Are you ready for a new type of JRPG adventure on Nintendo Switch? Then look no further because have I got a quirky, charming and fun old-school styled release from NIS America you have to try! Learn why this is a must-have release in our The Longest Five Minutes review!
The Longest Five Minutes is an adventure in which we run into the good old-fashioned cliché of the hero who is out to save the world, but he has amnesia so he can’t forget a lot of things… except that NIS America is turning that formula upside-down by making the hero have amnesia during the final five minutes of the game right during the final boss fight! Yes, that is just as crazy as it sounds, but it makes for a very interesting setup for what is one of the best JPRG I’ve played in a while.
You will need to replay memories from your adventures leading up to the final five minutes of the final boss fight, remembering when your party, for example, had to walk through a dangerous cave after the train they were riding on ran into a monster train (because why not?), or when they had to start the whole thing back in their home village, saying goodbye to family and friends as they took on the task of saving the world from the evil demon boss at the end of the game. There are more story tidbits to experience, but I don’t want to spoil your time with the game!
An interesting gameplay mechanic is that for each memory you’ll be taken back in time to a moment in your adventure when you were, for example, level 5, with the stats and skills linked to said particular milestone. Makes sense since you’re reliving a memory, but the game then goes one step further by allowing you to gain EXP from each of the battles you take on, boss at the end of the chapter included. But if you’re already level 5 for that memory, what good is EXP, you ask? Well, it turns out you can level up some more on the side for Reexperience levels, which are levels that carry over between memories and which offer a nice stat boost to your party members.
You also get EXP bonuses at the end of a memory for the main quests and side-quests you can complete during each chapter. You can review these either on the memories menu or by reviewing objectives in the menu, and they are definitely worth your time since they offer some nice EXP boosts that might be just what you need to get an extra Reexperience level or two to make short work of the minions in the next chapter. Some examples of the side-quests you can complete include bringing a particular food item to a forgetful maid, helping someone feed a crew of sailors, saying goodbye to specific characters during the first memory, and more. They’re fun extra objectives that, along with the main objectives for completing specific sections of each memory, will help you grow stronger and stronger so that you’re more than ready to take on the final boss during those five minutes you’re using to relieve your memories.
Speaking of that, between the memories you will also be fighting the final boss along with your friends and party members, and will, be reading a ton of dialogue between them and the final boss to get a better idea of why you’re fighting and how you ended up getting to the final stage of the game. You’ll need to make decisions during the battle for things such as standing behind the boss during a nasty large attack, this leaving your party members undefended, or standing in front of the boss to take the hit for the team, suffering massive damage in the process. It’s an interesting setup that turns the final battle into a narrative-heavy experience unlike anything I have experienced before, and something that elevates the game and what it is setting out to do.
The Longest Five Minutes condenses the overall JRPG experience into bite-sized chapters that are a joy to play. Going over your memories leading up to the final boss fight is a very interesting way of framing the way a JRPG would usually play while turning the whole thing upside-down and then turning it round and around, giving us a game that is a must-play on Nintendo Switch. This is a great game from NIS America, and I look forward to seeing what other quirky games they give us this year on Nintendo’s hybrid console.
This The Longest Five Minutes review is based on a Nintendo Switch copy provided by NIS America.