Hart & Usagi #89: Phone Club

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On episode 89 of the Hart & Usagi Podcast we chat about a variety of topics like Telltale breaking labor laws, breaking and entering to play the NES, and more.

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

TOPICS:
* Only ’80s Kids Remember: Breaking Into Houses to Get an NES Fix
* Sony Says It Has Fixed the PlayStation 4 Message Bug That’s Been Causing Consoles to Crash
* Red Dead Redemption 2’s 100-Hour Weeks Are Nothing New for Rockstar
* Street Fighter V: Arcade Edition update will improve the speed of the game’s inputs
* Castlevania: Symphony of the Night On PS4 Won’t Have The Iconic “What Is A Man?” Scene
* Telltale hit with class-action lawsuit for breaking labor laws
* PS Vita Production in Japan Will End in 2019, No Successor Planned
* Capcom Beat ‘Em Up Bundle Smashes its Way to PlayStation 4
* The PlayStation Classic is Going to Have a Much Harder Time Selling its Nostalgia Next to the SNES Classic

Listen or Download (1:09:39)

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Hart & Usagi Podcast at the Internet Archive

Matt: @HartKnight | HartKnight’s Archive

Mike: @usagi704 | Domain of Usagi704 | Instagram

@HartandUsagi

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Now Playing: February 2017

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Since I checked in last month with you guys it’s only gotten hotter. It’s February and it’s 71°F as I type this. Unbearable! Despite the fact we’re all going to melt and drown in the rising ocean waters, I’ll try to fill you in on what I was playing recently.

Since last time I had continued to play and subsequently finished Bujingai: The Forsaken City. My thoughts are the same in that it’s a fun action title with a few “huh?” moments. Bujingai comes recommended by me despite it’s faults.

Right after I started to play Die Hard Trilogy 2: Viva Las Vegas on the original PlayStation. It was unlike the first Die Hard Trilogy in that it’s not fun. The gameplay is more in the style of Tomb Raider and Duke Nukem: Time To Kill. It doesn’t work here. It’s too easy to die and there weren’t any mid-level checkpoints. Unfinished forever is fine by me. Moving on…

Back on the PlayStation 2, I played around ten levels of Manhunt 2. It was satisfying to sneak around and take out all of these “bad dudes.” What was less exciting was to have to use melee or firearms against enemies that noticed you. Manhunt 2 does have mid-level checkpoints and save points which helped me get as far as I did. However, some levels just required a bit too much on engagement with guns leaving me wondering where all the stealth went. The controls don’t lend themselves to being a shooter and these sections proved that. The game does have some merit so I don’t regret my time with it. It’s just doesn’t deserve any more.

I then dusted off and charged up my PSP for the next game, Syphon Filter: Logan’s Shadow. I didn’t get far into Syphon Filter: Dark Mirror years ago, but Logan’s Shadow looks to be easier to handle. I’m certainly impressed with the quality of the graphics on display here. Other than that there’s not much to say since I’m still only on the first episode. Wish me luck in seeing this one through.

Game on!

Now Playing: May-December 2016

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In the latter half of 2016 I played a number of games. Doom 3, Max Payne 3, Saints Row IV’s expansion, Infamous 2, Crysis 3, etc. I’m currently on Watch Dogs for the last month and I’ve been enjoying it more than most people did. I’m with Jim Sterling on this game and it’s fun for what it is. I haven’t been expecting more from it. My thoughts on other games are as follows.

I started out playing Doom 3. It was much better than I thought it would be, but it’s still a bit cliche for the gotcha type of horror it went for. However, I did like it and I felt the pace was a small amount faster in the expansions of Resurrection of Evil and The Lost Mission. Those were a welcome addition.

Then I moved onto Max Payne 3. It was the fun Payne gameplay we’ve come to know just with an updated sense about it that’s needed in today’s gaming scene. The story was the good, but I did feel the game lasted longer than I had liked. It was still worth my time regardless of this complaint.

Next up was Saints Row: Gat Out of Hell. The previous game in the series I played was Saints Row 2. I was going to do the usual play them in order since I have SR3 and IV, but I thought screw it. I went for the out the top hellscape adventure because Usagi704 was playing it and it looked wonderfully fun in all of its ridiculous glory. It was certainly that.

Continuing on with the PlayStation 3 marathon I was on, I played and finished Infamous 2. I had tried to start it 2014, but felt the need to get back to my gaming roots at that time. I was worried I would abandon it again, but thankfully that was never an issue this time around. I played on the evil side the first and only time I plan on playing it. It’s just easier to have fun Infamous’ open world that way. In the end I chose to become what I hunted for the whole time.

Crysis 3 was the last game before Watch Dogs and it was pretty much what I expected. The only problem is that eventually I was placed in, what I felt was, an unfair boss fight. I took my sweet ass time throughout the game and since I was ready to be finished with it, I called it “done” when this fight failed multiple times.

In the future I plan on playing every single game I haven’t played that I received for Xmas. This includes the lot I was given this last holiday too. In total it’ll encompass 19 games starting with Bujingai: The Forsaken City. I won’t force myself to beat a game if I’m not entertained by it. But hopefully it won’t be much of a problem. Wish me luck.

Happy New Year!

The Movie Boys Best Their Buys

To take a line from Jim Sterling’s movie podcast, it’s time for the Movie Boys. I have here three new movie purchases.

First up is DOA: Dead or Alive. It’s over the top and ridiculous, but that’s to be expected if you know anything about the Dead or Alive gaming series (volleyballs and all). Kevin Nash as Bass Armstrong is the very best thing about this film. I watched it on a second viewing for him alone and it was totally worth it.

The Lost Boys was another movie I was reminded of by a review podcast. This one is called Say You Love Satan (and you know you do) and they talk about the horror genre. As you know, I’m not much into horror, but The Lost Boys is one movie that stuck with me that I saw growing up.

The third film is the 2003 remake of Freaky Friday starring Jamie Lee Curtis and Lindsay Lohan. I think Curtis steals the show here. Sadly I had to settle for the DVD release from the same year.

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Don’t think I forgot about the games because I got you covered. I was waiting for a good, cheap price for Grand Theft Auto V on the PS4, but it didn’t seem like it was ever going to happen. So I bought the used copy eStarland notified me about that they had in stock. I added Transformers: Devastation to complete the order.

Yesterday on Halloween I was at Best Buy and they had the 2016 Ratchet & Clank game for $20. I got it for $16 thanks to Usagi704 for letting me bum his membership off him for a quick moment.

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Now Playing: April 2016

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Since I never did a Now Playing article for either February or March thanks to my PC being out of commission, I figured I’d do one for April.

Why a week sooner than I’d usually aim to do it? This is because I don’t see myself having much time or interest in gaming in the coming weeks. My free time is more spent these days watching movies or TV. I feel it doesn’t do me any good to tell myself I’m going to play a game later on knowing I’m probably not going to bother. It’s a pointless expectation to have if my interest isn’t there when the time comes.

Now don’t take me as one of those “I’m done with gaming” types. That’s preposterous. It’s much more along the lines of “absence makes the heart grow fonder” things. Time away from playing games will ultimately help me get more excited to play them.

In these last two months I did play and beat Jak 3 (PS2) and Uncharted 3 via the Uncharted Collection on PS4. The former was fun until the final boss. Trying to shoot specific spots without any sort of auto aim in a vehicle that only shoots straight ahead is not what I call fun. The latter was fun and Drake was a wonderfully voiced character as always, but the constant big set piece escapes from crumbling structures got old very, very fast.

I also played some of the RPG Star Ocean: First Departure on PSP. It was fun for about 5 hours and, as usual, I lost interest. Rarely does an RPG keep me entertained these days.

I do want to eventually finish The Legend of Kage 2 (DS) and Bully (PS2), but those will have to wait until my gaming mojo returns.

In the meantime, I’ve watched A Clockwork Orange and was surprised how much I enjoyed it. The scenes you usually see about the movie are from the beginning section and that never convinced me to watch it. However, a breakdown of the movie via Renegade Cut showed me other parts of the film making it much more intriguing. This is something you simply cannot accomplish for me by avoiding spoilers as the Internet community would have you believe.

A Clockwork Orange was an excellent piece on society’s view on criminal punishment and rehabilitation. In that regardless of debt paid while incarcerated the victims still want a piece of payback for themselves. It’s actually quite sad and makes Alex, the main character, sympathetic by the end. At the end, though, it seems as if Alex reverts back to his old ways. Is this the case or am I reading more into it than is there?

Finally, I’ll leave you with my new acquisition of Painkiller: Hell & Damnation. Thanks for reading!

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Hart & Usagi Podcast #57: No then Yes

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In this new episode of the Hart & Usagi Podcast we discuss the PC game Hatred and Steam removal and reinstatement. We also get into what happened at the PlayStation Experience, the new threat to the Internet called CISA, and more.

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

NEWS/TOPICS:
* ‘The Crew’ Will Not Have Launch Problems, Promises Ubisoft
* 20 Brilliant Things About PlayStation
* SEGA & SONY Partner to Launch Yakuza 5 in the West
* Capcom’s Yoshinori Ono Assures Street Fighter V Won’t Be Free-to-Play
* Everything from the PlayStation Experience 2014: Looking Forward, Looking Back
* Sony’s Secret London Shop Selling 20th Anniversary PS4s for £19.94
* Sony Not Thrilled About 20th Anniversary PS4 eBay Sales
* Kmart Australia Joins Target Australia in Pulling ‘GTA V’ From Stores Shelves
* Take-Two: Don’t like GTA? Don’t buy it
* Valve Removes ‘Hatred’ From Steam Greenlight
* Gabe Newell Steps in to Reinstate Controversial Shooter on Steam
* CISA Supporters Use Sony Pictures Security Breach To Push Bill
* EFF Challenges Personal Audio’s ‘Podcasting Patent Claims’ Before the USPTO This Week
* ISPs Admit They Can ‘Live With’ Net Neutrality Rule Changes
* Last Guardian Making Progress Under “Completely New Conditions”
* Teens React to Mega Man: What We’ve Forgotten About “Nintendo Hard” Games

Listen or Download (2:03:06)

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Hart & Usagi Podcast at the Internet Archive

Matt: @HartKnight | HartKnight’s Archive

Mike: @usagi704 | WP blog

@HartandUsagi

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Hart & Usagi Podcast #39: The Illest

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The Hart & Usagi Podcast episode 39 brings you a lively discussion on the issue of a distributor blacklisting Indian gaming website Illgaming, story vs. gameplay, progress in Dark Souls, among other topics. Please join HartKnight (me), usagi704, and our guest lightnarcissus as we get to the bottom of Ludo Discobiscuits.

TOPICS:
* The Ugly Truth
* Game OverThinker: Episode 88 – GTA V IS NOT A SATIRE (PROBABLY)
* Hart & Usagi Podcast #31: BioShock Infinite
* Story vs. Gameplay
* How Typing of the Dead: Overkill survived its studio’s apocalypse
* Dark Souls
* DualShock 4 (and PS3 compatibility)
* Ultra Street Fighter 4 adds ‘Ultra Combo Double’ and ‘Red Focus Attack’ mechanics

Listen or Download (1:56:37)
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Hart & Usagi Podcast at the Internet Archive
@HartKnight
@usagi704 | WP blog
@lightnarcissus | Narcissist Reality