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Albert Einstein once said that the definition of Insanity is “…doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” Welcome to the world of Hotline Miami, a violently joyous 2D top down game that will force you to replay your actions, with you expecting to kill everyone in your path each time. Unfortunately this doesn’t always happen and thus you succumb to the madness, which renders you incapable of switching the game off until all parties are face down in pool of their own blood. First released on the PC last year, Hotline Miami came to the Playstation world recently and after having spent time with both the PC and PS3 versions, it is difficult to say which is the better platform title due to the lack of variation between the two.
The biggest and only alteration between them is of course the interfaces, both of which have the same amount of commands except with different methods of unleashing them. With the PC game the controls are divided between your mouse and keyboard with a left click inciting a fist to fly, a bullet to shoot or a bat to swing and a right click picking up said items with a choice of throwing them at your enemies. Movement of your vigilante comes in the form of the W/A/S/D buttons on your keyboard and if you want to lock on to an enemy this can be done with the shift button, which also acts as a lookout. If you fancy kicking or slicing someone’s throat whilst they are down, the space button is the place to press for these executions.
The PS3 version is no different in terms of what you can do, with the actions instead being sprinkled around the consoles controller. R1 and L1 dish out the beatings and gunning’s down, whilst X finishes the job and L2 looks for your prey. Relocating the masked man around the maps are done by using both of the controllers sticks, which govern both direction and movement, with the right also handling aim when it is pushed down. For yours truly this is the only place that the PS3 can actually lay claim to being the superior of the two versions.
Having a handy controller to pack all your actions into is far easier than dividing your hands between a mouse and keyboard and it makes for more fluid play too. It’s the smoothness of this ability to make quick actions that allows for mass murders and the all guns blazing approach but you can also choose to go the stealthy way if you like depending on your style. With the PC version, you tend to feel like your always on stealth mode or perhaps this is a personal situation that has arisen from years of console gaming and not enough time within the PC world. However, a solution to this has been provided with the Xbox 360 controller compatibilities for the PC game but this still raises the argument of what you are used to holding in your hand.
Deciding on which platform to play Hotline Miami really only comes down to the above because whether you’re playing it on Sony’s console or Microsoft’s creation, everything else is going to be exactly the same. The soundtrack, the graphics, the storyline, all of this replicates the other probably because Dennaton Games didn’t want to fix what wasn’t broke. From it’s pixelated retro graphics to the endless hours of game time that you can easily rack up in one afternoon, Hotline Miami costs the fraction of what most highly praised titles do and some of those aren’t nearly as fun as this is to play. Perhaps then these versions shouldn’t be pitted against each other and rather PS3, Vita, PC, and Mac gamers alike should just say thank you to Dennaton Games for bringing this awesome pile of bloodshed into our lives, no matter what platform you’re playing it on. Roll on the next one is all we can say. Let’s just hope our sanities can last until then.