Four full days of first hour gaming have been completed, and from here on out I'm not playing alone. Day four introduced three new writers: Paul Eastwood, Grant, and Mike in Omaha. They all have very different tastes in gaming and all look for something different when starting out a new video game. I've had a great time bringing these guys on board and reading their awesome reviews. It's an honor to provide an outlet for them to write as well as host their reviews (and as always, just toss me an email if you're interested in writing too).
Day four also means I threw away my older scoring system for first hour reviews. It only took 72 reviews, but a few comments and emails exchanged with other review sites convinced me that the scores were simply too distracting to the games and reviews themselves. If you browse back far enough, you'll find quite a few heated and angry comments about how someone felt I was mistreating their favorite game; however, I didn't just do this to appease these complainers, but to make sure my real feelings were communicated properly about the first hour of a game. So the score out of ten is gone, replaced with even more reading. Hope you don't mind.
Along with the new writers' reviews, I have a few favorites from the last 24 first hour reviews. The most unique review I've ever written wasn't even a proper one, but an hour of gaming spread across six games! During the Nintendo DS M-Rated Blitz, I played just ten minutes each of the six M-rated games on Nintendo's dual-screen system. Some of them were genuinely scary and I'm glad I only had to play ten minutes of them! My NetHack review was also an interesting experience, if only for trying to play such a deep, imposing game for just an hour. I'm pretty sure I embarrassed myself rather fully to all NetHack veterans out there. Mister Mosquito was also one of the weirdest games I've ever played... I never imagined myself trying to suck the blood of a balding, Japanese man while he's watching television.
Paul's I Wanna be the Guy review had me laughing out loud at his poor choice of a game. 167 deaths in one hour? Only a masochist could play this game. He also discovered a great first hour and game in 007: Everything or Nothing, telling me, "I wasn't sure if I'd been able to express how much I enjoyed the game. Best first hour I've played so far." Enough said.
Grant played a trio of great DS games, and Mike ventured out and defended Golden Axe: Beast Rider in a full review. The future of the First Hour is looking great with all the variety of voices and games.
Here's a list of the 24 games that had their first hour reviewed during Day Four in order of publication:
1. Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars
2. Suikoden Tierkreis
3. Nintendo DS M-Rated Blitz
4. Grand Theft Auto IV
5. Demon's Crest
6. The Sims 3
7. Enter the Matrix
8. Freedom Fighters
10. Hitman: Blood Money
11. Mister Mosquito
12. Battalion Wars
13. Rogue Galaxy
14. I Wanna be the Guy
15. Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic
16. Call of Duty: World at War
17. 007: Everything or Nothing
18. Final Fantasy VIII
20. Professor Layton and the Diabolical Box
21. Prince of Persia: Warrior Within
22. Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars
23. Jet Set Radio Future
24. Mercenaries: Playground of Destruction
While 24 reviews is more or less an arbitrary number of reviews to write a recap at, it's still exciting to finish off another block of great gaming. Ninety-six hours of playing video games, it seems like such an impressive number, but I have no plans to stop, and neither do the other writers. Paul's already got his next review in my inbox, and a list of no less than seven games that he's planning on playing and writing reviews for over the next couple of weeks (good luck!). So stay tuned to the First Hour, and stick around for Day Five.