Sometimes, Heroes Just Don't Have Enough Time
In honor of one of the most unique RPGs the PSP (or any console) has seen in quite some time, I'd like to write a review in half a minute. Actually, scratch that. A thirty second review would be too brief to be of use to anyone, so instead, I'll divide my Half-Minute Hero review into thirty bite-sized chunks in honor of the game's thirty missions per mode. Read on to find out if this game is worth thirty seconds (or several thirty second intervals) of your time.
1) Half-Minute Hero is a love letter to fans of old-school game music featuring over a dozen composers.
2) Several high profile composers are on board such as Yuzo Koshiro (Streets of Rage, ActRaiser, Ys: Books I & II) and Motoi Sakuraba (Tales series, Star Ocean, Golden Sun).
3) Half-Minute Hero's kick ass guitar tracks are reminiscent of those found in Ys: Books I & II, Mystic Quest, and Lufia II.
4) All the in-game music can be listened to on its own via an unlockable music player.
5) The superb sound quality makes you wish you could hear your favorite SNES tunes re-mastered.
6) Half-Minute Hero's pixelated visuals are a stylish re-imagining of the 8-bit era.
7) This retro-style title includes four main quests, an epic finale, and a bonus mode.
8) The quests take place in chronological order, so it's useful to start from the beginning, even though two others are unlocked from the get-go.
9) Half-Minute Hero's first quest: Hero 30, is a series of thirty bite-sized RPGs all featuring the main hero with the default name: Hero.
10) As with the heroes of many 8 and 16-bit RPGs, Hero is a fearless, yet silent protagonist.
11) Hero has thirty seconds to complete each of his objectives, but the money grubbing Time Goddess grants him thirty additional seconds if he pays one of her statues whose fee doubles in price with each use.
12) During each mission, Hero will traverse a world map, battle monsters, shop in villages, explore dungeons, and defeat Evil Lords.
13) The hero can avoid random encounters on the world map by holding the run button, but this will cause his HP to decrease.
14) When the hero happens to encounter an enemy, the battle will occur automatically, but the player can influence Hero's attack speed by holding down the run button, and can also make him flee.
15) Battles are brief affairs, and levels are gained at an unprecedented rate, so players are saved from the infamous RPG phenomenon known as "The grind."
16) Hero 30 and three of the other main game modes have Normal and Hard difficulty settings.
17) For the most part, Normal is a breeze, so players who like a challenge will probably want to play on Hard.
18) The second mode: Evil Lord 30, is a real-time strategy game featuring an RPG villain archetype: A pretty boy who is concerned with his looks as much as he is with the world's destruction.
19) Haters of effeminate RPG characters such as Final Fantasy 10's Seymour and Final Fantasy 12's Vaan will probably appreciate Evil Lord 30's comical dialogue that pokes fun at RPG stereotypes.
20) Evil Lord 30's RTS gameplay plays out in a Rock-Paper-Scissors format, so players will have to learn their three unit types' strengths and weaknesses.
21) Fortunately, Evil Lord 30's missions are brief, because there's nothing special about its generic RTS gameplay and mediocre controls.
22) The third mode: Princess 30, fares better than the previous mode, but it's still a relatively straightforward affair.
23) In Princess 30, you'll guide your stereotypical RPG princess (read: naive and rebellious) through thirty horizontal and vertical scrolling shooter missions.
24) This mode enables you to pick up four different power-ups (speed boost, power upgrade, etc.), and it allows you to aim in four different directions via the face buttons.
25) Princess 30's missions are quite fun, but what really stands out is its humorous dialogue that pokes fun at RPG clichés such as a hero sacrificing himself only to come back to life.
26) The last of the four main game modes is Knight 30, which has you, a cowardly knight, escorting a pretty boy sage.
27) Knight 30's escort missions require you to protect the sage by ramming enemies, carrying him to safety, and by laying traps.
28) Half-Minute Hero's mediocre escort missions are quickly forgotten during the game's excellent finale, which returns to the initial mode's old-school RPG gameplay.
29) The final mission is quite challenging, but it's an epic finale that brings the game's entire cast together.
30) Half-Minute Hero's unlockable bonus mode will have you cursing, but overall, it's a refreshing portable adventure that is perfect for gamers who don't have a lot of time.
Time elapsed: Approximately 9 hoursPrice: $30