Hart & Usagi #93: Huge Sprites!!!

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In episode 93 we discuss Bernie Sanders calling for unions for video game industry workers, Phil Spencer’s jealously of not being in first place of console sales, and many games revealed for mini console systems.

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

TOPICS:
* Yakuza: Kenzan Could Be Suitable for a Kiwami-Style Remake, Producer Says
* Xbox Boss Phil Spencer: “The Business is Not How Many Consoles You Sell”
* Bernie Sanders takes to Twitter to endorse video game unionization
* Riot Games Under Investigation by the State of California For Gender Discrimination
* Konami announces the TurboGrafx-16 mini and six of the games it’ll feature
* Mega Drive Mini Games List: All 42 Titles Revealed
* Trump administration proposes 25 percent tariff on game consoles, board game imports
* The Loot Box Bill is Public, And The ESA Says It’s “Flawed And Riddled With Inaccuracies”
* Don’t worry, the Sega Genesis Mini Will Have a Six-Button Controller Available at Launch

Listen or Download (1:17:54)

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@HartandUsagi

Crossed Swords Comes Home

One month ago I bought the last of the games I wanted from my wish list that are available at retail. They are Shadow of the Tomb Raider and Yakuza Kiwami 2.

I enjoyed the initial reboot game of Tomb Raider from 2013. You know, the one that Square Enix claimed was a failure after selling over 3.3 million units. Ha ha ha! Hilarious. I’ve been slowing getting through the Yakuza series. I’ve played the first four titles so far. I’m not one to worry about playing a series in order of release. This is most obvious when I played Saints Row 2 as my entry game and the next time I played Gat Out of Hell. Yakuza is an exception because of how deep the story is with all of the characters interactions with each other.

One other game I’d seen briefly in arcades during the early to mid 1990s was ADK’s Crossed Swords. It was memorable to see such a game similar to Nintendo’s Punch-Out, but instead going with a medieval theme of knights and sorcery. Hamster has released it on Switch, PS4, and Xbox.

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Now Playing: June-July 2018

After over three months of playing Yakuza 4 off and on (mostly off), I have finished it. Vets of the series like usagi704 and others will scoff at the fact that I didn’t do any side missions/activities. I enjoyed the main story and I just wanted to focus on that. It took me long enough as it was and I didn’t want it to take any longer.

Of course Kiryu is the best of the bunch simply because he’s had three previous games all to himself. Of the new trio of characters I liked Akiyama the best with Tanimura and Saejima second and third, respectively. All were will written and voice acted. Tanimura’s fighting style was the most divergent from the rest. He used more holds and throws than outright brute strength.

Character progression, I felt, was hampered with the four characters being split up into individual sections of the game, but the story faired much better because of it. You didn’t know how all these guys and their events would tie together, but it was a pleasure in finding out and seeing it through.

I also, during this time frame, played and finished the 2001 arcade game Sengoku 3. I played it via the Wii Virtual Console with the pro controller. It was initially difficult and I did opt for the max of nine lives in the options menu, but eventually I did manage to beat it. Damage dealt to the player is quite high, but it’s doable with the correct battle strategy.

As a birthday gift I received Puzzle Quest: Galactrix from my bro.

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Now Playing: May 2018 (and Podcast Update)

About a month ago I purchased Horizon: Zero Dawn. The Complete Edition with all the extra DLC was the cheaper way to go and more available than the original version. I don’t know if I’ll even bother with the extra content, but I guess I’ll just have to see if I want more of it to play by the end. This all is considering that I get to it anytime soon which is unlikely.

I’m currently playing Yakuza 4 as I’d mentioned in my previously resurrected Now Playing feature. The initial character you control is Akiyama. He’s a good ol’ chap with the best of intentions and a non-judgmental attitude with the firm belief that helping out others is more important than making money. I like him.

I’m now onto the second new character’s story, Saejima, and they already show a clear sign of them all tying together eventually. Here’s a badass that’s trying to get what’s his. At least that’s my first readings of his motivations.

On the podcast front, there won’t be any new episode for a little bit as I sort out my PC issues as those problems only affect that activity.

Thanks for reading!

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Mastering The Remaster

On the previous episode of the Hart & Usagi Podcast, we talked about our excitement to revisit the classic racing game Burnout Paradise with Burnout Paradise Remastered. Well since then I purchased said game and completed it to a platinum trophy with some other goals in between. I can say that the experience hasn’t diminished in the last decade. It’s still as fun as ever. My only disappointment, a minor one, I can think of is that the graphics don’t look all that much better. I guess it just goes to show how amazing the game looked in 2008 that there wasn’t much need for improvement.

Onto other purchases as of late: Puyo Puyo Tetris and Yakuza 6: The Song of Life. The former is the best way to get a Tetris game on a current system. I’ve never been a fan of color matching games like Puyo Puyo so I did buy this title simply for one-half of what it brings which is only the greatest puzzle game ever in Tetris!

The latter was released just last week and while I just started playing Yakuza 4, I couldn’t wait on buying the sixth game. I always do this with the Yakuza series because of how difficult they become to find after not too long.

That’s it for the moment and as always thanks for reading!

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True Vendetta

Over the last few months I’ve gathered together some new items to share.

On the gaming front I’ve been interested in Code of Princess for a number of years since it was released for the Nintendo 3DS. I was happy then to see it listed on the Steam storefront. Somewhat recently it went on sale and I picked it up there.

When it comes to the Yakuza series I’ve bought all of them. However, I’ve only played up through the third game. To make sure I didn’t miss one I bought it at a higher price than I’d expect it to be by now. This means I have Yakuza 0 finally in my collection. I was afraid it would escape me when it was easier to get the later released Kiwami title. No worries now.

Other items I picked up are three movies on Blu-ray.

My favorite of the bunch is a 2016 film called Sing Street. I can’t remember why I decided to watch it in the first place, but the way it tells the basic coming of age story wouldn’t be anything special if it wasn’t set in the 1980s. Another thing that makes it fun is the soundtrack from the band the main character starts up and it takes after the European hits at the time. This is because it takes place in Dublin. While I’m not familiar with the area, the themes of growing up are still the same which makes it relatable.

The other two are True Romance from 1993, which is not about what the title may suggest, and also V For Vendetta from 2005. The latter is very much applicable to the United States today.

That’s it for the moment and as always thanks for reading!

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Releasing the Unreleased

Over the last few months the number purchases in the movie/TV and gaming realms I’ve made have been piling up. Here they are.

Back in April I reported on getting a digital copy of Double Dragon II: The Revenge via Hamster’s Arcade Archives. Well, this time I also added the original arcade version of Double Dragon. This was one that Usagi704 also picked up and said I’d probably like how it turned out.

Lately I’ve been afraid that the Yakuza games, despite getting a wide release in the West, would dry up sooner than you’d think. It seems to already have happened to Yakuza 0. I didn’t want to miss out on Yakuza Kiwami so I got it and I will be looking to get 0 soon enough.

A used copy of Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End ran me around $20. I was on my wish list long enough and got it along with a unreleased game set to me sent to me in about eight days.

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Onto the movies/TV side, speaking of “unreleased” WWE released a 3 disc set of matches spanning from 1986 to 1995 called Unreleased. It has some decent matches with the two featuring Ric Flair against Roddy Piper and Hulk Hogan being quite fun to watch. I also popped huge for seeing Sean Mooney (who?) in the hosting segments.

I bought and watched Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 and it was fantastic. Yeah, it was another lackluster villain who posed no real threat despite being told otherwise. However, we’ve come to expect the main characters to be fun and relatable and that’s what we got.

A staple of ’80s television was Miami Vice and on a whim I picked up the whole series on Blu-ray despite never really watching it at the time. I mean, I wasn’t even a teenager during its five season run. It’s a huge 20-disc set and was half the original price.

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Other films I bought were Pleasantville, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, Bridge of Spies, and a special edition of Death Wish II with a theatrical and unrated cut of the film.

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On a final topic, I can happily say that the SNES Classic was much easier to obtain than I expected, but it definitely was still on the low end of the quantity of the shipments. The store I work at received only 14 units which was more than the 2-3 they got last year with the NES Classic system. I helped sell an initial 6-7 at midnight, I immediately went on my break and bought mine. A first shift employee asked me if any were left and at 4:30am I sold the last one to him. It might not sound like much, but with just over four hours that supply lasted longer than I expected.

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As far as my experience with the system itself, I’ve only played Street Fighter II Turbo and even did so with Usagi704. It was as fun as a real system and I can’t really complain about the selection of games. Even if some of the games aren’t my speed, it’s understandable why they’re on there. Plus, the quality of the games chosen are of much higher quality than the NES Classic had. Truly less is more in this case.

Thanks for reading and game on!