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Found 6 results

  1. Marcus Estrada

    Hotline Miami Heading to PS3/Vita

    Hotline Miami came out of nowhere and surprised gamers when it launched last year. The gory visuals, addicting play, and ridiculously cool soundtrack kept many playing. Unfortunately, the game was a PC exclusive so console-focused players may have completely missed out. Now Sony owners will not be able to use this excuse as Hotline Miami is coming. Devolver Digital announced the title would be heading to both PS3 and Vita. This means the game will be Cross-Buy too, which allows you to buy the game once and own it for both devices. Here's what Sony had to say about getting the game on their platforms. "Our team have been fans of Hotline Miami from the very start and we are absolutely thrilled to have such a brilliant game launch on the PlayStation platform. The intense visuals and pulsing soundtrack are perfectly suited for PS3 and PS Vita and we can't wait for PlayStation fans to see what Hotline Miami is all about." If you're interested in grabbing Hotline Miami on PS3 or Vita then you've only got a little while to wait. Hotline Miami will be available this Spring.
  2. While 2012 was certainly the year of the heavy-hitters, it felt painfully derivative and devoid of inspiration for me. Perhaps I'm becoming jaded. Perhaps it simply takes too much to satisfy me these days. Whatever the case may be, I wasn't particularly impressed with the whole of games this year. However, I was able to weed out a few that I did quite enjoy, many of which feel much more like unconventional choices -- are my tastes changing or is the overall quality of the hundreds of sequels releasing each year declining? Who can say? The only thing I'm sure of is this: these are ten of my favorite games of 2012, and I'm hoping you can get behind my reasoning. Let's talk my favorite games of 2012. 10. Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning Official GP Review Say what you will about this admittedly bland RPG, but I couldn't stop coming back to it. Even when I grew tired of hacking and slashing through the same three dungeons, collecting flowers and herbs, and grinding, I came right back the next day. It's a shame we'll likely never see another, because something about this high fantasy tale rubbed me the right way. 9. Asura's Wrath Official GP Review I'm an enormous Dragon Ball Z fan, and I'll be a shounen anime junkie for life. Perhaps that's why I instantly gravitated toward Asura's Wrath. Maybe it was the Street Fighter IV-esque logo, the over-the-top carnage, or maybe it was the visceral, raw action showcased within. I wasn't even bothered that most of the game took place across several well-positioned quick-time events. It was simply a full-on adrenaline rush that looked as fantastic as it played. Let's not forget how majestic the Brahmastra looked -- seriously, Death Star what? 8. Dyad Rhythm and music games are my forte, but I'm also a huge rail-shooter enthusiast, and the synesthetic sensibilities of Dyad were reminiscent of the many long nights I spent with the classic Rez. Neons, delightful audio puzzles, and pure graphical intoxication made Dyad clearly one of the best downloadable titles (closest to the classics of my personal heyday of gaming) I've had the pleasure of purchasing this year. 7. Halo 4 In many ways Halo 4, like fellow Xbox 360-exclusive stablemate Gears of War 3, is alien to the rest of the series in many ways. But rather than in a disconcerting manner, it hit all the high notes. Updated graphics, a completely retooled soundtrack, and an affecting cliffhanger of an ending were enough to rekindle interest gone by in the long-running franchise, and while aspects of it weren't perfect, it was one of the most human Halo games we've seen yet. And I'm ready for more. 6. Mass Effect 3 Official GP Review Endings be damned, Mass Effect 3 was one engaging ride. Though I was initially lukewarm on the original years ago when I first played through it, the series quickly grew on me with its endearing relationship options, tight combat, and a narrative I couldn't get enough of. I fought until the end, and the backlash meant nothing to me. Mass Effect was a ride I'd gladly take again and again, because you can't denounce an entire franchise when you had so much fun to speak of on the way to the ending. I also cheated on Liara. 5. Minecraft (XBLA) Say what you will about the lack of features in the Xbox 360 release of the wildly popular PC sandbox game, but it drew in brand new audiences and players who may never have been in the line of sight of a creeper on the prowl. Its simplification of a game that might have mystified others with crafting and the various nuances of gameplay turned into a fantastic departure on the Xbox 360, and one I enjoyed with friends who couldn't afford a gaming PC (or PC for that matter) time and time again. It may never be as complete of a package as the PC version is, but it's an extremely competent release that deserves your time and attention, infinitely more so than the mobile version. 4. Borderlands 2 What can be said about Borderlands 2 but loot, loot, loot? While I felt it did little to advance the franchise, it did excel at what the games have done best at so far: giving me stuff to pick up. Handsome Jack was a deliciously devious villain, the additional characters were entertaining (especially latecomer Mechromancer Gage), and I choked back a few tears when some of my favorite teammates were murdered. It was the greatest co-op challenge I had this year, and for that I must thank Gearbox in the middle of wartime debauchery and zombie nonsense for giving me something a little more light-hearted to adventure with. 3. Little Inferno I typically allot little time to independent releases that take only a few hours to complete, but I'm so glad I stopped to see what all the commotion was about here. Little Inferno is a game about burning things: magnets, miniature nukes, cat plushies, and anything you can get your hands on from Tomorrow Corporation's several catalogues, but it's also a post-apocalyptic tale that resonates with the player. You'll laugh your way through the unlockable combos, but come time for the game to end, you'll be singing another tune. 2. Hotline Miami Official GP Review Gaudy fonts, hip techno beats, gore, and violence? Someone tapped into my personal "favorites" list when it comes to design, fashion, and media. All they needed was a little glitter and it would have been set, but Hotline Miami hit the ball out of the park as-is. I won't ruin it for you. Just pick it up on Steam and get ready for some disturbing, action-packed gore -- roll on up in your DeLorean and take everyone out. 1. Persona 4 Golden Persona 4 received a lot more love than my personal favorite, Persona 3, but nevertheless Persona 4 Golden meant the most to me this year in the realm of RPG gaming and more. It sports a phenomenal amount of content packed into a single card. One of the PlayStation 2's greatest role-playing games of all time graced the Vita with slick, vivid aesthetic improvements, loads of additional areas to explore, and tons of reasons to come back even if you've beaten the game into the ground. I'm not one to come back to a game once it's been completed, but this is one re-release that was worth the hype, and quite possibly the most fun I had all year.
  3. This year saw the opening of a video games exhibit in the museum in the Smithsonian and the promise of one in the Museum of Modern Art next March, as well as a video game whose score was nominated for a friggin“ Grammy. Video game culture is evolving, and the Pangaea that was once the entirety of “video games” has broken off into a number of continents. Point-and-click adventures, top-down arcade bloodbaths, rhythm RPGs – it seems like no genre is off limits in this new, hopeful era of gaming, ruled by passion and creativity. In no particular order, here are some of my personal highlights of what I truly hope is a gaming renaissance. Theatrhythm: Final Fantasy Official GP Review Theatrhythm makes my list not only because it“s an extremely addictive and unique game, combining RPG elements with rhythm-based gameplay in an experience that lasts far longer than the initial run through (I“ve put in over 55 hours so far); I“m also including it because it“s the best Final Fantasy game released in recent memory, a fact that is as sad as it is indicative of the gaming culture shift we are witnessing. Formulaic gameplay might have worked for a while, but with so many creative titles on the market, it wouldn“t be a stretch to say that shallow cookie-cutter sequels (like, ahem, Final Fantasy XIII-2) won“t keep the attention of the new gaming crowd, whose attentions are constantly threatened by a rainbow-like barrage of great new properties. Hotline Miami Official GP Review While larger studios were preoccupied with crafting storylines, characters, special effects, and whatever else in their attempts to distract us from what was often the same old experience, smaller groups have demonstrated a natural talent for proving the adage that "less is more." Hotline Miami, made by a couple of guys and a handful of composers, has you infiltrating buildings and strategically wasting goons in short bursts (by shooting them, throwing pipes at them, or my favorite, knocking them out by timing the opening of doors just right) using only the WASD keys and mouse, in a top-down perspective reminiscent of the first Grand Theft Auto. It“s laughably simple, and yet this game emanates with blood-soaked charm and an arcade-style addictive quality that will keep you entertained far longer than most of the big-budget titles that came out this year. The Walking Dead If there“s anything that represents the point of this list, it“s this: an adventure game based on a popular comic that features a riveting story, multi-dimensional character relationships, and choices that affect the game in ways that range from the subtle to the devastating. More important, though, is that The Walking Dead is possibly revitalizing the entire point-and-click adventure genre, a category that has been pretty much dead itself to the larger gaming populace since the days of Grim Fandango. I don“t know what it means when a low-budget indie game can make this kind of impact on the industry, but it“s surprising, exciting, and likely to inspire a whole new wave of would-be game designers to work with the archaic game genre of their choice. Journey Official GP Review As you traverse through a mountainous desert landscape with your partner – an anonymous online player with whom you can“t communicate save for a wordless shout – you get the sensation an early explorer must have felt after docking his ship at an unknown island for the first time. Stunning landscapes, emotionally-charged co-op gameplay, and an evocative, Grammy-nominated soundtrack all come together to produce something far bigger than the sum of its parts. It seems like an insult to call this a “game.” This is humanity, programmed and interpreted. Borderlands 2 And yet, amidst this paradigm shift into more minimalistic and avant-garde attitudes, there remains the knowledge that a game may not have to do something entirely unprecedented as long as it does a phenomenal job of pulling you into it and keeping you there. Also, that a big budget can still be used to kick entire truckloads of ass. Borderlands 2 isn“t just about the millions of guns you can acquire, or the constant barrage of tasks and rewards, or about the unique, colorful characters or well-written dialogue or the sheer hilarity of playing it for even half an hour. It“s about how all of these things conflate into an unequivocally magnificent experience.
  4. Jason Clement

    hotline miami 02

  5. Jason Clement

    Hotline Miami

  6. Harrison Lee

    Review: Hotline Miami

    Developer: Dennaton Games Publisher: Devolver Digital Platform: PC Release Date: October 23, 2012 Rating: N/A (suggested 17+) I drive up to a specified location in my nondescript DeLorean. A brief menu flashes before me, offering a choice of animal masks. I choose one and watch the driver briefly pull it over his head. This mask grants him a knife from the very start. Once I push open the door to the target building, everything else is a blur of violence, adrenaline, power, and regret. Welcome to Hotline Miami. Hotline is one of 2012's most talked-about indie releases. From the minds behind Seizure Dome and Ad Nauseam comes this upstart little game. When you first fire it up, a neon-washed menu screen written in Cyrillic greets you. The text flits about the space in a drug-induced motion. It's trippy and so 1980's that it hurts. From there, things only get stranger. The main character, who's never given a name, is a vigilante. He accepts his missions from a telephone that records messages from a mysterious sender. Every instruction set uses odd euphemisms and outright lies to detail where you're going and who to kill; you're always out to slay bad guys. Or at least, I think they're bad guys. The farther you progress in the story, the more you begin to question the character's sanity. Is any of this really happening? Are the bad people actually bad people? When you reach Hotline's conclusion, you'll still be left with more questions than answers. I will spoil nothing of the plot for you, because this game deserves to be experienced. The plot, however confusing and disorienting, is well-paced and constructed. The player will never discover the truth to what's going on; only enough to make theories about each and every character's involvement in the overarching story. By and large, however, you aren't playing Hotline for the story. You're playing it because of the vicious combat. I have seldom seen melee brawlers as intense as Hotline. Each level is broken down into self-contained stages that need to be cleared of gangsters. Charging in the front door without observing the level's layout and enemy patrol patterns is a death sentence. Strategy is key, though fast reflexes and adaptability are just as important. You could try to memorize patrol patterns and weapon drops, but both elements change each time you play that segment. This wildcard always makes each and every engagement as much about planning as it is improvisation. Use what you have and you might just survive another shootout. For each and every enemy you kill, you get a score bonus. Kill faster and you score more. The more you score, the more weapons and masks you'll have access to. Puzzle pieces and additional secret masks are also scattered about the levels. If you look carefully, you can find plenty of secrets scattered about the play areas. Every new mask earned is like a badge of accomplishment for the amount of work you'll likely put in. While the new weapons are nice, they don't have the same feeling of reward that a mask brings. Hotline's visuals and soundtrack are top notch. The pixelated-graphics offer a fantastic, retro experience. While it's not quite 8-bit, I love the overall feel of the visuals. The neon-drenched environments feel like the 1980's. The soundtrack also bleeds old-school charm. It features the talents of bands like M.O.O.N. and Jasper Byrne. It fits the mood of each mission and interlude perfectly. In some ways, the audio and visuals are what truly make Hotline so special. While I love Hotline for what it does right, there are a few things I'm not in love with. Chief among them are the numerous bugs present during my experience. Whenever more than one person started shooting, my framerate dropped to a near crawl. Sometimes, throwing my weapon didn't register a hit. A few times, I didn't execute an enemy even when I spammed the space button. None of these glitches really prohibited me from enjoying this game. In its current state, I'm still in love with it. All of the gameplay elements and narrative pieces (bugs aside) serve to moralize in a way you might not expect. Each enemy is simply a small set of sprites until you kill them. As is typical of shooters, they are dehumanized until they're dead. When you see the aftermath of your actions, you slowly come to understand just how terrible the main character is. While you could argue that Hotline loses some of that impact with the scoring system, I think Dennaton uses that for ironic effect. It wants to show you how senseless video games are when it comes to violence. Unlike Spec Ops: The Line, Hotline really doesn't need to make blatant explanations of why the crimes you're committing are wrong. You, as the perpetrator of chaos, know that what you're doing is horrific. Once again, you're a pseudo-villain. I say pseudo because there are plot elements that suggest that things may not have been your fault. At other times, the game bluntly accuses you of terrible, bloody murder. I can't say which is correct. There is no right answer in Hotline; it's up to you to draw your own conclusions. While Hotline Miami isn't the best game of the year, I will say that it is one of the most important. On a much smaller budget and with more subtlety and stylistic flair than Spec Ops, Dennaton has managed to criticize the world of video game violence while simultaneously embracing it. It's a maddening, but fitting, contradiction. Nothing is what it seems in Hotline Miami. Pros: + Incredible audio and visuals + Interesting narrative and plot twists + Deep, complex combat system + Adrenaline-inducing Cons: - Quite a few bugs to contend with - Difficulty spikes can be cheap Overall Score: 9.5 (out of 10) Fantastic I recommend experiencing Hotline Miami at least once. It's exciting, powerful, and one of this year's most important games.
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