Why Hotline Miami?

#51 Posted by sixpin (1287 posts) -

I find it intriguing when people are this offended by something like a videogame. It isn't real. Maybe I'm just desensitized.

#52 Posted by Video_Game_King (36272 posts) -

Maybe people are praising it for the gameplay? Maybe the thematic details are irrelevant when the gameplay is the main draw? I mean, I haven't played it, either, but from the Quick Look, it seems to operate on gut instincts and developing a rhythm in achieving goals. You know, something that a lot of really great game accomplish.

And as an addendum, games can still grow up while games like this exist. Literature and film aren't forever tainted by the presence of Twilight and....Twilight.

#53 Posted by MikkaQ (10284 posts) -

It's because it feels very visceral, as a pure gaming experience it plays very well. It has the same split-second timing and responsive feel as something like Super Meat Boy does. The gameplay is such that it's all reptile brain, no thinking, the ideal twitch experience.

To me, it would be just as fun if it were abstracted to stick-men with no gore. That's just an aesthetic, and I can understand not liking it. But the gameplay stands on it's own.

#54 Posted by Hunkulese (2702 posts) -

Mario Bros. is little more than murdering little dudes out for a stroll then stealing their money. Are you ok with that?

#55 Posted by el_tajij (709 posts) -

@DevWil: I'm assuming you really like the game and wrote this post to get more people to play/into Hotline Miami on giantbomb? Y'know .....like, reverse psychology stuff?

I really, really, really hope I'm right about this.

#56 Edited by Commisar123 (1791 posts) -

@DevWil: You do realize the point of this game is to make you feel like a horrible person and question why you are enjoying the violence so much? Also if you kept reading the Polygon review you would see that Chris Plante arrives at that conclusion and kind feels bad for enjoying the game

#57 Posted by Ravenlight (8040 posts) -

@DevWil:

I think it would be interesting at this point if you actually did play Hotline Miami with the intent to figure out why the game is receiving the praise it is.

I don't necessarily hope you change your opinion of the game, but it would be cool if you wrote a followup piece.

#58 Posted by Dogma (946 posts) -

@MikkaQ said:

It's because it feels very visceral, as a pure gaming experience it plays very well. It has the same split-second timing and responsive feel as something like Super Meat Boy does. The gameplay is such that it's all reptile brain, no thinking, the ideal twitch experience.

To me, it would be just as fun if it were abstracted to stick-men with no gore. That's just an aesthetic, and I can understand not liking it. But the gameplay stands on it's own.

I read all posts, I was ready to give my opinion and then you said it all for me in the second to last post. Especially that last sentence.

#59 Posted by Milkman (16698 posts) -

WILL SOMEBODY PLEASE THINK OF THE CHILDREN?!

Online
#60 Edited by RIDEBIRD (1232 posts) -

I'd say it's fairly obvious Hotline Miami is satire of video games and video game conventions through and through, especially ultraviolence, with aesthetic perfection in combination with super exciting gameplay. But uh yeah

It quite obviously forces the player to rethink what they're doing as well, and one particular scene is so goddamn disgusting it without a question goes beyond AWESOME!! gore and heads in to WHAT THE FUCK-town.

#61 Edited by Ghostiet (5252 posts) -

@AngriGhandi said:

Fun fact: nothing involving a pig mask is supposed to be appealing.

I would argue this one picture actually does a perfect job of demonstrating why Hotline Miami is more than simple exploitation, and why it is receiving so much praise.

The idealized, nostalgic images of 80s "awesomeness" (dudes in white suits carrying katanas, pink neon city, a sexy blonde in need of rescue) are totally undercut by a vein of bizarre, off-putting creepiness (you and the damsel are drenched in blood, her arm is covered in track marks, you are wearing a fucking pig mask like some kind of nightmare serial killer).

The whole point of the game is to draw you in and repel you from its aesthetic at the same time. That's the theme.

You might even call it a deliberate artistic choice!

So, when you consider that a game with such a pointed and challenging aesthetic is also, by all reports, really engaging, difficult, and fun to play, the wave of critical appreciation doesn't seem very surprising.

At all.

This. It does a very similar thing that Michael Mann's Thief and Drive did, movies that absolutely influenced the game.

Your rant is especially ironic when one looks at your previous one, where you praise Meshuggah for being violent, yet intelligent music. Which it is, but problem is that Hotline Miami uses its violence quite intelligently, which you failed to get.

#62 Posted by Strife777 (1558 posts) -

There's so much wrong with your post and the reasons why you wrote it. First and most important, if you haven't experienced something, don't judge it, period. Don't say something is good or bad unless you've actually taken the time to play it fully (when it comes to games). This applies to movies, books, TV shows, music, whatever.

Then, people need to lighten up. Fiction is there so we can enjoy the things we wouldn't in real life. Guess what, I don't want to go on a murderous spree, killing everything in sight, but in a game? Hell yes! Embrace your impulses, your primal instincts, every now and then. It feels good.

You could almost even argue that this game treats the act of murder more respectfully then a game like say Medal Of Honor (nothing specific about this one, it's just a recent one that came to mind), because Hotline Miami knows it's a game and treats it with over-the-top intensity, it exaggerates. While on the other hand, war games try and treat it like it's really serious stuff and intense in a whole different way, when it really isn't, it's a video game.

I don't really know what to say about the anti-feminist claim, I'm just getting tired of the argument. People just need to stop being so uptight about fiction, whatever medium it's presented in.

#63 Posted by Gradev (43 posts) -

Games hardcore, that is all!

#64 Posted by AlmostSwedish (552 posts) -

I kind of agree with OP's point, it is depressing when games get attention for the "wrong" reasons. But in the end, the job of game critics/reviewers is to give their opinion on a game and that is what they do.

That being said, I seem to remember some of Cactus' games having been part of som museum exhibition, so there's definitely something more going on there. It's just to bad that the hype doesn't reflect that.

#65 Posted by triple07 (1196 posts) -

I can't tell if this is serious or not because people keep making fake outrage posts lately but I'm going to assume this is real. If it is ill tell you this: I have absolutely no interest in this game, it doesn't interest me in the slightest but it also doesn't offend me. Look there are plenty of ultra violent games out there, hell there is a ton of ultra violent media out there period. I don't think it's going to go away anytime soon so you may want to get used to it.

#66 Posted by Alexandru (301 posts) -

im sick of all you feminists.

#67 Posted by mnzy (2914 posts) -

I hear people liked Drive, why is it not allowed to have a video game in the same vein?

#68 Posted by dekkadekkadekka (732 posts) -

Yeah it's nothing like a boat on an infinite ocean AT ALL.

#69 Posted by Animasta (14677 posts) -

@Alexandru said:

im sick of all you feminists.

even the ones defending it? christ

#70 Posted by Dogma (946 posts) -

@AlmostSwedish said:

I kind of agree with OP's point, it is depressing when games get attention for the "wrong" reasons. But in the end, the job of game critics/reviewers is to give their opinion on a game and that is what they do.

That being said, I seem to remember some of Cactus' games having been part of som museum exhibition, so there's definitely something more going on there. It's just to bad that the hype doesn't reflect that.

But have the critics really given this game attention because it's violent or because it actually a good game? Yeah... they write about the violence and Ryan and Patrick sure reacted to it from the start in the Quick Look but it seemed very clear to me that after a while it goes beyond living on it's violent nature and becomes a very systematic and and fastpaced tactical experience. That is what kept them going, not that people died gruesome deahs. And that is the feel I get from most of th critics that talk about it.

#71 Posted by TruthTellah (8852 posts) -

@DevWil: I think you unfortunately made a mistake in posting this. You present no understanding of the game or its real appeal, and you state an open willingness to judge the response to it despite admitting no understanding of it. You are sadly representing one of the most common errors within discussion today, especially on the Internet. Uninformed individuals who are proudly and openly uninformed criticizing things they quite clearly don't understand.

I understand your intent based around very real issues with the perception of videogames, but this kind of response is simply misguided.

Online
#72 Posted by AlmostSwedish (552 posts) -

@Dogma said:

@AlmostSwedish said:

I kind of agree with OP's point, it is depressing when games get attention for the "wrong" reasons. But in the end, the job of game critics/reviewers is to give their opinion on a game and that is what they do.

That being said, I seem to remember some of Cactus' games having been part of som museum exhibition, so there's definitely something more going on there. It's just to bad that the hype doesn't reflect that.

But have the critics really given this game attention because it's violent or because it actually a good game? Yeah... they write about the violence and Ryan and Patrick sure reacted to it from the start in the Quick Look but it seemed very clear to me that after a while it goes beyond living on it's violent nature and becomes a very systematic and and fastpaced tactical experience. That is what kept them going, not that people died gruesome deahs. And that is the feel I get from most of th critics that talk about it.

To answer your question, I think it's fairly obvious that it's both the presentation and the gameplay. What I'm saying is that there is more to it than that, in terms of what it's trying to convey.

#73 Posted by Sanity (1901 posts) -

@Strife777 said:

There's so much wrong with your post and the reasons why you wrote it. First and most important, if you haven't experienced something, don't judge it, period. Don't say something is good or bad unless you've actually taken the time to play it fully (when it comes to games). This applies to movies, books, TV shows, music, whatever.

Then, people need to lighten up. Fiction is there so we can enjoy the things we wouldn't in real life. Guess what, I don't want to go on a murderous spree, killing everything in sight, but in a game? Hell yes! Embrace your impulses, your primal instincts, every now and then. It feels good.

You could almost even argue that this game treats the act of murder more respectfully then a game like say Medal Of Honor (nothing specific about this one, it's just a recent one that came to mind), because Hotline Miami knows it's a game and treats it with over-the-top intensity, it exaggerates. While on the other hand, war games try and treat it like it's really serious stuff and intense in a whole different way, when it really isn't, it's a video game.

I don't really know what to say about the anti-feminist claim, I'm just getting tired of the argument. People just need to stop being so uptight about fiction, whatever medium it's presented in.

Well said, i thing theres a place for this kind of game as well as more meaningful things in the medium. It doesn't have to be one or the other and i hate when people say that the medium has to grow up as if film and literature are somehow so clean and nice. As far as the anti-feminist thing goes id say people have a right to be uptight in certain situations but complaining about it in a 10 dollar game isn't one of them.

#74 Posted by Alexandru (301 posts) -

@Animasta said:

@Alexandru said:

im sick of all you feminists.

even the ones defending it? christ

Uhm, defending what?

I meant I am sick of all these extreme feminists (which this guy seems to be one by the way he reacts).

#75 Posted by Shortbreadtom (763 posts) -

How dare journalists find this game fun! They should be ashamed of themselves. Liking a game.

Don't be so uptight. Most games involve killing things. If you think this is bad, how do you feel when a game is praised for the shooting feeling good?

#76 Posted by Nottle (1912 posts) -

@MildMolasses said:

@Rockbrain said:

Someone, quick! Make a game about reading and making positive changes in your neighborhood!

Brilliant! Finally the proper Fatu tribute we've all needed to get the healing started.

They already made this game. It's called Animal Crossing.

#77 Posted by BD_Mr_Bubbles (1700 posts) -

@Nadril said:

Yup, video games are the only medium to have random, nonsensical violence.

Don't be so uptight.

#78 Posted by Animasta (14677 posts) -

@Alexandru said:

@Animasta said:

@Alexandru said:

im sick of all you feminists.

even the ones defending it? christ

Uhm, defending what?

I meant I am sick of all these extreme feminists (which this guy seems to be one by the way he reacts).

I am too but that doesn't mean shit dude, feminists are not a homogenous group of people

#79 Posted by Video_Game_King (36272 posts) -

@Alexandru said:

im sick of all you feminists.

Care to elaborate? Because as it is, it seems like you're angry at women for expecting equal pay.

#80 Posted by bushpusherr (778 posts) -

For a point of comparison: Mad World was an extremely violent game. However, any fervor for that game died out very quickly when people realized that it was super repetitive and quite boring to play, and that violence really it's main draw. Violence without substance isn't enough, and that isn't what Hotline Miami is.

#81 Posted by ProfessorEss (7324 posts) -

@DevWil said:

We keep talking about how video games are a young medium and how we’re eager for it to grow up.

Luckily I don't have to hypocritically disagree with your post because I don't say this, I oppose it.

Videogames have matured quite a bit over the last five years or so and look where it has brought us. Social gaming, motion controls, convoluted pre-order/season pass/online pass/DLC structures, massive budgets that hinder risk-taking and videogame consoles like the PS3 and 360 that are so littered with other media features and ads that you almost forget that they play videogames.

I hate to be an "I told you so" kind of guy but I've always opposed this idea because I feel like saw what it would bring a mile away (and unfortunately still see more to come) so honestly, I'm cool if Hotline Miami scares off a few Soccer moms and New York Timers. I don't play videogames to establish myself as a tasteful, intelligent and productive member of society, I play them for fun and so far the "maturing of videogames" has been doing much more harm than good as far as I'm concerned.

But to each their own. I think your argument is somewhat sound, I just don't agree with the agenda.

#82 Posted by CosmicBatman (317 posts) -

I like this game for the same reasons I enjoyed FEZ so much. The nostalgic pixel art, the music, and the overall style of the game. They are complete opposites in the level of violence though.

#83 Posted by Alexandru (301 posts) -

@Video_Game_King: no, i am sick of morons over reacting over nothing, like the OP did.

#84 Posted by Dogma (946 posts) -

@bushpusherr said:

For a point of comparison: Mad World was an extremely violent game. However, any fervor for that game died out very quickly when people realized that it was super repetitive and quite boring to play, and that violence really it's main draw. Violence without substance isn't enough, and that isn't what Hotline Miami is.

Very well said.

#85 Posted by Largo6661 (334 posts) -

I agree with you to a point, the game does glorify brutal violence but I'm OK with that. I played it and found it fun compared to Manhunt this game is timid. And in reality most action games are brutally violent look at Nathan Drake he basically does the same thing Hotline Miami guy does (that being murder hundreds of dudes).

#86 Posted by Vitor (2815 posts) -

@DevWil: Everything you just described could be cited as the reason that people enjoyed the film 'Drive', yet that's still held up by many as one of the best films of recent years.

Also, you can't analyse a game to that extent successfully if you haven't played it. You're just not informed enough to make those calls.

#87 Posted by Video_Game_King (36272 posts) -

@Alexandru:

Oh, you mean dickheads who feel it is their civil duty to defend the honor of this fair maiden from the ravages of a violent world? Yea, fuck those guys.

#88 Posted by Nottle (1912 posts) -

Snake, have you ever... enjoyed killing someone?

Diminished sense of reality. VR training will do that to you.

#89 Posted by glyn (382 posts) -

@DevWil: Because it's fun. And people play games to have fun.

#90 Posted by Colourful_Hippie (4339 posts) -

Being serious about every video game must be very tiring.

#91 Posted by CrystaljDesign (150 posts) -

I was really put off by the trailer for the game, but after seeing the Quick Look I "get it." It's a fun puzzle game where you murder people instead of move blocks around.

#92 Posted by BoG (5187 posts) -

@DevWil: As someone who loves this game, I've been trying to answer the exact same question. First, it's fun, I'll get that out of the way. There is far more to it than that, however. I actually have to say that I agree with the Polygon quote that you gave. The game does make you feel like a homicidal maniac. It's inaccurate to say, however, that all games about killing create this same evil sensation. Yeah, a lot of games feature characters that we can call homicidal maniacs when we step back and look at things. It's a major criticism of games like Uncharted, or even Grand Theft Auto. I didn't play it, but I remember many people taking issue with GTA IV's lead character being portrayed as a man who simply got mixed up in the wrong business, and who, at the end of the day, was moral. How could this be true if, over the course of the game, he does so many horrible things (again, I didn't play it, and I'm not really explaining that well)?

Hotline Miami is... different. The game doesn't try to portray the player character as being even the least bit moral. The game doesn't explain his motivations. He's almost as foreign to the player controlling him as he is to the people who he is attacking. The game strips away motive, and strips away justification. It's just about killing, and it doesn't hide that fact.

I guess that doesn't really do much to defend the game, does it?

Though this is based on absolutely nothing about the game itself, I kind of took it as a sort of meta-commentary on gaming.

Here's a review worth reading. Its argument does not resemble mine at all.http://killscreendaily.com/articles/reviews/kill-screen-review-hotline-miami-first-postmodern-videogame/

I'm sure you'll find both of these arguments unsatisfying, however.

I guess I can't explain it. Maybe, as someone who often feels just as discouraged as you about the state of gaming, I am wrong to like this game as much as I do.

#93 Posted by FancySoapsMan (5821 posts) -

There is something severely off-putting about this game, and I like that. 
 
about the soundtrack, I think it's nothing special on its own but coupled with the bizarre art style and the extreme violence, it turns into something wonderful.

Online
#94 Posted by Kraznor (1578 posts) -

@DevWil: Okay, there is a difference you are failing to acknowledge. See, most games tell you to kill people and don't reflect on that at all. Call of Duty tasks you with shooting hundreds of people and at no point reflects on the fact you are doing that. It is simply a thing that has to be done. Hotline Miami strips away all the extra stuff a game such as that piles on top of its killing and really meditates on the simple fact that yes, you are killing people and you are enjoying it. It goes so far with its violent content, and doesn't shy away from the awfulness of what you're doing, to the point where the player has to acknowledge the fact they are role-playing a sick, psychopath. I'd put it in the same category as a movie like American Psycho Its about a serial killer so it must be advocating murdering people, right? Based on your logic, that's a valid conclusion but that is what's juvenile in this discussion, your attitude towards the whole thing. At the end of that film Patrick Bateman wants to be caught. He is nauseated by the act of killing yet he can't deny the fact that he loves doing it. This game is intentionally placing the player in the same mindset, which IS disturbing in a way, but compelling nonetheless.

As for gender politics, that is completely tangential in this game's case but is a larger issue that may need addressing. Still, makes more sense to question a game like "Tomb Raider" rather than this game, which is consciously evoking a certain style of vengeance-fuelled action cinema that also trivializes its female characters. SEE Drive

#95 Posted by Questionable (619 posts) -

I think is is a successful as a game.

  1. The different floors challenge both your brain AND reflexes on top of that there is some randomisation at work to keep you on your toes (you can't brainlessly follow a never changing preset path that completely trivializes the challenge like in Dark souls)
  2. There is a strict scoring mechanic in place(!)
  3. The presentation has a really distinct art style
  4. The music really fits and amplifies the experience

I would say this is a much more accomplished game than say retro city rampage. When i look at retro city rampage it feels like the gameplay is just a vehicle and borderline filler just to get to the gags/refferences. Hotline Miami is just 100% game, everything it offers is to support that core.

#96 Posted by DevWil (842 posts) -

Most of you who are disagreeing with me are saying one of three things: 1. Don't take games seriously; they're just supposed to be fun. 2. Play the game and maybe you'll feel differently. 3. Movies are violent too. The second is the only disagreement I can entertain. However, it is a complete failure of both marketing and game criticism that I've read two reviews, watched a trailer, and watched a Quick Look and have the opposite impression that the game wants me to. Perhaps most importantly, you can't simply do something and say you're making fun of it. If Hotline Miami is satirizing violence, I don't see it. It seems like people are focusing their experience around how exciting it is to kill people in the game. Finally, movies and games aren't the same, and appealing to violent movies doesn't impress me anyway. Thanks to everybody who has responded, and I hope I cleared some things up. Sorry if I didn't answer your argument directly. This comment thread sort of blew up, and I'm typing this on a tablet, as I'm not home right now.

#97 Posted by TobbRobb (4610 posts) -

HOTLINE MIAMI IS AWESOME!

Am I helping?

#98 Posted by DevWil (842 posts) -

Yuck. Apparently the simple version of the comment field doesn't save paragraph breaks. Sorry for the wall of text.

#99 Posted by TheHumanDove (2523 posts) -

PAPA DONT PREACH!

#100 Edited by Bourbon_Warrior (4523 posts) -

It's a video game... Stop looking for so much story and meaning from these advanced toys. You've played games like Call of Duty, Battlefield and Dead Space so I find you telling me this quite hypocritical.

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