Games to Avoid During a Hangover

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!

*shhhh!!*

Oh, right…sorry. I almost forgot most of you are probably dying of hangovers today after the biggest drinking night of the year. Hopefully, you’ve managed to secure the day off to rest and recover, and maybe you’re even taking the time to catch up on some video games.

If so, that’s a great choice. However, not all video games are created equally, and some were most certainly not designed with a hangover in mind. That being the case, if you’re truly looking to recover from your misery, I would suggest avoiding the following games, in the way you couldn’t avoid that last shot of tequila.

Hotline Miami

I haven’t had much of a chance to talk about “Hotline Miami”, but it is one of the true hidden gems of 2012. It’s a no holds bar killing spree, that provides  a variety of tools of death for the player, and set them loose in an ultra stylish retro Miami to cause unchecked havoc while wearing a variety of power inducing masks. It’s flashy, intense, and full of the best kind of mayhem.

In other words, it’s exactly the type of game you should avoid today. Besides all of the flashing lights irritating your headache, you’ve also got to deal with a pretty serious challenge level that can frustrate you even in times of saintly levels of previous alcohol consumption. But by far the biggest reason you should stay away from “Hotline Miami” is the out of your mind storyline. “Hotline Miami” is designed to play with your sanity, and is not the kind of thing you want to wrap your head around when it’s busy swimming in a sea of jackhammers.

Definitely play “Hotline Miami”, just not today.

Fez

I’ll sing the praises of “Fez” to anyone who will listen. Not only does it carefully and casually re-invent the most classic of genres (the 2D platformer), it does it while still producing a very entertaining game. It’s one of the best of the year, and possibly beyond.

Avoid it like the plague with a hangover though. Fez’s multi-dimensional worlds require you to put some serious thought into the layout, and makes every movement, and decision a puzzle in its own right. Considering you might be having trouble getting your head around making a properly laid out sandwich at the moment, you probably don’t want to tackle such a mind, and level, bending journey today.

FTL

Much like “Hotline Miami”, I haven’t had much of a chance to talk about “FTL” yet, and hate to only do so here when telling you to avoid it.

However, as brilliant as “FTL’s” spaceship simulation gameplay is, it also requires a series of life and death micromanagement decisions. In its most intense moments, it’s like playing several games of chess at once, and can be unbelievably frustrating as you hopelessly try to salvage what remains of your mission around every turn. Considering you may currently be trying to re-build every aspect of your own life after a night of personal destruction, I wouldn’t try to take on intergalactic problems as well.

Borderlands 2

Everybody has hangover cures, but truthfully the best way to go is some vitamins, some liquids, maybe a couple of aspirin, and of course plenty of rest.

You’ll get none of this with “Borderlands 2”.It’s a game that begs you to devote hours and hours into exploring its unique and incredibly deep world filled with jokes, style, and weapons galore. Playing “Borderlands 2” is signing yourself up for another long night filled with misguided debauchery, and will only serve to making tomorrow just as miserable as today. It’s siren song is irresistible, so go nowhere near this time consuming temptress.

Spec Ops: The Line

In general, you should avoid shooters on a day of a hangover. They’re loud, big, intense, and don’t offer the kind of serene environment of recovery you could so desperately use right now.

A special mention must go to avoiding “Spec Ops” with a hangover though, as it’s storyline forces you to really face the atrocities of war head on as you dive into a plot that will see you, and everyone around you, grow in impactful ways as the horrors of the modern world re-shape them. Since you’re probably wrestling with some moral conundrums of your own after last night, you should probably not shoulder these burdens as well.

GAME REVIEW: Spec Ops: The Line

War games are a dime a dozen these days, and with the likes of “Gears of War” and “Call of Duty” dominating the genre, it really takes something special to stand out from the pack. Though 2K Games’ “Spec Ops: The Line” doesn’t necessarily have that certain X factor, it’s still one of the better third-person shooters to come out over the last few years. Set in Dubai six months after a massive sandstorm has buried the city under a pile of sand and destruction, the game follows a trio of Delta Force soldiers as they’re sent in to locate and evacuate survivors, only to discover that the city is under the tyrannical command of U.S. Colonel John Konrad.

The name is clearly a reference to Joseph Conrad, the author of “Heart of Darkness,” whose famous novel was in turn adapted into Francis Ford Coppola’s “Apocalypse Now.” And it becomes increasingly obvious as you make your way through the first few chapters of the game that the Vietnam War film had a big influence on its development, from the striking parallels between the stories, to the heavy focus on the psychological dangers of warfare. In fact, the campaign mode gets so dark at times that I wouldn’t recommend it to real-life soldiers on the off-chance that it makes their PTSD even worse.

Though I encountered a few annoying bugs throughout the game (the most prevalent of which was the habit of briefly losing control of my player while changing direction), the gameplay is enjoyable enough that most people shouldn’t have trouble overlooking them. “Spec Ops: The Line” doesn’t offer much innovation in the way of combat mechanics, but it takes the best parts of similar titles (namely the “Gears of War” and “Ghost Recon” series) to create a relatively solid experience. It’s a little disappointing that multiplayer isn’t as much fun (and quite frankly, it feels like a last-minute addition), but while “Spec Ops: The Line” isn’t going to wow anyone, it’s a more than serviceable military shooter with a unique narrative that asks some interesting questions of its audience.

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