Half-Minute Hero, by Marvelous Entertainment was released in October of 2009 for the Playstation Portable, and quickly became one of the can’t-miss titles for the handheld.
Adopting nearly all old-school RPG cliches (a hero appears! There is a castle over there with a bad guy, but we must first kill weak enemies to become powerful enough to face our enemy!) and actually embracing them would seem to make for a boring re-tread, but Half Minute Hero comes with a twist:
You’ve got to save the world in 30 seconds.
Every level of the primary game mode, (referred to as Hero 30 mode) begins with an evil lord in a new area casting a spell that will destroy the world… but much to their chagrin, it takes them 30 seconds to cast. With the help of a greedy Time goddess to help you turn back the clock as many times as you can afford, you must quickly explore the local cities and landscape, discovering new equipment, solving quests, finding alternate paths, and if all goes according to plan, defeating the evil lord… all before the timer runs out.
The combination of twitch gaming and RPG mechanics make this game quite enthralling as it is: however, with a large number of branching paths, hidden and optional quests, rare creatures, optional puzzles, and other surprises, the game shows a very impressive depth. It really is a very deep, involving, rewarding epic journey: just server out in 30 second increments. Will you be able to defeat all the evil lords?
Not willing to stop here, the title includes a number of other lesser developed modes: a Hero300 mode where one longer, more involved final quest must be achieved over 5 minutes: a rudimentary RTS mode where the player deploys and controls monsters to do thy bidding: a fast-paced action shooter mode involving a princess and her crossbows, and for the completely hardcore, there is an unlockable mode entitled Hero 3, where the entire mission from journeying out naked to defeating the evil lord must be done in, you guessed it, 3 second increments
The fascinatingly unique gameplay of the Hero modes make up the bulk of this title, but with the addition of the other game modes, the quirky and fun intertwining plot between the modes, and the sheer depth and fun factor make Half-Minute hero a must-have title for the PSP owner who enjoys RPGs, casual gaming, or just plain fun. The quirky, pseudo-throwback graphics and music are extremely well done, and this highly polished title is another fantastic reason for PSP owners to rejoice; if only for 30 seconds at a time.