Hart & Usagi Podcast #58: FPS


This is a special episode of the Hart & Usagi Podcast. We welcome back ebbderelict. Our main discussion will be about first-person shooters. However, beforehand we discuss some news.

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

* Top 5 Most Violent Games of 2014, According to Consumer Reports
* Hackers Ruin Christmas for Xbox and PlayStation Users
* CISPA To Be Reintroduced in The House This Week
* ESRB Gives Hatred An Adults Only Rating
* Hotline Miami 2 Designer To Australian Gamer: Just Pirate It
* USgamer Community Question: What’s Your Most Anticipated Game of 2015?
* First-person shooters discussion

Listen or Download (3:01:40)

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Hart & Usagi Podcast at the Internet Archive

Matt: @HartKnight | HartKnight’s Archive

Mike: @usagi704 | WP blog

Steve: @ebbderelict | ipernity blog



Powered By GameSpy


Recently I was wondering if any of my online enabled PS2 games would still have that service up and running. To my surprise quite a number of them still do. Sure it’s less than half, but it still amazed me that 12 of 20 games worked online.

There was one thing that was consistent with my findings. If GameSpy operated the online servers, you could guarantee that those games would still be playable.

Battlefield 2: Modern Combat
Burnout 3: Takedown
Call of Duty 2: Big Red One
Call of Duty 3
Champions: Return To Arms
Flatout 2
Midnight Club II
Mortal Kombat: Armageddon
Ratchet & Clank: Up Your Arsenal
Ratchet: Deadlocked
Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory
Urban Chaos: Riot Response

EA games seemed to be the ones that were the least likely to work. However it was odd that of the Burnout games tested Takedown worked while Revenge didn’t as you can see below in the list of games shut down.

Burnout Revenge
Everything or Nothing
Goldeneye: Rogue Agent
NFL Street 2
OutRun 2006: Coast 2 Coast
Project: Snowblind
TimeSplitters: Future Perfect
The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King

In similar news, I was looking for a list of games that were system link compatible for the original PlayStation system since Usagi704 did buy the cable and I had got one of the original models.

Unfortunately there’s only apparently 30 games that have this option, as listed on Wikipedia, with quite a few being racing games of some type.

Of that list, I have Destruction Derby, Doom, Final Doom, and R4: Ridge Racer Type 4. I’m looking into a few of the others like The Need For Speed, Rogue Trip: Vacation 2012, and Armored Core among a couple more.

Since my last blog post I’ve found some more fun to be had with Borderlands. I’m much quicker when comparing weapons and items and I don’t feel as much like a weakling anymore, though it still happens from time to time. Level 13 must be where the magic is. My current level is 20.

Trophies: 19 / 51 (37%)

Heavy Metal Shump Madness!

The one game that I’ve been looking to get for awhile has now been obtained. A new copy of Lords of Thunder! Also pictured below are two games left over from last month; Batman: Rise of Sin Tzu and TimeSplitters: Future Perfect.


To continue with the one game a month purchase, I figured I’d get you all involved. Below are five games from my wish list, hyperlinked to gameplay videos, that interest me the most. You can vote for two of them. The game with the most votes will be the one I go looking for in September.

Double Dragon II (GB)
Castlevania II (GB)
Einhander (PS)
Resident Evil Gaiden (GBC)
Wild Guns (SNES)

Thanks for reading and voting. Later!

2000 Game of the Year


Note: You may very well disagree with some of my choices, but that’s why it’s a good list.

Medal of Honor: Underground (PS)
Ridge Racer V (PS2)
TimeSplitters (PS2)
WWF SmackDown! (PS)
WWF SmackDown! 2: Know Your Role (PS)

2000 Game of the Year: WWF SmackDown!
Runner-up: TimeSplitters

The first wrestling game to change the direction and expectations of such games was WWF SmackDown. Before that game I was used to two types of wrestling games. They either were in the style of the WCW PS games where you did fighting game commands to pull off moves or they were button mashers. Neither worked that well because either you were trying to remember the commands or you were in what was a controller destroying button mashing contest. The fun was put back into the game with simpler controls that made way for a larger moveset.

TimeSplitters was a great launch title for the PS2. Even though it wasn’t online, since that wasn’t possible at the time, the 4-player split screen multiplayer options were robust with bots as well. It also had a map maker mode where I remember making a level that was large enough to exhaust the memory limit allowed for one level. I thought it was a pretty interesting level especially once one of the themes were applied to it like a dark castle motif.

Previous entries: 1985 | 1986 | 1987 | 1988 | 1989 | 1990 | 1991 | 1992 | 1993 | 1994 | 1995 | 1996 | 1997 | 1998 | 1999

Gasp! More Fighting Games!


Gran Turismo 3: A-Spec (PS2) – complete; fair
The Mark of Kri (PS2) – complete; good
Red Faction (PS2) – complete; great
Red Faction II (PS2) – complete; great
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (PS2) – complete; good
The King of Fighters XI (PS2) – complete; “new” as in opened display copy at no discount (business as usual for Gamestop).


Critical Depth (PS) – complete; great
Road Rash (GEN) – complete; excellent
Streets of Rage (GEN) – complete; great
WWE Smackdown: Shut Your Mouth (PS2) – complete; good
Kinetica (PS2) – complete; great
Timesplitters (PS2) – complete; good

Condition scale: Excellent, Great, Good, Fair, Bad, Poor

Now Playing: November ’07


This past month had a few games that I didn’t get excited about enough to keep playing. Just to make it obvious what games I’m talking about, here’s a quick list.

Timesplitters 2 (PS2)
Dragon’s Revenge (GEN)
Sonic Heroes (PS2)

Timesplitters 2 was odd in that it was fun at first, but soon it was a little boring because it didn’t have much variety. Dragon’s Revenge is a decent pinball game, but it doesn’t have the excitement of crazy high scores like some others of the same genre. Oh and don’t get me started on Sonic Heroes. The control and overall problems with that game make it an unrecoverable mess.

I played some Guitar Hero at one point while figuring out what game I’d like to tackle next. I decided on Super Street Fighter II: Turbo Revival which I’m still playing because it’s just that damn good! I also went for the superior pinball game Dragon’s Fury where the scores really do get pretty crazy.

Fighting games continued to flow during the month as well, especially with vs. mode action. Those games consisted of Street Fighter Alpha Anthology, Mortal Kombat Trilogy (N64), various versions of Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3, and the original Mortal Kombat on the Genesis with the blood code enabled, of course. :)

For single player purposes I got back into Need for Speed Most Wanted. I haven’t completed very much since the last time I played it, but it has still been fun as expected.

I’ve been somewhat interested to try out one of the Sam & Max episodes for awhile now. Telltale Games made that decision easy when they offered episode 4, Abe Lincoln Must Die!, for free on Valve’s Steam platform. I was pleasantly surprised by the type of humor that the game offered. It definitely was the highlight of the whole experience.

I”m sure that some of the fighting games that I mentioned will carry over to December because they’re just that much more fun with another player. What have you been playing as of recent? Hopefully it’s a fighting game too. :D

11 Games and 75 Cents

Last Friday I went around to the local video game stores in my area to see how much I would get for trading in Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow. Along the way I picked up several games that I’ve had on my wish list.

Before I went out I checked the trade-in value of the game at eStarland.com. They reward gamers for having the box and manual, which no other place does. For nothing but the game it was $6.88. However, since I have the complete package I can get $12.50.

The first place was called It’s About Games. Their response to my question was $7. After that I looked at their used game selection I acquired Ratchet & Clank: Up Your Arsenal ($14.99) and TimeSplitters 2 ($10.99). The one great thing about IAGs used games is that, just like eStarland, I don’t have to worry about the condition of the disc.

Next was onto Babbage’s in the Richland Mall. Aria of Sorrow’s value there was $5. The game I purchased was the original Splinter Cell for $7.99. I also tried to get Twisted Metal Black, but apparently they misplaced the disc.

Finally I went to EB Games. This place is the worst when it comes to the condition of used games that I’ve ever dealt with. Even so there are times that I’ll find a gem among all of the garbage. The two games that I found were in good to new condition wise. Midnight Club II ($9.99) was the one that was used, but in good working order. To my surprise a gem did show up in the form of Gungrave: Overdose. It was $14.99 and I didn’t expect to ever find it new, but obviously was glad I did. In fact it was Usagi704 that spotted it on the shelf. I also looked at the original Midnight Club, but it was too dirty, and Fireblade, to which I wasn’t shown the disc since the clerk said that it was horribly scratched. After my purchase I asked about the GBA game and was told it was worth 75 cents.

As soon as I heard that I was reminded of my previous experience trading with EB Games and the post I made about it entitled “EB Ripoff.” At least now I’m smarter about how I go about buying games.

The very next day I received my eStarland order. The package included: Apocalypse, Disruptor, Medal of Honor, and Medal of Honor: Underground. I first looked at these four games when Usagi and myself were having lunch at Subway. Next door was It’s About Games and Usagi asked me to buy Wipeout 3 for him and he would get me the money ASAP. I thought about it for a little bit and then figured what the hell he’s good for it.

So, after lunch we went into the store and I bought Wipeout 3 ($5.99) along with Arcade’s Greatest Hits: The Atari Collection 1 ($10.99).

All in all it was fun and I ended up with 11 games for $113.86. Not bad at all.