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E308: Hamtaro tries extra hard to scare off older gamers

Candace Savino

You shouldn't be ashamed if you're an adult (or even just a non-elementary schooler) who's played a Hamtaro game. People who've tried Ham-Hams Unite for the Game Boy Color or the GBA's Ham-Ham Heartbreak know that the sickeningly cute series can translate into a fun adventure game. Even Ham-Ham Games, which strayed away from the adventure formula and landed itself in minigame territory, wasn't half bad.

Hamtaro's handheld history was enough to make us consider picking up Hi! Hamtaro Ham-Ham Challenge once it released on the DS, but E3 swiftly changed our minds. Throwing up and spitting out everything that made Hamtaro bearable in the first place, the new game is not only a collection of minigames, but it features educational ones designed for young children. Basically, it looks like Brain Age for five-year-olds, with cute little hamsters taking the place of Dr. Kawashima.

Don't fret, though, Hamtaro fans. There is another title based on the license that came out in Japan last year, which seems to return to the adventure-like goodness we know and love. Unfortunately, that's not the game releasing this summer, and that's not the game Natsume decided to show off at E3. Hopefully we'll see it get localized soon enough, so that we can forget Ham-Ham Challenge ever existed.


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