Hart & Usagi Podcast #39: The Illest


The Hart & Usagi Podcast episode 39 brings you a lively discussion on the issue of a distributor blacklisting Indian gaming website Illgaming, story vs. gameplay, progress in Dark Souls, among other topics. Please join HartKnight (me), usagi704, and our guest lightnarcissus as we get to the bottom of Ludo Discobiscuits.

* The Ugly Truth
* Game OverThinker: Episode 88 – GTA V IS NOT A SATIRE (PROBABLY)
* Hart & Usagi Podcast #31: BioShock Infinite
* Story vs. Gameplay
* How Typing of the Dead: Overkill survived its studio’s apocalypse
* Dark Souls
* DualShock 4 (and PS3 compatibility)
* Ultra Street Fighter 4 adds ‘Ultra Combo Double’ and ‘Red Focus Attack’ mechanics

Listen or Download (1:56:37)
YouTube version
New RSS Feed
Hart & Usagi Podcast at the Internet Archive
@usagi704 | WP blog
@lightnarcissus | Narcissist Reality

Halloween Gaming 2013


Welcome to the first official blog post for HartKnight’s 4th Annual Halloween Gaming Event!

In 2010 I started doing a horror themed gaming month for October. That year I played Castlevania II: Simon’s Quest and finished it for the first time. It was a better game than most give it credit for. I also played the TG-16 version of Splatterhouse. It’s a favorite of mine.

For 2011 I selected to play Demon’s Souls and Shadowgate Classic. I finished the former From Software title twice as a Sorcerer and completed the Game Boy Color port of a NES classic adventure game.

Last year I allowed you fine readers to vote on what two games I’d play. The pair of titles you chose were Castlevania: The Adventure Rebirth and The House of the Dead 2 & 3 Return. I had fun with both, but I found I wasn’t able to finish either. I did also play Alien Storm on the Genesis.

This year I play Dark Souls! I shall prepare to die as I traverse the land of Lordran. I’ve put about 28 hours into the game already. 18 of those hours were as a Knight, but I started to pine for my days as a Sorcerer in Demon’s Souls. Therefore I restarted with a new character to do just that. Unfortunately, unlike the Demon’s Souls wiki, the Dark Souls wiki isn’t nearly as good. I’ve had to rely on YouTube user FurryMurry7 for his expertise on dominating as a Sorcerer.

I’ve played this new character for 8.5 hours and loving it. The very dangerous trek into Blighttown was frightening, but it was totally worth it for the Crimson Set and Tin Banishment Catalyst as soon as I could. The last boss I fought was the Hydra in Darkroot Basin and it was annoying since I could only melee with the Tin Banishment Catalyst.

Well that’ll do it for me. Are you doing any Halloween gaming? If so, let me know in the comments section below. Until my next Halloween Gaming Event update. Cheers!

Act Fast and Think Faster


Since I have a much smaller amount of games on my wish list than, say, in 2007, I usually strike out on finding anything at my local game store, It’s About Games. I was pleasantly surprised this time when I found Wolfenstein, Batman: The Brave and the Bold, and The House of the Dead: Overkill. It was made even more sweet as a three for two deal.

Another place I stopped a few days later had some used DVDs and all seasons of MacGyver were accounted for. I remember the show growing up, but never seeked it out to watch all that much. Regardless, we’d still joke about building a bomb out of a paper clip and some bubble gum. I ended up picking up season four just because it was the cheapest price of them all. It happens to star Teri Hatcher in its first episode with big ’80s hair and all.


Now Playing: October 2012


Happy Halloween!

As my regular readers know, I played Castlevania: The Adventure Rebirth and The House of the Dead 2 & 3 Return for this Halloween season. I was only able to finish the former on Easy and neither of the light gun shooters of the latter. For more details on these games, please check out my previous entries throughout the month.

Marvel Super Heroes was the other game where I took on Usagi704 every so often. As expected I had a fun time with it. The gem system in Street Fighter X Tekken has nothing on this game. These gems give life back, fill super meter, add power to attacks, give super armor, increase speed, and fire projectiles. MSH is also odd in that the best character in the game, Spider-Man, as a completely useless super move. It’s the one he’s had in every one of these games, Maximum Spider, but here it takes too long to activate. It’s simply his ability to do combos that makes him so good.

I personally played mostly with Wolverine, Juggernaut, and Magneto. Usagi704 said that the highest CPU difficulty level in Marvel Super Heroes is a joke. I’d have to agree. Upon playing it this way, I hardly noticed any difference. It’s quite odd seeing this is an arcade game.

Thanks for reading!

Halloween Gaming 2012 Update 3


Once again I made some more progress in The House of the Dead 2 and III. This time it might have had to do with Usagi704 watching me. In both I was able to get up to the final boss, The Magician and The Wheel of Fate, respectively.

I had fought The Magician in the Boss Mode from before and because of that I knew sort of what to do. In the third game I knew nothing about The Wheel of Fate ahead of time. It didn’t help that the game doesn’t give an idea of what the weak point is. Despite this I felt I might be able to defeat him. Sadly this didn’t come to pass.

When it comes to bosses I’m not having the best of luck. Death at the end of Stage 5 in Castlevania: The Adventure Rebirth has also been successful at keeping me at bay and away from Dracula on Normal difficulty. I’m pretty certain that once I defeat him, I’ll make quick work of Drac even with the third form which I’ve yet to face off against.

Any Halloween related things, gaming or otherwise, that you’ve been up to? Let me know!

Halloween Gaming 2012 Update 2


I surprised myself with more progress I thought wouldn’t come in The House of the Dead 2. I’d previously never gotten very far once reaching Stage 3. This time, however, I was able to not only get to and clear that stage, but I was also successful in blasting my way through Stage 4. I’d like to attribute my progress to two things: 1) Practicing against the bosses of those stages in Boss Mode and 2) being on Skype with SonicHomeboy at the time I was playing. He might have been good luck for me. :D

I was pretty interested in playing Alien Storm. It’s the Genesis beat-’em-up which isn’t very exciting at all even at the time with the first Streets of Rage out that same year (’91).

As you can see in this video, the brawling action isn’t about punching/kicking enemies as it is stunning/shooting. In other parts of the game it goes all shooter and the only difference is whether it’s side-scrolling or first-person.

I had to use a code to get more credits because even on Easy the aliens stack up on you quickly in later missions. There’s even a maze-like final level and while the enemies don’t return to rooms already visited, it was still annoying to try and guess the correct path. Finishing this game gave me 40 games done for this year.

Thanks for reading. I smile upon all who do.

Halloween Gaming 2012 Update

this header graphic made quick

A week ago I provided the results of the voting for the games I’d play during the Halloween season with the winner being Group A and they consisted of Castlevania: The Adventure Rebirth and The House of the Dead 2 & 3 Return. Here’s my progress since then.

For Castlevania I was able to finish the game on Easy and get as far as the boss of Stage 5 on Normal. Both times I didn’t have much trouble clearing the first three stages on my first try. It was Stage 4 where the problems started. Falling chandeliers, enemies with spears, and those damn Medusa heads were annoying. On Normal there’s additional enemies added in spots whether they be recurring or new like the flea men.

The puzzle section of Stage 4 also was annoying until you know how. Going through a door one way doesn’t necessarily take you back to the last room you were in when walking through again.

On Normal there’s also a third form of Dracula to defeat and I wish I could get there because it has a fantastic rendition of Riddle that plays during it. Seriously check out the soundtrack for this game. It retains the high quality of the Castlevania series.

Onto The House of the Dead. I mainly played 2 initially, but did get into III after awhile. Right away I got as far as I’ve been able to in either game. Stage 3 in 2 and Chapter 4 in III.

Since they’re light guns games, I don’t have much to say about them. They do show their arcade, quarter-munching roots, but also have extra modes to keep entertaining. HoD2 has a Boss Mode and that was a welcome feature since I couldn’t get to the bosses from Stage 3 onward. Another interesting addition to HoD2 is when starting up that specific game. You get an HoDIII quick mini-game and it gives you items to use in Original Mode for 2. Things like costumes, larger clips, or more powerful bullets.

In HoDIII pretty much everything is better whether it be graphics, voice acting, story, or ease of difficulty (only slightly on that one). Plus it has a shotgun for the weapon and I appreciate that.

Since I’m getting stuck on the games above I’m going to be bringing in one-half of Group D, the Genesis beat-’em-up Alien Storm.

Stay spooked.