Minutes Review + Video Review

minutes

 

Title: Minutes
Developer: Red Phantom Games
Game Type: PlayStation Vita
Download: 496 MB
NA Availability: 
Digital Download

EU Availability: Digital Download
PSTV Support: Yes

There are a lot of times where you can play so many big and in-depth console games that you can really get tired out by them.  Let’s say you just played through Borderlands 2, Call of Duty Black Ops Declassified, Final Fantasy X HD Remaster, and Tales of Hearts R.  You’ve done so much in the in-depth games that you’re really wanting to just take a break and have a casual little game to play.  And in these times you can look towards small games and indie games to find that fix.

The nice thing about the PlayStation Vita is that it has a lot of smaller games to choose from, when you just want a short and quick type of game.  If you want a twin-stick shooter, you can give Crimsonland a go, or the mining games MInecraft and Terraria.  With every week comes new of these games, small and large, for you to dive into for casual play.

Casual doesn’t mean easy, though.  There are a lot of these small games that will easily test your patience.  Crimsonland is actually one of them and this past week’s little casual game will also test your patience, despite becoming more doable the further you get.  Thanks to our increasing PR relationships, here is our official review of the PS4/PS Vita cross-buy game, Minutes!

Story

Due to this game not having any sort of story or plot, this section shall be blank.

Gameplay

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The developer and the PlayStation Blog both label this game as a sort of “Bullet Hell” game.  This genre is normally about having a single “ship” where you’re shooting down enemies while dodging an overwhelming number of bullets or projectiles headed your way.  Minutes is similar to this genre, though does a few things on its own to make its own unique points and elements.

As you play through the game’s stages, you will be a controlling a clock-like orb as you are to collect objects of certain colors while avoiding objects of others.  Each stage lasts a minute (hence the title) and has you gaining points by moving around and collecting specific objects of varying types.  Some are lines.  Some are spheres that change colors.  Some are long waves that fire like lasers.  Among others, there are a lot of different things you can watch out for as you play the game.

The goal of the game is to get as high a score as possible by collected the colored objects and not the black objects.  Colored objects add to your score and black objects decrease your health.  Hit too many black objects and you’ll lose and have to start over.  You can also increase your score more by increasing the size of your Sphere.  The bigger your sphere is, the harder it is to dodge the black object, but the more points that are added to your score.  Your biggest goal for higher scores is getting objects with the biggest possible sphere.

To aid you further in each stage, you have four different power-ups and are free to use one of those power-ups once in a stage.  One slows down time.  One restores your health.  One sets out a wave that destroys nearby black objects, and the last sets up a shield that will take so much damage from the black objects before it fails.  You will have to strategize when to use these and which you wish to use.  They are very easy to use to increase your score, especially when there are lots of colored as well as black objects on the screen at the same time.

Finishing a stage has various objectives.  The first objectives are score counts, and these star objectives are how you unlock stages later on in the game.  There are also objectives towards perfecting the stages by clearing them without taking damage, getting 100% completion on all of the colors, or meeting the secret Minute Man enemies that are in each stage.  All in all, there’s a lot to do if you want to get everything there is to get.

There are 60 stages total, so the game could potentially be finished in about an hour.  This is assuming you are skilled with the game from the get-go.  I would say the game will take you at least 2 or 3 hours to finish, and you can add more time if you want to go through completions.  There is also a Daily Challenge aspect of the game where you can connect online and get a new stage to play through once to try to get a high score throughout everyone who plays the game.

Controls

The controls for the game are pretty easy to get used to, mostly the fact that you won’t be using the touch screen very much.  You can tap the options in the menu with the touch screen, but you won’t be using the touch screen through any of the stages.  That will only be used with the physical buttons, though you can also use the buttons for the menus, which is essential if you’re playing this game on the PlayStation TV.

Controlling your sphere around the stage will be done with the Left Analog Stick.  The D-Pad and Right Analog Stick, just as a note, will not be used unless you’re using the menus.  The rest of the controls are using the L and R triggers to change the size of your sphere and using the face buttons for the power-ups.  One thing to note is that you can also use the L2, R2, L3, and R3 buttons for changing the size as well, if you’re using a PlayStation TV.

All in all, it’s a simple control scheme and the game does a very nice job of explaining how everything works.

Presentation

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As far as the visuals go, the game looks good.  All of the visuals of the game look crisp and clear.  Whether you’re playing on the Vita or on the PlayStation TV, all of the visuals look smoothed to perfection.  While the visuals aren’t anything ground-breaking in 3D, what they are meant to be is achieved very well.

The game also plays well.  Aside from the initial load time, the loading sequences are almost non-existent.  From the menu, I hit Play Level for a stage, and less than a single second later, I was already in the stage, dodging objects.  The game was definitely optimized well for the Vita and if you’re an impatient gamer, you don’t have to worry about long load times at all.

There is also no slowdown or lag as you play the game.  Everything runs smooth and precise to your input.  While the game does feel like it controls a bit slower on the PlayStation TV than the Vita, it has an overall great feel to it and the techno music in the background feels very fitting for the second.

Summary

Minutes is: Great
Minutes is a good choice if you’re looking for a fast-paced pick-up-and-play game.  On the downside, the game only takes a couple hours to completely finish.  Otherwise, you will find a fun and fast-paced game that not only will challenge your patience but is also one of the better-optimized games on the Vita as of late. 

9/10

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