Review by PaintedBlack
"Some Great Things Just Go Unappreciated"
Opening Remarks: My favorite PC game of all time, Grand Theft Auto, is now portable (it's about time!). The most controversial, naughty-mouthed, bloody, trash filled, and all around excellent game, in my GameBoy Color. But wait, PC-to-GameBoy ports always suck...Yoda Stories...ugh. Let's pray this does better. Please be good, please be good, please...
Gameplay: The gameplay is seen from a top-down view. You're thrown into one of three very, very huge cities with cars and pedestrians traveling around town. As the manual says, "There's more to GTA than stealing cars, driving over innocent pedestrians, shooting cops and evading the long arm of the law. But not much more!". All you basically do is do jobs for the mob, to make enough money to pass the current level you're on. You get 3 weapons to wreak havoc wherever you please. Did I mention there's about 300 missions to do? Simple, but terribly addicting.
Pros: The addicting gameplay.
Cons: The city isn't nearly busy enough, the mission arrow only points in 8 directions.
Graphics: For the GameBoy Color's tiny screen and minimal resolution, this game looks damn good. The buildings are all different, the cars look fabulous, the scrolling is excellent. The top-down view is different from the PC version, in that it's at a fixed position (doesn't zoom) and the sides of buildings aren't visible. So far, it's yet to detract from the gameplay. However, it's impossible to see handgun bullets bullets (machine gun bullets are easily seen) and it's hard to judge which way you're facing when on foot.
Pros: Wow, look at the purdy colors
Cons: I'm shooting, but I don't see the bullets
Sound/Music: My God, what the hell happened here? The sound/music in this game took a dive off the ugly tree, and hit every branch on the way down. The flamethrower sounds like a beehive attacking someone, the music you hear when you climb into a car is godawful, and unlike the PC version, there are no engine sounds or footsteps heard! If I farted in an empty tin can, it would sound more pleasant than the sound and music.
Pros: Um...the "ting" when you turn on the GameBoy maybe?
Cons: Don't ask...
Play Control/Game Design: OK, this control needs some explaining. Whether you're on foot or in a vehicle, you can only face 16 directions. This isn't bad at all, it's actually better than I expected, but if you get stuck in an alley, you ain't gettin' out. Another bad thing is that your character only enters vehicles on the driver side. So, if you park your car with the driver's side up against as wall, you won't be getting back in. Third and last complaint: the vehicles go too fast. It's not bad, but I hate having to tap A for short bursts of acceleration. OK, I have one more: B has no function while driving, so why not use B as reverse, instead of Down? But these are all very, very minor complaints. The control is very good. As for game design, the three cities are absolutely huge (over 6000 miles of road), and they don't make the game slow down at all.
Pros: Look how freakin huge these cities are.
Cons: Nothing worth mentioning twice
Improve: For the love of God, the sound and music.
Recommended if you like: I don't believe I've ever played a game quite like this before, maybe Micro Machines.
Final Words: It's an RPG with driving and action elements, played from a top-down perspective. That's the best I can describe it. Every self-respecting GameBoy owner should own this game. Whenever you're in need for some crime-breaking fun, pop your sleek black copy of GTA into your GBC, turn down the volume, and enjoy the ride. It's a fantastic conversion of a fantastic game.
Reviewer's Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
Originally Posted: 10/18/04
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