Each week our resident Indie Gamer Nicholas takes a look at a different Indie Game that you may or may not have heard about. Join him on his adventures as he sifts through the rubbish to find The Indie Game of the Week.
I’m actually not entirely certain how to qualify the latest iteration of Half-Minute Hero. On the one hand, it does have plenty of RPG elements – you’ve a persistent character who you can equip with a wide array of weaponry and armor found throughout the game, and your character levels up as you defeat monsters (albeit temporarily). On the other hand, the frantic, fast-paced nature of the title makes it more often than not feel like a straight action game, while the thirty-second time limit on each ‘section’ (more on that in a moment) adds to the title some very odd overtones.
Still, whatever it is, it’s damned fun, and bloody addictive.
For those unfamiliar with the Half Minute Hero titles, the premise is quite simple. You are a lone hero, a wanderer from a distant land. All across the world, evil spell-casters are acquiring a devastating spell which will cause the world to end in thirty seconds (apparently, learning dark magic tends to make one more than a touch suicidal). As the hero, you’ve naturally got to do everything in your power to stop this. Unfortunately, your power is more than a little limited.
That’s where the Goddess of Time Comes in. For a small stipend (which increases every time you request her services), she’ll reset that thirty second timer (hey saving the world ain’t cheap). Her love of the world, after all, is almost as intense as her love of gold. If you haven’t figured it out by now, this is a game that doesn’t really take itself all that seriously. That, my friends, is entirely alright. After all, this is a series where the sole premise is condensing the traditionally melodramatic story-line of typical RPGs down into thirty-second, bite-sized pieces.
Battles pretty much consist of charging whatever monster happens to be in your way and bashing it until it lets you pass. The only way players can really impact the outcome of these battles is with healing herbs or by fleeing from them. This, presumably, is to keep the game’s flow intact; to keep things quick and streamlined. It works: everything about Half-Minute Hero involves moving forward (at a breakneck pace), and even the various side-quests and achievements which pepper each area are easily blown through.
Fittingly enough, I’m going to keep today’s entry short and sweet. If you’re looking for a simple, addictive, fast-paced RPG which you can pick up and put down at a moment’s notice, give Half Minute Hero: Super Mega Neo Climax Boy a shot. You can find it on Steam. Oh, it also has multiplayer. That’s pretty cool, too.