gamecube

Enter the Matrix

Guest First Hour Review
Enter The Matrix Cover

Enter the Matrix is the video game tie-in with the film The Matrix Reloaded, the first of two sequels many fans were disappointed with. The video game does not allow you to replay events from the movie, rather you play as minor characters from the movie partaking in events that affect the outcome of the sequels. If I remember correctly this was kind of a big deal at the time (2003), but an even bigger deal is that the game was written by the Wachowski brothers, and contains live-action cutscenes with actors from the movie.

So is Enter the Matrix just another movie tie-in game, a sub-par cash-in on a movie that might be considered the same, or did the Wachowskis' influence bring it to a new level, creating a new gameplay experience unlike any other? Well... we are about to find out. I will be playing the GameCube version.

Greg Noe's Note: Paul Eastwood is a fan of the First Hour and volunteered to write this review, hopefully we'll hear more from him in the future. Hey, if he's brave enough to play Enter the Matrix, maybe he can tackle some of the other most awful video games of all time. I've personally played the game once, some random level in the middle of the game that I remember playing similar to Descent. It kept crashing on us when we clipped into walls. Somehow, Enter the Matrix managed to sell over five million copies. I consider the game a seminal moment in video game history: It was rushed to market and betrayed many gamers' trust in game publishers and movie tie-ins. Interesting to note, the game sits at around 70% on GameRankings, so either this game is unfairly panned universally, or the mainstream reviewers were afraid to give such a high profile game a really bad score.

Back to Paul Eastwood's review of Enter the Matrix.

Pikmin

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.

Pikmin

First Hour Review

Pikmin CoverPikmin is a GameCube real-time strategy game set in what could be someone's backyard and featuring a large cast of inch tall plant creatures (and you thought it couldn't get weirder after last week's Katamari Damacy). Basically, our hero is Captain Olimar, a space traveler who gets stranded on the Pikmin planet. His ship is in thirty pieces and scattered across a few different levels, but Olimar only has enough life support to last thirty days. The only way he's going to get off in time is to recruit the Pikmin's help in gathering his ship parts back together. And thus, our story begins.

Pikmin did pretty well and received a sequel a few years later. Nintendo also recently announced Pikmin 3 for the Wii, so the series will keep on growing. Pikmin originally caught my eye because it was Nintendo's first original series for the Gamecube (well, if you don't count Luigi's Mansion) and was straight from the mind of Shigeru Miyamoto. Well, let's play the first hour of Pikmin.

The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time

First Hour Review

The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time CoverThe Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time was released 10 years ago this week for the Nintendo 64 and 3D adventure gaming has never been the same. Topping many gamers' all-time favorites list and sitting atop at Game Rankings, Ocarina of Time currently reigns as the unofficial Greatest Game of All-Time. I remember quite well my anticipation for this game ten solid years ago and that it actually did live up to the hype.

How much more can be said about this game that hasn't already been said? Well, no one has just played the first hour before and wrote a review just on that, so let me be the first. I'll be playing the original Nintendo 64 version, as there have been at least a Gamecube and Virtual Console port so far.

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.

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.

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.

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