Hart & Usagi #88: “Coked out of his mind”

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On episode 88 of the Hart & Usagi Podcast we chat about a variety of topics like Dotemu bringing back two classics, Yakuza series turned down by video gaming hardware companies, and more.

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

TOPICS:
* Fighting EX Layer is getting a physical release in Japan, to be shown at Konami’s booth at the 2018 Tokyo Game Show
* In Japan, a Beloved Deaf Composer Appears to Be None of the Above
* Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice Originally Started As A Tenchu Game
* Streets Of Rage 4 Is Finally Happening, 24 Years Later
* Report: Multiple Fatalities in Mass Shooting at Madden NFL 19 Tournament in Florida
* Stormdivers is a sci-fi battle royale shooter from Resogun and Nex Machina’s Housemarque
* Neo Geo cult favourite frisbee-fighter Windjammers is getting a sequel
* Bloodstained for Vita is Cancelled Because the Vita is Dead, Also Delayed to 2019
* The Yakuza Series Was Pitched To Both Nintendo And Microsoft, But Neither Wanted It
* Bethesda blocks resale of a secondhand game
* Capcom is “proud” of DmC, but Devil May Cry 5 will “expand more on the combat philosophies established in DMC1-4”
* Van Damme was “coked out of his mind” during filming of Street Fighter movie, says director

Listen or Download (1:46:21)

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Matt: @HartKnight | HartKnight’s Archive

Mike: @usagi704 | Domain of Usagi704 | Instagram

@HartandUsagi

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Games Finished In 2014

2014-finished

The list below shows every game that I finished in 2014. The total number comes to 46. That’s up 10 from 2013.

March proved to be the best month for beating games with 16 in total thanks to getting back to my gaming roots. The monthly average throughout the year was 3.8.

1. Bayonetta (PS3) – 1/14
2. Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons (PSN) – 1/27
3. The Saboteur (PS3) – 2/4
4. Batman: Arkham Asylum (PS3) – 2/12
5. Mortal Kombat Trilogy (PS) – 2/14
6. Street Fighter II: Champion Edition (VC) – 2/15
7. Robocop (ARC) – 2/21
8. Muramasa: The Demon Blade (WII) – 2/26
9. Soldner-X 2: Final Prototype (PSN) – 3/3
10. Streets of Rage 3 via Sonic’s Ultimate Genesis Collection (PS3) – 3/10
11. Jackal (NES) – 3/11
12. Tetris Plus 2 (ARC) – 3/13
13. Metamorphic Force (ARC) – 3/13
14. Chip ‘n Dale: Rescue Rangers (NES) – 3/14
15. P.O.W.: Prisoners of War (NES) – 3/16
16. Vice: Project Doom (NES) – 3/18
17. Fortified Zone (GB) – 3/19
18. Sunset Riders (SNES) – 3/21
19. Castlevania: Bloodlines (GEN) – 3/23
20. Super Double Dragon (SNES) – 3/24
21. Contra (NES) – 3/25
22. Sparkster (SNES) – 3/25
23. Code Name: Viper (NES) – 3/29
24. Operation Logic Bomb (SNES) – 3/31
25. Wild Guns (SNES) – 4/5
26. Return of Double Dragon (SFC) – 4/8
27. Ninja Warriors (SNES) – 4/8
28. Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood (PS3) – 5/3
29. Assassin’s Creed: Revelations (PS3) – 6/30
30. Klonoa: Empire of Dreams (GBA) – 7/7
31. Castlevania: Symphony of the Night (PS) – 8/20
32. Syndicate (PS3) – 9/3
33. Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode II (PC) – 9/10
34. Hotline Miami (PC) – 9/14
35. Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia (DS) – 10/15
36. Castlevania: Dracula X (SNES) – 10/21
37. Splatterhouse (TG-16) – 10/27
38. Ratchet: Deadlocked (PS2) – 11/6
39. Ratchet & Clank Future: Tools of Destruction (PS3) – 11/16
40. Batman (ARC) – 11/20
41. Crime Fighters (ARC) – 11/20
42. Ratchet & Clank Future: Quest for Booty (PSN) – 11/20
43. Yakuza 3 (PS3) – 12/21
44. RayCrisis: Series Termination (PS) – 12/28
45. Panzer Bandit (PS) – 12/29
46. Strider 2 (PS) – 12/31

Now Playing: March 2014

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After trying to play Onimusha: Dawn of Dreams and getting super frustrated with the game, I started to wonder if I was lacking interest in gaming. I ultimately decided I simply needed a large dose of old school games and went back to my gaming roots. How refreshing it was to do so. I found out what was best on the NES as compared to those same arcade titles and overall just had a great time!

I had previously played a bunch of these games, but I didn’t finish any of them. I rectified that with the first game I chose, Streets of Rage 3. There’s a reason why the second game in this trilogy is the best. While SoR3 does a lot of what made the previous game fantastic. It unfortunately adds a few things which don’t work as well. I didn’t think the music and sound were all that good in this outing. Double tapping forward and the attack button isn’t nearly as reliable as it had been.

The next game I played was Jackal. It was the first of four NES games. An action game from the arcades, Jackal is a superb showcase of the greatness Konami was at the time. It wasn’t until near the end of the final stage when a pair of ground homing missile launchers got me at a standstill. Eventually I got past them and the crazy huge tank at the end!

Chip ‘n Dale: Rescue Rangers was up next. Everybody seems to have played this game and remember it fondly. I hadn’t at the time. Overall things were rather simple until I had to deal with some pelicans. I had to read an FAQ about these Zone I troublemakers to find out about throwing a box at their feet was the only way to defeat them. The other problem I had was the final zone’s finely dressed weasels. It was a crapshoot as to whether they’d take one or two hits to go down. At least Fat Cat was easy enough.

Here’s a game I could never get to level 3 on back in the day. It’s SNK’s P.O.W.: Prisoners of War. The button mashing that goes on in beat-’em-ups doesn’t exactly work here. Slowing down your button presses and doing them in a very methodical way is the best way to start a winning strategy. Another thing to understand is that you’re invincible when performing the jump kick. Using it to your advantage against incoming projectiles is a must to survive. This speed run helped my understanding of this quirky game. Also a 21 lives code didn’t hurt either. It took 27 lives when I first finished it. The following playthrough was much better at 5 lives total used.

The final NES game played was Vice: Project Doom. It does a similar mixing of different genres for separate levels like a few other NES titles did. A majority of the game is of an action platformer, but two levels are top-down driving and another two are light gun. The way the enemies feel like they were just thrown in wherever made me think Vice was developed by a European company. They tended to do that in those days making for some unfairly tough sequences. Surprisingly it was a Japanese developer by the name of Aicom. Usually the enemy placement is thoughtfully planned out by Eastern game makers. Regardless, there’s a bit of fun to be had here. The name of the hero was Hart.

Jaleco makes an appearance with their Game Boy title Fortified Zone. The role you take is that of Masato Kanzaki and Mizuki Makimura. They take down a slew of enemies and sub-bosses in their way to five main bosses in four stages. From a top-down perspective you can switch between the two characters as you solve the key-to-door puzzles. The later two stages are much longer and ascend to completely new floors. It’s all more fun than it may sound at first. Sadly the one thing I didn’t care for was the fixed password system. It doesn’t allow you to continue with any health upgrades you might have picked up along the way. I used a Game Genie to help with that deficiency. Also that Stage 3 music! Amazing!

Finally there’s the wild west themed side-scrolling shooter Sunset Riders. The Genesis version is a bit different in level layout. I played the Super Nintendo version. I was quite amazed at how short the levels themselves were. The longest was probably level two and it’s likely because of it being an auto-scroller. The two bosses that gave me the most trouble was Chief Wigwam (stage 6) and Sir Richard Rose (stage 8 and the game’s final boss). Another speed run helped me in figuring out how to defeat them. Of course my execution of said plan was far less sexy and made of much more failure.

In total I now have 18 finished games for this year. Three of them I’ve yet to talk about are arcade games which I will talk about soon. Thanks for reading!

Back To My Gaming Roots

back-to-my-gaming-roots

In my attempt to get to the bottom of why I lacked interest in gaming recently, I think it’s time to spend some quality time with my 8-bit and 16-bit systems. If I was madtyger I’d probably have names for them outside of the official ones. :D

As much as I’d like to think I give equal time to all of the game systems I own, past and present, I really know that this is simply not the case. One look at the complete list of games I actually finished last year proves that I rarely play much of the retro library I own.

To rectify this I’ve selected 14 games from an assortment of systems to play. I probably won’t bother with getting to them all, but these titles listed below are the ones which look to be good fun for the time being. If you’d like to suggest one of the games below, I’ll happily make it a priority to get to first (or next).

SNES
Sparkster
Super Double Dragon
Operation Logic Bomb
Sunset Riders
Total Carnage

NES
P.O.W.: Prisoners of War
Code Name: Viper
Vice: Project Doom
Duck Tales
Jackal

GAME BOY
Fortified Zone

GENESIS
Streets of Rage 3 (via Sonic’s Ultimate Genesis Collection)
Rocket Knight Adventures
Castlevania: Bloodlines

Hart & Usagi Podcast #42: The Beat Down

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The Hart and Usagi Podcast is back for the first episode of the new year to talk about the beat-’em-up genre of gaming. To do so we welcome back Anthony from the ++Good Games podcast.

Join us as we take a trip down memory lane and also talk about today’s evolution of the beat-’em-up genre!

List of games talked about (a portion of):
* Streets of Rage
* Final Fight
* Double Dragon
* Riot Zone
* Sengoku
* Rushing Beat
* The Punisher
* Splatterhouse
* Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
* X-Men
* Knights of the Round
* Magic Sword
* Devil May Cry
* Bayonetta
* Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks
* Ninja Gaiden
* God Hand
* Target: Renegade
* Sword of Sodan
* Rastan
* Guardian Heroes
* Golden Axe
* Dungeons & Dragons
* Ikari III: The Rescue
* Rise to Honor
* Bujingai
* Vendetta
* The Bouncer
* The Combatribes

Listen or Download (2:57:58)
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Matt: @HartKnight | HartKnight’s Archive
Mike: @usagi704 | WP blog
Anthony: @24bitAJE | ++Good Games

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Games Finished In 2013

2013-finished

The list below shows every game that I finished in 2013. The total number comes to 36. That’s down 15 from 2012.

November proved to be the best month for beating games with 8 in total thanks to TMNT Month with a monthly average of 3.

When it comes to earning those fancy trophies, I was able to earn 226 last year.

1. Double Dragon Neon (PSN) – 1/2
2. Street Fighter II: Champion Edition (VC) – 1/11
3. Batman (NES) – 1/30
4. Bionic Commando (PS3) – 2/24
5. Shatter (PSN) – 3/6
6. Rocket Knight (PSN) – 3/10
7. Tomb Raider: Legend (PSP) – 3/15
8. G.I. Joe (ARC) – 4/11
9. Resistance 2 (PS3) – 4/13
10. Super Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition (PS3) – 4/26
11. Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers: The Movie (GEN) – 5/4
12. Mortal Kombat Arcade Kollection (PSN) – 5/5
13. Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix (PSN) – 5/5
14. JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure HD Ver. (PSN) – 5/22
15. The King of Fighters ’98 (PSN) – 5/22
16. BioShock Infinite (PS3) – 5/25
17. F.E.A.R. 3 (PS3) – 6/21
18. X-Men (PSN) – 7/10
19. Streets of Rage 2 (PSN) – 8/9
20. Tomb Raider: Underworld via The Tomb Raider Trilogy (PS3) – 8/11
21. Dragon Warrior via Dragon Warrior I & II (GBC) – 8/21
22. Marvel Ultimate Alliance (PS2) – 8/31
23. Dragon’s Crown (PS3) – 9/20
24. Splatterhouse (TG-16) – 10/22
25. Dark Souls (PS3) – 11/8
26. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Fall of the Foot Clan (GB) – 11/9
27. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: Back from the Sewers (GB) – 11/11
28. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (PS2) – 11/12
29. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2: Battle Nexus (PS2) – 11/20
30. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 3: Mutant Nightmare (PS2) – 11/23
31. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Turtles In Time via Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 3: Mutant Nightmare (PS2) – 11/23
32. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Tournament Fighters (SNES) – 11/25
33. The Mark of Kri (PS2) – 12/3
34. Kirby’s Dream Land 2 via Kirby’s Dream Collection (WII) – 12/7
35. Sleeping Dogs (PS3) – 12/13
36. Space Invaders Extreme 2 (DS) – 12/25

Now Playing: August 2013

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In the past month I had mentioned I was going to play the games I had which were listed under the Giant Bomb profile of the great Ryan Davis. As such I played Super Mario Bros. 3 via Super Mario All-Stars. My progress halted at World 8, sadly. I did, however, get to almost completing my currently played game, Marvel Ultimate Alliance. I think I’m on the last set of missions headquartered in Attilan and I should be finished soon at 15 hours and 28 minutes of game time up until now.

Speaking of finished games, I did that with three titles this month.

First up was Streets of Rage 2. I played a solid hour with the gentleman known as Jason_X on Backloggery. I chose Axel as usual because that character just kicks all kinds of ass. Jason chose Blaze. This is a character I usually stay away from. The damage output for her is weak and her double tap forward plus attack doesn’t make for a very good game, but as a team we put a whipping on Mr. X.

The second game to be finished two days later was Tomb Raider: Underworld. I’d talked about what I liked about the game in July’s Now Playing and my final stats were 25 out of 33 trophies, 143 out of 179 total treasures, and 11 hours and 12 minutes of game time.

And last, but certainly not least is Dragon Warrior. It was finished a week ago via the Game Boy Color compilation Dragon Warrior I & II. My final character level was 28.

It was a good thing I looked up an FAQ on what key items to collect. I didn’t remember the placement of the game’s best armor nor did I remember how to obtain the Rainbow Drop to form the bridge to the Dragon Lord’s castle from by childhood of playing the NES version of this game. Regardless, I still had a wonderful time revisiting this rebalanced RPG classic.

Thanks for reading and have a good one! :)