is going to make you a $20 offer you'd be crazy to
refuse. by Cole
9, 2006 - Having
played the PSP version of Grand Theft Auto: Liberty
City Stories, I was constantly hoping for something
new to occur in the PS2 version. Of course I had to
play through the entire game just to confirm that
its virtually identical to the PSP version.
The things I do for you guys.
City Stories was an absolutely astounding game when
it debuted on the PSP in the fall of 2005. It was
a great game, easily the best game in its genre. It
still hasnt been surpassed. So if this game
was so great on the PSP, why am I a little disappointed
with it on the PS2? Its due to something called
lowered expectations. Weve never seen anything
like this on a handheld system. The very fact that
this game has been released on the PS2 as a direct
port should indicate just how revolutionary this game
is for the PSP. But when compared to other
PS2 games, it comes up a little short. Especially
when compared to games from its own GTA series. The
fact that its budget priced under twenty bucks
is also a strong indicator that the developers didnt
feel it was strong. At the very least it shows that
Rockstar isnt about to take advantage of its
from some graphic tweaks here and there, the game
is identical to the PSP version except that
the PS2 doesnt include a multi-player mode.
Its not that great of an addition in the first
place and I certainly wont miss it. If you havent
played it, youre not missing anything either.
the PS2 this is just an average-looking game. Its
not even in the same league as the classic GTA 3
but at the same time its not being passed off
as the second-coming either. Taken for what it is,
its still a pretty good game, but its
not without some faults. As compelling as the story
is, it essentially follows the patent GTA formula.
New characters are simply thrust into the thug roles
with slightly different situations, circumstances
and missions. In other words there is no shortage
of crime, violence, vehicles, sexual references and
ways to make a dishonest buck.
Cipriani is the anti-hero of the game. Hes a
member of the Leone crime family, a well-established
and well-connected organized crime syndicate with
ties to city hall. As usual, the family is involved
with territorial disputes with other crime families.
Tonys too low on the totem pole to concern himself
with directly with these affairs but as long as hes
got cars to steal, debts to collect and people to
kill, hes a happy camper. Starting at the bottom,
Tony accepts a variety of missions from members of
his family in addition to other crooks he encounters
which includes pimps, dishonest businessmen and corrupt
politicians among other low-life.
is no shortage of interesting characters to interact
with. They help move the plot along and allow Tony
to earn some money which he can use to help finance
his life of crime by purchasing body armor and exotic
weapons. Things dont start out with a bang mind
you, Tony has to work his way up through the hierarchy.
He begins by taking missions that have him making
pick ups and deliveries, collecting debts and other
items, hijacking cars, throwing the fear of God into
some marks and making the odd hit along the way. These
are dirty jobs, but Tonys gotta do em.
include a pistol, shotgun, mini-gun, machinegun, flamethrower
and a rocket launcher. Nothing subtle here. There
are two ways to conduct business with most people.
One is with hand-to-hand combat and the other involves
weaponry. In some instances you will find yourself
on the defensive, instead of initiating the altercation
or shootout. Early in the game youll find yourself
under attack by a group of gun-wielding thugs, and
another gang armed with chainsaws that literally want
to rip you a new one or two, or three
not very well armed at the outset and things can get
quite frustrating, especially with the auto-targeting
system that has a mind of its own; lets make
that half a mind. When put into the use the system
doesnt automatically target the most immediate
threat, it will often target civilians or other lesser
imposing thugs. While it only takes a second to correct,
this second can cost you dearly. If you dont
have much in the way of health left, youre going
to get killed quickly. When you have to start over
youll lose all of your rare and expensive weapons.
To make matters even more frustrating there are limited
saves. Put this together with some heavy trial and
error missions and youve got a recipe for a
controller embedded in the drywall.
thing that the PS2 does have over the PSP is the control
system. I dont care what anyone says, two sticks
are better than one. The right stick controls the
camera while the left moves the character. Its
a very good system that feels tight and responsive.
The vehicles are also a joy to control, and there
are lots of them including sports cars, vans, trucks,
ambulances, fire trucks, boats, motorcycles and semis.
Its a lot of fun to drive through Liberty City
which is comprised of three islands. Unlike the PSP
version there is more vehicular traffic and pedestrians.
The streets are alive with various background animations
and diverse buildings. However, many of the vehicle
missions, which are time-based, will have you driving
from one end of town to the next and back again. These
are make-work missions that are overused. Once or
twice is more than enough.
is no shortage of action in Liberty City. You are
free to roam about and explore the city while you
encounter unique characters and are offered GTA-approved
missions. There are 10 radio stations that will keep
you company, offering everything from rock to hip-hop,
talk radio to a station that specializes in boy bands.
Okay, so there are nine stations. The DJs put
their unique spin on things with hip vernacular and
smartass comments. Youll even hear reports of
some of the incidents that you caused. It makes the
experience more personal and realistic.
City Stories is a summer time treat for PS2 owners
who haven't played the PSP version. Even though it's
an almost direct port, the control system is vastly
improved on the PS2 and the budget price just seals
the deal for this full length GTA adventure. Pack
your bags for Liberty City and paint the town red.