Do you love RPGs, but don't have the time to wade through 70+ hour epic adventures? Does the thought of spending hours grinding to level up your characters fill you with dread? Do long-winded boss encounters make you want to cry? Does micro-managing your inventory seem to take forever? If the answer to any of these is yes, then Yuusha 30 might be the answer to your prayers.
Although I've only played the demo - the game isn't out until May in Japan - This Marvelous Entertainment title on PSP is one of the most fun and refreshing games I've played in ages - Basically, it's an RPG which has been reduced to bite-sized 30 second segments.
You are tasked with defeating a demon lord, who is safely ensconced in his castle on the other side of the map. As soon as you start the game, a 30 second timer begins to tick down. If the timer reaches zero, the game will end.
As you cross the map, you can visit towns and villages. When visiting a town, the clock is suspended and here you can buy new weapons, items and heal your wounds.
When out on the world map, battles are random, but don't despair, as these brief encounters are fast-paced fun. There are no long drawn-out turn based battles in Yuusha 30, instead pushing the d-pad to the right takes care of business, and most fights are over in under two seconds.
If a monster is too tough, simply take on a few more enemies and you'll level up in double quick time. Defeating monsters also rewards you with gold, which can be spent in the villages.
Now 30 seconds simply isn't long enough for you to level up and reach the demon lord, so to help you, some towns have statues which replenish your timer. The first time you use a statue it costs 100 gold, but every time after that, the cost goes up in increments of 100, so you have to weigh up the options of fighting for gold to earn more time, or just heading straight to the demon lord in the hope you will be able to beat him.
If you successfully defeat the evil demon, you are given a final result, which charts how long the quest took and what level you were. In many ways Yuusha 30 is more of a time trial than an RPG, and is all the better for it.
Graphics are deliberately blocky and utterly charming, while the bright and breezy music is just wonderful.
The demo only has two levels to play through, but they are incredibly addictive and I can't stop tyring to better my times. Marvelous have already said there will be more modes available, but details are still a bit sketchy. If anyone out there can shed a bit more light on these other modes, please let me know.
Obviously the game is in Japanese, and I very much doubt it will ever be released in the West. However, Yuusha 30 might appear on the Japanese PSN, but no matter what, it's a game I'll be keeping a close eye on in the months to come.
Check out this video for some breathless Yuusha 30 action:
Images courtesy of Marvelous Entertainment