YMMV / Hotline Miami

  • Anticlimax Boss: Fighting Jacket as the Biker; he runs right at you, so all you have to do is whack him with your cleaver.
  • Awesome Music: The whole soundtrack.
  • Breather Level: The third segment of Chapter 11. Compared to the fairly challenging segment before it, this area is very simple with you only having to focus on one or two enemies at a time. This segment also comes just before an ambush by the third boss and the game's Wham Episode.
  • Do Not Do This Cool Thing: The game (as well as it's sequel) send some very mixed signals in the regard that for a game with a heavy underlying message of self-destructive nature of violence as well as amorality of enjoying such violence, it sure makes that violence look, feel and play very good.
  • Ear Worm: "Hydrogen"; "Crystals"; "Flatline"... Really, any song on the soundtrack.
  • Fashion-Victim Villain: Biker and Ninja Girl both arguably qualify.
  • Game-Breaker: Big Balls, that is, throwing a dart at an enemy holding a gun. Kill everyone on the screen except one guy, get him to hold a gun with depleted ammo, get a dart, throw it at him repeatedly, and watch the points go up.
    • The Carl the Cricket mask gives you a drill as a starting weapon. It's a melee weapon that can't kill anyone directly, but finishing a stunned enemy off with it (by drilling into their skull) grants you a ton of bonus points. Completing the level using only the drill will guarantee a perfect rank.
  • Good Bad Bugs: Hugging a wall sometimes allows you to perform a standing execution on an enemy on the other side. Killing enemies through walls obviously makes some rooms much easier.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: Richter being revealed to have also received the same phone calls as Jacket is one thing. The sequel reveals that he is even more of a nice guy than Jacket is (he doesn't seem to hate anyone, even Russians), has a sick mother to take care of, and seems to have been a mere civilian before being dragged into killing people.
  • Jump Scare: The van that screeches straight through the entrance at the end of Deadline.
  • Nausea Fuel: The sheer brutality of the violence, and the executions in particular, can have this effect. The game manages to avoid Crossing The Line Twice, making even the most desensitized gamer slightly disturbed at what they're doing to enemies (which fits in very well with the tone of the game).
  • Spiritual Licensee: The game owes a massive debt of influence to Drive, so much so that director Nicolas Winding Refn is specifically thanked in the credits. Accordingly, the two works share a retro 1980s-themed neon- and synth-heavy aesthetic (with Hotline actually being set in the 1980s); a mysterious, nameless protagonist who talks very little, if at all, and is known primarily by an instantly recognizable jacket; and graphic depictions of shockingly brutal violence (one of the game's finishing moves even looks very similar to the infamous head-stomping scene from Drive).
  • Tear Jerker: Jacket finding Hooker's dead body in his apartment.
  • That One Level: Trauma. Not only is it a sudden unarmed stealth mission in the middle of a game as frantic as Hotline Miami, but it's also a massive Interface Screw too.
    • The following level, Assault, can qualify too. Loads of enemies, most of which have guns, very little opportunity to stealth through, and multiple big enemies.
  • This Is Your Premise on Drugs: Often compared to being on a terrifying crack cocaine trip (which, seeing as the game is set during the big crack epidemic in the 80's, is pretty appropriate). Not helping is that the majority of the game is the main character's coma dream. He got shot in the head and the police are waiting for him to wake up at the hospital, you see.