First Hour Reviews

  • Mother 3

    First Hour Review

    Mother 3 CoverMother 3 is the 2006 sequel to Earthbound that was only released in Japan. However, last month a fan translation was released and now I can play Mother 3 without referring to my Japanese dictionary every ten minutes. The translation is supposedly really good, even for a series that is chock full of humor and puns that take a lot of effort to translate from one language, and culture, to another.

    One of the questions on many minds is why wasn't this game officially translated and released outside of Japan? I've been mind boggled about this for two years now and my respect for Nintendo of America definitely went down because of this. Gamers have seen this before with Sin and Punishment, Star Ocean, and even Final Fantasy V, but all of these games eventually saw a translated release. But from everything Nintendo says, Mother 3 will only officially ever be released in Japan. We all scream "why?" because Earthbound was so popular (which, of course, is Mother 2, with Mother never being released outside of Japan either). I think I finally got my answer the other day, when I read this absolutely great review on Mother 3. The reviewer described the game as poetry and that attempting to translate Mother 3 would result just like the generally awful translations of ancient haikus. The rhythm is gone. The original meaning is lost.

    But alas, Mother 3 has been translated, and the first hour beckons. For those unaware, Mother 3 is a role-playing game for the Game Boy Advance. And this is actually the first review I've done where I've already reviewed a game in the same series as Earthbound was the second review I ever wrote. Well, let's go.

    For a review on just the entire game, check out my Mother 3 review at Beyond the First Hour.

  • Diablo II

    First Hour Review

    Diablo II CoverDiablo II is the super popular hack and slash released on the PC in 2000. It has probably broken more computer mouses than any other game because of the excessive clicking involved in its hacking and slashing. I'm personally a Diablo II virgin and have barely played the original, so this was admittedly, quite the experience! At least I can say I've played it with Diablo III announced and looking amazing.

    A few notes, I also have Lord of Destruction installed so I can capture higher resolution screenshots (800x600 vs. 640x480), but I'll try to treat it as I'm just playing the regular game. And if you're interested, as I guess it really matters, I'll be playing version 1.07. Oh yeah, if you're a big fan of Blizzard, check out my Lost Vikings review after you read about Diablo II's first hour.

  • Aladdin

    First Hour Review

    Aladdin CoverAladdin for the Sega Genesis was released in 1993 about a year after the film was in the theaters. It was created by the same team that would go on to make Earthworm Jim and features animations drawn by Disney animators. The game was released on a wide range of systems, but the Super Nintendo Aladdin was actually an entirely different game created by Capcom. For all these years I asssumed it was Nintendo's infamous censorship at work because you couldn't use a sword like on the Genesis, but it was simply a different game under the same name (though I wouldn't be surprised if Nintendo still had a hand in swordless Aladdin).

    I reviewed the first hour of Lion King back in March and did not have a good experience. Considering both Aladdin and The Lion King were both developed by Virgin Interactive, could I possibly have a similar first hour? Let's get into it.

  • Ico

    First Hour Review

    Ico CoverIco is a PlayStation 2 video game released in 2001. It's honestly hard for me to believe that this game is seven years old already, but it is, and I still think it plays great. I discovered Ico in 2005 after I had finished the great game, Shadow of the Colossus, which serves as sort of a distant prequel to Ico. Anyways, Ico is an action-adventure game similar to Zelda but without an interface, text-driven story, or large cast of characters. Ico is minimalist in many senses of the word.

    I feel like I'm drawn to these cult hit games recently as I enjoy exposing them and also trying out a game I would never play if it weren't for this site. I've owned Ico for three years and I've barely ever played it. Well, that's enough introduction, let's get to the review!

    For my review on the entire game, please see my Ico review at Beyond the First Hour.

  • Mutant League Football

    First Hour Review

    Mutant League Football CoverMutant League Football is a football game released for the Sega Genesis in 1993. This isn't your typical football game though, as the players are mutants, monsters, and skeletons, and the field has firepits, mines, and going out of bounds means getting sucked into space. Mutant League Football was developed by EA and released at the same time as the early Madden Football games, but you can tell the development team really had some fun with the game. A few of the team names are mocking real teams (Sixty Whiners instead of 49ers) and there are a couple of parody players such as Reggie Fright (Reggie White) and Bones Jackson (Bo Jackson).

    This game really reminds me of The Rookie, a podcast novel written by Scott Sigler that I read last year. In that book, there's an intergalactic football league played by a variety of alien races and includes much death and destruction. A great listen. Let's get to the review now, oh yeah, this is my second post-apocalyptic game review in a row after Fallout, funny how those things run in streaks.

  • Fallout

    First Hour Review

    Fallout CoverFallout is a popular computer role-playing game from 1997. Its post-apocalyptic setting, off-beat dark humor, and deep gameplay has kept this game installed on many computers over the last decade. Fallout's fanbase has been pretty steady over the years and with Fallout 3 being released later this month, the focus on this series is really starting to build. So let's take this opportunity and look at where the entire series began, in the first hour of the original Fallout.

  • Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare

    First Hour Review

    Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare CoverCall of Duty 4: Modern Warfare features the best first hour of a video game I have ever played. It was 2007's best-selling game and received my 2007 Console Game of the Year award. The entire game is a must-play but the first hour is something to be marveled at. I was never personally a fan of World War II era shooters, so I was super excited to find out the Call of Duty series had moved on to a modern setting that really makes sense in today's world. There seems to be as much reality in this fictional war than what the previous games had presented to us before.

    Welcome to day three of the First Hour, as in the 49th hour of gaming. This is also the first review of my new site where you're reading this now after a few month break. Since my last review in June, I've moved into my first house and had a baby, it's been really exciting but also a bit overwhelming, I haven't even hooked up any of my consoles in months and just played my DS and PC sporadically. I'm ready to start writing about games again though, I'll try to keep them coming as consistent as possible (every Monday afternoon), but you never know what will happen.

    Anyways, on with the review!

    For my review on the whole game, please see my Call of Duty 4 review at Beyond the First Hour.

  • Lego Indiana Jones: The Original Adventures

    First Hour Review

    Lego Indiana Jones: The Original Adventures CoverLego Indiana Jones: The Original Adventures is a new adventure game in the same vein as Lego Star Wars. I've had great fun with the recent series of Lego games and since I've always been a fan of Indiana Jones, this is one game I'm excited to play. I've only played one other Indiana Jones game before and that was Desktop Adventures, a fun, randomly generated top-down computer game. Lego Indiana Jones supposedly does not include any content from the newest movie, which doesn't bother me, I thought it was pretty bad honestly. I will be playing the Nintendo DS version of Lego Indiana Jones.

    This is my last review for Day 2 of The First Hour. Another 24 hours of video gaming has passed and another 24 will begin soon. All reviews here on old domain will be moving to firsthour.net and all new reviews will be posted there. That site will consolidate my full review site into it also. I'm really excited for it and I plan to launch it this summer. It will probably be a few weeks though as I have just closed on a house and also have a baby on the way, so it's going to be a busy summer! I'm excited for the future though and still plan to review just the first hour of video games. Heck, that's all I have time for anyway.

  • Star Ocean: The Second Story

    First Hour Review

    Star Ocean: The Second Story CoverStar Ocean: The Second Story is an action RPG for the original PlayStation. The game allows the player to make many choices along the way, from what characters will be in your party to how difficult the secret final boss will be. Star Ocean is known for its fun and varied gameplay and its absolutely atrocious, but hilarious voice acting. It was released in the United States back in 1999 but since the first Star Ocean was never released outside of Japan, I'm not really sure how Enix expected it to performed. The game follows the story of two intergalactic strangers and their impact on the future of multiple planets. Let's get into the beginning of that story, as Star Ocean: The Second Story's first hour is about to begin.

  • The World Ends with You

    First Hour Review

    The World Ends with You CoverThe World Ends with You is a new action RPG for the Nintendo DS released by Square Enix. Unlike their Final Fantasy or Kingdom Hearts series, The World is set in modern day Tokyo. Battles are fought at a fast pace and the game is ripe with Japanese pop culture, music, and style. This is a unique game and proof that Square Enix still takes chances now and then. It has rewarded them well too as the game is getting great reviews and I'm sure it is selling well. Enough talk though, let's get on with the review.

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