Half-Minute Hero: Beat The Clock, Save The World

By Spencer . July 10, 2009 . 12:51am


An evil lord sits in a castle throne, the world is about to end, and you have thirty seconds to save it! Half-Minute Hero (known as Yuusha 30 in Japan) distills RPGs, a genre known for consuming dozens of hours, down to minutes in hero mode.


Each mission begins with a 3-2-1 countdown, sort of like a racing game. On second thought, Half-Minute Hero feels a lot like a racing game. Once “Go!” flashes the clock starts ticking, but at level one you’re not match for a treant overloard. Half a minute isn’t a lot of time to level up so combat has been simplified… dramatically.


During random encounters the hero automatically body slams monsters like walking mushrooms (a la Adol). When a monster is defeated it’s sent flying towards the right side of the screen. If a monster whittles the hero down he falls back to the left. Other than administering healing herbs when the hero is near death you don’t do much during combat. Since battles are seconds long the system works and there’s something satisfying about watching a pixilated hero plow through a wave of weak enemies.




Monsters carry gold, which can be spent on new weapons and more healing herbs. Time, thankfully, freezes in towns so you can read what townsfolk have to say. They often present necessary side quests like finding a bridge builder or running in a cave to fetch an item. Dungeons are handled just like fights. Instead of navigating a maze the hero just body slams his way to a mini-boss or treasure chest.


If this sounds like too much to do in half a minute, you’re right. Most missions take longer than thirty seconds to complete. Good thing the Goddess of Time is on your side. She can rewind time if you visit one of her many statues and donate some of your gold. Since you’re reversing time you may need to repeat some tasks, but you won’t need to level up again. The Goddess requests more gold each time you refresh the timer so time isn’t unlimited. Strategically, it’s probably best to fight weak monsters with your first thirty seconds, then refill the timer and start the mission. When you’re short on time the hero can dash if you hold X, but running with a Sonic the Hedgehog style dust trail costs 1 HP per square.


Once you reach an evil lord’s lair an epic body slamming boss battle against a giant tree or a fireball begins. Five seconds later its over. Win and, as a humorous touch, the credits scroll. Other things that made me laugh in Half-Minute Hero are the rock star style “charisma wig” hair which can be used as a helmet, barrel armor (the hero really fights wearing a barrel), and how the hero fights in his underwear if you replay a mission. Whenever you start a new mission the hero’s level resets, but you keep your equipment as long as you’re moving forward.


Half-Minute Hero is actually four games on one disc and I’ve been playing two modes. Hero mode and Princess mode, an on rails shmup, which I’ll be talking about next time!

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  • conchobhar

    I can’t wait for this game!

  • Lacan

    I love this game, Yuusha 30 alongside Holy invasion of Privacy badman is a must have.

    I would have never expected people to show such ignorance (not here), calling this kind of games “shovelware”

  • Aoshi00

    When is this game coming out in the US? I pray they don’t pull a digital d/l only like Patapoin 2 or Badman. I can’t wait to read the dialogue in English, the Goddess of Time is so funny.

    • Later this year. Like October-ish.

      The good news is this will be a retail release for sure. Xseed is looking into making a digital version too, so it might be a dual game in North America.

      And the Goddess of Time is great. Everything about her is hilarious, even the way she waggles her arms when she floats on to the screen.

      • Oooh that’s good news. When I first saw videos of this, I didn’t know if it’d make it over. It sounds like a refreshing reboot to the RPG. I’m curious to play it, but since I hate ALL timed elements in games because of the added stress, I don’t know if I’d enjoy it.

        • Pichi

          That’s my problem as well. I’m not too good at timed elements, especially ones that are this short. If its too punishing, I might have to skip it. I like that its a different game out in the market, though.

          • Aoshi00

            I can’t stand most games w/ time limits too, like Pikmin or Dead Rising, I feel very restricted and can’t freely enjoy the game But Yuusha 30 is not like that at all, because time stops when you’re in town talking or buying armors, and you can replenish time by paying from the goddess, like check points in a racing game. The princess mode needs better reflex because her guardians and monsters have a rock paper scissors relationship.

          • Pichi

            That sounds reassuring. As long as the goddess isn’t too far or pays too much, I think I’ll give it a go. Just too unique for me to pass up.

      • Aoshi00

        That’s great, otherwise it would really deter me from buying this game or I would get the Jpn ver for a physical copy. The dialogue in the demos was hilarious, the demon king was funny too. Of the 4 modes, the hero one is definitely the most fun. I hope there’s a gallery mode to unlock all those awesome illustration done by various artists.

  • Been downloading and playing the demos of each mode on my PSP.. its really just a fun quirky game!

  • chocolateburgers

    I love this game I have played all of the PSN demos put out for it at the moment, my favourites are the RPG one & the strategy one. I think the graphics are ace, it makes the game really sound out

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