Played it: Zone of the Enders: HD Edition

A game about giant robots flying around an orbital space colony and beating one another up, Zone of the Enders offers shallow but entertaining gameplay and a smattering of those offbeat elements you’d expect from Hideo Kojima (unfairly best known for lengthy cut scenes, which are few on the ground here).

I loved the environments in this thing, soaked up the atmosphere and enjoyed both the simplistic bludgeoning of mechanical mooks and the somewhat more demanding boss fights. My only real complaints are that, of the large number of weapons you acquire, only a handful are actually any use, and the whole thing ends pretty abruptly.


Played it: Hotline Miami

The interesting thing about Hotline Miami is it succeeds where many indie games fail: basically doing the same things as triple-A titles, only better and with complete self awareness.

It's also the best kind of challenging. Dying and retrying actually feels like part of the fun: providing an opportunity to refine your ability to dole out ultraviolence and the freedom to experiment with unlikely strategies.

Coupling fast-paced action with a bizarre plot that's explicitly made open to multiple interpretations, Hotline Miami manages to be a game that rewards both deep thought and off-the-cuff thrill-seeking.