Half-Minute Hero

Do you like quirky things? Do you like saving money? Good news! To celebrate 10 years of bringing weird and wonderful Japanese games to a wider audience, publisher Rising Star has announced an anniversary sale over on the PlayStation Store.

Half-Minute Hero

Half-Minute Hero

30 seconds of fame.

Half-Minute Hero is a two-fingered salute to anyone who's ever complained that the Japanese RPG is too long and tedious to be worth the bother. From the moment your hero leaves his pastoral village to when he lands a death blow upon the world-threatening overlord, the game distills the traditional 60-hour play arc of Japan's interactive fantasy epic into 30-second speed-run concentrate.

It may be a single-note joke - building a frantic dash against the clock in the gaming genre least suited to the task - but it's an excellent joke nonetheless. Moreover, in its self-assured execution and endlessly inventive subversion of cliché, Half-Minute Hero succeeds in becoming a masterful reinvention of that which it parodies, simultaneously celebrating the form while overhauling the function of one of gaming's oldest templates to create something fresh and imaginative.

Like the Reduced Shakespeare Company, Half-Minute Hero appropriates the language and aesthetic of its influence (in this case, the 8-bit JRPG) but trims away the bulk. The result is a conveyor belt of ADHD-friendly bites of play. Entire plotlines are snipped through like shorthand synopses; random battles explode and vanish like double-time fireworks while your character levels up in the blink of a transition screen.

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