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

Favorite Game Music: Volume VIII

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Volume number eight is here of video game music that’s pleasing to my ears. Check them out below and see if you agree. Also check out the crazy and informative podcasts at the bottom if you haven’t already.

* Black Polnareff’s Theme from Capcom’s JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure HD Ver.
* Hello Mr. Cyborg from Cave’s Dangun Feveron (ARC)
* Battle in Westside from Capcom and A-Wave’s Final Fight CD
* Bay Area from Capcom and A-Wave’s Final Fight CD
* Zone 3 from Jaleco’s Fortified Zone (GB)
* Magical Sound Shower from Sumo Digital’s Outrun 2006: Coast 2 Coast
* Passing Breeze from Sumo Digital’s Outrun 2006: Coast 2 Coast
* Gold Mine from Natsume’s Wild Guns (SNES)
* Ammunition Depot from Natsunme’s Wild Guns (SNES)
* Level 1 from Sunsoft’s Super Spy Hunter (NES)

*****

HART & USAGI PODCAST #48 – June 24th 2014 (@HartandUsagi)
HartKnight and usagi704 chat the Assassin’s Creed series, the Retron 5, IGN’s “exclusive” on The Last Guardian, live streams aren’t fun for Nintendo, and more.
https://hartarchive.wordpress.com/2014/06/24/hart-usagi-podcast-48-stop-criminals/

SUBSCRIBE!

SPACE SUPLEX #6 – June 21st 2014 (@SpaceSuplex)
24bitAJE and HartKnight review the June 16th RAW and talk about our current thoughts of the (upcoming) Money In The Bank PPV.
https://hartarchive.wordpress.com/2014/06/21/space-suplex-podcast-ep-6-stardust/

New Releases 2012: October 7-27

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WEEK of Oct. 7
Code of Princess (3DS)
Dishonored (PS3, X360, PC)
Just Dance 4 (PS3, X360, WII)
Naughty Bear: Panic in Paradise (PS3, X360)
Pokemon Black Version 2 (DS)
Retro City Rampage (PS3, PSV, PC)
Spy Hunter (PSV)
Worms Revolution (PS3, X360, PC)
XCOM: Enemy Unknown (PS3, X360, PC)

WEEK of Oct. 14
007 Legends (PS3, X360, PC)
Dance Central 3 (X360)
Dokuro (PSV)
Doom 3 BFG Edition (PS3, X360, PC)
Jet Set Radio (PSV)
Silent Hill: Book of Memories (PSV)

WEEK of Oct. 21
Forza Horizon (X360)
Just Dance: Disney Party (WII, X360)
Killzone HD (PS3)
Killzone Trilogy (PS3)
Medal of Honor: Warfighter (PS3, X360, PC)
Skylanders Giants (PS3, X360, WII, 3DS)
Spy Hunter (3DS)
Street Fighter X Tekken (PSV)
The Unfinished Swan (PS3)

Buy Any Bad Games?

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Listed below are games which I knew weren’t good, but wanted to try them out anyway. I do own more terrible games, like Shaq Fu, but the reason I don’t count them is because I didn’t purposely get them. They might have been acquired via an eBay lot or as a gift. I also didn’t count games I thought would be good and then ended up being a disappointment (Mortal Kombat 3 for Game Boy).

Everybody has knowingly bought a game which was terrible. Whether it was because of many negative reviews or the reputation the title garnered over time. You know, because sometimes you just want to experience for yourself how bad they really are (for as little money as possible, of course).

I haven’t played a majority of the games listed below as of yet. Those that I have tried out are marked with an asterisk.

Dead To Rights (GBA, PS2)
Need for Speed: Porsche Unleashed (PS)
WCW Backstage Assault (PS)
Call of Duty: Finest Hour (PS2)
Castlevania: Curse of Darkness (PS2)*
GoldenEye: Rogue Agent (PS2)*
Lifeline (PS2)
Sega Classics Collection (PS2)
Spy Hunter: Nowhere to Run (PS2)
Duke Nukem Forever (PS3)
Rogue Warrior (PS3)
Double Switch (SCD)
Night Trap (SCD)*
Rival Turf (SNES)*
Brawl Brothers (SNES)*

The final two games are together part of a beat-’em-up trilogy called Rushing Beat in Japan. Outside the country Jaleco considered them separate games. I’m sure most of you remember the first title, Rival Turf. Brawl Brothers is the sequel and while less common, it can still be found. The Peace Keepers, on the other hand, is rare and I’ve never seen it anywhere.

21

Alright, back again and this time I show off a total of 21 games and 2 systems that I’ve added to my collection.

In the past some of you have wondered how I get all of this stuff. It’s all thanks to a wizard or if you’d rather a different reason, then we’ll go with Joe Pesci. Thanks Joe! (lol) In the end it’s about what I got not how I get it. So let’s get to the goodies.

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Larger view

First up is two Game Boy Pockets, one blue (eBay) and one green (eStarland.com). I invite you to check out this video I made that shows me testing the unopened green Game Boy Pocket for the first time.

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Now for the games. The picture above is to give a perspective of the many games I bought. Below are more detailed shots via links of smaller groups. Group #2 are actually replacement games as the ones I already owned were working fine, but the label color didn’t match the disc color.

GROUP #1
Fighting Force
Crash Team Racing
Need For Speed: Porsche Unleashed
Final Fight 3
The Scorpion King: Sword of Osiris

GROUP #2
Need For Speed: Hot Pursuit 2
Nightfire
Spy Hunter

GROUP #3
Metal Slug 7
Overlord: Raising Hell
Bleach: Dark Souls

GROUP #4
Metal Slug Advance
After Burner: Black Falcon
Tetris DX
Phalanx

GROUP #5
Neo Contra
Ace Combat 5: The Unsung War
Alone in the Dark: Inferno
CT Special Forces

GROUP #6
Tetris
Pokemon Blue

I was thinking of plans for future blogs/videos and I thought of showing off sections of my collection that were requested by you all. I’m not going to do a multi-part of all my PS2 games or anything really long like that. However, I’m willing to show games that I have from a certain series or something similar like that. Maybe even with some gameplay footage at the end to spice things up a little. So if you’d like to suggest something, please do. Just remember to check out my game collection list to see what I have first.

Like always, I’ll put up another blog here soon. So thanks for reading.

Vote On Next Game! #5 plus Replacement Games

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I’d like to start off by thanking all of those that voted a little over two weeks ago. The winning games, Saints Row 2 and Metal Slug 3, were really fun. Since the previous time was a success, I bring you two lists of six games once again.

Just as before you may choose two games to vote for.

Selections via the fortune cookie on Backloggery.com.
Half-Life 2 via The Orange Box (PS3)
Captain Commando via Capcom Classics Collection Remixed (PSP)
The Legend of Kage 2 (DS)
Castlevania: Circle of the Moon (GBA)
Spy Hunter: Nowhere to Run (PS2)
Quake II (PS)

My personal selections.
Lost Planet: Extreme Condition (PS3)
Syphon Filter: Dark Mirror (PSP)
Retro Game Challenge (DS)
Gunstar Super Heroes (GBA)
Gungrave (PS2)
Strider 2 (PS)

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The two games pictured above are new games replaced two other games in my collection.

The first one, Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia, was bought after I decided to return the copy of Haze that I’d last talked about getting two days ago. I figured that I’d rather have this DS game now and will pick up Haze at some other time. For this game I also traded-in the extra copy of Twisted Metal: Head On that I had.

When it comes to Guitar Hero: Metallica, it’s the first title I’ve purchased within this series since the very first game from 2005. Because I still have the first game, I figured I’d get the PS2 version so I wouldn’t need to get another plastic guitar.

Thanks again for your time on commenting and voting and make sure to check out my last blog post if you missed it.

Vote on next game!

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Selections via the fortune cookie on Backloggery.com.
Saints Row 2 (PS3)
Metal Slug 3 via Metal Slug Anthology (PSP)
The Legend of Kage 2 (DS)
Tomb Raider: The Prophecy (GBA)
Spy Hunter: Nowhere to Run (PS2)
Final Fantasy via Final Fantasy Origins (PS)

My personal selections.
Lost Planet: Extreme Condition (PS3)
Syphon Filter: Dark Mirror (PSP)
Retro Game Challenge (DS)
Gunstar Super Heroes (GBA)
Gungrave (PS2)
Strider 2 (PS)

Which of these 12 games should I play next? You may choose two games.

Playing Licensed Games

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For my next few games that I play I’m going to tackle the licensed games in my collection. If that includes crap, then so be it. Here’s the laundry list of games that I plan on playing that fall into this category.

Batman Begins (PS2)
Biker Mice from Mars (DS)
Conan (PS3)
Crue Ball (GEN)
Disney’s Aladdin in Nasira’s Revenge (PS)
Gungrave: Overdose (PS2)
James Bond 007: Everything or Nothing (PS2)
Justice League Heroes: The Flash (GBA)
Mickey Mania (SNES)
The Punisher (PS2)
The Red Star (PS2)
Rise to Honor (PS2)
RoboCop Versus The Terminator (SNES)
Spider-Man 2 (PS2)
Spy Hunter: Nowhere to Run (PS2)
TMNT (PS2)
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (PS2)
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: Back from the Sewers (GB)
Transformers (PS2)
VR Troopers (GEN)
WCW vs. The World (PS)
WWF Raw (SNES)
The World Is Not Enough (PS)

Of course this list isn’t comprised of every licensed game that I have. Some I have already played (ie: Astro Boy: Omega Factor) or there are too many similar titles (ie: the rest of the WCW/WWE games) to be considered.

Now onto purchases that I made today at Gamestop. I took advantage of a coupon that was printable off of ps3fanboy.com. It’s for 25% off of any three used PS2, PS3, or PSP games. Here’s what I got.

Flatout 2 (PS2)
TMNT (PS2)
Yakuza (PS2)

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Also from JapanGameStock.com I bought two used Super Famicom controllers and a PS1 memory card.

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On the PS1 memory card were some old saves. Take a look.

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Calypso Grants My Wish

Watch out! Here comes a massive collection update. Behold 19 game additions and one system.

Last Thursday I went out to local store #1, It’s About Games. I did so for the GBA SP system. I was going to try and find the Pearl Blue system with the brighter screen, but that was proving to be extremely difficult to find. At least now I’ll have a color that will match the God of War edition PSP this June. I also added a single NES game to the order.

Game Boy Advance SP (red) – system & AC adapter (complete); excellent
Double Dragon III: The Sacred Stones (NES) – game only; great

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The next day I stopped by Gamestop after a haircut. I wasn’t planning to get Spy Hunter, but at $2.99 I couldn’t pass that up. I made sure that I was really at Gamestop when I saw that price on a decently reviewed game. :D

Spy Hunter (PS2) – complete; fair

After that I decided to make the trip to Shelby to see what Stickman’s had in stock. As usual they didn’t disappoint, especially with the selection of Super NES games. I bought nine SNES games along with the original Twisted Metal game in the early PlayStation longbox.

Ranma 1/2: Hard Battle (SNES) – game only; great
Fighter’s History (SNES) – game only; fair
NBA Jam (SNES) – game only; excellent
Fatal Fury 2 (SNES) – game only; fair
The Lion King (SNES) – game only; great
Robocop Versus The Terminator (SNES) – game only; great
WWF Raw (SNES) – game only; excellent
Aero Fighters (SNES) – game only; good
Mickey Mania: The Timeless Adventures of Mickey Mouse (SNES) – game only; great
Twisted Metal (PS) – complete; good

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Larger view

Those two days were great and then I received my eStarland.com order on Saturday. I ordered all of the Twisted Metal games that they had. The reason I got TMIII and TM4 is because I wanted to see first hand what’s wrong with them. I also had my eye on Mercs for the Genesis for some time once I found out that it had been released on a home console. I always liked that game in the arcade and since I didn’t have a Genesis during that time, I was totally unaware that it was ever on that system. It was a nice surprise when I read that on Wikipedia.

Destruction Derby (PS) – complete; good
Twisted Metal: Small Brawl (PS) – new
Twisted Metal III (PS) – complete; excellent
Twisted Metal 4 (PS) – complete; great
Mercs (GEN) – complete; excellent
Max Payne (PS2) – complete; good
Max Payne 2: The Fall of Max Payne (PS2) – complete; excellent

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To paraphrase Calypso: “I am Hart704, and I thank you for visiting my blog.”

Condition scale: Excellent, Great, Good, Fair, Bad, Poor

Bad Games by Good Developers: Paradigm Entertainment

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Paradigm Entertainment has been the developer of some pretty good driving/racing games. However, when they try to go outside those types of games, they end up with mediocre results.

They started with the great Pilotwings 64 and have recently released Stuntman Ignition (a game that I’ve come to like a lot to my surprise). Another notable game that they’ve done was Spy Hunter for the PlayStation 2.

Now onto the bad games. I haven’t played any of the following games, but going by GameSpot’s scores, here’s the four most notablely bad games by Paradigm Entertainment along with videos.

Terminator: Dawn of Fate
GS Score: 6.1
Video: Terminator: Gameplay + a bug #1

Terminator 3: The Redemption
GS Score: 7.2
Video: Lv. 14 (CRS Hangar)
NOTE: I was thinking of Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines by Black Ops Ent. even when viewing the video. Oops.

AeroFighters Assault
GS Score: 5.4
Video: Intro

Big Air Freestyle
GS Score: 4.3
Video: Movie 3