Hammerin' Hero's title leaves very little to the imagination. As a heroic young man named Gen, you wield a novelty-sized giant hammer and fend off waves of humans, robots, and anything else stupid enough to stand in your way. If only an adjective stressing how utterly forgettable your adventure is could have been added to the title, it could have perfectly captured this cartoonish adventure. Although you change into a variety of unique outfits during your quest, your different weapons don't change the combat much, making the game too bland and uninspired to entertain you for long. It can be fun to bash your angry pursuers for a few hours, but by the time the credits abruptly roll, you'll be hard pressed to remember anything that happened in this cute, unremarkable platformer.
The most enjoyable aspect of Hammerin' Hero is the ability to unlock different occupations. You start out as a humble carpenter, using your mallet of justice to strike down people who dare oppose you. The wackier jobs you earn as the game progresses don't deviate from the bash-bash-bash gameplay, but they offer a silly distractions from the monotonous combat. The stinky sushi chef uses a rock-hard fish to club angry attackers, while the sharp-dressed Man in Black relies on his trusty baton and blistering-fast kicks. There are 10 different costumes to unlock, and you can play through most of the 12 levels in whatever style you choose. The one exception is the underwater level, where you must don the oxygen-giving suit of the deep-sea diver. Although fighting underwater is different from fighting through a TV station or on a merry-go-round, the slight variety actually takes away from the fun. You move so painfully slow in the blue abyss that it lessens the simple joy of thumping your enemies in the face.
The platforming portions of your quest are rudimentary, so the focus is on the combat. You have two different attacks--a weak swing and a powerful one--as well as a super move you can pull off only a few times per level. Although your move set is limited, you won't have any problem mowing down enemies, because they are completely devoid of artificial intelligence. They weakly swing their weapons or toss slow-moving projectiles your way, but their telegraphed attacks are easy to avoid and they take only a few hits before they fall down. The bosses are far more interesting, and though they are just as easy to dispatch, they are clever enough to serve as worthwhile rewards for clearing a level. For instance, at the end of the amusement park level, you grow to mammoth size to take on a Godzilla-like balloon. You can see his tail swipe coming from a mile away, but there is a certain joy in taking down this inflatable beast.