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Found 5 results

  1. Marcus Estrada

    Review: Half Minute Hero: The Second Coming

    Developer: OPUS Publisher: MarvelousAQL Platform: PC (Steam) Release Date: April 4, 2014 ESRB: N/A (T suggested) Half Minute Hero was a game that came to PSP and quickly disappeared into obscurity in 2009. More recently, the upgraded Xbox 360 release graced Steam and a whole load of players got their first taste of the unusual JRPG. As such, MarvelousAQL published the sequel, Half Minute Hero: The Second Coming, exclusively on PC this month. Thanks to it, even more players are now being exposed to the unique title. Is this version the ideal starting off point for new players? Indeed, although existing fans will still find a lot enjoyable about this new romp as well. So, for the uninitiated, what“s Half Minute Hero all about? You assume the role of a young hero who is constantly opposed by evil lords. These monstrosities threaten to destroy everything - it only takes them 30 seconds to charge up their world-ending spell. Your task is to level up, equip strong items, and take down the enemy all before those 30 seconds are up. It sounds ridiculous and impossible until key gameplay aspects are revealed. The hero is not alone in his quest. At his side is the Time Goddess who is able to turn back time. By praying at a statue of her likeness (and paying an increasing fee) she will rest the 30 second timer. Her skills also make it so that leveling up is an incredibly expedient process. Unlike a traditional JRPG, you“ll see your level climb into double digits via only a minute of gameplay time. Once you“re strong enough to defeat a villainous foe, the game will alert you, making progression quite easy. Defeating enemies on the field also rewards the player with coins. Of course, if you intend to turn back the clock at all, you“ve got to collect enough to offer to the Time Goddess. If you want to outfit yourself with better gear then it“s also needed. It might seem like a pain but usually scrounging up enough money to buy every item and kill the boss is relatively easy to do. Overall, it seems like The Second Coming may be easier than the original game. With that said, the sequel takes care to inject interesting new missions to change up the standard “level up and destroy everything” directive. Those who played the previous incarnation will be sad to hear that there aren“t any extra gameplay modes beyond Hero. This means that you“ll continually be battling the clock in mostly the same fashion for mission after mission. Stages are changed up in ways that can force creative thinking, but the core mechanics themselves never change. If you try out the game and aren“t particularly enthused with it at the start then it“s likely the rest of the experience will be terribly dull to you. It“s a shame that Princess, Knight, or Evil Lord modes couldn“t make a comeback. The Second Coming is a surprisingly long game, with an amusing (if somewhat trite) storyline to go along with it. There is a fair amount of replayability too if you wish to hone your skills on past stages or purchase every item. Steam Workshop support is even included, which allows users to make their own quests for other players to download. As with many community-sourced endeavors, not every map is a winner but some are quite fun. Fans will be relieved to know that this game also retains its attractive pixel aesthetic. The bright, colorful graphics look cute. Enemies can also be a bit silly as you battle against snowmen, macaroni penguins, and other creatures. The writing fits in well with the silly visual aesthetic by harping on the Time Goddess“ obsession with money, a certain evil god“s love of everything beautiful, and other oddities. Half Minute Hero: The Second Coming is a fun, if exhausting, experience. Getting a reign on the whole 30 second thing can be challenging until you learn the ropes. Then, the game loves to throw surprisingly tough challenges just to keep players on their feet. The whole package is a great deal of fun and offers many hours of playtime. However, the biggest issue is that some people just don“t like the compartmentalized JRPG gameplay all that much. If it sounds fun to you then you“ll likely find Half Minute Hero: The Second Coming an enthralling experience in a matter of seconds. Pros: + Quirky, innovative gameplay style + Quests are kept fresh with differing strategies and goals + Tons of stages and reasons to replay Cons: - Lack of alternate gameplay modes - Frantic pace of game is quite tiring Overall Score: 8 (out of 10) Great Half Minute Hero: The Second Coming is a gloriously quirky JRPG that must be played to be believed. Disclosure: This game was reviewed using downloadable Steam code provided by the publisher.
  2. Marcus Estrada

    Half Minute Hero: The Second Coming Screenshot 3

    From the album: Review Images

  3. Marcus Estrada

    Half Minute Hero: The Second Coming Screenshot 2

    From the album: Review Images

  4. Marcus Estrada

    Half Minute Hero: The Second Coming Screenshot 1

    From the album: Review Images

  5. Developer: Opus Publisher: Marvelous AQL Platform: PC (Steam, Playism) Release Date: September 27, 2012 ESRB: N/A (E suggested) Are you tired of games? Their plots are always begging you to save the world, or save some person, or other related tasks. Sure, some games branch out of this basic storytelling frame, but it“s easy to see that many more fall right into it. Of course, it isn“t a bad thing to save the world, but it feels like every method of doing so has already been shown. Well, unless you“re playing Half Minute Hero: Super Mega Neo Climax Ultimate Boy, where the world is in such dire straits that it will end in only 30 seconds. How is it possible to complete a game in less than a minute? Well, upon trying out the game you“ll find it isn“t quite as it seems. Starting out the game in “Hero 30”, you are a simple adventurer who is tasked with saving the world from vile Evil Lords. Each area has its own Evil Lord set on casting a spell which destroys everything in 30 seconds. Because it would be truly impossible to do anything in that amount of time, the Time Goddess lends a hand. By praying at her shrines located across maps you are able to reset the clock and continue playing. Another one of the Goddess“s powers is connected with leveling up. While most games require hours and hours of grinding, you“ve got seconds to become incredibly strong in this one. What she does is make it so that you can level up after simply one or two battles. It“s incredibly convenient, although the Goddess isn“t a pure entity. She loves money and requires you to spend it alongside praying to get time turned back. If you“re out, she“ll even help you out by giving you a “free” time reset... only to spring up on you shortly after to take all your hard-earned gear as payment, leaving you to fight naked. If you couldn't tell already, Half Minute Hero is a very goofy game; just the premise alone should reveal it as such. Every facet of the game works to be a silly adventure and makes it more enjoyable. Battles are taken care of automatically, levels go up fast, and the script helps keep you entertained in between. Although the game may seem too simple, there is more to it as you continue playing. For example, in order to fully complete a level, you“re going to have to unlock all the “titles” for it as well as beat the par time for a gold medal. Titles are given to you depending on what you do during the level and how long it takes. Breeze through a level and you“ll be given the better titles. If you instead spend a lot of time leveling up and buying items from shops, then you“ll be called a Sucky Hero. The game also keeps track of who you align with during play, what townsfolk do or don“t get helped out, and even what equipment you“ve got. These simple interactions affect what gifts you get at the end of levels as well as titles. Levels can take anywhere from under ten seconds to minutes, depending on what you choose to do in them. Starter levels have a lot less freedom of choice, but eventually they implement more possibilities as well as secrets. Sometimes the secrets are easy to find as they gleam in the light, or townsfolk tell you what they are. However, others are left as unknowns for you to discover on your own. As you“ve always got one eye on the clock, it even gets a bit hard sometimes to find everything a level has to offer in one go. There are multiple modes to the game as well in case you feel like 30 or so levels of this would get dull. These other modes are as long, but change up the main character. For example, there is Evil Lord 30 which sets you as the beautiful villain. Instead of battling enemies directly, you summon creatures to do your bidding. Similarly, there is a Princess 30 which has its own mechanics which mix side-scrolling with a twin-stick shooter. There are still more to unlock, but there“s no need to spoil them here. When starting up the game, you“ll find that it looks very cartoony. This visual mode, titled NEO Cartoon Mode, was created when Half Minute Hero came to Xbox 360, and it may appeal to those who are used to playing Flash games. If you“d prefer something else though, then I recommend opting to change visuals from the main menu. This turns the game back to the PSP original“s pixelated visuals and they better evoke the feel of the game. One plus of Retro Mode is that it comes with Evil Lord 30 and Princess 30 unlocked from the beginning, while modern visual mode doesn“t. There is even an included multiplayer mode, but at the time, it isn“t very good at pairing you with friends (or anyone for that matter). This is a shame, but the mode is basically like a larger world from single player, where everyone is trying to stop the Evil Lord first. Instead of letting you easily add friends to a game, it instead throws you into a lobby with little explanation or way to secure friends in a slot. Another small issue with the game is how, even when a 360 controller is plugged in, it continues to display PC-specific buttons on screen. You acclimate to them eventually, but seeing as how this version of the game was available on 360, it shouldn“t be hard to add those simple controller buttons in. Half Minute Hero is an incredibly simple game, but that“s part of what makes it so easy to pick up and play. The addictive, bite-sized nature is a lot of fun, as is the script“s silly wit. The multiple modes extend the length of the game as well, although most will probably prefer one gameplay style over the other. If you“re looking for a simplistic, fun way to spend chunks of your day with then be sure to give Half Minute Hero a shot. Pros: + Incredibly easy to understand and fun to play + Variety of modes that each last a good deal of time + Fun visual style and script Cons: - Lack of explanation for multiplayer mode - Game is best played in short bursts, which may annoy some gamers Overall Score: 8.5 (Out of 10) Great Half Minute Hero: Super Mega Neo Climax Ultimate Boy lives up to it's own weird name and is a great title to pick up and play a little at a time.