Half-Minute Hero: Super Mega Neo Climax Ultimate Boy

The title of this game is not only a mouthful to say but also seems to include every possible gimmick word that has been on every J-RPG ever, a wider genre of games that I would rather avoid. That being said, there are some J-RPG that I love, such as Pokemon, Megaman Battle Network, Final Fantasy Tactics (very different from the main series), and while I would recommend these games to anyone looking for a good handheld repertoire, I would still not recommend J-RPGs as a genre, generally based on their banal story-lines, repetitive and rarely varied game play (both of which never have much to do with each other) and full of the usual Japanese anime/manga arch-typical characters (the brash, yet bold and daring protagonist; the hot-headed woman; the perverted old man; and so and so forth).

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*Phew* That 20 seconds of grinding to level 10 really took it out of me.

Half-Minute Hero: Super Mega Neo Climax Ultimate Boy from MarvelousAQL takes the style of an 8-bit J-RPG like the old-school Final Fantasy games and Dragon Quest and even takes some game elements of those kind of games but doesn’t quite fall into that category. There is still a world map, towns to visit, level-upping to be had through grinding, but it is all done with a slightly satirical approach, fully aware of the type of game it is.

Though, all the grinding can happen, as the title suggests, in half a minute. It took me an average of about 12 seconds to grind from level 1 to level 5. Anytime you encounter monsters or enter a battle, the games turns into a 1-dimensional battle which pits your stats against the stats of your enemy. Like a lot of RPGs, the stats felt purely arbitrary. Bigger is always better and most of the times, I had no idea what the different symbols meant. I guess one was attack, another head armor, there was some other kind of defense.

Tactics at its finest.
Tactics at its finest.

The plot of the game is very simple. An evil sorcerer has gained a spell that will destroy the world in 30 seconds, so you have 30 seconds to save it. Impossible you say? Not with the goddess of time on your side, a goddess with the ability to reset the counter back to 30 seconds… for a fee that increases every time you invoke it (I know, what a mercenary bitch!). Of course, once you save the world once, turns out the evil sorcerer called Noire runs away and then teaches a whole other bag-full of evil lords the spell, 30 to be exact. The game is incredibly fast-paced and episodic which allows for the “just one more… I swear” approach sucking you in and draining your precious sleep time.

So you have to save the world 3o times, level up from level one 30 times, gain new equipment 30 times, which in my opinion was 10 times too much. At about level 20 I realised I’d had enough. It began getting repetitive and the game wasn’t adding anything new to the mix. Once I defeated the Hero 30 mode of play, it did offer different modes of games with different characters, but they didn’t really vary enough to keep me interested.

Each level has two different achievements to obtain. And actual achievements too. None of these, “You have passed level 2, have an achievement” X-Box rubbish. There are achievements for killing a certain amount of enemies, finding alternate paths, obtaining mysterious weapons etc… The achievements are actually deserving of being called an achievement.

Half-Minute Hero: Super Mega Neo Climax Ultimate Boy is available on Steam and Playism for $9.99,

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