Now Playing: July 2019

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This time out the group of games I played are from April through mid-July. There’s 12 in total with only three finished. Here we go!

The first game on tap is also one of the three I beat: Ghost Squad. This home port of Sega’s arcade light gun shooter works well on the Wii. I don’t have the plastic zapper shell for the controller, but you obviously don’t need it since there isn’t any additional hardware built in. It was a very fun and repeatable three mission structure with some alternate paths to take. I particularly liked earning and using the additional weapons and outfits available. The latter can get somewhat comical at times since the player character is the only one who changes outfits with the rest of the squad remaining in normal gear.

I was looking forward to getting into a new beat-’em-up with Batman: The Brave and the Bold (also on Wii). It didn’t pan out well, however. The training before the game actually begins makes the mistake of throwing every ability at you at once. Of course, you’ll eventually forget some of them long before you’ll need them. My biggest issue was with the overall feeling of the brawling. It wasn’t as mindless fun as I was hoping for. There’s more puzzle aspects to this game’s fighting that’s often enough that it feels like the momentum of a level keeps getting interrupted. I had to check out of this game fairly early on.

Two shoot-’em-ups I played for a little bit was the TG-16’s Final Soldier (via VC) and Raiden IV: Overkill on PS3 (via PSN). The former was a fantastic time until I got slaughtered on stage 5. At least it was nice getting to that point. I can’t say as much for the latter game. I didn’t quite understand the new Overkill Mode, but the normal Arcade Mode was the typical Raiden shooting experience. In that to say it isn’t great. I enjoy the original game and the sequel, but after those (like I am with the Contra series) they don’t appeal to me as much.

Next up on the list is Ninja Spirit. The game is pretty tough until you realize that all you need is the explosive weapon 3 and it’s fairly smooth sailing from then on. I got to what I call the “ninja pit” and was stopped fully in my tracks. I don’t know exactly how to reach the bottom without being touched since it only takes one hit to kill you. It’s the last major obstacle before the final boss if I ever clear it.

Speaking of Contra, I also played, but was unsuccessful in beating Contra Rebirth. While I was able to get to level 4, I’m not exactly the best at managing the switching of the weapons. This was a gameplay mechanic that debuted in Contra III in 1992.

I’m not sure exactly what to say about Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris other than it’s available for download on PlayStation 4 and, well, it’s a Tomb Raider game. I liked it for what it was, but I definitely still prefer the traditional presentation of the series in Tomb Raider: Legend or the 2013 reboot.

More recently I’ve been playing some PlayStation 2 suggested games from readers like you. Of course, I have to already own the games because I’m not in a position to be purchasing whatever anybody suggests. First was Lifeline, the USB audio voice directed game from Konami. I knew going in I wouldn’t be playing it very long because it doesn’t always understand was you are saying. Well, I didn’t even successfully get to the title screen as my current USB headset wasn’t compatible. Oh well. It’s not much of a loss.

ICO was another suggestion and it goes without saying that this was a much better idea. I’m not into these more artistic style of games usually so I’m not going to be as impressed with it like so many others have been. I’m happy for those people, but I’m simply not one of them. I’m at the Crane section, but I needed a more action packed distraction.

That distraction was Power Rangers Dino Thunder on PS2. In this game you don’t play as the Rangers themselves, but instead as their Zoids. I think there’s 5-6 total in the game. Zeltrax is the main boss in the game that you fight twice in very similar battles each time. Unfortunately, you never seen the TV show’s main villain, Mesogog. He’s only spoken about. This was the third game I beat.

Another suggestion I’m playing a little of is the arcade version of Bubble Bobble via Taito Legends. The best I’ve done this time around is round 7. I’ve previously hit as high as round 16.

Thanks for reading and make sure to check out my podcasts over in the sidebar.

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Sudden Strife

In the last month I have acquired more games and movies. Here, let me show you.

Since the movies are the most obvious in the photo below, I’ll start with those. Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story was a random VHS pick up around 15 years ago. I heard about the film from the commentary track on Rush Hour. I liked it quite a bit, but I only had that format as an option for quite some time. Thankfully a DVD version did eventually come around. The purchase this time is an upgrade to a 2015 Blu-ray release.

The other two films, Sudden Death and Universal Soldier, are also 2015 releases along with both starring Jean-Claude Van Damme. I enjoyed both movies quite a bit and thanks to a review on YouTube I was finally convinced to give the former a watch.

Now it’s time for the games. I didn’t have anymore I wanted for the Game Boy Advance, but I dug through a floor bin at Warp Zone to come up with these five titles. I didn’t know anything about them beforehand. Only after some quick info via the Internet did I make a purchase.

Island Xtreme Stunts is a sequel to a Lego game. You wouldn’t know this by just seeing the cartridge by itself as I did. Stuntman and SSX Tricky are, of course, portable versions of their console counterparts. American Dragon: Jake Long – Rise of the Huntsclan is based on a Disney cartoon that ran for two seasons. This game was developed by WayForward. Ans finally Tak 2: The Staff of Dreams is a platformer by THQ and Avalanche Software.

I also bought The King of Fighters 2002 Unlimited Match and Strife during the big Steam discount sale recently. I got the former because it’s the only way to play it in North America. After the PS2 version of The King of Fighters ’98 Ultimate Match this was released, but it never made it outside of Japan. The latter is the 1996 FPS/RPG hybrid by Rogue Entertainment. I loved me some Doom clones back then and this one always stuck around in my mind because it was very unique for the time. 20 years later I still would recommend it.

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Hart & Usagi #74: Because of Jean Reno

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The Hart & Usagi Podcast is here and we talk about Duke Nukem 3D’s anniversary, what our perfect Sega 3D Classics Collection would look like, adorable Detective Pikachu, the end of GameTrailers, and more!

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

NEWS:
* As Duke Nukem 3D Turns 20, Co-Creator Shares His Original Notes
* Duke Nukem Voice Actor Turned Down Job for Top GOP Presidential Candidate
* New Detective Pikachu Details Reveal He Sucks at Being Pikachu
* Volition Does a Solid for Fans and Game Preservation by Releasing Saints Row Undercover Prototype
* Former Burnout Devs Making an Explosive Golf Game and It Looks Ridiculous
* Sega 3D Classics Collection Has Some New Faces, But It’s Missing Old Favorites Too
* Sony tried to trademark ‘Let’s Play,’ failed miserably
* Videogame-To-Movie Hack Uwe Boll Retires
* Poll: Are retailers still enforcing their ‘no M rated games sold to minors’ policy?
* MLG Acquired by Activision Blizzard to Create “the ESPN of eSports”
* GameTrailers closed
* New Onimusha Discussions “Happening at High Levels,” Says Yoshinori Ono
* Hatred developer reveals ‘IS Defense’

Listen or Download (1:02:29)

Subscribe: RSS | iTunes

Hart & Usagi Podcast at the Internet Archive

Matt: @HartKnight | HartKnight’s Archive

Mike: @usagi704 | Domain of Usagi704

@HartandUsagi

Now Playing: October 2015

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I hope you’re enjoying the Halloween season like I am. To recap my Halloween Gaming Event, I played and finished Demon’s Souls. I’ve also been playing through Evil Dead: Regeneration on the PlayStation 2.

Out of the total of ten levels in Evil Dead: Regeneration, I’ve completed seven of them so far. Despite the Halloween season has come to a conclusion for this year, I will be seeing this game to the end. About halfway through the game you get a harpoon and rocket launcher in place of the classic chainsaw and they’ve made combat quite entertaining. Ash’s sidekick, Sam, can be killed as many times as necessary and it’s usually with hilarious results.

While Evil Dead: Regeneration will never be on anyone’s best games list. It certainly isn’t going to be on the worst of list either. I guess that’s high praise enough.

*****

HART & USAGI PODCAST #70 – October 7th 2015 (@HartandUsagi)
Matt and Mike chat Edge’s top 100 video games list, Nintendo and Fair Use, the original PlayStation, etc.
https://hartarchive.wordpress.com/2015/10/07/hart-usagi-70-feel-the-electricity/

SUBSCRIBE: RSS or iTunes

SPACE SUPLEX #23 – October 12th 2015 (@SpaceSuplex)
Anthony and Matt chat Night of Champions 2015, Live from MSG special, and more.
https://hartarchive.wordpress.com/2015/10/12/space-suplex-23-forgotten-gravity/

An Evil Dead Halloween

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I decided to play another game since I finished up Demon’s Souls more quickly than I expected I would. I selected a game I had placed in my 2012 poll for which set of games I’d play for that year’s Halloween season

The game in question is Evil Dead: Regeneration. It’s the third in a line of games obviously based on the Evil Dead trilogy of movies. It’s not the best game ever, but for the franchise it’s based on it is.

Evil Dead Regeneration is one of those middle-of-the-road games that’s average, but still very competent and being what it is…a fun video game. This is something we’ve lost since 2006 with the rise of the HD era of gaming. The only game I can think of that makes me think “middle-of-the-road” since then is Deadpool. I’m sure there’s a few more, but they’re few and far between, indeed.

Stay spooked. HartKnight out!

Saving Gaming History

Recently I wanted to tackle some outlier games that have been eluding my collection. I didn’t get ones such as Captain America: Super Soldier or Painkiller: Hell and Damnation, but I did get a few others.

The first two games, you can see in the photo directly below, are actually not apart of those games I was trying to find. Medal of Honor: Vanguard and ICO were unplanned pickups. The former was released around the same time on the PS2 that Medal of Honor: Airborne was on PS3 and X360. The latter, ICO, I already have via The ICO & Shadow of the Colossus Collection on PS3. I only got it because I felt the need to save it from the unwashed masses. It’s not everyday you come across a complete copy of ICO on PS2 in good condition.

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It’s also not everyday you come across a good conditioned complete copy of The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess either. Okay, actually you do. But not the Gamecube version! I’m not much of a fan of The Legend of Zelda as you guys already know, but I still felt a need to save this game as well. It’s another one I didn’t need because I did already have the ubiquitous Wii version.

Here’s the first game which I did go to specifically to find. It’s Sega Arcade Gallery on the Game Boy Advance. It’s a four game compilation of AfterBurner, Space Harrier, Super Hang-On, and (best of all) OutRun! In case you didn’t know these games are all of Sega’s super sweet superscaler arcade lineup. You can never have enough of those!

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I finally found Ray Tracers, but I did have to go to eBay for it. The game is easily summed up as a polygonal version of Chase H.Q. and that’s okay by me. Both games were developed by Taito.

Iron Man / X-O Manowar in Heavy Metal was another game that wasn’t really on my wish list. I can see it as a very mediocre game, but in some ways it reminded me of Duke Nukem: Manhattan Project from 2002 in how it plays even though the game I bought was from 1996.

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Finally, I picked up a new copy of the 2008 Special Edition of Rambo 4. Yes, I do already own the Extended Cut. However, I was disappointed that the commentary track was cut out of that version. This one has exactly what I was missing.

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Warp Zone Trax

Four months ago Usagi704 and I had visited this out of town gaming store called Warp Zone. Once again we had made a trip down to this place where I picked up more games not on my wish list.

First up was a much lesser known Super FX chip game on the Super Nintendo called Dirt Trax FX. It’s a dirt bike racing game developed by Sculptured Software and published by Acclaim. Believe it or not I did remember playing this game at the time it was released in late 1995.

Next up is a Game Boy Advance title that you’d be forgiven for thinking it was on the Genesis. Sega teamed up with THQ for this 2002 edition of The Revenge of Shinobi which clearly didn’t go over as well. It was released the same year as the PlayStation 2 version of Shinobi.

Here’s actually a game I did have on my wish list sometime ago. I removed it because I didn’t ever expect to find it. The Game Boy Advance version of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2: Battle Nexus is more of a 2D stealth game. It seemed to be similar to Splinter Cell’s outing on this same platform (another game I never found and removed from my list).

And finally I picked up an import Japanese Game Boy release of The King of Fighters ’96. This was the same one Usagi704 had received earlier this year.

That do it for this time. Check the photo below and have a good one!

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