Now Playing: January 2015

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In the last month I’ve been busy with other things like my 2014 Game of the Year awards to where I wasn’t updating on what I was playing. But don’t worry yourself too much because the Now Playing article for this last month is here to let you know the dirty details.

After last month’s fun romp back into the Yakuza series territory with Yakuza 3, I tackled one of the suggested original PlayStation games from the group I received previously from folks on Twitter. It’s in celebration of the system’s 20th anniversary. I went with Strider 2.

Strider 2 is a very fun direct sequel to the Capcom’s original beloved arcade game. It’s definitely on the easier side of things when it comes to the default difficulty, but I look at this as a good thing. Controls are a breeze to get accustom to and guiding Strider Hiryu through the environment is not a chore whatsoever. There’s a number of cool unlockable features. The best ones are an extra level to play for Strider 2 if you complete the arcade classic, which is also available on a separate disc, and the ability to play as Strider Hien upon beating the sequel itself. A number of other bonuses make Strider 2 a worthwhile recommendation to fans of arcade style action games! Thanks @Monodo for your suggestion!

I was planning on continuing with PS1 games, but I wanted better video output. So while I waited for component cables and a TV to use them on that didn’t have the signal cut out on me I played the 2013 release of Tomb Raider.

As suggested by @herviross, this Tomb Raider is the Square Enix-deemed sales failure of over 3 million copies. The game is your standard third-person perspective action game fare these days. The story tries to have an emotional connection with the player in how they relate to Lara’s beginnings, but I think it failed in this endeavor. Don’t get me wrong, though. I don’t feel Lara goes abruptly from shocked about her first kill to Rambo mode like I’ve heard others mention. I think that was handled well because there’s only so many people she can off before she gets used to it and the shock of it all wears off.

Otherwise, it’s the usual style of game where there are items to find, upgrades to Lara’s weapons and her own abilities, and tombs to raid. Speaking of the tombs themselves. Where as in past games you adventured into tombs for the majority of the time playing, they’re very small and all are optional here. The puzzles inside were very easy to solve. This was a bit disappointing as the very name of the game itself was pushed aside. At least that’s how I felt.

Another disappointment was in the area of graphics. For a 2013 game I didn’t think it looked all that good. I was kind of surprised when I thought the game already didn’t hold up well to the ravages of time. The fire effects were especially bad when Lara was moving with her touch lit.

Upon finishing the game I had a 96% completion rate, found all hidden (and not so hidden) items, and acquired all upgrades. I didn’t bother with the online mode and I had earned 57% of the trophies. It’s worth playing, but it won’t blow you away.

The current game I’m playing is Omega Boost. That’s right. It’s back to the those games suggested for the PS1. This game came from the mind of @usagi704. I just started it so expect my thoughts on this game in the near future.

Thanks for reading and have a good one!

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Games Finished In 2014

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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

Xmas 2014

When it comes to gifts of brotherly love, I was in a Nintendo giving mood this year. As I’m sure you’ll eventually see in a video of his, Usagi704 got from me two Classic Controller Pros. One was white and the other was gold. He also needed a Wii remote to connect the others to and I also hooked him up with that. There’s a movie in there somewhere too.

On a side note. A pre-Xmas game for myself was my second PlayStation 4 game. It was the newest Strider off of PSN. I still don’t have the system in question to play, but I did get the game on a recent sale.

Back to gifts, but this time for me. The photo below shows off a total of ten movies on Blu-ray. These are all off of my wish list from Usagi704 and my parents.

Liar Liar (1997 – 2013 BD)
Ghostbusters (1984 – 2014 BD)
Cobra (1986 – 2011 BD)
Casino Royale (2006 – 2013 BD)
Rush Hour (1998 – 2010 BD)
Skyfall (2012 – 2013 BD)
Death Proof (2007 – 2008 BD)
Rocky (1976 – 2014 BD)
Street Fighter (1994 – 2009 BD)
The Warriors (1979 – 2007 BD)

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Now Playing: May 2014

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If you’ve been keeping up with my gaming adventures in audio and text form, then you would’ve come across my thoughts on playing through Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood. It was very enjoyable, but if I were to recommend one of the games in the series to a newcomer, I’d still suggest ACII out of the first three titles.

My gripe about the map of Rome not opening up until very late in the game is still a problem I have with Brotherhood. The story was a good continuation of Ezio’s adventures and I also had some fun besting times set by my friends in the obstacle courses.

I’m currently on Brotherhood’s sequel, Revelations, and I already had my first taste of the tower defense portion. I don’t think it’s going to go very well. I’ve never been a fan of tower defense games and this is clearly not the genre for its inclusion. Thankfully I’ll still have @D_Fleischmann on Twitter for encouragement. :)

The other game I played was Moon Diver. This Strider clone, made by the same man who did the original 1989 arcade game, is very grind heavy. It makes for a slow going affair which isn’t good in an action game.

I did find one character I liked of the four available and leveled to 46 and reached stage 12. Sadly your progression with each character is separated from the rest. This means Seyfert at stage 4 can’t play stage 12 even though Ourion has made it there. This separation and the slow grind deters you from playing more than one character. Also the laser turrets in later levels drain health very fast even if you have lots of it.

I don’t recommend Moon Diver. The newest Strider downloadable game seems to fair as a better gaming experience. Granted this was released three years prior.

Thank you for reading my humble gaming update. Please check out the most recent episodes of my podcasts below. Bye for now!

THIS MONTH’S GAMING STATS:
* Assassin’s Creed: Revelations – 1h26m; 10.87%; 2 trophies
* Moon Diver – Seyfert Lv. 18; Stage 4 | Ourion Lv. 46; Stage 12; 4 trophies
* Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood – 35h56m; 79.7%; 34 trophies

*****

SPACE SUPLEX #4 – May 27th 2014 (@SpaceSuplex)
24bitAJE and HartKnight welcome usagi704 and review the October 1999 WWF No Mercy PPV from Cleveland, Ohio.
https://hartarchive.wordpress.com/2014/05/27/space-suplex-podcast-episode-4-no-mercy-1999/

HART & USAGI PODCAST #46 – May 22th 2014 (@HartandUsagi)
HartKnight and usagi704 chat recent games played, physical vs. digital games, Flappy Bird multiplayer, Google, and more.
https://hartarchive.wordpress.com/2014/05/22/hart-usagi-podcast-46-google-ruins-everything/

Do you FeelPlus?

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Recently ever since I finished Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood I’ve been ready to get into the next game in the series, Revelations. I mentioned previously that I normally don’t do this to keep a series from getting stale. I haven’t started the next game just yet because I want to experience it as I share it with fellow AC gamer @D_Fleischmann.

In the meantime I’ve been playing Moon Diver. This is a downloadable game on PSN and XBL by FeelPlus and Square Enix. In a similar way it seems akin to how grind heavy Hard Corps: Uprising was for a Contra game. The only difference being Moon Diver is more like another classic arcade game. You may have heard of it; Strider. Both Strider and Moon Diver were directed by Koichi Yotsui.

On the collection front I didn’t buy any new games, but I did want to play some of Final Fight CD with Usagi704. I couldn’t because the audio/video cables weren’t connecting fully to the TV. I did easily find cables that did the job.

I also picked up a used original Super Nintendo controller. It definitely feels used alright. The Start button needs to be pressed down quite a bit for anything to happen. Otherwise it seems to hold up fairly well. This includes fighting games.

Thanks for reading!

*****

SPACE SUPLEX #3 – May 8th 2014 (@SpaceSuplex)
(Anthony and Matt chat WWE Extreme Rules and Raw from 5/5 along with WCW Fall Brawl 1998.)
https://hartarchive.wordpress.com/2014/05/08/space-suplex-podcast-episode-3/

HART & USAGI PODCAST #45 – May 6th 2014 (@HartandUsagi)
(Matt and Mike chat recent games played, 25th anniversary of the Game Boy, the Atari landfill, Net Neutrality, and more.)
https://hartarchive.wordpress.com/2014/05/06/hart-usagi-podcast-45-a-landfill-of-myths/

Hart & Usagi Podcast #43: Play Monolopy

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The Hart and Usagi Podcast is back and this time we talk about our love for Robocop, the crazy idea that Flappy Bird has fans, and power laces, alright!

NEWS/TOPICS:
* Robocop
* Sonic Boom Brings a Brand-New Sonic to Wii U, 3DS and TV
* Amazon Acquires Video Gaming Studio Double Helix Games
* Early Access
* Net Neutrality Dead
* Street Fighter IV updates
* The Flappy Bird Saga Continues
* Magus, first game developed by Aksys, out on PS3 Feb. 25
* Watch Dogs Delayed for Wii U
* New PS Vita Model Confirmed for US, Included in Borderlands 2 Bundle
* Sly Cooper movie sneaks into theaters in 2016

Listen or Download (1:28:31)
RSS Feed
Hart & Usagi Podcast at the Internet Archive
Matt: @HartKnight | HartKnight’s Archive
Mike: @usagi704 | WP blog

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#HartandUsagiPodcast

Now Playing: August 2011

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Last Tuesday was the 20th anniversary of the Super Nintendo as released in North America. Knowing this date was coming up I decided to make it mainly a SNES month.

I played Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers once again and also did a speed run of it in 42 minutes and 12 seconds.

Soon after I asked on Twitter which of eight random chosen games I should play next. The two top picks were Robocop Versus The Terminator and Run Saber. The former game was pretty bad with unforgiving AI and overall uninteresting gameplay. At least there was a funny glitch where you can hold the A and X buttons while on a ladder and Robocop will keep climbing even after passing the top of it. Stage 6 was as far as I was able to go.

Run Saber was much more fun. This take on Strider from Atlus has a bunch of moves to perform in a fast-paced platformer. It has an arrow at the top of the screen always showing the direction to head in. I recommend this game if you’ve ever enjoyed Capcom’s Strider. Finished on Easy was a score of 266,800.

There’s not much to say about Street Racer. It’s basically a Super Mario Kart clone with less charm. At least the racing is decent.

Two other games I finished off this month giving me a total of 27 for this year was Knights of the Round and Alien Crush. In the Capcom beat-’em-up I selected Percival. I prefer him since he’s the only one who can dash. Granted it doesn’t last long at all, but this mobility and being the more powerful of the three characters make him a great choice. My final score was 430,820 at level 15.

I think I’m Alien Crush’d out at this point. I’m played a lot of the game in the recent past, as most of you know, but nothing can prepare you for this. On the PSN version via my PSP I improved my score so much that there’s no way I could possibly top it and that’s even if I’d want to (and I definitely don’t want to). My previous best score, regardless of the version of the game, was 78,533,200 and now it was improved by over four times the amount. Behold my new best high score of 348,932,500!

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You’ll probably need some time to recover from that revealed score so I’ll end this here. As always thanks for reading!