5 Minutes RPG
May 24, 2012 3 Comments
5 Minutes RPG, or 5MinRPG as its known on the marketplace for reasons that baffle me, is a little misleading in its name. It’s not really an RPG in the strictest sense, nor does it only last for five minutes. It plays more like an action-based dungeon-crawler. At least I think it does. This is one of those “tough love” games that mostly leaves players to figure things out on their own. There’s a couple help screens, but they’re not much use. The first level acts as a sort of tutorial, but ended before my head scratching did. And trust me, I don’t have head lice.
The idea is you’re a wizard (or wizards, but I didn’t get a chance to play co-op, more on that later) who has to work his way through a series of randomly generated dungeons, fighting monsters, opening treasures, and slaying bosses. There are six levels and one final boss fight. I didn’t even make it half-way through the quest without giving up, so I can’t tell you what you fight in the end. I will say that you better hope it’s not straight above you, because otherwise you’ll be in big trouble.
I get the impression that 5 Minutes RPG started out as a turn-based strategy game and devolved into the sloppy hack-and-slasher that ended up on the marketplace. Screens are broken up into hexagonal segments that limit what direction your character can move and shoot. You can go straight in a horizontal line, but you can’t move vertically up and down, only diagonally. This makes no sense at all in an action RPG. It makes all movement feel clunky, and lining up to attack enemies a chore. I quit on the third boss, because I was getting surrounded on all sides by enemies. Even with a weapon that could attack in all six directions, it didn’t really work as advertised. I could still only damage the one enemy I was pointing at. While the enemies on the other five sides could leisurely chew on my ass, my attack (of which the animation did seem to touch them) had no effect. What is the point of even having something that attacks in all six directions in a hexagonal based game if the developers didn’t take the time to make sure its range actually covered all six directions?
If it wasn’t for that, I could probably recommend 5 Minutes RPG. It wouldn’t be stellar or anything, but it would probably be a decent waste of time with a few friends. I really do get the impression that you need to play in co-op to have a fighting chance. Even when I took the time to kill all the enemies and level up my weapons, I couldn’t get past that third boss because I was being absolutely gang-banged on all sides by the boss and minor baddies. If someone had been there to take the load off, I might have been able to fight off two or three guys. By myself, I would enter the boss chamber and watch my health go from full to empty in just seconds once all the enemies spawned around me. And this was on the normal difficulty. I’m guessing on anything higher, the enemies would have raked my face across the pavement and then poured quicklime on my quivering body.
If 5 Minutes RPG was an experiment, let’s call it a failed one and move on. It’s not the biggest conceptional stillbirth I’ve seen here, but it’s close. The combat system just doesn’t work, and never really had the potential to. I like the idea of bite-sized, randomly generated dungeons that I can complete in a couple of minutes while I wait for my bagel to get toasted. Do you know what I like more? Being able to move in a straight vertical line. I find it to generally be an important aspect of gameplay. I never liked how Q*Bert controlled either, but at least I’m young enough to say I think that game sucks and have old timers pass it off as being a smart-assed whippersnapper. Of course, comparing Q*Bert to 5 Minutes RPG is unfair. The only thing they have in common is you need some kind of inner-ear disorder for the controls they use to feel intuitive.
240 Microsoft Points still have no clue what the point of having enemies drop gold was in the making of this review.
No video from what I could see. Sorry.