Five games that make you HYPED AS HELL
Sometimes when I go on my poetic adorations for video games, I often forget that games are meant to be fun. We’ve made huge strides in gaming narrative, actual artistic importance and blurring the lines between fantasy and reality. But sometimes you just need a game that makes you go “HOLY CRAP THAT WAS SO AWESOME I DON’T WANT THIS TO END EVER” and I’m glad that we have games that still manage to do that. We’ve struck a nice balance between the more serious gaming offerings and the chaotically fun experiences that make you smile from ear-to-ear and bounce around on your couch.
The following are games that hype you up until you want to go out and headbutt an ostrich. I’m referring to the word “hype” as it was originally intended to be and not some marketing buzzword used by multi-coloured influencers that basically act like an internet version of Billy Mays. These games make you excited, makes the blood flow and releases serotonin like beer from a fratboy/rugby fan’s beer keg on a Saturday afternoon. Let’s get into it.
The FPS genre took a depressing turn during the 2010s (it’s still awkward to say it like that) with the prevalence of modern military shooters that were as unique as a white girl that loves “travelling” on Tinder. Everything was either grey and/or brown, and the stories in the games were these grand displays of futile importance. It would have been okay if these games were actually good, but they played out in such a cookie cutter fashion that it was just sad to witness. You hid behind walls and shot a bunch of foreign people and that was basically the extent of it. The FPS genre was always the home for frantic and fun gameplay, but it just turned into this derivative mess with no identity of its own.
However, there was a resurgence of classic FPS methodologies in recent years and I think we can all agree that the prime example is DOOM. The protagonist acts a lot like your common gamer. He doesn’t really care about the events that happened that caused Hell to invade Mars, he just wants to kill the shit out of some demons. The game is fast-paced, it’s intense and it’s incredibly fun. The soundtrack has some juicy and delicious metal that makes you feel like you want to punch Satan in the face. The whole journey throughout the game is one big blur of chaos, blood, ripped off limbs and glorious violence. And it’s absolutely wonderful. There was something magical in listening to some heavy metal while running around and supershotgunning demons in the gob that I’ve never experienced before. It’s the type of game that leaves you breathless after a combat encounter and makes you feel like you need a cigarette. It’s such an awesome game.
I never knew that a 2D game that looks like a floorplan could get me so excited. Hotline Miami is an acid trip through a murderous world filled with tire irons hitting faces and chickens telling you what a terrible person you are. Its gameplay is simple, at the core, where the objective is to go into a place, murder everyone as fast as you can using all manners of creative weapons and moving on. Sounds simple, but it is also incredibly difficult. You can have a perfect murderous rampage, but get screwed by some joker coming out of the bathroom that you didn’t notice and since everything kills you in one hit, there is little margin for error.
What the game does to you is something wonderful. It is blisteringly fast with you requiring some intense reflexes to get through some level and if you die, you’re thrown right back into the action to try again. What really makes it pop off is the amazing soundtrack. There’s some hardstyle EDM pumping in your ears as you violently slaughter a whole bunch of pixel men. The great thing about Hotline Miami is that when you die, your excitement gets even higher. It’s frustrating at times, sure, but 100% of the time it’s your fault for messing up and you just want to jump in and try again. It gets pretty intense, needless to say. I once died, punched my bed, screamed “COME ON!” and jumped right back into it to try again with unfaltering determination. If you haven’t played this gem, please fix that.
DmC: Devil May Cry
I know, I know, this is a bit of a controversial pick since the Devil May Cry reboot was a much-maligned game when it first released. Lots of die-hard Devil May Cry fans were up in arms about the new emo Dante and the complete change of direction, yet the game was still solid as hell. It was fast-paced, fun and really got your blood pumping once you really get into a devastating combo and nail some clutch dodges. It also benefitted from its excellent soundtrack made by the ever so colourful Combichrist. You had Industrial Metal blasting in your ears as you mowed down a bunch of demons in devastating displays of finesse and power.
I feel like DmC: Devil May Cry might have gone overlooked by a bunch of gamers and this makes me eternally sad. It was such a fun experience and if you got to grips with the controls, you’d have a whale of a time. The Definitive Edition is out there and I implore you to give it a shot if you haven’t already.
Saint’s Row IV
The Saint’s Row franchise fell off the waggon in the best way as it got more and more sequels. The first game was a pretty by-the-numbers GTA clone, but you could already tell that they went for more bombast and silliness. Fast forward to Saint’s Row IV and you’re the President of the United States, have superpowers and need to eradicate an alien threat using floppy dildos and dubstep guns. This is where the “that escalated quickly” picture would fit in perfectly. Saint’s Row IV ‘s biggest strength is just how silly it is, but its mechanics were also a major standout. Without question, Saint’s Row IV is the best superhero game ever made and I’m even counting the Arkham games in that statement.
There is something primally satisfying when you run at ludicrous speeds through streets and leap into the air until you just about touch the sky. The combat is just as insane as the game’s story with all kinds of wicked weapons made from some deranged minds and powerful superpowers. It’s a jovial good time and it unquestionably hypes you up as you leap from building to building and wreaking havoc on the poor populous below while blasting some killer tunes.
Metal Gear Rising Reveangence
And now we get to the cream of the crop. Metal Gear Rising was such a departure from the espionage action of the traditional Metal Gear franchise that it might as well have been on a different planet. You followed Raiden in his pimped up metal suit that allows him to do some incredible manoeuvres and his blade that can cut through anything. This game is just balls-to-the-wall insane. It’s so fast-paced that it might give you a stress headache and the combat is so visceral and satisfying that you can’t help but smile as you slice through a horde of enemies. Its greatest strength is its insane boss battles. Massive enemies that you take down using such elaborate moves that they should be in a Mission Impossible movie that has the cast replaced by ninjas on Speed. The music, oh the music, is absolutely perfect in every regard. It’s pulsing, it gets the blood flowing and you will visibly nod your head and throw your fist in the air as you cut an enemy to ribbons. “Cut to ribbons” is no understatement either as the game allows you to make precise cuts on enemies that make them realistically split up. A boss fight is often concluded by cutting the boss into literally a thousand pieces. It even keeps track how many pieces you cut.
Metal Gear Rising was probably one of the most fun games of the last generation. It was just stupid sometimes, but it’s the endearing kind of stupid that has your eyes light up and your synapses firing at a million miles per hour. It also has one of the silliest, but most incredible final boss fights in videogame history. It was truly something special.
ARE YOU HYPED YET, BECAUSE I SURE AM. A lot of non-gamers say that games are silly or dumb, but that isn’t really an insult sometimes. We need some games to go in a more lighter route and focus on the fun aspect more instead of making some grand statement or trying to be art. There is something nice about playing a game, being psyched to be playing it all the way through and having a fun old goofy time. Feeling that serotonin rush as you mow down demons with a shotgun or cutting a spider robot into a million pieces while heavy metal is playing loudly in the background. What are some games that HYPE you up?