I really enjoyed the first Half-Minute Hero game, in small bite-sized chunks of adventures, you went around fighting things, solving simple puzzles and completing challenges in less than 30 seconds (with some help from the money-grabbing time-rewinding goddess). This sequel bogs it down with long cutscenes and moves to a more linear way to frame the game instead of the level system it used before. I didn’t enjoy it nearly as much.
First of all, the pace of the game is greatly made worse by the addition of story and cutscenes and places you have to go just to talk to someone while nothing is happening. It’s not what I want in my Half-Minute Hero, I don’t want half a minute of useless chatter before the game actually starts between each fighting segment. The fact that you can mash your way through all the cutscenes also show that the developer thought people might not want to watch them all. Don’t include as much in the first place.
If the game was amazing, I wouldn’t mind the cutscenes, but the gameplay was made worse from the previous game. Instead of little bite-sized levels, you now have a vast campaign where you go from point A to point B on a map (usually with a bunch of dialogue in-between) then start the 30 seconds timer to do a bunch of different things (that aren’t always to defeat the evil lord). It’s much less straightforward and it got very frustrating for me around the… third fight? I lost maybe five times in a row. Tried different ways to tackle the map, failed every time. And then you have to start the whole thing again, useless dialogue and all. Very frustrating. The kind of thing that makes me uninstall games. To fix this, I would’ve probably made the game level-sized again or made you restart at the beginning of the actual fights instead of the whole map, or maybe just smoothed the difficulty curve a bit.
Since you follow a linear story, you level up and down as the fights go, your gold also lowers after each fight but you still retain some of it, so does your experience. I couldn’t figure out how it worked, did it mean that I would start at a higher level in the later stages with a bit more gold? Was my outside level separated entirely from my in-battle level? That was a bit confusing, and maybe this is a system I should’ve picked up to make the game easier, but I couldn’t. In any case, I’d rather play Half Minute Hero 1 again.