Review by XRaurosX

"A great experience that anyone with a PSP should enjoy."

Back as far as I remember, there were always certain games that I always wished I could bring with me whenever I had to take a road trip. I always longed to bring my Playstation 2 with me and a little TV so that I could play some of my favorite games, most particularly Grand Theft Auto 3/Vice City/San Andreas. So as you would expect, my excitement and enthusiasm was high when Rockstar announced Grand Theft Auto: Libery City Stories for the PSP, and I couldn't wait to get my hands on it. After beating it, I can honestly say it's one of my favorite titles on the PSP.

Liberty City Stories is a bit of a prequel to Grand Theft Auto 3, and instead of the unnamed protagonist from that title, you play as Tony Cipriani, who works for Salvatore Leone in his Mafia. Tony has finally come back to Liberty City after laying low for a while, and things have changed. Salvatore thinks highly of Tony, but makes him work his way back up through the ranks before he'll be treated with the respect he once had. I won't spoil the story, but there's quite a few twists and while the script isn't quite as solid as in game's past (along with a rather lackluster ending), but it's still good.

Graphically, considering the vastness of the world and all the things in it, Liberty City Stories is a great looking title. The textures don't always load when they should and there is the occasional slowdown, but for the most part it runs well and it all looks good. Definitely a major achievement for this game.

The audio is also quite good. The voice acting in particular is impressive, and while the radio stations might not appeal to everyone, the music fits the theme, mood, and era of the game (and LCFR makes me laugh as much as any station has in the past). Everything sounds good.

One problem I foresaw for this game was the controls. Given how much there is and the lack of a second analog stick and L2 + R2 buttons, I had no idea how well this game would control. All told, it plays extremely well and Rockstar did a remarkable job. The aiming system feels like a bit of a step back from San Andreas, but it's still not too bad and manageable for the most part. On foot, Tony controls pretty well and for the most part you shouldn't have any issues. Driving is also very easy and good, and honestly I had no issues at all from that point. Boat controls, on the other hand, are pretty annoying but it isn't a game changing problem and there aren't many boat-related things to do in the game anyways.

The best part of Liberty City Stories? All the replay value. The actual story mode is probably one of the easiest I've ever played in the GTA series and shouldn't take up too much of your time, but there's an absolute ton of side missions to do and it's pretty much all fun. It'll take up hours and hours of your time to complete this game 100% if you choose and it's a lot of fun the whole way.

Liberty City Stories is a lot of fun to begin with, but with the added multiplayer, it's even better. Granted, it's only local matches, but it's a lot of fun rampaging through Liberty City with a buddy or killing your friends in a Deathmatch. There's also racing and a bunch of other multiplayer modes and it makes this all the more fun.

All in all, for their first attempt into the portable gaming world with a 3D world as big as GTA's, Rockstar did a hell of a job. It's not perfect, but it's still some of the most fun you'll have on your PSP and if how much fun I had was any indication, this will be one UMD that won't be leaving your disc drive for quite a while.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.0 - Great

Originally Posted: 11/15/10

Game Release: Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories (US, 10/24/05)

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