So recently we asked our guest writer TheGamingDads to give their review of The Longest 5 Minutes on the Nintendo Switch, shall we find out what they thought?
The Longest 5 Minutes, developed by Nippon Ichi Software America, has a style unlike any other turn-based RPG that we have come across.
I couldn’t help but scratch my head at the fact that the story starts at the Final Boss Battle… Don’t lose all faith, the ‘Hero’ of the story ironically named ‘Flash Back’ has lost all recollection of how he came about this gruelling battle with the Overlord himself, the ‘Demon King’.
His Special Ability, the name of his hometown, and even the reason he’s trying to defeat the Overlord in the first place, have completely vanished from his mind. Our hero feels as though he’s letting his allies down…
Luckily you spend the first opening cut scene sifting through dialog, your allies’ subtle words and the ever-taunting nature of the Overlord cause the hero to become overwhelmed with staged flashbacks returning his memory piece by piece. Regaining his memory, the hero must battle through stages and obtain every part of the story before it is too late and the world as they know it, will be destroyed.
Certain moments in the battle cut scene or specific words that are said by a certain character trigger these memories, sending you back in time to play through a chapter or scene of the RPG action. You’ll be going back and forth from the present to past, gaining your not just your memory, but your skills that bring you up to speed with this battle to the death.
The Longest Five Minutes has been designed around speed as a central element. It carries a comical tone throughout, and even its most sincere attempts at melodrama are tempered with lightheartedness.
Because the entire adventure lasts only about eight – to – ten hours, it flashes through plot points that similar games might linger on, though the game does present a few surprising revelations as the story approaches its conclusion. It’s less a game to be taken seriously , it’s flavourful localization gives the game’s script an unexpected puissance, acting as a counterbalance to its unmemorable and bland soundtrack.
The game itself, once you are past the initial cut scene, is very simple to play. The RPG aspect is subtle and light. What I enjoy about the game is that there is little requirement to sift through every inch of detail to find ‘loot’ or ‘items’. You play through each chapter at different time stamps through the game, so there is no requirement to focus on levelling up the team or holding on to those items.
Once you begin the first chapter, you will find that each chapter are governed by objectives that you must accomplish whilst you are playing the game. Objectives usually task you with the sort of things you might expect such as fulfilling side quests, travelling to new destinations along the world map, and then the combat scenes. Taking on enemies that spawn such as they do in the Final Fantasy, even Pokemon Series. I really enjoy the simplicity of the game, it makes it easy to pick up and play which stays true to the roots of Nintendo Switch. I just can’t help but think that it lacks that depth to which Final Fantasy and Pokemon had with its style, as I ventured through the game, I just could not find that connection with the characters or relate in anyway.
As like any RPG title, you are equipped with a team of four characters, each character carries their own attributes as far as, two characters use brawn and physical combat and the others use magic/support to heal. One personal preference that I dislike with titles such as The Last 5 Minutes, is having the whole squad following in line with the ‘Hero’ character.
Playing the first half of the game, I found that I used very little of each character’s attributes as majority of the enemies I encountered were easy enough to kill with basic attack. I took on damage from the battles but due to the game’s easy support matrix, I was able to heal the squad at any point outside of the battle scenes with quick ‘short hand’ controls. Even then, I wasn’t required to be mindful of mana as it used very little.
I did start to notice the increase in difficulty as I played through the game, which gave me a slight sigh of relief but then I thought that with the style of game that it is, the actual simplicity and quick to hand control scheme made this title very easy to pick up and play wherever I was. I tested this theory by trying to conquer a chapter or two whilst manoeuvring around the house at different speeds (please don’t ask me to go in to detail).
From the screenshots of the previous images, you can see that the game is taken back to a similar style of what we would have seen on SNES classics. That 8-Bit and 16-Bit style RPG with intense colour really does work for the game. A vibrant setting to say the least, the colour and basic detail of the environment gives you a warming feel to the game.
Something that did catch my eye was that the facial expressions on the characters, were difficult to depict. I am referring to other titles of a similar style that portrayed this well, but I did find it difficult to work out what was being shown on their faces in certain scenes. I couldn’t help but notice the bland scenery not only in the world map but also a lack of entity within the stages you pass through.
Overall a good pick-up and play style of game. The Longest 5 Minutes in my opinion, is not a game you can sit down and thrash through for hours on end, but it does have its merits. I did find it slightly repetitive and lacked depth, especially with the combat sequences being rather easy throughout most of the game. I found the story was basic and did drift of on various tangents, it did leave me scratching my head at a few comments made by NPC’s in the game. The Longest 5 Minutes for me, was a slight disappointment in terms of the story lacking depth like an RPG and the character development was minimal and restricting due to the changing of chapters. However, if you are looking for a game that let’s you live in a world feared of monsters and turn based combat whilst on a time-stricken budget then this is the game will give you just that.
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