Saturday, June 1, 2013

Hotline Miami

(Possible Spoilers)

80's style music and artwork, intense violence, and superb storytelling were featured front and center in Hotline Miami, which is included in the recent Humble Indie Bundle 8. This game encourages the player to throw himself at the opponents without any thought of death. Retrying is a seamless aspect of the game, and the game autosaves every floor and chapter. After getting used to the controls and pace, the adrenaline-laced, ultraviolent combat almost seems choreographed like a well made action film. The creators even acknowledge Nicolas Winding Refn's movie,  Drive (2011), in the credits.

This game screams 80's through neon lighting, and a stellar soundtrack. Truly, the designers polished countless details with flooring, room design, available technology, and furnishings. The award-winning soundtrack has been praised relentlessly by fans and critics alike, such as IGN's 'Best PC Sound of the Year' (2012). Several other organizations honored Hotline Miami's gameplay as well.  

The perspective utilized in it is fairly uncommon in today's games, top down, and 2-dimensional. This allows the player to see around corners, plan a sequence of moves out, and respond to threats. Speaking of point of view, the plot is distinctive, too. It becomes increasingly surreal as the game progresses, and you begin to question what actually occurred, especially when coupled with an additional perspective.  

Ultimately, this game exudes satisfaction in a remorseless fashion. Perhaps, a couple of the key fights could be tweaked, but, once success is achieved, you'll be begging for more. 


Thursday, May 30, 2013


I played this action, role playing game about 7 months ago, but, I wanted this to be my first review. It was one of the best games I played last year, even though it technically debuted in 2011. Seamless action, incredible music, and customizable gameplay were among the top features of this title. How many successful games have you seen released on basically every platform, Xbox Live Arcade, OS X, Windows, iOS, Chrome, and Linux?

The action is quite fast and fluid from the start. During each level, you pick up shards, which are used to buy upgrades for your weapons. Also, you have a special abilities that use tonics, similar to magic and mana. Additionally, the kid levels up from experience similar to other rpgs, so leveling up grants him increased hp and unlocks weapon upgrades. 

The levels are somewhat flat, and play on the fantasy, manually painted art style. You sometimes can choose between a few levels, some are typical levels that have shards, and others are weapon challenges that can give you upgrades, and other perks. The music is simply fantastic. I've added it my video game music collection that I tend to listen to while studying and writing. 

The plot draws the player in as well. Several characters, even the commentator, add to the complexity and offer dialog if you choose to learn more about what happened. The narrator adds charm; he expresses witty observations about the plot, and remarks about the players' choice of weapons or play style. The difficulty I find very approachable out of the box, and the game even allows the player to increase it if he/she chooses. 

In summation, this game is a must play if you enjoy any title remotely similar. You may even be able to catch it on sale on Steam or somewhere. 




My name is Jonah. I've been playing videogames since I could hold a controller, mouse, and keyboard, starting with an 8-bit NES and a DOS based PC. Although today, I primarily focus my attention on pc gaming for linux and windows. I decided to begin writing to analyze games I've been playing recently for several reasons. For one, I felt inspired by many of the indie games that have become so much more popular through services like Steam. And, I think indie games' popularity will continue to grow as game developers realize that people enjoy games that aren't blockbuster titles like halo, call of duty, etc... So, I'm going to focus mostly on indie titles since they seem the most thought-provoking, and unique. These games essentially end up being a form of art, where the game evokes various emotions.

But, before I get into my first review, I'd like to write about the kind of games I grew up playing, so you can get a picture of what I enjoy. On the NES, the games that I recall my family playing the most were Super Mario Bros, Arkanoid, Double Dragon 2, Rygar, and Duck Hunt. So, platformer, arcade, action, and adventure were the genres of choice.  Upon reflecting this, I realize why I enjoy the games that I play today.

Next, we acquired a Turbografx-16. It was an interesting system with fun games, sort of a inbetween system of the NES and SNES. Bonk's Revenge, Darkwing Duck, Keith Courage in Alpha Zones, and Bloody Wolf stick out in my mind of the games I played the most. The Bonk series is a quirky, unique game that really sticks out most in this list.

I played on a Sega Genesis subsequently. I recall playing Sonic 1, 2, 3, and with the Knuckles expansion cartridge or whatever it was called. Also, this was when I was able to experience mortal kombat 2. I honestly can't recall how many times I beat sonic 2. It just seemed so fun and polished at the time, and even featured a three dimensional bonus world.

After, I started playing a Nintendo 64. So, Mario 64, Mortal Kombat Trilogy, Wave Race, Goldeneye, and eventually Perfect Dark and Conker's Bad Fur Day made their way into our collection. Mario was an instant favorite. I've even went back and replayed it a few times through an emulator. This Mortal Kombat was honestly one of the last really good ones, and it featured quite a few characters to choose from. Goldeneye basically initiated first person shooters on consoles and countless people played them together split screen. Perfect Dark was somewhat of a follow-up to Goldeneye in a non-traditional sense. It featured A.I. and a vast arsenal of weapons. Conkers was one of the best platform games of all time. I can't really believe Nintendo approved it with its adult humor and everything, although it was rated mature after all.

So, those were the the majority of the console games. I ended up getting a xbox and xbox 360 eventually. I don't think they were quite as impactful in the games I play today. I played the Halo, Fight Night, GTA, and Soulcalibur series for the most part.

Also, during all of this, I played games on a PC, too. Classics like StarCraft: Brood War, Sim City 2000, Diablo 1 & 2, Unreal Tournament 2004, Neverwinter Nights, Fallout, Torment were the most memorable  games that I enjoyed very much growing up.

Today, I like playing StarCraft 2 as one of the mainstays of my collection. However, I am looking to branch out and experience many of the different types like I once did. I happily look forward to it!