Review by Smitty44

"GTA Chinatown Wars from a Longtime GTA Critic"

Personally, I've never really gotten into GTA or sandbox games in particular. They usually bore me fast. However Chinatown Wars succeeded in holding my interest and keeping me playing. As a portable game, GTACW succeeds with relatively shorter yet extremely fun missions that constantly use the touch screen in new and interesting ways such as sniping, throwing Molotov cocktails out of a helicopter, throwing boxes out of a moving truck, and keeping a dying patient alive in a hijacked ambulance while escaping the police.

As for the story, I find it more acceptable than the other GTAs mostly because this is the first GTA character that I felt cool to play as (plus he has funny jokes). Mostly, you will be running around doing insane missions for goofy gangsters and then taking the blame for their mistakes as you constantly drive, shoot, escort, and explode your way through Liberty City looking for your father's sword as well as his killer. Don't get your hopes up though because every thug in the city will tell you they know how to find him just to get you to do more of their dirty work.

The driving in GTACW is shockingly addictive. The d-pad controls feel a lot more smoother than the Xbox360 controls in GTAIV. The cop chases have also changed since then. They have become more irritable and will chase you if you accidentally bump their car or if they happen to be speeding down the highway and ram into YOUR car. They are a lot easier to escape though because in this GTA losing stars isn't about finding a place to hide its about taking the cops cars out and making them crash which actually makes for a lot more interesting chases. I have yet to find the police to really be a nuisance as much as just a more fun way to reach my destination.

The combat system is pretty fun too though not at intricate as past games. because of the overview. It consists of using R to lock on to an enemy and using A to fire while using the touch screen to throw projectiles and also to bring up the weapons menu which some people don't like as much as just having a button for switching weapons. There is also the drug dealing mini game that is also ironically quite addictive until the people calling you are on the complete opposite side of town asking for a hookup. But it does make for quick money because after trafficking drugs for about half an hour, I increased my money from $400 to $30,000. Another cool thing about GTACW is how you purchase guns using your PDA and they are almost immediately delivered to your nearest safe house.

Overall, this game is a must-buy for all mature DS owners for addicting gameplay and surprising use of touch controls.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 04/09/09

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

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