Half-Minute Hero Preview - The Next Level

Game Profile

PlayStation Portable
Release date:
Fall 2009
Xseed Games
Opus Studio
1 - 4
Action RPG

Half-Minute Hero

How long is saving the world supposed to take?

Preview by James Cunningham (Email)
June 10th 2009

If there's one thing games have taught us over the years it's that there's no shortage of evil overlords looking to carve out a chunk of the planet to call their own. With the sheer volume out there, it's no wonder heroes are getting more efficient in defeating them. Still, even at full speed it takes more than thirty seconds to clear their evil from the world, which is a bit of a problem in Half-Minute Hero.

Half-Minute Hero promises to be a bizarre, unique, and most of all fun take on all the odd clichés that make up the modern RPG.

Half-Minute Hero is unquestionably one of the odder RPGs on any system, and unique even among the hundreds of games at this year's E3. It's a fast-action RPG for those who think ADD requires too much patience, taken in thirty-second bursts of frenetic activity. In the initial scenario, an evil overlord threatens untold destruction in thirty seconds (get used to that number, it shows up a lot) and our level-1 hero needs to get strong enough, fast enough, to defeat him. He runs out of the kingdom, looks for random battles on the world map, fights them on auto-pilot, flies through town to buy new equipment and . . .

. . . fails miserably. He can only get so strong so fast, even at hyper-speed. So the Goddess of Time cuts him a deal: she'll put the hero back to the start of the countdown with full weapons, armor, and levels if the hero promises her a fat cash payout once the world is saved.  It's not like the hero feels he's got a lot of choice, so he accepts the offer, and with the Goddess on his side time now stops while he's in town.  It's a small advantage but at least it allows time to see what he's buying. The rep demoing the game managed to defeat the overlord on his second half-minute attempt, but it turns out the members of the evil overlord brotherhood have plans of their own.

Half-Minute Hero artwork

Every completed scenario opens up another, and there are even multiple game types to play through. The standard RPG style is Hero Mode, but there are three other primary play styles, although sadly none were on display at E3. Princess Mode is a shooter, Knight Mode has the knight protecting a sage from oncoming enemies in a variety of ways, and Evil Lord Mode is a strategy game involving summoning monsters. It'll be a while longer before we can see the mechanics on those types, however.

What we do know, however, is looking to be a lot of fun. The fast paced action means the tedious grind that RPGs can settle into shouldn't be too much of a problem. The 8-bit styled graphics are loaded with charm, and the metal guitar soundtrack keeps the tempo up. Half-Minute Hero promises to be a bizarre, unique, and most of all fun take on all the odd clichés that make up the modern RPG.

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