Play as the world’s most famous DJ’s and protect the peace in Radio Hammer from Arc System Works and Vinyl Labs for the Nintendo 3DS.
We come to a world where Pirate Radio Station plays some of the best music around, and delivering these sweet sounds are our DJ’s who also seem to double as protectors of peace. Now you might be thinking; what do DJ’s have to do with maintaining peace in the world? Well apparently in Radio Hammer, quite a lot. July Ann deals with the perverts, MC Wayne handles the aliens, Simply Lita sends the undead back to their grave and last but not least, making a cameo from Arc System’s Chaos Code; Celia punishes evildoers with her parasol.
Enemies come from the right side of the screen on two levels and you have to match the button press with the beat to get the most results. To hit the enemies you can use the up and down buttons on the D pad or the touch screen at the bottom which is a great way to give choice to the player and allow them to experiment and find a combination that they are comfortable with. The great thing is that the controls are really responsive, so whatever you go with, you’ll know that nothing will be slowing you down.
Depending on when you whack the enemy, you are scored on a ‘Perfect’, ‘Great’, ‘Good’ or ‘Bad’. The best way to get that perfect is to aim for the middle of the reticle, which in turn will allow you to get the maximum amount of points. A ‘Bad’ or ‘Miss’ will chip away at your HP meter at the top of the screen, however if you manage to do well and fill up your fever gauge just below the HP, you will enter a frenzied mode where all hits will count as a perfect, which is great for really getting those points in. Radio Hammer has a gift system where random gifts will appear on the screen and you need to try grab them before they go away, however not all gifts are good as the bad ones will deplete your Frenzy meter while the good ones will help increase it.
Story mode allows you to play as each DJ and witness their path to justice. Each character gets 3 episodes, culminating in a fun yet challenging boss battle at the end. While it’s interesting to see our music masters being guided by animal managers (yes you read that right) I couldn’t help but feel that I was doing the same thing over and over again. Episode 1 would have me playing through a different track each time, however once it got to Episode 3, I was playing the same tracks again; except this time one after the other. The Dj’s themselves are pretty unique, but for example since you have to finish all of July Ann’s levels to get to MC Wayne, you’ll be experiencing a lot of déjà vu.
Finally, finishing up a stage will unlock the ‘Another Mode’ version of the same level, which ramps up the tempo substantially but cuts the gameplay down to a single track for enemies to approach on. It’s sort of an alternative to an extreme mode, but a good extra nonetheless.
Other than the story mode, all the tracks you unlock are available to listen to in the Jukebox and believe me there are quite a few good ones. Also Random Play lets you try your hand at some beats in a random order and you can even pick the difficulty.
Radiohammer is a charming title that is fun to play. If you are into your rhythm games, it’s definitely a must pick up with intriguing characters and a wide track list covering a variety of genres. Now excuse me while I go protect the peace some more.