Movie Action of ’91

This year has been much more of a movie buying one than that for games. 15 so far is a testament to that. In fact, let’s go ahead and add three more.

Outside of Bloodsport, Timecop, and Street Fighter, there’s few Jean-Claude Van Damme movies I find myself going back to. However, Double Impact is one of them. There might be another here or there, but I just maybe not remembering it at this moment. One thing is for sure, though. This movie should’ve had the following tagline.

Double the action.
Double the excitement.
Double Van Damme.
It’s Double Impact!

Dude, they really missed out. :D

Another 1991 joyride is Point Break, brah. After being named after a US state little Johnny Utah works undercover as an F.B.I. Agent! Ain’t it wild?

I was also able to get Rambo, you know, the fourth film. This is the 2010 release called the Extended Cut. Sadly that extension is only an extra eight minutes. That’s not what I call great since it chucks out the commentary track to get those few extra minutes. It’s not worth it to me. I’ll probably be looking for the 2008 Blu-ray release as a replacement.

Finally, Blades of Time was the one game I picked up. This is the “sequel” to X-Blades. Better, but not great, this game was produced by Konami’s own Master of Extreme, Tak Fujii. It looked interesting at the time and thanks to ebbderelict’s review I decided to go for it.

*****

HART & USAGI PODCAST #59 – February 11th 2015 (@HartandUsagi)
HartKnight and usagi704 chat Joystiq, Sega, the latest on Net Neutrality and more.
https://mjkurtzman.wordpress.com/2015/02/11/hart-usagi-podcast-59-premium-dlcmium/

SUBSCRIBE!

SPACE SUPLEX #16 – February 27th 2015 (@SpaceSuplex)
HartKnight and 24bitAJE chat the Fastlane PPV and more.
https://mjkurtzman.wordpress.com/2015/02/27/space-suplex-podcast-ep-16-reigning-supreme/

Space Suplex Podcast Ep. 16: Reigning Supreme

Welcome back wrestling fans to the Space Suplex podcast. We return to discuss, you guessed it, the recent WWE show Fastlane, Russo resurfaces for air, King of Fighters(?) and more.

Don’t forget to follow our Twitter account, @SpaceSuplex, and please subscribe via RSS or on iTunes.

TOPICS:
* Fastlane 2015
* Fans stand with gay WWE star Darren Young after he’s barred from UAE tour
* Vince Russo At Lucha Underground

Listen or Download (1:05:11)

Subscribe: RSS | iTunes

Space Suplex at the Internet Archive

Anthony: @24bitAJE | Generic Video Game Podcast

Matt: @HartKnight | HartKnight’s Archive

@SpaceSuplex

Now Playing: February 2015

Earlier in the month I laid out what I was playing at the time, Omega Boost and Final Fantasy IX. I am still working on the latter, obviously. Click here to read my thoughts on Omega Boost.

I did also play and complete my second game of it year. It was Castlevania II: Belmont’s Revenge on the Game Boy. If you didn’t know, and I can’t see how you wouldn’t, this Castlevania game has the best music of the three on the system. It’s also a very good platformer and considerably better than Castlevania: The Adventure. The subweapons in the game only consist of holy water and the axe. The axe is the best choice in most circumstances.

Back in 1991 when the game was first released I had played it, but I never got far in Dracula’s castle after clearing out the initial four stages. The difficulty ramps up here and especially in the second half. Dracula himself is a difficult final boss because most of the time I found myself dodging his spinning orbs without getting a chance to hit him before I had to get into a safe position again. There was a boss right before him, however, that I never knew about until it was upon me. It’s against Soleiyu and it is also hard to win. You’ll beg to get some distance from him when he’s closing in on you along with daggers flying in your direction.

Thankfully Final Fantasy IX hasn’t been as nerve-wrecking. I’m currently on the second disc at a place called Cleyra which exists inside a sandstorm that they maintain. As far as the characters go Steiner is great at being impatient and he accuses wrongdoing of anyone he looks down upon. A very upper class trait to have. It’s adorable too as none of the other characters pays much attention to his demands. Steiner is sort of the comic relief as he jumps around in anger like a child all while in a full suit of armor. Zidane also likes to call him “Rusty.” Time spent so far on this grand adventure has been just over 14 hours with many more to come.

Thanks for reading and remember there’s a new episode of Space Suplex coming soon talking about WWE Fastlane!

Action Farce: Badass Bronson

I have a small thing for the Death Wish series of films. I didn’t really know of them until a late-2008 video on Cinemassacre of the Top Ten Shoot-‘em-ups. The description is “James picks out 10 of the best movie scenes with people being blown to smithereens!” I watched it and Death Wish 3, which definitely deserves its spot on the list, shows up. I had certainly heard of actor Charles Bronson growing up and the usual tough guy personas he’d play on the silver screen. However, despite this I didn’t know about the series even though all of the sequels were released in my lifetime.

In 2009 I checked out all five of the movies (with only a brief thought on the fifth film) and more recently I had purchased the Bronson Triple Threat Collection containing the second, third, and fourth entries. Upon rewatching these I’ve come to the conclusion about my opinions about them.

For Death Wish II it does keep in continuity with the first film from 1974, but it’s otherwise very much the same thing again with a few details changed. It takes place in Los Angeles instead of New York and now with his character’s wife gone after being raped and murdered in the first movie, the same thing happens to his daughter and housekeeper. It’s still well acted and fine to watch despite how similar it is. An interesting note is that Death Wish II is one of Laurence Fishburne’s earliest roles.

Death Wish 3 is a return to New York for the character of Paul Kersey. This time it’s to visit a friend. This story reasoning to return is laughable in that his friend, Charley, is killed by a local gang before Kersey arrives. It’s obvious the filmmakers wanted to cut right to the vigilante scenes. They don’t waste any time getting to know these characters here. It’s 1985 and that was right in the middle of the low budget action movie craze of ’80s cinema. So that’s mainly what this entry is: nonstop action, unlike the previous and later films in the series. It’s fun if you’re into that type of thing. Here’s another interesting actors note: This is Alex Winter’s very first role as one of the gang members. Four years later he’d star as Bill S. Preston, Esq. in Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure.

Two years later Death Wish 4: The Crackdown was released. It’s back to Los Angeles again and this time the person who kicks the bucket to give Bronson’s character motivation to return to his vigilante ways is the daughter of his girlfriend. It’s not because of rape or murder which is a change for the series. It’s because of a crack overdose. Kersey’s mission this time is to destroy two drug cartels by playing them against each other in a plot ripped straight from the Kurosawa classic, Yojimbo. Obviously it’s not nearly as good, but the usual great performance by Charles Bronson makes it fun to watch. It’s a nice change of pace for the Death Wish movies. If you’re expected another well known actor to pop up in a Death Wish film early on in their career, then I have some news for you. I have two to report. It was the fifth role for Danny Trejo and one of several productions in ’87 for Tim Russ who you may know as Tuvok of Star Trek: Voyager.

I didn’t touch on the original Death Wish or the fifth film, Death Wish V: The Face of Death, because I want to watch them again before I know how I feel on them. Thanks for reading.

Catch My Spending If You Can

Another week and another load of new additions to the collection.

First up is seven Blu-rays and the first one, Bronson Triple Threat Collection, includes the middle three of the five Death Wish movies. DWII feels like the first film done again and not as good. DW3 is hilariously over the top with a large body count. Death Wish 4: The Crackdown is a mediocre late ’80s action piece. Some of Charles Bronson’s best work is in the original version of The Mechanic and the first Death Wish.

More DVD to Blu-ray upgrades with the fantastic Catch Me If You Can, the missing two Die Hard movies (Die Hard and With A Vengeance), along with Saving Private Ryan.

I also got my first copy ever of Schwarzenegger’s Commando and Inglourious Basterds with the best performance from Christoph Waltz. To paraphrase Jack Palance from Tango & Cash: “Oh, God. Christoph Waltz. How he loves to dance. He waltzes in and steals all the scenes he’s in, then tangos back out again.”

And now for a game? May I present a spur-of-the-moment purchase of Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris. I was interested in the previous game, but I never did get around to it. This one, however, was apart of a flash sale on the PlayStation Network for $8.00. This sale ends today and has a number of other great deals. Here’s some highlights of the 60 titles (many of which are fighting games).

* All three PS1 versions of the Street Fighter Alpha series are $1.20 each.
* Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix is $2.00.
* Virtua Fighter 5: Final Showdown – Complete Edition is $6.00.
* Guilty Gear Xrd is $24.00 and $20.00 for PS4 and PS3, respectively.
* PS2 classic Capcom vs. SNK 2 is $2.50.
* PS4’s Knack is $10.00.

Purchase and download while the prices are good. And don’t forget to listen to either of my podcasts below while doing your PSN shopping. :)

*****

HART & USAGI PODCAST #59 – February 11th 2015 (@HartandUsagi)
HartKnight and usagi704 chat Joystiq, Sega, the latest on Net Neutrality and more.
https://mjkurtzman.wordpress.com/2015/02/11/hart-usagi-podcast-59-premium-dlcmium/

SUBSCRIBE!

SPACE SUPLEX #15 – January 27th 2015 (@SpaceSuplex)
HartKnight and 24bitAJE chat the Royal Rumble and Wrestle Kingdom 9 shows.
https://mjkurtzman.wordpress.com/2015/01/27/space-suplex-podcast-ep-15-wk9/

Hart & Usagi Podcast #59: Premium DLCmium

Welcome back video game fans to another quality episode of the Hart & Usagi Podcast. On this trek out we chat Joystiq’s fall and rise again, how Nintendo and Sega have been bad boys, and the very good news regarding the FCC’s decision on Net Neutrality. We might even throw in some Puyo Puyo Tetris while we’re at it.

Enjoy the show and remember to subscribe via RSS or iTunes and follow the Hart & Usagi Podcast today!

NEWS/TOPICS:
* Mercenaries
* Final Fantasy IX
* Puyo Puyo Tetris
* The King of Fighters 2002 Unlimited Match
* AOL Shutting Down Joystiq and Massively
* Introducing ‘Joystiq X Engadget': A new beginning
* Sega to Axe 300 Jobs as Focus Turns to PC and Mobile
* YouTubers Respond To ‘Nintendo Creator’s Program’
* EA Investigating “Free-to-Start” Console Games
* Devs Play Features John Romero Playing ‘Doom’
* Republican Lawmaker Puts Forward His Own ‘Net Neutrality’ Bill
* Report: FCC Drafting Plan To Stop State-Level Anti-Broadband Laws
* FCC Chairman Wants To Reclassify Broadband And Mobile Under Title II
* FCC Previews ‘New Rules for Protecting the Open Internet’
* SOE Turns Independent, Eyes Xbox Support
* Kojima Wants Open-World Metal Gear Solid 1 Remake for PS4

Listen or Download (1:16:02)

Subscribe: RSS | iTunes

Hart & Usagi Podcast at the Internet Archive

Matt: @HartKnight | HartKnight’s Archive

Mike: @usagi704 | WP blog

@HartandUsagi

Boost Into Death Zone 5

My blog since the beginning of the year has been mostly filled with my Game of the Year awards and purchases of movies and games. Only my Now Playing article from last month has served as to what I’m playing. Well here we go into a second such blog post.

The final two games that are in my collection, but not played were suggested by @usagi704 (Omega Boost) and @Majadamus (Final Fantasy IX).

I started off with Omega Boost. I found it many years ago in 2007 and at Circuit City, before it ceased to exist, for $2. It was a random new copy of a PS1 game released in 1999 just sitting there. I had to get it even though I knew nothing about it. As it turns out Omega Boost was the second game released by the Gran Turismo studio, Polyphony Digital.

When it came time to play the game, I did like it at first. It was fairly easy to get a handle of the controls. That was until Zone 5. Instead of an all open area like in the previous zones, you were now in a long tunnel with obstacles to avoid. If you hit one in a series of them, you’d usually plow right into the rest of them. It was pretty infuriating. I tried my best to deal with this zone, but I couldn’t take it anymore. Usually I’d have little health left to battle the boss. Simply put the enclosed space made a fun game maddening very quickly. I may give it another go in the future, but for now I moved on.

And what I moved onto was Final Fantasy IX. As rare as this genre is for me to play a game from, I sure do own a number of these RPGs. This one will take me quite awhile to complete with it probably taking about 45 hours. I’m currently at the Dragon’s Gate in Lindblum Grand Castle having clocked in 8 hours and 19 minutes. Wish me luck as I over level my characters as I usually do.