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!

TOPICS:

SPACE SUPLEX TOPICS:

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@HartandUsagi

@SpaceSuplex

Purchase Stats 2016

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The following stats are for all of my video game purchases throughout 2016.

Total number of games: 30
Amount bought decreased by 10 from 2015.

18 PS4 (60%)
DMC
Hotline Miami
Wolfenstein: The Old Blood
Assassin’s Creed Syndicate
Batman: Arkham Knight
Bloodborne
Far Cry 4
Just Cause 3
Wolfenstein: The New Order
Broken Sword 5: The Serpent’s Cruse
Transformers: Devastation
Grand Theft Auto V
Ratchet & Clank
Dark Souls III
Doom
Mafia III
Rise of the Tomb Raider
Wild Guns Reloaded

1 PSP (4%)
Kamen Rider Chou Climax Heroes

4 PS3 (13%)
Painkiller: Hell & Damnation
Yakuza 5
Far Cry Compilation
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Danger of the Ooze

2 PC (7%)
The King of Fighters 2002: Unlimited Match
Strife

5 GBA (16%)
Island Xtreme Stunts
Stuntman
SSX Tricky
American Dragon: Jake Long – Rise of the Huntsclan
Tak 2: The Staff of Dreams

1 MISC.
SNES Capcom Soldier Pad

******

I also bought myself one last game in the final week of 2016 which is included in the stats above. It’s Nastume’s Wild Guns Reloaded!

wildguns-ps4

Game of the Year 2014

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I had a lot of fun throughout 2014, but the five games which stuck with me the most was Wild Guns, Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, Hotline Miami, Ratchet: Deadlocked, and Yakuza 3.

Natsume’s Wild Guns is a great game in the style of Cabal and Nam-1975. However, where those games were more plain, Wild Guns kicks up the action a notch with a meter that builds when enemy bullets are shot. Once full your character pulls out the Vulcan gun and is invincible. Is a great reward for such a risk taking measure to get there.

I’d already talked about Hotline Miami in my 2014 Biggest Surprise award, which it won, so check that out.

Ratchet: Deadlocked was the first of three Ratchet & Clank games I played last November and it was more fun than it was for me back in 2010. It had less mini-games to bother with and boxes to smash for bolts which I found to be a good thing. It made for a much more focused adventure. One for which I appreciated.

I love me some beat-’em-ups and, as usual, Yakuza 3 delivered. And while I feel it deserved a spot on this list of nominees for my Game of the Year, there was just too much of finding things for and tending to the kids in the game made it more tedious than I’d had liked. Still the combat portion of the game, once you get to them, is great as always.

Finally, Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, a game I played for the first time in 2014, earned its way into my top three Castlevania games of the series. This is the conclusion I came to on episode 52 of the Hart & Usagi Podcast. Also, as you can see by the image at the top of this awards post, SotN has also earned my top award for 2014. At the time in 1997 it was a brand new experience for series veterans, but the game also remembered where it came from with nods to past titles like Simon’s Quest and Dracula’s Cruse. Just as I said then after playing it I say it now: Castlevania: Symphony of the Night is rightfully an all-time classic.

Thanks for reading and make sure to check out the rest of my awards if you haven’t done so already.

Game of the Year 2014 – Best Retro Game

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Welcome back to my 2014 Games of the Year awards!

This time I’ll be choosing my favorite of the retro games I played this year. This is mainly from the month of March where I went back to my gaming roots with several titles spanning across the Super Nintendo, original NES, Game Boy, and Genesis gaming consoles. These games consist of those I’ve played or haven’t played in the past, but the common trait among them is that I never seriously tried to finish them before. However, in 2014 I did beat most of them.

I quite liked my time with Natsume’s Wild Guns and Jaleco’s Operation Logic Bomb, both on SNES, but, I don’t see myself going back much to them. Capcom’s NES Rolling Thunder clone called Code Name: Viper was excellent. I’d even consider it better than the game which inspired them. Once I got the hang of how to approach enemies in Super Double Dragon, it became a favorite of mine within the Technos beat-’em-up series.

The one that really brought me back many times, however, was P.O.W.: Prisoners of War. This SNK brawler wasn’t that great in the arcades, but once it came home it was best on NES. Once I watched a speed run of the game with commentary, it gave me the tips I needed to beat the game for the first time. And a second time…and a third time. I enjoyed it much more than I thought I would given I didn’t remember liking it all that much back in the early ’90s when my family rented it. I’ll admit that the 21 life code didn’t hurt the experience either.

Do you have a classic game you love going back to that you recently discovered within the previous year? Let me know in the comments section below. Also don’t forget to like and share this blog post if you enjoyed it.

Games Finished In 2014

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The list below shows every game that I finished in 2014. The total number comes to 46. That’s up 10 from 2013.

March proved to be the best month for beating games with 16 in total thanks to getting back to my gaming roots. The monthly average throughout the year was 3.8.

1. Bayonetta (PS3) – 1/14
2. Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons (PSN) – 1/27
3. The Saboteur (PS3) – 2/4
4. Batman: Arkham Asylum (PS3) – 2/12
5. Mortal Kombat Trilogy (PS) – 2/14
6. Street Fighter II: Champion Edition (VC) – 2/15
7. Robocop (ARC) – 2/21
8. Muramasa: The Demon Blade (WII) – 2/26
9. Soldner-X 2: Final Prototype (PSN) – 3/3
10. Streets of Rage 3 via Sonic’s Ultimate Genesis Collection (PS3) – 3/10
11. Jackal (NES) – 3/11
12. Tetris Plus 2 (ARC) – 3/13
13. Metamorphic Force (ARC) – 3/13
14. Chip ‘n Dale: Rescue Rangers (NES) – 3/14
15. P.O.W.: Prisoners of War (NES) – 3/16
16. Vice: Project Doom (NES) – 3/18
17. Fortified Zone (GB) – 3/19
18. Sunset Riders (SNES) – 3/21
19. Castlevania: Bloodlines (GEN) – 3/23
20. Super Double Dragon (SNES) – 3/24
21. Contra (NES) – 3/25
22. Sparkster (SNES) – 3/25
23. Code Name: Viper (NES) – 3/29
24. Operation Logic Bomb (SNES) – 3/31
25. Wild Guns (SNES) – 4/5
26. Return of Double Dragon (SFC) – 4/8
27. Ninja Warriors (SNES) – 4/8
28. Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood (PS3) – 5/3
29. Assassin’s Creed: Revelations (PS3) – 6/30
30. Klonoa: Empire of Dreams (GBA) – 7/7
31. Castlevania: Symphony of the Night (PS) – 8/20
32. Syndicate (PS3) – 9/3
33. Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode II (PC) – 9/10
34. Hotline Miami (PC) – 9/14
35. Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia (DS) – 10/15
36. Castlevania: Dracula X (SNES) – 10/21
37. Splatterhouse (TG-16) – 10/27
38. Ratchet: Deadlocked (PS2) – 11/6
39. Ratchet & Clank Future: Tools of Destruction (PS3) – 11/16
40. Batman (ARC) – 11/20
41. Crime Fighters (ARC) – 11/20
42. Ratchet & Clank Future: Quest for Booty (PSN) – 11/20
43. Yakuza 3 (PS3) – 12/21
44. RayCrisis: Series Termination (PS) – 12/28
45. Panzer Bandit (PS) – 12/29
46. Strider 2 (PS) – 12/31

Favorite Game Music: Volume VIII

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Volume number eight is here of video game music that’s pleasing to my ears. Check them out below and see if you agree. Also check out the crazy and informative podcasts at the bottom if you haven’t already.

* Black Polnareff’s Theme from Capcom’s JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure HD Ver.
* Hello Mr. Cyborg from Cave’s Dangun Feveron (ARC)
* Battle in Westside from Capcom and A-Wave’s Final Fight CD
* Bay Area from Capcom and A-Wave’s Final Fight CD
* Zone 3 from Jaleco’s Fortified Zone (GB)
* Magical Sound Shower from Sumo Digital’s Outrun 2006: Coast 2 Coast
* Passing Breeze from Sumo Digital’s Outrun 2006: Coast 2 Coast
* Gold Mine from Natsume’s Wild Guns (SNES)
* Ammunition Depot from Natsunme’s Wild Guns (SNES)
* Level 1 from Sunsoft’s Super Spy Hunter (NES)

*****

HART & USAGI PODCAST #48 – June 24th 2014 (@HartandUsagi)
HartKnight and usagi704 chat the Assassin’s Creed series, the Retron 5, IGN’s “exclusive” on The Last Guardian, live streams aren’t fun for Nintendo, and more.
https://hartarchive.wordpress.com/2014/06/24/hart-usagi-podcast-48-stop-criminals/

SUBSCRIBE!

SPACE SUPLEX #6 – June 21st 2014 (@SpaceSuplex)
24bitAJE and HartKnight review the June 16th RAW and talk about our current thoughts of the (upcoming) Money In The Bank PPV.
https://hartarchive.wordpress.com/2014/06/21/space-suplex-podcast-ep-6-stardust/

Now Playing: April 2014

nowplaying0414

Starting out this month of April was a continuation of my gaming roots. I played seven games and of them six where kick ass. You can read the details of those games here.

I also played the one Super Nintendo game I own on the Virtual Console. It was the tough, but never upsetting or rage inducing, Wild Guns. The details are available here and included is the episode of the Happy Video Game Nerd which introduced me to the amazing game.

The final game I played from the old days of gaming was Ninja Warriors. It’s also on the SNES and I’ve finished it previously, but I didn’t do so on Hard difficulty. I used Kamaitachi through most of the game, but I had trouble throwing enemies into the final boss to damage him. This is where Ninja (yes, that’s the character’s name) came in perfectly. His throws are have a bit more of an arc to them than Kamaitachi’s does. This helped a lot and one attempt was all I needed for Ninja to win the day.

I haven’t played any of the more modern games of today since getting annoyed with Onimusha: Dawn of Dreams in early March. It was a month and a half of glory and reminded me of the past which helped out a lot. Well now I’m back as of two weeks ago and my first game back was Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood.

I’ve played the previous two games in the series. My favorite has been Assassin’s Creed II (AC & ACII thoughts). Overall, I think I may still feel that way when Brotherhood is all said and done. I’ve been used to seeing a Viewpoint on the map and being able to climb it and synchronize. In this game you have to kill a specific captain beforehand at some of the Viewpoint sites. This isn’t a problem, of course. My problem is seeing them on my map and not being able to reach them. It’s been awhile since I’ve been able to open up more of the city.

When I was playing ACII I was surprised of the many, many ways to deal death to opponents. Brotherhood brings all of those abilities back, upgrades a few of them, and then adds even more options to your arsenal. Previously, for example, your options for distance kills were throwing knives and a arm-mounted pistol. Now you have those returning along with a crossbow, poison shots, and eventually the ability to call in fellow assassins.

Somewhat annoying as portions of the game might be I still am enjoying my time with Brotherhood.

THIS MONTH’S GAMING STATS:
Wild Guns – 2h56m
Ninja Warriors – Finished on Hard
Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood – 19h41m; 44%; 19 trophies

Wild Guns

wild-guns

This past week I played the only Super Nintendo game that I wanted bad enough, but it was too expensive to get the cartridge for. This was Natsume’s very underrated 16-bit classic Wild Guns.

I played the game via the Virtual Console. I did take advantage of the automatic single save state the old Wii console creates when exiting back to the Wii menu. It may sound like a cheat, but it’s really no different than leaving an SNES system on and I wouldn’t want to do that to my original SNES.

Wild Guns has unlimited continues, but only three lives to get through a stage. The Ammunition Depot and Gold Mine (stages 3 and 4) probably took me the longest to get through. Which one was the shortest? You’re likely thinking it was stage 1, Carson City. Actually the least amount of tries to complete was the last stage (number 6, Final Fight). I think it took only three tries where as something like stage 5, Armored Train, was probably about 15-20 continues.

If you’re not familiar with Wild Guns just think of TAD Corporations’ Cabal (1988) and SNK’s Nam-1975 (1990) of the arcades. Wild Guns (1995) builds on these previous titles with some interesting game mechanics. There’s a jump and double jump available when not shooting. A jumping roll happens while shooting to quickly dodge out of the way. A few times you’ll need to use a melee attack on very close enemies by pressing the shoot button. If you keep tapping the same button a lasso will come out and if it hits an enemy they’ll be stunned for a short period of time. A separate button is a screen clearing bomb. Several extra weapons like a machine gun, shotgun, etc. can be acquired via item pickups. The very powerful Vulcan gun is available once a bar is filled and lasts until it’s empty. How do you get it? You have to shoot bullets heading your way.

What does all of this add up to? I’ll tell you. It adds up to a really fun game that’s tough, but fair. It’s also not frustrating at all. This is a hallmark, in my mind, of what a great game is.

Welcome Back and Zeroing Out

welcome-back-zero-out

About a week ago the PlayStation Store started their 30 day free games offer to existing members. For the PSP I chose the only two games out of the four choices that I didn’t own already and they are Pursuit Force and ModNation Racers. For the PS3 I chose Super Stardust HD and Wipeout HD with the included Fury add-on content.

I downloaded an additional four games, but this time on the Wii. I had 1100 “points” left and I wanted to get the total as close to zero as possible. I knew I wanted Contra Rebirth (1000) and the TurboGrafx-16 version of Street Fighter II: Champion Edition (700). I bought the latter because I’ve always been interested to see how this port turned out.

To zero out my points total I did the math and figured I needed an extra 2000 to make it work. Now I just needed to figure out which 600 and 800 point games I was also getting. I decided on Ninja Spirit for TG-16 and Wild Guns for SNES, respectively. For quite some time I was holding out hope to find an actual cartridge for Wild Guns that was cheaper than the usual asking price of about $55 for the game only. It’s the only SNES game left on my wish list, but I decided to get it on the Virtual Console just in case I don’t ever find it. I’ll still be looking, though.

While it’s difficult to get a deal on Wild Guns, I stumbled into two great deals while at Best Buy getting the previously needed 2000 points card. The first deal was Tekken 6 on PSP for $12! I enjoy Tekken better on a portable system for some reason I can’t explain and this was a great find. The other game I found a copy of was Bayonetta. It was grouped in with a bunch of games for $20. I wasn’t really keen on spending that much, but unlike the rest it didn’t have a price tag on it. When I took it to the checkout I asked how much it was and the reply came back as $9. Consider me shocked. Once I recovered about an hour later I bought it.

bayonetta-tekken6

Five Most Wanted Retro Titles

most-wanted-titles

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.