Friday, December 28, 2012

Hotline Miami

Hi everyone.

A lot has happened in the last day or so, so lets get started.

First off, I would like to announce that I have finally FIXED MY XBOX 360!!!


Now that all of my technical issues and faux pas hae been dealt with, I will continue to make reviews of your favorite Xbox 360 Games, starting with my promised Far Cry 3 video review and the Black Ops 2 Mulitiplayer and Zombie mode in the following weeks. Bout freaking time if you ask me.

Next on the agenda, you know Sergey Titov? The executive producer behind The War Z who I told to get his head out of his ass? Well, he must've either gotten a splash of cold water that morning or taken my advice, because he did exactly that a few days after I tweeted him the review.

He made an open letter that listed both his apology and plans to reorganize his staff and implement a new policy. One of the things he admitted to the most was his failure to communicate. I applaud him for this, as admitting fault is one of the bravest, and therefore hardest, things someone in his position can do.

I wrote him a letter right back thanking him and promising a 7WS that will congratulate him properly. While it is unclear weather or not he will keep his promises, I will give him this much for his humble apology.

To Sergey Titov:

Thank You

Very Much

For Being Honest :)

Even Albert Einstein was wrong sometimes. And like Titiov, he made himself great by admitting it. Play your cards right, Sergey old boy, and you just might make history.

Okay, now for the third and final thing before we get to the review, and that is a small disclaimer about the game I will make this review about.

Warning: The following game, despite not being rated by the ESRB, is an extremely violent and contains graphic material. Of which includes harsh language, disturbing amounts of blood and gore, and objectionable content in general. Do not let your children buy this game if you cannot accept this kind of content.

There; the public service announcement is done with. Now lets get to reviewing

Don't let the shiny blue sky and pink palm trees fool you; this is not a game for the meek. It's basically a game about a man who wears a mask while committing violent home invasions against miami vice gangsters. the object of each level is to kill every person in the building. How you do this is up to you. Tactics that work include ambushing them, sneaking up behind them, slamming the door in their face and killing them before they get up, and of course blowing head off with a firearm. Real kids stuff. The only real difference between you and the bad guys is that you have both the element of surprise and a real creepy rubber mask. You get new masks with each level, and each mask is a different animal, with a different and sinister sounding name, each one modifying your abilities and experience.

For today's 7WS, we are going to try something a little different. Instead of making each part of the Synopsis an independent remark, we will combine them as an adjective for the game. 

You see, in the video game industry, we have what are called Game Design Documents, which are basically huge technical documents that serve as an instructions book for those actually making the game. One of the first things written in the GDD is what's called a High Concept. Basically, you describe the game your making in a brief sentence spanning about 20 words or less. Example; Science Fiction action game starring a cyborg soldier warring against evil aliens on a strange ring shaped homeworld.(Halo).  You get the idea.

The 7WS for this review will work the same way, but instead of 20 words or less, I will boil it down to just seven. It will still detail what's good, what's bad, and what you should do about it. Now it also serves simply as an adjective to describe the gameplay experience. Here we go.

Hotline Miami is a:

Fantastic Sounding

Pixilated Looking

Adult Recommended Game.

Now we have both a descriptive text, complete with the good, the bad, and the proper action.

Let's dissect our synopsis.

Fantastic Sounding

I labeled the game Fantastic Sounding only because it combine truly captivating and atmospheric music with frighteningly realistic sound effects. The gunshots sound like true live firearms, the gushing blood and snapping of necks puts you on edge if the creepy music doesn't, and the urban mixes that make up most of the story based scenes and the theme music sounds like something they would play in a club in Miami. Very nice, very stylistic, and very, very engaging. Makes you feel like you are both having a psychological breakdown and living in downtown Miami Florida. The bad side of that city...

Also a good thing about this game; while it can be hard to get used to, the controls are extremely tight and responsive, which makes it easier to deal with the multiple challenges and the fact that it only takes one good hit to do you in. The high difficulty of this game helps make it mature, and the controls turn potential frustration into an interesting challenge. 

Pixilated Looking

This game could almost be called an 8-bit GTA 1 mod made to feel like an acid trip. Because that is what it looks like between the seizure-inducing color flashes and barely discernible visuals. What were supposed to be thugs in milk white suits look like circus clowns at first glance. And if you didn't have that creepy animal mask on, you would basically look like a green, slightly altered version of the bad guys. Plus most of the characters you meet in between missions look like carbon copies of each other. All the bums look the same, as do the people behind the desks. The only pictures that look distinctive are the weapon close-ups in the upgrade screen and the masks, both up close and in game. Makes you wonder if adding a mask was originally just a design decision...

Note to those with epilepsy; this is a game that has a lot of bright, blinking lights and psychedelic visuals that can make you dizzy. Wouldn't recommend it to you. 

If epileptic seizures aren't an issue, however, this might be the closest thing you get to actually dropping acid without ingesting tablets of LSD. It was obviously intentional, as the game tries hard (and succeeds, somewhat) in being deeply psychological. You literally start the game talking to people in masks who explain your missing identity. Yes; it follows the cliche' amnesia story structure. Go figure.

Adult Recommended Game.

Self explanatory, really. Don't let your kids play this game. Or your friends with seizures. If you have a kid with epilepsy, get off this review post right now and clear your history. And uninstall Steam. And make sure they are taking their prescription.
If you are among the 18-35 male majority of gamers who don't have epilepsy or problems with violence, this is something worth an Alexander Hamilton. He's the guy on the ten dollar bill, in case you were wondering. Just remember; you are the one with the mask, and the clowns in white are your prey. Good luck!

That's it for the  Hotline:Miami review. Tomorrow I will give video reviews another shot. I have a new camera, a new microphone, and will make sure the format doesn't do anything weird. Crossing my fingers this time. See you then!

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