Hammerin’ Hero – PSP – Review

Hero for the PSP isn’t a very original game nor is it a brilliant new kind of
platform game. Instead, it pays homage to our 2D favorites of yesteryear and
does it well enough that it will take you back to a time when Hammerin’ Hero
would have happily shared a place next to your favorite copy of Mega Man. In
other words, if you like a retro-styled platform game then Hammerin’ Hero for
the PSP is definitely for you.

Hammer Time.

You play
Genzo Tamura, a young boy cheerfully living in Beranme Town as a carpenter
working for a good company when the greedy Hyosuke Kuromoku who has pushed
homeowners to sell cheap for his construction company to make Beranme Town
disappear. Grabbing his trusty construction hammer, Gen goes on a quest to save
his hometown and his neighbors by taking on the Kuromoku-gumi company down.
While he starts the mission alone, he does get some help from a school rival, an
ex Kuromoku-gumi employee, a girl who has a crush on Gen as well as his
childhood friend named Kanna.


As I
mentioned, Hammerin’ Hero tips its hat to the old 2D platform games and if you
played your share you’ll find the game quite easy to play seeing as Gen isn’t
too complex to move around. Gen just has three different attacks and he can jump
as well as crouch to avoid getting hit by objects enemies throw at you. You’ll
even earn a special attack that comes in the form of a Bento box your potential
girlfriend Kanna makes for you with some ingredients you find throughout each

After an
introductory level, the rest of Beranme Town becomes available as you go through
the game’s 12 levels. Gen faces off against a number of Kuromoku’s employees
that not only attempts to take you down but also harass the town’s people. Of
course, Gen not only uses his hammer to take out bad guys but also to dish out
some tough love on random people he meets with thought bubbles over their heads.
Smack the thought bubble and you free that person from the enemy that’s
bothering them. Then the person you free lends a hand against the foes that
bothered them.

We can be
heroes …

The game
features a mid-level boss as well as a major boss at the end of said level. Each
boss offers a challenge as well as mixes up the hammering action. It’s also one
of the many best things about the game seeing as the action can get really
repetitive. Thankfully, each level brings different elements to the table
whether you’re in an underwater level with enemies riding sharks or taking on
the enemy on top of a mech armor.


You will
also collect a number of items along the way in each level, which also includes
ingredients Kanna could use to create different Bento lunches for Gen that
become his Special Attacks. Depending on the ingredients, you can have Kanna
create Bento box lunches that can do anything from launching a projectile or
change Gen’s occupation for a short time.

Speaking of
occupations, Gen can choose to become something other than a carpenter. You can
become a DJ, a pro baseball player, a sushi chef, a diver or a Rakugo performer
(which is basically a comedic actor). Each profession offers different attacks,
for example, as a Sushi Chef you’ll be putting away your hammer to use a
hard-as-a-brick sushi as your weapon. As a pro slugger you’ll be swinging a bat
and making homeruns with bad guys. It’s just too bad that the occupations don’t
add more than just Special Attacks and a fresh new costume for Gen.

play well together …

While combat
could have used diversity, it’s hard to ignore the game’s cute characters and
great level design. There’s online multiplayer as well, but, sadly enough, it
just isn’t good. Yes, we love the idea of competing against a friend as well as
take on the bosses with a friend lending a hand. It’s just too bad that the Ad
Hoc multiplayer mode suffers from constant framerate stutter.


Hammerin’ Hero looks great with sharp backgrounds and colorful-looking
characters that look like downright adorable, funny and offbeat in a great way.
There’s just something likeable about Gen swinging a huge fish … or maybe that’s
just me. The sound effects, much like the visual effects, also work beautifully
throughout the game. There are two different voice tracks and both are good so
if you prefer the Japanese voice cast then you can change the sound settings.

Hammerin’ Hero for the PSP is a charming and satisfyingly retro platformer that
tends to get a tad repetitive in places but manages to be fun enough keep fans
of the genre entertained. The wacky Japanese sensibility, great graphics and
old-school appeal makes this a game that deserves to be played by anyone looking
for a unique and fun platform game with a lot to offer.

Scoring Details for Hammerin’ Hero

Genzo swings a
hammer for justice in a platform game that has you playing through 12 levels
while trying out different roles such as sushi chef or star baseball player.
While the combat can get a bit repetitive even with the different jobs and
different bento attacks, the levels are fun in that old-school sort of way.

Graphics: 8.5
On the PSP, the
game sports some colorful and sharp visuals that give the game its anime feel.
Even the visual effects look great on the PSP widescreen. Some levels look
better than others, though.

The soundtrack,
like the visuals, is actually quite cute as are the sound effects. I like the
English voice acting but the original Japanese voices just feel right.

Difficulty: Medium
The mid-level
bosses as well as the last level boss offer plenty of challenges in the later
levels although certain levels do put you in some challenging situations. Then
again, the enemy doesn’t put up much of a real threat.

Concept: 8.0
The levels offer
plenty to do as well as include a number of extras you can unlock and use. The
jobs are interesting elements used well throughout the game. There’s multiplayer
but it’s not as good as it should have been.

Multiplayer: 6.5
The slowdown is a
big problem that would have made the multiplayer portion a good excuse to come
back for more hammering fun. The multiplayer mode is Ad Hoc only and is a
competitive and co-op gameplay.

Overall: 8.0
There’s a lot to
like about a cute and utterly enjoyable platform game like Hammerin’ Hero
and even more so if you like a game that tips its hat to classic platform games.
While combat isn’t very exciting, the levels will keep fans of the genre very
entertained in a game that is the perfect pick for gamers of all ages.