Hyper Jam is a wild fighting game by Bit Dragon. We here at SwitchWatch spent hours laughing, hooting, and hollering as we competitively beat each other up in this neon-soaked arena brawler. The combat is intense, the colors are vibrant, and the soundtrack is killer, but that is not why you are here. You want to know if this game is worth your time and money, and we have got you covered. This is Hyper Jam, and it is all up in your face!
There is not much of a story to Hyper Jam, honestly. Like with most arena brawlers, the appeal is simply in the fighting and not much else.
Unfortunately, Hyper Jam decides to go this route, which leaves us wondering. Why are we fighting? What kind of world are we on that allows public fights in Miami and Neo-Tokyo? And who are our characters?
I know it is not that important, but this kind of attention to detail really helps give new worlds life and personality. For Hyper Jam, it is quite sad, because just about everything else in the game is stellar. If only we got a little bit of background and character detail to give us a reason for everything.
Hyper Jam is an absolute blast. We here at SwitchWatch had a fantastic time beating each other up and exploring the various things available in the game.
This is a unique arena brawler where stackable perks are drafted after each round, which makes every game feel well balanced and fresh. It was amazing how tight our matches were, which either means the balancing in the game is insanely good, or me, Juan, and James are just that close to the same skill level.
It controls similarly to a twin-stick shooter, and while some weapons are projectiles, the twin-stick controls did feel a bit weird, particularly with melee weapons, and they do take some getting used to.
Rounds are about surviving, though, as there are no multiple lives in a round, so you need to dash regularly, block and deflect projectiles when you can, and wisely choose your weapons as they readily become available. Points are distributed based on how much damage you output, kills, and surviving, and a winner is established once they reach a certain amount of points and survive one more round. The ending of a game is particularly unique, as the person who reaches the goal first does not necessarily win the game. We had a couple times where games flipped tremendously in the last couple rounds, and that also kept us wanting to play more.
Weapons are varied, but it would have been nice if there were a couple more options. With the number available, it was clear what the crowd favorites were, so the ends of rounds did feel all too similar when two people are trying to hammer one another or dueling rocket launchers are shooting across the screen.
One of the coolest things about Hyper Jam, though, are the perks, and there are a lot of them. At the end of each round, from the lowest player to the top player, powerups are decided and they can really be game-changers. These perks can be anything from health regeneration to higher damage output to elemental charged attacks, and wow. The difference between the first round of a game and the last round are almost laughable because of how all of these perks stack and completely change things. Which ones you choose and how you stack them are a lot of fun, and there is truly no one-way that works best. It is just how you use them. If you die, you are also able to shoot down a laser beam at your surviving opponents, which is something fun to do, keeping you in the game while trying to ruin someone else’s chances.
Hyper Jam also contains a lot of different modes. You can play the game in Local Versus on a single Switch console against friends and/or bots, or you have the option to play in Local Wireless with other Switches nearby. You can even play online in either matchmaking or in private matches, and there is even crossplay with PS4, Xbox One, and Steam players!
Each mode can be played with bots to fill in empty slots if you so choose, and the bot difficulties are fantastic. I tested out Easy all the way up to Master difficulty, and the challenge grew and grew at a very fair pace, which makes playing alone a lot of fun for those who want to practice while they are not connected online.
The game also has awesome customization options for the game rules. Similar to Super Smash Bros, you can truly create your own experience, if you so desire. It may mess up with some balancing, but the fact that the options are there is great. The mutators, especially, make rounds so much funnier, particularly things like slippery grounds and unlimited ammo.
It has its minor problems, but overall, Hyper Jam is so much fun to play and controls really well in the process. I mean, what more can you ask for?
Holy moley. Can I just say that Hyper Jam’s soundtrack is absolutely amazing? Every single track got me pumped, and the synthwave sound really complimented the aesthetic and feel of the game. It is one of the better game soundtracks I have listened to lately, and it is absolutely one I would listen to even if I was not playing the game.
The sound effects and weapon sounds are all fantastic, and like the soundtrack, they all just fit perfectly. If Hyper Jam did any one thing perfectly right, it is the audio. Absolutely top notch.
VISUALS & PERFORMANCE
The game has a neon 80s style, and it looks absolutely gorgeous. The way the colors pop in the stages, how the particle effects look after you land a strong attack, and how the backgrounds have their own life with things like trains and flying cars moving about. I really love when Sudden Death hits and the red grid pattern starts closing in. It has such a Tron-vibe, and it just looks so good.
In regards to performance, just about everything ran really smooth. We only ran into issues a couple times when trying to play 4-players online. In three consecutive rounds, the game would crash on one of us, and we would have to restart the session. It did not happen again outside those three consecutive times, but it was frustrating when it happened. Hopefully this was just because the game had not officially launched yet and the servers were not quite ready (Fingers crossed).
Hyper Jam is priced at $14.99 in the US and £13.49 in the UK, and these are very reasonable prices for the package you are getting. Not only are there a lot of ways to play and even more ways to customize the experience, but the game has one of the best soundtracks out there and looks absolutely stunning.
You can tell the team at Bit Dragon put a lot of time and effort into Hyper Jam, and it really shows. If you are a fan of arena brawlers, this is a game that will lend you hours and hours and fun with family and friends.
Story - 5/10
Gameplay - 8/10
Audio - 10/10
Visuals & Performance - 9/10
Value - 8/10
Hyper Jam is an excellent fighting game that will provide tons of fun. The vast amount of customization options will keep things fresh for a long time, and although there is little-to-no substance, the action and gameplay is frantic, fun, and well-balanced. And let us not forget the brilliant soundtrack by the likes of Carpenter Brut, Dance With The Dead, and Meteor. The game just sounds and looks amazing! A solid experience that we highly recommend.
- Frantic and fun gameplay
- Fantastic soundtrack
- Beautiful visuals
- Lack of story