I have never been super into the JRPG genre in my days but have always admired the way they look and how they seem to be played. So when I say the Half Minute Hero bundle in the Steam store, I was at first hesitant to grab it. After much debate I decided to buy the bundle, which included both the first and second Half Minute Hero plus soundtrack for the second game and an extra copy of the first game. I currently only have 43 minutes of play time on the first game and I can already say this will be well well worth my money.
The name tells you exactly what this game will be like, you literally have 30 seconds to do everything you want to on the map and kill the evil lord. Your first adventure is helping a King get rid of certain enemies in his kingdom when all of a sudden an evil wizard attacks, claiming he has a spell to destroy the world in 30 seconds. You quickly realise that is no where near enough time to defeat him and the world perishes…….. until the Goddess of Time comes and saves you, telling you that she can reverse time to the start of the spell so you can try once more to defeat the evil lord. Each level brings a new evil lord to defeat in 30 seconds as well as side quests so you can temporarily gain allies and get new weapons and new armour. There are small villages on each map where time is stopped for your hero, allowing them to heal up thanks to food stalls, buy items including more weapons and armour as well as herbs that help heal you in battle, and rewind time thanks to the Goddes of Time statue. The statue allows you to reverse time back to 30 seconds, giving you more time to level up or do other missions, but costs more and more each time you use it. It’s a very interesting mechanic in the game and one I have found quite challenging when trying to buy items and complete side quests.
Combat is quite interesting in this game, with it being semi similar to Final Fantasy XIII where in you don’t do a whole lot. Combat is automatically done for you, with your hero running to the right of the screen where the baddies are while they run to the left at you. Your helpers, depending on what certain skills they have, will run with you or stay to the left of screen and aid your fight against your latest foe. During combat you can choose to dash towards the enemy, with a health loss penalty while you dash, use a previously acquired herb to heal yourself, or flee from the enemy if they are to tough for you. Having it this simple makes the game go super super quick, with gold just being added to your tally and the map coming back as soon as all your enemies are defeated, prompting you to hurry on and defeat the evil lord. The combat works incredibly well with the concept they are going for and really allows the player to feel like they have a huge time pressure on their heads, meaning every action is crucial.
The game is very quick to get through a level but very hard to complete all the different parts of a level. Decisions need to be made quick and the whole level can not be explored in one play of the level, making me a bit uncomfortable as I am one to try and experience an entire game, meaning I have to replay levels very very often. Although this does irk me a bit, I can look over it as I see how well the game flows and how much fun it really really is. Another great feature of the game is the ability to switch between retro pixelated graphics or comic like graphics, allowing each individual to set it to their liking. I would definitely recommend playing this game with a controller of some sorts, it is a lot easier to move and use different buttons over the awkward keyboard controls. Half Minute Hero: Super Mega Neo Climax Ultimate Boy is currently available on the Steam store for $9.99 USD, or for a short time you can pick up the double pack with Half Minute Hero: Second Coming as well as some other goodies for ~$13 USD. Now to get through this one so I can move on to the second one and review that next week.