Hotline Miami (PS3/Vita/PC, 2013)

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Hotline Miami (PS3/Vita/PC, 2013)

Postby velcrozombie1 » June 29th, 2013, 11:12 am

(Note: I started writing this with the intention of it lasting
only a paragraph or two, but I just kept typing! Excuse
the length of it.)

Although this game has already been out on PC since late last year,
it was just released on PS3 and Vita through Playstation Network
this Tuesday for $10. You get both the PS3 and Vita version for
for that price, which is a nice bonus.

The best endorsement I can give you for the game is that I installed
it on Wednesday afternoon and finished it late Thursday night, with
only food, sleep and my daily responsibilities getting in the way.

The story: you are a hitman who may very well be losing his mind. You
have repeated encounters with a trio of men in three-piece suits wearing
animal masks who ask you enigmatic questions and insult you. You receive
your orders on your answering machine in coded messages. It becomes
increasing hard to tell what's real and what is only in your head. You can
become immersed in the gameplay without worrying too much about the
story, but it adds an interesting backdrop and gives your actions context.

The gameplay is a hybrid of stealth games and high-speed arcade action
games, with an overhead view similar to the NES Metal Gear games.
The game also reminded me a lot of Super Meat Boy: short levels;
one hit from anything kills you; instant respawning; and trial & error
based gameplay where you experiment and alter your approach ever
so slightly, making it a bit further each time until you conquer the level.

You start each level armed with only your fists. Various types of melee
weapons and guns can be taken from enemies or found lying about.
Both melee weapons and guns can also be thrown at enemies,
and if you open a door when an enemy is standing near it, you will
knock them to the floor; neither of these attacks will kill an enemy,
and (much like in Resident Evil) they must be finished off before they
can get back up. As you beat each level you unlock new types of weapons
and you gain animal masks. Each mask (from which you choose at the
beginning of each new level) gives a different ability: more speed,
deadly punches, invincibility to one bullet, etc.

The game is graphically unimpressive on a technical level (there are probably
NES games that look better), but the visual style (pastel colors from the 1980s,
woozy effects, grotesque faces and animal heads) adds a lot of atmosphere
to the game. The soundtrack is awesome, a series of techno tracks that pull
from both 80s new-wave and more modern club sounds that combine with
the repetitive die/try again/die style gameplay to put you into an almost
trance-like state.

This is a difficult game. You will die...a lot. Death actually feels meaningful
because of the fast and sudden nature of it; since everything is a one hit
kill, you can't just brute-force your way through a section and then heal,
or crouch behind a barrel until the redness on the edge of the screen goes
away. The game is surprisingly brutal, too. Although the graphics are on
an 8-bit level, the violence is comparable to something like Manhunt. The
game goes out of its way to rub your face in it too; after you finish a level,
you are forced to walk back through the previous floors, where all the bodies
and blood are still where you 'left' them. Whether the game has an anti-violence
message or whether it simply wants you to acknowledge what a psychopath
your character is is somewhat unclear, although I'd go with the latter.

After you finish the game, you can replay any of the level for high scores, which
unlock new weapons and new animal masks. This game has a lot of potential
for replay, the way that something like The Mercenaries mini-game does.
The game definitely has the breathless, one-more-go feel that a great arcade
game does.

There are a few problems. There are a few boss fights, and tend to slow the
game down and remove the open-ended, try-anything approach that makes the
rest of the game so much fun. There is one level that forces you to only use
stealth, and it is a bit of a grind. There are a few technical issues: there will
be a few times where you swear that you hit your enemy and nothing happens;
also, enemy AI can be inconsistent, stupid one moment and a bit too smart the
next. The controls took some getting used to, as well, especially the fact that the
game uses all the triggers and bumpers but only one face button.

Overall, I highly recommend this game. Feels like a A- to B+ to me.

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Re: Hotline Miami (PS3/Vita/PC, 2013)

Postby Sut » July 31st, 2018, 7:09 am

This is my next Vita game after beating Portable Ops after recommendations from Rev, Game Sack and the positive write up from Velcrozombie below.

First impressions ? Holy hell this is hard !
Like the atmosphere and the graphics have an early ST game kind of feel. Definitely has a one more go vibe.

My jaw dropped when I was killed almost immediately on the first level. Looking forward to sinking my teeth into this one.

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Re: Hotline Miami (PS3/Vita/PC, 2013)

Postby Rev » July 31st, 2018, 9:02 am

Yeah, this is definitely a game that has a semi-difficult nature however if you aren't going for A+ ranks on each stage it isn't too bad. You really just need to throw yourself at the levels little by little until you figure out the best ways to beat the stages.

Helpful stuff I figured out as I played more and more levels:
-Use the look button to get a decent gauge of where everyone is it. If you want to target a particular person selecting them with the cursor helps.
-Throwing your physical weapons at enemies can be very helpful especially if no guns are around.
-Abuse the silent nature of physical weapons when possible. Good for killing people without others running after you.
-Doors are a lifesaver while are also incredibly annoying since they block shots and knock people down. If you don't have any weapons try abusing the door.
-Don't forget to check for enemies who have fallen down to make sure they are dead. If they move even a little do your finishing move on them so they don't get back up.

Anyway, hope you enjoy the game. I thought it was a good time.

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Retro STrife
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Re: Hotline Miami (PS3/Vita/PC, 2013)

Postby Retro STrife » July 31st, 2018, 9:50 am

I downloaded this one a few months ago on the PS4.. It was on sale for $4 and I saw the positive reviews online, so I figured I'd give it a shot. Haven't played it yet, but this post here is making me more interested in it. Maybe soon. There is a sequel too, but the reviews make it sound like the first game is better.

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