Welcome to the Madhouse


From start to finish it was five days to complete the story mode for Batman: Arkham Asylum. The game certainly does what it does very well and that’s at making you feel like you’re Batman. I enjoyed combat more when I was tasked with sneaking around trying to take Joker’s goons out. It didn’t quite get a good feeling for the up-close personal hand-to-hand fighting. Also, like most everybody else, the boss fights were lacking in that they were all the same formula of avoid the big brutes and take out the smaller guys. Regardless it didn’t hurt the overall package too much.

Batman: Arkham Asylum stats – 76%; 164/240 Riddles; 18/20 Upgrades; 35/42 Bios; 56% trophies

Two other games I quickly added to the finished list was Mortal Kombat Trilogy and Street Fighter II: Champion Edition. On MKT I played as Shao Khan and beat the champion ladder. My victory created a time paradox.


On the VC I beat PC Engine’s SFIICE three times. Once with Vega/Guile, a second time with M. Bison, and finally with Sagat. In the process I saw the normal ending, no-loss ending, and the higher difficulty no-loss ending.

The next game I’m going to start will be Muramasa: The Demon Blade.

Now Playing: December 2013


This month of video game greatness has had me log nine total games played with four of them finished.

The first up was Dungeons & Dragons: Tower of Doom. This 1993 beat-’em-up arcade game isn’t as exciting as I was hoping. It’s not to say that Capcom didn’t do well on the game. I guess there’s more to the game than I was expecting. I’m sure to pick it back up in the future to get a better feeling for it.

The next three titles, The Mark of Kri, Kirby’s Dream Land 2, and Sleeping Dogs have been talked about in their own blog posts. Check them out at the links provided above.

As gamers know, Super Mario Galaxy on the Wii has been praised much upon its release. One thing I realized while playing it is that I’m not one of those people. I also figured one other thing. I don’t think I’m as interested (or skilled) in platformers than I like to fancy myself as. This was evident while playing Kirby’s Dream Land 2, but much more so with Super Mario Galaxy.

There’s also several issues I think SMG actually suffers from. Here’s bullet-point list of them.

  • The camera isn’t ideal for judging distance of jumps very well.
  • Swimming in most every game is bad, but controlling Mario underwater was particularly craptastic.
  • Spring Mario is the worst in control since the only way to move is by continuous jumping. It doesn’t help the use was normally on narrow paths.
  • The pull stars aren’t all that bad, but when needing to move quickly under a time constraint, like say a race, isn’t exactly what I call fun.

I know I might be seen as a bit too picky about my complaints, but I did stick with the game for over 12 hours.

I played some of the DS exclusive title Space Invaders Extreme 2. Just like the previous game, the music is really great and the visual style gets me in the right mood to shoot some of those pesky classic space invaders. I suggest getting either game if you’re into classic arcade score chasers!

Finally, along with Usagi704, we hooked up our original model PlayStation systems to separate televisions and connected the consoles together with the PlayStation Link Cable. We had some fantastic fun playing co-op in Doom. We finished around ten levels.

Yesterday we played some of the classic launch game Destruction Derby. I still really like that game. Getting through intersections by “threading the needle” (aka close calls) is still as thilling as ever!

We also played some of Mortal Kombat Trilogy (a non-link cable game) and Usagi played his Team Shenanigans in 2-on-2 Kombat consisting of Human Smoke and Kitana. My team was a combination of Scorpion, Cyrax, and Nightwolf. Some characters were given new moves. Nightwolf was given a red Shoulder Charge (←←→HK) which helps a lot to get in and stay in close. Scorpion was given a forward Teleport Punch (↓→HP) to keep opponents guessing. As usual I still get beat more than not, but overall still a fun time!

Enjoy the New Year!

Hart & Usagi Podcast #41: ++Good PS4


In this episode of the Hart & Usagi Podcast, we welcome back Georgie and, for as a first-time guest, one of the hosts from ++Good Games podcast it’s Anthony!

Our main topic for discussion is our experiences with the recently released PlayStation 4. We also speak on games we’ve played as of late along with a couple of news items.

Strap one on ’cause it’s time to jam with the Hart & Usagi Podcast.

* Sega 3DS 3D titles
* Killzone: Shadow Fall
* Kirby’s Dream Land 2
* Sleeping Dogs
* Doom
* Shadow Hearts
* Saints Row Twitter contest
* PlayStation 4 experiences
* Windows & Linux
* Pre-orders open for God of War Collection on Vita
* Persona 5 is Just the Beginning: Atlus Goes Persona Crazy
* Save The Last Christmas (For Me)
* Meeting Rob Van Dam
* Pacific Blue

Listen or Download (2:19:14)
New RSS Feed
Hart & Usagi Podcast at the Internet Archive
Matt: @HartKnight | HartKnight’s Archive
Mike: @usagi704 | WP blog
Georgie: @guuthulhu | Squiddy Fun Times
Anthony: @24bitAJE | ++Good Games



Now Playing: June 2013


Five games total played for the previous 30 days. Initially I played Wonder Boy in Monster World via PSN, but it was too old school for me despite being of that gaming era myself. Check out my detailed thoughts on the game in the previous update.

In a second update a little over a week ago, I talked about playing with the GPY clan in Burnout Paradise and going through the single player story missions in F.E.A.R. 3 along with RivalShadeX.

In F.E.A.R. 3 we had completed up through Interval 5 at the time. Since then RivalShadeX and I finished the game twice. Both of us played as each character and it was fun times indeed. We also played some multiplayer modes as well. These are co-op too. There’s the typical wave survival mode, a possession mode (Soul King) to get more points than other players, and a mode called “F***ING RUN!” where a “wall of death” is always closing in. Players need to keep moving while taking out enemies along the way. I was surprised as anybody would be that there were a couple others playing this. I had to create the games, of course.

The other two games played was Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 on the Super Nintendo and Double Dragon on the Game Boy. I just played around on UMK3 a little bit with some cheat codes. Shao Khan didn’t allow me to have an easy finished game to add to my list for this year.

Double Dragon also didn’t work out in this fashion either. This edition on the Game Boy isn’t nearly as easy as the sequel was. The first two missions are simple enough. It’s midway through Mission 3 where the pits of death and Abobos come out to play. It wouldn’t be so bad if losing a life started you at least somewhat close to where you died. Not the case here. A life loss means you return to the very start of the mission. I wasn’t able to get any further than the first set of moving platforms in Mission 4. Everyone knows the platforming in the Double Dragon series never worked out well. It’s what sadly does me in and you can watch my downfall in my 18+ minute video.

Thanks for reading and viewing.


MKII Hype of 1994


Back in the early ’90s I was a big fighting game fan. I’m less so these days, but at that time I took note of all of the fighting games I saw: the good, the great, and the definitely not-so-great.

Mortal Kombat was one of those games that came along and while the game wasn’t very good it did make an impact by amazing us gamers with its over-the-top violence. It’s tame by today’s standards, but back then a game with even a fourth of the gore just wasn’t done.

I never played much of the fighters in the arcades themselves. I usually just watched and I have quite a few memories of matches from Mortal Kombat II in 1993. I was much more of a player of these titles once they came to the home consoles.

We had an SNES at the time and, of course, as is with kids, they need to justify the version they had and I remember doing this with MK1 despite knowing that even I was disappointed in the lack of a blood code. The game still played good and looked and sounded the best over the Genesis version.

Because of this I was really excited once I saw that blood was confirmed for the SNES version of MKII in the first preview in the August ’94 issue of GamePro. This was the same issue which has this game on the cover featuring the awesome Raiden arcade cabinet sideart.

In the following month’s issue a second preview was published. This time it showed screenshots with the blood which was promised. I remember pouring over this preview many times getting hyped for the game’s release.

The October issue had reviews for all four versions of the game with the SNES version getting a perfect score.

I had saved up for this game ahead of time and on release day (Sept. 9, 1994) my mother had said she’d take my brother (usagi704, surprise ;)) and I out to get it. I remember being antsy and wanting to go and eventually we left in the van going to Video Game Exchange (now It’s About Games). We bought MKII for the SNES and a copy each of it on Game Boy. The former cost $75 and the latter was $35. And people think games being expensive is a new thing…

Thanks for reading and for more you can check out the very previews and reviews of Mortal Kombat II that I referred to from my old GamePros below.

* First Preview of MKII in GamePro (August ’94)
* Second Preview of MKII in GamePro (September ’94)
* Reviews of MKII in GamePro (October ’94) SNES/GEN pg1 | GEN/GG/GB pg2

Now Playing: June 2011


Some quality gaming was had in this past 30 days and I’d like to tell you about it if you’ll let me.

First off my most recent purchase, if you can call it that, was the free standalone downloadable version of Streets of Rage 2 off of the PlayStation Network for PS Plus members. Thanks to the free trial I was able to get it and finally be able to experience one of the greatest beat-’em-up games of all time with online play. This is what Xbox Live has had for almost four years now. It’ll be available for $4.99 at the beginning of this coming week for everybody.

I finished SoR2, one of three this month, offline (very easy) and on online co-op (normal) getting all trophies save for the most difficult one. You have to get 800,000 points on Very Hard with just one life at the start. I doubt I’ll ever get it and it reminds me of another beat-’em-up with this same one trophy left problem. It’s the also downloadable Watchmen: The End Is Nigh.

I played a session a few days ago of BlazBlue: Calamity Trigger against Usagi704. It’s the first time I’ve played it in quite awhile and as you’d probably expect I only won a round rarely. Unlike the matches we played for the PS1 version of Mortal Kombat 3, don’t expect any of my horrid lack of BlazBlue skills to be uploaded anytime soon.

One of the other three games I finished this month is the GBA version of Power Rangers Dino Thunder. I’ve been currently watching the show itself, it being very good, and I figured I’d give the Natsume developed game a shot. It’s a repetitive beat-’em-up/platformer with ‘Zord battles and a path-finding grid mini-game to get extra ‘Zords added to your arsenal. The game’s missions of find and defeat all enemies or find and save all citizens is fairly tedious, but I’ve played worse. Maybe the home console version will be better.

Finally the main game I played more recently and the third game finished giving me a total of 18 for this year is Assassin’s Creed. Back when I bought it in July 2008, it was kind of sold as similar to Prince of Persia. After having played it I can say it’s really nothing like it. Assassin’s Creed is slower paced and in an open-world where as Prince of Persia is straight on through.

The start of Assassin’s Creed was much slower all right. I was getting frustrated because of this and the slow walking (while blending) past soldiers in the Kingdom overworld definitely wasn’t helping things. Once I arrived to the first city I started to get a hang of things and after completing all side objectives and the main assassination, while the game’s missions never changed, I still found myself having quite a bit of fun.

Of the missions, eavesdropping was the least exciting thing to do. All you did was sit on a bench nearby and listen to two characters talk. I much preferred to save a citizen by running in and jumping on the first soldier and taking him out with the hidden blade and then countering strikes/throwing them to the ground.

I was recommended the first sequel, Assassin’s Creed II, by Gigastormz via Twitter. He made it sound much more varied in the ways to take out enemies and in ways to escape or hide from them. I’ll definitely be looking to eventually pick it up.

That’ll do it for me this time. Thanks for checking out my blogging space. Peace!

Streets of Rage 2 – Trophies: 11 / 12 (92%)
BlazBlue: Calamity Trigger – Trophies: 5 / 51 (10%)
Alien Crush – Score: 9,263,600

MK3 – 19 Matches


Usagi704 (Player 1) and I (Player 2) played a number of matches against each other in the original PlayStation version of Mortal Kombat 3. These matches were divided into three videos totaling almost 40 minutes of fighting action. Enjoy!

Mortal Kombat 3 (PS1) 19 Matches – PART 1
1. Smoke vs. Sub-Zero
2. Smoke vs. Sub-Zero
3. Smoke vs. Kung Lao
4. Sindel vs. Stryker
5. Sindel vs. Sektor
6. Smoke vs. Cyrax

Mortal Kombat 3 (PS1) 19 Matches – PART 2
7. Smoke vs. Liu Kang
8. Smoke vs. Kabal
9. Smoke vs. Kabal
10. Sektor vs. Sonya
11. Sektor vs. Sheeva
12. Kabal vs. Sub-Zero
13. Kabal vs. Smoke

Mortal Kombat 3 (PS1) 19 Matches – PART 3
14. Kabal vs. Smoke
15. Kabal vs. Kung Lao
16. Kabal vs. Stryker
17. Kabal vs. Shang Tsung
18. Kabal vs. Smoke
19. Kabal vs. Sub-Zero