Review by peter_kat

"WARNING: DO NOT PLAY THIS GAME....if you don't want to fail your next Chem test"

The GTA franchise started its humble beginnings in a 2-D world, with cute cartoon like characters populating the sandbox world.
It was a blast back then, shooting RPGs into rival gangs and speeding away in a red convertible with my drug money, feeling like a complete badass.

However, when the franchise took it to the 3-D level, it is when it hit full stride.
The game became more addictive than ever, with the recent GTA4 showing how well current technology could render a realistic world, all the while evoking nostalgic memories of playing 2-D GTA games.

When GTA: Chinatown Wars was announced, I was skeptical as to how well it would fare compared to the recent GTAs. Afterall, did I really want to play a rehash of 2-D technology that was dated?

Boy was I wrong.

This is your typical GTA affair, only you can take it anywhere! The game takes you across Liberty City, where you can take on missions from a variety of people. Join gangs, deal drugs, you name it; everything from a console GTA game can be found here. Chinatown Wars also sports an impressive array of arsenals. You can chuck grenades, shoot civilians with flamethrowers, and use your always reliable fists. The bottom screen is used mainly for switching weapons, and it shows the mini map of your current location and health bar among other things.

The top screen is where all the action is displayed, and the action is frantic yet beautiful without any hint of lag. There are a surprising amount of details and sounds that must simply be experienced to appreciate, and the DS screen takes full advantage of what little power it can work with.

The buttons are mapped out nicely and the controls take advantage of the touch screen of the DS. There are several mini games that you come across as you play, such as opening up a trunk to steal stuff or soldering wires to power a car. These give a refreshing break between your ventures stealing money and completing heists.

The story is quite comical, and the characters are fun and loving. Although all the dialogue has to be read (there is no voice-over), is it already quite an achievement to pack all the missions and goodies into a DS game.

The atmosphere of the city is astounding. Every gun sounds unique, the cars drive and look great, the radio has a variety of tracks, cop chases are frantic, and most importantly, the city looks fantastic.

It's GTA. You'll be playing this for months to come.

Final Impression

Your next history project can wait :)

Reviewer's Rating:   5.0 - Flawless

Originally Posted: 03/30/09

Game Release: Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars (US, 03/17/09)

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