This site reviews the first hour, and only the first hour, of video games. It gives a minute by minute look at what is potentially a deal breaker for many games. If a game isn't fun during the initial hour, why should we expect the last 10 to 50 hours to be any different? The First Hour updates every few days with a new game review. Please contact for comments, game suggestions, or if you'd like to write for the site.


Full Review

Braid CoverBraid is an extremely unique Xbox Live Arcade platformer where you're able to control time. It starts out kind of like Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, allowing you to just reverse time if you die, but it gradually introduces more and more insane and awesome concepts that will have your mind totally boggled by the end. Braid is only available on the Xbox 360 right now, but it should get a PC release in the next few months. Buy this game whatever way you can. Geez, I'm already highly recommending it and we haven't even gotten to the review yet. Let's do it. All scores are out of 10.


First Hour Review

Actraiser CoverActRaiser is a 1990 platformer/simulator for the Super Nintendo. No, it doesn't simulate the platformer genre, there are two distinct (very distinct) modes of gameplay in this game. You essentially play God, and are attempting to win back control of the world from the Devil. Of course, this translation never made it outside of Japan, but it's pretty obvious when you play it. I never played ActRaiser before this review, and really had no idea what to expect. First you play a pretty typical platformer, and then all of sudden you're building an ancient city while shooting arrows at demons. It's weird, but as you'll find out, fun.

The game has been released on the Wii Virtual Console, so there's definitely an opportunity to play ActRaiser still today. Let's start playing the first hour of Actraiser for the Super Nintendo.

The Last Starfighter

Movie Review

Last StarfighterThe Last Starfighter is a science fiction film about a teenager who beats an arcade game, which turns out to be a recruiting tool for an endangered alien race and leads him to become a starfighter pilot. I saw this movie for the first time a couple weeks ago and thought, "I want to write about this." It's 24 years old and incredibly outdated, but it's one of those films that I wish I had seen as a kid, because I know it would have been truly magical.

This is going to be an informal review of the movie, I'd rather just discuss it and talk about some things I noticed. You may be wondering why the heck a video game website is doing movie reviews, and I'm kind of wondering that myself, but because of its video game themes, I think it is appropriate.

Kung Fu Panda

First Hour Review

Kung fu Panda CoverKung Fu Panda is the video game based off of the recent movie hit. For Christmas I received an Xbox 360 and packaged inside was Kung Fu Panda and Lego Indiana Jones. Now, I've already reviewed the first hour (and beat, but didn't 100% complete) Lego Indy for the Nintendo DS, so I'm just kind of ignoring it at the moment. You may be in my position, you have this movie-based game about a bunch of animals that do martial arts, and you're really not sure if you should even bother unwrapping the plastic from it. So let me help you out, let's play the first hour of Kung Fu Panda together and see if it's worth playing.

Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater

First Hour Review

Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater CoverMetal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater is a third-person stealth action game for the PlayStation 2. Though it is the third game in the Solid series, Snake Eater serves as the prequel to the entire Metal Gear series. Released in 2004, the game drops the original Snake in the middle of a dense Soviet Union jungle during the height of the Cold War. Political tensions are high and the game holds nothing back in terms of cut scenes. Heck, the version I own includes a disc with over three hours of cut scenes edited together to make the Metal Gear Solid 3 movie. This is a common complaint thrown against the series, though many fans enjoy their dramatic and over-the-top directing. But how will they affect the game's first hour? Now that is a question we are about to answer.

I'll be playing the Subsistence version of the game, a re-released enhanced version of Snake Eater. The only difference that I know of that will affect this first hour is the much improved camera. Let's get to the first hour of Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater (Subsistence).

Trauma Center: Under the Knife 2

Full Review

Trauma Center: Under the Knife 2 CoverTrauma Center: Under the Knife 2 is the direct sequel to one of my favorite Nintendo DS games Before I played the original Trauma Center, I had never understood the real appeal of the DS. That game, along with Kirby Canvas Curse, demonstrated what the system was really capable of and how much fun it could be. So when the sequel was released, I put it at the top of my list to play. I actually beat this game about two months ago, but things have been pretty busy so I haven't been able to write the review until now.

The Trauma Center series pits you as a highly skilled surgeon working for Caduceus, a well funded research facility. The games are highly linear, with tons of text, so if you're looking for a straight surgery simulator, you'll have to wade through a lot of cruft to get to it. If you can put up with much too serious characters in contrived situations, then you will be rewarded with excellent and difficult gameplay. Let's get to my review of Trauma Center 2.

2008 Game of the Year Awards

Game of the Year Awards

Game of the Year Awards logoAnnouncing the 2008 Game of the Year Awards from the First Hour! I beat 16 games this year, check out which ones are named the Game of the Year, Older Game of the Year, and a few others! New this year are the Worst Games of the Year.

No new First Hour review this week

Due to a busy holiday, there will be no First Hour review posted this week, but I do have something special being posted tomorrow... so stay tuned! And of course, the First Hour will continue next week and I have something planned for the month of February. So don't fret my fans and readers, I will return!

Dangerous High School Girls in Trouble!

First Hour Review

Dangerous High School Girls in Trouble CoverDangerous High School Girls in Trouble! is a indie PC game released this year. It's a computer board game at heart with lots of puzzles mixed in and a mystery to solve at high school. DHSGiT (I think that's the only time I'll use that acronym, ever) is a period game set in America's roaring twenties and features a large cast of funny and well written characters. Tons of original art and gameplay is promised by the developer, Mousechief, who actually emailed me back in July and requested I give their game a review (and yes, I do take requests).

This is my first review of an independently made game, and I think I'll do more of them in the future. They typically offer such a unique experience that is simply not found anywhere else. I have a few other in mind that I think are worthy of a one hour go. But for the game at hand, let's get into the first hour of Dangerous High School Girls in Trouble!


Full Review

Pikmin CoverPikmin is the brainchild of Shigeru Miyamoto, released for the GameCube in 2001. It's a real-time strategy game starring a horde of plant creatures and a tiny space traveler. You control Captain Olimar directly, leading around the mini pikmin that come in three different colors. The goal is to collect 30 ship parts in 30 days. Now I am generally annoyed by timed games, but I finished it on about my 20th day with every piece, so don't feel rushed for time. The pikmin serve as Olimar's willing slaves as they carry each piece back to his ship while sacrificing their lives in front of giant ladybugs and fire breathing snouts. It's kind of sad when you think about it. Well, can't dawdle on that too much. Pikmin 2 was also released for the GameCube and Pikmin 3 is announced for the Wii. Olimar rolls on with his minions in tow.

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