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Hotline Miami Reviewed by Cyril Lachel on . On the PS Vita, Hotline Miami delivers an unforgettable adventure starring an obedient serial killer. The controls are tight and the system's touchscreen makes all the difference. It's occasionally infuriating, but that doesn't keep Hotline Miami from being one of the most exciting games to hit the PS Vita in a long time! Rating: 85%
Hotline Miami
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Life is fleeting. Don't take it for granted, because you never know when it will end. At least, that's my takeaway from Hotline Miami. With a quick and painfully brutal death around every corner, it's important to savor the little time you have on this planet.

After shocking PC owners with its graphic violence and addictive gameplay, Hotline Miami has finally landed on a home console. Set in the late 1980s, you take control of a functioning serial killer plagued by mysterious phone calls. Each night he puts on an animal-themed mask and kill everybody he sees. And when he's done, he rents a movie and settles in for a night of rest and relaxation.

Hotline Miami (PS Vita)

With a set-up this gruesome, Hotline Miami could have gone a number of ways. The description sounds more like a sequel to Rockstar's Manhunt than an overhead action/puzzle game. But don't let the blood splatter fool you, Hotline Miami will test both your mind and reflexes. It's a game about planning the right kill, knowing how your enemy will act and properly handling your weapon. There's equal parts brain-teasing stealth and knives-out, heart-pounding action.

The goal is simple enough: Clear the room by any means necessary. Sometimes it's an office building and other times it's a drug treatment center. You'll sneak through a hospital, take down an entire police station and mess up the local night club. Each of these stages is presented from an overhead point of view, almost as if you're looking at the building's blueprints. No matter how big or small the level, you'll have to deal with enemies hiding in rooms, dogs roaming around and windows that will give away your location.

Death comes quick in Hotline Miami. All it takes is one wrong step and you'll be hit with a stray bullet a stabbed to death. It's impossible to keep track of every enemy, and they have a funny way of rushing our "hero" from all sides. With so much to keep track of, the fear of death is always front and center in my mind. And that's okay, because you'll die dozens of times before finding the right solution.

Hotline Miami (PS Vita)

In that sense, Hotline Miami reminds me a lot of Super Meat Boy. While it's not a 2D side-scrolling platformer, Hotline Miami does employ a lot of the same trial and error mechanics that made Super Meat Boy tick. There's no loading when you die, you simply push the "X" button and you're ready to try again. The music doesn't even skip a beat, it keeps playing as if to gently remind you that it's okay to die multiple times testing new strategies.

There are subtle changes made to the level after each death, including alterations in enemy movement and weapon placement. Each continue feels a little different, forcing players to constantly stay on their toes. Memorization will only get you so far in Hotline Miami, expecting the unexpected is part of what makes this game so much fun. Even at its most frustrating, I always felt like the solution was just within my grasp.
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