Space Suplex Podcast

Announcing a brand new podcast. It’s the Space Suplex Podcast!

24bitAJE and I will talk pro wrestling for 60 minutes at most. Episode frequency will be a week apart at the soonest. If you already subscribe to the Hart & Usagi Podcast (and why aren’t you if your not?) then you don’t have to do anything. Both podcasts are going to be on the same RSS feed.

Our debut episode will be this Friday, April 18th. Make sure to subscribe now to be ready for the Space Suplex Podcast!

Fun Times In Movie & Game World

My final original PlayStation game is here. It’s NBA Showtime: NBA on NBC and it feels like NBA Jam, but with the added feels of the 1990s NBC presentation. The theme they used at the time is is freaking awesome.

I got this game off of eBay. The seller refused to give positive feedback despite getting it from me. They didn’t like that I said the smell of smoke was on it in my feedback. It’s the truth and I don’t care if they don’t like that. The fucker can keep my positive feedback. I hope they choke on it.

Also below is listed a stack of movies and TV shows I recently bought from Best Buy. I had to return The Bourne Identity because the case was crap. I was treated as if I was trying to do something illegal. I’m guessing if they’d keep the case as it was then I should to. I’m very sorry my idea of quality is just too high for Best fucking Buy.

The Bourne Identity
The Italian Job
The Matrix
Knight Rider (Season One)
Xena: Warrior Princess (Season Four)

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.

More Gaming Roots

Now I will share with you my thoughts of playing the following seven games. Some of which I talked about recently on episode 44 of the Hart & Usagi Podcast. You can listen to it here if you haven’t yet. I also ran through an additional seven games from last month’s Now Playing.

The first game on this list is Castlevania: Bloodlines. I’ve never been one to have an easy time with the traditional style of Castlevania games such as Bloodlines is. With that said, I still did find it easier than those on the NES. The main thing that gave me trouble was Dracula’s final form. The battle looks simple enough once you master it, but I wasn’t apparently going to have anything to do with making it easy on myself. I did eventually see the ending.

I’m sure you have those games that you want to play, but you have a hard time getting yourself to do so because of a perceived difficulty. Super Double Dragon was one of those games for me. The difference being that I did play it years prior. As it turns out if you know how to handle the fights then you’ll likely do well. In my first playthrough I was able to reach the final boss before my continues ran out. Once I started understanding and using the Dragon Power meter I was eventually able to complete the game.

Not much needs to be said about Contra. I’ve finished it countless times and always love going back to this all-time great. You can have the arcade version. I’ll make mine the NES!

As the only SNES entry of the series, our lovable Rocket Knight, Sparkster, comes strong with colorful graphics, great sounding music, and well thought out controls. The only thing I didn’t care for was battling Axel Gear in the big robots. Otherwise, it was a fun and fast paced action game.

I can’t say as many glowing words about Total Carnage, however. This sequel to Smash TV plays the same, but instead of a one screen arena setting, it vertically scrolls. Probably the worst aspect of this game is the lack of the fun personality the original had.

If you don’t know Code Name: Viper, then simply think of it as Capcom’s version of Namco’s arcade game Rolling Thunder because that’s exactly what it is. I like this game a lot more than I thought I would. It was a challenge to be sure, but I welcomed it and the final battle with Commander Jones didn’t go too well for him.

The final game I played was Operation Logic Bomb. This is a SNES game in the same series as Fortified Zone and also developed by Jaleco. Instead of two characters with different abilities, it’s one dude who carries all of the firepower. The game is of a decent length for which there isn’t any level select code. Not that there’s really levels in the traditional sense. However, there is one distinct path through the game. You have a machine gun and 3-way spread gun to start and then eventually you’ll find a reflective laser, flamethrower, and missiles (these I never found). Also the player gets claymores and a decoy along the way. This was another end boss that gave me problems. The health drain from the lightning shots were too much to bear.

Of all of these titles I’d only not recommend Total Carnage. Six out of seven isn’t a bad batch of games at all.

Hart & Usagi Podcast #44: Arms Dealer

Welcome back to another episode of the Hart and Usagi Podcast. We spend a lengthy amount of time off the top talking about my recent gaming roots sabbatical and then we dive into the news talking about our radical arms dealer and dear, close friend Leland Yee.

NEWS/TOPICS:
* Retro games recently played
* Leland Yee Accused of Buying Campaign Donations With Political Favors and Brokering an Arms Deal
* 3D Realms responds to Gearbox, claims it owns Duke Nukem trademark
* PC Titanfall Cheaters Get PWNED! And I Love It!
* Rumor: Titanfall 2 rights secured by EA, won’t be Microsoft-exclusive
* Shazam: Shaq returns in Shaq Fu A Legend Reborn
* Burnout creators set out to find paradise in new studio
* UK agency violated privacy of webcams, explored Kinect surveillance
* Ultra Street Fighter 4 Adds Character Edition Select
* Raiden 4: Overkill brings its killing over to North America next month
* Brooklyn-based startup Turbo gets SoftBank investment to build ‘cross-screen’ core games
* Binary Domain


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Matt: @HartKnight | HartKnight’s Archive
Mike: @usagi704 | WP blog

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Data East Arcade Classics

Just like in August of last year, I ordered Data East Arcade Classics on Glyde and it was cancelled for me. I can only assume this was done because the seller didn’t have the game anymore, but decided not to take their listing down. Unlike last time, though, I purchased it on eBay with no trouble whatsoever.

The following list below are the 15 arcade games included in Data East Arcade Classics for the Wii. Six of the games are, for some reason, using either the Japanese or European titles. Those are marked with an asterisk.

Bad Dudes vs. Dragon Ninja
Burger Time
Burnin’ Rubber*
Caveman Ninja*
Crude Buster*
Express Raider*
Heavy Barrel
Lock ‘n’ Chase
Magical Drop III
Peter Pepper’s Ice Cream Factory
Secret Agent*
Side Pocket
Street Hoop*
Super Real Darwin
Wizard Fire

Falling Blocks and Robocop

As I promised I now give you those three arcade games I finished in the last two months I’d mentioned at the end of my last blog post.

Around the time I had purchased the excellent new Blu-ray edition of the 1987 Robocop, I had thought about my memories of playing the Data East arcade game from 1988. Those few times playing said game was in the very early ’90s at a local rollerskating rink as I recalled before. I also watched a video on Retroware TV’s site covering this game and the arcade sequel, which wasn’t nearly as good.

Anyways, off I went to play this Robocop game via MAME, of course. It’s biggest treat is probably the sound effects. This includes a number of voice samples and the sound for when the gun is brought out. Even if getting to the end and exposing Dick Jones to high altitude oxygen isn’t possible, Robocop is still a fun romp of arcade action.

I had said I played Fortified Zone on the Game Boy recently. It was made by Bases Loaded developer Jaleco. This is the same company that made a pair of Tetris arcade games for Japan called Tetris Plus. I tried both and prefer Tetris Plus 2. It’s main game mode has the player clear a set number of lines in each round. It’s the same as Game B in many of the older Nintendo published home versions. There are fewer lines overall in each round to clear in this 1997 title, but it’s still good ol’ challenging Tetris without infinite rotation. You know, the way it was meant to be played!

Metamorphic Force is a Konami beat-’em-up released in 1993. It uses the same engine as the previous year’s X-Men game and has similar fun and frantic gameplay. The four characters available are also mutants, but not in the Marvel comics way. A power up item allows for them to transform into a specific beast, bull, wolf, panther, or bear. It’s a bit more of a button-masher than X-Men was, but still lots of fun. The music, as you might have heard, is some kick ass metal! A few downsides is in human form the characters can’t throw enemies, the wolf is particularly weaker than the other three (sorry, SonicHomeboy :P), and quarter munching was a big problem with this title. In that I mean even if you don’t take damage your character’s health still drains slowly. Otherwise, the game, as I keep saying, it quite fun!

Thanks for reading. Now go play some arcade games! :D