and the arcade sequel, which wasn’t nearly as good.

Anyways, off I went to play this Robocop game via MAME, of course. It’s biggest treat is probably the sound effects. This includes a number of voice samples and the sound for when the gun is brought out. Even if getting to the end and exposing Dick Jones to high altitude oxygen isn’t possible, Robocop is still a fun romp of arcade action.

I had said I played Fortified Zone on the Game Boy recently. It was made by Bases Loaded developer Jaleco. This is the same company that made a pair of Tetris arcade games for Japan called Tetris Plus. I tried both and prefer Tetris Plus 2. It’s main game mode has the player clear a set number of lines in each round. It’s the same as Game B in many of the older Nintendo published home versions. There are fewer lines overall in each round to clear in this 1997 title, but it’s still good ol’ challenging Tetris without infinite rotation. You know, the way it was meant to be played!

Metamorphic Force is a Konami beat-’em-up released in 1993. It uses the same engine as the previous year’s X-Men game and has similar fun and frantic gameplay. The four characters available are also mutants, but not in the Marvel comics way. A power up item allows for them to transform into a specific beast, bull, wolf, panther, or bear. It’s a bit more of a button-masher than X-Men was, but still lots of fun. The music, as you might have heard, is some kick ass metal! A few downsides is in human form the characters can’t throw enemies, the wolf is particularly weaker than the other three (sorry, SonicHomeboy :P), and quarter munching was a big problem with this title. In that I mean even if you don’t take damage your character’s health still drains slowly. Otherwise, the game, as I keep saying, it quite fun!

Thanks for reading. Now go play some arcade games! :D

Hart & Usagi Podcast #43: Play Monolopy

podcast43

The Hart and Usagi Podcast is back and this time we talk about our love for Robocop, the crazy idea that Flappy Bird has fans, and power laces, alright!

NEWS/TOPICS:
* Robocop
* Sonic Boom Brings a Brand-New Sonic to Wii U, 3DS and TV
* Amazon Acquires Video Gaming Studio Double Helix Games
* Early Access
* Net Neutrality Dead
* Street Fighter IV updates
* The Flappy Bird Saga Continues
* Magus, first game developed by Aksys, out on PS3 Feb. 25
* Watch Dogs Delayed for Wii U
* New PS Vita Model Confirmed for US, Included in Borderlands 2 Bundle
* Sly Cooper movie sneaks into theaters in 2016

Listen or Download (1:28:31)
RSS Feed
Hart & Usagi Podcast at the Internet Archive
Matt: @HartKnight | HartKnight’s Archive
Mike: @usagi704 | WP blog

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#HartandUsagiPodcast

Delta City’s Silver Lining

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Maybe it’s just me, but I’m used to new movies in a series to be accompanied by quick and cheap home video releases of previous entries. In fact, when it comes to the original 1987 Robocop film, it has already had a cheap, bare-bones Blue-ray edition from 2007. I would simply expect them to rerelease this version to make some easy cash. So color me surprised when I find out that the 2014 unrated director’s cut edition is infinitely better in every way.

Check out those above linked Blu-ray.com reviews to find out the crazy differences. Also thanks to Moviebob for reminding me “Why Robocop Still Rules!”

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2011 Award Winners

ANTI-COUNTERFEITING TRADE AGREEMENT
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It’s now time to enter the strange world of the 2011 gaming awards from yours truly.

BEST BEAT-‘EM-UP
When it comes to beat-’em-ups, I know what I like. It’s my favorite genre after all. I played a bunch of them this last year and Streets of Rage 2 is still the very best of what this genre has to offer.

To an extent Final Fight One on GBA is my preferred version over the arcade just because it isn’t as cheap and it has a few bonus extras like the Street Fighter Alpha versions of Cody and Guy to keep it fun.

The SNES version of Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers, while simple, has a great music and play mechanics to keep this game out of licence game hell.

Capcom’s Knights of the Round was never one I got into very much before, but last year I played a bit of the SNES port. I was surprised I liked it as much as I did. The character of Percival helped in this with his dashing ability.

Streets of Rage 2 (GEN, PSN)
Final Fight One (GBA)
Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers (SNES)
Knights of the Round (SNES)

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WORST BEAT-‘EM-UP
I also know what a horrible beat-’em-up is. Revenge of the Wounded Dragons is definitely that. Cheap tactics are the order of the day and instead of using Dragon Rage to kill enemies off faster, I was standing still gaining health back. It was a frustrating game and its memory has stuck with me.

The boss fight on stage eight of Streets of Rage against the two women without the backup puts this game here. Plain and simple.

Magic Sword and Rush’N Attack aren’t as bad. But they did have things about them which made them less exciting. The former made you feel like you had to hurry through the stages, but doing so only made you take more damage. The latter was just a bit too simple, but other than that I can’t complain all that much about it.

Revenge of the Wounded Dragons (PSN)
Magic Sword (PSN)
Streets of Rage (PS3)
Rush’n Attack (NES)

hart11-worstbeatemup

BEST SCORE CHASER
Whether it’s shooting rocks or ice in Super Stardust HD, playing Plinko in Peggle, or block stacking in Tetris, there’s always a friend who’s score you’re trying to beat. With me it was getting over 348 million points in Alien Crush which was the most fun to score high in for 2011.

Tetris (PSN)
Alien Crush (PSN)
Peggle (PSN)
Super Stardust HD (PSN)

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MOST VISCERALLY SATISFYING
Beating down fools is fun in any game, but certain games do it with brutal style be it with hidden weapons in a stealthy fashion like in Assassin’s Creed or street brawling in Yakuza. The most satisfying moves to pull off this time was in Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2.

Yakuza (PS2)
Assassin’s Creed (PS3)
Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2 (PS3)
Demon’s Souls (PS3)

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MOST SURPRISINGLY GOOD GAME
These games are the ones where you have very little, if any, expectations of them being any good. Duke Nukem: Time to Kill is a perfect example of this. It gets hated on for being a Tomb Raider clone and the critics are correct. It’s not a game I would recommend, but I somehow managed to scrape some fun from the bottom of this old crusty barrel.

One game I can recommend, however, is Run Saber. It’s a clone as well, but a decent one similar in most ways to Strider. Atlus even published great games back in the Super Nintendo days!

Duke Nukem: Time to Kill (PSX)
Run Saber (SNES)
Art of Fighting 2 (SNES)
Shadowgate Classic (GBC)

hart11-surprisingly-good

MOST FUN VS. USAGI704
In one of the most odd award categories, but fitting for me, is which game did I enjoy the most when facing off against Usagi704. Is it the copious amounts of Mortal Kombat matches? What about the surprisingly good port of Art of Fighting 2? It was actually the matches we had on the Genesis version of Super Street Fighter II way back this time last year.

Super Street Fighter II (GEN)
Mortal Kombat Arcade Kollection (PSN)
Mortal Kombat 3 (PSX)
Art of Fighting 2 (SNES)

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MOST DISAPPOINTING GAME
There’s a number of ways for a game to be disappointing. Half-Life 2: Episode One is an example of simply not being as good or memorable as the previous main game. Rainbow Six Vegas was an unfortunate case of not being able to pass a boss which was glitched. It wasn’t a big deal once I viewed the underwhelming small amount of the game that was left.

NBA Jam was very disappointing in its Remix mode. The camera angle wasn’t good at all for 21 or Domination. Being a big fan of the original arcade game and still really liking the Classic Campaign in this new edition made this all the more upsetting.

NBA Jam (PS3)
Half-Life 2: Episode One (PS3)
Rainbow Six Vegas (PS3)
Robocop Versus The Terminator (SNES)

hart11-disappointing

DOWN RIGHT CRAP GAME
I’ve played some crap games in 2011. You’ve already met Revenge of the Wounded Dragons. Now meet GoldenEye: Rogue Agent. It would’ve won this category, but at least I could explain in my review what was wrong with the game. Then I played a game where I couldn’t. This pile of trash goes by the name of Army of Two.

Revenge of the Wounded Dragons (PSN)
Batman: Rise of Sin Tzu (PS2)
GoldenEye: Rogue Agent (PS2)
Army of Two (PS3)

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BEST ACTION/ADVENTURE
It’s no secret I adore Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time. In 2011 I bought the Prince of Persia Trilogy and got the platinum trophy for said game. With that said, I’ve played the game quite a number of times. I needed something new. Uncharted 2: Among Thieves was new, but the experience was similar to the first game. How about new and fresh experience? Assassin’s Creed fit, but it was a bit too repetitive.

This is where Demon’s Souls came in. It was a risk since I usually don’t get into many games of its type. However, the risk paid off. I found the challenge to be overall less than hyped to be, but a challenge nonetheless. The boss fights were very memorable and gave me a sense of accomplishment. No other game I’ve played in recent memory can claim this.

Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time (PS3)
Uncharted 2: Among Thieves (PS3)
Assassin’s Creed (PS3)
Demon’s Souls (PS3)

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ABSOLUTE BEST GAME OF THE YEAR
Continuing on the theme of fresh, new gaming experiences, each of these four nominees for 2011 Game of the Year delivered this in one way or another.

Gunstar Heroes is a run-‘n-gun which isn’t new to me, but the amount of variety in the stages and bosses of such a game is. I mean there’s a more traditional shoot-’em-up stage in this game. Treasure’s crazy, but good.

The ultimate winner is Yakuza! It has everything I like about such a game. The story is very good and the fighting mechanics are one hell of a brutally fun time. It’s not often after playing a game that I get a mental reminder to play the next game in the series. This has been the case with Yakuza.

Gunstar Heroes (GEN)
Yakuza (PS2)
Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2 (PS3)
Demon’s Souls (PS3)

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2011 Award Nominees

MOST RECENT UPDATE ON SOPA/PIPA
The Protect IP Act (PIPA) scheduled vote on January 24, 2012 has been postponed. The Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) has been sidelined until February. These bills are NOT dead. Also, an international version called ACTA is close to passage. Keep on fighting! Thank you.

2011-award-nominees

This list of games below is every single game I played in 2011 regardless of finished or not. All are eligible for my 2011 awards. I’m not sure what the exact awards themselves will be at this time. All shall be revealed when the winners are.

I’m a bit late to the awards of 2011 party, but I hope you’ll be interested in them nonetheless.

GENESIS
Super Street Fighter II
Streets of Rage 2
Gunstar Heroes
Mortal Kombat

PSN
Revenge of the Wounded Dragons
Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix
Magic Sword via Final Fight: Double Impact
Tetris
Streets of Rage 2
Alien Crush
Peggle
Mortal Kombat via Mortal Kombat Arcade Kollection
Mortal Kombat II via Mortal Kombat Arcade Kollection
Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 via Mortal Kombat Arcade Kollection
X-Men
Super Stardust HD

PS2
Batman: Rise of Sin Tzu
Yakuza
GoldenEye: Rogue Agent
Street Fighter III 3rd Strike via Street Fighter Anniversary Collection
Medal of Honor: European Assault

PS3
Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time via Prince of Persia Trilogy
Street Fighter IV
Uncharted 2: Among Thieves
Streets of Rage via Sonic’s Ultimate Genesis Collection
Sonic Spinball via Sonic’s Ultimate Genesis Collection
Shinobi via Sonic’s Ultimate Genesis Collection
Grand Theft Auto IV
BlazBlue: Calamity Trigger
Assassin’s Creed
NBA Jam
Half-Life 2: Episode One via The Orange Box
Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Vegas
Army of Two
Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2
Demon’s Souls
Borderlands

PS1
Duke Nukem: Time to Kill
Mortal Kombat 3
Quake II

NES
Rush’n Attack
Contra

PSP
Twisted Metal: Head On
Kamen Rider Climax Heroes OOO
Baseball Stars 2 via SNK Arcade Classics Vol. 1
Gradius via Gradius Collection
Gradius II via Gradius Collection
Gradius III via Gradius Collection
Tekken 6
Golden Axe via Sega Genesis Collection
Gradius Gaiden via Gradius Collection

DS
Kamen Rider Dragon Knight
Ultimate Mortal Kombat

WII
Kamen Rider Dragon Knight

GBA
Power Rangers Dino Thunder
Final Fight One
Kirby: Nightmare In Dream Land

SNES
Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers
Robocop Versus The Terminator
Run Saber
Street Racer
Knights of the Round
Mortal Kombat II
Mortal Kombat
Art of Fighting 2
Final Fight 2

GBC
Shadowgate Classic

Now Playing: August 2011

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Last Tuesday was the 20th anniversary of the Super Nintendo as released in North America. Knowing this date was coming up I decided to make it mainly a SNES month.

I played Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers once again and also did a speed run of it in 42 minutes and 12 seconds.

Soon after I asked on Twitter which of eight random chosen games I should play next. The two top picks were Robocop Versus The Terminator and Run Saber. The former game was pretty bad with unforgiving AI and overall uninteresting gameplay. At least there was a funny glitch where you can hold the A and X buttons while on a ladder and Robocop will keep climbing even after passing the top of it. Stage 6 was as far as I was able to go.

Run Saber was much more fun. This take on Strider from Atlus has a bunch of moves to perform in a fast-paced platformer. It has an arrow at the top of the screen always showing the direction to head in. I recommend this game if you’ve ever enjoyed Capcom’s Strider. Finished on Easy was a score of 266,800.

There’s not much to say about Street Racer. It’s basically a Super Mario Kart clone with less charm. At least the racing is decent.

Two other games I finished off this month giving me a total of 27 for this year was Knights of the Round and Alien Crush. In the Capcom beat-’em-up I selected Percival. I prefer him since he’s the only one who can dash. Granted it doesn’t last long at all, but this mobility and being the more powerful of the three characters make him a great choice. My final score was 430,820 at level 15.

I think I’m Alien Crush’d out at this point. I’m played a lot of the game in the recent past, as most of you know, but nothing can prepare you for this. On the PSN version via my PSP I improved my score so much that there’s no way I could possibly top it and that’s even if I’d want to (and I definitely don’t want to). My previous best score, regardless of the version of the game, was 78,533,200 and now it was improved by over four times the amount. Behold my new best high score of 348,932,500!

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You’ll probably need some time to recover from that revealed score so I’ll end this here. As always thanks for reading!

Now Playing: May ’09

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During this past month I played way more games that I thought I did. When seeing the list I realize that many of them were arcade style games which explains it.

The following three games were the highlights of the month: Castlevania: Circle of the Moon, Half-Life 2, and The Ninja Warriors Again.

The first two were the top vote-getters when asking what I should play next. Castlevania: Circle of the Moon was an enjoyable 15 hours or so that I played it. My save it currently near the end of the game, but I’ve yet to finish it since I don’t have the best DSS cards to deal with Dracula. Something I’m used to having that isn’t available in this game is a shop. All items and weapons must be obtained via drops by enemies which is somewhat annoying even with the luck attribute really high. Good game for sure, but not great as so many people say. I still much prefer Aria of Sorrow out of the three GBA Castlevanias.

Second place in the voting was Half-Life 2. I’ve played this game several times before on the PC. I was even at Wal-Mart buying it in the early morning on release day in late 2004. This time I played and finished it as part of The Orange Box on PS3. It’s still very fun to play and all of the mildly annoying parts are still mildly annoying (ie: your late game teammates).

The final game, The Ninja Warriors Again, is a fun Taito beat-’em-up on the Super Nintendo (look for it as simply The Ninja Warriors). Each of the three characters have different in abilities and give you a different approach to take when battling enemies. This was the only other game I was able to finish this month and wins the Game of the Month award.

I’ll now leave you with a list of the rest of the games that I played.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Tournament Fighters
Bad Dudes
Heavy Barrel
Metal Slug
Gundam W: Endless Duel
WWF Royal Rumble
Knights of the Round
Final Fight 3
Fighter’s History
The Combatribes
Robocop vs. The Terminator
Brawl Brothers
Super Double Dragon
Sunset Riders
WWF Raw

REMINDER
Retro Revival Week is back and starts tomorrow. Check out the details here.

Playing Licensed Games

playing-licensed-games

For my next few games that I play I’m going to tackle the licensed games in my collection. If that includes crap, then so be it. Here’s the laundry list of games that I plan on playing that fall into this category.

Batman Begins (PS2)
Biker Mice from Mars (DS)
Conan (PS3)
Crue Ball (GEN)
Disney’s Aladdin in Nasira’s Revenge (PS)
Gungrave: Overdose (PS2)
James Bond 007: Everything or Nothing (PS2)
Justice League Heroes: The Flash (GBA)
Mickey Mania (SNES)
The Punisher (PS2)
The Red Star (PS2)
Rise to Honor (PS2)
RoboCop Versus The Terminator (SNES)
Spider-Man 2 (PS2)
Spy Hunter: Nowhere to Run (PS2)
TMNT (PS2)
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (PS2)
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: Back from the Sewers (GB)
Transformers (PS2)
VR Troopers (GEN)
WCW vs. The World (PS)
WWF Raw (SNES)
The World Is Not Enough (PS)

Of course this list isn’t comprised of every licensed game that I have. Some I have already played (ie: Astro Boy: Omega Factor) or there are too many similar titles (ie: the rest of the WCW/WWE games) to be considered.

Now onto purchases that I made today at Gamestop. I took advantage of a coupon that was printable off of ps3fanboy.com. It’s for 25% off of any three used PS2, PS3, or PSP games. Here’s what I got.

Flatout 2 (PS2)
TMNT (PS2)
Yakuza (PS2)

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Also from JapanGameStock.com I bought two used Super Famicom controllers and a PS1 memory card.

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On the PS1 memory card were some old saves. Take a look.

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