Review: Half Minute Hero Super Mega Neo Climax Ultimate Boy
Title: Half Minute Hero Super Mega Neo Climax Ultimate Boy
Publisher: Marvelous AQL
Tagline: RPG Played 30 Seconds at a Time
Family Friendly: Click here for more information.
Verdict: Buy it Already
When I think about playing an RPG title, I get myself situated for a long haul of gaming. I know I am ready to invest a few hours of my time in a day, so I grab a few sodas, some snacks and settle in for some good old fashioned role playing. So when I read the title Half Minute Hero, I have a hard time conceptualizing an RPG that you play 30 seconds at a time. I mean, how does that even work? By the time you finish through the first wall of text from an NPC in a normal RPG, you will have already finished a full quest in Half Minute Hero. It does take some time to wrap around the ideas and gameplay that Opus is delivering here, but if you give it some time, Half Minute Hero will grow on you as a fun experience and a break from the norm.
I have to admit that I was a bit baffled by the mechanics of Half Minute Hero at first, as the game does not convey its purpose or instructions all that clearly. I understood that an evil time wizard had cast a spell and was trying to destroy segments of the world, leaving us no more than 30 seconds to complete a task to stop the destruction of the world. But Opus seems to have done a poor job giving me the methods to do that, or I just did not get the message through the tutorials in the beginning. It also did not help that the game asks you to use a controller, but all the prompts at the bottom of the screen correspond to key commands. So I was irritated by Half Minute Hero from the get-go.
However, after giving the game some time to soak in and slowly learning the controls through trial and error, I started to get the concept of the game and its mechanics, and once this happens, the magic of the game and its elements completely shines. Gone was my confusion, and in its place came me planning routes to finish each mission with efficiency and lots of time left over.
As with any RPG title, there is a lot of combat in Half Minute Hero, although it eschews the normal combat that we look at when we think of a traditional RPG title. Here, your little avatar rushes into every battle and a flurry of damage numbers pop up over the heads of both you and your enemies. As you move on, your health will decrease, but you can make a quick stop into a town to heal, which will also stop time. Don’t ask me why towns stop time, but I went with it, as stepping into town was a good way to continue to plan a route to the end of a level.
Half Minute Hero also incorporates other neat little RPG tropes like recruiting other characters to join you on your mission, and sub-quests that can be completed to make things easier when coming into the final battle, like going a bit out of my way to find a fly swatter. It takes time off the clock, but gives you a one hit kill against particular enemies. Time, which is the most valuable commodity in the game, can be extended through certain purchases, which will add time to the clock, or reset it back to the original 30 second counter. Of course, these time mechanics cost money, and increase by two each time you use them, so increasing it once is not an issue, but going back to that relief a second or a third time will really set you back on money, offering up a nice risk versus reward for the player.
As I did get into the game, I found that Half Minute Hero easily scratched that itch for a good RPG experience, when I don’t necessarily have the time to play a full blown RPG game. I mean, I love my Skyrim and I love to play Dragon Age, but I don’t have enough time on my lunch break or commute to get into these games. But Half Minute Hero is the kind of game that you can spend 10 or 20 minutes on the game and get through a couple of levels and put it away for the rest of the day, or for your next break. It is perfectly designed for bite sized play.
It may not appeal to all, and I can see the early levels turning people off due to the bizarre explanations and tutorials to learn the game, but I can say that if you stick with it and give Half Minute Hero some time, there is a great rewarding RPG experience waiting to be had, 30 seconds at a time.
- Fun RPG title, without the time commitment
- Very funny
- Great risk/reward system with time
Your Party Has Died:
- Game mechanics are awkwardly explained
- Control maps never displayed correctly for controller
Half Minute Hero is a game that is low on blood and sexual themes, but it might not be suitable for younger kids, if only for the time management needed to complete missions. I would suggest leaving this one for those that are about twelve and up, if only for the time concept that could frustrate younger gamers.