Half-Minute Hero: Super Mega Neo Climax is the second installment in the Half-Minute, and remake of the Half-Minute Hero, franchise developed by Marvelous Entertainment first for XBLA, then the PC. Half-Minute hero's tasks players with completing an entire RPG in less than 30 seconds. The game plays as though it were sped up, with characters levelling up every couple of seconds and defeating enemies in the blink of an eye. The game features 60 different quests to complete.
New to this game is the "Neo Cartoon Mode" which has updated graphics from the PSP version, though players can select "Retro Mode" to play in the original style. There is also an online versus mode where players compe against each other to save the world. Combat in this mode is done at the same time and players must co-operate to defeat bosses. Marvelous has also confirmed that the gameplay and presentation for all four characters has been changed to be just like the original RPG-style Hero30 mode. This game has support for downloadable content.
Half-Minute Hero: Super Mega Neo Climax's story apes the stereotypical JRPG plot. Many centuries ago, two gods, the goddess of time and the great god of evil had a great battle where the goddess barely won and locked Evil up. The goddess then reconstructed the entire fabric of time, transforming years into eons. However, the evil god's powers seeped through his prison and created new evil lords. The goddess recruits a hero (you) to kill all the evil lords before they use the evil god's spells which will blow up the world in 30 seconds if they're not defeated.
Half-Minute Hero has six different modes each with a different character and play style. Each mode can be replayed on "Normal" or "Hard" difficulty, the latter of which does not stop time in towns.
Hero 30 is the first mode available in the game. This mode, set during Goddess Era 100 has the player control the hero travelling across the land to defeat the evil lord. Each level or quest must be beaten in 30 seconds and players have the power of rewinding time by praying. This mode lets the hero travel across a big map with branching paths. Said paths are found during certain quests. For example, one quest tasks players with extinguishing a fire. Depending on if the fire is extinguished or not, the following level will be different. At the end of each level, the hero gets a weapon or a piece of gear to carry on to the next level. You also get a medal (bronze, gold or platinum) and a title which judges your performance according to what you did during the level. This mode has 31 levels in all, not including levels on branching paths.
Evil Lord 30
In this mode, which is unlocked after completing Hero 30, you play as evil lord who wishes to resurrect his lover who has been turned into a bat during Goddess Era 200. Here, you must once again pray the goddess to wound back time but instead of getting more powerful after each level you gain, you get the power to summon powerful monsters who do the fighting for you. Evil Lord 30 is only one level where you must free villages and towns from Noire so you can pray and in the end, maybe save your beloved.
Princess 30 (set during Goddess Era 300) has you playing as a princess who wishes to cure her father who is very ill. Said princess is carried around the map by two soldiers and shoots a crossbow which changes her personality. Unfortunately, she has a 30 second curfew and must pray the goddess to get more time. In the end, she cures her father by killing a dinosaur.
Set during Goddess Era 500, a knight and a sage must stop Noire from blowing up the world by using the same 30 second spell. However, the Goddess of time has disappeared thus making rewinding time impossible. Instead, the sage must cast a spell on sacred grounds to make time go back. However, he can only do this after knight has rid it of evil. This game mode proves to be more challenging than the others as some of the sacred grounds are decoys and can't be prayed on. By going to all four villages on the map, the player can assemble a bomb which destroys all the fake grounds.
Also set during Goddess Era 500, Noire is going to blow up the world in 300 seconds and with the Goddess of Time captured, all hope seems lost. However, the hero from Hero 30 is reborn thanks to Sage and all the characters from previous modes (Evil Lord, Princess, Knight and Sage) join forces to defeat Noire once and for all. This mode requires the player to be aware of where he must go at all times. Each second counts as well as leveling up and buying the correct gear. The mode ends on two boss fights and a ludicrous twist where Sage is revealed to be the Goddess of Time.
Hero 3 is an extra mode where the player must complete a quest in 3 seconds. For this to be possible, the map is shrunken down in what is a mini recreation of Japan. You can travel to four different towns, each of which have a Goddess statue that can be prayed at. Like during the other quests, you must beat the boss who's in the castle. Each village has a unique piece of gear that is essential to beating the final boss and defeating enemies gives you each time the right amount of money to buy weapons and pray. You can kill one to two enemies before running out of time and the final boss must be dealt with by holding down the sprint button.
Half-Minute Hero: Super Mega Neo Climax plays much like the original PSP game. You have 30 seconds to complete a quest which means you will have to defeat enemies to level up, becoming powerful enough to defeat the boss. Combat is done automatically according to your current level. The character simply goes from left to right swinging his weapon (or lack of) until one of the two sides win. Enemies are encountered randomly on the small world map that the player navigates.
The player can cheat time and make the quest easier. On normal difficulty, entering a village freezes time; while there, you can pray to the Time Goddess, which resets your timer to 30 seconds. Praying costs money (100G) and each time you pray, the price gets higher (additional 100G each time). If you find yourself in a dire situation where you have no cash and no more time , the Goddess will grant you one more reset for all your gear and money. If the player chooses this option, they can no longer reset time and time will not stop while at resting places, even when playing on normal difficulty. Each enemy you defeat rewards you with both gold and experience points. By leveling up, you move and fight faster and the game tells you when you have a shot at the boss (this is done via a giant equation appearing on screen "you>evil"). Towns however aren't only used to freeze time, they also offer shops where you can buy herbs that heal you and partake in side quests. Some side quests let you recruit party members while others give you weapons or armor.
Each level works in the same way. The level opens with a title card with the goddess of time giving you the low down on the level. You start each level by grinding and entering the closest town to find clues about how to defeat the level's boss. Each level is built differently. For example, the snow boss causes avalanches that strips you of all your gear. Some bosses can only be beaten in one hit by using certain weapons. Once you've figured out how to defeat the boss, you must continue grinding while buying new weapons and gear. You can also team up with other NPCs, usually after completing a side quest. Once you defeat a boss, there is a closing cutscene and the credits roll (you can speed up the credits by holding down A). The game then goes to a result screen where you get a new weapon and are graded on your performance with both a medal and up to two titles. Medals are given according to completion and completion time. The game grades you based on your finishing time and whether or not you got all obtainable equipment in that level.
Level navigation is done on a world map and your times are published on online leaderboards.
Half-Minute Hero: Super Mega Neo Climax has a four player multiplayer mode. There are ten maps available to play. Some of these have their own unique mechanics. For example, one map has a switch that can be used to change the pathways that connect all the entrances and exits to each other, while another has holes that appear in the ground after a certain amount of time, possibly forcing players to search for an alternate route. Each character starts at level 1 after choosing a map. Players fight to become the "True Hero" by defeating the map's boss first. However, each player needs to work together to keep the counter at 30 seconds by praying the goddess. This builds a conundrum where one player will need to sacrifice him or herself by paying the goddess instead of buying a weapon or gear to defeat the boss.
Each player grinds on their own and buys their own weapons. If the rule set calls for it, shops could only carry one of an item at a time. This means that if the player wants to be properly armed to face the boss, they might need to generate as much money as they can and buy the equipment before the other players. If the counter reaches zero, players are reset to the beginning of the map, get their levels cut in half, lose any equipment they have, shops reset, and preset monsters that were defeated return. Players can enter the castle where the boss is together, but the player who wins is the one who inflicts the most damage on the boss.
Half-Minute Hero parodies other RPGs. Characters express how their outfits are unfit for combat and the final bosses are overly dramatic, which they know. There is also a huge Pokemon reference where during a side mission you must collect an egg and if you don't deliver it in time, the egg hatches in exactly the same way they do in Pokemon, with exactly the same dialogue.
In one level, the player is put up against the evil lord CATS, who slowly turns the world into a "sepia zone" reminiscent of a Game Boy game. Both his opening and death dialog reference quotes by a similarly named character from Zero Wing.