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Assassin's Creed

First Hour Review

Assassin's Creed CoverAssassin's Creed is a new action-adventure game for the Xbox 360 and PS3 from Ubisoft. The game tells the story of Altair, an assassin in the Holy Land in the 12th century. Altair controls somewhat like the Prince from the Prince of Persia series, but focuses more on stealth and silent killing similar to the Metal Gear Solid games. But instead of hiding in boxes and camouflaging yourself in the trees, Altair hides himself among the people of Jerusalem, attempting to blend in with the public and not stand out to the guards. This makes for some interesting gameplay as Ubisoft spent a lot of time working on crowd reactions for their new kind of camouflage. Without much further ado though, let's dive into the first hour of Assassin's Creed.

For my review on the whole game, please see my Assassin's Creed review at Beyond the First Hour.

Kirby Super Star

First Hour Review

Kirby Super Star CoverKirby Super Star is kind of like the old-school equivalent of The Orange Box. You put down your $50 and you get a whole collection of great games. All of these games are basically running the same engine and feature the same graphics and generally the same gameplay, but yet are distinct and can individually be recognized and enjoyed. This is Kirby Super Star, easily the best Kirby game in its long and colorful career (well, until Canvas Curse came along).

Anyways, as you can see by the cover of the game, Kirby Super Star features eight games. Now two of these are just simple minigames but the other six are more or less Kirby games we all know and love but done in different styles. A few of these games could actually stand on their own too but as a collection it really feels like you're getting your money's worth (so much so I actually own two copies of this game, long story).

I'm not going to have time to play all eight games in one hour, but I'll try to get to as many as I can. So let's start the review.

Streets of Rage 2

First Hour Review

Streets of Rage 2 CoverStreets of Rage 2 is often called the greatest beat 'em up and the must-play Sega Genesis game. Its popularity has lasted a long time in an age where the beat 'em ups are relatively rare (one of the latest being God Hand by the now dissolved Clover Studio). The entire series is reaching new fans now as Streets of Rage 1, 2, and 3 have all been re-released on the Nintendo Wii via the Virtual Console and on Xbox Live Arcade. Back to the game on hand though, beat 'em up games have a certain expectation associated with them: the story is not as important as the gameplay and the action should start right away. This is what I'm considering when reviewing and playing the game. Does the first hour of Streets of Rage 2 deliver what its genre promises while keeping the game interesting and fun? Let's dive in and find out.

Halo: Combat Evolved

First Hour Review

Halo: Combat Evolved CoverHalo: Combat Evolved was released along with the original Xbox and essentially defined the console, along with the entire last generation of first person shooter games. Halo was one of the most popular games of the last few years, basically only surpassed by its sequel and a few other select games. Featuring a two player cooperative campaign and a multiplayer mode that supports up to 16 players over system link (multiple Xboxes on the same LAN), Halo basically had everything gamers wanted, and definitely everything the Xbox needed to get the kick in the pants that it needed. The game sold millions and so did the Xbox along with it.

Halo is basically the opposite of a game like Beyond Good and Evil. It's extremely popular with gamers, readily recognized in mainstream media, and considered overrated by some (or many, depends on who you talk to). But with Halo 3 less than a week away, Bungie's blockbuster series is on the rise. But how does it all begin? Does the first hour of Halo start the series with a bang, or a fizzle? Read on and find out.

There are no pictures in this post because I am stuck at work dealing with a major support issue. I plan to add them later this week.

Castlevania: Symphony of the Night

First Hour Review

Castlevania: Symphony of the Night CoverSymphony of the Night is known by Castlevania fans as the definitive game in the series. I personally see it as the turning point from when the series went from tired and mediocre to awesome and addictive. The catch is, I had never played Symphony of the Night! I own every single portable Castlevania released for the GBA and DS (and 100% them all), but I have never played the pivotal game, until now. Did Konami have any idea what they had when they released this game (probably not)? Does the experience live up to the hype? Well, a Night virgin is about to find out.

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