The Flying Hamster is a highly stylized, fun little side-scrolling shooter that never takes itself very seriously. Sometimes that’s a bad trait for a game to have, but in this case the goofiness works out beautifully. As far as PSP minis go, The Flying Hamster looks sharp and plays great.
Honestly, the game couldn’t be any more straightforward: Newton the Hamster is enjoying some time on the beach when his girlfriend, Sookie, pulls a golden seed from the sand. An eagle then swoops in, kidnapping Sookie and flying off. Newton takes to the skies in hot pursuit, and then the shooting begins.
And shooting is what it’s all about. Well, that and dodging. The Flying Hamster features a multitude of wacky enemies, all of which have different ways of thwarting your progress; stuff like cows that fire gatling milk from their udders, and hens that populate the screen with explosive eggs. The difficulty level is all over the spectrum, ranging from managable to downright silly. Thankfully, you can use as many continues as you want and the game is generous with its placement of checkpoints.
Newton’s default weapon is his spit, which works wonderfully, but you’ll be constantly on the look out for upgrades. These weapons are scattered around the environment and come in short supply, things like sunflower seeds and berries that explode on contact. All weapons, including your standard spittle, can be rapidly fired or charged up for a more effective shot. It’s a simple formula that works well; anyone who was playing side-scrolling space shooters during the early 90s will feel right at home here.
The control response is as good as you could hope for, and the sound and visual presentation are stellar considering it’s a PSP Mini. My only complaints, I suppose, are that the weapon upgrades never seem to stick around long enough and the game itself is quite short. It is a Mini, after all, but a few more stages would have been appreciated. There is a hard mode that unlocks after completing the game, so that helps to soften the blow somewhat.
If the classic side-scrolling shooter is something you’re looking to take with you on the go, then The Flying Hamster comes highly recommended. It’s a finely polished, solid-playing title that stands out as one of the nicer looking PSP Minis around. It may have a modern look about it, but The Flying Hamster is a reminder that classic gameplay will never grow old.
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See The Flying Hamster in action:
Platforms: PlayStation Portable | iOSTweet
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|Mark A. Brooks uses the A. initial in his name so as to seperate himself from the teeming legions of other Mark Brookses (there are at least 65,000 in the state of Michigan alone).
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Mark A. Brooks has written 574 posts on Delta Attack.