Firehammer Review

Developer: Fathammer Games Publisher: Fathammer Games
Release Date: February 2, 2004 Also On: None

FireHammer is one of the Zodiac’s first exclusive shooting titles. In FH you have a spaceship and shoot enemies that approach you from all sides. The screen moves forward, while it still allows you to move anywhere on the screen. By killing your enemies, you can reveal power-ups that enhance your spacecraft.

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FireHammer is one of the few games currently out that is in “portrait mode� and will not allow you to view it in the wide screen format. FH uses the Zodiac joystick to move your ship, trigger buttons, up, or down to fire the primary weapon, and left to fire a secondary blast, but note that the control configuration that I outlined above was from a wide screen view, so the left button would actually be considered the down button in portrait.

The secondary blast can be used three times per ship, so if you lose a ship, your new one will include three blasts. No reloads for the secondary weapon are available throughout the level. This weapon causes immense amounts of damage, killing enemies in a single shot, at least most.

Gold-looking chains drop from enemies that you kill. These chains radically increase your score. The basic concept is to collect all of the chains consecutively without dropping any. Each chain that you pick up will increase your multiplier by 1x. 8 consecutive chains would result in 8x, however, everything past 8x will remain at 8x. Missing a chain will reset your multiplier back to 1x. Good thing for me is, I’ve always avoided trying to get high scores and instead just focused on blasting the enemy ships.

I found it handy that by pressing the “home� key on your Zodiac, the game will pause and allow you to come back at a later time. Pausing the game in this fashion allows you to perform other tasks, such as listening to music, while still keeping you at the level that you left on. I’ve actually left the game and turned off my Zodiac for a few days, then opened the game, though I had forgotten that I still had it paused, but it was still there and playable.

FireHammer is an enjoyable game. It feels like an NES space shooter, except with three times better graphics. The difficulty level is low, but collecting the chains will keep those who seek a strategic challenge satisfied. For the price, FireHammer is easily worth a purchase. It is a title that can be easily picked up and played on a road trip or on the drive to work/school, keeping you entertained for a couple of minutes, then allowing you to come back on the drive home, thanks to the convenient pausing features.

Graphics: 9
Sound: 8.5
Gameplay: 9.5
Creativity: 6.5
Replay Value/Game Length: 7.5
Final: 8.7
Written by Kyle Review Guide

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