Space Suplex Podcast Ep. 7: Six-sides of ECW

Welcome to the return of Space Suplex! On this episode 24bitAJE and I catch you up on our thoughts of the previous month’s wrestling focusing mainly on the recent Battleground PPV.

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

TOPICS:
* TNA as of July 17
* Battleground 2014

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

@SpaceSuplex

Assassin’s Creed III: The Pace Changes

Throughout all of the Assassin’s Creed games I’ve played up to this point, none have revamped the control scheme more than ACIII. Revelations did have some minor tweaks to the controls up to that point, but they were extremely minor. One example is using the Triangle button for the use of a secondary weapon. Funny thing is that’s probably the one thing that remained unchanged from Revelations to ACIII.

Everybody knows about the series wide strategy to making combat easy in Assassin’s Creed. It goes by one word: counter. The counter attack has always been performed by holding R1 and pressing Square at the moment an enemy tries to strike. In Assassin’s Creed III the counter attack is almost easier. Now holding R1 isn’t needed. In fact holding any button isn’t done. Now you simply press Circle and then follow it up with a quick tap on Square. Then the super easy chain kills can begin if more enemies are around.

On the story side of ACIII I was aware of the slower than usual pace of the game at the start. However, what I didn’t know was that you control a character by the name of Haytham Kenway. You’re under the impression he’s an Assassin until the bomb is dropped on you that he’s actually a Templar. This was somewhat of a downer because his characterization came off as quite the upstanding citizen. I still wouldn’t mind playing as him in a whole game if that’s ever a thing Ubisoft wants to do.

This game also notorious for the amount of glitches and bugs it has and this has remained even after patches. I’ve had two happen to me so far. I desynched after a fall to death. The body briefly did a crazy ragdoll dance. Also on a mission with Ziio. I climbed over a fence and it launched me into the air. This was high enough to kill when the ground came calling.

I’m currently at the 5-hour mark of my time with ACIII. I just recently started Connor’s portion of the game.

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.

ASSASSIN’S CREED II
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 become an instant favorite to many gamers. Once I got around to playing it a few years ago, it was almost overwhelming how much 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.

BURNOUT PARADISE
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.

RED FACTION: GUERRILLA
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.

SLEEPING DOGS
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.

THE INCREDIBLE HULK: ULTIMATE DESTRUCTION
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!

Hart & Usagi Podcast #49: EA’s Uncomfortable With Change

On this edition of the Hart & Usagi Podcast we talk about how awesome Platinum Games is and how much EA isn’t. We also give our thoughts on what being an “indie” game is. All this and more can be yours with a simple download of the episode below.

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

NEWS/TOPICS:
* Assassin’s Creed IV, Code of Princess, Shovel Knight, and Klonoa: Empire of Dreams reviews
* Phil Spencer: Consumers love Kinect, they’ll still buy it
* Microsoft Arc and Logitech K750 keyboards
* The Legend of Korra: as told by Bayonetta dev Platinum Games
* Gamers Uncomfortable with Change, Says EA’s Peter Moore
* EA Mobile Says Dungeon Keeper May Have ‘Innovated Too Much’
* It’s Impossible to Define “Indie” So We Should Stop Using It Altogether
* The Best and Worst Character Reboots and Redesigns
* The Greatest Games for NES: 1985-87

Listen or Download (1:51:16)
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Hart & Usagi Podcast at the Internet Archive
Matt: @HartKnight | HartKnight’s Archive
Mike: @usagi704 | WP blog

@HartandUsagi

Klonoa: Empire of Dreams

Klonoa: Empire of Dreams for the Game Boy Advance is my 30th game finished this year. I started it on July 4th and finished the final boss on July 7th.

If you’re familiar with the Klonoa series, and shame on you if you aren’t, Klonoa: Empire of Dreams isn’t the style of game that you’d find on the PlayStation or PlayStation 2. Those games are platformers through and through. However, Empire of Dreams (and its sequel, Dream Champ Tournament) introduces a lot more puzzle solving into the mix. These are brain teasers that’ll certainly test your mental capacity. If this style of game sounds interesting to you, then by all means give it a try.

Empire of Dreams certainly has no problems using its puzzles to make you feel a little stupid and out of your league at times. But this isn’t something you can’t overcome. I was stumped by the simplest thing on one of the levels. I needed a block and I didn’t realize how easy it was to throw it over the obstacle I needed to get around. I had to have Usagi704 show me how it was done. It literally took him seconds to figure out what I wasn’t noticing to do.

There’s still one other thing that’s troubling me where three sections where raised water was the obstacle. I couldn’t figure out how to get past these parts without taking the easy way out and taking a hit and abusing the invincibility afterward. It felt like that was the solution, but I have a hard time believing it to be the case.

All in all, Empire of Dreams definitely still retains that Klonoa charm. It just now adds a bunch of fiendish puzzles. For $12 cart only you can’t go wrong.

Special Note: I typed this blog using the Microsoft Arc keyboard. There’s definitely things I like about it, but it can’t beat the k750.

*****

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.
http://mjkurtzman.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.
http://mjkurtzman.wordpress.com/2014/06/21/space-suplex-podcast-ep-6-stardust/

Stunning Visual Style

Yesterday was my birthday and I was given five movies by Usagi704. They’re listed and pictured below. I’ve seen all of them before. I’m just now either getting them for the first time (ex: Kill Bill and The Crow) or I’m, in a way, trading up to Blu-ray (ex: Ace Ventura and The Rock).

My favorite of the bunch is probably The Rock closely followed by The Crow. Of course, it’s for different reasons. The former because it’s just damn good action and one of only two Michael Bay films that are worth a damn. The other being the original Bad Boys. The latter because it’s very unique visuals for the time and it inspired a number of other very dark looking films since 1994.

*Thinking to myself* Wow. It’s really been 20 years since then.

Anyways, thanks for reading and have a good one!

Kill Bill Vol. 1 & 2
Ace Ventura: Pet Detective
The Crow
The Rock
The Expendables

Favorite Game Music: Volume VIII

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.
http://mjkurtzman.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.
http://mjkurtzman.wordpress.com/2014/06/21/space-suplex-podcast-ep-6-stardust/