Review by ddrfreak720

Reviewed: 11/01/06 | Updated: 11/06/06

Out with the old, in with the New!!!

For the most part, we've all played GTA games before. On a handheld, we were introduced to LCS last year. The game was amazing, but get ready to throw it somewhere in your closet; Vice City Stories is everything (or just about) that you wanted in LCS but didn't have. And, it's in the 80's =].

Graphics- 8.5/10

A lot of people look just towards graphics for a game. For people out there like that, prepare to be amazed. VCS is a big improvement from LCS. Although there is a suprisingly large amount of major glitches and pretty bad pop-ins, it does have more realistic-type scenery, and pretty much everything Vice City had for the PS2, just better. I remember the good ol' hazy-ish graphics in Vice City; well, no more! Graphics in the game are just beautiful and add a nice brighter twist to the series from LCS. It may be one of the most enhanced graphics on a PSP game thus far. If you can get passed the fact that the pop-ins are annoying and from time to time, cause you to crash into a wall, then you'll be loving every minute of this game.

Gameplay- 9.0/10

Although the gameplay is far better than LCS, it still lacks a bit. Rockstar did an honest effort in keeping pop-ins from occurring but yet they still happen from time to time; though again, much less than before. The controls are a bit "iffy". If an enemy is too close and you try using a gun, you'll just get smacked around because he is too close to shoot. So, better take out those fists for close encounters. Driving is much smoother, but it seems that handling is a bit weaker. Cars seem to spin out of control if you play like your playing LCS. A plus would definitely be the cut scenes; much longer than they were in previous titles, with impressive graphics to them. They make the story much more appealing.

Mission Longitivity- 9/10

I know I was bothered by the shortness of last years GTA: LCS but this time around Rockstar made missions a bit longer and added cut scenes to help the game be worth more for your money. A definite improvement from last year, so see for yourself. Oh, and the empire building, along with the usual rampages and hidden ballons just add up to make this game even better.

Voice & Music- 8.5/10

I can say the voice are more synchronized with the moving mouths of characters this time around, and overall sounds nice with the game. But the music is what came to me as a downer. I personally loved the music in the PS2 version of Vice City; but in VCS an almost completely different soundtrack with only a few songs from the PS2 version. They don't sound as good in the game, but then again I haven't listened to all 60+ songs. I'd say if you like a change, then this is just for you.

Replay Value- 10/10

If you've ever played a GTA game in your lifetime, you know that these games are packed with side missions and all around fun. This time Rockstar adds the traditional stuff like that, but adds an impressive new mode; Empire Building. This set of side missions/jobs is where you get to build your own empire ranging from robbery to loan sharking, to some "explicit content" and owning properties. Not only does Rockstar add this, but there are sub categories in this, such as robbing different types of businesses instead of going for one kind. And even without all of this, isn't it great to go around Vice City slashing people? =P

Rent or Buy? - 10/10-BUY

Sure, if you rent this game, you'll play it out in a week(or however long you rent it for) but you'll see that your missing out on quite a few things that you really need to "take it slow" to notice. Building the empires is an impressive side mission set that will take you some time and noticing the astonishing graphics and replay value will only occur if you take the tame and play the game thoroughly. So my 2 cents is this; get the game, play it to its max, and enjoy it because GTA games are only getting better and I can defiantly say that for this game.

---Final Thoughts---

Vice City Stories definetly brings in much more than the previous GTA title for the PSP. The pop-ins are a definite downer, since they can seriously mess you up during a mission and the major glitches you'll find right when you start the game aren't pleasant either. But, all in all, if you had to pick one PSP game to buy this month, honestly it should be this one. It has a great storyline, pretty cool music, and it just makes you feel like your playing your Vice City copy again! This is by far the best game for the month.

Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

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