rpg

Skies of Arcadia Legends

First Hour Review

Skies of Arcadia Legends CoverSkies of Arcadia Legends is a role-playing game developed by Overworks and released on the Gamecube. It is an enhanced port published by Sega in early 2003. The original game, simply Skies of Arcadia, was released on the Dreamcast in 2000. The game was pretty well received on the Dreamcast and has even ranked on some all time top 100 video game lists. The port to the Gamecube was an interesting decision considering the system was not known for RPGs, but Sega probably figured gamers would be eager to grab up a game when it stands nearly alone in the genre. They were also probably right (hey, even I own a copy).

Anyways, Skies of Arcadia follows a group of sky pirates who steal from the rich and give to the poor. The main pirate is Vyse, a young man who apparently wields a glass sword as some sort of useless forearm shield. He's joined by "up to 22 crew members" according to the back of the box, most of whom appear to be skinny, voluptuous women or tough looking pirate geezers. Not a bad combination there. The game also features ship-to-ship battles along with the typical RPG fights, so let's see how much Skies of Arcadia sets itself apart from those landlubbers in its first hour.

Final Fantasy VII

First Hour Review

Final Fantasy VII CoverFinal Fantasy VII is the fanboy's dream come true. Not only is it the best-selling Final Fantasy game (at 9.5 million copies sold), it has one of the longest Wikipedia entries known to man (at 92 kilobytes and over 7,000 words). This is the result of the rabid fanboyism behind the 10 year old game that Square-Enix has only realized recently that it can milk to death with anime, spinoffs, and pretending there is no remake in the works. I'm personally not a huge fan of the game, I'm more of a fan of the even numbered entries in the series, but I've played through it at least twice and have traveled through the very fun opening Midgar hours many, many times.

Final Fantasy VII celebrated its 10 year anniversary in the U.S. on September 7th, so it seems like an appropriate time to review its first hour. I have fond memories of a very enjoyable first hour, so let's hope that it lives up to my memories. Here's to another 2,500 words!

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.

Harvest Moon

First Hour Review

Harvest Moon CoverHarvest Moon was a Super Nintendo sleeper that proved to be unique combination of gameplay and originality that received a small, but devoted following. Natsume released numerous sequels over the last 10 years trying a few different formulas, but the original has always worked the best. Harvest Moon is definitely not for everyone, however. The game moves very slow, and does not introduce the player to the core concepts very well. The player has to conduct much trial and error to figure out many things, and the weak translation doesn't help either. Let's see how the first hour of Harvest Moon progresses.

Earthbound

First Hour Review

Earthbound CoverGame number two in The First Hour series is the quirky Super Nintendo RPG, EarthBound. One of the most popular classic console role playing games, EarthBound sports an odd sense of humor and has a huge cult following. But the real question is what I ask: is the first hour any good? I can tell you one thing, it's not as violent as God of War 2.

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