day four

Grand Theft Auto IV

First Hour Review
Grand Theft Auto 4 Cover

Grand Theft Auto IV is the long awaited and critically acclaimed action-adventure game released last year on the Xbox 360, PS3, and Windows. It's the first major iteration of the series since Grand Theft Auto III and in just over a year has sold 11 million copies. A lot was riding on this game and it seems that Rockstar delivered, but I will judge that for myself.

I've played almost all of the Grand Theft Auto games over the last few years, it's amazing how mainstream the series became after GTA III was released. Rockstar has since released the first two games for free for the PC and I reviewed the first hour of GTA 2 a year ago and my friend recently reviewed the first hour of Chinatown Wars (I also have a full review coming of the game in the next few days). Grand Theft Auto has swept the world by storm, so let's get into the latest monster, Grand Theft Auto IV for the Xbox 360.

Nintendo DS M-Rated Blitz

First Hour Review

Esrb MatureThere are a total of six released M-rated Nintendo DS games: Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars, theresia, Ultimate Mortal Kombat, Dementium: The Ward, Touch the Dead, and Resident: Evil Deadly Silence (one more game, C.O.R.E. has been rated but not released yet). For over 1100 rated titles on the Nintendo DS, there are just six games considered Mature by the ESRB! That's about one half percent of all DS games. Kotaku has some theories on this, but I'm not really one to analyze the market or audiences - I'm one to play the dang games.

The following is going to be a 10 minute blitz of each of the six released M-rated games for the Nintendo DS, starting with the first released, Resident Evil: Deadly Silence, and finishing up with the recent Grand Theft Auto. I already had a friend review the first hour of Chinatown Wars, but a little overlap is okay. I'll say a few things about each game, play it for ten minutes, and then wrap each up with a few more notes about gameplay. I'll also decide if the first 10 minutes are worthy of the M-rating or not. Let's get this started.

This is also a taste of the new first hour review format. Less about numerical scores, more about what I liked and what I didn't. The reviews will be a bit more fleshed out next week as I have more room to roam. Enjoy.

Suikoden Tierkreis

Guest First Hour Review

Suikoden Tierkreis CoverSuikoden Tierkreis for the Nintendo DS is the newest edition to the classic RPG series released last month. It's the first portable original RPG in the series and features all the mainstays, including 108 Stars of Destiny (heroes), turn-based combat, an epic story, and random battles. Tierkreis is German for "zodiac." What that has to do with the game, I do not know, something to do with the Stars of Destiny maybe?

This is of course a guest review by my friend Grant. He recently reviewed the first hour of Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars and offered to review his newest purchase. We're both big fans of the Suikoden series, though we've played completely different games. I've played 1, 2, and 4, while Grant has played 3, 5, and now Tierkreis. I keep trying to get him to play Suikoden 2 as it's one of the best games ever... but as long as he writes for the site, I don't care. Enjoy Grant's review of Suikoden Tierkreis.

Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars

Guest First Hour Review

Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars CoverGrand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars is Rockstar's first game for the Nintendo DS and it joins the ranks as one of the few Mature rated titles for the handheld. Developed by Rockstar Leeds, the creators of the PSP GTA games, Chinatown Wars was one of Nintendo's biggest announcements at last year's E3. After the massive scope of the console GTA games, many wondered if the DS could accurately duplicate the experience. If Rockstar can pull it off, prepare to hear pleas for a GTA Wii for many months to come.

This first hour guest review was written by my good friend Grant. I never knew he was a fan of the Grand Theft Auto series so this was quite a surprise when he submitted the review to me. If you're interested in writing for the First Hour in this style or your own, send me an email. Let's get to the first hour of Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars.

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