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?