Merry Winter Solstice

Unlike in 2014 when I had been given lots of movies on Blu-ray for Xmas, this year it was mostly video games. The similarity between this year and that year is they’re all from my wish list. Upon thinking about it, I’m surprised all the games are from this last calendar year. I’m ready to load my BFG to take down the demonic mafia all the while raiding more tombs. Praise the sun!

Selma
Zootopia
Mafia III
Doom (2016)
Dark Souls III
Rise of the Tomb Raider

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You Can’t Beat 100%

In the last month or more I’ve been on a game-free diet of mainly movies as I had explained at the time in Now Playing: April 2016. Despite this I haven’t stopped buying games. I’ve bought five more that have been stuck on my wish list for awhile.

Back in March I tried to get both of the newest Wolfenstein games with only a 50% success rate. I completed in getting the missing The New Order this time. I did a redundant buy as well with the Far Cry Compilation. It includes Far Cry 2, 3, and Blood Dragon. As you might remember, I played and finished both FC3 and Blood Dragon last year. So did I get this compilation for Far Cry 2? Nope. I got it for Blood Dragon. I wanted it on a disc for the impending offline of PS3 on PSN. The disc plays FC3 from it with installers for the other two games. If you’ve experience with other three-game packs from Ubisoft, then you know what I’m talking about.

The other games are WayForward’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Danger of the Ooze, the FC3 sequel Far Cry 4, and the return of Rico Rodriguez in Just Cause 3.

Thanks for catching up with me. Take care!

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Now Playing: April 2016

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Since I never did a Now Playing article for either February or March thanks to my PC being out of commission, I figured I’d do one for April.

Why a week sooner than I’d usually aim to do it? This is because I don’t see myself having much time or interest in gaming in the coming weeks. My free time is more spent these days watching movies or TV. I feel it doesn’t do me any good to tell myself I’m going to play a game later on knowing I’m probably not going to bother. It’s a pointless expectation to have if my interest isn’t there when the time comes.

Now don’t take me as one of those “I’m done with gaming” types. That’s preposterous. It’s much more along the lines of “absence makes the heart grow fonder” things. Time away from playing games will ultimately help me get more excited to play them.

In these last two months I did play and beat Jak 3 (PS2) and Uncharted 3 via the Uncharted Collection on PS4. The former was fun until the final boss. Trying to shoot specific spots without any sort of auto aim in a vehicle that only shoots straight ahead is not what I call fun. The latter was fun and Drake was a wonderfully voiced character as always, but the constant big set piece escapes from crumbling structures got old very, very fast.

I also played some of the RPG Star Ocean: First Departure on PSP. It was fun for about 5 hours and, as usual, I lost interest. Rarely does an RPG keep me entertained these days.

I do want to eventually finish The Legend of Kage 2 (DS) and Bully (PS2), but those will have to wait until my gaming mojo returns.

In the meantime, I’ve watched A Clockwork Orange and was surprised how much I enjoyed it. The scenes you usually see about the movie are from the beginning section and that never convinced me to watch it. However, a breakdown of the movie via Renegade Cut showed me other parts of the film making it much more intriguing. This is something you simply cannot accomplish for me by avoiding spoilers as the Internet community would have you believe.

A Clockwork Orange was an excellent piece on society’s view on criminal punishment and rehabilitation. In that regardless of debt paid while incarcerated the victims still want a piece of payback for themselves. It’s actually quite sad and makes Alex, the main character, sympathetic by the end. At the end, though, it seems as if Alex reverts back to his old ways. Is this the case or am I reading more into it than is there?

Finally, I’ll leave you with my new acquisition of Painkiller: Hell & Damnation. Thanks for reading!

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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)

Hart & Usagi #68: EVO2015 is Curtis

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It’s time for another scintillating Hart & Usagi Podcast episode. In this corner it’s USGamer’s 10 best PlayStation 4 games and in the opposite corner it’s two guys who played almost none of them. A captivating match-up! Other showdowns include Ant-Man vs. Pixels, UK businesses vs. personal use, and EVO vs. Jamie Lee Curtis.

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

NEWS/TOPICS:
* PlayStation Mobile Officially Closes Today
* The 10 Best PlayStation 4 Games
* UK High Court Kills ‘personal use’ ripping of copyrighted material
* Jamie Lee Curtis Attended EVO Disguised As Vega From Street Fighter
* Don’t Celebrate A Tournament Win Until You’ve Actually Won
* Acclaimed RPG Odin Sphere Getting HD Remake in North America
* Xbox One Backwards Compatibility an “Enormous Engineering Challenge”
* What are the Hardest Video Games?
* Adam Sandler’s Video Game Movie Pixels Wins Friday With $9.2 Million
* Pixels Has Slow Start at Box Office
* China’s Console Ban Is Now Totally Over
* Google+ and YouTube are finally splitting up

Listen or Download (57:30)

Subscribe: RSS | iTunes

Hart & Usagi Podcast at the Internet Archive

Matt: @HartKnight | HartKnight’s Archive

Mike: @usagi704 | Domain of Usagi704

@HartandUsagi

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E3 2015: Times-a-Wastin’

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The following are my comments on the blog post “The Year Ahead in Gaming” as written by @ebbderelict.

I’m interested in the newest Batman Arkham game as well. I haven’t yet played City, but I’m sure to get to it since I do own it. The main reason I had not cared for Origins was mainly because of the buggy mess I heard it was.

Star Wars: Battlefront is, well, Star Wars. That alone makes it uninteresting to me. But then again I don’t completely lack Star Wars games in my current collection. I own Episode III on GBA. I want to say WayForward developed it, but all I can find is information that Ubisoft did it.

Deus Ex on PS2 was fun, but since I’m not the biggest fan of those types of games, I don’t hope it up highly even though it was an enjoyable time. With that said I’ve had my fill of the series.

I’m still trying to get up to speed on all the E3 news and I didn’t realize Platinum was doing a Transformers game. I’m interested because they have a good pedigree. I’m less excited because Activision may rush them like they did with The Legend of Korra game. It’s a wait and see for sure.

I quite liked Mirror’s Edge. I was happy when it became known awhile back that a sequel was in the works. I have high hopes for Catalyst improving on what didn’t work so well last time.

Doom 4, as I’ll be calling it unofficially to avoid confusion with the PC classic, has the Doom 3 aesthetics with what looks like faster gameplay similar to the original two games. It really looks like this could be what fans of Doom have been waiting for since 2004.

I own the majority of the Ratchet & Clank series and I always have fun with them, but since they all feel about the same to me (says the guy who loves God of War games), I don’t see the need to get to them when picking an unplayed game to tackle next. Regardless I know I’ll pick up the first R&C outing on the PS4 to see how it turns out.

We’re simply old men who feel “times-a-wastin'” so the bird-dog needs to pick up the slack and get moving. The Last Guardian will probably be another title, along with this studio’s previous efforts, that I’ll buy with little interest in actually playing. You know, as in “I’ll get to it when I get to it.”

I’m in the opposite camp. I’m excited about Uncharted 4. I also liked the first game, but I was stoked for the second game and enjoyed it too. The third game, however, not so much though I do plan to get to it whenever that will be.

I’m always amused by the fact that Square Enix themselves said years ago that a remake of Final Fantasy VII would not happen, but despite this fans of the game just wouldn’t shut up about it. They went so far as in to actually expect the remake announcement at PSX last year. No doubt the remake actually happening is a shocker, but I still do not care in the slightest other than finally they can all collectively be quiet on this since they finally got what they wanted.

Shenmue III: see Final Fantasy VII remake from above.

Catch My Spending If You Can

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Another week and another load of new additions to the collection.

First up is seven Blu-rays and the first one, Bronson Triple Threat Collection, includes the middle three of the five Death Wish movies. DWII feels like the first film done again and not as good. DW3 is hilariously over the top with a large body count. Death Wish 4: The Crackdown is a mediocre late ’80s action piece. Some of Charles Bronson’s best work is in the original version of The Mechanic and the first Death Wish.

More DVD to Blu-ray upgrades with the fantastic Catch Me If You Can, the missing two Die Hard movies (Die Hard and With A Vengeance), along with Saving Private Ryan.

I also got my first copy ever of Schwarzenegger’s Commando and Inglourious Basterds with the best performance from Christoph Waltz. To paraphrase Jack Palance from Tango & Cash: “Oh, God. Christoph Waltz. How he loves to dance. He waltzes in and steals all the scenes he’s in, then tangos back out again.”

And now for a game? May I present a spur-of-the-moment purchase of Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris. I was interested in the previous game, but I never did get around to it. This one, however, was apart of a flash sale on the PlayStation Network for $8.00. This sale ends today and has a number of other great deals. Here’s some highlights of the 60 titles (many of which are fighting games).

* All three PS1 versions of the Street Fighter Alpha series are $1.20 each.
* Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix is $2.00.
* Virtua Fighter 5: Final Showdown – Complete Edition is $6.00.
* Guilty Gear Xrd is $24.00 and $20.00 for PS4 and PS3, respectively.
* PS2 classic Capcom vs. SNK 2 is $2.50.
* PS4’s Knack is $10.00.

Purchase and download while the prices are good. And don’t forget to listen to either of my podcasts below while doing your PSN shopping. :)

*****

HART & USAGI PODCAST #59 – February 11th 2015 (@HartandUsagi)
HartKnight and usagi704 chat Joystiq, Sega, the latest on Net Neutrality and more.
https://hartarchive.wordpress.com/2015/02/11/hart-usagi-podcast-59-premium-dlcmium/

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SPACE SUPLEX #15 – January 27th 2015 (@SpaceSuplex)
HartKnight and 24bitAJE chat the Royal Rumble and Wrestle Kingdom 9 shows.
https://hartarchive.wordpress.com/2015/01/27/space-suplex-podcast-ep-15-wk9/