Review by kirkinout
"You'd think you were playing this on the PS2 or XBOX"
Alright, another Grand Theft Auto game, where to begin? A brief summary: Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories for the PlayStation Portable is Rockstar's second PSP game. You will play as Toni Cipriani in the year 1998. Cipriani is fresh back in the city after laying low for a while, having offered a fellow mobster a favor for Don Salvatore Leone. The grateful Salvatore puts you straight back to work.
The graphics for this game are amazing. Seriously, you would forget you were playing this on a hand-held, as its graphics easily contend with those of the PS2 and XBOX. They're crisp, clear, and naturally rank superbly as a hand-held game. The game never lagged for me so no complaints from me in that department.
The analog nub is very fluid with this game, especially when driving. You'll notice how smooth the driving in this game is compared to its XBOX and PS2 contenders. It's easy to use and never caused any problems with comfortability, so no issues or concerns there.
The overall gameplay matches up with GTA III incredibly. The cinematics are superior to GTAIII adding that extra enjoyment while playing the game. The controls might take a while to get used to, I will admit it is a bit rough, but it improves the more you play the game. The aiming in this game is pretty difficult and gets frustrating after a period of time, but it fixes itself the more you play. The load times involved with this game are much shorter than the PS2 or XBOX load times which is a major plus and doesn't have any pause loading.
One of the major complaints this game has been receiving is the problem with the PSP's low battery life. This hasn't been a major problem for me because I normally play for a few hours and use the out adapter. If you plan on playing for an extremely long period of time, one solution is the PSP's external battery pack, but if you're like me, you won't want to spend the extra money for it. There isn't much one can do to solve this issue at the moment and it really isn't a major issue.
The story missions don't bother me at all. They're your typical fun GTA missions, however they weren't as complicated or difficult as the missions in San Andreas. The side missions, such as the taxi or police missions are great, and there is much to do outside of your normal missions, such as run around and create havoc.
The voice-acting for this game is exceptionally well. The game's soundtracks are pretty good to listen to, however I prefer the soundtracks of Vice City and San Andreas in comparison to this game. Custom soundtracks definitely make up for that loss, however, allowing you to play music stored on your memory stick. The only downside I see to this feature, for me at least, is that I put game data on one stick, whereas I store my music on another, but it really isn't a large sacrifice to put this game data on a memory stick for music only, considering what you get for it.
This game is very long, and with over 200 missions to complete, you'll be occupied for quite a large amount of time. Even after its completion you can still have fun just driving around and enjoying the freedom the game provides.
Buy/Rent?: Buy it. Buy it. Buy it.
This game is worth the money and will have you occupied for a long time. There has never been a portable game like this and is a must-buy for PSP owners. The game receives pretty much top scores in every category and honestly deserves a 10/10. Buy it, it's an awesome experience.
Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 10/28/05
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