Hotline Miami Is Nuts, FTL Is Gambling

Ashcrexl

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You were surprised by people picking up on your FTL allusion in the review? You mean the part where you prominently displayed the FTL icon for about 2 seconds?
 

Roofstone

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erttheking said:
I can't tell if he likes it or not. I feel stupid.
Well, it wouldn't really be fun if we had nothing to discuss, rage, and argue about here, would it?

OT: I bought Hotline Miami after mister Yahtzee did the review, and I can confirm that it is a completely mental game. Brilliant. But mental. And you need to be able to handle violence if you want too play it, though I believe he said as much in last weeks ZP.

..Still can't beat the final boss either, damn ninja stripper. >.<
 

Falseprophet

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He's dead-on, FTL is gambling. I must be some kind of moron, because I've been playing for 3 weeks straight and can't get past Sector 5, no matter how awesome my ship and crew are. Yet I can't stop playing, thinking "this will be the day". I've been referring to it as FML to my girlfriend.
 

Canadamus Prime

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Jun 17, 2009
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Ugh, I hate randomness in video games. That was one of the biggest problems I had with Fallout 2, you could get random encounters with huge bands of raiders right off the bat when all you were armed with was a fucking spear.
 

DataSnake

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When it comes to portraying insanity in a game, I think Far Cry 3 had a nice take. There are the obvious hallucinations, but there are also subtle clues that something's not quite right the rest of the time either.
*Buck keeps finding you before and after every treasure-hunt mission
*Most of the characters act more like something out of Lewis Carroll than like real people
*The whole plane crash side mission
What makes it different is that the game never comes out and tells you "oh hey, this part was real and that part was just a dream": it leaves you to try and figure out for yourself just how much of it is "really" happening.
 

Tohuvabohu

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Mar 24, 2011
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Weeeeell FTL isn't ALWAYS about gambling. You can ignore a lot of events that can royally screw you over, such as the Alien Spider event or the Planet Drifting through Nebula event. Blue event options for example, almost always remove the 'gamble' element from quite a lot of events.

"But you have to rely on luck to even get the prereqs for blue events in the first place!"
Yes, that's true. And you'll never have all the prereqs to have a blue option in every single event. Randomness and luck is still a part of the game, but a lot of it has to deal with tipping odds in your favor.

I think calling the entire game a gamble is a cop-out. Looking back on my many, many failures in that game, it's safe to say that a great deal of them were the result of bad decisions on my part. Not because the game randomly decided to put me in an unwinnable state. Although I'm sure the latter has happened once or twice.

Although I will say that unlocking the crystal ship is a complete crap-shoot.
 

Fuzzed

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He said he wanted to avoid doing a Zero Punctuation on two games he liked, but instead ended up doing an Extra Punctuation on two games he liked....
 

Therumancer

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Nov 28, 2007
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Well, the subject of insanity is hard to deal with in games because it typically requires a fairly functional protaganist to be insane. The thing is that insanity is usually pretty consistant and well reasoned within itself and rarely involves just doing stuff "for the heck of it" or is as simple as "this guy believes something that simply isn't true" if that was the case it would be rather easy to deal with. What's more sanity or insanity can oddly be a matter
of perspective and priorities more than anything else.

As someone who has brain damage and has been on both sides of the sanity coin (as odd as this sounds) including having had hallucinations a few times, I will say they Hollywood and Video Game writers just don't really "get it". Some people writing novels do, and typically strike me as having either suffered problems themselves, or been close enough to confer with people who have.

The thing is that storylines in games and movies usually have very specific needs, and "insanity" is used as a crutch to explain behavior that just doesn't make sense for anyone to do. Or as a way of getting around political, or moral issues that might make people uncomfortable. It's easier to say have someone engaging in mass murder because of some vaguely defined "insanity", maybe having a hallucination show up once in a while to reinforce it, than to actually build up a logical series of events and reasoning that would cause someone to get to that point, which might disturb people more if they find themselves wondering if maybe the supposed bad guy, and his methods, are actually right. Very few stories explore that, and those that do are quite powerful, but are generally too much for the average person and the current climate of political correctness.

I'll also go so far as to say that I do not think many of the so called "psycho killers" that have become famous were insane, in many cases they simply chose to do wrong for their own reasons. People aren't comfortable with that so it's easier to label them as being "insane", which I believe has also destroyed the system by making the insanity plea a "get out of death free" card for anyone who does anything really bad due to the catch-22 arguement that no "sane" person who understood right and wrong could possibly do what they did. Something that has been heavily exploited, after all someone who just flat out decided to be evil for their own gratification can claim they heard voices from the neighbor's dog that drove them to it, and nobody can prove otherwise.

The point being that I don't give Hotline Miami much in the way of credit for it's gripping and accurate portrayal of what it's like to be a crazy on a frantic murder rampage. No doubt it's a fun game, but doesn't deserve credit for any kind of depth (I've played it a bit, but wasn't impressed enough to get my own copy, maybe if it shows up in an Indie bundle or something).

Some people might not get it, or why I make this point, but the bottom line is that I think the differance between crazy and just plain evil needs to be understood.
 

Atmos Duality

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I can actually agree with the FTL-gambling issue, because as fun and addictive as FTL is (it was a narrow 2nd-place contender for my Game of the Year 2012) it's painfully luck-driven.

Now, luck is just part of the Roguelike experience. Nethack provides you with a bevvy of different opening strategies in the form of Classes, and some of those are definitively harder than others. But everything after the opening class tends to lean further and further away from that class's innate powers, and more towards a general strategy*.

(*usually. The Wizard class would be the major exception since they can actually use all magic, which gives them tremendous flexibility as the game goes on. Every other class is positively crippled in their magic selection in comparison, including the other spellcasting classes!)

But the point in Nethack's favor, is that if you know what you're doing, you can win with each class, each strategy, 100% of the time (sounds improbable. I've done a Nethack tourney, and there are players who have Ascended several dozen times in a row without Savescumming or cheating).

And what's also different about Nethack, is that for 95% of the game, you aren't on a timer. Nethack rewards planning, stopping to identify random loot and making caches of resources. FTL rewards some planning, but without reasonable luck, you cannot reach a point where you can get ahead to win using most of the cruisers.

If you were able to stop and hit every node and acquire every piece of scrap imaginable, FTL would be a much easier game to beat. But it's not. Because the game deliberately limits your OPPORTUNITIES from the get-go (incidentally, this also makes unlocking certain cruisers an unholy task).

FTL's "Easy Mode" can still be soul-crushing in its difficulty. Normal Mode is fucking absurd.
I have several victories under my belt in Easy Mode, with just about every cruiser and type, but Normal Mode is a goddamn luck-driven mess. To compare, I've beaten Normal Mode only three times, and only with the "best" (most-consistent) cruiser types.

If you cannot acquire 100 scrap by the end of Sector 1, you are usually in deep shit. If you get locked into a Nebula or Mantis sector for 2 & 3, you can usually kiss your ass goodbye.
 

UNHchabo

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Man, I had several people I know, including my brother, who suggested FTL to me, so I put it on my Steam wishlist. My brother bought it for me for Christmas.

Steam tells me I've put 30 hours into this game. 0_0

I still have not beat the final boss' second form. On easy. O_O
 

Roman Monaghan

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Speaking of crazyness in games, I always had this idea for a game where you play as a serial killer and it keeps tracks of statistics and shit behind the curtain to make a profile out of you as you rack up more victims. Like the first person you decide to kill in blonde, so the game subtly makes future potential victims more appealing to be selected if they're blonde, and it starts making certain types of weapons to kill with more appealing or other types less appealing until you're flat out not allowed to use anything but kitchen knives or something. I imagine it'd use a system like Mirrors Edge where it'd highlight those certain elements more and more while greying out everything else. It would be meant to build up a deteriorating mental state of a killer like that until you finally get tracked down by the cops and end up playing as the other end of the awesome climax of Condemned. Possibly against another player online who is the cop, cuz you can chose to either be the cop or the killer at the beginning and it would randomly assign you the aftermath of one of the players playing the killers crime scene to investigate. Ect.
 

KDR_11k

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The B version of the secret ship turns it from gambling into completely curbstomping everything. It has a brief period of vulnerability at the start of the game because it starts without weapons but even the smallest pea shooter allows it to deal with supershielded and drone enemies. It specializes in boarding and cloaking and starts with the best boarding crew in the game. As strong as that final boss is its inside is still filled with squishy little humans and boarding lets you break subsystems at will. No shields, no drones and only one gun make even the final boss just target practice, never mind all the tons of loot you get on your journey for beating most enemies in boarding combat (which gives FAR more rewards, both scrap and random item drops, than shooting the ship into bits).
 

MrPhyntch

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Therumancer said:
You have some decent points there, but keep in mind that the definition of "insanity" varies from person to person. The most popular definition to quote (used by 12-steppers) doesn't fit either your use of it OR Yahtzee's. The broadest, most agreeable definition of insanity would be mentally unstable or not "right" in the head. This could manifest itself as either simple hallucinations, or it could manifest itself as full-fledged sociopathy/psycopathy, which usually leads to the whole "evil/murder" thing. It's hard to argue that Captain Jack Sparrow, for instance, is not insane, but it is a different type of insanity from, say, the guy in Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Both are quite insane, but the two are nothing alike, and from the sounds of it you aren't a whole lot like either of them. So keep in mind that "insanity" is a broad, sweeping definition in most cases, and most people associate it with, say, Psychos from Borderlands. That kind of insanity.

Back on the topic here, yeah, I hate randomness to a point, but it usually keeps things interesting enough, especially in games like FTL. I promise you, FTL would not be HALF as fun as it is if it weren't for the randomness of it, it would get quite stale after a while. I view it as playing poker. You usually start with a bad hand, and no matter how you try to fix it, you usually have a bad hand. The fun is in making the bad hand work by your personal skill. You'll lose a lot, but the times you win are so worth it, you wanna keep playing.
 

Oskuro

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Now I will sound like I'm a plant from the makers of FTL but....

If you want to pick up the game, go buy it directly from the FTL site, you get DRM free downloadable versions (Win/Mac/Linux), plus the Steam version to boot!


Appart from that, and back on topic.... Shields on a stealth cruiser?]* How dare you, good sir!




* Picture on the article.
 

Atmos Duality

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Oskuro said:
Appart from that, and back on topic.... Shields on a stealth cruiser?]* How dare you, good sir!

* Picture on the article.
Well, unless you enjoy getting torn apart by beam weapons, drones and asteroids, Shields are rather useful even on a ship with a maxed cloak.
 

saintdane05

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Yahtzee Croshaw said:
Incidentally it is nice to see a sci-fi story where our sympathies don't automatically lie with the rebels.[/B]
You mean like Star Trek and Warhammer 40K? And Gundam SEED and Skyrim?
 

Starker

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Mar 17, 2011
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Now I want him to do The Binding of Isaac. It combines the randomness of FTL with the insanity of Hotline Miami and throws in child abuse and religion for good measure.