Sunday, July 21, 2013

A brief interruption

The Now Playing banner lies. The Last of Us did not arrive yesterday as I thought it would so I was forced into the respective Xbox and Playstation marketplaces to find something to do. XBLA is wasteland right now as the everything good is being held back for the Summer of Arcade event. PSN is not much better but there was one exclusive that I missed a few weeks (months?) back that caught my eye. It was time to play Hotline Miami.

Fours hours later I peeled myself off of the couch. Had it really been that much time? What dark magic is woven into the retro style presentation that destroyed my sense of the passing hours? It boils down to three words: on more try. Death comes so quickly and without warning that the next try will often start before I even know the last one has ended. I'm already here, I would say to myself, this time will be different.

And the next time would usually be different. Sometime because I changed my approach and others because every once in awhile the game juggles enemy behavior just to fuck with you. Finally figured out how to take care of the two guys in a room? Good, because this time just as you are about to bust down the door the three guys behind you that you didn't know were there go out for a smoke and kill you on the way. Next time? Back to the way it was. Infuriating and brilliant.

Hotline Miami is hard. It isn't fair. It isn't even consistent with some enemies more aware of your presence than humanly possible and others content to take a knife in the back. But it is certainly a good time and makes me wonder what would happen is Suda 51 every stopped being weird long enough to make that played as well as it made you wonder what the hell was going on.

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