MarvellousAQL's runaway success Half-Minute Hero finally arrives on PC via Steam with all of its full on hyper jumped up extras. Now called Half-Minute Hero Super Mega Neo Climax Ultimate Boy, you get to save the world every 30 seconds all over again.
This ultra-fast action role playing game takes the classic field and turn based attack systems used in other RPG's and manages to add something fresh to this tried and tested formula. The main Hero 30 Mode has our hero tasked with saving the world. So far so normal, the problem being an evil lord has cast a spell that will obliterate the world in 30 seconds. This of course turns out to be an impossible quest, but as luck would have it you are saved by a not so selfless Time Goddess who, for a few coins is able to turn back time by 30 seconds and allow you to not only relive the fateful last moments of life, but also carry over any weapons or items collected along the way, essentially allowing you to grind enemy fights to level up and earn cash, finally allowing the hero to defeat the sorcerer. With the defeat of the first evil lord it appears more is afoot and so a long quest has begun, with each new area being unlocked resulting in yet another sorcerer somehow getting their hands on this powerful magic and leaving it down to our hero to stop them.
Being in such a rush our hero is able to dash around the world map, with the game automatically transporting you into random fights, which again is very rushed with the hero just automatically running left to right, fighting anything that is in his way. Though mostly automatic you do have control as to whether to flee or use an item to keep you in the fight that little bit longer.
Graphically the game has two options, retro and Neo Cartoon Mode. Whilst the retro is fun for a while and looked great on portable screens, on a large monitor or TV it is a little hard to decipher what exactly you are looking at. The Neo Cartoon Mode on the other hand is a hand drawn anime affair, making the game world look a lot more welcoming on larger screens.
Sporting similar gameplay but adding even more modes, this edition also hosts most of the additional content that has been added since the original release, each one unlocking as you progress through the original game. Hero 300 Mode and Hero 3 Mode changes the time limits, adding even more restraints in defeating those pesky evil lords, be it removing the Time Goddess or giving you only 3 seconds before the end of the world. You then have a variety of other game modes using the same game engine, with the Evil Lord 30 Mode allowing you to send minions to do your bidding or the Princess 30 Mode in which it plays more like a top down shooter, with the Princess trying to gain a cure for her ill father. Despite this she is still on a 30 second curfew, requiring her to gather a team of soldiers and charge into the surrounding land to attack any enemies and locate a cure. The Knight 30 Mode is where you play a knight who must protect a Sage for 30 seconds whilst he casts a powerful spell. Each of these modes adds loads of extra playability, each using the restriction of time to add even more pressure to the gameplay.
Even if you own this on other formats, all of the extra content makes this edition of Half Minute Hero a must have for your Steam library.
Words by Ash Buchanan.
Review Policy (Version tested: PC)