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My personal review on half minute hero for the psp
Rising Star Games
Release: Feb 19, 2010
» PEGI: 12
Price around £10 in shops
''This unique role-playing game's spritely charm and frantic pace will delight you for far longer than its title suggests.''
The game is fast throughout the game which I really like alot, as it brings more life to the psp world. It somehow makes it so much funner, and I like these types of games. Its fairly easy to complete, and is so much fun. It has a really great story line with a depth into the plot, which makes it an outstanding game. There is a major variety of game play styles, such as free mode, and ninja style. There is to many repetive objects, so if you like this sort of thing, thumbs up for you. Once again even the boss are way to easy to complete, and as we all know, bosses are supposed to be the hardest part of the level/game. There is some slowdowns in the game, but its not often, I suppose its when you have been playing it for a long time.
Half-Minute Hero's most fun and rewarding element is its innovative time concept, which it cleverly implements by having you complete objectives in just 30 seconds. Such a strict time limit shifts the focus from standard RPG elements, like collecting items and exploring, to making every second count as you race against the clock, which is an invigorating change of pace. If whizzing through stages in 30 seconds sounds nigh impossible, that's because it usually is--but the intriguing Time Goddess mechanic allows you to extend the timer in exchange for cash collected from fallen enemies. There are four main modes to the game of all different focus and style, Hero 30 is a high-speed RPG; Princess 30 is a classic shooter; Evil Lord 30 is a basic real-time strategy game; and Knight 30 is a simple action game. I prefer Hero, but I auppose they made four choices so it goes well with everyone personality. The game's real thrill comes in managing your remaining time, which adds intensity by forcing you to balance every activity--from equipment raids to leveling--against the clock. This enables you to speed through the game as you wish, or you can go that extra mile and risk global annihilation for rare gear and better stage rankings to show off to friends. The graphics are great, same goes with the sound. It rings a bell at some points, and some sounds can get quite repetitive.
Overall great game. I have to give it with full marks, no problems.
It says a lot for Half-Minute Hero that its warts 'n' all homage to the 8-bit era amounts to only a fraction of the games enormous appeal. Beneath its retro veneer is a remarkably creative, effective and enjoyable title that spans several genres and plays quite unlike anything you'll have ever come across.
HMH has a quirky sense of humour, frequently pokes fun at the genres that it emulates so well, and to any casual onlooker, would appear completely bonkers. One important factor shouldn't be overlooked though; it's a joy to play. Comprising of an RPG, a 2D shoot 'em up, a real-time strategy and a defend-the-target style game, Half-Minute Hero offers an array of gameplay experiences, all drawn together under one common mantra - their levels must be completed within a thirty second time-limit. Each mode offers instant accessibility and, rather improbably, a fair bit of depth and replay value too. Thus it is perhaps the ultimate game for those with short attention spans.
Hero30, the RPG, is the logical place to start as it's the best and most substantial segment of the package. Each level resembles the world map of a 8-bit role-playing game, allowing you to scoot across the land and enter caves, villages and the like. Whilst every level begins with a bad-guy attempting to cast a thirty second spell of destruction, help is on hand in the form of the Time Goddess. This brilliantly materialistic deity appears in one form or another in all of the adventures, allowing a replenishment of the time, at a fee. Time is precious, but so is the Goddess's bank balance.
In the case of Hero30, you can retrieve time by praying to the Goddess Statues in the villages. Time halts when you enter allowing you to navigate the simple 2D plane. You can chat to the locals, recruit allies, buy weapons/armour (which can be carried over to later levels) and replenish health. The ability to dash (at the expense of health) and the battles which play out automatically at lightning speed (though you can escape with the aid of the shoulder buttons) make for a truly madcap experience whereby the real skill is judging how much exploring you can do in your thirty seconds before heading back to the sanctuary of the villages. In some instances you can gain enough experience points to jump from Level 1 to 40 in under than four minutes of play, in essence removing the grind element of many role-playing games.
Despite the insane urgency of it all, there is a remarkable amount of depth given the time restriction. Each level offers a couple of awards to strive for; these are gained for finishing the stage in a certain manner or fulfilling a particular objective; such as defeating a boss in a specific way, saving up a set amount of money, completing a side-quest, helping an ally etc. Impressively, there's quite often more than one way to complete a level as well, and depending on the outcome, you may open up alternative routes through the game with a number of new scenarios.
The levels are endlessly inventive; there are times when you have to use the Goddess Statue strategically to reverse the effects of an avalanche or stay the destruction of a town. Other levels see you having to solve the problem of how a wind current is preventing access to an entire island; work as a slave breaking rocks for a millionaire; foil a trio of bandits; save a lizard prince and his kingdom and gain the flight services of a dragon. The best of the fifty or so missions sees the Hero meet a girl, visit the various landmarks of the island with her, fall in love, reminisce, kill a decoy boss, learn that the girl isn't actually human, have the choice to kill or spare her monster form and then vanquish the real villain. All of this remember, in two or three minutes of play.
The next two modes, EvilLord30 and Princess30, are less audacious, but in their own way just as frantic and enjoyable. They also benefit from some great scripting. EvilLord, whose levels play out in the form of a simplified strategy game, has the ability to summon three different types of monsters (and previously-benign wildlife) to do his bidding against a range of foes with axes, arrows and the like. Possibly the least successful of the four modes simply because it doesn't develop quite as much as the others, it nevertheless redeems itself in emphatic style thanks to the brilliance of the EvilLord. The aim of the self-styled, eccentric uber-villain is to reverse a spell that turned his companion Millenia into a bat, whilst in the meantime using her as an umbrella to keep the sun off him. He has a love of anything aesthetically beautiful, a fetish for the colour purple (living as he does in Violet Castle) and is the victim of some frequently hilarious verbal misunderstandings. He goes part of the journey believing that when he is called "pervert" by his enemies, this is to mean "unrivalled beauty"; cue much amusement when he comes out with statements such as: "a mere barricade cannot stop a pervert!". Collecting coins allows him to increases his summoning capabilities with a visit to the Goddess Spa; a level-up system that simply describes as him becoming "sexier".
In Princess30, said Princess goes in search of a cure for her ill father the King, but a strict curfew imposed by her mother dictates that she's only allowed out of the castle for thirty seconds at a time. Marvellously dizzy but largely kind-hearted, she becomes a cackling nutter when in "crossbow mode". With an entourage of knights, she rockets through some lively 2D scrolling shoot 'em up segments blasting all manner of bizarre creatures including giant frogs, slimes, golems, fireballs and dragons. The simplest of the games on show, it's a lot of fun with plenty of high-score potential, even if it is easy to complete in a hurry.
...And lastly there's Knight30, which sees you protecting a Sage who is attempting to cast a spell of destruction. This is the trickiest of the bunch, as the Knight can only defend with items found scattered about the levels and decoy tools such as scarecrows, meat and temporary fences - enemies can't be killed, but there are many ways to stop them. Things get tricky with the introduction of chiming-bells, which must be destroyed as they break the Sage's concentration. Planning is needed as he can't take many hits, so you have to gauge whether to stick nearby or carry the Sage at the loss of stamina. Though not as enjoyable as the other three, it is very absorbing and satisfying working out a means of improving your time, and a solid challenge.
It's all fantastically presented, with authentic pixelated figures and landscapes, all available to admire in the feature-rich Goddess Room, which includes not only a bestiary of every single item, enemy and character featured in the above games, but some beautiful art-work and amusing comment too, such as the Time Goddess's arch-nemesis Ultimate Evil Lord, described as being "made up of a thousand kittens glued together with jam". The music is also fantastic, a really infectious and varied bunch of battle anthems that effectively draw inspiration from the early Final Fantasy's and remain in the spirit of the games it follows.
Criticisms as to its longevity are somewhat unfounded. Yes, the difficulty is perhaps a touch on the gentle side, but with more than 120 levels and at least twenty hours of play to be had, it's longer than titles such as Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII. Besides, the number of mini-game collections (which in a way is what HMH amounts to) that last this long can be counted on one hand. It's refreshing to see a completely mad new idea followed through with such conviction, and combined with its lovely retro design, makes for a wonderful fusion of the old and the new.