Can you Remember?
I love the old style 8-bit RPGS. I remember playing the first Pokemon games and I really enjoyed them. The visuals weren’t much to look at but the gameplay was there that made it so fun. The Longest Five Minutes is a game from NIS America that brings back the 8-bit style in an RPG that is like no other. The mystery is that you start from the very end as you fight off against the Demon King. Chucking you in at the deep end? Not quite so…
The interesting thing about The Longest Five Minutes is that you’re not actually playing a fully-fledged RPG, which is a shame because overall, this would make a great little game and I’d have scored it even higher if you did everything in the game yourself, but sadly, that’s not the case here. The basic premise of the story is that you play a Hero who with his 3 friends have fought a long battle and come up to the Demon King, the very end fight. The trouble is, you, the main protagonist have forgotten absolutely every detail, even your own friends and where your from. It’s not the time and place to be fighting any Demon, so it’s up to your friends help you piece together what happened.
Piecing together what happened is the core element of the game. As you go through the game, you embark on little memories, which help piece everything together. You only have a couple of easy tasks through each ‘memory’ before you get the memory cleared pop-up and that’s it for what you are doing. Many memories will see you take on towns and a dungeon, but throughout, I couldn’t help wishing I was playing through the whole thing.
Within each memory, you are equipped with the relevant stats and equipment for that part of their journey. You don’t have to worry about leveling up in The Longest Five Minutes at all because everything is set out for you, you’ll merely just putting the Hero’s mind back together. Any gold or equipment that you collect throughout the memory won’t really matter in the whole game because it’s simply reset when you get into your next memory.
What I liked most about the game was the dialogue. As it goes back to 8-bit style with this, there are no voices to characters at all, it’s all done via text in a dialogue box. I found the script very funny at times, and as I went through each memory it was also piecing together quite well in my mind. If you’re a fan of nostalgia, you’ll definitely love the setup and the layout of The Longest Five Minutes.
Playing it on the Nintendo Switch, I found no performance issues at all, whether that be playing it on the go or docked. I loved the soundtrack of this game, it really was great to listen to, a proper RPG vibe. What’s interesting is that throughout the game I felt like it was a tease of a much bigger release to come. Whilst this isn’t a bad game, I really wish NIS released this as a fully fledged RPG, not just a game where you have flashbacks. I understand what the developers have tried to do with this, and whilst it makes for quite an interesting game overall, I just had the regret of not being able to control the characters growth or anything else myself. If NIS America ever decided to release this as a full game, as at the moment it does feel like a collection of very decent half-demo teasers, I’d be one of the first to pick this up.