Now Playing: May-December 2016


In the latter half of 2016 I played a number of games. Doom 3, Max Payne 3, Saints Row IV’s expansion, Infamous 2, Crysis 3, etc. I’m currently on Watch Dogs for the last month and I’ve been enjoying it more than most people did. I’m with Jim Sterling on this game and it’s fun for what it is. I haven’t been expecting more from it. My thoughts on other games are as follows.

I started out playing Doom 3. It was much better than I thought it would be, but it’s still a bit cliche for the gotcha type of horror it went for. However, I did like it and I felt the pace was a small amount faster in the expansions of Resurrection of Evil and The Lost Mission. Those were a welcome addition.

Then I moved onto Max Payne 3. It was the fun Payne gameplay we’ve come to know just with an updated sense about it that’s needed in today’s gaming scene. The story was the good, but I did feel the game lasted longer than I had liked. It was still worth my time regardless of this complaint.

Next up was Saints Row: Gat Out of Hell. The previous game in the series I played was Saints Row 2. I was going to do the usual play them in order since I have SR3 and IV, but I thought screw it. I went for the out the top hellscape adventure because Usagi704 was playing it and it looked wonderfully fun in all of its ridiculous glory. It was certainly that.

Continuing on with the PlayStation 3 marathon I was on, I played and finished Infamous 2. I had tried to start it 2014, but felt the need to get back to my gaming roots at that time. I was worried I would abandon it again, but thankfully that was never an issue this time around. I played on the evil side the first and only time I plan on playing it. It’s just easier to have fun Infamous’ open world that way. In the end I chose to become what I hunted for the whole time.

Crysis 3 was the last game before Watch Dogs and it was pretty much what I expected. The only problem is that eventually I was placed in, what I felt was, an unfair boss fight. I took my sweet ass time throughout the game and since I was ready to be finished with it, I called it “done” when this fight failed multiple times.

In the future I plan on playing every single game I haven’t played that I received for Xmas. This includes the lot I was given this last holiday too. In total it’ll encompass 19 games starting with Bujingai: The Forsaken City. I won’t force myself to beat a game if I’m not entertained by it. But hopefully it won’t be much of a problem. Wish me luck.

Happy New Year!


Hart & Usagi #74: Because of Jean Reno


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!

* 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


Komplete First Editions

Here’s another set of four new movies. Two more DVD upgrades in The American President and Collateral Damage. The latter was a former Blockbuster rental copy. Oh, Blockbuster. Those where the days. The other two, Whiplash and Gangs of New York, are new to my collection altogether. I was reminded that Gangs was a Martin Scorsese picture so I decided to get it. Whiplash was my newest favorite after my initial viewing. It was the reason I selected it.


Onto the gaming side. I was with Usagi704 and we visited an out of town gaming store called Warp Zone. After much digging around, because heaven forbid I not be kneeling on the floor, looking through a bin of portable games, I found the Japanese version of Castlevania II: Belmont’s Revenge. The only difference I’m aware of is the subweapon difference of the Axe (NA) being the Cross (JP). I also found NHL Blades of Steel 2000 for the Game Boy Color. I didn’t know Konami ever made another Blades of Steel game after the NES title. I guess this is it. Unlike the original game it has both the NHL and NHL Players licenses.


The final three games puchased was the PlayStation 4 version of the rebooted Shadow Warrior. It marks my fifth game for the system I still do not own. I also picked up on a whim the Komplete Edition of Mortal Kombat, which was a used copy without an online pass, and Saints Row: Gat Out of Hell. Both are for the PS3. I don’t plan to play online with MK9 so it’s just as well it didn’t have the pass with it. Gat Out of Hell was labeled a “First Edition.” It’s probably similar to “Day 1 Edition” and it includes DLC called the “Devil’s Workshop Pack.”



HART & USAGI PODCAST #61 – March 28th 2015 (@HartandUsagi)
HartKnight and usagi704 chat remaster of games and more.


SPACE SUPLEX #17 – April 1st 2015 (@SpaceSuplex)
HartKnight and 24bitAJE chat WrestleMania 31 and more.

Pick 5: Favorite Open World Games


It has been several years since this Pick 5 feature has been seen around, but here it is. As the title states this one will be about my favorite open world games. The games in this genre include whole franchises and single titles of other series. We’ll be seeing a little of both in this Pick 5. Time to get this started.

The initial game in the series was a bit basic, but the concept was solid. Despite being a bit repetitive and, yes, sadly boring at times, there was potential. This was realized in the sequel–this game–Assassin’s Creed II. With a much better story and an excellent protagonist in Ezio, ACII became an instant favorite to many gamers. Once I got around to playing it a few years ago, it was almost overwhelming how many different things there’s to do in the game. I’ve since played through its sequels Brotherhood, Revelations, and I’m currently at the beginning of Assassin’s Creed III. I can easily say that Assassin’s Creed II is still my favorite. Obtaining a platinum trophy doesn’t hurt my fondness for the game either.

Ah, yes. The racing series to end all racing series for me. When Acclaim was publishing the first two games I didn’t even know Burnout existed. Granted this was at a time when I was exclusively playing the Smackdown series of wrestling games. It wasn’t until EA published the amazing entry Burnout 3: Takedown that I got my first taste of the high octane action of Criterion Games’ pedigree. The idea of all of this awesomeness in an open world sounded too good to be true. Thankfully sometimes the “too good” does become a reality. Burnout Paradise was this reality. It’s easily my most played game of the 7th generation of gaming consoles. At around 500 hours of total gameplay time with everything absolutely completed (including the platinum trophy), this game comes highly recommended to arcade-style racing game fans.

A series that started on the PC as a first-person shooter with destructible walls. It was pretty unique for the time. The initial two games eventually saw releases on the PlayStation 2 and Xbox. I did play the demo of the first game and was impressed, but I never did bother with the whole thing. It wasn’t until Red Faction went to a third-person perspective in the open world genre with Guerrilla. They took the destructibility to a whole new level with entire structures being able to be brought down with a simple melee weapon knocking out the support beams. Overall a worth while and fun time I’d say.

Originally a True Crime game subtitled Hong Kong, Sleeping Dogs eventually saw the light of day when it was released after delays and even a cancellation. I was never a fan of the True Crime games and I might have never given this middle-of-the-road title a chance if it hadn’t been renamed. I’m glad it was giving a second life as I enjoyed its open world action quite a bit. The hand-to-hand combat was well done and the context sensitive executions were a great way to spice things up. Think of Sleeping Dogs as Grand Theft Auto in the far east and you’ll get the picture.

A majority of Incredible Hulk games don’t let you truly rampage as Bruce Banner’s alter ego like so many Spider-Man games allow you to be Spidey. This release on the 6th generation of gaming consoles does let you do exactly that. You get to HULK SMASH as much as you want with tons of moves able to be unlocked. The graphics aren’t the best even by PS2 and Xbox standards, but they’re serviceable. And besides you won’t care all that much when you’re having a blast throwing cars at enemies and toppling destructible buildings. Nothing feels as good as dropping a huge green elbow from the top of a skyscraper down upon a helpless military tank!

Holiday Gaming Plans


Last night I was ready to play a new game after finishing up with The Mark of Kri. I wasn’t sure what it should be so I left it up to my Twitter followers.

I asked them to choose from a platformer or an open world game. Both where chosen. NiceGuyNeon went with open world and from the following list picked Sleeping Dogs.

Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood
Far Cry 3
Infamous 2
The Saboteur
Sleeping Dogs
Yakuza 3

Gamecamiller and SonicHomeboy opted for a platformer and of the four games I had in mind they chose Kirby’s Dream Land 2 and Super Mario Galaxy, respectively.

Castlevania: Dracula X
Klonoa: Empire of Dreams
Super Mario Galaxy
Kirby’s Dream Land 2

My current plans are to play Kirby’s Dream Land 2 and then Sleeping Dogs and Super Mario Galaxy.

On a side note I found a cheap copy of Saints Row: The Third. It’s a Greatest Hits version and it has the new owner of the IP, Deep Silver, on the cover instead of THQ.


Rivals On Fire


I recently found two games for $20 each at a local Walmart. One I’ve been wanting since it’s release, Sleeping Dogs, and the other I decided against, but thought it was a decent price for in Red Faction: Armageddon. RivalShadeX would disagree with my assessment of the price for the latter game since he got it for $5.99, but at least I had stripesonfire back me up. XD