There are times when games come and give you a sense of short-lived enjoyment, with Half-Minute Hero, you get 30 seconds to complete tasks, so you don’t have much choice.
The main problem with that is you have to travel from one place to another within those 30 seconds, sounds easy, but there are wild creatures who attack from nowhere, impeding your progress and taking away vital health. Luckily, you stopped at a village to replenish your supplies and so have the necessities to regain strength for the main battle. Be off with you, young hero and vanquish the land of evil!
Half-Minute Hero: Super Mega Neo Climax Ultimate Boy doesn’t shy away from taking elements of well-known games like Zelda, which is obvious from the start. When you start a game, whether it be Hero 30 or Princess 30, you’re treated to a little traditional Nintendo-style text-scrolling intro to give you a back-story and then whatever dialogue is included.
The default style of the game is ‘NEO cartoon’ or in other words, JRPG (Japanese Role Playing Game), but there is an option to change it to 8-bit which, to be honest, looks, let’s say, a little disappointing during the monologue part since the characters are so big and blocky, but there are also some rather nice artistic images here and there. During the gameplay, the 8-bit style is ok and doesn’t look too bad, but I wouldn’t play through the whole game like it.
That said, when you play in NEO cartoon mode, you only have one story to play through at the start, but in 8-bit mode, you have a choice of three. One of the things that annoyed me slightly was that you can’t move diagonally, only up, down and sideways which makes things that bit harder, especially when you only have 30 seconds to travel places and defeat bosses. That’s what gives the game a certain amount of difficulty, so it’s not necessarily a bad thing.
Fighting creatures doesn’t require any effort at all, it’s all done automatically, although it saps time that you may not have much of, reaching a village where there is a statue of the Time Goddess to pray to will replenish the 30 seconds. The problem with the Time Goddess is that she’s a money-grabbing bi-.. erm, she wants payment for every time you pray and the more you pray, the more money she’ll take because, “Time is money.”
When you first start the game, if you’re into progressive rock such as Lordi, you’ll listen to the intro music for around five minutes before actually playing the game. Nothing wrong with the graphics or sound, the only problem is that you’re not given controller prompts in-game. It even says that to get the full experience, use a controller (such as the ‘Xbox 360 Controller for Windows’), but on-screen, you don’t see A,B or Y buttons, you see the keyboard button instead.
Since videogames are a visual thing, it would have been helpful to swap the keyboard key for the controller button equivalent, so that I would remember to press the L and R shoulder buttons to flee instead of the A and D keys. It takes some getting used to, but once you’ve figured it out, it becomes an enjoyable romp that has just the ideal amount of irritation. If a game doesn’t give you at least some mild grief, wouldn’t that make it too perfect?
If you need to ask whether you should buy this, ask yourself, am I a fan of computer games and you will have your answer. It’s actually quite unique in the way it’s presented and has hours upon hours of gameplay, I see no reason why anyone should pass up on Half-Minute Hero: Super Mega Neo Climax Ultimate Boy, it’s good ol’ gaming fun in a bun!