Review by light_rock_zz
"GTA: Chinatown Wars doesn't mean that only Chinese people will like it."
GTA. This acronym stands for Grand Theft Auto. For those who don't know the meaning of GTA, it is the massive theft of vehicles. GTA was one of the ever most popular games in the world. Some good GTA games were GTA: San Andreas and GTA IV. Well, add this to the list. At first when you stared at some screenshots, you thought this game wasn't good. Well, that's what I did. But, I was wrong. And you were also wrong.
In all GTAs, you do all different sorts of stuff. For those who doesn't know what is GTA, it doesn't mean that you only steal cars like crazy. In GTA, you complete storyline missions, whack mayhem in the city, do other side missions like Vigilante, Paramedic and Fire Fighting. There is a whole lot of stuff to do so you can almost never get bored of this kind of games. You can even set up a whole new weird mission by yourself like doing the "Burnout" style, trying to take down a car by making it crash.
The graphics are quite brilliant. Well, considering the DS limitations. The buildings are quite nicely modeled, the cars look quite fine although people on the street aren't looking too good today. There are also nice effects in the game, like when it is thunderstorm time the sky will turn dark sometimes. You also get to enjoy two different views, but only when you are in a vehicle. One of them is the fully rotatable view, and the other one is the nice cinematic view. Basically it often changes the angle, from afar to close-up view.
I could never understand any story very much, but this one seems rather interesting. There are some twists and turns in the story. So basically here's the story:
You are Huang Lee. Your father has recently been murdered. Now you have to deliver a sword, known as Yu Jian, to your uncle in Liberty City. This seems to be a tradition in your family after your father made it when he won the sword in a card game. However, on arrival, you are ambushed by some people. The sword gets stolen, and you are left to die. You managed to survive and make your way there to your uncle yourself. Now you have to find the sword, and avenge your father's killers.
You will never get bored of this game. Almost forever. There is of course, what do you expect, the main storyline missions. This should take up at least like two weeks of your life. There are also dozens of side missions to be accomplished, from simple missions like Vigilante to more complex missions like a shooting range. This is guaranteed to take up at least a month or even more of your life. Most of these missions aren't even that easy to be completed.
There are also the good old rampages, which you will be given an infinite ammo weapon to whack severe mayhem in the city. A new type of rampage is also available, which this time concentrates not on street fighting, but a ferocious battle of vehicles where you take down your pesky rivals. There are also exciting races, where you pit your racing skills here. You get to bump them everywhere so as to stop them from catching you up, even the water where you laugh as they splashdown. Kinda like some of the most popular DS racing games, eh? Now here comes the time trials. There are two types, one is point-to-point, one is lap race. You basically want to speed like a mad ass around the city for point-to-point time trials, sometimes clashing with the traffic. For lap time trials, you run around an enclosed area, and watch as idiotic people walking don't know how to dodge and stupidly get killed by you.
New to this game is a new system to gain money. You must trade drugs in the city so as to become a rich. The rule here is: Buy low, sell high. You got to be careful though, there will be occasional busts. The LCPD police will start to get onto your tail. You got to rush back to your apartment to stash them in your safe box so as to keep them safe. Talking about the police, you got a whole new way to get them off your tail. Instead of a boring way of getting out of a region, going into your safehouse and save, or go into a Pay N Spray (Which both of them you can still opt to do so), you must disable the police vehicles. How to do so, just make them crash hard into a wall, make them fall into the water or use explosions to disable them. Watch how stupid can the police ever drive, driving so aggressively that they can even crash into a wall, or laugh as they are so idiotic that they land themselves into the water, or even crash into gas stations. Talking about gas stations, you could do stuff that no other GTA can ever do, make your Molotovs! You use the touch screen to do so. Aside from that, you can do many things with the touch screen. Hot-wiring vehicles, activating bombs are just some examples. There's much more!
This GTA also has an aspect that no other GTAs ever have so far. Mission replays! This allows you to replay all your favorite storyline missions! Some were fun, right? So now you get to play your favorite missions again and again, with no limit. Now this time you could enjoy the cutscenes and the fun it gives!
These will last you a long time, as to really complete the game, you got to achieve 100%, which is definitely not easy. And after that, you could take even one step further of obtaining all gold in side missions and mission replays, the hardest part of the game but yet fun.
As in every GTA, you get to listen to the radio when you are in a vehicle. Well, if you are expecting real radio stations, unfortunately that is not the case. The radio stations are all instrumental. However, most of the stations have nice music. I like one of the radio stations the best, and that is Alchemist. For the sounds, most of it is very realistic. From the simple sound of vehicles crashing to the sound of the thunder, most of these sound are quite comparable to real life.
The interface refers to how the game and its functions are laid out. Most of it is great, with not so complex interface, simple to operate and use. It is also very user-friendly, perhaps even like touch phones where you could use the stylus or your finger to navigate through menus. The same thing is applied here. By a simple slide of the stylus on the PDA screen, you could scroll through the menu easily. The GPS is simple to operate, just touch your destination and the GPS will show the route there.
Perfection (No Bugs and Glitches): 7/10
Unfortunately this game has several bugs/glitches. In the entire few months I played this game, I experienced several bugs/glitches in the game. Some occurs all the time, some are repeated a few times, and some are quite rare. For example, if you pass a rampage, the game will somehow recognize that it is a mission failure instead. If you replay missions, sometimes your delivery drug bag reduces back to normal. This is however solved by turning off and turning it on again. Some glitches, like when you steal drug vans and you somehow have no control of it, occurs a few times. There are few other bugs, but most of which can be solved by a reset. However, we must know that no game can ever be extremely perfect, a few bugs/glitches here and there are fine.
There are many good points in the game, be it content, music/sound and interface. The graphics are definitely good enough, and again considering the DS limitations. Although a number of bugs/glitches are present, they don't affect a game too much, as long they are severe, which is not. NOTHING IS PERFECT. In conclusion, this is a must-have game for all DS owners, as it is a ever-lasting fun game. You got to get this today. I assure you you 100% won't regret your decision. Go to a store and dig out its shelves, or just pre-order it online at sites like Amazon.
Reviewer's Score: 9/10 | Originally Posted: 07/27/09, Updated 10/01/09
Game Release: Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars (US, 03/17/09)
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