Half-Minute Hero: Super Mega Neo Climax XBLA Review

Given the recent drought of epic or even decent RPG’s coming from Japan as of late, Half-Minute Hero: Super Mega Neo Climax (which from this point forward will be referred to as a more manageable Half-Minute Hero) is a fun and appreciated distraction. An evil lord is going to utter the words to a world destroying spell in – you guessed it – 30 seconds. Your hero must join forces with the Time Goddess help to beat back the evil minions under the dark lord’s control. Thankfully, the Time Goddess slows time for you, but doesn’t do you any favors during combat unless you provide cold hard cash for her helpful services.

Having never played the original version of Half-Minute Hero on Sony PSP, I find the concept refreshing and actually quite fun. Players must determine whether they can make a dash for the evil castle in time or backtrack to a village to pray for a time reset from the Time Goddess.

Combat is extremely easy in the early stages of Half-Minute Hero, and the only real challenge is trying to navigate the world map and combat the baddies in the allotted time. The game does offer respectable leveling and item management despite its diminutive time allotment and effortless fighting. Cash flow never seems to be an issue so players can readily purchase and upgrade weapons, armor and health items to aid in toppling the evil lord.

Half-Minute Hero visuals are displayed in two selectable options; one a classic 8-bit look, and the other resembling a simplistic 1980’s anime cartoon. Both are effective nostalgic throwbacks, but suffer from when stretched out across a large HD screen due those limited number of pixels weren’t designed for.

Half-Minute Hero both benefits and suffers from its simplicity. The game is frantic and fun, but combat is entirely too easy for even gaming novices. The concept is unique, and if you’re into old school RPG’s and time challenges, then Half-Minute Hero is a sure fit. Remember you only have 30 seconds!

– Jason Krahn

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