hot  /  reviews  /  videos  /  cblogs  /  qposts

Half-Minute Hero: The Second Coming

Review: Half-Minute Hero: The Second Coming

1:00 PM on 04.14.2014 // Kyle MacGregor

Once more, with feeling

The original Half-Minute Hero was a very special and intriguing game. It boiled down an entire genre to its barest essentials, reducing the interminably long JRPG to just thirty seconds of gameplay.

Both a heartfelt tribute and pointed critique, the bite-sized adventure brimmed with self-referential humor. It trot out just about every trope in the book, firing on all cylinders with a lengthy series of inside jokes and clever witticisms. Smart, familiar, and charming; it appealed to both fans of the genre and detractors alike in a way that so few games do.

Humor often has diminishing returns though. Even the funniest quip can lose some of its luster the second time around. And in that regard, Half-Minute Hero: The Second Coming isn't quite as remarkable as its predecessor. Luckily, the deconstructionist RPG has upped its game in other arenas.

Half-Minute Hero: The Second Coming (PC)
Developer: Marvelous AQL
Publisher: Marvelous AQL
Release: April 4, 2014
MSRP: $19.99

Half-Minute Hero veterans will be right at home in The Second Coming, as the follow-up hews closely to its predecessor's Hero 30 mode for the duration of the journey. For the uninitiated, that means a condensed and streamlined JRPG experience wherein the player is tasked to save the world in 30 seconds. In that time you'll fight monsters, level up, get new equipment, perform sidequests, and ultimately take out a boss.

This is all made possible by the Time Goddess, a deity to whom players will lavish with exorbitant amounts of cash to turn back the clock. So fear not, the game is actually longer than thirty seconds. In fact, it's comprised of several dozen diminutive missions stretched across five campaigns that should keep players busy for twenty or more hours.

Unlike its forerunner, The Second Coming doesn't dabble with shoot-'em-up, RTS, or tower defense elements. What it lacks in variety, though, is made up for with a lot of polish and incremental improvements. We're left with a more focused experience, albeit one that's still probably best enjoyed in short spurts, rather than any marathon sessions. 

The new overworld really adds to the adventure. In contrast with the first game, players can now explore the landscape, grind, and acquire new equipment between missions without having to worry about a ticking clock. Combat has also been refined with powerful special attacks and a class system.

The Second Coming also lays on a thicker story. While the narrative is generally lighthearted, it runs the gamut of stereotypical yarns, and does delve into some pretty melodramatic territory. In doing so, these threads curiously undermine some of the satire. And the sheer volume of dialogue and exposition means much of the humor is lost along the way. Still, it had me laughing quite hard at times.

It's a more well-rounded, full-bodied, and cohesive experience, but it's also one that seems to embrace the genre's conventions more so than poke fun at them. As such, it loses some of the edgy appeal that made the original so beloved. While I personally enjoyed the departure, I could easily see others being less enthusiastic about the more traditionalist proclivities.

That said, the story mode occasionally gets fairly creative with its missions. Certain obstacles and objectives glean little flashes of brilliance amidst the more garden-variety levels. Little accents like a motorcycle race against your rival or having to buy air from mermen to replenish your timer in underwater levels really help mix things up.

It's also really pretty. I can't believe I just typed that. But seriously, the chunky pixelated visuals look amazing. They're more vibrant and detailed than ever before. And the hideous hand-drawn art style seen in the original game's XBLA and PC releases is nowhere to be found. 

Beyond the campaign, The Second Coming features endless and time attack modes. There's also a map creator, which allows players to design unique quests to play through, share via Steamworks, and compete in over multiplayer. The online functions seem to be well executed, but their true strength will depend on the fervor of the community.

Half-Minute Hero: The Second Coming makes a number of improvements on an established formula. It's endearing, provocative, and silly. But it lacks variety and never quite recaptures the magic of its predecessor. No longer a breath a fresh air, The Second Coming settles for being an enjoyable lark. And I'm perfectly okay with that.



Half-Minute Hero: The Second Coming - Reviewed by Kyle MacGregor
Charming - Not perfect, but it's easy to ignore the rough spots when faced with so many engaging design decisions and entertaining moments. A memorable game that's hard not to like and recommend to others.

See more reviews or the Destructoid score guide.

Kyle MacGregor, Associate Editor
 Follow Blog + disclosure DtoidKyle Tips
World-renowned selfie photographer. more   |   staff directory

 Setup email comments

Unsavory comments? Please report harassment, spam, and hate speech to our community fisters, and flag the user (we will ban users dishing bad karma). Can't see comments? Apps like Avast or browser extensions can cause it. You can fix it by adding * to your whitelists.

 Add your impressions

Status updates from C-bloggers

CeeDotGreen avatarCeeDotGreen
Been playing MGO obsessively, still can't find anyone in their right mind that uses the Hush Puppy. So of course I'm gonna be the dumb bastard that tries.
TheAngriestCarp avatarTheAngriestCarp
Why don't we have more games that use filtered 3D models to creat faux-pixel art? It's such a cool, smooth style, but you never see any games using it.
OverlordZetta avatarOverlordZetta
Oh lawd. Next Saturday, Gamestop will have three hour access to Tri-Force Heroes. Nintendo, really wish we could just get normal demos from you more often, please!
MeanderBot avatarMeanderBot
I made this. Want one? [IMG]HTTPS://[/IMG]
JawshButturBawls avatarJawshButturBawls
Star Wars Battlefront is pretty good. Except the beta is basically a demo with nothing in it so that upsets me. but it's still pretty good.
gajknight avatargajknight
Just cleaning up the last of Gotham's Most Wanted before I finish Arkham Knight. Those Riddler trophies...much more fun than Arkham City but my word, stop it Rocksteady. Love the game though, outstanding. In my top 5 this year, fo sho.
Jed Whitaker avatarJed Whitaker
SCIENCE. IS. AWESOME. [youtube][/youtube]
Jed Whitaker avatarJed Whitaker
Looks like my copy of Chibi-Robo: Zip Lash won't be here till Tuesday. What do I pay for Amazon Prime for again? I think I might have to stream me playing it.
Pixie The Fairy avatarPixie The Fairy
I have just heard someone say Uncharted was a "role playing game."
RadicalYoseph avatarRadicalYoseph
The glitched walking animation people carrying crates in Novigrad do is hilarious.
TheLimoMaker avatarTheLimoMaker
Undecided what to do with my weekend now my fiancée is away. One part of me says I should work my ass off, another says I should go watch The Martian while the last part tells me to be a slob, play games and masturbate to Highschool DXD.. Such a hard lif
Steel Squirrel avatarSteel Squirrel
The 1.10 patch for The Witcher 3 is out. Downloading for PS4. Pretty excited to see the changes, especially since it said the damn swamps in Velen would finally see performance enhancements, along with like a million other areas. So good! Yes?
wutangclam avatarwutangclam
Just got confirmation that a feature I spent way too long writing is going up on Sunday. Not a bad way to start the weekend off, though I wish I had a slot on a weekday.
gajknight avatargajknight
PB&J sandwiches. Saturday morning cartoons. A blanket. Ominous sounds coming from the next room. Blood seeping from the walls. A dark figure standing in the corner, staring, watching. Darkness, everywhere. Such darkness. This is childhood.
Torchman avatarTorchman
Dear Namco, give me a proper localizer Super Robot Wars title. I need it in my viens, especially this
Mark Plechaty avatarMark Plechaty
Cynic without a Cause avatarCynic without a Cause
I just wanna get drunk and listen to J-pop
extatix avatarextatix
Spiel was mightily expensive. Holy shit... Good thing I didn't bring more money with me, too. Saw enough stuff I'd love to own.
StriderHoang avatarStriderHoang
In memory of Lesser Dog of the snow fields. 1 spaghetti = never forgetty
ChrisHannard avatarChrisHannard
Trialling PS Now - review to come later - has reminded me of a piece of little-reported PS3 news. Owners of hacked PS3s could turn any PS2 game into a 'Classics' title and run them on a bog-standard PS3 with few issues.
more quickposts


destructoid's previous coverage:
Half-Minute Hero: The Second Coming

  Apr 01

Half-Minute Hero sequel apparently hitting Steam April 4

Marvelous AQL announces $999 price tag, Oculus Rift support*

  Mar 30

Half-Minute Hero 2 getting localized as The Second Coming

Get ready to save the world in 30 seconds all over again

View all:powered by:  MM.Elephant

Ads on destructoid may be purchased from:

Please contact Crave Online, thanks!


Invert site colors

  Dark Theme
  Light Theme

Destructoid means family.
Living the dream, since 2006

Pssst. konami code + enter

modernmethod logo

Back to Top

We follow moms on   Facebook  and   Twitter
  Light Theme      Dark Theme
Pssst. Konami Code + Enter!
You may remix stuff our site under creative commons w/@
- Destructoid means family. Living the dream, since 2006 -