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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Video Game Deals

Hi, there folks. I’ve new purchases to speak of and movies I’ve since watched in the last week.

The Hunt for Red October is a thriller of a film with Sean Connery as a defecting Russian sub captain. It’s probably the only time I really liked a Tom Clancy book come to the silver screen. The next, as voted on by my followers via Twitter, was The Deer Hunter. Sadly, I didn’t get more than an hour into this one. It just didn’t hold my attention and, at the length of three hours, I felt it was too long so I moved onto the next vote. This one was Ghost from 1990. Regardless of the main stars on the poster, Whoopi Goldberg’s character interacting with the ghost of Patrick Swayze’s character is played seriously, but ends up fairly goofy. It was hilarious to watch.

The next two films to vote on are Zoolander (2001) and Sicario (2015). You can vote in the comments section below, if you wish.

Onto video game purchases:

A controller I had seen from Capcom was advertised back in the ’90s with the Super Nintendo and Genesis port of Super Street Fighter II. It’s called the Capcom Pad Soldier. Its design is quite odd. After remembering it all these years later, I wanted to try it out so I purchased a used one from eStarland. The buttons are at an odd angle for use of your thumb, though it’s doable. It’s at that angle to suggest the use of your fingers instead. It’s quite the unique experience that I can see using on a SNES, but Sega’s 6-button controller on the Genesis is more than adequate.

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Usagi704 on Twitter said:

“I just told @hartknight #Yakuza5 is 40% off and he immediately rushes back where he came from to make the purchase! heh”

This is true and exactly what I did. As soon as he told me about the sale on Yakuza 5 I was like “Oooohhhhhh!,” turned around, and took advantage on said PSN offer.

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Also, speaking of offers I took advantage of, I had major discounts available to me at the nearby Meijer. I took them up on a $30 off Assassin’s Creed Syndicate digital coupon, 20% off GM employee coupon, and the regular 10% employee discount. This got me three PlayStation 4 titles: Batman: Arkham Knight, Bloodborne, and the previously mentioned AC game.

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I’m sure it won’t be difficult to find co-op buddies for Bloodborne in the future once I’m ready to Game On once again.

E3 2015: Times-a-Wastin’

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The following are my comments on the blog post “The Year Ahead in Gaming” as written by @ebbderelict.

I’m interested in the newest Batman Arkham game as well. I haven’t yet played City, but I’m sure to get to it since I do own it. The main reason I had not cared for Origins was mainly because of the buggy mess I heard it was.

Star Wars: Battlefront is, well, Star Wars. That alone makes it uninteresting to me. But then again I don’t completely lack Star Wars games in my current collection. I own Episode III on GBA. I want to say WayForward developed it, but all I can find is information that Ubisoft did it.

Deus Ex on PS2 was fun, but since I’m not the biggest fan of those types of games, I don’t hope it up highly even though it was an enjoyable time. With that said I’ve had my fill of the series.

I’m still trying to get up to speed on all the E3 news and I didn’t realize Platinum was doing a Transformers game. I’m interested because they have a good pedigree. I’m less excited because Activision may rush them like they did with The Legend of Korra game. It’s a wait and see for sure.

I quite liked Mirror’s Edge. I was happy when it became known awhile back that a sequel was in the works. I have high hopes for Catalyst improving on what didn’t work so well last time.

Doom 4, as I’ll be calling it unofficially to avoid confusion with the PC classic, has the Doom 3 aesthetics with what looks like faster gameplay similar to the original two games. It really looks like this could be what fans of Doom have been waiting for since 2004.

I own the majority of the Ratchet & Clank series and I always have fun with them, but since they all feel about the same to me (says the guy who loves God of War games), I don’t see the need to get to them when picking an unplayed game to tackle next. Regardless I know I’ll pick up the first R&C outing on the PS4 to see how it turns out.

We’re simply old men who feel “times-a-wastin'” so the bird-dog needs to pick up the slack and get moving. The Last Guardian will probably be another title, along with this studio’s previous efforts, that I’ll buy with little interest in actually playing. You know, as in “I’ll get to it when I get to it.”

I’m in the opposite camp. I’m excited about Uncharted 4. I also liked the first game, but I was stoked for the second game and enjoyed it too. The third game, however, not so much though I do plan to get to it whenever that will be.

I’m always amused by the fact that Square Enix themselves said years ago that a remake of Final Fantasy VII would not happen, but despite this fans of the game just wouldn’t shut up about it. They went so far as in to actually expect the remake announcement at PSX last year. No doubt the remake actually happening is a shocker, but I still do not care in the slightest other than finally they can all collectively be quiet on this since they finally got what they wanted.

Shenmue III: see Final Fantasy VII remake from above.

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.

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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.

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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.”

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*****

HART & USAGI PODCAST #61 – March 28th 2015 (@HartandUsagi)
HartKnight and usagi704 chat remaster of games and more.
https://hartarchive.wordpress.com/2015/03/28/hart-usagi-podcast-61-remastered/

SUBSCRIBE!

SPACE SUPLEX #17 – April 1st 2015 (@SpaceSuplex)
HartKnight and 24bitAJE chat WrestleMania 31 and more.
https://hartarchive.wordpress.com/2015/04/01/space-suplex-podcast-ep-17-wrestlemania-31/

Hart & Usagi Podcast #61: Remastered

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Remastering of last generation games — are they worth it? Free-to-play or Free-to-start — which is it? Also, we chat about Gamestop’s horrible recycling program, Nintendo going mobile, and Usagi704 purchases a Bloodborne PS4 faceplate…live! All this plus your feedback and more on episode 61 of the Hart & Usagi Podcast.

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

NEWS/TOPICS:
* Mega Man Creator’s Other 3DS Game Cancelled
* Senate Intelligence Committee Greenlights CISA
* FCC Inspector General launches investigation into agency’s rulemaking practices
* FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler Facing Congressional Scrutiny Over Net Neutrality This Week
* FCC faces first legal challenges to Open Internet Order changes
* Major Loophole To Combat Copyright Infringement Left In Open Internet Order
* GameStop isn’t cheap for throwing out game products, it’s just terrible at recycling
* First Details of Nintendo’s Next System, the ‘NX’
* Atari Lawyers Demand Vita Game TxK is Removed
* Konami Tries to Quietly Erase Hideo Kojima as It Continues to Bleed Talent
* PS4 Getting 1080p God of War 3 Remastered
* Don’t Expect More God of War PS4 Remasters, Sony Says
* Batman Arkham Duo Remastered for PS4 and Xbox One, Report Claims
* Borderlands 1 Could Come to Xbox One/PS4 If Fans Demand It
* Nintendo Mobile Dev Wants to Topple Candy Crush
* Here’s Why Nintendo’s CEO Dislikes the Term “Free-to-Play”
* Full Hard Drives Mean An Uncomfortable Digital Age For PS4 And Xbox One
* Dear Teacher, A Video Game Developer Is A Real Job And Should Be Celebrated

Listen or Download (1:55:44)

Subscribe: RSS | iTunes

Hart & Usagi Podcast at the Internet Archive

Matt: @HartKnight | HartKnight’s Archive

Mike: @usagi704 | WP blog

@HartandUsagi

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More Games, More Movies, More Fun!

I’m sure everybody has seen Guardians of the Galaxy by now. I’ve heard many times of people saying it is their favorite of the Marvel films to have come out. I would have to agree. And who would have thought that a movie featuring a team of unknown heroes to the general audience would go over as well as it has? I can tell you why. It’s because of the fantastic dialog scenes and character development throughout its 121 minutes of action. In fact, my favorite scenes are all where the main cast just talks to each other. My favorite line in the movie is when Drax says “Nothing goes over my head! My reflexes are too fast, I would catch it.”

Two other movies I got were Die Harder 2: Die Harder and Detonator II: Night Watch. We all know the former. It’s a Blu-ray upgrade. Something I’ve been doing for a little while now. The latter is based on the book entitled “Night Watch.” It stars Pierce Brosnan before he first took the role of James Bond in 1995. However, the movie was released after Goldeneye which is why it has the silly tagline of “Action and espionage share a common bond.” Another silly thing is Brosnan sporting a beard and mustache and the nonsense story his character is involved in. I found the whole thing a fun so-bad-it’s-good romp when I got it on VHS many years ago. So in a way this is also an upgrade, but to DVD instead.

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New games are also here as well. I finally got the last game I want for the Wii. I was able to get Super Smash Bros. Brawl and I did so via eStarland. I also bought four memory cards. Two for PS1 and two for PS2. The PS2 cards were below $5 each, but they had to be the transparent red color to get that price.

Another game I got was for the PlayStation 4 and it’s the Ultimate Edition of Injustice: Gods Among Us. This would be my fifth game for a system I still don’t own. When will I get said system? *shrugs*

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Game of the Year 2014 – Most Disappointing Game

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There’s been a few games that have disappointed over the previous year and there were many before this with, I’m sure, many more to come. Some are as simple as being a bit too hyped up by time I got around to it and wasn’t as great as I’d hoped (Batman: Arkham Asylum). There’s also the titles that are infuriating (Onimusha: Dawn of Dreams) and others which lacked much of what made other entries in the same series endearing (Ratchet & Clank Future: Quest For Booty). However, Bastion was the one which disappointed me the most.

Upon Bastion’s initial release in the Summer of 2011, I was hoping for a PSN version for the PS3 which was never to come. Regardless, I was still very interested in playing the very first game developed by Greg Kasavin’s team, Supergiant Games. As a former GameSpot editor, I’ve always had a respect for Kasavin’s work. Maybe that’s what put his team’s first game very high on my list and just maybe I should’ve tempered my expectations a bit once I was able to play it in 2014 thanks to NiceGuyNeon.

As I said back in September once I played it via Steam, the gameplay overall was quite boring to me. It felt sort of like the Atari arcade classic Gauntlet without some of the charm of that game. I’m sure fans of Bastion will say it has plenty of charm all its own thanks to the deep-throat narrator. The voices were well done, no doubt, but the combat itself felt like I was going through the motions. There wasn’t any intriguing feedback from taking out the many enemies on the screen, viscerally or otherwise. It was a pretty flat experience and that’s saying something after playing Riot Zone.