Review by M. Fletcher

"Grand Theft Auto III improved and in your pocket."

Grand Theft Auto has got better and better since the first one was released in the 1990s. Back then it was a rubbish 2D view with three weapons and the phone calls consisted of a noise similar to that of a car crash. How things change. Where Grand Theft Auto III was hailed as a work of art upon release, we are now faced with Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories. This is the entirity of GTA III (with more added on) packed into a UMD. Are you impressed? You should be.

Gameplay: 10/10
Whether it is driving, doing missions, collecting packages etc. you will find yourself totally immersed in the experience. I have managed to sit for six hours before realising it was 3am in the morning. You have a set number of storyline missions which you follow. They all tend to interlink and provide Toni (your character) with a story for himself. Furthermore, any missions you do that could cause widespread confusion or fear in real life are now relayed on radio from "Liberty City News". This all adds to the experience of being there in Liberty City itself.

Graphics: 9/10
Considering that this is handheld console, you sometimes find yourself forgetting it. Some will cite the small screen as a reason for not buying a PSP. I spit on them. Considering the size of the screen and the size of the UMD itself, the graphics of Liberty City and the characters amongst other things is staggeringly good. The cutscenes show the talent of the script writers, however without the quality graphics it wouldn't matter.

Controls: 7/10
They can be fiddly at times if you're new to the console. This is because the analog stick doesn't quite work in the same way that the analog stick on your Playstation 2 does. Once you are used to it, you will find it no bother to pick up and play.

Sound: 9.5/10
Excellent cutscene sound really adds to the experience. Comments from the pedestrians as you walk down the street provide for some comical moments. The radio is lacking at times, however LCFR (was Chatterbox on GTAIII) is incredibly funny:

"Bill: L-M-F-A-O
Other guy: That's what I say to all my girlfriends! RESPAWN *****!"

Lazlow makes his return with another edition of Chatterbox, although I must admit my disappointment that this segment was only about 10 minutes long. Melissa's part was also incredibly funny and I still enjoy listening to it, even though it may well be the 83rd time I've heard it!

Multiplayer: 10/10
Superb. I need say no more.

Lifespan: 10/10
Missions, side missions, unique jumps, hidden packages, rampages, vigilante missions, firefighter missions, paramedic missions... you get the picture. You could be here for a long time before you can brag about having a 100% save file for this!

Overall: 10/10
I can't justify giving this game any less than full marks. I've played it every day without fail since I got it and even though I have now completed the story missions I still have all the motivation in the world to pick it up and continue on with the various side activities in my pursuit of a 100% save file. Now back to finding some hidden packages!

Reviewer's Rating:   5.0 - Flawless

Originally Posted: 11/23/05

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