Now Playing: March 2015

If you missed my blog post entitled “My Final Thoughts on Final Fantasy IX” then check it out. In it I discuss my time with the game, the characters I enjoyed the most, and where I ultimately ended in the game at.

For my next game I pondered the following five games on Twitter: Crysis 3, Enslaved: Odyssey to the West, Far Cry 3, Goldeneye: Reloaded, and Saints Row 3. I asked others to nudge me in a direction of one of those games with a reason or two. It wasn’t a straight popular vote. I received a couple for Enslaved and Saints Row 3, but it was Far Cry 3 which got most of the attention. That’s what I ended up going with.

My first hour of playing Far Cry 3 was a bit rough. Even though other games have done this before, I wasn’t used to the partial health recharging that’s in this game. By this I mean that the health bar is segmented and will only recharge segments that are somewhat drained. Health packs are needed for any segments which are completely empty. There’s also a skill upgrade which will allow for a segment to refill if no packs are available at the time they’re needed. It will just take a little longer.

Another gripe I have with Far Cry 3 is the driving. I can’t see where I am on the road very well and it only has driving in first-person. Because of this hindrance I tried to avoid an oncoming vehicle while in a supply truck on a narrow road with rocks on one side and a cliff on the other. Needless to say I failed spectacularly. I ended up driving over the rocks turning the truck, which doesn’t drive very good anyway, on it’s side. Then it slid off the road and over the cliff killing my character in an explosion (Hollywood oily rags included).

Hunting to craft things is easier than it initially feels like it’ll be. Some animals are difficult to find once on the land mark on the map. However, deer are super easy to find on their land. I had spotted 12 on my screen at one time.

I’m slowly getting into the game. I thought I could go into it acting more like Rambo than I actually am allowed. I can blame the demo for the standalone Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon for that. That game doesn’t allow for such tactics either, but the aesthetics gave me the feeling you could. So much for learning the easy way.

Thanks for reading and have a good one!

Mike at the Movies, reel 03

Originally posted on Domain of Usagi704:

Mike at the Movies is a podcast where I give my thoughts/reviews on movies I have seen. This will be a podcast where I review one to three films with or without a co-host. The movies reviewed do not have to be current and can be any movie from any year and the discussion can include spoilers. You have been warned.

This reel I welcome Matt to talk about The Patriot (2000), Man of Steel (2013), and Rambo (2008).

If you would like to be considered for a spot in the rotating roster of co-hosts, let me know in a comment below.

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My Final Thoughts on Final Fantasy IX

For close to two months — about six days shy — I had been playing Final Fantasy IX. It was the final PS1 game suggested for me to play by Majadamus as part of my celebration of the original PlayStation’s 20th anniversary.

I really liked the storytelling within Square’s role-playing game. In particular the characters and specifically Zidane and Steiner. Their banter back and forth is humorous with Zidane calling Steiner “Rusty” every so often. Zidane’s character change from thief to doing the right and brave thing when it’s needed is believable given the crisis he accidentally found himself in. Steiner is overall funny in how he never trusts Zidane no matter how much good he does. At the same time he trusts Vivi without question to the point of calling him Master Vivi when addressing him.

I’m not embarrassed to admit I followed an FAQ to play through the game. This is because sometimes RPGs are obtuse in how you can continue on with the story whether it be a certain random person you have to talk to or what have you. I didn’t want to take the time looking around for what I needed to do. It’s a major problem I have with some games. Regardless, I had fun with what I played.

I say “with what I played” because I had to end the game prematurity. I had made a bad decision on the characters to take on my trek to Oeilvert. I couldn’t change them after I left the airship. As it turns out, in hindsight, Vivi, Steiner, and Eiko would’ve been much better choices to make over who I ended up taking (Freya, Amarant, and Quina). And those damn asshole Cactuars.

I’m still glad I played the game as far as I did. At least I got to disc 3. It was well worth the 27 hours I put into it.

Take a Walk on Columbus Avenue Tonight

My movies buys seem to usually come in groups of three or four. Well, this time isn’t any different.

The first two on display are the final of the Death Wish series I didn’t have. The first on a 2014 Blu-ray release is the original film. While it’s only the feature presentation and its trailer, this disc does a 40th anniversary proud. The video and audio transfer is simply fantastic. I can’t recommend it enough based on that alone because ultimately that’s the most important thing to have in superb shape.

Death Wish: The Face of Death, on the other hand, is nothing to write home about. This was the final film in the series. Released originally in 1994, this still has fun action from Charles Bronson, but it’s the least needed. At least with Death Wish 4: The Crackdown you could make an argument that it’s worth the time to watch. Regardless of the film itself, Death Wish: The Face of Death on DVD is from 1999 and it shows as a first generation release on the format. It’s biggest crime is only being available in pan & scan (full screen). Of course the picture quality is reminiscent of VHS. Sadly, this is the best and most recent release to date.

I also purchased one of the few, if the only, Chuck Norris movie I like in The Delta Force. If you’ve ever watched it then you know about the main theme that gets played throughout 128 minute runtime again and again. Normally I’d complain about such overuse of once piece of music, but it’s such a fun tune that I love it every time it starts up.

Tango & Cash is one of those buddy cop movies for which it’s a fun action romp never to be taken seriously and has a number of quotable lines. You have Stallone and Russell teaming up against an over-the-top acting Jack Palance with notable actors as the henchmen like James Hong, Brion James, and Robert Z’Dar (and his beautiful large chin). I mean it wasn’t until IMDB that I knew what the name of Z’Dar’s character was. When I found out it was “Face” I wasn’t surprised it was something ridiculous like that. Check it out and you’ll get to see Kurt Russell in drag as a bonus.

Ray Tango: Why just use your Plan A?
Gabriel Cash: Because it’s a hell of a lot better than your Plan B, which you don’t even have.

*****

HART & USAGI PODCAST #60 – March 8th 2015 (@HartandUsagi)
HartKnight and usagi704 chat Net Neutrality ruling, Awesome Games Done Quck, Peter Molyneux, PS2 anniversary, and more.
https://mjkurtzman.wordpress.com/2015/03/08/hart-usagi-podcast-60-respect-the-ps2/

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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/

Action Farce V: Man of Steel

Below are my comments and thoughts I made while I was watching Man of Steel.

* I don’t get why Zod doesn’t want the child to leave the doomed planet. Also, I can’t care for people I don’t know in a few minutes.

* School bus scene 27 minutes in: I don’t default to caring, Man of Steel. You have to earn it, dick splash.

* All of the childhood bullying scenes don’t feel needed. Showing restraint was already done with the loss of his Earth father.

* Of all the nearby planets to use as a rebirth of sorts for Krypton and Zod has to use Earth? I guess there’d be no movie otherwise.

* “Nice suit, son.” *hehe*

* Zod has no time to “master” focusing his powers. It just happens for the plots sake.

* Jor-El as a “ghost” makes little sense. He can interact, but only when it’s convenient for the plot.

* The final 23 minutes and last fight against Zod felt tacked on and unnecessary.

* Character building is pretty much nonexistent. Lois is a news reporter and nothing more. And she got the best out of it.

It was an okay film. I didn’t hate it, but the one-dimensional characters did not help things. Man of Steel isn’t a must see. Sorry.

Hart & Usagi Podcast #60: Respect the PS2

On this episode of the Hart & Usagi Podcast we read your feedback. As far as the news topics go we chat about the FCC’s Net Neutrality ruling, those who think it’s a bad thing (like Mark Cuban), and possible coming attacks against it from the GOP. Also we weight in on Peter Molyneux’s over-promising career of over-promises and show much love for the PlayStation 2.

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

NEWS/TOPICS:
* FCC Reclassifies Broadband and Mobile Providers as Common Carriers Under Title II
* Forty-Three Municipal Broadband Providers Ask The FCC For A Reclassification Exemption
* Republicans Mount Multi-Pronged Attack on Net Neutrality Rule Changes As FCC Vote Looms
* Net Neutrality Will “F**K Everything Up,” Billionaire Mark Cuban Says
* California Public Utilities Commission Gives Approval With Conditions To Comcast-TWC Merger
* President To Sign ‘Advisory’ Executive Order on Cybersecurity Today
* Awesome Games Done Quick Raises $1.58 Million For Charity
* Peter Molyneux Won’t Do Interviews After Death Threats
* The Jimquisition: The Old ‘How Long Should Games Be?’ Debate
* “More Realistic” Guitar Hero In Development for Xbox One, PS4 – Report
* GameStop Once Again Accepting PS2 Trade-Ins
* Classic Claymation Game ClayFighter Getting Remastered

Listen or Download (1:50:14)

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Matt: @HartKnight | HartKnight’s Archive

Mike: @usagi704 | WP blog

@HartandUsagi

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/