(Devolver Digital for PS Vita)
By Mike Delano
Last year’s bloody indie sensation Hotline Miami has come to the Vita, and it’s a great fit. As fun as it was to click your enemies into a red mess on the original PC release, the Vita’s comfortable twin sticks and broad shoulder buttons feel completely natural, allowing all focus to be on the excellent gameplay. As a masked murderer sent to various locations with vague orders, you’ll experience tense action that is one part puzzle-solving (as you slowly survey the layout of your surroundings, watching your enemies’ patterns and searching for ways to use the environment to your advantage) and one part Super Meat Boy-style trial-and-error at a machine gun pace (as you try to perfectly execute your plan of attack again and again). Memorization pays – this is R-Type wearing a white suit from Miami Vice. The presentation also hasn’t lost any of its edgy appeal. The old-school top-down graphics are both in service to the gameplay and a reminder that all retro-styled games don’t look that way just for hipster window dressing. Here, they’re simply brutally efficient, and coupled with the dreamy techno soundtrack, it creates an experience that’s compelling, unnerving, and frighteningly addictive.