Trjn's Month Of Shameless Gaming: Week 4

Who would have thought that spending most of the week in another state would make it hard to play video games? Or that having a perpetually wet left sock during that week would leave me lying in bed feeling like an achy, mucusy blob? Not me.

PAX was fantastic and I'm glad that I went. The people I met, the board games I played, the fun that I had; all worth it. Although, it has somewhat hindered my Shameless Gaming Month.

Knowing that I would be away from my computer and consoles for a while, I had deliberately not played much Luigi's Mansion 2 this month so that I could play it during my free time while in Melbourne. Ha! Free time! How daft was I?

At PAX, I managed to complete StreetPass Quest and StreetPass Quest 2 while draining my 3DS battery multiple times. If I wasn't standing in a queue and accumulating StreetPasses, odds are I was playing a board game. It was great fun introducing Hanabi to complete strangers and online friends - especially with our house rule of yelling "Hanabi!" whenever something happened - as well as trying out games like Shadows over Camelot and Eclipse. However, this is meant to be about the games that I've been finishing for Shameless Gaming Month. Last week, I managed to finish Hotline Miami and barely mentioned it because I found the eldritch abominations of Arkham Horror more interesting. Let's amend that.

Hotline Miami is one of the most manic and satisfying games that I've had the pleasure of playing. The pacing of the game feels erratic but at the same time is incredibly deliberate. Each chapter follows the same structure: the unnamed protagonist - commonly called Jacket - gets out of bed, checks his answering machine, goes on a bloody rampage and then stops by a bar, convenience store or video rental place on the way home.

The missions feel like an explosive puzzle. You must find a way to quickly dispatch goons without drawing the attention of their buddies. Drawing the attention of their buddies most likely means you will die. Deaths are frequent, unrepentant and - for some reason - oddly satisfying. Deaths are also a learning experience. You have to combine careful planning and twitch reflexes in order to make your way through. There are a variety of weapons and bonus granting masks to give you more tools to help solve the puzzles and a very small amount of randomness just to mix things up.

The gameplay isn't the only draw. No doubt you have already heard many people go on about the soundtrack of Hotline Miami. It's full of high tempo, synth heavy pseudo-80s madness that made me feel like everyone on screen had been inhaling mountains of cocaine. Not the sort of music that I would ever listen to normally but during the later levels, I was bopping my head along happily as I was frequently turned into a pixelated bloodstain. Just like Journey, the soundtrack perfectly compliments the gameplay and heightens the already great experience.

That's what I've been up to, has anyone been a bit more successful at clearing their pile of shame this week?


Comments

    Almost finished Hatsune Miku Project Diva f on my Vita.... I love Miku :-)

    Red Dead Redemption about 2/3 done as I had to go to PAX (and those damn queues!)

      What are you counting as 2/3 done? Definitely one of my favourite games.

        Just judging from the amount of time I've played. I'm in Mexico and have done all the side quests and most challenges up to that point. I'm guessing it's somewhere between 1/2 and 2/3, although I have steered clear of spoilers so can't say better than that. I'm really enjoying it, although I'm finding that combat at close range is a bit finicky unless you use the dead eye mode. Once I accidentally shot a dude with a shotgun blast under the chin and got negative honour for it, even though I wasn't trying to. Most of all I'm just enjoying riding from place to place and doing some hunting / ambient missions on the way. Haven't fast traveled yet except once on a stage coach early on.

    The closest I've come to working through my pile is installing Beyond Good and Evil. I guess it's a start

    I may have gone backwards and brought new games to add to the pile, but I've decided to extended it for shameless gaming month: Reloaded and plough through August and my back catalog.

      Steam sales?

        *ahem*...No comment

          I might just have a super power. Didn't buy a single thing this year!

            I envy you, that being said the game choices they had weren't many to say the least.

    On Monday night I finished Max Payne 3 (the story) very satisfying. I'm going to gauge tonight how much RDR I have left (I'm now in that big town after you finish with the Mexicans) and ill probably have Vanquish and Crackdown 2 done by this time next week.

      Thieve's Landing or Blackwater? If the former, then you've got a bit to go and if the latter then you're pretty close to the end.

        Blackwater, I captured the first robber, killed the second and saw off Reyes

      I finished MP3 this week to and was thoroughly underwhelmed. The game play just wasn't as tight as it should have been. The aim always felt off and It's was incredibly linear to the point of being almost an on-rails shooter. In fact, often it was a just an on rails shooter. Cut scene. Goes to cover. Kill all dudes. Cut scene. Repeat.

      My major issue though was the story. Max's character was awesome, but the story itself was so astonishingly cliched and predictable. It's like the writers just took the day off and then stole the plot from a crappy eighties movie.

        While it was an ordinary action movie type story - it was the narration that pulled me through. The only thing that bugged me was the sheer amount of people you were killing, at one point a message came up saying I'd got 500 kills! For a game trying it's hardest to be real and authentic, the sheer volume of whack-a-mole enemies kind of kills the illusion somewhat.

        Nonetheless I found the scenarios themselves to be varied enough to be fun, the graphics were quite spectacular - this is one of the few current gen games that properly shows the reflections or your character and NPCs in shiny surfaces (Assassins Creed II was another such game) and the animation was a cut above other games

    Normally ignore Shameless Gaming Month, as I'm always far too busy with multiplayer games to commit to knocking off singe player titles. Although somehow in the last week I've managed to knuckle down and finish Bioshock Infinite, Metro 2033, and am halfway thru Metro Last Light, as well as almost at the 8th gym on Pokemon Black 2. Weirdly enough I was mostly inspired by the fact Shadowrun Returns drops later this week. Need to finish some stuff off!

    Bioshock Infinite was good, but it didn't blow me away - neither did it's two predecessors though.
    The game was nice enough, but it suffered from some of the most generic and uninspired gameplay I've encountered in an FPS. Bioshock 1 and 2 were the same. Beautiful games, great story - really nicely put together, but just 'meh' to actually play.

    Metro 2033 was great, although it became a bit of a chore in the last parts of the game. Still very impressed by 4A's effort for such an unknown studio at the time. Really enjoying what I've played of Last Light so far too. The game is essentially more of the same as 2033, but it just feels so much more refined and tighter in general. Looks fantastic on PC as well.

    The above image for Miami Hotline is the exact scene of carnage I am up to myself. Getting close now! Damn it's a good game. A little 'samey', but still a challenge. That soundtrack! WOW. So appropriate.

      That scene of carnage felt so cheap when I did it but so damned satisfying at the same time.

      The game does change up a little bit after that point but I wouldn't have objected if it didn't. It's a good idea executed well (with a few interesting glitches along the way). Sometimes just scaling things up is enough to keep it interesting.

      Keep going.

        Cheers big guy.

        It's funny you should mention 'cheap'...Like you, I'm simply luring those police chaps up to that corridor and WHAM..repeat. They're such big dummies. Hehe.

        What mask have you found the most useful btw? I l quite like the wolf one where you start with a knife. Incidentally, I find the knife my weapon of choice generally. Very effective.

          Don Juan. Instant door kills are just so fun.

          I did try to avoid the more exploity style kills but that level it was just so ridiculous to lure a handful of them into the entrance and then either door slam or shotgun them.

      The soundtrack is amazing for how well it matches the themes.

      That almost droning hum when you stagger back through a charnel house of your making (bonus points if one of them is still alive and crawling to perceived safety) is like the crash from an adrenaline(/drug) high, somberly underscoring that stark confrontation the game has with you on the grim morbidity of what you just did.

      And then you hop in your car and tune out and everything is OK again and hey, at least you're alive right?

        Very well said. The aftermath music is so eerie, yet satisfying...."But it shouldn't be satisfying, I just...." But it is. Chilling stuff.

    I finished 3DS. Like, all of it.

      You have a problem, sir. Also, I'm probably going to need some puzzle pieces off of you.

        Next time you meet me, you can take your pick.

        Though the bastards will probably release one for Pikmin 3 then I'll be incomplete again
        ( ; _ ;)

        Last edited 24/07/13 1:31 pm

    That's a hell of an effort.

    I had the same feelings about the first two Bioshocks so I gave Infinite a miss. They're just not that fun to play. Metro 2033 is something that I was contemplating playing this month, I picked it up fairly cheap around the time Last Light got released. Might try to play some towards the end of the month but somehow I think I'll end up playing some other things.

    EDIT: Reply fail was meant to be replying to @ynefel

    Last edited 24/07/13 1:24 pm

      Metro 2033 is worth a play through. To finish it is only something of a 6-8 hour commitment, and it's surprisingly well done. A little rough around the edges in some places, and cant get a bit samey, but it's good value. Will report back on Last Light - hoping to knock that off tonight. 5 hours in, and I figure it's a 9-10 odd hour game.

      The only trouble is, all this Metro and having watched Chernobyl Diaries the other week has done nothing but make me want to sit down and play all three STALKER games. Misery Mod 2.0 comes out for Call of Pripyat next week, which is an incredible overhaul. All inspired now.

      Black 2 I've kind of cheated, got all my 'mon from previous B&W runs - only doing B2&W2 to get the title legendaries and a few others in preparation for X&Y. Once B2 is knocked off, I'll just smash W2 as well I think.

    Trench foot: It's what for dinner.

    Should've listened to Grandad's old war stories!

      Shame they never told me that you're likely to get trench foot by wearing some thin soled Converse shoes that are a little too well broken in.

      Next time, boots!

        You might as well have worn paper! Although mostly it would've been the wet sock. Wet socks! That's the true killer in war.

        ...Oh, and bullets. Bullets do a lot of killing too.

    Finally finished Warcraft: Orcs and Humans, I wish I had played it during it's time. It was great fun but man Warcraft 2 is a breath of fresh air haha! I do feel like finish Hotline Miami now though... too many games for one month.

    Funny, just bought Hotline Miami on Monday. A bit buggy, considering I had to reinstall Visual C++ 2010 and reboot my PC to even get to the menu after downloading it. But, with the 30 mins I have spent playing it, I can gladly say it was worth it.

    I finally finished Fire Emblem: Awakening and started playing Crimson Shroud. It's like a single player D&D session and so very, very good. I'm also onto Atelier Ayesha, the last of the Atelier series that I intended to finish. I'll probably be going past the end of July, but really, every month is Shameless Month for me. Well, except for January, that's usually full of shame.

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