We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message
Xbox games software Reviews
15,669 Reviews

Half-Minute Hero: Super Mega Neo Climax review

800 MS Points (around £9)

Manufacturer: Marvelous Entertainment

Our Rating: We rate this 4 out of 5

This quirky PSP-to-XBLA port boasts some slick new visuals and the same frantic, funny gameplay as its turn in 2009.

Half-Minute Hero is a Japanese RPG version of speed dating. All the classic elements of role-playing games are present -- start a quest, meet people who need help, earn money, upgrade equipment, level up, and take down bosses -- but everything's done in 30 second increments.

Despite an overly convoluted name, Half-Minute Hero: Super Mega Neo Climax is almost exactly as advertised: gaming in half-minute bites. Single-player in Half-Minute Hero consists of more than 60-levels, and includes leaderboards, as well as an online multiplayer offering for those who like to compete online.

If you've ever been fascinated by JRPGs but felt overwhelmed by their complexity, Half-Minute Hero was made for you. This game is essentially the Cliffs Notes version of the genre, with all of the basic elements of a traditional JRPG offered to players (including a unique art style) in an easy to digest, streamlined format. But don't be fooled into thinking this title is a JRPG for dummies; Half-Minute Hero can be complex. This is most obvious when it comes to the game's most unique feature: time management.

Manipulating time requires skill. Levels are completed in 30-second chunks, and you'll be forced to complete tasks with the clock continuously counting down to zero. If the clock hits zero, the world ends. Battling enemies, recruiting help, defeating bosses, and literally buying more time is all very straightforward, but because of the time constraint there's a lot of strategy involved, forcing you to truly think about the best way to complete a level.

Half-Minute Hero oozes personality. The game is full of funny, interesting characters (I especially enjoyed the money hungry Time Goddess and the enemy in a cave who complained about his allergies) and self-referential jokes ("next time on Hero 30, Caves and Forests!"). Half-Minute Hero even allows you to go old-school, letting you switch the game's art style from the new "NEO Cartoon" mode to a classic 16-bit aesthetic. 

Half-Minute Hero

But if Half-Minute Hero feels familiar, don't be surprised. This XBLA game is a port of the PSP Half-Minute Hero title that was released in 2009. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, but unfortunately, aside from the ability to change the graphic style and the revamped extra modes from the PSP version (the game used to feature some RTS and shooter sections, now played as straight RPG segments), the XBLA version isn't really different from the PSP version. A few more extras for a game that's already been out for two years would've been nice. 

While Half-Minute Hero does a great job of walking players through the JRPG basics, sometimes it does that job a little too well. Because much of the levelling up, combat, and upgrading is done for you, the game can be pretty easy, which leads to some occasionally repetitive gameplay.

Even so, don't let the idea of playing a game in 30-second chunks trick you into thinking that this is a title you can beat quickly. Half-Minute Hero is full of content. With more than 60 single-player levels and a challenging multiplayer offering, you'll have your hands full with this game for a long time.

Half-Minute Hero: Super Mega Neo Climax Expert Verdict »

XBLA - online purchase only
  • Overall: We give this item 8 of 10 overall

Half-Minute Hero may be "JRPG-lite," but even if you're not a fan of the genre there's plenty of great gameplay to be had. A clever game with plenty of humour and personality, Half-Minute Hero: Super Mega Neo Climax is certainly worth your time.

  • Mass Effect 2 review

    Mass Effect 2

    Bioware's Mass Effect 2 gives us a glimpse of how both RPGs and shooters will begin to merge in the years ahead.

  • Final Fantasy XIII review

    Final Fantasy XIII

    Final Fantasy XIII is, without a doubt, the most technically impressive Final Fantasy game ever created.

  • Star Ocean: The Last Hope review

    Star Ocean: The Last Hope

    The fourth installment in the space-faring series, Star Ocean: The Last Hope, not only blows recent next-gen JRPGs out of the water, but proves itself a fantastic swan-song for the cult-favourite space opera.

  • Might & Magic: Clash of Heroes HD review

    Might & Magic: Clash of Heroes HD

    Might & Magic: Clash of Heroes HD is a second chance for those who missed the excellent Nintendo DS version. And with online multiplayer and updated graphics, it's even better than before.

  • Might & Magic X: Legacy review

    Might & Magic X: Legacy

    Yesterday's roleplaying, today.

IDG UK Sites

Apple promises developers better stability, performance for Swift

IDG UK Sites

5 things we hate about MWC: What it's like to be a journalist at a technology trade show

IDG UK Sites

Interview: Lauren Currie aims to help design students bridge skills gap

IDG UK Sites

12in Retina MacBook Air release date rumours: new MacBook Air to have fingerprint ID, could launch...