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 #82

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Episode 82 of the Hart & Usagi Podcast is here! We chat about a variety of topics like the upcoming Yakuza series of games, revivals like Windjammers and Night Trap, and more.

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

TOPICS:
* Yakuza Kiwami
* Shin Ryu Ga Gotoku
* Hokuto ga Gotoku
* Windjammers
* Ys Origin
* Night Trap
* MachineGames’ Wolfenstein series
* Shadow Warrior 2
* Mafia III
* Raiden series
* Micronics ports
* 2005 year in gaming

Listen or Download (1:24:05)

Subscribe: RSS | iTunes

Hart & Usagi Podcast at the Internet Archive

Matt: @HartKnight | HartKnight’s Archive

Mike: @usagi704 | Domain of Usagi704

@HartandUsagi

Hart & Usagi #79: Thanks a lot, Microsoft!

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Episode 79 of the Hart & Usagi Podcast is here! We chat about a variety of topics like the Scalebound cancellation, our playthrough of Shadow of the Colossus, quality of Nintendo’s Virtual Console service over the years, and more.

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

NEWS:
* Recent games played
* Microsoft Cancelling Platinum Games’ Xbox One Exclusive, Scalebound
* Yakuza: Kiyami, Yakuza 6 announced
* First Marvel Vs. Capcom: Infinite Gameplay Trailer Shows Power of Infinity Stones
* Parappa, Wipeout, Crash Bandicoot Getting PS4 Upgrades
* Nintendo Switch Will Play GameCube Games via Virtual Console [Report]
* Hackers Crack the NES Mini To Add More Games Via USB
* Ex-SNK Devs Develop New Fighting Game for… Super Nintendo
* The King of Fighters XIV Holiday Promo and Graphical Update Announced
* Double Dragon 4’s Gameplay Looks Unbelievably Old School
* Beyond the NES Classic Edition: Super NES, Genesis, And More
* Game-Rave TV Ep. 81 & 82: PlayStation Classic Console – Part 1 & Part 2

Listen or Download (1:32:38)

Subscribe: RSS | iTunes

Hart & Usagi Podcast at the Internet Archive

Matt: @HartKnight | HartKnight’s Archive

Mike: @usagi704 | Domain of Usagi704

@HartandUsagi

Hart & Usagi #70: Feel The Electricity

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It’s time for another scintillating Hart & Usagi Podcast episode. We talk about Edge’s top 100 video games list, Nintendo against Fair Use, and the greatness of the original PlayStation among other topics.

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

NEWS/TOPICS:
* Mortal Kombat X for Xbox 360/PlayStation 3 Canceled
* Mega Man Movie is in Development at Fox
* 20 Brilliant Things About PlayStation
* Wow, Umihara Kawase games coming to PC
* Nintendo’s cracking down on speedrunning and ROM hacking videos
* 3 ways the original PlayStation changed gaming forever
* TGS 2015: Sony Reveals Fresh New PS4 Wireless Headset, Controllers, HDD Bay Covers
* Edge Special List: The 100 Greatest Video Games
* Former ESPN Host Criticizes Gaming Again
* Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 5 Day One Update Is Reportedly Bigger Than Game Itself
* Burnout Spiritual Successor Teased By Ex-Criterion Founders
* New Street Fighter V Character Laura Leaked
* What Are the Best Video Game Remakes?

Listen or Download (1:26:41)

Subscribe: RSS | iTunes

Hart & Usagi Podcast at the Internet Archive

Matt: @HartKnight | HartKnight’s Archive

Mike: @usagi704 | Domain of Usagi704

@HartandUsagi

Quality Gifts

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These are the video games I was given this holiday season. The amount is only three, but the quality is quite high. Check out the recently released episode 23 of the Hart & Usagi Podcast for more gift getting goodness at the end of the show.

Friday the 13th Part 3
The ICO & Shadow of the Colossus Collection
Red Dead Redemption

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Usagi704 gave me The ICO & Shadow of the Colossus Collection. I was surprised by this and here’s how that was the case. While not on my wish list I did mention that I wouldn’t mind getting it. After making my purchases for him at the Gamestop in the local mall, I waited outside for him to get whatever he was buying.

A couple of days later we went out to It’s About Games and I got gift certificates for the niece and nephew. I joked about the game being something I wouldn’t mind when I saw a new copy on the wall. He proceeded to purchase it in front of me and said it was for the kids with this knowing look. I thought they wouldn’t necessarily appreciate it like I would, but left it be and didn’t think much of his facial expression.

On Christmas Eve the kids got said game. The next day I opened his gift to find out I also received the same game. As it turned out he did buy it for me at the mall and when buying the second copy had the aforementioned look for the obvious reason. The only difference was that I did get the new copy versus the used one.

Happy Holidays!

New Releases 2011: Week of Sept. 25

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This looks like the week of rereleases, but at least they’re all good. You could easily spend a bundle of money on just these reissues of Phantasy Star on PSP, Code Veronica X, ICO, Shadow of the Colossus, and Splinter Cell.

My pick is one of the final DS games worth getting: Solatorobo. It has a connection to a 1999 PS1 game called Tail Concerto by the same developer.

Atelier Totori: The Adventurer of Arland (PS3)
Castlevania: Harmony of Despair (PS3)
Civilization V – Game of the Year Edition (PC)
Driver: San Francisco (PC)
Phantasy Star Defender’s Pack (PSP)
Pro Evolution Soccer 2012 (PS3, X360)
Resident Evil Code: Veronica X HD (PS3, X360)
Solatorobo: Red the Hunter (DS)
The ICO & Shadow of the Colossus Collection (PS3)
Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell Classic Trilogy HD (PS3)
X-Men: Destiny (PS3, X360, WII, DS)

Hart & Usagi Podcast #6

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Episode six of the Hart & Usagi podcast is upon you with an hour and 14 minutes of conversation about gaming and whatever else comes to mind.

Please note that my mic volume is a bit higher than in past episodes. I apologize for this. I was trying to make it better, but failed to do so. It has been corrected back to the way it was before for next time.

* Mega Man Legends 3
* ICO and Shadow of the Colossus Collection
* New game systems with diminishing returns
* PlayStation Vita, PSP, 3DS issues
* Bastion
* Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3
* Evolution 2011
* F.E.A.R.
* Netflix on 3DS
* Saints Row: The Third
* Bullying
* Campy action films

Listen now or Download.