Forums Game Chat The Longest 5 Minutes (Switch, Vita, and PC) – a short, nonlinear VN-RPG hybrid

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  • #42516

    The Longest 5 Minutes is a visual novel / RPG hybrid released for the Nintendo Switch, the Vita, and the PC. At the time of this writing, both the Switch and Steam versions are on sale for a massive discount. The game’s list price is $40 on Switch and $20 on Steam, but with the discount it can be purchased digitally for $5 or less.

    The Longest 5 Minutes is very hard to recommend at full price because it’s short (only 10-15 hours long), with retro-style sprite graphicsΒ  and no voice acting. There is some really beautiful music, though.

    The most standout feature of The Longest 5 Minutes is its nonlinear story. The Longest 5 Minutes begins as the hero Flash Back (yes, that is his name) and his party are battling the Demon Lord. One of the Demon Lord’s attacks has blacked out Flash’s memory, which drastically affects his ability to fight. Flash must struggle to remember the journey that brought him to this point, and the companions fighting by his side, before the titular five-minute battle comes to a close.

    The Longest 5 Minutes plays out with alternating visual novel segments, where the Flash is fighting the Demon Lord and must make decisions, and RPG “memory” segments, where Flash re-lives memories of his adventure.

    Although the RPG “memory” segments are the majority of the gameplay, and they have all the trappings of a traditional JRPG, they also have a major limitation. Items collected or purchased in one memory can’t be taken to another memory. There is also no direct carryover in experience levels, although there is some kind of indirect carryover feature – I never figured out how this worked and never needed to.

    Which leads into The Longest 5 Minutes’ greatest flaw: it’s very easy. Fighting turn-based random encounters isn’t necessary, since memory segments always begin at a suitable level to defeat any boss that might show up. One of the best skills in the game is the ability to repel random encounters. There are very few boss battles that require any strategy at all. The most challenging aspects of The Longest Five Minutes are navigating its mazes, which can get a little tricky, and getting a high score in its optional minigame.

    The story of The Longest 5 Minutes is fairly standard fantasy JRPG fare, with some philosophical emphasis on acknowledging mortality – the understanding that being a hero means one might die as a hero. The nonlinear narrative structure adds an interesting twist, especially since certain choices in both the visual novel and the RPG memory segments do have meaningful effects.

    I can’t recommend The Longest 5 Minutes for its bog-standard, limited, and easy gameplay, and its story would not stand out except for the nonlinear structure. I still think it’s a worthwhile purchase for its story, when it’s on sale for $5 or less. After the current summer sale ends, I expect that The Longest 5 Minutes will continue to go on sale at least once or twice a year.


    Favorite RPG of all time: Journey to Kreisia (by Exe-Create)

    3 users thanked author for this post.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts. The game’s premise and structure didn’t appeal to me when I heard about them upon the game’s release, and reading your review affirmed all my apprehensions.

    1 user thanked author for this post.
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