I played Hotline Miami for an hour when it first came out on PC and didn’t go back, so what made me love the PS Vita version? The port, the controls? Probably not. It’s a great port, but I have no doubt the game works better with a mouse and keyboard. In the end it was just timing.
Timing and convenience.
I had been looking for an excuse to brave the various challenges that turning on a PS Vita that had lain dormant since launch. And there were challenges. Finding the charger was first on the list. Then there would be updates, of course. Then, if I wanted to buy a game on the PlayStation Store I’d have to remember passwords I created years ago. I feared that challenge the most.
But it all went past in the blink of a broken bottle being lodged in a Russian gangster’s eye. Before I knew it I was stomping on heads, dislodging limbs and engaging in various other types of brutal behavior. The kind I might complain about in other games.
Why not with Hotline Miami?
Maybe it’s the style of the game? The visuals, the clever framing device of the game’s narrative. Maybe it’s just the little things. The way the game forces you to walk back through the corpses you just decimated in the heat of a music inspired frenzy of violence, like an owner rubbing a dog’s nose in shit for defecating on the carpet.
Maybe it was all of that, but I really think it was that beneath the violence in a brilliantly pitched experience that is part puzzle/ part performance. Hotline Miami is about as arcade as it comes and the violence has a strange distance to it, a deliberate one that makes you question why you’re engaging in all this killing and why you’re so unable to stop.
It even asks the question: do you enjoy killing? Well, no, not really. But I am enjoying the process of killing in your finely tuned video game experience.
Hotline Miami is incredible. In the end it may go down as one of my favourite games of all time. This port, in the end, has been one of my favourite gaming experiences all year.
What did you think? Anyone playing this on the Vita? Anyone play it last year on PC and want to chime in? Let us know in the comments below.