Review by DarkAngel13

"Wow... Games this good don't come around very often..."

The game everyone has been waiting for. Quite possibly the most anticipated games of all-time, has finally made its way onto the Playstation 2. Not only is it probably the most anticipated game of all-time, but it's also the best game that is based on the 80's!

Grand Theft Auto: Vice City. Sequel to one of the best games (Grand Theft Auto 3) in the short history of the Playstation 2. The game that everyone who hasn't played it (Namely the Morning Show on NBC) wants it banned, or at least censored. Why? Blood, hookers, pimps, gangs, all those are just a few of the short reasons of why people want Vice City banned. If it weren't for those though, it wouldn't be nearly as fun. Mainly because you know that you can't get away with it in real life, so at least you can have some fun doing it in a video game.

Rockstar Games takes the freedom of real life, and nearly depicts it perfectly into the video game. If you want to go on a killing spree, go ahead, but look out for those cops who'll be on you if you do. Want to cruise around town picking up girls? Go ahead! Steal a nice car and pick up the ladies, though it does cost you one dollar per minute if you pick up a girl ^_~ You want to be a cop? Go take a cop car and hunt them thieves down! Feel like putting out a few fires and being a hero? Grab a fire truck and go ahead! Just feel like being a Taxi cab driver? Grab the cab and take people around town. If you feel like being a pizza delivery boy, go ahead, but the main difference is that you (Tommy Vercetti) aren't a pimply high-schooler. You can do all those things if you want to make a few bucks or just want to do that for the hell of it. Heck, if you want you can even go hang out at the mall. Go hang out at the food stores there, walk around in ''The Gash'' (Vice Cities version of The Gap), hang out at Ammu-nation and buy a few guns, go to the tool store and buy some tools (Aka, weapons), even go to the golf course! Granted, you can't play golf there, but you can steal a golf cart and attack people with your clubs (FORE!)

STORY:
You are Tommy Vercetti. You just got out of 15 years in jail and are now back on the streets. You start out making an exchange with the columbians. $20,000 you give them and you get coke back in exchange. The deal is going great until a group of people dressed in black bust the party. You escape, but your 2 buddies you were working the deal with don't. Your boss Sonny isn't too happy about it, and sends you out to go find out who broke up the exchange, get the money back, and get the coke. You go about this by working for many different people who all have varying parts in the storyline.

SOUND: 10
Grand Theft Auto: Vice City captures the sounds of the 80's perfectly! You have radio stations that play pop hits from the 80's. You got your stations that play rock from the 80's. You got stations that play latin music. You even have some of the DJ's from GTA3 on the game (Tony, Lazlow, and that wacky Fernando Martinez!) You got your rock hits like Ozzy ''Bark at the Moon'', Anthrax ''Madhouse'', Twisted Sister ''I Wanna Rock'' (Known more for their We're Not Gonna Take It), and Iron Maiden ''Two Minutes to Midnight''. You got your love songs like Toto ''Africa'', REO Speedwagon ''Keep on Loving You'', Mr. Mister ''Broken Wings'', Tears for Fears ''Pale Shelter'', and Cutting Crew with ''I Just Died in Your Arms''. You got your songs that just about everyone knows like Michael Jackson singing ''Billie Jean'' and ''Wanna be Starting Something'', and The Buggles with ''Video Killed the Radio Star''. You also have some songs from Motley Crue, Blondie, INXS, Bryan Adams, and Run DMC. The only complaint I have about the music is that there wasn't Thriller on it, but that's just nitpicking =P

Also added to GTA:VC is that the main character Tommy has a voice! The game actually contains a few cameos of celebrities! The short list is Burt Reynolds, Dennis Hopper, Ray Liotta, and the p0rnstar Jenna Jameson (Figures, a game like this has to have a p0rnstar do at least one voice in the game =P)

GRAPHICS: 10
The graphics are much improved over Grand Theft Auto 3's. There are so many different cars now, all of them which look relatively different. They also look better when they take damage because they can take damage in different ways now. They also have much better looking surfaces. The rain also is great because it looks better, and when it rains some of the raindrops land on the camera, making it look more realistic. Also the water looks more realistic, very helpful sometimes. More things are that there are many different pedestrian looks. No longer will you find 10 of the same people walking down the street (Unless of course it's a gang...) Also when the characters talk, their mouths move better when they're talking than the last GTA.

You might hear a bit of how the graphics are different. All you have to do turn off the motion blurs (Which are on by default.) Go to display on the pause menu, go to trials then turn it to off. Of course, if you got HDTV then you don't need to worry at all. Also the graphics in GTA:VC are much brighter than GTA3. The main reason would be that Vice City is based on a tropical type of town (Miami) whereas GTA3 was based on more of a dark, creepy town (New York)

CONTROLS: 10
Amazing. The controls are the same as Grand Theft Auto 3's, which is great. You can use X to go, Circle as your brakes, Triangle to get in/out of cars, R1 as a hand-brake, L1 to change your radio station, and L2/R2 to look to the sides of your car. When you're looking to the side of your car, use Circle to shoot at people and pull a drive-by. Very helpful on some missions where you have to shoot somebody and don't want to risk going out on foot.

CHALLENGE LEVEL:
Grand Theft Auto: Vice City can be either a simple game, or an impossible game. It matters how much time you put into it learning what the tricks of the trade are and how to master each car's handling/speed/etc. and each weapons destructive capability. Say if you want to blow up a tank, if you use a handgun, you're going to have a hell of a time trying to do that, whereas if you use a rocket launcher or some other high powered weapon it'll be simple. Some of the missions can be a challenge because controlling the boats is a piece of crap, but it's not like the game is played on boats, that'd suck.

REPLAY VALUE: 10
Wow. Even if you completely conquer the game and get 100 percent, you're still going to have a hell of a lot of fun running around town. You can do almost anything in this game, which makes it the game that it is. You have so many cars to drive that you could spend all day testing them all. Also there's a bunch of jumps to hit and those you'll want to do over and over. One of the main things though: MOTORCYCLES!!!! You can drive motorcycles! You have one like a Harley, one like a Kawasaki, a pizza delivery one, and the normal motorbike thing. These things are so darn fun to drive that you might just spend an entire day driving them around seeing what you can pull off with them! Also, you got helicopters! You can actually fly something in Vice City unlike in GTA3 (You can't go ram them into buildings though, good thing too) so have some fun taking a tour of Vice City in one of these many vehicles, or have fun doing whatever else you want to do in Vice City.

FINISHING THOUGHTS:
This may just go down as the best game of all time. There is so much freedom and so much fun to it, that it is a blast to play anytime. Even if you finish it, you'll still want to come back just do some the things that you couldn't get away with in other games. You also might just want to listen to the music of the 80's! Find the hidden packages, do the unique jumps, whatever you want you can go for it. If you see the game in a store, I recommend you buy IMMEDIATELY. You will not be disappointed at all and after playing it for even an hour it has already made it worth your money of buying it.

FINAL SCORE: 10


Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 11/03/02, Updated 11/03/02


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