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 Podcast #11

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In this episode we’re joined once again by 4-time returning champion, SonicHomeboy, to discuss a single topic: GamePro’s list of The Best 50 Fighting Game Characters Ever from the magazine’s final issue. Runtime is 1 hour and 17 minutes. Enjoy!

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50. Blanka (Street Fighter II)
49. Mokujin (Tekken 3)
48. Mitsurugi (Soul Edge)
47. Kirby (Super Smash Bros.)
46. Q (Street Fighter III)
45. Lei Wulong (Tekken 2)
44. Meat (Mortal Kombat 4)
43. Marth (Super Smash Bros. Melee)
42. Wolverine (X-Men: Children of the Atom)
41. Bang Shishigami (BlazBlue: Calamity Trigger)
40. Sub-Zero (Mortal Kombat)
39. Lilith (Vampire Savior)
38. Rancid (Time Killers)
37. Gon (Tekken 3)
36. Deku (Fighters Megamix)
35. Sarah Bryant (Virtua Fighter)
34. Barbarian (Barbarian: The Ultimate Warrior)
33. Goro (Mortal Kombat)
32. Bridget (Guilty Gear XX)
31. Marshall Law (Tekken)
30. Rouge (Power Stone)
29. Xianghua (Soul Calibur)
28. King (Tekken)
27. Red Shadow (Bushido Blade)
26. Cyrax (Mortal Kombat 3)
25. Sophitia (Soul Edge)
24. Pikachu (Super Smash Bros.)
23. Scorpion (Mortal Kombat)
22. Guile (Street Fighter II)
21. R. Mika (Street Fighter Alpha 3)
20. Rza (Wu-Tang: Shaolin Style)
19. the “Red Guy” (Karate Champ)
18. Amaterasu (Marvel vs. Capcom 3)
17. Cammy (Super Street Fighter II)
16. Felicia (Darkstalkers)
15. I-No (Guilty Gear XX)
14. The Imp (Thrill Kill)
13. M. Bison (Street Fighter II)
12. Liu Kang (Mortal Kombat)
11. Siegfried (Soul Edge)
10. Link (Super Smash Bros.)
9. Chipp Zanuff (Guilty Gear)
8. Voldo (Soul Edge)
7. Ryu (Street Fighter)
6. Morrigan (Darkstalkers)
5. Ken (Street Fighter)
4. Dhalsim (Street Fighter II)
3. Kasumi (Dead or Alive)
2. Kilik (Soul Calibur)
1. Chun Li (Street Fighter II)

New Releases 2012: Jan. 29-Feb. 18

ACTA REMINDER
The European version of SOPA/PIPA is called ACTA and it’s worse! Learn about it HERE. Sign the petition to stop it NOW at accessnow.org. Also please sign this petition too! Anybody can sign them regardless of where you live. Please do so. Keep on fighting! Thank you.

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For the first of the major new releases of the new year, it starts of slowly and then builds up to the launch of the PlayStation Vita. Despite a bunch of greatly anticipated games, I’m not sure about most of them. How’s it looking for you? Let me know in the comments.

WEEK of 1/29
Final Fantasy XIII-2 (PS3, X360)
NeverDead (PS3, X360)
Soul Calibur V (PS3, X360)

WEEK of 2/5
Fallout: New Vegas – Ultimate Edition (PS3, X360, PC)
Jak and Daxter Collection (PS3)
Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning (PS3, X360, PC)
Resident Evil: Revelations (3DS)
Shank 2 (PS3, X360, PC)
The Darkness II (PS3, X360, PC)
The House of the Dead III (PS3)

WEEK of 2/12
BlazBlue: Continuum Shift Extend (PS3, X360, PSV)
F1 2011 (PSV)
FIFA Soccer (PSV)
Grand Slam Tennis 2 (PS3, X360)
Hot Shots Golf: World Invitational (PSV)
Little Deviants (PSV)
Lumines: Electronic Symphony (PSV)
ModNation Racers: Road Trip (PSV)
Rayman Origins (PSV)
Rhythm Heaven Fever (WII)
Tales of the Abyss (3DS)
Tekken 3D Prime Edition (3DS)
Twisted Metal (PS3)
UFC Undisputed 3 (PS3, X360)
Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 (PSV)
Uncharted: Golden Abyss (PSV)
Virtua Tennis 4: World Tour (PSV)
Wipeout 2048 (PSV)

Holiday Update

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Hey everybody! I hope you’re enjoying the holiday season. Here’s some of the things that have been going on since I last checked in with you all.

THE LEGEND OF ZELDA: THE MINISH CAP
I read up in an FAQ on the problem I was having with getting into the scholar’s home. I thought I could get all three of the library books and then return them at the same time. As it turns out I needed to return the first book before being allowed into the house.

Since then I’ve been looking around for some more people to fuse Kinstones with and finding other helpful items before moving on.

Outside of this game I haven’t been playing all that much.

CHRISTMAS GIFTS
Remember those games I got for my niece and nephew? Well the it seemed like she liked that she got Namco Museum 50th Anniversary.

He, on the other hand, claimed to already have Sonic Rush. My brother said that they aren’t sure what they have. I also tried to replace it with Brain Age, but I got only whining for my efforts. Later that night I noticed that the game was left behind. There was no pleasing him that was for sure.

I think next year a piece of coal is in order.

NEW GAMES
I was much more grateful for what I got. Usagi704 got me The Guardian Legend and my parents got me Soul Calibur: Broken Destiny.

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Overall I’ve had a good time this year and I’m ready for a great New Year. Have a good one! :)

Rainbow of Games

Over the last three weeks I’ve accumulated the following additions to my collection. The totals are 22 games, 2 movies, and 5 albums.

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Batman
It’s my first copy of it and it’s my favorite of the early Batman films. It has a bunch of extras including a 50-page book that’s apart of the case and a director commentary track which I usually look for in movies I buy.

Watchmen
Included with the two End Is Nigh games for the PS3.

Ten Pin Alley
I remember it from a demo disc years ago.

Big Bang Mini
It has interested me for awhile.

Frogger
It was free with the original PlayStation system that Usagi704 got recently and he didn’t want it so he let me have it.

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Space Channel 5 Special Edition
For the PS2, which I originally thought was the first game until I found out that it contains Part 2 as well.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2: Battle Nexus & Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 3: Mutant Nightmare
I bought these two games based solely on the inclusion of the two original Konami arcade games as unlockables.

Namco Classic Fighter Collection
I’ve been interested in picking up a copy of Tekken Tag Tournament more recently. This three game collection helped out nicely with that as it had that game along with Tekken 4 and Soul Calibur II.

Wario World
It’s one of the few Gamecube specific games that I’ve yet to get that have interested me.

The King of Fighter XII
To play against others online, but mainly Usagi, of course.

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Kid Klown in Crazy Chase
I lead myself to believe that this SNES Kemco game was at least decent for some reason. It’s not.

Deja Vu
Oh here’s why. This NES adventure game, which always had fun box art, was published by Kemco where as the above game was developed by them. Retroware TV episode 12-4 made Deja Vu seem pretty interesting.

Cabal
I remember liking the arcade version back in the day. This version works, but maybe not as well as one would hope.

Mission: Impossible
This was one of those games that we owned growing up so it was on my wish list because of that alone. Decent music I must say.

RoadBlasters
An interesting and mildly fun shooter style racer.

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This next group of three were bought with the idea that since my original plan to buy less has obviously failed that I’d start looking on eBay for the harder to find games that I want. Just once a month with a few exceptions like the upcoming Modern Warfare 2. Hopefully this will work this time.

Doom
This was the game I was going after. It doesn’t have everything, but it does have most of The Ultimate Doom and Doom II games. It’s kind of a compilation of sorts.

Vigilante 8: 2nd Offense & Soul Blade
These two games were simply apart of the three game deal. Neither of which I had and I’ve heard some good things about both.

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Finally, I looked up the prices of Michael Jackson album on Amazon.com and other than HIStory costing about $23, the rest were only $7-9. I looked locally for them first and no place had a good selection or price. So I ended up getting all of the albums expect for HIStory (price) and Invincible (already own).

New Releases 2008: July 6-19

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The next two weeks are practically non-existent as far as games that I’m interested in. However, there is something for those looking to get a re-release (ie: Soul Calibur) or a new game released for their platform of choice (ie: Devil May Cry 4 and Unreal Tournament III).

THIS WEEK’S 3 BIG GAMES
Guitar Hero: Aerosmith (PS2, PS3, X360, WII)
Soul Calibur (X360)
Trauma Center: Under the Knife 2 (DS)

THIS WEEK’S HONORABLE MENTIONS
Supreme Ruler 2020 (PC)
Fading Shadows (PSP)
The Princess Bride Game (PC)

NEXT WEEK’S 3 BIG GAMES
Sid Meier’s Civilization Revolution (X360, PS3, DS)
Devil May Cry 4 (PC)
Unreal Tournament III (X360)

NEXT WEEK’S HONORABLE MENTIONS
Beijing 2008 – The Official Video Game of the Olympic Games (X360, PS3)
Final Fantasy Fables: Chocobo’s Dungeon (WII)
Carnival Games (DS)