Sharing their love for the grooviest beats over the airwaves, pirate radio station Radiohammer is renowned for hiring the very best DJs that the world has to offer. But, when they’re not energetically scratching their decks and broadcasting the hottest tunes, the station’s true purpose is in serving cold, hard justice.
By day you beat down evil-doers, helping listeners in their time of need by using the power of music to maintain peace and harmony. That’s done live on air, and sums up the quirky premise that beats throughout Arc System Works and Vinyl Lab’s rhythm-action game.
With four characters to choose between – the pop-loving July Ann, programming director MC Wayne, epic solo guitarist Simply Lita and Chaos Code’s Celia – players will quest to save the world with their superior sonic prowess.
That largely means gleefully slamming incoming enemies with a gargantuan hammer in time to the beat, Radiohammer’s origin on mobile clearly seeking to deliver a gameplay experience that is fun and easy to grasp. On that count, it succeeds.
Most of your time will be spent in Story Mode, playing as each DJ in turn on stages spread across multiple episodes. In each, enemies will run towards you in two rows, with the player required to slam either the X or B Button to swing your hammer at them. A target icon presents the opportune moment, with the player awarded a rating between Perfect to Miss depending on how accurate their strike is.
The enemies that you first encounter are perverts that flash the player if you score a ‘Miss,’ which will certainly raise an eyebrow. This soon switches to an alien invasion, with Radiohammer retaining its quirk throughout.
Each stage has trophy challenges that are awarded for criteria such as successfully clearing it, scoring a set number of higher ratings and not suffering any misses. With high scores to chase alongside this, it adds to Radiohammer’s longevity but naturally results in players replaying the same content repeatedly.
It is in presentation that Radiohammer excels, a colourful aesthetic that charms from the menu screen right through to the stage design. Execution is tight and responsive, which is an important asset in any rhythm-action game. The music, too, is upbeat and interesting, however lengthier stages often see the tracks see repeated use and soon became an irritation. The music that has been penned is still enjoyable, and there’s chance to sit back and listen to it in the Jukebox mode sat in the Extra menu – away from the stresses of perfectly timed button input.
Ported away from its mobile origins, Radiohammer is a smart fit for the Nintendo 3DS audience, and only pangs with disappointment in its short brevity.
Version Tested: Nintendo 3DS
Review copy provided by Aksys Games