Hotline Miami Review

hotline miami review

Platforms: PS3, Playstation Vita, PC
Release Date: October 23, 2012 (PC); June 25, 2013 (PS3, Playstation Vita)

hotling miami tag

I’ve got a dog mask covered in blood, a room littered with mangled corpses, and I still need to pick up my phone to answer to some more mysterious phone calls about murder. No, this isn’t Michael Vick’s latest twisted fantasy/scandal, it’s obviously a possible scene from Hotline Miami, a PC indie game that has finally arrived on the Playstation Vita and Playstation 3. Sony’s newfound indie push has brought us some great games like Guacamelee!, but titles like the 1980s-inspired Hotline Miami showcase the true innovation behind these smaller developers. Hotline Miami is a demented, wholly unique title that fits perfectly on the Vita (works great on the PS3 as well) and will find a way to get its hooks into you.
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Assassin’s Creed III Review


Platforms: PS3, Xbox 360, Wii U, PC
Release Date: October 30, 2012 (PS3, Xbox 360); November 18, 2012 (Wii U); November 20, 2012 (PC)

I’m a man of my word, so I’ll ask you again: Do you still want to stab dudes? After last year’s underwhelming Assassin’s Creed: Revelations, I wouldn’t call you out for being hesitant to once again wield the dual wrist blades just a mere year later. Assassin’s Creed III picks up the increasingly flickering torch but blows out expectations, despite following the series’ new annual slightly downward curve. Moving to a new time frame, starring a new hero, and refining or perfecting franchise mechanics catapults Assassin’s Creed III far beyond being “just another Assassin’s Creed” and into the discussion about being the best Assassin’s Creed game. Sweet, sweet redemption.
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Medal of Honor: Warfighter Review

Platforms: PS3, Xbox 360, PC
Release Date: October 23, 2012

Like the seasonal flu, every fall blatant copies of popular titles are shoved down the consumer’s throats right in time for the hopeful holiday rush. What’s popular enough now to be the topic of conversation between the kiddies at the playground? Military first-person shooters have been this go-to cash grab for years now and usually titles lacking Call of Duty in the title fall on a suicidal land mine. This year we have Medal of Honor: Warfighter, a first-person shooter touting “realism” (remember, THIS IS INSPIRED BY ACTUAL EVENTS) set in a modern military world. 2010’s Medal of Honor was terrible in its own right and Warfighter does little to better the name. It’s about as forgettable and poorly constructed as most of its competitors.
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Darksiders II Review


Platforms: PS3, Xbox 360, PC, Wii U
Release Dates: August 14, 2012 (PS3, Xbox 360, PC); Fall 2012 (Wii U)

Darksiders is my favorite Zelda game. Hot off the heels of a failed attempt at Ocarina of Time, Darksiders came into my life and subsequently consumed me because of its intelligent puzzles, sense of progression, and thick layer of mystery surrounding War, the protagonist. Seeing Zelda‘s influence bordered on plagiarism, but it’s incredible polish and overall presentation quickly silenced any haters… and probably Nintendo’s lawyers. I even remember saying that a second attempt should try to seek out its own identity. Darksiders II comes and promises to be a massive step over the original with plenty of new systems and areas of land to explore. I did say I wanted something different, but sometimes I should be careful of what I wish for.
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Spec Ops: The Line Review


Platforms: PS3, Xbox 360, PC
Release Date: June 26, 2012

For as long as I can remember, games have always kept the body count high but haven’t ever been too successful about making us ponder any moral quandaries. Ninja Gaiden 3 and the Call of Duty games have dipped a toe into the sticky subject but have failed miserably. How can I feel anything when the main gameplay is mercilessly obliterating everything and anything that dares to move? Such a concept is oxymoronic at its core and games have always struggled with balancing the narrative and gameplay in harmony. Spec Ops: The Line aims to change that predisposed failure with a lofty goal of delivering a cover-based third-person shooter capable of making you actually care about the actions you take. With a forgotten intellectual property and a lengthy development cycle, this almost had its GPS set to missing the mark, but something very different occurred. Not only is playing Spec Ops: The Line engaging, but it delivers a story that becomes one of the best in gaming, let alone the shooter genre.
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The Amazing Spider-Man Review


Platforms: PS3, Xbox 360, PC
Release Date: June 26, 2012 (PS3, Xbox 360); August 10, 2012 (PC)

Comic book movies have been immensely popular for the past few years but they generally have at least one blasé factor associated with them: the game tie-in they have is usually uninspired, rushed, and/or not up to industry standards. The Amazing Spider-Man has dropped into theaters and the Spider-Man professionals over at Beenox have been tasked to churn out yet another adventure based around Spidey’s newest rebooted film. Only a year has separated each of Beenox’s last three Spider-Man games and the haste of the short development time shows, but despite that enough of the Spider-Man spirit comes to the forefront to make it worth a look.
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Jak & Daxter: The Precursor Legacy HD Review


Platform: PS3
Release Date: February 7, 2012

Except for maybe adamantium, few things can compete with hardness of a nostalgia boner. The Jak & Daxter games have always injected heavy doses of nostalgia into me, but the first entry was special because it was the introductory game that graced my PS2. Things have changed though. Over ten years have passed and I no longer own a PS2 and the gaming scene is quite different as a whole. I guess everything hasn’t changed because Jak & Daxter: The Precursor Legacy HD is as fun as it always was.
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Lollipop Chainsaw Review


Platforms: PS3, Xbox 360
Release Date: June 12, 2012

If I could hop into the mind of any creative soul within the video game industry, my first choice wouldn’t be Peter Molyneux, Tim Schafer, or even Hideo Kojima. Suda 51 would be my initial pick because, judging by his games, there has to be obscene amounts of raw crazy just floating around his mind cavity. Games like Killer7, No More Heroes, and (my personal favorite) Shadows of the Damned showcased equal but different amounts of his creative juices, so anything else he throws his name and team behind has a bar to live up to. Lollipop Chainsaw is this new title and has the necessary spunk to warrant the attention. Thankfully, it has much more than that.
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Silent Hill: Downpour Review


Platforms: PS3, Xbox 360
Release Date: March 13, 2012

Plenty of series have fans that glorify the days of yesteryear but few have the same conviction as Silent Hill followers. Besides the botched HD ports, Silent Hill 2 and Silent Hill 3 have remained the franchise’s high points with little else to convince people that the glory days are still going strong. Vatra Games has stepped up to the plate in place of Team Silent and has aimed to make Silent Hill: Downpour, the newest entry, stand up to its predecessors. It’s an unquestionably tall task, but Silent Hill: Downpour is shining example of how to make a great horror game that knows how to stay relevant while retaining certain classic elements.
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Prototype 2 Review


Platforms: PS3, Xbox 360, PC
Release Dates: April 24, 2012 (PS3, Xbox 360); July 24, 2012 (PC)

The original Prototype was infamous in its comparison to other games. So much so that it barely got to stand on its own personal merits. A few years have passed from the original’s release and in that time, a sequel has come out. Prototype 2 has less to be equated to this year and has time to shine on what it does by itself. However, the question stands on whether it deserves this attention or not. Besides some niggling issues, Prototype 2 is an enjoyable open world game.
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