Flying Hamster HD Review

2014-10-10-125704

Title: Flying Hamster HD
Developer: The Game Atelier
Game Type: PlayStation Vita
Download: 96 MB
NA Availability: 
Digital Download 

EU Availability: Digital Download
PSTV Support: No

The age of Mobile Gaming is getting more popular by the day.  You will see a lot of people out there, playing Mobile games.  Angry Birds.  Plants vs Zombies.  There are even more games out there that are getting popular in the Mobile Gaming scene.  With all of these games getting popular on Mobile, many of them are coming over the borders and into the console gaming scene.  From the Xbox One to the PlayStation Vita, more and more Mobile games are crossing those borders.

On the PlayStation Vita, there are a lot of Mobile games coming, both through PlayStation Mobile and native games.  We have reviewed some of these, from Angry Birds Star Wars to Plants vs Zombies.  As the months go by, more and more Mobile titles are crossing those borders.  Some of these games are lesser-known titles as well, allowing handheld gamers to see more of these games.  Some of them come over, even with an “HD” name attached to them.

Today’s review is going to be on one of those Mobile titles, and is a fast-paced shoot-em-up game.  Not only is this a fast-paced game, but it’s also a more everyone-oriented game.  Starring a cute little hamster and his constantly-kidnapped lady hamster, here is our official review of the side-scrolling game, Flying Hamster HD!

Story

2014-10-10-130129

The story of Flying Hamster HD stars two adorable little hamsters that are playing on the beach.  One is a boy and one is a girl.  As they are playing, she trips on a shining object in the sand.  They both pick it up and their eyes grow wide as they see it shine.  Not a moment passes, though, that a huge bird flies by and snatches up the small, pink hamster.  As they fly off and the bird lets out a cackle, the remaining hamster is wide-eyed and shaking.

With his friend kidnapped and being carried into the distance, the young hamster grabs a set of goggles and creates a make-shift propeller from leaves and other materials around.  With the propeller in motion, he takes to the skies and races after the bird, set on rescuing his friend.

The story of Flying Hamster HD is not a very deep one.  There aren’t many scenes, and many of the scenes included in it are showcasing the kidnappings that happen.  It’s definitely a cute set-up, but you wouldn’t play this game for a deep story.

Gameplay

2014-10-10-130225

This game is a side-scrolling shoot-em-up game.  While you’re playing through the various stages of the game, you will be firing off pellets at enemies and obstacles as you go across each map.  This game is comparable to games like Sine Mora.  The game also plays in stages and has a couple different game modes to choose from, from the Campaign to Free Play.

The Campaign is the main game mode for Flying Hamster HD.  In this mode, you will play through the story of the game, from start to finish.  While this is a stage-based game, the campaign will seamlessly move from one stage to the next and you will automatically be in your new stage.  Sometimes, it is noticeable, and other times it’s not.  It will be the entire time in a single run as you take out enemies.

As you go through each of the five areas of the game, you will have an infinite number of pellets to use are your ammunition.  You can also collect power-ups that will temporarily give you powered-up ammo.  This can range from firing off bees from a nest to firing off tiny squids off of a sushi platter.  These will only last so long, but the spawn points for these power-ups will regenerate over a certain number of time.  Using these, and their charged forms is key to quickly taking down enemies and, in turn, gaining a higher score without losing your health.

At the end of each of these areas is also a large boss fight.  In these, the stage will not be constantly moving like in other sections.  There will also be power-ups to collect as you right the boss until their HP runs down to zero.  Another thing to know is that you can only have a certain number of lives as you play through the game.  These are in the form of Credits, similar to credits when playing an Arcade game.

As you play through, you’ll be able to replay the game with more credits, but the entire game is in one go.  If you have 5 credits, you have to go through the entire game without losing all of those credits or you have to start over from the beginning of the game.  So, as you play, it’s important to remember where certain things are and how the bosses fight.  Getting through as much of the game as possible without getting hit and losing credits requires you to remember and memorize many parts of the game.  This can be quite frustrating, but also gives the game more of a strategy element.

The game also has Free Play mode, which lets you replay any stage of the game you’ve already unlocked in the game.  This, along with Campaign, will let you complete the game once in less than an hour.  With including time to adjust and learn the game, it will probably last you at least a few hours to finish the game once, before unlocking Hard Mode.  It’s not an incredibly long game, but it is engaging.

Controls

The controls for Flying Hamster HD are not hard to learn at all.  This is mostly because the game doesn’t use very many of the buttons on the system during gameplay or menus.  One thing I will note is that it does not use the touch screen or rear touch pad.  Whether you’re in a menu or in gameplay, you will never have to use touch controls for this game.

You won’t be using the buttons on the system, either.  Movement through the menus as well as moving throughout each stage, will be done with the D-Pad and the Left Analog Stick.  The only other controls you have in the game is pausing, which is done with the Start Button to pause or to change the settings on the game.  You can also use either the X Button or Circle button to shoot off your weapons.  You can also hold down the X button to charge for a more powerful attack.

All in all, it’s a very easy control scheme to do.  The beginning of the game also has a tutorial, so you won’t have to try to figure out what everything does on your own.  The game does a good job of explaining itself.

Presentation

2014-10-10-210709

You shouldn’t go into this game, expecting impressive PS3 or PS4-quality visuals.  Flying Hamster HD was originally a Mobile game, and so the game’s visuals aren’t incredible quality.  Whether you’re in a scene or in a stage, the game is completely in 2D.  While some of the effects looks almost 3D in nature, it’s completely a 2D game.  For this, though, the game does look good.  It plays well and all of the renders of the game are done perfectly.  As is assumed with the “HD” in its title, the presentation looks great for what it is.

The one thing to note about how the game plays is loading.  The game does have some load times when you enter a new area or start a new game.  Each loading sequence will take you about 5-6 seconds to run through.  This is nothing incredibly long, but it is longer than you would expect out of a 2D game like this.  Have a little patience and you won’t be annoyed by it at all.

Summary

Flying Hamster HD is something that does well at it does.  It isn’t a very long game and having to restart the entire game after failing too many times in the last level can get frustrating.  However, with short load times, fun gameplay, and a measly $3.99 price tag, this is a pick-up-and-play shoot-em-up that is definitely worth your time.

8/10

Related Posts