Review by Gamerazor

"Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories Review"

Welcome to my review of the newly released Grand Theft Auto: Vice City stories. To start with I would like to state that if you have not enjoyed any of the other Grand Theft Auto titles, you will not enjoy this one. It is made with the same formulae as all of the other games, and has nothing which will blow you away.

The graphics for Vice City Stories are rather impressive, especially for a PSP game. The images are fairly crisp, especially in the cutscenes, and to look at it fairly, the game has no real graphical problems. Now to say the graphical element of the game is perfect, is far from the truth. Constantly the game has problems with the draw distance. If you decide to take a Cheetah for a spin down the highway in VCS, you will soon end up bashing into some granny doing 10mph in the overtaking lane. Other problems exist with the lighting. Sometimes you can't see a thing in VCS, which causes a problem when doing driving missions or as an example of my misfortune; races.

Grand Theft Auto has always had an exceptional sound bank. VCS is no different. The radio stations are great. With a decent headset V-Rock especially sounds amazing. The radio stations are generally hilarious, with Lazlow, the intern ect, and they never fail to impress. You can add custom soundtracks onto VCS also.
One bad point about the sound is the occasional delay in loading. You can get into a car, and the sound won't load for around 5 seconds, as well as the occasional brief stopping and starting of the radio stations. But that is just being picky.

The storyline for VCS has received a lot of criticism since release. I will not give anything away about it, but one things for sure, it has its moments, and is much better than Liberty City Storie's storyline. My only complaint about it is the character development, and the flow of the storyline. Some missions just don't fit/ have a purpose.

The characters are generally fairly good in this game. There is a good balance of hero, false hero, villain ect, if you would like to get all technical. But yes, the characters are strong, with Phill Collins and Reni standing out for me.

The gameplay in VCS is very fun throughout. The missions are certainly more varried than that of LCS, but there are still some tedious missions. A good feature of this game is the swimming and watersports. This adds a brand new feel to Vice City, the only bone to pick is the lack of gym stats. If Victor Vance could have pumped some iron and entered some tri-athlon style events the water scene would have been complete.
The aiming on this game is sadly not too great. Sometimes the gun just won't lock of, and the guns even seem to jam once in a while. The business empires also are not too fun, but if you get all 30 of them, then not only will you make a lot of money, but you get a special reward.

VCS is definitely a sound member of the PSP library. It has its ups and downs, but you have to remember it is not like its PS2 counterparts. If you like GTA and have a PSP get this game, it is one of the best games out there.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.0 - Great

Originally Posted: 11/28/06

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