This game officially has the best villain ever.
Hamtaro: Ham-Ham Heartbreak is the second portable Hamtaro game in the U.S. You play as Hamtaro (and Bijou!) and solve puzzles in order to re-unite Ham-Hams that have been terrorized by Spat the Hamster.
The basic gameplay is the same as the original - use Ham-Chat words on the right Ham-Hams or in their proper places in order to solve puzzles and progress through the game. There are a few differences in this game, though. There are more mini-games along the way, mostly in Fun World. There are Ham-Chat words/actions that require both Hamtaro and Bijou to work together. Also, the goal isn't just to find all the Ham-Hams, but to reunite them (and create hook-ups for other generic hamster characters) while Spat is trying to ruin things for everyone.
Spat is the best video game villain ever. He has long and very evil monologues while his rad theme song plays - he's seriously the hamster version of Kefka. Here are a few of his greatest moments:
- Says "BLEH!" and slams a hamster right in the face
- Tricks a hamster onto a raft and pushes them out to sea, laughing at them
- Flips out and stabs a hamster with a pitchfork
- Hamtaro throws trash on him - comedy gold!
The player also meets up with the whole Ham-Ham gang throughout the game, including some of the newer Ham-Hams. They are true to their cartoon personalities, including Howdy and Dexter's hilarious bickering.
The graphics look quite a bit like the Hamtaro on the GBC. It still uses a lot of the same animation, but there are some new ones, including ones that make use of scaling and rotation. It uses a few more colors, but what looked hot on the GBC isn't really very impressive on the GBA.
A lot of the songs are extremely catchy. At the beach, there's a totally gnarly beach bum tune, and at Boo Manor, there's a creepy tune (with a funky beat). Also, there's a puzzle to solve by finding Moonlight Sonata and playing it on a piano - that could very well be a reference to you-know-what. Awesome!
Back to the actual gameplay, well, uh, trying to use the right Ham-Chat words on everything until something works probably won't float everybody's boat. It's not as bad this time, though, especially since Snoozer will give you hints (sometimes even useful ones). After finishing the game, there doesn't seem to be a whole lot to do. Maybe you can try to find any missing Ham-Chat words or something similarly thrilling.
So who exactly would enjoy Hamtaro: Ham-Ham Heartbreak? A young kid who likes the show and likes playing a game where you can't lose or die, or maybe somebody who could really, really appreciate Spat the Hamster. Running around trying to solve puzzles with trial and error just isn't fun, but it is an improvement over the last game.