Into the Groove – RadioHammer Review

December 17, 2015 by

The 3DS has no shortage of rhythm games, but is RadioHammer a bop or a flop? Find out in our review!

Developer: Arc System Works / Vinyl Lab
Publisher: Aksys Games
Review Platform: 3DS
Review Copy Provided By: Aksys Games
Release Date: December 10, 2015

It’s been a long time since I’ve played a game as delightfully weird as RadioHammer. Originally a game for Android devices, the game has been ported over to the 3DS eShop with the added feature of a new character, Celia, from Ark System Work’s own fighting game, Chaos Code. In total, there are four characters, each with the same mission: Take down evil forces with the power of music and a giant hammer, all while being broadcasted live.

Each character has their own set of baddies to vanquish.
Each character has their own set of baddies to vanquish.

Motives and enemy designs change for each DJ. July Ann, for example, has to take down perverts (if you miss a beat, they’ll flash her, which is something I personally found more disgusting than funny), while MC Wayne has to save the world from an alien invasion. On top of different environments and enemies, each DJ also has a different selection of songs. While MC Wayne’s songs are more on the funky side, Simply Lita’s songs are more rock-oriented.

A rhythm game is nothing without good music, and fortunately, RadioHammer delivers with some seriously good tunes when you’re playing the game; it’s fun to smash baddies along to a song’s kicking beat. Unfortunately, outside of playing a level, the songs fail to be memorable. The songs may be good but they’re definitely not catchy on any level. And while you’re free to listen to songs in the game’s Jukebox mode, there’s really no reason to.

The biggest flaw with RadioHammer is its repetition. Each DJ has fourteen levels and a boss, and you’ll have to complete the story of each DJ before unlocking the next one. This means going through a whopping fifteen levels just to access new music, which can be a pain. Thankfully, each stage has its own set of three start objectives for you to complete, meaning you at least a reason to be fighting through the stages.

Boss battles are creative, and a great reward for finishing a daunting fourteen previous levels.
Boss battles are creative, and a great reward for finishing a daunting fourteen previous levels.

While the game starts off a little too easy, it quickly gets more challenging with each level, offering a good difficulty that helps ease gamers into the system. It also feels satisfying to keep building your combo meter by not missing an enemy and making sure you don’t fall for false power-ups called “traps” that take down your health bar.

Building up your combos is a fun and addictive mechanic.
Building up your combos is a fun and addictive mechanic.

Review Overview

3.5/5

RadioHammer is a rhythm game that boasts good (but sadly unmemorable) tunes and a slick art style that’s easy on the eyes. Though the game is repetitious, there’s still fun to be had. If you’re a newcomer to the rhythm game genre, RadioHammer’s price tag makes it a good place to start, and rhythm game fans will definitely find it to be an enjoyable title.

About Nick Ransbottom

Hoping to one day escape his Southern roots of West Virginia, Nick aspires for a career as a video game journalist. Though he suffers from Cystic Fibrosis, he doesn't let his disease stand in the way of him being what friends call "morbidly depressing," "pretentious beyond belief", "horrifically unfunny," and "an altogether terrible person." When he's not playing and writing about video games, he spends his time writing creatively and binge-watching TV shows on Netflix.