Thursday, April 9, 2015

Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number Review

     Hello everyone and happy Wednesday, hope your all doing great.  During November of last year I reviewed a top down 32 bit action game called Hotline Miami, which was enjoyable and cathartic.  Its been awhile since 2011 and now Devolver Digital has released the conclusion to the Hotline Miami with Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number. My Hotline Miami review here. The sequel take place a few years after the first game following the spiderweb of stories centering around the mayhem causing by the last game.  You have a group of vigilante murderers, a crooked detective, an actor in a movie inspired by the killings, an author writing a book about the killings, some Russian mobsters, and a few of Jacket's old war buddies.  This can get very confusing when your flipping through protagonists while going back and forth between  randomly different time periods. It also doesn't help that they have the durability of old pastries and crumble after a few mass murder sprees so then the pool of protagonists declines and your wondering if their stories mattered anyway.  The gameplay hasn't changed too much, its still super speed trial and error gameplay, with the slightest fart directed towards the player make hum drop dead but you can jump back in instantly, so no loss.  This time around the game is changing up the play style when you shift in between characters, each with their own abilities.  The author doesn't kill people, just knocks them out, theres a bear guy who dual wields machine guns, tiger mask can't use weapons but is lethal with fists, and theres a character who's two characters; one wielding a chainsaw, the other a pistol.  Its a fun system for mixing things up between chapters, its also much longer than it's predecessor and while fun, it probably should have ended three hours earlier. Combat as a whole hasn't changed much, you still pick up bats and knifes then throw them at people, you also shoot guns which are lying everywhere due to bad guys being as smart as you and carrying them everywhere. Enemies range between guys with guns, guys with melee weapons and mother fucking dogs that come at you like the Flash that proceed to rip your jugular vein out.  You can kick down doors to knock over enemies then proceed to finish them off and move to the next baddie.  It can get mighty annoying on a segment where you play as a soldier constantly using guns and facing Soviets in large numbers gets frustrating.  Also firing a gun in Hotline Miami is like bleeding a tank of piranhas, they all converge on you in swarms.  You can turn this to your advantage by camping behind a door and mowing down any poor sod that runs through.
Typical mass murder scene
 This can work in smaller areas with fewer guys but in larger missions with more guys and those fucking heavy dudes that only die from a shotgun blast, things quickly go to shit.  One might think of Hotline Miami 2 as a trial and error game, but enemies have different weapons and patrol patterns every time. Also you can fail so easily and be back in the game before your brains have hit the wall. Hotline Miami 2 introduces some new concepts and is longer than its predecessor but still doesn't have the same feel as the first.  Like comparing Dark Souls to Dark Souls II, the first always is better because it introduced the framework for the second, also had a deeper narrative tone.  Hotline Miami 2 is the same way, introduced a few new concepts and characters but ultimately lacks the hallucinogenic rage that drove the first game as you unravel the mystery of the phone calls along with the whole point to the slaughter.  The soundtrack is still awesome, the gameplay holds up, and if its just more Hotline Miami, then its a welcome second serving.  Overall, great game, makes me believe the indie developers aren't all a bunch of sellouts that will sequel the bollocks out of their own game when they need another gold couch in their platinum house.  Hope you enjoyed this review, sorry I couldn't say more, see my Hotline Miami review for a full assessment of the franchise. This has been Jacob Arnold, signing off.
awesome trailer

1 comment:

  1. "Overall, great game, makes me believe the indie developers aren't all a bunch of sellouts that will sequel the bollocks out of their own game when they need another gold couch in their platinum house."
    This may be my favorite thing you've ever written.