Posts Tagged ‘Grand Theft Auto’

For a few years I’ve been hearing about this game called Retro City Rampage. When I read about the game and took a look at the screenshots the first thought that popped into my head was “So this is what the Grand Theft Auto games would look like if they were on the NES.” Being the Grand Theft Auto fan that I am, I was rather intrigued with what Retro City Rampage had to offer. I couldn’t wait to play this game. It took a few years and a lot of patience, but it has finally arrived on Xbox Live Arcade. After about an hour of amusing gameplay I came to the conclusion that Retro City Rampage may have some elements of a Grand Theft Auto game, but GTA it is not! It’s actually much better than that.

PROS:

Grand Theft Auto Elements
While Retro City Rampage is not a complete GTA clone it does however have some elements of a typical GTA game. Jacking vehicles, the law meter, and the fun ability of causing absolute mayhem. The world of Theftropolis basically looks like what the early Grand Theft Auto games looked and played like before going the three dimensional route GTA 3. The top down perspective is a nostalgic blast from the past plus a lot of fun to explore. I took my character (simply named “Player”) and traveled the city streets scouting out locations and enjoying the old school 8-bit scenery as well as rampaging through the streets in my car running over helpless pedestrians.

Tons Of Video Game and Pop Culture References
Retro City Rampage is a hodgepodge of various video game and pop culture references mixed into one exciting game. While exploring the city of Theftropolis I came across some great references including Back To The Future, Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure, The Legend of Zelda, Saved By The Bell, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Super Meat Boy, Pitfall, and so much more. These references I mentioned are only the tip of the iceberg of what Retro City Rampage has to offer. One moment found myself donning a sword and shield like Link and walked through the streets bashing random civilians and trimming down bushes.

Over The Top Humor
The laughs are by the dozens, and I couldn’t help but laugh at the all the mayhem I was causing here in Theftropolis. Keep in the mind that the game is in fact one big comedic parody. While I was getting chased by the cops I passed by a sewer, and all of a sudden the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles jumped out and chased me. I then pulled out my pistol and took them out, while on the run, netting me an achievement and five Gamerscore in the process. Priceless. Jumping on the heads of civilians while killing them and scoring points ala Super Mario Bros. Very funny. I even found a “Hot Coffee” (a reference to Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas) shop during my travels which drew a chuckle out of me. While causing mayhem I couldn’t help but laugh at all the over the top references and humorous things I could do, and the best part is that the game’s unique humor will never get old.

CONS:

Difficulty Spikes
Anyone remember that pain in the ass level on the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles game on the NES with the electrical seaweed. Well it’s back once again. When I saw the level I said “Oh shit. Not again!” Well that’s only one of quite a few difficulty spikes that take place during the main campaign. At times I felt that some of the missions I participated in were rather easy or just right, but every so often I have to do a mission where I’ll end up dying a lot. I think that maybe a better idea would’ve been to ramp things up slowly in the difficulty curve instead of shocking players at points.

No Checkpoints During Longer Missions
Some of the missions in Retro City Rampage can be quite long having multiple parts to complete. Well what do you think happens if you unfortunately die during that mission? Well…you start over. Ok, most retro games had this which at times was very frustrating so it should be no surprise to me that it would be in this game. Maybe I’ve become too accustomed to checkpoints in the more modern games. Well, it’s time for me to start memorizing once again so that I don’t accrue a ton of deaths.

IN CONCLUSION

For all the years I’ve had to wait, Retro City Rampage was worth it and then some. It feels nostalgic, and it has some moments of Grand Theft Auto, but it’s so much more. It’s a parody with tons of references along with some of the punishments that some retro games had. Even the options screen has some retro options in on screen presentation. The most important aspect is that Retro City Rampage is a fun and entertaining game with tons of missions and challenges that will keep the average player busy for hours. I will suggest downloading the demo first before making the purchase, because if you don’t understand the references then your going to have trouble enjoying the game.

Developer: VBlank Entertainment
Platform: Xbox Live Arcade
Players: 1
Price: 800 Microsoft Points ($10.00)

Celebrating it’s tenth anniversary Rockstar Games brings back my favorite Grand Theft Auto game of all time. Vice City. In my opinion, Grand Theft Auto: Vice City is a mashup of Goodfellas meets Scarface. The other part that makes it so great is the fictitious Miami setting during the 1980s. I was hooked from the opening minutes as I just drove down the streets of a fictional neon lit South Beach to the club in the center of town. I even stole a police car, crashed vehicles, beat up a few bystanders, and created some random chaos and had a lot of fun doing it. I loved this game when i first played it on my Playstation 2, and now it’s on my iPad. Watch out Vice City because I’m back! Let me re-introduce you to Tommy Vercetti.

PROS:

The Story
Unlike Grand Theft Auto 3, Vice City features a more fleshed out story featuring Tommy Vercetti (Ray Liotta) at the helm. The mafia hitman is sent to Vice City to get a slice in the cocaine business for Liberty City boss Sonny Forelli when all of a sudden everything goes wrong. Now without the money and the drugs Tommy needs to find a way to make things right, and maybe in the process pull a Tony Montana and run the town. I really love all the angles that are played out in this game from drug lords, club owners, and even various gangs controlling their own piece of the city. Tommy makes Claude (the main antagonist from GTA 3) look like a low level errand boy. I had Tommy rising in power and creating an empire as I took control of the city and even buying a mansion similar to what Tony Montana had in Scarface. The story is awesome even though it seems to have been played out in many movies.

Celebrating Everything ’80s
One thing that made Grand Theft Auto: Vice City so unique is the fact that throughout the game I was able to point out so many ’80s references. I grew up in the ’80s and seeing references to Scarface, Knight Rider, The A-Team, Miami Vice, Rambo, The Village People, and so much more was really cool. The city itself was a reflection of everything ’80s with all the neon lights all the way down to the random people on the street with how they dressed and acted. Cars reflected their ’80s style and when I jacked a car the music of that decade was blaring into my speakers. I absolutely loved it.

The Soundtrack
One of my fondest memories of Grand Theft Auto: Vice City was when I was strolling through the streets and I came up to an unsuspecting cop, stabbed him, and then jacked a car. While getting chased by the police the radio played “Cum On Feel The Noize” from Quiet Riot. The song fit so right with the chase which was awesome. Throughout my experience with the game I would flip around the various radio stations jamming out to all the songs as well as the hilarious DJ chatter and commercials. Sometimes I would just sit around for an hour or two just to listen music and do nothing in the game. Maybe I should have bought the soundtrack CD instead. In my honest opinion, Grand Theft Auto: Vice City’s ’80s soundtrack is my absolute favorite of the series.

Doing Whatever I Want
What makes the Grand Theft Auto games so much fun to play are the moments where I go off the beaten path of the main storyline. Driving around the city jamming to ’80s music, acquiring property, civil missions (fire, police, taxi), rampage missions, getting dances at the strip club, robbing stores, picking up prostitutes to regain health and then kill them to get my money back, beating up and killing random civilians, and wreaking havoc in the city are just a few of the things I did. Doing whatever I wanted in the streets of Vice City really adds to the awesomeness that this game is. Grand Theft Auto games were not made for me to follow a linear story arc. They’re meant for me to go hog wild in the big city and do all sorts of shit that I wouldn’t do in the real world and that’s fun.

CONS:

Touchscreen Controls
It took some time for me to get used to the touchscreen controls when I first started playing Grand Theft Auto 3 when it was released on the iPad. This game is no different. The touchscreen controls are the same layout as they were in GTA 3. Now I come from console gaming, and when I saw how many touchscreen buttons there were on the screen I was a little overwhelmed. There’s a button for everything. Running, jumping, shooting, and even jacking cars. Driving cars (which can be difficult) takes a little finesse, but once I got it down it was easy. Actually driving a car in Vice City is better than it was in GTA 3. My advice to everyone playing is take the time to get used to the touchscreen controls before diving deep into the game or else you might get really frustrated.

IN CONCLUSION

Grand Theft Auto: Vice City is back, and it’s a welcome addition to the App Store. Sure it takes a little time to get used to the iPad controls, but once I was past that the memories came rushing back making my time with Tommy Vercetti fun once again. Wreaking havoc in the city, especially in a tank or attack helicopter, was awesome. Doing it while jamming to the ’80s soundtrack was even better. Nostalgia sure, but with this version I was creating all new memories to have for hers to come. GTA fans this is a must buy! The best part is that now I have this game on both my Xbox 360 console and mobile devices which will make it even harder for me to turn the fun off and go back to reality.

Developer: Rockstar Games
Platform: iPad, iPhone
Players: 1
Price: $4.99

Pros:
Game looks great on the iPhone/iPad
Liberty City is still fun to explore even ten years later
Breaking the law
The fun moments that take place when picking up a hooker

Cons:
A lot of buttons on the screen can make things confusing

Review based on Version 1.0

If there was one game that dominated my time on my Playstation 2 it was Grand Theft Auto 3. Although I’ve never played the earlier games in the series this one drew be right in with it’s vibrant 3D world full of life and violent activity. I would spend hours and hours beating and shooting random people as well as taking on the law just to see how long I could survive. Let’s also not forget about the hookers I would pick up to refill my life gauge only to beat then and take my money back later. Ahh the memories.

Celebrating it’s tenth anniversary, Grand Theft Auto 3 makes a triumphant return except this time it’s been ported to a much smaller screen. Who would’ve thought that I would be playing this game on the iPhone. Now available in the app store, Grand Theft Auto 3 jam packs everything we loved on consoles on to the iOS devices. At first I questioned whether this game would really work, but I quickly changed my tune when I started playing. This game is awesome. Now I’m breaking the law once again and having lots of fun doing it. Now where’s that tank?

Grand Theft Auto 3 is more than just breaking the law in a 3D world. It was about an entertaining story of revenge, featuring a silent protagonist, after being betrayed by your crew. It was about exploring the vastness of Liberty City and maybe find a few hidden packages in the process. It was about taking on odd jobs like taxicab driving, being a firefighter, a street racer, or even rampaging against street gangs. The possibilities are endless. Liberty City was just a giant urban sandbox allowing you to do whatever you wanted and it’s a lot of fun.

Other than the gameplay, Grand Theft Auto 3 also has an amazing soundtrack. A good tip off you all is to just drive around he city and listen to the radio stations. Here you’ll find a wide variety of music to jam to along with some great DJs adding their brand of humor. My personal favorites include Flashback 95.6 which features tracks from the film Scarface and Chatterbox FM with Lazlow. Of course there are times where I just like to have the radio off and have a song playing in my head like “Breaking The Law” by Judas Priest. It just seems so fitting when chased by the cops in this game.

If there is any issue that I have when it comes to the greatness that is Grand Theft Auto 3 it would have to do with the touchscreen controls. Ten years ago on the Playstation 2 there was a button for everything you wanted to do in the game. From running down the street, opening doors, and even shooting every button had an assignment. Looking at the screen, there are so many buttons cluttered around making your fingers close up a nice chunk of the screen which at times could make the difference between life and death. This can make things rather confusing, but the good news is that the touchscreen responsiveness is phenomenal making the gameplay brilliant.

Grand Theft Auto 3 is a return to greatness for a lot of players who played this game back in the day. There was no annoying cousins calling you to go bowling like in GTA IV. It was about letting yourself go wild and doing whatever you wanted to do. You want to jack cars? Go for it. Want to shoot up the city streets? Sounds lile a blast. Want to bang hookers? Be my guest. The car may be a rocking but all the two virtual characters are doing is sitting while the chick moans in excitement which is really funny. Grand Theft Auto 3 is definitely a must download for anyone looking for a good time on your iPhone and iPad. Now if Rockstar can only release a version on Xbox Live Arcade with achievements. Better yet, how about Grand Theft Auto: Vice City.