Grand Theft Auto: Vice City
Ah, Vice City. I remember it very well from my childhood葉he long, light-brown beaches, the pastel-colored garages and tenements, the Ferrari Testarossas coursing down the streets, that blond-haired guy with no socks blowing up cars with his shotgun, the serene Jan Hammer music...wait a minute, that was all on that one episode of Miami Vice I saw last night. Never mind.
The Vice City we're talking about here may look a lot like the Miami that Crockett And Tubbs rocketed around every week in the 80s, but there's far more to it than meets the eye. After all, this city's home to the new Grand Theft Auto預 game that not only lets you play the villain escaping those impeccably fashionable cops, but is also the sequel to the highest-selling PlayStation 2 game of all time. Does it live up to the hype? It's fair to say so.
There are over 80 missions this time around, and they're tied together much more nicely this time around. The endless fetch-n-kill jobs you had in GTA3 are mostly gone, replaced with everything from drive-bys and remote-control helicopter bombings to golf-cart car chases and pizza-boy assassinations. There's easily a hundred hours or so of gameplay here if you try tracking down all the hidden packages and stunt launchpads, but you'll likely add a few dozen more to that figure just by cruising around, checking out the city sprawl (it's twice as big as Liberty City), exploring the insides of buildings, and scaring up the cash to buy strip clubs and condos.
I Ran So Far Away
The city looks beautiful, especially at night when it's all lit up with pastel colors, and there are all sorts of amusing touches you only get to see with thorough exploration. However, for some reason or another, Rockstar decided to apply a blurring feature to all the graphics that make it seem like Tommy took some kind of really bad acid. This feature can be turned off, and it's recommended you do so as soon as possible, but the blurring also hides some of the graphic plainness that's an unfortunate necessity of the game's huge environments. The GTA3 pop-in is back, too用alm trees appear in front of you from just a few hundred feet away預nd the characters in cutscenes still look kind of like marionettes with their weird flipper arms. All of this probably won't bother you too much葉he game's just too darn fun for me to care傭ut it's still understandable why Rockstar didn't call this GTA4.
But the best praise should really be reserved for the radio-station soundtrack. This is 1986 we're talking about, of course, so the in-game stations play nothing but your favorites from the age of yuppies and wine coolers. Michael Jackson, Hall and Oates, Mr. Mister, Jan Hammer himself葉hey, along with a few dozen others, are all in effect here. If you liked the hilarious radio chatter from GTA3, there's a ton more of that here, too. Make sure you're not in the middle of a multi-car police chase while listening to the Crocodile Hunter parody; you'll likely break into laughter and drive into a light post or moped rider.
Take On Me