The Longest Five Minutes isn’t about sitting around in a hospital waiting room without your phone or being forced to listen to a lecture from your parents. It’s not even about the Superbowl because those guys certainly know how to make time stand still!
The game opens up with your character, Flash, coming face to face with an unholy, all powerful and completely terrifying Demon King. Your quest is nearly at an end, the journey has been hard and the road long, but there’s just one more battle then you can all go home for a hot cup of tea. The problem is, our boy Flash has frozen and gone completely blank.
His friends, Yuzu, Regent and Clover are stood at his side, ready to bring their A game. But Flash … he’s not feeling too hot. In fact, he’s come over with the unluckiest, most inconvenient case of amnesia. Like, ever. Needless to say, he can’t fight. He can barely even talk. He doesn’t even know his friend’s names or how he got here. The group speculate the demon’s mist might have overtaken his senses and temporarily addled him. But that doesn’t help when this hell-breathing demon is in death-mode, spewing up fire and swiping his jagged claws.
Flash needs to pull himself together, and he’s got a very long five minutes to do exactly that. That’s because the narrative jumps around a lot when you hear a prompting piece of dialogue. TLFM starts off by taking players back to the very beginning and explaining why they set out on the quest. You’ll soon be out onto the high seas as well as on an epic train ride. There’s even amusement parks and underground cellars, and that’s just scratching the surface.
The Longest Five Minutes offers a surprisingly deep, entertaining narrative, and a genuinely unique spin on the familiar halmarks of the genre. Yes, it looks, sounds, and acts like it belongs on the SNES back in the 90s, playing just as well as the greats from that era, but there’s something distinctly fresh about TLFM.
Perhaps it’s biting wit in the dialogue, unafraid to take potshots at itself and those it’ll almost certainly be likened to. It could be the vintage mini games which are peppered throughout that give you a chance to catch your breath and break up the action.
Or even the neat idea that you can actually revisit your memories to gain reexperience points, learning more abilities to fight the Demon King. Yes, most of the battles are standard turn-based RPG affairs where you attack, use magic, put up your guard or pop a potion, but the confrontation with the Demon King plays out slightly differently through a series of multi-choices. You could choose to stand in front of an ally and take the blow for them, or learn more about your forgotten memories while sacrificing their life. You can decide on tactics when confronted with strong attacks, or decide on appropriate distractions to make sure you keep everyone alive.
Each memory is a small-fared scenario, restricting TLFM from being a completely open world experience. You can only visit a handful of locations each time but there are bonus objectives to fulfil to gain extra experience points, encouraging some replayability.
TLFM does feel a bit limited at times, though. Often times, you feel like you could just walk around, spamming the attack button without putting much thought into strategy, strolling through each battle without taking so much as a single casualty. This does, unfortunately, lend itself to being a bit mindless.
The dungeons often play out in quite a repetitive way as well, surprisingly as most of the game’s creativity is saved for the boss battle with the Demon King.
I was also surprised by the lack of touch screen support as this is a game which could benefit very easily from that.
However, this is a good, healthy length RPG (don’t let the name put you off) that will satiate any appetite left over from a Zelda or Xenoblade Chronicles. It doesn’t necessarily look the part (nor always act it) but The Longest Five Minutes is among the more creative and engaging RPGs in a very deep-pocketed genre.
+ Satisfyingly creative
+ Solid story
+ Plays well
+ Decent length
– Can mindlessly walk through combat
– Limited world to wander through
– Lack of touch screen a bit disappointing
– High price
The Longest Five Minutes
7.5 out of 10
Tested on Playstation Vita