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OutRun 2006: Coast 2 Coast

Video Review
Outrun 2006 Coast 2 Coast Cover

Our first video review comes courtesy of Steve and one of the all time greatest arcade racing series: OutRun. Steve will be playing the 15 minute continuous cross-country run in OutRun 2006: Coast to Coast. It spans 15 very different levels with one common feature: lots and lots of powersliding. The game is beautiful, so here are two high definition videos of the run, complete with commentary about the game and series.

X-Men Legends II: Rise of Apocalypse

First Hour Review
X Men Legends 2 Cover

X-Men Legends II: Rise of Apocalypse is an action RPG featuring the X-Men and Brotherhood of Mutants teaming up to fight Apocalypse. Developed by Raven Soft and published by Activision, it's (obviously) the sequel to X-Men Legends.

I have never played X-Men Legends. Why, then, am I playing the sequel? In the first game, you play as the X-Men fighting against the Brotherhood. In the second, you play as the X-Men and the Brotherhood, which seemed much more interesting to me.

How will this game capitalize on this unique license? Will an action RPG be fitting for the X-Men (and Brotherhood)? Did I make a huge mistake in playing the sequel before the first?

Prince of Persia: Warrior Within

Guest First Hour Review
Prince Of Persia Warrior Within Cover

Prince of Persia: Warrior Within is the sequel to Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, which was itself a relaunch of a popular 2D platformer from the early 1990s. The relaunch, developed by Ubisoft Montreal, eventually became a trilogy, released on PlayStation 2, XBox, GameCube, PC, and even a version for the GameBoy Advance. The series has since been relaunched again on the current generation of systems.

Sands of Time was very well received for many reasons, including beautiful art direction, spot-on controls, fluid animations, clever mechanics and a wonderful intangible quality. It had two main downfalls: the combat was repetitive and the game was short.

Warrior Within sets out to correct both of these follies, boasting a longer story and a much-improved combat engine that takes the acrobatic attacks of the first game and expands them to a move list that takes up several pages in the instruction manual.

With these improvements, the game has also "matured" in the video game sense, which as usual means blood and scantily-clad women. Oh, and heavy metal. I'm not really sure why Ubisoft felt this was necessary; I'm assuming it was based on customer feedback.

I played through Prince of Persia: The Sands of time a while back and enjoyed it very much. When it was over I wished it wasn't, and that's what sequels are for. Will Warrior Within satisfy my craving for more acrobatic platforming/adventuring featuring the Prince of Persia?

Note: If I say "the first game" I'm referring to Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, not the original Prince of Persia game.

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.

Lego Indiana Jones: The Original Adventures

First Hour Review

Lego Indiana Jones: The Original Adventures CoverLego Indiana Jones: The Original Adventures is a new adventure game in the same vein as Lego Star Wars. I've had great fun with the recent series of Lego games and since I've always been a fan of Indiana Jones, this is one game I'm excited to play. I've only played one other Indiana Jones game before and that was Desktop Adventures, a fun, randomly generated top-down computer game. Lego Indiana Jones supposedly does not include any content from the newest movie, which doesn't bother me, I thought it was pretty bad honestly. I will be playing the Nintendo DS version of Lego Indiana Jones.

This is my last review for Day 2 of The First Hour. Another 24 hours of video gaming has passed and another 24 will begin soon. All reviews here on old domain will be moving to firsthour.net and all new reviews will be posted there. That site will consolidate my full review site into it also. I'm really excited for it and I plan to launch it this summer. It will probably be a few weeks though as I have just closed on a house and also have a baby on the way, so it's going to be a busy summer! I'm excited for the future though and still plan to review just the first hour of video games. Heck, that's all I have time for anyway.

The Haunting: Starring Polterguy

First Hour Review

The Haunting Starring Polterguy CoverThe Haunting Starring Polterguy is a 1993 Sega Genesis game all about scaring a rich family out of their snazzy home any way possible. This is a pretty obscure game and the only way I know anything about it is from my deep past where I used to read any video game magazine I could get my hands on. One of them was Game Players, and in one of those issues lies a review for The Haunting. I have no idea what score it got but it stuck in my mind as "this game sounds cool and someday I would like to play it." Well, that someday has finally arrived 15 years later, and it's pretty much as cool as I vaguely remembered wanting it to be.

I really don't know anything else about this game, except that it is probably the goriest 16-bit game I have ever played. There are severed heads, tons of blood, and lots of other crazy stuff that kept surprising me. Just check out the screenshots below and you'll see what I'm talking about. On that note, let's get right into the review.

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.

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