Rhythm games have had a hard lot over the past couple console generations. It’s only recently that we’ve seen them start to rebound from the depths of the late 2000s and early 2010s. Don’t get me wrong – DJ Hero was good and we probably could have gotten some mileage out of games like The Beatles: Rock Band, but those were the exception rather than the rule.
Anyway, the point is that we’re seeing new rhythm games on a regular basis these days, which is nice. Today we’re going to talk about Radiohammer, which combines the joys of music with the joys of beating up creepy guys with a massive hammer.
Radiohammer stars the alleged DJs of the eponymous pirate radio station. I say “alleged” because there’s a lot more “hammer” than “radio” in Radiohammer. This is a rhythm game where you need to tap buttons in time to beat the hell out of all manner of nasties. For instance, your first DJ, July Ann, pummels perverts before they can flash their junk. That’s what DJs do, after all.
Later DJs include the rocker Simply Lita, who smacks zombies with her guitar, and guest character Celia from the fighter Cross Code. Long story short, there’s more smite than spin on this station. Baddies are eliminated by pressing the appropriate button when they reach the proper point; you can use both the D-pad and the face buttons, though using both is the ideal since it drastically increases your speed. You also need to take care of presents and explosives that pop up on the left side of the screen, as these will grant you boosts if you manage to nail their prompts. Keeping up a combo without missing any baddies will launch Fever Mode for even more points.
Music is central to a rhythm game, of course, and Radiohammer goes for a bizarre mix of styles. It all trends toward a sort of hip-hop lite feel, but you’ll run into Latin rhythms, rock and roll and samba as well. This can make getting the rhythm a bit awkward as there’s no universal beat to grow accustomed to; the game goes every which way.
Radiohammer feels a bit easier than most rhythm games, though, which helps a bit on that front. At least it does at first! Don’t get complacent – the odd boss fights will kick your butt if you start to think the stages are too simple. If that’s not all there are bonus achievements to work on in each stage, typically involving something like getting a certain number of perfect hits during a song.
Presentation varies from DJ to DJ, which is nice. July Ann’s stages are first and you need to complete them all to progress, so you might think Radiohammer’s all about the cute. You’d be right. It is. But later stages incorporate zombies and aliens as well to spice things up a bit. The real highlights of the game are the boss battles, including a giant goofy mech that wouldn’t be out of place in a Senran Kagura game.
Radiohammer is an affordable, enjoyable rhythm game experience. Between Guitar Hero Live and games like Project Mirai DX and Radiohammer, rhythm games look like they’ve got a bright future ahead. Perverts, on the other hand, do not, because they’re going to get crushed with a hammer.