It’s not like being a two pump chump, don’t worry.

At a recent XSEED event in NYC I got to try my hands on a whole slew of interesting games, but the one that I’m yearning to play right this very second is Half-Minute Hero for PSP. 

The simplest explanation is that it’s an 8-bit JRPG where you play a young hero and have to save the world from destruction- and have 30 seconds to do it. That’s 30 seconds to fight random battles, level up, visit towns, do sidequests and take down the final boss before he can cast his world-destroying spell.

The demo we were shown gives you two levels to fool around with. Upon starting the first you’re rushed through a quick storyline and told that a Demon King is about to summon a spell that will end the world in 30 seconds. You’re then shown where on the map he is and any important locations on the way. And you’re off!

Never mind these screens, the game is completely translated over here.

You have to realize that this plays like a JRPG on crack. You’ll sprint around the world map and get into battles that take a couple of seconds to play out. They happen so fast that at first you won’t realize that you’re already done. There’s no choosing commands here, your hero immediately plows from left to right hacking and slashing at the enemy and you can simply sit back for a second or make him flee if  he’s getting beaten. Dying doesn’t kill you, it just knocks you back out with hardly any life. It doesn’t take much to level up, and you’ll quickly find out that this is the one game in existence where random encounters are actually fun!

The 30 seconds thing is a bit of a lie, as you can actually run into towns, where the ever-present countdown stops. Just like every other JRPG you can buy weapons, armor, items and even recruit new people to your party. The most important thing you can buy, however, is a spell that turns back time and resets you to 30 seconds. While this costs 100 gold the first time you buy it, it seems to double in price every with each purchase.

But the greatest thing is how frantic the whole thing is. You’ll be playing an entire rpg in minutes, just doing it as fast as you possibly can. As the countdown winds down the world starts to get more and more red, and if you haven’t beaten the Demon King in time it’s game over.

Each level starts you off from scratch, with each successive getting more and more complex. There are 30 stages in total. That might make the game seem a little light on the gameplay, until you realize that there are three more completely different gameplay modes included. Unfortunately the demo only focused on the Hero (RPG) style.

But there is also one where you play as a Princess (above) which plays as a balls-out, 30 second shooter. It looks frantic and fun, especially when you see that it’s a mass of soldiers carrying around the princess as you fight off increasingly large creatures.

Then there’s the Knight mode, which is more of an action packed escort mission, where you have to eliminate all the monsters in 30 seconds while protecting a weak wizard. You can  pick him up and run with him to get him to safety.

 Lastly there is a mode that lets you play as the Demon Knight (or Warlord, not clear on the translation) in more of an RTS, as you have to summon creatures to take out those meddling heroes.

The game will also include 4-player Ad-hoc multiplayer, which has yet to be revealed. But there will be a few different types, including one that will be somewhat competitive in nature. Interesting.


They’re promising 15-20 hours of gameplay here, as each mode will have 30 levels. That’s quite a bit of content. The Hero mode is clearly genius, an incredibly fun bit of gameplay that I honestly can’t wait to jump back into, but the others are of course up in the air. If they turn out to be just as good, we could have one of the PSP’s games to beat right here. This is a godsend for anyone sick to death of JRPGs.

You’ll be able to find out for yourself next month when a demo is released, which we’ll be sure to clue you in to. The game will likely be released a month or so after that. They’re still trying to figure out if it will be on UMD as well as a downloadable title, but either way, you’ll definitely want to give this one a half-minute of your time.