The Longest Five Minutes (Review) Nintendo Switch

The Longest Five Minutes (Review) Nintendo Switch
Review Score:

Developed by Nippon Ichi Software, The Longest Five Minutes for Nintendo Switch is a hybrid Visual Novel that uniquely incorporates an NES-inspired, 8-bit looking JRPG for the game’s ‘flashback’ sequences. It’s a concept that works relatively well, as the player is tossed head-long into an epic battle with the intimidating, all-powerful monster known only as Demon Lord.

As the story progresses, the player is badly injured and loses all their memories. This causes a dilemma for the remaining party members, as they need the game’s protagonist to ‘remember’ the lessons that were learned from their adventure to defeat their adversary.

This is where The Longest Five Minutes stands out as a role-playing game. Instead of providing a full-fledged RPG where the player starts from the beginning and works their way to the end, the game instead provides smaller, micro adventures that adopt the classic, top-down perspectives of most 8-bit NES role-playing games (think Final Fantasy for the NES, for example).

Basically, these micro events (or ‘memories’ as they are referred to in-game) serve to determine the story’s outcome. Each memory contains a specific objective that must be completed, whether it involves speaking to an NPC, discovering a town or completing a quest (to name just a few). The choices the player makes during these short excursions will ultimately decide how the battle with the Demon Lord will end. Speaking to an NPC – and answering a question – can affect the player and their party in the present, as they struggle to survive.

This isn’t to say that The Longest Five Minutes is linear because it’s not. Some of the flashbacks can be quite lengthy, allowing the player to grind XP, level party members and explore new locations occupied by monsters. There are also cities to explore and plenty of NPCs to interact with.

Enemy encounters are random and happen after the player’s party has moved a certain number of steps. Combat itself is turn-based and functions like most classic RPGs: the creatures are seen from the first-person, while the player’s party and stats appear beneath the action. Aside from the melee attacks and spells that are seen on-screen while fighting (which are selected from the ‘combat’ menu), not much else is really shown during combat.

The enemies are depicted as static images that only shake when struck by an attack or vanish when defeated. The player’s party does animate depending on the circumstances, though. The minimalist approach of the combat system is an obvious attempt at recreating the much simpler game mechanics of most early 8-bit NES games. Even though the concept works, some gamers may find it a bit too basic at times. In all fairness, it boils down to personal preference.

What that aside, The Longest Five Minutes benefits the most from being a hybrid of both the RPG and Visual Novel genres. It may not win any awards for its story or gameplay, but it’s engaging enough to satisfy fans from both sides of the spectrum, especially if they are looking for something new and unique to play on the Nintendo Switch.

Mike Pittaro
Platform: Nintendo Switch
Developer: Nippon Ichi Software
Publisher: NIS America
ESRB: T (Teen)
Price: $39.99

The Longest Five Minutes Official Website:
http://www.nisamerica.com/games/longest-five-minutes/

Review Score
Graphics
Classic 8-bit graphics add to the game's appeal.
Sound
Average sound effects and music.
Gameplay
The Visual Novel and JRPG combination make for a great experience.
Overall
The Longest Five Minutes benefits the most from being a hybrid of both the RPG and Visual Novel genres.
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