Advance Twisted Solace

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A few days after I gave my thoughts on Evil Dead: Regeneration in my Now Playing: October 2015, I ended up finishing the game. My thoughts haven’t changed so you can read them at the link provided.

Onto another game I wanted to play and it was Advance Guardian Heroes on the Game Boy Advance. It’s a Treasure developed beat-’em-up in the same series as the Saturn classic Guardian Heroes. Unlike that game, Advance Guardian Heroes gets a bad rap and I never knew exactly why.

Once I played and finished it I figured it might be due to the different times throughout the game where the framerate takes a big hit. Trust me when I say that this isn’t as big of a deal as it may seem. I’m sure it’ll bug some gamers to no end, but those people are going to be few and far between.

I played on Easy and built my characters stats in a style of a “glass cannon.” It was all about the damage for me. If you want a considerably higher challenge, then I suggest you play on Normal or higher. I played purely for enjoyment and you may want more than the simple, easy-going satisfying experience I had.

Moving on I tested out the new poll feature on Twitter and I asked what other game I should play. The original PS1 Twisted Metal was the winner. I doubt I’ll get very far in it, but I’ll give it a shot. I also have Quantum of Solace on tap and ready to go after seeing Spectre earlier this week. It’s the version on PlayStation 2 which is a 3rd person shooter and not in 1st person like its counterpart on PS3/X360 is.

*****

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 #24 – November 3rd 2015 (@SpaceSuplex)
Anthony and Matt chat Hell in a Cell 2015.
https://hartarchive.wordpress.com/2015/11/03/space-suplex-24-to-hell-and-back/

Sword of Osiris

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If you’ve been keeping up with what I’ve been playing as of recently, then you know I’ve been focusing on playing games on the Game Boy Advance. I previously played Power Rangers Time Force and Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 3 to varying outcomes. This time I played CT Special Forces, Gunstar Super Heroes, and The Scorpion King: Sword of Osiris.

I was introduced to CT Special Forces with the sequel about 11 years ago. Since then I had picked up the first game and finally got around to playing it. The look of the game graphically reminded me of the Metal Slug series by SNK. It has quite the lengthy levels and some interesting variety in gameplay. Other than running and gunning you’ll also pilot a chopper in vertical shoot-’em-up stages, parachute and try to stick the landing, and sniper sequences. All are fun small diversions from the main activity of getting to and defeating the boss of each level.

Gunstar Super Heroes is the GBA sequel to the Treasure classic on the Genesis released 12 years after. If you’re familiar with either of these games then you’ll know what the other has in store because they’re roughly the same. My problem with Gunstar Super Heroes was the dice rolling section late in the game where it’s like a board game and it selects what you fight against. I had gotten to a point where I couldn’t get to the end of the board. I just kept rolling badly and going around in a circle. If it wasn’t for this section I would’ve been happy to finish it. A fantastic game otherwise.

Final game is the movie-based The Scorpion King: Sword of Osiris. It’s much better than its console counterpart of 2002. WayForward handled the development and it shows. Just like Treasure, WayForward makes high quality titles. While this game is a basic side scroller, this Scorpion King game does what it does well. Like with CT Special Forces above, The Scorpion King: Sword of Osiris has very long stages, but once you get the skills it becomes much easier. An unexpectedly fun game such as this comes recommended.

*****

HART & USAGI PODCAST #63 – May 10th 2015 (@HartandUsagi)
Matt, Mike, and Dan chat Game Boy Advance, Konami, rating for PC game Hatred, and more.
https://hartarchive.wordpress.com/2015/05/10/hart-usagi-podcast-63-game-boy-advance/

SUBSCRIBE!

SPACE SUPLEX #18 – April 28th 2015 (@SpaceSuplex)
Anthony and Matt chat Extreme Rules 2015 and more.
https://hartarchive.wordpress.com/2015/04/28/space-suplex-podcast-ep-18-get-extreme/

Complete In Box Fridays: Gunstar Super Heroes

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This week’s featured game is Gunstar Super Heroes for the Game Boy Advance. It’s the Treasure developed 2005 follow up to their 1993 Genesis classic, Gunstar Heroes.

I’d previously played the Genesis prequel in 2011 and I thought it was as fun as it was ever claimed to be. I’ll be playing the GBA sequel very soon.

In August 2007 I was able to obtain a copy of Gunstar Super Heroes for under $10. Today, as of this blog post, it’ll run you $26 for a complete in box copy.

Check out the gallery below and be sure to click on the photos to enlarge them for a closer look.

Catch ya later!

FRONT:
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BACK:
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#CIBfridays

Thanks NeonNinja!

A few weeks ago a blog was posted by NeonNinja mentioning his disappointment with most of what he’s played so far this year. One of those games was Sin and Punishment: Star Successor. He felt it was pretty average and not worth keeping around.

I’m not sure what I’ll eventually think of it, but this game has been one on my wish list for awhile now. After reading what he said I commented that I’d buy it off him. NeonNinja not only took me up on the offer, but he was willing to send it to me free of charge.

Here it is now in my hands. Thank you very much, Neon! :)

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Now Playing: January 2011

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This will be a quick Now Playing entry for the month of January. I hope you enjoy it nonetheless.

First up at the beginning of the month was X-Men Origins: Wolverine. After making it the final game beaten for last year, I finished it up by getting my sixth platinum trophy. I talked briefly about a couple minor problems I had with the game.

The lone downloadable game I left untouched from when I first bought it was the beat-’em-up Revenge of the Wounded Dragons. It was disappointing to say the least. My favorite genre kept on being a disappointment with Batman: Rise of Sin Tzu. Because of this I went with a sure-fire winner in Streets of Rage 2. I also enjoyed my time playing other Genesis greats like Gunstar Heroes and Super Street Fighter II. All of these titles are covered in my blog posts “Rise of Sin Tzu” and “Surprises.”

More recently my first purchase of the year was the import of Prince of Persia Trilogy where I played The Sands of Time and easily scored my seventh platinum trophy. I still really like this game, but this version does have its problems which is unfortunate.

The game looks good, but it probably could’ve been a little bit better. Some of the graphical effects, like the blurry edges of the screen when rewinding time, are absent. Also the volume isn’t even across everything. Enemies are usually too loud and some environmental hazards, like the spiked poles, are too quite. I’m not a fan of the 2D Prince of Persia games, but for those who are the omission of the hidden Macintosh version of the original will be a bit disappointing.

The sole game I’m playing at the moment is Duke Nukem: Time to Kill for PS1. Now I don’t want to be overly general about what kind of game this is or how it plays, but saying it’s Tomb Raider with Duke Nukem in place of Lara Croft really is spot on. It uses the same graphics engine as the TR games from the time and the controls are the same. Duke himself even wonders if the woman on the subway phone on the first level is Lara. Despite all of this Eidos and Core Design didn’t have anything to do with this title. It was actually developed by n-Space. This is the same group that gave me the tedious FPS experience on the DS with Call of Duty 4. Thankfully it isn’t anywhere nearly as bad.

Overall I did quite well for myself by scoring five games on the finished pile is a good start.

THIS MONTH’S GAMING STATS:
* X-Men Origins: Wolverine (PS3) – Trophies: 51 / 51 (100%)
* Revenge of the Wounded Dragons (PS3) – Trophies: 5 / 12 (42%)
* Streets of Rage 2 (GEN) – Score: 603,230
* Gunstar Heroes (GEN) – 1 credit cleared on Easy.
* Super Street Fighter II (GEN) – Finished on Super Expert mode.
* Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time (PS3) – 4h33m; 100% | Trophies: 16 / 16 (100%)
* Duke Nukem: Time to Kill (PS) – Level 2 – Duke Hill; 1h59m3s; Enemies killed: 123; Secrets found: 5 of 14

Surprises

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I have a couple of surprises to share. The first two items aren’t one of these.

I’m calling it quits on Batman: Rise of Sin Tzu. Up until the final boss fight with the main antagonist the enemies were sometimes annoying and not always fun, but it was doable. This wasn’t the case against Sin Tzu. I know if I didn’t read an FAQ ahead of time I would’ve wondered what I was supposed to do. Even with this knowledge I still have to be able to execute the plan and I just wasn’t able to. The FAQ listed this fight as “very, very annoying,” but it’s probably worse than that sounds.

I’ve put up with frustrating boss battles before, but I still managed to win after a few tries. The most recent one of this variety was Weapon 11 on Hard in X-Men Origins: Wolverine. I’m not very upset I’ll be leaving Batman: Rise of Sin Tzu unfinished as I’ve many more games I’d rather play.

Last night I played against Usagi704 some more in Super Street Fighter II on the Genesis. It’s still a very fun and playable game if you weren’t aware. :cool: During this play session I temporary had the middle name of “predictable.” Come to think of it I can be quite predictable majority of the time. Because of this I sought for some tips from Usagi for Ryu. Unlike with Vega he didn’t have specific character tips, but general play ideas like mixing it up which I don’t do on a consistent basis. Regardless it was still fun as usual.

Now for the first of two surprises I’d mentioned about at the beginning of this blog post.

This first one is mainly just my own surprise. For whatever reason I thought of Gunstar Heroes as a really difficult game and was afraid to start playing it. Sure the insanity in it can be turned up a few notches, but I thought this was the case no matter what difficulty I had it on. As it turns out it was doable on Easy though my first time through I did continue a number of times. With the understanding I then had of the game afterwards I was able to clear it on one credit. In the future I do plan on playing with more challenge involved.

With Gunstar Heroes finished I was able to make record time on getting up to my fourth game beat for 2011 (full list). By this day last year I hadn’t completed even my first game and getting four done didn’t happen until the first week of March.

The second and final surprise is what I bought for my first purchase of the new year. This may surprise those who remember reading my blog post “To Import or Not To Import” (link to online archive) where I talked about my decision not to bother with buying the import Prince of Persia Trilogy retail disc.

As it turns out I reversed my “final” decision and went ahead and purchased it. In the final week of December I put in my order on Play-Asia.com, but sadly they didn’t have it and never did much to notify me of this. I hate all online shops which are lazy at sending out email notices when such a problem occurs. eStarland.com also had this problem a month before Christmas. I was told about National Console Support out of New York by Usagi. They had it and delivered in less than a week. NCSXShop.com

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Rider Kick!

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I haven’t amassed this many games into my collection at one time since the beginning of last August. I guess the good that comes from that shows that I’ve been successful in bringing down the amount of games I get at one time. Let’s get to the eight games listed before you.

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DEAD TO RIGHTS
First up is Dead to Rights for the GBA. It’s a terribly rated game and rightfully so. However, I couldn’t pass it up when I saw it recently at the local Toys-R-Us. No they don’t sell used games. This is, in fact, a new copy. The damage to the box likely comes from being thrown around in bargain bins since probably the game’s release back in 2001. It was worth it, though, at only $3.

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STAR WARS EPISODE III: REVENGE OF THE SITH
I’m in no way a fan of Star Wars just so you know. I pretty much despise the films for the fanfare they receive. This is because the series is only mediocre at best. Regardless of that Episode III: Revenge of the Sith on the GBA looked interesting thanks to this episode of Video Game Take-Out.

Other games that VGTO has introduced me to that I didn’t regret getting were Hammerin’ Hero and Justice League Heroes: The Flash. I also plan on getting Kid Dracula and Ninja Five-O as well thanks to that show.

EVERY EXTEND EXTRA
The main reason I bought this game was because it looked somewhat interesting and that I noticed it on the shelf a lot when visiting Usagi704. It’s very easy to spot with such large letters on the spine.

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POWER RANGERS: DINO THUNDER
With all of my talk in the past of owning, playing, beating, and mastering the SNES version of Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers, some of you maybe thinking that I’ve been a fan of the series all along. I’m sure that this new purchase for the Gamecube doesn’t serve to help much. In reality I was only a very slight fan of a similar series called VR Troopers and never watched any of the Power Ranger shows though I was familar with it when I’d see an image or clip of it.

The main reason I bought this game, despite not knowing anything about it, was the very informative series of videos by Linkara analyzing the Power Rangers series (intro). I’ve since looked into the PR series (shows & games) along with the original Super Sentai series of which they’re based on.

KAMEN RIDER: DRAGON KNIGHT
The Power Rangers videos would then lead me to finding this YouTube channel where I’d learn about the long running series called Kamen Rider (1971). It lead me to info about the 2002 show, Kamen Rider: Ryuki, that was adapted into the 2009 show that this game was based on.

Kamen Rider: Dragon Knight was simply another game that interested me solely because of the odd excitement I currently have for such uniquely Japanese entertainment.

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GRADIUS V
Another game I bought through glyde.com was Gradius V. I was way cheaper than the usual price it goes for ($40) complete, I was able to only pay $18 and it also included the bonus pre-order DVD.

THE MATRIX: PATH OF NEO
It sounded like fun after reading ebbderelict’s review.

MOBILE LIGHT FORCE 2
This is the game with the infamous box art that doesn’t fit with the shoot-’em-up genre that this game is from. It also has an interesting mechanic where your shots do more damage when passing close to enemy bullets.

Good day.

Five Most Wanted Retro Titles

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The following was my reply to the forum topic “Your TOP 5 Most Wanted Retro Titles” on Retroware TV.com.

The question of the topic was the following.

If you could have just five retro games in mint condition, in the box, instructions included, for free right now. What five would you choose?

Before giving my own answer I checked out some of the replies that were already left. Some of the first ones were great, but eventually a number of people were listing games that are cheap to come by like Rocket Knight Adventures.

Complete mint games for free would have to be a list of hard-to-find expensive games. I say aim for the stars if you could get any game for free. I know I would and I did with my selection of games.

Gradius V
This amazing looking PlayStation 2 sequel to the Gradius series is not only hard-to-find, as most shoot-’em-ups are these days, but also pretty expensive. It goes for around $33 US for a complete copy and that doesn’t guarantee it to be in mint condition. And that’s the cheap game of this bunch. :o

Check out episode six of Substance TV for info on this game.

Rez
I like my shoot-’em-ups. Rez has a different take on that with a head-on perspective and trippy music. Sure it can be scored easily and cheaply via Xbox Live, but I figure if it was possible to get it complete and free, then the original PlayStation2 release would have to be the way to go. This game fetches around $42 currently.

Ikaruga
Everybody knows about Ikaruga. From the style of gameplay to it being one of the more expensive shumps out there. That’s also why it was cool to see it on XBL as well since it can only be found for $45 and up depending on the version you get.

Ninja Five-O
I’m going to guess that a number of you have never heard of this Game Boy Advance game. I hadn’t either until I saw this early April episode of Video Game Take-Out. The game looks like a lot of fun, but does go for just as much as Ikaruga on the Gamecube, $45.

Wild Guns
There have been a number of great games by Natsume over the years. The main one that comes to mind is Shadow of the Ninja for the NES. Wild Guns for the Super Nintendo also has the distinction of being a great Natsume game. It also has another distinction from the rest on this list. It’s the most expensive with a complete copy going for as much as $65! :o

Check out episode two of Substance TV and episode five of the Happy Video Game Nerd for info on this game.

Enough of me. Now it’s your turn. What are your five games if you could get them for free? Remember to aim high for games that are more than you’d like to pay for.

Rainbow of Games

Over the last three weeks I’ve accumulated the following additions to my collection. The totals are 22 games, 2 movies, and 5 albums.

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Batman
It’s my first copy of it and it’s my favorite of the early Batman films. It has a bunch of extras including a 50-page book that’s apart of the case and a director commentary track which I usually look for in movies I buy.

Watchmen
Included with the two End Is Nigh games for the PS3.

Ten Pin Alley
I remember it from a demo disc years ago.

Big Bang Mini
It has interested me for awhile.

Frogger
It was free with the original PlayStation system that Usagi704 got recently and he didn’t want it so he let me have it.

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Space Channel 5 Special Edition
For the PS2, which I originally thought was the first game until I found out that it contains Part 2 as well.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2: Battle Nexus & Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 3: Mutant Nightmare
I bought these two games based solely on the inclusion of the two original Konami arcade games as unlockables.

Namco Classic Fighter Collection
I’ve been interested in picking up a copy of Tekken Tag Tournament more recently. This three game collection helped out nicely with that as it had that game along with Tekken 4 and Soul Calibur II.

Wario World
It’s one of the few Gamecube specific games that I’ve yet to get that have interested me.

The King of Fighter XII
To play against others online, but mainly Usagi, of course.

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Kid Klown in Crazy Chase
I lead myself to believe that this SNES Kemco game was at least decent for some reason. It’s not.

Deja Vu
Oh here’s why. This NES adventure game, which always had fun box art, was published by Kemco where as the above game was developed by them. Retroware TV episode 12-4 made Deja Vu seem pretty interesting.

Cabal
I remember liking the arcade version back in the day. This version works, but maybe not as well as one would hope.

Mission: Impossible
This was one of those games that we owned growing up so it was on my wish list because of that alone. Decent music I must say.

RoadBlasters
An interesting and mildly fun shooter style racer.

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This next group of three were bought with the idea that since my original plan to buy less has obviously failed that I’d start looking on eBay for the harder to find games that I want. Just once a month with a few exceptions like the upcoming Modern Warfare 2. Hopefully this will work this time.

Doom
This was the game I was going after. It doesn’t have everything, but it does have most of The Ultimate Doom and Doom II games. It’s kind of a compilation of sorts.

Vigilante 8: 2nd Offense & Soul Blade
These two games were simply apart of the three game deal. Neither of which I had and I’ve heard some good things about both.

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Finally, I looked up the prices of Michael Jackson album on Amazon.com and other than HIStory costing about $23, the rest were only $7-9. I looked locally for them first and no place had a good selection or price. So I ended up getting all of the albums expect for HIStory (price) and Invincible (already own).

21

Alright, back again and this time I show off a total of 21 games and 2 systems that I’ve added to my collection.

In the past some of you have wondered how I get all of this stuff. It’s all thanks to a wizard or if you’d rather a different reason, then we’ll go with Joe Pesci. Thanks Joe! (lol) In the end it’s about what I got not how I get it. So let’s get to the goodies.

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Larger view

First up is two Game Boy Pockets, one blue (eBay) and one green (eStarland.com). I invite you to check out this video I made that shows me testing the unopened green Game Boy Pocket for the first time.

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Now for the games. The picture above is to give a perspective of the many games I bought. Below are more detailed shots via links of smaller groups. Group #2 are actually replacement games as the ones I already owned were working fine, but the label color didn’t match the disc color.

GROUP #1
Fighting Force
Crash Team Racing
Need For Speed: Porsche Unleashed
Final Fight 3
The Scorpion King: Sword of Osiris

GROUP #2
Need For Speed: Hot Pursuit 2
Nightfire
Spy Hunter

GROUP #3
Metal Slug 7
Overlord: Raising Hell
Bleach: Dark Souls

GROUP #4
Metal Slug Advance
After Burner: Black Falcon
Tetris DX
Phalanx

GROUP #5
Neo Contra
Ace Combat 5: The Unsung War
Alone in the Dark: Inferno
CT Special Forces

GROUP #6
Tetris
Pokemon Blue

I was thinking of plans for future blogs/videos and I thought of showing off sections of my collection that were requested by you all. I’m not going to do a multi-part of all my PS2 games or anything really long like that. However, I’m willing to show games that I have from a certain series or something similar like that. Maybe even with some gameplay footage at the end to spice things up a little. So if you’d like to suggest something, please do. Just remember to check out my game collection list to see what I have first.

Like always, I’ll put up another blog here soon. So thanks for reading.