Sega Genesis Mini

Just as I did with the Super Nintendo Classic two years ago, I also bought into the hype of the Sega Genesis Mini that was released this year. It features basically the same number of options with double the amount of games. 42 games are included as opposed to the 21 available for the Super NES Classic. The main downside is having to shell out for additional six-button controllers since, in North America, only the three-button version ships with the console. Because of this the $80 price tag is actually higher with the need to add on $20-40 more. The inclusion of Street Fighter II: Special Champion Edition makes the lack of a packed in six-button controller very puzzling.

Speaking of SFIISCE, once I had dropped the extra $40, Usagi704 and I played many matches in the game. The emulation is slightly off and not noticeable in other games, but for a fighting game it can be a problem. This isn’t to say the work that M2 did here is bad. It most certainly is excellent, but it does overall seem a very small bit below their usual high quality work.

I’ll be also getting M2’s next big release next year as I will also be getting the TurboGrafx-16 Mini when it releases on March 19, 2020.

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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

Purchase Stats 2015

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The following stats are for all of my video game purchases throughout 2015.

Total number of games: 40
Amount bought increased by 21 from 2014.

9 New games^ (22.5%)
25 Used games (62.5%)
6 Downloadable games* (15%)

16 PS3
Blades of Time^
Mortal Kombat (Komplete Edition)
Saints Row: Gat Out of Hell^
Kamen Rider: Battride War^
Kamen Rider: Battride War II^
Ultra Street Fighter IV^
Guerrilla War*
Ikari III: The Rescue*
Ikari Warriors*
Vanguard*
Victory Road*
Captain America: Super Soldier
Call of Duty: World at War
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2
Call of Duty: Black Ops
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3

7 PS4
Infamous: Second Son^
The Pinball Arcade^
Injustice: Gods Among Us – Ultimate Edition
Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris*
Shadow Warrior^
Watch Dogs
Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection^

4 GBA
The Revenge of Shinobi
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2: Battle Nexus
Sega Arcade Gallery
Rayman: 10th Anniversary

3 PS
Street Fighter: The Movie
Iron Man / X-O Manowar in Heavy Metal
Ray Tracers

3 GB
Dracula Densetsu II
Adventure Island
The King of Fighters ’96

2 PS2
ICO
Medal of Honor: Vanguard

1 SAT
Outrun

1 WII
Super Smash Bros. Brawl

1 GBC
NHL Blades of Steel 2000

1 SNES
Dirt Trax FX

1 GC
The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess

10 MISC.
PS2 Component cables
Saturn (import gray)
Saturn S-Video cables
PS2 memory cards (2 red)
PS1 memory cards (2 black)
PlayStation 2 (model 2; silver)
PS2 controller (silver)
PS4 controller (gray)
PS4 controller (white)
PlayStation 4 (black)

Warp Zone Trax

Four months ago Usagi704 and I had visited this out of town gaming store called Warp Zone. Once again we had made a trip down to this place where I picked up more games not on my wish list.

First up was a much lesser known Super FX chip game on the Super Nintendo called Dirt Trax FX. It’s a dirt bike racing game developed by Sculptured Software and published by Acclaim. Believe it or not I did remember playing this game at the time it was released in late 1995.

Next up is a Game Boy Advance title that you’d be forgiven for thinking it was on the Genesis. Sega teamed up with THQ for this 2002 edition of The Revenge of Shinobi which clearly didn’t go over as well. It was released the same year as the PlayStation 2 version of Shinobi.

Here’s actually a game I did have on my wish list sometime ago. I removed it because I didn’t ever expect to find it. The Game Boy Advance version of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2: Battle Nexus is more of a 2D stealth game. It seemed to be similar to Splinter Cell’s outing on this same platform (another game I never found and removed from my list).

And finally I picked up an import Japanese Game Boy release of The King of Fighters ’96. This was the same one Usagi704 had received earlier this year.

That do it for this time. Check the photo below and have a good one!

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CLICK FOR LARGER VIEW

Hart & Usagi Podcast #47: A Fascinating Medium

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Despite the heat HartKnight and Usagi704 are back with episode 47 of the Hart and Usagi Podcast! Do we have a show for you? Absolutely. We welcome ebbderelict back for a fourth time and talk about Tetris being the greatest game ever and how maybe Super Mario Bros. isn’t. There’s also more sad excuses for microtransactions and an unlikely opponent of the FCC.

Enjoy the show and remember to subscribe and follow the Hart and Usagi Podcast today!

NEWS/TOPICS:
* God of War: Ascension multiplayer
* Video games are the most fascinating medium ever created, David Cage says
* The FarCry Racism Adventure
++ Mark Cuban: “I’m A Prejudiced Bigot”
* Congressman Funded by Telecommunications Campaign Cash Proposes Bill to Stop FCC’s Net Neutrality Plans
* Own a Piece of Gaming History When Recovered E.T. Games go on Sale
* Hyperkin Retron 5 Review
* 15 Must-Have Games for 3DS Virtual Console
* Game Genie Was More Than The Sum of its Cheat Codes
* Grand Theft Auto Parent Publisher Defends Microtransactions
* Watch Dogs: Finding Morality in Useless Information

Listen or Download (1:44:26)
Subscribe
Hart & Usagi Podcast at the Internet Archive
Matt: @HartKnight | HartKnight’s Archive
Mike: @usagi704 | WP blog
Steve: @ebbderelict | Blog at ipernity

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@HartandUsagi

New Releases 2011: November 1-21

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WEEK of 11/1
Centipede: Infestation (3DS)
Dead Rising 2: Off the Record (PC)
GoldenEye 007: Reloaded (PS3, X360)
Harvest Moon: The Tale of Two Towns (3DS)
Otomedius Excellent (X360)
Sonic Generations (PS3, X360, PC)
The Lord of the Rings: War in the North (PS3, X360, PC)
Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception (PS3)

WEEK of 11/8
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 (PS3, X360, PC, WII, DS)
Happy Feet Two: The Videogame (PS3, X360, WII, DS, 3DS)
L.A. Noire: The Complete Edition (PC)
LEGO Harry Potter: Years 5-7 (PS3, X360, PC, WII, PSP, DS, 3DS)
Metal Gear Solid HD Collection (PS3, X360)
Pro Evolution Soccer 2012 (PS2, PSP, WII)
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (PS3, X360, PC)

WEEK of 11/15
Assassin’s Creed: Revelations (PS3, X360, PC)
Batman: Arkham City (PC)
Dynasty Warriors 7: Xtreme Legends (PS3)
Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary (X360)
Jurassic Park: The Game (X360, PC)
L.A. Noire: The Complete Edition (PS3, X360)
LittleBigPlanet 2: Special Edition (PS3)
Marvel Super Hero Squad: Comic Combat (PS3, X360, WII)
Medieval Moves: Deadmund’s Quest (PS3)
Need for Speed: The Run (PS3, X360, PC, WII, 3DS)
Rayman Origins (PS3, X360, WII)
Saints Row: The Third (PS3, X360, PC)
Shinobi (3DS)
Super Mario 3D Land (3DS)
Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 (PS3, X360)

Now Playing: May 2011

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I played a hella lot of games in the past month. This has much to do with most being from the compilations SNK Arcade Classics Vol. 1, Gradius Collection, and Sonic’s Ultimate Genesis Collection.

As I talked about previously, I had finished Kamen Rider Climax Heroes OOO and Gradius on PSP giving me 13 games beaten in 2011. I’d also mentioned Baseball Stars 2 plus Gradius II and III.

Around this same time I was trying to go for all of the treasures in Uncharted 2: Among Thieves, but I probably didn’t talk about it because I was still in the middle of it. Well, I guess you could say I’m still in the middle of it. I had a difficult time finding some and I found out I missed a few. I was getting a little tired of it so I stopped trying to find them all. Maybe some other time I’ll try again.

There’s two games, however, that I won’t be trying again. The first being GoldenEye: Rogue Agent. To quote my full review, “EA LA clearly didn’t have any original or even remotely good ideas for this game. They simply wanted the GoldenEye name to sell it on the nostalgia people have for the N64 title alone. For shame.”

The other of the two games was the original Streets of Rage. I let my rage be known in this rant I typed up soon after getting my ass cheaply handed to me by a Master System looking game posing as 16-bit.

I moved onto more exciting games like Sonic Spinball. I loaded a 2+ year old save file which gave me the trophy for earning 10 million points on the first level way back then. I added another 6 million before saving it again. I figured after that amount of points I could consider it as finished game #14.

I played the arcade version of Shinobi and remember it fondly from my arcade days. Thanks to the emulation save state-like saves on this compilation, I was able to finish this game. I don’t know how you’d do it otherwise. It has the typical arcade game cheapness to it and also has a limit to the number of times you can continue just like the arcade version of Contra. Nevertheless, I was proud to have seen it to the end giving me finished game #15.

Finally on the multiplayer side of gaming, I had fun popping back in Grand Theft Auto IV to mess around in. I showed @thatmikem what I called the Playground of Death when you can get cars to launch high into the air. I hope it’s a glitch that’s never removed.

Ultimate Mortal Kombat on DS was the other game I played against Usagi704 and SonicHomeboy. I’ve not much to really say about it. It’s MK.

That’ll do it for me this time. Thanks for checking out my blogging space. Peace!

THIS MONTH’S GAMING STATS:
* Uncharted 2: Among Thieves – 16h57m; 74/100 Treasures; Trophies: 30/48 (63%)
* Streets of Rage – Score: 373,400
* Sonic Spinball – Score: 16,605,000
* Shinobi – Score: 318,230
* Sonic’s Ultimate Genesis Collection – Trophies: 30/35 (85%)
* Ultimate Mortal Kombat – 392 SP Wins; 126 SP Losses; 121 MP Wins; 86 MP Losses