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 #83: Rip Into It

podcast83

Episode 83 of the Hart & Usagi Podcast is here! We chat about a variety of topics like new fighting game guest characters, Sony to publish Switch games, loot boxes, and more.

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

TOPICS:
* Nintendo Changes SNES Classic Mini Plans, Supply Will Continue Into 2018
* Street Fighter V: Arcade Edition launches on January 16th, 2018
* Tekken 7’s Next DLC Character Is Final Fantasy 15’s Noctis
* New Injustice 2 DLC Characters Will Include Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
* Fighting EX Layer’s online beta will be available to PlayStation Plus members
* Nintendo Shutting Down The Wii Shop Channel in 2019
* Counterpoint: People Think Campo Santo is Dangerous for Issuing PewDiePie a DMCA Takedown, They’re Not
* IGN’s Purchase of Video Game Publisher Humble Bundle Raises Business Concerns
* Sony Is Publishing Nintendo Switch And PC Games Under New Label
* Opinion: Nominating PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds for Game of the Year is a Terrible Idea
* GameStop “Temporarily Pauses” its PowerPass Used Game Lending Service
* Metabombed: Star Wars Battlefront II Is ‘The Epitome Of Years Of Corporate Greed’
* Belgium Concludes that Loot Boxes are Gambling, Will Try and Ban Them in Europe
* The ESA Pushes Back, Loot Boxes “Are Not Gambling”

Listen or Download (1:12:19)

Subscribe: RSS | iTunes

Hart & Usagi Podcast at the Internet Archive

Matt: @HartKnight | HartKnight’s Archive

Mike: @usagi704 | Domain of Usagi704

@HartandUsagi

Purchase Stats 2016

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The following stats are for all of my video game purchases throughout 2016.

Total number of games: 30
Amount bought decreased by 10 from 2015.

18 PS4 (60%)
DMC
Hotline Miami
Wolfenstein: The Old Blood
Assassin’s Creed Syndicate
Batman: Arkham Knight
Bloodborne
Far Cry 4
Just Cause 3
Wolfenstein: The New Order
Broken Sword 5: The Serpent’s Cruse
Transformers: Devastation
Grand Theft Auto V
Ratchet & Clank
Dark Souls III
Doom
Mafia III
Rise of the Tomb Raider
Wild Guns Reloaded

1 PSP (4%)
Kamen Rider Chou Climax Heroes

4 PS3 (13%)
Painkiller: Hell & Damnation
Yakuza 5
Far Cry Compilation
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Danger of the Ooze

2 PC (7%)
The King of Fighters 2002: Unlimited Match
Strife

5 GBA (16%)
Island Xtreme Stunts
Stuntman
SSX Tricky
American Dragon: Jake Long – Rise of the Huntsclan
Tak 2: The Staff of Dreams

1 MISC.
SNES Capcom Soldier Pad

******

I also bought myself one last game in the final week of 2016 which is included in the stats above. It’s Nastume’s Wild Guns Reloaded!

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Games Finished In 2016

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The list below shows every game that I finished in 2016. The total number comes to only 13. That’s down 9 from 2015.

The highest month was January with three games finished. The monthly average throughout the year was 1.08.

1. Gauntlet: Slayer Edition (PS+) – 1/3
2. Donkey Kong Country (SNES) – 1/19
3. Hotline Miami (PS3) – 1/28
4. Jak 3 (PS2) – 2/8
5. Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception via Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection (PS4) – 3/15
6. Doom 3 via Doom 3: BFG Edition (PS3) – 6/24
7. Doom 3: Resurrection of Evil via Doom 3: BFG Edition (PS3) – 7/5
8. Doom 3: The Lost Mission via Doom 3: BFG Edition (PS3) – 7/19
9. Max Payne 3 (PS3) – 8/10
10. Saints Row: Gat Out of Hell (PS3) – 8/29
11. Adventure Island (GB) – 9/6
12. Infamous 2 (PS3) – 9/30
13. Mortal Kombat II (SNES) – 10/15

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

podcast79

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

Now Playing: January 2016

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I decided to queue up most of the games I have that were featured at this year’s Awesome Games Done Quick which took place at the beginning of the month. These are games I have that were played at the event, but that I haven’t played as of yet.

First up was Donkey Kong Country. The unplayed aspect is actually untrue here as I had it back when it had been released in 1994. In fact, my copy is still the same one and it works great. I’m not particularly a fan of the DKC series or of Rare in general, but my overall experience this time around was less frustrating than in the past.

I’m currently on Jak 3. I played and beat the first game, Jak and Daxter: The Precursor Legacy, many years ago and avoided Jak II on reasons of unfair difficulty. This problem does seem to be addressed here though there can still be factors that are annoying from time to time. It’s less platforming than the first game and more shooting and driving.

I also finished Hotline Miami again (as I first did in 2014) only this time on the PS3. I bought the PS4 version recently for $2.00 and it came with the PS3 and Vita versions as well. It’s still quite a fun game as I remember.

THIS MONTH’S GAMING STATS:
* Donkey Kong Country – 4h19m; 42%
* Jak 3 – 5h1m; 44%
* Hotline Miami – Finished on PS3; 9 trophies

Game of the Year 2015 Nominees

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My thoughts on a personal 2015 Game of the Year for myself will be brief. I will be foregoing the usual series of gaming award blog posts that I’ve done in recent years. I’m going to present a single Game of the Year award to my top pick like I did the last time for 2010.

Until I figure out what the winner will be I’ll give you my list of nominees.

Tomb Raider (PS3, 2013)
Far Cry 3 (PS3, 2012)
Enslaved: Odyssey to the West (PS3, 2010)
Fighter’s History (SNES, 1994)
Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon (PSN, 2013)
TRON: Evolution (PS3, 2010)