gba

007: Everything or Nothing

Guest First Hour Review
James Bond Everything Or Nothing Cover

James Bond: he's the original super-spy. The secret agent with style, he always gets his man... and his woman.

Unfortunately he hasn't always fared so well in video games. Except for Goldeneye, games bearing the 007 insignia have turned out less than stellar.

I recently got my hands on a copy of 007: Everything or Nothing. This EA-published game on the GameCube (it was also released on the PS2 and XBox) was the first 007 game to ditch the first-person-shooter genre that Goldeneye established in favor of a third-person action adventure. (There had been a third-person 007 game on the PlayStation, but it was received poorly and all subsequent 007 games were first-person-shooters.)

Also, this game has more stars than most Hollywood movies. Pierce Brosnan voices 007, Dame Judy Dench is M, John Cleese is Q, our villain is Willem Dafoe, the Bond girls are Heidi Klum and Shannon Elizabeth, with Mya for good measure, Richard Kiel is Jaws... and all the characters are modeled after their actors.

Will 007 get a video game worthy of his refined demeanor, or is this another impotent cash-in on the 007 franchise? Will a cast full of Hollywood stars take this game to the next level, or will these actors fail to make the transition to video game voice acting? Will 007 introduce himself as "Bond, James Bond?" Let's find out now:

Mother 3

Full Review

Mother 3 CoverMother 3 is the sequel to the Super Nintendo RPG, Earthbound. It was released in 2006, but only in Japan. Being the successor to such a popular game, and no hope in sight of Nintendo of America releasing it, fans took it upon themselves to translate it. It took a few years, but the team released their translation patch in October and fans of the series, like me, pounced on it. I won't say I tore through the game, but I definitely dropped all other games to play it.

I was a big fan of Earthbound, so playing this was a no-brainer. It's just unfortunate that fans had to rely on an unofficial translation to play it. No one really knows what Nintendo of America's reasons were for not releasing an English language version, but honestly, they missed their opportunity. This game is brilliant, including the translation. Let's get to the meat. All scores are out of 10.

For a review on just the first hour, check out my Mother 3 review at The First Hour.

Mother 3

First Hour Review

Mother 3 CoverMother 3 is the 2006 sequel to Earthbound that was only released in Japan. However, last month a fan translation was released and now I can play Mother 3 without referring to my Japanese dictionary every ten minutes. The translation is supposedly really good, even for a series that is chock full of humor and puns that take a lot of effort to translate from one language, and culture, to another.

One of the questions on many minds is why wasn't this game officially translated and released outside of Japan? I've been mind boggled about this for two years now and my respect for Nintendo of America definitely went down because of this. Gamers have seen this before with Sin and Punishment, Star Ocean, and even Final Fantasy V, but all of these games eventually saw a translated release. But from everything Nintendo says, Mother 3 will only officially ever be released in Japan. We all scream "why?" because Earthbound was so popular (which, of course, is Mother 2, with Mother never being released outside of Japan either). I think I finally got my answer the other day, when I read this absolutely great review on Mother 3. The reviewer described the game as poetry and that attempting to translate Mother 3 would result just like the generally awful translations of ancient haikus. The rhythm is gone. The original meaning is lost.

But alas, Mother 3 has been translated, and the first hour beckons. For those unaware, Mother 3 is a role-playing game for the Game Boy Advance. And this is actually the first review I've done where I've already reviewed a game in the same series as Earthbound was the second review I ever wrote. Well, let's go.

For a review on just the entire game, check out my Mother 3 review at Beyond 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.

Another World

First Hour Review

Another World CoverAnother World (Out of this World) is a cinematic platformer released on just about every system back in 1991. Now the phrase, "cinematic platformer" gives me shivers because of its sheer potential of awfulness. When I hear those words I think of terrible gameplay and ugly, "realistic" looking graphics. The games are typically rotoscoped to give them a unique graphical style, which usually doesn't bother me, it's more the style of gameplay that makes me experience nasty flashes of nostalgia. If you've ever played the original Prince of Persia games, you'll know what I'm talking about.

Another World is known as Out of this World in the United States. Much like Indigo Prophecy/Fahrenheit, the game is renamed for some stupid reason that leaves people confused and wondering whether the stone is the sorcerer's or the philosopher's. Either way, the game supposedly influenced Fumito Ueda, who went on to create Ico and Shadow of the Colossus. So at least this game was good for something, but let's check out the first hour of Out of this World to see if it can properly defend itself and (in my opinion) the thankfully lacking genre known as the cinematic platformer.

I'll be playing the 15th Anniversary Edition for the PC released in 2006. The game features higher resolution graphics and more detailed backgrounds.

The Lost Vikings

First Hour Review

The Lost Vikings CoverThe Lost Vikings was released in 1992 and was one of Silicon & Synapse's first games. Never heard of them? They are now known as Blizzard Entertainment, the developer of many, many good games that end in Craft. Anyways, The Lost Vikings was released on the Super Nintendo, Sega Genesis, and various other systems throughout the years, and gives gamers nowadays a really interesting look at the early history of Blizzard. The game itself can be described as a puzzle platformer, where you have to use the different abilities of three Vikings to solve puzzles, defeat enemies, and progress through the game's levels. My minute-by-minute update should help describe the game better. I will be playing just the first hour of the Super Nintendo version of The Lost Vikings, so let's get right to it.

In case you're a World of Warcraft veteran, you may recognize the three Vikings: Erik the Swift, Olaf the Stout, and Baleog the Fierce. They all make a cameo appearance in Uldaman, an ancient dwarven complex that serves as a mid-level dungeon. If you play as a Horde character you can even kill them for some unique items!

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.

Syndicate content