Now Playing: August 2014

From intriguing to frustrating is how I’d categorize my time with Assassin’s Creed III very early in the month. The story and controls are decent, but pickpocketing in general and specifically later in the game was annoying as hell. I was able to get in 19 hours and 34 minutes of playtime with the game before I was fed up.

I moved onto Castlevania: Symphony of the Night because of the number of others who where playing it at the time of US Gamers’ “Club” playing this very game. It was the first ever time playing the game myself. I had known of it and played many of the other SotN style of Castlevania games on the GBA and DS, but this was a first playing this classic of 1997. I have to say I found the difficulty very easy overall, but it did spike briefly at the beginning of the game and at the start of the inverted castle. Speaking of the inverted castle in the second half of the game, I found the movement around it to be clunky at best. It wasn’t the most fun I’ve had traversing areas in games. I did very much enjoy the nods to the NES games Simon’s Quest and Dracula’s Curse. The former reference was needing to collect the body parts of Dracula to be able to face him and the latter was referenced by the 3-on-1 handicap boss battle against fake versions of Trevor, Sypha, and Grant. My final stats were Lv. 51 with 191% of the castle(s) explored at a total gameplay time of 12 hours and 5 minutes.

More of my thoughts on the series can be heard in an upcoming Hart & Usagi Podcast episode as well as this Pick 5 blog post of which you can read now.

Other games I plan on playing soon are those that were bought as gifts for me on Steam namely Bastion and Hotline Miami. Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode II was also purchased for me and I’m beginning to think it was a practical joke played on me by Neal of ++GoodGames. I have never cared much for the Sonic series. Even when I played Sonic 2 a few years ago I didn’t think it was anywhere near as awesome as its reputation claims it is. I did finish it, but I was glad it was over instead of feeling like I played a dynamite game. The same can be said for Sonic 4. I’ll never understand what’s so fun about the games to those who love them.

My current played game is Syndicate on the PS3. Specifically I’m playing the co-op missions with Usagi704 and RivalShadeX. If you would like to join in the fun as we always can use a fourth player, then drop me a line in the comments below or via DM on Twitter.

Thanks for reading and happy gaming!

Pick 5: Favorite Castlevania Games

In the spirit of the upcoming Hart & Usagi Podcast episode we’ll be doing on the Castlevania series, I figured I’d wet your appetites for that audio goodness by letting you know what my favorites of the Castlevania series currently is. A quick honorable mention goes to Castlevania II: Belmont’s Revenge on the original Game Boy. It’s the best of the three on the GB and has the kick ass music the series is known for. It’s a must play if you’re in anyway interested in the more forgotten gems of the platformer genre.

A very awesome direction for the series to take at the time in 1997. At the outset, after Death strips Alucard of all of his items and weapons, you feel underpowered. It’s the same feeling I also got at the start of the inverted castle. Otherwise the game feels very easy and Alucard overpowered. Traversing the inverted version of the castle also feels clunky. Overall, though, it’s a fun game and definitely worthy of its position as an all-time classic.

**READ MORE ON SYMPHONY OF THE NIGHT: Pick 5: Games I Haven’t Played But I Should | What Game Are You Shocked You Own?

After the third NES entry, Castlevania III: Dracula’s Curse, it seems Konami felt the need to tone down the difficulty with the fourth game. They also played a lot with the new features of the Super Nintendo, namely Mode 7. Whipping in eight directions and the R button being dedicated to the subweapon makes for a fun time even if a bit easier. That is until you arrive at the first of four bosses at the end of the game. Slogra will end you!


You could almost consider this game the first of the SotN style. It’s has the free roaming element where you can go anywhere you want at any time as long as you have the required items to do so. The problem, however, is that it isn’t nearly as polished as those later games. It’s also very difficult to know what to do or where to go without some kind of outside help. Once you do know it can be quite enjoyable.

**READ MORE ON SIMON’S QUEST: Halloween Gaming Update: Castlevania II | Mastered Month: Simon’s Quest

Of the three DS entries I liked the middle release the best. It didn’t have any of the DS gimmickry from Dawn of Sorrow. It simply used the touch screen as a second, additional screen. How novel! The character switching on-the-fly is a fancy way to have two sets of equipment ready at all times. It’s still cool and does lead to some fun ways to fight the tougher bosses. Even the namesake portraits give some variety to the areas you visit.

**READ MORE ON PORTRAIT OF RUIN: Now Playing: April ’07 | 2006 Game of the Year

This is without a doubt my absolute favorite game in the entire Castlevania series. I have no doubt it’ll never be surpassed in my eyes. Anybody who claims to love Symphony of the Night and hasn’t played Aria of Sorrow is really missing out. So get out there and find yourself a copy of this masterpiece of gaming history. You will not regret it!

**READ MORE ON ARIA OF SORROW: Mastered Month: Aria of Sorrow | Complete In Box Fridays: Castlevania Double Pack

Space Suplex Podcast Ep. 9: Summer Hustle

On this episode of the Space Suplex podcast 24bitAJE and I chat about the amazing new Blu-ray and DVD release of “Ladies and Gentleman, My Name Is Paul Heyman.” We also dive into our thoughts on SummerSlam 2014 and the following night’s RAW show.

Enjoy and don’t forget to follow our Twitter account, @SpaceSuplex, and please subscribe via RSS or, as it is now, our newly minted presence on iTunes!

* Ladies and Gentleman, My Name Is Paul Heyman
* SummerSlam 2014
* RAW 8/18/14

Listen or Download (1:11:26)

Subscribe: RSS | iTunes

Space Suplex at the Internet Archive

Anthony: @24bitAJE | ++Good Games

Matt: @HartKnight | HartKnight’s Archive


Hart & Usagi Podcast #51: Pile of Secrets

On this edition of the Hart & Usagi Podcast we welcome back JiibayDan to chat about favorite controllers, 25th anniversary of the Genesis, and some hot Tetris pillow action.

Enjoy the show and remember to subscribe and follow the Hart & Usagi Podcast today!

* Castlevania: Symphony of the Night
* USgamer Community Question: What’s Your All-Time Favorite Controller?
* Sony: ‘EA Access’ Offers No Value to PS4 Owners
* Report: GameStop Changing Game Trade-In Program
* The Greatest Games for NES: 1988-89
* Microsoft Still Bullish on Kinect
* If Tetris Were Made Out Of Pillows
* Poll: What Should ‘Night Trap’ Have Been Rated?
* Debunked: Most Downloaded Games Per State Not What It Claims To Be
* Happy 25th birthday, Sega Genesis
* Playtotle 001: Character Design

Listen or Download (2:18:05)
Hart & Usagi Podcast at the Internet Archive
Matt: @HartKnight | HartKnight’s Archive
Mike: @usagi704 | WP blog
Dan: @JiibayDan | That Dan Stinehart Blog | ~Natively Awkward


Trading Up 2

Recently within the last week I had to purchase a couple of items for work and I decided to add on the cheapest Blu-ray to each order that was in my wish list. The two movies I ended up getting were First Blood and The Patriot.

First Blood is the initial Rambo movie that started it all back in 1982. It wasn’t until a few years ago that I sat down to seriously give it a watch. Well we all know its legacy and it’s one of the best ’80s action films.

The Patriot, on the other hand, is a 2000 movie directed by disaster flick himself, Roland Emmerich. Despite how I’m not fond of his other movies, this one hits the right notes with me. It also helps that Jason Isaacs is very fun to watch as Col. William Tavington.

Assassin’s Creed III Hates Me

Nothing frustrates me more than when a game’s controls won’t cooperate with you when performing a task that you’ve already done many times before in the same game. Assassin’s Creed III is the game in question.

The pickpocketing ability Connor has is used in specific situations to swap out real documents for fake ones. I did this previously and it worked well. For some reason now it’s impossible to get close enough to even start doing to before the guy you’re tracking looks behind him to see you. After the first time being spotted it happens again immediately. What the honest fuck is with this game?

Oh and don’t get me started on trying to hide when your notoriety is anything other than incognito.

So with missions I can’t do and hiding that doesn’t work, ACIII can go take the piss. I’m done at 19 hours and 34 minutes.

Space Suplex Podcast Ep. 8: Always Staples

On this episode of the Space Suplex podcast 24bitAJE and I talk about the ongoing turmoil between TNA and Spike TV. Also we touch on the build up for SummerSlam.

Enjoy and don’t forget to follow our Twitter account, @SpaceSuplex, and please subscribe to the show (iTunes compatible)!

* TNA and Spike TV do not renew television deal
* Upcoming SummerSlam PPV

Listen or Download (1:00:02)
Space Suplex at the Internet Archive
Anthony: @24bitAJE | ++Good Games
Matt: @HartKnight | HartKnight’s Archive