Big bad company Centro Holographix has taken two human subjects, turned them into holograms (fairly solid holograms, but we will put that down to artistic license) and for the sake of economy put them both into one body.
This has obviously irritated Hammerfist, the tall, dark, violent male, as well as Metalisis, the tall, blond, violent female who, by the way, has a kick like a Thai boxer on steroids. They decide to steam into Centro, do the business and leave the place looking like Bournemouth beach after a friendly footy match.
Unhappily the company feels it has a right to stop secondary fighting. They decide to lob in a few guards, the occasional zipping robot, a few traps, the odd giant ant and some militant vegetables in order to protect their property.
Both Hammy and Metty play their own roles in the game. The former is skilled in firing laser bolts from his... er, hammer-like fist - you will need to keep picking up the red power-ups with the Ls in the middle in order for this weapon to function. Failing this, he can use a hammer-action fist. This latter weapon is handier than you might think - some of the stooping, white-overalled guards will duck laser fire.
Metalisis is no slouch herself. While Ham-the-man is beefy, he is no good at all at leaping onto higher levels or moving at any speed. Metalisis is highly reminiscent of Daryl Hanna's high-kicking flick-flacking android from Blade Runner. She also comes armed with side kicks and a pretty neat line in ducking and jumping.
Moving between characters is simple enough, you just push the joystick up and shazam! Each of the characters then has their own moves and weapon manipulation - a handy little ID card fills you in on this lot. Once you have got the moves sorted out it is time to get into the fray. Each screen you meet comprises a number of enemies, maybe a puzzle or two and some computer screens to head butt. Once certain of the screens have been busted and a few droids wasted, the security on the room will have been breached and it is time to move on to the next.
Each guard, droid, terminal or vegetable destroyed provides power-ups, energy or weapons but beware, the Master is also watching you. Occasionally, when his (or it might be her) energy is built up, each of the power-ups becomes a deadly skull-faced anti-matter blob. Avoid these at all costs. You should also be aware of the re-charging stations along the way. Plugging into these follows the same routine as terminal bashing. Again watch out, you may well send too much charge up your central circuits and end up by frazzing yourself - game over!
With all this going on you might think that death would come quickly, but far from it. Hammerfist has the luxurious edge in that it allows you to play and play for hours on end. Every time you look like dying, you head back to the recharging point, find yourself a strategic spot and stand there blazing the foe. Relax for a while in a secluded storeroom and catch your breath. Once you have rested up, it is back to the fray with a vengeance. Playing with a little though and some skill you could keep going for days.
Hammerfist is an out-and-out arcade game, with a suitable arcade plot. A wrinkle-faced megalomaniac known as the Master is grabbing all the world's top talents and turning them into obedient holograms. It is down to Hammerfist and his counterpart, Metalisis, to overthrow the Master.
The Master is hidden at the end of one hundred and twenty-eight screens, each one of which is different. To start with each room is locked. The security locking system will only deactivate when enough objects have been destroyed, freeing Hammerfist.
Blowing a room apart can be done in several ways. Method One is to run about blasting all the aliens, robots, fish and plant life. Method Two is pretty much the same, except taking time out to wreck computers and furniture.
Hammerfist is truly the man for the job. Armed with a laser spitting glove that doubles up as a jack hammer, he is deadly. His main drawback is that he is about as athletic as a tree sloth. So when it comes to jumping about and somersaulting a quick jab up on the joystick transforms Hammerfist into Metalisis, his highly agile female alter-ego. A hermaphrodite in every sense.
And that is Hammerfist. There is not a lot to it, but what is there is superb. Hammerfist is bright, well colored and full of action. The sound is pretty smart too, with a euro-bop tune ringing out of the speakers.
One game that could be converted to coin-op and survive. Fast, furious and pretty damn good. You cannot afford to miss it if you are a serious arcadester.
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