Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories
Review by Undertaker39614
"Not as good as I hoped it would be... but still worth a try"
Most recently, the latest installment in the Grand Theft Auto series, Vice City Stories, was released for the PSP. While those of us who are a fan of the GTA series and loved the original Vice City were very excited for this game, I feel that many of us were somewhat disappointed with what we got.
Let me start by saying that this game suffers from many glitches. At first, they don't seem too important, but after a while, they start to add up and begin to ruin the enjoyment of the game. The garages eating all of my cars constantly particularly upsets me, but not as much as the Empire attacks happening on a continuous cycle, one after the other. I've been getting shot at by rival gangs constantly, and I believe it's pretty obvious that it wasn't meant to be this way. I wonder how the creators could've missed two big glitches such as these and just released the game as it is. And many more smaller glitches occur as well, such as the audio skipping while driving at high speeds, car engines and opening/closing door sounds being severely delayed or just never working at all, people driving around with their car doors hanging open, guns sometimes just don't even fire when you push the trigger button... the list could go on. But I've made my point; this game is glitched to hell. There's no excuse why these glitches couldn't have been fixed before the game was released, and now we're forced to wait for them to come out with a new version of the game before we get to play without dealing with all of these errors.
Aside from the glitches, everything else seems about average. Some of the voice acting is superb, especially Philip Michael Thomas and Gary Busey as Lance Vance and Phil Cassidy. Yet other areas of it are mediocre at best. I'd say the same about the music. While it's not horrible, many 80s bands and artists such as Michael Jackson, Ozzy Osbourne, AC/DC, Iron Maiden, Prince, Bon Jovi, ect. that I felt should have been in the game are surprisingly missing. It just doesn't scream 80s like the original VC soundtrack did. VRock still looks pretty good, but the other stations don't live up to their original selves. At least this time around there is a Custom Soundtrack feature, so it is possible to create a much better soundtrack by simply using Rockstar Custom Tracks. And there is actually some Phil Collins and Kiss this time around, so it's not a total loss.
The graphics are well done, at least. While it isn't as sunny looking as it used to be, everything looks beautiful and realistic, going by GTA standards that is. There's no graphical glitches this time around. That's not to say it's perfect, but it's what you'd expect out of a typical GTA game.
The story is decent. The story has never been a key focus on the GTA games, as they are all sub-par, but this one at least manages to be more entertaining than San Andreas'. The main character, Victor Vance is rather stale though. He has absolutely zero charisma or humor, and he just remains either very serious or angry most of the time. He sets himself up as a good guy, not wanting to hurt people or get into drugs, yet within minutes he's stealing sports cars and blowing people away with shotguns and delivering coke. Seems rather hypocritical. He's very difficult to relate to or get into, which does hurt the game a little bit. As far as the other characters go, we have everything from stereotypical rednecks and homosexual bikers to transsexual crack addicts and Phil Collins. Were you expecting anything else from GTA?
Overall, while I may have been a little hard on it, Vice City Stories is still a good game and definitely deserves a rent at least. It's just that with this being part of the GTA franchise, the expectations were set high, and this game didn't quite live up to them, especially with all of the bugs. It feels rushed, in a way. But it's still undoubtedly one of, if not the, best games for the PSP at the moment. Do yourself a favor and go out and play this game, but I advise renting it first, just in case. It's not as good as it was expected to be, but still a very good game anyways.
Score: 7 out of 10.
Reviewer's Score: 7/10 | Originally Posted: 11/14/06
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