Castle Crashers & South Park Were A Big Influence On Half-Minute Hero For PC

By Spencer . September 24, 2012 . 6:33pm

Marvelous AQL is about to bring Half-Minute Hero to PC as a Steam download. Half-Minute Hero: Super Mega Neo Climax Ultimate Boy is based on the Xbox 360 re-release, but has different gameplay modes like Princess 30 from the PSP version.


"The Xbox 360 version was actually created to be more appealing to the West. Since its largely based on the 360 version [Half-Minute Hero: Super Mega Neo Climax Ultimate Boy] is a good fit for the PC," producer Keinchiro Takaki said to Siliconera. I asked Takaki about the art style and if it was influenced by Western media like South Park. 

"When we first started working on Half-Minute Hero for Xbox 360, when we did the prototype we tried to ape an American comic style. We looked at games like Castle Crashers and animation like South Park. Those were a big influence," Takaki replied.


While the market for PC games has surged in the West, it’s tiny in Japan. Falcom used to be one of the big players, but even they shifted to releasing PSP and Vita games only making PC ports for the Chinese market. Step into one of Akihabara’s PC stores and you’ll typically see shelves lined with doujin software or adult visual novels.


"The PC market in Japan is rather small," Takaki said when we were discussing if PC would be major platform for Marvelous AQL. "It’s a changing marketplace with consoles being more competitive and the market shrinking, we are definitely interesting as the PC as a platform moving forward. Half-Minute Hero is a step in that direction." Takaki is excited that the PC has a huge user base that dwarfs the PSP and Xbox 360.


What’s next for Marvelous AQL’s Steam plans?


"First of all, we would definitely like to put the second game out," Takaki answered. Half-Minute Hero Second was only released for PSP in Japan and so far has not been localized. "If that sold well then we would want to make another game in the series."


"If we were to make another game in the series I would like to try something else, maybe Unreal Engine for Half-Minute Hero," Takaki laughed.

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  • Cephrien

    The south-park “america” style blows. I went right back to the classic 2D, the moment I saw what it looked like.

  • Eliézer Dos Santos

    I will play only with the 8-bits style.

  • Amine Hsu Nekuchan

    Why do developers always feel the need to make their games look horrible for Americans?

    • No

       Because accepting things from other cultures in their original, unaltered form is un-American!

  • Rogerrmark

    Those new sprites look like they were ripped off from a generical Flash game.

  • ShawnOtakuSomething

     8-bits plz

  • kupomogli

    For those that don’t want the game to look like a**, there is an option to change from Super Horrible Turbo Remix style, to the 8bit graphics.  Atleast there was on the 360 version. 

    I’m sure the option is still included for the Steam release.

  • No

    I really hope there is an option to change the visuals to look more like the PSP version, this looks hideous. And South Park? Really? Mainstream gamers suck…

    • Triplicity

      There is.

  • Hi everyone. This is Esteban- the producer of Ultimate Boy for Steam. The option to play with the 8-bit graphics is available from the main menu. They are my favorite, too :-)

    • Barrylocke89

      Yeah, I recall that. Good to hear that options in the PC version too though.

      Good luck with your productions dude!

  • Dexward
    • Haha, that’s awesome. Mind if I borrow it for the Facebook page?

      • Dexward

        Sure. Not like I own it or anything in the first place.

    • Muddied_Waters

       …I like the non-8-bit art style too.  I think it’s pretty adorable and am surprised at all the hate.  (Guess I shouldn’t be, though). 

      Don’t have a problem with the 8-bit either: I played the game on the PSP, but non-8-bit…hideous?  Horrible?  Really?

  • John Szczepaniak

    All the charm, all the creative essence has been butchered. And not only does the new style look ******* hideous, but it pushes the message that people are unwilling to accept the old 8-bit style, despite being the most charming. It sets an awful, worrying precedent for the rest of the industry. Other publishers will look and say: “God, anything 8-bit or beautiful obvious doesn’t sell, quick! Shoehorn some crap into our new product!” Seeing this is depressing. No one in positions of power appreciates good aesthetics any more.

    • Scrooge_McDuck

       Butchered how? Last I checked, the old style is still intact.

      • Armane

         Just to expand on this, you can switch between either art style in the 360 version, and there’s no reason to believe that isn’t also the case in the PC version.

        • arahman21

          The trailer on Steam states that the 8-bit style is still there, along with all the game modes.

  • Mrgrgr and Unacceptable World

    While i don’t dig the western art there.(Maybe biased considering i am 8-bit lover here.^_^)

    But more option is always better.^_^ As long as that it does not sacrifice any of the part that many loves.

    Now lets hope that this game will do well.^_^

  • Triplicity

    Oh man, those are voice chat icons in the second screenshot. I’ve played 2P HMH PSP multiplayer once and it was a ton of fun; can’t wait to do that craziness with a bunch of online friends. I can imagine it now…


  • Ty Arnold

    The South Park style worked for what it was. 8-bit sprites looked good on a PSP, but blown up to full size on a big television screen, they were pretty ugly. Having the option to use something else was a good idea.

    Anyway, I’m looking forward to this release, and I’m hoping that there’ll be an active online community. The online play was so fun, but it’s impossible to find a match nowadays.

  • ddh819

    is this (the pc version) a one player only game?

  • Armane

    From the looks of the screens they’ve added a multiplayer mode. As was pointed out below that’s a voice chat icon in the second screen, as well as 4 heroes playing, with two of them facing off directly.

  • Armane

    From the looks of the screens they’ve added a multiplayer mode. As was pointed out below that’s a voice chat icon in the second screen, as well as 4 heroes playing, with two of them facing off directly.

  • Göran Isacson

    So the PC market really IS oversaturated with VN and Eroge? That isn’t just some stereotype someone heard once and then perpetuated? Wow. Guess that explains quite a few of my questions… ah, well. If this can help more developers discover Steam and get their games on the service, I’ll be a happy camper at least!

    Also I don’t really get why people are so angry at the updated art-style, I think it looks cute and suitable for the game.

    • At least as far as the Japanese market is concerned, I would guess. I mean, I haven’t heard of a lot of non-novel PC games from Japan.

      • arahman21

        There are quite a few good shooters on the PC, even discounting Touhou Project, which has a pretty sizeable following. Ether Vapor (by Edelweiss) is one that’s scheduled to come out on Steam tomorrow (already available on Desura), it’s a pretty nice 2.75D multi-perspective shooter. And then there’s Gundemonium Collection, the maker of which also made Bunny Must Die (on Steam Greenlight, available on Desura, was part of the recently-finished Back To School Bundle).

  • South Park’s Japanese cult following has always sort of confounded me. The style of humor, to say nothing of the barrage of pop culture, current events and historical references, is so completely American. Do they even find it funny for the same reasons we do?

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