Posts Tagged ‘GTA’

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)

Welcome to a brand new year. It’s 2013, and yet I’m still trying to finish games from as far back as 2010. Yes, I’m looking at you Red Dead Redemption and Dead Space 2. While I’ll be working diligently trying to complete older games I’ll also be reviewing all the new games that will arrive. Once again there will be a heavy influx of titles during the next couple of months starting in February, and I think part of this has to do with the the fact that there’s a new Xbox console on the way later this year. So until the Xbox 720, Durango, or whatever Microsoft wants to call the new console arrives, or if I retire from gaming, there’s still a shitload of games on the horizon that I want to play. While some of these games have piqued my interest only five are on my must play list this year. So what games can I no longer wait to play? Check out my list.

Bioshock Infinite

Diving into the depths of Rapture was an amazing moment back in 2007. Returning as a Big Daddy a couple of years later…not so much. The Bioshock sequel was good, but it didn’t have the same magic due to the fact that I’ve already been to Rapture once before. Now a new Bioshock adventure is on it’s way and this time I’ll be taken to a brand new world up in the clouds. A turn of the century Cloud City. Now this is very interesting. Plus there’s an amazing story yet to unfold in the process. Hang on Elizabeth. I’ll be there to rescue you soon.

Gears of War: Judgement

Going the route of a prequel, this chapter of the riveting Gears of War saga takes place just days after “Emergence Day” and stars Baird and Cole. Yes, I’m going to miss Marcus, but the idea of playing as other characters definitely breathes new life in the cover based shooter franchise. Plus I get to experience the early days of the war before the real doom and gloom of humanity’s epic struggle really set in. Looks like I’ll have plenty of grubs to kill along with other human players online in multiplayer. Roadie roll into a shotgun blast to an enemy’s head FTW!

Grand Theft Auto V

Yes, I’m a GTA junkie. Nothing says fun than going on a rampage and taking the cops for a wild ride through the city while I cause absolute mayhem. That’s what I do when I’m having a good day. Just imagine what I do when I’m having a shitty one. The new GTA game takes place back in another familiar setting…San Andreas. Now I wasn’t a big fan of the previous San Andreas game due to the fact of the game being more like Boyz n the Hood which didn’t interest me. GTA V is not going that route, and from what I’ve seen so far from the few screenshots and trailers it’s safe to assume that things are looking on the up and up.

South Park: The Stick of Truth

This has to be the biggest South Park undertaking ever. The games based on one of my favorite long running animated series has seen titles from all genres. Now it’s time for an epic role playing game, but this time it stars me! I get to make myself into a South Park character and interact with Stan, Kyle, Kenny, Eric Cartman, Butters, and the rest of the gang. With Trey Parker and Matt Stone behind it I can hopefully expect the best South Park game of all time. Plenty of references to the show and laugh out loud moments are awaiting me. Best of all…completely uncensored! The big question for me is what type of character do I start out with. I think the Jew in me is going for the High Jew Elf.

Tomb Raider

Call me weird, but I’ve never been big on the Tomb Raider franchise. I did play the original game and for a time, like most fanboys, I was hooked to Lara Croft’s hot curves. While most of the latest games have not done Ms. Croft justice, this new reboot from Crystal Dynamics will provide an origin story that will make old and new fans scream out in joy. This new Tomb Raider game feels a bit more realistic and down to earth compared to the other games. Survival becomes a key element, and this young Lara Croft will continue to find a way to survive against the overwhelming elements that confront her. I really like what I’ve seen with this game in the last year, and I’m hopeful that everything stays true to form reviving the rather tired franchise.

So there you have it. My eye is fixated on these five titles that look to shape up my gaming year of 2013. These titles are mostly early releases so I’m sure that maybe the late holiday releases could be even bigger especially with a new console on the way. However, I’m not concerned with that at this point, because these games are what’s going to take up the most of my playing time this year. Game on my friends.

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