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!

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Games Finished In 2014

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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

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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
The European version of SOPA/PIPA is called ACTA and it’s worse! Learn about it HERE. Sign the petition to stop it NOW at accessnow.org. Anybody can sign regardless of where you live. Please do so. Keep on fighting! Thank you.

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)

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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)

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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)

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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