Hart & Usagi #102: Genesis Sound

In episode 102 we talk about the new Streets of Rage 4 video game, Bloodstained’s update, NBA Jam: The Book, Space Suplex podcast topics, and more.

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



Listen or Download (1:39:53)

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Hart & Usagi Podcast at the Internet Archive

Matt: @HartKnight | HartKnight’s Archive

Mike: @usagi704 | Domain of Usagi704 | Instagram



Hart & Usagi #70: Feel The Electricity


It’s time for another scintillating Hart & Usagi Podcast episode. We talk about Edge’s top 100 video games list, Nintendo against Fair Use, and the greatness of the original PlayStation among other topics.

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

* Mortal Kombat X for Xbox 360/PlayStation 3 Canceled
* Mega Man Movie is in Development at Fox
* 20 Brilliant Things About PlayStation
* Wow, Umihara Kawase games coming to PC
* Nintendo’s cracking down on speedrunning and ROM hacking videos
* 3 ways the original PlayStation changed gaming forever
* TGS 2015: Sony Reveals Fresh New PS4 Wireless Headset, Controllers, HDD Bay Covers
* Edge Special List: The 100 Greatest Video Games
* Former ESPN Host Criticizes Gaming Again
* Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 5 Day One Update Is Reportedly Bigger Than Game Itself
* Burnout Spiritual Successor Teased By Ex-Criterion Founders
* New Street Fighter V Character Laura Leaked
* What Are the Best Video Game Remakes?

Listen or Download (1:26:41)

Subscribe: RSS | iTunes

Hart & Usagi Podcast at the Internet Archive

Matt: @HartKnight | HartKnight’s Archive

Mike: @usagi704 | Domain of Usagi704


Hart & Usagi #67: SFV Freemium DLCmium


In this grand episode of the Hart & Usagi Podcast we talk about Capcom’s idea to essentially do the free-to-play model with their DLC for Street Fighter V. Matt talks about his history with the Twisted Metal series. Also listen for the rage on Randy Pitchford and former ESPN “personality,” Crunch Buttsteak.

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

* Sonic vs. Gametrailers.com
* Street Fighter V free-to-play DLC
* Pre-orders
* Twisted Metal series
* Nintendo Addresses Rumor It’s Distancing Itself From New Wii U Exclusive
* No, Tekken X Street Fighter Is Not Canceled
* See Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 5 Gameplay in New Video
* “Head-Turning” New Duke Nukem Game Teased, But Don’t Expect it Soon
* Alien Colonial Marines Cost CEO Randy Pitchford $10 Million Of His Own Money
* Street Fighter 2 Soundtrack Remastered for CD and Vinyl
* Gamers Still Prefer to Buy Physical Over Digital, Study Finds
* Google Fiber brings free Internet to the poor
* Mistakes were made with the Shenmue 3 Kickstarter
* Uncharted Collection Adds New Difficulty, Drops Forced Motion Controls
* ESPN Personality Who Criticized Gaming Departs Company

Listen or Download (1:40:47)

Subscribe: RSS | iTunes

Hart & Usagi Podcast at the Internet Archive

Matt: @HartKnight | HartKnight’s Archive

Mike: @usagi704 | Domain of Usagi704



Now Playing: April 2015


My big game this last month was Far Cry 3. I talked about my initial feelings on it during the previous Now Playing article. In an odds and ends blog post I talked about how my supplies were all upgraded. “In The Far Cry South” was about how my progress at that time was going on the southern island in the game. I finally finish up the game at 44 hours in “From Far Cry 3 to GBA.”

In that last link just above I had hoped to take some time dedicated to the Game Boy Advance. The reason being is I plan on chatting on the next Hart & Usagi Podcast about it.

I’ve recently played and finished Power Rangers Time Force. Now granted I’m not expecting an incredible game by any means when it comes to a licensed title. It was a good thing I wasn’t because I definitely didn’t get it. It’s as simple as get to the end of the stage without getting every Ranger killed. Then you take on the boss where the best way I found to defeat them was to use the super move by having full meter, hold B to charge, and then press L or R. Once the megazord battle happens it’s just as simple mash the B button until you win. Anything like “smart tactics” will only get you a continue screen.

I also played some of the GBA version of Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 3. I’ve unlocked level 2 in career mode, but I’ve been having a problem getting any farther. It goes to show, I guess, that I’ve never been very good at the Pro Skater games, but I have always appreciated them. My biggest issue with the game is the isometric perspective. I’ve never been much of a fan of this view because it’s difficult to tell aerial distance for jumps and this game is all about the aerial moves.

My next GBA games to tackle are CT Special Forces and Gunstar Super Heroes. I played the former’s sequel first back in 2004 and the latter’s Genesis classic in 2011.

As always keep gaming!

Games Finished In 2012


The list below shows every game that I finished in 2012. The total number comes to 51. That’s up 11 from 2011.

1. Metal Slug Advance (GBA) – 1/11
2. Batman Forever (SNES) – 1/14
3. Riot Zone (VC) – 1/15
4. Mortal Kombat via Mortal Kombat Arcade Kollection (PSN) – 1/30
5. Darksiders (PS3) – 2/14
6. Daxter (PSP) – 2/19
7. Super Street Fighter II (SNES) – 2/24
8. Max Payne (PS2) – 2/27
9. Contra (NES) – 3/6
10. Fighting Force (PS) – 3/7
11. Deus Ex: The Conspiracy (PS2) – 3/22
12. Medal of Honor: European Assault (PS2) – 3/26
13. X-Men (PSN) – 4/4
14. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (GBA) – 4/10
15. Super Street Fighter II: Turbo Revival (GBA) – 4/12
16. Assassin’s Creed II (PS3) – 4/17
17. Max Payne 2: The Fall of Max Payne (PS2) – 4/30
18. Yakuza 2 (PS2) – 6/1
19. Super Hang-On (PSN) – 6/14
20. Lost Planet: Extreme Condition (PS3) – 6/23
21. Prince of Persia: Warrior Within via Prince of Persia Trilogy (PS3) – 7/1
22. Prince of Persia: Revelations (PSP) – 7/21
23. Beyond Oasis via Sonic’s Ultimate Genesis Collection (PS3) – 7/24
24. Neo Contra (PS2) – 7/25
25. Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater (PS) – 7/30
26. Tetris DS (DS) – 8/6
27. Tetris DX (GBC) – 8/8
28. Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2 (PS) – 8/17
29. Rise to Honor (PS2) – 8/19
30. Klonoa: Door to Phantomile (PSN) – 8/22
31. Half-Life 2: Episode Two via The Orange Box (PS3) – 8/29
32. Mortal Kombat II via Mortal Kombat Arcade Kollection (PSN) – 9/4
33. Mortal Kombat II (SNES) – 9/5
34. Devil May Cry via Devil May Cry HD Collection (PS3) – 9/7
35. Crash Commando (PSN) – 9/14
36. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Arcade Game (NES) – 9/23
37. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (FC) – 9/24
38. Castlevania: The Adventure Rebirth (VC) – 10/5
39. Marvel Super Heroes via Marvel vs. Capcom Origins (PSN) – 10/10
40. Alien Storm via Sonic’s Ultimate Genesis Collection (PS3) – 10/17
41. Streets of Rage 2 (PSN) – 10/27
42. Growl via Taito Legends 2 (PS2) – 10/30
43. Contra (FC) – 11/1
44. Prototype (PS3) – 11/16
45. Need for Speed: Most Wanted (PS3) – 11/22
46. Burnout 3: Takedown (PS2) – 12/2
47. Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow via Castlevania Double Pack (GBA) – 12/7
48. Super Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition (PS3) – 12/8
49. Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers (SNES) – 12/10
50. Castlevania II: Simon’s Quest (NES) – 12/13
51. Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare (PS3) – 12/18

August, September, and December proved to be the best months for beating games with 6 in total for each with a monthly average of 4.25.

When it comes to earning those fancy trophies, I was able to earn 207 last year. One of them was a platinum from Assassin’s Creed II in April.

Now Playing: August 2012


This is edition of Now Playing is a few days early, but I figured I’d go ahead with it since I had a bunch of fun I had to tell you about.

In a blog post from two weeks ago, I talked about my time playing several versions of Tetris and how I ended up doing in Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater. Once I was up and running with the sequel, Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2, it was much more entertaining. The manual really makes a difference, but so did the cheat codes of Moon Physics (Hold L1 ✕□←↑↓↑□△) and Perfect Balance (Hold L1 →↑←□→↑□△). ;) I wasn’t much of a fan of the New York or Philly levels, but the rest were quite fun and I certainly didn’t miss the lack of downhill levels. Both THPS1 and (more so) THPS2 are a better use of your money than the recent HD release. Why play a weak tribute to those fantastic titles when you can just play those games themselves!

This last Sunday I joined up with four others from GPY to play some of Mortal Kombat Arcade Kollection. Each of us squared off in one-on-one matches until everybody faced all others in two matches in each of the three games included. I was able to obtain a win-loss record of 6-0, 6-0, 5-1, 1-5. I won with a total of 18 wins and 6 losses.

Lately if you’ve seen my GameSpot or Backloggery profile banners, you noticed what I was going to play next.

I started off with Rise to Honor. A game I played back in 2008, but didn’t finish. I did so after SonicHomeboy played and beat it. There were some frustrating points and the first one was on chapter 43 fighting Billy Soon. I was amazed that I was right before the final boss fight of the game, chapter 59 (atrium ambush), all those years ago and didn’t know it. Another thing I didn’t know about was the adrenaline dive during the gun fights. It was probably why I couldn’t get past where I was stuck.

The game has mostly fun beat-’em-up mechanics (which I approve of), but when the guns come out it feels more like “just get this section over with.” It’s not the worst thing you’ll ever play by any means, but not as well done. “Your lungs on fire?” Shut up Kwan!

The second game on tap was Klonoa: Door to Phantomile. I downloaded this PS1 title off of PSN earlier in the year. Just like with its sequel on the PS2, it’s an expertly crafted platformer with memorable events such as one of out right murder. Not something you’d expect in such a game, but damn it if they didn’t want that pendent! Totally recommended however you can get it (cheap PSN download, Wii remake, or big bucks for the original disc).

The final game I’m going to start soon is Half-Life 2: Episode Two (just as I said I would to NeonNinja). After that I’m thinking about doing a month of Nintendo. I’m not sure exactly what form it will be in. It might be first-party titles regardless of system or one specific system without regard for IP holder. Let me know which way I should go if you wish.

Thanks for reading and catch me on Twitter!

* Tetris DX – Score: 291,230
* Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2 – Average money out of 13 skaters: $126934
* Klonoa: Door to Phantomile – 55/72 Rescued

Xtreme Wicked Tricks, Dude!


On the most recent episode of the Hart & Usagi Podcast I’d noted that Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater was one of those games were I’d get frustrated fairly quickly, but I’m always beckoned back because the game is still genuinely fun. I still wasn’t able to get past the Burnside competition level. I decided I’d finish up with the game after getting as many tapes as I could with all of the skaters. The average was 19 a piece.

I got the urge to start up with the sequel (THPS2) a week ago. So far I’m taking my time trying to learn some of the levels and also adding the new Manual into trick combos. It’s going about as well as you’d expect with my “amazing” skills.

Moving onto a game I actually have skills to show for, Tetris on Game Boy, GB Color, and DS has been my portable title of choice. Specifically for Tetris DX I was able to best my previous effort ending on level 27 with a score of 274,090 and 274 lines.

I’ve played more recent editions of Tetris enough that I relied on the hold a piece feature that appears in all newer versions these days. It’s crazy how different you have to think about where to put which pieces when you can’t hold a piece or see more than the very next one. Also the line piece is much less common in showing up when you need it making it much more difficult to setup for a tetris and getting one a rare occurrence. Playing one of these older versions makes you appreciate the game changer some of these improvements really were.

Now Playing: July 2012


It’s time for Now Playing and I’d like to start off with the absurd…Neo Contra. It was suggested by 6h05tly shortly after recording the 16th episode of the Hart & Usagi Podcast, which he was a guest on.

Neo Contra is absurd in that it has a lengthly intro and cutscenes where the most ridiculous things happen. Near the end of the intro, Jaguer holds this katana vertical while kneeling on top of a jet while it’s flying and proceeds to cut a missile in half. The bosses’ names follow the formula of random noun + CONTRA (Guerilla, Plant, Pheromone, Animal, and Master).

I was able to finish the game on Easy which gives 30 lives and about six continues. It didn’t take long to figure out that the controls for where you were shooting didn’t work very well. Holding R2 stopped character for the left stick to aim in all directions. For L2 you are locked to just one direction, but can strife. Without holding either button you only shoot in the direction of movement. Since this game had an overhead view of the action a dual stick style of controls would’ve worked much better.

Another game I finished this month was Beyond Oasis. A short, but nonetheless entertaining action beat-’em-up light RPG. This Genesis title has the music stylings of one Yuzo Koshiro of Streets of Rage fame. It took me 6 hours and 46 minutes in total to beat.

Along with Beyond Oasis, I previously talked about Golden Axe III here. This is also one of four blog posts where I talk about Prince of Persia: Warrior Within and the PSP port subtitled Revelations. Check those out, if you will.

The most recent gaming I’ve been doing is with the recently bought original PlayStation game Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater. I appreciate what this game (and its sequels) did for making what would’ve likely been a series I would’ve otherwise avoided if they came out more like Thrasher. The moves are easy enough to pull off, but very tough to master. At least that’s been my experience so far. The whole idea of putting the combos together to get high scores confounds me to no end. It probably has to do with the system being much deeper than it appears on the surface. I get the overall basics, but my skills haven’t gone much past that despite trying hard. I feel like there’s something to it all that I just don’t get.

The game itself definitely still holds up today, some 13 years later (as evident by the sales numbers of the HD release). Some of the levels don’t work especially well like the downhill style Mall and Downhill Jam. The levels that worked back then still do like Warehouse and School. Overall the game is still excellent. I just suck at it. :D

THPS Throwdown

I’ve been forcing a depletion of my video game wish list as of late. I’ve done this several times in the past, but this is probably the most severe. Not necessarily the most in number as it is of titles I wanted the most. I cleared out all systems pre-DS. This included Grind Stormer and The Punisher (port of Capcom arcade beat-’em-up) on Genesis, seven PS1 titles including Einhander and Darkstalkers, and my beloved GBA with Duke Nukem Advance among the six listed. This doesn’t mean I won’t jump at the chance to get them if I find them at a great price. I just won’t be actively looking for them.

Now onto a more positive take on lessening my wish list.

I happened to come across the crazy deals at Best Buy a few days ago and saw a number of more recent games on sale at $10. I already stated that I wasn’t going to bother with any Assassin’s Creed game after playing II and just wait for III. However, it was quite a deal to find AC: Revelations and despite the tower defense crap in the game I still picked it up.

These next set of titles are quite an odd thing for me to get. While I played some of them at the time, I didn’t get into the series quite like Jeff and Ryan of Giant Bomb did. It was very entertaining to listen to them reminisce about the old Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater games in their Quick Look and Thursday Night Throwdown of the recently released HD version. Because of this and of how cheap they were on eStarland.com, I ordered the PS1 versions of all four games and this is on top of already owning THPS3 on GBA and THPS4 on PS2. I also got Puzzle Quest 2 for DS to get some fast and free shipping.