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30 of 32 people found the following review helpful
on October 28, 2012
Extreme is a word that is often overused in the world today, yet I can think of no better word to describe the level of violence and difficulty that Hotline Miami brings to the table.

The game delights in having you quickly and efficiently kill everyone in your path, and it gives you plenty of tools to do so. As you probably know by now, this is not a game for the squeamish. Necks will be sliced and blood will spray. Heads will be bashed and brains will be spilled. Certain bladed weapons will cleave enemies completely in two.

Keep in mind that all of these acts of violence can (and will, repeatedly) be done to you as well. You will die, early and often. Fortunately Hotline Miami rarely gets frustrating as reloads are quick and you can usually figure out what you did wrong. There is one short level that is entirely stealth driven and a couple of boss fights that will test your patience, but even these brief missteps cannot ruin the overall experience.

This experience is driven by an awesome pixel art style and one of this year's best soundtracks. The entire package is absolutely worth the $10 asking price and in my humble opinion this certainly ranks as one of 2012's best videogame experiences.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on December 27, 2012
The Good: Awesome art style, solid and fast paced game mechanics, genius level design, great scoring system, AlienFX support

The Bad: Too many bugs and glitches, poor gamepad support, music grates after a while, constant trial and error will turn some players away

This game was a complete surprise to everyone. An old-school action game with 8-bit graphics that has a very weird story, but is still fun and interesting? Can't be possible! Well it is because of the genius level design and over-the-top perspective where special game mechanics were worked in to. Enemies can shoot through windows, you use doors to your advantage, and there are so many different weapons, the fun is endless!

The game is based on cheesy 80′s snuff films where you are a hitman that goes to different spots and just kills everyone in the building. The story is very weird yet entertaining, it doesn't make sense, but it doesn't need to. That's how great this game is. You start out by picking an animal mask that you have unlocked, then you go in and try to clear the stages without dying. One hit and you're dead in this game, let me make that very clear. You get a split second window to kill someone before they kill you whether they are facing you or not. If you are behind them you get an extra split second, but you won't clear a hallway before they shoot you. Enemies who have melee weapons are easier because they have to come towards you. The strategy is to see where the enemies are placed in each room and clear the stage accordingly.

It starts out simple, but you will see how addictive and fun it is when your character slices open a neck, smashes a head into a carpet, or blows someone's brains out. The second genius thing with this game is that you are punished for using guns which makes the game very easy. Shoot someone and every enemy in the level comes after you. You are to clear the rooms quickly, not quietly, which is the key here. There are a few different types of enemies like dogs which are really fast, and big fat guys with scarfs that can only be killed with gunfire. Save these guys last so the entire level doesn't come after you. A good strategy is to step out of a corner and hide again and just stick out enough to you can whack anyone who walks by. This is another key strategy to winning the game.

The boss fights are really tough and require thinking outside the box to beat. One enemy has two wild cats that come after you, a female ninja, then he has two uzis that will pulverize you. You have to eliminate each one in sequence without dying. Remember, one hit and you're dead. The trial and error is very rewarding because it just feels good to clear a whole level without alerting anyone. The game is very fast paced so a level can be cleared in less than a minute or just seconds. Learning the strategy of each level allows you to get better scores.

You need to use combos to rack up scores, and gunfire is frowned upon in this game. Switch up weapons, use doors to knock enemies down, be bold and lure enemies around corners, kill several enemies at once, it is all based on skill and not luck. This game just feels so good to play and I couldn't put it down. There are 18 chapters in this game, and at the end I wanted more (hopefully DLC will follow).

There are some major issues that keep this game from scoring higher though. When the game was released it was nearly unplayable. Even now the controller layout sucks, before there wasn't even controller support and the keyboard and mouse controls are terrible. There are game breaking bug and glitches that don't let you progress in the game, and while the music is pretty original, it repeats way too often and you end up muting your speakers. The game should have just gone through some more testing or a couple more months of development time before being released. Even now there was a bug that kept me from advancing past chapter 16. I finally tried it one more time and I passed it, no idea how or why.

Hotline Miami is a fast paced action game that has genius level and strategy design. The graphics work very well for the setting, and the mechanics are just extremely solid. I just wish it was more stable and had better controller support. People with Alienware computers will get AlienFX support here which is unheard of in an indie game. As it stands, this is one of the best games of the year.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on January 8, 2013
I was just going to 'try' this game for a few minutes and I was planning on going to play my PS3 a few minutes after to play a game I'd been playing for a bit...

that 'try' session turned into me beating the whole game in one sitting. It's such a unecessarily good game. From the music to the sprites to the actual feel of the gameplay it's perfect. It's not a 60 dollar game by any means content wise, but for the asking price this is worth every cent.

I didn't know what to expect, I expected something that felt like Smash TV. But it felt more like a combination of Smash TV and Super Meat Boy, where you're not just fighting hordes, you're utilizing strategy to take out enemies and not get yourself killed (in one hit)- but if you do, it's fast enough to reload the level and try again and again until you win.

Excellent game, try it out!
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on December 7, 2012
I really don't know what it is about Hotline Miami that attracts me to it the way it does. Maybe it's the retro visuals punctuated by hues of purple so deep they ingrain themselves into your very psyche. Maybe it's the music that pulsates throughout the mayhem giving melody to the murder. Maybe it's the ultra violence, that is over the top yet never mindless.

No, never mindless, far from it in fact. This is a thinking mans game where precision, planning and ultra-quick reflexes are what will get you through most levels. You will still, inevitably, die. A lot. But it's so easy to restart that it is barely a frustration. If anything you come back sharper, more knowledgeable and with a strategy so finely honed you could use it as a blade. It's so arcade like in that 'just one more try' feeling that I almost feel obliged to somehow start pumping quarters into it.

This game gives you spectacular moments that nothing else out there can give. There's a rythm to it and when you lock on to that rhythm, when you find it after your umpteenth try it's nothing short of gaming bliss.

The closest thing I could describe it to would be rocking out an insane solo on Guitar hero perfectly. That's how it feels in that single moment when it all comes together, when you find yourself racking up that awesome combo, making last second decisions that not only preserve your score but save your life. When you are moving through a level so fluidly that it almost looks like you meant it...

....It makes you feel completely Badass.

But to the audience they only see a mish mash of colour, chaos and seemingly wild button taps and the potential for severe eyestrain. They will never understand what it's like to feel this awesome.

You just won't get it until you play it. So do yourself a favour and play it already.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on January 8, 2013
Hotline Miami is amazing.

I can't like it enough, it's too good. Way too good.

Even the pandering video game review community rated it super highly despite not being paid off to do so, because it is far too good to ignore.

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on January 11, 2013
This game is ultra gory... but don't worry, it's cool. Just pixels.

My lady friend hates the gore (Chivalry for example), but even she has wielded the controller for this awesome retro-asskicking-blood-spilling adventure of intrigue.

I grabbed this while it was 5 bucks, but I would gladly pay full price knowing what I know now. On the fence?
Do it.
You've worked hard, you deserve it.
Treat yourself.

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on January 27, 2013
I found myself running through this game really fast, so enticing and atmospheric. Totally worth the price I paid at 5$, but I would have gladly paid 10$ for this gem.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on January 2, 2013
Originally when I saw this game, it didn't seem like I'd be interested in it. Looked a little... TOO indie, if you know what I mean. But once you get started on it, you'll understand the praise. It is just a non-stop ride of fun. The mechanics are brilliant, and once you start getting used to them and chaining everything together with the pulsing visuals and music (INCREDIBLE sound track, by the way).

It has all of the flair of an art house game with the genuine meat and smart design of a true core game. Highly recommended.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on January 2, 2013
Hotline: Miami.

This literally explains the whole game. It is about a psychotic hitman who receives instructions on a phone (hence the Hotline tag).

Set in 80's Miami, to a blistering eclectic electronic-soundtrack. This game is what most games hope to achieve, an awesome meld of awesome gameplay, gore, visuals and music. Insta-buy this S.H.I.T.!

I'd rate it 10/5 stars.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on July 5, 2013
The premise is so basic. You control a masked character in a top down view, and move him from room to room across various environments, brutally killing everyone you come across in order to reach an objective. Once you have what you are looking for, you walk back through the bloodbath you created to your car, stop by a convenience store for some quick groceries or a video store to rent a VHS tape, and then back home to sleep. You'll wake up the next morning, check your answering machine, get a mysterious message giving you orders, and then head out to the car to repeat it all again.

Hotline Miami takes this premise and makes something that is utterly compelling, strangely beautiful, intriguing, and 100% enjoyable. Brilliantly capturing the pastel, neon landscapes of 1980's in a way we haven't seen since Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, Hotline Miami is a pure adrenaline rush. It's 16-bit visuals perfectly compliment the masterful soundtrack in enabling the player to set out on a mysterious murder rampage in a way that almost seems poetic. The solid, responsive gameplay is simple to learn, and despite the large number of times you will die, you will continue to try and try again, getting smarter and faster as you master your environments. You'll relish in the wonderful sense of freedom the game gives you in accomplishing your goals, and the pulsating soundtrack will pump your blood in a way that few soundtracks can

As you begin to unravel the esoteric story, which involves strange phone calls, animal masks, hallucinations, and the slow decent into what is clearly something beyond reality, Hotline Miami keeps you keeps you under its spell. It repeatedly has you committing these acts of violence, even though you're not really quite sure why. As the game goes on, expect the unexpected. Hotline Miami goes places that mainstream games just don't go, and demonstrates why the indie movement has been so wonderful. It is a complex, mature game that isn't for everyone, but for older gamers who want to see how a small development team can use the essence of pure gameplay and mood to create something wholly original. When it comes to this, you really can't do any better than Hotline Miami. This is a game that will be talked about and referred back to for a very, very long time, and it is more than deserving of that status.
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