xbox 360


First Hour Review

Portal CoverPortal is just one game in Valve's newest release, The Orange Box. The Orange Box is a collection of a few different games but Portal is definitely the one that intrigued me the most. The concept of the game is that it is basically a first-person puzzle game that uses a special gun to navigate the areas. This special gun is the portal gun, which allows you to create a blue portal and an orange portal. You can place these portals on most surfaces and then walk/fall/hurtle yourself through it and you'll end up on the other side. Lots of cool things can be done with this and I'll try to explore its many possibilities in my first hour review.

Portal was actually based off a senior project called Narbacular Drop. From the sounds of it, Valve basically hired everyone on this project to help them create Portal! Not a bad turn of events. Oh, and you're probably thinking: "Portal is a brand new game! How is it possible you're reviewing it already!" It's true I don't normally review such brand-spanking new games, but I couldn't pass this one up! Enjoy this rare, new game review!

For my shorter review on the whole game, please see my Portal review at Beyond the First Hour.


Full Review

Portal CoverPortal is a puzzle first-person shooter recently released as part of Valve's The Orange Box. Also in this long awaited package is Team Fortress 2 and Half-Life 2: Episode Two. It also includes the original Half-Life 2 and Episode One, so basically this is the perfect purchase for someone looking to get into this great series. Portal was just released this week but I had the foresight of playing it right away from the recommendations of a couple of co-workers (direct quotes: "game of the year," "funniest game ever," "best character ever"). It was a great experience as I will soon describe.

But how about a quick explanation of what this game is all about! Basically, you're a woman in a research facility, experimenting with the new portal gun. This gun can shoot two different portals, a blue one and an orange one. These portals are then connected so if you walk into the blue portal you'll come out the orange portal and vice-versa. This makes for a complex but enjoyable gaming experience as you can walk through one portal and fall out the other side if it's on the ceiling. Even more fun is the momentum you can build up by placing a portal on the floor a couple levels below you and then jumping down into it from above. Your momentum carries over from the fall and you'll come hurtling out the other portal! Very fun stuff! The portals also allow you to see yourself through the portal if they're positioned properly, making for a disorienting experience. Not a bad disorienting though. Time for some scores out of 10!

For my longer review on just the first hour, please see my Portal review at The First Hour.


First Hour Review

Bully CoverBully was Rockstar's big release last year on the PS2, and thus a big target for ignorant attorneys and retailers (it was also a hot topic overseas but people generally realized it wasn't that bad of a game). Beyond all the controversy, however, let's look at the core of the game: you're a misfit kid who's just been sent to boarding school, and you're meaning to come out on top. Bully provides gamers a sandbox school and city environment, fully interactive and fleshed out, utilizing the now classic (albeit aging) Grand Theft Auto III gameplay engine. Bully focuses less on destruction and bloody violence, and more on comical violence and something almost everyone can identify with: growing up and going to school. Does Rockstar pull it off? That's for someone else to answer. Does Rockstar pull off the first hour of Bully? That's for me to answer.

Half-Life 2

First Hour Review

Half-Life 2 CoverHalf-Life 2 is one of those games that just delivers. Hyped up beyond imagination, Valve fulfilled their grand promise and gave gamers one of PC's greatest games. Delayed, leaked, and delayed again, Half-Life 2 was in the oven for a while, but many people would agree it came out perfect. But how were those first few bites, how was the first hour of Half-Life 2? Let us enter the world of City 17 and find out.

I should probably make it clear that my computer isn't that great, and the loading times are probably longer than what an avid PC Gamer would own. However, this review isn't targeted to such a small audience and my computer (Athlon 1800+, 1GB RAM, and Radeon 9800 Pro) may well be representative of the average reader. Anyways, on with the game!

Syndicate content