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 greg@firsthour.net for comments, game suggestions, or if you'd like to write for the site.

Ico

Full Review

Ico CoverIco is an adventure game in the greatest sense of the word. It was released on the PlayStation 2 back in 2001 and has a decent fanbase, helped by a sort of spiritual prequel in Shadow of the Colossus released in 2005. Ico is considered a prime example of video games being art, with many pointing at its stylistic graphics, lack of interface, and engrossing story as highlights. The game sold best in Europe, part of which I attribute to bad box-art syndrome. Check out the Japanese/European cover in the infobox, and here's the North American cover. I honestly don't know who approves this crap.

For my review on just the first hour, please see my Ico review at The 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.

Games for Lunch

I've been writing First Hour reviews now for about 15 months, one review a week with a couple of full reviews thrown in when I get around to them. Would you believe my surprise (and dismay, and OMG, and many other emotions) when I discovered Games for Lunch. A blog written by Kyle Orland, a professional game journalist, writes nearly the same thing as I do. Kyle writes stream of consciousness reviews of just the first hour of video games, five days a week, and he started writing them about a month before I did!

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.

Day Two Recap

Recap

Forty-eight* games have been reviewed. Forty-eight hours have been played. Two entire days of gaming.

The First Hour is Ready

The first two days of First Hour content has been moved here along with all 20 full reviews! I have some great plans for the site but it's time to start rolling out some brand new reviews. I should be posting them within the next week or so, probably picking up my regular Monday schedule of posting new First Hour reviews. I've also beaten a few games over the last few months so I'll be catching up on Beyond the First Hour reviews.

Next time I post something, it will be a brand new review! Until then, check out the 48 First Hour reviews and the 20 Beyond the First Hour reviews.

Still working hard

Yep, I'm still hard at work on the First Hour. I have 48 First Hour reviews to migrate over to firsthour.net along with about 20 Beyond the First Hour reviews. This would generally be a quick cut and paste job but I'm creating a whole different review layout along with some other nifty extras that are slowing things down. It's important to me that I have every single old review available when this site is ready to launch with Day Three content.

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