One To Watch: Half-Minute Hero

If you’ve been a long-time reader of the site you’ll know that we tend to gravitate towards a little quirk here and there. Some of us even revel in it.

One such game that has flown under our radar as a small blip on the screen has been Half-Minute Hero published by XSEED. Essentially, it’s just like it reads: You have 30 seconds to beat an RPG.

Yes. 30 seconds, not hours. For a person who likes RPGs but cannot devote 100 hours in to a title, this is a dream come true.

hmh1 From what little background I’ve gathered you play a young hero who has 30 seconds to stop an evil baddie from taking over or destroying a land. During that time, you need to level up, acquire gear, and recruit help—in 30 seconds.

Oh, along the way, you can perform various side quests—in 30 seconds.

Released earlier this year in Japan for the PSP, Half-Minute Hero really flips the genre on its head with retro 8-and-16-bit graphics, sounds, and text. Everything in this game moves fast. However, time stops when you enter a village and various other locations. From there you’ll need to gather clues on how to defeat the boss, what items to carry, and to heal up.

Battles are an automatic affair consisting of more more than 3-5 seconds. Run out into a field and—poof—random enemy. You can run to avoid fighting (handy if you need to get somewhere), but it also drains your health.  Fighting though is rather hilarious as you bounce and bump the mobs coming at you. Kill an enemy. Level up. Rinse and repeat until you think you are high enough.

hmh2 While this is happening, your time is draining, but there is one help in praying to the Time Goddess located in various towns. There’s a catch: it’ll cost you. The more you pray to her the higher it gets. Run out of gold? No problem. She’ll take your clothes. You’ll want to use her as a last resort because you’ll need that gold for future quests.

But wait. There’s more. This is only one mode of the game. Evil Lord 30 is where you play as one of the baddies and things have not gone well for your baddie-girlie-friend. In turn you need to save people and transform to a hero in order to save her. The trick with this mode is that you summon help and transform dead monsters to your aid—all in 30 seconds. In Princess 30 mode you play the part of, yep a princess. However, this part of the game plays more like a shump. You have to run all over the map collecting various items to help defend your castle from baddies—in 30 seconds. The last mode, Knight 30, was the hardest to come by in info. It appears that this plays out like a tower defense game or king of the hill type of style. Of course, one assumes this is done in, well, you know.

This would be an excellent title on the PSN at a reasonable price, but after some digging that might not be the case. It appears that Amazon is selling it as a UMD title for $30. The game boasts over 15 hours of game play, but time will tell (geesh) if it’ll be worth it or not.

You can currently download two small demos from the PSN (Hero 30 and Evil Lord 30) and the game appears to come out October 13. Give it a try. It won’t take long.

Sources: Kotaku, Destructoid (large image gallery), IGN, and Siliconera


  1. That is a really cool idea. I’ve been playing Fire Emblem on the DS and each mission takes 30-40 minutes to play. It’s not bad, but some quick blasts like this would be really fun.

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