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Old November 4th, 2005, 12:05 PM   #1
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Default REVIEW of GTA Liberty City Stories for PSP

RATING: (M) MATURE for: Blood and Gore, Intense Violence, Strong Language, Stong Sexual Content, Use of Drugs

Graphics: 4/5
Sound: 5/5
Control: 3.5/5
Story: 5/5
Endorphin Factor: 5/5
Frustration Factor: 2/5

Scoring system:
Average: 4/5


DETAILS: Rockstar has made a nice new story to go with very familiar territory from Grand Theft Auto III. You once again play Toni Cipriani, a thug who has returned to Liberty City, only to find that he has been handed off to a mob-world underling for whom he must reluctantly work.

Keep in mind that, as with all games I've reviewed, these reviews are from an early impression of the game....not based on a complete go round with it. I don't have that kind of time like professional game reviewers do....so take my reviews with a grain of salt.

Graphically, the game looks almost exactly like GTA III on PS2...and that is saying something too. The only reason I did not give the graphics a 5/5 this time like I gave Star Wars Battlefront II, is because the graphics on this game are more reminiscent of the older GTA III, whereas on the consoles, the GTA series has received some graphical tweaks and advances. But that does not take away from the enjoyment of this game.

Open endedness is the order of the day on this game. In between missions for Vincenzo (your underling mob boss), you can do all manner of mayhem. You can beat up on anyone you choose, and sometimes it pans out money for you, or it may result in a heap of trouble (either in the form of law enforcement pursuit, or fellow gangstas coming to snuff you out in the process.) You can jack a car. If it is a specialized vehicle like an amulance, or a taxi, or a police car, there are special side missions you can choose to accept.

There is even one point early on in the game where a car dealership says that they are looking for good car salesmen. You can go to the used car dealership (which isn't but a block and a half away from your digs, provided to you by Vincenzo) and try to sell cars to prospective customers. Each car you try to sell has a specific feature that the customer is interested in, and you do your best to show off that feature to the customer. If you succeed, you get some decent dinero for your trouble.

Various shops and services will open up throughout the game as you progress. AmmuNation, a gun and ammo store, provides you with your ordnancial needs....and as you progress, more and more effective weapons come available. The next weapon on my list (which has yet to come available) is the mini-Uzi.

Basically, if you've played GTA III heavily in the past, you should be able to make your way around Liberty City, with little problem. The story is brand new though, so you are not exactly playing a GTA III portdown.

Sounds on this game are exquisitely well done. You even have radio stations you can listen to while travelling by car, or motorcycle...with a variety of choices to pick from: pop rock, classical music, rap, reggae, the list goes on...and the DJ's of these stations are a riot to listen to. I have gotten many rip roaring laughs from listening to the classical station DJ...and the callers who dial in to give commentary. The music is not quite as extensive as it is on the console versions, and in fact, the only recognizable music I heard was in the classical station. There is plenty enough music to keep things from going stale anytime soon though.

Parents, be warned, this game is NOT for younglings. It has very strong language, and acts of violence, and other things you might want to shelter your children from. (See the ratings advisory above.)

Although I haven't done any stunts yet, I am sure that they will be worth pulling off when you reach the appropriate areas.

One can definitely get a rush out of this game with all the varying things you can do in the course of your adventures. Drive by's, carjackings, random acts of violence (which sometimes actually yields you a good citizen bonus if you nail the right people), hooker tricks, etc. I am amazed at how much freedom one is given on this handheld version. Simply amazed.

I have yet to try multiplayer to see how it pans out in the game. You can take on up to five other mob underlings with similarly equipped PSP's via Ad-Hoc (WiFi LAN mode) in the same room.

The controls in this game (as with any portdown of a console title) take a slight bit of getting used to, but in no time at all, will become second nature to you. (Advisory though. DO NOT play one version, and then the other within an immediate time frame of each other, as reacquainting yourself with different control schemes can be confusing.)

The frustration factor in this game is somewhat high...because as you think you're about too pull off the perfect mission, something very random could occur that fraks it all up. (I was just about to complete a sale on a fast car to a customer, and was on my way back to the dealership, when a random vehicle just dings me from outta nowhere, prompting the customer to say "I like it, but she's banged up." thus requiring you to make repairs...and if it occurs as the clock is winding down for you, you may as well just give up.)

BOTTOM LINE: If you need your Grand Theft Auto fix on the go...then Liberty City Stories is your medicine in a small plastic electronic box. Grab this up! You won't be disappointed.

Don't be a fan. Don't be a victim!-Martok2112
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