The classic indie top-down murder-a-thon is now available for Nintendo Switch in a cool new package. Let's check it out!
For the unfamiliar, Hotline Miami is an overhead action game where you essentially try and kill everyone on a floor before moving to the next one. It's gritty, super-violent, and downright depraved so make sure that the kids are in bed before booting this gore-fest up. That being said, it's Hotline Miami's abrasive nature that makes it more fun to play; that is, if you can stomach the violence and grotesque-looking characters. Anyway, the original game is full of adrenaline-fueled mayhem that's tight and super-fun while the sequel offers more open environments and it's very cool to have them both in one convenient compilation that you can play on the go and on the big screen. Plus, mastering the campaigns and unlocking everything will take a very long time even for veterans of the franchise.
Even though the core gameplay of Hotline Miami and Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number is tight complete with plenty of weapons to murder with, one underrated aspect about them is just how much variety there is in each campaign. Sure, there are loads of formulaic floors where you merely have to figure out the best course of action in order to progress but there are also plenty of situations that'll force you to strategize even more. For example, boss fights can be brutally challenging and elements like enemies being able to spot and shoot you through windows will always keep you on your toes. Speaking of which, I'm sure every player has had a dog lunge at them from seemingly out of nowhere only to end their life at some point. Whenever stuff like that happens, you'll gladly give it another go.
Games that play like Hotline Miami
There have been a ton of games inspired by Hotline Miami over the years so here are some that you may want to check out:
Another aspect that I love is the collection of electronic music that plays throughout both games. You'll hear everything from experimental rhythms to synth-pop sounds and electro house to tech trance and it's all generally fantastic stuff. With that said, I find some of the tunes to be mildly annoying but these tracks are too few and far between to detract from my experience.
Considering Hotline Miami debuted in 2012 and Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number released in 2015, I was hoping there would be some cool extras featured in Hotline Miami Collection. This is especially true because both games have already been available for PS4 and Vita for quite a while. To my disappointment, Hotline Miami Collection only contains the 2 games with absolutely no bells and whistles. In fact, the main menu is simply a game select and upon choosing a game, it pauses for way longer than you'd expect then the game finally begins. I would have much rather had 2 separate downloads than have to boot the collection up, select a game, wait, and then play it.
Finally, I remember playing Hotline Miami on PlayStation Vita while locking onto targets by tapping on the screen. You can do the same in Hotline Miami Collection for Switch but most of the time, the camera jumps around erratically when you tap on the screen which can be very disorienting. I noticed a couple of other minor technical hiccups like this such as the visuals stuttering slightly when levels render but thankfully, nothing's game-breaking. It's just slightly annoying, especially not being able to use the touchscreen effectively.
If video games taught me anything, it's that senseless violence is fun. Okay, perhaps that isn't true but it's definitely the case in Hotline Miami. I just wish that this collection featured some extras to justify its re-release.
- + Contains 2 excellent games that you can play at home or on the go
- + Awesome variety of music
- + Tons of clever scenarios
- - Simply includes both games without any bells and whistles
- - Some technical hiccups
- - Annoying main menu