Being Hyper is a good thing!
My first time getting a taste of Hyper Jam was in Boston during Pax East and I enjoyed what I saw during my time in Bean Town. Fast-forward to 2019 and the game has released on home consoles and it feels just like that game that I was able to play at Pax East. Hyper Jam was developed on the unreal engine by Bit Dragons and it feels like a cross between the future and the 1980s by way of graphics and music!
You get tossed into a tutorial mode right when the game starts up and in some cases that isn’t a good thing but in Hyper Jam, you will want to know the controls and how the game plays. Otherwise, it will be a long day at the office for you while your playing but let’s dive into the basics. As I mentioned during tutorial mode, you learn the basics of the game and how the controls work such as how to parry attacks and dash around. You will need to learn how to master these skills to become the ultimate Hyper Jam player so study up!
The basic gameplay of Hyper Jam is simple, you play in a multiplayer arena-style where up to four players try to kill each other. You’ll earn points for kills, damage, and survival during each round of play. After each round players get to pick a perk or a power-up that will help in the next round. Whoever is last in points or the last one in as it were gets first pick of the perks so try to score as many points as possible. You can stack perks during the rounds and that means you can pick the same perk multiple times and get more benefit from that power-up. If you use the vampirism power-up multiple times, you’ll be able to heal even more health after attacking.
One of the negative points is that weapons break when you run out of ammo and I guess this was needed to keep people from keeping the best weapons for themselves the minute they get them in battle. When you do run out of ammo, you have the option to throw the weapon at your opponent to damage them and in a game where damage scores you points, anything goes and that goes for throwing guns and swords. The match ends when you score the proper amount and then win the next round sort of like winning by two in most backyard sport game. Competition jumps up when one person has the points needed for victory and everyone is trying to kill them and then another player gets the proper amount for victory. The scoring system ramps things up as everyone, even the last place player, will be in it until the end so make sure you try your hardest!
You’ll have two choices for gameplay modes and they’re Online and Local Versus mode. The Local Versus mode allows up to four players but you can play against computer-controlled bots that will come after you with everything they have. The Online mode is basically the same thing except you’re playing against online opponents rather than bots. Hyper Jam gives you four characters to choose from and six stages to play on as well as being able to level up by collecting XP during game play to unlock things like taunts for characters. You have Vance, the Fixer, Ghost, the Nightmare, Max, the Veteran, and Yuki, the Lantern to pick from; each having strengths during gameplay.
You can play with these characters in the likes of the Subway, the Hotel, the Overpass or the Jungle and you’ll have to mindful for the stage hazards. The subway has a subway car running in the back where if you get hit, it’s over for you. The game gives you the option to change the rules during the match such as lowering the points needed for victory or if auto aim is on but the match will restart if you decide to change said rules.
An issue I came across was aiming my weapon during play as Hyper Jam uses the dual control stick method to move players and aim weapons. What I mean by this is the game uses the right control stick on the PS4 controller to aim and the left to move the character. It is pretty tough to aim and move at the same time and I’m not a fan of games that use this style of control-scheme. One way the game counters this issue is by allowing you to charge you attack and certain weapons have long range attacks or homing attacks after charging up so you’ll have to figure out which weapon works best for you. You have to be on your toes even in defeat since you can attack your opponents even when you’re out of the round and those points could be crucial for the overall standings!
The graphics and music give off a future vibe and 1980’s vibe and all the songs fit the game perfectly. One might think they were watching an episode of Miami Vice from the good ole days of television! You’ll hear techno beats at times and then you’ll hear 80’s beats that mesh so well together and parlays the feeling of no good going on in the underground of Hyper Jam.
To Recap: Hyper Jam is a multiplayer arena style game where it’s eat or be eaten. Up to four players battle it out for top spot but every point matters. However, aiming is a little tough at times as well as being able to see what it going on during matches. The music and graphics fit the game perfectly and adds to the theme of future meets the 1980’s. It’s these reasons that I’m giving Hyper Jam for the PlayStation 4 an 8/10.