Review of The Longest Five Minutes

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Let’s start off this review by clearing one thing up. The Longest Five Minutes takes considerably longer than 300 seconds to complete. I estimate that my playthrough, of this retro style RPG, lasted for around ten hours. That’s lengthier than the title suggests, but still shorter than your average JRPG. I’m not complaining though, because these days I just don’t have the time to finish a Witcher sized adventure. My long shifts are partially to blame and my age is a factor too. Once I hit my mid-thirties I lost the energy required to stay up all night playing games. Then again, my ex-girlfriends would argue that I never had much stamina for “night time activities” to begin with.

OVERVIEW

The Longest Five Minutes sees players assume the role of a hero named Flash Back. When the game begins Flash is in the midst of a five-minute tussle versus the tyrannical Demon King. How Flash got into this predicament is a mystery because he is suffering from amnesia (an ailment common amongst RPG heroes and anime characters alike.) In effect TLFM commences at the finale and gradually reveals how the story got to that point via memory fragments, which are essentially short levels chronicling Flash’s journey from his home village to the overlord’s castle. Joining him along for the ride are a bashful cleric, a Kung-Fu tomboy and a spoony mage who aspires to be a bard.

Gameplay wise The Longest Five Minutes feels like a 16-bit title, due to its turn based combat and pixel graphics. Ah, the 16-bit era. Those were the days! Final Fantasy was still fun, Sonic hadn’t lost his coolness and I could stay up past 10pm without feeling sleepy. What distinguishes TLFM from other RPGs is that the story is broken up into bite-sized chunks, which can be completed in a sitting. That’s great for busy folks, but may be less appealing for gamers who like to grind. Every stage is its own self-contained quest, were your party begin at an appropriate level and with suitable gear to best the challenge ahead. There’s no point in farming for gold/EXP because nothing carries over between stages.

VERDICT

My rating for The Longest Five Minutes is a three and a half out of five. It’s a game I would recommend to those seeking a casual JRPG experience. Perfect for anyone who needs a break from the constant game overs in Bloodborne (currently available to download off PSN for free.) The game doesn’t offer much, in the way of challenge, but I didn’t mind as the charming characters and exceptional soundtrack were enough to keep me invested. I dug the unique “reverse order” storytelling structure. The cut scenes are mostly humorous, as one would expect for an NIS America release, although it must be said that some of the endings on offer are surprisingly emotional.

Right now The Longest Five Minutes can be purchased on Vita, Switch and PC. I went with the Vita version, as the short levels make this RPG an ideal portable experience. Buyers who opt for the PC version can acquire the soundtrack, via DLC, which is a nice perk. Despite enjoying the game I think the Β£35 asking price is steep. The production values don’t justify that cost nor does the campaign’s length. Overall though, I enjoyed the game. The Longest Five Minutes looks like a game from my youth, but its streamline design makes it ideal to play on an adult’s busy schedule. Why does work consume so much time? The true “longest five minutes” is when I glance at my watch, counting down the end of my shift.

27 thoughts on “Review of The Longest Five Minutes

  1. This certainly does seem like a refreshing dose of nostalgia with a nice twist. The best little odes are always like that these days in the indie scene XD. I do understand the toughest struggle especially those last five minutes of work that seem to last forever. Once at my work the clock broke at like 10 to the time I was supposed to leave and thus I worked for 30-45 minutes of unpaid overtime! My coworkers wouldn’t tell me because:
    A- They wanted me to suffer as a joke
    B – Some were family and friends
    C – They like messing with me (and each other)
    I may wait for the game to drop down however in price as I agree that is a bit much right now.

  2. It looks pretty interesting in the way that the story plays back, I don’t think I could play Β£35 for it though. That being said, it seems like a decent way to pass time without getting too invested.

  3. Time is all relative. If we here in America can shift time by an hour a few times a year for our own comfort, five minutes can last ten hours at a command. And for that matter, if you want your youth back, just take it back. I’ve been twenty-seven for nearly a century, that way. Time is all relative.

    • Never a good idea to drink whilst browsing the web or watching comedies. I think companies overprice on day one because they know impatient gamers will buy rather than wait for a sale. Sadly I am one of those fools who cannot resist opening their wallet.

  4. 35 dollar is rather steep indeed for 10 hours of gameplay. But then I feel the price of the new download only game to Switch mostly are too pricey. Especially the ones that have a freemium smartphone version!

    It’s age my friend, combined with long days at work. I swear, some days I just sit with the Telly in the background, trying to game and just dozing off. And that at 9 pm! I’m an old woman!

    • I would buy more stuff on the Switch if it weren’t for the pricing. A lot of the new releases end up being old titles that cost less on other consoles/mobile devices. As I have gotten older I have turned into an early bird. I’ll wake up super early, but begin to feel sleepy after dinner. That sucks because I use up my energy at work and have none left for entertainment in the evening.

  5. Reminds me an awful lot of Half-Minute Hero. Therefore I’m sold. Good to see the Vita still drawing in quality titles, this type of thing was made for it πŸ™‚

    • Both games have a retro look and a time element to them, but The Longest Five Minutes plays more like a traditional turn based RPG. The Vita remains the machine I play the most and there is still good stuff coming out for it (I am looking forward to Penny Punching Princess.) With Sony scrapping the system from the monthly free games and developers migrating over to the Switch though I suspect the handheld will start to wind down.

  6. This game has been on my bucket list for quite a while, but I just haven’t been able to take the plunge yet. It certainly looks like a lot of fun and around 10 hours is pretty decent. I do think it would be cool if the game was actually only 5 minutes long and then the rest was called the “post game” or something to be really clever.

      • I’m pretty sure I played Half Minute Hero back in the day as that sounds really familiar. It’s definitely a pretty cool gimmick. Yeah, this game’s gonna be great!

  7. Hahaha, I seen the title “The Longest Five Minutes” and thought it might have been a reference to the loading time of the game or something like that. πŸ˜€

    The game itself, sounds like a really nice before bed game. Not sure if I’d pay Β£35 for that style of game though. There’s a lot of games available in the PlayStore, that seem similar to this game and cost a lot less. πŸ™‚

    • LOL. If the loading screens took that long I would have given the game a much lower score. Then again, when I first got into gaming you had to wait longer than that for games to load off a cassette! I agree that this game costs too much when compared to other retro looking titles. Well worth picking up if it goes on sale though.

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