Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Review - The Longest Five Minutes

Half-Minute Hero from Marvelous shook up how RPGs could be played with insane bursts of auto-battling on the PSP. Playing in the same time-juggling ballpark, The Longest Five Minutes takes a skewed approach, pitching you straight into the climactic boss battle with some giant demon taunting you and your crew.

Except Flash's memory has been wiped (is that an IT joke?)  leaving his party floundering in the face of their biggest enemy. To get things back on track, Flash has to remember what led up to these epic scenes, which sends us scampering back through time to various adventures where the story starts. All told from a view askew stance, there's of zipping back and forth through time to different places and the many quests that got us here.

In reality, that means lots of pixel-fun light RPG adventuring with short and long quests across a world linked by boats, trains and bridges. The approach means there's no need to care about leveling, up and hitting auto-equip and auto-battle will see you fight quickly and effectively.

Each part of your past has one key objective to meet and a few side quests that you might want to follow up on. In its fast 8-bit style, there's not much to look at, and most characters have a couple of quirky or funny lines to make them worth talking to, but its not exactly a chat-fest.

A texty adventure?

On the plus side, the text is a good size and very readable on the Vita's screen, so kudos to the developers for that. There's also a few pages in the digital manual to cover all the controls,  not that there's much to get wrong.

With landscapes and buildings ranging from the modern to classic RPG fodder, the simple pixel design is bright but effective. The pan-pipe led tunes are also charming and expansive, and perhaps the only major annoyance is a lack of signage or detail on the map screen.

The story itself has plenty of humour and little quirks to it, with enemies taking on the form of wherever you happen to be, which is better than generic rats or random creatures that many JRPGs throw at us.

Add in some mini-games and there's a lot to enjoy, but you could easily finish the adventure in under six hours. If you like plain and simple retro adventuring this is a decent effort, but if you a little more dash or verve to your adventuring, then probably better wait for something more menacing.

Also, the price is more expensive than Secret of Mana by £10, also out this week, and Under Night In-Birth, which is a bit of a joke! Something NISA needs to consider with any future releases. For a feature-packed LE, fine but not for a digital release.

Score: 7/10
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Price: £34.99(PSN)
Developer/publisher NIS America
File size 286MB
Progress: Across the sea

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