adventure

Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem

First Hour Review

Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem CoverEternal Darkness was released on the GameCube in 2002 and was actually the system's first M-rated game and I believe the first M-rated title published by Nintendo. I'm actually not very good with horror games (or anything horror in general) so it's a surprise to me that I'm even reviewing this game, but it's Halloween this week, so you are all in for a timely treat. I think I own two scary games, and Eternal Darkness is one of them (the other is Resident Evil REmake, also on the GameCube, and you will never see a review on here of that game, it's just too dang scary!).

Anyways, onto the actual game! Eternal Darkness features a unique sanity system unlike anything ever seen before. So addition to your health and magic meters, you have a sanity meter that measures just how stable you are. You lose sanity when you get hurt, or when you see something particularly freaky (which happens a lot). Losing sanity is nothing to laugh at either, because when it gets low, even more crazy stuff happens! I won't detail these "sanity effects" right now because some of them are pretty cool, but let's see what Eternal Darkness throws at us in our first hour together.

Okami

First Hour Review

Okami CoverIn a few years, Okami is probably going to be one of those games that gamers call a "work of art" but hardly any of them will actually have played it. Well, I think that's actually happening right now but someday it will be a lot more prevalent. Anyways, for those unaware, Okami is basically a Legend of Zelda game set in feudal Japan with most of your abilities being executed using a calligraphy brush. The Celestial Brush is used by holding R1 (which freezes time and grays the screen) and then moving the thumbstick around while holding down a face button to draw. Offensive slashes can be drawn with a quick, straight stroke, or you can light an enemy on fire by drawing a line from a torch to the baddie. There are a whole bunch of different strokes available by the end of the game, but I'm only interested in the first hour. Do we even get to use the brush early on or should we cross that off our list of fun in favor of something... a whole lot less fun? Time will tell and it's about to start the clock.

I actually wrote this review about two weeks ago, but since I had the opportunity to play and review Portal, this review was delayed a week!

The Curse of Monkey Island

First Hour Review

The Curse of Monkey Island CoverThe Curse of Monkey Island is the third Monkey Island game in the series. It was first though to transition from pixelated sprites to really nice looking hand-drawn characters and backgrounds. The game uses cel art and animation, making it quite bright and vibrant, if somewhat cartoony and quite different looking than the previous games. The Curse of Monkey Island was one of Lucasart's last adventure games, something they used to be quite known for, and also the last of their games to use the SCUMM gameplay engine. The first three Monkey Island games are some of the funniest and best written video games ever made, but let's see if the first hour of Curse is actually on par with the rest of the series.

There will be lots of pictures in this review because the art is just so great and I couldn't help but take lots of screenshots!

Castlevania: Harmony of Dissonance

Full Review

Castlevania Harmony of Dissonance CoverThe first game in my new review series is Castlevania: Harmony of Dissonance. The second Game Boy Advance Castlevania game and the third with Metroidvania style of gameplay (the first being Symphony of the Night, which I reviewed on The First Hour a week ago). The game was released in 2002 and then re-released again in the Castlevania Double Pack to reach a larger audience (as the first release of this game and the next had rather small releases). This is how I was able to play it for the first time, and being a huge fan of this style of gameplay, was very excited to play it. Let's see at how it panned out, all scores are out of 10.

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.

Bully

First Hour Review

Bully CoverBully was Rockstar's big release last year on the PS2, and thus a big target for ignorant attorneys and retailers (it was also a hot topic overseas but people generally realized it wasn't that bad of a game). Beyond all the controversy, however, let's look at the core of the game: you're a misfit kid who's just been sent to boarding school, and you're meaning to come out on top. Bully provides gamers a sandbox school and city environment, fully interactive and fleshed out, utilizing the now classic (albeit aging) Grand Theft Auto III gameplay engine. Bully focuses less on destruction and bloody violence, and more on comical violence and something almost everyone can identify with: growing up and going to school. Does Rockstar pull it off? That's for someone else to answer. Does Rockstar pull off the first hour of Bully? That's for me to answer.

Indigo Prophecy

First Hour Review

Indigo Prophecy CoverIndigo Prophecy (also known as Fahrenheit to the rest of the world), is a Shenmue-esque psychological, crime, and investigation thriller taking place during a New York City winter. I consider the Shenmue comparison a compliment as the gamplay techniques used in these types of games can lead to some very fun experiences. But at the same time, this style is not for everyone. We will see how well the developer Quantic Dream pulls off this gameplay in the first hour of Indigo Prophecy.

Beyond Good and Evil

First Hour Review

Beyond Good and Evil CoverBeyond Good and Evil: the most overrated underrated game of all time? So many people say this game is underrated, I have to wonder if that's really true. But that's not the point of this post, the point is to rate The First Hour of Beyond Good and Evil. Warning: absolutely no overrating or underrating ahead. I'm beyond that.

Syndicate content