Not as funny or challenging as the first game.
The parody aspect is excellent when it's present, but sometimes the game forgets it's supposed to be a parody and tries to be serious and emotional, resulting in many awkward cliche moments that just aren't funny or interesting. It's worth sitting through those for those brilliant silly Half-Minute Hero moments though, and there are more than enough of them to justify sitting through the boring overall story.
This has a lot more features than the original game, which I've got mixed feelings about.
Classes don't do much, but they're a nice idea. Battle formations are awesome. Searching for medals on the overworld? Eh, why not. I'm indifferent about skills and Hero Castle stuff, though I think a lot of people would probably like those. I don't know.
Since you can now grind on the overworld for permanent level ups, and are allowed to keep the gear you've obtained in later quests even when redoing quests, there's never any point in strategizing as to which gear and path will let you earn the best time, as you can just come back later in the game with max levels and the best equipment, and redo the quest with no challenge. Maybe I'm being too harsh as there's a separate Time Attack mode that plays more like the original, but I just don't see the appeal of redoing story quests in a different mode.
This game is much more friendly to newcomers and casual players than the original was, and so it is the best place to pick up the series, though veterans of the original may be disappointed that it's nowhere near as challenging.
Still a great game though, and I had a ton of fun with it despite all the things I've nitpicked about it. I definitely recommend both Half-Minute Hero titles to anyone who's a fan of retro console JRPGs, and since you get the first game for free with this one, my complaints are pretty much null!
TLDR; Very funny and good, rant about it being easier than the first game, and new features being meh, still worth your time, buy it!