Review: Hotline Miami


When I first heard about Hotline Miami, I didn’t quite understand the attraction. My assumption was that it was just a gruesome beat-em-up with the old-fashioned pixellated visual style so common in indie games these days. I just wasn’t that interested in a game that appeared to involve nothing more than bashing in the heads of an endless number of goons. However, when I had a chance to pick it up on sale over the holidays for $2.50, I figured it couldn’t hurt to give it a try. I was pleasantly surprised to discover that Hotline Miami is stranger and far more challenging that I was originally expecting, and I knew within a few hours of gameplay that it was worthy of a place on my personal top ten games of the year.

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Would You Rather: Developer Edition

It’s time for another edition of your favorite game, Would You Rather. We know how much you like talking about yourselves and all, and that’s cool, because we like it, too.

Our last Would You Rather covered the beginning of 2011, looking forward to the year’s major releases. This edition is going to be the “developer dream job” version, tackling questions about the video game makers we know and love. Since many of you are aspiring video game developers, we thought it would be appropriate to see where your tendencies lie as potential future leaders in the industry.

For the Would You Rather newbies out there, the game is easy: we ask and you dish out your response. Give as much or as little explanation as you want for your choices, but we all know that we like to see the reasoning behind the madness.

Don’t let your answers suck, though. There’s a special blacklist going around on our site for sucky comments. Let’s just say those people get fed to the Sarlacc Nick keeps in his closet. And that thing is hungry. So yeah. Answer well. Go!

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What is With All the Streamlining?

supreme commander
While Bad Company 2 was released last week on March 2, another sequel that I was greatly anticipating came out that day as well: Supreme Commander 2, the follow up to 2007’s large-scale strategy title. I’d been hearing mumblings going into its release that it was going to eschew the heavy system requirements necessary to render the huge battlefields of the previous game, but I doubted that Gas Powered Games was going to stray too far from the formula of the original. After all, there’s something unique and cathartic about building up a huge base, stocking it with top tier defense guns and shields, then pummeling the enemy’s fortifications with a gigantic navy. The game had a charm that could only come from a prohibitive resource management system, but I loved it all the same.

Now that I’ve had a chance to play Supreme Commander 2 a bit, I can’t help but notice how severely pared down it is from its original inception. I wonder when I became vogue to start taking formerly complicated games and trimming all of the fat off of them. While this trend has been seeing movement for a while, there is another recent example of a game series that started off as bloated with genre tropes as you can possibly get then got whittled down to the bare essentials: Mass Effect. Like I mentioned in my recent post about the upcoming DLC, I’ve been playing the original and the differences in the inventory and level management system are staggering. The same thing is true with Supreme Commander in that there are no more tech trees and the unit upgrades are managed through a simple interface as opposed to a constant advancement of technology.
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GamerSushi Asks: Immediate Regrets?

stalkerIt’s happened to all of us at one point or another: we buy a game, tear off the shrink wrapping, pop the disc into our console or PC, boot it up and watch as our hopes are torn asunder. It doesn’t occur all that often, being the net-savvy video game fans we are, but there are some games that manage to defeat all of our ingrained warnings and end up absorbing our hard earned cash.

This circumstance befell me last week with STALKER: Call of Pripyat, an open-world FPS by GSC Game World, a Ukraine-based developer of some note. I’ve been interested in the Stalker series for a while, but I’ve never had a machine capable of running the titles until now. I figured that, after three iterations on the formula, it was probably a safe bet that Call of Pripyat would fix up the nagging problems I’ve heard about the first two games, namely the repeated crashes and lock-ups.

Well, you know what they say about assumptions, and it turns out that Call of Pripyat is just as unstable as the other two games. After raising all my graphic options to maximum, the game promptly crashed, forcing me to do it all over again. It also doesn’t help that, even on full graphics, the game looks and plays like a budget 2007 title. I understand that GSC is using the same engine, but they could have at least given it a bit of spit shine.

Needless to say, I promptly uninstalled the game and began pining after my forty misspent dollars. Has something like this happened to anyone else? I can think of two other instances of this phenomenon, but I’d like to hear your stories first. Have any of you been burned by hype? Sound off!

GamerSushi Asks: Adventure Games?

monkey-islandOne of my favorite old school genres had to be the point-and-click adventure games for the PC. I remember when I was a kid I used to love playing games like Police Quest, Space Quest, Maniac Mansion and Myst. Myst especially changed the way I viewed video games, with its hauntingly quiet atmosphere, its hefty brain teasers and creepy story of two sons. I for real used to play that game for hours at a time.

However, I never played The Secret of Monkey Island until just the last couple of weeks, when it re-released in a special edition form on XBox Live Arcade. I’ve always heard great things about it, but I’m finally getting to experience the games charms for myself. It really has some brilliant writing, great characters and some laugh-out-loud moments.

The crazy thing is I’m realizing just how much I miss these kinds of games. How cool would it be if all of those old school games started re-releasing with new coats of paint? I’d play the heck out of them, that’s for sure. So what about you guys? Did you ever get into those old school point-and-click games? What were your favorites? Go!

Top 10 PC Developers?

starcraftEven though I don’t do too much PC gaming these days, some of my favorite titles of all time have been played via keyboard and a mouse. Warcraft III, The Sims, Counter-Strike: Source, Battlefield 2 and many other games easily top the list of great titles, and I never would have had them without my trusty PC. Well what about the folks that made those games?

ZTGD has put together a list of the top 10 PC game developers of all time, and while the list isn’t all that surprising, it really is cool to go back and reminisce on gaming days of old. These developers really have brought a lot to gaming, particularly folks like Valve, Blizzard and Id.

So who made the number one? Go check it out and see. Also, who is your favorite PC game developer of all time? Do you agree/disagree with this list?

Source- ZTGD

Bioware: PC Gaming is Just Fine, Thanks

biowareThere are lots of discussions going on these days in the gaming blogosphere about whether or not PC gaming is dying or not. While the place to game 10 years ago was on the PC, console developers have really stepped up and given our computers a run for their money.

However, Bioware begs to differ, and asserts that PC gaming is doing alright. Since they are kind of veterans in the PC gaming realm, along with other greats like Valve and Blizzard, I suppose maybe we should listen to them, eh?
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